Jsack's Mom's Blog

Sharing my heart, tears, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

Ten Things of Thankful-Some kind of wonderful

It’s time to join up with the merry band of thankful crew. I’ve been on a little hiatus due to back to school craziness. It’s been a wild month of keeping track of all school responsibilities and I need to dive waist deep into some thankfulness. This is where my heart is and always will be whether in participating in the TTOT linkup or just reading all the wonderful talent that reside there. 

I’m thankful for having a more organized week and making each appointment and having my sitters lined up for the last week. My kids enjoy spending time with these special caregivers and I’m grateful for some me time and a date night with my handsome husband. 

I’m thankful for celebrating 11 years of marriage. There are times when life beats me down and I feel overwhelmed. I look towards my husband and he’s always there cheering me on and believing in my inner strength that I know I possess but need a reminder of when I’m feeling clouded by doubt. 

I’m thankful for the wonderful friendships I have in my life. I’m never without a kind word, strong shoulder, or zany sense of humour from my tribe. The real life friends make me feel so loved and appreciated. My online friendships have grown and have taught me to believe in myself and the power of my words. Words that can make a difference and be the change I wish to see in the world. 

I’m thankful for a successful week of charting and tracking my daily life habits. I’ve had 3 successful weeks of tracking my behaviours of food, mood, anxiety, sleep, and OCD I’m a journal. I’ve begun to see patterns of my behaviour that I can now work on changing and revitalize my self care regimen. 

I’m thankful for my behavioural therapist that I’ve been seeing for the last month. Cognitive behavioural therapy is the game changer in my life and I’m looking forward to more successes that I will accomplish with her support and expertise. 

I’m thankful for my sons doing well in school. It’s only been a month but they’ve both felt positive about being in their classrooms. Soon I will find out what funding is available for my youngest with autism and a teacher conference for my oldest to see how he’s doing in school. I’m proud of them both and the resilience and inner strength they’ve shown me. 

I’m thankful for a wonderful day spent at the women’s show. I met a lot of different vendors and listened to an amazing guest speaker. I sat in the sunshine and painted a wine glass and met some very interesting kind people. It was a rewarding day of being social followed by a 3 hour successful theatre practice. The most memorable part of my day was signing the poster asking the question in one word describing myself. I chose to say I’m inspirational and the loving energy that poured out of me from that moment onward was incredible. 

Speaking of theatre I’m thankful that I was cast in the lead role of the pantomime play! I was going to be brave and try out for a bigger role than in the previous years and I did. I’m memorizing a lot of dialogue, dances, and really enjoying my character. Performing is where my heart is when I’m on stage I feel like I’m invincible. 

I’m thankful for autumn days and walking along the river with leaves crunching under my feet. The pictures I take at this time of year thrill me as Mother Nature decorates these beautiful tapestrys of colour and wonder. 

I’m thankful for all things pumpkin now that it’s October. Halloween is a big deal in our household so let the dessert making and decorating commence. Stay tuned for guess what Halloween costume I’ll be wearing coming soon. 


Sensory Processing Disorder in the classroom

My son has had a long journey in his five years. He was born a month premature and didn’t open up his eyes for his first five days on the earth. Even back then he knew he was sensory overwhelmed with his welcome to the world. Most Moms have babies crying when they make their exit from the spa into the brightness of a hospital OR. Not my son he was sleeping in my OB’s arms as he was brought over the sheet to check his vitals. 

From that day forward he found his voice and expressed himself fully with the power of his lungs. He was a cuddly baby that never like to be put down to sleep and was rolling back and forth at 4 days old! Then he grew into a bash and crash toddler that scared me with his antics of climbing up a five shelf bookshelf and jumping onto the couch. Now he’s grown up so much I wish time could slow down and I could swaddle that sweet baby he used to be. 

He’s 5 now and recently diagnosed with autism and co-morbidities to watch out for, and attending kindergarten and I have routine  that I do for him in the morning to prepare him for the day. He’s not a morning person after two years with obstructive sleep apnea so every morning is a little more jarring to his central nervous system. We start slow and easy in the morning with the routine of wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, and get his backpack ready for school. All shown with his visual pictures to keep him on task. 


 He needs to be emotionally and physically regulated with his central nervous system before he steps into his classroom so I have a morning cuddle with him and give him a deep pressure massage to wake up his senses slowly. He then gets fed, dressed, washed, and then coat, shoes, backpack are put on. If he’s feeling antsy I have him jump on his minitramp for 1 minute. That amount of time can balance him out and then crab walks to the door with some heavy work to prepare him for sitting. 


Now that’s he’s awake and ready to start his day he can become overly stimulated by what he sees around him. I help him focus by putting on his glasses so he can single out each object. His classroom is a busy place so I know this cuts down on all the visual distractions. Noise and commotion are difficult input for my son to process so he has his noise cancelling headphones in his backpack to block out the overstimulation. If he doesn’t wear them he will stim and compete with the noise with his vocal power to cancel out the offending auditory trigger. 

