Day 534: The Cousin Mini Olympics!

Madison and Jack love starting their day by playing candy crush with Daddy in bed. 

Madi, Nate and Jack spent their day with Nana and Papa! They went to Variety Village to play in the gym. They participated in the cousin olympics! They did an obstacle course, raced each other around, played catch with different balls, jumped from ring to ring and practiced their floor routine. 

​After their mini olympics they went out for lunch to celebrate! 

Thanks Nana and Papa for a great day!

Day 533: Family Project

Mommy and Daddy were happy for the weekend to come. Things get done around the house and everyone gets to spend time together with no major plans.

Mommy and Daddy love weekends but Madison does not do so well on weekends. She does well with routine, structure and a day full of activity. After a morning of difficulty at the house, she visited with Pam and Medford to have some lunch and have some fun. She loves wearing her backpack and marching next door in her walker. 

After a failed attempt for a nap, Madi helped Mommy and Daddy with an art project. She painted different pictures to hang on the wall in the family room and helped Jack do his handprint for a family canvas. She loved painting with Mommy and helping to clean up the family room and prepare the new gallery wall. 

Day 532: Amazing Walking!

Madi has been extremely busy lately with appointments, therapies, camp etc. Sometimes it’s hard to see her gains and with her Botox pretty much being gone, it has seemed lately like she has been at a stand still and regressing with some of her skills. She is tight and in pain some days which has been hard to see. But then, out of no where she has the most amazing physio session with Stephanie where she is able to put all the pieces together and do some of the best independent walking she has ever done! The most rewarding part was hearing her squeal with joy and asking to do it again and again because of the sense of freedom that she got a taste of. We feel so grateful for moments like these, where we can put everything in perspective and celebrate how far she has come. 

​ Jack also had physio today. They worked on his rotation of his body when on his tummy and neck rotation as well. They also worked on tilting his body to correct his head position, rolling both ways from his back and reaching forwards with both arms to play with toys. He works so hard just like his big sister but is not a fan of physio. 

It’s funny how much things change when the helmet is off and Madison is in the room with him. He lights up when he sees Madison watching him.

In other news…the playground was delivered today! So excited to see Madisons reaction once it’s built.

Day 531: Madi’s Getting a Playground!

This is a secret…Madison does not know!!

Mommy received the best phone call today! Million Dollar Smiles called and Madi is getting a playground for her and Jack for the backyard! 

Million Dollar Smiles is an organization that brings playgrounds to the backyards of children dealing with critical illnesses or to children with different physical or cognitive disabilities who would benefit from a safe place to play. 

Here is a note from the founder Anna Lopes:

“Over 10 years ago I started Million Dollar Smiles with the simple goal of wanting to bring smiles to children facing life threatening illnesses. I began with a small group of volunteers and together we helped change the life of 10 families in our first year through our Travelling Teddy Bear campaign. After years of running numerous fund-raising events resulting in many smiles, we have grown into a group of dedicated volunteers who organize fundraisers that support our gift-giving campaigns and special events.”

Million Dollar smiles did 60 playground builds this past year in Ontario! We are thrilled to be a part of it.

Madison does not know about this….it is a surprise that she will see on the day of the build once it is complete. Please help keep this secret!!!

Here is an example of a playground that has been built:

Madison will be receiving an accessible swing that will be mounted right next to a baby swing for Jack! The doorways of the house will be wide enough for her walker and there will be a sandbox and chalkboard that will be at her height and fully accessible. We will also mount flower boxes to the structure for her to have her own garden. 

It is the most perfect timing… It will be built September 11th… 3 days before her birthday!!! The 30 volunteers will arrive around 8:30 and build until 2:30 rain or shine. The organization provides breakfast and lunch for all the volunteers. They will then bring Madison out to unveil it to her and provide cake to celebrate! 

Everyone is thrilled that Madison will have a place to invite her little buddies over to play on a safe, accessible and fun place!


Madison loved having a play with Nate this afternoon and the three musketeers had a great time at Madi’s favourite piggy restaurant with Nana and Papa. 

Day 530: Fun at Camp

Madi was back at camp this morning and was thrilled to see her buddy Ben! They looked at birds today and made a bird craft. They both worked hard and at the end, Bens Mommy brought the two of them Blue Jays donuts to have a snack together. It was a great morning!

Madi spent her afternoon with Jack and Nana. They had lunch, a nap, played with play dough and checked out Papas music collection. Jack also visited Dr Sarah for an adjustment and check in. He is doing great and the helmet training is going well.

