Lifefest 2008

earth-hour-015.jpgWOW! what a haul of freebies! Attended this years fest with my daughter Roo and we came home loaded with stuff. If you are going may I suggest going to www.lifefest.ca and doing the survey as it gets you great freebies that cant be found otherwise! It really was a fun day out for the two of us. Roo loved the Garnier dome and getting her hair done (we got some good  ideas about adding volume. Dr Scholls is giving free foot massages and they are good! Lots of food samples to keep you nourished as you go on your way. We really did have a good time and it was a cheap day out as Roo was free to get in the door as she is under 12.

Shopping When You Dont Want To

Well yesterday was intersting in my house. Miss Roo decided to play around and was jumping on my hideabed. Guess what broke? It wont even open.

So n0w I have to shop for somewhere to sleep for me. Last night it was an uncomfortable sleep on the brown loveseat. I have posted on my local frecycle that Iam shopping for a fouton and frame as that is what I think will fit in the space. I was also looking at the ads on craiglist. Now if I go the new route I will be looking at $200, now that is spending that was not in the budget.  Ever had a week where your budget just got thrown out the window?

The Fork in the Road

So much has been on my-mind lately as Roo got her report card this week. It reflected what I already knew deep down. At school she is not really learning as her accommodations written into her IEP are not followed. Really if they still failed kids she would be in a failing year. She is below grade level work in every area but Phys Ed and French.

So what is a parent of a special needs child here in Toronto supposed to do? Roo has an LD. She needs support so she can get caught up and stay organized. This is not happening. There are other children in the school who need the resources more. It makes me sad. I want more, better for her.

So what can this cheap parent do? Tutoring is expensive, the private school option is out of the question, so that leaves me with either entrusting her to a system that is questionable or bringing her home to home-school her.

It would mean me and her being together really 24/7 for the next year while I try to do what teachers have not done. It would mean committing to another year out of the work force.  If I am going to do it though this is the year to do it. It is her last year of elementary education. I want her to be well prepared for junior high. This is one of those fork in the road choices. It will have consequences for the both of us no matter which path I choose.

Works for Me Wenesday: Reading to Destress

For those of you reading me for the first time. I am a solo parent so getting out etc to destress is out of the question for me so what do I do instead? READ

For me reading is a great cheap escape. I love to read! What are my sources for books? First the local library, then Value Village, then I belong to two great sources for Canucks to get free books. First is the First Look program offered by Harper Collins and the other is the Harper Collins Reading Club on Facebook.

This week I finished reading Laura Lippman’s newest novel Another Thing to Fall. This book I got for free through the Reading Club. I really enjoyed the book and having gotten it for free just made it better.

One of the other ways I get free books is contesting….

So do you want a great spring destressor? A FREE Book? I am having a blog contest this month… 4 reads are up for grabs…all I got either cheap or free over the last month from varying sources.

Which books?

1. Laura Lippman’s Another Thing to Fall

2. Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

3.Sophie Kinsella’s Remember Me?

4.Don Piper’s 90 Minutes in Heaven

Here are the rules

1. Open to Canadian and US residents only.

2. To enter you must leave a comment on any post I make in the month of April.

3. You must let me know which book you would like . One comment is equal to one entry into that book’s draw.  

4.Blog or post this wee contest online and tell me about it and you get an extra entry.

5. Contest closes April 30th at 10 pm EST. Draws for all 4 books will be held on May 1st. Winners can read about their win here and contact me on or after May1st. So you will want to read the winners list.If you have a blog it will be linked to in that post.  Iwill contact winners later that day. My email is hollie.pollard@gmail.com

6.You do not have to be a blogger to win, but you must have some way for me to contact you.

So hopefully I can pass some great reads along! Well destressing and reading go hand in hand and work well for me. Going to go and read now what is working well for others over at Rocks in my Dryer

Contest Entry

Entered the Moody Blues contest….why not check out my mix here 

I am simplyhollie and it is called insane motherhood. Iam late getting on board with this one but just maybe my readers can help  this  solo parent  win..

Could it be????  I am feeling lucky!

Our Earth Hour Fun

earth-hour-002.jpgearth-hour-005.jpg Well we did our part last night and participated in Earth Hour. Roo loved it. We used candles and flashlights for the 3 hours that we turned out the lights. Everything in the house was unplugged except for the fridge.

