A Journey with Love and Laughter

Read about our family as we journey through life as a family, with siblings, school and spina bifida, and lots of fun and laughter along the way!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ready for a Sunny Summer!

The weather has been simply summer-ish!
So out comes all of the outside toys and our backyard looks like it belongs to a couple of kids!
First comes out the art supplies. What better place to paint than outside in the natural light.

And now that Nickolas realizes that he can actually walk around in the play house, it is his favorite place to be. Nick has full freedom inside that house. The two of them can actually play together outside! And not just sitting in the sandbox.

There is playing baseball!
We have a gazebo, and Katheryn likes to run around the bases. That is actually how we spent Mothers Day!
I had to buy a t-ball stand when I found out I am a horrible pitcher - if I didn't hit Katheryn with the ball, I was too high/too low/too wide!

 Nickolas really happy to hit the ball, I'm still teaching him the right side of the bat!

Nick was actually just really happy to stand at the T-ball thing in his walker.

He was significantly less happy when he realized I wanted him to walk on the grass with his walker!
This is his 'ha ha I'm getting down' face... "NO WALK"

The slide is another great toy that is perfect for the kids this summer too!
Katheryn has loved the slide right from the beginning, Nickolas was never that sure about it.

Now he climbs up himself, slides down, then crawls around and climbs back up.
I'm counting this as physiotherapy.

And what better way to end a nice spring/summer day than to pass out halfway up the couch!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Paying Forward!

This month has been a pay-it-forward month for me.

It started in the beginning of May when a friend of mine was looking for people to help her win a wedding. It was a pay it forward contest and she wanted to get 25 people to donate blood.
What a great idea! I jumped on that band wagon.
Only thing, (ok a couple of things) I hate needles, I have never donated blood before and I really wanted to do it. (Yes I know it is silly to be afraid of needles when I stick people with them every day)
I have thought about donating blood for a number of years, but couldn't actually get myself to make the appointment.
Well this contest got me off my butt and into a blood-donating chair!

I even got a cool sticker - and a donor card in the mail. And Canadian Blood Services personally called me to thank me for my donation! How cool is that?!
I haven't actually made my next appointment, but I'm going to - the end of June. I'm hoping I can get some friends and family to join me.

May is also Cystic Fibrosis month.
One of my best friends lost her cousin to CF last year and I have a co-worker who has a son with CF. My friend wanted to walk in this years Great Strides walk for cystic fibrosis, and so my sister Laura and I walked with her. We even fundraised a bit.

Here is Team Julia

It was a fun day


There was facepainting and crafts and a couple of extra events.

Katheryn LOVED the tall man with the sticks

This is the kids at the end of the day - walked out!
My feet ached all night!

Sometimes I feel that I want to donate to everything that I feel is important. Just to name a few:
Canadian Cancer Society - Relay for Life
World Vision - my little girl's name is Geeta, she is 10 and lives in Nepal
Shelter from the Storm - ending violence against women
Hope for Children - Adopt a Family (Children's Aid Society)
Rouge Valley Health System - Buy a Bed Campaign
Local food banks
Diabetes Association - Clothesline

These are some organizations/causes ect that have affected our lives or people that I love and so I want to try to make some kind of difference.
I wish I had enough money to donate to everything!
But maybe by reading this blog - some of my 'readers' will think of a foundation or society that could really use some pay-it-forward.

And of course June is Spina Bifida Awareness month as well as our annual Spirit Wheel Walk Run (June 16 - Oshawa Lakeview Park). Our team is Nick's Cheering Squad and online donations can be made through the CanadaHelps website (very safe).
Of course I'll post more about our walk in June.
For now, it is Pay it Forward month!

**Authors note** I wasn't sure how to end this post. I have actually thought alot since posting this a couple of days ago that I come off wrong with this post. I hope you don't take it that way. I try to donate something to a number of different causes that I feel are important (and it is not always a donation of money, sometimes time or clothes). Try to to get my point across that there are a lot of places that have touched our lives and make me want to pay it forward I wanted to list who I dontate to, with links of course.
I do not mean for it to come off as bragging or saying that I'm a better person because I donate to alot of things. I don't feel that way.
What I'm hoping is that someone who has thought about doing something like this but keep putting it off (like my donating blood) will use this as an excuse to sponsor something that is important to them.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kneeding some protection

I have a whole collection of knee pads that I bought last year.
I had always planned to make a blog post about Knees and Toes but it never happened. So this is the first of that imagined blog - I'll write about my sock search, and glove search too!

