Day 1&2 Of My Trip To The IAHP

I can’t believe I haven’t written yet about my trip to Philadelphia. To say it was life-changing would be a major understatement. I guess it’s taken me so long to write because all of the wealth of information was so overwhelming to process. I don’t mean overwhelming in a way that is bad just like I said so much to process. Honestly I tried to write sooner, but couldn’t organize my thoughts. So finally last night I sat with my phone and dictated the post, it was actually easier to talk about it then to try and write it.

My trip started with a little glitch on Friday night. I logged into my computer to check in to the plane like you can do 24 hours before your flight. For some reason it wouldn’t let me login. I spent over an hour on hold waiting for answers from Expedia. Then I was told it was all fixed, wait 10 minutes and I would be able to check in. Well of course it wasn’t all fixed, I waited the 10 minutes and try to check in and sure enough I wasn’t able to. I called back and the next personnel I spoke to told me that I would have to arrive to the airport three hours instead of two hours early to fix any problems they were having. Why this person could tell me in 20 short minutes when the other person I spoke to took over an hour to give me the wrong information. We had been invited to my friends for supper to make my last night home easier. I landed up sending Hubby and Z there without me because this was taking so long, and I joined them when I was done.

That night I couldn’t sleep I was so excited I landed up spending most of the night on the phone with my friend in the US. I think I may have gotten three hours sleep that night but I might just be being generous.

The next morning I arrive three hours early for my flight just as recommended by Expedia. Of course the problem was fixed within five minutes and I probably could’ve slept an extra hour. Regardless I went through security. I went through my bags and put all my liquids in the ziplock bags provided and stood in line. Once I was through I grabbed a smoothie and sat down at my terminal gate and waited. I chatted with my mom and with hubby on my phone. Then it was time to board.

Everything was good even though I was quite nervous for my flight. But once we got in the air I felt a lot better. I was quite lucky that the flight was not sold out and there was a seat between me and the next person. I dozed off after takeoff only to be awoken by a child crying. I almost jumped out of my skin. I was still in mom mode and couldn’t believe I would ever allow myself to fall asleep in a public place when I had Z with me. Then I came to reality, not my kid. The only person I was responsible for on this trip was me.

We went from Winnipeg to Montreal. When we arrived in Montreal, off I went to find my next gate. I had a 2 hour and 20 minute or so layover but I didn’t want to get caught up in customs, so I went straight to security. That landed up being a breeze. I chatted to the guard about Shakeology and then made my way through. Thing was I was a bit disappointed with the food selection. I really wanted to grab lunch yet there was nothing that caught my interest. So I settled for a chocolate chip muffin. I went and sat down and called my mom up to chat as I unwrapped my muffin. The dare thing was stale. I tried to eat it but it was too far gone. So once again I wandered around looking for something else. I landed up settling for a over priced small can of Pringles.

Then it was time to travel from Montreal to Philadelphia. I handed the flight attendant my ticket and she let me start boarding the plane. As I was walking through the tunnel towards the plane entrance a man asked me to leave my carry on bag in this cargo elevator thing. I told him as I clenched on to my bag that this was my carry on. The people behind me just passed him their bags. “Don’t worry, when you get off the plane it will be waiting at the exit for you. This plane is small and there is no room in the overhead compartments for a full size carry on bag.” Small plane?? How small is this plane? I thought as I boarded the American Eagle. I looked around at the older style, very small plane and thought… “I’m going to die…”

I found my seat near the back of the flight. Ok this is good. They say the people in the back of a plane have a better chance of surviving a crash… Right? I pulled out my book from my backpack, stuck the bag in the tiny overhead compartment and sat in my seat. Maybe this flight wouldn’t be full and I’d land up sitting by myself. I hadn’t even finished this thought when the a younger guy came and sat down next time me as he put his earphones in. I slept for the first part of the flight, still tired from being up all night. I woke up just before the flight attendant came with the drinks and tiny pretzels. I was worried I had been snoring or drooling or something embarrassing while the person sitting next to me stated in disgust. Luckily when I looked over he was fast a sleep and slept the whole flight.


The only other problem I had was once I landed in Philadelphia. My license was in two parts because it was my renewal year and I required a new photograph just before I left for my trip. But because my license was into pieces Alamo refused to rent me the car I had already paid for. I started to freak out. I’m standing in the fifth largest city in the United States without transportation. Someone there told me that another car place Avis would rent me a car with a two-piece license. Of course it cost me more than double what I paid for this original car however I was just glad to have a car.

