Trudging Through Gross Motor Issues

Amazement doesn’t cover the emotion I have when I see my little one who struggles with gross motor and motor planning develop skills that guide her along on the right path after just one gymnastics class.

Foam Pit!!!

Foam Pit!!!

We started gymnastics with Delise this past week to help her with her gross motor. Unlike her sister, Delise is daring and adventurous at the expense of her safety.  She dives off of couches, climbs onto chairs, runs down hills falling every other step, etc. Ben and I roll our eyes and wonder how she will overcome these crazy behaviors. To my amazement, she did really well and flourished when given the opportunity. She was clearly “behind” the other kids in the class but held her own and didn’t let anything stop her…that’s my girl!

delise stacking foam obstacle course gymnastics

Fun times in gymnastics!

Fun times in gymnastics!

This article is about gross motor and where gymnastics fits into that…I found it quite helpful!

I am excited to see what this new adventure does for Delise. I will keep you posted as she continues to progress through this bump in the road.

OCD in Toddlers…yep…I said it!

“Wait, Momma! Put here!”

Those words I hear all too frequently from my now 2 year old as she meticulously places her animals, blocks, books, you name it in its proper place. At first I was excited to have such a “clean” kid who had a spot for EVERYTHING! Before we would leave a room, it needed to be set up JUST right, before going to bed, we needed to go through JUST the right routine, while reading books, we needed to stack them JUST right, yada, yada, yada…you get the point.

Our sweet baby girl...

Our sweet baby girl…

It wasn’t until the temper tantrums started that I started to wonder if her OCD tendencies were part of a bigger picture. We took Delise to the pediatrician and the doctor immediately started asking questions that made me feel like she was pegging Delise as autistic. The knot formed in my throat and I dreaded going further with any evaluation.

"Time Out" is utilized frequently in our household

“Time Out” is utilized frequently in our household

My heart was telling me there is no way she had any type of autism tendencies and my mind was telling me I needed to investigate all aspects of the disability…every spectrum…just in case. I went home that day and dove into Google (the one thing you aren’t supposed to do) and let Help Me Grow know there was going to be a new part to Delise’s developmental journey. They asked me similar questions the doctor did and then gave me action steps to help get her back on track. We have since been using the action steps that were given to us and have seen a lot of improvement in her obsessive tendencies. We were told to “Brush” her, make a mess of her cleanliness (she despises this), and come up with a better solution to the word “no!”

Keeping busy...ALWAYS

Keeping busy…ALWAYS

My point in all of this, It isn’t about the end result…but all about the journey. Our road is long to figuring out what makes Delise do the things she does but I am confident that with the help we are receiving and staying dedicated to helping her, we will have a beautiful end result to a story worth sharing with so many struggling with the same things.

What I do for “Me” time as a busy, working/ stay-at-home mommy!

“I need more juice please!”

“I have to go potty!”

“Can we go outside?”

“One more minute?!?”

“I’m hungry!”

“Will you play with me?”

etc., etc., etc…….

I love my kids and I love spending time with my kids…BUT…I get extremely burnt out (quickly I might add) if I don’t schedule in “Me” time. Yes…you heard me…I SCHEDULE in “Me” time. I found that if I didn’t schedule it in, it didn’t happen…like EVAH!

There is always someone attached to me! (I love it but get sick of it as well)

There is always someone attached to me! (I love it but get sick of it as well)

Here are some Mommy “Me” Time ideas in case you needed some inspiration…

1. Go to the movies with your best friend. Have popcorn.

2. Write something. Poetry, a letter, a short story, a journal, or blog entry.

3. Dance your heart out.

4. Take a bubble bath with soft music, candles, and a glass of ice-cold sparkling cider in your best crystal flute.

5. Take a walk in the woods.

6. Window shop for ideas of what you’ll wear to your daughter’s wedding – even if it’s 15 years away.

7. Treat yourself to lunch. A sit-down restaurant!

8. Take a nap. A real nap…flopping down on the couch doesn’t count! Get in bed, under the covers.

9. Buy some pretty underwear…the kind that doesn’t come in a 3-pack.

10. Catch up on your reading.  Find a good book or that stack of magazines you’ve been too busy to get to.

11. Go for a swim. Clear out all the kids’ gear and hop in…or go to the Y or neighborhood pool.

12. Reconnect with a friend. Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.

13. Pull out your wedding album and remember how you felt right before you walked down the aisle. Or if you are us…work on designing your wedding album (only 5 years too late).

