Sunday, June 14, 2020

Epilepsy and The Summer

Faith has had a lot of struggles in her life, but she (and we) push forward and through whatever tries to come our way.

Last summer was a particularly difficult summer. Faith was having, at one point, over 100 seizures a day. I took six weeks off work to be with her throughout the med trials and changes.

The school year had been so much better. Back into a routine, growing, learning by leaps and bounds... Not very many big seizures at all. It seemed that everything had settled in her body.

Now, we have this pandemic, routines are out the window, the world is opening up a little at a time, and we thought, hey let's go for a BBQ and let Faith go for a quick dip in this pool:) (all while taking appropriate precautions, don't worry;)

Faith loves to swim, it is her all time favourite activity. She jumps in and is having so much fun, then all of a sudden says she's having a seizure.

My sister and I, both trained in physical restraints, managed to get her out of the pool fairly easily and we laid her down to let the seizure run it's course.

She came out of it, rested and was back to enjoying and entertaining is all!

I was looking up swimming effects with epilepsy, and saw this..

I've never heard of photosensitive epilepsy, but now I'm wondering if this is something that Faith may actually have? It says it is rare, but we seem to be the rare family... I wonder if Ontario has this kind of testing?

Has anyone else experienced this? I don't want her to have to give up the one activity that she loves so much!!

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Christians and Government

Wow, another post...

I have some things rolling around in my head and I am going to work through them here. Bare with me on some of these thoughts.

I'm so proud that my girls made the decision to attend the Black Lives Matter March in our city (over 20,000 people showed up!!). It is something that we talked about before they went. What were their reasons, could they verbalize them if approached by someone. Did they understand the risks involved with the ongoing pandemic. Did they understand the risk of a riot, just in case that happened and what would they do in that instance? I sent them with PPE and they brought their signs, that they spent the night before painting.

This whole situation has opened the door for some amazing conversations to take place in our house. We have always been an open family. The kids have been raised to be independent thinkers. Even if their beliefs or choices go in a way that myself, or others, don't agree with. They can stand up and speak with confidence why they believe what they believe. Their world view is bigger than their own backyard. I'm pretty proud of them.

There have been lots of discussions popping up around these marches that are happening around the entire world, in support of Black Lives Matter. Positive discussions, negative discussions, opinions etc...

As a Christian, it has really bothered me that so many can say "the government has put in these social distancing rules", "no groups of more then 5" etc... And are coming down on Christians for going against the authority of the government.  Discussions about how protests are allowed, but attending church is not.

First and foremost, I believe that church is not a building. Church is not having coffee in the lobby before or after service, church is not only in one place...WE are the church. Believers are the church. Church can be in your house, your workplace, in nature etc... We need to continue connecting with our church families, checking in on each other, supporting each other the best we can. We need to remember not to let the lonely slip through the cracks.

I also understand that people not being able to attend a service in a building yet can attend a protest, seems unjust to some. Both matters are important yet drastically different. We are currently in a pandemic, yes. Attending church means sitting side by side, for up to 2 hours. Means touching items, chairs, toilets etc...a protest is a one time event. People respected each other, everyone wore a mask and it was outside. Will there be a rise in positive numbers? Maybe. Does the risk outweigh the benefit? I personally believe so... My opinion.

Now, if I'm correct, the Bible is full of instances of people standing against the government. I grew up listening to Bible stories reenacted on cassette tapes... Yes, I said cassettes!!

One example that I can think of, off the top of head, is the story of Moses. He was born during a time of Hebrew slavery. In order to curb the potential to lose power and control, the Pharoah ordered all Hebrew male babies to be killed.

Moses family hid him, until they no longer could, then they placed him in a basket, in the river, and he grew up in royalty.

Had Moses family not gone against the governments order, how do you think the story would have ended?

This is only one story, one example.

The people who change or rewrite history aren't often the ones who sit quietly and wait... They are the ones who stand up, who speak up, who are willing to take risks... They are the ones who see others, learn from others, mourn with others and fight for others.

That's it for now... There may be more later!

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

The struggle of a Pandemic with Special Needs

What a struggle this has been.

We are going on 3 months of staying at home. No school, no activities, no more routine, no more friends, no more human interaction outside of immediate family...

No more.

For a typical person, for a family with typical children, this can be, and has been a struggle. Explaining to your child why they can't see their friends, why there is no more school, why their after school activities are cancelled, is hard...

Explaining this situation to a 12 year old, whose hormones are raging, and has an acquired brain injury, that has affected all 4 quadrants of her brain, is next to impossible.

We already are experiencing so many new issues with Faith, that have been starting to show through more and more. Things such as obsessive behaviours, violent outbursts, inconsolable tantrums and potential increased seizures. On a normal day, these are difficult to manage, but dealing with these new behaviours during a pandemic is hell...and I mean actual hell.

