Just Keep Swimming


So as I was going through Facebook the other day a friend of mine posted her status “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!  Dory had it right”.  I have to say after the past few weeks I would have to agree with her (both my friend and Dory).  It has certainly been a challenging few weeks both in the media and on a personal side but as our lovely Finding Nemo friend reminds us “Just Keep Swimming”.

 

First off in the news the past few weeks we have been shocked and saddened by a few stories such as the events that unfolded last night in New York when a mother came home to find that her Nanny had killed her two kids and herself.  A fellow blogger I know wrote a post about it this evening and I felt that instead of me writing about it you should read her take by copying and pasting this link:

http://loulousviews.blogspot.ca/2012/10/unspeakable-horror.html?spref=tw

 

On a more personal note I have been dealing with a few issues with my son and myself (I am currently in a cast for the next 4 to 6 weeks with a fractured bone and sprained ankle and really not too happy about it) recently.  My son has been having some issues at school and it got serious enough that I had to go and get him from school on Wednesday and his mom had to go and get him on Thursday.  The challenge with trying to get to the root of the problem with my son is that he really doesn’t tell you much and I say sometimes that getting information out of him is like pulling teeth.  I certainly worry about this because as he gets older he is going to face tougher challenges and how he learns and adapts are going to determine the person he is going to become as he gets older.  Both his mom and I work very hard with him and we of course will continue to do so, fortunately we are working with the school and his EAs and they really do seem to care for him and want him to be a success.

 

He will have his good days and bad days and we are getting pretty good and knowing when the bad days are going to happen.  For example on Thursday I knew it was going to be a bad day, I dropped the kids off at the school for the before school club and everything was fine.  As I was heading towards work I looked and saw that my daughter left her princess water bottle in the car, so I headed back to the school.  When I got there I see my daughter crying and discover that my son and her were playing a game and she knocked over his cups and he retaliated by knocking over her’s and happened to hit her at the same time.

 

I took my son for a walk outside the school to talk to him about what happened and kind of give him a restart to the day.  That worked perfectly!!  He was happy and ready to go back in and play with his Lego, then tragedy struck.  He ran towards his Lego and banged his hip right off of a desk and hit the floor, again I ran in and brought him out to the school kitchen and put an ice pack on his hip and tried to calm him down.  Again he was calm and ready to face the day, but I knew full well with so much chaos starting off his day something was bound to happen at school.  I called their mom and gave her the heads up and sure enough he had a melt down halfway through the day.

 

So today was a bit of a better day but overall it has been a very rough week for him, so keeping in the theme of my title I am going to take this weekend and have a reset with my son and daughter.  I decided to treat the kids to Ray’s Reptile Zoo tomorrow and go shopping for birthday gifts.  I am figuring that will be a fun filled day and should give my son the much needed reset he needs so that he can keep swimming next week at school.

 

There are always going to be challenges to face with both my son and daughter over the years and that is what parents sign up for and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The secret to surviving it is to enjoy the good and get through the bad and learn from it.  Each challenge we face makes us stronger if we let the negative get us down we will never be able to enjoy the positives we see in life.  So Dory may not have realized it but those simple words “Just Keep Swimming” are actually really good advice!!  Keep the positives in your mind, work through the negatives, and always know if you just keep swimming you will get to that happy destination you are looking for!!

 

All the best!!

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Why toys R Us Why!!


You have to wonder sometimes why the hottest and new toys out there always seem to be out of stock and the only way to find them is to go to the store all the time and hope you get lucky and find them. As most parents out there may have already heard of the latest and greatest game out there these days Skylanders, and as with everything else that comes out for some strange reason there is a shortage of characters for the game.

Now I thought I was ahead of the game with Skylanders, I bought it for my son’s birthday back before the Holiday rush and started getting characters whenever I happened to see some there. As this was happening I thought how great this game was for my son, each new character we would get would have new powers, open up other areas of the game itself and it was fun for all of us to play together.

Let’s fast forward to now, I have taken my son to Toys R Us, Walmart, and any other store that I think may have Skylanders only to see an empty display and a very disappointed little boy on multiple occasions. Then I look online to see if I can find some for him and see lots for sale at double, triple, or even quadruple the price!!! So after seeing this I turned to social media to find out why this is the case, according to Activision (the makers of the game) their distributors are shipping out skylanders weekly and according to the stores I have been to (Toys R Us, Walmart, etc) they hadn’t seen a shipment in three weeks. So who is lying and who is telling the truth?? I had heard rumblings that Toys R Us has been holding back stock for a big release on March 21st and that there would be plenty of Skylanders that day. Well today is March 21st and my parents are in line at Toys R Us in Florida and have been there since 8am (by the way thank you mom and dad for doing this you are the best parents/grandparents in the world) and they have been told that there are 4 different sklyanders in, they have 10 of each in stock, and you are only allowed to buy 1 per customer. I have to say that is just plain brutal!!

