Behind starburst eyes

Our new version of “normal”

I sit here typing while he sleeps beside me. We’re at home now, but the watching never truly stops. I’ve been watching him so carefully for 3 days now. Watching his chest expand and contract with every breathe. Watching to see if there’s still a tug at his trachea from struggling to breathe. Watching as he cries in fear for me while I hold him during treatments. Watching him wake startled and shake as different alarms and announcements pull him from sleep time and time again. But I also watch as he sings the Spiderman theme song with the amazing nurse and paramedics. And I watch him smile at me and tell me he loves it in the hospital because he gets to have me all to himself, and be so excited to see his dad, nana, siblings, auntie and uncle (even though his siblings means he has to “share” me again lol)

The doctors say he has Asthma. It’s what filled his right lung with striations of fluid and made it so difficult for him to breathe. He’s to be on inhalers every day for the next 6 weeks at least, and another inhaler whenever he’s struggling to breathe. We have an “action plan” for if/when he gets an attack again, including if it’s like this one or worse. We now have a doctor that will be following him until adulthood specifically for his Asthma. And I have one more thing to watch him for, one more medicine to carry, one more fear in my heart.

When I’ve heard the word Asthma before I didn’t realize it was a big deal, I didn’t know you could die from an attack. I blame my mother for that lol. She has asthma and as a little girl she told me all sorts of things so I wouldn’t worry. Like that if she was really sick from it the worst that could happen is she’d pass out and her lungs would “re-start” themselves. She told me that as long as she had an inhaler she’d never get really bad. As I grew older I never thought to question the comforting things she’d told me. I never thought to look deeper or to even examine what she’d told me with my own knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Instead I held onto her answers because it meant she was always going to be okay. That was and to be truthful still is something I desperately need to believe in. Only now I need to know the truth about asthma. I need to know that it can be fatal, and it can be difficult to control. It can also be managed, and (for some children at least) can be something that is outgrown eventually.

The morning he was admitted to the hospital I had already used ventolin and it hadn’t helped him at all. His attacks may not always be able to be controlled by simply using an inhaler. We might be visiting the pediatrics ward again. So with this knowledge I am altering our version of normal. It now includes inhalers, actions plans, respiratory therapists, an additional doctor for his healthcare team and possibly an O2 saturation monitor for at home to check his levels if I see him struggling to assess better if we should drive him to the hospital or if we need to call for an ambulance instead. But it will still include trips to the library and Airzone, unbirthday parties and fakey doodle restaurant nights. It will still include swimming lessons and songs, visits with friends and random adventures. Through it all, as always it will include love and an ever watchful momma who’s added one more thing to always watch for.

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Autistic Social Skills: Cut me Some Slack Please

So much YES

Autistic Aloha

Why, as an Autistic person, do I find myself spending an inordinate amount of my time and thought processing on trying to making sure that I don’t “offend” anyone, when nearly nobody cares one bit if they offend me? What is up with that?

I am always second-guessing the things that I say, or write, to be sure that they are not going to offend anyone. I find that most other people don’t give a darn if they offend me. They do whatever they want without giving it even a passing thought. This is a serious unbalance of social consideration.

Since I have a DIAGNOSED CONDITION, that has a core feature of having difficulty with social situations, I should be given the benefit of the doubt when I am trying to communicate with other people. They should be looking at ways of helping me to get my message across…

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Aviation and Flight

I am SO blessed to be able to homeschool my children freely as I know not all countries have the same view on homeschooling. This is one of the epic adventures Mr. C gets to attend at Centennial College.

Aviation and Flight

young girl in the red helicopter 01Date: April 9, 2015
Duration: 3 hours
Time: to be determined
Age: Grades 1-12
Location: Centennial College

Learning Outcomes: Aerodynamics, lift, drag, balance, patterns, centre of gravity, centre of pressure, 3-D modelling, problem solving.

Materials:  Model helicopter – Stop watch, tape measure, scissors, sticky notes, paper to make class data table and record results.

Objective: Students will observe, test, record, and change the model helicopter to obtain the longest possible flight.

Description: The four forces of flight are explored as students build rubber band-powered model helicopters. After construction, the helicopters are fine-tuned for optimum flight. Students observe the flight characteristics of the models with adjustments for optimal flight.

Tour: A visit to the aviation centre will highlight the experience as students will learn first-hand from instructors about aviation and tour the facility.

Aviation and Flight.

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Dressing Board

Mr.N has an Occupational Therapist due to his fine motor skill delays. One of the tools she has been using with him is a dressing board to help him learn to do and undo buttons. I of course fully believe in homework 😉 and so I created this:


Below is how I did it for those that want to make one themselves:

First the supplies:
1 art canvas (any size, but you’ll need enough material to wrap it like a present. Not that I did that, but it made sure there was enough of the fabric I wanted to use)

Fabric (Fleece doesn’t fray so it’s great for the no-sew way of doing it, I simply used some left over fabric from bean bags I had made him previously)

Buttons (the larger the better to start with, you can always make more boards with smaller buttons as they progress)

Thread (to sew the buttons on)


1 Permanent Marker


Staple Gun


(I was making multiple, hence the multiple supplies)

Place fabric along the back of the art canvas (near the wood) and staple it onto the back wooden frame of one side.

Wrap it around to the front and make sure it goes 2/3 across the canvas, and trim accordingly.

Repeat with other side, making sure there is a fair bit of overlap as you want it to be a bit roomy once the buttons are done up for ease of use in the beginning.


Then place buttons on the side you want as the inside and sew on with the needle and thread.

Place top fabric over buttons and cut button holes in the top fabric.

Write an inspirational message on the canvas for them to discover upon opening the buttons. (Ours says “You did it! Great Job!)

You’re finished! Minimal sewing (just the buttons) and minimal cost and yet you now have your very own dressing board for practising at home!!!

I apologize to those that know how to sew or are looking for specific dimensions or patterns. This was done free hand (and yes I did sew the fabric edges of mine but that is because I didn’t use fleece, I was using leftover fabrics from my stash) and I wanted to keep it as simple as possible for those that maybe don’t consider themselves “crafty” but still wanted to make something like this for their child. If you make one, I’d love to see it, please post a picture in the comments section 😀

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