Jsack's Mom's Blog

Welcome to my blog where I share my special needs parenting journey with my heart, truth, and love, one story at a time. ❀️

This could be heaven, or this could be hell

The floor feels cool on my skin as I lay here with my cheek pressed into it. I’m lying here trying to ground myself, regulate my senses, and to stop the earth from spinning. I go to rise but I can’t move, my tear stained face is stuck to the linoleum so I’ll lay here longer. I’m trying to process everything that was said, all the questions I was asked, how many times I tried to get my son to stop opening the door to escape.

I had a meeting with a new pediatrician and she was assessing my sons for developmental disorders. First my youngest didn’t even want to stay in the office. He was scared and kept running away. He wasn’t interested in the toys or snacks I brought he just wanted to leave. As the meeting went on he felt my energy becoming more and more tense because he was at the point where he was stimming.

So he rolls on the floor seeking sensory input in this tiny office. So I gather him up and bounce him on my knees and encourage to play with some toys. This is the first Ped clinic I’ve seen without toys. The Dr brings in a magnetic wall picture and he plays with that for awhile. With his sensory condition he doesn’t sit still at all and its worst in new situations. He grows bored of the picture and tries to climb up onto the counter. I proceed to pick him up and rock as I would at home. Giving him deep pressure hugs the whole time and whispering I love you you’re safe in his ear over and over again.

My heart is aching as I feel his heart beat like a rapid fire drum solo. My hands are clenched around his back and I’m not letting him go till he’s ready. Then it’s time for the Dr to give him an exam and he won’t let her touch him. So we settle for him sitting on the bed and more he relaxes with a massage and input that his senses are craving. Then my husband arrives and we tag team out, and he takes the littlest home and I take the eldest in for his appointment.

I finish up with the Dr with my youngest information and we start my oldest sons questionnaire. As ten minutes ticks by , I can sense and see his boredom. So I hand him my phone to keep him occupied. He’s slouching and then hunched over building his mine craft world as I’m fully into the questions. Then my battery dies and he’s back to frustration and a loud audible sigh escaped his lips. Well that’s enough for the Dr to say something about his disrespect not being appreciated.

I’m mortified I wonder who is this child and what have you done with mine? My Captain who’s polite, respectful to his elders and obeys authority. Well not today he’s too tired, bored, and frustrated as he has to endure hearing me talking about him. Which always makes me uncomfortable, but if I don’t he won’t get the help he needs. So she starts asking him questions, as he plays with the fidget in his hands keeping him calm and regulated.

He talks about his nightmares, anxiety about new friends turning into enemies, Pokemon cards, and being bullied in his new school. My heart grows heavier with each admission of his truth. I have to hold myself together, as I feel I could crumble like powdery snow on a warm winter day. We reach the end of our appointment and make another for the physical exam. I receive information and paperwork and drive us home. Inside the truck I firmly but gently ask him how he could correct his behavior for his next visit.

He tells me he’s sad all the time, and always does the wrong thing and it’s all his fault. Then the tears start to flow, both his and mine. As he pours out his heart about how he can’t get his brain to stop and then he says the wrong thing. I tell him I understand and I love him, followed by his admonishment that I don’t get it, and no I don’t! I don’t fight or power struggle I just let my silent tears fall down my face. We arrive home in time to quickly get him ready for hockey practice.

I’m grabbing his gear and getting him dressed and he’s yelling and saying he’s tired, he doesn’t want to go, leave me alone etc. If his team didn’t need him for an upcoming tournament I would’ve let him stay home. But I knew he’d feel better after moving, occupational therapy induced exercise, and being with his team mates. After he leaves with his Dad, I set my little one up with a movie. I proceed to close my door and sit on my floor and cry.

So this brings me back to where I am lying, while my tears fall into a puddle on the floor. I’m trying to process it all as the Dr said my sons require further testing for what she suspects is ASD, OCD, ODD, and ADHD. The letters start to swim around in my head as I struggle to lift myself off of the sticky linoleum. I know whatever the outcome is my sons are more than a label put on them. Letters+a label = equals funding. So I’m able to put them into cutting edge programs like Brain Gym, workshops about art therapy, and neurology. And to also cover travel expenses back and forth to appointments.

So that’s a good thing, it’s just hearing the words and applying them to my precious kids doesn’t compute with me. I think back to when my youngest Mad dog (I’m using nicknames I assure you to protect their identities) was called a mystery when I had him assessed last year. He was given the label of Sensory Modulation Disorder (seeker of sensory input). Further testing could be required if I had wished. So here we are today finding out something I’ve known all along and just got confirmation.

