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!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

On the lakeshore path again

Today as our 4th annual Spirit Wheel Walk Run to fundraise and raise awareness about spina bifida.
Every year I want to make the next year better. Raise more money, get people out, celebrate where we are and who Nick is.

This year fell a little bit flat.
But the kids don't care. And really we are here to  cheer Nickolas.

As for the awareness part.
through all of the videos that I made this year, I think that awareness was raised.

We also had one of the SB&H board members, Claudio Cinapri, and his daughter Adrianna came out to cheer us on.
That was fantastic and unexpected.

So we got our 2013 picture

And then we were off!

The weather was so hot and humid. We stayed close and didn't go as far as we usually do
We also picked up a bicyclist for our walk! (Thanks Andy)

We took a quick break

And a cool down

And decided it was time to head back around.
I had worried so much that it was going to rain (and I was walking rain or shine). But it was nice and bright. And very humid (did I mention that already?)

And we arrived back at the park for our picnic.
Prime seating, nice and shady, picnic table, TONS of food and great company

And it was right beside the splash pad
It took a couple of minutes before Katheryn really got into the water, but once she did she didn't want to come out.

 We gave her some red cups to play with.
And by the end of it, all the kids playing the water had the cups!

After Nick ate, he wanted in on the action too!

I had packed for swimming in the lake (which was posted as unsafe for swimming) Yuck!
But I didn't have Nick's water shoes or his old AFOs. So he soaked everything!

So our 4th annual SWWR was a lot of fun!

Of course it is not to late to donate, if you wanted.
Nick's Cheering Squad - Ridding Family


Saturday, June 22, 2013

14 Years and counting

The summer of 1999 seems so close and yet so far away!
But June 22, 1999 saw two people who have known each other for many years, reconnect and start that going out together.
And we didn't know it then, but what we actually did, was start our life together.

Look at those fresh young faces.
All that energy and up for a good time  
A couple of adventures

You know how some people say that they found their soul mate.
What really is a soul mate? Something lovey dovey that people say when they are in love...

It means someone who will dress up because that is what you like to do
(He might not look happy - but he was smiling on the inside)

And dress in costumes for murder mysteries, not just once but many times

And of course when the kids came along, that didn't stop us from dressing up!

We enjoy together

And we have grown together

We have become grown ups together
(or at least give the illusion of being grown up)

We started as 2 people who found each other, started a life together
And then worked on a couple of other lives

We became a family together

And learned how to be parents

We learned how to face challenges

And found that we really and truly are right where we should be, with who we should be.
Because we really do work well together.
The optimist and the realist (and we switch back and forth between these)

Because in 14 years we have had a lot of fun,
We do silly stuff
And know that it is silly and fun, and we don't care
If I get an idea in my head, I know that if I run with it, Kyle will come with me

 We can be who we are, who we are meant to be, and who we want to be.

And calling each other crazy is perfectly acceptable and encouraged

So 14 years has brought us a number of changes
Because these kids just out having some fun together

Turned into a life together

Our 14 year anniversary remains with our lives full of love and laughter

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"I'm not a baby"

I overhead a conversation between Katheryn and Nickolas this morning.

Nick was saying "I'm not a baby, I'm a big boy"
And Katheryn is saying "I am a big girl, you are a little boy"
And there was crying and pushing and parental intervention.

I was talking to Katheryn about it afterwards. "Katheryn, why are you saying that Nick is a little boy. Both of you are the same size?"
"Well, I walk and Nick crawls, that is why he is a little boy and I'm bigger."

So this is it. A conversation.
Not the conversation because we have talked about spina bifida and what it means a lot of different times. It should not be a new concept for either of the kids.
But we have heard it about diapers and we have heard it about crawling.
I don't want Katheryn to feel that she is getting in trouble for saying it, I don't want Nick to feel that we aren't standing up for him. I want both of my kids to feel that we are just explaining something to them. Like why you don't go to school on Saturday. Why broccoli really is yummy with cheese. Or where to put the extra pirate if you run out of hands...

We've ready books, we've sat down together and talked, we've had spontaneous talks and I've answered questions, if they have them, until either kid get distracted.

I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. I'm not sure if Katheryn feels that she gets in trouble and then has to hear a lecture about Nickolas. I hope that isn't what I'm doing.

So today we sat in the bathroom - where we have a number of our conversations - while Nick is on the potty, and talked about why Nick is not a little boy, he is big just like Katheryn.