Thinking back to a few years ago I remember when the Wii came out, I remember the massive shortage of Wiis, the massive line ups at Toys R Us trying to get one as well as the way overpriced Wiis on ebay. Now you can walk into any store anywhere and there are plenty of Wiis for sale and for very low prices. The question I have is why?? Why is it that when something first comes out you can never find it and once the hype is over they are easy to get??

The answer to this in my opinion is simple, these companies want you in the store. If you have to come in every week to look for something that is not in stock you may buy something else. I get it, but I really think it is going too far now and may start having the opposite effect. I am at the point where I am so ticked off with these companies that if I have no other choice but to go there I will but if I can get what I need to buy elsewhere that is where my future money will go. I think if more people started doing this these companies may just smarten up and stop this strategy of limiting supply to increase demand and these scalper types who buy low to sell high would end up out of business. I read on a blog the other day about a skylander which I bought for $10 was on ebay for $75 and I feel bad for the parent that will end up paying over 7 times the retail price to get this skylander for their son or daughter.

The funny thing about this is the fact that we all know in about 6 months time there will be plenty of skylanders in stock everywhere and they will be easy to get. Unfortunately the next big thing will be out and we as parents will be forced to move heaven and earth to find the next big thing for our kids.

Good Times and Bad


My apologies for not writing something sooner, it has been a very hectic couple of weeks and I am just now managing to have a few minutes to sit down and write. As I have mentioned in the past life is always filled with good times and bad and in order to survive you have to be able to take the bad with the good.

I have spent a lot of my time focusing on the good aspects in my journey and will always do so but to be fair I have to share some of the bad as well. My partner and I have been together for 8 years or so and a few months back made the decision to separate, the reasons for this are varied and I have been dealing with it in my own way. The challenge with this of course is we have 2 children together and for the past few years my now ex has been a stay at home mom to care for our kids. She is in the process now of opening up a daycare and is slowly but surely getting it running, but due to the financial circumstances we are going to be stuck in the same house for a while. This is not the best situation to be in but right now it is the only option.

This living arrangement has been going on for a few months now and there have been some challenges associated with it. Neither one of us can really move on to the next stage of our lives until there is final closure on this part and when kids are involved you have to be able to deal with things without impacting the kids. I remember hearing a statistic when our son was diagnosed that the divorce/separation rate for parents with a child on the spectrum was 89% and thought to myself “no way would that happen to us”. Apparently I was wrong, not to say that having a child on the spectrum directly caused our relationship to crash and burn because it that is certainly not the case. My thoughts on what brought us to this point were due to a lot of circumstances that were out of our control. We never really had an opportunity to get over the bad and focus on the good, if things were bad we would have to put our own feelings on the back burner to take care of our kids, deal with a family tragedy, or move to different part of the country. As soon as the opportunity came for us to work on us another roadblock would get in the way, so after so many roadblocks I guess my partner reached a point where she felt it was impossible to go back and repair the damage our relationship had taken.

At first I was angry about the whole thing but that eventually changed to worried about the future. How will the kids react to the new living arrangements? What will it be like not having two parents in the same house? What about birthdays, Christmas, school, beavers, etc? These are questions that I can’t really get the answers to until the day that these changes come into effect. Also I have to think of myself, I am 34 years old and about to start over from scratch and that is a really frightening thought. If it is anything like the past few months I am really worried due to the fact that although I have many people around me for some reason I feel alone. Fortunately I have two amazing kids that love their dad and have the amazing ability to brighten up the darkest days.

Birthdays and Halloween!!


The next few weeks will present some very fun times and some frustration. First off the fun times, Halloween and birthdays!! Of course this Sunday will be trick or treating with the kids which is always a blast but also a challenge. With my son’s strict diet most of the candy he gets he won’t be able to eat which is kind of sad. To combat this I try to pick up some candy and chips that he can eat and just switch it out from his treat bag which seems to work well. Both kids are very excited for Halloween and have been putting on their costumes already.

Food is always a challenge when it comes to things like Halloween, birthday parties, school events, and so on. Whenever there is a birthday party my son doesn’t get to eat the cake (has his own brownies or cupcakes brought from home). When he was younger this wasn’t much of an issue but now you can tell that he wants the cake or ice cream that everyone else is eating. Even with school pizza days and hot-dog days this challenge comes up. A note came from school a little while ago and stated that he was the only kid in the class that wasn’t signed up for pizza day. Of course this would make him stand out with his peers and that can be very tough for a kid his age because we all know other kids can be cruel when someone is different. Again though there is a happy ending to this story, his teacher contacted us about this and wanted to help and we worked with them for a solution. For Pizza day the Boston Pizza near the school was nice enough to give us a deal on a package of their Gluten Free pizza crusts that we can leave at the school along with some sauce. So now on Pizza Day he gets to have pizza with all the other kids, which is fantastic. Thanks to this Boston Pizza will be getting my business from now on!!

