Jsack's Mom's Blog

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

Ten Things of Thankful-Feeling prayful

There are times in life when some things just don’t make any sense. Death for one isn’t something I can fathom. Whether a loved one is young or old, natural causes or sudden tragedies it tears at my empathic heart. My husband and I recently lost a friend this week. The sadness overtakes me as this special soul leaves behind a beautiful, caring wife and three amazing kids. I think about the last conversation we had, the laughter, the reminiscing, the hugs of let’s keep in touch. Just when I start to ride a grief wave another loss happens, and I’m threatened to be pulled under by the melancholy cloud of darkness. I don’t think I’m supposed to understand death I’ve lost too many people to count in the last ten years. I’m beginning to believe that I’m just supposed to survive the affects of death and keep learning and appreciating the life lessons I’m taught. I will now begin to attempt to find some thankfuls as part of Lizzi’s TTOT linkup and glean a silver lining in a dark cloud. 

I’m thankful that even though it’s been a difficult week my husband has been able to talk about his feelings. He attended his childhood friends funeral while I attended an appointment. He told me it was good to see old friends and there’s comfort in knowing how many turned out for the sad day and how loved our friend was. 

I’m thankful that I kept my head and my heart busy with baking, walks in the sunshine, and movie time cuddles. My oldest (Captain) went with his Dad and spent time with family. The youngest (Mad dog) stayed home with me and enjoyed having me all to himself. 

I’m thankful that my Mad dog is making great progress with his behavioural aid sessions. His fine motor skills are improving so next we will continue working on having him sit for longer periods at circle time. It’s a large part of preschool and kindergarten and I want to prepare him for when he attends his new school. I’m so proud of his accomplishments in the last six months. ❤️

I’m thankful that I had silly, sweet, text conversations with my Captain while he was traveling with his Dad. We chatted from everything about wrestling (he’s a John Cena and Shane McMahon fan), Donald Trump versus the world, and how he wants to surprise his brother with the best beef jerky on the planet. I sure love my son and his creative mind! ❤️

I’m thankful for healthy meals, daily exercise, and relaxing in my hot tub with my family. When I have these things in my life everything just flows better and I feel so happy and loved. My fitness journey is ongoing and I strive to grow stronger in mind and body everyday. 

I’m thankful for catching up on housework, the dreaded laundry monster, and enjoying some beautiful summer weather. My moods are really tied to how much vitamin D I’m getting so the sunshine’s my elixir in life. 

I’m thankful for earth day this week. My Mad dog and I went for a walk by the river with his behavioural aid. We skipped stones jumped from rock to rock and took in the beauty and appreciation of our home. I’m grateful for the fresh clean water, the plants and trees providing me with oxygen and the flowers blooming and letting me enjoy their fragrance and aromatherapy. 

I’m thankful for reading, writing, and accomplishing my work tasks. I still have a few things to catch up on but I’m crossing things off my list and that’s a win/win in my world. Organization has never been my strong suit but as I see my piles of clutter becoming less I feel more in control of the direction I’m taking. It’s the old adage “cluttered space equals a cluttered mind.”

I’m thankful that I was able to apply that mindfulness to eliminating my digital and online clutter as well. Now that I’ve deleted data, cleaned up email accounts, and uploaded pictures onto my computer my phone/office is running at the speed of light! It’s amazing what a good feeling of satisfaction that can generate. 

I’m thankful for late night cuddles when my son can’t sleep. Late night talks and tuck ins when they miss me when it’s time to go to sleep. I’m getting to a point now where they don’t need me as much, especially my Captain. It’s so rewarding to see them growing and discovering the world and still wanting me by their side to chat about life and it’s mysteries. 

