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 […]
Stories by Maria Stultz
A playroom game that motivated Kiki to stretch his attention span, body coordination, and physical interaction.
Playing with Kiki while holding the intention to use daring actions to build motivation for myself or for variations around repetitive activities or conversations.
A fun moment playing with Melissa, Joaquin’s friend and one of our Son-Rise program volunteers.
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 […]
In this game, inspired by Kiki’s new motivation to get traffic tickets, my little bollito stretched himself sustaining eye contact.
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 […]
A game designed to help Kiki have fun interacting with a new friend on her first day in our playroom.
Joaquin is not a big guesser; he usually wants us to give him the answers without delay. So I prepared a fun game to motivate him to practice guessing.
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 […]
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, […]
A few snapshots during the making of Rindin, a Waldorf doll I made for Kiki to serve and play as his first human friend.
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
This morning, right before waking up I saw the image of an angel (?) all dressed in white, long blond straight hair and really huge dark eyes. I thought that maybe he’s someone in my team. That concept of “team” is very recent. Like perhaps from Monday night, when I went to sleep and saw […]
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. […]
Challenged by Kiki's beloved Game of Lights, resistant to participate in his interest, and talking myself into accepting my feelings and being authentic with Kiki.
I’m thinking about our upcoming trip back to the Autism Treatment Center of America for an Intensive week… Same “challenges” than last year: A long day in airports, planes, and roads with a child and luggage, away from our kitchen. A single day to get there before our program begins (and a lot of money […]
Recently, I let go of several crippling habits I’ve carried for a long time. I’m currently living: Not trying to save, change, or heal anybody (not even one in the autism spectrum) Without any need to accomplish anything Not seeking anybody’s approval (I haven’t been put to a big test recently, though) For the first […]
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”, […]
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.
This inspiring video documents the last 12 months in Joaquin’s son-rise Program. It’s a celebration of our journey, Joaquin’s growth, and our team of volunteers.
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 […]
This story confirms the guidance I once got: I was not alone teaching my volunteers. People went into our playroom and something else touched and expanded them.
Understanding the force behind my choices—love or fear—allowed me to start breaking “the rules”, and that way get to the true core of our Son-Rise program.
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 […]
While Joaquin takes a nap in our living room, I decide to take my Frequency book and read by him. As I go through chapter 3, an incredible revelation comes over me. I start seeing it so clearly. It makes so much sense, and my heart agrees by beating rapidly, and my eyes, ears and […]
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 […]
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, […]
At the core of this belief there is the very big and fat red itchy theory that I may have planted in Joaquin the subconscious idea that the world is not safe; that he is not welcome in my life. Sometimes I’ve thought that Joaquin may have experienced the conflict I had as a stay-at-home […]
Excited and inspired as I see how the intention to live love, choice, trust, self-awareness, and happiness in our personal life, is taking over Joaquin’s Son-Rise program and infecting my life and that of my team members.
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 […]
Having embraced my unhappiness for the last three days, I emerge today peaceful, happy and loving, and ready to go on with my present life. And because I can see clearly now without the clouds of resistance and self-judgement, I also have a few words of wisdom for my past and future unhappy self. So […]
Calling for help from more experienced bakers to improve my experimental recipe of veggie-rich SCD muffins.
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.
I think I just passed a test… Was suddenly confronted by circumstances with the parallel universe where I could’ve gotten my dream (last year’s dream, anyway) of becoming a successful artisan. As I contemplated the reality that the Universe didn’t want it for me and redirected my path in such a direct and eloquent way, […]
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 […]
Success, performance, achievement. The stuff for which I’ve worked most in the first 38 years of my life… Last year’s existing project to create a new passionate career… To become a successful artisan, a brand name, a recognized designer able to make a living out of my craft and joy, all surrounded by stress and […]
Have been going through a blah time all the way since around Thanksgiving. Been so bummed down by this mood since it’s such a long drop from the high I had reached by chance a month ago. I was doing so well… getting it so much, that I even thought I didn’t need any more […]
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 […]
In celebration of our child and us, and the parents and volunteers working every day in son-rise playrooms, watch and feel the miracles seven months into our program.
Seeing how Joaquin is constantly developing in unexpected ways, I’m finally coming to understand the whole notion that he is in fact developing in a way that is comfortable and natural for him. Whether as parents we think his development is slow, or “different” in a bad way… that’s just our judgement based on comparing […]
Reporting from our Son-Rise bubble, here are the highlights shared with friends, family, and fellow Son-Rise families during our 6th month into the program.
A memorable experience of guidance: Turning a challenging moment in Kiki's social development into an inspiring opportunity to climb our mountain with joy and enthusiasm.
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 […]
From the trenches of our Son-Rise bubble, here are the highlights shared with friends, family, and our son-Rise community during our 5th month in the program.
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 […]
From the trenches of our Son-Rise bubble, here are the highlights shared with friends and family during August 2010, our 4th month into the program.
Videos illustrating several Son-Rise techniques during a game we played to develop Joaquin’s verbal communication from single words to 2 to 3-word sentences.
