Salon memories and Pass the Rattle

Today we went to my friend’s salon to get Mommy a haircut. I don’t like getting haircuts, it terrifies me in fact, it has been six years since my last one. It shows in my straggly hair in the before photo.

I get really anxious when I go into salons as I had a severe chemical burn across the whole back of my neck as a child. This was due to a permanent my grandmother took me to get at her friend’s home salon when I was about 8-years-old. (this was 1978 so perms were much more harsh back then.) I tried telling them it was burning me, but my grandmother demanded I be quiet so I just sat there crying quietly in agony and put myself in another place until it was over.

After we left, she took me to the Doctor and on the insistence of my grandmother he popped the blister and pressed all the liquid out as I screamed in pain. When we got home, I was switched for not being quiet and for embarrassing her in front of both her friend and the Doctor. I don’t remember if I told my dad, but I do remember going to school with horrible, fried, smelly hair, sore legs and backside and a giant bandage across my neck and people asking me what happened. I was still disconnected and looking back now, I think I may have been in shock. (but that is a story for another post.)

So that explains, why this was also an exercise in anxiety management under stressful situations. Sophia was so supportive and caring, and kept checking with me to be sure I was ok, and of course, I smiled and assured her I was fine, but that I really appreciated her concern and support. (This is modelling behaviour and works beautifully as she is very compassionate and caring. I don’t keep family secrets from her, she knows my stories.)

Sophia really enjoyed chatting with Shiella and watching how she cut my hair. In addition to scissors, she uses a straight razor! Hair falls everywhere and I picture Edward Scissorhands behind me as she is so fast and fluid in her movements.

Sophia thought that was amazing and she was really impressed with the final result and kept saying what a great improvement it was. She took pictures of before and after with her phone as well.

Sophia talked the whole time… mostly about Animal Jam. Poor Shiella learned more about Animal Jam than she had bargained for I am sure, but her daughter may become a new player now as Sophia sold it really well. 😉

I really love how she engaged Sophia and asked her questions about the game and included her in the whole process answering Sophia’s questions in a gentle loving way.

Sophia was so impressed, she even said she may let her cut her hair some day.

These beautiful patient people are what makes a community strong. We are grateful to Shiella for a wonderful Salon experience for both myself and my curious little autodidact.

Before                                                   After

After our hair appointment, we went and met daddy for lunch at one of our favourite places. I love hearing the conversations these two have during lunch. They talk about such serious topics and yet are so silly and playful as well.

Then we went home and had some quiet reading time. (A must after doing new things and being around so much stimuli in the restaurant. We call it defragging.)

I needed this down time just as much as she did as I had to process again the contrast between my and Sophia’s childhoods. It brings great joy to see her so happy, yet it still is a challenge as each new experience we share, brings up connected supressed memories for me to relive and find peace with.

She is my gift of grace, and brings me peace and solice through allowing her to have the chidhood I wanted so desperately, and that every child deserves.

Lunch with Daddy                                     Defragging

We began an upcycling project a bit later, turning a rattle from a child’s toy into a work of art for our Red Tent meetings. We used this particular rattle as it has been travelled with us, it has been in California, Oregon, Australia and New Zealand and is one item she has had since birth that is precious to us both because of all the memories it holds.

We talked about the history of Pass The Rattle, which is something we do in our red tent. We give each girl or woman a chance to speak. The person holding the rattle speaks and everyone else listens, no interjecting, advice or judgement, just lending an ear and being there for each other. When they finish, we all stay silent while she passes the rattle to the next person and again listen to the person speak, and so it goes until it goes around the circle and everyone has had a chance to speak. This reinforces the value and importance of every woman and girl being heard. We provide a safe place for that as nothing shared in the circle leaves the circle it is all in confidence.

Later on, she went out and used her imagination and played with her walking sticks while enjoying nature and all the birds, rabbits and of course her crazy duck.

Sanding the rattle                                 Walking sticks

She also did some digital art today and strummed the guitar for a while this morning as well other things.

She also played computer games with Max when he came home. They have been spending more time playing together and getting along really well.

Today was a great day. I feel really blessed with our lives.

Beadwork and Digital Art

Today we got our supplies out and did crafting.

This was initiated by her after we had been out in the Red Tent tidying up.

Sophia decided to make a rainbow catcher for my Red Tent.

I love seeing how much more agile her hands are now when doing these projects.

She had an idea of the colours she wanted, but she had a lot of beads to choose from!

She counted out the beads to make a symmetrical pattern before stringing them onto the fishing line.

Here is the finished product and of course I absolutely love it!