I’m thankful we had a successful follow up appointment with my youngest son’s sleep specialist. Since his diagnosis of autism in February and asthma in March we’re solving more health mysteries. The asthma medication has improved his breathing and shrunk his tonsils so much she doesn’t think he needs surgery! Now I will push for the MRI and see what’s going on inside his brain in regards to where the sleep apnea is originating from. Central sleep apnea is a a very serious condition-whereas the brain isn’t communicating with the heart and lungs about getting sufficient oxygen intake. Knowing my son is safe, breathing and sleeping properly is an answer to my prayers. Thank you to all you sweet souls who have expressed concern, said prayers, and empathized with us on this long, sleep deprived journey. This is the best outcome and update I could ever hope and pray for! I’m so thankful to God for these blessings. 💖

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Ten Things of Thankful-feeling the love

I’ve been thinking lately about the things that make me hapy. I always count my family, friends, and my ability to see the light in a grey cloud. I lived costal for nearly three years and one thing it taught me was to appreciate the sunny days when they happened. This was supposed to be part of the TTOT linkup but a faulty phone app froze and I missed the deadline. I’m going to post it anyways because life’s too short to not be thankful for my blessings! 

I’m thankful for a enjoyable spring break with my kids. It rained a couple of days but the last four have been perfect. We went for walks by the river, played in the backyard, made crafts, relaxing in the hot tub, and today was a perfect day for a water gun fight. And also seeing a sunset like this tonight. 

 
I’m thankful for learning how to paper mâché with my son’s behavioural aid. Even my oldest got into the fun as well. I’m excited to reveal our project for you next week. 

I’m thankful for getting caught up on laundry and housework over the week. You can’t tell I did much now so I’ll be back to the grind tomorrow. 

I’m thankful that my kids had a great experience at their dentist. The staff was friendly, professional and polite. Watching soccer on the flat screen was a big hit with both my boys and led to some interesting conversations. The office having IPads in the kids room was also a big hit with my kids. I was so impressed with how the staff addressed my concerns regarding my youngest son’s autism and comfort level. I’m so happy we found an office that’s close to all our other professional services. 

  
I’m thankful for relaxing, watching movies, learning Minecraft techniques, and baking with my son’s who are full of energy. We had a great time and I got a break this weekend from being there entertainment director. 

I’m thankful for sunny days, visiting with the neighbours, and digging in the dirt. It’s so exciting to see that spring has finally sprung    Now I’m anxious to get out and garden as soon as the morning frost disappears. Mother Nature has a sense of humour to be desired. 

 I’m thankful for coming to the blog to tell you what makes me happy and gives me a thankful heart. 

I’m thankful for you my dear readers and making it to 600 of you lovely followers. I’m grateful you like to pop by and read what I’m musing about. 

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I’m thankful for finding a local special needs community. A few faces I recognized from moving here and I look forward to making new friends for myself and my family. Special needs parenting can be lonely and isolating so to find others like our family is a blessing indeed. 

I’m thankful for having wonderful friends who invite me out to have fun, chat, and remind me that I’m not alone in life. Even my friends who are farther away who check in with a text, message, and a phone call just to see how I am. 

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Monday Musings A-Z challenge-Compassion

  
I was raised to have a compassionate heart. My Mom was a big believer in showing compassion instead of anger. She didn’t have an evil bone in her body and she believed that people judged others by what they saw in themselves. I still carry this belief and honour her memory by teaching my children the same. Some have called me naive because of this truth I hold to dearly. That’s one’s opinion but not my truth. 
It will still baffle me as an adult when some members of society don’t show compassion. I see it in daily life when someone driving cuts off another car. I see it in a long lineup when someone throws their money at a cashier. I observe it in a restaurant when dining out with my family when my son becomes disruptive at the table. 

The reason is he has autism, and he doesn’t sit still for long. Ten patrons can turn into twenty and he becomes visually overstimulated to his environment. He also “stims” when his body is seeking sensory input to regulate his central nervous system. He does this by jumping, rocking or dancing on the spot. I see the looks, overhear the whispers and take him outside to shake his wiggles out. I don’t attempt to try to shush him out of embarrassment because it can escalate matters quickly when he feels he’s not being understood. 

