Posted in family, momlife, motherhood

DIY Mario Bedroom

August is bringing a lot of changes! We moved houses, my mom is getting married, my husband is coming to visit! Not to mention, that in a few weeks my son will start 1st grade!!! Not only does all of this stress me out, but it can also be difficult on my children. Nobody is good with change, but us adults understand it at least, the same cannot be said for a 2 and 6 year old.

One thing I wanted to do to help my 6 year old to accept and enjoy some of these changes was to give him a room that he will LOVE! After many hours on Pinterest, I settled on a Mario Bros themed room. He has been really into Super Mario Maker and is actually saving up money to buy the new version. I knew this was the perfect choice.

I’m not a very crafty person….at all. My handwriting sucks, I can’t draw, even my straight lines could use work. But I figured….will my 6 year old REALLY KNOW if something isn’t exactly like I saw it on Pinterest? As long as I made it somewhere in the ballpark I knew it would be a hit. So I created my Pinterest board and went on my way!

Mystery Box Cabinet

What you need:
Cabinet (or whatever you’d like to turn into a mystery box… be creative!)
Yellow Spray Paint
Cut out a stencil of a Mystery Box
White paint
Sponge Brush

Clear coat spray paint
* you could very well use white spray paint if you prefer, I would just tape off so the paint doesn’t get outside of the stencil, and don’t spray too closely (if the spray paint drips its hard to clean it up for a clean finish)

I took an old white 2 shelf cabinet that we had in our old play room and cleaned it up (it did not need sanding but you do want to make sure you’re working with a smooth surface!) Paint the whole cabinet in a bright yellow. Let it dry, then cover with a clear top coat. Once it is dry, you will want to evenly fill in the stencil on every side. I chose a 2-story cabinet so I decide to make two levels of Mystery Blocks. Once white paint has dried, I spray it with another layer of top cover

Pipes

What you need:
Tall, circular garbage can, lid discarded
Different sized curved PVC pipes
Green spray paint
L brackets
Hinge brackets
Command Hooks

Gorilla glue

This idea started out very simple. Use one of my old tall circular kitchen garbage cans , paint it green and VOILA! A life-size Mario Pipe that doubles as a laundry hamper! the wall decoration pipes were a little trickier. After spray painting them (the most important, and easiest part) I had to figure out how to attach them to the wall. If this was my own house and not a rental I honestly probably would have just glued them to the wall. Since that was not an option for me… The large size pipe, I was able to use Gorilla Glue to secure an L shaped bracket going from in inside top of the pipe down the open end of the pipe. Because attaching it this way effectively hides the bracket, I attached only the sticky strip of a command hook to the exposed leg of the bracket and stuck it on the wall. Those command hooks hold everything. The smaller PVC pipes were too small for L brackets because they curve more than the larger size. This is where the small hinge brackets come on. Attach the same way at the L brackets. One side is glued along the top inside of the pipe end, and the other end of the bracket hangs down at a 90* angle down the open end of the pipe. I then used command strips to secure the bracket end to the wall. The remaining pipes that I painted, but didn’t want to hang, were scattered around the room for decoration.

Brick Cabinet Doors

What you need:
Bright Red spray paint
Burgundy Spray paint

Clear coat spray paint
Painters tape
* As my son so lovingly pointed out, the bricks in most Mario worlds is more brown than red. If you’d like more accurate colors, I’d go for a brown and tan. However my son’s 2 favorite colors are blue and red so I needed to switch it up.

once you remove the doors (or get whatever you are painting) make sure the area is cleaned and smooth. I spray painted the whole thing in a bright red. Let it dry then cover in a top coat. Once the top coat is dry you begin to lay your tape. Lay horizontal lines of tape across the width of the cabinet doors evenly down the length of the door. Once all of the horizontal lines are laid you will want to put down vertical lines. Try to space them out so they start to look like bricks. once you have placed all of your vertical lines it is time to spray again. Cover the whole door in the Burgundy spray paint. Let the paint dry slightly. When the paint is still tacky remove the painters tape. PRESTO! you have bricks. Once again, cover in a top coat, let dry, then reattach to wall.

