Jsack's Mom's Blog

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

Childhood revisited 

I look up at the tree to see how far I have to climb till I can’t see the ground or feel the emotions I want to get away from. Why a tree you may ask well it could be anything as long as I could be up high. I climbed trees, fence posts, and the  horse stock corral in our backyard. 

When I was inside I would climb on top of my Mom’s black upright piano. I’d sit up there to eat my lunch and watch my favourite tv show Sesame Street. I wanted to live there and go on a picnic with Big Bird and Snufflelufugus. I found Ernie to loud and Bert to anxious, Oscar was too grouchy and the Count slept most of the time. Cookie Monster and Grover were my best friends we could sit around eating cookies all day and sing songs about it. 

I had this stuffed animal of Grover he was blue, soft, and fuzzy. He had long arms and legs I would wrap around my neck and waist and he would go everywhere with me. I adored that pal of mine and everyone would see us together and smile. I wasn’t allowed to take him to school though because my Mom said there was only one Grover and everyone would want one. 

I don’t remember if he was a birthday gift or for Christmas all I remember was he appeared in my life one day and made it all the better. I could talk to Grover about anything fights I had with my siblings, mud pie recipes, and how I could see things that other people couldn’t see. He never judged me and always kept my secrets just like my dog Bo. He was a special dog a gift from my Dad when I was brought home from the hospital. 

He became another member of our family even after my parents separated Bo came to live with us. We lived a simple life in the village with our Mom and my sister. He would walk us to and from school everyday. I would race home with my backpack hanging off my shoulder with the weight of my library books. I would run in the house kiss my Mom, tell her quickly about my day, grab my snack and Grover and disappear into the woods behind our house. 

I would find my special place and sit down and read to my friends. I loved to use different characters voices and inflection in my tone to make the story exciting. This was the way my Mom taught me the magic of story telling and it helped my comprehension and confidence. It helped me escape into a world of adventure in my books when the world was too loud, bright, and confusing. I loved sailing the seven seas with Sinbad, sitting down for tea with Charles Dickens in a Tale of Two Cities and living in the beautiful fantasy world of a Midnight Summer’s Dream from Shakespeare. 

My childhood was a happy place when I was able to climb trees, drink tea with my Mom and her friends, and use my imagination. I would dream about living on Sesame Street reading to everyone on the block and visiting Bob and Maria at Mr.Hooper’s store. There’s still times when I like to take a detour from my stress and go back to my childhood where life was simpler, carefree, and fun. 

🎶 Can you tell me how to get 

How to get to Sesame Street? 🎶

This has been my take on the Daily Prompt Childhood Revisited. 

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Monday Musings Worry

Waiting for days on end for news that I’m praying will be positive instead of negative. I watch my son’s behaviour to indicate if he’s having seizures and I’m missing out on documenting them. My mind can go in a thousand different directions without hearing any results for a month. And trust me it has, is this how my life is supposed to be in constant worry for his health? 

I never knew when I rubbed my belly at eight months protecting him from the news of my Mom’s death that I would be in this state of mind now. I never knew with him arriving at thirty-six weeks we would encounter all these medical issues. I wasn’t prepared for my one and only Mom’s death, nor ready to to give birth prematurely. 

I went home from the hospital reeling with grief while my baby had to stay behind in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive care unit) I had a four year old son and a husband that needed me and I felt so torn. All I wanted was my Mom to hold me and tell me everything would be alright. But I didn’t have her then and I don’t have her now. 

Being a special needs parent feels a lot like venturing out on a lonely road to find my happy, peaceful place in my mind and body. A lot of the time reading and researching helps so I know how to approach Dr’s and specialists with my questions. What is the reason that my son’s Global Developmentally Delayed, why does he struggle so much with basic concepts of visual spatial relations and verbal fluency with his conversational speech? 

Why does he suffer with anxiety, OCD, and possibly ADHD behaviours?  I’m told he was born early so he would be delayed to reach his developmental milestones. Which is half true he sat up and crawled later then his peers, but walked early and ran laps around me by the time he was fifteen months. Yet there are challenges, his speech was delayed, he had a high threshold to pain, but a weaker immune system and was sickly as a baby. 

