~~The Pizza Incident~~

Every once in a while we find an awesome writing prompt for Sophia to use for her schoolwork. This was one prompt that inspired a pretty awesome story that I will share below.

I posted this on my Facebook and everyone loved it so I figured I should also add it here. Everything below the prompt, is written by Sophia. I hope you enjoy her story as much as we all did.

The Pizza Incident Prompt

This story was written by Sophia Lawless 15 November 2018.

~~The Pizza Incident~~
~This work is purely fiction. The prompt I used is the image included below.~

Believe me, moving houses is fun, but one thing I’ll miss about my old town is the pizza store that was just around the block from my old apartment, and the dusty old library that’s been there for as long as I could remember. Trust me when I say that I’m borderline addicted to pizza, but there’s one thing that really gets on my nerves

whenever I go out for the delicious Italian meal: pizza with pineapple on it. In fact, I hate it so much that I set my apartment on fire by accident when my former room-mate decided to put freaking pineapple on the homemade pizza we were making!

This is why I had to move; I was banned from the building after that day. The incident was on the news too, so it’s not like any other place in that town would let me stay.

Back to the present though. I’d just finished packing everything into the apartment I’m staying at. Now, I was going for a walk to take my mind off things.

I was walking around the block. That’s when a sign on an old building caught my eye: ‘Rose’s Pizza & Book Place’. Peeking inside momentarily revealed it to be a library and pizza parlour, all in one! A piece of wood with something painted on it caught my eye. It said open.

I couldn’t believe it. My two favourite types of places, mashed up into one building.

Smiling, I walked in. Maybe this moving thing wouldn’t be too bad, after all.

As soon as I opened the door, the smell of tomato and fresh bread hit me like a bomb made out of pizza. I noticed that the lady behind the counter was fairly old, maybe 60 if I were to hazard a guess.

“Hello, and welcome to my pizza and book place. May I help you?”

The second thing I noticed about her was her thick Italian accent. Then what she said came back to me, and glancing at the menu board, I then responded with,

“Uhh, yeah. Can I get um..” I peered closer at the menu before finishing. “A small pepperoni pizza with extra cheese?”

She nodded and smiled kindly. “That’ll be ten dollars.”

I handed over the money before walking over to the library section and looking at the

titles of the books, while she walked up a staircase to what I assumed was the kitchen.

As I waited, I couldn’t help but notice a dark room beneath the staircase. I snuck glances at it every few seconds, but thought nothing of it. When my food arrived, I muttered a quick thanks before sitting at a nearby table and digging in. It was absolutely delicious; a cheesy, meaty, saucy dish, with just the right amount of herbs mixed in. I finished quickly, but the dark room underneath the stairs was on my mind every second of it. Even though the lady was at the counter now, she’d probably notice me looking at it every now and then, but still, I looked at it every few seconds.

Soon, she caught on. Noticing my glances, she looked to the dark space. With a wry smile, she then turned to me and said,

“Would you like to know what’s down there?”

I curiously nodded. Hey, as they say, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

“Hm. If you’re sure, then I’ll show you.” she said, walking over to it and looking at me patiently. I quickly got up and hastily walked over to her. Being closer to
the dark room, I noticed that it held a staircase. Most likely it was a basement of some sort. For some reason, I had a strange feeling of dread as I looked down it.

“Come.” the old lady said, making her way down the stairs. I hesitantly followed, keeping fairly close to her. When we got to the bottom, it was too dark to make out anything. I was about to ask her if there was power down there, when she turned on the light switch to reveal…

I couldn’t scream.
I was too horrified. Why would someone do this? It was terrible. Panting heavily, I ran.
I ran up the stairs.
I ran out the door, promising myself to never think about this place again.

You ma

y ask, what did I see that day?

It hurts to think about, but I’ll tell you.

What I saw down that dark room…

Was the biggest selection of pineapple I’ve ever seen in my life.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
top 10 anime plot twists
nah but seriously, I found a ‘dark’ prompt and what did I do?
I made a crackfic out of it

Dear Nature’s Fresh

Dear Nature’s Fresh,


Please do not put; “When life gives you bread this fresh YOU’VE GOTTA SQUEEZE IT!” on your packaging.

My daughter does not understand ‘squeeze’ the way you intended and we now have a mangled loaf.

Squeeze to her is what she does with soft toys… not bread.