This is why we eat at one restaurant in our town. The food’s amazing and we’ve become wonderful friends with the owners during our time here. They know my family and they know of my son’s autism. If things are loud and crowded in their establishment my husband will go in and order us take out. If we make a plan to phone ahead we put in our order so that it arrives when we walk in the door. I’ve been at this game changing strategy  for awhile now as he had a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder first at the age of 3. 

I had to prepare him for the world as it can be too loud, bright, and busy. I don’t feel that anyone owes my son any special favours all I would ask for is compassion. I recently shared on a Autism page of my son’s diagnosis. It was World Autism Awareness day and I felt brave sharing something so personal to our family. I made the mistake of not wearing my armour in sharing my son’s story. I had briefly discussed the judgements that we’ve received and even a personal attack on my parenting him through a sensory meltdown. 

What I forgot in that moment of courage was that anything put out there on the Internet can be judged. That came to pass and I was stunned by the commenters lack of compassion. I thought to myself I don’t know this person’s story and yet she believes that she knows mine in one paragraph. I stayed in my #Mommitment mind, I may be judged on my words but I know my spirit. I didn’t reply and I was blessed that the admins of the page deleted the comment and left my story up. 

It was liked and shared a few times and I felt relief that I wouldn’t be having to face that hurt again. It was such a strange feeling to be put on the spot like that from another parent. I will admit there’s a lot I still need to learn and not everyone wants to Light it up blue for autism awareness. Not all organizations are everyone’s cup of tea but I learn something from each of these groups and I gain support, understanding, compassion and that virtual hug of not feeling so alone. I just learned today from a amazing blogger friend  that autism by definiton means “to be alone.” This brought tears to my eyes and made me realize I never want that to happen to my sweet son. 

My son has autism, but I don’t believe it defines him as a person. His precious giggle when playing hide and seek with his brother. His beautiful smile when he tells me he loves me with a sound, words, or a kiss. These things define him and when the world has gotten to loud and crowded for him and he reacts to his environment by melting down; he’s not being a brat, this is not a temper tantrum, all I ask is for a little compassion and understanding. It helps the eye of the society storm feel a little less scary to navigate. 

This is my post for #MondayMusings for Everyday Gyaan would you like to take part in this linkup? 
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Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.

Use the hashtag #MondayMusings.

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Ten things of thankful Sunday thoughts 

Last week I was late for a very important date with the TTOT linkup date. I missed it by two minutes while my phone flashed a message across my screen storage almost full! I deleted some apps and pictures and was still able to publish. I still posted my story as I know this group of gratitude seekers and appreciaters is game changing for me. 

I’m thankful for a week that was busy with back to school after my kids were sidelined with strep throat sickness. There wasn’t a lot of sleep as the germs took down my son’s one week after another. To have them both back at school and able to sanitize every square inch of my home was a blessing. 

I’m thankful for an exciting new hockey league that my oldest nicknamed the “Captain” starting playing in. It’s exciting, fast paced hockey which cheers this Canadian hockey lovers heart. Each team mate plays one minute intervals on the ice with three on three with two goalies in total. I never saw this type of hockey so it’s been fun to see how happy my Captain is on and off the ice. 

I’m thankful that the medication for my youngest son nicknamed “Mad dog” is working on controlling his asthma and allowing him to sleep through the night. It’s been a long two year journey to get to this point so I’m beyond grateful to not have us both sleep deprived. We are awaiting surgery for him to get his tonsils and adenoids out but for now I’m glad the inhalers are making a huge difference in his sleep deficit. 

I’m thankful that we had an early pick me up of a family movie night watching Star Wars The Force Awakens. I saw the movie in the theatre with my Captain when it first premiered. I appreciated  watching it on my own smart tv without being deafened by the sound affects. 

I’m thankful that I was able to attend a parenting support group meeting about anxiety. I learned a lot with the content and made a new friend in the process. This month I’ve made two new friends who also have children with autism. I feel I have so much to learn but at the same time appreciating the gift my son is to our family. 