It is now hanging in the Red Tent.

I love days like this, when we can do crafting and talk about lots of memories and random questions about life, about anything she can come up with.

Later she did some digital artwork on her computer.

She did a ‘Fan Edit’ for someone. This is when you take an item in the game and transform it into the person’s character and send it to them as a gift.

In this case it was Gellyjone’s Fox character out of a Fox Plushie.

This is the pictures of before and after.

I think she did an amazing job!

Digital art is one of her passions, she just loves editing and creating things.

She also made a video earlier in the day.



Today was a good day for creativity, community and sharing (as well as other things.)

She was in a great mood, very happy and content today.

I love when she feels like this, it makes me realise how far she has come in the past two years.



Grey warbler/riroriro

Today a small bird flew into our ranch slider, and unfortunately it did not survive.

We moved it to the side so no one would step on it, then let it sit for a couple of hours to see if it would revive. (I knew it was gone, but I let her process in her own way.)

At first she had anxiety about touching it, but by afternoon, curiosity got the better of her, so we decided to examine it closer-as it was a rare opportunity given to us by Mother Nature.

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We got out some rubber gloves and she tested how the wings spread and moved, and how the tailfeathers spread out. We looked at all of the colours and different feathers, the face and the amazing (ansodactyl) claws.

bird feet.JPG

After we did our learning, we thanked the bird for blessing us with it’s knowledge and gently placed it in some tall brush so the ants and flies could work their magic.

I spoke to Sophia about how she now has a gray warbler as a totem and she was so happy knowing that she has a nest builder, spider catcher and songbird around her.

She may even compose her next song, based upon the sound of the gray warbler. (You can hear the recording of the territorial call in the information below)

We studied the information (below) from the DOC website. It is fascinating to be able to learn about, and see the beauty of these magnificent birds up close.

We now recognise their song as the sound that is always in the background at our place.

What an amazing learning adventure.

Department of Conservation Website information:

Grey warbler/riroriro

The grey warbler is a relatively inconspicuous grey bird that flits about the canopy of the forest but its call permeates the forest and takes the edge off a hard uphill slog for any attentive tramper.

These diminutive insectivorous birds busy themselves along branches seeking out small invertebrates.

Grey warbler (Gerygone igata) was the surprise recipient of the title of New Zealand’s best-loved bird in 2007.


Drawing of grey warbler perched on a branch. From Buller, Walter Lawry. A History of the Birds of New Zealand. Out of copyright.
Grey warbler perched on a branch

Grey warbler. Image: M.F. Soper.
Grey warbler

The grey warbler/riroriro are found throughout New Zealand.

They are a small grey-brown bird with pale grey on the face throat and breast and an off white belly and under tail.

Weighing about 6.5g, which is around one-third the weight of a mouse, makes them one of New Zealand’s lightest birds.

They are insectivores with a habit of hovering to pick insects and spiders from plants.

Grey warblers are clever nest builders. They have distinctive domed hanging nests with a small side entrance hole.

They are one of few native passerines to have benefitted from human modification of the landscape.

Sound recording

Grey warbler song (MP3, 527K) (opens in new window)
1 minute 26 second recording of a grey warbler’s territorial call. The bird is flying between perches, answering a tape recorder.

Note: Right-click the song link for options to save. Bird songs may be reused according to our copyright terms. More help on files.


“People call grey warblers dull, but they’re the subconscious sound of New Zealand.”
– Graeme Hill, Campaign Manager for the grey warbler in Forest & Bird’s 2007 New Zealand’s bird of the year competition


The Battle of Jamaa Part I -creative writing

The Battle of Jamaa Part I

I ran after Bepper as fast as I could. We were having a race, also with WisteriaMoon. Bepper was in lead, with me close behind. Wisteria was running more slowly, more of a jog then a run. We were near the tree, which was our finish line. I was an inch away from Bepper, when WisteriaMoon ran faster and she won by a couple inches. I clenched my teeth in rage. Bepper seemed to notice me getting angry, and she said “Yellow, it was just a pointless race.” “Yeah, I guess” I replied. The 3 of us were about to go to get a smoothie and chill in Crystal Sands, but at that moment a strong wind started. The trees were swaying around, and we struggled to stand still. A bright light appeared, and then… A heron. But not just any heron, it was Mira. We all bowed down to the mother of Jamaa. Then, Mira spoke. “Yellow, Wisteria, Bepper, I have an important message for you all. The phantom king is planning an attack on Jamaa. You must warn every Jammer to get ready to battle. We might have a chance to destroy the phantoms once and for all…” “Yes, Mira” Me, Wisteria and Bepper all said at the same time. With that, Mira nodded and disappeared. “Oh my god, I can’t believe that Mira wants us to do this!‘’ Squealed WisteriaMoon. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go warn everyone!” said Bepper.


