Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Stories by Maria Stultz

Back to Spanish »

Things are getting tricky and interesting at Joaquin’s house… Nineteen months after asking me to stop talking Spanish (in order to focus his verbal development), he has decided that he wants to re-learn “Español”. It started with this 5-year-old high-pitched voice nagging me every third word I said because I said it in English, and […]

On being heard »

October was so amazingly expansive, I didn’t have any time to update this blog with the many amazing things that occupied my days… I was busy bringing on board three amazing new volunteers in Joaquin’s Son-Rise Program. I was also extremely intentional, using my “eye or Mordor” focusing on areas I wanted to help develop […]

Fading Away »

With the recent introduction of a set of vinyl stamps and a clear stamping block, Joaquin has forgotten about his motivation for road construction, and has played three times in a row all around making these type of stamped strips for his streets. In addition to the focus and excitement he displays from trying and […]

Free Silent Listening »

I want to practice listening. Truly listening, being PRESENT, LOVING, NON-JUDGMENTAL, and without any expectation or desire to make any kind of impact on the person I’m listening. I have recently become aware that the expectation and desire to help are what gets most on my way to listen. I start listening keeping to my […]

On the way to the Zingaron Place »

Joaquin’s pretend traffic lights… This image represents Joaquin’s oldest most recurring activity. I’ve joined this game many times, and I’ve been deeply challenged by it often. This morning, as I contemplated the hallway to the kitchen full of lights (not green ones), and I experienced the discomfort this explosion of objects causes in my experience, […]

Creating space through contractions »

Just like a menstrual period, yet not exactly with the same frequency and predictability, I seem to experience cycles of contractive energy… They manifest primarily by a very strong need for space: physical and emotional. I find myself wanting to be alone, still, and silent. Mostly still and silent. Yet, mothering a four-year-old Sagittarius so […]

Freeing the Curls »

I knew that freeing my hair was going to pay off in self acceptance, growth, and discovery… I started this “project” almost three months ago inspired to act on acceptance, allowance, letting go of control and all those good things, using my naturally curly hair (blow dried straight for 25 years) as subject and material […]

Myself, realigned »

I’m slowly getting back to making… Two years after Joaquin’s diagnosis, the urgency to save my babe has come down, and the need to breathe for myself has come up. Old passions and hobbies felt wrong for a long time (I felt tons of guilt around them), but I’m slowly coming out of that one. […]

Meaninglessness »

So, after two very great (and unusual) experiences joining Kiki’s activities with full openness and enthusiasm… And perhaps as a result of the atonement experience I had yesterday… And in response to my prayer to open again the channel with Source because I felt so uninspired all last week… The guidance I’m receiving today is […]

Choosing Heaven »

Last weekend was a tough one. Tiny actions or words unleashed a wave of anger towards Joey which consumed my mind during both days. I’d go to bed okay, or mildly upset, and by morning the emotion was exponentially worse. Very uncomfortable for the three of us. So when a tiny “emergency” woke us up […]

Little Teacher »

Wow, this kid is truly connected to something… For a few days now, every once in a while he’s told me with a mischiveous smile, his waving finger, and out of nowhere: “Don’t judge anymore”. I always thank him for the wisdom and tell him that I’m doing my best to act on that intention. […]

Conversations with Joaquin: Death »

We’re looking out Joaquin’s window to the house across the street. For a few days Joaquin has been talking about wanting to go under Mike and Ann’s bushes, and we’re talking about him having to ask permission from them, and they may not understand what he means by “can I please go under your bushes”, […]

Cheat Sheet »

Breathe. Pause. Close your eyes. Slow down – moving, speaking, thinking. Forget time – Don’t look at the clock. Choose freedom. Say yes – to yourself. Suspend all judgments.

Choosing and Allowing »

I used to read “happiness is a choice” as “happiness is a choice, and you’re always supposed to choose it; if you can’t it’s okay for now, but do seek happiness when you’re ready”. And so I’ve done a lot of choosing, allowing, and then attempting to choose not sure if I’m ready… just perhaps […]

On / Off »

While appreciating the fact that I currently find myself inspired, peaceful, loving, free, and flowing… I just noticed how my “newspaper” (the collection of things that reach me every day) is bringing me messages of inspiration, love, freedom, ease, and fluidity. I’m noticing the obvious: It’s not a coincidence and special gift from the angels […]

Healing: Energy and Information »

Wow. I’m putting together what I’m learning about living cells from Bruce Lipton, with what I learned and keep experiencing after attending a Reconnective Healing seminar last weekend, with what I’m experiencing reading Penney Peirce’s “Frequency”… It’s all making so much sense, and just keeps validating my gut wisdom to keep discarding much of what […]

Stepping Out of Yourself »

There is this big fat fear I’ve had for a long time, that as I get older evolves in relationship to the people in my life, but the core of it is still there. And now that I find myself every day telling the Universe that I want to advance spiritually, that I’m trusting, listening, […]

Happy Lenses »

Today… Just as an experiment… Decide that you ‘re going to have an awesome day. There will be a lot of stuff out of your control, and no matter what happens, just today, as an experiment, you will choose to be happy and at peace with whatever situation is thrown at you; with whatever thing […]

Baking Puzzle »

Calling for help from more experienced bakers to improve my experimental recipe of veggie-rich SCD muffins.

