Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas! Our family had a very blessed Christmas, and enjoyed lots of great food and laughs.  This year we were blessed with gifts from family, and people we didn't even know.   God works in wonderful ways, and we are forever grateful for them.  The other day I had put our last $9.00 in our gas tank to take our youngest daughter Lilly to her therapy appointment and received a call from my daughters school that they had something from us. It was a food basket, and toys.  It was so unexpected and so wonderful for my kids and our family.
 Christmas Day I received a call from a family member saying to come over and pick out some goodies for the girls, since she had a huge assortment of stuff from when she went shopping throughout the year.  She was so generous and filled a box of stuff to give to the girls.  It was so nice to know that family was there for us, while the husband doesn't have a job right now.

I hope that your Christmas was a blessed one, and you were able to celebrate the life of Jesus. Many warm blessings throughout the year to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day After Curls

So my daughter Hannah was a good sport and let me wrap her hair in cloth curls. It's a no heat way of curling your hair that I found on   I showed you in the previous post, what she looked like last night, after I had her all tied up.  Well Let me rephrase that, her Hair was all tied up. Not her.

Here is what she had to work with this morning.

 I am pretty sure I will be killed in my sleep someday, when she finds out that I posted these photos on my blog, but until then lets all have a good chuckle at these curls.  They are pretty great!  So I think that if I had a chance to redo them, (and trust me I will put her through this again lol)  I would roll them the opposite direction, and even maybe horizontally for more "ringlets" type curls. I would also choose to use thicker chunks of hair. It seem's that most of this is just trial and error.  I added some curl gel to them this morning and it helped with the singling out of the curls.  

We'll get the final thoughts on this from the kids at school. Because you know out of the mouths of babes...

Monday, December 19, 2011

No heat curls!

So I was on Pintrest..(when am I not right?) and I came across this pin

Its a no heat way of getting curls. My lab mouse lovely daughter Hannah loves trying new things, so I, of course tried this out. You can see her enthusiasm in these photos of what she looked like after I tied her hair all up.

I used a cut up old tee shirt, and it seemed to tie off pretty well. I am hoping that she has fun loose curls and I will be taking photos in the morning to show you all.  I am sure she will be just as excited for those photos before school time. :)

The Life of Unemployment and God.

A lot of what our family is going through right now, is being with a little less this season, and learning to cope with children asking questions, and requesting this or that.  My husband has been without a job since the end of October, and since he was sick, (reason behind loosing his job) he was not able to file for unemployment.  It hasn't been fun, to have to tell our kids no so often, but they are aware that we don't have the extra money for this or that.

This morning at the bus stop, I had to tell my daughter no, that we couldn't get a present for an exchange at school. Even a 2 dollar gift for a girl, that they send a note the week before, throws me off, and well we just really can't afford it.  I haven't really flat out told my daughters that we have nothing for extra stuff, because well they settle for the "We just don't have it right now." excuse pretty well.   I am hoping that the teachers plan for things like that.

Now, God plays into this too.  He will provide for the things we need, at his own pace. Which right now doesn't seem to be at my pace, but that's something I work on everyday. Learning to put my faith in him through prayers, and patience.  So far we have not gone without.  He always comes through with whatever is needed. It's just a frustrating time of year.  Hoping that although my mother in law is always a great grandma to our children and they, thanks to her, are going to have a great Christmas, I hate having to depend on others for my children's happiness.  

It's really difficult to not break down in front of my kids, and luckily we were able to get them each 3 toys for under our tree, which actually is what I wanted under our tree. Why you ask? I wanted them to learn that when Jesus was born, he was given 3 gifts.  It was enough for him, why would it not be enough for them?  Not only that, I really want them to know what the gift  that God gave us, with the birth of Jesus.  To learn that they will always find hope and faith in God no matter what happens, and praying that our needs are met, no matter what time it comes, its in his plan. Jesus gives us the chance to pray to God and for him to listen to our prayers.  I hope that God has been hearing their prayers. I have asked them to pray for their Dad, for their family near and far, and for friends and people they don't even know.   Asking God to bless them with the same things that we are so lucky to have.

I am usually an optimistic person. I say usually because, well I'm human and sometimes things just happen, and I can't bare it all.  This is when I usually say, "Jesus take care of this because, I can't bare it alone!"  It's easier said with your mouth, than with your heart.  Sometimes I have to ask multiple times, but it does finally lift off of my heart.
Sometimes you have to remember that God gave you free will. Mistakes are made, by your choices of free will.  You also can not keep blaming old mistakes or sins, you've got to move on from them, and learn from them.  My husband's last job was a double edged sword.  12-16hr shifts 7 days a week sometimes, not knowing if he would be working a 8, 12 or 16hr shift because in their contract, they have 20 mins before your shift ends to let you know what you will be actually working.  But the paychecks were nice, and we had all our bills paid each month and extra money to spend if we wanted to use it.    My kids didn't get to see their Dad, except on maybe the weekend, because 2nd shift is the shifts of weekend Dad's and Mom's.  But it was a job, and we weren't struggling.  I don't know how to say this without sounding ungrateful, but How is a family supposed to function, without a parent around during the week. How is a sick parent able to rebound from being sick, if they expect you to work those kind of hours?   I've been praying for a first shift job for my husband.  I don't even care what they pay him at this point.  I know God will provide for whatever we need, but I hate seeing my husband here, just unhappy and depressed, and feeling like he is failing his children and wife.  

I just ask that if you pray, please pray for our family and that our needs are met, our faith is strengthened and that we as a family become closer.

Friday, December 9, 2011

1st Dental Visit..Check! Meltdown...Check!