Oral Fixation

My son tends to chew on his sleeves, cuffs, collar of his clothes so after he’s dressed I make sure he has his chewlery. He’s a shark and ocean marine life lover so he has his shark on a cord and wears it as a necklace. He doesn’t always like to wear it but I tell him that sharky’s there to help if he feels nervous. It saves his clothes and gives him the sensory input he needs for his low muscle tone in his jaw. 

Motor Planning

He has difficulties with  transitions so I make sure that I use visual supports to keep him on task. First we use his visual picture cards so he can see his morning routine. Then I draw them on the white board in a 3 step format of first, then, after. As he completes each task he erases it feeling accomplished and ready to start his day. 

Zones of Regulation

Each day my son and I will go through the zones of regulation where he will tell me what each colour is to express a feeling or action. When he’s unable to express how he’s feeling verbally he will tell me a colour. 

  • Blue is feeling sad or tired. 
  • Yellow is feeling scared or nervous. 
  • Green is happy and smiling.
  • Red is angry and frustrated. 

Verbal Diahrrea 

My son enjoys talking so I need to show him how to take turns with having a conversation as his receptive language skills are severe. He can have tunnel vision and want to be the only one talking and expressing his thoughts. I have a Popsicle stick that he coloured with one side is red and the other is green. He holds the stick and when it’s green he’s a go for talking. When it’s red then he has to stop and let someone else talk, namely his teacher. 

The visuals keep him on track and help with his slower processing time. We all know the adage it takes a village to raise a child. When you have a child with special needs that village grows. Now we prepare for him to be assessed by the school psychologist so he can qualify for an aid in the classroom. It’s not an easy process because sometimes my son doesn’t want to be organized and given direction so it becomes more of a dance. He takes a step and we each take turns leading. One thing I know that everything we do is to prepare him for success in the classroom. 

Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthlygathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution  . Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!



Krystal Blue book review

I love to read as much as I love to write so I feel such joy when I’m wrapped up in a good book. That is where my heart lies so I became a beta reader for the author Destiny Hawkins. Now this talented woman can spin a great story, and quickly too. As soon as I finish up a book she’s loading up my Kindle app with another! Not that I’m complaining though I really get wrapped up in her characters as she writes so vividly of their lives, loves, and stories.

Amazon Link:


Krystal Blue is a young college student with the good looks of a Californian blonde beauty. Her life is far from perfect growing up in the foster system and afraid to get close to anyone since her life was struck by tragedy. The story weaves the tale into Krystal navigating college, finding employment, and saving enough money to stop living in her car.
The author Destiny makes you feel sympathetic to Krystal’s plight as a young woman just trying to make her way in the world. Then she throws in a super natural twist and a love triangle as I was reading my head was spinning from the excitement. I I stayed up late late night after night reading this book as the twists and turns piqued my interest and left me wanting more!

I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review and like all of Destiny’s books I loved it! I received it in instalments so I eagerly read them wanting more information as the mystery slowly unravelled to who and what Krystal Blue really is. This book was the first that I had read in a LGBTQ genre but the sexual orientation was written in such a way that that the love interests never overshadowed the driving plot line. This book had me on the edge of my seat with how much the story line evolved from Krystal Blue being weak and powerless to discovering an inner strength she never knew she possessed! 
The storyline had me at the introduction of Krystal and her brothers relationship growing up in foster care and having no one but each other for comfort and support. Next I was taken on this wild ride that the author Destiny Hawkins is well known for. There were some many twists and turns on a personal and paranormal level I found myself feeling anxious like I was the main character! I’m very excited to continue the next book as this is book one of the Blue Moon series I look forward to more adventures with Krystal Blue.

Author Information

Destiny Hawkins is the author of Krystal Blue Book one of the Blue Moon Series. She’s also written Caged, Caged 2, Angels Blade, Aveena City of Gold, and a children’s book Hide and Seek-the Okavango Delta. When she’s not writing she’s thinking about new characters and plot lines to devise. You can follow her on social media here.
Amazon Author page

Stay tuned to a work in progress coming soon from Destiny Hawkins creative mind! 


A Journey of Self Discovery Preorder Review Tour~East-A Novel by Peri Hoskins

East-A Novel

By Peri Hoskins


Preorder Now

Amazon Link
End of August Release

I really enjoyed this book set in Australia in the style of Jack Kerouac On the Road. Peri paints a picture of a dissatisfied lawyer, named Vince who decides to pack up his car and head east for new adventures. He comes across many interesting characters each impacting his life in their own ways. He’s 30 years old and searching for his life’s purpose after leaving his promising career in law. He sets off on his soul searching journey to find himself and gets entwined in the lives of the supporting characters. Staying with friends, youth hostels, and camping he finds his nomadic journey to be come a spiritual quest and opens himself to whatever will meant to be. I would recommend the reader have a dictionary handy as I wasn’t familiar with the British or Australian slang. I appreciated learning something new though with the author Peri’s use of it. I became invested in the main character Vince and wanted him to find happiness and his purpose whatever direction that takes him in. I found him to be an open hearted beautiful man who is desperate for his soul to heal. Each night he scribbles away in his travel journal about his adventures intent on writing his book while finding meaning for his life.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s a traveller or has felt like they need to change up their world and start a new chapter in their life’s diary. Peri Hoskins has an excellent  writing style I didn’t want to stop reading. I look forward to reading and reviewing his first book Millenium-A Memoir next. 

