What’s Nudging You?

Have you ever had that feeling of something nudging you from deep within?

Nudging you to do something different?

Nudging you to step outside of your comfort zone?

Nudging you to get excited or to move on?

Nudging you to push you to grow and expand?

A gentle encouragement or an abrupt sign – listen to what your intuition is saying.

Take action to listen to these nudging feelings to interpret something meaningful.

Even if the feelings are uncomfortable and scary, or exciting and moving –

LISTEN.

The outcome of these deep-rooted messages is to encourage growth.

Take the time to LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND.

Only then can the actions be taken to leap to your next step!

I Am a Mother

My Body

A not so young mother of three, ages 11, 9, & 6. All born by C-section, the first two were messy emergency deliveries, and each had their share in the NICU for our short stay. One miscarriage before my oldest, one before the middle one. My body’s been through hell and back during these child-bearing years. Stories I never want to tell expecting moms.

I reminisce on Mother’s Day, as I smother my (tall) first born in my arms, on the moment I became a mom.

No one told me it was going to be so hard in the beginning where you’re in so much pain after being cut open and sewed back together again. Where the nurse demanded me to walk myself to the bathroom then out in the hallway or else I’d swell up like a balloon, which was already the case!

No one told me that once we got home, I was supposed to take care of this little baby without any provisions from the hospital. Just to figure it out as you go – which pretty much sums up parenthood. We have great supports but in those moments of dreaded night time feeds while in zombie mode, moms step up like no other human can.

And the fact that we can produce superfood with our boobs is phenomenal. But that’s not why we are superhuman. Mothers are a different category because of the many layers of strength, love, compassion, understanding, planning, and conviction that is instilled in us to combat the degrees of variables of obstacles, worries or fears and turn them into joy.

My Heart

There is a constant battle of showing equal attention, equal love, equal time for every single one at all times. No matter what there always seems to be one who is not happy because of this and that and this and that and this and that. No matter how hard we try to accommodate.

That’s where the F-bombs and screaming come in. After all that we do as parents, there’s always the one who throws the last straw as if they’re testing the grounds for messy explosives. This mom was not built for that last straw. Once my cup is full, it pours out in profanities. So beware and be brave.

Patience at negative zero.

The reason why I created my blog Dr Jekyll Mommy Hide. A place where I can secretly hide to vent about what happens when the triggers are pulled. Then how I heal by loving hard with open heart while being ever so grateful for my life. Making everyone promise, including myself, to be better next time.

The mixed emotions of parenting on top of being a working mom, leads me turning to writing time and time again. The process is so therapeutic and keeps me in my sacred safe zone. I can lock myself in this process even when I don’t have anything to say because there’s always an endless flow, is what I ultimately learn in the end.

I felt the nudge to accept that, as writing is my secret hiding place, I need to learn how to be more open to share.

My Soul

Without a doubt, I love and adore my kids, and would do most things for them. Yes, they squeeze the life out of me but it’s my job to keep inflating back up until they learn to be totally independent people. I have to trust that I’m raising them with dignity, alongside my soulmate, and that everything will be alright.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to use my sacred tools as a therapeutic process to ground and filter all depths of emotions of motherhood. Motherhood is raw but the essence of my soul is a part of them. To feel beautiful, ugly, sane, crazy, lovely, chaotic all at the same time in our pack of five. Somehow, we survive.

Right now for as long as it will last, I’m a happy mother. 😉

Live to Tell

Thank you for this given Grace

To switch my perspective and my face

That the bigger picture is what stands

No matter what the circumstance

Trust that all will be good

Is what needs to be understood

Even on a heavy downer day

Keep going, don’t lose your way

It will feel lighter

Even on a different day

Keep working on continuous

Mind, Body, and Soul

Lessons from all experiences

Ready to unfold

Tell your story. Live to tell.

Why a CDA?

How I imagine language stored in the brain ready for output.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

I am a Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA), more commonly known as a Speech Language Assistant (SLA), (recent grads may be using Communication Health Assistant), who supports a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) (and/or Audiologist) by:

  • Providing treatment that is customized for the client, their family, and their learning styles.
  • Targeting speech and language therapy goals from the SLP (or Audiologist) in a treatment plan.
  • Collecting data or language samples for measurement of progress of goals, types of prompts and cues.
  • Creating and programming Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) visuals.
  • Writing progress notes documenting types of prompts and cues to support.
  • Providing feedback to the client and their caregiver about weekly progress and homework.
  • Monthly meetings with SLP for documentation review and joint sessions as per allotted supervision.

How Do I Do All of This?

