What is In? Help for Some of Us Moms

know whats in - Sweet Savory Studio and Allie Photo Stylist

For me, I like to buy a few “in” pieces every so often just so when I go out with my husband or friends, I can feel good about myself and escape the every day craziness of being a mom.

This is a guest post from my dear friend, Allie. She knows everything about what’s in, what’s hot, what’s not and knows a thing or two about celebrity gossip as well. Love it. She has 2 kids, Noah, 6 and Sadie, 4. Allie is a freelance photo stylist here in Denver, CO and her work is beautiful. You can see her portfolio at: http://www.alliestylist.com

So here’s the rundown for what’s in right now:

  • Stripes are huge (again,still) but now for pants, tops and shoes
  • IKAT and tribal prints for shirts and pants/shorts
  • Bright colored skinny jeans–kelly green, red, blue, purple…
  • Sperry topsiders (like the ones from the 80’s)
  • Canvas espadrilles, especially TOM’s
  • Mixing different prints together
  • Bright colored ballet flats
  • Bold, colorful jewelry
  • Layering clothes is always good
  • Back packs–but cute ones
  • Beads!–shirts with beads, bags with beads
  • Blazers–little black v
  • Blazers paired with a cute knee length or shorts
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Just a Good Day – Yeah Summer!

Art by Devlin Logan (my 6 year old daughter) – not all finished:)

You know when someone is talking to you about your child and how you almost get a little choked up and have to hold back the tears?…Well today, I was almost there.

I signed Birkley up for this preschool summer camp at the Golden Rec Center here and I can’t even believe how amazing they have been from the start. To begin with, the woman in charge welcomed us with open arms and even had us meet with the teachers beforehand. She made is so easy and painless which we all know doesn’t happen very often.

Birkley started camp this past Tuesday and went again today. The setting is perfect for Birkley… bright, clean, easy access in her gait trainer to the little outside play area and just had everything set up to where Birkley could reach for things easier. Again, I do pay someone to be with Birkley while she’s there but the price is so reasonable that it works out great.

Today I walk in and one of the head teachers comes to talk to me about Birkley and how wonderful the past day of camp went. She said she had already made friends, that the kids loved her and she couldn’t believe how much Birkley focused on her, the other teachers and the kids. She laughed, sat a lot(her new thing), and was just telling me how charmed she was by her personality and her spark. “She just has that twinkle in her eye.” As she’s telling me this I’m thinking, wow, she doesn’t even know Birkley and I swear she was getting a little choked up inside which in turn almost made me burst into tears but I held back. What an amazing teacher to have shared all those thoughts and feelings about my daughter.

Thanks to all you wonderful teachers, parents, families and friends who really make a huge difference in our life. You don’t know how happy it makes me feel. Today, I had a great day and all because of people who really care.

* Yesterday was a good day too. At her other camp at Rocky Mountain Deaf School, her teachers said she once again sat a lot and she made 4 signs (sign language).

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Stores, Resources and More I Couldn’t Live Without

Special Needs - Can't Live Without
Have to say, being a parent of a special needs child, here is a short list of some of my favorite stores, resources and just things I couldn’t live without. They have been huge part of my every day living.

Stores

  • Target – Where I buy Mossimo tank tops. With all the drool and poop around here, I love these tops. Plus Target always has majority of the things I need including $5 tops and pants for the girls. Something we buy on a regular basis.
  • Diapers.com – They have tons of stuff and things you can’t find anymore at local stores. I’ve bought Birkley’s bath chair, rubber spoons, and more here. Not just diapers. They have everything.

Community

  • Mommies of Miracles – Just started following about four months ago. Great for connecting with other moms.
  • P2P Forum – Forum in Colorado and know they are in other areas too. Great local information from parents.

Blogs

  • Love That Max – Love her sarcasm and her articles.
  • About.com, Special Needs, Terri Mauro – One of the first blogs I found. Has great information overall.

