To Love Him Better.. 

You know how they say “always trust your gut“.. and “Mom knows best“..Well, since Greyson was 2, I’ve dabbled with the idea that he would eventually be diagnosed with ADHD. I get that “boys will be boys” and “he’s just a child with energy and curiousity“.. but this was more than that. He was the classic textbook definition of attention deficit and hypreactivity. When I first spoke of it with my husband, he was totally against the idea. See, Shawn had very little interaction with children up until having his own so a lot of children’s illnesses were still super taboo to him. Fear of the unknown, if you will. It caused a few waves in our marriage but only because I felt alone in the matter until Shawn agreed to be a bit more open minded to the idea.. I didn’t want a diagnosis that day, just to explore ways we could play better and understand better so that we could help Greyson thrive. I mean, at that point, the worst that could happen is that we played sensory games with our young, developing child.

Well now he’s 5. And Shawn has come around to the idea after diving into research and seeing how different sensory games and toys always go over better with Greyson than stuff that just completely overwhelms and over stimulates his mind.  

If I’m being totally honest, I didn’t mind if something was wrong with him. Of course every parent wants for their child to be healthy at all cost.  For us, I wanted him to be healthy, but if there was something wrong, I wanted to know. It would never change how I love him expect that I could learn how to understand so that we could love him better. 

At his wellness check, his pedatrician agreed with us that he, too, suspected ADHD for a while. Now, here’s why I love this doctor: he didn’t automatically force us to toss him on medication and call it a day. He sent us home with paperwork and options. We follow up in 6 months to see how things progress but we are able to try natural methods to help him instead of creating more side effects just jumping into medicine for such a tiny body. 

**now, let me stress, if he needs medicine, we’re not against it. If we try all options and they fail, we will do what we need to do to ensure he is happy, healthy and loved. So please understand, I judge no one who chooses medicine, I just worry about him being so young and wanted to explore something that had less side effects if it worked.** 

 Our first idea was something filled with structure and discipline.  We started this back in January with MMA. We found the most amazing MMA school for what Greyson was needing in his life. He’s come far from where he was before beginning at Gladiators Academy but we still have some ways to go. The structure and discipline has helped curb some of his impulsive behaviors. He’s come very far in learning morals, discipline and has drastically improved in respect. 

Our second idea was to try essential oil blends. I should note,  I don’t take oils lightly, tons of research goes into making a blend in my house. So the search for the perfect blend for Greyson started. I know oils are not “one size fits all” so my job was cut out for me. I tried a various assortment of diffusing blends, inhaler blends and roller balls.  I saw some success but not nearly what I was looking for as far as relief goes. 

I finally decided that maybe my method of delivery wasn’t efficient. I’m not the most seasoned oiler out there so I decided to change up my usual approaches. So, one morning, I wake up a post on FB that would drastically change my life. Alycee LeBlanc, a friend from high school, shared a paracord bracelet she’d made for her son– and it *clicked*. The colors, the pattern, the material. This is it! This is how I’m going to oil him

And thus this blend was born.. 

As usual, I’m going to share why I chose the oils that I did…

  • Lavender – Lavender is such a versatile oil, it’s amazing.  Lavender oil helps promote relaxation and eases tension. I was hopeful the lavender component to the blend would help him “hit the brakes” some.
  • Frankincense – Frankincense relieves stress, uplifts one’s mood and assists in combating anxiety and stress. I was worried if I slammed the brakes and didn’t ease his mind at the same time, I’d cause other problems, so I took anxiety into account. 
  • Peace & Calming II – This blend smells heavenly and offers a calming effect. It also uplifts the spirit while promoting relaxation and peace. ADHD and depression are linked and I’m taking no chances. Remember,  my goal is happy and healthy. 
  • Valor II – Liquid Courage, in a sense. Valor II is an amazing oil that instills feeling of strength and courage. I didn’t want to take away his spunk. Greyson has such a bold and free spirited personality and I wanted to keep that about him. I never want him to lose that spirit and happiness. 
  • Cedarwood – Cedarwood oil is extremely high in sesquiterpenes. Sesquiterpene is a chemical compound known to stimulate brain function and help the body reprogram old genetic patterns into healthier ones. 
  • Copaiba – Copaiba is a fascinating oil in that not only does it do its own amazing things, it’s a magnifier. This means it magnifies the effects of other oils. It also aids in managing anxiety. 

And last, but possibly the most important part to this blend: 

  • Vetiver – Vetiver is known as the “Oil of Tranquility“. It is taken from the dried roots of grassy vetiver plant. Vetiver is a grounding oil that reduces anxiety, stress and nervous tension. It is a grounding oil that promoted restful sleep. Vetiver oil aids in rediscovering homeostatis after emotional trauma*(see note below) and shock. It soothes the central nervous system and manages compulsive behavior.  Multiple studies have been taken using Vetiver to treat ADHD and it’s proven itself to relieve symptoms associated with ADHD.

