Parenting

Sensory Support

At some point in parenting, you may reach the “I have no idea what I am doing” stage… I did.

sensory

Energy Meets School

Kiddo number two has made this year quite the google search and Amazon picked up on it and suggested a set of books (picture at the bottom of the post).

Putting off the drive to work, I opened them up today and found myself engrossed. ”Wow, okay – maybe not everything lines up but this is pretty darn close.”  This thought was followed by, “Dang, when he reads these, he is going to feel not so alone.” 

This page caused pause:

img_34011.jpg

“without any reminders”
“I’m a MOVER.”

Sensory Evaluation

If you have a “mover,” I feel you.  If I could count on one hand the number of times I have been told, “he is a boy – they move,” I would be lucky… but I can’t.  We are blessed with a teacher who listened to us and substantiated our concerns.  If you think something else is going on, get the OT at the school involved – have them evaluate your child.  When we got his scores from the sensory evaluation back, it was clear he deviated from the norm.

Looking back on his life, the times he started to get wild, there is typically an outside source firing his brain up. We walk into an art exhibition with drawings hanging from every angle of the rooms and a sea of kids (and noise) moving around and boom – our child now appears to have drank a Red Bull before walking in.  When his sister steps on a squeaky toy to be funny, it is as if he cannot hear us talking and any prevoius concentration is now gone.

This is NOT defiance

From a novice leveled observation, this seems to be defiance. His angel of a teacher said a few phrases allowing us to recognize this was not a case of a spoiled child.  The main two happened right before winter break. “He is unable to control this by wanting to” and he has more energy than any child she has had in fifteen years.

For those simple two phrases, she will never know the extent of my gratitude.  Those words were what we needed to search outside of typical discipline and parenting methods.  Although I am not still 100% convinced this is purely sensory (it may be – I am just not there, yet), this has started us on a new path.

Find a Village

After years of undeniably going about parenting him the “wrong way,” a wave of guilt came. Some of how I was attempting to show him the proper ways of behaving were more than likely leaving him beyond frustrated because his brain simply wasn’t wired in the way I was attempting him to work.

There have been times I have told him, “Even when you have hard days, you are still a good kid,” and in those times he has been near tears listening to me. To think I probably caused some of those feelings sucks. You can tell me to slam dunk a basketball 1,000,000,000 times and I can’t.  This is what I did to him when I told him to calm, relax,  stop, breathe, quit, etc and it still didn’t mean he could. How could he when when I was keeping him in the same environment that was causing his brain to fire off the “move around at lightening speed” messages.

Luckily, a handful of friends, family and his teacher and principal have been our village. Find your village.  Let them tell you that you are doing your best and that is what your child needs.  Listen when they tell you that your child is going to be okay because you are trying to find what he needs.  Believe them – you need this support. 

None of us know if we are doing it right and if our child will actually be “okay,” but we are trying. You are going to need to have some confidence behind you to ride this out. It is quite exhausting. Grow with your child and know you are both learning.  When something doesn’t work, leave it. Just like you wouldn’t berate your kid when they mess up but keep trying, don’t do it to yourself.  Last I checked, I wasn’t given any information on this in a well-baby checkup.

Ignore the Haters

Some friends have told us us our son is just smart and manipulating us. It sucks to hear that. Try your best to recognize they simply do not understand. Our son didn’t talk until after three and then school became a bit of a challenge. There were signs something else was going on but because we were quiet about the struggles, people didn’t know.  So when these words came out, it was obviously hard to ignore them.

People are going to judge your parenting. They will judge you if you don’t send them in with a raincoat or if their hair looks like it wasn’t brushed. They will judge you if you have non-gmo food in their lunch or if you bring in McD’s for a visit. They will judge you if you allow them to cut their hair how they want or if you pick out their clothes for them in the morning.

Do what is best for your family and ignore the rest.  As I mentioned early, find people who support your decisions, who aren’t afraid to give you advice (even unsolicited) and you are open to listening because you know they are truly trying to understand. The rest, let it go. Haters gonna hate.

books

READ and Let the Books Heal

Keep trying to find new information; read; share; be open to suggestions!  They may not be spot on but perhaps in them one thing will help.  Living With Intesity was a God-send for us.  Every single page felt like it was had studied our son.  The books in the picture above describes how he must feel and suggest tools to try to implement.