Yesterday was Lilly's first dental visit ever. Yeah, sounds like I've been slacking in the motherhood department. Though she's 3 years old, and I have really been trying to find a dentist who is familiar with special needs kids since she was 2yrs old. Thankfully I called the Special needs preschool's nurse who suggested this dental office.  With Lilly having such bad anxiety with doctors since she was 1 (between the pulmonologist and the regular ped, it was like we were at a doctors office every other week) and her SPD pertaining to her sensations in her mouth. I had to work extra hard with her with brushing since her SPD has given her a hard time with the sensations in her mouth, being extra sensitive to touch.  She is to the point where she will let me brush them, which is fantastic for her, but I had no idea what the dentist would bring. Well I knew, it wouldn't be good.. but I was prepared for a fight.

I always prepare for the worst, hope for the best and when it's horrible for her, I don't feel extremely horrible.  I have to do it this way because I know that if I prepare for the best, I then feel 10x worse when I have to hold her down, pin her legs with my legs and let random doctors touch her.  This was the case yesterday.

Here's a vision for ya.   Me in a dental chair all the way back, holding Lilly on my lap, hugging her with a bear hug from behind and my legs crossed over her legs so she doesn't kick the hygienist. Crying, and screaming but still at least holding her mouth open long enough to let her get the look she needed.  Once the hygienist touched her, it was meltdown city, although she was gentle with her(Sure let me be the bad guy holding her down and all while you gently check her out!)  it was her gloves that I think threw her off.  Then, here comes the polish. Can you say, meltdown 10x bigger?  This poor child of mine, bit the polisher, but then slowly relaxed and although still crying, and trying to scream "No!" , she at least kept her mouth open a bit and they finished up.  Well... at least for the next 5 minutes, the dentist has still yet to come in.

While I get her to settle down, which usually takes at least 15 minutes,  only took 5 minutes this time, thankfully, only to have her freak out even more when the dentist had to have her sit back in the dental chair with me.  Bless this dentists heart, allowed her to sit facing me in a regular chair, and laid her back into her lap and was basically the same chaos above but quicker.

All for no cavities and an A+ report for the preschool.  They even invited her back.  In 6 months.  Now I know it's a necessity, and I am not saying I would neglect it getting done, but I just know that this will be a reoccurring story as the years go on.  On the way home,  I was watching her in the mirror and she just looked so spent and worn out.  She was so tired, and fell asleep, but I can't help but want to just keep apologizing to her for the horrible day we just had.  I felt so helpless seeing her like that. As a parent, you just want to keep them from the worst possible situations and I couldn't today. Because it had to be done.  The things you have to do really bite some times!

1st Dental Visit..Check! Meltdown...Check!

Yesterday was Lilly's first dental visit ever. She's 3 years old, and I have really been trying to find a dentist who is familiar with special needs kids since she was 2yrs old. With Lilly having such bad anxiety with doctors since she was 1 between the pulmonologist and the regular ped, it was like we were at a doctors office every other week. I had to work extra hard with her with brushing since her SPD has given her a hard time with the sensations in her mouth, being extra sensitive to touch.  She is to the point where she will let me brush them, which is fantastic for her but I had no idea what the dentist would bring.

I always prepare for the worst, hope for the best and when it's horrible for her, I don't feel extremely horrible.  I have to do it this way because I know that if I prepare for the best, I then feel 10x worse when I have to hold her down, pin her legs with my legs and let random doctors touch her.  This was the case yesterday.

Here's a vision for ya.   Me in a dental chair all the way back, holding Lilly on my lap, hugging her with a bear hug from behind and my legs crossed over her legs so she doesn't kick the hygienist. Crying, and screaming but still at least holding her mouth open long enough to let her get the look she needed.  Once the hygienist touched her, it was meltdown city, although she was gentle with her(Sure let me be the bad guy holding her down and all while you gently check her out!)  it was her gloves that I think threw her off.  Then, here comes the polish. Can you say, meltdown 10x bigger?  This poor child of mine, bit the polisher, but then slowly relaxed and although still crying, and trying to scream "No!" , she at least kept her mouth open a bit and they finished up.  Well... at least for the next 5 minutes, the dentist has still yet to come in.  

While I get her to settle down, which usually takes at least 15 minutes,  only took 5 minutres this time, thankfully, only to have her freak out even more when the dentist had to have her sit back in the dental chair with me.  Bless this dentists heart, allowed her to sit facing me in a regular chair, and laid her back into her lap and was basically the same chaos above but quicker.

All for no cavities and an A+ report for the preschool.  They even invited her back.  In 6 months.  Now I know it's a necessity, and I am not saying I would neglect it getting done, but I just know that this will be a reoccurring story as the years go on.  On the way home,  I was watching her in the mirror and she just looked so spent and worn out.  She was so tired, and fell asleep, but I can't help but want to just keep apologizing to her for the horrible day we just had.  I felt so helpless seeing her like that. As a parent, you just want to keep them from the worst possible situations and I couldn't today. Because it had to be done.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Not Me! Monday. :)

I am going to attempt my first Not Me Monday! SO...Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Lets not start off with the fact that I totally didn't do any laundry this whole weekend and we do NOT have 4 piles to do still tonight.

I also didn't not get my kids to take a shower last night or the night before.  I also didn't make the husband do dishes 3 days in a row because I just didn't feel like doing them.  Not me!

After putting up our Christmas tree Saturday night, I totally did not finish anything else decor related and left the living room a mess, to only leave it a mess another day yesterday.  Nope not me!

I also haven't been waiting around all day to find the motivation to do the laundry, dishes, and picking up the living room, by wasting time online at multiple sites, and filling out mindless paperwork for procrastination reasons no reason at all.

In closing I also did not let my kids stay in pajamas all day long Sunday, not even making them brush there hair or teeth. Nope Not Me!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thanking God.

We went this week to have Lilly evaluated at the Diagnostic Center for special needs preschool.  Her SPD is really affecting her abilities to feel her inside need to use the bathroom. (As well as other skills.)  This is holding her back from attending preschool, since a lot of the head starts and preschools in our district will not allow children to attend unless potty trained.   So we went to see what their group of professionals thought they could be able to offer her if they felt she could benefit from preschool with special needs assistance.