8Yellowcats / Sophia, 17/8/2016

Dental appointment at a new dentist

Today we had a dental appointment at a new dentist.

She was extremely nervous, as she has always gone to the dental van at the school.

Last year they allowed her to come there anyways, as she was new to homeschooling and she loved the ladies in the van. They were so good and so patient and loved talking with Sophia.

This year, however, we had to go to the dental clinic at the Intermediate School, which is much louder and brighter and of course, with new ladies.

This is where all the homeschool children must go for dental work.

I called ahead and found out exactly what procedures they would be doing and gave Sophia a rundown so she knew what to expect. (This helps with anxiety.)

The new ladies were awesome and we were so happy with the results.

Her fillings have softened and one has fallen out, so we will go next week and have them repaired. But no new issues. Yay!

On her next appointment, we will be trying no local anaesthetic, as Sophia is really afraid of the needle.

The ladies discussed it with her and they agreed she may not need it, so we will give it a go and hopefully she is one of those lucky people who can have dental work without numbing.

She brought along her stress van (dental van) and she was very brave, she actually said afterwards, she enjoyed her visit.

She was given a sticker when finished and it brought her immense joy, as it was a yellow cat… just like her YouTube name. 😉

We are looking forward to having this all sorted soon.



Kitty cat was a bit nervous while waiting.


“The air is kind of tickly!”


She gave the new Dental Clinic  two thumbs up.


“Look, Mom, it is a yellow cat!”


‘Song 1’ – music

Today Sophia learned how to write down her music as she records it.

We then put it into a translator which puts it into sheet music.

She was excited by this process and it helped her understand her composition, in steps that helped create actual musical that others can see.


Sophia’s Song 1

G  F  E  D  E  F  D  E  F  G  A  G  F  D       A  G  F  G  E  F  G  F  F  E  D  C  D  E  D    C  D  E  F  F  E  D  C  G  F  E  G  E  F  G  E  A  G  F  A  F  G  A  F  A  G  F  G  E  F  G   E   F   G   F


Song 16 8 2016 by Sophia.JPG

‘Song 1’Music by Sophia Lawless, 16/8/2016


Essay -The History of MLP

My Little Pony History

The first My Little Pony toy was “My Pretty Pony”, a pony figurine released by Hasbro in 1981. My Pretty Pony was a 10″ tall hard plastic figurine that could wiggle its ears, swish its tail, and wink one eye.


My Pretty Pony


(Mum thinks she and Aunty KC may have had one of these!)

The first actual “Generation” of ponies was Generation 1. The original line of ponies began with the “Earth Ponies” in 1982. The Earth Ponies were followed by Pegasus Ponies, Unicorn Ponies, Flutter Ponies and Sea Ponies. Flutter Ponies were smaller and thinner than Pegasus Ponies, and had fluttering wings. Windy Wing and the Summer Wing Ponies were smaller than the Flutter Ponies and were proportioned in a similar way, with larger, butterfly-like wings. The Sea Ponies resembled seahorses, and were produced as both adults and babies. In the “Generation 1” My Little Pony movies, it had humans in it and most of the ponies had a bow on the start of their tails.


Generation 1

Generation 1


Generation 2, also known as Friendship Garden Ponies, had a more round snout, jewel eyes, turning heads and were smaller then Generation 1. Generation 2 ponies also were slimmer and had longer legs then Generation 1. The Generation 2 line was not successful in the U.S. and was discontinued in 1999, although it continued overseas for several years. Most of Generation 2 ponies were “Earth Ponies”, some “Unicorns” were made internationally. There were no “Pegasus Ponies”, but a few of the ponies had Clip-on wings. Generation 2 didn’t have a series/movie, unlike other My Little Pony generations. Generation 2 was just a Toy line.

Generation 2 Friendship Garden Ponies

Generation 2 Friendship Garden Ponies


Generation 3 pony toys had squarer snouts, and were fatter then generation 2. Generation Three is set in the fictional town of Ponyville, which is centered on Celebration Castle. Only Earth Ponies were released from 2003 to 2005, but in 2005 and 2006 Pegasus Ponies and Unicorn Ponies were introduced. Despite the redesign as Core 7 and the advent of the Friendship is Magic line, Hasbro has continued the collector-themed “G3” ponies in their original poses. Core 7 (Also known as Generation 3.5), introduced in 2009, was when Hasbro redesigned the My Little Pony characters, and limited the ponies to seven main characters: Cheerilee, Toola-Roola, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle and Starsong.

