Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Mom "Do you see the signs of spring?"
Roo"Mom how can you miss them? Look at the buds and the stream finally has no ice"
taken on our walk this past Sunday

for more of Wordless Wednesday check out 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bullying in Nova Scotia Schools

Last September Rachel and I moved from Toronto and its over worked, over stressed, TDSB (Toronto District School Board) to rural small town New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. In that move I really thought Roo would do much better in a smaller school.

Let me tell you the advantage of the big city. The amount of programming for kids like Roo is there ( you may have to fight for it but it is there) whereas here in New Glasgow Roo has languished.

It has been an extremely difficult year. Of course with the move I expected some blimps along the way. To be honest nothing could of prepared me for the year we have had thus far. Roo goes to a school with just over 100 students ( that is common here). There are little supports available for kids like Roo ( smart, yet super challenged socially). She was put into a regular grade 5 environment where there have been little support considering her challenges.

Then to top off the lack of proper educational supports you have a bullying policy that is there in writing but nothing is really done to implement it or to be proactive. Every recess you see kids getting hurt usually at the hands of other children, you hear stories of kids being isolated, of names being hurled and the list goes on.

For Roo this year has been hell. First in November it was her being gang attacked on the way home from school by two other female students ( these kids are grade 5-6) while 5 boys stood and watched and cheered it on. I called the police. They came and said there was little to do beside talk to the parents as the children were under the age of 12. The school could do nothing because the attack took place just off school property.

In March Roo had to visit the emergency room after being pushed down on the ice. She needed 5 stitches to close up her lip. I was told it was accidental by staff, yet Rachel said it was an intentional act. I tend to believe her.

After that incident Roo has become more depressed and almost everyday she endures some form of bullying from being spat at, pushed, called a name, etc.. Last month she told me she would rather die then go to school.

Then today at morning recess there was another incident. Roo was hanging upside down on a movable bar in the playground. Another child came along and twisted the bar causing her to fall and now she is left with a huge welt and a bad headache.

After the incident today Roo decided she has had enough. She left school ( I know very dangerous for an 11 yr old) and came home. She feels not listened too, she feels as if teachers and staff don't care or dismiss things as accidents or rough housing. When did rough housing become ok?

I have been told as I talk with other parents that Roo is not the only child who is enduring a life like this. I am now a Mom at my wits end and the Momma bear in me is out. I think we especially here in Nova Scotia need to challenge the definition of bullying. We need to do more and better for every Roo that is enduring a life of pure terror or else who knows she just could end up dead and for this parent that is the unthinkable.

I have tried calling the board and basically got no where. I have spoken to the principal and well the man refuses to see the problems in his school. So what would you do? what if this was your daughter? how can we do better for our children?

Please feel free to share your stories of bullying here, share solutions you see as workable. I am all ears.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rembering Sam and Maddie, and Celebrating the One I Have

The past few weeks Bloggerville have been full of posts about the life and death of Madeline Sphor. She was only 17 months old when her short yet amazing life ended. It has been amazing to watch the outpouring of love and support for the family and to watch thousands of dollars be raised for the March of Dimes all by bloggers. For me it made me think of the very best that is bloggerville. I had never come across Heather's blog before the death of her child or Mike's either. So what made me cry thousands of miles away not knowing them? What made me grieve with them, pray for them, wear purple?

I went and read post after post of memories, of time spent with their precious child. I watched as they turned something that some could say is a tragedy raise awareness and funds that could help save many babies in days to come. You could not help but to feel the emotion and then for me a mom who knows loss it brought back memories.

For me a mother who lost a child before even knowing it, it brought back memories of doctor visits, memories of a sterile hospital room, it brought back memories of Sam. Many people in my life don't know that before Roo there was Sam. I was 28 when I got pregnant with Sam( I gave the child growing in me a name). Sam was not planned but after getting over the shock of being pregnant was loved still the same. Then at 20 weeks, my worst nightmare happened. My cervix gave way and opened and I lost Sam while she was still inside me. They say the grief of a stillborn child and that of losing a child are not the same. I know how hard one was, so I can't even imagine what Heather and Mike are going through.

I was told at subsequent doctor visits that I would not get pregnant, and if I did I would be at high risk for losing the child. Then something magical happened, shortly after getting married to the now Mr Ex I was pregnant. I was terrified and yet delighted at the same time. Until I past the 14th week when they could sew my cervix shut I was scared. Would I lose Roo too? It was a high risk pregnancy that well defied the odds.

