It’s Been 7 Amazing Years…

7 years ago, June 14th, 2010, we were told we would have a son.  7 years ago we were told our son had Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele.  7 years ago our world came crashing down around us without warning, without reservations and with a lot of fear.

I hope that day will never pass without me simply pausing for a second to allow my thoughts to overwhelm me as well as comfort me. I hope my pause on that date, each year, consists of gratitude and thanksgiving to God.  I hope my thoughts allow me to smile no matter if I am around someone or simply by myself.

Our SB journey is not at all what we imagined 7 years ago nor is it what we would have ever have dreamed.  Every child, every person who has Spina Bifida has a completely different story.  Our story consists of a lot of miracles.  It consists of perseverance and the belief that no matter what, our son will be strong and powerful.

My thoughts go back to the 14th of June so many years ago and I wish I could tell my pregnant self that it will all be okay.  Even if Teak had not walked or jumped, that it would be okay.  New experiences are full of fear when you do not know the outcome but the outcome would have been great no matter what our child became.

We are thankful for his success story but at the same time, do not want to take away from other SB success stories.  Their success comes out of their determination and their struggles with living in a world that is not always so accepting of differences.

Our son has his own issues with his hearing loss and his speech delays.  We are working through this day by day.  I know that he will one day speak just as good or better than his peers but for the time being we will continue to nurture him.  I will continue to be his biggest advocate in his education as well as among his medical team.  I don’t ever want him to feel alone in this world and always want him to reach higher while chasing his dreams.

Teak will one day change the world for the better.  I hope this for all children especially ones with special needs.  The world will one day see their differences as powerful.

♥Abigail

For more posts about Teak and his special journey click on links below.

A Letter to My Son…

6 Years Ago

Advertisements

Read.Think.Learn.Grow | Thursday

Terrorizing Toddlers

When I first sat down to write this blog post, it was intended to be about my kindergartner learning Sight Words with a little bit of our fun, learning moments at the Thinkery earlier this week.  However, after the day that I have had, my head was full of terrorizing two year old toddler tantrums.

It has been 4 years since my son was a two year old and my memories are a little bleak to say the least.  He was more of a threenager than a terrible two.  Plus he is a mama’s boy through and through.  Just today, in school, he drew me a cute little picture of the two of us standing next to each other with the title, Dear Mom, I Luv U.  And in the picture, he is handing me a flower.  Are you kidding me!?!  This kid!  Sure, we still have a lot of issues, arguments, etc., however, I can almost always comfort him to get him to calm down and I always have been able to comfort him.  My parenting style fell more on the attachment parenting realm with him.  I had more patience. less controlling, more parenting with meaning.

Now, my daughter is a different story.  I am still trying to figure out how to get past her tantrums.  So Thursday mornings, I do a bible study at my church and she goes with me.  She gets to hang with two awesome ladies, sometimes three and a bunch of active 2 year olds.  They play, sing songs, color and paint.  She truly enjoys it.  And I do as well.

Let me play out this morning for you all…WARNING. THIS IS LONG

She had full control over what she ate that morning, a toasted raisin bread sun butter and jelly sandwich.  The first one was eaten by the dog which drew some tears but once I placed the dog in the back yard then I made another one for her.  She had full control over what she wore including the princess panties, check.  I then proceeded to ask her to get a wipe to clean her breakfast off her face which she was more than happy to do.  She ran into the living room and passed the wipes package that was sitting on the couch so I of course reached down for them and pulled one out.  That.was.when.all.hell.broke.loose.  You would have thought that I had stolen an ice cream cone straight out of her mouth.  You know, with the yummy ice cream from Lick or Amy’s Ice Cream?

