Today was Deanna’s first day of high school! 9TH GRADE!! FRESHMAN YEAR! She was definitely ready. We have been getting up early for about 2 weeks so she could be used to waking up at 6 am to get on the bus at 6:30. Every morning, when I went to wake her, she’d ask “School?” and I’d have to tell her not quite yet. Schools supplies were bought (thankfully she didn’t need much this year), and outfit ready to go. Hair was cut into a cute little bob. She was ready!! The bus arrived at 6:45 this morning at our front door. I made her let me kiss her on the cheek, said hi to the driver and off she went. Only a few tears fell from me, and I was super proud of that. Fast forward to 2:30, when the bus dropped her off, again at our door. I am so excited to hear how her day went, if she found anyone she knew, who her teachers were, if she liked her classes, all the normal stuff every mom wants to know…
Reality quickly set in. When she got off the bus, she wouldn’t talk to us. She responded to every questions with a yes, even the random, nonsensical ones. Imagine know literally nothing about your child’s day. Not because they won’t tell you anything, but because they can’t. I don’t know if her teachers were nice. I don’t know if she saw any friends. I don’t know if she was happy or sad. I don’t know if she got hungry, or thirsty, or tired. And that is one of the hardest things with being the mother of a non-verbal child. The never knowing.
For those of you that don’t know, Deanna was born with Down Syndrome, and then, at the age of 7, was diagnosed with Autism. Having this dual diagnosis makes life interesting for sure. Deanna has a lot of words, but often they don’t make sense. She gets a lot of her language by memorizing phrases, and uses them, sometimes appropriately, sometimes not, in conversations. It’s called echolalia. She has always spoken this way, but when she was little, we thought it was just cute. It wasn’t until she was almost 7 that a speech therapist spoke with me about a possible autism diagnosis, due to her stimming, echolalia, and her behaviors in social settings. Once she got the diagnosis, our issues over the past few years suddenly made so much sense, and we were able to change how we approached her and her behavior. I wouldn’t say life got easier, but a little bit of the edge got removed.
We started ABA therapy almost immediately after getting her diagnosis, and she has made so much progress in so many ways. She reads, she makes her own meals, she dresses herself, she answers questions, she verbalizes things more, we can go places without incident. At least most of the time. On days when she is tired, overwhelmed, hormonal (yay teen years), or just in a bad mood (and no, just because she has Down Syndrome, she is not happy all the time, lol), she shuts down, just like we all do, so it becomes impossible for her to verbalize anything. That is what happened on the first day of school. She was tired and overwhelmed, and refused to verbalize how her day went. Which is so frustrating for both of us, because the less she talks, the more I ask.
The hardest thing I have learned to do with Deanna is to back off. Give her space. Let her come to me when she is ready. And even then, she may still not answer my questions. I have to be okay with that. 15 years in and you think I would be, but some days I am not. Sometimes I just want to know she is happy and enjoying her day. Sometimes I just want to hear “I love you too.”
I am doing a fundraiser and I am so excited! I will be raising money to help a dear friend of mine (click the picture to go to my VIP Group). Her son was diagnosed a few months ago with Spina Bifida. She has been traveling between her home in Oklahoma and Houston (where the specialists are), and will be in Houston for several weeks to give birth to little Merrick.
I met Ashley a couple of years ago. Her twins girls and my youngest daughter had Physical Therapy together. Her and her husband lived in Hampton Roads, until the beginning of 2018, when they moved to Oklahoma. Shortly after their move, their son was diagnosed with Spina Bifida.
You may be like me, and unsure as to what Spina Bifida is. According to the Mayo Clinic, Spina Bifida is a neural tube defect, where the spine and the spinal cord do not form properly. This usually occurs around 8 weeks. There are three different types of spina bifida (see graphic) & it ranges from mild to severe. Alot depends on the size of the deformity, location and other complications that may occur. There are several treatments for Spina Bifida, all surgical. The most common are in utero (fetal) surgery and post birth surgery. Most children and people with spina bifida will need continuous care, including further surgeries and therapies.
Once Ashley and her husband, Leonard, received the news from their OB, they headed to Houston to meet with a specialist. After further testing, it was decided they were a candidate for the fetal surgery, which was to go in an close up an area on his Merrick's back. Merrick and Ashley are both doing well! Ashley has been on bed rest for several months, and has moved back to Houston until after Merrick's birth. Merrick could be in the NICU for a few weeks after, and may need additional surgeries.
