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Children Aren't Cookie Cutters

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I was a teacher for 14 years prior to my current career.  I can hear myself now telling parents how children aren't cookie cutters.  I was adamant about this as I tried to calm parents that I had to deliver the news that their child was behind or was concerned about development.  Yep.  Advice is great when you are giving it and not getting it.  I believed every word of it then and now,  but now I'm a mom.  And the tables have turned.

Being a practical parent is hard.  Quickly one discovers that the lists and milestones aren't always right, and my child like all other children is not a cookie cutter.  Its not that the lists and milestones are wrong, its just my child isn't fitting into that 'little box'.

Yes, I know he has a nearly 4 month adjusted age, but it still isn't easy.  Tuning out the voices of others is even harder.  And there are lots of well intended ones.  But is can be harsh and overwhelming.  
  • He will walk and talk when he's ready.
  • He's behind with his language development.
  • My grandson didn't walk or talk until he was two.
  • He needs to see an orthopedic doctor about his feet.
  • Look at how his feet turn out!
  • Is he walking side ways?
  • Can he say anything yet?
Some of the developmental toys we use.  Top left clockwise.
Rocker that strengthens core for walking.  Walker to help him
walk on on own as he pushes behind.  Weighted exercise ball
for standing and word cards for language.
Sitting at his last physiological evaluation I was faced with the word, "even with his adjusted age, he is still behind with his language development, his motor skills and…." before long it was like listening to the grown ups in a Charlie Brown cartoon.  Wha, wha, wha, wha… I get it.  I've looked at the list and trust me, I've heard all of the advice of others.  And FYI, most of the advice is from everyone that has never been where I have been.  

I feel like some days I just want to pound my fist and tell people, "When you've had a 25 week preemie that spent 6 1/2 months in the hospital, come talk to me."  But not really, I don't wish that on anyone either.  But, I just wish that more people listened rather than talking at me so much.

Okay.  So he turns his feet at 180 degrees out, walks side ways at times and babbles in his own language at 19 months.  And I love every bit of it.  So it's at his own pace, but I know he's developing I his own time.

But there's the moments when on the phone with my mom going over his weekly physical therapy that I cry.  Not because I feel sorry for myself or my son.

How did I talk to parents when I was concerned about milestones and development?  How did they feel in that seat? And did I give them the right kind of support?  I wonder what level of frustration they felt. I imagine now, that there were parents that felt the same mixed bag of emotions.  And its an eye opening experience in reality for me.

It's so easy when it isn't your child that is topic of conversation.  And now when I talk to other teachers and even our sons doctors I remind them about how a parent feels on that side of things.  It is scary.  It can be overwhelming and sad.  

But at night when we are reading his favorite bed time stories, he loves being read to hanging on every word.  I am reminded of how important it is to do those things and how much he benefits from that time, and how much it means to me to.  I'm reminded that he is like other children in all the right ways.  He loves his mother holding him and reading to him cuddled up in the safe comforts of his room.

And everything fades away into the background allowing me to see clearly what matters and what is right in my world.

The weekend warrior

Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend warrior usually conjures up ideas of home improvement projects.  While we probably could use some projects to spruce things up a bit, we like to spend our weekends doing of things that are more on the fun side.  

However, fun is certainly a relative turn and can turn ugly at a moment's notice.  Weekend activities are fun but more work and juggling than in our previous pre-child days.  Packing for an afternoon activity involves a lot more than grabbing a purse and sunglasses.  And I wouldn't trade one minute.

This weekend, we took a trip to south Mississippi and enjoyed biking, a little swimming and
visiting with old friends.  

Biking is something that I have always loved and am now rediscovering it while introducing our son to it all.  This year I asked for a bike trailer to pull behind me as I ride.  So fun!  King Diaper has adapted well to hanging out while riding along letting out the occasional scream to express a desire for a break.  I keep telling him that he's got the good life riding in a little carriage while I do all the work!  
After our cruise for a couple of hours and stops to rest and water, we also did a little swim at our hotel. And much to our surprise, king diaper loved it!!

Dinner that night was great.  I am raising a true Southerner that knows that sweet potatoes, corn bread and black eyed peas are where its at!  I'm amazed and afraid at how much this kid can eat.  Its a stark contrast to the days where we begged for him to take even the smallest bottle so that we could go home from the hospital!

But sometimes that is where it should end while the gettin' is good!  At a church dinner (the very next day), our man turned into a human vomit comet!  I was wearing every bit of two meals upturned.  He and I were both covered,  and  I'll spare the details.  You get the picture.  But visiting old friends that I haven't seen in years was memorable one that engulfed all the senses!