Our friends have sent us pictures of suggestions/books and tagged us in items that made them think of our son.  Some of the ideas have helped and some have not. When we started being more vocal, people started to have ideas. This is community at its very best.

Ignorance is NOT bliss in this case – it is annoyance and frustration.  Education here definitely takes the weight off and allows you to search for a new outlet.  I will continue to post things that work and don’t for us but full disclosure – I am not a doctor.  Just a mom trying to figure it out also.

Cooking, Uncategorized

Unicorn Drink, remix

I am not judging you if you went to Starbucks and quickly snagged the Unicorn drink. Mad props to them for an awesome marketing idea.  That said, sugar and my child do not exactly blend well (see what I did there.. frap.. blend…).

A few inspiring posts later from some health-coach friends and here is the result!

unicorn drink

This was super easy, as are most smoothies, because you literally just throw things in a blender and go.

Tips:

Add the frozen fruit on top – if you put it all in the bottom your blender will get jammed up (this was a live and learn thing – it had been awhile since I made a smoothie).

blender

If you add the sprinkles to a small amount of yogurt and then let it warm up, it will be drippy.  If you want it to hold a bit firmer, stir it right before you use it (think how ice cream would melt).  I “painted” mine right after stirring them together.

sprinkles

Definitely call it “the Unicorn Drink” when you give it to kids.  This is half the magic.  Wrap them up and make them feel like this is a complete treat.  Both of my kids were freezing today so I put them in the bathtub with this drink.

One full glass later, my son was asking for another and wanted to have the “Unicorn Drink” in his lunch this week.  This is kind of a miracle because my son doesn’t love to eat and clearly, the drink was as tall as his head.

jace unicorn drink

This was a win for our family – two kids with very different tastes (none of which include spinach), sprinkles, asking for more, easy bath time and nutrition for a snack.  Yes, yes, yes.

Those Starbucks marketing gurus – thank you for the inspiration.  If my kids didn’t go absolutely bonkers on sugar, we may never have found this new family favorite!

Feel free to post your versions of this drink in the comments below.

Be You

To Retouch or Not to Retouch

Truth be known – I am terrible at makeup and hair.

Why?

Years of being in aquatics as a hobby, sport and then profession has left me with a personality flaw trait of go-go-go-go-go. The time it takes me to do my hair/makeup is time I could be doing something else.  Having a husband whom is my opposite in most everything in life, it did not take him long to realize that boredom causes me more anxiety than just moving at a tornado’s pace.

So – take that very persona and add to it a photo shot for a mom’s blog and you probably can guess where I was left…

If you guessed in Kohl’s, posting on Facebook every outfit I tried on to ensure it actually matched and was a “neutral with a pop of color” (what does that mean?) and trying to figure out what a statement piece was (a bold necklace that stands out) and attempting to understand that booties no longer mean the items we place on the feet of newborns (they are ankle boots)… then you are right..and you are also an amazing guesser… and I may be worried you are stalking me.

 

After many fails, calls for help and a text to my husband who responded with disbelief I was actually shopping, I found the outfit and now just had to show up and someone else will fix me  style my hair/do my makeup appropriately for a pic.

Change of plans… the stylists are not coming. 

Cue slight panic and the “noooooooooo” that escaped from my mouth.  I had to DO MY OWN HAIR AND MAKEUP for a PHOTO SHOOT that would be POSTED ONLINE!

Hence….

retouch

 

Oh what an interesting predicament to be in since I titled my blog “Be Imperfection” because of moments just like this.

Being my complexion is slightly darker than a white bed sheet, outdoor pics wash out any chance of dimension in my face. Despite the effort I made at bronzer (that looked like I played in dirt) and eye-shadow (tried to make that into eye liner since I never seem to remember where my makeup went…maybe because I use it once every three months), I still ended up looked a bit muted in the pictures.  The photographer did a wonderful job, but it is just me and my lack of, um, girlie-ness.

So when I saw the pictures, I thought, “let’s see what this retouching thing is all about” and so I played.  I added highlights, whitened my eyes and teeth, added mascara and eyeliner, eyebrow color, blush, a touch of bronzer, blemish and wrinkle reducer… walaa.  Results below.

