Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Moving Day Madness

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 We had to eat picnic style on our living room floor because all our furniture had already been put into our storage unit! Oh the joys of moving :P 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Storytime with Tara...

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Once upon a time there was a woman who was eaten up and swallowed by a thousand cardboard boxes and she was never heard from again. 

The End. 

Ok, not really. But I AM surrounded by a zillion boxes and I haven't been doing much other than packing for ages it seems.

We have found a place to go temporarily (YAY!) when we move out of this house on Wednesday. Some very kind folks have a suite that they have opened up to us and we can stay there all summer if need be. It is about 7 hours away from where we are currently living and we are very thankful for it.  Technically we will still be homeless but at least we won't be camping all summer!

My husband has not found a new job yet though so we have no idea where we will end up.

Our stuff is all going into storage until we know where to move it to.

Tonight was our last night at our church. Saying goodbye sucks.

The kids are doing relatively ok with it all most of the time... they are definitely not thrilled with the situation and Aiden sobbed at church tonight but overall they surviving. We have told them we are going on vacation and promised to take them to a REAL movie in a REAL movie theatre and that makes them happy.

I am exhausted. Actually we are all exhausted. It will be good to just be done all the packing nastiness and rest. Even if we have no idea where we are going or what we will be doing when we get there.

Details, details. Who needs 'em anyway. :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Sleepover

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The kids asked to all have a sleepover in Aiden's room last night so we set them all up on the floor. Olivia only lasted part of the night before climbing into bed with me. Tonight she asked to sleepover again so we'll see how it goes!

The Last Day of School... aka the post where I gush over some really amazing people.

Pin It Today was the last day of school for my kiddos. They were pretty excited this morning...

Doug and I spent the day doing something thrilling... packing. I figured it would be a wise thing to do considering we are moving in 5 days and all.

I know I have said it before but I don't think it can be said enough... I am so so so very thankful for the amazing teachers and educational assistants our kids have had this year. I don't even have the right words to express just how amazing I think these people are. Patient, caring, creative, dedicated, unfailingly kind and gracious... I had complete peace of mind leaving my children in their incredibly capable hands each day. I adore them.

I will really really REALLY miss them if we are not here next year.

When we picked the kids up after school today I had to choke back tears. I hated saying goodbye to these wonderful people.

This is Aiden with his teacher Mrs. G. Oh how hard she worked this year... she endured all of the many struggles and tantrums and freak outs that Aiden had and loved him in spite of it all. She looked for the best in him and praised him even on his most difficult days. She cried with us and laughed with us and I know she prayed for us too. And to top it all off she managed to get my kid through grade 3!! An impressive feat in my books.

This is Aiden with his full-time aid Mrs. W..  Aiden adores Mrs. W. and so do we.

She spent every day, all day with Aiden. She did everything from helping him with his work to helping him calm down when he was freaking out. She made school bearable for my kid. I can't even begin to tell you what a difference Mrs. W. made this year. She was the most perfect fit for Aiden.

I don't know if those of you without special needs kids realize just how much of an impact the aid has on a child's school experience. I mean it is HUGE. It really can make or break it. Mrs. W. definitely made this year for Aiden.

Her patience is incredible. She worked so so so hard to make Aiden's school days better for everyone. She is amazing and wonderful and we would very much like to take her with us wherever we go :) .

Aiden cried for almost a full hour after saying goodbye to Mrs. W.. It was very sad. He loves her.

And here is Owen with his teacher Mrs. D....

We've actually known Mrs. D. the whole time we've lived in this town. She was our first contact in this school when we moved here because she was the special needs educator when we arrived. She was amazing with Aiden last year and this year she was an amazing grade 2 teacher for Owen. We love her.

Mrs. D. has become a real friend over the past couple years. I have really appreciated her encouragement and her humour so very much.

Owen, in typical Owen-fashion, refused to get a nice picture taken but since Mrs. D. is such a great sport she coaxed him into these two pictures. I am sure she will just love me posting them here for the world to see :) .

When I got to Olivia's classroom to pick her up the kids were all chasing bubbles. It was so cute to watch.

It is an amazing gift when your child's first school teacher makes them absolutely love school. Olivia loves school. Her face would absolutely light up when she would see Mrs. M.. Olivia pretends to BE Mrs. M. at least once a day and I find it adorable to watch her imitating her teacher and teaching her own make believe JK class ( comprised of me and all her favourite stuffed animals of course) .