Music

  • Taylor Swift and Other Top Hits – My family loves music. I dance with my oldest daughter to Taylor on long days. She is one of her favorites so always helps us change the mood if we need it around that 4:00 time. Birkley loves music even if she can’t hear it and always holds up her hand to join in. Even my son Bode started dancing when he was around nine months and has been dancing ever since.
  • The Lumineers and Other Happy Hang out Songs – Check out the Lumineers if you like pub type, happy music. They are a Denver band and love them. Our family listens to this type of music when we need to just let go and escape a little. Takes us on a mini vacation in a way.

Food

  • Peanut Butter – Think I eat peanut butter once a day at least. Always a great fat and helps keep me going. Plus added to toast, it’s a quick out the door breakfast.
  • Mixed Nuts – Great quick snack when I need some energy and my kids love them too.
  • Greek Yogurt and To-go yogurt – Easy to bring with me in the car and always refreshing.
  • Coffee – Only one of my favorite morning routines. No matter how fast we have to run out the door, I always have my coffee heated back up ready to go. Have you tried Allegro, Whole Foods coffee? So good.

 

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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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How to Help Our Kids Be More Active

Birkley and How to Let Our Kids be Active
My daughter loves to run or at least pretend she’s running, loves to jump in her walker when sees others dancing or jumping, loves watching soccer, baseball, kids playing sports, throwing things, anything… I wish there was a place where they could let themselves be active kids, a place that would enable them do the things they can’t, a gym type place or maybe a class they could go to. Has anyone ever heard of a place like this? If Birkley could walk, I know she would be running soon after. She is so motivated. You can see her energy build up when she watches others. Breaks my heart knowing she can’t follow along but she tries her hardest. If know of any businesses that offer something like this, would love to hear about them. Hoping some day maybe I can offer something like this to kids like Birkley.

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Thanks to the Rocky Mountain Deaf School!

Rocky Mountain Deaf School
Rocky Mountain Deaf School has been working on securing land to build a new school. I just wanted to tell everyone in Colorado what a wonderful school RMDS is and why they should support the new build.

Birkley started at RMDS at the end of January when we moved from Denver to Jefferson County. I can’t even describe the amount of progress she has made since she’s been there and it’s only been about 3.5 months. Birkley has made huge strides in her vocalization, her attention to detail, her physical challenges and her ability to learn sign language.

Like most special needs kids, communication is always a tough one. In our case, Birkley would bang her head on the floor, clench her teeth, and start to cry and scream. It was always a guessing game to find out what she wanted and most times I would get frustrated and end up in tears if I couldn’t figure it out. We had always used sign language with her but she needed more one on one help at school in order for her to start understanding it more and to start learning it. At the time, the school she was at just wasn’t able to give her the same amount of help and support.

Today with the help of RMDS, Birkley has made huge strides. She has signed milk, water, mom, jump, tree and possibly more. It’s of course hard to tell at times but it’s a miracle she is even communicating. She uses her hands more than she ever did before, she has been babbling a ton which is a part of learning sign language and something most deaf children do as they progress and she has started to make really loud vocal sounds where we have to speak up sometimes to get over her voice. Birkley has also been more focused at times and is now sitting better, getting up on all four’s all the time to the point where she is about to start crawling, and overall getting stronger in her legs, arms, and better motor control in her hands.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am to this school. As a parent, all we want is for our children to move forward. We want to see big accomplishments and feel good about where we bring our children every day. Have to say this is the first school Birkley has been to where I don’t feel stressed when I leave. Birkley is happy every time I say bye with a huge smile on her face and know she’s in the best hands.

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Birkley Has Hit a Huge Milestone

Birkleys Huge Milestone
Birkley hit a huge milestone. Three weeks ago she started getting up on all fours(well almost), pushing up on her elbows more…just getting stronger overall. I can see it when she’s on the floor and can feel it when she wraps her arm around me to give me a hug. Think I’m addicted to physical therapy for Birkley now. Feel like sometimes it takes seeing big improvements to get ourselves motivated again to work with our children. Know it shouldn’t be that way but sometimes we need our kids to show us again and again that they CAN DO IT. Feel with Birkley, it’s every six months that something big happens and she surprises me every time.

Although I received lots of wonderful mother’s day gifts, this is definitely the best one. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

To all parents, remember to have patience although I know it’s easier said than done. These kids are amazing!

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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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