It’s 1994. Junior lawyer, Vince Osbourne, leaves behind a small, mean and viciously circular life in the city representing petty criminals and takes to the road. He’s lived 30 years. The wide continent of Australia is out in front. He’s almost young. Where will the road lead?


East takes in sunsets; rain in the desert; a five-year-old girl on a bike; a battered former thief and jockey; old-timers; young lovers; beautiful women, and aboriginals in public bars. The open road connects many vignettes making a rich tapestry of human encounters.


East is poignant, gritty, funny, sad and above all: human. Hoskins’ laconic prose captures the harsh, arid country in all its big, empty beauty along with quirky exchanges with strangers, travel buddies, shop assistants, workmates, and friends old and new. A journey without and within, East taps into the spiritual realm that lies beneath this land and its people.


(#travel & Adventure, #Travel, #Aus, #RPBP, #preorder, #ebook, #NewRelease)

​A Journey of Self Discovery

This intriguing book is based on the author’s personal memoirs and although it is described as fiction it feels very, very real.

Vince has reached a stage at 30 when he wants to break free from a life that seems to be suffocating him. He has been working as a junior lawyer but needs to do something different and this book tells of his travels towards the East of Australia.

His journey draws you along with him as he discovers himself and realises that he can achieve so much more than he previously thought possible. He settles in places with people from his past that he sees in a new light, along with their prejudices.

Then there are the long and testing journeys across the deserts of Australia, meeting a fascinating mix of people along the way. Vince’s observations on the Aboriginal people, being of Maori origin himself, are extremely revealing. The back breaking work he takes on in a mine, to earn some extra money, couldn’t be further removed from his previous work as a lawyer.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys travel writing and journeys of self-discovery. ~Robert Fear 8.10.16


The bonnet in front of me is big and white. Rain on the windscreen – the wipers sweep it away. The clouds are grey, the road is grey, the suburbs are grey and I am leaving. There is joy in that. I’m leaving it behind – a life – small, petty, viciously circular. Out in front is the road and I don’t know where it will end. I am free. I’m almost young.
A beginning. Renewal pulses in my blood, pumping out from my heart, through my veins, feeding me, making me new again, a keenly conscious being reaching out to the uncertainty. This road will lead me to places that I have not seen – to people I have not met. There’s no place I have to be and no time I have to be there.
I drive on and on leaving the city far behind. The rain clears. Sunlight glints on wet grass and trees. I see farmhouses, fences and cows. The gnawing in my belly eases as I’m gently enveloped by the freedom of the great mystery now upon me. The shackles of the old life fall away, for I’m shedding a skin – dry, worn, old and scaly. I found the courage to step into the dream. And the dream has become real.
The life of a suburban lawyer is behind me. Small decisions. Small repetitions. Which tie to wear today. Pay the electricity bill. Sunday – iron five shirts for the week ahead. See the same people. Say the same things. Hear the same things said. In that life I wondered whether I had it better than the petty criminals I represented in court. Some had no job and no home. They pleaded guilty and I said what I could say, for something had to be said. And then the court, that street-sweeper of humanity, tidied them away. For there must be a place – there must be somewhere for them to go: a prison, a halfway house, a drug rehab centre. There must be a place for everyone – somewhere. These people had fallen through cracks and become untidy. Did they envy my tidy life, those that I helped to tidy away? Did they see my life as I saw it – not a tidy life, but a tidy prison?
Tidiness. I had been taught to lead a tidy life. What was it they had said – the teachers, the headmasters? Work hard at school. Get a good job. Be a good employee. Pay your taxes. Mow your lawns. Be a good neighbour. Be a good citizen. Lead a tidy life. Not a full life, a varied life, a great life – no, a tidy life of small neat circles. I have lived thirty years.
As the trees and houses and petrol stations whistle by, the reasons for leaving once again crowd my mind. At thirty, life no longer stretches out before me like an uncharted great ocean. If I live to be eighty, more than one third of my life is spent. Where am I? At a time of life when I’m supposed to be somewhere – I’m nowhere I ever wanted to be. I’ll taste the last drops of youth before the cup passes from my lips, forever. The familiar yearning claws at my insides again – but it’s different now – it’s happy knowing I have been true to it – finally.
The yearning … a murmur in a corner of my soul … that’s how it started … a couple of years ago … I pushed it away. I was busy; there were things to do. It kept coming back, stronger and stronger: a growing gnawing that would not be denied. The day I turned thirty, I came to know what it was, finally. It was the feeling of having missed my destiny. At one of life’s important junctures, I don’t know when or where, I’d taken the wrong turn.
So maybe that’s what it is: a journey back down life’s highway to try and find the turn I missed. A journey to reconnect with who I am and what I should be doing here – in this life. Did I ever really want to be a lawyer? Maybe I did it because my father didn’t finish law school. Maybe I did it for him, and not for me. Didn’t have the courage to find my destiny and follow it … settled for safety and caution. 