Sincerely,


Hangry Mum.

Natures Fresh

Trialing School Day 1

Sophia is off to school today for a 20 day trial with the expectation to have her enrolled if all goes well.

This was her idea, she has been talking about it for a month, but last week she said she was ready for me to make an appointment so we did.

This past week we have been meeting with the new (to us) Principal and the Teacher of her school to set it all up.

She got the news on Friday that she would be going back, so she had time to process over the weekend. She was very excited that she was going to start today.

She has been practicing getting up with her alarm for the past couple weeks, and getting herself ready so that she would be all good to go this morning.

She showered last night so she would have less to this morning. She got up on her own to her alarm, got dressed, ate breakfast and did her hygiene routine before getting her bag ready and helping me pack her lunch.

Her Teacher is the same one who taught our son Max in year 6. He also worked with Sophia when she was there before so she is also familiar with him. He has also known Brent since they were in school together.

He is a lovely man who has extensive first hand ASD knowledge as a co-carer for his adult autistic brother-in-law.

This Teacher and the new Principal are why we decided to trial her this year when Sophia asked if she could go back to school. She knows she is ready and we are pretty confident that she is right.

We had excellent meetings and discussed her diagnosis and all of her possible triggers and preferences. I went prepared with a printout and he was happy to have it. Here is the link Diagnosis and Triggers for Teacher. We also discussed her strengths and methods for success.

He said most of the triggers and allowances are similar to those of his Brother-in-law so it was easy for him. What surprised and delighted me, is that he even knows the intuitive nature of the sensory issues with regard to feeling others emotions.

He also knows how sensitive the girls are at menses and said staying home is not an issue and of he knows when it is, he knows to be more sensitive with the girls.

We are really looking forward to seeing how well she transitions back into school. She has grown so much in the past couple of years, especially with regard to her self-confidence and knowing who she is.

I took this photo this morning of her first ‘school’ day of year 6.

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“I am nervcited Mom”

We went in early, and it was nice seeing the teacher and some of her old friends waiting for her when she arrived.

He assigned her a desk next to her BFF when she was there last, so she was even more excited. When I left, another of her old friends was showing her around and she was settling in.

She knows her ‘safe space’ and that she is allowed to go there when she gets overwhelmed. She also knows the school well and the staff and that she can ring me.

I am sure she will have a fabulous day and I am very happy for her. We are confident she will breeze past her 20 day trial and want to continue.

I will write more after school, now I am going to bake a cake for the family as they are all awesome and deserve to be spoiled.

 

 

 

Te Papa Museum – Day 2 (ihc Take A Break)

This is the second day of our ihc Take A Break getaway. You can read more about this getaway in the post about day one; Wellington Zoo.

We slept so well in the hotel. All of us had a great night’s rest and we were up and ready for the day. Brent and Max wandered up the street for some butter and jam for the crumpets we had brought with us for breakfast. Brent and Max also gave some money to another homeless man by the store.

While they were gone, Sophia showered while I wrote out Nana’s postcard and packed up the room. She loved the shower in the en-suite and they had a blow dryer which was great as I had forgotten ours. I didn’t want her going out in the cold, windy weather with her gorgeous mane of hair wet.

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When the boys got back we had breakfast and finished packing. We really loved our suite, it was so cozy that it felt like our home. They had a lovely set-up for breakfast, even gluten free hot cocoa that was delicious! The kids loved that… so did I. 😉

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Brent and Max went to get the car as we did the final run through and moved everything in front of the door. He had to park up the block as they had run out of parking spaces for the hotel. Had we known sooner that we needed to book a park, we would have booked one last month when we confirmed our room.

The brochure said there was parking but not that we needed to make a separate reservation for it. It would have been nice to know that, but it worked out as Brent is such a Trooper (see what I did there?) that he always just goes with the flow. He and Max walked together and I think they liked the time alone wandering.

After we loaded the car up and checked out,  we were off to Te Papa and were very excited about our next adventure. We hit a bit of a snare with parking so Brent and Max went to park the car up the block and Sophia and I headed in to wander about the gift shop and wait for the boys to return.

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We looked around at all the amazing items in the gift shop and Max bought himself a necklace with a shark tooth shaped charm. Sophia kind of wanted an albino kiwi, but was not sure if really she wanted it, so we decided to wait until she was sure of something. She never did decide on anything in the end.

