Ugh, I Need Another Night Out

So after one day of being with all the kids for summer break, ages 6, 4 and 2, I am so disgusting. I’ve been drooled on several times, I have grease stains (who knows where it comes from) on both pairs of my shorts I have worn today and still have yet to take a shower. I am so tired so sorry if this isn’t sounding very clear and feel like I could sleep for two days. Swear that sometimes I feel like this is always going to be my life…I’ll always be a mess and my wardrobe will need to replaced at least every month.

My husband and I went out together last Saturday night for a going away party and we had a really good time. Although we didn’t have a ton of quality time together, we were able to escape the every day craziness and enjoy a glass of wine with friends. Just always reminds me that it’s so important to get out even when your tired. Makes you see that there is more to life than what you are going through and makes you appreciate what you do have.

I want to be able to enjoy my kids this summer but I’ll for sure need more nights away. Always a great feeling being able to enjoy my life away from my kids every once in a while and a lot of the stresses that goes along with it. Birkley adds a lot of stress in our lives but at the same time, she pushes me to be the best mom I can be.

 

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A Variety of Flavor and Foods for Your Child to Try

Flavor and Foods to Try for Special Needs Children
Although every child is different, Birkley is loving all kinds of “sweet and salty” and spicy foods. Again these are not as meals but more for just trying out different foods and flavors. Birkley gets really frustrated if she wants to eat and can’t exactly tell you and feel like we try the same foods over and over so I try to mix it up a little if I can.

Here’s a list of ideas:

  • Guacamole – Know I’ve mentioned before but one of Birkley’s all time favorites. I add salt and a little red pepper.
  • Indian sauces – We made a chicken and rice meal the other night with this sweet and salty type sauce and Birkley loved it. My six year old enjoyed it too.
  • Asian sauces – Hoisin sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar type mix makes a another great sweet and salty flavor.
  • Hot Tamales (the cinnamon, chewy candy) – Yes, the candy only Birkley just likes to lick it. Loves the spice and “pow”.
  • Queso Dip – Messy but likes the heat.
  • Soft cheeses – Havarti and many others can be really soft and fun to eat. Sometimes you can sample some at Whole Foods. Birkley tried some at a friends BBQ the other night and couldn’t stop eating it.

 

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Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” video by Seattle Childrens Hospital

I heard about this on the radio this morning and had to share. Amazing and inspiring video.

Another amazing video I recently watched: Team Hoyt – Dick and Rick Hoyt

Have any other inspiring videos to share? Would love to see them and share them here on our website.

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Creative Summer Camps for 4 Year Olds

Summer Camps for Special Needs Children
I don’t know about you but here in Colorado in the Golden area, there are no summer camps for four year old’s with special needs. I’m not about to drive 30 minutes early every morning with three kids to take her to one either especially since most only last around 2.5 hours anyway. So needless to say, I have to be crafty if I want a mental break and for my daughter to get out and be with some kids this summer.

I realize summer is coming up fast but I wanted to share some affordable, creative ideas. If your in my situation, you’ve been researching for a while and wondering if you’ll make it through the summer. Well this summer, I finally have a plan that should make my life so much easier and actually be able to look forward to summer. You may still be able to enroll in some programs so make sure to ask. With all of these, I’ll be paying someone to help Birkley. I found an amazing 18 year old who is basically a mom herself as she has lots of siblings. She’s a natural and Birkley warmed up to her right away which isn’t always the case. I was just fortunate to have found a good one and that isn’t always easy either.

1. Check with your local rec center. Here in Golden, they have a preschool camp in the mornings. I called and they were so helpful and accommodating. Even said that we should all meet beforehand so they can meet Birkley and understand her needs.

2. Look for Vacation Bible Schools in the area. Obviously depends on your religious beliefs but again, we found one where they were more than happy to have Birkley.

3. Parents or Mothers Day Out Programs. The Director and teachers here at one of ours in the area are wonderful. Know if I had asked them about Birkley going, they would have loved to have her. Plus they have a enormous gym with lots of “Step 2” type playground equipment. Know Birkley would have a ball and would have been perfect for her walker.

Remember, you never know until you ask and after a few years I finally realized that being creative is sometimes the only way. With options like these, you’ll also be able to hold onto some of that money for yourself and your other children this summer. Yeah!!!! Enjoy the summer!

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Last Minute Homemade Mother’s Day Gifts

Mothers Day Memory Vase
(Mother’s Day gift I made for my mom)

We are all about homemade gifts in our house. We love to be artsy and even if your art project doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would, I think it’s still the best when it comes to showing someone how much you appreciate them. With these ideas, they don’t take long and something anyone can do.

