God Gives Special Needs Kids…Blah Blah Blah

I’ve heard the saying over and over. God gives special needs kids to special parents. So can someone explain to me what makes me so special compared to anyone else?

I ask this in all seriousness! My feeling is this…I’m not a special person! I’m not! God didn’t give me Grant because I am special. God gave me Grant and that’s what made me special.

I know people say this with only the best intentions and it doesn’t make me mad or upset me when they say it but I’ve always just wondered.

I am a regular mom who has become a better mom and a better human being because of my special needs son.

Nothing about me or my life before Grant was “special”. Heck I had only been a mom for 9 months when I got pregnant with him. I didn’t even have a full year of mom experience. To me that doesn’t shout “give her a special needs child because she is so special”. Nope! Just a regular mom who didn’t even have the whole mom thing figured out.

BUT…isn’t there always a but…I feel pretty freaking special that God gave him to me! I love that I was chosen to be granted this special gift! Grant has not only made me a better and special mom but he’s made our family special!

Moral of the story: it doesn’t take a special mom to have a special needs child…it makes you a special mom!

Have a blessed day!

Not Again! {FREE Printable Potty Chart}

So do you remember me talking about potty training? Yes the dreaded potty training that takes everything out of you but makes you oh so proud! Well…we are at it…again!

Yep you read that right. Grace was fully potty trained…well during the day, I was not even going to begin the night time craziness! Then she wasn’t. Okay so maybe it didn’t quite happen like that. The day after Christmas she got super sick with what I am guessing was a round of the flu. It was way way to cold to risk getting her out just to be tested so we stayed home and warm. She did great and had hardly any accidents even though she spent almost two weeks laying on the couch. Then she got better and the flu was gone and all of a sudden she forgot how to pee in the potty!!

What the heck!!!

So it didn’t start out too bad and I thought that maybe because she was feeling better and wanting to play she just didn’t want to stop and go to the bathroom…understandable. Then it just got worse and worse. She was not peeing in the potty at all and having accident after accident after accident. I wasn’t going to break so I kept her in undies and kept at it.

Then she started complaining about her tummy hurting…well kiddo you have to eat if you don’t want your stomach to hurt. Then it was her “Pee Pee” (okay we have boys and we’ve just always called it that. No we are not politically correct or whatever you want to call it but you do you and we will do us. Okay okay back to the story! Uh no…it has the be a UTI…right? Took her to the doctor this week and thankfully she went pee on the potty while we were there. Got a good sample and the results…negative! UGH! She had some redness causing irritation and then our amazing nurse practitioner…seriously we love her…said I would have to potty train all over again!!

NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Deep breath! Here we go!

So last time candy did the trick but that was so last year…see what I did there 🙂

So I decided it was time for a potty chart and bucket of prizes. I took my inspiration from this potty chart from Richly Blessed and made my own little changes. My printable potty charts are available at the end. Anyway…off to Target we go. The bucket is filled and we have a long talk.

Guess what?! She’s done amazing!!!! For the last 2 days she’s only had 2 accidents and gone potty so many times! I’m so incredibly proud of her…again…and she’s so proud of herself! She has to show everyone her potty chart with all her stickers. We took it to my parents house last night and she was looking all over for Ma. “Ma where are you? Me show you my stickers.” Ugh too precious!

So I think we might be good to go…one can only hope!

Moral of the story: even though you might fail and want to give up…keep pushing forward!

Have a blessed day!

minnie potty chartTo get the Minnie Mouse Free Potty Chart Printable click here

Mickey potty chart

To get the Mickey Mouse Free Potty Chart Printable click here

The Last Time

Do you ever wish you had a time machine and could go back to a certain moment so that you can savor it one last time?

As a mom I have a lot of those moments but they are coming more and more with the growing of our final baby. Moments that you don’t realize at the time that it was the last time you will ever do that exact thing with your child. The last bottle you will ever feed your baby as you look into their big, beautiful eyes. The last time you will rock your baby to sleep. Those lasts that when you finally realize that it was the last it’s too late to truly treasure it.

I had one of those moments today. Last night I rearranged my two year old’s bedroom. Today we were playing in there and it hit me…maybe she’s having trouble sleeping because of her bed. I know weird thought. Well being the person I am when I get an idea I act on it. So I start taking her side off her crib. I was pretty proud of myself and she was so excited…until nap time.