Life has turned into a system of checks and balances he’s been tested for genetic disorders, allergies, and I’ve completed many developmental questionnaires. To date he’s had a polysonogram and an EEG that will be followed by an MRI and surgery to help improve his severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea Disgnosis. He has a wonderful therapy team that is helping him succeed so I question myself what do I have to worry about? 

I worry for his future will he hold down a job, graduate and go to college, meet someone special and fall in love? What will it be like when he does and he gets his heart broken? How will he cope with his anxiety, how will I? Will he still be living with us or in assisted living? I pray he will be continue to be his own success story as I cheer every accomplishment he makes. The latest is remembering words to the Christmas carols he practiced in preschool. As well as being able to sing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes while performing the actions. 

When we would sing that song before he’d get so confused and start yelling and putting his hands over his ears to block out all the excess information flooding his brain. I had to explain to his preschool teachers that the song irritated and I think even scared him. It broke my heart to see his reaction so after three months of therapy he can sing the song with a smile on his face. Then I think you don’t have anything to worry about he’ll be fine. I’ve heard this from well meaning people in my life and I always say he will be with the proper early intervention in his life. 

The call I’ve been waiting for finally came in today after waiting for thirty long days! The results were great there’s no seizure activity but his brain will need to be assessed at his MRI. So I arm myself with Teflon encased around my heart, cover myself in prayer and I realize I’m not emotion or bullet proof but I have God and a wonderful support network on my team. I will help my son get through this with love, acceptance, and prayer. I’m a warrior, and I love homand I may get knocked down with worry but I will always get back up ready to fight. 

It’s time for #Mondaymusings and all you have to do is this list of things. 

Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and link to this post.
Add your link to the linky which you will find either here and on the post of a co-host.
Use our #MondayMusings badge to help other bloggers join in too. Write Tribe is going through some maintenance so it will be hosted at a different website for a few weeks. 
Today’s Monday Musings is co-hosted by Crazy Little Family Adventure and Everyday Gyann please check out their posts and all the other talent that link up. 

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The Christmas magic is real 

The magic of Christmas has enveloped me. Last night we went driving around town looking at the Christmas lights. I was taken back to my days as a child as my eyes danced in the twinkling of each bulb. We saw really cute penguins, elves, reindeer, and moose. We also saw some very unique decor with Santa as a hockey player complete with a Maple Leaf jersey, Santa on a  camouflage motor bike, and the one that made me tear up a beautiful white lighted Eiffel Tower. Then the chorus of questions poured in like a hot cup of insatiable curiosity. I then remembered all my inquisitive questions that I bombarded my Mom with every year. From my precious preschooler:

“Will Santa bring me my Bat Cave?”

“Does Santa like cookies or muffins?”

“Will he wake me up when he gets here so we can play with his reindeer?”

From my wise but vulnerable to the truth, elementary school student:

“How will Santa come to our house if we don’t have a chimney?”

“How will he walk through the front door and not set off the alarm?”

And the last one I’m hearing more and more this year…

“Is Santa really real-or is just you and Dad?”

I think back to what my Mom said all those years ago and it’s the same thing that I’ve told my oldest son.

  
Merry Christmas blessings to you from our house to yours. 🌟

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Monday Musings-Christmas in my comfort zone

I’ve always been a traveller during the holidays. Ever since I was four years old and my Mom would have my sister and I for Christmas and my Dad would have us for Boxing Day. This tradition continued for many years until my Dad passed it over to my middle sister and her family. We’re of Ukrainian descent on my Dad’s side so it would be a day consisting of perogie making and eating contests. This was our way of celebrating the Ukrainian Christmas that falls in January. 

My oldest brother always won the record of most perogies eaten at one sitting with fifty-two and our Dad a runner up with forty-nine. I won for the women one year with fourteen eaten and many, many, created in my family’s kitchen. Now that I’m married and have a family of my own I have my own traditions. We do Christmas baking and advent calendars with my kids. I also started the book advent where a new book is unwrapped and read each day up till Christmas. My son’s each get to open a present on Christmas Eve which consists of pyjamas or slippers. This year they each get a family movie night box complete with hot chocolate, DVD, popcorn, and pj’s. 