Next we went in to the Awesome Forces display. They had some great information on the Earth and sample rocks of the layers that they could touch and lift.

There were diagrams of the Earth as well as a movie that showed moving through the layers and how the movement effects the rock layers. Sophia really like this one, I think we all did.

They really like looking at the globe and learning about navigation. Brent was in his element, he is such a great teacher when it comes to science or math… well anything really.

There was a time traveler wheel. The kids really liked spinning it and imagining how long each age actually was. You could see their minds working to try and grasp the concept.

We then saw some bones and more stones. The kiwi egg inside the kiwi was really amazing. It was so busy that I started to get claustrophobic and had to stand off to the side and slow my breathing and calm myself. There was so much nose and movement.

We waited a bit for the crow to thin a bit, then headed on toward the quake simulator. While waiting in line for that, Sophia, Max and Dad tried the quake scale. unfortunately my mind was a bit foggy do I only remembered the camera at the end, but did manage to catch Brent jumping on the scale.

The Quake simulator is a tiny house and it feels so real. We all really liked that display. This is what their website says.

Visit our Earthquake House to:

  • feel a 6.6 magnitude simulation of an aftershock from the Edgecumbe earthquake of 1987
  • see some of the damage earthquakes cause
  • get a compelling reminder to quake-safe your own house
  • start a broader exploration of earthquakes and volcanic activity in our Awesome Forces exhibition.

A visit to our Earthquake House appeals to those who learn by doing and supports the following topics:

  • Disasters
  • Earth science – earthquakes and volcanoes
  • Pūrākau (storytelling)

Here is an awesome forces activity trail sheet for your kids to do while visiting.

Next we learned about volcanoes, volcanic eruptions and lava formations.

Then on to the waterways, water erosion and water disasters.

Next was wind, wind disasters, wind erosion and fossils.

Next we went to the Mountain to Sea exhibition and that was amazing. We didn’t take many photos as we were having too much fun. The amber was really neat to see with the bugs inside. We really like the tree house with the possum on the side and the natural sounds that were playing.

The colossal squid exhibition was “icky” up close (I actually gagged), but still amazing to see a creature this large. Here is a link to learn more about it’s anatomy, it is truly fascinating. It looked and felt (energy) like an alien to me.

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Next we headed over the Bridge toward Bush City, but we stopped outside to take in the view after a quick play on the giant xylophone.

The view outside was beautiful, but it was pretty windy which made it very cold.

Bush City Trail was really amazing, I loved seeing and learning about all the different plants. Also the hole that the Moa fell into with the bones was really need to see from the top (as in the picture below) and from eye level, inside the caves.

We had to skip the Fossil Dig as it was soaked, but we will go back again when it is summer and have a dig.

They had a small version of the glowworm caves too, that was very interesting. The limestone cave also had stalactites, cave wētā, and the bones of extinct flightless moa.

Then we wandered out to see the waterfall and rocks; some which date back almost 600 million years!

You can make your visit even more fun with the treasure hunt. For the Bush City Trail Scavenger Hunt form click here.

As we exited the Bush City walk we came into the courtyard of the Te Papa Cafe and decided to have a break and sit and have lunch. That was a nice little stop and recharge.

Next we went up to see the record breaking Britten V1000 Bike. Britten bikes were made in New Zealand in Christchurch before John Britten passed away from cancer. He had an amazing mind, you should read a book about his life.

We were bummed that the Fred Dagg exhibit wasn’t yet open, but we will go back again.

We carried on and went to the Blood, Earth Fire exhibit. We spent a bit of time there as there were some interactive displays.

Then we headed on to the Treaty of Waitangi: Signs of a Nation exhibit and the Passports and Immigration one. It was really interesting listening to and reading people’s immigration stories on the interactive displays.

After this we went into the Gallipoli: The Scale of our War exhibition (Field of Poppies). My camera flash wouldn’t turn off and flash is not allowed, so Brent gave me his phone to take photos. I wish I had traded him, as then I ended up with both phones and couldn’t contact him.

Although this was amazing and I loved the giant art sculptures, our clairsentient abilities went into overdrive and we had to get out. Sophia and I left the boys and tried to exit as soon as we could. I could feel all the emotions of the previous owners from the objects in the cases. All that fear, anger, feeling trapped and the sorrow was just completely overwhelming me.

