Archive for the ‘Lessons for life’ Category

Work by design summit

June 4, 2016

Over the past few months, I’ve been reading a few different blogs, and picking up a few different tips about how to function more efficiently in all aspects of life.

The most recent resource I participared in was the Work by Design summit, hosted by Claire Diaz-Ortiz. Claire was an early employee at Twitter, and helped shape the experience.

Access is available to the Work by Design Summit here.

Exhaustion

February 8, 2016

There are some days, even weeks, that feel like they suck the life out of you.

Thus week has had a few of those. Some of the behaviours and defiance are just enough to make me wish I could crawl under a rock.

I was talking to another parent who has adopted a couple of kids with FASD. I commended her for making it. She said the teen years can be tough, especially with hormones and all of the fun that’s on with that.

There has been so much going on that I just feel wrung out.

In the past couple of months , I came across a new to me blog, Confessions of an adoptive parent, blogged by Mike and Kristin Berry.

They have been wiring for a while. They have adopted some kids with special needs, including FASD.

They have just launched a podcast called Honestly Speakimg, which can be found on their website. It can also be found on iTunes.

They also offer a free resource, “The Weary Parent’s Guide to Escaping Exhaustion”, for subscribing to their email.

I have found several posts to be right where I’m living at the moment.

Vacation at Disney World

November 16, 2015

We recently returned home from two weeks away from home traveling to Disney World In Florida.

It was fun to travel and see the sights. It was good to get home, as well.

One thing that made our time in the parks easier was Disney’s Disability Access Service Card. This is available to anyone with a disability, visible or invisible. No medical documentation is required to obtain it.

It allows the holder and their party to go to a ride, and get a time to return, based on the current wait time. While waiting, it is possible to go and do something else until the return time.  When this is combined with Fast passes, it really makes a big dent in wait times. There were very few times that we waited more than about 20 to 30 minutes. Most wait times weren’t really long, but some were up to 90 minutes.

We stayed on the property, which makes things easier, as travel is minimized

We stayed for 10 nights and spent each day in the parks. It may seem like quite a bit, but it gave us lots of time for get everything done, without too much rushing.

Disney isn’t cheap, but the experience us well done. Even when we had challenges, the cast members were very accommodating.

It will likely be a couple of years before we go again. It was a worthwhile trip .

Exhausting days

August 3, 2015

There are some seasons of life that are exhausting.

I have heard it said that the days are long and the years are short with young kids.

Don’t be afraid to ask parents of young kids, especially if they have kids with special needs, if they need to talk, or have a break. You have no idea the encouragement it could make to someone who may be hanging by a thread.

Developmental phases

November 9, 2014

There are certain phases of life that parents dread.

One is the barrage of “Why?” questions, about pretty much everything in life.

Another is the tattling of siblings on each other.

From what I have heard, it seems the why question seems to pop up around the age of three.  Reid started asked it quite frequently within the last month or so.  Sometimes he’ll get a “Why not?” back.  He is approaching the age of five, but that milestone seems to be more consistent with where he is at.

This morning, as the boys were eating breakfast, Reid complained that “Tate is looking at me”.

Again, one of those annoying little things, but it is nice to see and hear these typical developmental milestones, even though it may be a bit late.

Sometimes phases seem to last forever, but eventually they will pass.

I read something quite recently, you never know it will be the last time you do something – tuck in a child, pick up a child, throw him over your head, or get ready to send them off to school….. elementary, high school, or college.

Time is slipping quickly away.

Fingerpainting

November 24, 2013

It never ceases to amaze me what kids can pull off.

After about two hours of quiet, we thought it would be a good idea to get Reid up from his nap.

I open the door, and saw the little monkey had been finger painting. With zinc oxide cream. At least it wasn’t poo.

What. A. Mess. All over his bed, dresser, clothes. The wood cleaned up with dish soap and water.

Google had some great tips for cleaning the clothes. After the vinegar soak, we’ll see how the wash turns out.

The moral of the story:

Where there is a will, there is a way.  A strong-willed child can accomplish so much.

Things that matter

June 4, 2013

It is a common misconception that there overnight successes

The “overnight success” may have taken five to ten years of working evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays to become the apparent “overnight success”.

I spent a few hours this afternoon listening to Jon Acuff reading his audiobook “Quitter” talking about his “overnight” success.

He tells of his journey through advertising and working for several years in the IT department of a number of companies writing material and honing his skills as he eventually got his dream job as a writer as part of the Dave Ramsey group.  He started his wildly successful blog “Stuff Christians Like (stuffchristianslike.net, which now points to jonacuff.com/stuffchristianslike) while working for another company in Atlanta.  He traveled to speak on weekends while he worked for another company.

Anyhow, Jon talked about how we all are busy and don’t necessarily have “enough” time for anything.  We have to stop shooting for perfection, because it is not achievable.  We should shoot for great.  Great and published or finished is better than perfect and stuck in your head.

He also talked about the importance of being great at your day job, and it will spill over into the rest of your life.

It was definitely good food for thought.

Make some time and get started.  I’m talking to myself as well.

Going out for supper

April 7, 2013

As we are busy with kids, it is important to remember to spend time with each of them individually.

Since of our two has special needs, it is an extra challenge.  It is too easy to let the additional needs of the one sweep over the whole family dynamic.

Tonight we had an opportunity to do something a bit different.

I won a gift certificate for a new local restaurant a couple of months ago in a Facebook giveaway. We talked about going for supper there tonight, and decided to take our older one and leave the younger one with a sitter.

It was nice to go and have a relatively quiet meal.

As an aside, I would offer two pieces of advice – one for parents of special needs kids, and one for those around those parents.

For the parents, spend time alone with all your kids.  Don’t forget all your kids need your time

For those around them, offer to help create opportunities to make it happen.  Offer to spend some time with kids to free up time for the other ones.  And don’t forget the parents need to spend time with each other

A different take on kids with special needs – their siblings

March 19, 2013

I read a post this morning on lovethatmax.com about Max’s sister, and the impact his special needs have on her.

To be honest, I haven’t really thought about the impact that a child with special needs can have on siblings, and even the whole family.

There are several things that I do with Reid by himself.  There are a number of reasons.

Sandra often takes Tate to different activities, and I have Reid.  I find it less exhausting to push Reid around the grocery store for an hour and get groceries than to chase him around at home.  We get groceries out the way as part of the deal as well.

Tate complains that it’s not fair that he doesn’t get to go (you know the voice). He forgets about all he does that Reid doesn’t and won’t do because of their differences.

It is important to make time for all kids with each parent individually, especially when there are challenges in their situation.

The ‘R’ bomb

March 6, 2013

As I have become aware that one of my children has special needs, I have started becoming more aware of many things.

One thing is the use of the word “retard” as an insult. I am relatively new in this path, and he is only 3, so the awareness isn’t really there yet

I read a very insightful post at lovethatmax.com offering a quiz about why that word is offensive.

Check it out.


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