Friday, December 31, 2010

Season Reflections

As we are heading into New Year's eve I am reflecting on fun had over the Christmas 'break'.

I enjoyed a couple extra days off, but worked the last three days, thoroughly taking advantage of the opportunity to catch up on my work and accept last minute donations from people trying to make the best of the 2010 tax year. It is always nice when others are calling us to make their gifts.

Speaking of gifts, this year Summer seemed to grasp the concept of 'being fortunate'. In fact, she made me gather some of her toys up after Christmas so they can be donated to other children. OK, they are still sitting by the door, I thought she might change her mind, but she reminds me, albeit on the way to town, that we forgot them. I know that some of this awareness for her has come from TV, so I can't take the credit for it. Just the same I am delighted that she kind of 'gets it'.

Giving gifts, giving thanks. We were blessed with time spent with great friends Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Christmas week. Don and Summer got three Daddy - Daughter days and now we are heading into a nice long family weekend. Below are a few snaps of Christmas week.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Morison Christmas Card - Family Update

Our out-going Christmas cards this year are, at best, a little sparse. Where normally we compose a two page family letter with photos and stories - an epic 'Morison Year in Review' - this year's (if you happen to recieve a card from us and likely not before Christmas) -includes a one-liner and a reminder of the link to this blog. :-)

December seemed to creep up on us this year so we'll use this electronic, environmentally friendly method to generate our annual Christmas letter.

Our year started off in new fashion as we spent our first Christmas in our own home, just us, together as a family. We began a few new Christmas traditions of our own and while at friends' on Christmas Eve Santa made a guest appearance. Summer's excitement and belief in the 'big guy' brought a lot of magic to the holiday.

2010 didn't seem to get too busy until the Fall, but as I look back in our calendar I see it was pretty steady throughout... Lot's of travelling for Summer's appointments - they sure add up - 3 Sunnybrook, 5 Sick Kids, 3 Orillia (and those are just the out of town ones). Thankfully each one also means we have an opportunity to visit Don's cousin Barb & Laurie in Bolton, our dear friends the Miller's in Brooklyn, Heather & Scott in Uxbridge and, if we have time, a bit of shopping enroute.

I will try not to be too repetitive - as many of the year's events certainly for Summer, are already documented on this blog. We had a couple of great family trips this year - Florida in March with the Miller's and Comox in August - including a fishing trip to Alder Bay with Ken and Carmen. We had lots of great weekends on our beach with friends from near and far. Don and Corrine made their annual pilgrimage for Summer's birthday in August (Summer and I will reciprocate a visit to Edmonton for Spring Break - we're excited!) and Tania & Clayton came for Labour Day weekend - a much needed catchup!

We had a few visits from family too. My Aunt Venita, her husband Roy, and son Joe, stopped in for a night, while on route from MB to NS. Don's Auntie Bern and Uncle Dale stayed a night while passing through from BC to Peterborough. Don's parents spent 10 days with us leading up to Thanksgiving.

Summer has had a year of amazing progress. She began Junior Kindergarten in September and since then we have seen her blossom with independence and intellect. She has begun to read and spell some words, like her name, my name, Don's name and more!- I know, she is four, that is crazy! She takes the bus to and from school from the YMCA where she attends the before and afterschool program. She is VERY well liked by her teachers and peers - she is a little social butterfly. She is taking dance classes again this year (Jazz & Tap) with her friends Kaida, Abby and Kassie - She loves it.

Don is still working in Recruiting in the Contact Centre. He really wants to retire and fish full-time on Lake Temagami but I have a house reno in mind so that's not in the cards for him yet. He's been there for 4 years now but he first wrote 6 so I get the sense that's what it felt like for him. Crazy! The unit continues to grow and they are approximately 30 people now. Don's friend and colleague Tony is about to be promoted to Major and Don will then take the position of 2IC/DCO. This is great because it allows me to keep him working for another 3-4 years! :)

The MND, Peter McKay, toured his unit in the summer as well as several other high profile visitors. They continue to do amazing work and inadvertently draw positive attention to themselves. What can you say, they are good at what they do. By April they will be moved into a fancy new building...closer to better cycling and the gym - after this summer off from triathlon he should have ample opportunity to get back in shape! ;)

I have now been with our Hospital Foundation for 7 years. Holy, time flies. I successfully wrote my professional certification in April. I am relieved to finally have that completed and now I get to put a few letters behind my name - ha ha.
Our new hospital - as I have mentioned in previous posts - opens in January and my office relocated there in November. I am volunteering during the last weekend in January when the patients are moved and will assist in patient transfer. Since I give frequent tours of the new hospital my knowledge of the 'what and where' will really come in handy.