14. Take your mom to lunch. She could use a break too!   .

15. Pray and read your Bible or devotional.

16. Get crafty. Try your hand at something new or do a craft you’ve been putting off forever.

17. Try yoga.  Stretch yourself.

I'm NOT one for yoga...this is as good as it gets...

I’m NOT one for yoga…this is as good as it gets…

18. Go for a drive. Play your favorite tunes, put the windows down, and let the wind blow through your hair. (Remember to turn the kids’ music off).

Car rides ALONE are so FUN!!!

Car rides ALONE are so FUN!!!

19. Get a pedicure!  Treat your feet and your whole body will thank you!

Pedicures with the ladies!

Pedicures with the ladies!

20. Have a tea party. Find a tea room and enjoy being pampered.

21. Watch something at home.  A movie, TV show, whatever!

22. Hit some yard sales! Even if you don’t find anything, it can be a blast to browse! MY FAVORITE “Me” time activity!!!

23. Go to your happy place. Close your eyes and you’re there.

Sometimes you have to just laugh at yourself and know that all will be ok.

Sometimes you have to just laugh at yourself and know that all will be ok.

24. Take a bike ride.  Take a few spins around the block or venture out farther.

25. Try a new recipeChoose something you like without trying to please picky eaters.

26. Pick up some flowers.  They’ll brighten your house and brighten your day!

27. Go thrift shopping.  See what treasures you can find.

28. Go MIA.  Don’t take any calls for half an hour (unless it’s an emergency, of course).

29. Get a massage.  It will be the most relaxing 30 minutes of your day!

30. Have a play date! Connect with a friend for bowling, miniature golf, or tennis.

31. Do nothing. (Yes, it’s really okay…)

Doing NOTHING!

Doing NOTHING!

Now…Go fill your tank with your own favorite “Me” Time activity!!

 

First Day of School

It was tantrum city in our house this morning as Ben and I argued with Annora to get ready for her first day of school…EVER! She was clearly nervous and it oozed out of her as disrespect toward Ben and I. We tried to reason with her but she was clearly not ready for reasoning. After a LONG  breakfast conversation and some coercing, we were able to get out the door on time and get to “school.”

Once we arrived, Annora was all smiles and ExCiTeD for the day. She proudly wore her backpack into the building and sat quietly during the morning assembly nervously sucking her 2 fingers she is notorious for having in her mouth. To be honest, I was just as nervous for her and there was a lump in my throat as I thought about Annora being the age to start school. Even as a homeschooling momma, I was getting choked up about my daughter hitting this milestone.

Annora did great and I was glad that I had drilled in our family expectations when it came to school. She sat poised, volunteered to answer questions, was respectful and ready to conquer this foreign thing called “school.” It made me feel as though Ben and I are doing something right and she is turning out to be A-Ok! LOL

Annora first day of school

In all reality, I was amazed at how emotionally upset I was at the fact that Annora is of school age. I am well aware that I am a “helicopter mommy” as some would refer to it (an overprotective mom). I am getting my feet wet at this “letting go” thing and it is proving to be more difficult than I could have ever imagined! Life has started a new chapter…and another has come to an end. Oh the joys and sorrows of parenting never cease to amaze me!

I found this YouTube video to be hysterical yet so dead on with the conversations I overheard on her first day of school. Check it out and let me know what you think!

“Stranger Danger”

Annora asked me the other day if a pack of people that were close by were strangers. I replied by asking her if she knew them. She shook her head “no” and she came to the realization on her own. I was pleased that she knew the true definition of a stranger but then she asked a very interesting question. She asked me if we were strangers to those people. I replied “yes” and was impressed with her question. She was wrapping her mind around the true essence of strangers. Ben let her know that it is ok to say hello to a stranger but that is where the conversation ends. He went into a dialogue with her about the appropriateness of a stranger and how we act around strangers.