At 37 weeks, which is considered full term they took the stitches out and I had a beautiful child, my miracle girl. Now Roo had some medical issues right from the beginning and continues to have issues but we handle these one day at a time. I wouldn't trade her for the world. In taking the time to remember Sam and Maddie I was reminded to take time to truely enjoy the daughter I do have.

So today we went for a walk looking for the signs of spring and what did we find growing near the stream by our house but purple flowers. They made me stop and think of Maddie and Sam.

*ps it is not too late to give a donation to the March for Dimes so babies can live.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Do You Like the New Look?

Recently on my other blog Common Cents Mom where I try to dish put common sense ways to save money I participated in a huge blog party that is an annual event for 5 Minutes for Mom. Well as part of the party they had a give way..guess what I won?

A new blog design. Shera did a great job don't you think? If you like her work you can find her here.

Now what is to become of this blog. I started blogging back in 2003 with a blog on Xanga and then I moved to MSN spaces and then to here, and then to my blog Cheaper then Cheap as I embraced the frugal life style I needed to get myself off welfare and this blog was left by the wayside. Well my dream with this blog is to use it more as a journal of the life of a single parent mom and how it is to raise up a girl with Aspeger's Syndrome. She is an amazing daughter and I will return to chronicling our adventures here.

My other blog is for mom's too but it is more about resources and how to's, this one will be about that journey called life and what it means for me and my beautiful Roo.

Can you tell I have moved too many times? I will be staying here as Simply Hollie for the long haul!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter With Family

Yesterday was the first time my daughter Roo got to celebrate Easter with family.

My sister came with her two girls so instead of one basket there where 3. and do you see the 4 bunnies in the forefront. They were for the adults.

My sister and her family drove from Halifax and my Mom came from Scotsburn.

The day started very early.

after all Roo wanted to have an Egg hunt. and then it was time to get dressed.

My family arrived around noon and we had a great time visiting and eating together.

My mom and niece getting food. We had ham, scalloped potatoes, salad, carrots and lots of desserts...Yum!

Then after dinner of course it was time for me to clean up!

Then we visited some more!

Everyone was gone home long before the snow started and I was thankful for that!
Hope you all had a blessed weekend.

ఎఅస్తేర్ విత్ ఫ్యామిలీ

Corner Gas- Thanks for the Laughs

Tonight we say farewell to Corner Gas up here in Canada. The last episode airs tonight of this long lasting Canadian comedy.

Corner Gas was the first not geared for just for kids show that my daughter ever watched. It was a show that she was allowed to stay up past her bedtime for so her and mommy could laugh together!

Everyone knows Dog River these days and I got to know 2 of the cast a bit better then some. You see the Christmas of 2007 I volunteered at the Toronto's Salvation Army Toy Mountain. I was in charge of toy sorting that last day when who was there to work along side me but Karen and Oscar, in real life Eric Peterson and Tara Spencer-Nairn.

Actually Eric ended up beside me and I had a great conversation with him. He really is a Canadian acting icon. We talked about my daughter Roo and how she was the biggest Dog River fan, we talked about creating tv in Canada vs creating in the states ( I lived in LA for 2 years and dated someone from the crew of a well known soap.) , and about the state of celebrity here in Canada and we talked about Christmas and spending time with family. All this while we sorted hundreds of toys that were meant for some of Toronto's neediest kids.

The cast of Corner Gas regularly helped with this charitable project each year. I am sure they will be missed in the years ahead. For me and Roo we will miss thier prescence in our lives each and every Monday for the last 6 years. We will miss laughing at Hank, and Oscar the most. We will Brent,Karen, Davis and and Emma, poor, poor Emma.

Goodbye Corner Gas and Thanks for the Memories and Laughs!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Several times I have moved blogs, changed them, and moved on. I have been the wandering blogger ;) . Really after I stopped writing here I moved on the Cheaper the Cheap then I moved to Common Cents Mom...I have decided to come back here and blog the more personal journey of me and Roo. My other blog CommonCentsMom will be more about the journey of saving money, budgeting, and deal finding. Here it will be more about raising a tween and our journey.

So to catch you all up. Roo and I have moved from Toronto and are currently in rural Nova Scotia where I work for Comcast doing technical support. I live now about a 1/2 hr from my Mom and 2 hours from my sister. We came back to Nova Scotia because my mom took ill last winter and almost died.

Here are a couple pictures to get you caught up on how much we have grown!

This is me taken yesterday, simply me, taken yesterday!

This is Roo, with her typical tween attitude! After trying on new clothes she didnt want her picture taken, poor kid!

Well I will be sharing more here about our journey and my thoughts so come on back you hear!
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