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. ❤️

Fridays Feats and Fails

It’s Friday one day closer to the weekend and wow what a week it’s been!!! I’m excited to share it with you. So let’s get to it shall we? I’m so happy and honoured to be co-hosting Friday’s Feats and Fails with the awesome Ash from www.morethancheeseandbeer. This is a new adventure for me so I feel giddy with excitement. ???

FEAT-Amazing Grace

My beautiful cousin brought her baby into the world and I haven’t stopped crying since! Amazing Grace was diagnosed in utero as having mosaic triploidy. According to Wikipedia.org research Triploid syndrome is an extremely rare chromosomal disorder. Individuals with triploid syndrome have three of every chromosome, i.e. a total of sixty-nine rather than the normal forty-six chromosomes. There are only sixty recorded cases across the world. Thanks to the research I found on www.mommiesofmiracles.com I’m understanding a lot more. These children are blessings, and although there genetically different abled, they are beautiful gifts to the world. 

A Mother’s Love ?

Amazing Grace was brought into the world on Tues, March. 10 th at 6:04 am she had a healthy delivery and Mom and baby have been doing well. Grace had a defect with her heart diagnosed in utero and no one has known how long she would be earth side. After receiving a heart scan yesterday my cousin was happy to report this morning, that there are NO signs of the defect!!! God is creating miracles for my family daily as Amazing Grace has been defeating the odds against her since her conception. Just yesterday she opened up her eyes for the first time her Uncle held her. Oh and what a beautiful moment that was!  There has been an amazing photographer that has been capturing Grace’s journey with her Mom and Dad. All images are by Love by Krista Evans Photography and she and my cousin have allowed me to share them with you today. ?

A Father’s Love ❤️

I read all the updates eagerly each moment that my cousin posts them. Today Grace will have a brain scan as she was also diagnosed with agenisus of corpus callosum. According to research from Wikipedia.org (ACC) is a rare birth defect (congenital disorder) in which there is a complete or partial absence of the corpus callosum. It occurs when the corpus callosum, the band of white matter connecting the two hemispheres in the brain, fails to develop normally, typically during pregnancy. 

Amazing Grace is being tested and evaluated in preparation to going home! She’s  classified as a strong baby, despite the disorders and her early arrival of eight days before her due date. The amount of love and prayers that are surrounding Grace and her parents is incredible! Thanks to Krista at Love by Krista Evans Photography 12,000 people have seen my family’s pictures. To me that means that 12,000 people are joining in prayer power! You can view Krista’s amazing body of work here:

https://www.facebook.com/lovebykristaevansphotography


The love, pride, and powerful energy emanating from this family fills my heart to the brim. ?

FAIL

I’ve been keeping as positive as I can considering how precious life really is. And my own son has to undergo genetic testing for Fragile X and ASD. According to Wikipedia.org Fragile X  is a genetic syndrome. Nearly half of all children with fragile X syndrome meet the criteria for a diagnosis of autism.[1] It is an inherited cause of intellectual disability especially among boys. It results in a spectrum of intellectual disabilities ranging from mild to severe as well as physical characteristics. I’ve had my moments when I’ve dissolved into tears, yelled, cursed, and locked myself away in my pity party of one.

My incredible family has shown me I can have those moments but I just can’t unpack and live there. So other than not cleaning since last weekend, not keeping up with folding my laundry as that relentless bitch is owning me. I’ve been enjoying the sunshine, adventuring with my kids, and counting my blessings. And really appreciating the miracles in life like Amazing Grace’s journey with her phenomenal parents. The strength they’ve shown has been remarkable. In my cousins words to prepare for a life half way through pregnancy, then a possible death, back to preparing for her baby’s life is an extraordinary blessing. I know God will continue to watch over and bless them as they are all miracles of the heart.  ?

Amazing Grace.?

FEAT

My Captain’s hockey play off round ended for him last Saturday. It was a disappointing loss with some questionable referee calls that ended in a 2-1 loss. It was an exciting game, but I’ll be honest and say this part of being a hockey Mom really sucks. It was so hard to see those disappointed expressions on those sweet children’s faces. They played a great game though and they still have their practices, parents against the kids game, and windup party to look forward too. It was Father son time the next day as my husband took our Captain to work. They both looked so handsome as they dressed up in a shirt and tie. I haven’t seen my son dressed up since his first communion last year. It struck me how fast he’s growing up! I’m so proud of his accomplishments on and off the ice. ❤️

I have so much pride for my Captain and his team. ?