For as long as I can remember when I put her to bed at nap time or bedtime she kisses me between the bars and gives me a big between bars hug. That’s our thing. So I put her down for her nap and there it was…it hit me hard…I will never get a between the bars kiss and hug again. Last night was the last time and I had no idea! If I had known I would’ve savored it just a little longer! I sat on my bed and bawled like a baby…quietly of course because if Matthew had heard me he would’ve been crying right along with me.

It really does break my heart how fast these kids are growing. I love the baby stage and if we lived in a perfect world I would be loving on a new beautiful baby right now…but we don’t…so we take the hand God have us and I have to say mine is a pretty good hand!! Even though I miss having a baby I truly love every stage of watching them grow. I know that I am so incredibly blessed! I have three amazing kids that are my everything.

I just wish it didn’t have to go so fast!

Moral of the story: always savor every moment as if it were the last time.

I will leave you with this poem that brings tears to my eyes! Have a blessed day!

What Did You Just Say?

As a special needs parent there are some things that happen way too often that can instantly tick you off!! It can be a phrase that you hear, stares that you get or even a certain tone someone uses to speak to your child.

I know people don’t mean any harm by what they say or do…well most people anyway…but when you have dealt with these same things on a weekly or even daily basis for years they get really old.

So let me list a few for you:

1. My son is not a baby!!

I get it…I really do!! He’s a little guy! Very little! But he’s NOT a baby! It always baffles me when people talk to him with the tone and pitch they would use for a 6 month old!! Or when they are repetitive. For example “He has a great smile. Yes you do you have a great smile don’t you?” What is that?! He’s got more than a great smile…although it is pretty freaking awesome…he doesn’t want to hear you go on and on about it. Did you notice that smile has three permanent teeth in it. Last I checked babies don’t have big teeth!!! Why don’t you ask him about school, or sports or his girlfriend then you will see a great smile!

2. “I’m so sorry”

What the what?! Again I get it! Sometimes people just don’t know what to say…but really? Saying “I’m so sorry” about my child sendsmy blood rolling!! What exactly are you sorry for? The fact that he’s in a chair but yet goes everywhere and does everything? The fact that he can’t stand or run but plays baseball? The fact that he’s nonverbal but we have so many conversations? You saying that to my child is no different than me saying “Oh little Susie has freckles…I’m so sorry!” or “I saw your son has brown hair…I’m so sorry!” So the next time you are faced with this and your natural response is “I’m sorry” maybe try “how is he doing?” Instead because I’d much rather gloat about how awesome he is rather than give you my fake smile while imagining myself throat punching you 😁

<<< strong>When people talk to me and not him.<<<<<<<<<<
n! Can he talk? No but he can hear and he can understand and he wants to interact. If he can't answer I will help him by making a yes or no question but talk to him. People ask me questions like he's not even sitting there…ask him!!

<<< strong>”Is he going to eat?”<<<<<<<<<<
lot at restaurants and it drives me crazy! The waitress/waiter comes to take our drink order and they almost always skip over Grant. I always have to stop them and tell them what he wants. Then they come to take our food order and way more than I should I hear "Is he going to eat?" Nah I though we'd sit and let him starve while we all eat!! YES HE'S GOING TO EAT!!

<<< strong>”Awe someone is tired”<<<<<<<<<<
ause I don't see any tired kiddos here!! Trust me come to my house at bedtime and you will still see no sleepy kiddos!! I don't hear this one as much anymore because he's getting much stronger in his neck. It usually happens at the grocery store when he's in his GoTo Seat or I'm carrying him. His muscles fatigue sometimes from holding that big ole brain up and he drops his head. Does that mean he's tired? Umm no that means he's working hard!! I've even had people say "look at that he's sleeping" he looks up at them and then looks around like who? Silly boy!!

<<<<<<
top my list there but could go on! I've often joked that I'm going to teach him to flip the bird when things like these happen!! Or make a button on his device that says "I'm not a freaking baby!" How funny would it be for him to say that when someone is talking to him in that obnoxious voice? I think it would be priceless!

Moral of the story: just because someone doesn't "look" a certain way or has a disability doesn't give you the right to take away what they do have with your ignorance!

Have a blessed day!

Here I Sit…Here I Stay!