Coins

What you need:
Coin Image
string
tape
Cardstock paper

This was a last minute project for me. I found some great google images of different styles of Mario coins. I took the pixelated coins, placed 4 large *and even* coins into a word document and printed 2 sheets onto contact paper. Once printed I cut out all 8 coins, glued them back to back. I poked a hole through the top of each newly double sided coins and weaved and tied a long string through each hole. Once each coin was secured onto the string, I attached it above my sons bed with only a piece of scotch tape. Of course, use anything you wish to attach it to the ceiling. Next I printed the basic looking coin. I found a black and white version of the coin and printed it on bright yellow/gold cardstock paper (same as the other coins- 4 large and even coins on a page X2). These coins, Since I was taping to the wall, they did not need to be double sided. Cut out coins and adhere scatterly as desired.

Pixelated Mario Wall Art

What you need:
pennies
super glue
poster board
finger paints (red, blue, brown, black)
frame, optional
*this design is not hung up in my son’s room yet. I am still working on something to frame the art. I will probably need to custom order a frame. The design is larger and more oblong than an 8X10

I actually found this design online. First you will want to paint your pennies.
Red- 38
Blue- 32
Brown- 23
Black- 6
Natural- 44
Once the pennies are painting and completely dry, lay them out in the pattern below. Once you can them all laid out, pick them up one by one, glue the back, and put back down in place and hold for a few seconds. Move through all of the pennies until they are all glued into place. Let them dry COMPLETELY and try to avoid bending the poster board that they are on. Once the project is complete you are ready to frame and hang!

Those are about all the major DIY’s that I did for this room. As you can see from the room photos, I also ordered Mario wall decals from Amazon. Find the ones I ordered here.

Posted in family, momlife, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

Dead Ends.

So I’ve discussed my struggles with my daughter Camille. One issue that has been confusing, is for a while is her inability to climb. It took her a while to climb anything (onto furniture, up the stairs, etc) even after she figured how to get up she could not get down. Even small things like a 12” tall toddler bed, or stepping off a 4” tall treadmill platform. Whenever she is at the top of something (bed, top of stairs, couch, etc) she would throw something off and watch it fall. Which to me, looked like she was dropping them off to see how long it took them to reach the floor. Until she got used to them, she was hesitant crossing different floor types. She wouldn’t walk from our kitchen to our living room because she wouldn’t step across the different floor types. She used to stand and cry in one room until someone picked her up and set her down in the next room. We were standing in our school gym once and she wouldn’t walk across the basketball lines. One day we were in a garage and she wanted to walk outside and there was maybe a two inch lip from the inside to the outside. She had to get on her hands and knees and crawl out; when she very easily could have walked out. Her team of therapists (and me) thought she had some sort of vision issues, specifically maybe depth perception. It made a lot of sense.

So i scheduled her an eye appt with a pediatric ophthalmologist. I was dreading the appt, but also excited at the same time. I was nervous because how in the hell were these people going to get her to sit for an eye appt?? she’s clearly not going to look into the lenses and say which number looks better. Is it better at 1…or better at 2? 2 or 3? Not to mention the whole eye blowing machine that makes even my buttcrack sweat waiting for it. 

Nonetheless, the day came and we walked into the office of the unknown. The staff was incredible!!! We got our own waiting room with a movie and toys! I strategically got some breakfast on our way so she could occupy her mind and stomach while we waited. The first thing up was dilating her eyes. We went into a room with a tech and I had to lay her down on my lap, face up. I basically had to pin her down while the tech opened her eyes and put a drop in each. As you can imagine there was a lot of wriggling and screaming but this process lasted about a min and we were sent back to the waiting room while her eyes dilated all the way. A little fun fact, children’s eyes take longer to dilate than adults. Additionally, brown eyes also take longer to dilate than other eye colors. So since Camille has both of those characteristics it took about 20-25 minute for her eyes to dilate completely. When she was finished we went in the room with the doctor.

