Monday, 23 February 2015


I feel like I comment a lot on how good Phoenix's behaviour is. I've been reflecting on why this is so important to me.

I was a difficult child and in truth I can be a difficult adult too. Growing up, I can't tell you the number of times I heard my mother say "I hope that one day you have a daughter JUST LIKE YOU". 

However, somehow I have 3 daughters who are not like me at all. Well, they obviously have some qualities of mine, but it appears that challenging behaviour isn't part of the package. 

There is also a bit of pride involved. I teach some very challenging teenagers and taught a severe behaviour class for 5 years. I'm good working with these kids, I like teaching them and getting to know them and I take pride in the fact I can build strong, consistent relationships with them that foster mutual respect. 

It would be awful if I couldn't do the same with my own kids. 

Many of the students I have worked with over the years come with these incredibly thick school files documenting their troubled history in and out of the school system. Phoenix will have her own thick file that follows her through her life too. 

Logically I know it will be full of assessments and reports and a list of her deficits. However, I would love if we could keep behavioural issues out of the mix. The kid has enough on her plate without dealing with that too. I hope that people other than us can see what a smart, beautiful, sweet natured kid Phoenix is. 

We have a statement that underlies our understanding of problem behaviours:

 "Behaviour is communication".

So I AM proud of Phoenix's good behaviour. That she listens and responds at home and in public. That she knows when we mean business. It's a very good child parent relationship based on respect and love. The message that Phoenix communicates to us over and over is: "I am loved. I feel safe. I feel listened to. " It's a powerful message and it is one I don't take lightly. It's an affirmation of our parenting, our relationships, and our love.

And just because, here is a video of her practising her sight words. She has a box of about 200 words that she knows. Articulation is an ongoing issue, but she knows the words and understands their meaning.

This and that

It the end of February and it's getting busy for us. We are at the start of a small season of birthdays for the community of  DS families that we are close with.

We went to the first of the parties this weekend and I brought Phoenix's aide to help me out. Phoenix is great, but the thought of taking all three kids to a party is still overwhelming to me.

All in all we had a very good time. The sisters got a little too handsy with the dog who squealed his displeasure. They also single handedly destroyed the pin the body parts on Olaf. But they are 14 months old and this is totally expected for their age. Our host didn't even notice because her youngest child is just 2 and these days are not very far behind her.

Phoenix behaved beautifully. She played with toys she has previously not been interested in - ie dolls and barbies. Here she is trying to play the guitar:


She asked for help putting her party hat on and sat with all the kids while they ate cake and she ate ice cream.

Phoenix also sat patiently and watched the gifts being opened without jumping in and wanting to tear off the wrapping paper herself. It was a great party, and I was so proud, yet again, to acompany this lovely young girl out in public.

A few more pics: Phoenix wearing her sisters clothes (her choice). I swear this kid is going to be a swim suit model one day.

What happens when Dad gets time with the kids:
Oh, and see that lamp on it's side on the top of the shelf? It's waiting for the sisters to end their reign of terror.

Friday, 6 February 2015

My Friday Night Date

Tonight I cuddled up with this little girl on the couch. I just love her to bits.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

This week a coworker of mine died. He was 40, he developed an infection (Group A Strep) and died from septic shock. He left a wife and 7 year old daughter.

I don't know what to do with this. Mike caught Group A Strep this year. I'm pretty sure he got it from changing diapers. A blister appeared on his finger and within 6 hours his whole arm was swollen. It moved FAST. He is obviously OK. He went into Urgent Care where they identified blood poisoning and treated him with agressive IV antibiotics. His care was transferred to the Infectious Disease Clinic of our nearby hospital and he received outpatient IV's for the next few days.

We both kind of blew off the seriousness of the infection, but I have had to confront the idea now that he could have potentially died from it, just like my coworker did. It's pretty scary shit.

We've had some hard times lately in our family, but experiencing a loss like this puts everything into perspective. Life is short, and precious. Hug your loved ones close, every day. We never know when it could be our last.