It was absolutely packed to the point that you had to wait to get through each area. Half way out I had a panic attack and Sophia was so amazing. She grabbed my face and said, “Look at me mom, you are ok. Just breath deeply and take the pictures and I have your hand, I will get you out.”  So I took a few deep breaths and focused only on Sophia and taking pictures of the sculptures. I knew I had to be ok for her.

These sculptures were stunning in their detail and craftsmanship. I would recommend going just to see them. The rest of the exhibit I don’t remember much after I tuned in to a backpack, some tools and a gun, by accident. Usually I can control these when we are out together, but I was just tired and my guard was down.

The sculptures by Weta Workshop are 2.4 times human size and took 24,000 hours to create. It is such a powerful display and story. check out the brochure to learn more. This poster from the Te Pap site gives you an idea of the scale.

Gallipoli Poster

We got out and found a seat to wait for the guys in nice quiet corner and Sophia’s feet were hurting so I gave her a quick foot rub while we waited. It took them about 15 minutes but it was a welcomed break. After they came out we decided to go in the Earthquake Simulator one more time then head out. This was such a great visit.

After leaving Te Papa, we walked a few blocks to the Reading cinema to use our vouchers. by the time we got there it was too late to watch a movie, so we grabbed a bunch of snacks from the counter and told the kids we would rent them movies to watch in their rooms when we got home. They were pretty happy about that.

We left and drove home, Max was asleep before we hit the highway, and Soph slept for a bit as well. When we got back to town, we stopped in the movie rental place and then went next door and bought everyone their own pizza just because we could. Also, that meant lunch was sorted for the next day as we were wiped out.

What an amazing weekend!

We are so grateful to ihc, Boulcott Suites, Reading Cinemas and all the sponsors who donated to this amazing programme. We feel very blessed to have participated. Thank you so much from the Lawless Family.

I hope you all enjoyed sharing our journey with us.

Check back for our next adventure  in a couple weeks!

 

Nana’s Birthday Dinner – take 1

We had a good day, doing our normal Monday things.

I had two clients in the morning which was really great. Both sessions went really well and they were happy.

Sophia did some artwork. She is getting so good and does art almost daily, often two or three pieces. She made these two for a friend today.

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We met Joleen and Tommy at the Crystal shop to buy the kids a crystal and pick up my tarot deck they had ordered for me.

On the way in, Sophia noticed this cup in a puddle and started cracking up as it looked like someone had dropped their overfilled drink. She had to take a photo.

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I bought two decks, as they had one I really had been after for a while.

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I love both of these decks, they are very different but each is well done.  I love the illustrations and the explanations in the Earth Magic deck and the photos and lessons in the Past Life deck.

Sophia bought some yellow calcite. A very fitting choice for her at this time.

Yellow Calcite is often used to enhance one’s will and self-confidence. The sweet, subtle, and vibrant energy of Yellow Calcite can sometimes be felt when placed directly on the Solar Plexus Chakra and can infuse one with a sense of new hope and optimism to face the future.

When we left there, we took Daddy to lunch before heading home. Here is Soph being silly.

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Later in the evening, we celebrated Nana’s Birthday and it was great as we got to see the family.

Brent’s Step-sister, husband and kids also came and Devin joined us as well.

We all went out to eat at Caroline’s Boatshed and it was really nice.

 

The girls brought drawing and colouring pages to entertain themselves and shared with Sophia. She drew a really cute wolf and a donut with frosting, and her cousins loved it.

The boys, well, they did what teenage brothers do, and made each other the entertainment.

 

We also got to take turns holding baby Suri, their newest addition, who is five weeks old.

 

Dinner was amazing, very huge portions and the quality was just awesome.

Sophia had the child’s meal cheese burger, Max had the Chicken & Bacon burger, Dad had the Open Face burger and Devin had the Tai Beef Salad. I also had a chicken burger but gave Sophia the bacon.

We all had chocolate sundaes afterwards too, but they were gone before I could take a photo!

Nana opened her gift after dinner. it was a blue metal sunflower garden ornament that the kids picked out.

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We got pictures of the grand kids together (and Vicki, their exchange student from Germany.)

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We got some pictures with Nana as well. Unfortunately they weren’t looking at me.

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After tea we dropped Devin off at home and headed back to ours for a nice relaxing evening.