 

What I learned from this:

EASIER TO PLAY WITH HAIR COLOR

Seriously though – the red kinda looks awesome and I probably would not have jumped to try that shade… but I may now.  That saved significantly more money than coloring it and not liking the results.

BLUSH PROBABLY WILL HELP WITH OUTDOOR PICS

The added blush gave back dimension to my face, which lacks in almost every outdoor picture I have ever taken.  To achieve this effect in real life, I am afraid I would need to dump the entire container on me. Since I am not so much looking to resemble a clown, picture editing will need to be the way I achieve this result.

Let’s be honest now – seeing how for a few decades I haven’t used it regularly yet, I doubt this will change my outdoor (non)makeup wearing habits.

CHANGING YOUR IMAGE IS ADDICTING

When I did one thing, another came and then another came and another.  By all means, do what makes you happy but for me personally, I do not need to constantly pick apart my image to see what I can change next. That road was so wonderfully known as my twenties.

Although it was fun to achieve movie star whiteness for my eyes/teeth, watch my wrinkles could just disappear like magic, and see how vibrant my eyes could shine, in the end, I needed to look back at the message I was sending if I selected the retouched image.  What do I believe in; what do I want my daughter to think is truth?

Because I want her to think she is enough just how she is, although I may have preferred the retouched picture, it wasn’t real to me.  I may have looked that way in person but in the snapped picture, this is what it was – eyes slightly red from allergies, wrinkles from a life of stories and makeup that reflected my non-stop lifestyle.

PEOPLE ARE PROBABLY NOT AS VIBRANT AS THE MAGAZINES

It was beyond easy to quickly dress myself up with zero knowledge of what I was doing and no fashion sense to direct me.  If I were an editor or a person skilled in photoshop, I probably could have made myself flawless with a nip and tuck and stretch.

People are NOT flawless.  We are force-fed images everyday that reflect perfection.  We see social media families of nothing but smiles and laughs, constant selfies – many of which have been through the SnapChat filters. That isn’t real life.

With a few clicks, I had a captivating glow in comparison to the original.  If I wanted, this picture could easily be used to attribute the change to a product. Marketing is a powerful tool to manipulate you to believe you NEED to change.  It takes a few clicks to convince you that you are not enough because you do not glow like the picture.

Neither do I… and it is me!

FINALLY…WHO THE HELL CARES

Today is Earth Day.  Today scientists all over the planet said “I am marching for Science.  For Truth. For the Earth.”  Tomorrow will be something else…. find a cause that will help the world around you. Focus on that.

In the end, your image may be what people see but it is NOT who you are.  Your friends do not care if you are the image on the left or the right… and if they do and that is your thing to bond over; you have found your crew.  As I said, to each your own, but be careful with the way these ideas are being presented.  As a person who long-ago attempted to reach an unreachable standard, photoshopped images and those that focus purely on the outside can be damning to people who attach to this as a measurable goal.

For me, I find it inspiring to be real… WITH flaws and imperfections. I am teaching my child makeup doesn’t make you beautiful – it makes you colorful.  I am teaching my son what matters most is the person inside and how they treat others. I am teaching myself I have to live these things in my choices and not just my words.

It was tempting, very tempting, to upload the more vibrant picture but to do so went against what I stand for.  So as I chose the non-retouched one, I recognized I was saying, “this is me in this moment and I am enough.  My words and actions speak for my spirit. I must live my truth

Be you – whatever form that brings; even washed out from the sun.

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Essential Oils Quick Tip – Air Filters

Ready for about the fastest essential oil tip ever?

Take an air filter, add some drops of your essential oil of choice and bam – instant house fragrance without the use of candles or synthetic sprays/plug ins/etc.

drops

Reapply as the scent fades and depending on the oils you use, less is often more.

We are a huge peppermint and lavender house but to each their own.

And of course, research oils before use.

Interested in essential oils and unsure where to start?  Message me and I would be happy to get you more information.

air filter essential oils

Uncategorized

Dear Depressed Friend; I see you

My Dear Friend… I see you.  I hear you.  I read your words.

And because I have been there, I understand you wake up to an all consuming battle and it takes more strength and self determination than anyone knows to simply get up and do the everyday. There are times you don’t have the energy to actually take any of the suggestions you know would help you.  And sometimes, your mind convinces you that you are not worth it.

