Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jason is 23 months

Jason is 23 months old!  He weighs 28 pounds and is growing fast.  It's hard to believe and has been such a pleasure raising him. 

Jason isn't saying exact sentences yet, but he is full of words. He is also full of babbling and it kills you not to be able to understand it. He does get his point across if he really wants something. Jason still says his phrases though. He says Mommy but prefers to call me Mom and Jeff, Daddy.  He also is getting the hang of the names of our pets.

He likes me to follow him, but he asks unconventionally.  Jason will say, "Mom!" Then he will pat his leg and make a noise you would when calling a pet. Not the best but he's still young enough that it's cute.

Jason likes to help around the house by putting dishes into the sink. This is a big improvement over last month when everything went into the recycling bin.  He gives me drinks and makes sure I have my phone.  Jason will also let the dogs in and out without going outside himself.  He's getting ready to ditch the high chair for the booster seat and the crib for a race car bed.

He still likes to dance, but to our dismay, not as much as he did.  He sings now to songs.  
Jason started off in September a very shy boy at story time. Now he participates with the songs and the gestures.  He isn't interested in the actual story though.  

Jason is excellent at sharing.  I give credit to him being himself, but Laura for sharing her toys and showing him the right thing to do. He doesn't cry when other kids take his toys. He just finds something else to occupy him.

Potty training is in the near future.  About a month ago, he would point to his diaper area and get my attention that he went in his diaper.  I find it funny that he tells me only. I can't change him but he knows I'll get the job done.

Recently he has been difficult to get his jacket on, but last weekend he changed.  He might still a little but he will come and stand by you.

Laura and Jason are the cutest duo.  He will let Laura do anything to him and for him.  He loves it when she brushes his hair.  Whenever Jason's excited about something,he throws his arms in the air and says, "yay!" He normally does this when Laura invites him in her room to play.

Both of our kids love technology.  He knows how to work an iPad better than some adults.  Jason loves to watch Mater from cars on Netflix.

I'm sad to see him grow up but excited to see all the fun things he will learn and do.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day of acceptance

Today is known as day of acceptance meaning accepting those with disabilities in society. But for the person who has the disability, I see it as so much more.

When I was little, I thought at 20 my cerebral palsy would disappear.  I thought it was just a trying period in life, but I wouldn't deal with it all of my life. Of course, I figured out there wasn't a magic Godmother who would wave the wand and I'd walk.

I think having a disability is a constant string of acceptance. Yes, we fight back with abuse and discrimination but for the most part, we are constantly accepting. I need to accept that I will never run up to my husband and hug him up right.  I'll never be able to cook dinner on my own or drive the car by myself.  I'll never be able to play with the kids exactly right.  

But it's all about acceptance. Everyday you wake up and either accept it or not.  The alternative is not very fun so you might as well accept what you can't change and try to change what you can.  I don't need society to accept me. I need myself to accept me and the rest will fall into place.

As the pieces fall, it might not be exactly how you wish they fit together. But it's just another thing to embrace, and yes, accept.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hunt for happiness

The Secret Society of Happy People will celebrate Hunt for Happiness Week starting on the third week of January. This will be the 14th year of the celebration, and it actually coinsides with the saddest day of the year known as Blue Monday!

Let's face it, there are too many things in the world that makes us unhappy,stressed or frustrated. We could all use some happiness to put a smile back on our faces. Hunt for happiness week does just that!

So what do we do?  We find things that make us happy. It can be as small as looking at a favorite picture or photograph. It can be full of doing small things that make others happy secretly. Think back to your childhood and maybe do that activity.  For example, the society recommends buying a coloring book to color in if that makes you happy.

A great suggestion from their web site is the happiness box. Give each of your children and even yourself a box. Tell them all week they are going to be on a hunt for happiness. They can find anything in the home that will make them smile.  Then at the end of the week, you each share your box. 

Create a happy area in your home.  You can fill it with pictures, candles, scents and anything to remind you of the bright side to life. Spend time each day in this space and just enjoy it.

Take the happy daily challenge! This means that each day find something to make you happy. First share it in your journal. Second share it on Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest. Happiness is great to have for yourself but even better when you share it with others. Make sure to use #huntforhappiness. 

