Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Story!

Hey everybody! Its Kennedy! Today I read a Christmas story. I hope you enjoy the video!

Thank you and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Love, Kennedy
xoxox
(Mom here) The name of the story is, "What Santa Can't Do" and it is written by Douglas Wood and illustrated by Doug Cushman.
Here is the video and the words are below so you can follow along - enjoy!

There are lots of things that regular people can do, but Santa can't. He can find every house in every town in every country. But sometimes he can't find his pipe or his slippers.

He can remember everybody on his list. But he can't quite remember what Mrs. Claus said to get at the grocery store. Santa can never buy enough reindeer biscuits. He can't drive a car. (That would hurt the reindeer's feelings.) And he can't fly in airplanes. (That would really hurt their feelings!)

He can't shave. No one would know him. And he can't wear a suit and tie to work. Well, maybe a red suit. Santa can't quite touch his toes. Or do as many sit-ups as he used to. Santa can't wear Bermuda shorts and a T-shirt. Or sandals.

Santa can't do his best work without elves. And he can't wait to try out the new toys! Santa just can't help smiling. And he can't seem to smile without his eyes twinkling. He can't stand having an empty lap. Santa can't chuckle. Or giggle. Or snicker. He can only "Ho! Ho! Ho!"

He can't pack a regular suitcase. Santa can't sleep at night. At least, not on Christmas Eve! He can't leave for work without a kiss. And a present for someone special. He can't come into a house the normal way. He doesn't know how doorknobs work. Santa doesn't relly like fires in fireplaces. ("Ouch!") He just can't seem to walk past a plateful of cookies. Or a glass of milk. And he can't leave a single gift in his bag, even the tiniest one.

There are lots of things Santa can't do. Lots of ways he's different. But in one way he's just like you and me. He can't wait for Christmas!
------------------------------
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE FROM THE WEIR FAMILY!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kennedy Xmas Concert '08

Just a couple of shots of K in her Xmas show - her class sang "Jingle Bells" (all four verses - did you know there were four???) and played recorder on the chorus. We were so proud of her and how well she did with the recorder. I was excited to help her learn as I'd played the saxophone for many years and the recorder is very similar so I hauled out my old recorder and worked with her; we had many "Jingle Bells" duets here at the house before the show! Unfortunately I had only my Digital SLR camera with me without video capabilities so I didn't get any video. Maybe Santa will bring me a digital video camera! ha ha...:)

Singing Shot:



Recorder shot with her class:



Recorder shot close up:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Learning the Piano!

We decided to move the piano out to a more central location so I could practice a little more (I've been subbing music and expect to be doing more so I need to brush up!) and also because Kennedy is showing some interest in learning. Today I taught her C, D, and E and she learned her first little song. Naturally, the first thing she wanted to do was make a video for the blog. Here's my little Liberace-in-training:
video

Monday, December 1, 2008

What do YOU want for Xmas?

Hey everybody, it's Kennedy! Today I made a video about what I want for Christmas. I want you to tell me what you want for Christmas! I hope you enjoy the Video! Thank you!
video

Love, Kennedy

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Charge It for CHARGE

I know most of you may have heard of this already via email or on my Facebook page, but I wanted to ask that if any of you are considering any type of donation to a charitable cause this year, I would urge you to support the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation. I'm not big on 'blegging', but this is cause near and dear to my heart as they have been a great source of support to my family over the past ten years.

The Foundation has a new campaign going on called, "Charge It for CHARGE" and people can donate, or set up their own fundraiser page to become a fundraiser themselves. I have set up a "Charge It for CHARGE with the Weir Family" page at this address:
Click here to Charge It for CHARGE with the Weir Family. You can make a donation right there, or use the buttons on the left side of the screen to join in the fun and become a fundraiser yourself!

Thank you in advance for considering a donation to the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation!

Sincerely,
Graeme, Lisa & Kennedy Weir

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Fitting Story for Remembrance Day

Kennedy wanted to read a story to my class at school because they had asked her to read more to them after I showed them her poems the other day. She chose, I Am Canada by Heather Patterson. I thought it was fitting that she chose this book because today is Remembrance Day and we would not have this wonderful country the way it is without those who risked and sacrificed their lives to fight for it.
video

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Poetry Reading by Kennedy

Tonight is a "diva" night for sure. Kennedy spotted a new poetry book I won recently and decided that her blog audience would like not one, but two poems read to them. I will post the text below the video so you can follow along.
video
The Wind by Marie Louise Allen
The Wind, O the wind, it is made out of air
That always is rushing to get somewhere.
It comes in a hurry
And goes in a flurry --
It pushes so hard that it makes us all scurry!
It whirls and it twirls
And it tugs at my curls;
It puffs and it blows, and away there it goes!
But why must it hurry? Not anyone knows.