THAT IS A LIE.  That voice is trying to kill you.  That voice is full of manipulative bullshit that wants to overcome you.  But I get it – those who haven’t been there will say “don’t listen to it,” but IT IS YOUR MIND.  How do you not hear your own mind?

I recall putting a name to the critical voice that replayed over and over again.  It was easier to feel it, name it and separate that from my purpose.  No, it didn’t cure me … but it helped to recognize it as untruth. Once, prior to re-vamping my bedroom, my mom and I painted words of strength (and anger) at this voice.  I clearly remember writing “fuck you, ed” on my wall.

You are not the convincing lies of that voice.

You are a kind-hearted person.  You post pictures of helping animals and getting to know others who are not like you – to spread acceptance and love.  You share beautiful art, dance, music.  You inspire with stories about seeing beyond the surface.  And you do more than that…

You tell your story.

Do you know how much courage that takes?  You let the world in and say, “if you can’t accept me in my worst position, you are not worthy of my friendship.” You invested in yourself.

There are people out there struggling silently. You said, “I will be your voice.  I will let you know you are not alone. I will love you regardless if you are made up and smiling or not and if you are smiling, I will not assume your eyes are also.  I will search for your hidden truth and I will let you know I am safe to talk to if you are not as you appear.”

My friend, I want you to know I see you.  I see your heart.  I see your fight.  I see you trying.  I see you expose your hard days and reach out.  I see the courage it takes to expose the vulnerability.  That is extremely brave – it is so much easier to hide it and let it gobble you up.  I see you stepping beyond that.

And my friend, I want you to know I hear you.  I hear your cries and your pain.  I hear your voice and it is beautiful and real.  I hear your care and it touches all types. I hear your frustration. I hear you picking yourself back up off the ground.  I hear your work.

Above all of this… there is one thing I really, really want you to know.

YOU ARE WORTH IT.

You are worth this fight.  You are worth the battle.  You are worth overcoming the critical voice in your head.  You are worth the tears.  You are worth the frustration.  You are worth the mess.

Life sucks sometimes.  Life can be overwhelming and feel like quicksand, engulfing, suffocating and pulling you under.  And life can be beautiful.  Life can be mesmerizing and inspiring and supply a depth beyond the encasing of the body and world.

In the drowning parts, try to remember it can be impossible to see through a storm but that doesn’t mean it won’t end.  Just as we wouldn’t judge a person who happens to live in an area an earthquake hit, your storm doesn’t make you less than or unworthy.  It means that for this moment, it sucks beyond a level that can give any justice in words.

It also means there is a side after the storm.  As we see time and time again, there are people who will hold out their hands and through the clean up, a stronger, more unified and connected bond develops. This is true for you also. Yet, I know, the after-matter doesn’t help to make the pain less of living in that moment…

Get it out of you, put it on paper, meditate, create, run, do anything to let it out.  Acknowledge it.  Tell the fucker in your head “not today.  I got your number.  I hear you trying to kill me and not today – jackass, not today.

And every time you brush yourself off, every time you reach out, every time you recognize it – allow yourself that victory.

Your mind will tell you you failed because you slipped.. please, let me repeat – THAT IS A LIE. That is the voice..that is the one that hates you.  You wouldn’t tell your child who fell learning to ride his bike that he failed.  You are that child. Every time you get on the bike, despite if you fall or not, you are learning and succeeding and growing in mind and body.  Allow yourself that humanity.

And know we are here.  We are here even when we don’t know how to help.  I had to decide a million times over again I was worth the fight; no one else could convince me that I was – I had to decide it.  When I read your words, even when they are just saying “depression sucks,” I see you making a choice to call this out as what it is.  This is Depression.  This is not You.

You are beautiful.
You are worth it.
You are strong.
You are loved.
You are needed.
You are important.
You are helping others by shining light on the dark.
You are inspiring.
You are generous.
You are caring.
You are supportive.
You are open.
You are a safety net for others.
You are kind.
You are true.

I am thankful for your words.
I am here if you need to just talk.

;

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And because she is one who seems to get this message…

 

 

Crisis Text Line

Mayo Clinic – Depression

Suicide Prevention Hotline