Hi!! It’s 9:50pm on a Sunday night.

What are you doing? Probably getting comfy and getting ready to go to bed. You’ve got the kids down and had time to spend watching TV or reading a book or even taking a bath! That sounds amazing!

Oh what am I doing you ask? I’m sitting here rocking my special needs child for going on almost two hours.

I’ve seen many special needs blogs that discuss their daily routine. Some are so thorough they detail each hour of the day. But this is not that blog. I’m going to clue you in on what my night looks like with Grant, my 7 year old with Cerebral Palsy.

7:30-8:00pm – start getting him and my 9 year old ready for bed (they share a room). That includes changing Grant into jammies, changing his pull-up which he hates and giving him a drink.

8:00-8:30pm – bedtime! Put my 9year old to bed and scratch his head (I’ve done it since he was two and he said I will always have to). Then lay Grant in his bed, turn on the humidifier, give kisses and shut the door.

8:30-8:35 – go to the bathroom and take my contacts out and take my place on the couch. My husband gets Grant (who has been crying since I left the room) out of bed and brings him to me. This is where my next usually 2 hours takes place!

This is where I stop the usual hour by hour play commentary because that’s not possible. Every night is a different struggle.

Some nights it takes 30-45 min and he’s back in his bed sound asleep. But…that’s on a good night which here lately have been very few and far between.

Let me take tonight as an example. I laid the boys down at about 8:15am. Got in my position and that’s where our night is still taking place at 10:15pm.

He has had 3 cups of milk, I’ve rubbed him with oils, we’ve talked, and we’ve gotten frustrated with each other! He is nonverbal however very very cognitively aware and can shake his head yes and no. However, he’s decided tonight he isn’t going to make it easy!!

Round one: he went to sleep on my chest like usual. Then he starts his wiggling and moving. Ask if he wants to go to his bed and he says yes. Take him to his bed and get back in the living room. My two year old quickly hops up in the chair with me. A quick 5 minutes later and he’s crying again. I move Gracie back to the couch with dad and get back in position.

Round two: he just isn’t falling asleep. It’s now 9:25pm and I’m at a loss. I ask him what’s wrong and he looks at my hair. “Is your head itchy?” He still has extremely dry skin and itchiness from the scabies treatments. So I rub some lotion on his head. Okay we have to be ready now…nope! He starts burrowing his head into me and the grinding his teeth (I’m surprised he still has teeth)…here we go again!

Round three: at this point the frustration for both of us is setting in! For me mostly because he won’t tell yes or no to my questions when I know he can. I go through the run of the mill..does your tummy hurt? Does your head hurt? Legs? Feet? Do you itch? He just stares at me. At this point I had to set him down long enough to go to the bathroom to recompose!! Come back in and rub him with oils again. He falls asleep! Yes! Finally!! Nope! Again wakes up and wants in his bed only to start crying again…back in position!

Round four: I apologize for my frustration and give him kisses. He gives me his handsome smile that says “I love you, Mom”. I take a deep breath and don’t say another word. I bunch the blanket up where he can’t see his dad or crazy sister. Finally his eyes drift shut and he’s out! But wait…there’s more! He wakes again…okay his loud and crazy sister woke him when she should’ve been winding down herself! But he asked to go to bed. And so far…knock on wood…he’s stayed asleep. That was at 10:33pm.

So let me recap! I laid him down at 8:15pm and finally at 10:33pm he fell asleep!!

I wish I could say he will be asleep for the night but that’s not the case. He will then wake up anywhere from 1-3 times before I wake him up at 7:30am for school.

So yes the days are tough with a special needs child but the nights are the toughest time of the day…at least in our house!

Moral of the story: even though times might be tough, when he looks at me with love it makes it all okay!

Have a blessed day!

School is Back in Session!!

Ahhh….the sweet sweet sounds of my 2 year old snoring and silence!

Yep school is back in session for my oldest two and it feels…well let’s be honest…amazing!

Don’t get me wrong I love my boys with all my heart but all you moms understand what I’m saying. The past two weeks were just a little crazy and I’m so glad to be back to our “normal” or as normal as we get. And to have just a teensy bit of time to myself…not much but  just a little. I might get to watch a TV show I’ve missed out on!!