Awetism — no typo here »

I’m the mother of an autistic child, and that –far from a curse, has made my life more extraordinary and amazing than I was planning for. The more I stretch out of my old beliefs and comforts, the more my son stretches through his limitations to come into my world.

Blessed Food and Water »

For anyone open to believe, and who may benefit from considering these thoughts… For the last months I’ve heard so much about the wonder of fermented foods in the treatment of autism. The information makes a lot of sense to me, and I have started as much as I can to add fermented foods to […]

Friend Eliza »

Over the last month before turning three years old, Joaquin started writing numbers, drawing their outlines, spelling words and writing some, all by himself. His memory is amazing. His focus, passion, and control when drawing and writing is (I believe) extraordinary. All signs of a beautiful mind at work. And, as exciting and reassuring as […]

Meeting Strangers »

Last weekend we enjoyed the company of Katrina Kramlich, a lovely and experienced Son-Rise child facilitator who came to our home to play with Joaquin in his romper room. The experience was absolutely wonderful, especially because the universe conspired to fit everything in such a perfect way, that Eliza (our first volunteer), had a chance […]

All in motion »

In preparation for my coming trip back to Massachusetts to attend an advanced Son-Rise course, last week I had to fill out a long survey reporting all kinds of details about Joaquin’s current state. The survey was exactly the same I took back in May, just a few weeks after having become aware of Joaquin’s […]

Blind but Trusting »

I’ve just received my rental car for the week. After placing my bag in the trunk and contemplating all the little ways how this cheap rental is not as nice as our family car, I pull out the map package I’ve printed earlier charting the route to the Option Institute. The number of steps is […]

Slash »

Bollo’s latest hobby is to type on my computer. He selects a key, presses it, and says out loud the name of the corresponding character. Letters and numbers used to be fun, but he’s now totally into three new characters: guion (-), igual (=), and his favorite ever: slash (/). Check out the pride in […]

Cool it down, Mafe Maria »

The last time I wrote (feels like a year ago), I happily reported that I had finished my kids’ size chart and was starting to create standardized patterns for my “line” of shirts… OH MY GOD!… How I underestimated the effort and scope creep ahead of me… What hit me since then was a wave […]

Shirt in Progress »

It’s that time of life again when the 24mth Naartjie hoodie that looked perfect last week, suddenly wraps Joaquin’s belly like a tight (and short) hug. Also recently, Don Joaquin has decided that there’s nothing more disgusting in life than a cotton button–up shirt. Knits only! — he seems to demand. Is this an indication […]

The Trail of Blood »

Note to self: This is how you deal with the nosebleed of a wild toddler and successfully contain him to minimize the bloody mess around the house.

Dusting the Studio (Part 1) »

With only a couple of slow days after the hectic month I’ve had, my brain is starting to play its typical games: Those where it tries to make me feel guilty for not being busy, for not being immersed on accomplishing something, for not tackling the items on my to–do–when–I’m–not–busy list… Only after TWO miserable […]

Rottweilers and Two-Year-Olds »

I once heard that Rottweilers lock their jaws when they bite… Nap time is approaching, so I offer Joaquin his toothbrush. Of course, he’s busy playing with clothes hangers, and he decides that he doesn’t have time to brush. He drops the toothbrush and I threaten him with a serious brush your teeth or I’ll […]

The Wonderful Twos! »

Last week, my babycenter newsletter called Joaquin a “preschooler”. It also warned me, in case I’ve been bracing myself for the arrival of the “terrible twos”, that what’s truly terrible is the second year — the one we just passed — because the “twos” (or third year of life), newsletter says, are a much tamer […]

My Signature Style »

Oh dear… Anabel Sousa, creator behind the super chic “Crear es Creer”, has honored me throwing this challenge my way… She’s figured out hers, and now asks me to define which of my artisan works can be considered my “sello personal”. Meaning — as I understand it — which item (or collection of items) has […]

These days, Joaquin… »

At 1.5 years old, Joaquin: Walks around “our property” (the backyard) like Simba, the Lion King. Announces poops and pees (and perhaps farts) by becoming very serious and saying popó in a solemn tone to express the gravity of the situation. Demands more than two choices to select a video to watch. Two?!, he moans […]

Much ado about… »

A future clutch! Remember this fabric I handprinted like seven centuries ago? Well, you may have forgotten. But I?… I have spent the last seven months since I printed it watching it laying on my craft table. Every day. Right there, staring at me like “you coward, I bet you’re not going to make anything […]

First Easter Egg Hunt »

My playgroup friends had to explain it all to me… You see, where I come from, Easter is not called “Easter”. It’s “Semana Santa” (Holly Week), a time to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice and perhaps do some sacrifices of our own. Not a time to be running wild and crazy, looking for eggs filled with […]

