Category: Random


To the men out there who are real dads I wish you all an early but wonderful happy Fathers Day.

When I say real dads I mean the men who are always there for their children no matter what or where they are in the world, they’ll stop and do everything they can for their children. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing it with a partner in the same home, co-parent because you and your spouse split up, are a single dad or perhaps a step-dad who loves a kid(s) that even though they’re not yours by blood you love them as if they were.

To this day I don’t know my biological dad but I was very fortunate that my mom fell in love with someone who loved me like one of his own and to this day has been there for not only me but my son whenever we needed him. It doesn’t matter that we aren’t blood family he has been there since the start and for that I will be forever appreciative of. I’ll never be able to show him how much he truly means to me as a dad but I hope he knows how loved he is. So thank you for being there and I hope you all enjoy your day.

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Every body is a beach body

SO PUT ON THE DAMN SWIMSUIT AND ENJOY YOURSELF ! ! !

I find myself telling a friend or two the same thing every year “We’re going to the beach to have fun, there will always be someone more skinnier than you, more fit or bigger than you and they’re not going to give a damn what you’re wearing so just have fun” but have never took my own advice, I know bad me how dare I bla bla bla

I don’t remember what age I was when I got my first real bikini but I’m sure I was probably excited to wear the it because maybe just maybe I would feel just as beautiful as my step sister and all her friends when they wore theirs. However when I saw them in their suits and me in mine I got that harsh realization that my body will never look like theirs but tried to ignore it and enjoy just being in the water swimming.

When I was in my very early teens years, I got boobs, my families big hips and their big ol’ bubble butt. I had begged/dreamed for some curves like my favorite singer, actors…etc or even like some of the girls who were dancers at my school. However life (more so genetics)  decided that it should all be settled on my thighs and my waist. These were not the curves I’d envisioned when I’d submitted my requests an I immediately felt like I got the shaft. All the other women in my family were gorgeous and confident. Even my little cousin rocked her beautiful freckles that looked like they were placed on her face by the worlds greatest painters. My dreams of lounging on the beach or pool side in a cute bikini were gone and I scrambled to try to find a “look” that would work for me. I ended up with going for the “surfer look” and rock out the board shorts and bikini top. Which ended up working out for me after because I got more active. I’ve never had a six pack but my flattish tummy was good enough for me to case any of my insecurities away until I was having fun in the moment. It also helped that I kept convincing myself that board shorts were a good option because you don’t have awkward wedges with board shorts like you do picking out a bikini bottom that decided it wanted to live it’s dream of being a thong.

Life went on, the summer seasons did too and during my pregnancy with my son, I felt beautiful. I would of liked to tell people that but was still a little shy / insecure because I’ve become that person who kind of just blends in. Like it felt okay to admit that I felt like I had a natural beauty because I was harboring a human. I was legit glowing and the curves felt like they were in all the right places and I didn’t compare my body to anyone else because I was growing a person inside me and that felt like a miraculous situation all in it’s own but I couldn’t just say “I’m beautiful” out loud yet.

My son was born, my body changed as bodies do with time and age and having a baby. And I dreaded the up coming swimsuit season all over again, even wondering if I would even attempt to put one on. I dreaded the times when my thighs and my stomach would be on display next to others.

As I mentioned I’ve been “fit and healthy” but have always had a little more meat on my bones and the reality is… there are really big things worth fearing in this world. And yet I feared a damn swimsuit.

My body has been torn all apart and put back together during my c-section / other life events, I’ve always fluctuated in my weight. I’ve gone through somethings that made me think maybe I wouldn’t know this body of mine anymore as I once did. That perhaps I’d only be a soul wandering around being too busy no raising my little human on my own to ever really focus on me and I wonder now… what did I miss because I wouldn’t wear the damn swimsuit?!

I have had more anxiety at times over the thought of wearing a suit than I did when I would go 4x4ing or that time when I was scared sitting in the back of my Dad’s truck going backwards down a mountain side cause the breaks failed. Even more importantly I’ve realized this: if in my almost 30 years, there hasn’t been a year in more than 2 decades that I can recall being one hundred percent “comfortable” in any sort of clothing…that I’m the one holding myself back. I’m the one comparing my legs, stomach, skin and even my big ol’ booty. And I gotta let it go. If I want to truly live in the moment of the moments… I’ve got to Elsa the situation and just let it go all while being my fabulous self.