A lot happened over the break but yet nothing happened at all. Makes sense right? My husband got in a car wreck on Christmas Eve morning making a flour run. He was not hurt, nor were the people in the other car, but pretty sure the car is totaled. So after Christmas we were dealing with that fun. Since it wasn’t his fault we’ve had to deal with the other insurance company but they’ve really been great. Got us a rental asap and have been on top of it. So no we deal with the stress of (probably) having to get a new car but everyone is safe and that’s all that matters.

Now let’s talk these kids over break. We literally stayed in jammies until it was time to change into new jammies for the night! Lazy, right? Yes indeed but it was just what we needed.

The day after Christmas, Gracie came down with the flu. Thank goodness it wasn’t the throwing up flu but the highish fever and awful cold. She’s still fighting the nasty cough and runny nose so that’s been fun!

My 9 year old decided to start having an attitude over…EVERYTHING!!!! So I spent a good portion of my break telling him to watch it. I do have to say though that until now I’ve never seen this attitude so I guess I can feel pretty lucky. He did have his moments of his true sweet self and made sure to tell me he loved me several times a day. But when he wasn’t being his sweet self he was Moody Mattie…or as we call it “MM”. He did everything he could to pester his poor sick sister who wanted nothing to do with anyone but me!

Then there is Grant. Usually he is the most frustrating. Sounds awful but I don’t mean it the way it sounds. Usually he is getting mad and frustrated at me because he wants to play play play and that would’ve been so so hard since every time the thought barely crossed my mind to sit Gracie would need something. Since he can’t get up and do anything on his own he usually is ticked most of the day but he was a typical 7 year old boy completely content watching YouTube!

So all in all it was a very nice and relaxing break…staying up later than usual and sleeping in. And it was exactly what we all needed. But I did breathe a little sigh of relief and maybe did a little happy dance when I got the two crazies on the bus. Now to take back control of my house!!

Moral of the story: No matter how much you love your kiddos it’s always refreshing that first day back to school!

Happy 2018 everyone!!

Excuse Me…Thank You

So let’s talk manners…please!

You know those 3 little phrases that we start teaching our children before they can talk. “Say please.” “what do you say?” You know those great manners! And we applaud them and boast with pride when the cutest little “pease” “tank you” and “cuse me” comes out of those tiny mouths!! She has manners! She’s so polite!!

Those same manners we expect our children to use throughout their childhood and into their teenage years. My son, Matthew, is nine. I know he’s my son but I have to say he’s a very polite kid! He very rarely forgets to say please and thank you. Any chance he gets to open and hold a door for someone he does. It makes me so proud.

So what’s the problem you ask?

Somewhere between our teenage years and adulthood people forget manners. Maybe it’s society now. Maybe it’s…okay I’ve got nothing. There should be no reason…ABSOLUTELY no reason that us adults can’t have manners! We wonder why kids these day don’t know simple manners but look at adults!!

I was raised to always say please and thank you. I was raised to say excuse me when I walked in front of someone and hold a door for anyone who might be walking behind me. But I’m fed up with the lack of response that is returned. And I’m fed up with the lack of respect in people not using the same manners to others.

Maybe I expect too much but I really don’t think its asking too much to respond especially when a child says excuse me or thank you. What gets me the most is when Matthew holds the door for someone and they don’t even respond!!

The momma bear in me wants to tackle them to the ground and yell “DID YOU SEE MY SON HOLD THE DOOR FOR YOUR UNPOLITE BUTT? YES YOU DID? OH WELL A THANK YOU WOULD BE GREAT!!” But…the mom in me just smiles at him, shrugs my shoulders and tells him how proud I am of him!

I have to admit I was ready to give up! Screw it I’m not using manners anymore!! After a trip to the dreaded Walmart I was sitting on my living room floor thinking about all the rude people and how I’m over it and not saying it again. Right then my 2 year old came walking in front of me and says so sweetly “cuse me mom.”

Okay for my kids I will continue to use the manners my parents instilled in me!! Because they are the future and if I don’t teach them to be polite who will!

Moral of the story: a little politeness goes a long way! And you never know what little eyes are watching and learning!

Have a blessed day…please!

Who’s Idea was This?

So I’m going to say two words and you tell me what’s the first thing that pops into your head…ready…

POTTY TRAINING!!