River Winding by Charlotte Zolotow
Rain falling, what things do you grow?
Snow melting, where do you go?
Wind blowing, what trees do you know?
River winding, where do you flow?

Halloween's Been Over For Five Days, What Do You Mean You Aren't Ready for Xmas Yet?

Kennedy decided today that she was good and ready to compose her annual letter to good ol' St. Nick. Here she is doing her favourite activity of late, making videos of herself:
video

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Another New Food!

Every Saturday night growing up, we had homemade beans for supper. This was a longstanding tradition in my parents' house and they still do it even though all the kids have moved out. It's odd to go into my parents' house on a Saturday and not smell homemade beans cooking. Yesterday, Graeme & Kennedy went to have dinner with my Mom & Dad because I was out having dinner with a couple of my friends. Kennedy decided she wanted to try beans and promptly devoured two bowls! She wanted to make a video to tell you about it:

video

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Kennedy has a message for everyone today about what happened at school:
video

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from the 'Elegant Witch'

Saturday, October 25, 2008

First Banana/Video Night

Kennedy has felt like working on her actress skills tonight and wanted me to shoot another video of her eating bananas that were not pureed for the VERY FIRST TIME! We are so proud of how well she is eating. After eating with a tube for nine years, she has come so far in the one year she has been eating. Here you go for your viewing pleasure:
video

WELCOME!

video

Kennedy's new 'Welcome' video - October 25, 2008

Kennedy wanted to make a new welcome video - it'll live on the side bar at the top but I thought I'd post it a little bigger in a post so people could get a look at all her cuteness!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Kennedy is an Auntie!

Last weekend (Thanksgiving weekend no less!), Kennedy became an Auntie! My son Ryan and his girlfriend Angela gave birth to a BEAUTIFUL, healthy baby girl on October 10th. Kennedy hadn't been sure about this whole 'Auntie' business and quite frankly, wanted to be a 'sister' to the new baby but when she saw her little niece for the first time, she was fine with it!

I am pleased to present Miss Taylor Kennedy Nolan (yep, they gave her Auntie's name for a middle name)...born on October 10, 2008 at 9:42pm, weighing in at 7lbs 1oz and 20 inches long. I am a proud Nan and Kennedy is a proud Auntie. Here are some pictures:



Taylor with her Mommy (Angela) and Daddy (Ryan) - 10-10-08



Auntie Kennedy feeds Taylor while Nan happily snuggles her




Taylor, one day old



Taylor with her Daddy and Auntie Kennedy

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wordle

I found this over at the blog of Miss Alice and couldn't resist doing one for Kennedy's blog...here is the result (you can click to make it big):

What a nifty little application!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

September School Work

Kennedy had to write a story about her summer vacation. I thought some of you might get a kick out of it:



My Summer Vacation

I had a great summer! I went to Theatre Camp, Deaf Camp, and I got a haircut.


I went to Theatre Camp to do singing, dancing, and acting. We are doing the play called Peter Pan. I am an actress now. It is at the Interaction Children's Theatre.


I went to Deaf Camp on August 3rd. It is in Fredericton. We played games, swimming, and crafts. I had fun at Deaf Camp!


I got a haircut at Wal-Mart. My hair got straightened. I got blonde hair. Marysa and Jenna came with me. I also got bangs. I love my haircut!


I had a wonderful summer! My best part was going to Theatre Camp, Deaf Camp, and my haircut. I hope I will be a good student in Grade five.



She also had to write sentences with conjunctions. For some reason, when she is told to write sentences, she independently does these long, rich, detailed sentences. When she is writing a story (as above), she uses more short, choppy sentences. That's something we need to work on but she'll get there. I had to have a good laugh at number 1. You can click the picture to make it bigger if you can't read it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blog Neglect - Brief Update

Hey gang, I know I've been woefully negligent in posting here but with Kennedy & Kyle back to school plus me doing my full-time internship and two university courses, there isn't much time for blogging. On a good note, grade five is going pretty well for Kennedy so far. Her writing has improved so much, she is adding so much more detail to her sentences, using conjunctions, etc. Mommy is very proud.