I haven’t done it for long but this is what I’ve learned so far…

Wear the damn swimsuit. Just wear it. If you want to be in on the action splashing with kiddos soaking up the sun, not caring if you get soaked. Not caring that your thighs are friends who are constantly hugging or if you want to look at it as being one step closer to being a mermaid just wear the damn swimsuit and have fun.

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Eat the burger! Enjoy your favorite food because hating food or being scared of what it will do to your body it will only cause bigger issues. Just keep it all in moderation and enjoy it all because much like yourself food is amazing.

Dance when there’s no dance floor. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the kitchen, bathroom, hallway if you wanna dance do it.

Sing like you’re on The Voice. In the shower. In your car. On the stage if you have the courage to do that just sing it loud and proud.

Take a moment to just sit there with the sun on your face and enjoy the warmth.

Or take a moment sipping on a warm drink listening to the rain hit the ground.

Tell someone “Thank you” even if it was just them holding the door for you or the cashier ringing in your groceries.

Call someone and say “I love you

If you miss someone or have been meaning to reach out to someone just do it. Pick up the phone and call them.

Snuggle your kiddo, dog, cat, spouse, whoever you care about just a little longer because our time with them isn’t promised.

Let the dishes wait, because there will always be dishes.

Let the clothes in the dryer sit there a little longer and enjoy the afternoon with friends / family because much like the dishes laundry never goes away.

Write, share and tell your story. It doesn’t have to be on a blog or public either. Go to the store or look online for a journal and write down your memories / story there.

Life is shorter than short, we all already say “Can you believe it’s already {insert time of year here}” just wear the damn swimsuit and enjoy life.

Maybe your morning was so crazy that you forgot to put that permission slip in your kiddos school bag. Or did you turned your back for one second and your five year old tripped over their own toys and bumped their head or perhaps your newly walking little one just also had their first sip of coffee because you didn’t think they could reach it on the table just yet.

It’s ok, just breath and remember that this doesn’t make you a bad parent because guess what….WE ALL MESS UP!!!

As a parent we want nothing more to make sure our children are safe, properly cared for and know how loved they are. However life can and will just throw you an unseen curve ball which results in a scrapped knee, bump on the head or slip onto the bum. When these moments happen we already feel bad enough that we weren’t there to “save” our kiddos but the extra judgemental looks / comments that come from those around us don’t make the situation any better. So here is that reminder you may need to hear right now:

You are only human and even those who aren’t parents make mistakes and mess up too. No one is perfect and we’re all trying our best.

Now this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to prevent things from happening. Store cleaners / chemicals properly, have window locks so even if a bedroom window is open a crack no one can call out of, teach your kiddo to wear their helmet, the list can and will always go on for your own home / situation. All we can do is try to be the best parent we can be for our children and keep in mind that most accidents are just that accidents that no matter how much you planned and prepared for this one incident would of happened no matter what.

Hopefully this little blog entry is just what you needed to hear today, because I know that I need this reminder once in a while too.

 

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This post is a day early but I’m sure many of you reading this won’t seem to care about that after you read it……

I would like to take a moment to thank all those who don’t always get thanked and are normally over looked for what you do. Thank you to the moms who do the work of two not because you wanted to but because you had to for your children as a single parent. Thank you to the moms who are truly there for their children and put themselves dead last after everyone else even strangers are taken care of. Thank you to the moms who were scared when they found out they would be a mom but have blossomed into a wonderful loving and caring mom. A special thank you to the dads who have to act like moms because single parent dads get over looked all the time.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom to be or a mom to a living baby, have had the horrible misfortune of having a miscarriage, still birth, or your little one (some times not so little ones) died due to some terrible accident. To the step parents, grandparents, aunts / uncles, foster parents, adoptive parents and other people who are a mom to someone they didn’t give birth too I would like to wish every mom ( and single dads playing two roles) out there a very happy Mothers Day.

Now put down the technology and spend the day with your loved ones making new memories and having fun. Maybe also take a moment to be thankful for the moms who aren’t around anymore, they still matter as well because if not for them you wouldn’t be here or be who you are.

 

Being a parent you will get asked some random questions, most of the time it’s by our kids wanting to know things like “But why can’t we have a pet wolf? I’d love it and pet it” or “Cookies have food groups in them so they must be good for breakfast“.  However parents of  children with special needs (in my case a child with autism) the random / weird questions I get often come from people in our lives or total strangers. The questions only get more odd once they find out I’m a single parent to boot. Here are some of the things I hear along with my response.