The morning started off by her just playing in a lobby type of area until the doctors and professionals finished up talking about each of the kids that were to be coming in for evaluations.  There were 3 other children and they all seemed to play nicely.  We were greeted by a Parent Mentor, who is basically another parent of a special needs child who knows what goes on in meetings and can answer most questions for you. She is there to help ask questions for you if you are not sure what you need to know.  It was comforting to know there was someone else for you as a parent.    Then they allowed all the kids into the playroom.  The instant they said it was time to go play in the classroom,  Lilly ran through all the people frightened, and said " Mama will you go in there with me?"   I told her, "Of Course!"  And we went in although when she was greeted by some of the other adults in there, she hid behind me and clammed up.  Which for her, is the norm.  I thanked God.

She was able to venture off once she saw the slide.  She then soon was able to venture off without us, she slowly warmed up to the other kids, and started to talk to the other adults if they asked her questions.  There were a few times, when we peeked through the window to the room to watch what she was doing.  Eric saw her interacting with an adult and the adult went to touch her to redirect her to another part of the room, and she threw her hands up and told her " Nooooo!"  She didn't want her to touch her at all.   I chuckled and thanked God for it.

You know, I was really happy that she was having these reactions.  I had asked God that morning to show them what hinders her learning.  We go back on the12th to find out what they have decided for Lilly.  I really hope they are able to help her with putting her into the special needs preschool.  She would be in a class mixed with non special needs kids too.  I know she is mentally able to excel. She already knows many many things.  She really just needs a little help here and there to keep her going.  I don't want her to fall back because of the fact that her body isn't working for her right now.    She'll be okay if she isn't accepted, I will just have to work a little harder with her. I just hope that God has her plan in the acceleration lane.  I really do Thank God for her. She's so cute and wonderful.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Without Therapy.

Lilly's switching to every other week for OT because of the insurance and they cover X amount of visits.  Today was her first week without a visit. She was kind of bothered by not having an appointment today. It throws her off.  She is doing well with her treatment, but I'm noticing that she is becoming more overstimulated.
She has gone to take her nap, and then has a moment of her hands opening and shuting, then at the same time, she gets this really wide eyed look like she is out of control. This goes on for about at most,10 seconds and then she seems relieved.  I then, deeply rub her arms, legs and back to help with her relaxing. She doesn't seem to be able to control these little bursts, but its usually when she is overly excited for something.
She went to build-a-bear workshop today. We got to the sound board, and she LOVED it. We made it through the stuffing part, then we went over to brush it, where the air comes out of the faucet. She freaked and ran. She wanted nothing to do with that bathtub. Thankfully no screaming, just running away saying "No!" .
She went to bed early at 6:30 and slept until 10. Then she ate some dinner and happily went back to bed. I know as she gets older it will get easier, its just now I have to be patient.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Good Morning Mama! Week 2

This is the 2nd Week of Good Morning Mama!  Where I tell you how I am greeted by my 5year old daughter, Emma, the moments as she wakes up. It's pretty hilarious some days, and others she's just a plain ole 5 year old girl. Anyhow, I am happy to share these with you each week! Have a giggle or two!

Sunday:  "Uh Mama, I have Lilly's blanket. Oh and I am awake, can I have balonie for breakfast?"

Monday: " Oh Hi Mama, I woke up and saw Hannah's Big Ole Butt in here on my floor sleepin and the tv on. Then Lilly woke up and I asked her to come lay on my bed.  We've been watching tv."

Tuesday:  "Good Morning Mama, why is the bathroom light off? I'm going to use my Indian bag today at school.Okay?"

Wednesday:  *hovering over my face literally I look like o-O *  "Hi Mama, can I watch tv very quietly in my room?  Uh is tomorrow two days from Thanksgiving?"

Thursday: "Hey Mama? *peers over me in bed* Can I go and watch tv upstairs?   Me: "Uh yea quietly, that a sucker in your hand? Go put that in the garbage!    Emma: "Uh I want to eat it?....for breakfast.."

Friday: " Hi Mama.    Um Mama, do you think that Ms. Larsen will, before Christmas, dress up as Santa and give us presents? I think she will."

Saturday: " Mama.... mama? ... Good morning can I watch tv? Kay thanks!" *runs off*   Me: " Uh I guess..."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Naked Face Challenge.

One of my favorite online bloggers is Deanna over at  Delirious Rhapsody . She has done this blog challenge to just take a photo of your own face, nil any makeup or extras after a shower, or just freshly washed. It's called The Naked Face Challenge.  I don't wear very much make up very often, so I figured well why not?!  So here is my photo. I had just gotten my hair dried after a shower, and hadn't even gotten lotion on my poor dried out face yet. Thank you winter time, and your yucky air that makes my face super dry! >=(

So as you can see, if I wear any make up at all its definitely Eye makeup. As we can see, I look to need a FULL POT of coffee here, and well it's not pleasant. lol   And well I hadn't had a cup at all this morning while I took this photo.   It's amazing what a little foundation and eye shadow with liner and some mascara can do for a girl!   But this is me, and I just took the Naked  Face Challenge!  Are you willing to?     If you do, tell  me with a link or just email Deanna over at her blog! She's also linking up other ladies who are willing to do it! :)  

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Feature! Good Morning Mama!

My daughter Emma is my middle girl. She's currently a wonderful 5 year old who is literally thinking from the time she wakes up, to the time she goes to bed.

Each morning you can imagine that she has a new question for me. Sometimes it's something simple, sometimes its something funny and out of left field. So I am going to try and post each Friday morning what she says throughout the week. She literally wakes up and says Good Morning Mama, I .....

Yesterday, I woke up to:

"Mama do you want me to tell you my favorite holidays?"

Today I woke up to:

"I have two things to tell you. One, my knee still hurts! and Two, where did you get the new picture on the refrigerator?