I asked her later that evening what to do if a stranger approached her. I asked her what she would do if a stranger tried to take her and if a stranger offered her a gift or candy. I was SHOCKED that she didn’t have all the right answers. She said she would politely take the candy but not eat it, she would  run away if a stranger approached her, and if a stranger tried to take her she said she would cry. We clearly needed to have some serious conversations with her regarding the ins and outs of strangers.

I decided to Google stranger Danger and I found 6 tips that are EXTREMELY important and could possibly save your child’s life if they were faced with a dangerous stranger.

  1. Don’t personalize your child’s items with their name.
  2. Have a code word that anyone your child would know could recite to them to let them know they are a safe person to go with.
  3. If followed, run in the opposite direction of the car.
  4. When in trouble, look for a mom with kids.
  5. Teach your children to SCREAM, “Who are you?”
  6. Teach your kids to be destructive in order to draw attention.

We have started to go over these “Rules” with Annora one at a time. My hope is that she never has to use these tips. But…if she is approached in an unsafe way, she has some skills to use and you have set him/her up for success.

Why oh why do my kids prefer snacking AND Tried and True Recipes GALORE (That my kids will eat!)

Healthy recipes that kids enjoy…Hmmm…now that is an oxymoron!

My first daughter will eat everything and anything (minus asparagus). She was introduced to a variety of foods since day one and has a very well-rounded pallet. Since that had worked, my husband and I did the same thing with Delise thinking the same thing would happen and….NOT SO MUCH! She couldn’t be a more pickier eater. She LOVES junk food (which we don’t keep in the house) so she eats like a little birdie in hopes we will break down and feed her chips for dinner. I also realized that sometimes snacking was a big part of her lack of motivation at the dinner table.

Toddlers are notorious nibblers. Their small bellies mean they can’t eat a lot at one time, and their go-go-go nature means they don’t want to sit at the table too long. Here are some snacking strategies that I have found useful!

Strategy 1: Snacking on the Go

Carry an arsenal of munchies to dole out when you’re on the go. But too often, I can give snacks to distract or occupy the girls while I’m running errands or on long drives. Grazing on the go also makes it hard for Annora and Delise to focus on their food and listen to their internal signals of hunger and fullness. Eating in the car can even be risky. I’ve often times thought about “what if” one of them chokes, I may not be able to get to them right away.

My Smarter Strategy: Carry one or two small and easy snacks — such as a banana or small container of whole-grain crackers — in case hunger strikes while you’re out. Try other distractions first (such as a book or small toy) when you need to buy time.

Strategy 2: Timing Is Everything

It’s frustrating when the girls come to the table at mealtime and don’t want to eat. It’s true that sometimes their appetites fluctuate day to day, but I believe snacking is also to blame. Snacks before mealtime can make kids less receptive to trying new foods at meals. Delise has also learned to prefer “snack foods” — such as pretzels and gummy fruit snacks — over “meal foods,” which can make things even tougher.

My Smarter Strategy: Avoid snacks in the hour before meals. If their hunger doesn’t seem to match up with our mealtimes, I consider moving meals earlier or serving them a portion of the meal, such as the veggies, while I finish prepping.

Strategy 3: Make Snacks Nutritious

Sadly I have found that many snack foods that are marketed to kids are full of refined flour, added sugar and salt. Those foods are OK to eat occasionally, but they don’t provide the nutrients my kids need the most (such as calcium, iron and fiber) and they teach kids to associate “snack” with “treat.” I don’t know how many times my girls ask for candy when I say “Would you like a snack.”

My Smarter Strategy: During most snack times, I serve the same kinds of foods I serve at mealtime, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains including whole-wheat tortillas or bread as options, sources of protein such as hard-boiled eggs and hummus, and dairy foods such as yogurt and cheese.

Mistake 4: Establish a Snack Schedule

I was that mom that let my girls nibble on snacks all day long because I felt like their little bodies were growing so they needed food CONSTANTLY! What I realized was that by letting my kids nibble all day not only ruined their mealtime appetites, but it also set up bad habits.