I bet your kids, family, co workers and friends will be excited about your happiness. Soon they will want to join along with you.  Spread the word of joy.

For more ideas - check out http://sohp.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Urgent Care is the best

I'm so happy that Urgent Care exists in our area. Urgent Care is a place that has doctors and nurses that will see you without an appointment. The part that we like is that they are open on holidays and weekends because it seems that is when my family gets sick. They also take our insurance. 

On Saturday morning, I felt pretty good considering dancing the night before. We went to Costco and leisurely walked around. I was beginning to feel more and more not so great.  We got stuffed peppers and invited my dad over for dinner later that night. I hoped I'd feel better.

When we came home, I felt cold, nauseous and extremely tired. I rested as much as I could.  After dinner, I felt a little better. I thought maybe because I ate something.  I called out of teaching PREP because I didn't want to spread germs. I also had no problems going to bed by 8!

The next day I felt ok but tired. My nose was very congested and I had enough. When Jeff came home from work, he said he would take me to Urgent Care.  We went to one that we don't usually go to.  Mistake!

They were all very nice, but so slow and seemed unorganized. I think we were there an hour and a half.  I fell asleep at some point.  The outcome was that I have sinusitis, red tonsils and fluid in the ears. I was given antibiotics and on the way.

Jeff and I went to Sonic before going to the pharmacy.  Then home to eat lunch and took the medicine.  By Monday morning, I could tell I felt lots better.  I could actually breathe and didn't feel exhausted.

My husband is very compassionate when I am sick. He makes sure I am warm and have medicine plus rest. He always knows when I'm feeling sick because my CP movements act crazy.  I'm just not myself.  I love him very much.


Monday, January 12, 2015

International child center divorce

January is international child centered divorce month.  Divorce is a devastating phenomenon in a family unit. However, sometimes divorce is inevitable and the children need to be a top priority.

In a perfect world, people would find someone who they share common goals, beliefs, ideas, faiths and fall in love. They get married and stay married until one departs by death.  But it isn't a perfect world.

People get married for the wrong reasons, too young to know who they really need or the person they marry aren't who they really thought they were.  Divorce happens. Too often children are the ones hurt in the divorce. They are used negatively by parents and the well being of the child is overlooked.

Children should never be used as blackmail or a tool. They are people who love both parents and are torn in two. All they want and need is love, peace and stability. They need somewhere to call home, have a meal and do their homework. They need safety and parents to work for their best interest.

No matter how you slice it, divorce is painful for husbands, wives and children. Children tend to take the fault on them even though it's not their fault at all.  Without bashing the other parent, children need to know it is never their fault and they are loved!

Together you need to figure out a schedule that will work with everyone. You don't want to uproot the child too much from their normal routine and life.  This can cause uncertainty, fear and chaos.  Pick a schedule and go over it weekly with every one so they know what to expect.

A child center divorce is the healthier approach to a miserable situation. When you are focusing on your child's health and worth, things will fall into place. 

Red hair dancer

Happy Monday! I'm back for my five day per week writing challenge for the year. Don't get me wrong, I love blogging but sometimes life gets in the way, but a challenge keeps me going and focused.

My weekend had ups and downs. Friday was a very busy day. I cleaned most of the morning and ate lunch. My husband came home early from school so I was able to leave Jason with him. Doing errands are easier and faster for everyone involved.  

I decided to get my hair colored red. I actually was going for more of a strawberry blonde but it's definitely red. In high school and college, I was red but it has been a long time.  It took a long time also to get it colored too!

The most difficult part for my cerebral palsy is when I have to sit for thirty minutes under the dryer. At first, the heat felt good since it was very cold outside. But then the humidity kicks in and so does spasticity.  I'm also claustrophobic and trouble sitting still for a certain amount of time.  I survived though and really like how the color looks.

For rinsing, I tilt my wheelchair all the way back so my head is in the sink.  It can be a bit messy but gets the job done.  I'm very happy to have that option or I'd need transferring to a salon seat. 

Everyone seems to like my hair.  Laura said it looked, "awesome!!" I've gotten many compliments on it as well. I think I'll keep it awhile.

