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Sunday, October 27, 2013

I made the sweet switch

Through the Crowdtap program I was able to do a Sample and Share for Truvia.
I was encouraged to make the Sweet Switch from other sweeteners to Truvia.

I was skeptical...but Instead of my usual 2 splendas, I only needed 1 truvia packet!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Just Jump!

I have so many overdue posts already.
Paige's first day of Pre-K
Fall soccer started for Connor
Paige started dance class
Connor's 5th birthday!
Connor was essentially MIA for 15 min on friday (bus mishap)

and... well, how can I POSSIBLY catch up on one thing when more things just keep happening (you know, things like life!)

So, in the meantime.... make the most of your rainy day and just JUMP!












Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mission Accomplished: Week 1 (and then some) of Kindergarten!


Getting into the swing of our new schedules has been hectic -- Connor in Kindergarten, Mommy back to school (work), Daddy started a new job which is a change in schedule for us and Paige has been enjoying her last weeks of freedom before she starts PreK tomorrow!

Overall, the first week of Kindergarten went well... no major incidents! Connor loves his teacher, comes home happy but very tired.

It seems that so much of my worrying was for naught.

I'm so proud of Connor, as always.




Stay tuned for pics from Paige's first day in Pre-K

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Trusting the System.

Tomorrow is Connor's first day of Kindergarten.
Big Time.
Big kid school.
School bus.
This is the real deal.

I have been a bundle of nerves and emotions about this for a while now, but this week has been full of ups and downs for me. He had orientation on Wednesday, and well tomorrow "is it".

I talk to Connor about all the great things that will happen, try to prep him for the things that may seem confusing or overwhelming and reassure him that there will be teachers and/or other staff readily available to help him. Meanwhile, I just want to hug him and squeeze him and keep him in my arms forever. My baby boy.

 I KNOW he went to preschool all day. 
But, we selected the school..... we drove him there and hand delivered him to the classroom teacher/staff and picked him up. In preschool its a whole world of innocent little kids.

Now I have to trust the system.
Walk him to the bus stop... watch him walk up the stairs and watch as the bus pulls him away.
I have to trust the system that they will get him there.
I have to trust the system that they will nurture him the way I would.
I have to trust the system that they will educate him to the best of their ability. Even better than that I'd prefer.
I have to trust the system that people will be kind to him and he will make friends.
I have to trust the system that he will be safe.

I know he will love kindergarten and be just fine.

I know its a learning process for kids to go through.
However, its a learning process for Mommies too.



Monday, September 2, 2013

Sensory Processing (Disorder)

It took me about a week to finish and publish this.
I wavered because I am not a clinician to diagnose Sensory Disorder.
But its something I experience every day in some form with my children. In fact, my son has received OT (Occupational Therapy) to assist some of these fine motor and sensory components. I definitely observed an improvement in these areas with the assistance of his OT.
I was unsure how this would be received but overall, I just wanted to share information and make awareness, which is why I frequently referred to the spdfoundation.net website.
*********************************************************************************
You know how that wool sweater makes you want to rip your skin off because its too itchy?
You know how you can not STAND the sound of someone chomping their gum?
Does the scent of lotion just overwhelm you?
Does eating jiggly foods like jello just creep you out for no explainable reason?

Are your kids like that? Do you not really understand why they react to certain things the way they do? Could it be a problem with their sensory integration?


**these items in the image above are not all concrete examples. SPD is complex and while some of these may be present in your child it neither automatically qualifies that your child has SPD or means that all children with SPD are the same.

According to the SPD Foundation Website : Sensory processing (sometimes called "sensory integration" or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Whether you are biting into a hamburger, riding a bicycle, or reading a book, your successful completion of the activity requires processing sensation or "sensory integration."

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, formerly known as "sensory integration dysfunction") is a condition that exists when sensory signals don't get organized into appropriate responses. Pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD, likened SPD to a neurological "traffic jam" that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Motor clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, school failure, and other impacts may result if the disorder is not treated effectively.  

What's the big deal?

Well, it can be a big deal if this interferes with daily life. Getting dressed can be a huge issue for children (and/or adults) with SPD if they don't like the feel of certain materials. For example. My Paige will not wear jeans. She will not wear corduroys. She will not zip her coat all the way up so that the collar touches her neck. She insists her shirt be adjusted "just so" beneath the seatbelt so it doesn't crumple. --- Is she just really particular? Maybe... but if we don't do these things...all hell breaks loose.