She was not to be calmed.  I apologized and placed it back into the package and back onto the couch.  Asked her to please proceed with cleaning her face, however, it.was.all.over.  We spent a good 25 minutes arguing over the most ridiculous things.  Mainly just putting her clothes on and arguing over what shoes to wear, etc.  Once it was a little calmer and we were ready to leave (note by now it was about 10 minutes after bible study had started), we walked toward the door and I started to open it.  Then it all happened again because she wanted to do it.  I pick her up in a lame attempt at trying to calm her.  {Note I say lame b/c the last time I attempted to calm her during a tantrum, she bit me like a hungry vampire.  Seriously, she drew blood.  It left a huge red mark…I have pictures to show her future husband so he knows what to look forward to (yes, I will).}  Alright, back to today.  During this last bit of the tantrum after I put her down because she is flailing her arms and legs, I simply ask her if I can hold her.  She cries out NO.  I stop and think.  Then tell her that mama is sad too so can she please hold mama?

Guess What?!  It worked.  It actually worked.  I was able to pick her up without getting kicked in the guts and comfort her.  It was a God sent miracle.   As we walk out of the house and get into the car, she says, “Nice Mama.”

Once back home, I decided that I needed to use my Psychology background and start reading some simple parenting books again.  Or re-scan them over.  When you are on your 2nd child and somewhat of an older parent, then the parenting books start collecting a lot of dust on the shelf because you know…you think you got this by now, right!?!  Ugh!

I pick up Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D.  And the first bold sentence that I read “Your interactions with your children literally shape their brains.” I have definitely shaped this child’s brain to think that me arguing back with her during her control fests just means I am a mean mama.  We are both feeling bullied and I am the adult so it is my job as a parent to take a breath and choose to control myself instead of her.  I find myself focusing so much on how horribly she behaves and how often she throws tantrums even when I offer safe choices.  Dr. Becky A. Bailey talks about the Power of Attention which states “what you focus on, you will get more of, and will strengthen within yourself and in others.”  So I am only strengthening her miss-behavior.  What!  Mind-blown.  This is such an easy concept yet such a hard life skill to have as a natural worrier dealing with a toddler tyrant.

This post will need to have a Part II because I am so exhausted from the terrorizing interactions between me and my daughter and need more time to put words into action.

I love her strong willed spirit and her smart, energetic mind.  I vow to bring these to her attention more often so that I am not focusing on the negatives of our interactions but only on the positives which in turn will hopefully calm our relationship just a bit…maybe…we will see.  Stay tuned y’all.

♥Abigail

the-power-of-attention

 

The 45th President

January 20, 2017 | US Inauguration Day

Watching the presidential inauguration was a little surreal today.  It made me feel less of a boring stay-at-home mom and more of an empowered strong mother of two beautiful humans.  I will not say who I voted for, however, I will admit that I did not care for either candidate and was honestly a bit disappointed they were our two choices at the end.  Melancholy came over me as I watched President Obama leaving in the helicopter.

The heaviness that I felt while watching Trump become President of the United States was partly due to our divided country over this election.  The DC protestors acting violent in their own streets and toward the law force are just reiterating the negatives they feel about President Trump.  I am impressed by the Austin protestors who were peaceful and give them praise.  If you like him or not, President Trump stated that we should “speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly but always pursue solidarity.”  He is our president rather we like it or not so we need to find our voices yet keep our manners.

We are given freedom of speech but we are not given freedom to attack each other, physically or verbally.  When something is personal the only way to take it is personal, however, we must learn to separate ourselves from personal attacks and truly see the reason of the attacker, showing them kindness and understanding. This world, our nation, is full of different kinds of people, young, middle and old; rich, middle and poor.  We all have our daily demons and truly need to be the light in someone’s dark day rather than just creating more darkness.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Ghandi

♥Abigail

 

Sunny Sunday | New Year, New You 2017

10-quotes-blog-pic

| 10 Quotes to Start Your New Year and Renew Your Mind |

Making New Years Resolutions or actually Goals for Your Life would be a better way to describe it.  Resolutions seem to slither out of one’s daily routines a couple months into the new year, however, make them actual Life Goals.  Display them in your home where you see the constant reminder of where you want to be and where you are going.

Each year my husband and I discuss our goals for the year and talk about writing them down, however, we never seem to get there.  I don’t honestly think that is the reason that we haven’t accomplished all our goals yet but it doesn’t help us out any now does it?!