I’m excited about this new way of celebrating Christmas with my children! I love to see their faces lit up with the joy of decorating the Christmas tree. As well as their amazement when we see how many decorations we piled on that seven foot beauty. We’ve always been the members of our family who lived furthest away but were expected to travel. And so we did just as couple for many years and later as a family of four. My Grandparents and parents were still alive during these Christmases and seeing them was what made my holiday brighter. 

  
After they had passed away in 1991, 1999, 2009, and 2011 our trips back home ceased to happen. It was just too heartbreaking to go back to the same place and see that empty spot at the kitchen table. The last Christmas I had with my Dad my oldest son was two. I remember how special it was to see them together soaking up every precios moment they could together. It was bittersweet as I knew this would be the last time they’d share aholiday together. 

When my Mom had passed I was eight months pregnant with my second son. She had known he was planned for, created, and growing in my belly but never got to meet him or hold him. That last Christmas she spent most of it sleeping as her medication for travel made her very tired. I wasn’t able to travel as I was being watched for complications. The next time I saw her was at her viewing in the church and then her funeral. That wasn’t something I’ve been able to forgive myself for but I know it’s nothing I had control of. In time I will heal and let that go. For now it’s a double edged jagged knife in my heart. That makes it hard to breathe sometimes….

Now my children are growing up so quickly I’d like to freeze time and let them stay little and innocent awhile longer. We travelled to family last year and it took a lot out of us as a whole. It’s not easy to have a busy, loud, bustling, holiday season with sensitive children. Being out of routine, away from their calming and emotionally regulating routine and not sleeping well can lead to sensory overloaded meltdowns. While it’s common for this time of year it’s not always accepted behaviour at one’s home, family relative or not. 

I spent a lot of time outside playing in the snow with my kids. Snowball fights, snowman building, and powder diving kept them happy, calm, and me from losing my ever loving mind! My youngest son with his Sensory Processing Disorder has a lot of food texture issues so I knew he wouldn’t be having the turkey with all the trimmings. No matter how delicious it appeared to be for others he was happy with his peanut butter sandwich and milk. I did not pressure or chastise him for this preference, as this is not how to help him adapt and want to try new foods or food groups. 

Food is not a battle I choose to have with my son. I pick them carefully because at this time of year everything in his environment is a hair trigger to a blow up waiting to happen.  His older brother who’s a Sensory avoider of excess sensory input will cover his ears, beg for quiet time, and get overloaded by the noise and commotion. Then my youngest who’s a seeker of this sensory input who will run, spin, stim, and then fall apart with exhaustion or overload. This is what I refer to as Armageddon implosion, internally they’re struggling so much, and externally they can’t regulate themselves without my help. 

 In 5-4-3-2-1 BOOM 💥 massive meltdown city is where we’re living and it’s not for the weak hearted. This leads to my husband and I watching for the triggers and doing our best to keep them calm or remove them from the situation entirely. That is how we spent last Christmas Eve where I was told my one son needed valium, and my reply was “no he could use some understanding, I’ll take the Valium.” To be honest my wine glass was never empty during that holiday.  We all got to do what we got to do to get through those hellish hours, without judgement. 

Last year was a long, painful, exciting, and exhausting holiday. I got to see family on my husband’s side and mine. My kids were eager to see their aunts and uncles and open up and play with their toys. I was able to sit back and relax and enjoy seeing them happy and regulated around my side of the family. While repeating my mantra there’s no place like home. Because really there isn’t, it’s so rewarding to be able to hang out in your pj’s all day eating popcorn and watching Netflix. I went against my better judgement and did what was expected of me and my kids reacted accordingly. I accept that now, although it was a bitter pill to swallow at the time. 

This year I’m doing what’s best for them and staying home. We just moved and bought our house last year and now after eighteen months we get to have our first Christmas in it! I’m so excited to relax in my pj’s, cook a big turkey with all the trimmings, munch on my holiday baking, and enjoy Christmas movies with my family. I will light a candle for my loved ones who are no longer with us. Yet are now our Christmas angels from heaven sending us love and comfort when we need it the most. I will provide strength to my family and relatives who are walking through the pain of losing their family member as well, and trying to get through the holidays while grieving. 

After all the eating, sharing, and cuddling are done then we’ll roll out of the house after indulging in our holiday feast and go tobogganing and enjoy a bonfire, hot chocolate, and laughter with our friends. I couldn’t be happier about starting to revive this tradition and add some new ones to our family. This year we are travel free, except to the toboggan hill and back. I couldn’t be more happier and excited about revelling in this freedom and joy!  Christmas is where the heart is, and also where my comfort zone resides. 

