#BlissDomCA Nuggets of Life Wisdom

Blissdom

Yes, it was a bloggers’ conference. Yes, it was a social media conference. Yes, it was an “online influencers” conference…and it was also so much more! I went to Blissdom Canada ’14 this year…my first time! I’m still working my way through the TONS of information I received during 3-day conference but I felt so many of the quotes I tweeted throughout the conference were also great messages for us as parents of kiddos with special needs, that I thought I would share:

“Value your own voice first” ~ @unmarketing

“Speak of anything in the affirmative…and it will be. Don’t let fear stop you.” @KarenCumming

“Your voice is your biggest product.”  @UnAlison

“Don’t ever fear making mistakes. Guard against not learning from them.” @PercyVites

“Keep going until someone says no, and there’s nowhere else to go, but there’s always another way.” @PercyVites

“No need to freak out. Assess problem at hand. Figure out the solution. Move ahead.” @PercyVites

“How do I stay sane? I laugh at the insanity.” @CaroleStaveley

 

Please share your favourite inspirational quotes/thoughts below in the Comments section.

I’ll share photos and other experiences from Blissdom in a future post.

Confession & New #Workshops (#Autism, #AutismSupport, #FamilySupport)

Confession: I LOVE public speaking! I know, I know, it’s one of, if not the top fear that most people have, but I love it. Role playing however…that’s a different story for me. And I have to role play counselling scenarios every week in one of the courses I’m taking right now…but I digress.

A number of years ago, I met a lovely woman named Melissa. We Facebooked and saw eachother every so often. Then earlier this year, she said that she was meeting a number of parents with children with Autism/Asperger’s through her career and asked if we could meet up. She wanted to understand more about what these families were facing (how awesome is she?!!). One coffee date later, and we decided to start holding workshops together, which where later called “Autism – Family & Financial Workshops“. She would be able to talk about the financial aspect of things (budgeting, RDSPs, etc) and I could talk about whatever was timely dependent upon the time of year.

Yesterday, we held another workshop, with me talking about IEPs since it’s that time of year, and how to work with the school. She spoke of budgeting, couponing and price matching. We also had an expert in RDSPs (Registered Disability Savings Plan…available in Canada) come share with us as well.

The chemistry in the room was awesome. I’m so glad that people felt comfortable enough to ask questions throughout my schpiel! If you’ve ever been to a presentation I make, I encourage questions. When people were leaving, they said they felt supported and asked when the next one is being held (January 28th at 10am, for anyone in Hamilton, ON Canada). We put it out there that maybe we should do a “coffee hour”…and people loved the idea. So, we’ve now scheduled an information get together over coffee (November 6th at 10am).

Something amusing happened during our workshop yesterday though that I also wanted to share. We asked for people to complete feedback forms, and when they gave them back, the form was put into a draw for a door prize (it was a beautiful Sherpa throw rug…so soft!). Can you guess which feedback form was completed by an adult who was newly (as in, this week!) diagnosed with Autism, just based on how the paper is folded? ;)

Feedback forms

Yup, that would be the “accordion style” one in the middle. She has a son with Asperger’s, a daughter being assessed for Autism, and she herself has now been diagnosed with Autism…and she’s proud of it…proud of knowing why she always thought of things in a different way; why she always did things just a little bit differently than others around her. Her son is NOT happy though…he liked being the only one in the family with an ASD diagnosis. Poor little guy. ;)

Anyway, if you are in the Hamilton, ON Canada area, please join the Facebook group to learn more about upcoming workshops and coffee times.

If you are outside the Hamilton, ON Canada area, but would like myself and/or Melissa to come to your area whether to offer a workshop series, or even a one-time presentation, please comment below or email me: imamomtoo.meghan@gmail.com.

My #Daughter and Her Magical #Faery Houses

A week or so ago, a miniature house “appeared” in our front yard. My daughter immediately exclaimed that it’s a faery house. Another showed up a couple of days later, then another, then another. Don’t tell her that our neighbour is actually making them and asked if he could surprise my kids with them. Shhh…it’s our little secret. ;)

She actually knocked on the door the first day, and waited for the faeries to answer…seriously, how cute is that?!!