Jeff and I went dancing Friday night.  He told me on Wednesday not to make any plans on Friday night and he got us a sitter.  I was trying to recover a sickness but it's always nice to get out when there is the opportunity.  Plus I had my new hair to show off.

Even though I've gone out dancing several times, I still feel very self conscious.  I'm usually the only one who uses a wheelchair, but that's normal so I have no clue why that matters. Once I get comfortable though I have fun dancing and try to push back my bad feelings. 

Jeff and I dance very well together. We have choreography even to many songs that just happen. It's a lot of fun.

I must say that I really dislike how people act when they drink too much.  They are loud, obnoxious and can't trust behavior.   I stopped drinking completely because I don't want to act like a fool, I hate the taste and it makes me need to use the bathroom too much.  Bathrooms at bars are usually terrible for someone in a wheelchair.  Too small and crowded.

Some guy was nice, but obviously drunk. He kept trying to hold my hand.  He kept repeatedly asking me if I dance and even touched my joystick. Touching my joystick is like kicking or pushing someone against their will.  Not good. Thankfully he didn't dance with me since I hid whenever he came close.

Other than that, I pretty much had fun.  The guitar player came to me when leaving to thank me for coming and dancing.  I got to sleep at 2am and Jason woke up at 8. But it was worth it.

I'll share more about my weekend next time....


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ready to be healthy

I made it. I didn't want to miss my not writing already for my new year resolution.  This week seems like a blur to me. I began feeling rather sick on Saturday. I thought it was just because Laura kept me awake most of Friday night.

By Saturday night, after a full day of playing, Jeff told me to lay down in bed. It felt good to just lay down and watch Love it or List it. I think I dozed off 5-10min. After feeling better, I came out and Jeff made me dinner. We watched tv after putting the kids to bed. 

I slept ok but my throat was scratchy. I taught prep anyway and almost lost my voice a few times.  I planned on taking it easy the rest of the day but Laura and I were busy.  Jeff took the tree down and before I knew it, 8pm was here. The next day was early wake up because Jeff and Laura went back to school.

On Monday, I felt weaker and draining. But I pushed through with playgroup and errands. Jeff let me relax that night again and had an earlier bed time.  I took nighttime medicine and slept too good that I didn't want to wake up. 

I was really out of it Tuesday. My energy level was about a zero and everyone said I didn't look very good. I slept during the day which never happens. My nose was stuffy and just felt miserable.  That night I managed to help with homework but after dinner, I went straight to bed.  I slept 8-5 straight then off and on til 6:30.

I felt immediately better on Wednesday. My attendant was relieved because I worried her.  My student came and I did good teaching. Toward the end of the day I was sleepy but nothing like before.  Last night Laura told me to email her teachers to request more homework. Silly girl.

My husband was a great help to me.  I often push and push myself until he says go lay down.  When he says he has it, I believe him. The house was clean, kids fed and I felt comforted. I'm sitting here now with the kids as he studies. I think, if nothing else, our marriage represents teamwork. We pick up where the other leaves off and plays to our strengths.

I'm still not great yet, but getting there.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January is oatmeal month

January is oatmeal month. Nothing like the sound of having a warm bowl of oatmeal on a cold day. Oatmeal is very good for your body with a lot of positive benefits.

Even if you don't prefer the regular oatmeal, instant oatmeal has many of the same results.  Plus the variety of oatmeal can keep your taste buds happy each day. Peaches and cream is my personal favorite.

Eating oatmeal helps lower your LDL cholesterol level. It also helps you feel full for a longer period of time. That is terrific if you are worried about weight. Oatmeal may help reduce the risk of type ii diabetes and increases fiber intake. 

When children eat oatmeal at a young age, it might reduce the risk of asthma. The oats have protein also which is great. Also, by eating oatmeal, you can lower your risk of cancer because it fights tumors in the body.

So celebrate oatmeal month with a variety pack of oatmeal and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My new year resolutions

I admit I like New Year Resolutions. It gives me a chance to reflect on my life and the direction I would like it to go. I realize that God has a plan for me, but I can improve on my life as His plan unravels.