It’s time for #Mondaymusings and all you have to do is this list of things. 
Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and link to this post.
Add your link to the linky which you will find either here and on the post of a co-host.
Use our #MondayMusings badge to help other bloggers join in too.

Today’s co-hosts are Happiness and FoodBlogs by EshaEveryday Gyaan thank you for having me in the linkup today. 😃

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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday and Be Wow

When life can become a struggle it’s easy to give into the tears and fears. Yesterday I reached out and shared my story of being a special needs parent. I received an outpouring of love and emotional support that it was incredible and it uplifted my heart and spirit! I wrote this before I had opened up my heart and soul and I’m so glad that I was given the gift of compassion and the beauty of friendship. 

 
This has been my submission to Silver Threading for Writer’s Quotes Wednesday and Be Wow please check out all the talent that link up at this special place to be creative. ❤️

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Monday Musings-Procrastination

Here we are 11 days before Christmas and anyone ready for it? Slowly raising hand in the back of a crowded shopping mall… Actually you won’t find me anywhere near a shopping mall I avoid them like the plague. I’m a very sensory individual so my personal bubble is close like a vest. I have to resist the urge to throat punch most people around this busy bustling season. 

I’m usually quite a calm person but the harried, hectic energy of the holidays sends me into a tailspin! Just driving into a parking lot to mail my Christmas cards is enough to send me into a panic attack as I drive around and around looking for a parking spot. I prefer to do my shopping really early or late at night at a big box store. Then if all else fails I have the online option sitting on my couch and I don’t even have to wear pants! I do though because it’s winter and damn cold in my fridge box of a house. 

 

This isn’t my meme, I found it on Facebook and it’s brilliant dont you think? 😉

 
My husband discovered I turned up the heat last night to a balmy + 25 degrees. Comparing that to 77 degrees Fahrenheit which some states are experiencing this winter! Our Canadian one came upon us graciously and gradually compared to the blizzard of 2014 that had me wearing my winter coat and freezing my ass off in September brrrrrr! 

This year we were blessed with chinooks (a beautiful phenomenon that has warm air meeting cold air and the result is higher temperatures) In October we had a + 20 degree day ( 68 degrees Farenheit) and I set up the bouncy house for my kids. They loved it as did I, it’s a great workout bouncing all my stress away. It was fabulous and fleeting but I enjoyed every minute of it. 

 

This is my meme and an example of the mighty Chinook weather pattern

 
Getting back to the winter and procrastination at hand, I’m not usually a Bah humbug I love Christmas as you can read about here. But I’m a Grinch about shopping it’s either done very early or very late on my time table. This year early didn’t factor into my plans and late well I’m not entirely there yet but I will be soon if I don’t stop procrastinating! 

In my defence though I had the flu bug hit my home like an assault team taking no prisoners. It took down each member of my family with no mercy. I cleaned up enough bodily fluids and wiped down and sanitized every square inch of my household. I was cursing the former owners on their decision to install beige carpeting in my kids rooms! 

Even now my plan was to mail off my Christmas cards and parcels today but my youngest child is sick with a nasty chest cold. I’m doing my best to not share in that misery but my loving little germ factory is crawling all over me as I write this. Sigh I can’t say I blame him though all I want is my Mommy cuddles when I’m sick. But unfortunately heaven doesn’t take drop ins just permanent guests. 

  
I felt I was more on the ball this time then last year. There was a death in my family two weeks before Christmas and with that experience I learned 

  1. That death can devastate you even at the most special time of year 
  2.  That the good really do die young. 

     3.Cancer really, really, sucks. 
This year I had one of my closest friends and a family member die. It’s a time of self reflection, sadness, and also to realize what’s important in life. Not the crossing off every present on my kids list, shopping for family members that can’t shop for themselves, or even passing along my own wish list to my husband. Who was kind enough to buy me some new specs so that I can see properly since my eyes are getting older. 

The list that matters that I’ve lived, loved, and learned from is as follows.

  1. Kindness above everything  is the most important gift to possesses and give freely. 
  2. Gratitude is a game changer in life. If you’re not grateful for what you have, you won’t appreciate what you want. 
  3. Love solves everything, is everything, and means everything. 