And the small repetitions of the safe life had closed in and were suffocating me. Don’t know if that’s what it is … I had to go – I know that much … it was the most honest thing I could do. And now it’s real: this journey with no end and no decided route. It’s a big country. Yeah, I’ll head east … And in my travels maybe I’ll find something of the soul of this land and its people … 
I have been at the wheel for four hours. The muscular movements needed to keep the car on course have become automatic. My thoughts drift freely now, first to the future – new, pregnant with possibility – before anchoring in my childhood. I recall a long-buried idea – from a time of wonder at a world full of possibilities. As a child I thought I could see into people, a kind of second sight.
Memories flow into my mind – sharp, clear, focused. I see things now as I saw things then. I am a small boy sitting in the passenger seat of a car. My father is driving. We approach an intersection. A policeman is standing in the middle directing traffic. He signals the car in front to stop. The policeman fascinates me – his neat blue uniform, high black boots, long white gloves – his precise hand signals. He makes cars stop and go by moving his hands like the man who made the puppets move at the fairground. The gloved hands move and the cars obey, crossing the intersection, slowly and respectfully passing the uniformed man.
From above I hear the noise of a plane. In the eye of my mind as a child I see the silver wings and fuselage. The policeman’s eyes turn skyward to the plane I see clearly in the window of my imagination. The officer’s long-gloved hands slowly fall to rest at his heavy belt. Cars bank up at the intersection. The driver in front looks at him for directions but he gives none. Unconscious of the traffic, his attention is focused in the sky above. The face of the policeman loses form and I see into him. First I feel his discomfort in the hot uniform, the dryness in his throat and the tiredness behind his eyes. Gradually my perception deepens. I sense the numbed heart, the thwarted ambitions – the hopes and dreams unrealized and gone awry. He doesn’t want to be here, directing traffic. The past has cheated him. He is disconnected from the present and fearful of the future.
A car horn honks from behind. A driver doesn’t know why the traffic is not moving. The policeman’s eyes return to the traffic, his arms snapping up with military precision. As he waves us on, the look of purpose clothes his face once again and the moment of seeing into him has passed.
The second sight would come to me without warning and always just for a fleeting moment or two. I would see my mother trying to hide an emotion or catch my father unguarded, looking into the distance. In the moment of second sight the physical would melt – the body become transparent and amorphous. Instead of seeing the person I would see into the person – reach inside to the heart, sense the fears, touch the dreams – see the humanity, raw and struggling. 

Peri Hoskins is the author of ‘Millennium – A Memoir’, a travelogue memoir that has received many five star reader reviews. 

Christopher Moore of the New Zealand Listener had this to say about ‘Millennium – A Memoir’: 

‘Written with perhaps the merest of bows to Joseph Conrad and Robert Louis Stevenson, the book’s colourful cast of characters come together to greet the dawn of the 21st century. It’s a vigorously written sly-humoured account of human encounters in a small place lapped by the tides of change…It’s a genial well observed book that insinuates itself into the affections.’

~Christopher Moore, New Zealand Listener, 2 August 2014.
​Peri Hoskins was born in Wellington, New Zealand. He is the second son of a family of five children, four boys and a girl. He is of mixed Maori and Anglo-Celtic ancestry. Peri grew up in Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand, a provincial city then home to about 30,000 people. He was educated at Whangarei Boys’ High School where he twice won a national essay competition. After completing high school and winning the school prizes for English, History and Geography, Peri went to Auckland University where he studied law and the humanities, including history and English literature.
Peri was substantially based in Australia between 1985 and 2005. He completed his study of law and the humanities at the University of Sydney including several courses in philosophy. He worked as a lawyer in New South Wales before embarking on a 1994 five-month road trip all around Australia. This road trip comprises the material for his soon to be published second book, East. Peri subsequently worked as a lawyer in both New South Wales and Queensland, and developed his current specialisation in legal work – civil litigation. In December 1999 Peri travelled to the Kingdom of Tonga to be in the first country in the world to see in the new millennium. The diary of his three weeks in Tonga has become his first book, Millennium – A Memoir. In 2004 Peri completed a post graduate diploma in film and television production at Queensland University of Technology.

Peri now lives, writes and works as a barrister (being a self-employed lawyer) in Northland, New Zealand.


