Sunday, 31 July 2016

A Day at the Carnival

(Circa 2015 Felicity who didn't realize that sweater was super sheer, and was rocking a gorgeous brace from a car accident)

Last week, I talked about implementing an Olympian for a Day program and how much fun it was to implement it! I have implemented a carnival on two different occasions. One when I was in college with my girlfriends for a day program for youth with disabilities, and at the long-term care home that I worked at. Both were super fun, and very different from one another. In this post, I'm going to talk about the one I did in college; as well as include the written reports that I did! I will also include the photos and posters that we made for them. In all honestly, I can't fully remember if we made them or found them on Google, but they're definitely fun!

We had several debates about what to include in our arts & crafts table, because we wanted to stay within our budget. We ended up having a "DIY photobooth prop making table". We ended up Googling "free printable photobooth props to colour", this is the link that we found and loved it! We printed out several of these, then provided the program users with the print outs, popsicle sticks, scissors, markers, pencil crayons and tape. We had a support worker sit at the table to provide assistance with scissors as needed.

We used supplies that one of my girlfriends had at home for this. She had a basketball hoop from her childhood that she used to hang up on her wall, and use miniature basketballs. We bought an extra basketball from Dollar Tree just in case! It was very successful with the boys that came to our program.

Again, we used supplies from home for this. Party City has a lovely bean bag toss set; I love this one on Etsy and here's a DIY on making your own!
(It seems as though I didn't get a photo of the bean bag toss)

Unfortunately, the duck match game was our least popular activity. We got the ducks from Party City's party favour section, then made different coloured shapes on the ducks. The goal was for the participants to flip over the rubber ducks to see if they could match the same patterns.

Guess how many was an extremely successful icebreaker. It was so fun to see the program participants look at the jar of jelly beans to guess how many were in the jar, I think that it was some of the participants favourite part of the day! We recorded who guess how many and at the end of the day, we ensured that everyone had guessed then gave the jar to the person who was the closest.

We had red solo cups set up in a pyramid, then program participants had three chances to roll, kick or throw a ball at the cups to knock them over.

The pie toss was by far our most successful event! We purchased a kit from Party City, which included a photo of a clown. Then we went to Dollar Tree and bought pie tins, and put shaving cream in the tins; then allowed participants to throw their pie tin at the target, which was placed on a wall. What did we learn? Always put a shower curtain behind the target, it makes it a lot easier to clean up.

We did this as a DIY! It caused many, many headaches making it but it worked in the end. This is the tutorial that we used to make it. It was based off the infamous game from The Price is Right. It was moderately successful, I think we expected more participants - especially because had put so much effort into making it!
(you'll also notice that we used cups instead of pegs, it was a lot easier!)

Our ring toss was by far the simplest thing we did for our entire program! We got rings from Party City then had program participants throw them onto water bottles. I always keep water in my trunk, so we just grabbed the bottles out of trunk.

Last but not least, our photo booth! And the only program I didn't put alphabetically. It was the most popular activity, aside from the pie toss. We hung a white sheet up, and gave the program users props; then I took pictures of them. It was a blast. That's where the original photos at the top of my post came from! Not only did we include our sign, we also included a sign that we found on Pinterest. I searched Pinterest high and low for the original source of the photo, but had no success. It was definitely the highlight of my day, as it was for my group members as well.
(these were my group members, Becky & Zoey, they know their names & faces are in the post!) 

Here is the pre event plan, using the 9 step planning model that I used in college!I've also attached the nine step planning model document that I learned off of. I'm not sure where it came from, but it's a 60 page document that my program coordinator always swore off and 99% of my lectures were based off in his courses.
Event Plan
Nine Step Planning Model

I hope you have a fantastic day, and enjoyed this post!

Saturday, 30 July 2016

DIY Gallery Wall: Baby Edition

This time last week, I was texting one of my girlfriends from high school about my ex-boyfriend's best friend's Tinder profile. Then all of a sudden, she said "... I have something to tell you". My immediate response was "if you're pregnant and/or engaged, I'm already crying in excitement"; that's when she responded with "I'm pregnant!" 
I've personally been in baby fever for almost a year now, but I know that's there's so many steps that I need to take before I even consider the idea of having a child. Oh, and I probably need a husband (or at least a boyfriend) to make said baby with. Either way, I know I'm not ready for a baby yet.
With that being said, congratulations to one of my oldest friends and her amazing boyfriend, whom I grew up with. 
Without futherado, here are the goods you've been reading through to see. Please note that the photos with writing on them are 8 x 10 and the ones without are 5 x 7s. You can take them to your local Walmart to print them (or wherever you print your photos), then can get simple frames from the dollar store to put them in as they are standard photo sizes. 
all photos were made by me on Photoshop. The patterns, brushes and fonts were found on Google. I do not claim to own any of these rights, and am not seeking commercial reimbursement for the photos that I have created.

Nursery Ideas:

Babyletto 'Hudson' 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
Petit Pehr 'Hug Me Tight' Cotton Baby Blanket
Nursery Works Sleepytime Rocker
Changing Table (comes in seven different colours, too!)
Mud Pie Safari Swaddle Blankets (on sale!)
Not a Peep Crib Fitted Sheet

Have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, 29 July 2016

Weekly Tumblr Roundup!