I need something desperately to get back the respring in my step. To make me hit the ground running, and onto my next advocating adventure. Something to make me smile, laugh, and feel happy that I’m breathing the God given air into my lungs. But today my super Mom cape is in the dryer and I’m feeling weak and vulnerable. I need to grieve for the regular life I envisioned for my sons.

And as I dry my tears, I know I have my bunker punk family rallying and supporting me. As all those awesome autism and neurotypical parents have given me hope, information, guidance, understanding, and most of all their love. For this support will lead me to taking it one day at a time. While I retrace my thoughts back to my happy place, and get the spring back into my step. πŸ’–

This has been my take on the daily prompt Re-springing your step

Re-springing Your Step

as part of my Blogging 101 assignment. Thank you for being here and sharing my journey. πŸ’—

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*Image used with permission from http://www.simpleeserene.com. Photo found on SubbotinaAnna/shutterstock.com

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Space

I need some space, so I can read, write think, and sleep for more than five hours a night! I fantasize about checking into a five star hotel and doing exactly that! I love my family and my friends but sometimes I just need to get away and let my creative ideas flow. I’ve always liked having my late nights.

When everyone else sleeps I’m at my best in the midnight hour. I weave stories, ideas, and thoughts into conduits from my past to tell my tales. Then the darkness starts to turn to light and I head to my bed only to sleep for moments. Then the glaring light of reality rears its ugly head and I have to get out of bed and start my day. My kids need to wake up, get fed, and go to school that’s my life as a parent. Which I do with all my love and honour as their Mom.

Now I must put my dreams away up high on the shelf. I need space to let the ideas turn into my reality. The thoughts filling my head space need to clear so I can continue working on my book draft. I have so many goals and aspirations for myself. I want to feel personal success whether that’s writing a prize winning novel, Nobel peace prize for neurology research, or keeping up with my laundry.

I want the space to think clearly, save money, and travel to places I’ve only read about in my books. I want to stand at the Eiffel Tower looking out onto to Paris and see how the lights of the city glow. I want to run through the fields of green in Ireland and stand above the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland as the oceans waves pound against the coastline.

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The Eiffel Tower as seen from the Champ de Mars.

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Looking North towards O’Brien’s Tower.

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Looking South towards Loophead.

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Lighthouse at Loophead operated by the Commissioner of Irish Lights.

Ireland photos taken by BjΓΈrn Christian TΓΈrrissen and Eiffel Tower photo by Benh LIEU SONG. These were found on http://www.wikipedia.org and used in compliance to Creative Commons Attribution laws of copyright.

Where does my time, space, and dreams begin and my goals end? Where does my path occur and how does it fit in with the loom of time? If those threads were cut and my fate changed would I choose a different path? No I don’t believe I would, I have always wanted to be a Mom.

I have let Motherhood envelop my life with the greatest love I’ve ever known. With this love my heart grew three times it size. The love I feel for my children inspires me daily. The gratitude I feel for my husband for the love he gives me, and the space to write out my dreams, and catch up on the sleep I miss is abundant. And the one thing about hotels I can always check in to find my centre, gain balance, and relax. Then it’s time to check out feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.

This has been my submission to Ash’s Sunday Confession at http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com
Please check out her confession and all the other talent who link up. Thank you for being here today. πŸ’—

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Heal

There are so many parts of me that need to heal. My heart which isn’t as broken as I thought, but cracked and held together with glue and a band aid. My mind which I’ve allowed to overpower me with negative thoughts, and guilt.

My body which hasn’t been the same since my back injury so long ago brought on by grieving for my dear Dad, and saving my son from a near drowning.

My soul which when it’s my time to meet God and enter the Kingdom of heaven, that I will have absolved all my sins and righted my wrongs. I know I was put on this earth for a great reason.

I’ve spent years trying to figure that out as I was a very introspective child. I was hear to speak, sing, and write my truth. I feel this burning passion inside me to write my book of survival, to help people discover their truth, and to make a difference in the world. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be an entertainer.

I spent countless hours writing after school, stories, songs, poems, and plays. Literature fascinated me as I could dive into my books and get lost for hours. When my parents ended their twenty-four year marriage after raising six children, and myself being the last one I felt immense guilt over it. So why should a precious, precocious, little girl of four years old feel such a trip.

I just thought if I was better they would’ve stayed together. I didn’t sleep a lot as a child, I had visions and spirit visitors that needed to be near me. It never scared me it just was natural to me. I stayed up late a lot of nights with my Mom watching black and white movies in the dark. I thought it I could just go to sleep without anyone invading my dreams then my parents would’ve had a better marriage.