On the Birthday side of things the kids are very excited and can’t wait to pick out their presents. I think they are both going to have a blast and these is going to be the best Birthdays yet for them. My son was also invited to a classmate’s party next weekend which is a movie party. This should prove to be very interesting as my son has never been to a movie theater before (not sure if he could actually sit still for that long). So to prepare for this I am going to take him to a movie on Sunday to see how he does. I am hoping that he will be able to handle being in the theater and can make it through the whole movie so we will see what happens I guess.

On a side note, from my branch entry.  The branch was finally taken away, so I was overjoyed to see it gone however I came home the other day from work to see a new branch sitting on the front lawn!!!

Words of Wisdom From an Unlikely Place


I was on my way to work today listening to the new album from Linkin Park and one of the songs really struck me. The name of the song is Iridescent and the message is to forget all of the pain and suffering you have gone through in your life and live life to the fullest.  I wanted to share the lyrics as I felt that maybe they would mean as much to someone else as they did to me. I hope you enjoy them, if you would like to hear the song click on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpt7RJUGpdE

When you were standing in the wake of devastation
When you were waiting on the edge of the unknown
And with the cataclysm raining down
Your insides crying, “Save me now”
You were there, impossibly alone.

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failures all you’ve known.
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go.
Let it go.

And in a burst of light that blinded every angel
As if the sky had blown the heavens into stars
You felt the gravity of tempered grace
Falling into empty space
With no one there to catch you in their arms.

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failures all you’ve known.
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go.
Let it go.

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failures all you’ve known.
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go.
Let it go.

Let it go.
Let it go.
Let it go.
Let it go.

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failures all you’ve known.
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go.
Let it go.

Proudest Moment


I think my proudest moment with my son was a little over a year ago; we had to move away to get ABA therapy as the cost was just too much where we lived. My son had progressed to the point where he really didn’t need the therapy and we decided to move back. I will never forget the first time my friends got to see my son after being away for a year.
A group of my friends were doing some work outside and asked if I could help. I went there and brought my son along with me, a few other kids were there as well and my son jumped right in and started playing with the kids (jumping in the pile of soil, talking and interacting with the other kids). Of course I see my son every day so this was nothing new to me at this point but my friends were blown away. I will never forget going to pick up some extra sod with a few of the guys in the truck and all of them turning to me and saying. “I cannot believe this is the same kid we saw a year ago, he is a completely different boy.” That simple statement will stay with me for the rest of my life as it told me that all of the sacrifice, all of the stress, the financial burdens, and everything we have gone through was worth it just to hear those words and know that there is hope and to stay positive no matter what life throws at you.

Day to Day Struggles


As my son has started grade one this year he has had to get used to full days of school and no more transition groups to assist him. It was a very tough start for him, the first day of school he didn’t want to get on the bus, got up in the middle of class and yelled “I hate school”, and then to top it all off was put on the wrong school bus at the end of the day. Needless to say it was a fun filled entertaining day!!
Since then there have been good and bad days with school and when it comes to a change in routine or schedule this is expected. To cope with this the best solution was to make the morning as routine as possible. If the morning goes off without a hitch he has a great day, if there are challenges in the morning he has a bad day.
When he was first diagnosed, we had no eye contact, no real communication (just random words mainly from Diego). He is now fun loving and a joy to play with, yes he is a little different sometimes and may seem a little immature compared to his peers but he still has a blast and most kids don’t seem to shy away from him (of course some do but in my humble opinion that is their loss).
When I first found out that I was going to have a son I thought to myself how he would play hockey, softball, soccer, basketball, and any other sport under the sun. I had a vision of my boy being the guy that everyone liked and the boy knocking the ladies off with a stick (just like his dad 🙂 ). Once he was diagnosed all those dreams I had for my son seemed to come crashing down and I had a really hard time coming to terms with that. I didn’t know much about Autism and the natural instinct was to fear the worst. I really think that men and women deal with things differently, his mom talked to friends openly and came to terms with it while I bottled it up inside and for a while there shut down.
After some time I did come to accept the diagnosis and eventually I started to see that it is not the end of the world. With a lot of hard work and a tonne of stress I actually got to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have watched my son go from a distant person to a loving little boy who loves his mom, dad, and little sister. A little boy that loves to go outside and play and little boy that loves to give hugs, he may not be trying out for the all-star team this year but he will always be my all-star!!
The day to day stresses are far out-weighed by the joy in my humble opinion and believe me I have had more curve balls thrown at me than some major league baseball players over the past few years.