My Smarter Strategy: I decided to establish scheduled snack times. The girls can go two hours between meals and snacks, so a mid-morning, mid-afternoon and evening snack may work well.

I also realized QUICKLY that I needed to come up with some kid-friendly recipes that were healthy and she would eat. Here is my go-to list of recipes that are Delise approved!

RECIPEcarrot fries_NEW

Carrot Fries:

Ingredients

1 pound of carrots
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Peel the carrots and cut them into strips about in ¼-inch thick and a few inches long.
  3. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray and spread the carrots onto it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake 15 minutes. Flip them over and coat them with a bit more cooking spray, salt and pepper; bake another 15 minutes until lightly browned.

 

RECIPECarrot Cake Muffins_NEW

Who doesn’t love a great tasting carrot cake? We had fun creating a delicious carrot cake muffin that’s loaded with all-natural, nutritious ingredients. This grab-and-go muffin makes it easy to eat the right amount of food, plus it’s the ultimate breakfast or snack for cancer prevention. It’s loaded with whole wheat flour that contains insoluble fiber; flaxseeds that are high in omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation; and carrots rich in antioxidants to boost the immune system.

Ingredients

Olive oil spray (or canola oil spray)
1 ½ cups carrots, grated
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup ground flaxseeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 egg
¾ cup calcium-fortified 100-percent pure orange juice
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup coconut, grated

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F; spray muffin pan with cooking oil spray.
  2. Shred carrots and set aside.
  3. Combine flour, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, cinnamon and sea salt in a bowl, and mix.
  4. Add egg, orange juice and applesauce to the bowl, and mix thoroughly.
  5. Fold in carrots and coconut until blended.
  6. Spoon mixture into muffin tins, filling until ⅔ full.
  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until browned.
  8. Cool and enjoy!

 

 

AlfredoBagelBites

Alfredo sauce gets a makeover with cauliflower and Greek yogurt in this recipe that works as a snack or lunch.

Ingredients

6 100-percent whole-wheat mini-bagels
3 cups (3 ounces) fresh cauliflower florets
¼ cup fat-free Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1¾ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange bagel halves, insides facing up on sheet.
  3. Steam cauliflower for 3 minutes in large microwave safe bowl.
  4. Transfer steamed cauliflower to a blender. Add yogurt, salt, garlic and ¼ cup mozzarella. Puree until smooth.
  5. Spread cauliflower-yogurt Alfredo sauce evenly on bagels. Top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake 15 minutes until tops are golden. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Let’s Talk BCMH!

“Oh my word is it a seizure?”

I FRANTICALLY gulped back tears and paced the house with Annora cradled in my arms. She was arching her back and bobbing her head in the strangest way. To say I was CLUELESS on what to do is a COMPLETE understatement! Just thinking back to this moment makes my heart ache. I remember where I was standing, the look on Ben’s face, the feeling I had and what my poor baby was going through.

I had just returned from a work trip where I was out of town and what I came home to SHOCKED me. Annora (just 7 months old) had JUST had her immunizations and 2 days later was acting strange, and what appeared to be seizing. I was convinced that the shots had somehow caused this reaction. We immediately called the doctor and she sent us to the hospital. They immediately admitted Annora, hooked her up to a gazillion machines, and started the testing process. In fact, I am not sure they missed a test that is offered. They did it all! The poor little one was poked and prodded, tested and retested, scared and sad. I couldn’t believe that our little one, who was fine/normal just a few days prior was now in the hospital being tested for epilepsy and anything else under the sun.

AnnoraHospital3 AnnoraHospital5 AnnoraHosptial4

As the days went on, they couldn’t find anything wrong with Annora. Her tests all came back “normal” but she continued to have these “seizure-like” symptoms. In fact, we felt little comfort from many around us.

AnnoraHospital2

“Babies do strange things!” “I can’t believe you are putting Annora through all of this!” “My kids did the same thing…”

Many truly felt we were over-exaggerating and doing unnecessary testing on our poor little one. Ben and I felt extremely alone and unsupported. We both had that gut feeling that something was wrong and we were not going to let others opinions of how we should parent affect our decision to push through and figure everything out.