We have tried to create a new routine, we have tried the online schooling, we have tried to do some new activities, we have video calls to friends... We have tried everythng. We have exhausted every option...we are done...

Today was particularly rough... Spent the morning with Faith, even took her to a store (second time in almost 3 months) she got to pick a hair colour, picked a new water bottle got her hair dyed, hung out with family, played in the yard with bubble's and toys etc...

She was having a great day...

Then I had to go out, I have other kids in the house to parent, and was gone for less than an hour...

This is what I came home to.  

Today is not an atypical day for us...this is what life is like during the pandemic, for our family. As an essential worker, who needs to go out to work and enjoys working, this is especially tough.

This is our struggle, and I'm sure countless others in our situation...

It is tiring
It is exhausting
It is like there is no end in sight
It is hard
It is beyond hard....

And we haven't even hit the summer yet. 

I'm not complaining about my life, and I love my daughter. She brings so much joy to our lives. I wouldn't change any of it. I just miss our supports. I miss our friends. I miss the connections we have that help to keep me sane during the hard times...

I miss life how it used to be and can't wait until we can regain some semblance of that back...

Thursday, November 23, 2017

You are worth it!!

I am so excited for the changes that have been happening in our lives, in all areas. 

A big one for me recently was that I took a risk to make some big changes to my health.

It's funny, because two years ago, a friend from summer camp (many moons ago) introduced me to a great nutritional program. Anyone who knows me, will know that I have tried different things to gain my health back, so I was skeptical. 

I had grown into a confident woman, who felt comfortable in her own body... And I think that is where the problem lies. Being comfortable when overweight, with no energy, and no desire to change is not necessarily the best place to be in. 

One night, just out of the blue, I contacted him and said that I wanted to give it a month to see if it was something I could do... And follow through on. I also joined a 16 week challenge to help keep me motivated.

Once I started using the nutritional products, I questioned why I didn't try it earlier!! My energy levels went way up, my weight was going way down and I was feeling like this may actually be something that I could accomplish!

I am now 2 months in, halfway through my challenge, and I'm down 24lbs, I have gone from a 3X shirt to an XL, and a size 22 pants to a 16!! I feel great, I'm don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. I'm not having cravings (is amazing when you put exactly what your body needs inside you - no cravings!!). I have stopped pop and Iced Capps, no more daily fast food stops, no more late night trips, just to fill the void that I was filling. 

I honestly haven't been perfect through the past 2 months, I have eaten out with my kids, but it is a special day out (and my choices are different). I'm noticing what I actually consume and I have been enjoying coming up with meals that I look forward to. 

I still eat everything... Just all in moderation!

I have a great support system in place and friends that help motivate me to walk, on days that I don't want to (and vice versa;)

We have been walking 5km a day, only one day off in the last month! We challenge each other, push each other and have fun doing this!!

I'm glad that I took the plunge... I'm glad that I have started this journey, I'm maybe going to be able to win a prize!! I'm also able to have some of my products paid for, just by having others join me in this journey! 

These are some before and after pictures, that I'm so excited about and help keep me motivated! 

My first goal was to get to "one"derland before December and I am only 5-7lbs away!! 

If you are interested in joining me, and I would be glad to continue building this support network, contact me, I'm more then happy to share with you something that is working for me:)

You are worth it! 

The first picture is August 2017, second is November 2017!


2010/2011 and 2017

Looking forward to sharing more progress as I go along!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Growth and Change

This is a post that I have written, let sit for a day or so, prayed about, edited and really want to share. My hesitancy with posting this has been that I don't want people to think it is written about anyone in particular. It is written from a heart that wants to share with others how words and actions can really impact peoples lives. I have recognized and caught myself in this position and an working on "closing the tap, renewing my mind and confessing God's word" over the situations in my life.  Please read this with my heart in mind...

My family and I are entering a new stage of life. We have struggled through a separation, leading to a divorce, kids leaving home, custody and access battles, the court system, the emotional turmoil. It has been a long few years, which, in the process has given us all a new view on life. A new perspective. We have grown into this place where we can feel confident that our love will actually stand strong and see us through.

In myself,  I have seen tremendous growth and I have seen myself become the strong woman that I knew was there before, but didn't know how to let out...I have confidence, I have dreams, I have my self worth back.

I'm not afraid to speak up, I'm not afraid to question. I'm not afraid to stand up to those who judge, speak out of turn or even just behave out of ignorance.

I've also learned that my life is just that, mine. It does not need to be displayed for all to see. Snippets fine, but some things are better kept for ourselves. I've learned that I no longer need to justify every action I take, every move I make, I am the only one who answers for those choices and I am the one who will deal with the consequences.