It’s like the good ole wise Grinch from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas found out and narrated by the late great Boris Karlov says:

  
It’s time for #Mondaymusings and all you have to do is this list of things. 

Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and link to this post.
Add your link to the linky which you will find either here and on the post of a co-host.
Use our #MondayMusings badge to help other bloggers join in too.
Today’s Write Tribelink up is co-hosted with The Bespectacled Mother, Vinitha Dileep, and Everyday Gyaan. Thank you to these lovely ladies for co-hosting and letting me part of some Monday magic. ❤️

35 Comments »

Ten Things of Thankful

It’s Sunday a day of rest and reflection from the week. Well not for me Sunday is one of my busiest days as I’m usually on the road for hockey. Not today though one boy on the road and one home sick and feverish. Tis the season for germ warfare, let’s go back to reflect on my week of thankfuls. With my gratitude to the TTOT thankful linkup that bless me with their stories each week. 😃

I’m thankful for being home after a busy weekend. It was a fun time mixed up with some stress but we survived and that’s all that matters. It was so wonderful to see my son get his reward for the player with the most heart and hustle. Second year in a row for my Captain, I couldn’t be any prouder Mama! ❤️

   
I’m thankful for getting back to our routine and more Christmas decorating and baking. My youngest son has been very excited about Santa Claus coming soon that his Advent calendar is his favourite time of day. This is a double thankful moment because I received the amazing news that my son qualified for some provincial funding. We’ve waited a long time to hear those words “you’re approved” and wow what a beautiful response it is! 💖 

I’m thankful for the most exciting day of the week when the book Lose The Cape Never will I ever then I had kids that I’m a contributor in got published! I’m so happy that my words will be read and shared and I can show my son’s to follow your goals and pursue your dreams, and never ever give up. I am a writer! 

Amazon Link for Kindle
  
I’m thankful for all the support from family, friends, and people that bless me on social media that  I’ve received since I shared the news about the book. It’s been a whirlwind since I found out my essay was accepted and I’m keeping busy by writing and submitting to some more sites and anthology’s. It’s in the doing that we find out what we’re really made of. 

I’m thankful for my family’s love when I haven’t been loveable, and letting me have the time to read and write when the words in my head need a release. I’m thankful for all the amazing, hilarious, caring and even crazy things my kids say and do. They make writing about my journey a happy experience so I can share with all of you how much I love them. 

 

saying your sorry and being forgiven


I’m thankful for the magic of Christmas and how the joy and laughter of my children help my heart to heal a little more each day. We’ve had the tree up and decorated since Nov. 25 th at the insistence of my Halloween loving child and seeing his reaction to the wonder of the holiday has been a gift. 

I’m thankful for those special nights of the bath, book, bed time routine where my oldest son reads to us and his confidence is growing as is his grade level in reading. Then how his brother takes out his favourite book and tells us his story that he creates. Both of them have such a wonderful imagination I’m so excited to see and read their journey in school. 

   
I’m thankful for the ability to nap when I’m tired. My youngest is fighting a cold and between late feverish nights and early morning wake up calls for hockey we spent the morning catching up on our rest. 

I’m thankful for baking and filling my home with the smells of apple cinnamon oatmeal muffins. They tasted so delicious with apple sauce to dip them in. This holiday I’m going to bake and create and pin less. My kids love when I get into that mode of homemade and handmade with love. 

  
I’m thankful for great books to read, keeping up with my own word count for my passion project, and always having someone who appreciates my efforts. I’m so grateful for friendships that have stood the test of time and make you feel like Dorian Grey stopped time at the most perfect moment.  I’m grateful and thankful for all you lovelies that read my ramblings. I reached 500 followers in between book promotion, hockey tournament, and the infestation of the flu bug. Thank you to each of you that stop by to read, share, laugh, love, and comment on my latest story. You make my heart super happy and I’m hugging you from afar. 