She has decided that she doesn't want to go back to Guides this year. I'm a little disappointed but I respect the fact she doesn't want to and I won't force her. She's still bowling in the league every Sunday and going to theatre classes beginning in October on Thursday nights. She goes around telling everyone, "I'm an actress now." It's so cute.

Hope all of Kennedy's readers are having a great September/back-to-school time!!!
Here is the little Missy on the first day of school - what a diva with her Hannah Montana hair and outfit on, blowing her kiss to Mommy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Boing!

This is probably one of the best investments we've made - Kennedy's trampoline. I know they sometimes have a bad rap but if used properly with the safety netting and supervision and following the rules, I think they're great. Plus, they are great exercise (trust me, I've been on it and your heart rate definitely goes up after a few jumps!). She'd been asking for one since last year when she tried it up at my cousin Sherri's house at our family's annual 'Estrofest' - Graeme named it the Estrofest because it's a three-day thing each August where the females from my mom's side of the family all gather up in northern New Brunswick at my cousin Sherri's place. We are actually heading up there tomorrow morning for Estrofest so we'll be away from the computer for a bit.

Anyway, Sherri had a trampoline, she tried it and loved it and has been asking for one since so when they went on sale, we bought her one and she's been jumping ever since. She goes out in the morning in her jammies and gets in and sometimes (like the video below), she does it in the evening with her jammies on. She is actually pretending she's hosting a show during this jumping segment, thus the "Hi, this is Kennedy Weir and welcome to my house" and what not throughout the jumping. She loves the whole butt-feet jump combo; it's her favourite so far...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Another Smashing Performance!

Well my little princess did fabulous again tonight, along with the 40 something other children who make up the group who performed at Summer Jam 2008. She was in five songs tonight, had a line of her own, which I missed on video and a singing line of her own (which I caught on video!), and many dance steps to learn in five short days. She rocked it out... She is really looking forward to going to Theatre classes beginning in the fall; Mommy couldn't be happier about that. Watching her up there on stage is sheer and utter joy! This is a song from Anne of Green Gables called, "Summer" - Kennedy has a short solo near the end of this clip, at about 3:16...

Tonight is the Big Show

Well, after a week of crazy rehearsals, including one 9 1/2 hr day, Kennedy will be performing with her group tonight in the 'Summer Theatre Jam' at the Imperial Theatre tonight. I am so excited for her; I would've loved to have had the opportunity to perform at the Imperial Theatre (it's really an amazing place that was restored after my music career was finished!), and here is my dolly doing her SECOND show there. She had also danced there a couple of years back.

We are having a relaxing morning as she has a two hour practice this afternoon followed by the show this evening. I am so excited for her. I will be posting pics (if they let me take any...it's pretty strict there) of the show and if not, some pictures from after the show.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Home from Deaf Camp and Back to Theatre Camp

She made out great at Deaf Camp - she was dirty but happy when I picked her up on Saturday morning. I was informed that she & her group won the talent show, she & another girl, Taylor, sang "If We Were A Movie" by Hannah Montana while the other girls in the cabin backed them up with home made instruments, they were a big hit and won the whole thing.

This week, she's back at Theatre Camp for 'Production Week' - where all the other themed camps (Broadway Bound, Disney, etc...) get together and come up with one big show of them all. I can't wait - it's this coming Saturday!

Here she is with her cabin mates:


Here is the little missy singng her heart out at the talent show...I don't know where she got that pink hat, but it's so Kennedy...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sprucing Things Up Around Here

I finally caved and upgraded to the new Blogger - I had always chosen to go with the Classic templates because I had more control over the html and could tweak it the way I want. I'm still tweaking with this new version but it's not as annoying as I thought it'd be and let's face it, it IS prettier. What do you think? Like the new template? I thought it was really cute and the best thing? It's FREE...always a selling point with me.

I am so not surprised that I am working on Kennedy stuff when I have a gazillion other things to do. Only 41 hours to go until I pick her up. Roughly. I'm not counting or anything. Really, I'm not. :)

Okay onto other work now. I've already written a report this morning, washed all the bedding and worked on another web page that I needed to get done. Maybe I'll keep the Kennedy slideshow running on the side.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

She's Off!