We also had a major accomplishment as my little Mad dog and I attended the play group specifically for children with special needs. He loved it there as it was fun and manageable with a small group of kids. The most touching moment was when my son thanked me for his happy. I was in awe of him and his gift of understanding in the moment. After the group we attended the indoor playground and he did very well being around more children and some noise. We were both happy to nap when we got home. ?

“Thank you for my happy Mommy.”

So here we are back to Friday and since our Netflix is M.I.A. due to Mad dog resetting all the information we’ll be watching movies. My wonderful husband picked up Night at the Museum for family movie night and Mocking Jay Part 1 for after they go to bed. Thank you for being here today and please check out everyone else’s post who links up today. ?

That’s my Friday’s Feats and Fails how’s your week been?

This is going to be an amazing weekend of watching the currents and the classics. ??


It’s link up time! Don’t mind the HTML code I couldn’t convert it back to text just click on the link below that say inlinkz. ?

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday’s 



Amazing Grace came into the world so precious and sweet. 

Loved already with great devotion and adoration. 

With these beautiful curls and teeny, tiny, little, feet. 

I witnessed a Mother’s love, a Father’s pride as they held her skin to skin. 

And family was to be wrapped up in joy with this little gift. 

Not knowing how long she’d be earth side, each day is a win. 

I look at these beautiful images, and they give my heart a lift.  

I play them over and over again feeling the tenderness in my heart and mind.

Amazing Grace you’re the greatest blessing the world could ever find. ?

I wrote this for my beautiful cousin who gave birth to her amazing Grace just this week. She was born with a genetic condition called mosaic triploidy. It’s not certain how long this little blessing will have on the earth. One thing I know it will be filled with so much love, that her little heart can hold. This is my submission to http://silverthreading.com for Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Please check out all the talent who link up. Thank you. ?

*Image used with permission from my cousin and Love By Krista Evans Photography. Special thanks to them both for allowing me to share this journey.*

You can check out her amazing body of work at https://www.facebook.com/lovebykristaevansphotography

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Ready, set, go! 

I have so much to do and I’m already overwhelmed thinking about it. I have never ending overflowing laundry baskets and I’m totally my laundry room’s bitch for the past two weeks. I’ve got a wicker basket full of stuff I need to do, and the paperwork monster is threatening to grab me in a choke hold till I cry uncle! I know I can take things one day at a time but it’s my brain that never shuts that doesn’t get that message. 

Last week I had a meeting with my respite worker she asked me if I was a list person. I replied yes I love making lists, a lot of my blog topics start out that way. She asked me to write things out instead of using my notes app. So I did and it’s amazing how something so simple, can be so affective. Today I made another list and each day I cross off my accomplishments. It feels good to see that I’m taking care of things, but my overwhelm is with all the things I still need to do. It’s easy for me  to dispense out advice to friends and say look after your priorities and the housework will be there tomorrow. Like death and taxes laundry will always be something you can count on happening. 

I feel like I’m at the start of the race and I’m waiting for someone to be standing there with a pistol saying ready, set, go and I’m off like I’m lit on fire when I hear that shot go off! On one side of me is my calendar jammed with appointments, and on the other is my phone loaded up with texts, emails, and blog topics I need to return and write. At times we’re neck in neck and I literally feel the sweat pouring down my brow. Then I’m wiping it, dying of thirst, and I fall behind and struggle to keep up. 

There are many phone calls to be made, test results to track down, letters to be written, paperwork to be signed, and faxed. I’ve literally been held paralyzed with anxiety that I have to complete all the things and do it record time. The finish line appears to be so far away and my eyes are getting blurry as exhaustion starts to overtake me. Must be the fact I’m dehydrated and in need of something to quench my thirst. And that pesky cataract starts to bother me when I’m tired. So I start veering off the track and daydreaming while I can scarcely see my opponents in the distance. My vision doubles and I start to yearn for my couch. 

There I can have my fuzzy blanket and security while watching Lawrence of Arabia and enjoy eating a bowl of ice cream. This parenting gig can be hard at times. Add in a list of objectives, goals, and lists and you’ve got another job. Sometimes I just want to say &@@@ it and leave for someone else to do. But if I do that then my children won’t get the services they desperately need. I can’t miss out on that, no matter how mentally, emotionally, and physically, exhausted I am. It’s not fair to them or to me if I fail, there’s a lot of resources and a lot of families in need as well. The autism journey can be a bumpy one at the best and worst of times. I’m learning new terminology everyday and as my brother says ATL’s (another three lettered acronym). 