  

20 Comments »

Christmas traditions

Hello my name is Jsackmom and I’m a “Christmasholic” There I finally admitted it, I get very excited about the prospect of celebrating as I’ve always been fascinated with the magic of Christmas. I remember traditions from when I was a little girl and being at my Grandparents with their ceramic tree with plastics lights all lit up. 
It would sit on the china cabinet looking so tiny but beautiful, while I sat on the floor looking up at those lights twinkling in the evening glow. We would help my Mom and Gram prepare for dinner and get our pyjamas on then my sister and I would get our snack ready for Santa with our Mom’s help. We would put out the homemade shortbread cookies, carrots for the reindeer, and a cup of nice tea to wash it down with. My Gram would help us hang our stockings on the towel rod in the kitchen while my Grandpa looked on with a mischievous smile.
 You see those stockings were his socks that he loaned to my sister and I. Next we would go off to the living room and magically there would a present there on the floor for each of us. We would open it up knowing each year it would be the same, pyjamas, slippers, or a house coat. We didn’t care though it was the excitement of getting to open a gift on Christmas Eve that made the holiday more special. 
We would sit on the couch in our new sleepwear and sip on our hot chocolates while we sang Christmas carols and then my Mom and Gram would tell us the Christmas story of baby Jesus and the Nativity. I had always loved the story and still tell it to my children as our tradition. Then we would get sleepy, rubbing our eyes, and toddle off to bed. My sister would have the couch and I would have the blue cot that folded out. My Gram would push the coffee table up close do I wouldn’t roll out of bed. 
Sleep would find me late into night as the visions of sugar plums, turkey with all the trimmings, and toys to be had, would dance in my head. The next morning I would be bouncing around waking up my sister as I was delirious with excitement and more of a tough and tumble Tom girl than sliver bells and cockleshells and we would race to the kitchen to open our stockings. We would dig in and find candy, nuts, mandarin oranges, tiny little doll toys, and whatever else Santa could stuff in a men’s sock! 
Next we would go to the living room and see what else Santa brought us. There would be a Barbie for my sister and I would have a doll complete with accessories of a hair brush, bottle, and outfit. We would also open clothes, books, more candy, and always a religious item of a holy statue. My Mom always made sure we put the Christ in Christmas as to never forget the true meaning of the holiday. 
We would say Grace and have a hearty breakfast as we would go off to our relatives to visit and play with our toys with our cousin. We would always have baking, copious pots of tea, and plenty of singing and dishwashing. We would return back to my Grandparents while my Grandpa would shovel the sidewalk and make his strong coffee in his special pipe whistle cup afterwards. We would help in the kitchen preparing dinner as my four other siblings would join the festivities. My Gram and Mom would fill the coffee table full of appetizers, fruit cake, cookies, a mixture of nuts, hard candy, and liquorice. 
The teapot would never be empty long and we would start preparing to set the table while setting up in the living room with my Gram’s fine Christmas China that would be laid out on the table. There would be at least ten people there and my Gram would say the blessings and my Grandpa would carve the turkey. I would marvel at all the delicious food and watch one of my brothers say “pass the buns” while my other brother would throw him down one at the end of the table. I would laugh and have my bowl of tossed salad mixed with croutons and olive oil. I loved how my Gram would make that for me. 
My plate would be heaping with mounds of mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts, veggies, dark turkey meat, a little gravy, and I would eat my weight in my Gram’s homemade stuffing. After we would clear the table, drink tea, and enjoy pumpkin and lemon meringue pies. My Mom loved the lemon so it was always a staple at the dinner table. After us kids would go out to the foyer and play and have our pictures taken on the steps to the upper floor in the apartment building. 
Then the night would wind down, my older siblings would leave for home, and my sister and I would be getting ready for bed in our new Christmas pyjamas. We would lay there as sleep would come quickly after a fulfilling and wonderful day. We would fill that tiny two bedroom apartment with presents, laughter, decorations, Santa with his sleigh full of toys, and most of all the presence of our love for each other. As we got older and Santa came to the houses of younger children we would go to midnight mass with my Mom and Gram.
 I remember seeing the church’s alter glowing with all the lights. I would listen to the priest speak of that first Christmas Eve when baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Then the choir would rise up in voices of pure love and sing O little town of Bethlehem. My voice would ring out with them feeling exalted on high like nothing could touch me, as my spirit was raised to the heavens. I wept in those moments as my earthly vibration would thunder through my body like I was floating. There was magic in the air on that night and I’ve never felt more loved or connected to God, Saints, and all his angels. Being raised that way was a gift, and one I will continue with my children as they grow in the love and spirit of Christmas. To think it all started with that one little ceramic tree perched up high. 