You can connect With Peri Hoskins here:

Website/ Facebook / Twitter / Linked In / Pinterest / Amazon Author Page


 Read an interview with author Peri Hoskins here:

Meet The Author

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Sensory Processing Disorder and me-friend or foes

I’ve shared a lot about what it’s like being a parent to children with SPD. One is an avoider of sensory input and one is a seeker and can’t get enough input in his bucket. He keeps emptying his bucket over and over throughout the course of the day. Whereas his brother after a long day of school has a bucket that’s overflowing and can’t take one more cup of input. This is when Mom becomes the referee and I need to separate my sons before World War 3 happens! I do my best to keep them emotionally regulated but it becomes a full time job and I wind up exhausted and depleted. Like my oldest son I also have SPD Sensory Defensiveness in particular. Loud, sudden high pitched noises bother me, more than one person talking to me at a time is like chaos for my brain and body. My central nervous system processes sensory input most of the time effectively. Then there are those days when the world is too busy, loud, bright, and overwhelming. Sometimes I feel so hypersensitive to the world around me I can hear the energy crackling like a campfire. 

Those are the days I put up my hood and read a good book with a cup of herb tea or escape to my bed with my soft, fuzzy blanket and put on my headphones and listen to my meditation music. I need comfort in those moments when my ears feel like they’re bleeding from listening to my children squabbling over the iPad while three different TV’s are playing in the background. I have to resist the urge to bite my fingernails with the anxiety I feel inside. All I want is to chew on something soft and rubbery like an eraser but I don’t because my kids have gnawed on all the pencils like a couple of beavers. In those moments when I feel like the world is closing in on me and I can’t breathe I rock myself gently and I sing. Whenever I was a little girl my Mom would hold me on her knee and rock and sing with me. She’d rub my back and give me deep pressure Mama bear hugs. I’d give anything to go back to those memories and pluck her out them so I could have her in my comfort zone. But unfortunately that’s not possible as she travels a heavenly path while I’m earth bound. My Mom never made me feel like I was wrong or different. She told me I was a special child of God and my “quirky” nature made me uniquely me. When I was a child I spent a lot of my time reading the Classics like Shakespeare, Dickens, Louisa L. Maycott, and Lucy Maude Montgomery. 

I related so much to those characters who thought out of the box and wrote stories and climbed trees like I did. The poetry and beautiful descriptive writing of William and Charles made me want to write like them and capture the worlds interest with my words. So I wrote getting lost in fantasy worlds, epic battles, and fascinating history. This is when the world was a quiet place as I scribbled away in my notebooks filling pages with my prose and poetry. I’m still like this as an adult where I require quiet time daily and my sons are forthright about asking for their private bubble to decompress in. The stress chemicals can build up throughout the day and we need to release them or end up sending our central nervous systems into sensory overload. No one wants that to happen so we give each other the space that we require. Now you add in a few more letters of the alphabet like ASD, ADHD, ODD, and OCD you’ve got a melting pot of hot soup that no one can handle. Those are the times where I ask my children what they need to make their bodies feel better. Or how fast is your engine using the zones of regulation, of which my youngest son has a thorough understanding of this concept. 

Since facial expressions can sometimes confuse him and his recessive language with conversational verbal fluency is severe. He will then tell me what colour he is or ask me what colour I am. It’s an excellent way for him to communicate and be receptive to others feelings.  A breakdown of the colours and their meanings:

Blue- feeling tired or sad

Yellow-feeling nervous or scared 

Red-feeling mad and angry

Green-feeling happy and smiling

With my oldest son who has a better grasp on receptivity I have a diagram of a thermometer and I will ask him how fast his engine in his car is, and he can tell me or show me using the zone regulation colours. Sometimes are tempers are short, our explanations are long winded, and our bodies not regulated  and we react to the stress and pressure of the hot soup and we blow up. That’s when it’s important to remember forgiveness and our brains are just wired a little differently. It’s amazing what love, a deep pressure hug,  and a cup of hot chocolate will accomplish when words fail to save the day. That’s when I feel that even when SPD appears to be a foe when dealing with the chaos and it’s just too much ; I take that moment to breathe letting myself inhale the positive and exhale the negative and realize that it’s my friend after all guiding my family and I to better days ahead filled with love and patience.
Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!


Ten Things of Thankful-summer memories

Thankful is as thankful does. This quote comes to mind as I lay here reflecting over over my last month of travel. I feel blessed that I was able to travel to to South Africa and immerse myself in the food, culture, and hospitality of this amazing destination. I’m grateful that I’ll be able to share my journey with you over the coming weeks wherever I have a wifi signal. As always I’m grateful to be part of this wonderful linkup of Lizzi’s TTOT linkup.

I’m in shock when I look at my previous post and now realize that it’s been almost two months since I last published anything on my blog! So today I’m thankful that I’m taking time to write and post and to share this amazing sunset on the Victoria waterfront in Capetown, South Africa. 

I’m thankful that even though I haven’t been active on my blog I broke 605 followers during my brief hiatus. Cheers to more readers feeling the Jsackmom love from my overcrowded thoughts that are bursting out of my skull to be shared. Thank you so much for being here! 

