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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CMV: Every Pregnant Woman Should Know About This Virus

Interesting to me why it’s so hard to find information on CMV. My daughter was born with CMV so think it’s so important for woman to know. A lot more common than I thought. Read the article below from a pediatrician’s blog I discovered the other day.

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Dr. Gail Demmler-Harrison, Infectious Diseases

Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common virus that most people haven’t heard of.

Most every one will catch CMV at some time in their life and never know they have it.

If a woman gets CMV for the first time while she is pregnant, she can be in a potentially dangerous situation. CMV infects almost 1 out of every 100 newborns in the country and is the most common congenital infection.

The virus is passed to the unborn baby from the mother and can cause serious complications in the newborn, like platelet problems, liver disease, and lung disease. It can also cause long-term effects on hearing, vision, growth, and development by invading the brain, eyes, and ears. Read More

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IPad2?

I am looking for a technology grant to use an IPad as an assistive technology device/ communication device for my students. Currently, I am using over 32 low, mid & high tech communication boards & devices with my students. It would be an incredible blessing to have one device replace almost all of these. I would be able to have all visuals/ communication devices across every school setting & would have access to millions of much needed visuals within milliseconds.

Soooo, I attempted to apply for a technology grant last week & unfortunately, received an email reply to my five page single-spaced grant proposal that preschool classes are not eligible to apply. BUMMER.
Any ideas of grants to apply for/ where to find grant money for educational technology? Also, has anyone used an Ipad with young children with special needs; I would love ideas on useful apps & pros/ cons of using an Ipad with children with special needs?

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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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Little Bit About Me

About Me and Special Living Today

First of all, before I start, have to tell you that I could not find one good picture of myself with the kids. Would think these kids are raising themselves. Anyway the best I could do. This picture is horrible of Birkley but was taken on her 4th birthday. I rented a bouncer because they are her favorite and loves to lay on them.

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To start, I have three kids. My oldest daughter Devlin is 6, my other daughter Birkley is 4, and my youngest boy Bode (pronounced Bow-dee) is 23 months. Yes, it is hard sometimes day to day because Birkley doesn’t walk, talk…and then there’s Bode who is still little so I need to watch out for him too. In other words life is nuts but who’s isn’t?

I do freelance web design and development from home when I’m not working on Special Living Today. Wish I could work more sometimes to escape the craziness but we all know how it goes with a child with special needs. Once you hire your sitter or nanny to come, it almost becomes more work. Birkley won’t eat(meaning take her bottle which consists of Carnation, fruit, rice cereal) for just anyone so as I’m running downstairs to try and hop on the computer and then I hear her crying in the background with frustration. Seriously, can I just get away for an hour? Half the time, my money is going to me too trying to get the two acquainted.

On my..ok not free time but off time maybe, I love to do anything artsy. On every holiday and any other day, my 6 year old and I are making crafts, painting,.. whatever. (well she’s making and I’m instructing a little while handling the other two). I finally cleared off our dining room table the other day because was covered with pom poms, paper, felt, and everything else you can think of.

I have a bachelor of fine arts degree and creating has been a love of mine ever since I was little. I remember helping my mom with crafts for sunday school, building mega dioramas for school… the list goes on.

I love fun clothes too. There isn’t any time for shopping but when I do get out to treat myself after a rough month of working and dealing with Birkley stuff, I love hitting the boutiques around town or the discount department stores like Nordstrom Rack. I love Free People clothes, yoga pants and great jeans. I love to find cool clothes but never buy anything that isn’t on sale or a great deal.

I’m a pretty fit person as I like to eat healthy and try to work out when I’m not exhausted. Usually consists of quick 20 minute workouts in the morning but at the most, 2 to 3 times a week before the kids get up. The rest of my workout is carrying a 25 lb. girl around. If I have a mega workout day with Birkley, don’t get me wrong, I have to grab a piece of chocolate, cookie, whatever with my glass of wine at the end of the night.