By this point I was tired and hungry and ready to head to my host home. Instead of renting a hotel room, I was lucky enough to be accepted as a guest in a program called “Hosts for Hospitals”.  I had planned on stopping to eat on the way there however driving is definitely more different in Philadelphia than it is in Winnipeg. I found the house and it just so happens the couple was leaving for their anniversary dinner. So I was able to meet them before they left. I cannot express enough what a lovely family this was. And the house that I stayed in was beautiful. I had asked them where I could grab some food locally. Jenn recommend I’ll look on this particular website that has a bunch of restaurants that are available to order from and they would deliver directly to the house. Well this was definitely the more expensive option. But I was tired, it was dark and the streets were all winding and curvy. I just felt like I should probably just kind of rest and get started the next morning and learn the area.

So I ordered my food and while I waited I chatted with the babysitter Denise. She was such a nice, kind woman. It was amazing to hear about her, her children and her grandchildren. I felt like I had a lot in common with her as her grandson also has autism. When my food arrived I was very pleased, it was so fresh and my burger and fries were not greasy at all. So even though it cost me an arm and a leg it was not a disappointment.

The next morning I got up early and headed over to get some food essentials. I was so excited when I heard they had Wholefoods stores out there. I walked into that store and it was better then I could have imagined. I wish when Wes was gluten and dairy free we would have had these options. Yes it was a bit pricey compared to the average grocery store, but I felt it was worth it for what you got. Now at home in longing for the variety that why had at Wholefoods. I know our time utilizing the farmers market is coming to an end for the session as it gets colder.

Afterward I killed some time at Target while I waited for my friend and her son to come in from Maryland. I was able to find some great things for the kids. Then I drove down the street and met them at Buffalo Wild Wings. It’s crazy I’ve “known” Summer for 10-11 years and this is the first time I’ve ever met her in person. We met years ago when we were young moms on an online website called ‘Opendiary’. I’ve watched her oldest son grow up on that site and now Facebook. It was awesome to meet them and hangout. I am kicking myself for not getting a picture with them.

Then it was time for me to drive to the IAHP for registration. I pulled up to entrance of the campus. I wasn’t sure where to go. I pulled up to a circular driveway, as I did another car pulled up and dropped off a man. I went to the building and no one was there. So I hopped back into my car and offered the other man who was there for the course a ride to the next building. I jokingly said “If you are not planning on jumping me or anything you can catch a ride with me.” He started trying to show me his passport to prove he was who he said he was. I told him that wasn’t necessary, I was just joking.

img_4044We pulled up to the next building and when we walking in we heard talking on the second floor. We went upstairs and that is where we got to meet Harriet the registrar. We received our binder, that included the schedule for the week, a letter outlining the rules of the auditorium, statement of goals and objectives, as well as the booklets that explains all the programs available through the IAHP regarding brain injured children. We were show the auditorium and they explained the bell system and when we should arrive the next day for class.

It was amazing to be there, on that campus. It was somewheres I wanted to go for years. I wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice, but there was no turning back. I was so excited to come back the next day.

I went to my car and google mapped the closest Target. I picked up post its and highlighters and a few snacks to keep in the car. I did some more shopping, mostly to kill some time, checked out a few Walmarts and a Kmart, then I went back to the house.

I got myself ready for the next day, showered, read every paper that was given to me at registration, called home to check on everyone… But after I just lied there with my eyes open. I needed to sleep, I had just read that we were looking at 11-12hour days. My anxiety was through the roof. Finally I made sure my alarm was set, and a back up alarm was set and then I took half a clorazapram. After watching a bit of YouTube I drifted off to sleep.

This trip will have to be written in separate entries. This week was so packed, it’s impossible for me to write about it in one post. Well I guess it’s possible, but it would be desperately long.

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Book Review: Naturally Better by Kristen Morrison

While I spend the next week or so preparing for my adventure to the IAHP, I decided to reread the book Naturally Better, by Kristen Morrison. I went through my past post looking for a blog post about this book. Surely I must have written a book review. Apparently I never did!! I made mention of the book in an entry on NAET, but never elaborated much on it past that.

After reading it a second time, and enjoying it even more than the first time (and I loved it the first time), I decided I needed to share more about it with my readers.

If you clicked the link above you might be wondering why on earth I’m writing a book review about a book on Down Syndrome on a blog mostly about autism. Well I’ve learned that while Down Syndrome is a genetic condition, children with Downs or Trisomy 21, also suffer from mid brain injury, just like kiddos with autism. Many of the programs and therapies that Kristen used with her son described in this book can benefit children with autism.

How Did This Book Changed My Gameplan 

1.NAET Therapy(Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique)

Two years ago, when I read this book I was introduced to the world of NAET aka Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique. This was game changing for my oldest son Wes. He had a dairy allergy since he was 15 months and we had him off gluten since he was two and a half years old as we found it was a major cause of his digestion and behaviour issues. After going for a weekly appointment for 2 months, he as cleared of those allergies.