He told me that last week and I laughed so hard, for about fifteen minutes as my life has become all about the letters. When will it all begin, when I’m assessed for funding, get a case worker assigned to me, or get a therapy team in place. There will be more people joining our small circle, lots of transitions, more appointments, and more trips into the city. I will be requesting a lot of home visits in the beginning. Getting my youngest son prepared for these upcoming changes and strangers in our reclusive world. This is never easy and I can use all the PECS (Picture Example Cards) available, but if he has anxiety about it all it’s just not going to happen. 

I honestly don’t know what to expect from branching out into this new world of programs, people, and personalities. I’m thinking as positively as I can and preparing and educating myself as well. So off I go into the sunset leaving worn out ideas, speculations, and false truths behind. From now on its facts, concrete results, and verified diagnosis’s that will matter. I owe it to my children to get them all the help I can. And I owe it to myself to know and believe this age old wisdom from Yoda. That little green guy’s wisdom has touched my life with its simple but gifted advice more times than I can count. Special thanks to http://lindaghill.com for the writing prompt. I couldn’t think of anything to use it for till now. It’s funny  how I just looked at this picture and words started flowing. Green man wisdom for the win!

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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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Open 

Trigger alert: If you’re suffering from any mental health issues pertaining to cutting or suicide. Proceed to read with caution. I discuss both in text openly. 

My life is an open book I’ve acted like I’ve had together but I really don’t. I’ve found out it takes a village to raise a child. And how lonely life can be when you don’t have a village. I’ve been open about not feeling like an adequate parent, good wife, or being a lousy friend. I have retreated into my world of words and writing, and have tried to make sense of the chaos before me. I’ve advocated for mine and my children’s mental health and have been told to hurry up and wait. Last week after an epic blow up between my oldest son and I, I put all my fears aside and phoned the mental office office. I was told to come down between the hours of 11 am to 3 pm and someone would have a meet and greet with me. 

This is how mental health is dealt with in my province. You’re set up to meet with someone who greets you and sees if you meet the criteria for obtaining services. So I went down there last Friday only to be told the Doctors aren’t seeing anymore walk ins today. That’s the worst lunch bag let down for the week. After talking my son into agreeing he does need help I leave empty handed. Today after battling with him to get up and go to school he decides not to go. I can’t deal with it after being up late myself with his brother having nightmares. I go back to bed, only to be woken up and blamed by my oldest for not going to school.

 I tell him just go eat and get dressed you’ll only be a little late. Then the fight begins that I failed him yet again, and he’s not walking into school late! I get a much anticipated call from my respite worker and I end up telling her everything that I didn’t get to tell her yesterday, with both of my children being home. My Captain (my oldest son, if you’re new to my blog) has been off for a week of school. This has been due to a teachers convention and after eight days of constant battling I NEED A BREAK. Yesterday I drive around in a new neighbourhood looking for a birthday party he was supposed to attend. I couldn’t find the location and my GPS was zero help.

 So I only had respite for a short amount of time as I had my youngest at home. I came home feeling defeated and tried to throw myself into busy ness of housekeeping so as to not start yet another arguement. There’s always something brewing on the horizon and then it came time to get ready for hockey practice. I asked my Captain to get his gear ready, while I quietly and quickly got his brother and I ready to go. We were set to leave when the comments started we’re going to be late, I wish Dad was here, I don’t want to go to hockey. I’ve been walking the thin parenting line between crazy and sane and I blew up and said get out and get your gear in the truck. He refused so I threw his bag on the lawn. Then I proceed to chase my youngest son down the block as he just wants to run away from all the noise. In the midst of my incessant parenting tantrum I lose my keys so I’m frantically looking for them.  

I find my back up set but it doesn’t allow me to lock my door with the key. Useless I know but key fobs are expensive to replace. So my crazy train is loaded up and we arrive at practice. Yes we’re five minutes late, and I just want to run away and hide somewhere. On the way home after practice I encounter a near accident as a racing truck passes five vehicles and is on coming into my lane!  I’ve got my music cranked and I’m singing Paradise by the Dashboard light. When the part of the song sung by the female lead Patti Russo comes on and says Stop right there, a voice inside my head screams the same. So I slow down and head towards the ditch just in time to see this truck fly past me and into the other lane. 

