Jsack's Mom's Blog

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

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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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. 

Pixabay free photo no copyright or attribution required

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?
Here’s how it works:
Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.

Use the hashtag #MondayMusings.

Add your link to the linky below

Use our #MondayMusings badge to encourage other bloggers join in too.

Visit and comment on the posts of other bloggers linked there.

Share the love.

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Love, Valentines Day, and the Walking Dead

My husband and I have been together for a long time. We have grown up together on this journey as a couple. I remember past Valentines days before kids and they included an expensive dinner, wine, chocolates, and time alone. Over these last few years intimate dinners gazing into each other’s eyes over seafood linguine have been few and far between.

 Securing a qualified sitter (able to handle the challenges of a special needs child) on the most expensive holiday of the year isn’t an easy task. Each family Valentine’s Day isn’t without a fancy meal, wine, and chocolate. Now they’re spent without the eye gazing, in my pajamas, and with two kids cuddled up watching Netflix. These moments are precious to me and I wouldn’t trade them for anything else because really it’s all about love. 

The love I have for my husband, my children, and the love I have for myself. When life is difficult and I find it hard to surf the waves of joy and disappointment I look towards them. My island of stability keeping me laughing, entertained, and loved. My husband and I are huge The Walking Dead fans and love all things zombie. So we’ve been having a count down on the calendar till tomorrow nights Season six premiere. When the show goes into its fall hiatus it’s a sad day in our house. 

  
We find ourselves watching previous seasons on Netflix and this week it’s been a marathon to get us caught up for the big day! My husband knows I have a über crush on Norman Reedus’character Daryl Dixon. He will tease when he sees him on talk shows and he’ll call me into the room and say “honey you’re boyfriend’s on tv.” I will giggle and come running so I can swoon over his loveliness. 

Why Daryl you may ask? Well I love a strong man with family values, able to live off the land, take care of himself in a conflict, offer a supportive ear to a friend in need, and cook a squirrel on a open fire and make it tasty. This may be a spoiler alert for a few so I’ll give you time to stop reading and you can hum TWD theme music…

Daryl has to face the most difficult task when his brother Merle returns to the governors compound and in turn gets bit by a zombie. Daryl storms in to rescue Merle, Andrea, and Mischonne and finds his brother’s blood thirsty gaze in his direction. In order to protection himself he then shoots his brother. The sadness that ensues is palpable as he holds him in his arms and cries out all his pain. 

I have always been a fan since the first season but that scene made me a believer in his character and a lover of all things Norman Reedus. I had first saw him in the Indie hit movie Boon Dock Saints 1 and 2 speaking in Irish accent and I found myself swooning. Tonight will be The Walking Dead Eve so that will mean a Valentine’s Day dinner feast lovingly prepared by my sweet husband. 

There will be wine, chocolate, and heart cookies we will watch Netflix and hang out in our pj’s and enjoy each other’s company.  Then tomorrow you’ll see us cuddled up watching our favourite show and over 1,3000 zombies on the screen in an episode director by Greg Nicotero the phenomenal makeup artist. There will be screams, hiding my face in my pillow at the most gruesome parts, and gazing into my loves eyes. That’s romance after ten years of marriage that’s how we roll. ❤️

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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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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-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. ❤️

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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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http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=587639

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My little box of memories

I like to think I’m a juxtaposition of a person I can be soft and gentle with my words and actions, and tough and hard when I feel I’m wronged. I was raised to be strong, speak my mind, and stand up for myself. My parents recognized a tenacious spirit in me when I was very young. I have been a right fighter most of my life. Now I ask myself do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy? 

As a child I could stay awake for hours on end while my poor Mom was sleep deprived and living on pots of cast iron tea to function. This is when four tea bags are added to a tea pot and left to steep all day. My Dad worked long hours as a logger and he would be up getting ready for his work day at midnight. I would still be wide awake partying in my crib. 

He would come into my room and tell me it was time to go to sleep and I would wail even louder. As I got older his attempts to put me to bed became more futile as I had language and comprehension. I would say “Daddy you just go away and mind your own business!”He would walk out shaking his head and say “that bloody kid is lucky she’s cute!”

These are the memories I store in my memory box in my mind. My parents died awhile ago and pictures I have in my memory bank are all I have left. I rely on my older siblings recounts of my childhood and a box of slides to preserve these precious moments in time. I remember when I was young how much I loved to set up the projector to have a slide show as all the happy times came to life on the white sheet pinned to the wall of the living room. The pictures would paint a lively account of the trips we took, birthday parties, baseball games, weddings, and church events. 

Now I store my memories in a special box that keep on my beside table. Inside are pictures of my loved ones,their funeral Mass cards, poems, prayers, and trinkets that they gave me. I have the first story that I ever wrote with my Mom and the first song I wrote for her. I have my Dad’s pins from Lion’s club that he was proud to be a member of for over 30 years. I have a pair of earrings and necklace set from my Gram and Grandpa that they gave me for my graduation, and a old travel sewing kit of my Grandpa’s from the war.

 Each time someone I love passes on I add to this little box. It helps me perserve the love I have for them and keep them alive in my heart. I take them out from time to time when I’m feeling low and in need of a lift from angel wings. I hold them, absorbing the love, energy, and every precious memory I have of my time with them. I feel comforted through my tears as they overcome me with emotion flooding my thoughts, feelings, and actions. 

This little box is my gift I give to myself to pick me up when I stumble and forget how to fly. 
This is a special keepsake that I can pass down to my children when it’s my time to have the special things I’ve given them to place in that box. I’ve written them letters of how I became their Mom and the joy that they have given me with that privilege. As for now I open that box and lovingly hold those memories close to my heart so I will never forget the people who made me who I am today with their presence in my life. I thank them for the gift of their love, light, and guidance. 
  

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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday with Bewow

Soul searching days have led me to this discovery of my heart and today I share it with you as part of Silver Threading’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesday with Bewow

  

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