I’m thankful that my sweet little boy did so well working with his behavioural aids this week. He was able to complete two sticker puzzles as well as using pastels to colour with and reveal a hidden animal. He found the elephant and was so happy to show his Daddy. He said bring him back a real picture of an elephant when Mommy and Daddy go to Africa. 

I’m so thankful that I was able to secure day and night childcare with my family to look after my son’s while we’re away. I’ve never left them for more than a weekend so this will be a huge adjustment for us all. I’m confident that they will have a wonderful time visiting family and going on adventures with their aunties and Bubba which means Grandma in Ukrainian).

I’m thankful that our passports arrived and we’re one step closer to South Africa. I have this beautiful book that I’ve been reading and browsing through to prepare for all the sight seeing we will be doing. Wine tours, a private safari, and spending time at game reserve are just a few things on our itinerary. 

I’m thankful for my daily beautiful walks in the sunshine I have the best conversations with my kids when we’re out in nature. Things that seem to bother them just disappear when skipping rocks or running and rolling in the grass. Having my sister’s dog here last weekend was such a special treat for us all. 

I’m thankful for my little “Mad dog’s” bravery when he attended his brother’s school’s talent show. We borrowed a pair of noise cancelling headphones and he wore them for thirty minutes. Then he put on his toque to block the sound for another fifteen minutes. By the time the performance was almost over he put the headphones back on over the toque and asked to leave. I’m so proud of him taking on a huge task being in a crowded gymnasium with a concert going on. I look forward to more adventures with my family. I’ll be purchasing his own pair of headphones this coming week. 

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A-Z challenge Brave

I recently started the blog linkup challenge of all the letters of the alphabet. I started writing them and left them in a draft status. For the next few days I’ll be publishing them and I’m thinking I’m either brave or crazy for doing so.

Word prompts always get my writing creativity flowing and I tend to write whatever pops into my head. Sometimes that’s refreshing and other times it leaves me feeling vulnerable. I recently shared that my son was diagnosed with autism on World Autism Awareness day. I considered writing about it with the beginning A of the alphabet but I chickened out and I wrote about acting instead. It’s a very personal part of my family life to discuss but this is what it feels like to be brave in print.
We started out on this journey two years ago when I was aware of my son’s developmental challenges. He took his first steps early at ten months when we had just moved into a hotel. My husband had just got a job transfer to a new town while we were attempting to sell our house in the previous one. By the time our youngest son was twelve months he was running and had a small list of foods he would eat.
He also wouldn’t sleep for long periods of the night even after cutting out his first nap of the day. I was living on caffeine and Carnation instant breakfast shakes. He was on the move constantly and I would take him to his brother’s school to attend a play group, and there I noticed he wasn’t behaving typically like other children in his age group. I watched as he grabbed toys and played beside me while I participated in craft time and play dough making. He wouldn’t touch any of it nor interact with other children.
He would also have a difficult time with crowds if the classroom was too busy. I chalked it up to tiredness and I’d take him back to our room for nap time. The vacuum would scare him and he didn’t like surprises or things he couldn’t predict. I had always referred to him as my sensitive boy when he was born as he was quiet but could get his feathers ruffled quickly. It got to be exhausting keeping him calm, well fed, and happy as he was easily sensory overloaded.
He was tactile hypersensitive and never liked to touch his finger food, play dough or the rice table. I had at this time become good friends with the facilitator of the playgroup and I asked for her guidance. My son had turned two by this time and had finally started sleeping through the night as we had moved into a rental house when he was eighteen months old. It was an adjustment for our family but one I welcomed after living in a hotel for seven long months! The staff was incredible to us and thought of us like family. They made the long days of dark clouds and rain bearable.
I feel brave for having gone through that experience and yet I had this feeling that my son needed more interventions. With the help of my friend the children’s facilitator she referred me to a child development agency. Then came the next few months of evaluations and questionnaires regarding my son’s development. He was approaching the age of three and still was behind in his gross, fine motor skills, as well as speech delayed.
Those assessments led us to a developmental Pediatrician that diagnosed my son with Sensory Processing Disorder in particular Sensory Modulation Disorder. This is when the central nervous system is seeking out sensory input to deliver that message to the brain and the rest of the body. My son had no fear, he’d climb a six foot bookshelf and jump on to the couch below! He’d also empty every book out of that shelf and dump out toy boxes. I would be in tears trying to put my house back together daily.
In that time I did a lot of reading staying up late burning the midnight oil with learning everything I could about SPD.