I’m literally shaking as I get home and start preparing dinner for my kids. I listen to them outside chatting while they gaze at the stars. Soon it’s bedtime and I settle in trying to process my day.  Thinking about everything crammed in my brain, it took me a long time to stop shaking and fall asleep last night. Hearing the alarm go off at 7 am after maybe four hours of sleep is like a jackhammer in my head. This morning when my son refused to go to school I said fine you don’t go to school then you go talk to a therapist. I arrive at the office only to be told they are full with walk ins. I don’t take this well at all, I complain you told me this last week and now you just opened up and your full? I have and will always be the squeaky wheel who gets the grease so I continue to triade. The receptionist sees I’m not leaving so she phones the office down the hallway to let them know I’m there.  

I walk over there with my shrieking sensory child who just wants to go home and explain I want to see someone. I’m once again told I can’t and to come back tomorrow. Well the quickest way to ignite the Irish fire inside of me is to tell me I can’t do something. This is unacceptable for urgent care should I be a cutter or slit my wrists would that get me seen faster? That line of questioning and behaviour got me seen faster than taking no for an answer. I have a therapist come to meet me who says I have a few minutes of her time. So I proceed to get my kids in the office while they play with Lego. So I tell her the quickest way to get help is to act crazy. She appears taken back at my honesty, so I spew on and say I’m an open book what do you want to know? I introduce her to my kids and proceed to tell her of the life we’re living.

 I’m told I’ve come to the right place, I’m very well versed, and educated. In another time and place had I known if I’d be walking this path to mental health, I would’ve studied to be an neurologist. Anything to do with the brain fascinates me, neurological disorders, psychiatric illness, all the labels and letters associated with mental illness.  I research about them all and I just want to know more. Being educated, articulate, well versed, helps me as an advocate for mine and my children’s mental health helps everyone. Now I walk a different journey to allowing this help to transform my family. From chaos to calm, from anger to happiness, from power struggles to peace. I’ve found the quickest way to get help is to stop acting like I have it altogether. So why do I tell you all this today? Well it’s simple I live my life like a open book, I can’t hide away from it anymore welcome to my book of life. Today I start to write a new chapter of hope, help, and resolution. I really think my guardian angel drinks if I was her I would too. Cheers to you Mom and thank you for saving our lives. ❤️

This has been my submission to Ash’s Sunday Confessions on www.morethancheeseandbeer.com. Please check out her story, the anonymous confessions, and all the other talent who link up. Thank you for following along on my journey. ?

Today I’m linking up with http://silverliningmama.com for her conquer challenge for the month of February. 

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A Mother’s guilt

I’m at my wits end with my oldest son. He said he had a sore throat so I let him stay home from school. The rules are rest, rehydrate, and relax. He had helped clean up the basement so I allowed him a movie with his little brother. I’m upstairs cleaning, laundry, dishes and I go to check on him and he’s downstairs playing video games. I walk into the room and he’s pretending to be sleeping!!!! I told him get up and go to bed. He starts to argue that he was having quiet time because his little brother didn’t want to watch a movie.

So I sent him to bed and I continued folding laundry. Then I can hear him out of his room. I’m ready to lose it I’ve sent him to bed twice and he’s come back out. First he was playing hockey with the Mad dog so I said get to bed! He says I’m hungry; then get your food and get to bed!!!! So he says forget it I’ll just starve you don’t care! So then he’s there for 10 minutes and he comes back out again to ask his brother to go downstairs to watch a movie. Get the $@@% to bed now I bellow!!!!

What is wrong with my kid? He won’t listen, he doesn’t respect me, then he tells me he’s getting yelled at school by five people. And one is supposedly his teacher. Well I’ll be addressing this and I will be sending him to school tomorrow because if I don’t I might just duct tape his mouth shut!!!!!
I don’t know where I went wrong we used to be so close. Then I was so sick and sad when I was pregnant with his brother. I carry a lot guilt because my Mom died then I had my baby five weeks later.

Due to the premature birth he had to stay in the hospitals NICU. When I was finally realized after five days, I still went back and forth to the hospital to care for my baby. This is when I feel the disconnect happened. My son was grieving the loss of my Mom, me not being there, and then a little brother who was sick. What had happened in his little world was too much so he turned to his Dad as his saviour and protector. That’s when it all changed between us.