And can I just say that I think Mrs. M. is incredible? Because she is. She managed to take care of all those junior kindergarten kiddos with poise, grace and patience AND teach them stuff too! I was lucky enough to get to go on a couple of fieldtrips with her class and I was in awe seeing her in action.

Teachers are amazing.

I honestly don't know how they do it.

In case you haven't figured it out yet I am incredibly thankful for these women and their co-workers at our school. I had to share because I just don't think they get told "thank-you" enough :) .

And now let summer begin!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Daddy's Special Day LINKY

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Kellogg's FiberPlus Antioxidants Cereals

Pin It I have a confession to make.

I don't always care about eating healthy. *gasp*

I know I should. I really should. But I am an emotional eater. When I am busy and stressed out the last thing I want to do is think about making healthy food choices. Considering how stressful our life has been for the past 2 months it is not surprising that my eating habits have not been so stellar.

Unfortunately eating a whole bunch of junk just makes me feel worse. Not ideal.

It is for this reason that I have been forcing myself to eat better. I eat better so that I FEEL better.

I have been concentrating on 3 things:

1. Drinking more water.

I have been replacing unhealthy sugary beverages with a nice glass of ice water. Adding a little bit of lemon or lime makes it taste delicious.  Water helps flush all the nasty toxins and waste products out of our systems. It is easy to get dehydrated and that causes low energy, fatigue and headaches. There is just nothing good about that.

2. Keeping it simple.

I have been taking advantage of the wealth of information on the internet to find simple, healthy and tasty meals that we can make in a hurry at home. I choose recipes that have healthy AND yummy foods. I find that I get a lot less discouraged when I  take small steps towards a healthier lifestyle for myself and my family. If I try to do everything all at once I just end up getting overwhelmed and I quit which doesn't help anyone. 

3. Eating more fiber and antioxidants.

Everyone knows that fiber is great for avoiding constipation but did you know that fiber can also reduce your risk of colon cancer, heart disease and diabetes?! I had no idea. The trick for me though is finding fiber-rich foods that I actually enjoy eating.

I was given the chance to try out the new Kellogg's FiberPlus cereals this week and I figured if we liked them it would be a great way to add more fiber to our family diet. My whole family has tried FiberPlus Berry Yogurt Crunch cereal and FiberPlus Cinnamon Oat Crunch cereal this week.

I love cereal so I wasn't too surprised that I enjoyed both varieties. However I was very surprised that all three of my kids liked them too! Even my extremely picky 9 year old son with Autism enjoyed eating the two cereals dry for a snack after school. My 7 year old son and 4 year old daughter have both eaten the cereals every morning for breakfast over the past several days. This has been especially beneficial for my child who struggles with constipation.

The FiberPlus cereals are yummy and healthy- the perfect combination.

What do you do to encourage healthy eating for yourself and your family?

{Disclosure: This is a paid post sponsored by Kellogg’s. I received one box of Berry Yogurt Crunch and one box of Cinnamon Oat Crunch to review. The opinions are my own}

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Doesn't she have a couple of sons too?

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If you are a regular visitor to my blog you may have noticed that I post a LOT of pictures of Olivia... and not so many pictures of my boys Aiden and Owen.

There is a reason for that.

Actually several reasons...

Both Aiden and Owen are in a "mom, stop taking my picture" stage and when they DO let me take their pictures they give me faces like this...

and it takes me saying something ridiculous like "monkey underpants" or "whale boogers" to make them giggle so I can almost get a real smile out of them.

So even though it may SEEM like I am favouring my daughter, I am really not. It is just that she LOVES to have her picture taken and is thrilled when she can see herself on my blog.

My boys... not so much. I have warned them though that I WILL be taking pictures of them a LOT this summer. Because that is what I do. And they will just have to learn to live with it lol. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Love and Loss * guest post *

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This is a guest post from my friend Cindy. She is having a tough time and could use some encouragement! Show her some love people :). 