This was probably the easiest eye appt I’ve ever seen. I sat in the chair with her on my lap. The doctor held up a spinny/light-up toy in front of Camille to keep her eyes focused. He looked in each eye with a handheld lens. He then took a flashlight and shined it in her eyes while also distracted. And That was that!

Despite the surprisingly easy appointment, the results were lackluster. The good news is, there is nothing wrong with her eyes. The back news is, we still don’t know why she’s doing her goofy little things! The ophthalmologist said her optic nerve is intact and her far vision looked perfect. I mentioned she was being observed for autism and he said it definitely could just be a little quirk of hers that could be related to autism. He basically told me to ignore it and it will go away. It’s always reassuring to know that your kids are healthy. But why do I feel disappointed? I think my mind set was on there being something wrong with her eyes. We’ll get her glasses and she will start blossoming! Maybe she’ll start playing with baby toys, walking better, signing better, climbing better. Now that the glasses are out of the picture, I’m back to square one trying to get her to reach new milestones. 

All I can do is help her the best I can and wait. Only time will tell. Next month Camille has her two year doctor appt and her official medical autism evaluation! So despite hitting a dead end on this, we have many more paths to take with my sweet sweet girl!!!

Posted in family, momlife, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

When to seek early intervention

Let me begin with a disclaimer. I am NOT an expert, I did not go to school for speech and language pathology, I am not working in the field in any way. I am simply a mother of two children with speech and language delays who has been through this and has done her research. I hope after reading this, if you feel concerns with the children in your life, that you will do your own research and seek the services available to you. I will attach links at the bottom where I got my information!

What is the difference between speech and language?

Language is the entire system of words and symbols (including written, spoken, or expressed through gestures and body language).
Speech is the actual sound of spoken language, including articulation of words/sounds. 

Since there is a clear difference between speech and language it is important to know that there is a difference between a speech delay and a language delay. 

[Examples]
Language delay Child may not be communicating (whether its via talking, sign language, gestures, etc) the way they should be at their age.
Speech delay Child may use words and phrases but is difficult to understand

All that being said, when should we start to notice if our child has a speech or language delay?

Before 12 months– Babies should begin cooing and babbling. By 9 months babies should be putting sounds together, using different tones, and say simple words like “mama” and “dada”. Lastly, before their first birthday, babies should pay attention to sounds and recognize the name to common objects (bottle, pacifier, mom, dad, etc).

12-15 months– Babbling at this age should have a range of speech sounds in their babbling (examples being P, B, M, D, N, etc), they should start imitating sounds and words, say one or more words, and follow one step directions (example- pick up the toy).

18-24 months– Most toddlers in this age group can say around 20 words by 18 months and at least 50 by 24 months. They should begin combining 2 or more words to make short sentences (Mama come, dad help, etc). Should be able to identify common objects and body parts when asked. By age two, children should start to follow two-step commands (pick it up and give it to mom.)

2-3 years– Over this year, most children have at least 200 words in their vocabulary (and as high as 1000 words!), begin to use 2-3 word sentences, say their name, use their personal pronouns (I, me, my, mine), and can be clearly understood by close family and friends. 

At this point it is important to know, (and I’ve said this before), EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT. The data above are of the average development for children in those age groups. Maybe your child hasn’t met one of the guidelines for his/her age group, that’s OK! It doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong. You may see that in a few more months they have caught themselves up and are blossoming! On the flipside, they are also made so you can know when your child is not blossoming. 

If your child is not meeting these developmental guidelines it is important to take action into your own hands rather than waiting for someone else to do something about it. I self-referred both my children to state programs. You don’t have to wait for a doctor to bring it up to you. Don’t be afraid to speak up. I know personally that it can be very scary when your child isn’t developing the way they should be and that it can be easy to overlook that there is an issue at all. However, it is our duty as parents to do everything we can to make sure out children grow and learn the way they should be. 

