I’m excited to be attending TheThriveSummit.ca on Monday. When I first made the decision attend this session to learn and share how I #ThriveinMyLife, I was mentally planning my February #ThriveTop5 post early in March. I had an amazing month (don’t worry, I’ll still get the post up there) with all kinds of great #thrive2016 moments.
I was excited about the interactive session, networking and unconference sessions too.
Then life did one of those things life does. My 6-month plan to change my work situation changed for me and I was suddenly there – six months too soon. I wasn’t surprised per se, but #WhatsNext certainly crossed my mind.
That was almost 4 weeks ago. Since then I’ve been working on creating a side business that has nothing to do with my “day job” business, done work with some amazing people, have made time for friends, planned nights out, taken the boy on a little road trip, had drinks on a Monday night (yes Monday!), gone out for a boozy lunch and cooked up a storm.
In trying to find ways to Thrive, I’ve realized some things. These are probably completely obvious to everyone else but I’m going to share them anyway. Just in case someone reading has woken up in the morning and felt a little light inside has gone out and is unsure where to start rekindling the flame.
There are still a few tickets left for the Thrive Summit Conference, so Let’s Thrive Together at The Thrive Summit Conference this Monday.
The conference will help you improve your financial success, set new goals, prioritize your healthy living (including stress management) and increase work life quality, productivity, clarity and focus. Over 20 members of our thrive team (including productivity expert and bestselling author Chris Bailey – Author of the Productivity Project) will leave you inspired, energized and ready to prioritize your health, wellbeing, purpose and work objectives more effectively.
For full details visit our Thrive Agenda
You know Thive is a big theme here this year. I just heard about an amazing initiative from Glen Bernard Camp, just west of Algonquin Park that has been created to offer the summer camp experience to 24 girls who have recently arrived from Syria.
When you think of summer in Canada, the cottage, trailer, tent camping and summer camp are such an integral part of our summer culture. I spent every summer with my dad at our cottage (we called it camp up North) fishing, swimming, canoeing and sailing. Those are some of my happiest memories. After all the change, all the unmentionable things these girls have seen this year, I think it is so incredible that they will have the chance to just splash around in the lake, sit by the campfire, bunk in with new friends. They’ll have the chance to Thrive in the most amazing environment while canoeing, sailing, climbing high ropes, enjoying arts and crafts and swimming.
Research has shown summer camp has a real impact on a child’s sense of belonging, self-confidence and esteem. It’s that “sense of belonging” that I think really makes this program special. It’s hard to be a preteen girl. I can only imagine how much harder it is when you’re in a new place, having left just about everything you knew behind.
Glen Bernard for Syria: A Canadian Summer Camp Experience is setting aside 24 spaces at the camp for Syrian girls between the ages of 11 and 13. Jocelyn Palm, the Owner of Glen Bernard Camp and Order of Canada recipient said “This year is our camp’s 95th anniversary. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by opening our doors to these new campers.”
I agree Jocelyn. Well done.
Private sponsors are encouraged to apply on behalf of girls ages 11‐13 in their Syrian family. Application forms for the program are now available on the Glen Bernard Camp website at gbcamp.com and will be accepted until April 1, 2016.
You won’t have to worry about funding the application. All of the costs for these campers are being covered by Glen Bernard. In addition to covering the camp fees, Glen Bernard will provide supplies and equipment through donations from past and current camp families.
Part of my New Years #thive2016 resolution is ensuring the whole family thrives. So over the weekend I thought we should do a typical family activity. We should make a craft.
Not only do both my kids like to make things, Allie gets to work on some of those “therapy skills” when she’s doing crafts at school. Why not do one at home?
I found an easy craft over at The Inspired Home and rounded up all the supplies. This isn’t something we’ve done at home much so I had no idea what to expect. I even tried to google “home craft ideas for kids with intellectual disabilities” but no luck.
When the time came to prep the craft, my 6 year old son decided he WAS NOT making a heart. Off to a great start. I got everything ready and tried to show Alma how to make her heart but she was much more interested in dumping the bits of tissue paper and peeling up the tape to release the contact paper.
There was a time not long ago when I would have packed it all up and yelled “forget it” (not proud of this) but instead I showed Alma again. And again. And again. I handed her individual bits instead of letting her dump the container. We sang a song as we stuck down the bits.
My husband came to give me a hand with the cover contact paper so we could focus Alma and finish that part.
My son came over to talk about the craft he DID want to do, so we got that stuff out and he and Alma sat together laughing and bickering and glueing and fighting over the safety scissors. They shared. I helped my boy glue a snowman. I hung Alma’s heart.
