Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A featured article in "Complex Child"

As an aspiring writer, this makes me giddy!

Click here to read the full article. I feel so honored to be featured in this magazine. This has been a great resource for me. Every month they come up with great topics. Most of them are pertinent to our life. I hope you take the time to read about our day at special needs clinic and check out a few other ones too.

I was sad to learn that, because of insurance billing issues, they might close down this clinic. I really do love the opportunities that come from this and hope they continue it. Every special needs family should have access to something like this.

Please share this with your doctors, if you don't have something like this already, and tell them that you want an opportunity like this. If you already have something like this, tell them thank you. Lets keep this movement going!

Monday, August 11, 2014

My children have taught me...


When I first became a mom I was so clumsy with the baby. I spent many nights sleeping in the recliner because the baby would fall asleep while I was holding him. As soon as I would try to get up to put him in bed, he would wake up crying.

Well 2 years later and 2 babies later, I can put them in their beds without waking them up! I consider this a great accomplishment. To be able to sleep in my own bed, to not have to start the process all over again, and to know that I am getting better at this mommy thing. I also feel pretty confident that I could do this with any ones child. That is huge for me! 

How did you know that you were getting good at the whole parenting thing?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Join Me...

Today in church, we learned about 3 people struggling with life. Elijah, who was going into a deep depression because the queen wanted to kill him; Paul sinking into great sorrow because his own people would not except Jesus; and finally Peter, who sinks into the sea because his fear is overwhelming and he takes his eyes off of God.

You can read about Elijah's struggle with depression at 1 Kings 19.

If you turn to Romans 9 you will read all about Paul and his struggle with bringing people to God.

Matthew 14 tells us about Peter and his overwhelming fear.

These stories hit home for me today, as our family struggles with questions of "Is God really here for us?" and "When is this struggle going to end?" It seems like we have been struggling for so long with no end in sight. We keep hitting brick walls. We keep climbing,  but I don't know if we can climb one more wall. We are so much like Elijah, Paul, and Peter.

We too struggle with depression, but fight it off every day by being grateful for what we do have, and realizing that just by living in America we have it pretty good. We have fresh water, a house, good soil to grow our own food, some of the best medical care, and we are not being threatened with rape, killing or being bombed.Those are all things to be grateful for, even though it does not take away our struggles. If I have learned anything in life it is that our struggles make us better people. How are you like Elijah?

Our small community church is losing families. Most of society has turned away from God and are only interested in material things that don't really matter. In that way we are like Paul. We just want to give up in the fight to bring people to God, and the love that He has for them. To turn our backs and say "Screw it! They don't want to listen." But we can't! We just can't give up on them. Once you know the true love of God, and just how pure it is, you can never go back to how you were. And that is a very good thing! Are fighting the good fight? How are you doing?

We are also like Peter. He, and the other disciples, are forced into a situation that seems to be turning out very bad. They are so scared. But Jesus comes to them and says "Peter do you trust me?" His reply is yes, until he realizes that he is doing the impossible. As soon as he gets too far away from his safety zone, and takes his eyes off of Jesus, he sinks. DO YOU TRUST ME? Do you know that whatever struggle you are going through is meant for something greater? Do you waver and take your eyes off of Jesus?

Like I said, this really hit home for me. It is sermons like this that keep me going to church every week. It was perfect timing, and it usually is. I pray that you can find comfort and strength to keep going.

Lord, please look after anyone that is reading this. Help them through what ever struggles they have. Open their eyes to see all that they have, and find the beauty in the struggle. Soften their hearts to help them see that it is for the greater good and that you hold the master plan for their life. We can't always see, and don't understand, what the plan may be, but help them trust in you. Show them the way so they do not sink. Amen.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A binder for information

Are you are feeling overwhelmed with all of the information that you need to keep track of for your child? YES! I was too until I got this.

This is just a 3 ring binder, but it has saved my sanity! We actually got this one from the clinic that we go to, but you can make your own. It has a place for business cards, a pouch for pens and other items, and many colorful/tabbed/see though folders.

