Jsack's Mom's Blog

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

Ten things of Thankful-Long weekend memories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ten Things of Thankful-Sunday dreaming

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

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

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

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

 

Photo credit given to the photographer of this book cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Directions:

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

  

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

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

Pour into plastic bottle and shake for 10 seconds. 

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

  


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Rachel’s Day in the Garden book review

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

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

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

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

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

Where to find the book:

Goodreads link

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

http://www.kidsyogastories.com/product/rachels-day-in-the-garden/
  

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The Haircut

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ten Things of Thankful-Hapy Mother’s Day 

  
This day marks the fifth Mother’s Day without my Mom. I have to be honest and tell you that this is a difficult day for me. Mother’s Day has changed for me not having my Mom earth side to share with. She is with the angels and there’s not a day that goes by that I wish that wasn’t true. To lose my only and only Mom is a cross I have to bear in life. I have a ritual I hug my kids, look at pictures of her, sing her favourite song, and light a candle in memory of the light she emanated from her beautiful being. My sons are my everything who brought me back from the abyss of post partum depression and a cloak of grief so intense it hurt to breathe most days. My sons who spread their love and light and make me feel the best gift I’ve ever been given is to be their Mom. 💖
  
  
I will dedicate my thankful list to my Mom who always encouraged me to shine like a star. 🌟

I’m thankful for all the late nights she stayed up with me rocking me to sleep even though she was exhausted with my Dad’s work schedule. 

I’m thankful for all the lullabies she sang to me night and day. I lived to hear the sound of her voice it was beautiful and one of the things I miss about her the most. 

I’m thankful for everything she read to me whether it was a Disney book or a Readers Digest. She gave me my love of the written word. And taught me of the amazing adventures that I could have in the pages of a book. 

I’m thankful for all the songs she taught me. From moving spiritual hymns to an Irish tune. Danny Boy was one of her favourites. I grew up listening and learning as her and my Gram sang it. This song holds the most amazing memories for me. I sing it every year for her and imagine our heavenly duet filling the sky with our voices. 

I’m thankful for her love of Elvis Presley. By the time I was seven I had heard and memorized every song, saw all his movies, and pours over every magazine article. I’m proud that I was raised in the “church” of Elvis. I still have a love and appreciation for his music. 

I’m thankful for our amazing storytelling ability. With her words and inflection in her voice she made stories come to life, and the characters jumped off the bed. She had wonderful impressions and voices that made these characters feel like family to me. One of my favourite thing to do with my kids is read to them. They always say “do the voice Mom that make me laugh.” 

I’m thankful for how loving she was to family and friends. She would always have the kettle on and ready for a chat and a pot of tea. Kids in my neighbourhood always knew they could come to our house to have a meal or a shoulder to cry on. It made me feel proud that she was loved by so many. 

I’m thankful for her talent in the kitchen. She could make a yummy casserole by putting in everything but the kitchen sink. She loved to grocery shop and loved getting my sister and I a special treat for our lunches. I still can’t eat a twinkly without thinking of my Mom. 

I’m thankful for her laughter. She could laugh politely when she had too. But I loved the most is if she thought something so funny she’d throw back her head and roar with laughter. I was always doing goofy things to make her giggle it was music to my ears. 

I’m thankful for how I felt when I was with her, loved and important. She made every conversation I had with her priority. Whether I was talking about the mundane life of Dick and Jane, or sad about failing a math test, or happy about a story I was writing and I felt connected to my words. She was my gift and I’m so grateful for her bringing me into the world so I could fall in love marry my amazing husband, and become a Mom to our precious sons.