1. Iron on photograph on a tote – Buy iron on transfer paper at an office or craft store. Mom’s would love a cute picture of their kids or grand kids on their bag.

2. Memory Jar or Vase – I loved this. Think of a certain memory you have of your mom and add whatever you want in the jar. Found the idea on www.marthastewart.com.

3. Paint your own canvas – Craft stores carry all different sizes of stretched canvas. Use acrylic, watercolor or whatever paint you have and if your not an artist, paint stripes, polka dots, small flowers or any other simple pattern. You can glue a photo to it, pieces of fabric, buttons, or anything you find around the house.

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Practice Foods For Children with Feeding Issues

Practice Foods for Kids with Special NeedsI’m always trying to come up with new foods or snacks my daughter can try and practice eating with; food that melts easily, she can hold and that I can find at local grocery stores. Honestly don’t have time to go to three stores.

If your child has motor delay like mine, hypotonia or just feeding issues meaning that they get their main nutrition from bottles or some other source but love to try other foods, here’s a list for you but would love to hear more ideas. My daughter is four so it can be tough thinking of new foods. These are all easier to hold, melt quickly so you don’t have to worry about choking or just food she likes(keep in mind, she doesn’t consume a lot, so these aren’t meals, more for small b).

  • Graham Crackers by Keebler – Broken into rectangles
  • Club Crackers by Keebler– Rectangular shaped and just the basic kind
  • Cheetos Puffs by Frito-Lay – Easy for my daughter to hold and loves the salt and cheesiness.
  • Guacamole – Loves this stuff with some added salt (when guacamole is in season, we buy it constantly). Great fat too.
  • Organic Peas Baby Food by Gerber- Not as salty and tastes homemade
  • Sweet Corn Casserole by Beech-Nut
  • Dehydrated Apples by Kirkland – Just saw these at Costco and melt easily
  • Ranch – Loves the saltiness and getting her hands in it (just more to clean up)
  • Icing – Just not too sweet (will send “the best icing ever” recipe soon)

These are obviously foods that work for us and of course depends on your child’s situation, but hopefully will get you thinking of more ideas. Every child is different so just take that into consideration. Also these are by no means all healthy foods but for us, any fat is great and loves eating when she can. She feels so proud and is so much happier even though can be small amounts. If have other ideas to share with us, please send a comment below.

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Little Lotus Children

Little Lotus Designs

A new advertiser on our Local page… Annie creates cute and modern weighted blankets and is donating 5% of her sales to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation.She is also a parent blogger for Special Living Today. You can visit her shop at:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleLotusChildren

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Dream on Me Ultra 2-in-1 Infant Bath Tub & Toddler Bath Seat

When I first took the bath seat out of the box, I thought it looked a little cheap and didn’t look too stable. It was really light and the plastic didn’t look really solid. There wasn’t even a label or name on it which I thought was funny. The seat was also missing the blue piece that was supposed to be on the back of the seat (thinking that it was made of some non-slip type material). I was also hoping that it would sit up a little more as it does lay back a little and Birkley always tries to sit up.

Dream On Me Bath SeatI was happy with the size of the seat. My daughter is four years old and only weighs around 25 lbs. so this looked perfect for her size. I would just have to try it out in the bathtub and see. I did like the fact that it wasn’t huge either so she could take a bath with her brother or sister which she loves.

Dream On Me Bath Seat

When I put the bath seat in the tub it was pretty easy to get her in it which was really nice. Remember Birkley is four so her legs are getting longer (her other First Years bath seat I was using was starting to get small and it was getting hard to put her legs in and was pressing up against the middle part too much so I know was getting uncomfortable). It seemed to stick to the bottom really well too. I tried to rock it a little to make sure and was a lot more solid than I thought and it did stick really well.

Dream On Me Bath Seat

After a minute, Birkley was trying to sit up which I knew would happen. She looked a little unstable trying to figure out her new seat but after a few more minutes she remained sitting up and just held on to the bar if she needed. I noticed there was a bump on the back of the seat too which gave her support on her lower back but if a child did lay back, I would think it would be uncomfortable so think if a non-slip, padded piece was on the back, it would be great, as well as a non-slip piece under the tush.

Overall, I’m glad I bought it. The price is right on and at $32, I wasn’t afraid to try it out and return it if I needed. If your child can get away with using a baby item for a little longer, this bath seat is definitely a great buy. You just may have to be a little crafty on the back support cushion.

Disclosure: No products or compensation was sent for this review. All opinions are entirely mine and honest.

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