His attitude changed towards me and jealously set in because I was always with my baby. Even though he adored his baby brother. It didn’t matter how much that new love was blossoming and growing, he had lost a part of his Mom. I had to be strong, stoic, and a rock for my children. Meanwhile I was dying and falling apart into little broken, jagged pieces. My heart was shattered I lost my one and only one and I felt like a part of me had died too! Not something a four year boy could understand with his precious heart. So I put my grief on hold to deal with his.

I thought I was doing the right thing as I struggled with intense grief of my own, sleep deprivation, and adjusting to an anti depressant. I didn’t want to be that parent that checked out when my kids needed me the most. It was bound to happen, as I just felt like I was a medicated brain and a body barely able to function. I honestly don’t know how I got through that difficult time. Grief recovery, family, friends, my husband and the love of my sons all played a role.

Life within that little bubble of calm helped me exist. As my body and my brain began to connect as I adjusted to my medication. But my little boy changed as his brother grew up. He got more abrasive with me, his angry tantrums became longer, and I went into research mode. If I don’t understand something I will read until I do. I read books, listened to lectures, attending parenting workshops. In order to understand what had happened to my son. I wish I had looked more into neurology than maybe I could see the early signs of his brain changing.

The ADHD behaviours, dyspraxia, and Sensory Integration disorder were there. He was just so much like me sensitive with an explosive temper that I just saw pain, grief, and jealously. This is when the switch happened, and when I had to fill out recent questionnaires about these behaviours it was hard to hold back the tears. I cried for that little boy who lost his Grandma, Mom, and gained a baby brother. I cried for my lack of understanding, the turmoil, and stress that cyclones around me.

And most of all I cried for that broken relationship between a Mother and her first born. I pray I can repair it before it’s too late and I lose his love and kindness forever. That’s a Mother’s guilt always wearing my heart on the outside of my body. So here I am today parenting through the pain and loving myself and my family with everything I have. Praying for that change to patch my oldest son’s heart back together. That’s Motherhood both beautiful with the moments of cherished gazes and spoken words of I love you. And crushing defeat and frustrating when those words turn to you don’t care, you don’t love me. I put my eyes on the prize and slowly, but carefully walk that tightrope of love and hate for myself.

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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday

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This has been my submission to http://silverthreading.com. Please check out her beauty and all the other talent who link up. Thank you. ?

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Letting go and Letting God

Today in Canada is #BeIl Lets Talk campaign to raise awareness for mental health. For every tweet with #BellLetsTalk Bell Canada will donate five cents to Clara’s big ride across the northern part of Canada. I’m a great supporter of this cause as it’s one close to my heart. I had a very amazing and fortunate experience to meet one of it’s spokeswoman last year Clara Hughes.

Last year she stopped into the town of Hope, BC while on her ride for Hope to share her message. Clara was on a mission to cycle across the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia to end the stigma associated with mental illness. This year she took a 110 day journey and 11,000 kilometers visiting 95 communities, and over 80 schools along the way.

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She has been the only athlete that had won gold in both summer (cycling) and winter (speed skating) in the Olympics. She has also struggled with her own mental health and she spoke of her journey with courage, kindness, and bravery. She spoke very candidly about herself and I hung on her every word that night. And when I had a chance to meet her and shake her hand I was literally in awe of her beautiful spirit, honesty, and sensational smile. The most recent quote I read of hers is my favorite.

“I cannot be the only one and I’m not the only one trying to make a difference,”
“We have a long way to go but the shift is starting to happen.”

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Today I’m going to share my personal journey with my mental health. I was a happy, curious, bright, and rather serious child. I was in family therapy at the age of twelve to deal with some family issues regarding my parents separation. I was to decide by then who I would choose to live with. I chose my Mom and I grew into a sullen, hell raising teenager who was sent to live with my Dad and step Mom By the age of fourteen, I was diagnosed with depression and insomnia.

I refused to take medicine for it and opted for eating healthier. I struggled with it right up to the age of sixteen. I still opted for no antidepressants and chose a healthier lifestyle. It was when I had graduated, moved out my house and gone to college that I realized I couldn’t keep my demons inside my mind silent any longer. I saw my family doctor and she diagnosed me with anxiety at the age of twenty. I got through my first semester of college and then I decided it was enough and returned to working.