*in 2015, our home was unlawfully entered, several things damaged such as doors being forced open or opened incorrectly. Thankfully, it was not worse, it’s past us, things have improved and all has been settled legally. However, we happened to come home at the time of the event and this made for a very long evening but an even longer emotional trauma for Greyson. This benefit of Vetiver speaks to me because, although he is getting over it in his own time, it brings me great happiness to provide an oil that will also help with that emotional healing. 
So I applied this blend to his paracord and sent him on his way to play. See, everytime he pushed his arm back and forth, back and forth, he would inhale the aromas of this blend. I was hoping that the constant inhalation would work as an ‘extended release’ effect. I was right! 

There were no arguments over supper, his toys were picked up without having to be asked. His attention span longer than I’d ever seen in his tiny, precious life. He was able to focus, to self entertain and to control his usual impulsive behaviors.  

 If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I never would have believed it. The transformation was truly day and night. 

So far, this oil has been heaven sent. I know time will have to be the true test.. but for now, we’ve found a way to help Greyson remain Greyson but also enjoy so much more without all of the anxiety.

Now, let me stress, oils are a tricky thing. There are no set “one size helps all” blends. It can take numerous times to figure out what works best for you. If you’re dabbling with oils and it doesn’t seem to work at first, KEEP TRYING

In the end, my goal remains. I only want to understand my children as best as I can so that I can love them the best way possible. I want to help them thrive and succeed. I want them happy and healthy. I can only hope this journey opens new opportunities for him as his mind grows, absorbs more knowledge and he becomes more independent each day. 


Sensory Pillows & Hope.

At Greyson’s recent wellness check, we dabbled with the idea of ADHD with his pediatrician. He’s pretty textbook for symptoms but no official diagnosis is to be made until school teachers see it, too. Being the proactive Mom I am, I started researching things like sensory aids, ways of eating, etc. Of course, we started using Vetiver and other essential oils but I wanted more hands on, too. 

Sensory toys are amazing for children with Autism, ADHD, anxiety.. Sensory toys improve the child’s daily functuous and improves the way they learn and develop. It does this by changing brain interactions to touch, sound, sight and movements. Even small amounts of sensory play can enhance a child’s ability to absorb information.  
I also found that weighted blankets and/or toys are very beneficial. Weight in a blanket/toy provide pressure to receptors throughout the body.

The pressure helps the body relax. Weighted toys help to feel safe and secure, like a warm hug would. 

After pricing sensory and weighted toys, I was so discouraged at the pricing.  I understand why.. but it was definitely out of our budget for the time being. So I took to trusty Pinterest and found some ideas.  
Cue two weeks later, I’m strolling through Walmart and I stumble across Mermaid pillows… and mermaid tablet covers. You know, those neat flip sequins fabric items. It dawns on me for a DIY. I saw some blankets where they would sew in.. and toys where they would stuff.. surely this could work? 

So I couldn’t pass up the idea.. or the deal. The mermaid tablet cover was on sale for $2.50 at my local Walmart!  I picked up glass marble beads at our DollarTree, along with some sand, duct tape and zip lock bags. I got enough to make 2. Monkey see, Monkey Do. Surely Gage would want to mimic big brother! 

I calculated how much weight would be needed to be beneficial for each boy.

I found several sources that suggest occupational therapist recommend 10% of the child’s body weight + 1 to 2 lbs. 

I used the sand and glass beads to full zip loc backs. I did a half and half mixture because I wanted them weighted but not super lumpy. Once I had the bags filled, I sealed the edges of the bags. Sand can get a bit messy and I didn’t want it all over the house if the case cover were somehow opened. 

After I had them sealed, I grabbed some old t-shirts. I wish I’d taken a photo at this stage, but I forgot. I laid each bag side by side flat on the t-shirt and rolled it up. This added some extra cushion. The GREAT thing about the tablet covers were they were pre-sewn, had a zipper already, a carrying rope and the backside was a super soft velvet. Two textures for a low cost. 

After the weighted bags were rolled safely into the old t-shirt, I tucked them into the tablet sleeve and zipped it up, Easy-Peasy! I’m sure you could sew different fabrics for different textures or even mermaid fabric on both side.. sewing just isn’t my strong suit so I took a short cut. 

After finishing pillow/toy 1, I called Greyson and Shawn over to check it out and almost instantly got smiles of approval. I may or may not have snuck some Young Living in there, too. A cotton sheet of Vetiver,  Lavender,  Valor II, Peace & Calming II happened to find its way inside the sleeve.

 Greyson had been playing with the mermaid texture about a week before I could actually do the weights due to the Katana incident. He’d even “drawn” Baymax from Big Hero 6 for hid Dad earlier this too help his “booboo”. 

So, funny story, as I look down  to work on Gage’s pillow, Shawn was taking Greyson’s for a “test drive”. I looked up and managed to sneak this gem. Enjoy! 

It took me about 30 minutes, max, to finish both. The family has been enjoying them since! 

They are officially kid tested, husband approved!  I can only hope this is the beginning of finding a journey that helps us better teach Greyson with methods that are beneficial to him.