Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Your Turn!


So, you gave me this idea.

Yeah, you.  The reader!

I have gotten quite a few personal messages and emails from you lately.  In a nutshell, those notes are thanking me for sharing the hard parts of life because often, you can't.

Well, guess what.  Now you can!

I would like to take this opportunity during this time in our history and this time where you feel the need to share, to let you share.

Share a story about something hard you overcame.  Share a story about a solution that you found that works in stressful situations.  Share about a pattern that you can't seem to get out of.  Share about your grief, pain, joy, gratitude, etc.

Just share it with us!


Nobody needs to know it's you except you.

You can send me your story via email at amandak114 at  If you don't want me to know it's you, then send it through a trusted friend's email.  If you don't care if I know it's you, hit me up on messenger, text or email.

But I won't tell anyone it's you.  

If you see that I published your story and you want to share that post on your social media, that's totally up to you.

I just want more people to let their voices be heard.  Because everyone's voice is important.

So share your story!

If I get a lot of stories, I'll string them out over the weeks.  If I get a couple, I'll put them all in one post.

The only stipulation is that you send me a true, heartfelt story or experience.  And if I suspect that it's foul play, I won't add it.  I have that liberty, you know.

If you read other stories and are compelled to write something short, you can always add an anonymous comment.

Okay, well, hopefully you will hear from somebody else besides me next week!

This is you... waiting to burst!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Love and Connection


I hope you're doing great.

We are pretty darn great ourselves.  We are!

I just went back and read a couple of the dark posts I wrote this spring.  Looking back, I still find them useful.  I mean, I teared  up as I remembered how low I was feeling, but I think that the wisdom I found to share is still valid.

You can scroll down and find them if you want, but this week's post is to update you because I got a chance to reflect even more.  For months.  And with lots of new learning under my belt.

Just a quick recap: when school stopped indefinitely on March 13, 2020, I knew I had a big job to do.

No longer would I send my child to school where qualified people would prompt him to read, write, learn science, add numbers, see other kids, receive specialized therapies, etc, etc.

I would have to do that all with him.


So at first I tried.  I tried really hard.

And it was good.

But the expectations never stopped.  They just kept becoming more and more with virtual school and isolation and me and him and him and me.

I thought I had to keep up with all those things.  I thought he needed physical therapy, speech therapy, fine motor therapy, reading, writing, getting outside, and everything all at once.

Truthfully, he benefits from all those things.

But I could not do it all.

And I felt like a failure.

Do you know what he really needed in those times?

It was really only one simple thing, and, in my despair, I put on the back burner.

It was love.

It still is love.

Know how I know?

Because I am focusing on that now.

Love and connection.

I was so frustrated with feeling frustrated with him and myself, that I started reading this book called Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham.

In all honesty, I am not even done with it yet.  I will finish it at some point, but I already feel like I have made big changes in our relationship.  Big changes where we laugh so hard together everyday.

We snuggle genuinely.

We kiss and hug.

We talk about things.

The biggest thing I have changed is my mentality.  I am focusing on our connection.

Our life is no longer about what I want him to do or what other people want him to do.  It's about what he wants to do and how we need to do it so he learns best.

Before you think I'm raising a spoiled brat, I assure you, I'm not.  Just the opposite.  He is polite.  He is becoming patient.  He is becoming independent.  He is becoming more helpful.

He is truly amazing, and so is our relationship.

I have changed my mentality from dictating my authority (and getting frustrated when it doesn't work -- which it doesn't on a daily basis), to observing him.

I pay attention to what he is doing in the moment when I need him to do something else.  Then I use what he is doing (or wants to do) to motivate him to do what I need him to do.

It is life-changing for us both, and it is truly beautiful.

I would recommend Dr. Markham's book to any parent.  Or even any non-parent who wants to relate better to other people in general.

She also has a website called   I just checked it out.  What I like is that she divides ideas for coaching your child into the child's age group, so you can read what applies to you now.

However, I'm a real sucker for brain development talk, so I like to read from the infant stage on.  I try not to dwell on all the times I screwed up when B was a baby (cuz I was really stressed out!) because people's neurological pathways are always changing with the input they are given.

It only took a couple months for me to notice big changes in how he responds to me.  He puts more trust in me and enjoys doing things to help me out -- sometimes without being asked!  I mean, what a miracle!

In turn, I am more peaceful with myself.  More creative to troubleshoot (because that's a huge part of parenting) and more patient to wait for him to respond in my favor on his own accord.

