A Journey with Love and Laughter

Read about our family as we journey through life as a family, with siblings, school and spina bifida, and lots of fun and laughter along the way!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Our family on CHEX

A couple months ago our local Easter Seals chapter was asking for volunteers to participate in the upcoming Easter Seals Telethon. It was a general email, I got one last year, but Nick was too shy and so we didn't sign up.
This year I talked to Nick about it (it would means talking to a stranger and being on TV). And he said yes.

So we signed up for 2 sessions in the telethon this Sunday. I was contacted as well to see if we would be interested in doing an interview with CHEX TV as a special interest piece. I asked Nick and he said yes.

Our house continues to be a bit of a mess with our renovations (and having 2 kids and 1 dog in general). Someone suggested the school as a venue for the interview.

I left it to last minute (waaay most last minute than I realized right before Easter weekend). But we were able to get permission for filming from Cambell Children's School and Grandview Children Centre.

I tried to prepare the kids ahead of time about Easter Seals. Nick doesn't remember camp at all, (he was 3) and so we looked over my blog posts from 2013 and the pictures.
Day 1     Day 2     Day 3     Day 4     Day 5     Day 6

When everyone arrived Nick was in speech therapy in his stander. So we got a couple of shots of him doing speech therapy.

Then it was interview time. Campbell's did set aside a room for us, but the hallways are so bright and cheerful we filmed in the hall instead (making sure there were no kids in view). And we tried not to disrupt the school very much.

I got to wear a microphone as we talked. Kyle and the kids stayed nearby. Nick and Katheryn ran around in the hallway while the cameraman (?Paul) filmed some scenes.
I wasn't sure what questions Caley, the interviewer, would ask, and so I didn't prepare at all.
I had sent her some information about our family, spina bifida and Nickolas in general as well as some pictures and my blog link. It was very comfortable and not stressful, we did 2 takes of the scene in the hallway because in the background we accidentally may have gotten a picture of some kids.

I wanted to be realistic, positive and also provide information about spina bifida. I think I am much better in writing. It wasn't until until I watched the show later on that I realized I said that spina bifida happens at 12 weeks gestation (which is wrong, it is really 4-6 weeks). And on the fly I thought about saying something about folic acid. But didn't.

The kids in Nick's class went out for recess and so we moved the interview to the classroom. And it was time for the kids. Nick was nervous and in the final they did alot of editing. He gave a fair amount of blank stares to her questions (how did you like camp, what do you like to do in school, what do you want to do in camp this year?), but of course once Ninja Turtles are mentioned he perked up.
Katheryn rocked it of course. We weren't sure if we should let her play hooky from school, but it was perfect that she had the opportunity to be there. And it makes her feel special too.

In the end it took 1 hour of filming and was fun for everyone. A positive experience that will hopefully be repeated on Sunday's Telethon.

The show aired that night. And they spread out the 4 scenes through the whole show. Our parts are at 1:40, 3:10, 19:13 and 34:10. I didn't give enough notice to family (I wasn't sure myself when it would air) so they missed it. But luckily they post it on youtube as well.

Of course we PVR'd it, and watched it live. The kids were not that excited to see themselves on TV. They actually were more excited today when I was watching it on my phone.

I am so happy that we had this opportunity. Not just to show off my own beautiful family, but to raise some awareness and positivity about Easter Seals, spina bifida and also Campbell Children's School

Thanks to everyone who made this possible!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Nick's Video

I was looking over some pictures and video to prepare for our Easter Seals Telethon and interview and thought I would update Nick's animoto video. I know it is a couple of months early (for my June awareness video) but here it is just the same.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Reading and Writing

Nick continues to work on his typing.
He has to write out at least one sentence and some sight words and then can also write out what he wants. We set up the computer when he is doing his bathroom routine.

March 13:
I went on the rides.

At school he uses a program called WordQ. It cues what he is typing and he can use the mouse to hover over the word and it will read it out. If the correct word is there he can either click on it or pick the number with it.

March 14:
I want to grow up to be a ninja turtle.
Nickolas Ridding 

We did the words a couple of different ways. The sight words he would pick which ones and copy down. That was working on his typing and learning where the keys were.

March 16:
I went to the museum with Jennifer, Devon, Lucas and Katheryn.
I liked the mummies.

But we also worked on sentences; what did Nick want to write about? What did he do today?

March 19:
I went to the movie theatre with Daddy, Austin, and Uncle Brad.
We saw Sponge Bob Squarepants.

He also liked writing his name, and Katheryn's name. Katheryn is one of his first words that he knew how to spell. One day I was bringing him downstairs and he just started naming off the letters of her name. I had to get him to repeat it before I realized what he was spelling.

March 20:
I went to McDonalds 

As he got better at the typing I stopped helping him as much with the letters. Instead of asking him what he wanted to spell out and telling him the letters for him to find, we started sounding out his words.

March 22:
I went to grandma ridding apartment
I had an Easter egg hunt

Maddi and Austin came for dinner

I have noticed a huge improvement in his spelling with this. All day we work on spelling like this. And it works, of course, the other way around too. With his reading. Sounding out letters and words.

Our newest word to sound out... and Nick did it successfully... is Booyakasha

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lost Tooth

The day came today that Katheryn has been waiting for, for over a year!
Her first lost tooth!

All of her friends at school have lost multiple teeth and she wanted to join the toothless-smile club. But at almost 7 years old, her teeth are stubborn and just did not want to budge (Nick's are the same, not showing any sign of being loose at 5 1/2).

But a month ago whether determined by nature or accident (there was an incident with Katheryn holding onto her seat belt with her teeth) she finally had a wiggly one.

And at a family dinner it finally came out! Katheryn was on the lookout and said she thought it might come out because "Papa Bartley always makes lots of food".
And it came out with a mouth full of food. So I made her spit out her food (which grossed out Uncle Jamie) and we found it. (and yes that is an Elsa costume she is wearing... just because)

 Katheryn was very excited to put it under her pillow before going to bed. The tiny tooth is under there.

Kyle and I were not sure what the going rate for the Tooth Fairy is. All we could remember was the Modern Family episode where $100 was accidentally left by the Tooth Fairy (and this is a favorite show of Katheryn's).

I thought the Tooth Fairy would leave a loonie and Kyle thought $5. And of course a new toothbrush. So I googled it and found it is a common question (I think I got 25 cents). In the end the Tooth Fairy decided the first tooth is special and left a nice crisp $5 bill, brand new toothbrush and a certificate (in the shape of a tooth of course)

 The toothfairy was even nice enough to leave the tooth for mommy to keep.
Katheryn was very excited when she woke up and saw what the Tooth Fairy had left for her

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Social Butterfly

Katheryn's birthday party is coming up in a couple of weeks. She got to pick 5 friends from school to come.
She came home after she handed out her invites to say that she wrote out invitations for 3 other kids and invited them. So we made 3 actual invites for these kids as well. Katheryn came home from school with 3 other hand-written invitations from other kids including a birthday in June, November and no date, but at one boys house #22.

We were home one evening and I answer the phone and hear this little voice say "hello". In the background I hear a mom say "ask for Katheryn".
Katheryn got her first phone call!

Katheryn was funny on the phone. Bluntly saying "who is this?" and then "what do you want?"
The conversation improved after that.
We put the phone on speaker because Katheryn was having problems hearing her.
And I got to listen to the cute conversation as the 2 girls made plans for the next day.

I didn't actually realize that her first social call was a milestone.
But it totally was! (at least from the parent perspective)