What Are You Doing?

Get close to me again.

Let me fill you with inspiration,

That turns you into creative joy.

Let the words flow through,

As they were meant to be.

Don’t let me hide away,

Let me out into the world,

Where I can touch curiosity,

And become sparks that ignite the soul.

This is for you and beyond,

If you let it be.

I am here for you,

But you got to be there for me!

From my writing to me.

Ollie, Ollie Oxen Free

Is what I think you called out to me.

As I stared between the trees from the side of the street.

Overlooking High Park, off the road on Parkside Drive.

Trying to make sense of how you died.

Desperately looking on the side of the road for anything you might’ve left behind.

I found two shiny stones and gave them to Jess – as if you sent the sign.

That the Father – Daughter bond will never die.

I looked into the forest from the side of the road.

Holding back the tears, not ready to let go.

I saw the calm in the trees from the shade and sunlight.

As if you called out to me,

“Ollie, Ollie Oxen Free!”

To let me know that you were safe and free.

I couldn’t help but be so angry.

That you were gone because of someone’s stupidity!

Three years later, almost four.

We’re being reminded once more.

Because there are other souls who are being mourned.

From this very same street –

This can’t happen any more!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It is Community that brings us up when we are down –

It is Community that show love in times of dark –

It is Community that advocate for our safety.

Come together for safer streets!

For our Families!

#SafeParkside

What Conversation Are You Having?

Bones – children’s bones – of Indigenous People. Of families torn apart from their blood and flesh. Forced to assimilate in Residential schools run by Catholic Churches and their nuns.

The stories have been told before – over and over again. The same cries that are not being heard. The same patterns that are evident and are left to be ignored. The horror resurfacing and heavy on our hearts.

It’s time to change the conversation about what we do next. The conversation about the harsh realities of history.

The conversations to increase awareness of the truth, the teaching moments with our kids to be aware of these patterns that still exist in this very moment. It’s in our literature, in our media, in our education system, in our popular culture that white culture is dominant, therefore creating the silos of minorities – who are non-white people – who are coloured people – the people who get the worst of an unequal deal.

Change the conversation now

During our homeschooling year, my daughter asked me to help her with her gr. 5 social studies assignment. She had to answer questions after reading a few pages of a virtual textbook. She couldn’t find the answers so I was delighted to help her research. Then I read the questions. Instantly I knew it was going to be a moment of peeling off a layer of blinders from her innocent world so that she could be aware of this knowledge of history that still impacts our country.

I taught her this new history lesson that will open her eyes for her world to come. The truth about how Canada came to be. In the end I gave her two versions: one that had school appropriate language or the way I wrote it. She chose the way I wrote it 😉 – my girl. I focused on the concept of Settlers vs. Indigenous that affects the whole world on so many different layers. I gave her more of the truth that the textbooks don’t expose.

Why did the Europeans come to Canada?

  • To claim land and territory from the original people who lived there – The Indigenous People of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities.
  • To start colonizing by breaking up families, taking children, to create new communities on this claimed land.
  • To extort the land of all its resources for trading and commerce built for the European, resource-hungry – white – man.
  • Disregarding Indigenous ways to preserve land and resources, and a balanced way of life.
  • To force religion upon the Indigenous People by taking their children away to assimilate into Christianity. Stripped of who they were and their spiritual beliefs. And now evidence of this genocide is where we are left waiting for some start of reconciliation for this nation.

How did it affect the Indigenous People?

Their land was invaded. Their ways of living drastically and tragically changed forever because of the European ‘settlers’ coming to explore to exploit, to enforce their culture (as if superior) in every way, especially trade and commerce, to adapt and to somehow survive this crisis after being thrown to the wolves time and time again.

There’s also something called the ‘Sixties Scoop‘, where Indigenous children were taken from their homes to be adopted by white middle class families throughout North America. Just imagine and try to understand the trauma and the ripple effects of these governed acts upon more than 20,000 innocent children, now older adults or gone.

Imagine people with many generations of culture, not being able to be fully who they were because another culture decided that they were superior and thought it was OK to take and disrupt for the ‘exploration’ eras. Imagine the pain of the parents who never heard from their children again. We are way past the exploration and excavation of land but not really. We thought we were past the degrading of minorities but not really at all.

