Friday, October 31, 2008

Difficult but likeable

Pin It My goodness people, the strangest thing is happening to me right now... I am sitting down, the house is quiet because the boys are at school, Olivia is napping, Doug is at work and my mom is downstairs on her computer, and to top it all off the house is CLEAN!!!

I told you it was strange!

Granted I have to pick the boys up from school in 20 minutes so it won't last long... but still! 20 minutes of peace in a clean home is better than nothing! And I am recording this unusual event here so I can look back and have proof that my house WAS clean and quiet at times!

In other news Miss. Olivia is all about doing puzzles these days. It is so cute to watch her working it out. And yes, as a matter of fact, I DO think I have the smartest kid in the world. So there. :)

We met with Speech/Language Pathologist today. We were not surprised to find out that Aiden fell "solidly within the average range" in his use and understanding of language. But I have to admit that part of the assessment made me laugh out loud...

"Throughout the session Aiden was unable to sit still for more than a few minutes at a time. He would fidget in his chair or stand up beside the table. He had a fidget ball that he constantly played with as well as a vest he was wearing. He required a couple of "body breaks" to help with his fidgets. At times, he would use a sing song voice or use an inappropriate tone of voice to answer questions. Once he bacame too silly, the examiner asked him to settle down and act appropriately. He became upset and refused to participate. With persistence he once again became engaged in the assessment. Aiden did appear slightly less restless when there were visual stimuli available. Aiden required a lot of praise to complete the tasks."

Some of you may be wondering why on earth that would make me laugh... well... it is just SO my son! I can totally picture the whole thing! The speech lady told us that normally it takes her about an hour to do assessments and with Aiden it took the entire afternoon.

Of COURSE it took the entire afternoon! This is AIDEN we are talking about!

Sometimes you just HAVE to laugh at these things or life becomes all together too overwhelming :)

She also told us that Aiden is "an enjoyable little fellow" and that she had fun assessing him. Well, that is definitely my kid- difficult but likeable!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Blurb Book Arrived!


(that is me exclaiming joyfully!)

By Tara Robertson

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Aiden Ran Away from School. Again.

Pin It As most of you know my son Aiden is in the process of being "diagnosed"... likely with an autism spectrum disorder or something similar. We have been in this process for an excrutiatingly long time.

We have had a problem with him running away from school when he gets stressed out. He is in grade one and has run away dozens of times. God is very smart though and has made it so that we only live a little over a block away from the school. It is still incredibly unsafe and terrifies me AND the school.

Today he ran away again at lunch time. He arrived at home sobbing and shaking. The first words out of his mouth were "I looked both ways when I crossed both streets but I just didn't care I had to get home to see mama" and then collapsed into my arms.

I managed to get him relatively calmed down and we walked back to the school together. His principal had called home in the few minutes he was gone and she was there to meet us upon our return. I tried to get him settled into his classroom but he was still sobbing when I left. I went and talked to the principal and one of his teachers and when I was leaving the school Aiden was in his "calm down" room still freaking out.

I HATE leaving him like that. HATE IT. I just wanted to scoop him up and take him home. But I know that if I do that he will think that if he runs away he will get to come home and he would do it even more often. It is already below freezing here and in a month or so it will be cold enough to freeze little hands and ears outside so he must NOT be running away. Not to mention the fact that he has to cross two streets to get home and he has run right in front of a truck before. Luckily we live in a small town where MOST people drive pretty slow and the truck just stopped and he was ok... but it only takes once. And what if I wasn't at home? Granted I am not out very often but it could happen and THEN what would he do???

So I guess the new medication we are trying isn't working all that well after all.

I am still fervently praying that we can somehow miraculously get into the assessment centre earlier (we are on a one year waiting list right now).

The whole thing just makes me so sad.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weekly Winners- Owen Joshua

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Cool Chick

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I was recently sent THE cutest "cool chick" t-shirt for Olivia from the super cool webstore- Uncommonly Cute. I LOVE it! I just think it looks adorable on Olivia and she loves the baby chick. She keeps pointing to it and giggling.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sick little girl

Pin It Olivia has a cold.

And BOY OH BOY is she clingy! As a result I have had less than 4 nanoseconds of time to myself in the past several days. My head hurts. My back hurts from carrying my toddler around all day. Even when I am at this lovely computer I am holding Olivia on my lap and typing with one hand.

Hence the lack of real posts these days. Sorry. I have tons in my head... and someday I'll get a chance to share I hope!

This is a not tired little girl

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday with CLR and 5 Minutes for Mom

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5 Minutes for Mom is hosting a CLR Tackle it Tuesday today and so I have decided to join my first ever Tackle it Tuesday!

This may not seem like a big deal to you all. But trust me. It is. You should all be very proud of me for the amount of tackling I did today. Really.

I was sent a bottle of CLR Bath & Kitchen cleaner in honour of this auspicious occasion! And I must say it worked like a charm! I was very impressed.

The first room I tackled was my bathroom. It was a mess.