Each state has their own federally mandated, state funded early intervention program, including Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Northern Marianna Islands, and American Samoa. Follow this LINK to find the contact number for your state. These programs have been a lifesaver for my family. Now, I am not familiar with each specific state’s program, but they are all completely FREE and work with children from birth-3 years. After the age of 3, children receive free benefits from their local school systems. If your child is in school, they will receive services during the school day, if your child is between age 3-5 and not yet in school, they can still receive free services at the school or, in some places, they may receive school services at their daycare/head start (if enrolled). 

I hope that some of this helped someone out there! 

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/not-talk.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/language-development/art-20045163

Posted in family, motherhood, parenting

Explaining Death and Loss

When I was 16 I took a trip to our local animal shelter. I found a sweet 9 month of German shepherd mix, Brandi. I don’t often believe in love at first site, but believe me when I say- it happened for me that day. I am a firm believer that pets our family. Rescuing dogs is such a rewarding feeling because these dogs are so grateful for you. Some rescue dogs don’t know what it’s like to have a home,  to be warm, to be loved. If any of you have gotten rescue dogs, you know that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. These dogs are often skittish, defensive, and untrained. It takes a lot of patience to raise a shelter dog.

When I started to have children of my own, she wasn’t exactly keen on the idea. Small children made her very nervous. She always wanted to be around them (and me) but wasn’t very affectionate to them, she was very defensive. That being said, we did separate her from the kids unless we were there to supervise. Because of this, my children were never really close with my dog. They both still got the love they needed from me, just not with each other.

13 years after I took her home from the pound we found ourselves having to say goodbye to my “first born”. Very common with shepherds, she was losing strength in her back legs, she was losing a lot of weight, and also losing her hearing and vision. There is never a right time to say goodbye to your pet.  You don’t want to say goodbye too early, but you also don’t want them to be in pain or suffering. It’s an impossible decision, one that I did not want to make. With heavy heart I scheduled her to be put down.

Introducing death to children

We have experienced death once before. My grandmother died December 2018 when my son was 4. It was very difficult for him to understand back then. The only thing he did really know was that I was flying back home for a week and he had to stay in California with his dad. To him that was the only part that mattered, which to me, is very age appropriate. 

To prepare my oldest about Brandi, I told him that she was getting sick and was going to die soon. Eli, who is normally very emotional, just kind of shrugged it off. It kind of caught me off guard but he wasn’t that close with her, so I let it go. A couple minutes go by and Eli casually says to me, “Mom, when Brandi is dead, can we put all of our toys in the middle of the yard?” uhhhhhhh, sure. 

The day we planned to put her down, I took one last swing at explaining things to him. I again said that she was sick and that we were taking her to the doctor and we were putting her down. He didn’t really say much again. He did tell me that it made him a little sad but he would forget about her. I said well of course you will, you’re only 6 and you weren’t that close with her. It would be totally normal to forget about her. What he said next just blew my mind. After a beat he says “When you die I will probably forget about you too.” I said well I hope not!!!!!! To which he replied “I will just find another lady and say ‘will you be my mom because mine is dead.” Lol WHAT!? 

Listen, 6 years old is still very young to understand death and dying. I know this. I also know that it is very easy for children on the spectrum to view things as simply black and white. They can often be very blunt, have difficulty understanding and processing their emotions, and usually don’t react the same way as average functioning people would. If Eli’s ipad dies while he is in the middle of a game, what does he do? He is up in arms, falling to the ground, sobbing, he’s inconsolable. When it comes to the death of a family member or pet, not even a single sad feeling. I think this is the beauty of children. They don’t understand life yet. They are innocent. No real understanding of life, death, hardships, tragedies, war, etc. Of course, I’m not speaking for all children. There are definitely children who have lived these, and understand these. But When I look at my children, I see innocence. One day they will get to the point where they know and understand these things.

