April 5, 2013

Filmpossible 2013

This year's Filmpossible contest seems to have been another huge success, helping to end the stigma of disability for the third year in a row. Contestants were challenged to "capture moments of possibility" and to creatively "dispel myths, showcase achievements, demonstrate inclusion or accessibility, or tell a story." The same overall theme remains: "Bringing visibility to disability".

There were so many wonderful entries (102 to be exact!) in both the photo and video categories, which were so beautiful and inspirational. Many of the videos moved me to tears. And I was especially moved by this years winning video, "For Abbey", which just happens to showcase the limitless abilities of Abbey, a fellow CHAMP!
"Abbey can never escape the stares and the question, "What's with the leg?". She wears a prosthesis ("buddy") because she was born with a shortened right leg requiring amputation above the knee at age two. Abbey will sweetly explain to you how "buddy" works but don't presume that this "visible disability" is somehow limiting to her. She will leave you behind in the whirl of her wake as she surges past on her way to new adventures.
Confident. Determined. Playful. Loving. Joyous. This is our Abbey."
Visit the Filmpossible website (filmpossible.ca) to view Abbey's video and be sure to check out the other amazing entries in the video and photo categories!

I just love this video and watching Abbey conquer so many momentous milestones! What an amazing little girl with an incredibly bright future ahead of her.

Congratulations to Abbey, her family, and all of the other Filmpossible winners and participants! We look forward to next year's contest!

Let Them Stare!

Underneath the Scars: Let Them Stare! by Meg Zucker: "Those stares!  No matter how many years I’ve endured the uninvited attention, and even learned to brush it off, I still sometimes find myself surprised at how unabashedly some people will gape at me.   And while I’d like to think it’s because I’m so gorgeous, I don’t kid myself.   I know they often fixate on me because I look quite different from the norm.  That’s to be expected.  But what I didn’t expect was that along the way, I might begin to inspire others to be less self-conscious."

March 26, 2013

Lightening McQueen arm

Gavin recently got his new Lightening McQueen arm and he is pretty excited about it... KA-CHOW!

He loves the cool picture on it and he especially loves his hockey stick attachment. The attachment is fitted to his hockey stick, allowing him to hold his stick without having to put it under his armpit.

He still has this habit of bending WAY down, which this will hopefully help him with as he gets used to it and improves his balance. He has been practising with it a lot but its a challenge to get a picture of him using it that isn't a complete blur!

He couldn't wait to test it outside. He had a blast taking shots on Daddy the Goalie and its all he wants to do ever since.
Gavin got to test it out on the ice for the first time last Saturday and he did a great job with it. I asked him if he likes playing hockey better with or without his new arm and he said he likes it better WITH his Lightening McQueen arm.

He also got a new "catcher hand", as Gavin calls it. It is made of silicone and is nice because its a bit more flexible and Gavin has been really enjoying playing catch with a good sized ball and using two hands to catch. This is not a great picture but you can see how it looks.

He has been wearing it at school the past few days for short periods of time. We are encouraging him to wear it and continuing to praise him for his efforts! The response from his school friends has been so positive. He is really using it well when he feels like using it and often asking to put it on so he can hold his stick better.

A few days ago Gavin was wearing his arm with the catcher hand and was playing catch with a friend at daycare and the hand just fell off! The teacher was smiling as she told me how they were rolling around on the floor laughing about it and Gavin thought it was so funny! She mentioned how Gavin has such a great attitude about it and I really think the other kids pick up on that and think its kinda cool. His little sister Eden definitely thinks its really cool and tries to put it on and has asked me for her own. But then again, she wants to be just like her big brother and do exactly everything he does.

Over the years Gavin has been fitted with four different prosthetic arms and accumulating quite an interesting little collection. He also has a few different hand attachments. Its so amazing (yet terrifying) to see how much he has grown... The tiny little Nemo arm will forever be my favourite!

He has sure changed a lot from this six month old, chubby little baby, who was just learning to sit up and would soon be learning to crawl. It didn't take long before he was proving to everyone that he would figure everything out as he went and teaching us all a thing or two along the way.

March 16, 2013

Juggling With One Hand

Earlier today we were hanging out, enjoying a lazy Saturday. Gavin came in the room and told me he was trying to juggle. Almost immediately he said, "See, look! This arm is too short!"

He was clearly frustrated. Not having any luck with juggling two balls.

"It doesn't work! See! I hate this arm! I want to shoot this arm!"


My heart dropped. He wants to shoot that arm? I felt devastated. I know he didn't mean that, but what a horrible thing to say! I tried to think of something to say to make him feel better but I was too overwhelmed with what he had just said. I think I just told him not to say that and to keep trying and maybe he would figure it out.

Which is true. Because you definitely don't need two hands to juggle!! Google, "Juggling with one hand" and see for yourself!

Tonight at bedtime as he was falling asleep, he quietly asked, "Do you like this arm?"