Generation 3

Generation 3.5

The fourth generation and current incarnation of My Little Pony began with the TV show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic in 2010 and the associating toy line is often referred to

Generation Four or “G4” by collectors. It features nine characters tied into the television series, which airs on Discovery Family: Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rarity, Spike the Dragon, Princess Celestia, and Princess Luna. Set in Equestria, the show centers on the unicorn pony Twilight Sparkle as she learns lessons about friendship. Most of the characters on the show were designed by animator Lauren Faust, who also developed the show for television.


Generation 4


Generation 4 Friendship is Magic – TV Poster



Soon, there will be more My Little Pony generations to come.

Sophia Lawless (age 9) 15 August 2016

Sleeve meets plate

Careful there Sophia, your sleeve may meet your plate if you keep holding it over your food.

Gets big grin on her face…

Holds sleeve up like a puppet… “Hi plate, I’m sleeve!”

Wiggles plate… “Hi, sleeve I’m plate; nice to meet you!”

Puppet sleeve… “I am glad that we met plate.”

Wiggles plate again… “So am I sleeve, so am I.”


Mosaic Totem Stones

Today we did a workshop making Totem Stones with my good friend Joleen; a fellow Spectrum Mum and Author.

I had asked my guides the evening before that we be shown which animal was our current totem during our dreams, in preparation for our project.

Sophia had no dreams, but I knew she would be doing a Fox. She has always loved foxes and I knew this would be the case for her Totem Stone.

I dreamt I was holding a beautiful crow. It was lying on its back in my lap staring up at me with its feet up totally relaxed and trusting me completely. I felt such immense love coming from her eyes.

I was confused as my totem was always a hawk and a bear, but the dream showed a crow. I started out making a hawk, but the stones soon corrected me, and in the end, I made a crow.

Sophia selected her stone and I took the one next to it and we began as Joleen made a candleholder out of driftwood.

We had a rough start as happens when she is in an unfamiliar place, doing something totally new. Even though she knows Joleen very well and has been there before, it was not routine, so she became nervous and grumbled a bit at first.

Joleen was amazing with her, as always, and slowly was able to pull her out of her funk and into the project. In fact, by the end of the day, she was chattering away  to everyone!

We started by glueing our pieces on, then we allowed them to dry as we all took a short trip to the local Autism New Zealand Library to return some books and get more.

Sophia read a couple of books while she waited for us to choose our books, then we went back to Joleen’s and read  some more and played with the cat while Joleen picked up her kids from the school. She even surprised us with Sophia & my favourite pies for lunch!

We finished by adding the grout, cleaning and polishing our gemstones and tiles.

We had a great day and we took our stones home to dry. This is the final product.

When I was finished I held my stone in my lap and felt that immense love once again, this was such a great day for us both and Sophia loves her stone as much as I love mine.

We will definitely be doing this workshop again.

Joleen has agreed to do small workshops for $40.00 for a parent and a child all inclusive, you just bring some snacks and drinks for yourselves and she will provide all materials.

Excellent for great bonding time… see what I did there… bonding… 😉

This activity is especially good for trying something new in a sensory friendly environment with  someone with first-hand ASD experience and the kids respond well to her non-invasive, yet engaging manner.

I highly recommend this to homeschoolers and ASD Parents or even just a group of friends.

If you want to know more you can contact Joleen through her My STile Magik Facebook Page.




Detectives | Episode 1 | Jett Black

Today Sophia started off with playing her organ, I left her to it and soon was called up to hear the song she had recorded. She has decided to do an album of music for YouTube videos. I was amazed as she did this all on her own, and I asked her how she managed this.


She used Screencast-O-Matic hooked up to her microphone which was wearing her headset which was plugged into the organ. GENIUS! I was so proud of her for using her mind to create such a wonderful sound.

Next, we did some bookwork and had a snack.


When we finished eating, she gave me a script for her Detective Series; Episode one, in which I play the antagonist Jett Black. Then we recorded our parts on Animal Jam.


After that, she went upstairs and put it all together, did the editing, added the music track and uploaded it to her YouTube channel.

She even created lite fake social media accounts for my character in this series and added an almond cookie (my favourite) and some other cute little things. This was all her and I am still amazed by her details and her courage. Her friend also had roles, but she was our  director.

You can watch it here… Detectives | Episode 1 | Jett Black

The first 40 seconds play her song she recorded earlier, “Winter Rosebush”

I hope you enjoyed reading about a bit of our day.