My children will one day feel true pain, and when that day comes I will be here, I will be ready. In the meantime, all I can do is mourn the loss of a dog that was in my life for over 13 years. The day I put her down will forever be etched in my memories. 

To Brandi- I love you so much. You were a beautiful, loving creature. You were my best friend and my “first born”. You are irreplaceable. 

Posted in family, momlife, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

Which Mom are You?

When we’re young we all think of the mom were going to be. When you picture yourself having kids, what do you see? For me I always imagined walking down the sidewalk with my daughter, picking flowers, matching outfits. We’d play toys together, make cute Pinterest crafts, read books, make health snacks. My kids would spend most of their time playing outside than on screens and I would still have time to be the same me. (spoiler- a lot of those didn’t happen.)

I’m sure at some point all of us have said or thought the phrase “I would never be like that when I’m a parent.” Let’s all laugh together. The thing is, you never know what kind of parent you will be until you are actually a parent. There are a lot of factors that contribute to who you are as a parent.

The era/generation you live in impacts what type of parent you will be for sure. I became a parent when technology really boomed, so it’s no surprise that I find a lot of parenting tools in iPad apps (ABC mouse) and Netflix shows (Word Party). There is also a lot of hype in anti-vac and gluten free lifestyles now-a-days that weren’t really thought about 20-30 years ago.

Who you had as parents shapes who you will be as well. A lot of times you tend to morph into your parents. Have you ever said that you would NEVER do something that your parents did when you have your own children, then 15 years down the road you catch yourself saying the EXACT same thing they once said to you. Circle of life my friends. This one can work the exact opposite as well. Having a very strict upbringing could cause someone to be very lax and open with their own children.

What type of children you have can also shape your parenting style. What do I mean by that? For ME PERSONALLY- having two children on the spectrum changed the way I raised my children dramatically. My children have trouble listening/comprehending and difficulty processing emotions. I’ve had a very difficult time sitting down and reading books with them, being able to enforce rules, even sitting down to play with my children-something so natural- is usually a no-go.

Who you are as a person is probably the biggest thing, and the most predictable. If you are a generally health person, hands down your kids will reflect that. Someone who eats extremely healthy will try and instill that on their own children. If you had anger issues before children, seeing a whole poop diaper smeared into the carpet probably won’t make your anger issues better. If you’re a type A person, odds are you will be a type A parent. Of course, this isn’t true for everyone either. As I said before, you never know the type of parent you will be UNTIL you are a parent.

For fun, I thought of some “Mom types” and decided to turn myself into some and write their bios.

Sandra, 42
Been there, done that Mom. She is the veteran mom, the wise owl, the unshockable. She’s lived through everything. She’s cleaned poop out of places you would think is impossible, her children have had a total of 6 broken bones, she can handle the chickenpox with her eyes closed. Sandra is the friend you go to when you have the most random parenting question, which she will answer without hesitation and never judges. Her house is always filled with the best snacks….and wine

Kaylynn, 28
Crunchy mom. Organic, gluten free, dairy free type mom. Her favorite past time is going to Whole Foods. She’s an antivaxxer and loves to let you know by posting 4 antivaxx links a day on her facebook. Her three children all sleep with her in bed, forcing her husband to sleep in the guest room. Her bake sale specialty is flourless muffins. She always gives advice when not asked and openly judges all of your “toxic” lifestyle choices. 

Cathy, 35
Sideline mom. She has four boys and can be found screaming on the sidelines of her children’s sporting events no matter the season. Cathy is not afraid to speak her mind. Her go-to saying is “Get your eyes checked ref!!!” Everything in her house is sticky. She’s lost the will to clean up after disgusting boys all day. Despite her usually serious attitude, she’s actually a pretty good time. Her usual drink of choice is a Miller Lite but loves her cosmos on girl’s night. 

