Autism Awareness Month

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April is Autism Awareness Month, unlike some other disabilities or disorders Autism has no medical detection or cure. Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. My beautiful ALMOST 9 year old son is Autistic. He lights up my life and has made my heart not only bigger but more caring and understanding then I ever thought was possible. All Autistic children are different, some are very severe and some, like Aiden are high functioning.

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My son started showing signs around 18 months and at that point we just thought he had a speech delay. He was completely OBSESSED with Thomas the Train and I really thought it was because the cartoon was maybe brainwashing him or something. We started taking him to doctor after doctor to see if they had any answers. We went to a Neurologist, ENT  and a Speech Pathologist and didn’t get many answers. Around 3 he was finally enrolled into a school program for Early Intervention called Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities. We owe SO much to the school system we are in. Aiden came home everyday with new words, songs and social skills. Since about 1st grade he stays in his regular classroom FULL TIME! He manages to stick to the schedule daily with only minimal outbursts. Like all children he has good and bad days. One of the biggest things I have noticed in the last year is that he has gotten SO mush better with eye contact and initiating conversations with me. He will notice familiar people when we are out running errands and 50% of the time will remember their names. 🙂 Aiden will eat almost any kind of grilled chicken I make, but still struggles with eating “normal” foods like cereal with milk in it. It’s hard being a parent and its even harder being a parent of a child with Autism. Not only do we have to hear criticism from family, friends and strangers about why we “LET” him behave and eat how he wants. We also have to deal with him finding the tiniest green speck in his food and then refuses to eat. He is getting older now and asks me if he can start the car and when can he start driving. We just got him diagnosed by a Phycologist (previously has just been though the school district) so we will be able to get him more help. I try to get as much help for him as I can, there are so many things I do not know or understand how to teach him. Aiden does a thing called echolalia (replicated utterances that are produced or echoed immediately or almost immediately after they are heard). It is the hardest thing to get him to stop doing. I typically let him do it 2-3 times then I tell him “ok we just heard that, lets move on”. He is so smart, loving and kind. It amazes me how he can direct me to get somewhere he has only been to one time. He says he has a map in his head. His social skills are still rough around the edges but he’s only 9 (in 9 days!!) . We have very high hopes for Aiden. We believe he will live a normal life one day.

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I encourage anyone to get help for their children if they have any reason to believe it could be Autism. The earlier they start getting help the better the outcome will be!! Don’t be in denial that there is something “wrong” with your child. If you need help finding resources let me know I’d be happy to help! As hard as it can be to accept that your child is different just know that they need you to help them, teach them and most importantly ALWAYS love them.

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In the last year or so we signed up for a study called ‘Tooth Fairy’. They test his baby teeth along with other children who have and don’t have Autism. They are looking for information about environmental exposures both before and right after birth. I am still waiting to hear the results. Last week we sign up for another study that is called ‘Spark’ and it will test my, my husband and both sons DNA. I am not sure what it will or will not tell us, but I am open to helping get more answers for the Autism community. We have also signed Aiden up for ABA ( applied behavior analysis) therapy through Butterfly Effects. The therapy should start in late May we are very hopeful to see even more improvement! I have heard amazing things about them. Be sure to check out AutismSpeaks.org for more info and resources.

Autism_awareness

 

1st photo cred: http://countrygracephotography.com 

 

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Wild ONE!!

SO, this Saturday my besties baby girl turns ONE!! I am totally obsessed with little girls and all things girly! We have been planning on doing a Smash Cake Photo Shesh for over a month now. Today it happened and all it turned out amazing!! I absolutely love this trend, I actually did this when my oldest turned ONE…. about 8 years ago! ❤

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Camila is ONE

I have a Canon DSLR camera that I totally have no idea how to use and I have no “eye” for picture taking. My bestie was the “photographer” today and I think she did great! We did all the pictures at my house since the weather put a TOTAL damper on our outdoor plans(we were totally bummed about that). We took advantage of Pinterest to help us decide on our Plan B.

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What we did……She bought about 20 balloons (12 inflated with helium and 8 we blew up). We duct taped them to the floor at different heights and then used the ones we blew up to cover the tape.  We hung a banner she found at Hobby Lobby, threw down a rug she already owned and Volia! I was totally planning on making her a smash cake, but ran out of time. Here is an awesome life hack! I bought the cake at HEB for like $8 and scraped of the frosting and decorated it myself! I recently got one of those awesome Silhouette Cameo cutting machines, so I whipped out the “one” topper in no time. We are so happy with the way EVERYTHING turned out! 🙂

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What do y’all think?? Is my bestie a future Photographer in the making?!

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I hope she stops growing so fast, this year flew by! ❤ ❤ ❤

 

A whole new take on DIY today!!