NAET has also been used to used to help heal areas of the body which are affected by chemical, emotional, environmental and food allergies. Kristen tirelessly researched what areas children with Trisomy 21 have issues, and she used NAET to help prevent her son Gryffin from dealing with these issues.

After reading this, I knew I needed to explore this for Wesley. But I also needed to research how this therapy could help with autism. Then I stumbled across the study that had already been done on children with Autism. You can read the actual study HERE. They even have a specific kit designed for children with autism.

Sadly this year I have not been able to take them as often due to financial issues. Which is sooooo frustrating as we do have insurance coverage, but I need to be able to put the money down first and wait for reimbursement, but our therapist does not accept credit card. So that money would be tied up for a few weeks while the claim was processed. But after speaking to her we have been able to work out a payment arrangement. So this past Thursday they went back for their first visit in months. Our goal is to go through the rest of the autism kit, by the end of the year.

2.Legitimizing The Institutes For The Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP)

I had heard about the IAHP many years before reading this book. I also did a reading program with both my boys inspired but the IAHP. However, I never really could see, if I read all the books, why would I need to go to the course?

After reading this book, I made me realize that my boys could really benefit if I went and attended this course. I also had a good friend who took the course for well babies, insists I make attending the course happen. So now I leave this coming Saturday.

3.Suggesting Probiotics and Goji Berries

While reading through this time around, I learned the benefits of Goji berries. I went online and found a local store that sells a good quality Goji berry juice, and the next morning I went and picked it up. I was so lucky that they happened to be on sale, buy one get one half off.

While reading about Gryffin take probiotics, I started thinking, why are the boys not on probiotics? Wes had been on probiotics when he was younger. I also had Z on probiotics as a baby to deal with colic. So while I was at Sobey’s last week, I was wandering through the new health food section. I noticed they had a cooler full of different probiotics. I found a brand that I recognized and trusted so I grabbed them.

 These simple additions were added to Zs diet only a week ago. We noticed a difference in him about 2 days later. His tutors are commenting he is much calmer. I have noticed his language is improving. His sentences are getting longer. He is following more instructions. His dad came home after a 10 day trip. He commented his calmer as well.

So for now Goji Berry juice and probiotics are part of the morning routine. I have also added DHA oil this weekend, but it’s way too early to comment on this.

4.Making Me Realize I Need To Take Their Diet More Seriously

Before we started ABA I was drowning. Honestly, I felt like I was losing control. I felt isolated, scared, exhausted, etc. So when it came to food, I kind of just did what was easy. Hot dogs, chicken nuggets, store bought freezer waffles junk, crap… Basically now that I’m in a better position mentally, I see it as poison. But I have addicts now.

I knew this before reading this book. But now knowing that the better part of next Thursday’s sessions at the course will be about nutrition, then reading about Gryffin’s diet. I need to step up my game. So when I get back, and we have settled back into routine, things are going to start changing. How? I’m not sure yet. I know I will be in the kitchen more. Making much healthier, homemade versions of my kids favourites. The details though, I will know after I return from my course and do a bit of my own research. I’m also planning on taking my plan to our naturopathic doctor for her to review first.


Overall I found this book to be very insightful and well written. I believe all parents of brain injured children need to read this book. I’m glad I was open minded. Honestly I don’t think I would have picked it up if I hadn’t read they had been using the IAHP method. Up until reading it I did not realize how much children with Down Syndrome and Autism have in common. Kristen is a inspiration to me. Top notch warrior mom, doing what she needs to do for her child, even when people told her to save her money and buy a big tv.

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So I’m finally going to do it!  I feel like a little kid counting down till Christmas or my birthday. As of tomorrow there are only 2 weeks till I head off to the IAHP for the week course on What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child.

I have been DYING to go to this course for years. With a gentle push from a friend who has taken the course for well babies, I signed up.


In the last 2 weeks I have managed to make Little Z 41 homemade books and TONS of sets of flashcards. I want to have my stocks ready to be able to jump right in. The Monday I get back, Hubby is have surgery, so once he’s back to himself, we are going to sit down and go over everything and come up with a game plan.


I must have looked like a crazy lady at Walmart two nights ago when I bought out all their 15 cent duotangs. I had been there the week before and bought what I thought was a bunch, but when I used over half of them I decided I need to stock up before the prices double outside of back to school season. I might even go check out another Walmart this weekend.


I figured out a few ways to create homemade books quicker than the way I was doing it before. I look for stories that lets say are featured on Super Why, like Little Miss Muffet or the Tortoise and the Hare. Once I find them online, I copy them and paste them into a word processor and alter the size and words per page.


