So much has happened in the past few months. But before we get to that, you must have some background story of how we got here.
My oldest was born early, at 33 weeks, and has a condition called Childhood Apraxia of Speech. “Apraxia is a motor speech disorder that makes it hard for children to speak. It can take a lot of work to learn to say sounds and words better” from American Speech Language Association.
He’s now nine years old and has come a long way, but our journey is far from over. CAS is a motor planning disorder where he has difficulty not only in speech, but also can affect gross motor and fine motor skills.
Gage at 18 months
- He said his first word at 18 months.
- He took his first step at 22 months.
- He was finally potty trained at age 4.
At age one, our pediatrician noticed he wasn’t talking or making much noise and referred us to our early intervention services, Help Me Grow. Early intervention is a statewide system that provides coordinated services to parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities. Check your state for something similar.
After several evaluations, we began working with EI and Stark County MRDD, in our home. We continued working with them until the maximum age of three, from there they refer to the public school system.
At three, he was put on an IEP (individual education plan), with our local school system. At that time, public school seemed like the best choice – where they would provide services of speech and occupational, and eventually physical therapies.
He loved school and we were happy with the progress he was making.
In the first grade, I started to recognize some signs of him struggling to read. He was transposing his numbers, he was really having difficulty reading and writing and started to dislike his bedtime stories (we had been doing since he was 6 months old). Despite my many attempts to talk to the school, it seemed like my concerns were dismissed. At the end of first grade, I emailed my concerns to the elementary principal, stating I wasn’t sure that he was ready for 2nd grade. She replied back that that was the schools job to determine and I was not to worry.
Our first parent-teacher conference, last year was very concerning. He was, now, in the third grade; yet, he was only reading at a kindergarten and first grade level. Despite being on an IEP, his teacher insisted he MUST pass the Ohio standarized tests or else he would repeat the 3rd grade.
I’ve never missed a single IEP meeting and I still had no clue how to help my little guy. After 8 years, several speech therapists, working with the school and a trip to Akron Children’s Neurology department, I was frustrated and had zero diagnosis.
I found an outside agency that would evaluate him, for dyslexia and any other learning disabilities and possibly give me some better answers as to how I can help him. After several evaluations, from him, and getting input from both his parents and several teachers that were familiar with him, we did get a diagnosis of intellectual disability. He tested with a lower IQ than most. The psychologist that did the testing explained that it’s going to take him longer to master certain things, than most kids, which is why he believed he was late talking, walking, potty training, and everything in between.
Since he takes longer to process information, the psychologist also stated he would need an average of two years to master the same information that most kids learn in one. He gave us some recommendations on how we could better accommodate Gage in the home and how the school could better accommodate him in the classroom.
- He would need to have instructions broken down into bite size pieces. (He does have an early intervention specialist and small group time for this)
- He would need a lot of visual manipulatives to help him master reading, writing and math.
- It is recommended he be in a smaller classroom, made up of his peers.
- Gage needs to feel like he is making progress and not feel like he is behind everyone else.
- He should not be held to the same standard as the rest of the class – ie. required to pass the standarized testing.
Check back for details on what’s next for Gage and our family
Are you wondering how to keep your style fresh during pregnancy? I managed to avoid buying maternity clothes and still looked cute and stylish.
During my first two pregnancies, I often wore my husband’s clothes – especially in the later months, because nothing else fit.
I don’t really like spending a lot of money on maternity clothes, that only get worn a few times. I’m always looking for the most bang for my buck and some the cutest maternity clothes don’t have a lot.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I vowed to not wear my husband’s clothes; so I could actually look like a girl while pregnant, this final pregnancy.
I did some searching for subscription based companies that offered maternity. I found Le Tote
happened to have just that.
I had used Le Tote
one other time, before and was not super impressed with the selections sent. But I was willing to give it another shot.
They have several packages available in regular clothes and I was so ecstatic that they also had maternity selections.
I have gotten so many compliments on my maternity clothes, this pregnancy. It’s not enough for me to be cute – but also comfortable.
After you select your package, you can add items to your “virtual closet” and your tote is compiled of either pieces in your virtual closet or styles that closely match.
Before you tote is shipped, you get the option to view the tote and swap anything out.
A couple reasons why I love Le Tote
1. I don’t have to drag my kids to the store. Going shopping in a store seems like such a hassle, since having kids. By the time you load up the car, visit 3-4 different stores to find what you are looking for and not to mention trying stuff on…
I love that everything is shipped to my house for me to wear and return.
2. You can keep things if you really want, but the best part about Le Tote
is you get to return everything at the end of the month.
I wear them for the month and I can choose to purchase the ones I love or I can send them all back. I have purchased a few tops that I can still wear after the baby comes.
One of the things I found this pregnancy was I needed breakfast uber fast, to avoid morning sickness. I put together a list of my favorite fast and easy, healthy breakfasts.
Cold and flu season seemed to really take over this year. Are you constantly sick and can’t seem to find your way back to health? As a working mom I don’t have time to be sick. I don’t have time to deal with sick kids and I know you don’t either. We like to keep our immune system boosted as much as possible.
A few years ago, my husband would get sick every time the weather changed! We had a medicine cabinet full of supplements and vitamins – but it didn’t seem to matter.
Would you believe we haven’t been sick in 2+ years – even with two kids in public school!