My fundraiser will go directly to Ashley and Leonard to help with any costs associated with having two household and medical necessities needed for Merrick. LuLaRoe is matching my donation as well, which is amazing to me!! From August 1-8, for every item sold, I will donate $1-3, and so will LuLaRoe. I will be hosting Lives and albums sales in my Facebook Group all week. I hope you will join us! Help a worthy family and snag some pretties for yourself!!
This morning marks off the beginning of LuLaRoe's annual conference for its retailers, Vision 2018. Last year, I had only been a retailer for a couple of months when Vision rolled around, so I couldn't attend, both for financial reasons and child care reasons (my husband was deployed at the time). I also hate to fly, but that was a minor reason last year not to attend...
This year, though, I was going! I was going to meet everyone on my team (most live on the west coast). I was going to meet all those amazing people I follow on Instagram! I was going to be inspired and my business was going to flourish!! I even purchased my ticket for this year's Vision when they were first available for purchase! I WAS GOING!!!
That is, until a couple months ago, when the fear crept in. The fear of getting on an airplane!! The fear of not knowing anyone there, the fear of putting too much financial strain on my family when my husband will be retiring from the Navy in a few months. But mostly the fear of flying. Everytime I thought about getting on that airplane, major anxiety would set in. Extreme anxiety. So I cancelled my Vision ticket. And I was okay with that decision. Until today.
Today, as people are posting on IG about packing, and arriving, and all the amazing things that will be happening over the next few days, I am having MAJOR FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). I want to get on an airplane and fly across the country and meet all these people, and learn all the things (and try on the JEANS!!!). But I can't, its too late! I scared myself out of a major opportunity!! And now I am kicking myself!!
How many times do you look at your LuLa and think,"How amazing would it be to have a pair of LuLaRoe Jeans to go with this shirt?" I do it all the time!! I'll grab the one pair of jeans I am comfortable in, and head out the door, but am never completely satisfied with my choice!
Well, our wish is their command!! LuLaRoe is launching My Denim! They will have them available for retailers to try them on at Vision 2018 next week, and I am having major #FOMO. But I am going to give you as much information as I can, and will update as more information becomes available!
Did you know that Patrick, LuLaRoe's Chief Merchant and Head of Production, was a denim designer before joining LuLaRoe? He started his own denim brand, and has worked with several large retailers designing denim, including Forever 21. Tony Hawk Apparel, Wet Seal, and Hot Topic. The man knows his denim! He has worked tirelessly to make LuLaRoe My Denim fit perfect to all sizes and shapes. He even fits them on a model of each individual size. What does that mean? Each size of the jean is custom cut to fit that size. Most designers make one shape and then scale it to the appropriate size, which is why it is so hard for a curvy girl to find jeans that fit appropriately.
At the time of this writing, I am not sure how sizing will work. I believe they will be by waist measurement, with two lengths. They will be form fitted, as you can tell by the pictures, but with amazing stretch!! I can't wait to get mine in, and to try them on!! Who else is excited???
Click on any of the pictures to hop over to my Facebook page for more information, and shopping!!
1. Amelia- A dress with pockets?? What more could a woman ask for! Perfect for a date night, or wedding wear, but dress it down for everyday wear by throwing a shirt over top! The pockets are the ideal spot for your cell phone, keys, snack for your kids, lipstick, whatever you may need on the fly!!
2. Carly- Oh Carly, where would I be without you in my life?! Comfortable, versatile, casual, dressy! So many ways to wear one dress!! By itself, with a classic t or gigi, with a cassie, knotted at the bottom, knotted in the middle, wrapped, the ideas just keep flowing!! How will you wear yours?
3, Julia- Julia is who I turn to when I am feeling a little frumpy, a little too mom-ish! She makes me feel feminine, classy, womanly! Fitted but knee length, she hugs my curves
4. Cassie- A pencil skirt I can squat in? YES PLEASE! Everyone loves a pencil skirt, but they are usually so restricting! Not Cassie! I can literally go to the gym and do squats if I wanted to! Now that is a perfect skirt
5. Patrick- How often do you steal your significant other's oversized shirt to chill out in? I did, in the past, but now, I just grab a Patrick T! Its like a classic t, but bigger! Soft, comfy, oversized. Just what I want to wear to hang out around the house in!
6. Amy- Maybe because its my namesake, or maybe because its just the best shirt ever, but I think the Amy is my favorite! Its perfect for layering or wearing on its own! Dressing up or dressing down. Cool fabric makes it perfect for summer months, but layering it over a lynnae or debbie in the winter will be shear perfection!!!