Wednesday, 23 September 2015

One persons dream can be another persons (or cats) nightmare!

Oh why do I torture us, one of our daughters has visions of herself being a professional singer/song writer and another daughter has been in one theater production and would like to continue with other productions which has resulted in them both being signed up for voice lessons.  Both girls are beyond excited about their singing lessons with the oldest (our wanna be singer/song writer) telling everyone "she can't believe it, this is the best day of her life and her dream is finally coming true".  One of the challenges we face with this daughter is her lack of insight to her abilities, this girl can't all.  When she sings at home the cats run from the room, then avoid her for days and while I was waiting for them at their first lessons all the neighbourhood dogs were howling.  I know many people can't sing, myself included, but most people realize the fact they aren't skilled in a particular area and don't plan their life goals around said activity.
When looking for a teacher we needed someone skilled at working with individuals with special needs, encouraging but able to set realistic goals and skilled in voice training.  It is extremely hard working with someone that has such grand visions for them self.  If friends or family say anything about her lack of ability she gets upset, cries and tantrums because she feels everyone should be encouraging and how could they possibly be that rude.  We have recorded her singing and played it back hoping she might "hear" what we "hear" but that hasn't worked.  Frequently we have general discussions how sometimes we have hobbies because we enjoy doing a particular activity, also just because we enjoy doing something doesn't mean we have the skills to do it as a career.  We have also tried the approach of having her consider her friends and asking what type of careers they have?  As they don't have careers (most are in day programs like her) would they still be as close of friends if she went of and became a famous singer.

How do you deal with people in your life with grandiose ideas that don't come close to reality?  Today we will continue with singing lessons because they both enjoy singing and that is reason enough to continue.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Crooked Teeth - Paying it Forward

With a family as large as ours, comes the increased need for orthodontic treatment.  Most recently our 11 year old with an extreme overbite is in need of dental treatment.  Braces are expensive and for a large family, with multiple mouths of crooked teeth, the costs can really add up.

A family member was telling us about their dentist, how as a child he had extremely crooked teeth, his family struggled financially and were unable to afford orthodontic treatment.  As a young boy his neighbour, an orthodontist, corrected his teeth at no cost hoping he would "pay it forward" when he was able.  He eventually went on to dental school and then took additional courses in orthodontics.  As a dentist he is now able to help clients with their orthodontics while running his dental practice.

For us the benefits are:

- a dentists rates are less expensive than an orthodontists rates
- some of the fees charged by the dentist can be billed to insurance coverage for dental care even though we don't have orthodontic coverage
- 4 kids (and counting) that had very crooked teeth now have beautiful smiles

The 11 year old in question should have straightened teeth within a year, the cost should be no more than $600 and the payments are payable as treatment occurs.

Having looked around for options it is my understanding that there are many dentists out there that can help with crooked teeth, whether it's removing teeth due to extreme crowding or doing orthodontics.  Another option if you are fortunate to live near a dental college, is getting treatment at the college.  All these students need mouths to practice on, are supervised by licenced professionals and charge a reduced rate.  Orthodontic insurance is also another helpful way of reducing costs if you are fortunate enough to have this benefit.

What have you done to help afford the cost of orthodontics?

Friday, 18 September 2015

The missing piece

As another year of homeschooling starts we take the time to discuss plans, hopes and dreams with each child.  We haven't always been a homeschool family and want to ensure that this method of schooling is working for each child.  This year 2 of the teens are taking a combination of "face 2 face" classes and homeschooling.  One of our teens came "home" for school 3 years ago after struggling with bullying, extreme anxiety and academic challenges.  When we were considering whether or not homeschooling was a good option or not, we feared that her anxiety and ability to handle social situations may worsen if she wasn't exposed to social situations.  It is a common myth that home schooled children aren't exposed to enough social situations and therefore struggle socially.  For this particular teen homeschooling was the key to overcoming many of her challenges.  With the help of an education assistant at home and "face 2 face" classes her academic challenges are being worked on (at public school she qualified for an education assistant but the school reassigned the assistant).  Working at home and in small classes (5-8 students) has reduced the anxiety and bullying, giving time for confidence to be developed.  The reduced anxiety has also freed up energy so she can more actively participate in youth activities.  In the last year she has successfully taken on leadership roles at St John Ambulance as team captain for various competitions and leadership roles at Air Cadets.

As parents we were happy with the progress being made and our teen is happy with the homeschool option.  There is only one thing that she wished she could change, she missed the idea of being on a high school sports team.  Her older siblings had been on school teams and watching them she envisioned herself doing the same.  We looked for recreational teams in the area to no avail but after contacting a local private school we were able to have her join their school team.  Volleyball practice started on Wednesday and our teen is beyond excited.  At practice she also met up with a couple other homeschoolers that had the same goal of playing on a team.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Busted...Wardrobe Malfunctions

Some things you expect will improve with age, ones that you take for granted like knowing whether or not a piece of clothing fits.  For one of our adults this has been an ongoing struggle and today's clothing issues are with undergarments. The last bra was purchased independently and there have been increasing wardrobe malfunctions - you know the type were younger siblings are forever scarred when the older sisters exposed body part escapes.  Something needed to be done and fast.

We started with the shirt being removed and some measurements being taken.  When we got to this layer it was know wonder so many people have been scarred, the straps were loosened as much as possible and just draped over her shoulders and the cups were hanging next to the breasts like curtains waiting to be drawn....the bra definitely did not fit!!! After taking some measurements and contacting some large busted friends it was determined a specialty store would be required.  As the bra fit was so far off I felt the panties probably had the same issue.  Being there was no way I wanted to expose myself to that fright I felt it would be best to trust the tape measure and measure over the pants.  It was confirmed that the panties must have been hanging on by a thread,  literally,  as the new ones purchased were 4 sizes larger than the ones currently being worn.

We were at the store for 2 hours learning how to put on a bra and determining the best fitting one.  I picked out 3 possibilities to start and had our young lady go into the fitting room to try one on and then call me.  The first one was done up to the loosest size leaving enough room for another person and twisted on an angle so only one breast was contained.  Lessons on how to wear a bra....something she has been doing for 8 years and then time to try on the next one.  This time the bottom band was tight but it was across the breasts making it appear that she now had four boobs.  More lessons and the process continued for 2 long excurciating hours.  The younger sister that came with us was laughing and rolling her eyes discretely, so her sister didn't notice.  The sales clerk kept asking if we needed assistance, explaining they have dealt with customers with similar challenges but I do think we may have been their entertainment also.

We finally escaped the bra store and we are still continuing with the lessons on how to wear the new items.  We have been trying to have her dress in front of a mirror and hopefully observing how things look.  She has been given picture cues for how to wear a bra and we go through the steps daily (in front of the mirror) hopefully in the next 8 years this will be mastered.  The fortunate part is we haven't had any wardrobe malfunctions since the purchase of the new undergarments and no scares to the siblings.