Life is hard, even as a Christian where you are supposed to leave all your worries up to the Lord above.  Your life depends on you as well as your faith in God to provide and help you.  We must not only seek Him in all we do, however, continue to live life to our best ability when we do not hear from God.  Reading the Word daily and keeping a positive mindset will help.

So this brings me to a some positive thoughts that I have come across lately.  I have always loved quotes, ever since I was a little girl.  I tend to over-analyze quite a bit and get lost in my head so quotes help keep my thoughts simple.  There is such a simplicity to a short positive statement or a small scripture.  It can help to realign your life or your day when the path is an uphill curve.  Parenting can cause a lot of ups and downs throughout your day, week, month, year so sometimes it is nice to read through some positive quotes from successful people.  Here are a few quote* including a couple scriptures that get me through my day.

“Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. ” – Charles Swindoll

“Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being.” – Kevin Kruse

“Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

“Happiness is not in another place, but this place…Not for another hour, but this hour.” – Walt Whitman

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryan

“Success is…knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.” – John C. Maxwell

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” – 2 Cor. 15:7

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” – Psalm 16:9

“Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.” – Anonymous

*these were pulled from the world wide web

Hope these bring smiles to you hearts and opens your minds to new possibilities for the new year!  Thank you for reading.

♥Abigail

Sew Saturday | 3

Christmas Gift Picture Coaster | Simple and Appreciated

Alright, alright, I know this post is titled Sew Saturday, however, this is more of a DIY rather than a sewing project.  Sorry guys!

Every Christmas I struggle with what to get family members, adult family members.  My mother always says that she just wants help around her house and with her business plus she never seems to like what I get her anyway – in years past.  In recent Christmases my sister, brother and I have joined forces to get her something like an IPad last year but that didn’t work out as we had hoped.  Long, long story!

Typically Chad’s family just wants pictures of our family or actually the kids…it is just a bonus if Chad and I are in them. 🙂  So this year I decided to make my family these really cute picture coasters!  It was easier than I though, but very effective.  I even kept one for myself or my house…I guess Chad can use it too!  Family members dis say that they do not plan on using it as a coaster and will just place it on something like a picture.

Here are pictures of these really cute picture coasters that are supposed to look like a Polaroid picture. ⇒

20161223_083156
Picture of my beauties.

All you need:

white square tiles from Lowes, Home Depot or any local hardware/tile store

A square shaped picture cut about 3/4 of the size of the tile

Modge Podge

small sponge brush

black felt cut into squares same size as your tile (or black paint if you think that is easier or what you have on hand)

E600 0glue (I used a spray adhesive glue for the first round and it didn’t stick so great so next round I used E6000 which worked much better!

  1. Use small sponge brush to apply Modge Podge to surface of tile.
  2. Place picture on tile to cover top 3/4th of the tile leaving a white space on the bottom and some on the side like a Polaroid picture.
  3. Use small sponge brush to apply more Modge Podge to top of picture and full surface of tile.
  4. Place on flat surface and wait until they are dry to continue.
  5. Cut black felt into tile sized squares if you haven’t already
  6. Glue black felt squares to back of tile with E6000.
  7. Deliver to family who will love them especially if they are of your beautiful kids or you of course!!

I first saw this one Whats Up Moms YouTube video.  It might be easier to follow her so here is the video link:  Whats Up Moms YouTube photo gift video

I hope y’all enjoy doing this fun DIY project!!

Have a blessed day and thank you for reading.

♥ Abigail

20161223_083140

 

 

 

 

Sew Saturday | 1

Girly Skirts – Sloan’s 2nd Birthday

sloan-2-year-collage

I grew up with a very creative mother.  She has an interior design degree from LSU and has sewn her entire life including making beautiful quilts for herself and family members.  When my sister and I were young girls, my mother tried desperately to get us to sew.  Neither one of us to an interest to it at the time.  When I purchased my house then I started to have some interest in sewing such as making extra pillows.  When my son was a baby, I attempted to make a cotton filled ball for him to throw around since like most baby boys, he loved balls.  It was actually his first word.  My mother did end up having to help me sew the pieces together after my efforts failed.