Where we stand is in a hot spot of deciding what to do next, how to think for ourselves, how to overcome this superiority complex that is the very barrier of why the world is stuck in this vicious cycle.

What do we do now?

Increase your awareness and your understanding. Eliminate ignorance and superiority. Experience kindness with humility so we can start a new cycle of balanced structure and organization. We’ve all heard it before but it’s time to take action in treating others how you want to be treated. Do one thing today that will engage the right energy towards humanity that will serve only goodness.

***A BIG PART OF HEALING IS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, UNDERSTANDING, AND RECONCILIATION TO MOVE FORWARD. There is a framework of resources that are found in this guide called “Let the Truth be Told“, an Indigenous Oral Testimonies Activities Guide.

The Legacy of Hope Foundation is a national, Indigenous-led charitable organization that works to promote healing and Reconciliation in Canada, which is the important step in spreading awareness in our homes and in our education systems. Increase our understanding of history, ‘civilization’, popular culture, as well as using the tools for reconciliation and healing to rebuild a better nation.

Change the conversation you have today with your family. Start with your circle and let it organically grow from there.

New Earth…Better World – Rebuild it now.

What’s Nudging You?

Have you ever had that feeling of something nudging you from deep within?

Nudging you to do something different?

Nudging you to step outside of your comfort zone?

Nudging you to get excited or to move on?

Nudging you to push you to grow and expand?

A gentle encouragement or an abrupt sign – listen to what your intuition is saying.

Take action to listen to these nudging feelings to interpret something meaningful.

Even if the feelings are uncomfortable and scary, or exciting and moving –

LISTEN.

The outcome of these deep-rooted messages is to encourage growth.

Take the time to LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND.

Only then can the actions be taken to leap to your next step!

I Am a Mother

My Body

A not so young mother of three, ages 11, 9, & 6. All born by C-section, the first two were messy emergency deliveries, and each had their share in the NICU for our short stay. One miscarriage before my oldest, one before the middle one. My body’s been through hell and back during these child-bearing years. Stories I never want to tell expecting moms.

I reminisce on Mother’s Day, as I smother my (tall) first born in my arms, on the moment I became a mom.

No one told me it was going to be so hard in the beginning where you’re in so much pain after being cut open and sewed back together again. Where the nurse demanded me to walk myself to the bathroom then out in the hallway or else I’d swell up like a balloon, which was already the case!

No one told me that once we got home, I was supposed to take care of this little baby without any provisions from the hospital. Just to figure it out as you go – which pretty much sums up parenthood. We have great supports but in those moments of dreaded night time feeds while in zombie mode, moms step up like no other human can.

And the fact that we can produce superfood with our boobs is phenomenal. But that’s not why we are superhuman. Mothers are a different category because of the many layers of strength, love, compassion, understanding, planning, and conviction that is instilled in us to combat the degrees of variables of obstacles, worries or fears and turn them into joy.

My Heart

There is a constant battle of showing equal attention, equal love, equal time for every single one at all times. No matter what there always seems to be one who is not happy because of this and that and this and that and this and that. No matter how hard we try to accommodate.

That’s where the F-bombs and screaming come in. After all that we do as parents, there’s always the one who throws the last straw as if they’re testing the grounds for messy explosives. This mom was not built for that last straw. Once my cup is full, it pours out in profanities. So beware and be brave.

Patience at negative zero.

The reason why I created my blog Dr Jekyll Mommy Hide. A place where I can secretly hide to vent about what happens when the triggers are pulled. Then how I heal by loving hard with open heart while being ever so grateful for my life. Making everyone promise, including myself, to be better next time.

The mixed emotions of parenting on top of being a working mom, leads me turning to writing time and time again. The process is so therapeutic and keeps me in my sacred safe zone. I can lock myself in this process even when I don’t have anything to say because there’s always an endless flow, is what I ultimately learn in the end.

I felt the nudge to accept that, as writing is my secret hiding place, I need to learn how to be more open to share.