I wish I didn’t lay awake at night hearing the screaming, crying, doors slamming and the sound of a body falling to the floor. But I did I heard all of it, and I never told a soul. Well a living breathing one that is, I need to heal from this childhood trauma. It wasn’t my fault that my parents marriage ended.

They had a lot of love for each other, but over the years the respect was gone. My Dad as dear as he was to me, checked out a long time ago. He was there in body but in spirit he was on another planet.

By the time he was forty-five he had six children. He told me he always wanted a big family, being the oldest of seven he didn’t know any different. And my Mom being an only child felt lonely a lot, and prayed to find someone to love and have a big family.

And so these two star crossed lovers were destined to meet, create a family, and not last. I need to heal from their love story ending. It’s what I based my whole life upon a strong relationship, effective communication, and mutual love and respect.

They had it all at one time but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. I tried so hard to be better, and for a while there I thought I was going to heal. Then my Dad moved in with his girlfriend and took on another family. I knew that was the beginning of the end for me. I would not, could not accept that this was his new life.

So I fought furiously and bitterly and wrote story after story of becoming the heroine of my words. Saving everyone from the crashing and burning. I was only four years old so what could I do?

I need to heal from the pain, guilt, and suffering I’ve put myself through. It can never be too late to heal my inner child, treat her with kindness, and let her blossom with beauty and kindness and release her on gossamer wings to finally be free.

This has been my submission to http://Lindaghill.com Saturday Stream of consciousness. Please see what her beautiful brain wrote, and all the other talent that link up. Thank you for being here today. ❀️

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Friday’s Feats and Fails

This week has flown by for me it seems Monday is the longest day of the week, and then I blink and it’s Friday. I’m so happy when it’s family movie night as we stay up laughing and enjoying each other’s company. So it was an eventful week so let’s get to it.

FEAT

The biggest event to happen was my Mad dog started potty training!!! Throughout the month of December I’ve been asking him if he wants to wear underwear or a diaper. Well he’s always chosen a diaper and would occasionally go potty. I let the idea be his as with his SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) it’s not something I can rush. So Tuesday morning I didn’t ask him and he told me he wanted to wear underwear! I’m so proud of my big boy he’s growing up so fast. πŸ˜ƒβ€οΈ

FAIL

Well it’s been a little testy with my kids playing musical beds lately so we all need some sleep. Tempers have been flaring and my Mad dog has learned some words that I didn’t want to hear him say. Nothing like hearing your kid say the word that rhymes with truck in perfect context. 😳 Major parenting fail on my part and I own it. So I’ve been trying to correct that behavior while the Captain giggles in the background.

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*Image used with permission from the sensational Shari at
http://www.sharingwithshari.com*

FEAT

I’ve been writing lots the ideas have just been flowing to me. Taking the blogging 101 classes has been wonderful and I’m finding a lot of great feedback on what I’ve been sharing. I wrote a blog about my surviving Post Partum Depression. It was very hard to write but I had always wanted to tell my story. So I wrote it and saved it as a draft since I was unsure about sharing it. Well I woke up this morning and felt brave and hit the publish button. The response I got back was amazing. I’m so glad I faced my fears and put myself out there to help someone who needed to read that part of my journey. πŸ’—

FAIL

I’ve done zero housework it’s been tough getting anything finished with being on potty alert. So I’ve focused on that and kept up with the laundry and dishes. My kids haven’t been sleeping well so that means I haven’t either. Just as I fall asleep one of them wakes up so we’ve all been short tempered. So now I have to focus on us catching up on those missing zzzz’s and fill up our patience buckets. ❀️

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FEAT

After completing almost all my blogging assignments this week I had some extra time to work on my book draft. I invited my lovely talented friends Loorducation and Imperfect Mom to guest blog for me. I loved having them here to interact with my dear readers and I was also on theirs. I love showcasing different content and reading these incredible ladies stories inspired me. I’ve read so many blogs lately that my books are getting jealous. πŸ˜‰ I found out this morning that another one of my submissions to the http://www.originalbunkerpunks.com was accepted. I’m feeling so grateful and weepy as it’s on their featured page. I can feel my dear beloved Mama smiling down on me.πŸ˜ŠπŸ’–πŸŒŸ

So now it’s the end of the work week so time for another action packed hockey weekend for my family and I. I love seeing my Captain out there playing hard, having fun, and making me proud. πŸ˜ƒπŸ’™πŸŽ‰

This has been my submission to Ash at http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com. Check out how her week has been and all the other talent that link up. Smooches and hugs. 😘

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Living, Loving, and Surviving

There’s a story I’ve never told, well I’ve touched on it in previous blogs but I’ve never told the whole truth of it. I read a blog last night that hit me with glaring, beautiful, inspiration, and acceptance. This blog at http://heysweetlittlething.wordpress.com reached into my heart and held it in the palm of her hand. She wrote a beautiful, brave,poignant, story about her survival with Post Partum Depression (PPD).