Monday, November 14, 2011

I heart Giveaways!

So I was over at and she is having a few giveaways on her blog! Come on over and check out this great photo giveaway from Key Lime Digital Designs!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend about Weekend Wonderfuls!

This weekend, I am fortunate not to have any 'Whoas'! We have our family here at home this weekend, and the girl's Gram is at home doing better! I want to thank all of the people who were thinking of her and praying for her. God heard those prayers and blessed her with good care this time around. Lets hope there's another few years, well many years in between her hospital visits!

Our family spent yesterday doing some yard work. Our city still picks up leaves, so we did our raking yesterday to only have our leaves blow away down the block. Darn! ;) The Husband decided to mow also so we are all set for the rest of the season as for yard work. With the exception of hoping to get some small trees getting cut down around our home. There's a barberry bush I would love to pull as well as a nasty strange tree that wants to keep coming back year after year. We've cut it down 3 times and it comes back with a vengeance every spring and summer. I am hoping to have someone come out and remove it from the ground.
Come spring we would like to put down some pavers around the front of our home for the garbage cans to sit on. Most people would ask, "Uh why would you want the scent of garbage so close to the front of the house?" Well the answer is, I don't want it, but we have no choice since our city has a dump site across the highway from us and we smell it all the time. So it doesn't really bother us anymore because we have no control over it. Plus who likes going all the way around their home's perimeter to dump their bag of garbage? Especially once the winter months come. It's snowy and cold. Blah! Not this girl!

We are doing some organizing and trying to get our house in order for the holidays. We'd love to actually have a friend's gathering here at the house soon. We usually do for a holiday dinner. Probably the best part of the holidays is the gatherings! What do you usually love about the holidays?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This week has really flown by! I haven't had a chance to really write anything down, because we have been on the go go go recently. I do have news about Lilly. Which I will go into detail in my next post. I haven't done anything crafty in a while because of our busy schedule, but I do have some things to do. I hope to post them soon. :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What's new Wednesday!

Well what's new this Wednesday is it's a beautiful fall day in Toledo. The sun is shining and the temps are in the mid 60's! I haven't had a chance to blog in the last few days because we have had such a busy week with Halloween, and school parties on Monday, and also helping my ailing Mother In Law around the house, since she has unfortunately caught a nasty case of pneumonia. She was admitted into the hospital today, and is likely to stay there a few days to get over this nasty stuff.

So I ask if you in fact do pray, please ask God in your prayers to watch over her, and the doctors helping her through this treatment, and that she has extra strength to battle any other illnesses she might occur. I ask this specifically because she had gotten a bad infection around her heart the last time she was in the hospital. We are hoping for the best outcome and know God will handle this situation. He is an awesome God. :)

The kids had a blast with the Mummy candy bars and had a great party. The teacher even commented on them, and thought they were creative! :) So thank you whichever blogger who posted their creation last year. You've done well! :)

My 3 girls are finally better, and have only allergies to battle with. Hoping that will end soon with another frost or two.

I will post some Halloween photos soon too!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Trip

Our family went to the Pumpkin Patch this past weekend. We had a good time enjoying the mid 50's and the clear skies. My three kids love the pumpkin patch and we've started a tradition that a group of friends and their children all come to the same one on the same day. The girls love the gathering part. We go to a Michigan Farm called Trabbic Family Farm. They have an assortment of farm animals that you're aloud to go near to pet, but not feed, and to watch as they mosey around their pens.

My oldest, Hannah, loved the Roosters and Turkeys. She actually stood there and started making the gobbling sounds to them. They reacted with their own calls, which she was thrilled with. They were beautiful birds. Even a fun one with a pom pom of feathers on it head.

We don't usually buy pumpkins there, because I usually get them from the Farmer's market the weekend before Halloween. We do however usually do some sort of Pumpkin Express Train ride each year.. This is the normal view we get of Emma from the train.

Emma Train
Hey Mom! Hey Dad!

We usually try to get a few cute photos, worth of hanging in the living room each year. I have just a regular point and shoot camera. (Which kills me btw, because I loved my old, one step down from a DSLR camera, which just randomly stopped working. ) So here's our single photos we took of the girls. I also took ones of each of them on the pumpkins like Hannah's photo, but Lilly's turned out funky with almost glittery hair, and Emma had a funny smile, so I will settle for these three.


We had great weather, and enjoyed the morning there. The end of the trip to the pumpkin patch, we always no matter how many times we tell Emma (who is 5 now) to tell us where she is going, we always end up losing her. The last 2 years haven't been so great. Sounds like bad parenting, but really one year she ran into the Hay Tunnels and didn't tell us, this year her friend and her went over and sat on a bench across the pumpkin area and didn't tell us. I'm pretty sure next year we will be playing a recording while she is asleep the nights before that says the following: "Please tell Mama and Dad where you are going on the farm. Please tell Mama and Dad where you are going on the farm." Well.. you get the point.

Kind of sad that it's already come and gone. Though, I am so glad that the girls had a blast!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mummy Candy Bars Craft

Hi there! I thought I would post a craft tutorial on how I made some fun Mummy's chocolate bars for my daughter Hannah's 3rd grade class's Harvest Party. Read Politically correct for Halloween Party.

These are the supplies. I also had a glue gun on the side ready.

Then I Glued some eyeballs. Nothing like feeling like you're being watched....

Then I cut them all up into silly eyed rectangles.

Then I glued the little squares onto the bar. Just use a little bit of glue though so you don't melt the chocolate under the wrapper.

Then cut out some white strips of White Crepe paper. I just did a quick wrap of a candy bar, from top to bottom and then cut. Laid it out and re cut strips.

Wrap that up B!
Well actually, this shows how I started the wrapping. Then I put a little dot of glue, and then when you come back around you just fold it on an angle, to have it "peek" out at ya.

Then there you have it. Cute little edible Mummies!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Better Days.