Ok, so I’ve been kinda obsessing over Jessica James Decker lately…. I came across this video of her putting lightener “balayage” in her own hair. I was completely  fascinated and really wanted to try to do it myself. HERE is her link! Watch the video for sure to help you see how to do it! If you are too scared and NEED a professional I have two really good friends who are AMAZING!!! Let me know!! 

I recently had my hair colored and I wanted to go darker for Fall as I usually do. Well after she dyed it I think I had different feelings and kinda wanted it lighter again. I knew my husband would kill me since I paid all that money to get it dark and I was just going to change it AGAIN. I figured this was my perfect chance to try it myself!!! EEEKKKKK

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Today I did it!! I love it and I think I am now ADDICTED!! This is the before picture… I took it with natural lighting and the 2nd was taken at night so the coloring looks a tad different. Try to just notice the ends and how much more bright they are.IMG_3350 (2).jpg

Have I inspired you to try and do it yourself?? This is what I used! I didn’t use a box color like Jessica James Decker because I have had bad luck with that before. I also recommend talking to a professional or doing some research before you start. I only spent about $18!!

  • L’OREAL quick blue powder bleach
  • Salon Care Cream Developer 30 Volume
  • Gloves
  • Mixing Bowl and Brush

GOOD LUCK!!!

❤ Jessica

UPDATE!!

A few tips! 1. Make sure to have enough time. 2. Invest in some really good hair care products to keep your hair feeling healthy. I use Wella shampoo and a Wella treatment conditioner. I also only wash my hair about once or twice a week. 3. Saturation is KEY, unless you are wanting cheetah spots, make sure to have enough dye or bleach on the strand or roots. 4. Keep and eye on the blonde while bleaching. If you see it getting lighter than desired you can stop the process by getting it wet. 5. Know it might not be what you are expecting and go see a professional if you screw it up!! My friends Dana and Shaina really are amazing, so if you are not brave JUST go see them! Since this post I have gained a new sense of braveness! I have now added more blonde about 5 times and I even dyed my own roots 2 times!! Here is a recent picture! 😛IMG_4031.JPG

 

Are you ready for old Saint Nick?

I am super excited for Christmas, but so NOT ready!!

I conquered Black Friday on Thursday night at Target and that was very anti-climatic. There were a lot of people, but no craziness thank God! I didn’t have to wait in line or anything! I love buying Christmas PJ’s to give on Christmas Eve, so I made sure to get some while they were 40% off! I also got some toys for my nieces and my boys.

Our boys are 7 years apart which makes it pretty interesting during this holiday season. Our oldest is still very much into all of it and our youngest is just now starting to figure things out. I bought the cutest book yesterday for the boys called “How to Catch Santa”. It was on sale at Barnes & Noble for $7.99….totallly worth it!! I love love love hearing my oldest read to the baby! ❤

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Today we wrote our letters to Santa! I found a super cute printable online Here! She also has a ton of cute ideas on getting a letter back from Santa too!! I might just have to do that! I know my oldest will really think it’s awesome and maybe it will keep him in line a little more too!  I should do it every month during the year! 

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A few months ago I found this North Pole mail box at Home Goods that I could NOT resist buying. I think it adds a little more holiday cheer to the whole process. =) I hope my boys at least had fun and will remember these moments one day!!

I would ❤ to hear about your Christmas traditions! COMMENT BELOW!

French Toast for dayzzzz

Ok, so if you are anything like me you will enjoy this life hack! This is perfect for a child, or an adult who is a child at heart! ❤

My husband gets our oldest up every morning and takes him to school. (Yes, he is GOD sent) Our oldest is also a SUPER picky eater! I really try to get creative, so he gets enough decent food in his growing 8 year old body. I thought of this a few years back and I make it fairly often now. Takes maybe 30 mins for the whole loaf!

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What you will need:

  • 1 loaf of bread – I buy a flavored kind to add sweetness, you can literally use any loaf of bread even from a fancy bakery! 😉 
  • DO NOT DISCARD bag bread came in
  • 6-8 eggs
  • 1/8-1/4 cup of milk – If you don’t use flavored bread you could even use like a yummy flavored creamer!! YUMM!
  • Butter/Oil/PAM – whatever non- stick item you like to use to cook with
  • Large Pan/Skillet
  • Bowl

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat stove top to medium heat.
  2. Crack eggs in a bowl, add milk and whisk to mix.
  3. Rub butter on skillet to cover cooking surface.
  4. Generously soak 1 slice of bread in egg mixture and place on skillet.
  5. Cook until browned on each side and let cool COMPLETELY!
  6. Once you have made the whole loaf and they have cooled place bake into bag and put in freezer.
  7. Wake up, get your french toast out and place in toaster. (so easy right?!)
  8. Pop onto plate, add any toppings you desire or eat plain!!!
  9. HAVE AN AMAZING DAY!

Let me know your thoughts or suggestions!