I also created books that contain several Mother Goose rhymes. I look for vocabulary list based on topics of his interest, copy paste, boom flashcard sets.


My dad already has the ladder portion of our brachiation ladder ready, I just need to measure the ceiling in the basement, so he can make it to fit where I would like it. My AMAZING dad managed to make it for much less than $100.I’m also hoping to be able to vlog each day I’m down at the IAHP and share my experience.

Have you ever attended a course at the IAHP? If so what were your thoughts? How did it affect your child’s life.  

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Canada Day Long Weekend Adventures

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The first weekend of July was the Canada Day Long weekend, and we decided to spend the weekend at a cabin with friends. I have to mention, it was a nightmare trying to book a cabin. I think I applied for 4 on a cabin designed for private cabin owners to rent out their cabins, and was declined. Turns out the owners were often too lazy to change their calendars on the sign and they had all booked them out using other methods.

Finally as our last ditched effort, my friend told me to call this place directly that someone had recommended to her. Lone behold, they had 2 cabins left, side by side, right in front of the playground. This resort was totally kid friendly and our kids were in a safe environment for the most part to just play and have fun. I loved that people were only allowed to bring their vehicles up to the cabin to upload their belongings and load them up at the end of their stay. Keeping the roads in the resort safe.

20160701_034416924_iOSThursday after my daycare kiddos left, we quickly picked up my stepdaughter and head out. We arrived around 8:30pm, unloaded the van and got the cabin all set up. The kids played for a bit, then the boys went off to sleep and the adults hung around the fire relaxing.

20160701_193249115_iOSFriday morning we woke up and the kids ran out to play. The resort was very comfortable with each cabin having air conditioning, a fridge and freezer, running water, washroom with a shower. However there was no TV and no wifi. However they did have a few shelves of board games and books for the kids. So we spent a lot of time playing board games and reading. iPads were reserved for just before bed.




We did take a walk to the beach near the cabin. But the water was full of debris as there had been a terrible storm in The Whiteshell the week before. While it was out of my comfort zone the kids didn’t seem the mind. I enjoyed hanging out on the shore with my little goddaughter.

20160702_002311345_iOSThat night we enjoyed a delicious steak dinner. Wes was kind of sick of playing board games and wanted to ride his bike around, so he was bit of the odd man out. Be he was so excited when hubby asked him to come help him bbq.

20160702_031254998_iOSSince it was Canada Day, the community of Falcon Lake had planned fireworks for the evening on the beach. They were expected to go off at 10pm. So we walked over to the beach for 9:55. We were all working very hard at keeping Zakari awake. He had been talking about them all week.  However the fireworks landing up running late and we lost him at 10:25pm. The fireworks started 5 minutes later. Even though they were so loud, there was no waking him up from his slumber.

We walked back with the crowd to the cabin. I moved Little Z to his bed since I already had him in his pjs. Wes was acting like he was pretty tired to, so sent him off to bed too. Then the adults relaxed around the fire.

Saturday was a bit rough for me. We had been up late the night before and Z decided 5am was a great time to wake up for the day. On top of all the late nights for him this was way to early for him. When he’s tired it’s hard for him to function, and he tends to get into a lot of trouble. We tried everything to get him to sleep. I took him for a walk, my best friend too him for a drive,etc. Nap was not coming easy. Because I was sleep deprived, and we were out of our element my nerves were shot. I’m so blessed my best friend came in calm nerved and helped get him to sleep. Then she convinced everyone they needed to go to the beach. So I stayed behind, had a nap and sorted out the cabin while Little Z napped. It was exactly what I needed.

20160703_032658779_iOSWhile I was getting Z down for the night, the rest of the adults made s’mores with the big kids. I was not forgotten sitting in the cabin waiting patiently for Z to fall asleep. There was a small knock at the door, then the door slowly opened and a hand came through the small opening holder a delicious s’more.

Once Z was fast asleep, I went outside and enjoyed the fire with everyone. We stayed out quite late. When we came back in, it was after 2am. I did a few dishes and tidied up a bit before I turned in for the night.

The next morning I was the first one up. I was actually quite glad because I needed to get things sorted out to leave. I had actually wanted to get everything done the day before and packed, but since my day didn’t go according to plan I left it for the next morning. I ate a leftover hamburger for breakfast and got packing. When I went outside I saw the clouds coming in and decided I needed to move fast so I wasn’t packing in the rain.

Luckily we got most of the stuff in the van before it started drizzling. The kids said bye to their newly made friends and we drove away and headed home.

Last year when we did not respond to the check tire light fast enough.

Last year when we did not respond to the check light fast enough.

