Browsing Category: Mom Stuff

My Girl Turned 10 and We Took a Road Trip

turning-10-road-trip

turning 10 road trip

 

As of thismonth I have officially been a mom for 10 years…. it’s still sinking in!

10 is a big deal, it’s the start of a new adventure. 10 means they are no more little yet not big. They still want to spend more time with mom and dad than friends and it is the perfect time for a special one on one road trip. My husband and I decided that when our girls turn 10 they would get to go on a road trip with the parent of their choosing. In a large family like ours the gift of undivided attention for a weekend is priceless.

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Words of Wisdom from the Mom of a Child with Autism

AutisM Acceptance

 

When someone you love gets an autism diagnosis it can be overwhelming. Regardless of where on the spectrum the child falls you are looking at a new journey with lots of questions. I have never been the one to experience this but I have watched someone I love go through this and as they navigate this new world I felt unsure of how to best support them. My dear sweet nephew was recently diagnosed with autism and my sister-in-law has been kind enough to allow me to support her on this new journey. I have learned so much from her and from him and it has truly opened my eyes. Now that I have been given a better understanding of what it is like to live with a child with autism I wanted to share what I have learned. I also wanted to share some words of wisdom from her, she and her son have so much to teach us!

Be that safe haven: I know I always worry when my kids go to a house with no kids. There are so many dangers for kids that a non-parent doesn’t think of and it can be stressful. I have learned that for the parents of an autistic child this fear is the same only magnified. So ask the questions and make your home a safe haven and if a mom asks you to remove something or lock something don’t question them, instead trust they know how to keep their child safe.

Admit You Are Clueless: You can not ever understand how it feels to have a child with an autism diagnosis so don’t say things or make assumptions as though you do. Admit you do not know and allow yourself to learn and then you can be privy to a whole new perspective on life.

Make An Effort: I am very lucky in that my sister-in-law has shared with me things that can help my nephew when he gets overwhelmed and because of that I have taken to adding some items to our home that I know will be soothing and comforting to him. Making the effort means we are all more comfortable, she knows that I do what I can to make sure he has what he needs when he comes over. Just like I make sure to have snacks I know my kids friends like I make sure to have items that soothe and help around my house making my home more comfortable for him. A little effort goes a long way.

Basic Mom Needs Are the Same: All moms has some basic needs in common so offer to give mom a break, drop off dinner and offer emotional support. Parenting is hard for all of us so we need to stick together and support each other.

Here are some words of wisdom from a mom in the trenches loving a child with autism.

Things not to say when I tell you my child has autism:
1. I’m sorry
2. God wouldn’t give you anything you can’t handle
3. Are you sure? This statement is oftentimes followed with “he doesn’t look autistic” or “but he’s so smart”.
4. What caused their autism?
5. My cousins kid has autism. They do a gluten free diet. Have you tried that?
There is a lot of information out there, and many different approaches to therapy and diet. Every family is going to take a different approach since no two kids with autism are the same. If you feel you have some information to share that could be helpful try saying: “I just heard about a new approach to diet if you’d like to talk about it.”

Things to do/say:

1. Your son is so adorable! I really enjoy watching him grow! Anything that you would say about a typical child, say to a child with autism. They are much more than their diagnosis.
2. How are you? What’s new in your life? Sometimes I need just 5 minutes for myself. There are times I need to focus on things other than my child.
3. How can I help?
4. Nothing. If you don’t know what to say just listen.

What to do when you’re around a child with autism:

1. Attitude is everything. If you approach a child with autism with a warm, non judgmental attitude you will lay down the foundation for a good experience for that child. There is a particular cousin that my son has a very deep connection with. When she isn’t around and we are visiting family my son does a lot of repetitive behavior in order to soothe himself. When she is there he is transformed into a different child. He makes more eye contact, interacts with people, and is calmer. This cousin is a naturally sweet, sunny, cheerful child who puts my son at ease. Attitude can change their experience.

2. Take my safety concerns seriously. Children with autism sometimes don’t understand safety like typical kids do. My son bolts, doesn’t respond to his name, and doesn’t care if cars are zooming by. This is a horrible situation waiting to happen. If I am visiting and I ask you to close and lock your doors, it’s because my son may try to leave without a second thought. Some people seem to take my concerns as I’m being overprotective, but he would run on the highway without a second thought if given the chance.

3. Don’t be judgmental This means don’t call my child names. If he is having a meltdown don’t tell me he is manipulating me. If you don’t agree with the type of therapy we’ve decided on, or if you have strong opinions on the diet we’ve chosen, keep those opinions to yourself. If you think we are being too strict and he deserves a treat, let us make that call.

4. Include both parents when giving support. Most often it’s the mom who is the center of attention when talking about support, but both parents have as big a role in caring for their child. From the moment my husband walks in the door he enters our sons world. He is the one I lean on after a long day. He sometimes has to pick me up when I feel broken, on top of still caring for our son. He is just as important a piece as I am. Please do not forget him, and recognize his work as well.

Side Notes:
-When talking about kids without autism, the preferred saying is typical child. Not “normal”.
-If you noticed I referred to my son as “child with autism” rather than “autistic”. Most people prefer the first because the child is still the center, not the autism. Its like saying “child with caner” rather than “cancerous child’. Many people get very offended by the wording.