Introducing SCD (the Specific Carbohydrate Diet) to our lives, and with it begins an era of learning to cook and bake like I never thought I would.
Challenged and discouraged by Joaquin's resistance to eat the nourishing food I started making with SCD. Fearful that my actions would not result in the outcome I was working towards.
From the trenches of our Son-Rise bubble, here are the highlights shared with friends , family, and our Son-Rise community during July 2010, our 3rd month into the program.
What unhappiness looked like when life was difficult, when I was just beginning my journey as mother of a child with higher needs, and I felt trapped and uncomfortably stretched.
We built the son-rise playroom and Kiki’s progress slowed down; I got discouraged, depressed. Prompt support help me discard limiting beliefs and get back on track inspired and driven.
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 […]
From the trenches of our Son-Rise bubble, here are the highlights shared with friends and family during June 2010, our 2nd month into the program.
Lately, Joaquin is the bright center of my universe. A developmental summary of 2.5-year-old Joaquin, six weeks after starting the son-rise program.
Explaining the Son-Rise program, the therapy we’ve followed since diagnosing our son’s autism. A single month into it has shown miraculous shifts and a promising journey.
One month after discovering my son’s autism and the son-rise program, I’m starting to see the wonder of the process unfolding and how it’s meant to “cure” ME.
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 […]
If I have ever been able to get nice photos of Joaquin wearing my handmade products for kids, those days are starting to fade surely, and not very slowly. These days, now that we walk, run, roll, play, and have an agenda of our own, every time I pull out the camera and aim it […]
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 […]
For all of those who may be sore (or wondering if I’m still alive) because I have not returned their emails or have replied with one–liners, because I have not checked their Facebook updates, and I’ve kept ignoring requests to chat… I have a very good excuse: I’m working. Well… not working–working. But at least […]
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 […]
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.
Or perhaps I should call this one… “The Recycled Paperboard Nazi”, given the huge stash of empty paperboard and cardboard boxes I have amassed, and the way I protest every time Joey fails to notify me when he throws away any box I could potentially use. One of the things I most enjoy about selling […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 process making chunky alphabet flash cards in Spanish (or should I say “Tarjetas ilustradas del alfabeto / abecedario”) for my toddler.
Remembering the satisfaction I got from making Joaquin’s pirate costume last year, it was kind of implied that this Halloween he would wear a mommy-made costume again. So after a short talk with Joey, we decided that the only requirement for this year’s character would be to include a mustache, just because we loved last […]
A typical weekday in my life in 2009.
A Colombian vueltiao hat for babies, my own version of a traditional product from my heritage which seems to have become my most successful and original creation.
I crushed my sewing nemesis (zippered bags) and made a gorgeous batch of handbags with fabric designed and handprinted by moi. Introducing the Rosette series!
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Is it ok for a 19-month-old toddler to still sleep on a wearable blanket?… I wondered when my baby recently outgrew his XL Sozo sleep sack. I didn’t have to think too much about it, though. He asked for a handmade cat sleep sack, and so I delivered.
Farewell to the dear car that witnessed us dating, marrying, and having a baby.
A sewing tutorial on how to upcycle jeans ripped at the knees into classy cuffed capri pants.
Active, challenging, demanding, draining, and clingy... So I have a high-needs child. It's time to accept it, embrace it, and change my perspective, so I can give him the attention he needs without killing myself in the process.
As soon as I saw her, she reminded me of my mom. She looked mature, yet youthful. I liked everything she said, her experience, her presence at my house, and the best sign of all: Joaquin seemed to be ok with her. He ate his dinner peacefully, even with a “stranger” at the table. Then […]
Here’s something I have come to know about myself over time… I need recognition. I hate to admit it to myself, but it’s the truth. On my first jobs out of college, and then, out of Business School, I got plenty of recognition from all of my bosses, and bosses’ bosses. Life was great and […]
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 […]
Yesterday I used my day off to hand print some fabric in my kitchen. I only got four prints, which is a little disappointing considering all the time it took to prepare for the printing session, set up the work area, and then clean up everything.
As many of you may have noticed, production of playground entries on this site has slowed down considerably since Joaquin was born. While for several months the presence of a newborn was definitely a reason not to create artwork, I can’t blame it all on the poor bollito. Truth is, Joaquin’s birth brought my old […]
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 […]
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, […]
A tutorial on using Photoshop to give my working hands a nice and clean manicure before posting an item for sale on Etsy.
Our baby has started signing
A little over a year ago, when I was a free, childless, freelance web designer, I had plenty of time to do things like: Encrypt my style sheets so plagiarists wouldn’t have such an easy ride with my portfolio site Put and manage traps to find out when somebody downloaded my portfolio site with a […]
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 […]
One-year-old Joaquin cries and screams his way out of Mothers Morning Out and I feel betrayed and judged by his caregivers. One more puzzling experience that made a lot more sense with our discovery one year later.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
(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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Web design is cool and all, but after several years of doing it, just like with any other job, my passion for some aspects of it has diminished a bit. I’m not sure that I can pull this off, but if I could, I would love, LOVE!, to become an illustrator, and to get back […]