I have had an actual Tumblr account since I was seventeen. Throughout the years, I have changed my username, deleted accounts, etc. in order to “find myself”. Currently, I am active under the URL redwineanddanceparties.
This week, I’ve have compiled a list of my favourite photos that I have personally reblogged. Here they are:

Last but certainly not least, a quote that I had reblogged that I absolutely adore!
Be wary of anyone who talks about “the real world.” Your world is real. Your experiences are real. And the phrase “the real world” tends to be bandied about by people who want you to imagine that everyone is as cruel as them, you’re just too sheltered to know it. No matter how many adult responsibilities you have, it is not impossible to find compassionate people.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Having Congenital Heart Disease

I was born on June 26, 1993. On July 2, 1993, I had my first open heart surgery. I was born with congenital heart disease. I found an awesome description of congenital heart disease on Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada’s website:
Congenital heart disease occurs at birth. A congenital heart defect happens when the heart or the blood vessels near the heart don't develop normally before birth. Congenital heart defects are present in about 1% of live births and are the most frequent congenital malformations in newborns. In most cases, there is no known cause. In other cases, causes may include viral infections such as rubella (measles), certain inherited conditions such as Down Syndrome, or drug or alcohol abuse during pregnancy.
Thanks to outstanding medical advances in Canada and around the world, survival of children with congenital heart disease has greatly improved. Sixty years ago, less than 20% of infants born with complex heart defects reached adulthood. Today, more than 90% do, including those with complex congenital heart defects. Better quality of adult care can help them to avoid or manage complications and live life to its fullest.
(Source; click here if you would like to donate to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada. Every penny counts!)

Since I can remember, I find that people have either pitied me, stared at my scar for uncomfortable amounts of time or said things like “I don’t know how you do it!” Here’s the thing: I’ve never lived a life without my scar, surgeries and regular cardiac appointments. Therefore, I don’t know what it’s like to be the textbook version of healthy.
That means that after 4 open heart surgeries, 8 catheterizations, 1 case (and 1-almost case) of endocarditis and a heck of a lot of doctor’s appointments; I can’t tell you what my life would be like without a CHD. That’s how I do it.
I was born with transposition of the great arteries. That means the position of my pulmonary artery and aorta are reversed. I also have ventricular septal defect, which is when you’re born with holes between the lower chambers. Funny thing is, everyone always says to me “oh, my *insert family members* was born with a hole in their heart; I get what you’re going through”. The holes in my heart are what kept me alive until my first open heart surgery, as they allowed for blood flow through my heart.
This past Monday, I had the pleasure of going to Toronto for my annual cardiology appointment. I absolutely adore my current cardiologist, Dr. Rachel Wald in the Adult Congenital Heart Disease clinic at Toronto General Hospital. Dr. Wald was early for my appointment, which anyone who knows Canadian healthcare knows that this is super rare. This meant that I had more time to talk to her about my life, both cardiac-related and personal. She always reiterates to me that she sees thousands of patients annually, but my case always stands out to her due to the procedures I’ve had. My first appointment with her, the first thing she said to me was: “oh my goodness, I had the pleasure of reviewing your MRI in the spring and it’s amazing to see how someone with that complex of heart disease can look so healthy! Your heart was one of the coolest I’ve ever seen.”
On Monday, Dr. Wald and I talked about the length between the procedures on my heart. 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2010; plus endocarditis in 2005. Some years, I’ve had more than one procedure that year. We were talking about how it’s been six years since my last open heart surgery, which is the longest I’ve gone without a procedure. Currently, my goal is to make it ten years and a day without a procedure so I can qualify for life insurance. That means I have to make it until May 11, 2020.
Since May 10, 2010, I have treated my life as a second chance. My heart was stuck to my chest wall and they didn’t notice it in my CT scan. As a result, my heart quite literally exploded on the table when they cut it open and I was rushed onto bypass. The first 24 hours post-op was very touch and go as well, they started preparing my parents that I may have to be rushed into the cath lab at any time and that I could wake up with brain damage or a physical disability. I woke up just fine and am eternally grateful for the team at Sick Kids hospital in Toronto.

Since May 10, 2010, I have been able to accomplish so much and have an awesome adulthood. I have been able to…
Graduate college, twice!
Become an aunt, for the second time!
... and have the pleasure of watching both my nieces grow up.

Adopt these two crazy fur babies, aka my boys
Break my first bone
Become a godparent for the first time!
Break all the rules and get a piercing in a high infection location. Oops.
Buy my first car!
Get in my first not-at-fault accident
... and my first at-fault accident
Successfully lose weight and keep the weight off
Snipe pre-release tickets to the movie and then spend hours in line! Deadpool was my first movie to do this for.

Develop new relationships and embrace old friendships to find a group of people who I know always have my back, no matter what.
Fall back in love with my mama, my #1 supporter and the person who's been through it all with me. I'm one lucky girl to have her.
Become close with my dad again and be there to support him through a stroke and there to celebrate his 30 years sober (all while he distracts me from needles by shoving his nasty fingers into my ears).
What I’m trying to say is: yes, congenital heart disease sucks. It’s painful, scary and overwhelming at times. There are going to be bad days, there are going to be freaking terrible days. However, the good days outnumber the bad. I’ve spent the last 23 years surrounded by constant love and support from my family, friends and medical professionals.
If you’re a parent of a child who’s just been diagnosed with CHD: it’s going be okay. It’s 100% okay to be scared, overwhelmed and even heartbroken. However, this isn’t your fault; you did nothing to cause this! Embrace the milestones in your child’s life, they’ll remember. Be there to love and support them through the difficult times, they’ll remember that too. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed or there’s something you can’t handle, take a step back and let someone else step in. I know that my mom can’t handle when I get an IV or my chest tubes removed, so she takes a step back and lets my dad and sister step in.
I’m at a point in my life where I embrace my relationship with my family, because I know how strong of a bond I have with them. If it wasn’t for their love, support and days spent at my bedside, I wouldn’t be here.
If anyone takes anything for this post, I want you to know that everything happens for a reason. That reason usually is to make you a stronger person.

I’ll end this post with a Spotify playlist that I identify with a lot throughout my life with CHD.

I hope you have a fantastic day!