Yay! It’s Christmas time!

Posted by Karen - December 18th, 2011

Posted by Karen

I’M BAA-AACK!  And happy to be blogging again, after 3 weeks off to deal with a…  time-consuming project I had to do through work (end point was Friday Dec 16).  The early part of December was a tough slog for me, and now I’m ready to relax!

However, the past month wasn’t a complete washout in terms of enjoying the holiday spirit with my kids and husband – a couple of weeks ago, I took a break and we all went to the “Starlight Stars on Ice” kids’ holiday party.  I’ve written about the Starlight Foundation before, as has my co-blogger Suzanne.  It’s a really great charity which exists to plan and carry out fun events for children with serious illnesses/medical disorders and their families.  My daughter Miranda (age 6) qualifies because of the progressively disabling nature of her Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva.  Anyway, every year Starlight does a great Christmas bash, complete with lunch, yummy holiday treats, face painting, Santa Claus, presents for all the kids and culminating in ice-skating.

This is the third year we’ve been, and it’s lots and lots of fun.  Miranda particularly liked the very colourful clown who did face painting and balloon animals/objects…

And Owen (age 9) thought it was a hoot that the clown could put temporary Vancouver Canucks green colouring in his hair…

Owen with green stripes in his hair, and Miranda with a candy cane painted on her cheek. M is also wearing balloon fairy wings.


Pete got in on the action too with a green beard.

Owen wasn’t so big on all the arts and crafts stuff, but that was RIGHT up Miranda’s alley.  She decorated two gingerbread cookies, made paper Christmas tree ornaments, coloured a Christmas picture and did two rounds of “spin art” (a spinning machine with paper mounted in the middle; the child squirts paint into it and makes an abstract and colourful painting).

It’s a good thing Miranda enjoyed the crafts so much, because unfortunately, she couldn’t take advantage of the skating.  Skating is just too much of a no-no for Miranda with her FOP – for one thing, a fall on the ice has excellent potential to cause an FOP flare-up (painful swelling leading to movement-limiting bone creation), and for another thing, Miranda’s spine is so rigid due to FOP bone that she wouldn’t be able to bend and twist her torso in the way necessary to skate effectively.  In past years, the Starlight party was at a different place with a rink which had hockey sledges in which a child could sit and be pulled around the ice, which is what we did with M, but go figure, the Vancouver Olympic Speed-Skating Oval had no such sledges…  Since Miranda couldn’t go on the skating rink, the good Starlight folks were happy to let her stay in the arts and crafts room during the skating part, and she was happy to stay there and do more art.  (Aside – in the past, Miranda has been sort of lukewarm about the sledge anyway – even in the context of Starlight, which has kids with all sorts of disabilities, including in wheelchairs, M thought she stood out when she was in the sledge.)  My husband Pete and I took turns skating with Owen and looking after Miranda.

Me and my girl (yes, that's a bit of red in my hair too!).

The Starlight party was a great start to the yuletide season.  Always so much fun.  Here’s hoping the rest of the holidays are just as fun…

Miranda and Owen with our Christmas tree, newly set up and decorated last night (yes, Owen is wearing the same jersey as at the party – he always wears it on Canucks’ game day ;-) )

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!


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