  • Play – songs, books, toys, sensory, pretend & imaginary play, constructional.
  • Activities – art, music, drills – anything that is interesting to the client.
  • Games – people games, rule-based, structured, made-up, reinforcers.
  • Conversations – with the client and their families, with the SLP and colleagues, with the community.
  • Handouts – visual representation of strategies and homework for carry-over.
  • In-person (strict guidelines during pandemic).
  • Virtual care (mostly during pandemic).

What Are the Tricks?

  • Encouragement
  • Engagement
  • Balance
  • Flexibility
  • Interpretation
  • Adaptability
  • Understanding
  • Compassion

Educating on Communication

  • Language is the understanding and knowledge of the world around us.
  • Speech is a way to verbally express our understanding and knowledge.
  • Communication is how we connect with others to share these messages: verbal and non-verbal.
  • Connection is the key to a good interaction.
  • A good interaction has a balanced back and forth which leads to opportunities for learning and sharing.

Lessons Learned

  • Foundational skills of a good interaction should not be skipped!
  • A lot of layers of strategies within strategies come into play.
  • Naturalistic approach integrated with structured approach always seems to be successful.
  • Speech, language, and communication are my passion.
  • I can go on forever about these linguistic subjects!

This is me…my ‘why’. Unraveling more potential after my Technical Writing journey, resurfacing for more.

10 Ways to Avoid Punching Walls

Bottom-fist dent

Tips for the homeschool fool who gets played by their kid during virtual school. I no longer want to hide in the vortex every time the triggers are pulled, leaving no holds barred mom to surface with F-bombs and harsh profanities.

The dent in my wall is a visual reminder of how I put my foot down (or punched the wall) and cut the cord to my kid’s endless whining during dreaded online learning. When you’ve had your last straw, you don’t have to punch your wall. Follow these new rules that will set you all straight:

  1. Put your foot down: State what you are no longer accepting within this new boundary.
  2. Cut the cord: Break off ties to what is draining your energy.
  3. Don’t punch a hole in the wall: Instead list 3 tangible things that are going to change that starts immediately.
  4. Set morning alarm for independent wake up routine so it starts first thing in the morning!
  5. Set alarms for each time they have to be on screen. Make sure the kid turns off alarms independently.
  6. Decrease expectations of your kid’s work even if it hurts you.
  7. Help mostly during the most difficult subject.
  8. Onus on the kid to ask teacher for help for other subjects.
  9. Don’t give 2 flying fks if the day wasn’t perfect.
  10. Praise everyone for trying their best. Kids get snacks, parents get provisions.

Yes, the world is a disaster right now. But your home doesn’t have to be. Keep your walls dent-free and remember for all to just try your best. Leave any tips for us homeschool fools that are on the verge of breaking something!

How to Instantly Reset

Prompt: Write a List of 20 Things That Emerge

Another volume done. Begin the next…

I followed a prompt from another writer, who always inspires me @openskystories on Instagram, to write a list of 20 things that emerge. I wrote the list without overthinking (that much). I instantly felt so aligned while I understood my next steps.

In this exercise, I forced myself to look around, then suddenly my senses took over and flowed onto the page – the very last page of my Volume 5: Book of Inspiration – Reinstated.

Senses Coming Through

My senses came through in waves until it flowed intuitively within these 20 things:

Wednesday: Free from teaching homeschool for April Break – and no work tonight!

Sunshine: In the middle of a gloomy week – break from overcast yesterday.

Breeze: Spring breeze coming in from the open screen door by my desk.

Spring: It’s warm, it’s cold, it’s stinky, it’s refreshing.

Grass: Green right now.

Tingling in my hand: From writing, squeezing so hard.

Gazebo: It’s a story of how we got 2 for the price of 1.

Backyard: Our oasis that hubby envisioned.

Outside: Reset.

Feeling free but not quite: So many things to do. Don’t want to do it but I keep thinking about it.

Birds singing: Sounds of Spring. Reminds me of 4am chirping when I cue for my sons to stop gaming and go to bed! Hard truth we are night owls.

My workspace: Love it. Sensible, do-able, perfect.

My writing: Passion but also demise.

My work: Start Volume 6: Confessions of Dr Jekyll Mommy Hide: Professional at work, Freak at night.

Organized: It is but doesn’t look like it.

Unorganized: It looks that way but my space is organized. I feel like this until I write. Organized chaos.

Messy: The dirt around it.

Clean: Is what I should do.

Whatever: It’ll get done at some point!

Be: Go with the flow.

Reset

This 10-minute exercise helped to reset my mind and mode. It’s OK to be light and airy and not stuck waiting for the perfect deep transcending topic – which actually did show itself in the end. Follow your senses, trust your instincts.

Try it, I guarantee it will get you to your next page! What came up for you?

Letter to My Special Needs Moms

Volume 4: Pandemic Journal
Dec 2019-Dec 2020
Volume 4: Pandemic Journal: What I did in my bubble, wondering about yours.