Needless to say, I’m a mom always pushing to do more. Think at times, I’m obsessed with trying to think of new inventive ideas for Birkley. How can we make our life better? How can we be more like a normal family and do things other families do? Feel like my head is spinning sometimes. I go to bed telling my husband, “why can’t I stop thinking?” Wish I could just let things go but guess that’s what drives me. Good thing and a bad thing.

At the end of the day, I have to say, thank god for coffee, beer, wine, my husbands amazing cooking and our great marriage.

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Best Icing Ever! Cake Awesome Too and Super Easy

Best Icing Ever, Cupcakes

Had to share this recipe because the icing is amazing! We are not cake eaters in our household but with this recipe, everyone wanted a cupcake. Honestly, I would rather have apple pie but this icing is the best and the cake is super moist. The two together makes the best cake and you can make in any flavor (The recipe below is for chocolate cake but I used lemon cake mix, lemon pudding and white chips for the cake and added lemon rind and fresh lemon juice to the icing. We then added toasted coconut and chocolate eggs to the top).

I wanted to post this because my daughter Birkley loves to eat icing if it’s good. If it’s too sweet, she will definitely give you a bad face. Love this icing because it is super fluffy and delicious and something Birkley can enjoy eating while I bake.

I received this recipe from a friend who bakes amazing recipes and the best part is, it’s super easy. It’s super low fat, ok not at all, so don’t make this if watching what you eat.

Icing

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup shortening
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract
3 tablespoons corn syrup or water (optional, see notes)

PREPARATION:
In a large bowl, combine sugar, shortening, water and vanilla.

Beat on low speed to combine, then beat on medium speed for a full five minutes. It won’t look like icing at first, but keep the mixer going for a full five minutes, and then you’re done!

Notes: You may use half shortening and half unsalted butter. If you’re not using this for decorating, but just for icing the cake, thin the icing by adding the corn syrup or water to the icing.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

1 box Duncan Hines Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake
1 (3 oz) Package Instant Chocolate Pudding (I have found instant that’s not the microwaveable kind that’s about 3.4 oz. and used that – haven’t found 3 oz.)
4 Eggs
½ Cup Vegetable Oil
¾ Cup Water
1 Cup Sour Cream (I use low fat)
6 oz. Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips in mixer or with whisk.
Add chocolate chips after everything else is combined.
Bake as directed on the box.

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Easiest, Homemade Sensory Table Even a Mom Can Make

Easiest Homemade Sensory Table
We all know that sensory tables can be super pricey usually around $300 so I did some shopping and made my own for really cheap. I wanted something that I could put together myself. Feel like there are already a zillion projects to do on the weekend so didn’t want to add to the list. With this table, you can make it in about 30 minutes and so easy. No sawing or building involved and only paid around $36 for the entire thing.

What to purchase:

  • IVAR table at Ikea – costs $19.99
  • Industrial Strength Velcro – cost me about $5 for the pre-packaged kind. Can buy it at JoAnn Fabrics.
  • Plastic storage containers – cost $5.99 a piece
    I bought 2 because wanted them to have a water side and dry side.

Step 1 : Put the table together
I left the bottom shelf off so my daughter could play with the table in her walker. Otherwise may bump into it. To put the table together you actually just screw on the legs, so easy. Takes 10 min.

Step 2 : Add the velcro to the plastic container and also onto the table on atleast 3 sides.
I cut each strip into 3 pieces so I didn’t need to buy so much and worked great. The sticky side is super strong so will hold after 24 hours.
*if it doesn’t seem to stick very well after a few days, just add some Guerilla super glue (can buy at JoAnn Fabrics)

Easiest Homemade Sensory Table

Easiest Homemade Sensory Table

Easiest Homemade Sensory Table

Step 3 : Add rice, water, whatever to your containers and your done!

Easiest Homemade Sensory Table

Everyone loved it. Perfect for all ages and it’s the perfect height. If need to make it taller, add feet to the bottom legs using wood and wood glue.

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