Day 155 - May 26

This little boy has ZERO pre-tenses.  He holds NO judgement.  Through his eyes, all is good and innocent in this world.  He has TWO heroes - his older brothers - Ciaran and Shay - there is nobody else in the world he would rather be than one of his brothers....

Today Rowan was desperate to have his go at T-Ball.  I love how much he looks up to Ciaran and Shay.  He is determined to be just like them.  Enjoyed a beautiful morning practicing our T Ball skills.

Day 154 - May 25

I am again WAY behind on posts.  I have a bunch of pics to share from the last two weeks....but thought I would work backwards in any hopes to continue to be successful with my mission!

Today Ciaran and Shay started T-Ball season.  They are playing in a special needs program in Burlington called Challenger Baseball.  They have each been matched up for the season with a volunteer who will provide assistance and support in their game each Saturday morning.

Today could not have gone better.  All of the Challenger players were beaming and having fun.  It was such a beautiful thing to see!!!

Today I have the greatest appreciation for VOLUNTEERS.  Over the course of the past four years, Ciaran and Shay have had random strangers putting in their own personal time and energy into horseback riding (7+ volunteers a week) and now baseball.  These VOLUNTEERS are contributing to my boys' self esteem, sense of self, happiness and contentment with life.  What a blessing!!!

I have volunteered a lot in the past as a teenager and young adult.  Never did I really fully grasp the contribution I could have been making to the life of others...

Today I am so thankful for volunteers.  Thank you for your time.  Thank you for your energy.  Thank you for making this world a better place.  Thanks for making a significant difference in the lives of my children.  OUR world is a better place because of YOU - thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Day 141 - May 12

Enjoying a beautiful day outside on the play structure.  Love how much garden we have at our new house.  The space allows our boys lots of room to play, explore, exercise and be creative....

Day 140 - May 11

Rowan and Jeremy had DASH sports today...Rowan just had to give him cuddles before he was on his way for the day.  Friendships between little people are so innocent and adorable!

Day 139 - May 10

Ciaran and Shay have the MOST incredible teacher.  I volunteer in her class once a week and I am constantly in awe of all of the amazing things that she is doing with her students.  All of the kids in her class are so far ahead because of her tireless efforts and her desire to reach each individual learner.  We could not have asked for a better start to Ciaran and Shay's introduction to mainstream education.  Here is a picture of Ciaran reading the message of the day from her SmartBoard :)

Day 138 - May 9th

Developing independence within the boys is always a goal for Cris and I as independence will be so essential for Ciaran and Shay's future.   I so want the boys to do as much as they possibly can on their own.  As a teacher, I am always thinking into the future - and questioning what the boys will look like at the age of 18 or 21.  Will they have the tools and confidence to be able to go out in the world solo?

Cris and I will readily admit that we are probably the most guilty at times of not providing the opportunities that Ciaran and Shay need to develop independence.  We always seem to have somewhere to go...and in our rushing around - we often do not give the boys the opportunity to be as independent as they can be given the time they need to be so.

Being pregnant again, I have found a huge spurt in their independent skills lately.  Because I am trying to avoid lifting the boys, they are forced to do much more on their own.  And I must say, they have risen to the occasion to do so.

They are working on getting in and out of the van on their own now when we go to appointments.  Shay is completely able to execute this task on his own and Ciaran is getting there quickly.  These opportunities to be independent lend confidence to Ciaran and Shay's world, and it enables them to feel typical....such a beautiful thing!!!

Cris and I need to continue to be conscious of goals for Ciaran and Shay around independence.  We also need to always be thinking ahead - there is so much that the boys can do with a little bit of teaching and a lot of time...things that come so naturally to most kids like dressing, toiletting, getting into the car, and getting a snack are herculean tasks for the boys....unless you live never ever realize how much physical movement, coordination, and fine motor skills are necessary for the execution of the most mundane tasks!!!

Day 137 - May 8

Love that the weather is finally looking up!!!  Means we can spend our days outside.  Picnic lunches and dinners, playing at the play structure, and in no time - the pool - life is good in the spring/summer!

Day 136 - May 7

I LOVE the fact that Ciaran, Shay and Rowan all adore reading!  Their favourite part of their day is story time!

Day 135 - May 6th

Riding Ebony and Wrangler is not just a free ride!  Each time they ride, Ciaran and Shay work hard at therapy goals unknowing to themselves as they develop core strength, confidence, and an infinite love for animals.  Really could not ask for more from a therapy experience!

Day 134 - 26 weeks 4 days...

Ciaran and Shay's first time meeting outside the womb - approximately four weeks after birth

I am way behind in posts - for a number of reasons - one being because I have been purposefully avoiding this post....secondly, I am starting to get more and more tired....and finally, it is just a busy time of year for educators....

Anyhow, today in my current pregnancy I am 26 weeks 4 days - this is how far along I was in my pregnancy when I went into preterm labour with Ciaran and Shay.  This is the day in my pregnancy with them - that Ciaran and Shay were welcomed very unexpectedly into our world.  I was not even 2/3 of the way through with my pregnancy....from this day forward, my world changed did the way I handled life as I knew it.

I thought because I had gone full term with Rowan that this pregnancy would not be as stressful or as anxiety ridden.  I believe that I am definitely calmer that I was in Rowan's pregnancy - but not much!  When I was pregnant with Ciaran and Shay - I was so carefree - had no worries in the world.  Since their births, I sometimes feel as if I am so much more of a thinker, worrier, stresser....I am so much less of a free spirit.  I find that these days I try to control the world around me more and more and I worry about things that are outside of my control.  I miss the free spirit in day, I hope to be reacquainted with that part of my old self.

I think when you have been through a traumatic experience - this reaction/ability to cope is natural.  You learn quickly to develop protective barriers that protect your heart to ensure that you do not open yourself up to a vulnerable situation.  What I am learning is that protecting your heart hardens you as a person...a personality trait I would rather be without.

I hope in the coming days and months, I will be able to embrace this pregnancy, this beautiful life inside of me.  I hope to put my worries and fears to the side and celebrate this special and unique period in my life.  Wish me luck :)

In the meantime, I embrace my time with my beautiful boys and count my blessings...I have many of them!

Day 133

Today after DASH sports, Melissa and I brought the Jeremy, Kalli and Rowan to Spencer Smith Park.  It was so beautiful there - right on Lake Ontario - warm and sunny with a refreshing breeze.  Rowan loved exploring this new park and was definitely not scared to take risks there.  He constantly surprises me with all that he can do at the young age of two - I am sure because all of the things that come so naturally to him was/is such an obstacle for Ciaran and Shay.

Sometimes these reminders make me a little sad.  I just wish sometimes that the boys didn't have the struggles that they have - like any parent - I just want the best for my boys.  Then I am reminded of how happy they are - that at this point in their life, their struggles don't seem to phase them - for now, this is my problem - not theirs - they are all good - happy with who they are and what they can do - and for this I am sooooo thankful!

Post 132 - May 3

A few pics from a recent WagJag photo session we had with Steffany for $40.00.  She definitely captured some REAL was a cold day and Rowan was especially miserable!