Category: Random


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 ❤

blue-puzzle-pieces-and-paint-splashes-background_23-2147491304

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.
screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-3-39-39-pm

 

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-6-29-23-pm
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/

Sorry for my absence….

Life gets crazy no matter who you are.

My life as of lately has been sort of a gong show mixed with a delicate balancing act, kind of like one you’d see at Cirque Du Soleil. I wanted to take a quick moment to say I am sorry if you have been waiting for a yummy new recipe, life update or any of my randomness. I will be posting again soon but just need a few more weeks before getting back to my weekly posts.

I promise to make it up with something super yummy.
screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-10-26-01-am

More than meets the eye…

When you see a disabled person, do you think about the person beyond the disability? Do you make an effort know the person behind the face you see?

Same goes for if you see someone who looks “normal“, do you ever think their disability is an act for attention or an excuse to get out of responsibilities ?

The bottom line is a person with a disability is a person first, and their disability only make a small part of who they are.

No one wants to be treated different, feel left out or alone. Many over come their disabilities or find ways to cope but when they then speak out about them there is a lot of judgement where there should be understanding.  This needs to change. There are so many people who keep their mental disabilities / struggles to themselves (myself one of them) in fear of being treated different, shown pity or judged. When I finally open up to people about my anxiety, insomnia and newly diagnosed PTSD  (Ok, not so new I was diagnosed in 2013) people seem to be taken back and don’t know how to react. Which is fine at first, because all they have got to know/see is someone who is compassionate, strong willed, understanding, appears to have her shit together…etc. My son gets the same reaction which I’m sure he’ll learn to smirk at or shrug off because he is so much more than his autism. We all have our struggles no matter if they’re physical, mental or us just trying to deal with what life has thrown our way. In the end people need to show more compassion/understanding, not just show pity but try to actually see a persons worth and ability through their disability.

Yes I have my mental disabilities but I am so much more. I am a single mom to a wonderful little boy. I’m a person who rather spend time in the company of animals then with people. I’m someone who is compassionate, very empathetic,  yet is quick witted and very clever. I am a certified trained chef, music junkie (My playlist has everything from classical to dub-step, metal to R&B..etc), lover of the arts and outdoors. My Anxiety, Insomnia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are all just a small part of me and the positive traits that make me who I am are so much better than the mental disability labels that people like to put on me.

Compassion is something that seems to be fading away in today’s world and I’m writing this in hopes that it helps people remember that a little understanding goes a lone way. Show it not only towards those with disabilities but to everyone. You never know what someone is going through and sometimes offering to listen judgement free helps more than anyone would ever think. So please remember to be kind, show compassion and just learn to love people for who they are and not just the labels that society may put on them.

….be grateful.

It’s easy to get swept up in the every day mindset of always wanting more, or doing better and that’s not a bad thing. Having goals / personal drive is something we should all have however that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be grateful for what we do have.

We see it on the news, hear it on the radio, read it in our Social Media feds there are many families who do struggle and go without. It’s more reason to take a moment to truly appreciate what you do have in your life, a roof over your head, warm food, clean clothes to wear, a place to lay your head to rest, the list could easily go on.

Maybe while you’re taking that moment to realize what you have to be grateful for you can also find it in you to pass it forward and give to a local charity. It doesn’t have to be money, maybe there is an old pair of shoes you don’t wear anymore, some clothes that don’t fit, old books or household goods. There are many charities that will accept all of this and much much more. They will even make sure it gets into the hands of someone truly in need of it, and who knows that one simple gesture may just be what someone needs to make a real difference in their life.

With all this in mind, please be grateful for the things you do have no matter how big or small they might be. However don’t also forget to be kind and show some compassion towards others not only at this time of year but all year as well.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Festive Kwanza, Blessed Yule…etc. Whatever you are celebrating I hope you have a good time filled with loved ones, wonderful new memories and full bellies.

A small thank you….

I’m going to start off by saying that I did not write this, it came up in my news feed and I had to spread the message along. As a mom to a little one on the autism spectrum I can relate to it on many levels, even with my son now being in grade two.

The original blog came from From The Bowels of Motherhood a mom who writes about raising three littles, autism and military family life. Here is what she wrote….

This is your first week of kindergarten. You are nervous and excited. You are getting into a new routine and meeting new friends. One of those new friends is my boy. He comes into your class only for a half hour each day because being in there all day would be too much for him. He goes to recess with you, but he has a grownup right there with him because sometimes he tries to runaway and he doesn’t always understand playground rules.

When I saw the two of you holding hands today, my eyes filled with tears and my heart filled with joy. I know you don’t understand why it means so much to me that my son has a friend. I know you are happy to play with a boy who is filled with life and laughter. I won’t say thank you for being his friend, because I know you like him for him and not to get a pat on the back.  

I do have a favor to ask you, though.  Right now your days are filled with story time, play time and crafts and you both do pretty well side by side.  But, you see, my son has autism and I know there will come a time when you will start to notice his differences. 

You’ll notice the holes in every shirt he has because when he’s anxious he chews on his collar. You’ll notice he runs back and forth and flaps his hands when he’s excited. You may start to notice he often talks a little too loudly.  You will start to wonder why he covers his ears when he’s surrounded by people. You will start to notice the stares from other kids when he gets upset about seemingly little things.  You will notice he often asks the same question over and over again.  You will see he often gets stuck on a subject and can’t always move on to talk about something else.  You will start to wonder why he rides a different bus or why he spends so much time in another classroom. You will notice he does different school work and he can’t ride a bike. You will hear other kids making fun of him. You will then realize he doesn’t understand they’re mocking him. These epiphanies won’t hit you all at once, but I know they’re coming just the same.  

For today, I am going to hold onto and cherish the image of the two of you holding hands, blissfully unaware of your differences.  But as time goes by and you start to notice, I ask with all my heart that you don’t let go.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-9-10-26-am
A special thank you to the mom for writing this and expressing the emotions / thoughts that I have had many times. A big thank you to the little man in my son’s class who has become his friend and looks out for him, I really must meet your parents to give them the biggest hug on raising such an awesome little man.  For everyone else, I hope this can serve as a reminder that people with autism or any mental health issue have so much going on already that all they need is a little understanding / compassion. They still want to learn, have fun and be included like everyone else.