I got to pick my kids up early from their dad’s because it’s Mother’s Day. I had already seen my son’s Mother’s Day card, which he made at IBI. His therapist had written the words, and he had placed the hearts. He also gave it to me that day by saying “Happy Mother’s Day”…my heart melted.
But my daughter had brought her card and present home in a plastic bag with very strict instructions for me NOT to open it until Mother’s Day. She was really excited to come home to finally open and show it to me. A tear may have happened when she read the poem to me.
I also bought myself something for Mother’s Day, not that it’s much of a surprise if you read my blog regularily:
An extra special part of my Mother’s Day weekend though was when my stepdaughter came with my man and I to an SCA event (medieval re-enacting). She asked if she could come a few months ago and this weekend was the first one that was relatively nearby and on a weekend when she could come. She’s a huge history buff, so I wasn’t surprised that she asked. Because all three of us competed in different tournaments throughout the day (she and I did archery), we each received a carnation representing that we were fighting for eachother.
Once I found the right medication combination to battle the massive migraine I got this afternoon because of the crazy weather we’re having, I have gone back to enjoying being a mom (instead of being passed out on the couch, waking only when they ask me for something), and loving how unique and wonderful each of my 3 kids are.
My son’s new after school routine (within the last month and a half or so) is to get out of the car, run to the driveway of our neighbour 3 doors down, run back, play with his shadow, and then hang out on another neighbour’s porch for a while. Some days, he can be there for a good hour or so. If those neighbours are outside, and needing to go in and out of their front door, they just say hi, move around him and head inside. They even asked after we moved in late last summer how to communicate with him! How awesome are our neighbours?!
Until now, this after school routine has been a bit difficult for me, trying to keep an eye on him while my daughter is going in and out of our home, and honestly, trying to find somewhere comfortable for me to be for the hour or so he takes for this routine…especially when it’s raining (and the couple of days it snowed). A couple of days ago however, my man’s parents gave us some new-to-us lawn chairs and table (they’re even my favourite colour: green!). While my son did his routine last night, I was able to bring backpacks and everything inside, get the kids an after school snack, and make myself a chai. I then sat down in our new chairs on the front porch with my feet up, reading my book (shocking that it’s about Autism!), drinking my chai and still being able to keep an eye on my son.
A bonus too, is the view of and lovely fragrance resulting from the bush in my front yard:
Not a bad routine to have to “endure” each and every day!
I now get excited when I see they are calling for rain in the forecast, because it fills my new rain barrel:
Last night’s rain filled the barrel about a quarter of the way. Hard to see but I was so excited!
My daughter however, has a completely different reason why she loves the rain…it brings out tons of snails!
And as we were watching the snails do their snail-y things last night, we found out that they eat ummm, protein. Who knew? This is 3 snails fighting over their protein, aka a dead worm.
From my daughter and my man while we were all walking to the park after school yesterday. I’ll let you decide which is from whom.
My neighbour’s son brought home this math homework, to prepare for an upcoming test. She showed it to me for another opinion and I was confused. She’s good at math; I’m not (so I’m expecting not to understand, tee hee!). This is Grade 2 math.
Here are the first set of questions. My daughter and my neighbour’s son can easily add the initial problems:
But not when they want the Grade 2ers to solve them like this example:
Then it gets even more complicated where they want them to “fill in the doubles”. Not sure what the point of adding three other calculations to figure out the initial math problem. Can’t they just rearrange the numbers on top of eachother and add them that way? Seems like a huge “make work” project.
Math was NOT my strongest subject in school. In fact, I was a solid 64% or 68% in all math classes in highschool (compared to 90s for my other subjects). I’m sure if I had to learn it this way, it would have been even lower. This gives me a headache just trying to figure out what they are asking for, let along if I was a 7 or 8 year old in this Grade 2 class. I’m really hoping this homework doesn’t come home with my daughter, who is also in Grade 2 but in a different school this year.
Last week, the kids and I planted some seeds in peat pods to start germinating our garden in our new home. The peat pods before doing anything with them:
Then we added water, as per the directions.
(22 degrees Celsius and my son still wants to wear his mittens!)
The pods would start to float so my daughter would carefully push them down so they wouldn’t float away:
Then we started planting the seeds.
Our final product…we did it! We planted a bunch of veggies in one greenhouse, flowers in another. We have more seeds coming soon too so there will be more greenhouses.
Then we planted lavendar and basil in a planter for our porch too. The lavendar is in the middle circle drawn in the dirt, surrounded by basil. We’ll see if it works that way:
So exciting that only a couple of days later, the seeds in the peat pods are already starting to sprout. If only my son would agree with me as to where to put the mini greenhouses…they seem to have a passport around our dining room and living room with him moving them where ever he wants to.
Last month, Opti-mom organized a Faery Walk for some moms and daughters over March Break. Some of the girls dressed up as faeries so we were quite the sight as we were walking around a local conservation area. Our “goal” was to find evidence of faeries and much to our delight, we found them!
Possible faery homes:
Feeding the birds at the beginning of our walk:
(apparently I was deep in thought, and for the record, that’s not my arm)
Opti-mom hugging a tree, so my daughter joined her:
Possible cape left behind by a faery:
Possible table used by faeries:
Near the end of our walk, one of the girls squealed with glee…this is obviously evidence of faeries:
Afterwards, my daughter asked me if “Auntie Laurel” (aka Opti-mom) could lead another Faery Walk…we’ve decided to do one in each season. So much fun!