Person – “Have you tried a specialized diet?” 
Me – “Have you ever tried dressing a snail?” {insert pause} “Oh you were serious. How would a diet help my child? He already eats pretty well and I’m lucky that he loves fruits”

Person- “Really? He has autism?  He looks so normal”
Me – “Well I could throw some wolf ears on him if it helps but I’m pretty sure we both rather just have you understand that not all disabilities are visible”

Person – “But he’s so happy and full of energy”
Me – “Yea…..because he is a kid. Did you assume that he is going to be miserable lump on the ground just because he has Autism?”

Person – “I’m sure it’s just a faze and he’ll grow out of it”
Me – “I didn’t know you specialized in children with Autism, please tell me more because the professionals we go to every week say other wise”

Person – “Are you sure?”
Me – “Of what…life? or that I really should or shouldn’t be buying my fourth coffee of the morning?”

Person – “I’m so sorry”
Me – “Why? What did you do?”

Person – “And you’re doing it all on your own, how do you manage to do it?”
Me – “Have you heard of caffeine?”

Person – “I’m sure there’s a nice man out there just waiting to meet you and help you with your son”
Me – “…yea……doubt that. Most people run when they hear that I’m a single mom let alone a single mom to a child with autism. So if he is out there he can find us because I’m not spending any of my limited extra energy looking for them”

These are just a sample of the questions I get, yes they are random and as you can tell I reply mostly with sarcasm because unless it’s a real question about autism I’m not going to give it any real attention. Now I should make it clear that I didn’t write this entry to be rude / vent. My goal is that people will remember that it’s ok to ask questions just don’t ask judgemental ones or ones that are just dumb. Instead when you see a parent (because it doesn’t matter if they’re a single parent or not) say something like this…..

“Your son/ daughter is really lucky to have you as their advocate/parent”

“I hope you remember to take a breather for yourself at some point today”

“You’re doing a great job”

“I hear so much about autism but don’t know that much really about it, what can you tell me?”

The point of this entry is to remember people (single parents or not), autistic children/ children in general, any one young or old with a disability (visible or not) we are all human beings — every judgment you make about them, even more so in front of them, affect them it doesn’t matter if they react to it or not. They think and feel things just as everyone else does, sometimes they can just feel them in different ways. Every parent of an autistic child can spend a great percentage of every day of their life advocating for their child, and if it isn’t apparent to you that the child is autistic — that might just show you how hard everyone is working together to make the life of the child fuller, easier and happier all around.

So to keep up with April being Autism Awareness / Acceptance month I wanted to share this animated video.

In my opinion it is by far one of the best videos for children of all ages to see so those who are on the spectrum get a little more compassion/understanding.

 

 

 

At first I wasn’t sure how / if I was even going to share this on the blog but with today being the start to Autism Awareness Month I think it would be rather fitting to finally share it.

I am writing this in hopes that someone can help or perhaps a bunch of people can help. I’ve already contacted many children’s charities, autism foundations as well as big name companies only to be turned away and I’m starting to feel deterred in even asking for help anymore. Like many parents with children who have Autism daily tasks that are simple and enjoyable for other children can be a huge task to even start for our family (like going for a walk when it’s nice out). For those who have read my blog before you are aware that my soon to be eight year old little man is on the spectrum and was diagnosed a couple of years back with being high functioning autism. Even though he is a happy, healthy little boy like anyone on the spectrum has his challenges it’s why I’m asking for help with our GoFund Me to help make his life a little easier. You see we are without a vehicle and when we had a vehicle (it was under Keegan’s biological fathers name and when we divorced he sold it) Keegan loved going on nature walks, special events (mostly train or animal related), camping and going on other random adventures that little did he know were educational all while being fun. Since 2013 Keegan and I have had to rely on family/friends for help, however since a majority of them work a standard 9 to 5  we can only get transportation help on weekends which means that during the week Keegan and I take public transit. This is overly tricky for Keegan since he gets overstimulated by the sounds/smells on public transit. Since we have no other option and are stuck to rely on public transit Keegan regularly shows up to appointments physically tired from being overstimulated, can’t focus at the tasks that need to be done and has mood issues/out bursts. If this wasn’t an issue in itself he has also missed out on school field trips, birthday parties, specialized events (like the ones held by the Canucks Autism Network and Pacific Autism Family Network) and even after school programs such as soccer, swimming lessons, gymnastics..etc. I know that asking for help with a vehicle is a lot to ask for but hopefully someone can help so Keegan can help feel like a “normal” kid and partake in things that he shows interests in.