Sophia played with her toys and then read before bed. Max played a game and the went to bed. It was a nice night.

We will have her out on Wednesday as well as it is her real birthday. This was just the family get together. What a fun evening.

 

Recycle Centre, Pink Shirt Day, and a walk around the Lake

We had a huge adventure day today.

We started off with a trip to the Resource Recover Centre with the Homeschool Group.

We met some friends and we even brought some of our own recycling to add to the experience. We go all the time, but it is usually too loud for Sophia so she waits in the car.

We learned about the painted mural out front which represents a partnership with the local Iwi. We also saw the mural made with bottle caps! They were both beautiful.

Then our guide taught us heaps about what happens to the items we recycle.

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They smash the plastic bottles together. Then put them through a machine which makes them into chips, pellets and it can even be used for fabric.

Each family then did their recycling and we got to try the magnetic pole to make sure there was no tin in with  aluminum.

Then we looked at the vertical planters, community garden and worm farm.

After this we went inside the Resource Centre and learned the history of the building. It use to be a jail. They showed us an old cell and then what they have turned the place into.

Then we watched a brief presentation on landfills.

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Afterwards, we did a team challenge to make a landfill that won’t leak. Sophia worked with Tommy.

We then did art projects. Sophia chose to work on a mosaic out of bottle caps using a glue gun. She did fine except for growling at the boy who kept hitting the board she was working on with his head while banging around loudly in the cap buckets under the table.

It was all going great until she burned her finger on the hot glue gun. Then we had a full meltdown, as this was her first burn ever and it really hurt.

Luckily the rest room was just up the hall so we went in there until she was able to stop crying as she was embarrassed to cry in front of everyone.

It was not just the burn, it was also sensory overload, this was a lot of noise, movement and a quick paced visual tour.

We left and went to our favourite place for lunch, so she could have time to recoup before the next adventure.

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After lunch we bought some cookies for the next stop, and headed to the Women’s Network for rock painting for Pink Shirt Day. (anti-bullying campaign)

We had a great time and painted heaps of rocks while having delicious snacks with lovely company.

Then we took our rocks and went to the lake with Joleen and Tommy to hide our rocks for others to find.

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Before we went rock hiding, they wanted to feed the chickens.

Then they  hid the rocks all around the play area, and bottom bowl area.

The kids wanted to play at the park for a bit and we were very impressed to see them having a conversation as they usually are happy just to ignore each other. 😛

It was very cool to have them interacting. We even got told off for staring; “we are trying to have a conversation.” with the old hand wave as in turn around.

Joleen and Tommy had to go so Sophia and I decided to look for rocks and walk around the lake for exercise.

Sophia took a few videos while we walked a bunch of pictures. It was just so beautiful and the birds followed us around so we had lots of company.

The swans were so majestic and we even saw some Muscoveys that looked like our Sugar.

We love the back of the lake where the bridges were, it was so beautiful back there.

We loved how the birds all swim together and live as a community. Sophia commented that she wishes people could get along as well as the birds do.

There was so much  to look at and it was all so beautiful. This Pukeko decided to follow us around the side of the lake.

Such a cute and curious little fellow waddling alongside us.

We finally found the beginning and along the way we found  two rocks, one was Tommy’s Elvis rock that had been re-hidden on the opposite side of the lake.

 

We re-hid them both and headed home for a nice relaxing afternoon.

What an excellent day!

Ear surgery and Anxiety

I know this post is different, but it is something we all deal with as a family; our anxiety.  Sophia and I both have Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

I have had it for years but I can control it most of the time. Many people don’t even know I have an anxiety disorder, unless they are very close friends or have been with me when I have had a panic attack. So yes, I can control mine most of the time, but I hate my anxiety especially when it engulfs me out of nowhere.

Here is the reason that has triggered my anxiety. I am having ear surgery; getting permanent tubes put in in two days and I am terrified, with no logical reason. It is a simple procedure and I have had it before as a child.

 

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When the Dr first told me I needed it four months ago, he said there is so much scar tissue from previous surgeries that they will really have to cut and it may not work (while doing carving motions in the air.) I Started having a panic attack from the way he was describing it and he said he would be sure I was put under.

Of course it did not help that a couple nights before I went in, we were watching an episode of Blindspot and I was triggered. Unexpectedly, one of the characters was tortured by being strapped down and having her eardrum stabbed repeatedly with a syringe. I ran out of the room but it was too late, it had brought back the memory and terror from my childhood of the procedure I had while awake.