My Soul

Without a doubt, I love and adore my kids, and would do most things for them. Yes, they squeeze the life out of me but it’s my job to keep inflating back up until they learn to be totally independent people. I have to trust that I’m raising them with dignity, alongside my soulmate, and that everything will be alright.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to use my sacred tools as a therapeutic process to ground and filter all depths of emotions of motherhood. Motherhood is raw but the essence of my soul is a part of them. To feel beautiful, ugly, sane, crazy, lovely, chaotic all at the same time in our pack of five. Somehow, we survive.

Right now for as long as it will last, I’m a happy mother. 😉

Live to Tell

Thank you for this given Grace

To switch my perspective and my face

That the bigger picture is what stands

No matter what the circumstance

Trust that all will be good

Is what needs to be understood

Even on a heavy downer day

Keep going, don’t lose your way

It will feel lighter

Even on a different day

Keep working on continuous

Mind, Body, and Soul

Lessons from all experiences

Ready to unfold

Tell your story. Live to tell.

Why a CDA?

How I imagine language stored in the brain ready for output.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

I am a Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA), more commonly known as a Speech Language Assistant (SLA), (recent grads may be using Communication Health Assistant), who supports a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) (and/or Audiologist) by:

  • Providing treatment that is customized for the client, their family, and their learning styles.
  • Targeting speech and language therapy goals from the SLP (or Audiologist) in a treatment plan.
  • Collecting data or language samples for measurement of progress of goals, types of prompts and cues.
  • Creating and programming Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) visuals.
  • Writing progress notes documenting types of prompts and cues to support.
  • Providing feedback to the client and their caregiver about weekly progress and homework.
  • Monthly meetings with SLP for documentation review and joint sessions as per allotted supervision.

How Do I Do All of This?

  • Play – songs, books, toys, sensory, pretend & imaginary play, constructional.
  • Activities – art, music, drills – anything that is interesting to the client.
  • Games – people games, rule-based, structured, made-up, reinforcers.
  • Conversations – with the client and their families, with the SLP and colleagues, with the community.
  • Handouts – visual representation of strategies and homework for carry-over.
  • In-person (strict guidelines during pandemic).
  • Virtual care (mostly during pandemic).

What Are the Tricks?

  • Encouragement
  • Engagement
  • Balance
  • Flexibility
  • Interpretation
  • Adaptability
  • Understanding
  • Compassion

Educating on Communication

  • Language is the understanding and knowledge of the world around us.
  • Speech is a way to verbally express our understanding and knowledge.
  • Communication is how we connect with others to share these messages: verbal and non-verbal.
  • Connection is the key to a good interaction.
  • A good interaction has a balanced back and forth which leads to opportunities for learning and sharing.

Lessons Learned

  • Foundational skills of a good interaction should not be skipped!
  • A lot of layers of strategies within strategies come into play.
  • Naturalistic approach integrated with structured approach always seems to be successful.
  • Speech, language, and communication are my passion.
  • I can go on forever about these linguistic subjects!

This is me…my ‘why’. Unraveling more potential after my Technical Writing journey, resurfacing for more.

10 Ways to Avoid Punching Walls

Bottom-fist dent

Tips for the homeschool fool who gets played by their kid during virtual school. I no longer want to hide in the vortex every time the triggers are pulled, leaving no holds barred mom to surface with F-bombs and harsh profanities.

The dent in my wall is a visual reminder of how I put my foot down (or punched the wall) and cut the cord to my kid’s endless whining during dreaded online learning. When you’ve had your last straw, you don’t have to punch your wall. Follow these new rules that will set you all straight:

  1. Put your foot down: State what you are no longer accepting within this new boundary.
  2. Cut the cord: Break off ties to what is draining your energy.
  3. Don’t punch a hole in the wall: Instead list 3 tangible things that are going to change that starts immediately.
  4. Set morning alarm for independent wake up routine so it starts first thing in the morning!
  5. Set alarms for each time they have to be on screen. Make sure the kid turns off alarms independently.
  6. Decrease expectations of your kid’s work even if it hurts you.
  7. Help mostly during the most difficult subject.
  8. Onus on the kid to ask teacher for help for other subjects.
  9. Don’t give 2 flying fks if the day wasn’t perfect.
  10. Praise everyone for trying their best. Kids get snacks, parents get provisions.

Yes, the world is a disaster right now. But your home doesn’t have to be. Keep your walls dent-free and remember for all to just try your best. Leave any tips for us homeschool fools that are on the verge of breaking something!