Here are some of the knee pads I have found in my searches.
Generally I can't find anything in the store, so EBAY is my friend. You have all of these products at your fingertips, and shipping isn't outrageous!
Amazon.com is also helpful, if you live in the US. Not so helpful in Canada.

Here are some of the ones that I have tried.

Baby Kneez

These are made out of soft cotton, almost like a tube sock.
It comes in a bunch of different colours, and it holds well in the water - doesn't dry that fast.
But nice and thick and comfortable. It stays in place and protects well.
It will stretch to go up over AFO's with some wiggling.

Snazzy Baby
ebay link 
http://www.snazzybaby.com.au/kneepads - difficult to purchase from, but lists where you can buyy from

I didn't like these last year - I found that they left marks on the back on Nick's knees, I think because he was small and I had to tie them tighter? But they could be worn over pants.
This year they have been fitting perfectly. No marks and they have stayed in place and protects well.
Because they have straps they are easy to taken off and on over AFOs or when they aren't needed.

Baby Knees
ebay link 

These ship from China, they desigs are kinda babyish.
They work and have breathability.
I can't find an actual site for them.

Wee Tee Baby Knees
ebay link 
It's a Canadian product
http://wee-knees.com/ - does not sell from this site, but lists stores

These are spandex (a man-made product and so safe with latex allergies) with neoprene pads with little silicone dots for kids that could use some extra help. I really liked these last year because of the grip they helped with.
It was breathable. It comes in 2 sizes, we have been using the large - for kids over 20lbs. The site says it has different designs, but I haven't been able to find them.
These were my definate favorite last year.

Crawling Leg Warmer
ebay site

If you want inexpensive!
Like mini leg warms. Protects, nothing special about them but the price. Like mini leg warmers, good for elbows as well.
We have the elephants ones, not very boy-ee but it works.

ebay site

I can't find a non-ebay site.
The price is good - I just ordered them so I can't really review it yet.
Lightweight, bright colours. Would be hard to get over AFO's - really any of the tube ones would be. Has the silicone hears which would help with traction.

Here are some knee pads that I haven't tried, but are available.

Crawling Pads
ebay site

Pretty basic. Other products that are similar with no bells/whistles and less expensive.
It looks like there is padding, but I don't know if it is non-slip or just padding.

amazon site 
does not ship to Canada, minimal purchase $75

The legging parts seems to be long, compared to others. What is the point of this if it's summer and you wants the most leg exposed to be cool.

Lil' Melon baby knee pads
amazon site 
Does not ship to Canada

I'm not that impressed with any site that refuses to ship to Canada.
These seemed to be one of the original knee pads and I probably would have bought these if they were available, but for some reason they aren't in Canada. Cute, fun designs though.

Instead of looking at actual knee pads sites sometimes I have had luck with general baby, safety stores online i.e. www.onestepahead.com

I hope this post has helped anyone searching for some knee protection for their kids.
I figured since a did a whole bunch of research into this - I might as well share!

Friday, May 25, 2012

It`s great being a MOM

Thanks to Tiffany from Growing from Obstacles for posting this! I recently found it again and wanted to share.

1. Because they never thought that "doing it all" would mean doing this much. But they do it all, and then some.

2. Because they've discovered patience they never knew they had.

3. Because they are willing to do something 10 times, 100 times, 1,000 times if that's what it takes for their kids to learn something new.

4. Because they have heard doctors tell them the worst, and they refuse to believe them.

5. Because they have bad days and breakdowns and bawl fests, then they pick themselves up and keep right on going.

6. Because they manage to get themselves together and out the door looking pretty darn good. Heck, they even make sweatpants look attractive.

7. Because they are strong. Who knew they could be this strong?

8. Because they aren't only moms, wives, cleaners, chauffeurs, cooks, and women who work. They are also physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, nurses, researchers, coaches, Respitory therpist and cheerlearders.

