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, September 18, 2016

World Cup of Hockey

Nick was called earlier this week by Easter Seals to invite him to the World Cup of Hockey game.
It was the same Sunday as Sledge Hockey registration so we had to plan our time carefully to be able to participate in both.

Not only did we get to go and see the hockey game (Sweden vs Russia), in a private box! But it was all donated for Easter Seals kids by Eric Lindros and Bachly construction
The kids also got autographed Lindros jerseys, Oshawa Generals hats and flags

The private box was amazing. I've never been in a private box. There were 8 kids and parents, along with everyones equipment and Easter Seals people and it wasn't crowded at all.

Along the ice there were stadium seats, and then seats up along a bar.

Nick and I had talked about who we were going to cheer for, Sweden or Russia. In the end we decided on Sweden (good choice, because they won)

We had a good view of the game

Nick is not the biggest hockey fan, but he liked watching

It was a long day, so he did need to have some resting time during the game (so the couch came in handy)

After the chocolate and ice cream came out, Nick woke up a bit

And he went back to watching the game
(I love this picture)

We found out that in the box beside us, there were some NHL players, Mats Sundin, Daniel Alfredson and Nikolas Lindstrom. Mats Sundin, of course being the most famous for Toronto fans. One of the parents had ridden in the elevator up with him.
Well Mats Sundin ended up coming over to our box during an intermission and posed for some pictures, and then he said "do you want me to get the other guys" and of course everyone said yes. So he got the other 2 guys to come and pose for some pictures.
The kids thought it was neat, the parents thought it was Amazing!
(And Mats Sundin is very tall)

You can see how close the boxes are, it was like we were right beside them!

Nick had fun walking around and stretching his legs. He actually liked watching the game on the TV in the box more than on the ice. And I told him this experience is not how we typically will watch a hockey game

We haven't been to any of the other Easter Seals events (other than camp). It was a fun event with other kids and families. I was happy we got invited, and we have met some of the other kids before.

It was a great time!
Our team won, we got the meet some hockey players, watch a hockey game, meet other families and just have a great day out!
Kyle was very, very jealous when I told him we got to meet Mats Sundin. We had talked about who would go as the one parent, but he said I should go because I do a lot of the stuff with Nick.

As a Thank You Nick also wrote a letter to Mr Lindros and Mr Bachly for letting us stay in the box and for Nick to go to his first hockey game!
I had wanted to include something about the game in each Thank You letter, so we didn't write it until afterwards (and of course include pictures)

Dear Mr Lindros
Thank you for letting me go to my first hockey  game. I cheered for Sweden and they won!
My favorite part was watching the goals.
Thank You for the Oshawa Generals stuff. I like in Oshawa
Nick Ridding

Dear Mr Bachly
Thank you for letting me go to my first hockey game in your suite. I liked being higher.
I cheered for Sweden and they won!! I had a lot of fun!
Thank you
Nickolas Ridding

Playing Hockey!

Nick signed up for sledge hockey today.
Kyle wasn't able to be there because of car issues, and so I tried my best to get him all set up. (I have never, ever played hockey, just watched it)
He is all ready to get on the ice!

Nick had fun on the ice, he says it is easier to move on the ice then on the pavement (with sledge roller hockey, like at Easter Seals Camp)

I showed Kyle the video afterwards and he was asking me what he was wearing.
I told him I had snow pants on him, and then all of the padding and helmet that was in his hockey bag. What was the problem?

Apparently the padding is supposed to go underneath his clothes, and there was a white hockey jersey to go over everything. And he had large hockey socks to keep his legs warm.
Hmm. Well, that's now how I got him dressed.
But at least he had fun!

Friday, September 9, 2016

School Letter to student/parents

For the last 3 years I've been making pamphlets to send to school with Nick. Usually it has been to his teachers and last year I made one for the students as well. To help answer some questions and normalize the equipment Nick uses.

When I was looking over Nick's pamphlet for this year I realized that it has a bunch of information that is helpful for the teachers, but not really stuff his classmates need to know. So instead we wrote a letter, with some pictures.