Ugh!! Who’s idea was this anyway? Okay, okay I take credit for it. But I thought it would be way easier. You know they always say boys are easier then girls…well “they” are wrong!!

My oldest, Matthew, was potty trained at a mere 20 months! Gasp…why would she feel the need to potty train a child that young? Listen, I had two kiddos in diapers (only for two months) but I was done! We were spending WAY too much money on diapers.

So of course I took to the Internet (where was Pinterest in 2010? Am I right?). I found the 3-Day Potty Training Method…what? Really?! 3 days!! Okay let’s do this! I read the ebook. I made all the preparations. 40pairs of undies later and my little man had all he needed. So let’s get started! The ebook did warn me that if the child is under 2 it may take 5 days…it took my son 4!! Woohoo!! He was fully potty trained!! I did it!! (Well except for night time but I was okay with that!)

Then Gracie came along! I started introducing her to the potty at one year. I would sit her on it at least once a day just to get her used to it. Then it came…20 months! I guess technically she was 23 months since she was still on her preemie adjusted age. So “boys are easier then girls” this should be a piece of cake!! 5 days and so many accidents I can’t count I came to realize it just wasn’t clicking with her! My carpet and kitchen floor saw way way more pee then the toilet ever did!

That’s okay! She’s just not ready!

Finally the time came… a little after turning two I decided to give it a try. Here we go again!! This time it took 5 days and she had it!! Woohoo!! Big high five to myself!! Yep I’m that good…okay so I didn’t praise myself that much! But I did praise her!! I was so proud of her. Now she’s been doing great for 2-3 weeks, she even tells me she has to go when we are out and about!! Not one accident!

Well….(in my best Impratical Jokers voice. If you have never watched the show stop what you are doing and go look it up and watch…now…GO! Okay wait first finish reading this then GO!). The last couple of days have been a bit of a set back. I remember going through that with Matthew too so no biggie! Just frustrating but it’s fine!

I know within a month or two accidents at all will be a thing of the past. But I have to be honest and say I did shed a little tear about this milestone. My last baby (Grant doesn’t count because only cool kids use a pull-up) is officially out of diapers. My heart is breaking a little! But so proud and it’s so nice that a small pack of pull-ups for night time can last about 2 weeks!

Moral of the story…potty training is not for the weak!! But stay strong!! Put on your big girl panties (see what I did there 😜) and go for it! You will be so glad you did!

Have a blessed day!

Surrounded by love…feeling so lonely

It’s a strange feeling. I’m surrounded by all this love and all these people yet at times…I feel so alone, overwhelmed, exhausted!

Don’t worry…I’m not depressed! Not even a little. Just feeling way under appreciated and like I said…alone!

I am one person! I’m not sure if all the people in my house realize that. I’m expected to be everything for everyone! Clean…constantly…NONSTOP! Why? Because if I don’t, no one does and you should see my house right now and what it does when I don’t clean! It’s overwhelming!! I’m embarrassed to say this but there is not one spot on my counter to put a plate. The dishes sit in the dishwasher clean waiting for me to put them away because no one else can. The laundry that I have literally been doing since last Thursday…that’s a week people!!! And as I’m trying to catch up from those yucky home invaders it’s piling up in closets for me to turn around and do it all over again. Right now 3 baskets worth sit in my living room needing to be folded and put away and my bed is piled up with the same thing. Those shirts will be hung over the bed post tonight so we can go to bed and left for me to do something with them tomorrow. And I won’t even start on the rest of the house. That’s just my living room and kitchen!

I feel like I’m expected to do it all…hell I’m a stay at home mom “what else does she do with her day?” I cater to a 2 year old. Okay that’s a little much. She’s actually a very polite and compassionate toddler. But I do play with her and we learn and we cuddle and I enjoy my last little two year old I will ever have because I know how fast time goes and I’m soaking it up. I don’t do that all day I try to get away and clean here and there but she always comes to me “mom run in circles me?” “I can’t Gracie I’m trying to clean.” “Peas?” She says so sweetly with her head cocked to the side. I dare you to try to say no to that.

Then it’s nap time…yes I can finally get something done. Okay do I clean the kitchen, clean the living room, clean the bathroom, do laundry (oh wait I’ve been doing that all day!), catch up on all my orders that people are so patiently waiting on, edit my best friends Christmas pictures she’s so patiently waiting on. How do you decide what should come first? By the time I decide and really get going she’s waking back up! And night time is out of the question. Last night I rocked Grant until 11pm. I’m not cleaning then I’m going to bed because he will be up in a couple of hours.