Yes, we are still smiling at the end!
And while my husband jumped into action, as soon as I was changed his question was... "Can I go finish eating???"  Yep, father and son both have their priorities straight.  Its all about the food!

How does one have the appetite? But, we make the best of it.  Three and a half hours home, I finally get everyone fed and in bed... Laundry soaking in the washer.... I feel like I've survived something.... Not sure what I'd call it. I earned my weekend warrior status for sure.  

And yet, it was a good weekend.  I'll be ready to go at it again next weekend.  Hopefully with a little less punctuation at the end.  But either way, we are full speed ahead at this house.   And if you are wondering if you can baby sit in the near future, we will be glad to put you on the list!  Just bring a change of clothes.  For you!  Not the baby.  Its a possibility you will need them!





Bluum Box! and other subscription addictions!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Box subscriptions are all the rage right now it seems.  And if you are wondering what this is all about, a great place to start is My Subscription Addiction.  Check out the reviews online or view picture updates on Instagram.

But, my addictions happen to be Birchbox (both the men and women's boxes), FabFitFun, Stitch Fix and Bluum Box.  Let me a explain a bit more about what all these have to offer.

Birchbox offers both men and women subscription boxes.  The women's box is $10 a month and the men's is $20.  Both have lots of great samples and products monthly based on your preferences.  I have done Birchbox for several years and LOVE it!  The products are always fun to try and are a great way to explore new beauty products.  Well worth it!

It included a great Kind bar, silver eyeliner, metallic nail polish and bath gel!  Loved every item.  Usually it does have 5 items, but oh well!  However, its a great bargain and try!

I gifted the men's box to my husband for our anniversary, and he loves it!  Its like an ongoing gift for the length of the subscription and so fun to come home to at the end of the day!

FabFitFun is another find, but a bit more expensive.  Instead of a monthly subscription, this is a quarterly box.  And while it is $49.99, the box contains a load of health, fitness and beauty items that far exceed the cost!   

 The spring box had spinach/kale chips, a bath mitt, bath bombs, perfume oil, make up primer, dry shampoo, Cult Gaia turband, exercise ball and DVD.  LOVED loved, loved this box.  Every item is something that I have used and enjoyed.  The turband alone would have cost what the box did without the other items.  I can't wait for the summer box to come out.

Typically, they release a spoiler prior to each seasonal box.  So, watch for it if you are on the fence about the money factor of this box!

StitchFix is a great box as well for clothes.  Each month you pay a $20 styling fee.  You will receive a box of 5 items styled for you based on your style profile and size.  If you keep any item(s), the $20 is deducted from the box.  Whatever you return can be sent back in a prepaid and addressed envelope that comes with the box.  It is a fabulous way to get stylish new clothes and get our of your comfort zone.  If you feel like you are in a style rut, go for it.  It costs as much as you choose for it too, less the $20 fee.

You can also determine how much the items cost in your box selections each month by telling them what you would spend on an item.  Out of the box from March, I kept the jacket, top and maxi dress that I all LOVE!  The jacket is a great staple and the maxi dress is flattering and a wonderful addition to my spring/summer wardrobe!

Finally, Bluum box for my son!  Yes, we all get boxes at our house.  This is a steal when you can try it for about 50% off of the first box.  And, this is what hooked me!  The boxes are typically about $24 and the price goes down with a longer commitment.  Boxes are tailored to the child's age and gender.  My son loves the items each month.

Each box comes with four items for your little one and one mommy item.  Again this is a great value since the items cost more than the monthly price of the box.  And, they are actually items that are used!  The wooden dog and caterpillar have been instant favorites and are super durable.

This would also make a great gift for a new mom or baby that you have no idea what to buy.  You don't have to commit to anything but a month and go from there.  So, you don't have a lot of loose!


I think that subscription boxes are a great way to shop and get items in the mail that are practical, fun and exciting.  I have little time to shop, and this takes the guess work out of things.  And, sometimes I find things that I truly love.  When I do, I order them online.  Birchbox has an app and all the social media that one can stand.  Tonight I signed up for an add-on to my next month's box that is a Kate Spade mirror necklace for an extra $20.  And yes, I'll love it too!

Okay, so I like to shop.  But, I really like to make it simple and easy.  Let someone do it for you and just open the packages each month and see what shakes out!  Trust me, you'll me addicted just like me. Check out what all boxes there are out there and find one for you!

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