I feel like I am going insane, seriously.  I also feel like I am a complete failure or like I am not who I should really be.  After many years of marriage and kids, I am sad to say that I understand why mothers leave their families in desperate times.  And I also understand how, after many years of marriage, when the kids are gone, couples split.  I am sad to understand these feelings.
We were married young, we had our kids right away.  Life was going well and then we had a child born who required/requires a lot of care and support.  I don’t regret any decisions we have made to date, and I have learned a lot about myself through this life.  I realized that I had always been this completely dependent girl, who relied on a spouse/parent/friend to always handle the situations that arose in my life. 
I was never able to support myself, I never went out of the house with friends, I just stayed home and did all that I had to do here.  I ended up on depression meds because I just couldn’t cope anymore.  They really scared me, they made me feel like I was a non-emotional robot who was just coasting through life.  I decided that wasn’t for me, so I stopped taking them. 
After our child with special needs was born, we had to change our whole action plan.  Our family took second place to that child’s needs.  Our other kids lost their parents for the better part of a year (and longer), and we, as a couple lost who we were.  Everything had to do with caring, in the best possible way, for our child to grow up not surrounded by the stigmas. And that is when I lost myself, but also found myself again.
After caring for this child, and learning new things, even becoming a nurse at times, I realized that I had a lot to offer the world.  I had been cooped up long enough and it was time for me to meet the world!  I went to school (I have always loved school), earned a certificate (in the top of the class) and started working in the field that I wanted to give back to.  I loved it and I still do. 
In this whole process, I have gained an amazing amount of confidence and have realized that I can be independent.  My life isn’t only being stuck at home.  I finally could contribute to my family’s needs and I could get out of the house.  Being home and dealing with the medical needs we had, I desperately needed to get out. 
Now, I am wanting to go out more and more.  I am wanting to have me time.  I am wanting to find me again.  Which has become an issue with my husband.  He is getting upset if I go out at night when he gets home.  He makes me feel bad when I want to do something for myself, even though we spend time dating as well.  All of a sudden I am confident in myself as a woman and I believe this is scaring him.  It is at the point where I am starting to lose that emotional attachment. 

How can I love someone who can make me feel like crap so easy?  How can I stand being in the same room with someone who can’t handle the idea of me not needing him?  How can I handle the constant checking he does on me?  Where I am at?  Who I am with? How can I continue to live my life pleasing someone else and losing myself, now that I have found myself? 
As I said, this makes me really sad.  I understand why people leave.  I understand the statistics surrounding divorce and special need parenting.  I don’t want to become a statistic, but I also don’t want to just exist in a relationship that has nothing to it anymore. 
I am sad.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Run Like the Wind w/ LINKY

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

She Wears Flowers in Her Hair...

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According to Olivia you can never have too many flower barrettes in your hair! She's getting pretty good at doing her own hairstyling too. Oh how I love my girly girl :).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Always Dress For The Occasion

Pin It A fabulous fort...

deserves a fabulous outfit...

and a fabulous new trick to show off the fabulous outfit in the fabulous fort. Of course.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Snuggles with Daddy

Pin It I have a miserable migraine today and am feeling completely useless... which is more than a little annoying considering how much I have to get done!!

Looking at a computer screen almost kills me and I need to close my eyes but here is a cute picture of my husband and my daughter having a snuggle...

That makes me smile :)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Marking Territory? LINKY

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Monday, June 06, 2011

There's a Party in Winkler, Manitoba...

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My husband is at a conference this week and the kids and I tagged along for fun... we get to hang out in the hotel and swim in the pool (which even has a waterslide!). It is a nice little break from reality.

On the down side it took us more than 7 hours to get here... here being the thriving metropolis of Winkler, Manitoba. And apparently the internet in Winkler is insanely slow. Shocking I know. Apparently they didn't know I was coming!

I am just not used to slow internet anymore. I am totally spoiled.

It took me 15 minutes to upload that picture of my kids... which I took on the side of the highway in some nameless part of Manitoba this afternoon. Don't you just love Olivia's choice of travelling clothes? I love that she dresses up even for a 7 hour van ride.

And in case you are wondering why we were stopped on the side of the highway ... my boys MIGHT have tried to pee in that lake. Maybe. Or we just stopped to enjoy the view. Possibly.

We also stopped in Winnipeg to drop off our crappy coming-apart-at-the-seams furniture at The Brick so they could replace it with lovely NEW furniture that will hopefully last longer than a couple years. That makes me happy. If you are wondering why The Brick is replacing our furniture you can read about it HERE and HERE.

We actually had a tough time choosing replacement furniture and ended up going with something completely different that looks sort of like this...

I think we will like it... but no matter what it can't possibly be as bad as the stuff we already had!!

We had all 3 kids with us in the store while we were looking and an extremely persistent saleslady that literally followed us around (like maybe 2 feet behind us) the whole time we looked. It was incredibly annoying.

If you are a salesperson... don't do that!! It is obnoxious! If we weren't getting the replacement furniture for free I seriously would have walked out. That just drives me crazy and makes me NOT want to buy from them. Yeesh.

Anyway, I think we will be happy with our new furniture and I am happy it all worked out.

Now to get some rest... I have a busy day tomorrow, full of swimming and watching kids go down a waterslide 60 trillion times in a row! Good times :)

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