Bethanny, 31

Type A mom.
You can set your watch by her family’s routine. Bethanny runs the house and everyone knows it. There is never a shoe out of place, but lord help us if there is. The calendar on the fridge is color coded and filled to the max. Her husband, James, doesn’t really care for schedules but it’s not worth the fight. He does love the morning smoothies she makes him every day though. She’s a stay at home mom but is almost always dressed in business casual. Her children fear her, her neighbors respect her, and the school faculty hate her. She doesn’t have many friends and isn’t sure why. Also, don’t call her Beth. She f***ing hates it. 

Katie, 27
The relaxed mom. Katie doesn’t mind messes, she’s not dirty, but her house generally looks like children DO live there. I mean, DUH. She makes plans and schedules, but doesn’t really blink when they get messed up. She’s usually pretty relaxed and easy going, but don’t test her because she WILL lose her shit on you. She disciplines her kids but also can get too persuaded by their emotions. Sometimes it’s just easier to give them the cookie, right? After homework is done she really doesn’t care what her kids do. There are no ipad or TV limits in her house. She makes the best friend because she is very laid back, doesn’t judge, and makes a killer taco dip.

Meadow, 25
Hippie mom. She shares a lot of characteristics with the crunchy mom. She is a vegan and there’s not a thing in her fridge that is not organic. Meadow is a child of the Earth. Her children spend most of their times outside and barefoot. She is a firm believer that you learn so much more from experiences than you do in school. She homeschools her children and the backyard is their classroom. She considers herself a “Free-range” parent. She lets her children make their own decisions so they can learn from the power of their free will. Whatever that means. She has a lot of friends, probably because she makes good weed brownies. 

Brittany, 31
Pinterest Mom. The title says it all. Her Pinterest account has over 50,000 pins in all categories. Recipes, school lunch ideas, DIY projects, party themes, outfits, nursery decor. Think of a category, and she’s pinned something for it. Unlike the rest of the world, she pins things and ACTUALLY DOES THEM. The audacity. She wets herself when she gets invited to a potluck or when her children’s school is having a bake sale so she can use her newest pin. When most of us try projects we got off Pinterest they turn out disastrous, not Brittany. She was born crafty, and hits her DIY out of the park every time. She is one of the most popular friends and loves when they ask her to make something for them!

Katrina, 19
The Newbie. Matching mother-child outfits, hair and makeup done every morning, really shooting for the “perfect mom persona.” She’s a first time mom and it is completely obvious. The girl that’s always in the Facebook mom group asking “What do you think this rash is?” or “My son fell and hit his head, should I take him to the ER?” She is just so unsure of herself, and that’s NOT A BAD THING! She just wants to be a good mom, and doesn’t want to make any mistake. The thing she needs to learn is that making mistakes is what makes us a mom. She has a TON of friends, but she’s the only one with a kid so far. She tries to make friends with veteran moms at the playground, but doesn’t know how to connect with them yet.

Tammy, 36
The Everywhere Mom. Classroom mom? That’s her. PTA? She’s on it. Soccer team needs snacks? She’s got it. She’s a stay at home mom and her kids are everything to her. If there is anything to do, she’s got it. Same can be said for her friendships. People don’t understand how she has the time or the energy to do the things she does. She makes it seems so effortless. Though she’d never show it, Her energy tank is on zero. She averages about 4-5 hours a sleep a night, usually because she’s up baking cookies for something. If you’re looking for a dependable friend, Tammy’s got your back!

Melissa, 31
The princess mom. Her husband is a CEO and makes more than enough money, so Melissa can stay home to focus on the children. The problem is, she’s not exactly the maternal type. Needless to say, the kids are wild and spoiled. Melissa spends most of her days getting her nails done and shopping with friends. She is never seen less than perfect. She knows all the town gossip. She has very high standards for all things in life, including friendships. Probably why she doesn’t have many girl friends.  Her children have straight A’s in school and are fluent in Spanish; thanks to the nanny, Maria.

