Continue to Pray..

[I wrote this on Sunday, May 6. I’m late posting because I was torn on if I should or not..]

I knew today would be difficult. I get it. Even I often have to take a step away, take a deep breath and catch my head. In fact, I WOKE UP EARLY today just to have 5 minutes of peace.. and you know what happened? One of the boys felt me leave the room and woke up.. totally backfiring my plan to have a moment of peace.. I knew today would be long.. and hard. But I wasn’t going to miss mass just because things were proving to be difficult. I struggled through every obstacle I faced this morning.

I’ve honestly left the mass before in situations like this.. but I won’t keep allowing people to get in between my relationship with God.. But I did see you.. I did hear you.. and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make my skin crawl and shatter my heart.

I saw when you rolled your eyes and it took several deep breaths to hold back tears. I heard your comments, too.. I could see as you praised the baby that was still just a few pews ahead of us.. Without a doubt in my mind, that baby was behaving beautifully.. but you didn’t need to compare them. He wasn’t being bad. Sure, he was whiny and cried some but he wasn’t swinging from the choir loft or doing anything outside of normal childlike behavior.

Today, I saw and felt every moment of you rolling your eyes and belittling my son. As much as it hurt, I brushed it off. Maybe you’re having a bad day, too.. and if you are, I’m sorry.. and if you’re not – I do hope you find peace But while I saw (and heard you)… what you didn’t see is just all he’ been through in the last few weeks that caused his whining.. I know, I know- it sounds like just an excuse to justify my child being rowdy, but I can promise you – it’s not.

That kid that was a little cranky and loud is miserable in his own skin right now. He’s only 2 and confused.. and unlike an adult, he cannot process that pain and discomfort in a mature way… That “bad little boy” is covered in blisters and hives from his head to his toe.. and we still aren’t sure why. We are working with a doctor for answers but for now? We still don’t have them so we make the best of life that we can for him despite what confusion and pain he feels.. That little boy has slept *maybe* 15 hours COMBINED in 5 days because he’s in so much pain.. yet, he still smiled at you when we first sat and you snarled his way.. He’s too innocent to see that you weren’t being sincere.. but I saw it. I wanted so badly to pick up my bag, grab both of my boys and just walk out.. but we weren’t there for you.. We go to mass because of our faith in God. And.. Trust me. There are so many days that I *wish* we had a cry room .. but we don’t.. So we make do the best we can and try our best to keep them calm every Sunday..

It took a lot of prayers for peace.. but we stayed.. but you didn’t stop. The looks didn’t stop… but I ignored them. I’m not really sure what’s going on in your life.. and it’s really not my business. But I do truly hope that you someday find peace with it. I also hope you know (or maybe come to realize) that we don’t go to mass to ruin your day.. or moment. We go to mass because I hope to train up two God fearing lads that can someday lead the youth of our church.

If this finds its way to you, I do pray for you. I do pray for whatever you’re facing.. or holding onto. If you need a hug, I’d be more than happy to offer one.. If you want to pray, we can do that, too. But please.. consider what someone is going through before being so quick to judge them. As your sister in Christ, I can only believe that you truly wish to see our church flourish with youth that will love Jesus as much as we all do.. but for that to happen, we must also welcome them all with loving arms.. loud or quiet, calm or wild.. Children come in all personalities and are dealing with so many situations we cannot even begin to fathom in just a glance..

For any mother reading this who’s nodding her head because she can relate.. I know it hurts. The pain stings and you feel defeated.. but continue to train up a child in your faith. It is never between anyone but you and God anyway ❤ ❤ Continue to go to your mass. Continue to work with your children to love and serve the Lord.. and when your heart feels heavy because you feel defeated in mass, CONTINUE TO PRAY..


When God Speaks..

For me, there is something absolutely magical about being a parent. I’m sure most parents would agree. One of those extraordinary magical momens happened this morning and I’m so happy I was there to see it. 
At Greyson’s MMA school, they learn a word each month that instills morals and/or values into their everyday lives. Today, they are introducing the new world of the month: confidence. We spent most of the morning practicing the definition and I would give him little mantras to say: 

  • “I am smart!”
  • “I am strong!”
  • “I am brave!”
  • “I can!”
  • “I am!”

So when lunch time rolled around, I sat them down with plates and tured Veggie Tales on. I headed back to the kitchen to work on supper and left the boys to eat. 

I hear nothing but silence aside from Bob & Larry on television as the boys eat and suddenly, I hear a shriek of excitement followed by “Mom!! Play that again! MOOOOHMMMM! Come see!” So I rush to the living room to check on them thinking Gage has tossed his plate or something and instead,  he’s pointing at the TV. I grab the remote and back it up to see David and Goliath followed by the ending scripture of the show: 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippines 4:13

Greyson realized that David had confidence that he could defeat Goliath because he trusted God would assist him and got so excited he was able to relate! 

My heart was so full with pride and happiness. There was a pure joy in his eyes that told me he really understood and could relate to the episode because he understood the concept of confidence. 
Being a parent has its great moments and it has moments that are not so great. And then, moments like this morning happen.. those are the indescribable moments. There are no words to explain how overwhelmed with happiness I was in that moment to see my son not only understand this word but to be able to relate it to his personal life and his faith

I have always been excited when I would read a scripture or devotional and it felt as if God was speaking directly to me. To witness my son feel this same emotion was truly an amazing experience. 

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.