One the way home our low tire light came on. Now 9 times out of 10, this just means we are down a pound or two in one tire, not a biggie. But the last time we had this light come on we had a nail in our tire with a leak. Then we can’t forget last year when we were stuck on the side of the road with a blown out tire.

So when this tire light came on, it struck fear into our hearts. I was pretty sure Prawda was not too far, but I wasn’t 100% sure. I white knuckled the steering wheel and reviewed what to do if we blew out another tire. Relief came a few minutes later when I saw this little rundown restaurant. motel and gas station. We pulled in and locked but could not see an air pump. This place was creepy, like if I were to film a horror movie I might use this place. So I quickly ran in to ask them if they had an air pump. There was no gas station front desk or anything, just a restaurant, which a was dead. A man came from the back kitchen and informed me there was no air pump. I sighed and went back to the van. None of the tires looked bad, but I wouldn’t be happy till I could test them and make sure they were all good.

We drove up the road and about 5 mins away was a large, fancier gas station. We pulled in and found the air pump. Lucky for us, the light was only to tell us one tire was a pound or two low. No real emergency and we made it home in one piece.

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Top 7 Math Websites For Kids

I often get asked by friends in real life what different education sites I would recommend to help their child with math, reading, etc. So I thought that I would compile a list of my Top 7 Math Websites for Kids.


dreambox1) Dreambox: Dreambox is a subscription based math program for children ages Pre-K to Grade 8. We have used Dreambox with Wes on and off for years now. While it is an amazing program, after a while I find my son would get stuck and frustrated. However we take a break from it for a few months and when we resume he starts flying through it again. Other families I have spoken to have said the same thing. I think it’s like anything, sometimes you just need to step back and come back to it later with a fresh mind.

I wrote a review about Dreambox back when we used it when Wes was homeschooling kindergarten/grade, you can read it HERE. I also wrote about it a year or two ago when we used it to prevent the summer slide, you can find it HERE.

mathseeds2) Mathseeds : This is a super cute subscription based math program. The site says that it is for ages 3-6, however I feel that it is better suited for very young toddlers to maybe preschool. It is very basic, however will help make sure there are no holes in your child’s math knowledge. Compatible with the iPad.

If you do decided to go ahead with this program, consider spending the extra $10 for the year to get Reading Eggs as well. This is an amazing program, and as soon as our new to us iPad is ready we plan on purchasing a duel subscription for Little Z. You can read about our thoughts on Reading Eggs HERE.

xtramath3) XtraMath: XtraMath is a free, non-for profit website that offers a program to students, parents and teachers that help teach the basic math facts.

This website was brought to my attention by Wes’s 4th grade teacher. They were required to work on this website once a day as part of their math homework. This site helped to hammer down those basic math facts in just a few minutes a day.

ixl4) IXL Math: IXL Math is a great paid for supplementary website. This website does not actually teach how to do the math problems, but it does give your child the chance to practice what they have learned. It also can show you any holes in your child’s math education.

I love that whether your are in Canada or the States, you can look up the grade standards for your state or province. They will also allow you to try 10 questions a day for free.


khan-academy15) Khan Academy: Khan Academy is a FREE website you can use to learn math, art, computer programming, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, finance, history, and more.

We use this site with Wes following the Easy Peasy Middle School Math Curriculum. I can’t recommend it enough. There are video explanations and follow up questions that help your child work to mastery. Plus the best part is, its FREE.


Splash-Math6) SplashMath: We are working with Little Z on this app. I was able to get the whole curriculum on Mother’s Day sale for a $3 in May 2014. I have seen it on sale over the years, but haven’t paid to close of attention.

No internet connection required after set up on the iPad, iPhone, iTouch apps. This is huge for parents who are on the go with their kiddos.


SQ be gone7) Crewton Ramone’s House of Math : Now before I go on, I should mention this site is not for parents looking for a quick fix without parent involvement. This site requires a parent to sit down and learn with their child. It requires the parent to read and filter through a lot of information. It also requires parents to order some manipulatives that take FOREVER to get to your mailbox. All that being said, the information available on that site is AMAZING. It’s just very parent intense.

After sitting down and watching some of the videos on this site, you will be amazed that math suddenly doesn’t seem that intimidating anymore. Actually what ran through my head was, “Well why didn’t anyone teach me it this way!!”

What math websites are your go to? Why do you like them?

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What We Read in June 2016

20160612_233816159_iOSLately I have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest looking for book ideas for my preschooler. When find a good list, I take it and use it to order books from our local library. I have also been reading through the books in our personal library with Little Z as well. I thought that I would start to share what we read each month, in case any of my readers are looking for some book ideas.

Little Z’s attention span towards books is getting longer and longer. This is allowing us to hit up many books that in the past were to long for him. This is super exciting for me, as it allows me to expose him to new vocabulary.

