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!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer fun!

Because I am hopelessly behind in my blogging.
I am blaming that I have gone back to work full time - but really I don't want to sit inside on the computer all day. (Ok well sometimes I do).
I am just going to post some pictures of our start of summer fun!

Is it time to go outside yet?

The kids are co-conspirators who love to try to get outside as much as they can! With or without adult supervision!
Boy are they going to be trouble when they are older!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What we are doing...

We have reached the end of our conductive education semester.
And we have learned alot being one-on-one with Abagail

Nickolas has been learning that he has the ability to use the walker for long distances (he just needs some extra encouragement)

We've been working on some sensory stuff, to get Nickolas to understand what it feels like - for him - when he has something under his feet.
I love watching Nickolas do this.

Nickolas is rolling a roll of play dough back and forth, feeling what it feels like and we are encouraging him to feel it with his toes (he gets flicker of movement in his toes, and more directed movement in his big toe - especially the right side)
Sometimes when we want him to move his foot - he grabs his leg with his hands and shakes his leg and foot. He thinks he is being funny.

There is lots of stuff that we have been working on.
Nick has been rope - walking. And doing well
I really believe that this is what has made Nickolas much more independent with his walking around furniture. If he can walk holding some moving ropes, then he can walk holding onto a couch, or reach between stuff!

We've tried something new in the last weeks. Climbing a ladder!

And Nick is definitely a hat lover! Incentive is the key, and fun
Construction boy!

Every construction worker has some tools
This what I love about conductive education - Nickolas is working on the little things like OT tasks, but he doesn't know that he is. He thinks he is having fun

Even doing his own bending and cleaning up - without encouragement.
Just because he wants to.

We have lots of transition walking with the canes.
I need to find where to get these for a good price. Nick likes walking with them - they give him freedom he can't get with a bulky walker. But we can borrow them for as long as he is in conductive education, but need to give them up when he is done.

Fun, functional, working and wonder.
Cleaning a mirror!
If only I can get him to do this at home...

This is another area that Nickolas has excelled at.
Confidence in cruising and reaching to get to where he wants, and knows, he can go.

Balance and confidence. Balance and confidence. Balance and confidence.
That is really what we have been spending the last couple of months working on. (Have I said this enough yet)
Standing and balancing and then lets just change something and make him work harder (in this case spreading his knees so he isn't pushing them together).

I think this happy boy is glad that we are doing so much conductive education too!
(At the end of last semester he still hated sitting on the peanut ball)

We are going to miss you Abigail!

Kindergarten Katheryn

Katheryn is going into Kindergarten in September.
She is so excited!
She is so ready!

She is miss-independent

We have a whole list of things we have to get used to through the summer; snack time, labelling, healthy lunches, early bed time, indoor shoes and outdoor shoes...
We just need to get used to some peanut-free products

 Last night Kyle and I went to the Kindergarten-information day
We learned more about the full-day kindergarten program in Ontario
And we really liked what school we are sending Katheryn to - it has the same feel as the school that Kyle and I went to.

They showed alot of pictures about the program and what they do with play based learning
And I just know that Katheryn will have no problems adjusting to this new phase in her life, she is so inquisitive!

I'm reasonably sure that mommy will not have many problems adjusting to the new phase in Katheryn's life. I don't think that I'll have difficulty in September on that first day of school.

Beyond of course, that she's starting school! No longer at home, only March breaks and summer vacations to be at home with us so often. A new stage... No turning back. School!
OK I'm good now.

I'm not worried about the actual curriculum, we didn't get to explore half day kindergarten or different types of curriculum (other than many years ago when Kyle and I were in kindergarten - then all I remember was how big people were).
I'm actually excited about it. It looks fun and alot like what Katheryn currently does in daycare - and a little bit like what Nickolas does in conductive education.

 While we were sitting in the library and learning about everything we need to know about kindergarten and all I could think was - what will it be like for Nickolas next year?!
Of course I feel guilty, this is about Katheryn, not Nick. But Nickolas is going to be following next year, and we are going to start kindergarten registration/information in November to get them lots of time to make everything appropriate for Nickolas and whatever additional supports he would need.

So that's what is giving me a heavy feeling in my stomach as we are getting Katheryn all ready and excited for kindergarten. That Katheryn will transition no problem, but I'm just imagining all the problems we will have next year with our next kindergarten registration information day.
And I'm not even getting into the school bus (potential) issues!
I think that will have to be another post. I've been told and reassured that it is fun riding a school bus. But every time we start talking school bus for Katheryn, I still think about what kind of bus will Nick need to ride in?
Where do I have to get him so he can ride the school bus with Katheryn next year...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Some Spirit

This year we have been a bit lax with our Spirit Wheel Walk Run for the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario. I may have mentioned it before...

But today is the day!
The kids thought it was so cool that we were all wearing the same shirt!

We decided to try out a new location this year.
Starting at the Oshawa beach in Lakeview Park.
Somewhere to keep the kids occupied while we organize ourselves...

But not too exciting that they have a complete meltdown when it's time to go.
And of course it is a beautiful background for some pictures.

Here is our group of walkers
Thank you so much for coming out and walking with us!
Cheryl, Lisa, with Emily (broken hand and all) and Hannah
Gwenda and Gord Bartley
Jamie Mack (Laura sent her regards)
Jennifer Daviau and kids Emma and Mason - who were a big help!
Antonella and Alejandra and friend (sorry I don't have her name) with 2 month old son
of course Kyle, Amanda, Katheryn and Nickolas Ridding

Special thanks to my in-laws Marie with Shannen and Madison and Austen who helped with all the set-up, food, but weren't able to walk.

We got our family picture right before setting off.

We have a vareity of different 'rolls'
a wagon,

a wheelchair,

2 strollers,

even a scooter - but I don't have a picture.
No bikes this year.
There was lots of space to have a rest and let slower walkers to catch up

Even injured walkers did a great job!

Mostly we all stayed together

And had a chance to chat, catch up
And think how lucky we are to have each other.

Craziness and all!

The weather and the walk was beautiful
We had all sun, sun and sun!

And alot of the walk was surrounded by green and water

I recently found out that all of the trails in Oshawa are completely accessible!
Something that makes those boring summer days a little better.

We walked for over an hour and then took a bit of a breather before turning around and heading back

I even got a bit of a break from the camera - when Katheryn wanted to play photographer!

And then we were off again!

Nick got tired of his wheelchair and wanted some wagon rides

We set everything up in a little unused corner by the beach for our own picnic!
We had lots of people walk by and see our sign
Mental note for next year - definitely print out some of my information pamphlets for anyone who is interested (I say this every year)

We had a good layout of food
Nick has his favorites!

Nick had some time to walk with his walker - but no luck on the sand

We had Lake Ontario all ready and waiting for some cool down time!
Nick got brave...

Katheryn got braver!

The key a successful walk is to end ALOT dirtier than you started!

I think we were successful!

From beginning to end of our walk I think we had a great time!
We had friends and family, awareness and food.
We had wheels and feet and matching shirts.
We had fun, we had sun and even some shade when we needed it.
And it all ended with a good dip and sandcastles!

I don't have a total for what we raised, but I think it's somewhere in the $400 range.
Not nearly as well as we have done in previous years, but we certainly showed what spina bifida looks like!
If you feel like donating - http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=s10136 is the site, and just pick 2012 SWWR - Nick's Cheering Squad (Ridding Family) from the pull down menu. Or of course I can take donations in person or at work - until the end of June.