1. Write or blog something five days a week.

2. Be true to myself and don't lose my opinions based on someone else's. 

3. Spend time with my family and less on technology.

4. Be grateful for who and what I have in life. 

5. Build up my arm strength again.

6. Enjoy my children because childhood is temporary.

7. Continue to accept cerebral palsy because it's not going anywhere.

8. Write half of my book.

9. Be the best patient but firm teacher that I can be to my children, students and whoever is in my life.

10. Be in control,

Save money this year

2015 is all about saving money.  Money is needed to live, unfortunately, but these hot tips can certainly leave you happy with some extra cash.  Don't have time for complicated money saving plans? Try these ideas and I'm sure you will find one good for you.

1. Save on a weekly basis. Starting the first week of January put $1 away and allow the rest of the weeks to follow. Week 2 save $2 etc. By the end of the year, you'll save over $1300! 

2. Vacation fund! Every time you go to the store to buy milk, bread or something needed,take out a $20. Stick the money into a bottle and do this all year. You'll be amazed how much money you'll save. 

3. No spend month. Pick a month and choose to only spend on the essentials like food, needed clothes, medical stuff, hair cuts etc. But do not spend on anything you or your family could really live without.

4. Cut coupons. Coupons can save you lots of money if you match a coupon to a sale on the item. It really does work and can cut your food bill by $20-$30 or more!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The age of wisdom

The age 39 has been a year of revelations and insights for me.  It's been a year of figuring out that I should not accept any nonsense. Some might have called me a push over before in certain situations, but at 39 I'm finally realizing my own self worth.

Age isn't a bad thing when it comes to maturity and wisdom. Yes, my body doesn't appreciate being older.  I feel it in my legs and hips especially in the cold. But I'm very happy to being more open with my feelings and my thoughts.

Speaking your mind sounds easy, but with a significant disability, it can be a scary. People like to intimidate you because you are weaker (they believe.) Some like to stand over you and yell until you agree with them. Some might even try to deny you care, take away communication or mobility aids just so you feel scared and give in to them.

I've been through every method by now, and it's taken me years to adjust my own worth and opinions. Standing up to those who bully is hard.  But when you do, you feel so much better about yourself.  Don't lose who you are because of fear. 

If the bullying continues, get help and get out. Yes, all that sounds hard to do and the process seems intimidating. After you do end it and settled, you'll be amazed how much better you will feel.

A light bulb moment for me was when I thought to myself what would my parents, my children or God think knowing how I'm being treated? If nothing else, think about that and it might give you the push to leave.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Into the basement

Christmas vacation always go by so quickly. The night of Christmas, I was so tired that I fell immediately to sleep. My cerebral palsy didn't help matters by making my muscles tight and spastic. Some medicine relieved that so I could get some rest.

Jeff woke up with the kids so I could sleep in. To my surprise, they cleaned the house and it looked great.  I helped straighten my room to the best of my ability.  Laura wasn't feeling great and my mom was coming over before we all visited my sister so Jeff put on a movie. The kids needed some down time. 

It was fun going to my sister's apartment. When you use a wheelchair, getting in and out of houses with steps isn't so easy. By all means it doesn't mean not to invite us places or to your house, but it's always nice to roll right into someone's home to visit.

On Saturday, we went out to breakfast with my dad. He came over to play with the kids. I had fun with Jason who insisted we play outside. All of us we went for a walk. As the day continued, Laura grew more sick. 

This time I took Laura to Urgent Care.  She had an ear infection! Fun stuff.  Thank goodness for Urgent Care.

On Sunday, my attendant came back to work. She was impressed how clean it was considering we had Christmas and company. We worked together reorganizing Jason's clothes and cleaning my room. She helped me get the house more in order.  We were having Jeff's brother and family visit.

Laura went with Jeff's brother for a two night sleepover. Laura loves her cousin and they did lots of fun stuff.  On Monday, we went to see the Hobbit.  It was pretty good.

On Tuesday, we took Jason to the Please Touch museum.  That will have a whole blog itself.  We also got Laura back home!

