House of A Writer

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

Krystal Blue book review

I love to read as much as I love to write so I feel such joy when I’m wrapped up in a good book. That is where my heart lies so I became a beta reader for the author Destiny Hawkins. Now this talented woman can spin a great story, and quickly too. As soon as I finish up a book she’s loading up my Kindle app with another! Not that I’m complaining though I really get wrapped up in her characters as she writes so vividly of their lives, loves, and stories.

Amazon Link:

Synopsis:

Krystal Blue is a young college student with the good looks of a Californian blonde beauty. Her life is far from perfect growing up in the foster system and afraid to get close to anyone since her life was struck by tragedy. The story weaves the tale into Krystal navigating college, finding employment, and saving enough money to stop living in her car.
The author Destiny makes you feel sympathetic to Krystal’s plight as a young woman just trying to make her way in the world. Then she throws in a super natural twist and a love triangle as I was reading my head was spinning from the excitement. I I stayed up late late night after night reading this book as the twists and turns piqued my interest and left me wanting more!

I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review and like all of Destiny’s books I loved it! I received it in instalments so I eagerly read them wanting more information as the mystery slowly unravelled to who and what Krystal Blue really is. This book was the first that I had read in a LGBTQ genre but the sexual orientation was written in such a way that that the love interests never overshadowed the driving plot line. This book had me on the edge of my seat with how much the story line evolved from Krystal Blue being weak and powerless to discovering an inner strength she never knew she possessed! 
The storyline had me at the introduction of Krystal and her brothers relationship growing up in foster care and having no one but each other for comfort and support. Next I was taken on this wild ride that the author Destiny Hawkins is well known for. There were some many twists and turns on a personal and paranormal level I found myself feeling anxious like I was the main character! I’m very excited to continue the next book as this is book one of the Blue Moon series I look forward to more adventures with Krystal Blue.

Author Information


Destiny Hawkins is the author of Krystal Blue Book one of the Blue Moon Series. She’s also written Caged, Caged 2, Angels Blade, Aveena City of Gold, and a children’s book Hide and Seek-the Okavango Delta. When she’s not writing she’s thinking about new characters and plot lines to devise. You can follow her on social media here.
Facebook
Amazon Author page

Stay tuned to a work in progress coming soon from Destiny Hawkins creative mind! 

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A Journey of Self Discovery Preorder Review Tour~East-A Novel by Peri Hoskins

East-A Novel

By Peri Hoskins

@PeriHoskins

Preorder Now

Amazon Link
End of August Release

I really enjoyed this book set in Australia in the style of Jack Kerouac On the Road. Peri paints a picture of a dissatisfied lawyer, named Vince who decides to pack up his car and head east for new adventures. He comes across many interesting characters each impacting his life in their own ways. He’s 30 years old and searching for his life’s purpose after leaving his promising career in law. He sets off on his soul searching journey to find himself and gets entwined in the lives of the supporting characters. Staying with friends, youth hostels, and camping he finds his nomadic journey to be come a spiritual quest and opens himself to whatever will meant to be. I would recommend the reader have a dictionary handy as I wasn’t familiar with the British or Australian slang. I appreciated learning something new though with the author Peri’s use of it. I became invested in the main character Vince and wanted him to find happiness and his purpose whatever direction that takes him in. I found him to be an open hearted beautiful man who is desperate for his soul to heal. Each night he scribbles away in his travel journal about his adventures intent on writing his book while finding meaning for his life.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s a traveller or has felt like they need to change up their world and start a new chapter in their life’s diary. Peri Hoskins has an excellent  writing style I didn’t want to stop reading. I look forward to reading and reviewing his first book Millenium-A Memoir next. 

It’s 1994. Junior lawyer, Vince Osbourne, leaves behind a small, mean and viciously circular life in the city representing petty criminals and takes to the road. He’s lived 30 years. The wide continent of Australia is out in front. He’s almost young. Where will the road lead?

 

East takes in sunsets; rain in the desert; a five-year-old girl on a bike; a battered former thief and jockey; old-timers; young lovers; beautiful women, and aboriginals in public bars. The open road connects many vignettes making a rich tapestry of human encounters.

 

East is poignant, gritty, funny, sad and above all: human. Hoskins’ laconic prose captures the harsh, arid country in all its big, empty beauty along with quirky exchanges with strangers, travel buddies, shop assistants, workmates, and friends old and new. A journey without and within, East taps into the spiritual realm that lies beneath this land and its people.