Once all was said and done, Annora was diagnosed with Sandifer Syndrome (another form of GERD…or severe acid reflux), low iron levels and they also discovered she had Hypotonia (Low Muscle Tone). THANK GOODNESS…Ben and I were FINALLY getting answers! The Sandifer Syndrome (what was causing the seizure-like symptoms) and low iron were treated with medication and for the Hypotonia, we were referred to Help Me Grow where they did an evaluation and were able to help Annora with her struggles through the use of early intervention.

During this whole process, Ben and I were SO THANKFUL for BCMH (The Children With Medical Handicaps Program). Early on we were referred to BCMH through Annora’s developmental pediatrician. Once the paperwork was filed, BCMH took care of our medical bills leading up to the diagnosis of Annora’s issue. The stress of paying off the numerous tests she went through was GONE! If you are going through something similar, I HIGHLY recommend looking into BCMH for help. We were so blessed that there is a program out there that cares about the financial burden placed on families when trying to diagnose someone who doesn’t have the ability to communicate what is going on.

Oh to leave or not to leave? The diary of a working stay at home mommy…

It was a year ago almost to the day and I was watching my colleagues grow their business in Nashville, TN at a national convention while I stayed home with my babies plucking away at my network marketing business. It seemed unfair that I was home figuring this CEO thing out by myself…not getting very far at all yet my coach friends were soaking in a ton of new knowledge at a national convention. It was at that moment that I realized I could do BOTH! Not only could I stay home with my babes and be the best mommy I knew how to be, BUT I could also grow a substantial business while they slept, napped, etc. to help my husband with some of the burden with monthly bills. So…that day, I signed up for the following year’s Coach Summit and decided it was something I needed to do for me, our girls and our family.

Those decisions are always so hard to make. Will I be leaving the girls in the right hands? Will Ben be able to take the time off to take care of them? Is this a selfish move on my part? Is the investment worth the benefits? Am I a bad mom for building a business of my own? etc.

Leaving these 2 for several days was a tough decision!

Leaving these 2 for several days was a tough decision!

It’s hard when you are a parent and have to leave your babies for vacation, a work trip, etc. It seems like an impossible task and sometimes leaving is more work than just staying home. There is laundry to do, lists to make, people to call, schedules to coordinate, etc. Not to mention the fact that you will miss your kids more than anything! Leaving seems more of a task than a getaway. Would it be worth it in the long run? AHHHH…all of these questions and self-doubt engulfed me.

Missing my babies but learning a lot about health and fitness and how to help others on their journey!

Missing my babies but learning a lot about health and fitness and how to help others on their journey!

I truly feel blessed that I was able to attend an amazing event for my health and fitness coaching career. The amount of takeaways I gained was extremely beneficial to taking my business to the next level and I was happy I had decided to go. As the day neared to leave, I started to get slightly anxious to leave Annora and Delise. Annora is pretty easy-going but Delise, on the other hand, has this amazing ability to make any task a difficult one. She is quite the momma’s girl these days and I knew this was going to throw a wrench in her day to day routine. I also knew that this might be a good way for her to learn that life will throw curve-balls and we need to learn to go with the flow. It ended up being a good lesson for both girls and a great opportunity for Ben to play the mommy and daddy role.

If I hadn’t gone on the trip but instead stayed home and continued with the same day in and day out routine, my business would remain pretty stagnant, I wouldn’t have gotten pumped about taking life and my business opportunity to the next level, my girls wouldn’t have gotten that beautiful time with their daddy, I wouldn’t have grown in my belief in myself as a CEO/mommy/wife, and my tank wouldn’t be as full as it is right now. See, I LOVE being home with the girls, but I also LOVE having something that is just for me…something that I am doing for the bettering of our family. Whatever it is in your life that you struggle with, just know that filling your own tank is important before making sure everyone else’s is full. I feel like I am a better mommy, wife, friend, etc. because I took time to pour into my own personal development. I am ready to go make some of my dreams come true!

ROADTRIP Summit collage Group Pic Summit