In the beginning of life with a special needs child, it can be overwhelming. There is so much to remember, so many doctors to see, you are sleep deprived, and you may feel like you are living with an alien creature from another planet. (oh wait, I think this may apply to any new parent)

This does not have to be very expensive and can really be made to fit your needs. If you have a lot of information that you need to keep track of, and feel you need many folders, then you will need a 2 or 3 inch binder. If you only see 1 or 2 doctors then you can get away with a smaller binder. You can add a cute picture of your child. Keep track of feedings and bowel movements. Maybe add a notebook to write down any notes or questions during doctor visits. You will have a place for every doctors business card and every community program that you may want to get in touch with.

With everything on sale for back to school supplies, now is a perfect time to make this handy binder!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Medication container

If you are like my family, you have medicine that you use every day or several times a day. It is such a pain to always put it away. It does not look very nice to just leave it on the counter. Lets not forget to mention a safety issue for little ones, and a privacy issue if any guests are in your house. 

I have come up with an answer to the problem! It's cheap and looks cute too. 

Here is what you need:
  • Hard, empty box of diaper wipes
  • Wrapping paper of choice
  • Tape
  • Ribbon, if you want

Our medication area- before
Our medication area- after
Outside- before
You will want to tape down the "pop up" lid before doing any wrapping. Wrap the bottom first, using whatever kind of paper you already have. If you cut one piece, the whole length of the roll, you should have enough to wrap the lid. Add decorative ribbon to the outside. Make it your own. Match the room. Change it out for holidays. Use whatever you have in the house.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Feeling "in love"

As I am putting my kids to bed tonight I look at them and think my heart just might explode!

The oldest one has come so far and has overcome so many obstacles in his 2 years here. I can't help but think about how life was just a short time ago. It was soooo hard! In the mess of it all I really didn't know how we would make it through, but we have...he has. Step by step, a little bit at a time. Tonight I am so thankful for less cords and more sleep. Tonight I am looking forward to the future and the possibility of getting rid of even more cords and machines! Tonight I just sat back and watched as he stretched and blew kisses to me. I just couldn't help myself, I had to give him a big squeeze. It feels so good to hold him close. The weight of his body is a reflection of his weight in this world and the impact that he has had.

The little one is making strides faster then I can even describe. He is my crazy little man who is already into everything! If I had to guess what he is going to be as an adult, I would say a mechanic or an engineer. He loves to see how things work. Did I mention he is only 7.5 months old?

They make my heart swell so big. I am so lucky to be their mom and to spend every day with them!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Take care of yourself

"Take care of yourself." As caregivers we hear this ALL the time. It is easier to say than to do though. Most of the time we are busy with something. There is always wash, dishes, cooking and general house keeping. There are events and parties that we are either planning or planning to go to. If you have a special needs kid, there is always doctor appointment, therapy and some goal you are trying to help your child achieve. If you have a child without special needs they are into something too. Whether it be learning to walk because they are little or running of to a practice because they are older, we are busy taking care of all of it. Then there is other little thing called a job! For some it is working from home and for others it is going somewhere else. For some of us caregivers we also have a spouse or friends and extended family that wants to see us too. We are always busy with something.

What do you spend your time on? Do you feel like you are just running around like a chicken with your head cut off, not getting anywhere and not taking care of yourself? Most of the time that is exactly what I am doing...until recently.

After have 2 kids pretty close together, and not giving my body enough time to really recover in between, I have gained some weight. I was always saying "someday", "tomorrow", and "after this". I was making excuses like "it's too hard", and "I don't have time". Then I looked at pictures of myself. Sure I love my personality and the person that I have become. I love being a mom and the fulfillment that it brings me, but my body....that's a different story.

I don't hate what I see but I am definitely not loving what I see either. So I have decided to FINALLY "take care of myself"! I need to. To feel better about myself, to keep up with my kids, and to be around for them as long as possible. It is time. I have to make time. I realized that it really is easier then I like to think it is. I have a smart phone. They come with hundreds of apps to help you. Some will keep track of calories. Some have avatars as coaches that walk you through each exercise and keep count of reps and time. There are so many it can be overwhelming but if I find one I don't like I can uninstall it. This is what has been working for me so far. I chose ones that are 5, 10, or 15 minutes and I try to work them into my day. I can do 5 minutes at some point.

I hope you are spending your time on the right things, because time is all we have. I hope you can find 5 minutes in your day to take care of yourself, whatever that means for you. Because we, as caregivers, need to. If we are not here then who else will be?