We have hard water and it creates this horrible stain in the tub and it drives me crazy!

You see how gross that is? And I really do clean my bathroom regularly! But those awful orange crusty deposits are nearly impossible to get off...

or so I thought!

CLR did the job amazingly well! I must admit that I was a wee bit sceptical that CLR could help since I have tried a multitude of products all to no avail. But I was pleasantly surprised!

It also made my sink and toilet nice and shiny and sparkling clean!

The pictures just don't do it justice so you'll just have to trust me... it was a HUGE improvement!

Next I tackled my disaster of a kitchen.

I know it LOOKS like I've never cleaned the kitchen before but honest, I cleaned it yesterday! I don't know how it gets so bad so quick... it must be gremlins.

I used CLR to clean my counters, stove, the front of my dishwasher and my sinks. It did a fantastic job, especially with my sinks. I didn't even realize how gross they were until I was done cleaning them and the sparkled so pretty!

This picture is taken mid-tackle...

And here is my lovely clean sparkly kitchen! I even wiped down my cupboards and washed my floor on my hands and knees people!

Now if only I could keep it that way for longer than three and half seconds!

Overall I was very pleased with CLR's cleaning power. The one thing I would mention is this:

When the bottle tells you to wear gloves while using their product... USE GLOVES! Don't be like me... I never use gloves and now my hands feel like dry sandpaper. Lovely.

So are you proud of me?

(even if you aren't feel free to lie to me :) )

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Weekly Winners- Olivia Joy

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Hi Mom.
Ice is cold. (yes, it was cold enough here this week to freeze water into ice... boo.)
Eating a carrot.

Eating ice.
For more weekly winners go to

Blurb Rocks

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By Tara Robertson

I have been diligently working on my very first Blurb book and I am SO excited! I ordered it this morning... I can't wait to see it!

Blurb is, by far, one of the coolest sites/stores I have ever seen. I was able to easily import my blog into their program- Booksmart- and then customize it to suit my needs! It was super easy to do and every question I had along the way was answered by their extensive help section.

I LOVE it!

This will definitely NOT be the last Blurb book I order!

Keep watching because I will be having a Blurb giveaway soon and you won't want to miss it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aiden Update

Pin It I figure it is about time I give you all an update about what is going on with Aiden these days. For those of you who don't know we started our son on some medication this month in order to help him function better in his daily life. And you know what? We think it is actually helping! He does seem to be less explosive which is fabulous.

Today the dose was raised to what will hopefully be his semi-permanent dose until his official assessment finally happens.

Speaking of which we talked to the centre where his assessment will take place this week. We are officially on the waiting list. And oy what a waiting list it is. They told us it would be AT LEAST one year until they could see him. ONE YEAR!!!! Crazy.

We put our names on their cancellation waiting list so that if someone cancels they will call us that day and we will drop everything and drive the 3 hours to the centre so he can take the vacant spot. I am fervently praying someone cancels soon. Feel free to pray too. We need it.

The centre also told us that they normally don't work with kids as OLD as Aiden. He's 6 and normally they stick with kids who are 5 and under. They took pity on us since I have been trying to get help for him since he was THREE and we have just been ignored and shuffled around and treated like crap by the system. The lady we spoke with was VERY unimpressed that we had not been referred years earlier.

It was a little funny though because she told my husband that she normally has a LOT of questions to ask but because I filled out their 20 page questionaire so thoroughly she didn't have a lot to ask. Yay me. It is at times like this when being a complete nerd comes in very handy.

I suppose the most interesting thing about the conversation was that all the resources she suggested to us are geared towards kids with autism spectrum disorders. Obviously she couldn't diagnose over the phone, especially since the lady we talked to wasn't the doctor, but clearly they seem to think my son fits in that category. So I guess I have some serious researching to do in the coming months about autism spectrum stuff.

Apparently now that we are officially on this coveted waiting list we can qualify for some help for Aiden. Of course it means I have to call a zillion different people and try to navigate this insane system some more. And honestly I'm not even entirely sure what I am asking for.

The lady seemed to think that if we happened to contact the right people and they happened to be in the right frame of mind to give a crap about our situation then we MIGHT be able to start an application for funding for Aiden at school. Which I think means he would get some extra help.

IF I can figure out who the heck to talk to.

Seriously there should be a manual given to parents of kids with special needs explaining HOW to get the help you KNOW is needed.

Dear stressed out parent of a special needs child:

We regret to inform you that we could not care less about your situation. But if you insist on continuing to bother us we would like to suggest the following steps to take...

Step one: call everyone in the phone book. Start with A and work your way down to Z. Tell everyone what the problem is and ask them if they can help. Take notes. Follow up on any leads.

Step two: call every doctor and medical professional within a 300 mile radius and ask for help for your child.

Step three: call every person affiliated with the school your child attends and ask for help.

Step four: call the spouses of every person you have previously contacted and try to get on their good side in order to win favour.

Step five: write letters and emails daily to all the people you have contacted inundating them with written reasons why you need to be heard.