I don't want to get too heavy here... I just want to bring some awareness that maybe after the 37th meltdown over fabric choices, or the fact that your son refuses to eat ANY crunchy foods.... maybe they're telling you something more.

According to SPD Foundation website
Sensory Processing Disorder can affect people in only one sense–for example, just touch or just sight or just movement–or in multiple senses. One person with SPD may over-respond to sensation and find clothing, physical contact, light, sound, food, or other sensory input to be unbearable. Another might under-respond and show little or no reaction to stimulation, even pain or extreme hot and cold.

My experience
I am in no way qualified to make an official diagnosis of SPD. However, I do have 2 children with some major sensory issues. One is a seeker in many ways... and one is avoidant.
 I am a special education teacher for severely disabled students many of whom have SPD issues.

There are RED FLAGS for SPD that if you find yourself checking off too many for your child you might want to look at the SPD Checklist which can be an excellent tool when speaking to a doctor because you have already written the facts to reference.

And...just to show you how different kids with Sensory Issues / SPD I labeled a diagram with my kids initials.
*indicates that my kid(s) identify with this in part.

There are tons of amazing resources out there for parents if you are unsure if your child may be struggling with SPD.... reach out, get some intervention... it makes a difference!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lunchables Jr.

As part of the Crowdtap program I occassionally get to participate in Sample & Share activities. I was recently invited to participate in a Lunchables Jr.
Lunchables Jr is a new product for kids 3+ on the move, running from one activity to the other with no hopes of slowing down. It comes in 4 tasty varieties - "Teddy Bear Picnic", "Ants on a Log", "Blueberry Bonanza", and "Very Beary Crunch".

We got to sample "Teddy Bear Picnic" and "Blueberry Bonanza".




Since I knew the kids would never agree to which one each would get I figured we would open them both and sample all of the snacks.

The Teddy Bear Picnic came with a small container of Peanut Butter, Teddy Grahams and soft apple bites. The Blueberry Bonanza came with Cheese Its, Nilla Wafers and blueberry flavored apple bites. Overall, the snacks were a hit! The kids didn't really care for the blueberry flavored apple bites (I tried them myself, they were a bit tart...) but the regular apple bites were tasty!

Overall, these are easy snacks to pack for kids to school, or when you're on the go. I would be interested in trying the other two flavors as well. Even though my kids liked the other snacks in the Blueberry Bonanza I probably wouldn't purchase it simply because the fact they didn't like the blueberry flavored apple bites means they would waste 1/3 of the container.



Monday, August 26, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness.

I have been wanting to do something with the kids for a while now. Some kind of Pay it Forward or Random Acts of Kindness activity. I'd planned on doing it on a regular weekend, or on my first summer break and we just never had the time.
I had even looked on google and pinterest for different ideas of Random Acts of Kindness with Kids. I found lots of great posts and suggestions... The ones that seemed to fit us the most were ones where the kids were doing good deeds for other kids.

Well, today was a crummy rainy day so I figured - it will get us out of the house, and we can do some good deeds in the meantime!

I ran to the store....


I figured that little containers of bubbles were perfect for kids of any age, boy or girl! I attached the little notes with ribbons and we got ourselves ready to go to the mall!

 On the way to the mall we discussed our plans, over and over... reminding the kids that we are doing it to make others happy. We discussed that having fun is not always about playing with toys or getting toys/gifts. Sometimes having fun is doing good things and making other people feel happy and smile!

We walked right in the door of the mall and Connor said he was "keeping my eyes peeled" for kids to give the gifts to. Paige was more hesitant, as is her personality, but once they had reassurance from me it was ok to approach people they seemed to feel more comfortable!


Overall, we received LOTS of smiles and thank yous. A lot of adults said to me "This is so nice" before even reading the tag on the container. Most of the kids were hesitant... I mean, really, who just gives you a present for no reason? There were some kids that very politely said "THANKS!" when they received their gift.

In fact, a few parents made their kids hunt us down to make sure they said thank you -- we would hand off the gift and walk away -- we didn't stick around for an explanation or anything. Connor and Paige were eager to find more kids -- we found kids younger than them, older than them... it didn't matter! IN fact, Connor started walking up to people, tapping them on their shoulders and saying "Excuse me... this is for you!"