Lately Lilly has been doing fabulous in the Sensory Department. She has continued OT and seems to be hitting her goals very well! I really hope that we can continue to work on her anxiety with adults and get her into Preschool soon! I will update when I have heard back from Preschool on whether or not she gets to go or not. Lets hope its GO! :D

Pumpkin Crafts

So I finished the girl's pumpkins from the last post I was talking about. Very cute. Here is how they turned out!

The girls decided to choose their own smiles and eyes. I just cut and glued on what they drew on the black paper. I haven't done my husband's or mine yet, but I am still debating if I want words on ours since ours are bigger, or if I will do faces again.

The Glue I used worked well, it was just watered down with a little water. Since I am not afraid of a little glue on my hands I spread the glue on with my own finger. I bought the little battery powered tea lights(1.50 for two at Family Dollar) and they work great! The Candle jars, I found at my local Dollar Tree, but I noticed they were made at Libby Glass, which is a local glass company, and I might have been able to get them for cheaper downtown at the warehouse store. Regardless, I think they turned out cute! I'd like to do some Ghosts with some starch and cheese cloth, but I will have to see what I can come up with. My Grandma used to make them all the time, I believe with a balloon in the top of them and sprayed them with starch spray. And let them dry with some cute googly eyes.

My next project is also a .com find. It's cute Mummy bars. I for some reason can not find the link right now, but when I do I will post them with the cute photos of them! :)

I don't know if you can tell, but I love crafting for the holidays!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Whoas

Well Monday has brought to an end a interesting Weekend for our family. All last week we were housesitting/Dog sitting for the Husband's Mom. She was out of town to visit with her sisters in Indiana and Missy, her dog, is the skittish type. We tried bringing her over to our house for a night and she freaked the entire time. Anyhow, the weekend was just us staying home for the most part. My husband has this nasty nasty chest cold, and he's been recuperating. Our kids THANKFULLY have not caught the nasty stuff, and I hope it stays that way. I went to the dollar store and is going to be making some cute Pumpkin Votives that I found on It was a pin from Maiden D' Shade's blog! I thought it was cute so I bought enough to make two large ones for my husband and I and three small ones for the girls. Although, I couldn't find any orange tissue paper, I am going to be trying orange crape paper instead.

I'll post photos of my attempts to make that super cute votive craft!

I am also going to start Operation Seasonal Clothes Swap. I loathe this task, except for the donating or giving away of the small stuff. That's the best part! The Purge! To just be able to give to others when at a time in our world there's a lot of people without, I know I will be able to help someone with a small daughter or granddaughter.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sunny Days.

It's now October, and we are in Toledo, Ohio. It should already be "fall-like" conditions, and in the next few days it's going to hit Upper 70's and almost mid-80's ! I see the leaves changing colors already.. it has to be one of my favorite things to see. I grew up in Seattle, so my whole life we saw a little bit of change of colors, but mostly everything was a certain Evergreen type of tree. Not to say we didn't have other trees, more like we just saw the leaves go yellow and then fall. In Ohio and other surrounding Midwest states, there are so many wonderful vibrant colors through the trees.

When I first made my way to Ohio, it was this time of the year. My then boyfriend, now husband Eric, took me down to Kent State for a concert there. I was amazed at all the colors through the hills. I couldn't believe it. I took it all in, with as many memory photographs as I could. I knew it existed I just didn't know that I would be driving through it all. I could only imagine then someday I would see it each and every year.

My children haven't been able to see all the greenery and water that surrounds Seattle yet. Only in photos. I have to say, I miss the mountains that you take for granted that see every day when you live in the Pacific Northwest. It's gorgeous. No matter which way you look you see these majestic scenes of snow covered mountains. I really would love for my kids to see them. Especially during the spring or fall. When you have a crisp clear day, Mt. Rainier shines in the sun like nothing you'd ever believe. It was by far my most favorite sight there. I hope that they get the chance to take it all in some day.

But I digress, it's been lovely here. Today would have been my dad's 54th birthday. He loved a beautiful day. My girl's played outside after school today, with the slight breeze, and the summer's sunset in the East. I spent many days with my dad, while he was alive, watching sunsets in the East because our apartment building faced that way. We had huge windows that wrapped around our living room. It would warm our living room at night, just perfect. Though he would usually complain left and right about how the sun was in his eyes while watching whatever show, he would always mention the sunset if it was a gorgeous one, and usually it was just that.

My girls never had the chance to meet him, but each one of them have a little bit in him. Emma has his humor. Hannah has his stubbornness. And Lilly, she has his eyes. I see him, in her, all the time. He would have loved them all in their own silly ways. I sometimes feel cheated by God, when it comes to my Dad being gone too early for my liking. Maybe more like I feel my girls were cheated out of having a Grandpa. Not to discredit my husband's father. He was a wonderful loving Poppa. He spoiled those two older girls like crazy, but would deny it until he was blue in the face. Haha. He and Emma had a really strong connection and Emma was only 2 when he passed away. I don't know if she really remembers him, but she lives to hear stories of when her and Poppa hung out. Now my father in law Don would love a beautiful day too. He would sit on his front porch and watch every car go down the block. Listen to his country music and just enjoy his day sitting, watching and listening.

It's really something when the simplest thing like a sunny day, brings back memories. I really enjoyed today. So did my kids. For that I am blessed.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

DIY Laundry Soap

Well I have been talking to some family members and have seen online quite a bit about DIY Laundry Soap. It's very cheap compared to washing with Brand name Laundry Soap that you've bought at your local store. So I'm going to share the "recipe" so to speak with you!

First you'll need to get these items:
5 or 10 gallon bucket
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda ---yes WASHING not baking.. heh heh
Borax laundry Booster
A bar of Fels-Naptha
A bar of your favorite bar soap.. I am using Ivory
Fabulouso --Try and find the one with Oxy in it, but not completely necessary . I use this for the scent.
Oxy Clean --This is my fall back if oxy isn't in the fabulouso
Dawn Dish Soap -- For the fighting power against grease. I have children. Haha!

