Archives for posts with tag: Friends

I think I will start this blog off by saying….I found an old friend. Not a friend-friend, meaning a person, but an old friend non-the-less. And his name is POP-TOOBS.

We used to have these things years ago, when Elizabeth was really young. This was in the phase of her life when her Sensory Processing Disorder( SPD) was really affecting her days. And I found these tubes and she loved them, I really could not believe how much. I loved them so much because she loved them so much. We had a whole bunch of them back in the day. She was always carrying one around and playing with them. It was one of the few items that she would use willingly at the time.

But I digress….let me refocus.

The Slinky POP-TOOBS are brightly colored tubes of plastic that are ribbed. You pull them and the tube stretches as they make a really satisfying RRRPPPPTTT sound. After you pull them, the slinky pop tube is really long and then you can hold each end and work it back together until it is the same size it was before. It was discovered, years ago, by my oldest child, Emily, that when they are at their longest, and you swing them around in circle with your arm, they make a great whistling sound.

The thing about the Slinky Pop tubes is that they are such an easy therapy tool to help create some good sensory input for your child. They are fun and quite addictive. Honestly, they are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to add to your child’s sensory diet. Because they do not really require a learning curve to use, they do not make the child frustrated when they first see them. This used to be the case for Elizabeth. When she would want to try something, she would find out her Dyspraxia would make it difficult for her to succeed, then she would become frustrated and defeated and then quit. But these tubes are easy to work.

And by work, I mean the POP-TOOBS do work the fine motor skills of the person using it. The stretching part does work their arms and hands, but it is the wiggling and fine motor adjustments that you need to do to get it back to its original form, that is the work. You cannot just shove the slinky pop tubes together, you have to guide it a bit, so it takes some motor planning, fine motor strength and patience. But all that is actually lost in the fun of working the tube back into the way you found it. Elizabeth would hold the opened slinky pop tube like she was holding handle bars of a bike, then work her hands and arms to get the tube closed. She did not quit on this one, and I think it was because the fun of opening it again drove her to keep working.

So please take a look at the Slinky Pop TOOBS guys, they are actually an option for a stocking stuffer even if you child does not need them in their sensory bin, trust me. Michael, my 11 year old, saw the red tube, pulled it apart, squeezed it back together again and said “YEESSSSS! Can I have this?” I said “yes” and he took it upstairs to his room. So I am giving it a thumbs up from Michael.

I am ordering a few for our fidget bin. Maybe you can too!

I wish everyone a peaceful week.



I cannot believe it is school time. I know I have said it before but I still feel I need to say it again.

But Michael is starting school in one week. And Elizabeth? She starts the next part of her journey after high school, in three days.

So as I have been organizing school supplies and back-to-school clothes, I have been replaying the memories of Summer in my head.

I see the good things we did.

The fun things we did.

The new things Elizabeth did.

The fun things Elizabeth did.

I am using these last few days to kind of catalog the memories of our Summer.

One great part of the summer was our vacation. We had the most wonderful time together. We always do, but what separated this year from years before, was how organized, calm and mature Elizabeth was the whole time.

Trust me, those who are raising a child with special needs, know that to see maturity and a sense of calm, is a really huge thing.

There were years that it was a struggle for Elizabeth to go on a trip, let alone, relax and have fun.

But this year was her best trip yet. And was pretty great! Wonderful, actually.

So I am categorizing these memories.

I do it for the sake of my own heart. I want to remember them all. To hold them dear and to make sure I never forget.

And this brings me to the thing I have been thinking about this week.

That there are many times we need to simply enjoy the successes.

That we need to take a moment, just a moment, to REALLY see the good things that occurred.

Because Sometimes:

We know we are seeing growth.

We know we are hearing new words.

We know we are seeing new things attempted.

But do we really take the time to see them?

For those who are raising a special needs child, the littlest of successes can make our hearts soar for a long time. For example, I can remember one summer when Elizabeth pretended to have a tea party in the baby pool of our swim club. She was about four years old. To others, it was something that their child simply did. The other moms would nod, take the cup of “tea” and smile. But it was so different for me, I was smiling ear to ear, and I relished watching Elizabeth perform each task. For me, I wanted to get on the microphone at the pool and announce to everyone “Elizabeth wants to have a tea party and she is

doing it! By herself!”

The thing is, even if I had done that, so many of the other moms there would not have understood. Because unless your child has special needs, you really and truly cannot.

But I watched her with rapt attention as she

-Poured the tea

-Pretended to add sugar

-Pretended it was hot and she waited to “drink” it.

I was thrilled watching her do this! And my heart soared at the imaginative play I was seeing. I held onto this memory because at this point in her life, most things were pretty hard work for her.

So it is the little things we hold onto.

So, if I can offer, let yourself really see.

And take those memories and tuck them tightly in so they will be remembered. They can be a strength to you when you are low. When things are NOT going well.

And they are there for you to see that all the hard work is so very worth it.

So as I go back to my thinking, and remembering,

I hope that you will allow yourself the same gift.

To really see.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.


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