This letter is for all parents and caregivers but mostly for the moms that I’ve built close relationships with:

As I delve into play with your child, you give me your trust to seek out their strengths and honour their personalities. At the same time, your wall is up keeping guard, waiting in defence to protect your special needs child. Not wanting to hear the things they cannot do but waiting to hear the highlights of what they can do.

I will always give the good highlights to ensure that I am nurturing their full potential, as well as yours. I give ideas on how to successfully incorporate strategies that may help strengthen the communication between you and your child.

Specifically things you’re wondering about or have never thought about. I will big up your ideas that you’ve already been doing to make sure you know you’re on the right track. I will also acknowledge that it may be difficult to incorporate new ideas as life may already be too chaotic for change.

I See You, I Hear You

I want you to feel like you can share your story and receive support for who you are as a family while you take in some of my insights and clinical experience. I see you in your homes as I work to engage your little ones to communicate in play. I take your family dynamic as insight to develop my approach.

I share other parent’s experiences as resources for you to let you know that you are not the only one with a tentative night schedule or extraordinary meal plan. I want you to hear some of my personal parental experiences mixed in with clinical because ultimately, we are all parents and protectors of our children.

I want to hear your stories too.

You Have My Support

I customize to your family’s needs and concerns in the moment. I hear your concerns about the future for your child as you may have some challenges with tasks of daily living but I want to ensure you that we need to focus on what we
can control in the moment.

Let’s take one step at a time, starting with what’s right for you and your family and how we can add or change elements to elicit balanced communication.

I want you to have the information that you need on the challenges that parents have shared with me regarding the community and the school system. I want to be a support system in your life as I understand that having children with special needs is not always the easiest journey but encourage you to share their successes big or small so we can celebrate them and educate the world.

I honour being unique and point out these qualities even though it may not look like what you expect.

I want you to know that I am a shoulder to lean on, a friend who can laugh at the insane stories, a friend who can cry at their first words and accomplishments, a friend who can be mad at the world with you, someone who can help advocate for special needs as it can be a jungle out there.

Celebrate Empowerment

I want you to know that I understand outside of the box. I recognize your child’s strengths as huge celebrations and appreciate for a lifetime. I encourage you to share your trade secrets as it could help someone else in their day to day.

I want you to be a part of the bigger movement. You are exactly where you need to be. You can help teach us the relevant steps. I want to super-step awareness and get to the ‘How To’ part. Awareness is the first step but next we need to know how we can help.

How can we help each other in our day to day that will increase our knowledge of what other parents may need, if necessary, in a common setting like the park or a store? Or what life is like during a pandemic being stuck at home?

Everyone’s story is different but may share the same themes. The main thing is the love for your child. How to make them safe, strong, and independent.

Embrace each child’s abilities and learning style to teach concepts to be absorbed and expressed.

You have given me the gift of empowerment as you allow me to share my ideas to further your child’s development. You lead extraordinary lives, my special needs families, with your hard work, day in and day out. I am encouraged to see your happiness with every step your child makes to succeed.

You have given me the power to keep sharing knowledge that will also empower others. There will be ups and downs but knowing that your child is the reason why we empower is showing the whole world that being unique is special.

It’s time to embrace and connect to uplift and change this world a little bit faster than expected so that everyone can understand the true potential of a special needs family. One that has strength and value in my heart and soul.

How To Love Asian Eyes

Photo by Joy Marino on Pexels.com

Don’t let ANYONE ever make you feel ashamed of your beautiful eyes.

Embrace your Asian eyes – as slanted, chinky, slit-like, almond-shaped, exotic, beautiful – as they are. Especially when you smile.

Story of my life. If we had the internet growing up, I probably would have googled ‘How to round slanted eyes’.

Yes, it was because of ugly remarks from the ignorant white kid at school who called me a ‘chink’ and didn’t let me off the monkey bars. The boy in class who thought he ruled.

That’s when I became so conscious about my eyes. And that it may not be appealing to others. The day I didn’t want the world to look at me.

The day I didn’t want to be seen.

I’ve experienced racism at a young age until now. It didn’t stop at that boy. What about the group of teenage boys in University, yelling from across the street, asking if my clothes were clean from the laundromat – to go back where I came from – ‘chink’.

All the different layers of how it impacts my life – as a child, as a student, as a professional, as a mom, as a wife, as a person.

Too many stories to count. Too much anger to rant.

Honestly, I haven’t quite fought against it either because we were taught to use our Canadian birthright and education to fit in – like it’s supposed to save us from ignorance.

Every minority in the world experiences racism. There are even minorities within minorities. The cycle is vicious.

Why Does it Matter Now?

This moment serves as my right, as someone who has experienced being called a ‘chink’, to expose those for the wrong energy they breed.

Inspired by the #StopAsianHate on social media, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, I’m speaking out now to break the patterns.