Well, I dropped the little miss off at Deaf Camp on Sunday. She was so excited for the past few months and on the way up, but she decided she wanted mama to stay when I was getting ready to leave. Uh oh...
The woman I hired to be her helper is fantastic though, and got her mind changed again; they were laughing and looking at Hannah Montana magazines as I drove off. It's Tuesday and I haven't heard anything so I'm assuming she's settled in and having a ball. I hope.

As for me on the other hand, I can't stop thinking about her; I even woke up in the night last night for a couple hours wondering how she was making out. Is she warm enough? Did she have enough to eat today? Did they remember to remind her about sunscreen and bugspray? Is she dry? (it's been raining like a bugger here since I drove her up) What a mess I've been. I know she's going to be fine but I can't stop myself from these incessant thoughts. There are more than fifty staff for 48 or 49 campers AND I hired someone to give her an extra hand specifically. So why can't I calm down? I'd love to know...maybe it'll get easier as the week goes on.

I was online watching her little videos the FIRST NIGHT she was gone. I thought I'd get all this work done and get all caught up on my sleep, etc. Yeah, not so much. Sure, I've left Kennedy lots of times before, even up to eight or nine days but it was always with my mom...this is different. She will need to be a lot more independent and I have always been a worrier that other people won't "do it like mom does" - which is ridiculous because she does fine at school, other day camps, etc, where I am not there. I think it's the whole camp, sleeping away overnight, all personal care, etc that I'm stressing about. I really am going to try and keep busy this week and relax a bit as well but it is HARD!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Following the Leader

This is from the Peter Pan movie, the song is "Following the Leader." This will be the last one from the show. There was another video clip of Kennedy delivering her lines but the audio didn't pick them up as she was standing further away...:( She did great though, we were all very proud.

I've Got No Strings

Another video from the show - this one is 'I've Got No Strings' from the Pinocchio movie. Kennedy is on the far right.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Disney On Stage!

Kennedy had a great time at Theatre Camp, at the end of the two week camp, they performed a "Disney On Stage" production with different song/dance numbers from the different movies over the years. Here she is in the finale, "We're All In This Together" from High School Musical, which I think was everyone's favourite!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer Fun

Kennedy is having fun with Jenna & Marysa here - they go off to the playground themselves or up to the store for an ice cream. Also, on Wednesday nights for the next eight weeks, we'll be having a sleepover with them as I have a photography course so Marysa will watch Kennedy & Jenna while I'm out, then the three of them will have a sleepover. Kennedy is pretty excited about that.

Not too much other than that is new around here - Kennedy made out great at Nana & Papa's while I was on my trip to Europe, next week is the beginning of her two-week "Disney on Stage" theatre camp so we'll be busy this weekend getting ready for that. Hope everyone is having a fabulous summer!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Last Day of Grade Four

Kennedy's last day of grade four
I can't believe the year is over. Kennedy got her home report yesterday and passed all her subjects, spelling and Social Studies were her two highest marks. I'm just thrilled she is doing the regular curriculum with some modifications and keeping up. We are so proud of her. The next time I see my little beauty in about three hours, she will be a grade fiver! Where has the time gone?

She looked so cute this morning, wearing her little Old Navy dress to school, that I had to snap a couple of pictures. She is getting to be such a big girl and that hair! She agreed this morning to a 'trim' - she has a major long hair obsession that I don't think is going anywhere anytime soon.

We have a busy summer planned, she is going to two weeks of theatre camp, one week of deaf camp, and one week of Nana & Papa camp while I am in Europe for my March of the Living Trip. We are also having her two friends Marysa & Jenna for four weeks this summer so she is excited to have two 'sisters' for part of the summer. Between all of that and me finishing up two more university courses, things won't slow down a whole lot but that's okay, I'm sure we will have lots of fun.

To close, I'll leave you with another one of the photos this morning, up closer and in colour:
Beautiful Kennedy June 20, 2008

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Fun Weekend At APSEA

As always, Ms. Kennedy loved going down to APSEA with all her friends for the annual "Family Weekend" - she still had a blast and made out fine signing despite having only one hand/arm to do things with. More later, but for now here she is with some of her buds, mostly at bed time (the rest of the time, you couldn't slow them down long enough for a photo!), making silly faces, reading Jonas Brothers or Hannah Montana books, doing silly poses and of course, the "toothbrush shot":


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Recess Adventure for Kennedy

I got a phone call around 10:15 this morning, wondering if I could come to school. Apparently, Kennedy was playing a game of 'chase' with the other kids on the playground at recess and she took a fall. She was crying when I got there so I knew it was something, she usually has a pretty high pain tolerance. I took her to the hospital and lo and behold, she broke her arm (humerus - bone between elbow & shoulder).