The deadlines, going back and forth to my boyfriends while living on my own, the loneliness and stress got to me so I dropped out. Fast forward in time when I was married and expecting my first baby at the age of thirty-three and I was suffering with anxiety, stress, while working full time on a part time job. My saving grace was my yoga classes that I was teaching at the time. I could relax, meditate, and put myself and my clients first. My son was born via an emergency Caesarean section. About three months into Motherhood I developed Post Partum Depression. It was a difficult journey and I made it through only to have my Dad die two years later.

Grief, raising a toddler, and living far away from my family were the conditions that created a time bomb; that was ticking and waiting to explode! I went into therapy with a PPD support group for two years. I then became pregnant with my second child after trying to conceive for a year when my son was almost four. My Mom became very ill and died while I was eight months along. My world was sent into a tailspin and I prayed I would survive it. My baby was born at nine months, a month premature and spent two weeks in the NICU.

I realized then that no Mom was an island and I went on antidepressants for the first time and enjoyed a bubble of calm while raising my sons. I got through that grief period by attending a grief recovery program and really leaning on my family and friends. I’ve had insomnia since I was very young and gave birth to non sleepers. Eventually my oldest slept through the night at fifteen months, and by the time he was three he was sleeping through consistently. We had moved right after he turned five, and my baby was ten months old. This was our third move due to my husband’s career. 

Life in a hotel, no friends, lack of sleep, lots of stress with an incessant rain clouding my mind and heart; I sank into a deep depression. I found a doctor and she renewed my prescription and then diagnosed me with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I was only a year into my grief journey with my Mom when we moved into the hotel, while attempting to sell our house in another town. At that time I had noticed developmental issues with my baby at eighteen months. He was meeting milestones albeit later than most. Although he did walk early bouncing between beds in the hotel room. So there were some bright moments for me to hang on to.

I took him to the Doctor and was given a pat answer he’s a busy boy who’s hardly sleeping, you’re sleep deprived here’s a handout. After being fed lip service and sent on my way, I talked to my health nurse and she directed me to resources to look into ideas to help while coping on team no sleep. There was my youngest son speech delayed, having trouble with pronunciation, and moving constantly. Climbing everything, high tolerance to pain, eating ten different foods, and hardly sleeping. Then I began the long six month journey to get him assessed at two and half years, while waiting to see a developmental pediatrician.

He saw Child development counselour, Occupational therapist, Speech and language pathologist, and finally the Development pediatrician. Then with the extensive list of concerns came up he was snoring, he had oral fixation issues, hypotonia of the lower jaw which caused him to stuff his food in his mouth till he choked! I still have to watch him closely when he’s eating. After a thorough assessment the doctor said there’s no doubt in my mind that he has sensory processing disorders with Sensory Modulation Disorder being the official diagnosis. At the time he said he didn’t see any signs of autism, but you may want to have him assessed as he gets older.

So I was relieved to finally have something to work with. I went home googled SPD and took the book Out of Sync Child-By Carol Kranowitz out of the library. I finally saw my child on every page and didn’t feel so alone or lack of a better word, like a crazy hypochondriac dreaming up diagnosis’s for my son. Another month went by while I spent late nights researching and listening to my son on a baby monitor. I was on a waiting list to see an ENT and he was diagnosed with a Obstructive sleep apnea. I’ve been on team no sleep for nine years. Between anxiety, post partum depression, grief, insomnia, and heart ache I’ll admit I’ve wanted to run away and hide.

Here I stand today working through the issues one day at a time; as I take a new mental health journey with my sons and keeping my own sanity intact. I don’t have all the answers but I’ve learned over the years what works and doesn’t work for me. By taking care of myself every chance I get is the key to my emotional stability. By keeping hydrated, eating healthy, taking my vitamins, exercising, and catching up on my missing increments of sleep I’ve started to feel more hopeful than hopeless.

I’ve also started to use essential oils to help my children and myself with our anxiety. As that was what got me off of my antidepressants two years ago. Last night I was anxious and couldn’t sleep, I felt wave after wave of emotional energy coming at me as I recently had a wonderful friend pass on. I held my son who was hurting with his restless legs syndrome, and massaged his feet and legs with an oil blend for pain and let him fall asleep on my chest.

I felt like my heart could just burst from my love, grief, worry, and pain. I thought of my beloved Mama who would say this too shall pass honey child. Don’t forget to smile through it, and take care of yourself too. Day by day I listen to her wisdoms chiming in my head and singing the song I wrote for her. I feel a little more closer to her, God and heaven. And I feel blessed as that’s a team that can help me through anything, by letting go and letting God deal with it.