I’ve already contacted every children’s charity, autism support group/organization/charity, Justin Trudeau /my city mayor / city counsel / other branches of the government, every local vehicle dealership and big name companies…etc all to be told “We’re sorry to hear about you and Keegan story but at this time there is nothing we can do to help” . Charities (like Variety, United Way, Presidents Choice Children’s Charity..etc) say “Funding is limited” or ” We don’t help with transportation have you tried contacting local companies“. Meanwhile those companies reply with “Sorry we don’t help individuals only charities , have you tried them?“.  I have even applied for disability grants, low income grants and children’s with disability grants all to be told they can’t help with transportation either. I have well over a hundred e-mails (No, I’m not exaggerating) to show that all these places that claim to help children with disabilities don’t really want to help ALL the children with disabilities even if their parent has letters from professionals (like their child’s pediatrician and speech therapist) backing up their request for help along with every piece of medical history showing that their child does in fact have autism.  Even our GoFund Me hasn’t had much help, don’t get me wrong I am very grateful for any donation no matter how big or small but I just though that perhaps with it being shared well over 200+ times we would of had more donations by now (as of writing this we’re at $20).

I’ve started asking for help and applying for grants at the start of this year and every day since then I’ve heard some sort of “No, we’re not going to help your son” even when asking if they could just share our GoFund Me link. I’m a mixed of emotions (angered at the so called children’s charities / autism foundations, frustrated at the situation as a whole, saddened by the fact that it seems like I really am doing this all on my own which feels like it’s going to take forever since we’re considered / are low income…etc) and as much as I feel like giving up I know I won’t/can’t because it truly would make my son’s life so much easier / better for him . It’s just now getting harder for me to stay true to myself when I am then asked for help by those in my son/my life or even complete strangers (Yes, I’m that person who will give a stranger my shirt or buy a homeless person a warm drink / meal…etc )because even though it’s easy to turn people away or leave someone in the lurch some times the smallest gesture can give someone hope and help them better themselves even if it is just for 24hours or perhaps change their mind about helping out others when they see someone in need of a helping hand.

If you want to read more about my son and my story or help our GoFund Me (by sharing or donating) our story can be found here :

https://www.gofundme.com/letsmakelivingwithautismeasier

I don’t really know how else to end this blog entry other than by saying that it really is true that parents will try to do everything / anything to help their children and to those who may be in a similar situation as my son and me don’t give up. I know you feel like you want to but don’t do it, you will find a way ❤

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Has something ever shown up in your social media feed and hit real close to home. Well that’s what happened to me last night. Like most people I was laying in bed, gwacking at my cell phone because I couldn’t fall asleep and after mindlessly scrolling down my feed I came across a blog post by another mommy whose words rang so very true. Here is what she wrote….

“More often than not, there are days when no coffee in the world can touch your exhaustion. And when you’re ready to tag in your partner, oh wait…that’s you. You’re it.

There are times when things just don’t seem fair, and you know what, it’s probably because they aren’t. But you rise above anyway.

There are moments, many moments, when you question whether or not one person is capable of all you are called to duty for, and whether a human body is equipped for it or not. But somehow you find a way.

There are evenings when all is quiet in the house, and you feel not only a sense of relief, but also pain from the deafening silence. It seems inconceivable that someone could feel both of these things simultaneously, but it is indeed possible.

There are mornings when you wish you could ask for just a few more minutes, but no, those little humans are waiting and ready and depending on you. When you’re called up to the plate, there is no substitute.

There are situations where you simply stop dead in your tracks and ask, “Why?” followed by a quick, “And how will I…?” Despite usually not getting your answer, you still put one foot in front of the other and off you go.

You’re one person for a job that requires more like four.

You’re one caretaker who yearns for the day when you, too, will be taken care of. But until then, you will push on.

You’re one provider living in an economy where the majority of the time it takes at least two incomes to even scrape by.

You’re one parent who is beating the odds, more often than not doing what seems unmanageable even when there are two.

But while you’re one, you’re doing it. Some days are harder than others, but here you are—one more day. Just when you say you can’t, seconds later you are living “I can.”

To all single parents: You were, you are, and you will. You’re incredible.

Here’s to one more day of being a gladiator.”

I don’t know if it was because of the lack of sleep, caffeine levels being very low or the fact that I just found out my washer decided to demolish itself from the inside out but what she wrote was something that I needed to hear. I’m a single parent and yes there are times where I wish someone would just tell me “You know you’re acting dumb, but I still love you” while giving me a kiss on the forehead and a much needed hug. However that’s just not in the cards  for me right now (by my own doing) and you know what that’s ok, it doesn’t change the fact that I will doing anything for my son or change how much I enjoy the time we spend together.  It also doesn’t change the fact that I’m doing the work of many on my own, which even though I’d enjoy a vacation I’m oddly ok with. All this being said I hope that her words make you feel better as well.