Stock photo provided by the internet

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The Climb

Life can be an uphill battle where you climb the highest mountain and struggle not to fall off. It also has a funny way of working out, and sometimes you get more than you bargained for. I gave birth to my son a month premature after a very stressful period of grieving for the loss of my Mom. My baby and my other son became my whole purpose of surviving that dark, depressing time. His brother was only four when I had to tell him yet another person he loved had died.
Having a premature baby means so many mindblowing things. First, you have to wrap your brain around the fact that your child is really here! Next, you need to devote every waking minute of getting them healthy enough to take home. I had a son at home to raise and a newborn and he belonged to the hospital until he was a healthy weight. I remember that time like it was yesterday how joyous and stressful it was. The sleep deprived days and nights that followed, as well as all the trips back and forth to the hospital when I was released but my baby wasn’t.

My baby was heavily jaundiced and very sleepy so it was difficult to keep him awake long enough to give him a full feeding. I remember having to test weigh, feed, burp, change his diaper, feed him , then test weigh him again. It was a routine that we followed for nearly two weeks and all I wanted was for my baby to be healthy enough to take home. He never did receive phototherapy even though I saw babies before him able to. It drove me mad with anger as the whites of his eyes were yellow that he was so jaundiced.

Back then all the signs pointed to the fact that something was amiss. He would cry if he wasn’t held snugly skin to skin with me. He loved a tight swaddle but his hands and his feet had to be free. He was undoing his blankets and the nurses kept on saying I wasn’t wrapping him tight enough. I replied “this isn’t my first rodeo so I know how it works.” Little did we know my baby was rolling in his glass bassinet and unravelling the swaddle!

He was only four days old and he still hadn’t opened his eyes. I watched him closely as he didn’t resemble a helpless newborn as his strength was astonishing! He would thrash about in his tiny little home and he seemed happy with the thud it would produce in sound. When he was sleeping he would sleep so soundly I would check to see if he was breathing.

I would venture to his crib side and just sit there in the rocking chair watching him and marvelling at his beauty. He would wake up roll towards me and put his hand on the glass. He didn’t like the bright lights or loud noises that would generate with a room full of babies and people. He thrived on being held snugly and loved to be burped as he would release the biggest and loudest full grown man gas bubbles!

I was in awe and scared for my son as he would get his jaundice test daily and one time the nurse had me hold his leg while she lanced his foot! This was the worst experience as he would thrash about and I would beg her to put him under the photo lights in the incubator. He was strong I was afraid he would hurt himself, yet my pleas fell on deaf ears. Everything pointed to the fact that he was a sensory overloaded child. He would be so quiet then wail for hours. It was almost as if he loved to hear his shrill cry.

The day came where I could finally take him home and he had to pass a few tests before leaving. I remember feeling anxious, excited, and scared of the prospect of taking my tiny baby home. When the maternity health nurse arrived the next day she gave him a thorough exam. She had asked me if I had any concerns or comments because it had been four years since I had a baby at home. I replied:

“I only had one and then I said watch” while I placed my baby on the floor with a blanket.

We then proceeded to see my newborn 11 day old baby roll back and forth from right to left! She was in awe as much as I was and I asked her was this “normal”behaviour for a tiny baby. Her response was:

“we always advise parents to keep their baby’s belted and secure on the change table. Even placing one hand on them just in case. Your baby is not the norm he’s the just in case I spoke of.”

Life with my son’s added up to long days and longer nights and plenty of love. My baby wanted to held 24/7 and I spent a lot of time sleeping in a rocking chair. He also was pacifier dependent and would eat every 45 minutes in a given day. If he was cluster feeding it was less and I was shedding my baby weight quickly. He loved the deep pressure football nursing hold while he was snug to my body. Soft fuzzy blankets rubbed on his skin made him coo, and the feeling of a tremendous “man burp”, and being shushed beside his cheek would lull him to sleep.

When it came to time to introduce solid foods to him he put up such a fuss. Everything had to be mixed with carrots or sweet potatoes. I made all my baby food and he would turn his nose up about the stews, squash, and peas. When he got older and ventured into cubed finger foods he would refuse certain vegetables and fruits. He ate a lot bananas and carrots as they are the only foods he wouldn’t cry over. By the time he was 18 months he was eating five foods and saying two words strung together. By two he had a very limited vocabulary and a small assortment of foods he would eat.