I’m thankful that over my travels I kept myself busy and journaling. Even our downtime from the Global Summit conference was spent sight seeing, preparing for cocktail parties and galas. I kept a Facebook update schedule and look forward to sharing that on my blog in the next few weeks. 

I’m thankful as I lay here swaying in my hammock letting the sunshine glow on my heart that I’m blessed with a wonderful life. I saw a lot of wealth and poverty when I was on holiday. A lot of the time mere steps away from each other and it’s taught me to appreciate what I have. Without needing to add on to my list of material goods. 

I’m thankful for having my husband, my hearts desire and traveling companion to take a trip of a lifetime with. We’ve shared many years together and are more in love and joy than ever! Special needs parenting isn’t for the faint of heart. One thing we’ve learned on this journey is that our hearts and minds are connected and our children will reap the benefits of that kindred spirit. 

  I’m thankful that I was able to face my fears of all things creepy crawly in the insect family and also wild African animals. We stayed in an amazing place called Cheetah Plains on the Sabhi Sanda private game reserve. I still checked the trees above my head and for anything that goes slither in the night under my bed. One can’t be too careful, it is after all Africa. 

I’m thankful for curbing my social anxiety and being able to meet some amazing people at the cocktail parties as well as the Cocoa Cola and Loreal galas. A lot of the time I was so engrossed in the marvellous foods selections on the menu   And fabulous entertainment at each venue. I didn’t have that much time to focus on having a panic attack with that much beauty and opulence. 

 I’m thankful for the most amazing family anyone could ask for. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with my siblings and their families and all six of us were together for a photo op. I know it would’ve made our parents proud to see us all together enjoying each other’s company. 

I’m thankful for having and surviving the first family camping vacation. We were in the bush for a week with wacky, unpredictable weather but our tent was leak proof, and the sun came out eventually to dry out clothes and shoes. We had a wonderful time and look forward to our next trip soon. 

I’m thankful for such amazing friends we camped with, visited with, and reconnected with during my husbands 30 th year grad reunion. I had a blast and partied like I was a graduate of 86. 



Ten things of Thankful-Long weekend memories

There’s something about this time of night when my house is quiet except the snoring coming from behind my bedroom door. I feel most peaceful at night so that’s my favourite time to write. This long weekend is always looked forward to but the snow we encountered wasn’t. I suppose it still shocks me to see hail but this was at least two inches of the white stuff. Which reminded me of why I can’t plant my garden in May. In Canada tomorrow is the day we celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday. 

I always thought she was a classy lady and I loved her collection of hats. Her daughter Queen Elizabeth always reminded me of my dear Mom. They looked a lot alike and I would tease my Mom and say all she needed was a cup of tea and a crown and she’d pass for royalty. Tomorrow is just another day to most but to me it’s a day to celebrate those memories I had with my Mom. 

I’m thankful that I can take that trip back in time and remember my special memories of my Mom, childhood traditions, and recognize Canada as being part of the British Common wealth. 

I’m thankful for a busy but satisfying week that we had. Sometimes I get flustered with having something scheduled to do everyday. This was one week I welcomed the distraction. 

I’m thankful that my husband took a week off and we were able to fit a lot of preparation in before our trip. He was also able to see how busy our week is with my sons behavioural aid lessons, preschool, and medical appointments. I’m grateful that I had my husband here to shoulder the load of what I usually handle on my own. 

I’m thankful for a field trip that both my husband and I were able to attend. This was the first time ever with two kids I was happy that my youngest son could have us both there. We attended the zoo and spent a lot of time in the dinosaur exhibit with our group of six kids (including our son). Fortunately we were able to see a few animal exhibits as well. 

I’m thankful I was able to see the Mama and her baby gorilla. When we had gone last time the baby was newly born and they weren’t available to be seen to the public. Which is understandable as a Mama and her baby need that private time for bonding and cherishing a new life in the zoo family. 

 I’m thankful I was able to spend that time just observing without snapping any intrusive pictures. The gorilla family had lost it’s alpha male Kakinga just the day before. There were flowers placed in a vase and the mood of the gorillas was somber without him there. I always enjoyed going to see him because he acting the most human of them all. It was sad to learn of his passing and bitter sweet to know of one life ending and one of his baby’s he sired beginning. 

I’m thankful for that fun day at the zoo with my husband and our son. The next day after waiting four months we were able to get him an MRI appointment. We were just arriving home from our field trip and the hospital called me. It was relief and a very difficult day for me as it brought back a lot of triggers of my sweet boy as a baby in the NICU. 

I’m thankful that my son did so well in the machine and that we were able to be with him, the anesthiologist, and nurses. We were able to ask a lot of questions but I will never forget the image of my son lying their so vulnerable before the medicine took affect. Now we wait for the results to give us more answers to the puzzle of his health. 

