Mom of two Mischievous Monkeys: 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Chex Mix

This is one of those things that always shows up at the office I work in around Christmas. Surprisingly, it's also one of the things I have never made before, despite loving it. So I found this great recipe that can be made in the slow cooker and adapted it to be gluten free. This is great to make while your oven is tied up baking cookies and treats! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Personalized Gifts – Posterjack’s Acrylic Blocks

Ahh…the Holiday season is here, time for decorating, baking,  parties and of course trying to find the perfect gifts for those special people in your life. It seems there is always one person on your list that is hard to buy for or has everything.

I find especially when shopping for my parents or grandparents it’s hard to know what to get for them. Typically they have everything they need and since we also live on opposite ends of the country it’s hard to know their day to day habits, favorite treats  or favorite place to go for coffee.

One gift that I find always works though is something personal, such as a framed family portrait or just a fun one of the kids. Now since these are special people in your life sometimes not just any framed photo will do.

This is where it’s great to turn to Posterjack for unique options such as their acrylic blocks. Add a special photograph sure to be cherished for years to come. Personally,  I think a picture of a child’s artwork would look really neat printed on these as well. A great gift for the grandparents who are too far away and it will last for years!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

'Twas the last night in November

I sat down and wrote this after our daughter woke up over an hour early one day this week just a wee bit excited to see what was left in the advent calendar. Enjoy!

‘Twas the last night in November, when all through the house
Tree and decorations were found, including the book “The Christmas Mouse”.
The Advent calendar was hung with care,
With hopes in the morning a treat would be found there.

The parents convinced the kids to go to their beds,
Who only protested a bit before pulling up the bedspread!
Sharing of treats not an option, they placed not one but two
Without getting caught by their kids, Whew!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

My last day off: Halloween and hot dogs

There are a number of different things I tend to do on my days off from work. Most of the time it does not involve a day spent on the couch watching TV (that is typically reserved for sick days when I actually incapable of doing anything other than flipping channels on the remote). 

Sometimes I have appointments scheduled for myself and the kids, sometimes its grocery shopping or chores around the house. On occasion, I do actually plan to at least go out for lunch with my hubby  since we do after all have free childcare given the kids are in school on my day off usually.

Last year I signed up for the Parent Advisory Committee at my daughter's school. This was something I never did at my son's school in his elementary years for various reasons. The main reason being I just never truly felt I had a lot in common with most of the other parents in the school.  My daughter's elementary school though is a different story, there is a real sense of community there and the whole school itself just has a whole different atmosphere.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer break: What it means for Special Needs Parents

Linking this post up at #BloggersFete, be sure to go here to join in! 

At the beginning of June, school begins to wind down, the
 focus for the most part that month is on sports days, field trips, honor roll and school awards.

Parents and kids alike are celebrating everywhere you look.

Parents of special needs find themselves, exhausted from a school year spent making sure their kids needs were met, already planning for the next school year.  

Typically in June, a meeting is held to review the school year and the child's individual education plan. The child's team, along with the parents discuss which goals the child the child has met and which ones to carry forward to the new school year. Teachers may also give parents some things to work on over the summer.

We try to find out before school ends if our child will have the same educational assistant next year or if need to prep them over summer to work with someone new.  

Some parents are simply hoping that this will be the year their child will  be able to attend a full day of school and not have to come home early everyday.

Summer break usually evokes thoughts of camping, backyard bbq's and lazy days on the beach.

It's not that we don't get out and do those same things as everyone else.

We do, but it's not all two months of bliss. Some families have difficulty doing these simple summer activities due to the needs of their children.

Two months of unstructured time can spell disaster for a child who thrives on a consistent schedule. In order to reduce the likelihood of having meltdowns and behavior issues, some families need to closely mimic the routine at home that the child is used to at school. 

Most importantly kids go from having a team of people working with them to having parents provide solely for their needs.

Some parents decide to take time off from appointments by scheduling nothing for the first month to simply focus on family. One whole month without therapies, tests, and appointments is a rarity for these families. Guilt though, can also build up as feel you aren't doing enough by taking a break from it all.

Some families face funding problems or wait lists for services such as therapies,  or respite. Getting a break from it all to have a night away with a spouse or spend one on one time with their other children can be a challenge at any time of the year.  Balancing the needs of our other children and meeting the needs of special needs child can require some creative planning.  

Some parents are even unable to work, something that can be extremely difficult for a single parent who has a job but can't find childcare or a one on one support worker for their child to attend a childcare program. 

School is also a great way for many of these kids to socialize and be around others they are familiar with. A trip to the park could mean sensory overload for a child or perhaps the local playground is not wheelchair accessible. 

I know that perhaps families of typical children also look at summer break with some level of concern over how to keep children occupied, etc. Throw in the extra challenges families face with a special needs child and sometimes they yearn for school to start back up just to get back into a predictable routine for their child and family.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

First Summer Road Trip

I really look forward to Summer and taking road trips with the family. We love to get out not only exploring attractions around our city but also trips a bit longer that typically involve camping and enjoying the outdoors.

The road trip itch started hitting early this year and so I planned a trip that had us leave town the day after the kids finished school.

It ended up being a memorable experience, with many wonderful family memories made and of course a few bumps along the way.

I had come down with what I figured was a bit of a typical stomach bug 5 days before our trip and thought by Wednesday figured it had passed. But by Thursday, the day before we were to be leaving I started not feeling well again. Needless to say not much packing and prep got done that day. Still not feeling well that evening I made a quick trip to the walk in clinic before it closed to get some advice and was able to get some over the counter medication to make my symptoms go away.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Minions are coming: In theatres July 10th, 2015

Our whole family loves the Minions, those little adorable yellow guys that have an appeal across the ages. With a larger age gap between our children it can be hard finding a movie that not only will appeal to the two of them but to us as parents too and these adorable little guys leave us all laughing and entertained!

This movie is definitely on our list of must see movies for this summer, when it is released on July 10th, 2015. Talk about perfect timing to escape to a nice cool theater enjoying a bound to be hilarious movie.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Sorry Sir, that is not what we are selling!

Many years ago a simple phone call from a telemarketer led to me getting a badly needed job.

Nowadays, my interactions with Telemarketers usually consist of me realizing that it is a Telemarketer and explaining I don’t have time. Or if they refuse to listen simply hanging up.

But back in the days before I had children and thus more time on my hands I would occasionally actually listen to what they had to say to find out what they were selling.

On this particular occasion, I answered the phone and started to listen to the person describe how their company sold customized freezer packs to their clients.  While there was only the two of us and we actually were not living on much money at the time, the concept seemed interesting.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Last Unicorn: The Enchanted Edition is coming out on June 9th

Get ready to enter a world of enchantment with the upcoming release of a treasured classic. Not only was this movie one of my childhood favourites it is also one of the most beloved fantasy films of all-time.  A timeless tale of love, regret, and the power of friendship it is bound to be a family favourite. The Last Unicorn: The Enchanted Edition makes its debut June 9th, 2015 from Shout! Factory.


The Treasured Classic as You’ve Never Seen It Before

   The Last Unicorn: The Enchanted   Edition

Bring Home the Enchanting Tale June 9th, 2015
from Shout! Factory