Along with all of the hoopla around the hospital opening, I am also directing the Diagnostic Imaging Campaign to raise $6M for Digital DI equipment, including an MRI. It's been a really exciting time for me in my career - moving into a state of the art hospital, rallying community support, thanking, recognizing, celebrating...

Celebrating... seems like a great way to end the Morison Family Update. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas celebrating with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas,
Tammy, Don, Summer and our new cat George

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Catching up with Carolyn

On December 4th at our community open house, my dear friend Carolyn, who was also my former boss from Kingston General Hospital, and now working at the MOH level with our hospital project, attended the open house. As always, it was so good to see her. We've kept in touch now and then over the last 14 years. She was finally able to meet Summer at the Teddy Bear Clinic. Summer was feeling a little shy and very tired.

The ED at the YMCA sent me this photo of Summer from her CIT period in April. The YMCA was super supportive to Summer and us during her casting. We'll be participating in the Strong Kids Campaign this year!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas is Coming!

Our December started as busy as ever. Our Hospital Celebrations took place on Dec 2, 3 and 4th. Don and Summer joined us for the Teddy Bear Clinic on the Saturday in the Emergency Department and Pooh Bear got a full check up from Dr. Simon Says. She had a great time. Pictures to follow... Don needs to scan it.

This weekend Summer had a 24 hour play-date at our house with Kassie, and Mom & Dad had a 24 hour 'play-date' with Kassie's parents. It was a great way to spend a snowy weekend. It snowed, and snowed and snowed... in fact it is still snowing... Don snow-blew the deck on Saturday morning... and now we can't tell the difference.

Sunday afternoon, we finally decorated our tree.

Monday, school busses were cancelled, so I dropped Summer off to school and picked her up at 3 - have to say, the short day was a pretty nice treat on a Monday. We headed for the mall to get a much needed haircut. Friday is Christmas Concert day at Summer's school. She is pretty excited!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rock Star Mom Attends IPRC at SHS

Today was Summer's routine IPRC - Individual Placement Review Committee. Basically, it was 3 Catholic School principles - including Summer's, the Resource Teacher, another teacher and me. YIKES. It was a bit intimidating.... But first the Rock Star reference:

I arrived at the school a good 15min early for my appt. because Summer has been so excited that I was coming for a meeting. This morning when I got her out of bed, she even remembered it was today that I was to visit. So I parked and began along the sidewalk that parallels the JK class windows, and I hear loud and clear THROUGH the closed windows "Hey!!!! THAT'S MY MOM!!!!" I can see her jumping up and down at the lunch table. I checked into the office and popped down to her room. I was immediately surrounded by little people. "Are you Summer's mom?", "I have Strawberries in my lunch", "I helped Summer open her lunch!", "Summer is my best friend", .... and the quotes could go on forever. Summer was especially excited and has been talking about for days, to show me her snowflake on the window with her name on it, along with the other friends - which she named correctly to me.

Summer was having her lunch, I got in a quick hug and several kisses, and headed to my appointment.

Back to that... We reviewed the services (therapy) Summer receives from OKP at school - OT and PT. and one of the teachers mentioned that she has some learning needs.... My heart skipped a beat - I am thinking... jeeze, have they identified a learning disability already??? why didn't they tell me at the P-T interview??? then she listed - Gross motor skills dev. personal care, fine motor skills dev. self help.... and I am thinking.... duh, yeah!

They outlined her strengths, which were no surprise - but I never tire of hearing: Tactile learner, cooperation with adults (what???), Social skills with peers, motivation, determination, positive attitude, intellectual curiosity.

As I departed the school, Summer was on the playground and came to the fence for a big kiss. - cutest thing I ever saw... will download my cellphone and post it one of these days.