I’m thankful that I had time to cry, write, pray, and feel all the overwhelming emotions that accompanied me home from the hospital. My family may not have understood what I was going through but they allowed me to be alone so I could experience it without guilt or scarifice. 

I’m thankful that we were able to do some shopping as a family at the mall. This not an excursion that happens very often due to our youngest sons sensory threshold for the noise and crowds. We went after dinner when it was quiet enough and that made all the difference. I tried on and bought some fabulous cocktail dresses for my trip. My little boy got Batman shoes and my big boy got a Toronto Blue Jays hat that he’s been wearing ever since. So all in all a wonderful week full of surprises, fun, and gratitude. 



Ten Things of Thankful-Sunday dreaming

Here is Sunday again and we’re already half through the month of May! I don’t know if it’s me but time seems to be flying by at a alarming rate. It’s only 24 days until my big bucket list trip to South Africa. The TTOT linkup is live and it’s time to get my thankful list posted. 

I’m thankful for having a wonderful week full of fun, surprises, and birthday love. 

I’m thankful that my husband and I enjoyed a nice lunch and got our first set of immunizations for our vacation. I always react to chemicals in my system so I’m grateful I got the use of my left arm back the next day. I keep on reminding myself it’s only one time deal and I’ll never have to go through these shots again. 

I’m thankful that I was able to take a break and stay home from my son’s hockey. Allergies and the affects of my immunizations has left me feeling off health wise so I stayed home so I could nap and relax. It’s all good though because it’s gets me once step closer to Africa. 


Photo credit given to the photographer of this book cover

I’m thankful that even though I wasn’t at hockey my son scored his hat trick! I felt a little guilty about missing his game but it was better I rested and adjusted the chemicals into my body. 

I’m thankful for nicer weather and going walking in the sunshine. My youngest son loves to go for walks and with his boundless energy it helps to tire him out for bedtime. My oldest will walk a longer way if we stop to do something fun. This tree for example was one he wanted to climb. 

I’m thankful for attending my support group meeting and making some valuable connections. I learned some amazing information about the brain and anxiety from the guest speaker. She’s a practicing psychologist and she said there’s new research that the prefrontal lobe of our brain doesn’t fully mature until we’re in our late 20’s. It made me realize that all the interventions I have for my sons is the best possible thing I can do to teach them about taking care of themselves and emotional regulation. 

I’m thankful for being able to celebrate a wonderful birthday with my family. First I had a yummy breakfast and then my family prepared lunch for me. It was a sunny day and we ate on the deck. I then relaxed and did some reading in my hammock swing. 

I’m thankful for being able to get my friend to look after our kids and my wonderful husband took me out for a yummy dinner and later to a great blues band. I love the blues and this group rocked the house and even mentioned the birthday girl and posed for this picture with me. 

I’m thankful for the self care Sunday ritual I’ve been doing. Today I watched movies with my husband, had a nap, enjoyed some relaxation in our hot tub. He BBQ ed some amazing ribs and enjoyed a lovely supper and some tv time. 

I’m thankful for having the time to whip up a batch of this coconut citrus body wash. It’s just what I need to wake me up in the mornings. 


Take one can of coconut milk and pour it into a bowl. 


Add 2 cups of Castile liquid soap to the milk and mix together. 

Add 4 drops of essential oils and mix with liquid. (I chose citrus for its refreshing and rejuvenating properties) 

Pour into plastic bottle and shake for 10 seconds. 

This will make five 250 ml bottles and you can store it in your shower or bathroom cabinet. 



Rachel’s Day in the Garden book review

This sweet book written by Giselle Shardlow and illustrated by Hazel Quintanilla captured my attention as soon as I saw the request to review it in my inbox. I’m so glad that Alexa Bigwarfe from the blog No Holding Back asked me. My son is recently learning how to do yoga as part of his behavioural aid therapy as well as in his preschool. To say this lovely book was helpful is an understatement. My son has autism combined with Sensory Processing Disorder and with that can come problems with emotional regulation. Being able to copy the poses and read all about the character Rachel in the garden was a wonderful learning tool. 

His body and central nervous can go into fight or flight in the sympathetic part of his brain. As soon as he gets into a mindset to do the yoga poses then his para sympathetic part of his brain can take over and rest. The lovely illustrations allow his imagination to take over and be in the garden scenery with Rachel. As well as being comfortable in the yoga postures my son is learning to self regulate and bring all his senses into integration. It allows him to be active, engaged, and doing positive things for his mind, body, and spirit. 

What I loved the most about this book was that all the poses were incorporated into the story with using the name and also the demonstration. This book is a valuable tool for children and parents to teach them the value of having a calm body and mind. There is also information on how to use the book as well as the yoga postures broken down individually. This was a joy for me to read and participate in the relaxation and wonderment of enjoying this special time with my son. 

