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!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Delve back into 2012

How do I look back at the last year?
I tried looking through all of my pictures and just picking out a couple of my favorites. Or 181 of my favorites! And no I'm not going to post 181 pictures here. Maybe just a couple of a month.

But this was our 2012

January was the month of purchases and clinic. We enjoyed some outdoor fun, purchased a new van, Nick's wheelchair and a potty for Nick. We also registered Katheryn for kindergarten. We tried to set up a whole year of doing.

February didn't see us doing anything special. Setting the pace, making small progresses. I do stand on my soap-box a couple of times this month. But we tried to do everything together.

March brought us a whole new world of therapy. Nickolas enjoying himself, working, showing off and blowing everyone away (in physiotherapy and speech therapy). Katheryn of course was right by his side.

April my little girl turned 4!! It's hard to think back to 4, right now my mind is already focus on the big 5. Katheryn had herself a tea party for her birthday (setting the costume trend). Nick got not one, but two sets of his own wheels.

In May we were ready for summer to start! We spent a lot of time outside, playing, drawing, walking around the zoo and of course the long weekend up at the cottage. We also had some changes we have had to adjust with our spina bifida lives - losing our in-person support group.

June of course is spina bifida awareness month. And I just love this picture of Nick with the spine! June was also a big change for us as I went back to work full time and felt I didn't have time to do a lot of stuff (like blogging). We were getting things ready for school, finishing off C/E and trying to adjust to a new dynamic , right before everything changes for the summer.

July  had Nickolas in his intensive conductive education, and mommy learning to let go for a while, but there was lots of walking and learning and doing more things. Katheryn was getting ready for school and showing off her attitude! Oh yeah and a couple of us turned 34 (which seems like such a  grown up number, as I'm writing this)

August. What can I say about August, other than WE HAD SO MUCH FUN! On our first family holiday. I know we did other things, Katheryn started camp, Nick had his MRI, we had our family reunion. But really it was that 4 days that made an August to remember.

And September brought the start of school. A whole new era - for Katheryn, and for us. We started off the month with a final farewell to the summer at the cottage. We did a bunch of learning, and teaching this month with school, meet the teacher, parent talks and a general meeting.

I think October was spent with Thanksgiving and then all of our spare time was spent getting the kids ready for Halloween. But I think it turned out great! It was definitely a month for pictures

November had another birthday, 3 years. Pirate style! Adjusting to the new attitude that seems to come with 3 has been interesting. But Nickolas has restarted therapy and really took off (literally) with his walking and desire to walk. And Katheryn has started to want to pose for pictures - very important in this family.

And here we are in December. I think we jammed every single spare minute with some kind of holiday fun or event or something to write about. We had parties and concerts, Santa Claus, writing, reading, snowball throwing, train rides and of course Christmas (and even some pirate AFO's thrown in the balance).

When I started this I was thinking that 2012 was a nice slow and steady year. But we filled a lot into this year. If we wanted a year of doing I think we got it.
I feel like I'm behind on a lot of stuff, the house is a mess and sometimes I just want a day off. But the kids are having a blast and that is what they will remember. And 2013 is almost here, maybe I can rest then, but I'm sure I'll have something else to do with the family when the time comes.

 Can't wait to see what lucky number 2013 will bring!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Day of Adventure - Disney Style

The kids got Disney on Ice tickets from my parents for Christmas. Nick has been so excited the last couple of days to see "Mickey on Ice!"
We surprised them with our transportation downtown.
A Train ride!!!

I contacted Go Transit to make sure that everything was accessible for us (after reading an article about nightmare situation with accessibility). I was told that all of their elevators were working and so there shouldn't be any issues (there wasn't - other than volume of people using the elevators).

At first the kids were scared of the big train, but very quickly they adjusted and were having a great time! (And that was only to get there - there was lots more fun for the day).

Luckily we arrived 90 minutes early. Because to actually get to the building (which is right beside each other) and apparently a quick 'brisk walk' through the Skywalk turned into a bit of an accessibility nightmare. Mainly because the signs the said the Skywalk was under construction and specifically said they were not wheelchair accessible.

Nickolas insisted upon an apple for the adventure. And Kyle pushed him through the slush and snow outside (luckily I was with people who have a better sense of direction than I do).

There are so many accessibility issues/thoughts that came up during this day trip. Including what wheelchair access tickets mean. But this isn't the post for that. Maybe in the new year.

Nickolas enjoyed his seat.

Katheryn wanted to sit in regular seats, so we stayed in my parents seats for most of the show.

But we could still see the others from where we were - Kyle, Nickolas and my parents stayed in the accessible "seats". We had 4 tickets here (but there wasn't any actual seats) just leather dining chairs that were pulled up to the barrier.