It was liked she walked inside my head went into a filing cabinet and pulled out my memories. I had a beautiful pregnancy with my first child. I ate healthy, exercised, rested, worked retail, taught yoga, and rested some more. Everything was on schedule and I was due on Halloween. What you don’t know about me is I’m short, like 5″1 and by the time I got into my eighth month I was all baby. My Dr asked me how I was feeling and how I was eating. I was starting to slow down walk less, and waddle more. I could only eat small portions because there was just no room. I felt like a whale even though I was told I looked six months along then full term. This should’ve been my cue to my first guilt trip entering parenthood.

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Stock Photo found on Pic Collage

So there I was ready to pop and my baby came into the world two days later. He was a very healthy 7 lbs, 10 oz baby boy and I fell in love the moment I laid eyes on him. He was so long, 21 inches, lean and had a purple cone head. Oh wow he was beautiful to me, as I gazed into his eyes and held him in my loving embrace. He was delivered after eleven hours of labour via emergency Caesarean section. He was only in the NICU for a short amount of time until my IV came out the next day. He had a healthy cry and was very resistant to being swaddled, and had to have his hands and feet sticking out. I called him my baby burrito and little jack rabbit, because he had the biggest feet I’d ever seen on a baby. My dear husband and I took him home and became parents, even though we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. He didn’t sleep much and seemed to be clustered feeding all the time!

My Dr noticed at my six week post partum checkup I was struggling and said I could supplement him. I persevered as I wanted to breastfeed, so I survived on very little sleep, and whatever the nutrition had was gone in one feeding. I couldn’t put my baby down for ten minutes without him shrieking like he was dying. I knew of course he wasn’t, so I took to wearing him in my baby Bjorn carrier so I could get laundry and dishes done. He loved it with being so close to my heart, as I did. My husband had gone back to work after two weeks so I had started a routine to be that stay at home Mom. I started to notice things like how emotional I was and every cry would set me off into panic mode. I knew hormones played a huge role but something was off…

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I remember walking the floor up and down my hallway and around the upstairs and down again trying to get my son to stop crying. I loved him so much and he’d screw up his face and cry until he turned purple. I felt like a huge failure and my heart was breaking with each crying jag. And my sanity was shattering as I was surviving on vapors of sleep. I didn’t know what else to do so I did baby yoga to relief his gas, gave him medicine and rocked him till my body was numb and my ass was square. I then began to lock the doors and check the windows one by one and I was terrified someone was going to break in and kidnap my precious son.

At first I thought this was odd behavior but I rationalized and thought I was sleep deprived and that could make anyone connect with their inner psycho! Then I became possessive and hovered if anyone else held him and I just chalked it up to being a first time Mom. And that could make anyone protective of their first born. Then the day came when my son was three months old and my body was aching from one to many nights in the rocking chair. So I decided to take a bubble bath, I pulled back the curtain and saw this disgusting soap scum bath tub ring and I just lost it! I put my baby in his swing and scrubbed the ring and cried and scrubbed until my bath tub shone, and my hands were raw. I stepped into the tub letting the hot warm envelop and cleanse me from my sins. I loved my baby so much but I couldn’t take anymore sleepless nights. I laid in the tub bawling as my son watched me and rocked back and forth.

Later that evening I was doing my nightly shuffle around the house so my husband could be rested for work. Feed my baby, burp him, change him and try to put him to sleep. He would cry the minute I laid him down and the routine would start all over again. He would eat until I was completely drained, he was like a vampire and could never be full for more than forty-five minutes to an hour. I remember walking past the stairs and thinking if I just fell down them then I wouldn’t have to go through this torture! I never wanted to hurt my baby EVER, I just wanted all the insanity to stop and to finally rest.

I feel such shame and self loathing as I re-read that last sentence. It’s not something I’ve ever forgiven myself for and its been eight years! The next morning I was up when my husband went to work. I told him how I felt and what I was thinking last night. I told him I put our baby to bed in his crib and laid on the floor and cried until I was just an empty shell of a Mom. So my husband called my Uncle and he came over to stay with me so I could get some rest. I called my Dr that day but wasn’t able to get an appointment till the following week so I slept off and on all day, feeding my baby, changing him, till my husband came home. God bless my uncle for being there for me, he saved me that day. As I just wanted to walk out the door and walk away.

