Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Big news for Lola!

Yesterday, Lola ate a carrot and a REAL strawberry. None of that freeze dried garbage she prefers :) it was her first day with her new feeding therapist. Success is an understatement! Great job Lola! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dressing the part

When Lola was 2, I was invited to observe a preschool classroom at a center that we were considering for Lola's ongoing therapies. I remember walking in to the classroom without any idea of what to expect. Everything looked normal to me, so I sat down and observed. Lola is always eager to learn something new and to have a new experience so she walked right in and sat with her new friends. Probably two seconds into the observation, like a typical girly girl, I started to notice how all the kids were dressed. Now I'm not placing a heavy emphasis on buying your children expensive clothes or breaking the bank to get them a pair of shoes they will fit in for three months, but there is something to be said for taking pride in your child. None of the kids in this class looked like they had someone comb their hair in a week. Most of their clothes didnt fit and almost everyone had dirty finger nails and stains on their face. Is this really something I need to be blogging about? Absolutely! I see so many women spend hours in front of the mirror getting themselves ready and looking quite fabulous. I see plenty of men washing their cars in their driveways for an hour to make sure their car looks just right. Why not put the same effort into your child that we do into other things that are important to us. Yes there are days when we really don't have time for braids or painting nails, but take pride in your children the way you do in your electronics and your home. Those material things don't matter, but the way you make your child feel about themselves when you take the extra five minutes to invest in them can have a tremendous impact on their day. Children with special needs have enough to worry about without the task of pulling up pants that are too big for them or itchy labels on their clothes. A little love goes a long way. When you polish your kiddo up like you do your shiny, pretty car... They will feel more valuable. And guess what, others will treat them like they are more valuable too. As sad as it may be, people are drawn to the "pretty things" in life. How do you expect others to love your child if it "appears" like you hardly care. I don't dress Lola any different than any of the other girls in her class just bc she has a special need. Why do we need to let the world know she has autism? If anything, i am guilty of the opposite, I am guilty of having too many bows or too many sparkly necklaces for Lola. But its a good thing to be guilty of! Because Lola feels good when she looks good. She has confidence wherever she goes and she knows she is worth all of my time to make her feel pretty like a princess every single day of her life. 

P.s. stay tuned for links to Lola's favorites and Lola necessities!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sensory processing disorder tips and tricks!

Do you have a picky eater on your hands? I may just have you beat! Lola has something called "Sensory Processing Disorder." I'm sure I could write a few hundred paragraphs explaining in my own words what SPD is, but I will leave that to the pros to sum up for me instead. The definition of SPD according to Wikipedia:

Sensory processing disorder or SPD is a hypothesized neurological disorder. While SPD is not yet recognized in standard medical manuals such as the ICD-10[1] or the DSM-IV-TR,[2] the term sees use by some practitioners and patients to refer to a range of difficulties with taking in,processing, and responding to sensory information about the environment and from within one's own body (visual,auditorytactileolfactiongustatory,vestibular, and proprioception).

For those identified as having SPD, sensory information may be sensed and perceived in a way that is different from most other people. Unlike blindness or deafness, sensory information can be received by people with SPD, the difference is that information is often registered, interpreted and processed differently by the brain. The result can be unusual ways of responding or behaving, finding things harder to do. Difficulties may typically present as difficulties planning and organizing, problems with doing the activities of everyday life (self care, work and leisure activities), and for some with extreme sensitivity, sensory input may result in extreme avoidance of activities, agitation, distress, fear or confusion.[3]

Now go back and read the first two sentences in the second paragraph again. They are the most important!!!

I once read that SPD is similar, for us "non-SPD" folks, to being trapped in a room with a skunk! Can you imagine the horror? Well, some people experience that "horror" several times a DAY. Yes, that's what I said, several times a day! So have some compassion because it has for to be rotten!!!

Now I am no expert on SPD but I know what has worked for Lola. If you are desperate to get your kiddo to eat, then you understand me. I would do just about anything to help Lola get through meal time. Here are a few of the things I have done with Lola that actually work immediately! First, throw the idea of a nice calm meal with the family out the door. If you have younger kiddos, it just isn't realistic sometimes. Just getting through dinner time is success enough! Don't be so hard on yourself! I actually have had the most success feeding Lola in the bathtub! Yup the bathtub! Something about the noise of the running water and her being physically busy with an activity seems to take the anxiety out of attempting new foods. I actually got Lola to eat a nutri grain bar for the first time in the tub. And it took zero effort on my part. When I want to try out a new food with Lola. I start in the bathroom :)

I have also had a lot of success feeding her while she is watching tv or playing the iPad. I even used to feed her in the car. gasp! I know... No this is not what her feeding therapist recommends but her feeding therapist doesn't have four kids and doesn't know the dinner time drama Rama that can go down in our home! I also have a three year old that likes to tell me he wants a grilled cheese sandwich and then once I make it and give it to him, pushes it away and says, " I don't want gwilled cheese sammach." Make up your mind son! Anyway, it is work. And I know the girl is starving, so the normal around here is definitely not the normal around every other house on this block. But who cares? I definitely don't. I feel like the more she gets used to eating new foods in the tub or while distracted with the tv, the easier it is to introduce those foods at the dinner table. So judge away all you feeding therapists! My kiddo never goes to bed hungry and that is a success in my book!

I fluffed!

Lola says way too many funny things. I have to document this one on here because I feel everyone has much to gain from it. We were waiting for our turn at the hair cutting place. I heard my oldest son say, "ewww Lola you farted!!!!" Then I saw Lola fold her arms, stand up and scream, " I didn't FART... I FLUFFED!" And then she sat back down and went about her day... 

Lola and Darla

How bad is it that I haven't mentioned Darla?! Darla Arline joined our family in July 2012. My fourth and final c section, I am done! Hooray! More importantly, Lola has a sister!!! And Lola is a FANtastic big sister, most of the time ;)

We have all been annoyed by each other in this family lately, so I made everyone say something nice about each person in our family at dinner tonight. Lola said her favorite thing about baby Darla is that "she is really cute, she's cool and funny and she is a good dresser." I have to agree with her. Darla is pretty fabulous. I have never met a happier soul on earth. 

So finally.. Here she is...Meet Darla!

Mother's Day!

What a fun Mother's Day I had this year!!! I can't tell you how grateful I am for my four amazing children! Every year I write down a few things I love about my kids on Mother's Day. They don't know I do this, but I like to go back and read what I have written down each year. Although it's very personal to me, I feel like sharing what I have written about Lola is important:

So here here it is, Mother's Day 2013 goes something like this:

Lola, my beautiful Lola. One very special little girl. Can count to a thousand and name every state in the US along with their state flag. Keeps me on my toes. Blesses me with experiences most others will never know. Tells me I am beautiful every day. Lover of chocolate milk. Believer in the Care Bears and self proclaimed member of the chipettes. How greatful I am that you chose my family to be yours here on Earth and for eternity to come. May I always be able to give you what you need. I will never quit trying my hardest for you because you deserve the world. I will never forget you in my prayers. You absolutely make me happy when skies are gray. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Has it really been that long?!

Where have I been? So much time has gone by since my last post. So many new and exciting things to share! Where to begin... Stay tuned friends!