*There is no linkup with the TTOT group this week because of our dear Lizzi’s computer failing. I still wanted to write my post and honour the memory of my beloved Mama.*💝

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Ten Things of Thankful- Self care Sunday

It’s been a busy fun filled week and spring showers have gave way to sunshine and flowers. Seeing the trees starting to bloom, leaves me with a sense of wonder and excitement. Soon I’ll be digging in the dirt and doing my planting for my garden. I’m very excited to involve my kids as they’re boys and they love to get dirty. Here’s to another week of thankfuls co-hosted by the The Wakefield Doctrine

 

Spring has sprung! 😃

 
I’m thankful for finally after seven long months I got my hair done. I decided to give my son’s hairdresser a chance to do my hair. I’ve been looking and experimenting with a few stylists. She listened, looked at my pictures, talked about my hair cuticle (which is straight, fine, with zero volume). Then she hilighted, low lighted, and cut my hair and I absolutely love it! 

I had to throw a Friday flex in there too. 😉

I’m thankful for finally getting to see my oldest son (the Captain) score a goal! I missed his first one because I had to leave for a meeting. But this one I celebrated and watch him do his happy dance on the ice. His team lost but it’s because of him that the opposing goalie didn’t get a shut out. The next game they came out and played their hearts out and tied 15-15. 😃

  

I’m thankful for some down time to read, write, and work on some submissions. I haven’t done that in awhile but I’m feeling braver about sharing my words out there on the web. Stay tuned for when I share a post next week that’s being published. 

I’m thankful for catching up on housework, homework, and the monster laundry that lives in the basement. I tamed the beast again and only have one load to fold, put away, one to dry and one to wash. In my world that’s about as awesome as it gets. 

We had another productive week with my youngest son’s (Mad dog’s) behavioural aids. We finished our project with the art instructor and I’m proud to reveal our Bat cave! There’s still some finishing touches to add to it. I really enjoyed the dry brushing technique that my son and I had learned. I’m excited to make something else and I’ll document it with pictures this time. 

  

I’m thankful for the beautiful sunshine and walks along the river. We went for a nature walk with my son and his other behavioural aid we turned it into a nature scavenger hunt and he loved gathering sticks, rocks, and pine cones. Tomorrow we get to paint them and make story stones. I’ll have to brush up on my superhero drawing skills. The last Batman I drew my son said “oh no Mommy that won’t do he looks like an cat!” 😉

  
I’m thankful for time spent getting organized and figuring out a plan to control the clutter in my home. It will be a big project but I’ll take it one room and one day at a time. As long as I can open and close my closet and drawers I’m happy. 

 I’m thankful for having a wonderful experience buying a cocktail dress for my trip. I haven’t wrote about it for awhile but my husband and I are leaving for South Africa in 5 weeks and I need to have some fancy clothes to attend a few classy functions. A few dresses to go and next a ball gown to model and purchase. It’s fun to do these girly things as I’m a jeans, t-shirt, and yoga pants wearing kind of gal. 

I’m thankful that I was able to have a play date with one of the other Mom’s in my local special needs group. It was so wonderful to meet up and chat and watch how much fun the kids had together. I look forward to meeting more of the other Mom’s and their kids. 

I’m so thankful for taking better care of myself with getting enough rest, relaxation, exercise, and doing things to make me happy. I’ve decided that I’m going to do something each week that I love to do. Today I participated in a Mother’s day DIY spa workshop. I had a wonderful time with lovely ladies and made some fabulous bath goodies. 

Recipe for body butter

Essentials needed:

1 cup of Shea butter

1 cup of coconut oil 

Essential oils of your choice (8 drops or if mixing then 4 drops each)

-Take 1 cup of Shea butter put it into a pot and melt on the stove at medium heat. 

-In another pot place 1 cup of coconut oil melt at medium heat. 

-Continue stirring Shea butter than add it to the melting coconut oil. 

-Transport to a mixing bowl and let cool in the fridge for 30 minutes until a hard consistency. 

-Whip for 15 minutes until mixture is a fluffy texture. 

-Scoop into container, add the essential oils of your choice, and mix thouroughly. I chose 4 drops of Cedarwood and 4 drops of orange oil. 

 

Melting the shea butter disks


 

Melting the coconut oil

  
 

Mix ingredients till the consistency of butter , put into containers, add EO’s and mix thouroughly

 
 

Voila the finished product! cedarwood is a wonderful balancing oil. And orange oil is great for calming the nerves and helping with anxiety

 

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