Through my separation and time spent alone, I have questioned my faith, my stand, where my strength comes from. I have left the church, come back to the church, walked away from people who were toxic in mine and my kids lives.

I have learned a lot about myself, my dreams, my ambitions and how to take the steps to reach them. I am nowhere near this point, but I am constantly growing.

It is interesting to me now, to see where I'm at. To know what I've come through and know that I am at peace with my choices… No matter what anyone else thinks. I stand behind what I do 100% and am thankful for the small group of people who really know me and support me… But who are also there to pick me up if my choice fails.

With my wedding date approaching, there is a whole new set of issues… Not only am I making a change to our family structure, which comes with a whole new set of fears and growing pains, but realizing that everyone else, who are not necessarily part of our family, has an opinion to share.

So, while I am approaching conversations with my kids, who will be greatly impacted by this change, and making sure they are in a position where they still feel safe and that I'm not “giving them up”, I'm also dealing with comments about whether others think this is the right thing for me/us.

I find it frustrating to an extent, that people who may have been a part of my life for a period of time, whether long or short, can voice, very loudly, what they think. Can make assumptions about myself and my partner's choice. People who think they know what is best for us, yet haven't taken the time to understand what we have already been through.

I understand the extreme change that is coming. I am preparing for the “not so perfect” issues that will arise and am praying about how we are going to work through them.

Just because it has been an unconventional relationship, doesn't mean that someone else knows better than those who are on the frontlines with us.

I know that our “normally crazy life” is going to become even more wild, and that we are again going to go through growing pains of sorts.

When is anything worthwhile in life easy?

We will just push through our boundaries and laugh and cry together, as we have always done. We will fight, and scream and test each other's patience, as we have always done. We will love each other hard, and never walk away angry…

As we have always done.

We take risks in life. Getting married is a risk, having a baby is a risk, moving, changing jobs, all risks. This part of my life is no more a risk then anyone elses choices.

The people we will surround ourselves with are those who are going to help encourage us, not try to destroy us. They are the ones who will cry with us, and wipe our tears, not create new ones…and I am truly thankful for the people who have been genuinely happy for me. For those who have jumped in to help plan and add excited to be a part of our future.

So, if you are one of those people, you are more then welcome to join us in this part of our journey. If you are not, and I have become pretty good at recognizing who those people are, then feel free to watch from the sidelines.

It doesn't matter how big your team is, it only matters how strong the members are!!

Stay tuned as we grow into our new normal!  

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

None Like Him by Jen Wilkin Book Review and Giveaway

I have only made it through a few of the chapters in this book, because my life is so crazy busy, but I really wanted to share with you all.

I know that God is different from me. I always have, but I was intrigued by this book and to dig a little deeper into some of the characteristics of God.

There are some really great stories that being this home to me. I like how the writer was able to capture everyday moments and turn them in a way to show the stark differences.

It is amazing how when we think that our lives are just about us, we can turn what we are going through, what we are doing, what we see, into an avenue to learn more about the difference between God and man.

At the end of each characteristic chapter are questions that will make you think harder, and dig deeper into the realm of differences between us and to bring us to a better understanding of why these are so very important for us to know.

I am excited to continue reading through this and spending time on the questions. To dig deeper and to open my heart to learn  and grow more, and to build my relationship even stronger then ever.

This would make a great book for a ladies group Bible Study as well, and it would be interesting to hear others points of view!!

I have a copy to give away and I'm going to make this an easy entry

Check out their Facebook page

And also check out where you can buy a copy of you want one and don't win at Amazon

Contest entry!!

Tell me in the comments how you would use this book... Personal study, ladies group, sharing with your family etc...

I will do the draw on May 18 at 10pm EST

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book to review. All opinions and comments in this post are my own.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pampers Celebrates the Small Moments #BetterForBaby

Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.

With 5 kids now ages 7-19, I can remember back to the early days...

The smell of their heads, the wiggly little toes, the milestones that they each would reach at different moments.

I miss it, though not enough to have another;)

I love this video that Pampers has released, showing the little moments in our children's lives and how much they impact even us, as parents.

To be honest, I was very close to tears watching this video...and was humming along with it as well...

You can check out the video here:

The video reminds me of the nights that I gave up to feed, to rock, to cuddle.

It also reminds me of how fast time is flying...My oldest is almost 20!

What do you do to make life #BetterForBaby?  Tweet it out and share with everyone!  What a great way to celebrate those moments that we may take for granted - CELEBRATE THE MOMENTS!!

On the YouTube page, you can find links to see how Pampers makes life #BetterForBaby