Neither kid have been to a sit-down show before. We haven't even taken them to the movies! So I wasn't sure how they would be.

Katheryn was great! She danced and clapped and had so much fun!
The show has divided into 4 'worlds' of characters - Cars, Little Mermaid, Tinkerbell and Toy Story, with songs and sound-over from the movies.

Nick had a lot of fun sitting in everyone's lap so he could see.

Katheryn stayed in our seats for half of the second 'act' and then wanted to go back to Nick and watch the show from those seats.
Being accessible and child-viewing accessible are 2 different things!
Luckily there were lots of laps handy for some clear viewing.

By the second act Nickolas was all tuckered out!
He had a good 45 minute nap like this!

 But we got some video of the show for the kids later on at home.
And there was enough of Mickey on Ice mixed with princesses and tinkerbell for everyone to enjoy!

On the way home the kids knew exactly what to expect from the choo-choo train. And we left the wheelchair downstairs with Kyle to go and explore the top of the train.

They were distracted for some of the ride with their leap pads.

Then Nick got his train-legs and stayed the rest of the ride on his feet - walking back and forth between a number of sets of seats.

 We ended our fun day of adventure with a dinner out!
And then bedtime (at least for mommy and daddy)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

JibJab Fun

I have a confession to make.
I am a jibjab junkie.
And I've made the kids into one too!

But I can't help it!
How much fun is it to have your whole family (including dog) have sled races

And do sled tricks!
"Look at Nick! He's up/down"

"hahahahahahaha Daddy turned into a snowball! And we all won!"

I've been doing it for the last couple of years. But this year I just couldn't get enough of it!

Nickolas has been telling everyone about how we all had a snowball fight - and how he hit mommy with a snowball!
And how Daddy fell off the roof when Katheryn hit him with a snowball

It really confuses people until you explain that it is a video.

I'm sure that not everyone is excited to watch the videos as I am. Except for the kids! I took a video on my phone and both kids will watch the video's over and over and over again!

For some reason only one video will stay here (and I'm not sure how long it will be available).

Katheryn was very excited that Nickolas was walking in the video.
It made my heart hurt a little bit.

But then the kids start their hilarious laughing again and it's better.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let is snow!

We got our first real snowfall of this winter. Enough to go out in the backyard and actually play!
So while I was getting Nick ready to go outside I got thinking how he would move around. My back has been bothering me and he is too independent to be carried. Crawling is not an option.
So we brought out a walker.

We have 2 walkers, a little Kaye walker I bought in 2011, it has 2 wheels and 2 stoppers, but is very light weight and easy for parents to carry around (I've been toying with the idea of paying another $100 for the second pair of wheels).

Nick liked being in the walker, but the wheels would not let him actually move in it. But together both of us could get it moving. Nick did think it was really neat that he had snow on his boots!

 Katheryn let me take some pictures of the 2 of them together!

And then she wanted to throw more snow at me!

And Nick would stand and watch, and laugh!

 Katheryn was busy making lots of snow angels in the snow.

Nickolas had no desire to get down in the snow and get his hands cold and snowy. All he wanted to do was make a snowman, but the snow wasn't packing enough (I didn't break it to him that he would have to get his hands in the snow).

 Instead the 2 kids spend time going up and down the slide - superfast!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's a Holly Jolly Christmas

We had 3 days full of Christmas family, presents, dancing, music, food and fun.
It was perfect - we even got a little bit of sleep in there.

It started with opening the last day of the advent calender - and some fighting over who got to fly Santa around with the presents

We checked in with Norad to see where Santa was - and even pulled out our globe to follow him.

Christmas eve was spent dancing

Boy did Nick have the moves!
Around and around and around he went, and up and down. If his legs were still, his hands were going, going, going. I have a new appreciation for Katy Perry! Because those kids loved her songs!

which was perfect - because it tired Nickolas out so much he was fast asleep when we got home!

Click to play this Smilebox collage

And the kids were all ready to open their present in the morning - in matching pj's of course!

We brought our favorite toys to visit Grandma Ridding and have a big family dinner

Nick got to scare everyone being a cross between a dinosaur and Santa Claus.
And walking between everything. Roar!

Now that the kids are enjoying games - there were a couple of grandma's who were all ready to start playing.

We ended our 3 day Christmas with the Bartley Christmas on boxing day.

Nickolas was very excited for Christmas this year. And Katheryn, going to a catholic school, knew all about baby Jesus and his birthday.
Everyone was (mostly) happy and playing. They showed off to all of the family - Nickolas standing up straight and dancing - everywhere. Katheryn counting to 100 (and beyond).

Nickolas even wished Baby Peter Pan (it works for a boy or a girl) Merry Christmas!

This photo collage created with Smilebox
Merry Christmas!
I hope your holidays were filled with as much family fun as ours!