1 Cup of the Washing soda Borax Fabulouso
1/2 cup of the Dawn Dish Soap
1 bar of both Fels- Naptha & Ivory --or whatever bar soap you use.
4 cups of water in pan
then an additional 3 gallons of HOT water

The super easy directions are as followed:

Shred the bar soap and Fels-Naptha Cheese grater works well here.

Put 4 cups of water in a pan on a medium heat --- don't let it boil ----

Stir with a whisk or a similar stirrer to get all the clumps and chunks out

Dump the melted mix into the large bucket (I use a 5 gallon bucket) with the rest of the

ingredients and stir every 15 to 20 mins. It will look like a gel type of soap.

Now this is just my mix that I got from a family member. You can switch things up, to your liking. I have also seen people who use Essential oils to scent their laundry. It's all up to you!

Happy Laundry Days in the future! :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Prayers, Praying and God.

Prayers have been on my mind lately. Lately=Nonstop. It's like I have been doing nothing but praying. I've noticed that I am even taking the time during the day while doing errands, and think of someone and say a little prayer. It's a good thing, don't get me wrong, but I also think that I find myself wondering a lot if others are praying for me. I usually ask for prayers for others, though today, I've been thinking about prayers that I need for myself and most of the time I feel guilty for it. There's a lot of other people going through rough things right now that are 10 times worse than my own.

Now I am not ungrateful for the wonderful things I have been blessed with. I recognize that others aren't as fortunate as me and the things in life I've gotten. Sometimes though I feel like if I ask for things from God, that I start questioning if I deserve it, or if I really NEED it or if its a want.

A lot of times, I often wonder how other people pray. What exactly do they say? How do they address God in Prayer. I find it's easy to talk with Jesus. I don't know if there has been any other time where I have actually heard from him as in a voice heard him than after I met my now husband and told myself "Look don't go and get excited about this's been pointless in the past.." And I heard a strong voice I had never heard out loud before say, "This time is okay to feel excited." Then I felt a sense of calm and ease.

I have to say I feel God more than hear him. There are times in church or during the day where I feel a certain chill, that isn't like a chill like I am cold, its more like a wave of emotion that just happens. It catches my attention each time, so I find myself trying to take in all the info I can at that time.

What's your experiences with God? What about Prayer? How often do you pray? What types of things do you pray about?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Snag of the week!

         So my Snag of the Week, were two very super cute lanterns from Meijer. They were on Clearance for $7.50, which was 75% off original price, plus I got an additional 25% off of that.  I am really excited because I instantly had an idea for them. No I am not using them for lanterns.. I will post finished photos of the idea when I get them done, of course, but for now I will just post a few pics of it for ya.  I want to see if anyone can guess what I am planning to make with them.  

Here's a few pics of them. 

 So what do you think it could be?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The True Test: Chuck E Cheeses.

We went to Chuck E Cheese's for a friend's little girls birthday on Saturday. This was a stressful situation in my mind, especially for Lilly, since I never know how she is going to react to a busy situation. She's so different from day to day, I didn't know how she would do. I'd say I would keep her from places like Chuck E Cheese's. It was more like if I had to go there for one of my other kid's friends, I would find something for Lilly to do with a different family member. Mostly because of her age. She just turned 3. Which is finally a great age for her to enjoy the games on the one side. Before I think it would have just been a nightmare.

She found two games that she LOVED. I mean yelled, "OH YEAH MAN!" and raise her hands for high fives, each time she would do what she needed to do. It had to have been the funniest thing I'd seen from her. But she was enjoying it, no screaming for it to be more quiet, no crying because kids were too close. It was like she was in her own little world.

I tried so hard to get her to look at me while taking photos, but she wouldn't smile AND look at me. It was either one or the other. Which I expected since her senses and focus was on everything else other than Mom. :)

In the end though, I was really glad she had a good time. She even was upset the next day that we couldn't go to "Chuckacheeses" . It was more a blessing, to see that she could play with so many kids around her and not have a melt down. A true test that she gave me, and I must have passed. ;)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Touch this don't touch that.

So Lilly had a great day on Wednesday at OT. They worked a lot on Tactile things, since that has been the most reactive to her. She stepped on jelly the other day, and started to say, "Ow ow ow Mama!!" Holding up her foot. So I asked that they focus on it today and she had some more moments of those Ow's but she did better than the therapist thought she would with Shaving cream. She also suggested that we work with Shaving cream, bath foam, sand, grass, and even said that a good idea would be finger painting with a little sand in it.

It seems that lately its all about touch, though we did have a reaction to the sound of the bathwater running today. She told me it was too loud and to turn it off. I was a little taken back since she doesn't usually have this reaction to the water. But I noted it too. Been noting everything lately.

Oh and I need to catch up on our first visit with the Behavioral Therapist. We went to see her, and she suggested I start writing down any time she has a meltdown or a tantrum. Well I am not writing down the obvious 3yr old tantrums. Only the ones that are sensory related. Anyhow, I didn't feel comfortable with her. She didn't even read anything about Lilly before hand, and asked that I give her a few mins to catch herself up. Um..unprofessional. Don't waste my time! Geez!

Anyhow, If I feel like this again at the next visit, I will ask to be transferred to a different therapist.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Little Steps.

My child's world is very easily interrupted as with most kids with SPD worlds are easily interrupted. My husband who usually works the day shifts, had to work 2nd shift this week. This made her world topsy turvy. Friday-Sunday she kept asking for us to go to Appointments. "Appointment" usually is the term we use for Occupational Therapy (OT). She really wanted to go, which is NEVER in her plans. She usually is not a fan of doctor appointments, but then the light bulb flickered and she was really saying, "I want to go to Therapy!".