They don't cast it up that far, so she has to wear one of those slings that keeps your arm sucked right in to her body for four weeks. And yes, of course, it's her right arm, the one she writes, eats, and does everything else with.

I guess I have to feel a little happy that she was playing 'chase' and that this was a hospital visit not brought on by anything CHARGE-related, just regular ol' kid-playing stuff. I still feel bad for her though. Here she is, slightly later with her new sling on:
Kennedy with her sling on, still saying I Love You, even with her hand inside the sling...what a doll

Saturday, May 10, 2008

World, Meet Molly

Last Saturday, our cat of 12 years, Loki, died. He became very sick and by the end of the day we discovered he was in congestive heart failure and was drowning in his own fluids so he had to be put down. All this week, Kennedy kept saying, "man, I miss Loki, I want him back right now!" Today, we decided to bite the bullet and get her a new kitten. We found her at the pet store and Kennedy has dubbed her Molly. I had to get a kitten because I'm not a real cat lover so the only way I'm comfortable with a cat is to have had it pretty much from birth.

Here are a couple of shots from today, we noticed the dirt in her ears and had a good cleaning session thanks to a couple of these pictures!


Here she is on the couch in Kyle's room:



Wonder if we'll sleep tonight?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Has It Really Been A Year?

Kennedy's bowling banquet took place last weekend - she had a great time with all her friends and was especially excited to take home three trophies. We are very proud of her but even more happy to see her experiencing the feeling of being part of a team. Her team won first place in the roll-offs. Here is the team photo in front of the giant trophy that their names will go on, with each of them holding their individual trophy for that:


And here she is, at home (pigtails removed!) at the end of the day on the deck with her three beloved trophies. I'm pretty sure no trophies were ever hugged more than these were!

Friday, May 2, 2008

May Days - An Update

Things are still pretty much in hectic mode around here - we are having a lot of days off for teachers' professional development days so we've had some nice at-home time together. Kennedy is super excited about her upcoming summer plans, which include a two-week Disney-themed theater camp with a full stage production at the end, and a week away (without mom for the first time) at deaf camp.

Last night along with her choir, she performed in the Music Festival and did a great job. This weekend she has a birthday party and a bowling banquet to attend. This kid has more of a social life than I do.

I am having a bit of a "girl night" tonight - one of my pals and I from university are having dinner out then going to see a movie (it's Patrick Dempsey, it can't be anything but good!)

I am also getting ready to begin spring courses on Monday and am thinking about the extra reading I have to do to prepare for my trip to Germany & Poland at the end of June (it's a Holocaust learning tour for teachers - it's going to be very intense).

So, that's pretty much what's going on with us right now, we are still waiting to hear back from the School District about this French program they are implementing in the fall, there is supposed to be a meeting coming up very soon. Wish us luck!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Must-See Movie on Sunday Night!

This Sunday night at 9pm ET/ 10pm AST on CBS, a movie called "Sweet Nothing in My Ear" will be airing. The beautiful and talented Marlee Matlin stars alongside Jeff Daniels with newcomer Noah Valencia playing their son, Adam.

Here is a news release about the movie:
In CBS' new movie, two warm people are divided by a mutual love.

The wife (Marlee Matlin) is deaf; the husband (Jeff Daniels) is not. Now one issue -- whether to give their deaf son a cochlear implant -- splits them.

"Sweet Nothing in My Ear" has surprises for the audience and for the actors. "I had no idea about the pride in the deaf culture," Daniels said.

That's a key factor. "Some may see deafness as a disability," Matlin wrote in an e-mail interview, "but it is a spirit and a sense of community that has been around for over 200 years."

That pride propels the conflict, Daniels said. "(Her) opinion is, 'We're deaf; we're not disabled.' ... My argument is that we should not limit him, when there is this technology that might allow him to hear."

This is a frequent debate. Proponents say the implants can restore partial sound to some people who were born hearing; critics say this can separate them from their deaf family and schoolmates.