Things keeping you sick and your immune system compromised
- Processed Foods
- High Stress Levels
- Excess amounts of tobacco, alcohol and other toxins
- Lots of over the counter medicines and antibiotics.
To keep your immune system strong
Eat lots of whole foods and eat most of your meals at home.
Overly processed foods has a lot of chemicals and preservatives and the nutrition quality is depleted. It is best to be eating foods as close to their natural state as possible. Grab my 10-minute breakfast recipes here.
Exercise and move your body daily.
Exercise is a great immune booster. It gets your body moving, blood flowing and helps your body handle other outside stresses better. So get outside, take the dog or the kids for a walk and get moving.
Ditch the toxins out of your diet – this includes excessive amounts of sugar, processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, and alcohol.
The added toxins in the body add unneeded stress. We want to keep stress levels to a minimum, so that when a virus tries to come in your body has the strength to fight it off.
Finally – invest in high quality supplements. You should be using a multi-vitamin, fish oil, calcium and magnesium, at minumum.
Now, I know not everyone eats healthy – all the time. My kids don’t eat a lot of veggies. I do my best but you can only do what you can. It is a good idea to fill in the gaps. Only very few people eat the recommended six to nine servings of vegetables. My kids definitely don’t. Sometimes I don’t even. One thing we do is we have a shake that we use at snack time. It’s got over 21 vitamins and minerals in it.
We get all our vitamins and supplements from Herbalife.
Take in extra vitamin C during high stress and cold and flu season.
One of my favorite products to keep our immune system strong is Best Defense. This has echinacea, zinc, and vitamin C. It is my secret weapon. I just take a tablet and drop it in some water, and then see it fizz. It is orange flavor and the kids love it!!
At back-to-school season, usually right when school is starting up I invest. Yes, your health is an investment. I invest in extra Best Defense. I will just throw these in. Maybe once a week I’ll drink one by myself and then I’ll also pour one for the kids. It’s just a good idea to have this on hand. I take this whenever I’m feeling something come on. I will drink a glass, and usually, within 24 hours it’s gone.
Echinacea is great to boost that immune system. Vitamin C and zinc all help keep your immune system up and keep those defenses from coming into your body, things that we don’t like, the germies that the kids are picking up at school. If you work at a public place, whether you work in retail or you work in a hospital, a doctor’s office, you need to keep your immune system boosted so that your body is able to defend itself from those viruses that are coming in.
Treat yourself and your sweet tooth, with these fat burning chocolate truffles.
Did you know fat is the macro that affects your blood sugar the LEAST?
The past several months, I have been learning more about macros, specifically which macros or combinations to help with fat loss and increasing metabolism. I am learning about the female hormones, how our metabolism works and how to deal with weight loss resistance.
As I am learning, I am also testing on my own body. I am testing different foods, different macros percentages and different workouts. So stay tuned, as I will be sharing more in the future.
High fat and low carb diets have been proven to help with weight loss, especially those in weight loss resistance, insulin resistance and those with a history of diabetes.
Try these mint chocolate truffles – you won’t even know they are actually good for you and will help burn fat! My kids even loved them!
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
2 drops stevia
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pinch pink salt
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Combine in a food processor, roll into balls and chill.
For this recipe, I used 50/50 mint chocolate and Dutch chocolate formula 1 meal replacement, instead of mint extract.
Optional – Combine melted coconut oil and protein powder or raw cocoa powder and drizzle over the balls, for extra chocolatey goodness. We didn’t think it needed it.
Keeping my sweet tooth satisfied has been the #1 thing that has allowed me to be successful and not feel deprived.
Free Download for 10 fast and easy breakfasts
Struggling with motivation? Sorry, but motivation is only temporary, but you can develop discipline. Here are 3 ways I stayed motivated to drop 30 pounds.
At the end of 2013, I hit my rock bottom. I had two kids, I was working from home, making very little money and had a shaky marriage. I had no friends and very little family I could count on. My health was declining, I had no time for myself and I had been struggling with depression on and off for over 5 years.
I needed to make some changes and make them fast.
I stepped into 2014 like I was about to make something happen – but I didn’t know what.
There is a difference between motivation and discipline.
I hear a lot of my clients and potential clients will ask me how do you get motivated? How do you stay motivated?
Motivation is only temporary. 80% of people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions by February 19. 6 weeks into the New Year.
I think it is important to set goals. But let’s be honest. Motivation only lasts a couple hours or a few days. Then, we sink back into old habits, old mindsets and old comfort zones.
The key to hitting your goals is to reverse engineer – make sure you are not biting off more than you can chew. Then, creating daily habits that supports your goals.
It is so easy to set a goal – but it is another thing altogether to change your habits and your lifestyle to reach that goal.
In a matter of a few months, I dropped 30 pounds, got my energy back and started making extra money on the side.
How I did it was super simple – but not easy.
I had UBER focus. I knew where I needed to be and I was laser focused on getting there. I knew taking control of my health was goal #1 to getting my life back on track.
1. I set new goals every month. I was constantly upping myself and going bigger. I was my only competition.
2. I had a daily focus list. I had 3-4 things I focused on every day, until it became second nature. If you want to change something in your life, it starts with something you do daily.
3. Every month was a fresh start. It didn’t matter if I hit my goal from the month before. I started over every single month.
Are you ready to for some change? Grab my focus planner and start hitting those goals!