She goes to OT every Wednesday morning. She has good days with leaving my side, and some bad days. A good day is a day where she walks into the rehab room without any tears or sad faces. Last Wednesday was a whimpering day, after saying bye mama, and small lip pouting out, she went in. It was an emotional session. I could hear some crying, but not until she came back out to me at the end of the session did really show how conflicted her little body really is. Her crying, while saying " Mama I so happy! (enter hard crying and heaving) "So glad to see you Mama!" She had a hard time during her session. The previous week was fantastic. Even sat for a full 15 minutes to do an activity. No tears and no problems.

I noticed this week she found our hair brush. She started to rub various limbs and her belly with it on her own. It's not as soft as the Brushing brush we used for Brushing techniques at the beginning. We had stopped using it because instead of it calming her down, she would fight and fight it. She was doing it on her own, and paying attention to how it actually felt. I asked her to do it to me, and she did willingly. She was actually seeking it out. I had never seen her do this before. A little step in the right direction.

She also has been seeking smells. The other day Dad asked her why she had her sniffer on in the kitchen. She could smell the chicken cooking. He had sprayed body spray before work, and she went downstairs to sniff around down there too. She makes it obvious that she is actually seeking by sniffing loudly.

Saturday I tried putting her in big girl underwear, to help encourage her to go on the potty. I saw her grab herself, and took her right up. She fought me up until she got on the potty. She was okay with sitting there. No tears, and was excited for the "duck potty!" She actually went! She realized it was okay, and she actually went. I was so happy for her. She was so happy about it. Later of course she got busy and went in her panties, but it was okay, because she took litte steps and actually went in the potty!

At this time all I can ask for is little steps. Since we are waiting for an actual dx on her, and a full evaluation, we have really been trying the best we can to cope with her ups and downs throughout the days. Some days are better than others. I wish that I could have taken her to an appointment. Especially because, I wish I knew exactly how they did the therapies, so on the days she actually asks for the appointments, I could help her by trying those things. There's a lot of questioning myself. A lot of, "Am I enabling her reactions or am I helping her?" A lot of, " What could be triggering her?" and many "Why can't her sister's just understand, she can not handle that?"

You know they say that with some days kids will have a bad day after you have a bad day. I am sure that is amplified with kids who are SPD affected or on the Autism Spectrum. I hope that we can as parents can notice the tiny steps they make in progress. I find it very hard to some days. Though, there are those days where the little steps are so plain and simple, that you personally take a step back and realize, "It's really going to be okay."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New testing

I took Lilly to see if we can get her an official diagnosis from a Developmental Ped. They said that they would like to do a full evaluation on her, to see what kinds of help we can get her. She is still in OT and I am now offered a behavioral therapist for her. We go to see her next Wednesday morning. I am a little iffy on this, only because I really don't want to be pressured into using any drugs on her. I know I will have the final say of course, but I guess I am mostly just scared because I don't know exactly what a Behavioral Therapist really do. The Social Worker I talked with at the initial appointment said that she will probably introduce her to things that she has reactions to, in hopes that more interactions, she can then learn how to cope with it.

Thing is.. she's only almost 3. How is she suppose to cope.. she's naturally having issues just being almost 3. It's frustrating knowing that I really want help for her but, not knowing what is going on or what is to come, is driving me bonkers.

The testing could take up to 3 months, and will be calling me to set the appointments up. 3 months. Blah!

Lilly's been really having a few rough days. I think its because Dad is home and working 2nd shift this week. She's asking for a lot of space. Followed by a lot of NO NO No!'s so we are working through this, I have to admit I am loosing patience some days. Thankful for a computer and Nick Jr. some days. I just keep praying..and praying for patience and that she learns on her own to help herself.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Well this is the first week we haven't had OT and Lilly could definitely have needed it. She was very over stimulated and had a very active day. Her therapist was on a vacation, and so we wait until next Wednesday. Lilly does a lot of shaking and teeth clenching on her over stimulated day. Along with a lot of, " no no no no no's" and hand flapping/opening and shutting, its was interesting to say the least with my other children. They also are trying to cope with how to interact with her.

My oldest daughter is a hugger. She loves to love on Lilly. Somedays are not good days to hug on Lilly, and she will not hesitate to let you know either. I can see her sister feel frustration when its those days when she is not up for closeness. I have tried to explain that it's not that she doesn't like hugs from her, it's more that her skin today is telling her brain that it's not a good feeling. Tomorrow might be a better day for hugs. Thankfully her sister, who is 8 years old, keeps trying and doesn't feel too discouraged.

My middle daughter, who is 5, is still aware of Lilly and how she acts, but still fully get what SPD is either (Ha! Join the club sister!). She just asked me why Lilly is different than us. I try really hard to let her know that God made her different, just like her and I, and that her body just works differently. It seems to suffice. I hope that as she grows it will be easier to explain to not only her sisters but Lilly herself.

Heck its hard to explain it to our friends, let alone to her. She obviously too young to even know she is different, but when it comes to that time. I am slightly worried. I am hoping that she will get the help she needs through the schools. I hear of so many people having issues with schools giving the proper care even with a Docs Dx. I'm hoping it will go smoother than most. Praying it will.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Clothes Battle

Today, our battle has been clothes. She dislikes anything that might have a small bunching in shirts.. mostly like the uber cute peasant tops or summer tanks that have a gathering in the top.

Here's a link to a dress that is similar.

Anyhow the gathering at the top of the dress drives Lilly nuts. She can not stand to be in it. She will take it off right away. I keep trying these once in a while to see if she has had any changes in how she feels about wearing them. Though to no surprise, the dislike is still there.

We have found that dresses are still an option, as long as they don't have the gathering and have an sightly open cut, where she isn't feeling "trapped" in it. We've really had some trying times with her and summer time clothes. It's been some nice mornings of just "No Mama Off!" and other mornings of "OFF NOO DON'T LIKE IT!" This morning was a "Nooo Mama take off please!" type of morning. It wasn't so bad.