"I've seen my share of scripts, mostly poorly researched, featuring cochlear implant storylines," Matlin said. "This was the first one that looked at the issue intelligently, accurately."

The director is Joseph Sargent, 82. "He loves making movies," Daniels said.

In his 1985 "Love is Never Silent," Phyllis Frelich and Ed Waterstreet, both deaf, played parents of a hearing woman. They're back now, as grandparents encased in the struggle.

That was one of the attractions, Matlin said. It "featured several roles for actors who are deaf or hard of hearing."

Noah Valencia was 9, with no acting experience, when he was cast as the son.

"That kid is a wonderful actor (and) he was so prepared ... He was a pro," Daniels said.

Daniels had his own preparation. When the role came up, he said, his agent implied the actor knew sign language. When he got the part, "I ordered this 20-hour series of (signing) tapes and crammed," Daniels said.


Photo Credit

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bloody Wednesday

Today Kennedy's BAHA site was really "angry" when I cleaned it this morning. We do the same routine every day but for some reason it just gets really icky and sore sometimes. Tonight it began bleeding a LOT (most I've ever seen) - her hair was matted and everything. It was a sin! She had to miss Girl Guides (which she loves) and go the whole evening without her BAHA on, and she LOVES her hearing aid, but I had to let it dry out some and try and get it healed. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day as she has a big pizza party with the Sea Dogs (our local Major Junior League hockey team).

On a good note, I am finished classes until the first of May...just need to study for those exams next week!

Testing...

My new email subscription option...
Ignore this post :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Test-time

Lately, K seems to have had quite a few tests and another big one coming up Thursday on the Interior Plains region of Canada. She has to know information about the climate, natural resources, plants, animals and the geography of the region. She recently had one on the Canadian Shield and she got 27/30. We were so proud. She also got 47/50 on a big spelling test and 12/15 on her grammar test for quotation marks. She is working so hard lately and I just wanted to share all the great news about how well she was doing!

Now, it's test time for mama - 3 exams next week...It's almost over, it's almost over, it's almost over...


This is Ms. KK and Ms. MacKenzie together shopping for 'fabulous' clothes at Old Navy on a recent trip. A girl's gotta have a break once in a while from all this school work, what's more fun than shopping???

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fighting for Choice

We have a war going on right now in our education system here in NB, if you want to read all the details about it, check this blog out.

Here is a condensed version: the NB government is trying to save money by cutting the Early French Immersion program here and forcing ALL students in grade five into this new, "Intensive French" program. Kennedy goes into grade five in the fall and now I have lost the choice for her to continue to be educated in English. There are no French interpreters or itinerant teachers for students who are deaf/hard of hearing, etc...this is a nightmare. The intensive French has them in French instruction 75% of the day for FIVE months!

This is inappropriate for Kennedy and even MORE so because she will not even have access to the information even if it WERE appropriate. I've had many others come to me and tell me they feel the same way and nobody in the government, at the school district, or at the school can tell me
a) how this could possibly benefit her
or
b) how they plan on accommodating for her unique learning challenges.

They are opening themselves up for quite a bit of legal trouble in my opinion (in addition to the fact that so many people are outraged by this decision that they will be lucky to see the light of day in the next election).

I wish things could be boring - just for a little while.

So, if you're wondering where I've been lately, I've been fighting the government over this regressive decision that will adversely affect Kennedy and others as well. A government removing choice from its citizens in a democratic system - kinda sounds a little backward to me...

Monday, March 10, 2008

More Sleepover Pictures and a Letter to the Easter Bunny

Here are a few more photos of the sleepover queen and her court - Jenna and MacKenzie in a few shots, then Mac & Kennedy in the last ones shopping, and singing Kareoke and just being generally silly. Also included in this set is K's letter to the Easter Bunny. She just popped upstairs and said, "I want to write a letter to the Easter Bunny." Who am I to argue? She also wanted to know where he lived so I told her "Easter Island." Sounds like a good answer to me!
(as ever, hit F5 if Flickr is being a pain and the refresh should bring the photos up)


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pink Lady/Sleepover Madness

Well it's March Break Madness around here this week, where mom tries to get all of her school work done and the kids want to be run around here, there, and everywhere! Kennedy went for a sleepover at her friend Emma's house this past Tuesday night, where Emma's mom helped Kennedy get into the latest fashion trend with all the little girls around here: PINK HAIR. Yep, pink hair streaks in the front of the hair are all the rage lately, so of course Ms. Kennedy had to get in on it, too. I knew Emma's mom had the dye so I told her to go for it.
Here's some picture evidence:
Kennedy's Pink Hair - Side View



Front View:


Now she is dying for me to straighten it with a flat iron so she can see what it will look like straight. What a kid.