The next day my friend and her son’s came over and she took one look at me and said go to bed. And they looked after my baby and brought him to me to feed. She decided to call my husband and tell him I needed a night out and she was concerned about me. I told her how I felt and I couldn’t understand this craziness inside my head. So my husband came home from work, and I was showered and dressed up and ready for a night out. I felt like their was an ice pick plunging into my heart to leave my sweet boy. It had been three months and I never left the house without him. I’m the end I knew it was the best thing for both of us. As I pumped a lot that day, and I knew my friend was an amazing Mom, and my son was in the best of care.

We had a wonderful date night and I felt so relaxed and refreshed. Later that night my husband got up to the what he dubbed the “hockey glide walk” rock, rock, glide, glide, walk around the house. I fed the baby put him back to bed and we all fell asleep! It was miraculous moment in time, later that night I woke up in a panic because I thought my son was in our bed and I was going to suffocate him! I looked at my blankets and I could’ve sworn he was really there and I was going to hurt him. So I sprang out of bed crying turning on lights and looking for him. My husband woke up startled and went to check on our baby and there he was safe and sound, sleeping in his crib.

I called my best friend the next day that lived far away and she said I needed to get out of the house and be around people. She assured me it would be good for me and the baby. I could detect a hint of worry in her voice so I agreed. I went to health unit and there was a few Moms there I had been getting to know. The topic from the health nurse Erin was Postpartum and Beyond. After listening to the discussion and sharing a little of my experience I finally learned what was wrong with me. That day I swear I would’ve kissed Erin, as she saved my life. I had felt horrible for so long then I realized it was my brain chemistry and hormones wrecking havoc with me. After that I went to the library and took any and all books out pertaining to Post Partum Depression. I shared what I was learning with my husband and he could see I had purpose and drive again. Other than being the best Mom I could be for my son. Who I love so much my heart aches with that longing.

My son was growing well and I would lay there on my bed and stare up at the light and watch the fan go round and round. Those were the best times as he was quiet, content, and happy. I had test weighed him at the clinic and then fed him, and he was taking in two to three ounces so the health nurses weren’t concerned. I had kept a food journal since he was in the hospital. Keeping track of how much he ate, what his diapers were, and how long he fed. I had three journals and scraps of papers everywhere so I didn’t lose track. I was able to record it all and take it into my Dr. She said I was very thorough, loving, Mother and I was suffering from PPD. So she gave me the choice to accept medication, nutrition, and therapy. I chose nutrition and therapy and I started attending a support group close by my house.

I met up with the wonderful facilitator and my new friend A from Baby Talk at the health unit was there as well. We were given a manual to read and follow with homework sections. It was about putting ourselves first with rest, proper nutrition, hydration, and socialization. A and I began to bond our babies never slept, ate all the time, and we were walking Mombie’s before The Walking Dead was created as a television series. We spent a lot of time together and she was the one I prayed to God for to help me through my crisis, and gain some understanding. Every since her baby girl reached back and grabbed my son’s giant feet while we were feeding our babies, we were destined to meet.

She is my sister from another mister and we’ve seen each other through another child in our family’s and deaths in our family tree. She has been my rock through thick and thin and her and her family are my own. Even though we live far apart we’re never to far away with social media or a phone call. Our children still have a bond even though they go months without seeing one another. When they are together it’s like they never were apart. Much the same as for us Moms. We walked a very dark path together and have found the light and survived PPD. A. taught me that I’m human being, a wonderful Mom, a loving wife, and a survivor. I admire her courage, bravery, honesty, and the fact that when she wants to give up she admits it, then jumps right into the ring of life again. The journey we take with our children now is a neurological one and we stand by each other sides brave and true.

I owe my survival of Post Partum depression to her friendship, my husband’s unwavering love and support, and the help of my network of kindness from far away. I will agree with Hey Sweet Little Things blog that PPD and any mental health issue are taboo subjects by many in society. They need to be talked about and shared without shame or ridicule. My beloved Mama always said when times were tough life was always better with red lipstick, rouge, and dark sunglasses. And my sweet Gram said that if you had love, laughter, and a cup of tea you could get through anything. I’ve lived my life on these these very wise philosophies. So each day I live, learn, and forgive myself one day at a time.