This morning, I experienced moments that make everything worthwhile. The fact that my kids slept in until 7am was amazing. I woke up at 6:30, puttered around, did my own thing and enjoyed the quiet and stillness of the morning.
Just before 7am, I checked in on my daughter who had crawled into my bed overnight. She was soundly sleeping. I then checked in on my son who, as it turned out, was stirring awake. I crawled in beside him, said good morning and he quickly turned over, threw his arm around my neck and pulled me closer, while saying good morning too. We lay there cuddling for a while, and he would say “happy” and “I love you” a few times.
About 10 mins later, we went into my room to wake up my daughter. We both crawled into bed and I started rubbing her back. My son leaned over, said good morning, gave his sister a kiss, and rubbed her back too. My daughter stirred awake, and cuddled up with me. For a few minutes, I had both my babies cuddled up to me, and everything was perfect in my world.
A few minutes later, my daughter jumped out of bed and we were up for the day.
In the past, school projects for my daughter have caused huge anxiety (perhaps because of her Anxiety Disorder…hmmm?). She gets scared of “doing it wrong” and makes herself sick anticipating she won’t finish it on time, when we had weeks to work on it, which would then result in her missing school a couple of days (she gets so sick, she gets a fever!) and handing it in late. Catch-22 situation.
Switching her from French Immersion to English earlier this year has helped a bit with the anxiety. Homework used to be HOURS each evening, and was like pulling teeth. I had to “tag team” with my man when frustrations for both my daughter and I ran really high. Poor guy doesn’t understand much French so he couldn’t help for long, but it gave me some time to calm down. Being in English programming at school now, I’ve been able to discover that she learns and retains information differently than I do. She’s very visual and audible when learning; I’ve visual and hands-on when learning.
We just finished a project that frankly, I was dreading…expecting the same battles between us. We started working on it on the weekend (was due yesterday). We had to research crocodiles so I pulled up the internet (remember in the good old days when we had to use the library?) and had her type in “crocodiles”, and she started panicking, crying and panicking. I couldn’t understand it. I asked her how we were going to research crocodiles if we didn’t start here…the library didn’t open for another 2 hours. She said she had already done the research. Pardon??! I asked her when? How? As it turns out, she had watched a couple programs about crocodiles on Youtube the week before. (Insert bad parenting moment here…I pay attention to what she watches but I don’t sit right beside her because usually she watches it while I’m making dinner so I casually glance over. Usually she watches videos about Barbies or dinosaurs. She must have been watching crocodiles when I glanced over and thought she was watching dinosaurs).
She had to include information in four categories: Characteristics, Food, Habitat, and Interesting Facts. So, I “tested” her by asking for information for each of these categories, and I was pleasantly surprised that she knew them…from the Youtube shows she had watched! I asked her how we were going to write it out. She suggested I write down the information in point form so she can copy onto the bristle board that had been provided by her teacher. Brilliant! So we did that. She even suggested that she fill out one category per night because there were four categories and four evenings before it was due. Smart girl! We missed one night so she doubled up on the next night. She filled everything in, she drew pictures, and she was proud of herself.
We seem to have figured out a way to help her feel less anxious to get her school work done. Yay! I’m really proud of her…and us.
I had the honour of speaking at #MomsMeTimeTO last Friday, sharing my story of parenting 7yo boy/girl twins with special needs, and being part of my stepdaughter’s support network as well. The message for the conference was to remind moms that we need to take time for ourselves as well.
The message I hoped to get across was to remind moms to “put your oxygen mask on first”. We all get overwhelmed and stressed but it’s how you deal with that stress that is key to how well you can parent your children. I don’t pretend to have it all figured out…far from it, I am constantly working on balancing my stress levels. Keys to managing my stress levels include my weekly yoga class, journaling, meditating, knitting, meeting with my counsellor once a month, spending time with my man and friends, and gasp, disconnecting from social media. I don’t do each of these things daily, but I do know that when I’m feeling overwhelmed and don’t want to go out and interact with others, that’s the most important time for me to get out, and spend time with people. I’m an extrovert…I get my energy by spending time with people…I refill my emotional tank, so to speak.
Most of the attendees were fellow bloggers so it was kind of fun seeing everyone looking at their smart phones, or typing away on their laptops. Later that evening, I checked Twitter to find that people had been tweeting during my talk…and I was honoured by what they were saying!
Of course, with a room with lots of bloggers, the blogs are starting to be shared now so here are some of them:
Little Miss Kat & Co: “Fun weekend with #MomsMeTimeTO“
SoberJulie: “A Weekend For Me – #MomsMeTimeTO“
A Vision For Our Kids: “Defining Your Own Serenity“
1 Heart, 1 Family: “Ten Things I Learned From #MomsMeTimeTO” <added April 9, 2013>
Ideally Speaking: “A Wonderful Weekend with #MomsMeTimeTO” <added April 12, 2013>
Best of all, I met some amazing ladies on the one day I was there…can’t wait to tweet, facebook and chat with each of them!