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Turn

It’s almost the end of the year and time to get our resolutions in place. I’ve already thought mine out and I wrote a little on them. I’m a perfectly flawed human being so I go into 2015 knowing this and accepting this. This admission can either be life changing or never changing and I’m ok with that. My thoughts are tending to drift to how I could turn back time. If I could have another moment to have a heart to heart talk with my Dad about the past, mistakes, blessings, and lessons learned. He had a calm way about him as we would sit and drink honey tea and the conversation would just flow. He changed so many things regarding his will and that wasn’t public knowledge until after he died. I would ask why he felt he had to do that, was it something he felt he needed to do or was it out of guilt? Uncomfortable questions for sure, but that is who I’ve always been. My beloved Mama always said I was never afraid of the big pink elephant in the room. If I could turn back time I would have a conversation with my step sister and would try to help her more when she told me she was lost after my Dad’s death. Could I have saved her from suicide, that’s something I’ll never know? I would’ve wanted to stop her and help manage her pain, and get her the help she needed to grieve and mourn the love she had for my Dad. She was his amazing care giver and looked after his every need. I saw the fear in her eyes as he woke up that mourning bleeding out. I remember how she was there for him making him oatmeal and honey tea when the paramedics arrived. And when his pulse was taken and registered 70/40 I saw the paramedic was visibly shaken to how his patient was still alive!!! I had given my Dad a Boost supplement and he was told he couldn’t have it since he was going to hospital. One thing I’ve learned is you never take away a food source away from a starving, dying, man. And that paramedic learned a tough lesson that day, as he received a tongue lashing from my Dad. I think of the times I had sitting with my Mom when I visited her in the home. I’d lay in her bed and talk about whatever was on my mind. She’d stroke my hair and my worries would melt away. She had an amazing energy and she always had such a calming affect on me. I remember that day I told her I was expecting and my Captain was going to be a big brother. She knew that I struggled with him being an only child and lonely. She grew up like that, and wanted to have a big family so her children wouldn’t know that feeling. So knowing that I was adding onto to my family filled her with joy. I had been struggling with grief over losing my Dad to cancer and my step sister to suicide, so it was something happy to be celebrating. My family was surprised and my Mom had the biggest smile as the happy tears streamed down her lovely face. I would turn back the clock to relive that moment over and over again until it was cemented in my memory. After Christmas she became very sick and I couldn’t save her. Nor could all the medical interventions, her body was old, weak, and tired and I knew psychically she was ready to be with her parents and my Dad. A piece of her died the day she had to say goodbye to them. And she had referred to herself as an orphan and a widow. Even though her and my Dad were separated for a long time, and he moved on to a life with my step Mom. If I could’ve had one more conversation with my beloved Mama to say goodbye and thank her for bringing me into the world. Alas it wasn’t meant to be for the next time I did see her was in the peaceful state of eternal rest. I sang for her and that was my gift of goodbye as we spent many hours sharing songs and memories together. Losing my Mom while pregnant with my precious baby, and not knowing if I would survive it is the bittersweet world I live in today. Could I have changed things and carried my baby full term or to my planned caesarean date? I don’t know and I won’t apologize for loving and grieving for my one and only Mom. If my son was born at 39 weeks as scheduled would he have a neurological disorder today? Once again I don’t know, his developmental paediatrician said their wasn’t anything I could do to change the outcome. I like to think my baby came along right when we needed him the most. So things have turned around for the better with his health and his brothers. And I thank God daily for that blessing. I have survived grief, homesickness, depression, and the under current of anxiety. My life was turned upside down six years ago losing my best friend to a pulmonary embolism. No warning, just the shock of his sudden loss as the ground opened up and swallowed me whole. He was my husband and I’s “brother from another Mother.” And from the first time they met their was a spiritual connection between them that only kindred souls would feel. He was there when I married my love and was happy and in the best health and shape, he had ever been in since high school. After we had settled into our married life in a new city Marco came to visit. He was the first one I told I was going to have my first baby. And how he hugged me tight and was so excited when my husband and I became parents. Every time he came to visit we’d talk and laugh till all hours. And we’d go and see his son play hockey. Before he died he was coming to visit and I was stuck on that thought for a long time as shock set in. I would turn back time and tell Marco that he was the best friend that we could ever ask for. And how much he loved my son and his own was inspirational. I would thank him for coming into our lives and filling it with so much love and meaning. And how there’s a large void in our family, and his own missing him. After Marco died there was an old friend and caterer of our wedding, my sweet Uncle, my Dad, my step sister, my Mom, followed by both of husbands Grandma, Nanny, and great Uncle. So much loss in these nine years. I look at my wedding pictures and see their smiling faces. I feel sadness and also so much love and pride. I’m filled with the words I would say to them, if I had the chance. I would thank Grant for his friendship and for putting on an amazing feast to celebrate my wedding. I would thank my Uncle Reuben for his love and for coming to my wedding and celebrating with my Dad and their other brother. To see them smiling and laughing in the pictures fills my heart with such gratitude. To my Dad I would thank him for giving me life, and for making me a strong woman. And for living his life the way he wanted with no apologies, and teaching me to honour myself to do the same. To my step sister Angela I would thank her for all those times she babysit me and my sister and her own sister. How grateful I am that she saved us from a forest fire that was raging out of control in our neighbourhood. And lastly thanking her for loving and accepting me as her sister, when I had difficulties doing so at first. I would thank my beloved Mama for being her sweet self , for instilling kindness, love, and care into my actions, teaching me to sing, read, write and love the spoken and written word. And most of all for bringing me into the world to start my own journey. I would thank Grandma J for loving my husband and for having his Mom to bring him into the world, for me to fall in love with and start a wonderful life with. I would thank Nanny for her beautiful British wit, kindness, and for accepting me into her life and heart. I would thank Great Uncle H for his kind manner, compassion, and for making me feel that I was the most important and intelligent person when we would have our special talks. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house while him and Great aunty danced around the room on my wedding day. So how much my life has turned and changed to make me who I am today is the true blessing. And here I sit to write this love letter to those beautiful souls who touched my life more than they know. It’s through the twists and turns of life the real journey begins.