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She asked if she could do a video of the houses to share on my blog, and also with her classmates because apparently they don’t believe her. Didn’t someone say when someone says they don’t believe in faeries, a faery loses its wings? She placed them all on the tarp that I quickly had to throw over my (first ever!) painted desk that I had done the day before…and then it started raining this morning. Thankfully, the paint was dry (stay tuned for a blog post about that soon!). She also received an iPad mini at school so this is the first video she’s shot with it…I think she did great!

If you want more videos as more faery houses are added to the collection, hit the “Like” button to give her some Youtube love, and share it around with anyone who needs some cheering up and/or some magic today. :)

She’s so excited to share this video with all of you!

I’m Going to #BlissDomCA!! Time to #PrepForBliss!

Blissdom

I’m crazy excited to be attending Blissdom ’14 this year!!! It’s the biggest blogging and social media conference in Canada. Every year while it’s happening, I’ve been in a bit of a funk over the fact that it’s happening and I’m not there. This year, I get to go as part of Main Street Creative‘s team…so a huge thank you to them!

I’m doing my research, reading posts written by those who have attended previous years:

I’m not sure exactly what time I’ll be arriving on Thursday…hopefully around 10am. Later that afternoon, I’m sure I’ll be hanging out in the “Newbie Lounge”. I seem to be reading a common theme that most attendees are worried about being wall flowers … I am NOT naturally a wall flower. Extroverts unite…together! If I am being a wall flower…just wave some Starbucks chai (lactose-free milk, no water please) under my nose. I’ll be fine after that. ;)

I still need to sort through my timetable for the rest of Thursday and all day Friday…there’s so much to choose from!

We had to sign up a couple of weeks ago for the microsessions Saturday morning. I’m sssoooo excited to be attending:

  • New Blogger? Little Blogger? You can get love too! – Tiffany Grisdale
  • Master the Branded Narrative & change your life – Julie Nowell
  • From Blog To Business (How to take your love of blogging to the next level and make it your business.) – Loukia Zigoumis

If you’re attending any of these microsessions, please say hi…I’m sure I’ll be the only tall redhead. ;)

There’s even a pajama party…how often do you get to wear pjs and slippers in public? ;)

Now I just need to figure what to wear the rest of the time because, let’s face it, as a Stay at Home Mom, my regular outfit consists of yoga pants and t-shirts. Sigh. Where’s a personal shopper (and the budget to pay for one) when you need one?

Please be sure to follow me on Twitter or Like me on Facebook to check out what I’m doing during #BlissDomCA.

 

My Friday as a SAHM

Today, I felt like “Suzy Homemaker”. Seems to happen on Mondays or Fridays in my world. Nothing much of note, just your typical Stay-At-Home-Mom stuff:

  • folding three loads of laundry that have been piling up all week, and putting them away
  • doing two other loads of laundry
  • sweeping and wet Swiffering the downstairs
  • two loads of dishes
  • cleaning the kitchen
  • dusting
  • baking a pumpkin loaf and pumpkin muffins.

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Needless to say, after picking the kids up from school, I was exhausted, so after giving the kids their after school snacks, I had my first chai of the day…with some of the pumpkin loaf of course. ;)

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Honestly, after dinner, I napped a bit on the couch. Then I packed their overnight bag for them to go to their dad’s for the weekend and we headed to the pet store to pick up some food for our cats.

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Then dropped my kids off at their dad’s, even dropping them off about 10 minutes earlier than usual as it didn’t take as long at the pet store as expected…despite my daughter wanting to bring all five kittens home with us. No! Two cats are enough! ;)

Now, I’m sitting back, drooling over Shemar Moore watching Criminal Minds, with a cider, getting ready for a very busy weekend. So really, not an “exciting” day, but a productive one, where I feel blessed being able to look after my family.

