Last month I told you about my joining the team over at Snaps1000Words.com, a website dedicated to creating 1000-word short stories based on pictures the contributors see or take.

Well, a while ago I visited an elderly man. His house was filled with beautiful trinkets, antiques and conversation starting knickknacks. One piece that caught my attention was an old, cherry wood clock with straight lines and a brass plated face. The clock was so striking that it stood out to me, as if to scream look at me I’m special. It caught my attention and this story is the result of me letting my mind take me away.

When the Clock Strikes

When the Clock Strikes

Among the knickknacks littering the mantle in the main living room, an ornately beautiful yet insignificant clock chimed every hour, on the hour. It sat near the helm of my maternal grandfather’s boat, the only piece of Lily’s Hope salvaged after it caught fire on the river one Fourth of July. My dad gave the clock to my mother several years before they married. I never understood why she kept it after she left him.

Read more at www.snaps1000words.com/snaps-clock.

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Q is for Quiet Time | #atozchallenge #autism

by Makasha Dorsey on April 19, 2014

Quiet time reminds me of when my boys were toddlers. After a good lunch, we would read a book and then settle down for naptime. Sometimes no one went to sleep but the house would be quiet enough for them to calm themselves and so that I could relax my mind.

As the boys grew older, this ritual all but stopped until about two years ago. During spring break I found myself extremely tired and grumpy. From the time I opened my eyes at about 4:30 am until I passed out at about midnight, I filled my time working and tending to my family. I also noticed the same grumpy behavior in my boys.

Q

Instead of trying to get them to do something I was not doing for myself, I told both boys that we had to have complete downtime right after lunch each day during spring break. We couldn’t use the phone, the computer or the television. They could read a “real” book and not one on a table for 10 or 15 minutes but they could only sit quietly for at least 15 minutes. It was rough in the beginning but by the end of the week we all valued that time. When they returned to school, we took 15 minutes as soon as we came in from carpool and another 15 minutes after dinner.

While my son was in occupational therapy, his therapist explained the importance of him having down time. Did you know that even neurotypical people can become over stimulated like people on the spectrum? You’ve probably experienced it after being stuck in traffic or pulling an all nighter at work. That I don’t want to be tired feeling that makes you jittery and anxious. Even knowing that everyone in our home could benefit from quiet time, it has slowly become infrequent—only occurring when one of us is at the point of having a meltdown.

Recently, the boys and I had a quick snack after school and my oldest son said, “Mom, I think I miss quiet time.” After sitting there for a moment I realized that I missed it too. I told him that I would think of some ways we can have quiet time that is age appropriate for them.

Instead of taking a full thirty minutes, I have decided for each of us to take what we need for up to 30 minutes but we must each spend at least 10 consecutive minutes each day in quiet time. Below are a list of mom-approved things we can do during quiet time.

  • meditate
  • journal
  • read the Bible, Bible stories or inspirational quotes
  • doodle or sketch
  • practice karate forms/katas
  • nap
  • practice yoga
  • stretch

Quiet time goes back into daily rotation in the Dorsey home on Monday after the boys and I talk about it on Sunday. Taking a few moments a day to find your center or to simply calm yourself can make you a better asset to your family. It can help your children learn how to sit quietly and allow themselves the freedom to think without the constant stimuli from the outside world.

Can you incorporate quiet time into your daily routine? Do you have quiet time tips for my family?

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P is for Plan

April 18, 2014

“No matter how many plans you make or how much in control you are, life is always winging it.” — Carroll Bryant I like to plan. I need to know what, when, where, why and how. What do I need to do? When do I need to do it? Where do I have to do […]

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O is for Own Your Experience | #atozchallenge #autism

April 18, 2014

Being a parent of a child on the spectrum has made me even more aware that each person, situation and experience is different. My family’s experience living with autism is our experience; owning it has allowed us to live a little less frustrated over the years. When I say own your experience my intent is […]

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N is for Nonfunctional Routines | #atozchallenge #autism

April 16, 2014

Before I had a child of my own, I had the privilege of baby sitting and being an aunt. My two oldest nieces are girly girls who likes anything pink and frilly. When they were little, the girls had tons of toys which were put away after they were done playing. But, they played good […]

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M is for MMM | #atozchallenge #autism

April 15, 2014

I’m kind of late writing this post.  But, here goes. I see a fair amount of banter on Facebook and in mom’s groups about children and food. Fortunately, I grew up in a home where my mother paid attention to our likes and dislikes when it came down to meals. She didn’t go out of […]

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L is for Love | #atozchallenge #autism

April 14, 2014

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:17 I could just let you meditate on the scripture but I like to talk so … Being a parent is hard period. It does not matter if you parent a typical child or one with special needs. Every […]

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K is for Keep Calm and Do Something | #atozchallenge #autism

April 12, 2014

Okay. I know. The KEEP CALM images should probably be retired by now. Let’s blame this on the letter “K” combined with the challenge of writing blog posts 6 days a week. While I was thinking about this post I panicked. I told myself to keep calm hence the title of this post. Let’s go […]

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J is for Journey | Living Through #Autism’s Eyes: My Journey with my Son by Brooke Price #atozchallenge #fridayreads

April 11, 2014

Travel into the world of an autism family. Follow Zain and his mother, Brooke, as they struggle to cope with his autism. Watch Zain blossom into a verbal child with some ability to function from a little boy that beat his head constantly and had NO words. Travel into this family’s world as they walk […]

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I is for Intelligent: #atozchallenge #autism

April 11, 2014

Dagnabit! I forgot to post the letter “I” on yesterday so  here goes. The first time I ever heard the word “autism” I was hanging out with a guy I was dating and his friends. During the conversation one of the young men picked up a sketch and said to another young man, “I didn’t […]

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