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. ❤️

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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Out of the darkness and into the light-guest post

I read a lot there’s no question of how it’s one of my favourite past times. There are times where all I read is blogs and I find something that resonates with me and I just have to share. This is one of my personal picks that after I read it stayed with me. So without further ado, I would like to introduce you to my guest blogger Angie from Growing up in Lord blog. You can see her at her website and also follow along on her journey on her  Facebook page

The most shocking thing no one told me before moving to Germany: It’s dark in winter and the sun is “up” until 10-11 PM during the summer. The winter now drawing to a close is the darkest in recorded history (you will likely have to translate this page unless you are fluent in German). Maybe simply because I had a new baby or because my husband was deployed or because I’m away from family, this winter was also challenging emotionally and spiritually. This week, the sunshine has returned, and I have insisted on soaking it up – taking the kids for a walk up our hill and back down. Not only does the sunshine make me feel better, the walking does, too AND I’m more capable of doing this steep walk than I have been in a long time.
  

Naturally, upon reading the article referenced above, I immediately drew several spiritual points. Numerous scriptures contain light vs. darkness (Bible Gateway found 55 passages).
1. Darkness is followed by light. Not just in evening/morning or winter/spring, but in getting through the storms of life as well. All trials and sufferings come to an end.
2. The sun (or Son) is always shining, even when cannot see or feel the presence of Light.
3. Even in the darkest of times, some light can be found. I enjoyed the average of only 96 hours of sunshine this winter.
4. Perspective matters. The easy response is to look at the cloudy gloom and stay under the covers. The more challenging action is to face the day and be a light to those around you. I have a built-in defense against staying in bed all day: children. Once Dietrich is up, he is up until bedtime. He requires food and a certain amount of entertainment/activity during the day. He also changes the way I look at things. One of the first snows we had (in Colorado) that he also had some verbal skills, he called the snowflakes “bubbles” and was thrilled watching them fall and clump together from our window. Even though he knows words like “snowflake” now, he still finds a calm joy in watching the snow fall from the window. My favorite part of snow is the way everything is covered in white, making it appear clean and pure (another analogy for God’s grace and the Blood of Jesus covering our sins and making us holy).

  
Even though this week of sunshine is forecasted to end with more rain and snow, I know the Son still shines. My job is to keep that Light going, even in the darkest times. 

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Daily life in my corner of Canada

I’m excited to take part in the Opionated Man from Harsh Reality’s challenge to showcase where I live.  I’m a Canadian who stumbled across his blog from another fellow talented Canadian writer. My corner of the world is a very interesting one and I’m happy to share it with you today. I was born and raised in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of British Columbia Canada. 

Where I grew up in the East Kootneays of BC

Where I lived before in the Fraser Valley in BC
I’ve lived in many different places throughout the province. When I was sixteen I wanted to explore city life once so I moved to Ontario. I lived there for a year and was desperate to get back to my beloved mountains. Due to my husband’s career we move a lot. This is our fourth transfer and our children’s third. Now we currently reside in our new province of Alberta. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when we first moved here, as it’s very flat compared to what I’m used to. In my last town in the Fraser Valley of BC I had mountains in my back yard. Now I reside where I can see clouds stretched out for miles.

Where I live now in Alberta, Canada

When I take walks in my neighbourhood I’m treated to the most amazing gifts of God’s creation. I see brilliant colors woven into the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises. It’s my favourite time of day to take in all this natural beauty. I’ve discovered without mountains I can really see each extraordinary colour in these natural paintings. 

When I take my son to hockey practice we have a 30 minute drive out to the country. It’s my favourite time of the week as my kids and are rocking out to the tunes playing. A little Fleetwood Mac, Three Dog Night, and Motley Crüe. My kids grew up with nursery rhymes and knowing the classics as well. The scenery on our drive has been so breathtaking I’ve had to pull over to take pictures. I’ve never seen such spectactcular cloud porn in all my life!


Our favorite thing to do is take a walk along the river. My husband and I teach our son’s the fine art of skipping stones. The peace and tranquility of listening to the flowing water, feeling the crispness in the air, and taking in the sheer beauty of our surroundings is a wonderful gift. 



It can get cold really fast too, where it will go from +6 to -16 overnight. It’s been cold enough since November to build an outdoor rink in our backyard. And our first welcome to Alberta blizzard happened in September! There’s also this amazing phenomenon that occurs called a chinook. It’s when a wave of of warm current air mixes with cold air and the temperature can change from -16 to +16 in a matter of hours. It’s the most spectacular weather pattern I’ve ever witnessed! And now that the temperatures dropped I look forward to the next one. 