So close to tragedy »

It’s been almost two weeks since I was given the names and numbers of five 12–year–old girls who live in the neighborhood and perhaps could babysit Joaquin. Despite a recent horrible day of depression and swearing that I will NOT have a second child, I haven’t called one of those girls yet. Joey asks me […]

Lately, Joaquin… »

Understands my words way more than I expect. Signs “milk”, and says “mama” and something very close to “bird”. Reads books out loud and talks in an adorable unknown language that includes words like “apbm”, “capbm”, and “puapua”. Knows exactly what we’re talking about when we sing the tune made by a certain toy, book, […]

Weaning »

No. Not from the breast… Turns out, Joaquin stopped breastfeeding exactly at the year without any trauma. It happened in the most natural, gradual, perfect way I could’ve possibly planned, except, I didn’t have to plan it and execute it. It just happened, and all three of us involved (Joaquin, me, and my boobs) didn’t […]

Days 6 and 5 »

It’s crazy to realize this, but it seems that some trigger suddenly went off on Kiki’s brain, because over the last two days I’m seeing things that were not there before. Yesterday, towards the end of the day before daddy got home, I was feeling a little tired. In these cases it’s best NOT to […]

Day 7 »

On the countdown to Joaquin’s first birthday, allow me to indulge on a little bit of shameless mommy blogging and document my baby’s last week as a baby (major sniff). Today’s morning was no indication at all of what the afternoon would bring. Joaquin had a terrible time at his Little Gym class. And I […]

As a gift to the public domain… »

After three years of doing this, our e-Christmas Card has become sort of a tradition many of our people have come to expect. I’ve always loved receiving people’s Holiday cards and letters telling us about their year. When we got married, Joey wanted us to join the tradition, but I’ve never thought I’m a very […]

Why am I not surprised? »

Sunday evening Joey finds me making a onesie for Joaquin. I tell him that I’m going to bed early with him. I’m a little bummed. Nobody will buy my stuff at Etsy. Just a couple of people show interest in my hats, and nobody seems to care for the mini wallet. I’m never going to […]

Sticking my patita in etsy »

YES! YES! YES! I finally opened my tiny etsy shop. As I say in my shop’s announcement, I probably should have waited to have more items to sell, but come on!… making two vueltiao hats with the little time I get away from my bollito is no small feat. As the perfectionist business–background person that […]

Still lots to learn from my mother »

At this moment my mom is flying back to Colombia after a 47–day visit in our home. We kept busy and had tons of fun, as evidenced by the lack of updates to this web site since her arrival. My mom has a great sense of humor, cooks deliciously, and has a remarkable, not often […]

Forget You! »

You’ve heard them. You may even be one of them. Without a whole lot of whining you dare to vent a tiny little fact related to how challenging your life has become with your (now seven months old) little bundle of joy, and Super Mom smiles and replies: “But they [children] are worth it”. Personally, […]

That Glorious Day »

This Tuesday — I’ve been told — Joaquin’s nursery mural will be featured in an article on Cookie Magazine. Imagining that they might link to my site (maybe not), I thought it would be cool to have as a welcome mat that Christmas e–card/slideshow template I’ve promised to give away. So I got the template […]

This House »

Almost three years ago we left our beautiful house in Dallas and moved to this house, a house we bought after only a couple of house–hunting trips to Salt Lake City. We didn’t have time to fool around and wait for the house of our dreams. We needed to find a home soon since the […]

Best Compliment Ever »

(At least it would be, if I could take any credit for it.) As I child I was a terrible eater. I distinctly remember a female figure spoon–feeding me and begging me to please swallow. My tiny mouth closed shut with several bites of food still inside, unchewed, stuck in there since the feeding begun. […]

Overheard in the bathroom »

Joaquin is getting more and more mobile, and giving him a bath on your own is becoming more and more difficult: Baby wants to sit up, and he loves to lean to the side to touch and play with the container of fresh water we keep by the bath tub to rinse the soap and […]

In Progress »

This is one of those projects I usually come up with, that sound like a great, relatively easy–to–do idea, and then end up taking a lot of time and work. But that’s why I love it. Probably doesn’t have any etsy potential because the price I’d have to set for it to be worth my […]

A Parenting Meme »

Monsieur Mandarine has tagged me, and what a great prompt for a post. The original meme (started by Litlove) attempts to gather information on cultural differences regarding parenthood. So let’s begin with some introductory facts for those readers not familiar with me: I’m new in the parents club and probably still have that smell of […]

Liquid or solid, but by all means NOW! »

This has been going on for a few days now…Towards the end of the day, nursing the bollo becomes almost more stressing than speaking in public. Why, you ask. Well… It so happens that Don Joaquin recently has decided that he no longer has the patience to suck for longer than 3 seconds to get […]

Trompita tastes bananas »

Don Joaquin has officially started eating solids and I thought his fan club would enjoy seeing him take his first meal of cereal, milk, and bananas. Please notice the face he makes, and how he throws himself and holds on to the chair on the last bite (towards the end of the video)… What a […]