I made the call of getting him assessed for his developmental milestones. I read and researched a lot and came across some information on sensory disorders. I made the referral to a child development agency and found a developmental Pediatrician. That led to the discovery that my son fit the profile of having Sensory Processing Disorder. In particular Sensory Modulation Disorder and was seeking out sensory input to gather the messages in his daily environment from his central nervous system to relay it to his brain.

I had heard of SPD as my close friends daughter was diagnosed with it as well as autism. Now it was affecting our lives as my son was rapidly giving me grey hair with his seeking behaviours. By climbing five shelf bookshelves and jumping onto the couch, then jumping off stairs falling, cutting his head open and crying because of the blood running into his eyes! I took on the role of Mom PHD while I researched ways I could help and to stop him from hurting himself.

His pain threshold wasn’t something I could understand at all. As his older brother could have an injury like a stubbed toe, and you could hear him for miles with his reaction. My youngest son is now a preschooler with a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder and Global Developmental Delay. He now has a therapy team in place with an OT (Occupational Therapist) PT (Physical Therapist) and Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP). I discovered in all the research that I’ve done that early intervention is the key to coping and strengthening neuropathways to form new information and skills in the brain.

He also has an Educational Aid that works with him at preschool. In the course of a two months he’s had a ploy sonogram, genetic testing, EEG, and next week an MRI. He was found to have severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and I’m currently awaiting the results of his EEG. He has endured it all like the fighter he is from birth. He’s taught me more about what matters in life and they are  family, love, and acceptance. And what doesn’t matter judgement, deadlines, or a neat as pin home. I know whatever trial we have next to face we’ll solider on through it, and the climb has been worth every moment to helping him live a better more balanced life.

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! Want to join in on next month’s Sensory Blog Hop? Click here!

   

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#Mondaymusings-Tales of my Childhood

Monday Musings-Tales of my Childhood

I write a lot of my thoughts, feelings, and passions. I was a little girl with a big heart and an even bigger imagination. I remember stories my Gram would tell me about her family. Her parents that were born in Ireland and Scotland who survived hardships of the Potato famine of 1846 and found their new life in Canada. 
Her close knit family came over by boat to forage a new beginning with two little girls and then my Gram was born almost a month after the town they lived in burnt down! They suffered a fire, flood, loss, and still remained strong together. Music was a very special outlet for their healing as whole family. The church and hymns sung around the house, and in the parlour after dinner sustained them. It gave them faith to overcome whatever trial they had encountered. 
One song that was so special to my family is Danny Boy. My Gram’s only brother had a beautiful heart and and even more beautiful voice. He loved his church as equally as he loved the church. He had survived the First World War and came back to support his family. He was set to have the solo for Danny Boy on the night of the St. Patrick’s day. He had been sickly but he wanted to honour his commitment to his choir. 
Being he was too ill to leave his bed he wasn’t able to. With his family surrounding him he sat up and sang one last time for them. Then he lay down, closed his eyes, and went to meet God. My Gram would tell me this story and her eyes would well up with tears. The pain of losing her brother in his late twenties was something she never healed from. 
When I expressed my love of all things Irish she taught me the song. I would sing it for her, my Grandpa, and my Mom. They would sing quietly along with tears in their eyes. My Gram would hug me so tight and say I made her brother proud. Every story she told of my hard working Great Grandparents made me feel connected with them. She brought their travels and tales to live for me. 
This is a tradition that still continues onto this day as I share these stories with my own children. I tend to gravitate to playing Irish characters in my theatre experience. My kids still ask me to speak in an Irish accent and they just love it. Every time I entertain them with a song or a jig I can hear my Gram giggling. I only hope my rendition does her and our Irish clan proud as all my memories are of them. 
s time for #Mondaymusings and all you have to do is this list of things. 
Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and link to this post.
Add your link to the linky which you will find either here and on the post of a co-host.
Use our #MondayMusings badge to help other bloggers join in too.

Today’s Write Tribe’s co-hosts are Crazy Little Family Adventure and Vinithia Dileep please be sure to check out all the talent that link up. Thank you. ❤️

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