And the hockey road trips I’ve taken throughout my province have exposed me to some amazing landscapes. I’ve enjoyed each one, and have been grateful to get to know little towns I wouldn’t have known otherwise. 



And I can’t leave out the views I have from my deck that move me me to tears and cause me to write poetry. It’s a gift to live here and I’m glad that I’ve been able to connect to nature and not feel so lost and alone in this new adventure. And just like the picture says this is my own little slice of heaven.

 

Thank you for taking this scenic tour with me. And thank you to Jason at Harsh Reality for suggesting this wonderful idea. 🌸

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Friday’s Feats and Fails

Well it’s that time of the week, the time I look forward to. It’s Friday and I’m not watching Netflix I’m drinking beer and relaxing so with no further delay here’s the week in review.

FEAT

Well every weekend starts out with hockey so off to another game we go. Everything’s good with the Captain he’s packed up his hockey bag the night before, so we’re bound to be early. We end up still arriving with 10 minutes to spare because Mad dog has a temper tantrum about getting into his seat without his Thomas train. I retrieve said train that has been dropped in the mud and life carries on. We’re experiencing a Chinook where the weather changes from -13 to +16 overnight. So now all our snow is melting. The Captain’s team ends up winning their game and we continue on home to hot chocolate, popcorn and movies.

FAIL

I haven’t been at my most patient, my kids playing musical beds has caused that. Mad dog waits till I’m sleeping or crawling into bed and then runs and jumps into his brother’s. I let them sleep as I’m too tired to move or to sore. Then Mad dog’s restless legs syndrome takes over and he kicks the Captain out of his own bed! Then he comes to me and crawls into my bed. It’s a long endless cycle and by the time Friday comes around I’m at my wits end and feeling stabby. 😱

FEAT

I’ve kept up with the laundry and hockey practices all week and I’m feeling successful. My kids have been really happy lately so that’s always a good thing. I’ve settled my mind with all the up coming doctor assessments and received help from my former province. It’s been a relief that the squeaky, bitchy, wheel gets the grease, which is the help I need. Now that I have medical insurance the process of evaluation can commence. I took a long walk with my Mad dog while the Captain was at hockey with his Dad. I took some beautiful pictures of the sunset and have used them in my blogs. I also found out I was featured again on the http://www.originalbunkerpunks.com. I was feeling particularly vulnerable and I went to catch up on some blog reading. Low and behold I find my submission featured on the main page!!! It’s a story I wrote for my beloved Mama so I’m really proud of it. And my story I wrote of my journey to a diagnosis was featured on the http://www.mighty.com. Two features in one day, you couldn’t kick me off cloud nine if you tried. 💖

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FAIL

Mad dog has had a nasty cold/cough so he hadn’t had much of an appetite. When he does say he’s hungry he just wants sugary cereal. I only allow that for a special treat but I’m just happy he’s eating something. So in turn we’ve had healthier dinners than breakfast and lunches. My Captain came home from school right before I had respite for his brother. He didn’t even say hello he just burst into tears and fell on his bed. I was at loss about what to do because he was sobbing and I couldn’t understand what it was about. He finally was able to tell me that he got into trouble at school for accidentally hitting a student in the eye with a pillow. It was a mistake he was throwing a pillow onto the chair that someone was sitting on, and the kid was walking by and bam right in the eye. 😳 I had a friend of mine pass away suddenly and I’m feeling sad. He was a really wonderful man, and him and his lovely wife were like Grandparents to my sons. I sang a song for them and recorded it and sent it to the wife. She’s recovering in the hospital and I’m praying that she’ll hear I and it will bring her some comfort.

FEAT

I got that situation resolved and the Captain and the student worked out their differences and are friends. Morgan never gets in trouble at school so this was devastating for him. I took him out for hot chocolate and doughnuts just the two of us, and we had a great talk. Today a magazine that I was published in went live. I’m so excited, elated and feeling so proud. I owe it all to my beloved Mama she told me I could do anything and it feels so good to believe that again. My confidence took a shaky fall after she died and I didn’t write anywhere except for in my journal. My pain of losing her was so raw, and uncut that I didn’t think I’d be able to get through it. Well here I am today to say I am one day, one story at a time. If you’d like to read it I posted a link for it on my Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/jsackmomblog

Thank you for reading my week in review this has been my submission to Ash’s http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com. Check out her week and all the other talent that links up. All the best to you, until our next adventure take care of you. 💗

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