 

(#travel & Adventure, #Travel, #Aus, #RPBP, #preorder, #ebook, #NewRelease)
 

​A Journey of Self Discovery

This intriguing book is based on the author’s personal memoirs and although it is described as fiction it feels very, very real.

Vince has reached a stage at 30 when he wants to break free from a life that seems to be suffocating him. He has been working as a junior lawyer but needs to do something different and this book tells of his travels towards the East of Australia.

His journey draws you along with him as he discovers himself and realises that he can achieve so much more than he previously thought possible. He settles in places with people from his past that he sees in a new light, along with their prejudices.

Then there are the long and testing journeys across the deserts of Australia, meeting a fascinating mix of people along the way. Vince’s observations on the Aboriginal people, being of Maori origin himself, are extremely revealing. The back breaking work he takes on in a mine, to earn some extra money, couldn’t be further removed from his previous work as a lawyer.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys travel writing and journeys of self-discovery. ~Robert Fear 8.10.16

Leaving

The bonnet in front of me is big and white. Rain on the windscreen – the wipers sweep it away. The clouds are grey, the road is grey, the suburbs are grey and I am leaving. There is joy in that. I’m leaving it behind – a life – small, petty, viciously circular. Out in front is the road and I don’t know where it will end. I am free. I’m almost young.
A beginning. Renewal pulses in my blood, pumping out from my heart, through my veins, feeding me, making me new again, a keenly conscious being reaching out to the uncertainty. This road will lead me to places that I have not seen – to people I have not met. There’s no place I have to be and no time I have to be there.
I drive on and on leaving the city far behind. The rain clears. Sunlight glints on wet grass and trees. I see farmhouses, fences and cows. The gnawing in my belly eases as I’m gently enveloped by the freedom of the great mystery now upon me. The shackles of the old life fall away, for I’m shedding a skin – dry, worn, old and scaly. I found the courage to step into the dream. And the dream has become real.
The life of a suburban lawyer is behind me. Small decisions. Small repetitions. Which tie to wear today. Pay the electricity bill. Sunday – iron five shirts for the week ahead. See the same people. Say the same things. Hear the same things said. In that life I wondered whether I had it better than the petty criminals I represented in court. Some had no job and no home. They pleaded guilty and I said what I could say, for something had to be said. And then the court, that street-sweeper of humanity, tidied them away. For there must be a place – there must be somewhere for them to go: a prison, a halfway house, a drug rehab centre. There must be a place for everyone – somewhere. These people had fallen through cracks and become untidy. Did they envy my tidy life, those that I helped to tidy away? Did they see my life as I saw it – not a tidy life, but a tidy prison?
Tidiness. I had been taught to lead a tidy life. What was it they had said – the teachers, the headmasters? Work hard at school. Get a good job. Be a good employee. Pay your taxes. Mow your lawns. Be a good neighbour. Be a good citizen. Lead a tidy life. Not a full life, a varied life, a great life – no, a tidy life of small neat circles. I have lived thirty years.
As the trees and houses and petrol stations whistle by, the reasons for leaving once again crowd my mind. At thirty, life no longer stretches out before me like an uncharted great ocean. If I live to be eighty, more than one third of my life is spent. Where am I? At a time of life when I’m supposed to be somewhere – I’m nowhere I ever wanted to be. I’ll taste the last drops of youth before the cup passes from my lips, forever. The familiar yearning claws at my insides again – but it’s different now – it’s happy knowing I have been true to it – finally.
The yearning … a murmur in a corner of my soul … that’s how it started … a couple of years ago … I pushed it away. I was busy; there were things to do. It kept coming back, stronger and stronger: a growing gnawing that would not be denied. The day I turned thirty, I came to know what it was, finally. It was the feeling of having missed my destiny. At one of life’s important junctures, I don’t know when or where, I’d taken the wrong turn.
So maybe that’s what it is: a journey back down life’s highway to try and find the turn I missed. A journey to reconnect with who I am and what I should be doing here – in this life. Did I ever really want to be a lawyer? Maybe I did it because my father didn’t finish law school. Maybe I did it for him, and not for me. Didn’t have the courage to find my destiny and follow it … settled for safety and caution. 