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Blog kindness train

Well I did it, or should I say we did it!!! You beautiful, lovely people have made my day, week, month, year!!! Why you may ask? I must share I’ve reached 70 followers, all thanks to the incredible supportive WordPress community. I was going to write this post when I reached 50 followers, then I went away for the weekend. I had blogged about that, and I had wrote something everyday for ten days straight. And here you are reading my ramblings, I’m so happy, honoured, ecstatic, and every other adjective I can think of. Thank you so much I write about what’s on my mind, and then look for link ups to share and support each blogger that hosts them. I love the power of the ping back, it’s literally launched my blog from being created on WP to other social media. I was so shy when I first started, and I was only writing once a month or when I felt inspired. Then my life changed and became stressful and uncertain at times, and writing became the only thing I had to help me cope. Sure I had friends, amazing ones at that, but I didn’t want to impose in their lives with my emotional upheaval. I wrote and edited and wrote some more, and people started reading. I felt a kindred relationship within the WordPress community. I didn’t edit my thoughts here I just let all my emotional “dirty” laundry hang out. And you accepted it, didn’t tell me to snap out of my sadness, you read along and encouraged me, and for that I’m grateful. I even found out on this blog journey that my brother whom I love, but we’re not close in distance or in age was reading my blog. Through it he was getting to know me, his little sister who had more to offer than just being young and naive. And if you’re reading this now dear brother, I want to say thank you. It means the world to me that you’ve been reading my ramblings. And every time I write something I think of our beloved Mom looking over my shoulder and smiling. It was through her I began to discover the love and freedom of writing. So my dear readers I challenge you today to keep this blog kindness train going. As part of spreading kindness please go and follow all the bloggers that have commented on this post. Go to their blog, comment on something they’ve written and tell them what you did. I wasn’t going to say anything, but I did this today for a new blogger. I want to say thank you http://goddiss.wordpress.com for becoming my 70 th follower. I thought I would just let it be, but I thought this would be an awesome way to pay it forward. I’ve been blogging for almost a year and I still remember how excited I was to get 5 followers and 5 subscribers. Knowing what I’m musing about is being read by 1 or 100 people is my ultimate goal. I believe we all just want to be read, heard, and understood. I encourage everyone who reads this to spread the blog love and follow your fellow bloggers. I thank you from the very depths of my heart for following along on my journey. I write from my heart, and even more when the tears start to flow. Much love and great writing vibes sent to you all. ?❤️

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Image fond on www.bravegirlsclub.com and used with permission

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