This story has been written for my Blogging 101 assignment. Getting to know your neighbours by reading their blog and commenting. After commenting write about why it inspired you. Thank you for reading today, and please check out http://heysweetlittlething.wordpress.com. She has a wonderful blog and I’m so happy I found it to start my healing journey. πŸ’“

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This beautiful art used with permission from Arna Baartz http://www.artofkundalini.com

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Writers Quotes Wednesday

I looked out my window and I was held captive with this sunset. It moved me to tears and then I wrote this.

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This has been my submission to http://silverthreading.com Writers Quotes Wednesday. Please check out her creativity and all the other talent that link up. Thank you. ❀️

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One liner Wednesday

Oh the joys of potty training my son, there’s so many highs and lows but we persevere. The best teaching moments happen in these times when my baby grows up into my big, independent boy. A conversation took place tonight, as he was using his potty, he went successfully for most of the day and ended up having a accident before dinner.

Son- “Mommy I peed my pants!”
Mom-“Ok hon let’s go get you changed.”
Son-“Pee happens right Mommy?
Mom-“Yes son it does.”
Son-“It’s just life, it’s the way I roll.”

Out of the mouth of babes, teaching us the greatest lessons like pee happens and we just roll with it. πŸ˜‰

This has been my submission to One liner Wednesday for the lovely http://lindaghill.com/2014/10/15/one-liner-wednesday-amusing-nonsense/Check out her contribution and all the other talent that link up. Thank you. 😊

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Guest blog with Imperfect Mom-Sunday dinners

I’m excited to have today’s guest blogger here in my corner of the WordPress world. Imperfect Mom and I first met up on the linkups for Sunday confessions. I was struck by her honesty, wit, and talent. She’s so far from imperfect, and so kind and genuine. That to me is a perfect quality in a friend. I’m happy that last year we bonded through our blogs and have become wonderful friends. She’s a wonderful woman with a beautiful love story that gives me goosebumps. As well as being an amazing Mom, sister, and Grandma. You can read about her journey here
http://welcometomyimperfectworld.com.

And follow her here http://www.facebook.com/imperfectmomchronicles

I was asked to do a guest blog post for a wonderful blogger and very special friend, JSacksmom. She is on Facebook too so check her out there too!!
https://www.facebook.com/jsackmomblog

As a young girl I remember Sunday dinners at my grandparents house vividly. We arrived early so my mom could help my grandmother (my Nana), to cook the meal. Sometimes cousins were there to play with, and sometimes it was just my sister and I. Until my brother came along then we had to occupy him so mom could help. We would play outside if it was nice enough to do so, exploring the back yard which butted up against a hillside that was overgrown with trees. We had friends who lived in the neighborhood near my Nana, so often we were next door in their back yard playing hopscotch, Chinese jump rope or jacks. Sometimes we even climbed up in the trees and just sat on a limb talking. When the weather wasn’t nice we mostly just sat in the living room with our Papa and watch television. Papa had a couple of strokes so he didn’t really interact with us too much. He often just sat in his rocking chair watching whatever happened to be on the TV. Sometimes during a moment of lucidity he would play practical jokes on us kids, and if we were running in the house he thought it was funny to stick out his cane to try to trip us. Sometimes we were caught off guard and we would trip, but often times we knew somehow that he was in a ornery mood so we avoided his prankster ways. He wasn’t being mean to us, we knew that he loved us but the strokes had done damage to his once agile body and he had a hard time walking or doing much of anything.

Mom would call us in when it was almost time to eat so that we could wash our hands and help set the table. Carrying dishes of hot food, salt and pepper, and dishes with sliced meat and potatoes which were usually the Sunday fare. We would fill the glasses with milk or water while Nana made her gravy for whatever meat she was serving that day. It always tasted great too, my Nana was an excellent cook. She made pretty much everything from scratch and it was always fresh, whereas my mom used more pre-packaged and convenience foods. I remember dishes of food being passed around and nobody ate until everybody’s plates were filled with steaming hot food. We said grace and would eat our meal with not a lot of talking. I don’t recall hearing lots of talking during dinner, but it could be just because we were so young and it didn’t really concern us. Or it could have been because we were all just quiet. After dinner everyone pitches in and helps to clear the table and clean up dishes before sitting down to spend some family time doing whatever. Talking, playing a game, or just hanging out listening to music, until dessert is served.

My Nana passed away not long after I graduated high school, she was very special to me and I miss her quite a bit. She is why I wanted my granddaughter to call me Nana, because I remember only great things about her and I hope my granddaughter recalls great things about me as well.