That was an easy one! I smiled and kissed it and told him, "I love this arm! Do you?" "Yah", he said.

I hope he meant it.

January 16, 2013

A New Year

It has been way too long since my last post! One of my goals this year is to reconnect with this blog and update more often and I'm so looking forward to doing that! :)

Gavin has been doing great! He started Jr. Kindergarten in September and he is really thriving and loving it! I can honestly say that I had a lot of anxiety about sending him off to school but I was extremely relieved to realize that he can cope just fine. Initially, as there always is when meeting a new group of children, there were the usual questions and curiosity. I touched base briefly with the teachers to try to set the tone that Gavin is quite capable and doesn't need any special treatment. We were all on the same page right from the start and they were very supportive and made Gavin feel comfortable. The teachers are so great and he just fits right in.

He has made a lot of great friends and I could count on one hand (Pardon the pun! ha) how many times he seemed sad about another children making a  negative comment about his little arm. The few times he has come home upset has been because he sat on another child's toy by accident and they got mad or because someone didn't want to take turns being the goalie. He is learning a lot and is always eager to come home and share some random fact with us or perform a new song for us.

I am extremely proud because in December Gavin earned the award for "Kindness and Caring."

Showing understanding of others by treating them with compassion, generosity and a forgiving spirit. Being gentle, willing to help, friendly and considerate. Considering the needs of others, not just your own.

Gavin is in his second year of hockey school and that its definitely the highlight of his weekends. Waking up early on Saturday mornings is not really the highlight of my weekends. But seeing him out there on the ice, so determined and trying his hardest kinda makes it worth it. He is so independent this year. He doesn't even want Daddy to come on the ice with him. He skates all by himself and tries to keep up with the fastest kids. Each time he falls down, he pops right back up and keeps going. Watching him out there makes my heart burst with pride.

Gavin is also a great big brother and his little sister Eden, is like his little shadow. She follows him everywhere and copies his every move. They're a great team!

Its hard to believe that my tiny baby is already four and a half and growing like a weed and Eden is turning two in March. Gavin likes to tell me that when hes 5 he will be taller than me. I know I'm short but hopefully I still have a few years before he outgrows me!

Sometimes I wish I could slow time down. (Just not when they're playing the drums!)

July 29, 2012

Summer Hockey

Some hockey fans take a break from the game during the summer while others prefer to keep their head in the game year-round!

As you can see, Gavin falls into the second category. He is truly devoted to his sport, no matter the season...

He got a hockey Slip N Slide for his birthday and he can occupy himself on his "ice" for hours on end!

But he also can't wait for it to be winter so he can go back to playing hockey in the arena. He is getting a new hockey stick attachment for his prosthetic arm that he will get to try out. We also want to get him an attachment for his bike. Time to call up Bloorview and make an appointment! :)

July 15, 2012

Big boy bike

I can't believe my baby is turning FOUR tomorrow. But he definitely is! Tomorrow is July 16. A very important day in our family! Gavin has had an amazing weekend. It might even be the best weekend of his life. Anyway, its up there with the top! He is having his first weekend away, camping with Gramma and Grampa in their trailer and loving it! And he also got a new big boy bike and helmet that he is pretty excited about!

We can't wait for him to come home tomorrow morning on his birthday! We both have the day off to celebrate with our birthday boy!

July 6, 2012


I just want to share a comment that "Chanel from Delaware" left today! :)
While having a moment in feeling low about my son and his little fin (missing left hand) I surfed the internet and found your site. Gavin is way too cute and I am thrilled to have found him. My son is 9 months and I constantly wonder about what he will be able to do. Gavin prooves with the right support and will power, nothing is impossible. I will be sure to continue to visit the page frequently and share the same with my son when he wonders who in the world can relate to his condition. Please don't stop providing updates. Keep them coming. Someone is watching and being inspired:-)

Two months have passed without me finding the time to make an update. There were many, MANY things that I have wanted to write about over the past two months. I have just been feeling overwhelmed with being back to work full time and finding time for the things I enjoy has been taking a back seat.

There are many active sites and wonderful communities which offer great support and constant updates. It is amazing how many resources are available today thanks to social networking. And I was starting to feel like I didn't have the time or need to keep this site going.

So getting Chanel's comment today really meant a lot. I was reminded of the reason I started this blog. And I am definitely going to keep it going as long as there are people to read it. And for as long as I love bragging about all the awesome things our children can do, which will be forever... :P

April 30, 2012

Video Games

Another fine motor task that Gavin has mastered is one I'm not so thrilled about.

His ability to play hockey games on the PS3.

He LOVES this recent skill and would play it all day if we let him. The scary part is how good he is at it. John has to set up the games for him but then he does pretty well against the computer for a three and a half year old!

I feel like he's way too young to be playing video games. I wanted to delay it as long as possible because I knew it was a matter of time and I hate how kids get addicted to them.

But sometimes its just really nice to have him sit quietly on the couch instead of running around bouncing off the walls!!