So this is what my 4 year old and I read in June 2016

  1.  I Love You Always and Forever
  2.  Grandfather Twilight
  3.  Light Up the Night
  4.  Max and Ruby: Super Max Saves the World
  5.  My Grandpa Is Great
  6.  This Little Pirate
  7.  World of Reading: Jake and the Never Land Pirates Pirate Campout: Level 1
  8.  My Ponies (Hello Reader!)
  9. Your Baby Can Read Book 1
  10. Roadwork! (Disney/Pixar Cars) (Step into Reading)
  11.  Thomas and the School Trip (I Can Read It All By Myself Beginner Books)
  12.  The Berenstain Bears Catch the Bus: A Tell the Time Story (Step into Reading, Step 2)
  13.  When We Go Camping
  14.  Night Lights
  15. Superman Classic: Superman versus the Silver Banshee (I Can Read Level 2)
  16. Olivia Helps Mother Nature (Ready-to-Read Level One)
  17. Puss in Boots- I Can Read- Level 1
  18. Parts (Picture Puffin Books)
  19. I Can Do It! (Step into Reading)
  20. The Chick That Wouldn’t Hatch
  21. Dinosaur Ed (Reader’s Digest) (All-Star Readers)
  22. Olivia Helps Mother Nature (Ready-to-Read Level One)
  23. Blackout
  24. Curious George Cleans Up (CGTV Reader)
  25. Super Spies (Disney/Pixar Cars 2) (Step into Reading)
  26. Pumpkins (Science Sight Word Readers)
  27. Milk and Cookies
  28. 1, 2, 3, Bunny (Focus on Family)
  29. Old Mother Hubbard
  30. Good Night Bear! (Troll First-Start Science)
  31. Down The Drain – Finding Nemo Phonics Set
  32. Beauty and the Beast – Level 1 – I Can Read
  33. First On The Moon
  34. I Have to Go (Sesame Street Toddler Books)
  35. Planet Earth: Baby Penguins
  36. A Very Busy Firehouse (Community Helpers)
  37. Halloween Countdown
  38. Thank You Prayer
  39. Just Like Dad (Little Golden Book)
  40. Grover’s Adventure Under the Sea (Peek-a-Board Books)

Now this might not look like many books, however we also have been reading stories out of the book Random House Book of Easy-to-Read Stories. As well as a story from My Good Night Devotions (Bean Sprouts) each night.

Check out a past What We Read post:

What My 2 Year Old(32 months) And I Read This Month January 2015

What books have you and your little ones read recently?

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Wesley’s 11 Years Old! What??

20160609_234227396_iOSAt the beginning of June, this guy turned 11. ELEVEN YEARS OLD?!?!?!?!?! I don’t even know how that happened. One month after my 20th birthday, this guy came into my life.

Another thing I can say is this… I managed to keep a child alive for 11 year. Woohoo me!!!

My life was changed. I have learned so much from being Wesley’s mother. I calmed down so much. I was an obnoxious hot head. I’m still a hot head, I may still be obnoxious. However I have toned it down several notches.

This guy showed me what unconditional love is. He made me appreciate what my parents have done for me all these years. I like to think he’s made me a better person.

A few days ago, I got to attend his Grade 5 Farewell. In September, he’s off to middle school. The option to homeschool is always on the table for him. Right now he’s enjoying the social aspect of public school, but only time will tell if I will bring him back home. Right now we are just supplementing his education.

Wes currently is learning to play piano, and is quite good at sight reading music. This September he will be trying his hand at the clarinet. We also signed him up for tumbling and trampoline lessons starting in the fall. He actively participates in the local Lego clubs.

I’m so proud of this guy. My heart explodes with pride knowing how far he has come, and how much potential he has.

I love you Wesley.

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Why Piano Lessons Are Important in Our Family

Every Monday I pack the boys up in the van and we head to Ms Cindy’s house. Wes has been taking music lessons on and off with Ms Cindy since he was 2 or 3 years old. But we didn’t start piano lessons with her till about 3 years ago.

Wesley’s first exposure to music was when I signed him up for a class through our city’s leisure guide call “Fun with Music 2s & 3s”. It was a lot of fun, but there was not much is the learning music department. It was more of a music appreciation style class.

I decided I wanted to find something a little more organized, that focused on the early music skills and consisted of smaller classes. That’s when I saw a sign on the side of the road for “Music for Young Children.” I called the number and registered Wes for his first sunshine class.

We did 3-4 sessions of the Music for Young Children’s Sunshine program. It was a nice small group, of 3 or 4 other kids. Wes loved it. Each term had a different character that thought he kids different bits of music. Buzzy the fly, Mellow Yellow the dog and so on.  But then we came to a cross road. We had completed the program but maturity wise were not ready to join a group piano lesson. Since we were moving across the city we took a little break from music lessons.