 

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Natural Spring Cleaning Hacks for the Bathroom

post is sponsored by Kimberly-Clark and The Motherhood.

natural spring sleaning hacks

 

It’s time for spring cleaning and that is not something I look forward to. I am not a cleaning enthusiast, more like a cleaning avoider. One of the side effects of being a cleaning avoider is that when I do start cleaning I often don’t have the right supplies. Out of sheer necessity I have learned how to make some of my own cleaning supplies from household products that we all have on hand. The two most useful products to always have in your kitchen are baking soda and white vinegar, this combination can clean almost everything in your house, I promise because I have done it. And if you are not a fan of vinegar you can always add some essentials oils, lemon in particular is good as it also has cleaning properties.

 

baking soda and vinegar cleaner

 

The bathroom is my biggest nemesis and yet it can not be ignored so here are some natural spring cleaning hacks for the bathroom.

Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup baking soda

Mix together and dump in your toilet bowl, try to do it on the edges like you would with the toilet bowl cleaner you buy at the store so it slides down. Let sit for about 10-20 minutes and then scrub with a toilet bowl scrub brush. Then restock your toilet paper with my personal favorite Cottonelle® Clean Care or for those with septic issues my friends love Scott® 1000. We love how Cottonelle® CleanRipple Texture. is gentle on the bum yet still gets the job done.

 

Viva Vantage paper towels

 

 

Natural Glass Cleaner

  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 2 cups water

Mix together your ingredients and place in a spray bottle. Wipe clean with paper towels. I am currently loving the new Viva® Vantage® paper towels that have a scrubby texture great for breaking through all the grime on my bathroom mirror, like dried toothpaste!

 

Natural Grout Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 7 cups water

Mix it all together and spray it on your grout. Let sit for about two minutes and then scrub it off.

 

Natural Floor Cleaner

  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup warm to hot water

Mix together in a bowl dip your rag in and scrub the floor, the bathroom cabinets and the counter top. Although I would change the water after the floor! If the floor is still too wet after cleaning use Viva® Towels with the signature soft and smooth texture.

 

For more spring cleaning tips be sure to follow my Spring Cleaning Board on Pinterest!

All of these products are available at Walmart so you can easily stock up when you are grabbing your other groceries.

 

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Choosing Love in the Hard Moments

choose love

Love is patient

Love is kind

It is not jealous

Love is not pompous,

It is not inflated

It is not rude

It does not seek its own interests

It is not quick-tempered

It does not brood over injury

It does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

It bears all things,

believes all things,

hopes all things,

endures all things.

1Corintians 13

Somewhere along the way I forgot these things. Most importantly I forgot to rejoice, to not be quick-tempered and to not seek my own interests above all else.

Being a mom is hard and it can be really draining. Yes it is so, so rewarding but what about the times when you don’t feel rewarded? How are we supposed to handle those moments.

Honestly I am not sure. I am 10 years into this gig called motherhood and I still feel like I fail each and every day. I used to be able to rise above those moments and still feel the good and feel the love, but lately it’s been harder.

I used to think parenting would get easier as the kids got older, now I realize how wrong I am. My biggest issues used to be time and need. I never had enough time to fill all the needs of my little people. Now my issue is words and feelings and tone of voice. A rude or sarcastic word from me can cause an avalanche of repercussions.The feelings are so raw and real as kids grow and acknowledging them can be exhausting in a whole new way.

LOVE IS PATIENT

I kind of feel like I need that written on every surface in my whole house. I need the reminder because patience is not my strong point.

I truly believe God gave me each of my kids to help me be a better person in a different way and right now patience is the lesson I am supposed to be learning, but man is it a hard one.

Through all of my self loathing and criticism for mishandling situations the one thing that keeps coming back to me is to choose love in the hard moments.

Such an easy thing to say yet such a hard thing to do.

Choose love in the hard moments.

It’s Lent and for this first time in my life I am failing miserably at what I gave up, probably because what I gave up is not as important as what I should be adding in. So I am adding in more love specifically in the hard moments. More patience when I am prone to frustration. More forgiveness and more understanding.

I am choosing love when a child disregards a house rule over and over again.

I am choosing love when a child talks back or acts rude.

I am choosing love when a child is mean to a sibling.

I am choosing love in the hard moments when I am overwhelmed and just need cooperation, because how can I ask others to treat me better than I treat them.

patience

Since I can’t write it everywhere I am instead wearing this bracelet to remind me to have patience with those I love. Use code SPIRIT and it is just $11.95 with free shipping.

 

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10 Easy Random Acts of Kindness to Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day

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It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day and we should all be celebrating because this world needs more kindness.  Big or small every act of kindness helps and matters so make an extra effort today to make the day better for those who cross your path.

If you need ideas here are 10 easy ways to Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day!

  1. Pay for someones meal or drink. Whether you do it for the car behind you in the drive thru or the next person in line at the counter you can really make someone’s day and even start a chain reaction of kindness.
  2. Write a thank you note. Write a thank you note to someone who deserves thanks, deliver it yourself or drop it in the mail.
  3. Send a note. Send an I’m thinking of you note or a you matter card to someone you have lost touch with.
  4. Coffee. Everybody loves coffee so bring a cup to a friend today.
  5. Bake cookies. Bake cookies and take them to a neighbor.
  6. Flowers. Drop a bouquet off to an elderly person who doesn’t get many visitors.
  7. Visit a nursing home. Have your kids make cards and drop them off at a nursing home today.
  8. Make a call. Call someone today that you haven’t called in awhile. A friend, a family member, just let them know you care.
  9. Money in a meter. Add money to a parking meter that is running low.
  10. Drop off a meal. Drop off a meal to someone who is dealing with illness, busy schedule or any kind of stresser. Take a moment to lighten the load.
  11. Run an errand. Offer to run an errand for someone.
  12. Say thank you. Say thank you all day to each and every person for all the things that should be thanked.

Ok so that is 12 but as you can see it is not hard, just take a moment today to be kind!

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