The one night sleepover at Emma's turned into two nights, as they live quite a way away from us and a nasty freezing rain storm took hold yesterday and we weren't able to go and get her. That meant a Wednesday night sleepover at OUR house with her other friend, Jenna, had to be postponed. Her mom & I decided on Friday night, which was okay because our dear friends Jeanie & MacKenzie from Nova Scotia had called on Wednesday morning to tell me that they weren't going to be able to make their previously scheduled trip this weekend.

Then, Jeanie called me on Wednesday night after I made the plans with Jenna's mom to tell me that they could in fact now make it and would be arriving the same time as Jenna on Friday night and staying until Monday. Soooooo, Friday night is going to be girls' night at my house with Jeanie, MacKenzie, Jenna, Kennedy, and myself. Graeme better run and hide from all those girls... (actually he is taking off to go four-wheeling with the boys on Saturday so he'll be able to escape for a little while at least!)

Oh yeah, did I mention my sister and her three kids are coming from Nova Scotia this weekend as well to visit and it's my sister's birthday and she wants us all to go out and celebrate??? I'll fit it all in somehow. I guess I better get off the computer and start studying for my two midterms next week, it doesn't look like I'm getting much studying done this weekend!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

January - February '08

I know, I've been neglecting this blog. Once university starts, extracurricular hobbies/activities (including blogging) seem to cease with the onslaught of reading/assignments/midterms/projects/etc.

Kennedy had quite a birthday celebration: a bowling party with friends, a sleepover with another friend, and a family party. It was quite a weekend for celebrating the big 10!

In early February, we traveled to the IWK for some appointments - she had dentistry (had her first cleaning of her life and did great!) and she also had ophthamology. She LOVES playing "eye-games" and this time was no different. She did a great job and they actually decreased her eyeglass prescription slightly. While in Halifax, it just happened to be the ONLY week that the big Hannah Montana 3D Movie was playing. It was only playing for that week and in two places in all of Canada: HALIFAX, and North York, Ontario. So we got some tickets online and our dear friends MacKenzie & Jeanie drove up and met us in Halifax to take in the show. It was pretty exciting!

In other news, and speaking of "Hannah Montana," Ms. Kennedy went and auditioned for her school Talent Show on her own and made it! She will be performing Hannah's song, "Best of Both Worlds" next week. Needless to say, we are all becoming quite well-acquainted with the lyrics for that song here around the house as she rehearses ceaselessly!

Here are a few January-February '08 pictures (you can click them to make them bigger if you want to see them better).

Bowling Birthday Party:
With Jenna & Marysa at the party



With Rachel at the party



Kennedy EATING her birthday cake



The Whole Gang, Post-Bowling



Here she is doing science experiments with Emma at the sleepover portion of the party weekend:




This would be at the family party, "posing" in front of her presents (and just a "teensy" bit excited to start opening them!)


Finally...what party weekend would be complete without a Hannah Montana WIG?


More pictures to come when I'm not rushing to get showered and to class on time!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

On Celebrating

Posting this early because I know I won't have time with all her parties/sleep over this weekend...
Kennedy at the IWK - one week old, February, 1998If you had asked me 10 years ago today what I thought life might be like at this point, it's likely that my response may have been somewhat dismal. I remember sitting in the hospital bed crying after the doctor gave us the news that our beautiful, much-longed-for-and-loved-beyond-measure-before-she-even-arrived daughter had "bilateral choanal atresia." I was so upset that she wasn't healthy. I was so upset because I didn't know if she would make it through that very day. I was so upset because I couldn't even pronounce the darn name of the condition that she had. What kind of mother can't even pronounce the name of her daughter's condition for crying out loud?

