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!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Passport to School

I'm getting ready for Nickolas to attend school.
Grandview Children's Centre offered a program called  'stepping stones to school'. It is a 4 part series to prepare your child (and yourself) for school. I was somewhat concerned that it would take a month of 2hour classes to make me comfortable withing getting ready to send my kid to school, I still signed up.

The first week freaked me out a bit. Which is usually the case when you are in a group with a bunch of other parents, some of who have been very proactive and you realize that you weren't as ready as you thought you were!
After a quick visit the next day to Nick's future home school I was feeling much better that I only filled in a 5 page document and not a 20 page document about Nick's special needs.

One thing that came out of the first class was to make up something, a passport, to have at the school and classroom teachers to allow them to see your child as well as a quick resource to understand needs, strengths and some medical info.

This is what I came up with.

It was actually pretty easy to do.
Once I got the format down. I picked what pictures I wanted (and I wanted to show lots of pictures). And what colours go where.
I want to show that Nickolas is a fun little boy, with a great imagination and is happy and healthy. Sure he comes with some extra's in the classroom. But he is well worth those extras.

I had no idea that this would be such a good idea, but I am so glad that I did it.
It was fun and creative. I posted the document here as a pdf, but I have the work document. If anyone wants to copy and use it for their own child, please email me and I can share it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Change is good.

Because change is going to be coming to our household.
I'm starting a new job.Which is very exciting.
The kids are excited, Kyle is excited. I'm nervous.

I love being a nurse. I am a labour and delivery nurse, and I love what I do.
But I also love to teach.
The opportunity came up for a position in my hospital to be a nurse educator on my unit (otherwise known as clinical practice leader in hospital-talk). Covering a maternity leave for 1 year. I applied, and I got it.
The kids are very excited that I will be taking a day job, no weekends, no nights.
Especially since in the last 3 weeks I have hardly been home. Between nights, and various hospital activities I haven't been spending much time at home.

Not that this new job is going to be easy. I'm used to leaving work at work. I haven't actually started yet, but I know that there will be work I'll be taking home.

Shift work has some definite negatives that I will not miss. But also some benefits; working 12 hour shifts means that you only do 7 shifts in 2 weeks, which gives you time off during the week to do therapy, shopping, errands.
We are currently trying to transition what we have to do, what we need to do into the time available.

I have been telling everyone who is trying to schedule appointments with us, that I will have to get back to them because I have no idea what my schedule will be. Kyle is helping to take over appointments as well, but I will fully admit that I like to know first-hand what is going on.

So Change is coming to the Ridding house.
It will be great. I start on Tuesday

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A new Cousin; Peter Pan

The kids have been looking at pictures of Peter Pan aka Jeremy and we have talked about how the baby that was in Auntie Laura's belly was born. They were very excited to have a visit!
We went through all the steps. If they got to hold Jeremy, he was very small, they had to watch his head, they had to watch the boo-boo on his hand, and only if it was ok with Auntie Laura and Uncle Jamie.
Katheryn was very good holding him, and Laura even took her hand away for a picture!
The first thing Nickolas said when he saw the baby. "I get to hold Peter Pan"

 The thought the baby was really cute.  Until there was some crying.

Katheryn stayed very interested in everything Jeremy was doing.
Even under the covers!

 Once Jeremy was nice and happy again, I got to have some snuggles!

I'm so happy that everyone is home and settling in - even with limited amount of sleep - as expected with a 1 week old.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Last year we found out about an opportunity for some free therapy. It is called the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Approach.
They were looking for participants between 2-12 years old with a neuromotor diagnosis.
There is a website for this type of therapy http://www.ndta.org/

The purpose is to identify strengths and weaknesses and use a hands-on, problem solving approach to optimize functioning. The therapy is guided by reactions through each session.

Reading from the pamphlet we were given, I'm not quite sure how this approach is different from traditional physiotherapy. Don't all the therapists look at what is strong, what needs improvement and work on this, and if something isn't working then try something else?

The purpose of the therapy is for practitioners to gain experience. There are 7 blocks throughout the year. We went to the first block; 3 days in a row for 2 hours.

The timing was great, because we just finished our block of physio for another 2-3 months.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend myself, but Kyle went and took pictures.
It was all very positive. They were focusing on gaining core strength and activities he liked to be doing.
Of course playing pirate was a huge hit!

He's pretty much standing by himself here, I think the hand behind him was just if he fell back, and of course trying to keep those knees apart!

They worked on balance

And some basic goals like reaching and working on central muscles.

And playing, playing, playing!

Basketball seems to be an total body workout for Nick. Reaching down, pulling up, throwing!
And then all over again!

The 3 days seems to have really help Nickolas. Even today at home he has been more comfortable testing his abilities by trying to stand unassisted. Up to 5 seconds today!
We have some more play-time ideas to play-on

Friday, February 8, 2013

Meeting Peter Pan

Some big things happened in my extended family. My little sister became a Mommy!!!
(Right in the middle of the biggest snowstorm in 5 years).
There is a long story, but it isn't my story to tell.
At the end of a very long night, day, night I got the pleasure to be there when my new nephew was born! And Peter Pan (good for a girl or a boy) was a boy!
He is beautiful!
I brought a little Peter Pan doll from Katheryn and Nickolas.

I love watching the joy and awe on  Laura and Jamie's faces when they look at the little baby boy they created!
(And of course photographing it - even if Laura didn't want to be in any of the pictures)

I got to have some baby cuddles before heading home (in the snow storm).

Laura and Jamie decided on the name of Jeremy William Mack.
He looks like Jamie, but his hair has that reddish tinge to it that Nick's did when he was born.
Happy Birth Day Jeremy!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Expanding our rockband

Nickolas has decided to expand his rockstarness!
He insisted that he wanted to play the guitar! He wanted to be in a rockband and play the guitar, and Katheryn can play his drums and mommy can sing (we have the microphone) and daddy can play the guitar too.

Of course we got him one (I know the kids are a bit spoiled)
But he has to stand, not support himself with his hands and play.

Lots of leaning right now, but the more he plays the more excited he gets and the more upright he gets. While having lots and lots of fun!
Now I just have to get us all ready to start rocking out together!