Monopoly was the game of choice, and then we read by candle light and our finale was a walk in our neighbourhood where we found 60 houses that were participating! We could even see the stars and that is rare in Toronto..It really was a fun time and a real reminder that we can still do much to go green.

Works for Me Wednesday- Getting Ready for Earth hour

So what works for me this week is me getting ready to celebrate Earth Hour with Roo. What are we going to do? Well let’s see since 8pm this Saturday night it is dusk her in Toronto Roo and I have decided to have a raw dinner and play board games by candle light…no going anywhere just us girls at home this Saturday night. Now if you are in Toronto there is going to be an eco friendly concert downtown but if you go please don’t drive use the better way:TTC or bike or walk. Now off to Rocks in my Dryer to see what is working for everyone else this week. Are YOU doing earth hour? If yes how?

IPRC, and the TDSB and a LONG Wait

Some of you know this, I am the parent of a little girl in grade 4 in the Toronto District School Board. Today we had Roo’s annual review. I asked questions specifically about things that will help her as she has an learning disability as well as walking the Asperger’s/ADHD line ( which means she is dually tracked LD/behavior for IPRC purposes).

 I have been asking for an OT assessment since the beginning of the school year as my daughter writes at about a early grade 2 level( this has not improved at all over the last 18 months where she has done amazing well in getting better at reading, and in self control-thanks in large part to the great staff at her school). Writing is her handicap and really it is stopping her from having the education that most children receive.

 A computer in the classroom that was assigned to her would help so much but it seems that if I stay inside the system that the need will NOT get met for at least another school year, in the meantime my child languishes with a substandard education. It is now taking  the average special needs child over 18 months to get any type of assessments in this board. For her assignments, homework and the like take twice as long, she becomes frustrated with herself and it becomes a battle.

A computer would really give us a handle on where she is really at as assignments etc would be done faster, better and handed in in a manner that a teacher can properly evaluate where she is at. I want what every parent wants a good quality education that leaves her in the regular classroom with her self esteem intact as much as possible. In Toronto special needs children do not get the education for the most part that they need. Funding is more then lacking for this children. Getting testing and things like computers that would put them on a equal footing are hard to get inside the system that frustrates both parent and child as well as the local school. I found a computer   and the 2 programs that would have to be loaded on it for her to get the best benefit

http://www.factorydirect.ca/catalog/product_spec.php?pcode=AC3680

now I just need $450… and for this mom who isn’t working because I have a child who needs me at home it is not doable. So I am starting the ROO FUND.. every penny of change I get will go to the ROO FUND to get her a computer for the classroom before the end of THIS  year, not next or the year after that…If you can think of creative ways for me to raise funds let me know. If you want to donate or have a laptop that you can spare that is less then 2 years old, and is in working order let me know that too..I don’t want her to fall through the cracks and I can see we are sitting on the ledge between educational success and failure.

A New to Canada Snack: Oreo Cakesters

oreo Today I received my campaign box from BzzAgent. In it was a box of Cakesters, as they were released on the Canadian market last month.   When I opened the box Roo said “I was waiting for someone to invent these”. You see both of us love Oreos and chocolate! I was certainly a happy camper when I got to test drive this new to us snack. Roo had a friend over so they were my testers. They got a great review from the kiddos. Now we all know that Oreo is known for a rich chocolate taste I find these lighter but better then another certain chocolate snack cake that has been a staple in this house. We are always looking for good snacks. Now they come wrapped with 2 in a pack. Because of how big they are I recommend eat one and share with a friend. Now they do have an allergy alert on the package so this is a NO go for school here which is unfortunate but none of the ingredients are nut related so I am going to say must be made in a factory where there is a chance of trace from machinery etc. Over all we will buy the product again. If you have tried these let me know what you think.

Whew it is Almost Over!

Well Spring break is quickly coming to an end, and this cheapfrugal mom has made it through without it making a debt in my pocket book! yeah!! On Monday we went to the Shops on Steeles that have the best Spring Break kids program. It started off with a craft, then a free-lunch and then a show. This year’s theme was animals. We saw a wonderful show about birds. On Tuesday Roo went to Kidzown, it was science day! On Wednesday it was PJ and movie day at home. Thursday she went to a play based on Robert Munch’s books. Today we have been at home working on a school project that is coming due after the holiday.