More than once I could hear the adults reading the tag aloud to the kids and offer a brief explanation of what it meant to receive (and/or give) a Random Act of Kindness.

Actually, once we doubled back after our bag of gifts was empty one woman stopped the kids because she wanted to high five them!

I'd say, it was a successful activity!

In the car, I did ask the kids how they thought it went and they both said "GOOD!"
We talked about whether what we did made people feel mad, sad or happy -- and they both acknowledged it was something that made people smile and feel happy!


I'm so pleased I was able to follow through on this activity!
 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Letter to My Children. (HiJacked from my Own Blog)

I participate in a research website/message board called Crowdtap . One
 of the discussions I recently participated in asked me to write a letter to my child/ren including the following:

If you had to write a letter to your child summarizing your hopes and dreams for their future, what would you want it to say? What values or life lessons do you want to instill in them? Write a version of this letter here, address it to your child, put the date you would like your child to open it, etc. Whatever you think this letter should look like!

 

What a huge task to undertake. However, I immediately flashed back to a blog entry of my own. I did have to search a bit for it, and I found the entry from June 12, 2012  and used that as my main motivation for completing the question. I decided I wanted to share the letter to my children....

Dear Connor & Paige:::
Mommy wrote the "poem" below on her blog on Sunday, June 12, 2012 . I want you to know that I wrote this as I was having a hard "mom day". I know you won't understand what that means until you become parents (if you chose that path in life). But, I wrote it because I'm not a perfect mother, nor have I ever been. No one is! Just know that in my eyes no matter what you have done you are perfect to me. I love you and always will. No matter what choices you make, or which way your life takes you. No matter where you end up, no matter who you end up with... Mommy loves you and supports you.
The following is the piece from 6/12/12::
Sometimes I yell at my kids.
Sometimes I let them eat candy before dinner.
Sometimes I sit on the floor and play candy land or memory with them.
Sometimes I'm just too tired to play with my kids so I sit on the couch.
Sometimes I do special projects with my kids.
Sometimes I lose my patience with the kids.
Sometimes I want to cry because I can't believe they're getting so big.
Sometimes I smother them in hugs and kisses.
Sometimes I wish they wanted to lay in bed and snuggle their Mommy.
Sometimes I just want a few minutes alone.
Sometimes I worry that they don't know how much I love them.
Sometimes I worry that I don't teach them enough.
Sometimes I read book after book after book to and with them.
Sometimes I take them out to fun places.
Sometimes I don't want to go anywhere.
Sometimes I want to protect them from everything bad that could happen.
Sometimes I worry that I am too protective
Always I love them.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Getting Back

I have been a non-blogger for a long time now.

At first, I didn't even care I stopped blogging. Life was hectic, stressful, and I felt like I had
nothing in me to write. Not that I didn't have stories to share, but the spark went out, and there was no desire. Nothing pushing me to write. Writing has always been what I've loved. If I have something important to say - I actually prefer to write a letter, email, text even... I can't always speak my words as well as I can write them.

Lately, I really miss blogging. I miss sharing silly stories, emotional stories or even photos on "Wordless Wednesdays". I keep waiting for the perfect blogworthy post to get me back into the swing of things. Meanwhile, so many little anecdotes have slipped by because I didn't blog them.

Therefore, I am getting back. I'm going to make a blogging comeback!
Its been so long the cute little kids in the header are still cute, but they're not that little anymore!
I don't even know if I should call the blog "Baby Bits" any more...

What do you think??

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Have I mentioned Lysol touch of foam?



I was chosen a while back by BZZAGENT to sample Lysol Touch of Foam... I have loved using this product on my hands and my childrens hands!




Just today I was washing my hands in the other bathroom - and suddenly was disappointed that the soap didn't come out in a soft foamy pile onto my hands... rather, a blob of traditional handsoap came out!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lysol Touch of Foam



I was so excited to be selected by BZZAGENT for their Lysol Touch of Foam handsoap campaign.
I was sent a full size sample of the product to use in my home, as long as I spread the Bzz about it!

It was a very foamy hand soap, but it was light - no soapy residue left over on your hands.
The soap even "stuck" to your hand if you flipped your hand over!
My kids, but especially my daughter (a 3 year old hand washing extraordinaire) liked the "foamy soap". And my son liked the "perfmume" (perfume) smell!

And the smell was lovely as well- a nice light smell, nothing like the traditional Lysol smell you'd think of from its cleaning products.