In the past year or so I have managed to reinvigorate the Sunday dinner tradition for my family. Even though each week it is just us for dinner, I still think it is important in this busy a go-go world to sit down and share a relaxing meal. We talk about what each person has coming up that week and catch up on what we may have missed the week before. But mostly we just enjoy being together. I plan the meal and do my best to make everything from scratch and make it something that we don’t always have. Sometimes it is a new recipe I saw on TV or something that popped into my head late at night or in a dream. I have since learned to make some of the things my Nana made and to this day I am still amazed that I am able to recreate the tastes I remember as a kid, considering my mom didn’t really allow us in the kitchen when she was fixing dinner. I got to learn many of the things I know just by accident, as well as things I have learned on TV later in life. I hope to build precious memories with the hope that one day my children will carry on the tradition of sitting down to a relaxing meal together as a family unit. Even if it just once a week.

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Bunker Punk Tour

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The very talented and creative hhttp://thebeardedjs.wordpress.com has come up with this amazing idea for the Bunker Punks (a group and wonderful blogger family that I’m proud to belong to) to get to know one another and share our Bunker Punk pride! There’s a list of questions that follows so here’s your getting to know Jsack Mom a little better.

What is your most prized possession?

At first I thought of my family, my husband and my children. Then I thought to myself I don’t possess them as much as they own my heart. So my answer is my memories, I was blessed to have my parents in my life loving and supporting me till I was in my 30’s. My dear Dad died in Feb. 2009 and my beloved Mama in Feb. 2011. 2 years and 2 weeks apart, not even death could break their bond. So to have them there on my wedding day walking me down the aisle towards my future, my love, is my most prized memory that I possess. ❀️

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How do you unwind after a long day?

Well it takes me a long time for me to relax as I’m a night owl awake in the moonlight. With my son having a sleep disorder, I listen for him till I know he’s sound asleep then I can relax. After I put my kids to bed, I have some cuddle and chat time with my husband if he hasn’t fallen asleep. Then I catch up on my Facebook pages and I love to sit on my couch and write. It’s just me, my phone, pen and paper, and a glass of wine in the still of the night.
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What is the one song that has followed you throughout your life?

This is an easy answer for me I love Fleetwood Mac and I’ve been listening to them since the late 80’s. I have much older siblings so I was raised on classic rock since I was a wee babe. The first time I heard Don’t Stop Believing I knew that incredible song was written for me. It has since become my theme song, and the whole Rumours album has entwined it’s way into my heart and soul. πŸŽΆπŸ’—

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Seeing them in concert in Nov.2014 was the hi-light of my year. 🌟

If there’s was one piece of advice you could give to new bloggers in your field, what would it be?

A very great question, I would say always write from your heart and read a lot of blogs beforehand, and when you do get a following interact with them. I’ve made the best friendships just from appreciating, responding, and thanking everyone who has come to read my story.

Now that you’re famous now we need a quote from you. I love this and thank you for saying so! Even if I’m just a legend….in my own mind. πŸ˜‰

I wrote this and I believe and live this passionately. πŸ’–

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#bunkerpunksforlife 🌟

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Guest Blog with Loorducation-Sensory Learning

I am honoured today to present my very first guest blogger. I have so much love and respect for this very talented woman. She’s filled my heart with love, education, and understanding, not to mention nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogging award! I had nominated her two weeks ago for her kindness, talent and inspiration. With an educational background with a Masters in education concentrating on teaching and learning, and Bachelor of Sciences in child studies majoring in early childhood education. I first came across Danielle’s Facebook group

https://www.facebook.com/loorducation

and my mind was blown with all her wonderful creative ideas for sensory based play. Which led me to her
amazing blog:

http://Loorducation.wordpress.com

I then saw where her passion for all things children and education lied with her sweet, creative, son who has autism. Danielle works with the approach to child led learning through the gift of her son. And she has helped me immeasurably with my own son’s journey with SPD. She is a blessing and gift to me and the world! The true epitome of an amazing teacher, I’m excited to introduce her to you dear readers, happy reading and learning.

Sensory Learning

Children love to explore and when they are given freedom, they sure love to learn. Children learn about the world through their senses. Hands on learning, – experimenting with different textures using their hands. They touch, feel and scope out different sized and shaped items sensing if they are soft, rigid, slimy, fuzzy – among many other feels. Children can tell a lot about something by using tactile learning. As well, this type of learning can soothe distressed children especially those on the autism spectrum. There are many types of sensory learning items that I make that can be used for exploration and relaxation when needed. There are sensory bottles, sensory bags, and sensory bins. There are many, many ways that I make them; I use kinetic sand, colored water, shaving cream, corn starch – just to name some things. The items that I use to create these sensory learning products are easy to find and cost little money. Below are some examples of the creations that I have made. They all can be custom made, according to the needs of the child.