 This is how our conversation went:

A: "Katheryn, you are Nick are both the same size, why are you calling him a little boy?"
K: "Because he doesn't walk, and crawls on the floor", I pull Katheryn into my lap so she can listen to me
A: "But Nick walks with his walker. That is walking. Do you remember we talked about when Nick was born he had a boo-boo on his back"
N: "I did?!" (he says this every time we talk about it)
A: "And because he was born with the boo boo he needs extra help walking, and has his walker"
N: "Yeah!" (from the peanut gallery)
K: "OK, but I don't need help walking"
A: "No, you didn't have a boo boo on your back when you were born. But Nick did and so he has to work harder for things."
N: "I had a boo boo on my back"
A: "Yes Nick, and your boo boo was fixed"
N: "At the hopp-ital. Did you fix it?"
A: "No,  a very special doctor fixed it when you were born"
A: "Do you remember what it is called, spina bifida"
K: "OK, can I brush my teeth now?"

And that was it.
Until the next time.

I'm not sure how the conversation went, or how much will stick. Katheryn has watched the video that I made for spina bifida awareness month and saw the diagram of the baby with the lesion and asked if that is what Nickolas had when he was born. I'm not sure if it grossed her out, or helped her to understand.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


We have a climbing monkey on our hands!
Nickolas has found a new favorite place to play.
He is so proud of himself!
He has wanted to be up on the back of the couch for a long time. But we have told him that if he can't get up himself there, he can't go up.
So now that he can climb up onto the top of the couch by himself, he would spend all day up there if he could.

He hasn't gotten crazy enough to jump down yet. But I'm sure we will see it.
I suppose if we were going to tell the kids not to climb on the couch, we should have started a while ago...


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Getting ready for school

 We had our meet the school day!
We got a bunch of papers and a whole binder for us to all get ready for school
And not only was it a school binder, with all of the information. But it was actually made for each kid. Or at least the cover was.


And inside there was a bunch of information.
All neatly organized!

I will admit that I haven't actually read the material. That is what September 1st is for, right?!
There is a section for parents, reports, therapy programs, pictures, tip sheets and a whole portion for 'All about me'
These are just some of the pages from that section.

Sending your child to school, I worry that they are away from me, on their own and potentially (because you aren't there and never know) with someone who just sees them as a number, part of their day, their job.
But for the entire time we were there, and looking over the material we received, I just didn't get that.
And I'm not worried about sending Nick to school in September.

There is a little booklet that is all about Campbells, with pictures of everyone. This is my teacher... my physiotherapist... my occupational therapist... ect, these are the people that help in my class... With pictures of everyone and names.
(Perfect for a mommy that is horrible with names)

We also got to see what the classroom looks like

At first Nick was very shy and wouldn't say anything.
His teacher and some of the assistants were there and kept talking to him and he sat there with his mouth shut.
They talked about parts of the class, including the half circle desk, where they sit and talking and do crafts and eat lunch.
Well Nick walks right over in his walker, then cruises along until he is in the middle. Asks daddy for a chair and says "Where is the food?"
And his shy-ness was over.
He even got to draw a little bit before it was time to go.
Campbell's is actually in Grandview children's centre, so Nick is used to walking the halls. But he hadn't been in any of the classrooms before. I think they only have 4 classrooms. 

 I missed the first 20 minutes, but they had a presentation and went over some stuff (Kyle was there, I hope he paid attention) and each kid got a name tag with a coloured dot on it.
So as we went around the school, other kids had name tags on it with stickers, and the kids with the yellow stickers were going to be in Nick's class with him.

It also gave us the opportunity to meet other parents.
Kind of. The kids come by their shyness honestly, we are not the most out spoken and social people. We didn't approach other parents, just kind of stayed within our own bubble. But did meet some very nice and outgoing parents.
 The thing that I cared most about was the bus.
How will it work, what time is pick-up. Get Nick on the bus and excited that he is going to be taking a school bus!
They had a lift, which was loud and bothered Nick a bit. And so I carried/walked with Nick up the bus so he could sit and look around. He did really well going up the steps himself and lifting his feet. But once we got on the bus, he was kind of blah about it.
I guess it's a bus just sitting in the parking lot. Not very exciting.
I didn't realize, but probably should have realized a couple of different things about the bus. 
He can't take his walker on the lift, it is only for wheelchairs. And he isn't 40lbs yet and would have to be in a carseat on the bus if he isn't in his chair.
We have the pick-up all organized about where, and found out probably when, but was told that by September the time will probably change.
And we have to think a little about what will be going to school with him.
I had thought he would primarily be using his walker to go to school, play at school, walk around school. Pretty much use the walker the entire day. And on days that they are going for neighborhood walks or some kind of trip he would have his wheelchair sent to school with him.
But now it looks like he needs his wheelchair on the bus.
So he'll be going in his wheelchair and taking his walker every day to and from school.
At least for the start of school (they said they try to get school-equipment so that he doesn't have to travel with his walker).
I guess that is one of the things that will work itself out (or not).
But so far I feel that we are pretty ready for school.
(Except I forgot to ask about cathing the whole time we were there - who/how/when). I guess I'll have to call to make sure that is set up.
3 months or so before school starts.
I'm a little nervous. But feel very prepared.