So a few years, a couple of successful pillows and baby burp cloths for gifts and a failed attempt at a bag later, I found out I was having a baby girl.  Oh, did that spark a desire to start my sewing attempts again.  I love these little skirts that you can get at Gap, or most kids clothes stores that have an attached bloomer to them.  In this hot Texas weather, they are really great and look so incredibly cute on tiny human girls.  Well, before my daughter’s first birthday, I decide to make her a shirt with “One” on it and a matching skirt with bloomer.  Guess what, I passed.  Admittedly, some stitches were ripped out and there were some late nights, however, it worked!

So this brings me to her 2nd birthday.  I actually made part of it up as I went along because I could not find an exact pattern at the time.  Since then, I believe I found one pretty darn close on a blog, however, still used my own simple pattern because my daughter is on the smaller end for her age.  She turned 2 at the end of August and still easily fits in 12 month shorts and skirts because of her waist.

For the bloomers, check out this tutorial from a local Austin woman! Made Everyday – Perfect Diaper and Nappy Cover There is also an easy to follow YouTube tutorial. She is really easy to follow.  So instead of finishing off the waistband like she shows, I add the piece of fabric for the skirt to it.  I prefer the skirt to not be really full.  Some people like a very full skirt so you would make the circumference of it longer, maybe even triple it the child’s waist measurement.  Two different skirts were cut and then I decided to make the one that she is wearing in the pictures above.

20170122_155536
This piece of fabric is 10in x 30in.  My daughter’s waist is about 18 inches so I added 12in onto it so the skirt was not straight but a little full.  I sew the ends shorter ends together, right sides in, sew the hem for the bottom, then attach the top part to the top of the bloomers to make a waistband.  Then add the elastic.
20170122_155643
This is showing the same piece and the bloomers that I will attach.  These bloomers make up the front and back already sewn in the bottom or crotch area.
20170122_155646
Closer picture of the bloomers.  Elastic will be added to the leg holes and sewn.  I prefer to sew bias tape to the legs when sewing for the elastic opening. (see tutorial above!)
20170122_155436
Again, opened up bloomers for better view.

This blog is very new and I am learning how to do tutorials.  Especially with sewing, I forget to take the before and during pictures.  Ask me any questions at all if you are truly interested in trying this cute skirt with bloomers!  It is such a fun feeling when you make something that your children wear.  Then you can get exactly what you envision for their big day.

Here is a skirt that I made for Sloan to wear for Thanksgiving.  It does not have bloomers.  I attempted to make suspenders for it, however, failed at the button holes because I do not have a button hole maker…go figure! 😉 20170122_155713

 

 

 

 

 

♥Abigail

 

Friday Fun Spot | 1

The Priceless Theater

Well, today my son went on a field trip to Zachary Scott Theater to see the play Holiday Heroes by Shaun Branigan and Jerome Schoolar.  He has had the opportunity to go to plays since he was in preschool at Lucy Read.  I love theater!  The experience theater is something that every child should enjoy.  Public school allows children who would not otherwise have the chance to see theater be able to receive those benefits.  The inner gut feeling of fulfillment and excitement that you receive while watching a live play or musical is truly priceless.

My parents were not big theater people, however, I noticed in middle school that I had an interest in it.  My acting skills are sub-par due to my dislike of public speaking.  Yet, theater makes you feel like you can do anything while you are there.  As you start to leave after the play ends, you are given a new mind set where your thoughts are wondering and your heart is smiling or in some cases crying.  I went on a couple different school trips that enabled me to see several theater shows.  One took me to New York City when I was in middle school and then London while I was in college.  This exposure was priceless, however, my father may not agree with me on that.  He did have to pay for it and I am so grateful.  I recall my older sister telling me it wasn’t fair that I went on these trips…my response to her was “well, I ask, you can ask too but you don’t.”  I have lost that young adventurous girl a little bit and would like to find her again.  We can do that through our children – allowing them have adventurous experiences gives us the same opportunities to be kids again…somewhat.

♥Abigail