Posted in family, momlife, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

Mommy Remixes

My life, as you may know by now, is very isolated. I spend most of my day inside the house with children. Things are bound to get a little loopy, right? One thing I like to do is sing. Before I go any further, let’s be clear- I like to sing, but I CAN’T sing. I am horrible. However, singing helps with my anxiety, it lightens the mood, it fills empty silence, and sometimes it makes my kids laugh! One thing I like to do is change lyrics to songs and make it my own. If I sing a remix to a song from one of Camille’s favorite movies she recognizes it immediately. I’m sure you won’t be impressed, but here they are…


Semisonic- Closing time

Closing time.
One last call for sippy cups, so finish your water or milk
Closing time.
You don’t have to go to sleep just get the hell away frooooom me.



(Real version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGytDsqkQY8


Moana- Where You Are

Camille.
Get uuuuuuup. Get uuuuup.
Camille it’s time for you to get up and take brother to schoooooool. 


(Real version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVzDrqOmYiY


Dr Dre/Eminem- Forgot About Dre

When the cops came through me and eli stood next to a broken down fort.
With a hand full of blankets. Hand full of chairs. Still wouldn’t find out. 



(Real version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFcv5Ma8u8k


Queen- Bohemian Rhapsody

Maaaamaaaaaa
Just lost her shit
Threw out all her kids junk,
Drank some wine and now she’s drunk. 
Maaaaamaaaaa
Your kids day had just begun
But now you’ve gone sent them to their rooms. 
Maaamaaaa ooh ooh
Didn’t mean to make you mad
If this shit isn’t picked up by tomorrow,
You’re kicked ouuuut. You’re kicked out.



(Real Version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ


Spice Girls-Wannabe

If ya wanna be my daughter,
Ya gotta clean up your room. 
I know it won’t last forever,
The bullshit never eeeeeends!


(Real version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJLIiF15wjQ


Carly Rae Jepson- Call Me Maybe

Hey I just birthed you
And this is crazy 
But here’s my nipple
So shred it, maybe!



(Real version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWNaR-rxAic


Lou Bega- Mambo no. 5

1,2,3,4,5
Everybody in the carseats 
So come on lets ride
To the ice cream shop around the corner
My kids really want a couple cones
But I really don’t wanna
Hungover from my wine last night
Sunglasses on my face cuz the sun is bright
I got Eli, Camille, Avery, and Kenzie
And as I continue you know they’re getting crazy.



(Real version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK_LN3XEcnw


Michael Jackson- Beat it

I told you don’t you ever come around me
Don’t wanna see your drawing, you really need to flee 
There’s crazy in their eyes, I gotta get free
So ditch em, just ditch em.
You better run, you better leave while you can,
Dad just got in the door, kids think he’s superman.
Don’t try to pretend, better leave while you can.
So ditch em, but you wanna be nice.
Just ditch em.



(Real version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRdxUFDoQe0


ABBA- Dancing Queen

You are the pooping queen
Young and gross
It’s only 9:15
Pooping queen
Feel the heat from the bath, get clean ooooh yeah.
You can poop
You can fart
Having the time of your life
Ooooh, see that girl
Smell that smell
Dig in the pooping queen.



(Real version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFrGuyw1V8s


Pharrell Williams- Happy

Because I’m tiiiiiiired
Clap along if you feel like you need some more coffee
Because I’m tiiiiiiiiired.
Clap along if you feel like you wanna go back to bed
Because I’m tiiiiiiiired.
Clap along if you feel like thats what you wanna do.