Wednesday was an exciting day! Jeff carried me down into our basement so I could clean and organize.  I felt very nervous about being carried down. I am scared we will fall and I will seriously hurt myself.  If I hurt my right arm, I'm in trouble because that's what keeps me independent.  I also do not want Jeff getting hurt.

I love organizing and have a clean house. I also like knowing what I have in the basement and where. We have quite a bit of trash to go up but now it's organized.

We were all fine and organized like crazy. I played with Laura in her playroom too. She always wants me to come down and play. However, due to steps, it isn't very easy at all.

That night I watched two movies and just hung out. We made it until midnight to ring in 2015!


Christmas Day

So, my eyes were wide awake Christmas morning! The kids were still asleep but after all it was a quarter of seven.  Jeff woke up too and got ready. I just stayed in my new camouflage pink pajamas. He helped tie my hair back so I could see.  I texted my dad to let him know he could come over.

My dad has come over to open presents with Laura since she was two. There's no way I'll break that tradition.  My dad was here by 7:30! Right before he arrived, Jason woke up with another messy diaper. Jeff gave him a shower and an outfit. Poor Jason has bad diapers whenever he is teething. 

My Dad had to wake Laura. I was going to wake her but he was excited to do it so I let him. She wasn't quite ready to wake up but gradually got excited. Laura and Jason walked down the hall hand in hand. So cute.

Laura, of course, was thrilled to see all the colorful wrapped packages. Jason was just excited to see my Dad at the house so early in the morning. After singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, we began opening presents.  Jason was happy opening his Thomas whistle and hat. He would go to his new train table and every so often, wander in to the living room where someone would help him unwrap another toy.

It was a very fun stress free Christmas morning.  One funny thing happened when Jeff opened his gift, it wasn't what I thought it was.  He sent me a link of what he wanted weeks before and I didn't have time to reaƂly read what it was.  I thought it was a speaker but it was actually a drum! He was very happy, and I was perplexed. 

During Christmas breakfast, we noticed that Jason was more and more in pain.  His rash due to crazy diapers had took a turn for the worse. He walked around saying, "Ow!"  He couldn't even sit in his high chair without crying.

Jeff took him to urgent care.  I stayed with Laura but my heart was with my little man.  Laura and I kept busy by preparing for Jeff's parents to come at noon.  I even managed to dress half way decent myself. I normally can't really dress myself.  And I got in my wheelchair myself which isn't necessarily safe, but got the job done.

Luckily, Jason had nothing serious going on and we were doing everything right.  They said to keep him away from dairy and sugar until it cleared. Plus use A and D ointment.

After Jeff's family came, we opened presents and talked.  They bought meat balls and rolls. When they left, Jason took a nap and Laura and I watched Heaven is for Real. My dad came over again and hung out until the kids went to bed.

It was a nice Christmas Day!



Christmas Eve

I have very fond memories of Christmas morning as a child.  It's funny to me that I would ask Santa for toys and clothes but never to help make me walk. I know I thought about it, but somehow knew it wouldn't happen. Yet Santa was about love and I always knew he cared.

Christmas Eve was a day of relaxing, cleaning and anticipation. We cleaned because we were having a party after Mass. Laura helped us clean and helped Jeff prepare for Christmas breakfast. Jason ran around playing. My dad even stopped in for a bit.

We went to Christmas Eve Mass at 4pm at our church. We will never do that again.  We did arrive early and it was packed! We had to sit in the entrance way because it was so crowded! I wish it was like that every Sunday. Jeff dressed Jason in a suit and he looked great. It was a shame that he couldn't sit with us because it was so crowded.

We held a small family party after Mass. Jason enjoyed having all of his grandparents in one place. We had good food, laughs and excitement.  Laura and Jason were so excited to open one present. I bought them new pajamas (it is our tradition.) 

When everyone left, Jason went to bed and Laura put out milk and cookies.  She also wrote a note to Santa.  Jeff cleaned up after Laura easily went to sleep (or bed at least.)

Santa came with quite a sack of gifts for Laura and Jason.  He even wrote them a nice note thanking them for being so wonderful. 

Jeff and I had trouble sleeping that night. I, especially, was up every hour.  I couldn't wait until all saw their gifts!

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