Yes, I'm still very much alive and nope, I haven't abandoned you! It's just been a whirlwind of transitions and excitement since the spring and the summer, and I've been chasing after these life events trying to keep up with them and you.
Because there are four big things going on right now, I've called this post an Update in Four Parts. Most of you know these pieces from following me on social media, but I'm going to sum them up here.
1. I'M PREGNANT!
Yes, if you haven't heard the good news, it's very much official - my Handler and I are expecting our first child, a little girl, on Valentine's Day 2017. We found out in June, kept it a secret until August, and have been shouting it from the rooftops ever since!
In terms of pregnancy and my SPD, I'm finding that being pregnant has actually quieted down some of my more severe sensory sensitivities. I know that hormones ultimately have an impact on sensory symptoms (something that SPD researchers haven't fully understood just yet), but I've never been less anxious and more grounded than the past few months. I suspect some of it might have to do with proprioception - I suddenly weigh more and perhaps I'm feeling more connected to the physical world around me. Regardless, I'm excited about this next phase of our family and our lives.
2. WE'VE MOVED!
Much like the last post discussed, we moved to that exact neighborhood in September - and let me tell you, for all of the packing stress, moving stress, and being-in-a-new-location sensory stress, I absolutely love it here. The neighborhood is quieter and more family-oriented than our last, there's lots of greenery (we're on the cusp of what feels like city and suburbs), and I'm steps away from some local restaurants. It's also the neighborhood my dad grew up in and my grandparents lived in for over 40 years, and I spent many happy weekends here, so it's nice to be back. Again, with #MySensoryPregnancy underway and the crisp cool fall weather, I felt comfortable walking around here almost immediately.
3. MY NEXT BOOK IS DUE OUT IN NOVEMBER!
A joint effort between me and my favorite "lil sensory sister," Kelly Dillon of Eating Off Plastic, Sensory Like You is the first book for SPD kids written and illustrated by SPD adults. It's being published by Sensory World and should be out sometime in November. We're so excited to have the chance to engage kids directly to teach them a bit about SPD and remind them that having a neurological condition doesn't make them lesser-than - it makes them wonderful and special.
4. I'M SPEAKING AT THE STAR INSTITUTE'S 3S INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM!
I've posted a bit about this one on social media, but I'm honored to have been asked by the STAR Institute for SPD (formerly the SPD Foundation) to speak at their international symposium in Seattle, WA on November 4. My presentation will be all about my life with SPD, along with the lessons I've learned along the way and tidbits for parents to better understand and support their SPD child or teen. Nerve-wracking as always to be on stage under bright lights speaking into a microphone in front of strangers for an hour, but I'm especially looking forward to this particular presentation.
That's my wrap-up, so hopefully we can call it even and just move forward from here. I love this blog, I love that I have the opportunity to reach out to all of you and help you connect with your own sensory lives, and I hope that once things settle down a bit post-Seattle, I'll have the chance to update my blog even more. If you miss me in between, be sure to come find me online - especially on Facebook where I make it my mission to post and connect as often as possible.