That is seriously magical.

I'm all for it.

Well, hey.  Thanks for making it this far down the page.  Here's a cute pic of my Wee Man wearing Grampa's glasses a couple weeks ago.

You take care, and be patient with yourself!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Guinea Pig along the Montreal River


This is Guinea Pig.

You haven't met me yet, but you will get to hear about my adventure today.  I'm in all the pictures.  Cuz I'm so cute an' all.

Anyways, I'm a good friend of Braeden's.  I chat with him while he goes on the potty, keep him calm at the doctor, make sure he eats his oatmeal and sometimes help with homework.  I can be very busy.

But today, I went on an adventure with Amanda (Braeden's mom) and her true love, Craig.  We went to the mouth of the Montreal River.

Check me out!

I mean, check it out.  Wink.

On our way to enter the fancy Montreal Falls arch!

She put me in a branch over a cliff!  Not funny!

I got stumped.

My beauty accents the beauty of the leaves.

One of my favorite pics of the day!

Finally, we made it to the bottom falls!

I needed to rest on a burnt log, so you could see Lake Superior.

Can you see me in those giant cedars???

I had to wear my rain hat at the first elbow in the river.

Shhh!  We're hiding on Craig in the woods!

I think I look good in yellow.

But I look ravishing in pink!  Can you spot me?

I found some mushrooms!

The next falls up!
It looks tiny here, but it was like 30 feet high.  And noisy!

I just had to pose with this scenery.

A legendary view (sans moi).
Mount Bohemia, Mount Houghton and Bare Bluff in the background.

Alrighty then.  Maybe I'll see you another time.  Braeden really liked my pictures.  I hope you liked them too!  Ta ta!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Crusading Through the Unknown


I suppose by now you are curious about what the heck is going on.

You are not alone -- I am too!  Ha!

Have you ever tried transfering schools for your child with special needs during a pandemic, and the school you are trying to transfer to stops in-person learning?  

I don't recommend it.

There are so many variables and unknowns at this point, that I still don't know what we are going to move forward with.  However, there are some things I have learned that I am darn sure of.

1) I will do whatever I have to do, talk to whoever I have to talk to, move wherever I have to move, etc, to make sure that little Brady P. gets the best therapies, helpers and resources, so he can thrive.  This is about thriving.  His potential is vast, and I want him to shine.

2) I cannot control everything.  Sometimes I just have to put all my desires out there and then sit back and wait to see what is going to happen.  It's so hard to make a decision when circumstances are rocky.  I have to let go.  I HAVE TO!  Or I don't sleep at night, and the day feels heavy,

3) Once I set my intentions for the big picture, things fall into place.  At least they are starting to!  It seems like if you can pave the way for your dreams with your mind, then the universe knows what you want, and you start to notice the opportunities that pop up.  You are already paying attention to the things that will serve you, so you can grab opportunities easier.  It's so wonderful.

4) My family is amazing.  It seems like once we started this idea of getting Braeden into a school with more resources for his needs, my friends and family were very supportive.  Not just supportive, but helpful.  We have suddenly built this "team" and seem to be in a group effort with the same end goal.  We are all on the same page and are willing to do whatever we have to in order to make sure that little Swizzley boy can thrive.  It's very powerful, and I am grateful.

5) Honesty, openness and communication are so key in moving any process forward.

6) We are all connected.  Do I really need to say more about that?  We are all connected.  Every person on this planet.

Brady P. is doing great.  They other day, he sat down with his homework sheets on the floor and started answering the questions all by himself.  ALL BY HIMSELF!!!  

Usually this is a massive effort by me and Homework Panda, but not yesterday!  My parents applauded (my mom is helping out as his school aid for the week) and I gave him a big hug.

What a man!

We are so proud.

It's those little things like that that are big in my heart, and it makes moving forward with the best of intentions through the unknown all worth it.

Even the biggest hearts get tuckered out

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Run, Run, Run!


I haven't forgotten about you.  Things have just been super busy in my life.

I don't know how much to reveal yet, but just know that we are great and working on some changes.  All good things!

I hope you are great in your own life, too!  

I think the fall colors are about at peak, so make sure you get a good eyeful!  Here's a pic from Lake Manganese from a few days ago.  Totally not cropped or enhanced... you'll have to squint (or click on it)!

Take care, and stay positive!  Realistically positive, please.  You know, just working in a positive direction.  Xoxoxo!