A Different Perspective on the Zoo…

Our family has held a Calgary Zoo membership pretty consistently since before we even  had our first child.  Way back then Jason and I liked to just go and stroll through the zoo.

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All my kids have liked different parts of the zoo best.  Kieran definitely loved he dinosaurs.  Katie I think was the monkeys.  Karyssa was lions and zebras and giraffes I would suspect.  Kianna was the tigers I think, but it also could have been the carousel and kid train that are at that end of the zoo…

Keilan  loves the Canadian  Wilds.  None of my kids have ever paid too much attention  to this area.  We would go there every now and then just to go, but never was it a first choice.

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For Keilan, it is most assuredly a first choice.   I hadn’t really thought about it too much until today.

Our zoo passes had expired shortly before the flood and we just let them lapse.  Our kids are getting older and the zoo holds less appeal for them now than a few years ago.

However, this winter when I started home schooling Keilan  I bought a zoo pass for us.  I knew we would be studying animals in the spring and it was the perfect place to take him for a quick opportunity to expend some energy in between my various bus runs.

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We’ve been quite a number of times over the past several months.  The one thing that is pretty consistent is that he always wants to see the penguins, and he almost always asks to go to the Canadian wilds.  I have to often persuade him to venture to the Africa building or the savannah building or the butterflies.

Today, as once again he asked to visit the Canadian Wilds, I suddenly realized why this is his favourite place.

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It reminds him of all of our trips to the mountains.  It helps him to recentre himself.  He loves he mountains and hiking and wildlife.  And we have sure done a ton of family trips that would include this.  Not to mention that his grandparents live in the mountains.

So, following my sudden revelation, I asked him straight up.  I asked him if it was his favourite place and why.  He said it was and it made him happy.  I asked him if it helped him remember things we have done together as a family.  Things like driving through Jasper like summer or trips to Banff or Radium or grandma and grandpa’s house.  I asked him if he felt calm and safe here.

And yes all of this and more.

He has always thrived in the wild and untamed.  He loves trees and forests and green.  It calms him.  And it helps him stay calm.  He has way less behaviour issues when we are camping or out in nature.  That is except when it’s time to leave.

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It shouldn’t be any surprise that he finds this area so captivating that I had found boring.  Through his eyes it isn’t boring any more.  The Canadian Wilds is actually pretty peaceful and calming when you take time to just be and to take it all in.  It really is like a quick foray to the mountains…

Tooth Fairy Goes High Tech…

Our tooth fairy has gone high tech.  It took a little bit to work out the kinks but today my kids got their first email from our tooth fairy.  It would seem that Google thought the address was sending spam and blocked it.  But finally the tooth fairies got the kinks worked out and toothflyer@gmail.com sent them their first message.

The kids were pretty excited to see the pink message that said “Tooth Fairy” in my inbox.

This is the letter they got…

Dear Keilan and Kianna,

My name is Fredrick Flossy. I’ve been a tooth fairy supervisor for quite some time. Your case came before me because our tooth fairy younglings just couldn’t figure out what to do.

First of all does finding a dog tooth get a tooth fairy reward? And second if a child loses a tooth well after bedtime and then changes beds does the reward come that same night or the next?

Well I was called onto the job to make a decision about these interesting dilemmas.

Here’s my decision.

The dog tooth can get a reward because it was done with a pure heart.

The changing beds and late night pulling of a tooth also gets the reward the same night….but not in the same bed. That bedroom is WAY too crowded for my tooth fairy younglings to slip in and out unnoticed.

So your reward awaits you both somewhere in your house. Think chocolate and think empty and 2 for Kianna and 1 for Keilan! Good luck!

And put the tooth on the counter one of fairies will collect it in the next few days! Keep the dog one in trash! We can’t actually reuse them!

Happy flossing!

Frederick Flossy

My Kind Daughter…

I’ve really stopped blogging as much because it seems like all I blog about is our struggles or successes with our youngest child.  His ADHD has captured the entire family.