We used to have problems with shoes. When it came time for Sandals.. there are only a few that she likes. We have tried the ones who fasten around the ankles. There's even ones you just slip on between the toes. Those are a no go. So far there have been some from Family Dollar which only have a small elastic band that goes around the back of her ankle. At first she would walk like she had bricks on her feet. Ha! Funny to watch. She then realized that she actually could still move her feet in them, it wasn't so bad.

Her SPD probably made her feel like she had bricks on her feet. I've noticed with other kids who have SPD issues, they like to have bare feet. Socks are not friendly to them, and usually are off within seconds of putting them on. I was hoping she would love sandals and am hoping for better days in this summer to come. :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lilly's Story

So Lilly is our vibrant, silly, youngest daughter. She's the youngest of 3 girls, and most of the time acts like she runs the show. Usually she does... Oh did I mention she's almost 3 years old?

When Lilly was born, it was different because during birthing her nose and sinuses were swollen shut from the pressures of birthing. We had all the rush of specialty doctors and nurses from the NICU rush in and only got to see her for a few seconds. They originally thought that her sinus cavities did not properly grow, allowing air to flow properly. Thankfully, they were wrong and she only had to spend a few days in NICU while she gained weight and the swelling went down.

She then came home and as the months came along, I noticed that she sounded congested. So I brought her to the Ped, and she just advised me to do the regular steaming and run the humidifier. I continued to do this, and after 3 more visits over the course of 4 months. I had become fed up, and told the Ped that although I love her as a doctor, I was getting tired of seeing her, and Lilly wasn't getting better. She then referred me to a Pulmonary doctor that had looked over her in the NICU and we went to see him. That feeling that a Mother gets in their gut that something is just not right, and even after dismissing yourself more and more, and it's still there, you learn to just start listening to yourself.

Going to the Pulmonologist, we then found out that Lilly has an aortic arch. Most kids who have this have a Double Aortic Arch. Lilly skated away with just one. Basically Lilly's Aortic Valve grew naturally connected by tissue, against her Trachea. So instead of her Trachea having a natural round shape, its compressed a little and looks more oval. This causes her when she coughs to sound like she has croup, and although it might be a normal cough for you and I it's just one of those things where I take the dirty looks from parents who think she is really sick with a cold or virus, and chalk it up to them being judgemental.

Since we found this out around 6 or 7months of age, we thought that was going to be the extent of her problems. No biggie right? I mean this is a pretty big thing for your child to have out of the blue. Then she continued to grow, the cough still sounded bad, but her breathing didn't sound like she was sick and we continued to get the "She's doing great" Check ups.

Once she hit about 1 and 1/2 years old or so I noticed she did a lot of standing and rocking back and forth. She also did this thing with her hands when she got excited about something. Instead of clapping when excited for something, she would open and close her hands very quickly and repetitively along with making a face, like she wasn't really in control of how she was feeling.
I, at first, just chalked it up to her having her own quirky response. Every kid is different. But then by two it wasn't changing at all, some of her words were once there, it regressed to nothing. I started to use ASL with her, and finally had felt like, " Phew! I can finally communicate with her!" She didn't want to be affectionate, and I felt she didn't like it when we held her or showed her affection. Pushing us away when we did hug her. We did have her on a pacifier and thought that once she hit 2 like her sisters, I would ween her off of it. I then noticed that when she did have it taken away, she asked for it once. Then started to soothe herself with a tag on her blanket. She would use it to put it right to her nose, face, and through her fingers.

I got worried. I started to look at information regarding Autism. She had some signs, but not many. But, I did bring it up to my daughters Ped. and she said that if I was worried, to just have Early Intervention to come and do an evaluation. I told her I would take the referral but thought, "Eh.. maybe I'll just wait it out, maybe it's just a phase." So I waited, and while I waited I had a friend on Twitter, ( @johncaveosborne and you can also find his blog here .) Mention a documentary about a little boy named Graham. It's called "Autistic-Like Graham's Story" It was done by his parents, The Linthorst's and it opened my eyes to SPD.

Ha! Are ya still with me?! Let's hope so.

Now after watching the documentary about Graham. It was it all clicked, and if God was smacking me upside the head, I was feeling it now. I then, shared this with my Husband and we thought it would be a good idea to have the Ped see her again for this. Now, you might noticed that I didn't really mention my husband before. That's because I was keeping all my worries to myself. Until I saw this documentary. I had proof to show him and it changed his mind. So I took her in and explained why I hadn't seen early intervention sooner, ( Oh so you know the reason was just Denial..) and she suggested that since things weren't changing that maybe I also see an Occupational Therapist in addition to having Early Intervention coming to our house for evaluation.

We had Early Intervention come into our home. For Lilly, home is her safest area. She has the least reactions here. Early Intervention concluded that she wasn't "Failing Enough", and developmentally she was right on track with her age group. Well of course, I was upset.. they weren't there for the SPD, they were there for her developmental state. Frustrated, I then took her to the OT. for the evaluation there. Being in a doctor's office environment, is the biggest trigger she has. We can be in the lobby sitting and the "Go homes!" start. Once we go through the door to the office.. it's meltdown mania. She did okay at first, then after we did the evaluation in the smaller room, and she had toys in front of her, she was getting anxious. We talked, and then let her out into the larger room with lots of interactive toys, and as she was running around checking everything out. The only thing is the OT was watching Motor Skills, and I was watching my kid play. The OT said that she thought that she was a qualifying child for therapy, and we've been slowly going each week, and she has started to respond to her therapist pretty good. A few meltdowns, and crying for Mommy, which I'll admit crushes me when I hear it, I know she just had to learn to cope which is what they are helping her do.

You have no idea how incredible it felt for them to validate what I was seeing. I felt like shouting FINALLY!!!! I was so happy, and it was less stressful knowing that Lilly was going to be okay. Now we are working to get her into preschool and potty training. That will be her next challenge. Now that we know what we are working with, we are okay with it. :)