9. Because they understand their kids better than anyone else does - even if they can't talk or gesture or look them in the eye. They know - they just know.

10. Because just when it seems like things are going OK, then they're suddenly not - but they deal. They deal even when it seems like their heads or hearts might explode.

11.Because they cheer on their kids for the smallest things including just moving their legs and toes,run and play as hard as they can sing at the top of there lungs dance as fast as they can even though they are out of breath and need meds to help them breath.

12. Because when they look at their kids they just see great kids. Not kids with Spina Bifida/cerebral palsy/autism/Down syndrome/ADHD/developmental delay/Asthma or whatever it doesnt matter cause they are Just great kids.♥

Monday, May 21, 2012


This holiday weekend we were lucky to have some great weather!
We had plans to go to cottage rain or shine.
We had lots and lots of shine, and luckily lots of warm(ish) water and sand!

The cottage is on a hill, so to save my back, we wagon up and down

I was worried about the water being cold, and the sand or shells bothering Nick's knees, or his feet getting cold.
So I prepared for everything - shirt, knee pads in the water, water shoes. And don't forget the bucket!

Both kids wanted to stay in the water for hours!
The water had a bit of a bite at first, but warmed up quickly in the hot sun.

Nickolas thought it was great that he could get in and out of the water himself, and even tried escaping off the dock a couple of time.

The next morning his feet and knees were not very happy with the time he spent on the deck without shoes or knee pads. I had to dig  couple of splinters out of his feet, I don't know if I should be happy or sad that he cried. He really liked his colourful bandaids (all latex free of course)

Katheryn thought it was great that she had a swing in her own 'backyard'! All she wanted to do was swing in it. This is about 9pm and it was pitch black. All you could see of her on the swing was the lights on her shoes!

Day 2 of our long weekend was just as sunny and just as beautiful as Day 1.
And we spent almost as much time in the lake.

Before we got into our bathing suits we still had one very important thing that we had to get.
Katheryn's first 2 (+2) wheeler bike! (Thanks grandma!)
Katheryn wanted the one with the baby basket so Tinkerbell - her stuffed doll - could ride with her.

(And Nick needed a larger helmet as well)

But really he just wanted a sun hat and get back into the water!

I thought the kids would get a kick out of the little inflatable boat. But I think it scared them when I was pulling them around.

Both kids really liked the oars.

When they had enough water time, it was watermelon time!
Nick definitely has a favorite!

 And if you can't be in the water, the next best think is a bubble machine!

Umm Nick, I think you have that the wrong way. He refused to believe me - he had lots of fun trying to climb up the slide.
Good physio though!

I didn't know that Nickolas had enough strength to hold himself up (and not fall off) of the swing. He didn't stay on the swing that long, but both kids thought it was fun!

And everyone had a great night sleep!

In the morning Nickolas was up and ready to start moving again - he cruises EVERYWHERE! We even got him walking with his sticks (that we were able to bring home) to show off to grandma. We took a video but I haven't been able to upload it.

Monday morning was perfect!
Really the whole weekend was a perfect summer long weekend!

Nick's not waiting for us to bring him down the dock, he is going himself!
For some reason Nickolas kept turning around and going down the little hill to the dock backwards.

This is his favorite place to be!
Standing at the dock playing with the water and the sand.
Another good PT exercise - reaching up and down.
This is also the reason he has on his old AFO's, because he would stand and walk around the dock all day - and his poor ankles would try to keep him up. The AFO's and water shoes worked well. I did not put socks on him under the AFO's, not sure if that was a good idea - his skin was fine but I think next time I will put socks on him.

Katheryn the lone explorer!

And because I am usually the one behind the camera, thought I'd get Katheryn in for a picture with me!

Kyle and Nick watched by the beach.

Katheryn was not very happy when it was time to get out of the water and head home.

Luckily some promise to play and dig up some plants got her out of the water.

Maybe not the cleanest solution!

Really we could not have asked for a better Victoria Day weekend! We have fun, family, a cottage that worked (this current cottage is coming down this summer), sun, sand, water and heat!

Boy was I ready for bed Monday night!