My husband had gotten another job transfer out of the province and I was doing my best being a solo parent. The nights were long as my son had begun snoring which isn’t your normal behaviour of a toddler. We saw an ENT that diagnosed him with a sleep disorder but said he was unable to do anything about it.
It was a struggle for the next three months but I persevered found us a house, got us packed up and moved into another hotel while waiting to take possession of our new home. I hardly slept and luckily my son was still napping so I’d catch up on sleep with him.

My oldest son was also suffering with some anxiety and I had to keep reassuring him constantly that he would make friends and enjoy his new school. I got him involved in a summer camp and started moving and unpacking all our belongings.
The next few months I spent my every waking minute making our house a home. The school year started and with that brought some more anxiety in the form of my oldest son getting bullied. I had to deal with this issue for the next three months. The office administration got to know me well as I was always requesting a meeting.

Finally that worked out as I got some school counselling and his teacher to help out.
Meanwhile I was attempting to socialize my youngest son as his vocabulary was starting to increase. We met a sweet friend and we attended a play group. It was very busy, loud, and crowded and my son didn’t do well at all. Nap time was a Godsend as the environment left me feeling sensory overwhelmed as well. After that, we attended play dates with our new friend and her family. It was special to have picnics at the park and birthday party fun.
When my son turned four we started to think about preschool as he was almost fully potty trained. It had taken awhile but we worked all summer towards his accomplishment. We did all the assessments with a speech, physical, and occupational therapist who found out he was Globally Developmentally Delayed. Meaning he had a severe delay in one or more of his developmental skills.
We worked hard to obtain funding and now he attends a wonderful preschool and has funding for a therapy team. He just turned five and will be transitioning to Kindergraten in the fall. With knowing he has autism there’s been a push in the right direction to get him the funding and behavioural aid support he needs. My son has a lot of challenges in life but ones he’s always faced head on with his tenacity and strength. I see a future full of success, determination, and substantial support. He’s our family’s blessing and the sky’s limitless for him and what he will achieve.

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Ten things of thankful-Sunday dreaming

I’m late, I’m late for a very important date! It’s the TTOT linkup brought to you by the kind host Wakefield Doctrine and I have five minutes before the link closes so here it goes! 

1. I’m thankful for date nights that are long overdue. 

2. I’m grateful for great food and great company. 

3. I’m grateful for my amazing sister who drove 4 hours to see that my husband and I could have our date night. 

4. I’m grateful for walks by the river with my sister and my son’s. And watching her loveable dog Oliver swimming and chasing my kids. 

4. I’m grateful for the sunny days, spring flowers, and the smell of BBQ’s grilling in the air. 

5. I’m thankful for awesome friends and a killer rock band that kept me dancing into the night. 

6. I’m grateful for lots of love and hugs from my kids who had a chance to miss us and be grateful themselves. 

7. I’m thankful for the first slice of watermelon that always denotes the start of warmer summer filled days ahead. 

8. I’m thankful for the book I’m published in and sharing copies with my friends and family. Who wants one to add to their collection? 😉

9. I’m thankful for the love and respect I received on World Autism day when I shared publicly that my youngest son was diagnosed with autism. 

10. I’m thankful that I was able to share my list of gratitude today and that I have such loving and loyal readers. 

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