Hi classmate,
My name is Nickolas, you can also call me “Nick” and I am in your class with Ms L.
I am 6 years old and in Grade 2. I love playing Avengers and Star Wars and may recruit you into a game! My favorite characters are Captain America and Darth Vader. I love playing at recess and my favorite subject is gym. I may be quiet at first, but once we get to know each other I like playing different games. I like wrestling and playing sledge hockey this summer!

I was also born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. But that hasn’t stopped me!
When I was born I had a hole in my back. This is called spina bifida. My spine was open and the nerves in my back were damaged. These nerves can’t tell my body how to move and what I feel.

I had surgery to close the hole when I was 1 day old. Even though my back is fixed (and I have a large scar) the nerves to my legs and feet are still damaged. I can’t feel the back of my legs or the bottom of my feet very well and have weak muscles in my legs.
I also have hydrocephalus which means I have extra water (fluid) in my brain. I have a tube, called a shunt, which takes the water from my brain and puts it in my belly. You can’t see this tube, but I have a cool scar and a bump in my hair, but you can hardly see it. I also have a latex allergy, which means that I can’t be around any latex balloons or I can get sick.
You may have noticed that I use extra equipment to help me move around the school. I wear braces on my legs to support my ankles. They have Avengers on them! I also use blue Crutches, I need extra space so that I can put the crutches on the ground. I can walk and even run with my crutches. Please don’t try to squeeze around me, because I may lose my balance and fall.

I also use a red Walker that I pull behind me. Please don’t push or pull at the walker because I might fall. I can run and play at recess and gym class with my walker. I also use an orange Wheelchair that I use on class trips and on my bus. I can push myself, but if you want to help push me, please ask me first.
I have an older sister named Katheryn who is in Grade 3 at XX. I also have 2 big black dogs named Rory and Chuva. They are very friendly. My parents are named Amanda and Kyle and my mom writes a blog about spina bifida and our family.

I am excited to meet new classmates and spend the year with you!
From Nickolas and Family

Nick has the same teacher as last year, but only 2 students are the same as last year. He is in another split class, this time being the older grade.
I think it will be a good year for him!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

First Day of School

The summer went by fast and furious!
And we did lots on our summer bucket list
And now it is time for back to school!
Nick is so nervous about going back to school. He is starting grade 2 and has the same teacher as last year. He was very excited to wear his Captain America shirt!

Katheryn, on the other hand, is very excited to go back to school. To learn, play with her friends, meet her new teacher. Katheryn got a new dress for school, but she's worn it twice already and told everyone it was her back-to-school dress

Grade 2 and 3!
How did they get so big!

The kids were very good with pictures before school starts. And I got 3 pictures in 3 shots

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Planning for Halloween

We start thinking of Halloween really early. And while the beginning of September may seem early, really it has been since last Halloween. But now that it is September, it is time to get to work.

Nick is going to be Darth Vader this year.
Simple, I thought, we will make his wheelchair into a tie fighter. (We do a wheelchair costume because if we plan on walking Nick gets tired quickly).

This was my idea for his chair. And I've been collecting supplies for it through the summer. Pretty simple I thought.
And then I googled Darth Vader's tie fighter and realized that it was different!

OK, no problem we can still do this. I just need to figure out how to make it bend.

When we were at Easter Seals Camp we were talking about Halloween and Nick told someone he was going to have the Death Star.
I said that isn't what he is going to have, but that is a FANTASTIC idea!
And so then I started thinking!

I took some pictures so that I could photo-shop my idea to see if it was possible.

And I think I can do this!

 This is my inspiration!

No I just need to order my supplies! I am so excited to get started on this!
And if I have time, I will do the tie-fighter for Nick's walker!

I also talked to Katheryn about her costume, she wants to be Elsa again, but this time Ice Queen Elsa. We looked at a bunch of different dresses (on E-bay) and she found one she likes, and I ordered a wig and we will get some other supplies for her. So Katheryn is happy too