I also felt a weight lift from my heart. We’re just a regular family doing regular things. Making decorations for Valentines Day. Screwing it up a bit. Feeling proud anyway.
I hope the next person to google “home craft ideas for kids with intellectual disabilities” sees this post and decides to throw caution to the wind and make Valentine’s Hearts from The Inspired Home or some other neat thing that catches their eye on Pinterest. I hope they don’t wait to try something like I did, or search for a special list of special ideas for special kids.
Every craft a kid makes is special.
Moments like these? Special.
Learning that undivided attention, some time to horse around, and seeing our proud faces as we hang up their creations is just what they need? That was pretty special too.
If you’re interested in making the Valentines Day Stained Glass Toddler craft, head over to The Inspired Home for all the supplies and instructions.
I was lucky enough to win a Rice Krispies prize pack in the #treatsfortoys twitter party in December. I’m a big fan of the program where Rice Krispies donates money for toys for every toy shaped Rice Krispie Treat posted with #treatsfortoys. This year, the campaign raised $40,000.
I thought I’d say Thank You for the amazing prize (which included a whole bunch of Rice Krispies AND a Visa gift card) by making a video of the first thing we made with the delivery. The whole family enjoyed these and I loved making my first food video.
Heart Shaped Valentine Rice Krispie Treats
We prepared the recipe from the box. You can find it here:
1.Melt margarine in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. OR Microwave on high for 45 sec.
2.Stir in KELLOGG’S* RICE KRISPIES* Vanilla Flavour cereal until well coated. Using lightly buttered spatula, press into buttered 3.5 L (13×9″) pan.
3.Allow mixture to cool.
4. Use cookie cutter to cut Rice Krispie treats into heart shapes. You can squish leftover treats into the cookie cutter to shape.
5. Melt candy wafers in the microwave. Time will differ between microwaves. Use 30 sec intervals until soft. Stir to melt the rest of the way.
6. Dip the tops in melted candy coating.
7. Sprinkle with Valentines Day sprinkles before the candy sets.
8. Hide some before everyone eats them on you because you’re going to want to keep some for yourself.
Just over 3 short years ago, our second child was born. She was born small having suffered in-utero growth restriction and the first of many diagnoses she would receive was “Failure to Thrive”.
She wasn’t getting enough nutrition and wasn’t growing as she should. It was heartbreaking. From there, she was developmentally delayed, had hypotonia, was socially delayed, tongue tied, had mild pulmonary aortic stenosis, was found to be missing 28 genes on chromosome 7 consistent with a diagnosis of Williams Syndrome. She had high calcium, poor mouth control, vision issues, hearing issues, digestive issues, sleep issues, suspected neuro issues (never confirmed), more feeding issues, ear issues, gross motor delay, sensory issues, repetitive behaviours, speech delay and so on. It’s a lot.
Despite her Williams Syndrome, many of these challenges are resolving, most importantly her cardiac issues, and of course, she no longer has failure to thrive. In fact, she’s a wonderful little girl who steals hearts and sings with gusto.
It’s me that’s not thriving.
When I entered the NICU three years ago, I clicked into survival mode. I did everything I needed to do. I learned everything. I met with everyone and I faced every challenge with my eye on the prize. To ensure she will reach her full potential. To do this, I had no choice but to put some things on hold. But now…
But now I’m pretty sure “survival mode” isn’t something anyone can survive forever.
So this year I hope to open the door to some of the things that I left behind the day the small one was born.
Don’t worry, I’m realistic. Ensuring Alma reaches her full potential is no less important today than yesterday. And I know that you can’t actually “make time” or “find time”. There are only so many hours in a day. Still, the rest of us need to reach our full potential too.
So here are my personal hopes for 2016:
I want to read a book.
I want to spend time extra time exploring the wonder of the world with my boy.
I want to knit something. Sew something.
I want to go one place I’ve never been. Maybe it’s a corner of the city. Maybe it’s a country. Just somewhere.
I want to eat food that makes me feel well, and strong and that tastes really good. I hope to have seconds, maybe thirds.
I want to experience one of those amazing moments that you couldn’t describe, no matter how hard you try.
I want to do one thing that’s daring, one thing that’s scary and one thing that I probably shouldn’t.
I want to raise a little hell.
I want to get better at something.
I want to laugh till I snort.
I want to feel my body moving and my heart pumping and my mood lifting.
I want to get to know some people better. Sit down, make I contact and talk about them for a change.
I want to breathe. I want to see something that takes my breathe away.
Life is short so this year, I want to do more living.
I want to stop surviving and start thriving.