Below I have made a sensory bin with kinetic sand and added plastic dinosaurs. This is great for early hands on math where the children can search and sort by color and make patterns with them as well.

I have packaged up some hand made play dough that is great for children to use and roll between their little hands, squeeze, make shapes out of and so much more. The soft texture can be calming and different scents, such as lavender can be added for tension and stress relief.

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Here I have made some colorful sensory bags that are great visual for the eyes and can get the children to focus. These sensory bags are great too because they are cool to the touch and may be scented as well for an ultimate sensation of calmness and learning. Inside the bag can hold tiny items that are suitable for your child. I use beads, dry macaroni, small figures, etc. They are portable and can be taken on long car trips and to stores or anywhere that a child may need to help them focus, keep them busy and help them in cases of being over stimulated by bright lights and loud noises. These work nicely for all children especially those on the autism spectrum and / or have SPD – sensory processing disorder.

In the next picture, I have made a small sensory bin with kinetic sand. In it I have added plastic insects, The pic in the middle is a sensory bin with different shapes of dry macaroni and in it I have added some small creatures and toys that my son really likes. This can be used for search and find, mix and match and other math and science activities.

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Here we have some cloud dough and in the next picture is some play dough. The cloud dough is made of shaving cream and flour. It is great for the sense of smell and it feels really silky and smooth. The combination of the two, makes for a nice soothing experience that is a great stress reliever when a child may be worked up over homework or other situations. It is great for an in between break as is the play dough.

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Kinetic Sand sensory bins are versatile, here I made a fun one with cowboys and Native Americans from a set my son had. The children can play search an find, math, or just dig them up and pour the sand on them again. Any way, it is soothing for little hands. The next pic is a sensory table that I had set up. On it there is some play dough, cloud dough and some slime or flubber. All home made. The slime is one of the biggest hits. It is cool to the touch and can take many forms in which the kids love seeing. I made orange this time. It is easy to add any color that is desired using food coloring. Having a small table set up gives the children choices and enables them to make their own decisions as to what they want to learn with at a certain time. I use all types of learning tools with it such as cookie cutters and google eyes for open ended learning.

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Here I made dirt and worms. A yummy tasteful treat. Let the kids help. Hands on fun that they get to eat afterwards. Make some pudding, they can mix and add ingredients for early math and science. They can help crumble up some cookies and add worms. A great learning experience that they will be proud of. The next pic is a robot. I have a few arts and crafts bins with a variety of learning tools. They are great for exploration and provide for a great stretching of the imagination too. When a child has choices, he or she will feel more open and therefore able to express his or herself fully through hands on creativity. The tools used here are a shoebox, clothes pins, pony beads, craft sticks and more. Set up an invitation to play and watch what children are able to create.

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A light table works wonders. Here he is drawing put many items such as paper, small plastic toys, bead (you name it) can be placed on this portable light table and used for endless fun and learning. The next pic, I made some green flubber and we put small plastic colored rings in which were used to make matching pairs and patterns as well as sorting. Great sensory play for early math learning.

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Here I made a sensory bottle. Great for on the go! Easy and fun. Fill it up for endless possibilities. Can be used for seek and find. Here I put some random stuff such as google eyes and squinkies. Add water, food coloring..even glitter. Many ways to create. Seal the top with glue and ready to go. Next, I made a geo board for hands on early math learning. I used a cork board, push pins and rubber bands. This can even be used to make different types of sounds and rhythms.

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Here I made a dry macaroni sensory bins with different shaped pasta. I added some plastic animals. The pasta can also be dyed. Next is a simple sensory bin with marbles. Great for textile and sounds.

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Sensory learning is an awesome way for children to experience the world around them. There are endless opportunities and possibilities when it comes to sensory creations. They are suitable for all children especially those sensory seekers, ASD children and SPD children. Sensory “toys” are great fun to make and sparks creativity. It promotes healthy learning and works on fine muscles that benefit children when they are learning how to write, hold scissors, open stuff such as juice boxes, zippers, buttons etc.

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Learning should be fun. The goal is to get children to love learning and we may achieve this goal by providing them with different opportunities that make them feel well. When children feel well, they will learn well. Sensory is key!! It opens up many doors. πŸ˜‰

Peace, love, and education.

xxoo

Dany

Danielle Loor- M. Ed, BSCS

https://www.facebook.com/loorducation

Founder and creative director of Loorducation.

Making learning fun.

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