I’ve been a target of discrimination because of my eyes. I’m Filipina Canadian with very slanted eyes and very fair skin. I can pass for every Asian because I look Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Tibetan, so I’m told.

I’m the nicest person in the world but if you want to call at me with your racist slurs then bring it!

My slanted eyes will cut you so deep you’ll understand the mysteriousness hiding behind them.

It doesn’t matter what background you are, you shouldn’t be discriminated against!

It matters because my children’s views of an innocent world are being tainted with the dark layers of the world with events in the news, in schools, within our city, and abroad.

They never knew what the word ‘racist’ meant until a year ago, even in our bi-racial family.

My son asked me if ‘racist’ was a bad word when he heard a video gamer say it online. I responded that it wasn’t a swear word but as soon as it came out of my mouth, I quickly changed it.

Yes, it is a bad word for a bad person. He had never heard of the word, so I explained to him.

It’s when a person doesn’t like someone because of the colour of their skin and their cultural background. He didn’t understand.

I began to role-play: “I don’t like you because you’re Filipino or Jamaican”.

He gave me this flabbergasted look as he scrunched his face in disbelief.

I just tainted his view of the world.

It matters for them. And how they have to learn to armour themselves with thick skin to deal with bullying, racism, and discrimination – which I thought was not so prevalent for their generation. How NAIVE of me!

I Am Not COVID-19

Last year when the virus was getting out of hand in China, the impact was in the news. I didn’t even consider how it would impact me from across the world.

I was in the local bookstore where I was browsing for a long time. Back and forth with a lot of items in my arms, sweating buckets in a winter jacket, standing by the art section.

The sales lady glanced at me a few times. I didn’t think anything of it.

I usually don’t like when salespeople bombard so it was fine that she didn’t offer any kind of help…but no greeting…no smile?

Until an older man walked up the steps towards us, not even two feet, and the lady immediately smiled, approached the man, and said, “Is there anything I can help you with today?”

Guess what hall pass he had?

My blood boiled until my eyes sank right into the depths of my soul. I took all of my things and headed towards the front cash at the other end of the store. When I passed her, she asked, “Find everything you were looking for?”

F@(King Biyatch…. “Yup”. I forced myself to mutter as I stormed off.

I should have told her SOMETHING. I should have done SOMETHING!

The same baggage followed me a few weeks later when we travelled to Cuba for a wedding. I was targeted at the Cuban airport by the staff and at the resort by some French-Canadian tourists.

My 10 year-old daughter witnessed this behaviour and instinctively knew what was going on. Tainted.

It was all in their eyes and their ignorant behaviour acting like I was Covid – all week long. Meanwhile, my husband who’s usually the target for being black, was fitting right in with the Cubans, oblivious to what was happening to me. Rightfully celebrating not having to worry about the colour of his skin while on vacation.

I am not a virus. Hate is the virus.

It’s the 21st Century

I shouldn’t have to be in this position in this century. I shouldn’t have to taint my children’s vision of an innocent world where I have to explain why I’m targeted at the bookstore, airport, or on vacation because of how I look.

I shouldn’t have to explain that there are some people out there who hate on people’s ethnicity.

I shouldn’t have to keep upping my family’s pride for being Filipino-Jamaican-Canadian just because other people decide to degrade out of hate.

We are proud of who we are with our ethnicity, our families, our children. We have culture. We have stories. Nothing to hate here.

It’s time to eliminate the hate. It’s harmful, it’s toxic, it’s FUCKING ridiculous.

I’M TIRED OF BEING ANGRY, I’M TIRED OF THE FUCKING IGNORANCE.

I TRIED TO WAIT UNTIL I WAS IN A BETTER PLACE TO WRITE WITHOUT THE ANGER ABOUT THIS SUBJECT.

EVERY NIGHT IN MY HOUSEHOLD, WE’RE ANGRY AFTER WATCHING THE NEWS, ANGRY IN HEATED DISCUSSION.

ANGRY WAKING UP TO MORE NEWS. ANGRY THAT WE CAN’T CONTROL OTHER PEOPLE’S IGNORANT ACTIONS.

ANGRY THAT THE WORLD IS ALLOWED TO BE THIS WAY!

What now?

Keep your hate to yourself. Don’t let it spill over to someone who has nothing to do with you. Fix that shit or Karma will come for you.

It’s time to Let Love Rule, like you hear in the songs. Listen to songs, listen to people, read books even if you don’t quite understand them. Let it move you. Shift your focus on worthwhile things (Thought Catalogue).

Learn to understand someone other than yourself. It’s in everyone, even if you have to dig deep to find it. This is where the power is. Change is for the better.

I believe it’s in there. There’s nothing to be afraid of… unless you cross a mother.

Make the wise choice.