Here is the link to Regans’ original blog post:
http://www.scarymommy.chttp://www.scarymommy.com/single-parent-pushes-on/om/single-parent-pushes-on/

Being a parent is one of the greatest joys in life, but it also is one of the most challenging experiences one can possibly face. From the sweet moments of laughing and watching your little one discover new things to the difficult moments like an unexpected tantrum over the wrong color cup. No matter what you are always there for them… and sometimes, it can be really easy to get worn out.

I came across  Bethany Jacobs in my news feed and saw a letter she wrote where she describes some of those highs and lows. The lows can feel unbearable, but Bethany has three words for the moms (any parent really) who feel they’re failing: “You are enough”. I’ll share her letter below, it has already touched the hearts of so many moms– and dads- out there.

” To the mom hiding in her bathroom, needing peace for just one minute, as the tears roll down her cheeks..

To the mom who is so tired she feel likes she can’t function anymore and would do anything to lay down and get the rest she needs…

To the mom sitting in her car, alone, stuffing food in her face because she doesn’t want anyone else to see or know she eats that stuff…

To the mom crying on the couch after she yelled at her kids for something little and is now feeling guilty and like she is unworthy…

To the mom that is trying desperately to put those old jeans on because all she really wants is to look in the mirror and feel good about herself…

To the mom that doesn’t want to leave the house because life is just too much to handle right now…

To the mom that is calling out for pizza again because dinner just didn’t happen the way she wanted it to…

To the mom that feels alone, whether in a room by herself or standing in a crowd…

You are enough.
You are important.
You are worthy.

This is a phase of life for us. This is a really really hard, challenging, crazy phase of life.

In the end it will all be worth it. But for now it’s hard. And it’s hard for so many of us in many different ways. We don’t always talk about it, but it’s hard and it’s not just you.

You are enough.
You are doing your best.
Those little eyes that look up at you – they think you are perfect. They think you are more than enough.

Those little hands that reach out to hold you – they think you are the strongest. They think you can conquer the world.

Those little mouths eating the food you gave them – they think that you are the best because their bellies are full.

Those little hearts that reach out to touch yours – they don’t want anything more. They just want you.

Because you are enough. You are more than enough, mama.

You. Are. Amazing. ”

The original post can be found on her Facebook page (it’s also posted below), if you’re looking for a group that was originally founded out of a moms need for support and community in the early days and months of motherhood than I think her page is one you should check out.
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It’s that time of year again but this year instead of a necklace you can show your support via these lovely earrings. They can be bough at any London Drugs location across British Columbia and Alberta, are only $20 and the proceeds go to the newly built Pacific Autism Family Centre

The puzzle piece to me has many meanings the most important part is that it is a small piece to help represent my son. No matter what he will always be my son, my world, my heart and my reason for doing a lot of the things I do. Without him I wouldn’t have a complete picture and don’t think my life, much like a puzzle, would ever be complete.

Autism is something we’re still trying to understand since everyone who is effected by autism is affected differently, even if they are on the same part of the spectrum. I’ve mentioned the following groups / sites before for those looking for support / information or just to see that you’re not alone and your child (or yourself) will be just fine even though they have autism. Autism doesn’t need a cure it needs understanding and less ignorance by those who don’t have it in their lives either by themselves, family or friends. There are many successful people who have kept their autism quiet in fear or being judged or thought less of. We hear about some of their stories but in the end anyone autism or not are capable of wonderful things and can be/do anything they work for.

In case you missed the links to the group / sites I normally mention when I bring up autism awareness here they are again.

Pacific Autism Family Centre,
a centre of excellence / network of supports for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (both young and old) and their families across the province.
http://pacificautismfamily.com/

Bryan’s’ group
, it is a great source of support for those with Autism or parents / friends of those who are living with Autism:
https://www.facebook.com/AspergerSyndromeAwareness/

Autism Speaks Canada, has lots of information and goes into deeper detail then I ever could.
http://www.autismspeaks.ca/

Canucks Autism Network (CAN), they provide year-round, high- quality sports, recreational, arts, and social programs for individuals and families living with autism, while spreading awareness and providing training in communities across British Columbia.
http://www.canucksautism.ca/