When we were settled in and ready to start looking into music lessons again we can across Suzuki. Wes did two years of Suzuki violin. He had two teachers, as his first one moved away. Suzuki focuses on playing the music by ear, they didn’t introduce reading music or anything. We just said the note name while we played.

But then I got pregnant with Little Z and I realized I needed to reevaluate. Violins are very delicate. Wes was a typical little boy who could sometimes be careless. I was about to have a baby and have less hands on time to practice with him. I needed to find something that Wes could play, but practice more independently. So a few months before Z arrived we quit violin.

A few months after Z was born and we were settled in with our new family member, I decided we needed to get Wesley back to music lessons. The last few violin lessons we had attended, his teacher was spending the last few minutes spending some time with him on the piano. She was impressed he already knew where Middle C was, and several other notes. I thank Suzie Piano Primer and BrillKids Little Musician. Because of these programs his new private piano teacher was able to skip the first music book and move on to the second. It was great to have Wes back in music. We stayed with this teacher for about 7 months until we bought our first home. At that point this instructor was too far away from our home to continue lessons with winter coming.

At this point I decided to give Ms Cindy a call. I was not very familiar with music teachers in our new neighbourhood. Since our old piano teacher was relatively new to Winnipeg, she did not know anyone in the area. But she suggested we call Ms Cindy, even if she didn’t offer private lessons herself, perhaps she could direct us to someone who did. Turns out Ms Cindy was happy to pick Wes up as a student again! We landed up skipping one more level and Wes has been her student for 2.5 years now.

I believe music benefits Wes in so many ways.

  • It requires him to sit still and focus. This can be difficult at times for Wes, but piano lessons have taught him he can do it if he really puts his mind to it.
  • Studies show it’s great for brain development.
  • I believe music is a second language.
  • It’s something for him to work hard at and showcase his talent 2 times a year.
  • His biannual recitals are a good way to learn to get up in front of a crowd.
  • Wes also loves to try and do things his way. Which can be good, but he also need to learn how to follow direction. Piano allows him to be creative, as well as learn to follow the notes and play a piece the way the person who composed it intended it be played.

Wes has just finished up another year of piano. To prevent the summer slide, I have him signed up for summer lessons at a local piano cafe. I have found it is better money spent to continue lessons through the summer months, then pay Ms. Cindy to reteach him concepts he has lost for the first month or two in the fall. He will be at the level she left him in the spring at the very least. But most times he is further ahead.

Check out Wes at his Christmas recital:

As while, here is Wes a few weeks ago at his year end, piano recital:

Do your children play and instrument? What benefits have you noticed?

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Little Z update. He’s now 4 years old!


I can’t believe I’m writing this, but we just celebrated Little Z’s 4th birthday!!! It’s amazing how fast time seems to go by.

A lot has been going on with him the last few months. I wanted to write, but I wanted to get into a good routine so I can really share how Little Z’s new program is working for us.

 I found out that we might qualify for a grant through a local charity to attend the IAHP’s course, “What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child”. So I thought what do I have to lose, and I applied. So one way or another I will be attending the Institutes for the Achievements of Human Potential this fall. I am over the moon excited to go. It’s been a dream of mine for the last 9 years. However I just decided that I’m going to make it happen.

Since my plan is to attend the course and learn to run programs using the IAHP’s methods, I decided I should start running more traditional IAHP programs with Z based on the teachings of Glenn Doman’s books. So I went to work and started making materials.


First I started off making single word flashcards. To make it easier on myself I cheated a little. I found several vocabulary lists online (for example Flocabulary’s word list) copied and pasted the list into Google Drive and blew up the font to 130-150. Made sure they all fit one word per page and pressed print. I placed each flashcard into a page protector and put them in alphabetical order in a 3″ binder. Then I go and select 10 words from that binder, place them in a duotang and poof I have a set of IAHP words.

The benefits of using duotangs are:

  • Flashcards are always right side up and I fumble with them less
  • I don’t have to worry about Z or the daycare kiddos spilling the pile of cards.
  • I can write the date we started and the date the set was retired inside the cover. As well as tally makes to show how many times we have seen the set.
  • Should I choose to have more children (Which I don’t think we will) I will have everything ready to go. Or I can pass on a complete program to another family. Little work required on their side.


Next I needed to create couplet sets.

I have been able to cheat a bit and have found 13 sets of pre made couplets flashcards on a website called Education Toy Planet. Because we are putting 10 words per set and a lot of these sets contain more then 10 words, I have been able to stretch these materials to last me a bit longer.