My Son’s #DentalSurgery – Part 2 (#Autism)

(See yesterday’s post to read about my son’s pre-op appointment for his dental surgery)

The night before his surgery, my daughter spent the night at their dad’s as we had to be at the hospital by 6:30 the next morning. Eek! Of course, as I’m sure it’s stated in some “law” of some kind, my son slept in that morning, so I had to wake him up at 5:30am for us to get there.

My little man wasn’t happy with the hospital gown. I tried talking him through it while my man put it on him.

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He seemed ok, until he sat down and had to wait until it was our turn to go in. Honestly, I gave up the fight. He didn’t “need” to be in the hospital gown for tooth surgery (the staff told me that) so I gave in…he wanted his special Spiderman shirt on. Honestly, he was stressed enough with everything going on, that I didn’t want to put him through a meltdown too.

As we all know, there is NOTHING stronger than Autism-panic. Because of this, both my man and I “suited up” in outfits to wear into the operating room, in case my son panicked and I needed to tag-team my man in because he’s stronger than I am. Thankfully, it was also the same anesthesiologist as my daughter had a few months prior for her dental surgery so he already “knew” us. He was great at calmly saying “It’s ok, Uncle Bruno (Dr Bruno to me!) is here” while I was straddled on top of my son’s core and a medical staff person was trying to hold down his arm so my son couldn’t pull the mask off. I kept telling him “It’s ok. Mommy’s here. You’re safe. I love you”. Between Dr Bruno and I, we didn’t need to tag-in my man, but he was watching through the glass window in the door into the operating room, just in case.

During the surgery, my man and I walked across the street for a Starbucks for me (shocking, I know). We barely got back, settled in the surgery wait room and started drinking my chai when the surgery was over. I went into the recovery area and as soon as I saw him, I told the nurses “How much time until he wakes up? I told you not to have the IV in when…” and he started stirring, then bolted straight up in the bed, tried climbing out, headbutted a nurse in the nose (she went down quickly!) while everyone else tried holding him down.

I immediately jumped on top of the gurney and straddled him down, holding him in the way that we’ve all figured out how to manage through our child’s Autistic meltdown. Then I heard staff say “go get dad”…not the time to correct them when one nurse is down, 4 others are trying to hold him and keep the IV from ripping out, and I’m on him. They went and got my man…by the time he came in, I had my son controlled under me, telling them to “put him under again NOW”, my man held down my son’s feet because um, well, my son was “squaring” me (ouch!), and the medical staff were trying to figure out what dosage to give my son. As it turned out, they gave him meds that are equivalent to 2 margaritas…yup, they made my 9 year old “drunk”. He fought it but eventually, I felt him go limp under me, and he was out again. By the time I figured he was actually out, I told them “I told you not to let him wake up with an IV attached”, then started asking how the nurse was. Apparently I was the only one who saw him take her out. She came back in later and was sore, but fine. Nothing broken. Phew!

He looked so peaceful when he was knocked out the 2nd time:

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They removed his IV while he was asleep the 2nd time, and about 15 mins later, he started stirring awake, but I was ready to jump in again, including having my brace on my wrist (it wasn’t on before – ouch!). My right wrist has been injured so many times now (including a fracture a couple of years ago) that I’m a proud “owner” of a wrist with arthritis…in my late 30s! ;)

IMG_00006567It was a much more peaceful wake up, so I crawled in beside him for cuddles. When he woke up enough, he checked to see if the IV was still there. It was out, so it all was right in the world.

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For my daughter’s surgery, we had to go to an observation room after this wake-up room but, because my son has Autism, they kept him in the wake-up room longer than usual. After determining he was ok and didn’t have any reactions, we were discharged and sent home with a list of things to keep an eye out for. He fell asleep sitting up in the car a few times and, when we got home, he lay under his weighted blanket on the couch for about an hour, then started VERY slowly doing his circuits around the house, stimming his way through the stress of the day. By mid-afternoon, he was eating solid foods and drinking lemonaid. The next day, you wouldn’t even know that he had dental surgery the day before.

Other than the meltdown that happened when he woke up, he was an awesome superstar through the whole thing. I’m so proud!