Day 529: Madi Visits the Legislature!

Today was a special day for Madison. She didn’t go to camp or therapy…she went to Queens Park! Madison was asked by Variety Village to be one of the ambassadors for the Lieutenant Govenor’s Games coming up this October. “Youngsters of varied abilities will be coming together at Variety Village in Scarborough for the Annual Lieutenant Governor’s Games in October. The one-day event offers children from schools across the GTA an introduction to sports, training and fitness for youngsters with special needs (physical, developmental, learning and socio-economic).” For more information visit 

Today Madison met with the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell and three other children from Variety Village to take the traditional photo for the games poster. Before meeting with the group, Madison visited her friend Debbie who is the Legislative Clerk. Debbie showed Madison around her office and let her explore all her treasures and gifts from visitors over the years. Madison loved the candy Deb gave her and it did just the trick for getting her energy up before the photos.

After a nice visit, Debbie brought Madison to the Lieutenant Governors office to meet Archie and the rest of the group from Variety Village. Madison worked her way around the room introducing herself to the other kids and their families. They all then lined up to greet the Lieutenant Governor as she entered. Madison did a great job of saying hello. She stuck her hand right out to shake hands and said “Hi I’m Madison”. They all then gathered to take a bunch of pictures. Madison chose a yellow Variety Village shirt for the pictures. It was a dress on her and sooo cute! She is already so comfortable and knows how special Variety Village is to her and was so proud to wear her shirt and represent such an amazing place. 

Mommy was so proud of Madison! She was so great at following instructions and doing everything that was asked of her. She was beautifully behaved for an almost 3 year old. When the photos were done, Debbie took Madison on a small tour of some other special places like the Legislative Assembly and then to lunch! It was a wonderful day! Thanks Archie and thanks Debbie! 

Jack had a great time with Pam and Medford while the ladies were downtown. Madison was happy to pick him up and play ball with Pam before it was time for a nap. Jack is on the move! Madi is the greatest teacher!

Day 528: Madi’s Marathon Monday

Madison started her day at March of Dimes camp. They have a zoo theme this week and today they went on a bear hunt. She walked on different textures like grass and sand on the search for a bear. She also did a bear painting during sensory time that she painted with her hands and forks.

After camp it was time to see Joe! She worked on hands high in the air to practice her balance and they went for a long ride out back on the trail. Her posture is really improving!

After giving Joe his apple and carrot and putting her gear away, she went to see Shannon. They did some more active massage and got some new tape on the backs of her legs to allow some muscles to relax and get support. Her muscles were tender, sore and extremely stiff today.

Madison is participating in a special photo tomorrow (stay tuned) so she went to get a haircut to get her bangs out of her eyes.

Before bed, Madison went over to Emily’s house for a swim! They did lots of kicking, chasing different toys around the pool and did some good stretching. Her legs always respond so well to water – they felt much more relaxed when she got home. 

Madi was wiped out at the end of her day but at bedtime she told Mommy and Daddy she had a great day and feels happy. The best part of the day was snuggling in PJ’s after bath time and reading books together in bed. 

Day 527: 40 Years In Love

Madison stopped by Nana & Papa’s this morning to drop off a card from her, her brother Jack and her cousin Nate to wish them a happy 40th wedding anniversary! Mommy tried to explain to Madison what an anniversary is and she later explained to Daddy that Nana and Papa had a special day today and that they are getting married! Hahaha 

Congrats on 40 years Nana & Papa!

Madison and Mommy then went to Variety Village for a swim and to get a good long stretch in the hot pool. Mommy can’t keep up with the stretching Madi needs lately, she continues to get tighter by the day.  Thanks for lending Madi your floaters Nate! She liked trying them out to swim a bit more independantly. 

Madi also liked supervising Daddy in the backyard this afternoon while he cut the grass. It was a low key afternoon before the start of a busy week. 

Day 526: Active Massage

Mommy was thankful for Madi’s massage today. The Botox has pretty much left Madi’s legs and she is up on her toes again and when trying to stand is in a crouch position. She is up more in the night and has been complaining about her feet. Shannon tried a new approach to massage today. She tried active massage where she targeted specific muscles as Madison was standing and her muscles were fireing. Madi didn’t love it at times but it really helped. Thanks Shannon! 

Madison and Jack helped Daddy shop for some things to install the air conditioner in Jacks room so he can move in, and out of Mommy and Daddy’s room.

Madi was a great big sister and entertained Jack while Mommy and Daddy worked on Jacks room.