They have rung me twice since, regarding dates and both times I started hyperventilating and crying just talking with them about the surgery.

Today we did final arrangements and it hit me again while speaking with them. She was saying my husband couldn’t come in with me and I panicked, as I misunderstood her. He is my rock, he knows me very well and what to do to keep me grounded and calm. I am glad I asked for clarification as I thought I would be sitting in the room waiting for several hours before surgery alone, but she meant only in the operating theatre.

Then it hit, I felt like a terrified little kid and couldn’t speak more than one or two words. I couldn’t stop crying and it felt like I couldn’t breathe and the room started to go dark but I pushed back. I couldn’t pull myself completely back together once the tears started flowing and my husband was not home to take the phone. Thankfully I was able to hold it together long enough to hang up the phone. The poor woman on the other end must have been thinking I was a nutter. He is on his way home now though, so that is good.

You see I had tubes put in a few times as a child and I was left there and did not know or understand what was happening. The last time I was around 8 or 9 years old I think, and I was awake through it and it terrified me and I just froze and internalized it all as I always do.

Back in the 70’s children were not treated the way they are now, especially in the Midwest USA. I was hit by Dentists and Doctors regularly for something as simple as asking what they were doing, or saying it hurt, or crying from pain (…or by my Grandmother for embarrassing her.)

So I am pretty sure that this is subconscious childhood medical trauma rearing it’s head mixed with the recent loss of my mother who was suppose to have a successful surgery. The whole thought of it overwhelms me completely, so I mustn’t think about it.

They are planning on putting me to sleep, and for that I am very grateful, but signing in at 8:30 and potentially not going in to theatre until almost noon leaves me far too much time for my brain to come up with all the reasons I don’t want to do it and possibly plan an elaborate escape. At least I am comfortable with the ENT.

The lady was lovely and said they can give me something for the anxiety. I am so glad my husband will be with me, but I just hope I don’t loose it. I just don’t like not being in control of my emotions and thoughts in times like these. No matter how much I logically understand the reasons for my subconscious reactions, I can’t stop the physical ones.

It is times like these when I wish I had my Asperger’s diagnosis on paper so they might understand a bit more why I have these huge reactions.

This is true when it comes to my kids as well, but not to the extent of physical distress as with myself. With the kids, I worry, but I use that to an advantage by being sure that one of us is always with them when they have any procedures done. I never fear for their safety only that they will be scared, but they never are.

Sophia cracks me up, she is Sheldon Cooper without even knowing it. She walked up and said, “Mom, are you crying?” and I said yeah, just nervous about my surgery is all, I will be fine. She tapped my head twice and said, “There, there.” in her cute little monotone voice and toddled off up the stairs yelling I love you. (One of her tics is she yells “I love you!” each and every time she goes upstairs, it is one tic that I have come to love.)

Anxiety never goes away, it is just something that is lesser or greater depending on the situation and the triggers that come up.

If I got through my MRI when I almost lost the plot, I can do this.*

*After finishing the above, my husband came in with an appointment letter, they have changed ENTs on me so I don’t even know the man who will do my surgery. ugh.

It starts all over again. It may be time to go back on medication as perimenopause is making it very difficult to maintain my equilibrium as of late.

I sure feel blessed that it is school holidays while all of this is going on.

I know that I will be fine, and this too shall pass, it is just a small bump in the road.

This procedure is a very good thing in all actuality. The testing showed I have mild to  moderate loss in my right ear, and moderately severe to severe loss in my left. This should recover my hearing from what they have told me, this is the only reason I am doing it.

hearing test chart

We openly communicate our struggles as well as out triumphs so the kids know that they can too and we will support each other through it, whatever it may be.

I made the correct decision

I just saw this memory (below) on my Facebook page, and it was so amazing to realize that 2 years ago I walked into the MOE and asked for an Exemption Application so that I could home educate Sophia.

I was so determined that I could do it, regardless of my doubts and fears, and here we are two years later, and I know I made the correct decision on that day.

Seeing the growth in Sophia and the changes in such a short time has been amazing. Not only in her, but myself as well and our family as a whole.