Step six: camp out on the front steps of the mental health professional in your area until someone listens.

Step seven: document every thing you have done in order to prove you have tried to get help for your child so that when you finally DO get someone to listen and they say "have you talked to anyone else about this?" (in that tone that suggests you are just a complete lazy moron of a parent who has done nothing but eat chocolate and watch soap operas all day while your child suffers) you can just hand them your stack of documentation. That should shut them up. Briefly.

Step eight: weep, scream, cry, rant, vent, and suck up to anyone who has any authority anywhere.

Step nine: lather, rinse, repeat.

Step ten: collapse.

If these steps do not give you the desired results than please move to another country.

your nemesis,
Medical and Metal health Canada.

Ok. So I am exaggerating a tad bit. I have met some very wonderful and helpful people along the way but I really do think this system is insanely difficult to navigate and a guide would help a lot.

All in all I am very pleased with how things are going now though. Aiden is getting some help from the best pediatrician in the world. He has an excellent teacher who honestly cares about his well being. We are ON the waiting list for an honest to goodness assessment that, in theory, can get my son the help he needs to live happily. Things are moving forward.

I must admit that my mind is almost entirely taken up with it all right now though. And I know it stresses people out that we have gone the medication route with my son but we really do think we are doing the right thing. If it improves Aiden's quality of life then it is worth it.

So there you have it. Please pray for Aiden and for us and for a cancellation so we can get an earlier appointment!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday- Olivia vs. the Biggest Carrot EVER

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IXL Math

Pin It When I was growing up I HATED math. Well, to be truthful I STILL hate math. I just found it really hard. I truly hope my children fare better than I did in math class. I was recently introduced to IXL Math which is a simple Web tool that claims to make math study fun.

Make MATH fun? I had to check it out.

I admit I was a tad bit sceptical but I was pleasantly surprised!

IXL Math provides a one-of-a-kind, individualized learning experience for kids as well as tools to help their parents and teachers!

Here is a brief rundown from their website:

"For students, IXL Math provides:

  • An engaging environment to strengthen their math skills.
  • Opportunity to learn at their own pace.
  • Math problems that are targeted to match their personal skill level.
  • Question-specific explanations that enhance understanding.

For teachers and parents, IXL Math provides tools for:

  • Identifying a student's trouble spots.
  • Measuring a student's level of improvement for each skill over time.
  • Recording the amount of time a student spends practicing."

Here is a couple question examples:

"There are more than 100 math skills in each grade level, close to 1,000 different question types, and an unlimited number of computer-generated problems. IXL is replete with vibrant images, colorful illustrations, and meaningful content. Once your children start using IXL, they will be mesmerized. Practicing math has never been just so much fun."

"Membership benefits
  • Complete coverage of pre-kindergarten through fifth grade math curriculum. Your kids won't miss a thing!
  • Unlimited questions in more than 100 skills. They're guaranteed to get all the practice they need.
  • Fun and colorful practice formats.
  • Questions adapt to your child's ability, increasing in difficulty as they improve.
  • Immediate feedback with proficiency scores.
  • Question-specific explanations to solidify understanding of each concept.
  • Daily or weekly e-mail updates on your child's progress.
  • Informative, detailed reports point you to successes and trouble spots.
  • Awards and certificates for you and your children to print out as they reach important milestones. How proud they'll be to have a record of their accomplishments!"
I explored the site at length and found it simple to use and understand. IXL Math seems to be a very useful tool. I even let my sons try it out and they thought it was fun too. Obviously I needed to help my sons figure it out at first but I am sure they would have picked it up quickly. Older children who can read could probably do most of it without a parent's help.

I really think IXL Math could be a very useful tool to supplement what kid's learn in school. It would also be extremely helpful for the homeschooling amongst us!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Whatever happened to moo moos?

Pin It In 3 short hours it will be Owen's birthday party with his school friends.

We are going swimming.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate being seen in a swim suit?


The things I do for the love of my children.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend Festivities

Pin It My brother in law Phil and his lovely wife Erica came to visit this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving and Owen's birthday. They bought pumpkins and carved them with the boys... and incidentally the boys would like to keep the pumpkins in their room indefinitely. We convinced them to put them outside tonight finally!
The boys were thrilled to have their Aunt & Uncle to play with.
I tried several times to get a good picture of Olivia in this beautiful dress we were given... but she refused to pose!

Owen was very excited to open his presents on Sunday morning.

Uncle Phil and Aunt Erica took the boys to the playground...

Olivia tried to eat the biggest carrot I have ever seen in my entire life...
Seriously... is that not the biggest carrot you have ever seen? It was grown by one of our congregation members who gave it to us on Sunday!

Uncle Phil tried (mostly in vain) to watch sports...
Our friend Josiah spent the day with us too. He also happens to be my dear friend Becky's eldest son. He was a very good sport and played with my boys for hours.

It was a fun visit...

and Aunt Erica is very funny in front of a camera!

I spent most of the day today just trying to recover from all the fun!
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