I blog about my life and I kind of felt like I’d blogged enough about him.  My life pretty well revolves around him though since he is with me 24/7.  Since he goes to work with me and I home school him…well my stories are bound to be about him.  My successes and frustrations are also bound to be about him too.

And a few responses to some of my posts led me to believe that my readers are bored of hearing about it.  So I stopped writing.

Today I have something different to write about.

My oldest daughter is the star of this story.

Last week one  night she was late coming home from school.  It turns out she was at a friends house around the corner from our place.

This friend is also in the same grade and school as our daughter.  They usually ride the bus together.

The grade 9 Quebec trip was days away and I wanted to make sure my daughter got a great night’s sleep.  My husband was late getting home that night.  I was late getting home that night and my cell phone was dead.

Our daughter was no where to be found when I got home and it seemed no one knew where she was.  I was getting annoyed.

Then my husband got home.

I guess that my daughter had taken it upon herself to go and teach her friend to ride a bike.

You see the class was going to go on a bike ride during their trip and those who couldn’t ride a bike wouldn’t be able to go.  So my daughter went to make sure her friend learned to ride a bike so she wouldn’t miss any of the fun!  She had called but my cell was dead and her dad knew where she was.

I was SO proud of her!  What a kind and thoughtful daughter I have!  It was definitely proud mama moment!

No one asked her to do it, she just wanted to help her friend.

She is indeed a great daughter and a great friend!

Wise Words…

There are some wise things that a person simply needs to hear over and over.

The repetition is necessary for many reasons.  We forget.  That’s obvious.  But we also need to be encouraged.  Our hearts forget the words and life beats us down. And finally because we need to be reminded to share these words.  There are others who we know who also need to hear these wise words.

In my life this past year there have been 2 people who have spoken wisdom and hope and encouragement into my life on a regular basis and specifically about my son.

Their message has been almost identical even down to the wording.

That is they say the same thing.

God placed your son in the family he needed to be in to thrive and with the parents who needed him to thrive.  And God placed him in the family who needed him to thrive.

It is true.

But I have to be reminded of this.  Parenting is hard work.  Parenting him is often hair pulling, frustrating and too often unrewarding work.

But our family wouldn’t be complete without him.  He needs different strengths that each person in our family has to help him thrive.  And honestly each of us has grown and been challenged in different ways by him.  We are all better people because we have each other.  We all have strengthened our character because of how we are each stretched by those in our family.

But I need regular reminders of this.  I get discouraged and bogged down in the moment and the problem of the moment.

So thank you to these 2 amazing ladies who regularly speak truth and encouragement into my life….and it’s always somehow on not the best of days!

Like-mindedness…

There is something I have really come to realize this past year in our journey with Keilan.  That is no one truly understands you like someone who has or is walking the same journey.

It is always such a relief to be able to spend some time with people who don’t judge me by my child’s behaviour.  I love it when my child can be dealt with in a different way from the other kids and no one even blinks.   No questions are asked and no eyebrows are raised.  The reason…they’ve been there.  Their child isn’t perfect.  They get it.  They know that their child’s behaviour isn’t a reflection on who they are.

Tonight I had a lovely evening.  Just a bbq at the lake with some other parents and a bucket load of kids!  My kid behaved remarkably well tonight actually.  All of them did.

Something another parent said tonight hit home with me.  She said that sometimes we need to just put on our armour before we go out.  We need to be prepared to let other people’s comments and criticisms just roll off of us.

I’m terrible at this!  I take quite personally comments about my children’s behaviour.  I take it as a personal reflection of my parenting.  I know it isn’t really, but it still feels like it.

Having the opportunity to visit with other parents who don’t have perfect children and who just are real and open and honest about their struggles and successes is such a blessing!  I left this evening feeling empowered and renewed.  No problems were solved.  Few problems were really discussed.  But we were just real and genuine in our parenting.  There was no hidden issues or imperfections.  We were all just real parents with real kids and real struggles having a lovely evening together!

And I can’t wait to do it again and neither can my kids!