So most of you know I’ve been trying to get Green for Grant Creations up and running but guess what…THERE’S NO TIME!

I’m so sick of apologizing to people! I’m sick of telling people I’m trying…I promise. Because you know what…they don’t understand! I’m expected to get it all done! My only thing in life is completing your order. I’m so sorry! So after I finish these orders I have I will more than likely end the “business” just like I did Zip-Ease. The things I truly enjoy doing…but there’s no time.

And I usually feel like I have no one to talk to about it…why…no one understands! I don’t have a support system (that sounds completely harsh and totally bashing to my family and the few friends I have but that’s not at all what I mean! They are all amazing!!! And I am forever grateful to have them in my life!) but I need someone at the end of the day, especially a day from hell, to hold my hand, dry my tears and tell me I’m doing a good job! Or I just need someone to SHOW me at home that I matter….that I’m human!!

I will end this by saying I am in no way looking for a pity party! Those that know me know that it is NEVER what I’m looking for! I’m strong!! I don’t like to show my weakness! But I’m human and I want this blog to reflect that! I want it to show what life is really like being a special needs mom!

Moral of the story: if you think someone might be having a hard time or might just need a hug…even if they don’t look like they do..,hug them and tell them they are doing an amazing job and they matter!

Have a blessed day!

Thanks for the Reminder

So you know the Facebook “On This Day” memories post that’s at the top of the page every morning reminding you of all those amazing memories you’ve had over the last 10+ years? I love them! I love looking at posts and pictures of funny things my oldest son said when he was two or adorable pictures of my boys together. I love it all!

Except.,.this time of year…it’s very hard!

You see it was 8 years ago at this time that my beautiful, perfect baby boy growing inside of me took a painful blow that caused his CP!

I’m Kell Sensitized (for the full story check out the About Us section). Grant had his first blood transfusion in-utero December 11, 2009. Thank for the reminder!! As I read the note I wrote about it 8 years ago yesterday my face flooded with tears! Even teary as I type this. Every year the realization hits me that we almost lost him that day!! His heart rate dropped scary low and they were seconds away from putting me under and delivering my baby boy who wouldn’t have survived. My heart hurts, as I lay here holding him, thinking we were mere seconds away from this never happening.

That transfusion started a very long and emotionally and physically draining 11 days.

On December 18th, what started as a regular MCA Doppler on his brain to check his blood levels turned into an emergency blood transfusion. Every time they transfused they had to check his blood level to see how much they had to put back in. They liked his Hemoglobin Level at a 10-12…he was at a 3! Extremely…extremely anemic!! If we had wanted another day it he wouldn’t have survived…again I almost lost my son!!! Four short days later we were at it again but with not so scary results this time.

My son had 6 transfusions before he was even born. It was the transfusion on December 18, 2009 that took away all our hopes and dreams of being “normal”.

Now at the time none of this seemed as scary as it is when I read it year after year. Now that I have joined the amazing Isoimmunization group on Facebook I’ve learned just how scary it was.

I remember going in for the MCA at 24 weeks and seeing that dark spot on his brain and knowing that was not okay. The doctors kept dancing around it saying they would just keep an eye on it. Finally at 26 weeks I asked what it was and what it meant. It was then they told me my son would likely have Cerebral Palsy!

I do have to say that with each year the guilt I bear grows stronger. The hurt and the pain I feel knowing that I couldn’t protect him tears my heart apart. Wondering about all the “what if’s”. What if I had waited longer between pregnancies? What if I had educated myself more (although at the time there was next to no info about it online)? What if…what if…what if?

These feelings don’t stay with me constantly! In fact I very rarely feel this way. But this time of year brings it out at least for that 11 days 8 years ago in which our world unknowingly came crashing down! But I rebuilt that world…reconstructed it…adapted it and it’s a pretty amazing world. I think it’s those feelings of sorrow, guilt, even anger…it’s the raw tears I cry in the shower when know one can see or hear…it’s those emotions that get me through!

Moral of the story: life may knock you down and kick you while you are there. Take a deep breath, stand up tall, brush it off and keep going!

Have a blessed day!