At the time I made the decision to file for exemption, Sophia was self-harming, had panic attacks, had insomnia due to the fear of the following school day, had a bunch of tics, said through tears that she hated herself, cried and begged not to go to school and was physically ill from stress and anxiety. Not to mention a lot of bruises on her which she had gotten in school.

Now, she is relaxed and confident, sleeps 10-12 hours every night, is rarely ill, has very few tics left (and only when in a stressful environment), she eats well and has truly discovered and likes her Self.

By her Self; I mean she has her own views and likes, she has discovered her love of art, she has found her love of video editing, she has found music enjoyable -including creating it, she knows which books she likes, she loves baking and cooking, She loves science experiments, she loves learning about other cultures and their history, and she is always trying to learn new ways of creating. She has taught herself several complicated computer software programs as well as computer programming. All this, is in addition to her regular studies and Cognitive and behavioral therapy we do at home.

It is so nice to see her redevelop that deep curiosity and love of learning that she had before starting school. She is constantly asking questions about a variety of topics which we then study until she is satisfied that she knows enough about it. She is also sharing the knowledge she has gained. She is willing to give anything a fair go as long as it is approached in the right way at the right time.

Our home is part library, part music studio, part museum, part artist studio and part cinema, but it will never be a classroom as such and learning happens all through the house, as well as in the world. Learning it is a lifelong venture, and we model that to her as well because we are natural seekers of knowledge and experience and it is no surprise that our kids would take after us in this way.

Max on the other hand, loves school and this is great. We allow him to choose how he wants to learn, but we also encourage his other passions. He has joined the cadets, Air Training Corps, and yesterday our sweet son was flying above the earth in a glider and had the best day learning something new and amazing. He hopes to be a pilot for the Air Force when he gets older, and that is awesome.

Sophia thrives at home, Max thrives at school, and I guess that is the key, finding here they excel and supporting them in any way we can. Letting go and allowing them to make choices for their future can be hard, as with Devin moving out, but as parents we hope all that we have taught them over the years is instilled enough courage, intuition and good sense for them to make good decisions and be the best version of themselves they can be. We are proud of all of them.

 Parenting is not easy, and some days you feel like you are not up to the task, but in the end, if you are doing the best you can for your children and truly allowing them to thrive, then you are doing a great job. Today I feel proud of us as parents, we are doing well.


MEMORY: March 20, 2015 at 8:57am

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Lydia, this picture is just like we were saying the other day. I went straight over and got my application from MOE just after our visit. Just another reason why we love you, thanks for helping me retain my clarity.

Breakfast Menu

Sophia asked me how I was this morning and I told her the truth, that I was having a hard day emotionally, but that I would be ok.

We allow our kids to know that we all have rough days and it is ok to allow yourself to feel and work through your emotions, whatever they may be.

She gave me a hug and told me she loved me and that she would go do her work now.

She toddled off and did her workbook and then I saw her start drawing something.

A short while later, she walked up and handed me a menu and asked me what I would like to order.

I played along of course, and then before I knew it she had cooked me a lovely breakfast.

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I asked her why, and she said, “I know you miss your Mom, so I want to make you what you ate with her, to make you happy.”

She had listened when they read my letter to mom at the celebration of life. In it, I mentioned things I missed, and one of those things, was having burnt toast and scrambled eggs together. She has made this for me a couple times since. It really warmed my heart and we had a lovely breakfast together.

Whomever it was that claimed Autistics lack empathy, was sorely mistaken.

What she displayed today was complete selflessness and compassion.

It turned my whole day around and transformed my sadness into gratitude.

 

Christmas Eve Rock hiding and the park

Today for lunch Daddy was making sandwiches.

While he was slicing the ham, he said to Sophia; “Sophia, can you please put the mustard on your bread?”

When he turned around, this is what he found…

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Later, we took the kids and hid these rocks we painted for #whanganuirocks at Glen Logie Rose Gardens.

There were a couple little cuties who showed up and found some, but I don’t think they found them all.

We didn’t find any, but the smiles on those wee boy’s faces was a wonderful thing.

Great Family fun. I love how this is something we can do as a family and also be a part of the community.

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When we finished there we headed over to Peat Park and looked there.

We did not find any rocks, but we did have a lot of fun.

I love how relaxed this holiday season has been.

We are really looking forward to tomorrow and spending time with the family.

Many of our gifts we made ourselves, we will post about those after Christmas, so we don’t ruin the surprise. 😉

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