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, May 25, 2013


There is a new icon out there.
We have all seen this symbol.

Everyone knows what this symbol means.
They might call it by different names and terminology. You (might) say handicap sign, I say accessible sign. 

What does the above icon say to you. Everyone knows it, has seen it before and may never have thought twice about what it actually says to you. It is a very stagnant picture, passive. Someone sitting there to be moved and helped by others.

Now what does it say to you when you look at the icon below?
Does it say handicapped? Is it passive?


This icon was a project that was developed to transform that international and traditional symbol of access. It started as a research study at Gordon College in the US, and has been in the news recently. There is a site called The Accessible Icon Project to raise awareness and promote this new version of a traditional icon.

A lot of thought went into the icon. How/Why is every part of the symbol the way it is?
The head position, the arm angle, the wheels all to promote forward motion and activity. The idea that it is accessibility that is the issue and the purpose of this symbol; and not that it is because the wheelchair user (or the person who has the placard and uses it) has a disability/challenge.

Take a look at the website (if you are interested). They sell stickers to go over traditional parking lot signs as well as stencils for the  parking lot. I think it's a fantastic idea and would like to bring it to my own neighborhood and workplace!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Long weekend fun!

It was a fun weekend for everyone

Including the furry-family

But I think everyone was tired - except for the kids

 They kept going and going and going

Stopping for a quick refuel - and yes Nick would have eventually made it through the whole bowl.

Hopefully this is the sign of the fun to come this summer!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Smore

So I have a confession to make. I have never had actual smores before. Yes I know the concept and have had smores-flavored things before. But have never done the smores-by-the-campfire before.
I guess that's why you have kids!
(And the grandmother who gets the packaged kit)

The first is my specialty - toasting the marshmellows

And then squishing all of the peices together.

The first taste!

 Then round 2!

... and round 3
(between the kids and adults, we probably had half of that kit left for the next time)

One of my favorite parts of the cottage, is the campfire.
And the kids are old enough right now to appreciate it as well - during the daylight.

Katheryn likes finding sticks for the fire

Nickolas liked the getting dirty in the sand part.

Next time - PJ's after the fire!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Let the cottage season begin!

What better way to open the brand new cottage, then fill it with the family!
For the first long weekend of the 'summer'.

Over the years the Victoria Day weekend can be hit or miss. 
It could just as often been a cold and dreary weekend that you spend up at the cottage - because that is what we do - than a gorgeous sunny weekend where you need to make sure you don't get burned.

 I think that Nick agrees that this was a pretty good weekend!

The kids were right into the lake - regardless of the little squeals that the adults made when we put our feet in the water.

And in no time there were busy making potions and mud pies.

Going fishing

Captaining a ship

And flashing smiles that say "I am having so much fun!"

The kids loved being on and off of the boat.
They were careful (it's sitting in about 1 ft of water).

I was not so careful about the kids. See this picture above. The bare feed, the carpet. The position of the feet. 2 minutes after he got on the boat and was having fun moving around, he had a big sore on his foot. Exactly like last summer.
After a minor freak-out and berating myself for not recognizing that this would happen (in 2 minutes). We had it bandaged and socked up. Nick didn't care at all.
But at least we didn't get tons of splinters like last year during the long weekend.
And we had the knee pads that helped save the knee. I only used the snazzy baby ones, because they are so simple to get on and off. And we had Nick's old braces for him to take in the water with some water shoes.

Between all of the braces, socks, pads, shorts - Nick might as well have been wearing pants!
But at least the water cooled him off! Even if I was keep him dry standing at the side of the dock - and didn't notice he had shrunk until it was too late.

At the end of the day we just decided to all pile together for family nap time!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Panda Pandamonium!

We had the opportunity to get some tickets for a Panda pre-show and the Toronto Zoo!
We decided to get the first tickets available, 9am.
We started to line up at 8:20, along with about 20 other people. By the time they opened the door at 9am exactly, the line up went all the way out to the parking lot, and was full of not-so-happy people, considering the zoo knew how many people expected to be at the exhibit by 9am.
Not only is there no bathrooms before you get through the gates, but we were full of children who were not happy to be waiting in a line up.

Come 9:01 we were through the gate.

So we now had 30 minutes to walk to the exhibit for our appropriate time.

There was a good set up, they had an exhibit full of educational stuff. We  practically ran through it, knowing we were already late. We noticed it and saw that it would be interesting to read – another time.

Got a quick picture of the kids in front of a cute panda.

In reality how much time can you spend looking at some – really cute – panda bears that aren’t really doing anything.

But we got to get close before the crowds really pushed in.

Nickolas had a lot of fun.

We talked all about what Panda’s eat. “Silly mommy, Panda’s don’t eat chicken wings, they eat bamboo”.


(See the little white spot on the rock - that's a Panda)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day

Now that Katheryn is in school, Mother's Day has become more of a big deal - to her.
I got an invitation to a Mothers Day Tea at the school.
And Katheryn was counting down the days to mothers day.

The kids put on a show with a couple of songs and a slide show.
After the show the kids went around to find their mothers.
Poor Katheryn looked so lost until she found me!

Around the whole gym they had pictures that the kids had drawn of their mothers and we had to go around and try to guess which one was us.

Katheryn was so excited to show me her picture!

And we went to her class for her to show me around a little bit as well.
I had the opportunity to talk to her teacher for a bit (Katheryn is doing great of course).

We had a laid back weekend.
Our plans were cancelled because my family was sick, and so we just went with it.
I got to open my present from Katheryn,

And Kyle put up my other present (now if only that comes with watering through the summer).
I didn't get any pictures with the 3 of us. So a little photo-shopping and I had a cute pic!
Of course mothers day can't pass without me thinking about what being a mother means to me.
From when I made my mother a mother, and Katheryn made me a mother and everything since then.
Being a mother means that I am much more than one person, that I think of 2 little munchkins as soon as I wake up and before I fall asleep. That there is a whole world that I never knew existed until just over 5 years ago. Like seeing something in HD and now realizing that the world is brighter and sharper than you ever realized.
My favorite thing in the world?
Having little arms wrap around me and hear "Mommy, I love you."

Happy Mothers Day to me!