After three and a half months in hospital, we came home with the definitive diagnosis of CHARGE syndrome and life with Kennedy outside the hospital began. In those last ten years, she has endured nineteen surgeries, being poked and prodded by so many strange people, having her wee little chest cracked open twice, having so many parts of her tender young body sliced and sewn up again, having to do hour after hour of therapy with so many people. She worked so hard to learn to breathe, talk, hear, see, sit up, stand, walk, and eat with so many systems of her body not working optimally. She had to work so hard to do the things that just come naturally to other children.

This was her reality.

This was her life.

She could've been the grouchiest, crankiest, most horrible child ever and she would've been completely justified in being so. She went through all of this, however, and she thrived. She grew strong, she was happy, she was full of her own little personality, and she gave all of us so much joy. She has gone through more in ten years than most of us will ever go through in a lifetime, and through it all, she radiated, and continues to radiate, this beautiful light of happiness. We should all be so lucky to have a little 'Kennedy' in us.

When I think back to those early days, when I think about all that she has accomplished in spite of what I would consider amazingly unfair odds, when I am sadly reminded of the realities of CHARGE as I was this past week, when another sweet ray of light who was 22 years old with CHARGE passed away unexpectedly, I realize the monumental importance of celebrating this beautiful life. It reminds me that it should not be just on her actual day of birth that I celebrate her, but each and every day that I awaken to the sound of those precious footsteps bounding up the stairs.

Kennedy and Mom and Aunt Tammy's wedding, August 2007I hope the tradition of jumping in bed with Mom and Dad never gets old. I hope the snuggling and the kisses and the squeezy hugs never get tired.

I hope I never forget how lucky I am to have been able to learn so much from this little person and how lucky I am for each day with her.

I love you, Kennedy. Happy 10th birthday, baby girl.





Love,
Mom

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Big Ten and Other News

Kennedy with Uncle Scott on New Year's EveA little unrelated picture - my favourite of New Year's Eve - Kennedy sitting on my brother Scott's knee. She does love to act silly with Uncle Scott! By the way, she had NO problem staying up until 1am on New Year's Eve...I think she could've outlasted us all if we'd tested her.

Now...on to more important issues: birthdays. Kennedy is quite excited about her upcoming celebration, and it's a big one - DOUBLE DIGITS! On January 27th, this little amazing dynamo will be TEN. It is hard to believe... She is quite involved with the planning of her party this year: we have reviewed the guest list, decided on the venue, talked about what to get for the guests, the invitations, and discussed the always-important-but-more-so-this-year, cake. We are going to see if any of the local bakeries make a Hannah Montana cake...let's hope so because Mom isn't quite that creative in the cake decorating department :).

In other news, eating is still going great - pancakes have pulled ahead of French Toast as her favourite breakfast food as of late. We are trying something new tomorrow - first she must eat at least 1/2 cup pureed fruit before pancakes, otherwise this kid is going to turn INTO a pancake! Toast is the new afterschool snack du jour - and now we have expanded our horizons to include jelly, peanut butter, or cheese whiz for a topping.

Stay tuned for the latest in Kennedy's Eating Adventures...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Pancakes, French Toast, and Toast with Crust!

All in the span of the past three days - Kennedy has eaten (and done very well!) with these three new foods. It's so exciting to see her eating different things and expanding her "gustatory horizons". This will make breakfast so much nicer for her; we can add lots of different fruit to the pancakes, she will get some egg/protein with her French toast and how about just regular ol' toast? She ate two pieces of regular toast today and her second piece with crust and all! Homemade apple and strawberry jelly from Nana B's farmstand on top, too.

Never a prouder mother was there today as I watched my blond curly-mopped angel scarf down that toast complete with crust. Oh and table syrup such as Aunt Jemima for the pancakes and French toast? Not a chance - she wants "this one, mama" - pointing and referring to pure maple syrup. A true Canadian kid...nothing but the best when it comes to maple syrup!

On another interesting food note, we are trying to move her to mashed foods for supper and some different things also for lunch. I had a meeting tonight so Daddy got her supper ready. Dad reports to me on the way home from my meeting that she did great with her mashed potatoes (a favourite of hers) and with the mashed carrots; however, when it came to the tuna steak Dad cooked for her and then just mashed up instead of pureeing it, Kennedy was not interested and had a good question for her father... "Dad, are you trying to choke me?"

Kennedy, looking like she is in pain but actually very much enjoying some squash and mashed potatoes at Nana and Papa's house on New Year's DayI love this kid.

Today toast with crust, tomorrow the WORLD!
(or, maybe some ravioli)