However I do like have a LARGE stash of premade flashcards ready to go, incase my print dies, we get busy, etc. So now I am going through the word list that I have used to create the single word flashcards and I am creating more couplets.

This is a bit more work, because I feel I also have to find pictures to go with each couplet. I know Glenn Doman does not require this, however I find the pictures insure my son will comprehend what he is reading.


Then came the challenge of finding homemade books. I am not overly creative. I wanted my son to have good quality, interesting books to read. So I hit the library.

I went into the leveled reader section and selected some books that had characters that Little Z loves. I came home, scanned in the pictures and typed out the words on one page and inserted the photos in the next page.

This allowed me to make books that he will be interested in, without having to write original content.  I also am able to separate the words from the pictures. As while as change the vocabulary in his books to included more challenging words or expand on an idea.

I know some of you who are familiar with the IAHP reading program are wondering where my phrase and sentence part of the program is. I need to sit down and work on this, asap. But I refuse to stress myself out. We are doing a lot, they are getting phrases and sentences in the homemade books. If I find when the time comes he is not transitioning to phrases and sentences, I will focus on them then, but doing more couplets and adding in an actual phrase stage of the program.


We have also started the IAHP math program. Honestly though, I’m not sure how effective it will be with Little Z as he already knows his numbers. However since I already own the flashcards I figured the 10 second three times a day might be worth it in the off chance he can benefit.

Originally I was showing the cards 15 times each before retiring out 2 and adding 2 more. But I found this was too slow for Z. So now I show them 3 times a day, then I retire 3 cards and add in 3 more cards each day.

In the next few days we will be adding in equations to the mix. When I first started I tried printing out my own cards and arranging them in duotangs. But for this program I feel the big 11X11 cards are a better fit. Especially with all the equations on the back of the cards.

20160530_175422000_iOSWe have also introduce a Encyclopedic Knowledge program to the mix. This I am being more lax on. We have several IAHP EK bits flashcards, so I figured we may as well look at them. I also found a few sets to print out. So while it takes little effort to do, we will continue to include them in our day.

However I feel like once I am required to start to have to make my own, I’m likely going to make them into book form. This just seems like a better use of my time, and we can combined EK and reading together.


So we are going on 2 months on this schedule. I’m also starting a music program with Little Z, but that will get its own review.

Do you follow a IAHP/Doman method to teach your children? If so I’d love to hear about your experience.

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Little Z Completed Wink to Learn English


My long time readers may remember back when Wes was little I did a review for a DVD program called Wink to Learn English. Wink to Learn English is a 4-DVDs program aims to help your child to recognize more than 500 words and to form proper phrases and sentences using proven flashcard-techniques developed by Dr Glenn Doman and Dr Shichida. Each lesson is based on the flashcard principles of Glenn Doman. Lesson duration is short (less than 5 mins) and captivates your child’s attention using real life photos and videos. It consists a total of 48 topical lessons which systematically help your child to recognise words and to form proper phrases and sentences.

If you would like to read my original review from 2016, you can find it HERE. I also wrote about using this program back in 2012 when Little Z was an infant, you can read that Here. Sadly dealing with the balance of running my home daycare with an infant, I struggled to stay organized and we never finished the program. I could never remember which lesson we were on.

Well now Little Z is 4 years old. He reads 1000s of words. However my next goal has been to provide him more couples, phrases and sentences. He will happily read words, but prefers not to read outloud phrases and sentences. However in true Doman/IAHP style, I am trying to avoid testing him. I also often see him looking at books and his eyes are tracking the words. I believe he is reading in his head.

When looking through our collection of DVDs to add some media to our IAHP flashcard program, I came across this program. Because he is able to read, but we are looking to fine tune his skills, we decided to watch the lessons only once. I presented him two lessons a day and wrote them on the calendar to stay organized. When we got to lessons 5 & 6 we presented them once and at the end played the right brain track that flashes through the phrases and sentences very quickly.

Six years after my first review what are my thoughts?


  • Organized lessons that allow busy parents to present awesome lessons to their little ones.
  • Clearly printed words on a plain background, separate from the pictures.
  • Real photos were used, not cartoons.
  • Follows the Doman method, words, couplets and phrases.


  • Strong accents. However since my boys live in an all English environment, I’m less worried about this.
  • Little Z wasn’t crazy about the videos after each lesson. They sort of bored him. So we skipped them. My oldest liked them, so this may just be personal preferences and all children have different reinforcers.

Overall I’m very happy that we used this as a review to fine tune Little Z’s current skills. I would suggest parents write what lesson they are on on a calendar or make a checklist on an index card to store in the DVD case.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this program 6 years ago in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion of the program.

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