Join Rachel as she and her adorable puppy look for signs of spring in the garden. Crawl like a caterpillar, buzz like a bee, and flutter like a butterfly. Discover spring, explore movement, and learn the colors of the rainbow! Age group: Preschoolers ages 3-6.
Author’s Bio

Giselle Shardlow is the author of Kids Yoga Stories. Her yoga books for kids get children learning, moving, and having fun. Giselle draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write the yoga stories found on her website. or on Amazon worldwide. The purpose of her yoga books is to foster happy, healthy, and globally educated children. She lives in Boston with her husband and daughter.

Where to find the book:

Goodreads link

(It helps so very much just to get in front of readers’ eyes, so it would mean so much to me if you could add Rachel’s Garden to your “Want to Read” Goodreads shelf.)
Amazon Link
Book Sales Page:



The Haircut

I see the long shaggy hair covering his eyes and he’s bent over trying to put his Batman in his Bat mobile. He’s getting so frustrated because he can’t see what he’s doing and this task is taking too long to figure out. I gently offer to help him and he runs away in anger and slams his door. He’s only four and already acting like a teenager. I pick up his toys, walk to his room and gather him in my arms. 

I wrap his blanket around him holding him tight in my Mama bear hug. Deep pressure soothes him and I rock until he stops crying. I brush the hair back from his eyes and I say the dreaded words “oh honey it’s time for a haircut.”

 Soon his body tenses and he’s ready for fight or flight. I rock him and tighten my hold till his fear ridden body is limp in my arms. 
The next day I tell my husband our son needs a haircut. He shakes his head and says “well I don’t want to do it.” Neither of us do it’s a two hour ordeal and the emotions overflow and we’re all stressed. We take turns holding our sweet boy who will turn into a howling banshee any moment. It’s my turn to perform the task of completing a decent haircut. 

I assemble my tools scizzors, buzzer, guards, comb, spray bottle, and a cloth. He will not wear a cape so we strip off his shirt and wrap a towel around him. I place his blanket in a clear plastic bag to protect it but so he’s still able to see it. Next I grab the iPad, thermos of water, and a bag of lollipops. 

I call my husband to help wrangle our son and it’s easier to catch a greased pig at a BBQ! He holds him tightly and I begin wetting down his hair. I’m being very careful to not spray his face at the same time singing his favourite song while his Dad finds him his favourite superheroes on YouTube. I begin to comb his hair and I cautiously snip his bangs. This is not an easy task as I venture close to his eyes. 

I comb his hair out a few more times and move to the sides. I gently approach his ears and I’m holding my breath while I cut around this delicate area. Next I move to the back of his head making sure to work quickly now as he starts to wiggle. I move over to other side and you can hear a pin drop as I cut around the other ear. The hair starts falling and covering his face and blanket in the plastic bag. 

I quickly blow it away and brush off his lap. He starts in with a low growl and I back off completely gently soothing him with my singing.  I carry on only to reach an impasse as he doesn’t want to sit any longer. I bribe him with a lollipop and ask his Daddy to hold him in his blanket bear hug. Instantly he’s soothed and I continue cutting. I’m not a hairstylist I have no professional experience whatsoever. Other than cutting his big brothers hair in the classic “page boy” style.

 I comb out his hair and continue cutting until he gets excited with the video and jerks his head and shoulders around. I narrowly miss stabbing him in the back of the neck! I tag team out with my husband and we trade spots. He plugs in the buzzers and I brush the hair away from our sons face and body. I prepare him for the buzzing sound and hold on to him tight because I know this is going to be a bumpy ride. 

His Dad works quickly and efficiently as I tighten my grip and sing louder overtop of the sound of the buzzers. He’s on my lap wiggling out of my arms and it’s like holding a bag of snakes! We’re almost in tears and we quickly wash his hands and face that are covered in hair. I pick up the hand mirror so he can survey our work and he starts to cry he wants all his hair back. A full sensory meltdown ensues while he can’t process what happened and why I can’t put the hair back. This is the invisible cloak that he wears as he tries to process all eight of his senses. 

I can only imagine what this has felt like for him. As much as we prepare him for haircut time it’s still unbearable. We let him run free and then I change him into his pyjamas while I make him a snack and give him something to drink. He sits at the table singing away between bites and I look at his happy face in awe. Just moments ago I imagined that the clippers felt like hot razors attacking his scalp as his body, brain, and central nervous system were in overload. He finishes up his snack, I wash his hands and face and hug him so tight while telling him how proud I am of him. 

He cuddles up with his Dad and watches a cartoon before storytime. I clean up the mess in the kitchen, sweeping, making lunches, and pour myself a stiff drink. I go downstairs and sit and sip while glancing up at my son and his Dad nestled together in the recliner. My husband says “thank you for being a brave boy for Mommy and Daddy.” 
His eyes well up with tears and he holds his Daddy’s face in his little hands and says “you hurt me Daddy.” I watch my husband’s face crumple and we look at each other and silently agree that this will be the last haircut he ever gets at home. This is our life with Sensory Processing Disorder. 
Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!