Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day

Just a quick post today to wish Andrew a very Happy Father's Day, as we celebrate all that he is and all that he does for our family.

It has been a complete joy to watch this incredible man thrive in his role as a father. Our days are not always easy - parenting a child with a significant disability comes with many challenges, and he faces those with me, head on, each and every time. I have said many times (on particularly hard days) that this not a life anyone would choose.. but Andrew did just that. He chose me and he chose Brennen. He accepted us as we were, understanding that it would not be easy, but that we could get through anything together because of the love that we shared. He has been my greatest support, my voice of reason, and a never wavering source of comfort.

When we first talked about fostering children, it was something we both felt strongly about. We knew that we had room in our hearts to care for young people who needed a family. We had only ever talked about fostering one child, and our hands were full doing that, but I will never forget the day that I received the call about a little baby who was ready to be discharged from the hospital but didn't have a family to go home to. Andrew was not at home at the time, and being the emotional decision maker that I am, I just couldn't say no. I believed we could do it, or at least I believed we would figure out a way to do it. When I got off the phone with the social worker and had a moment to reflect, all I could think was, "Andrew is going to kill me. He is going to leave me, and I am going to be all alone with all of these children!" I had accepted another child into our home and into our family without asking him, and that's not cool. But when I called him to let him know what I had done, I could sense his heart opening up, and all he said was, "Ok". He wasn't upset, wasn't worried, and didn't even question me. He also believed that we could (and should) parent this little baby. And so we did. And it was magical.

There are so many moments during each day where he reminds me that what we have is so special, and there is no one else I can imagine doing this with. I am just very very thankful to be his partner, his teammate, and to get to parent right along with him. Our children are so very fortunate to have such a dedicated, loving and positive role model in their lives. I know deep down in my heart that he is in this for the long haul, and that his heart can only stretch deeper and stronger.

Thank you, Andrew, for loving us the way you do. I love you for the amazing father you are and for the amazing father I know you will be for the many years ahead!

Happy Father's Day, babe! xo

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Petit Mail

With so much of our time focused on technology these days, I love getting good old-fashioned paper mail. And when the majority of our mail is comprised of bills, bank statements and medical appointment reminders, it is exciting to find a brightly coloured, fun looking envelope sticking out of the pile!

We recently discovered Petit Mail - a kids story postcard subscription created and written right here in Newfoundland by local mom and entrepreneur, Alison Butler. Alison created Petit Mail with her own kids in mind, after noticing how her young daughter loved going with her to their community mailbox. She wanted to give her the excitement of finding a piece of mail with her own name written on it. Learn more about Alison and the story behind Petit Mail story postcards here.

Petit Mail is a fun way to introduce a new generation to the joy of snail mail. Every month, your Petit Mail story postcard arrives in your mailbox in a bright, colourful envelope, addressed by hand with your child’s first name. Brennen was pretty excited to receive his!

Each Petit Mail story postcard has a different theme, such as: art, writing, science, engineering, nature, reading, and imaginative play, all at an age-appropriate level. We were excited to receive several themes to try this month!

Brennen and I enjoy making art, so I was thrilled to find 'Oliver Explores Art' in his envelope. We read the postcard, then used the tips on the back to dive right in and make some art together!

All kids love to use their imaginations and create something new with their own hands. Some kids, like Brennen, need extra help to do so but it is just as important for him to be creative as it is for anyone else. Art fosters sensory perception, offers children a chance to experiment, create and build. It strengthens their ability to think and make decisions, and helps children make sense of the world around them. And art is fun! Children have a natural tendency to create, and as always, with children’s art activities (certainly at our house) it is more about the process than the final product.

I love that Petit Mail encourages a parent and child to spend quality time together, and offers you suggestions of new and unique ways to spend that time with your child. As a Mom, I always harbor a bit of guilt, thinking I could be doing more. There is always too much to do and not enough time to do it, and the reality of life with jobs and families and infinite responsibilities is that we must prioritize and make time for what is most important. For me, that is my children. Spending precious time with Brennen is at the top of my list. It can be tough at times to connect and engage with him, but I will continue to make efforts to find ways to nurture our relationship, because it is the most valuable part of my life.

Thanks to Alison at Petit Mail for creating such a high quality subscription service that offers so much in one little envelope.

Our next story postcard is 'Milo Loves Reading'. We love reading together, and we love to visit our local library, so this one should be fun!!

Alison has also recently created a Preschool Kids Reading Club on Facebook where parents can share book ideas and recommendations specifically for preschoolers and early readers. Learn more about that HERE!