And the small repetitions of the safe life had closed in and were suffocating me. Don’t know if that’s what it is … I had to go – I know that much … it was the most honest thing I could do. And now it’s real: this journey with no end and no decided route. It’s a big country. Yeah, I’ll head east … And in my travels maybe I’ll find something of the soul of this land and its people … 
I have been at the wheel for four hours. The muscular movements needed to keep the car on course have become automatic. My thoughts drift freely now, first to the future – new, pregnant with possibility – before anchoring in my childhood. I recall a long-buried idea – from a time of wonder at a world full of possibilities. As a child I thought I could see into people, a kind of second sight.
Memories flow into my mind – sharp, clear, focused. I see things now as I saw things then. I am a small boy sitting in the passenger seat of a car. My father is driving. We approach an intersection. A policeman is standing in the middle directing traffic. He signals the car in front to stop. The policeman fascinates me – his neat blue uniform, high black boots, long white gloves – his precise hand signals. He makes cars stop and go by moving his hands like the man who made the puppets move at the fairground. The gloved hands move and the cars obey, crossing the intersection, slowly and respectfully passing the uniformed man.
From above I hear the noise of a plane. In the eye of my mind as a child I see the silver wings and fuselage. The policeman’s eyes turn skyward to the plane I see clearly in the window of my imagination. The officer’s long-gloved hands slowly fall to rest at his heavy belt. Cars bank up at the intersection. The driver in front looks at him for directions but he gives none. Unconscious of the traffic, his attention is focused in the sky above. The face of the policeman loses form and I see into him. First I feel his discomfort in the hot uniform, the dryness in his throat and the tiredness behind his eyes. Gradually my perception deepens. I sense the numbed heart, the thwarted ambitions – the hopes and dreams unrealized and gone awry. He doesn’t want to be here, directing traffic. The past has cheated him. He is disconnected from the present and fearful of the future.
A car horn honks from behind. A driver doesn’t know why the traffic is not moving. The policeman’s eyes return to the traffic, his arms snapping up with military precision. As he waves us on, the look of purpose clothes his face once again and the moment of seeing into him has passed.
The second sight would come to me without warning and always just for a fleeting moment or two. I would see my mother trying to hide an emotion or catch my father unguarded, looking into the distance. In the moment of second sight the physical would melt – the body become transparent and amorphous. Instead of seeing the person I would see into the person – reach inside to the heart, sense the fears, touch the dreams – see the humanity, raw and struggling. 


  
Peri Hoskins is the author of ‘Millennium – A Memoir’, a travelogue memoir that has received many five star reader reviews. 


Christopher Moore of the New Zealand Listener had this to say about ‘Millennium – A Memoir’: 

‘Written with perhaps the merest of bows to Joseph Conrad and Robert Louis Stevenson, the book’s colourful cast of characters come together to greet the dawn of the 21st century. It’s a vigorously written sly-humoured account of human encounters in a small place lapped by the tides of change…It’s a genial well observed book that insinuates itself into the affections.’

~Christopher Moore, New Zealand Listener, 2 August 2014.
​Peri Hoskins was born in Wellington, New Zealand. He is the second son of a family of five children, four boys and a girl. He is of mixed Maori and Anglo-Celtic ancestry. Peri grew up in Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand, a provincial city then home to about 30,000 people. He was educated at Whangarei Boys’ High School where he twice won a national essay competition. After completing high school and winning the school prizes for English, History and Geography, Peri went to Auckland University where he studied law and the humanities, including history and English literature.
Peri was substantially based in Australia between 1985 and 2005. He completed his study of law and the humanities at the University of Sydney including several courses in philosophy. He worked as a lawyer in New South Wales before embarking on a 1994 five-month road trip all around Australia. This road trip comprises the material for his soon to be published second book, East. Peri subsequently worked as a lawyer in both New South Wales and Queensland, and developed his current specialisation in legal work – civil litigation. In December 1999 Peri travelled to the Kingdom of Tonga to be in the first country in the world to see in the new millennium. The diary of his three weeks in Tonga has become his first book, Millennium – A Memoir. In 2004 Peri completed a post graduate diploma in film and television production at Queensland University of Technology.

Peri now lives, writes and works as a barrister (being a self-employed lawyer) in Northland, New Zealand.