(Real version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbZSe6N_BXs

Posted in family, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

Round 2

When Eli was Diagnosed with autism around 4 years ago the doctor told me there would be about a 20% chance of my next child also having autism. (Yes people, genetics, not the measles vaccine. So vaccinate your kids!) So, when Camille came around, I watched, listened, and observed everything she did. A rule of thumb of parenting is never compare your children to other kids (yeah, right.) It is a very important rule to follow though. Every child develops at their own pace. Just because little Timmy is walking at 9 months does NOT mean your child is behind because she is not doing it yet. If your nephew is speaking three word sentences at 12 months it does NOT mean your own son is behind because he can only say 5 words total. Our children hit their milestones at their own pace. They will deal with peer pressure in grade school so let’s not instill self-esteem issues yet!

All that being said, when DO you start to worry about where your child is developmentally? I don’t believe there is a real answer for that. I think, as a mother, you just know. 

Today’s world makes it so easy for parents to get their children evaluated for FREE through the state. Each state has their own fully funded programs. In Michigan, we have the EarlyOn program. When we arrived to Michigan I didn’t waste any time getting Camille evaluated.

So what was it about Camille that made me get her evaluated?

-Her gross motor milestones were always met, but a little behind
-Babbling was very delayed. She didn’t start actively babbling until around 18mo.
-She doesn’t play with toys as expected- she prefers to just hold items and walk around with them. She chooses to play with household items (shoes, dusters, etc.) vs baby toys. For a while between 12-18mo, she would only open and close doors and cabinets for entertainment.
-She walks very cautiously. She does not walk on uneven ground (grass, sand), she is uncertain when stepping across different floor types or over lips/lines.
-Does not climb on/off furniture. She does not attempt to climb stairs. She cannot get down from very low furniture (example- her 12′ toddler bed.) She will drop an object to the floor to judge how high up she is.
since becoming diagnosed she has attempted the stairs and crawling on . some furniture.
-She does not like a lot of touches- face wipes, washing hair, diaper changes, etc.
-She does not respond to her name or react when spoken to.
-She does not recognize or interact with other children/adults. She will allow other to be in her general proximity but other than that she does not pay them any attention.
-Little eye contact
-No mimicking. She does not copy other’s actions, repeat sounds. She will not point to objects.
-She likes thin items on her lips and around her mouth. Hair, hair ties, shoe laces, strings, etc. I would like to clarify that she doesn’t eat or even chew these things. She just likes the feeling of them on her lips.


To someone who has no experience with any of this, the evaluation process can be very, very overwhelming. There are so many people involved, multiple evaluations, and lots of paperwork. With my first born, Eli, I remember feeling overwhelmed, scared, sad, so many emotions. I felt unorganized. With Camille when the people involved started over-explaining the process to help me understand I politely said “Listen, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’m good. Do ya thang girl.” Honestly the best advice I can give to someone going through this the first time- relax and take the backseat. The professionals with these programs know what they’re doing. They help you every step of the way. The best thing a parent can do is get out of your own way. Let them help you with everything. 

After Camille’s evaluation process, she was placed in the moderate-severe autism range. Because she was evaluated through the School system/ EarlyOn program, this is what’s called an educational diagnosis. In another blog I will get into the difference between an educational diasgnosis of autism vs a medical diagnosis. The important thing to know for now is an educational diagnosis determines if a child meets the qualifications needed to receive special education services through the school system and is not a “firm diagnosis”. A medical diagnosis is a true diagnosis and opens the door for insurance supported therapy services.

So now what? We start by making a list of goals to work towards. For example, one goal is to get her to make independent choices for meals by using picture cards (PECS). Another is to get Camille to play more with age appropriate toys vs household items. We focus on the areas that are most important to improve. Keep your expectations low! Sometimes they take a while, AND THAT’S FINE!

Additionally, Camille is receiving in-home speech therapy. We will also soon begin occupational therapy, and perhaps Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. 

Getting an autism diagnosis for your child is a very overwhelming, scary thing. This, however, is one that I was waiting for. I knew the odds and I was prepared. If anyone can embrace this challenge for a second time, it’s me. I am ready for this next chapter in my parenting world. I look forward to sharing this journey with others and hope that by telling our story, we can help other parents out there who may be going through something similar!