 

You can connect With Peri Hoskins here:

Website/ Facebook / Twitter / Linked In / Pinterest / Amazon Author Page

 

 Read an interview with author Peri Hoskins here:

Meet The Author


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Sensory Processing Disorder and me-friend or foes

I’ve shared a lot about what it’s like being a parent to children with SPD. One is an avoider of sensory input and one is a seeker and can’t get enough input in his bucket. He keeps emptying his bucket over and over throughout the course of the day. Whereas his brother after a long day of school has a bucket that’s overflowing and can’t take one more cup of input. This is when Mom becomes the referee and I need to separate my sons before World War 3 happens! I do my best to keep them emotionally regulated but it becomes a full time job and I wind up exhausted and depleted. Like my oldest son I also have SPD Sensory Defensiveness in particular. Loud, sudden high pitched noises bother me, more than one person talking to me at a time is like chaos for my brain and body. My central nervous system processes sensory input most of the time effectively. Then there are those days when the world is too busy, loud, bright, and overwhelming. Sometimes I feel so hypersensitive to the world around me I can hear the energy crackling like a campfire. 

Those are the days I put up my hood and read a good book with a cup of herb tea or escape to my bed with my soft, fuzzy blanket and put on my headphones and listen to my meditation music. I need comfort in those moments when my ears feel like they’re bleeding from listening to my children squabbling over the iPad while three different TV’s are playing in the background. I have to resist the urge to bite my fingernails with the anxiety I feel inside. All I want is to chew on something soft and rubbery like an eraser but I don’t because my kids have gnawed on all the pencils like a couple of beavers. In those moments when I feel like the world is closing in on me and I can’t breathe I rock myself gently and I sing. Whenever I was a little girl my Mom would hold me on her knee and rock and sing with me. She’d rub my back and give me deep pressure Mama bear hugs. I’d give anything to go back to those memories and pluck her out them so I could have her in my comfort zone. But unfortunately that’s not possible as she travels a heavenly path while I’m earth bound. My Mom never made me feel like I was wrong or different. She told me I was a special child of God and my “quirky” nature made me uniquely me. When I was a child I spent a lot of my time reading the Classics like Shakespeare, Dickens, Louisa L. Maycott, and Lucy Maude Montgomery. 

I related so much to those characters who thought out of the box and wrote stories and climbed trees like I did. The poetry and beautiful descriptive writing of William and Charles made me want to write like them and capture the worlds interest with my words. So I wrote getting lost in fantasy worlds, epic battles, and fascinating history. This is when the world was a quiet place as I scribbled away in my notebooks filling pages with my prose and poetry. I’m still like this as an adult where I require quiet time daily and my sons are forthright about asking for their private bubble to decompress in. The stress chemicals can build up throughout the day and we need to release them or end up sending our central nervous systems into sensory overload. No one wants that to happen so we give each other the space that we require. Now you add in a few more letters of the alphabet like ASD, ADHD, ODD, and OCD you’ve got a melting pot of hot soup that no one can handle. Those are the times where I ask my children what they need to make their bodies feel better. Or how fast is your engine using the zones of regulation, of which my youngest son has a thorough understanding of this concept. 

Since facial expressions can sometimes confuse him and his recessive language with conversational verbal fluency is severe. He will then tell me what colour he is or ask me what colour I am. It’s an excellent way for him to communicate and be receptive to others feelings.  A breakdown of the colours and their meanings:

Blue- feeling tired or sad

Yellow-feeling nervous or scared 

Red-feeling mad and angry

Green-feeling happy and smiling

With my oldest son who has a better grasp on receptivity I have a diagram of a thermometer and I will ask him how fast his engine in his car is, and he can tell me or show me using the zone regulation colours. Sometimes are tempers are short, our explanations are long winded, and our bodies not regulated  and we react to the stress and pressure of the hot soup and we blow up. That’s when it’s important to remember forgiveness and our brains are just wired a little differently. It’s amazing what love, a deep pressure hug,  and a cup of hot chocolate will accomplish when words fail to save the day. That’s when I feel that even when SPD appears to be a foe when dealing with the chaos and it’s just too much ; I take that moment to breathe letting myself inhale the positive and exhale the negative and realize that it’s my friend after all guiding my family and I to better days ahead filled with love and patience.
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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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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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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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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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday and Be Wow

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

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

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