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
Do you ever feel like time just gets away from you and things tend to suck up all your time, you never actually find time for yourself? So many of us women are so busy keeping everyone else busy, we forget what it is we are actually working toward and can get lost along the way. Summer is the perfect time to hit pause, reflect on what you want and find your way back to bliss.
For me, summer is for fun, freedom and doing nothing and feeling great about it! Doing nothing can be more of a challenge for some of us.
Here are some of the things that should be on your must-do list, this summer, to find that sweet spot of reaching your goals and having fun doing it.
1. Start your morning off with connection: Before the hustle and bustle of your day starts, take time, in the morning, to set your intention for the day, connect with how you most want to feel and visualize your perfect day. Just a few minutes, in the morning, can set the entire tone of the day. Sit down with your morning coffee or tea, put pen to paper and write to your heart’s content. Most of us live in a fast-paced and digital world, but don’t underestimate how writing out your thoughts on paper can affect your entire being.
2. Reflect on your own beauty: These days, everyone is trying to keep up with everyone else. Instead, how about reflecting on how awesome you are – things that no one can take from you. Write down a list of 10 things that are awesome about you, things no one else can duplicate, because they are at the core of you. To take this a step further, try doing mirror work. In the morning, before checking email or social media, look at yourself in the mirror and read off that list, while looking at yourself. When was the last time you told yourself how insanely brilliant you are? Just a warning: this will feel uncomfortable at first.
3. Get outdoors: There is nothing like nature and the sunshine to brighten up your day. There is something about nature that helps ground us and get centered. If you are feeling stressed at work or at home, take a few minutes to get outside, go for a walk or spend a day at the beach. Try walking in the grass or sand in your bare feet and notice how Mother Earth is supporting you.
4. Awaken your plate with color: If you are feeling blah, lighten up your mood and your diet with fresh fruits or vegetables. Start your day with a green smoothie or power up your afternoon with a salad with fresh vegetables and herbs. The more colors you have on your plate, the more antioxidants you are likely to consume. Eat the rainbow, as they say, it can even help knock out depression.
5. Have fun with your workout: Working out is great, but what is even better is if you are having fun. It has been proven if you find something you love, you are more likely to stick with it. If you love adventure, find a hike or waterfall in your area. If you are a social butterfly, enlist a friend to go with you. If you are more into dance, try power yoga or ballet barre, for more fluid movements.
6. Schedule time with family or friends: Wintertime can be a time of solitude, for many. Rev up your mood and your social life with some solid girl time, with close friends or family. Spending time with others has been proven to lessen or prevent depression. Pick up the phone, meet up at the spa or a local coffee shop and share your summer plans, a few belly laughs and maybe even a good cry.
7. Get away in silence: As much as we need to be around others, it is also good to get away and have time for yourself. Having quiet time is the best way to reflect on what it is you really want. Take an afternoon, a weekend or a solo vacation for some much needed time. If you are going with someone, make sure to schedule some downtime, alone. Take a walk alone, take a journal or take yourself to dinner. If you cannot get away, due to other commitments, make sure to unplug from social media one time a week.
Ready for more? I put together my ultimate guide to self-care for you. In this guide, you will discover the power that lies within you, that can bring you back to balance and bliss, get the guide HERE. These are the sacred practices that brought me out of depression and burnout to finding myself again and what it truly means to be happy – not just putting on a happy face.
Do you find it hard to work out because of your tight schedule or crazy chores as a mom? Let’s discuss how you can multitask by taking something you’re already doing and building something you should be doing, like your workouts or drinking more water and how can you build it in and merge those together.
Women, especially those who work full-time jobs, don’t have enough time in the day to do all they really wish to do and they always end up choosing between working out and eating healthy.
When that happens, you will end up feeling resentful over time because everyone else is being taken care of except you. This is when you have to become resourceful and think of how you can do something for yourself, while you are still doing something for someone else.
For instance, I scheduled a call with a team member some time ago, and I thought well, why not just take a walk while we’re chatting and that was how I got my workout in while we were on a call. So for you, it could be having a gym time with a friend, so as you’re still connecting with your friends, you’re still getting your workout in at the same time.
Sometimes, not everything can get done and you may need to cut some stuff out. Other times, there is just a better way.
Things I often ask myself –
- How can this be easier?
- Is there a better way to get this done?
- Is there someone else that can help me?
Are you feeling burnt out by all the things you need to do for work, family, the house? Do you secretly wish you could let something go?
Not long ago, that is how I felt. I worked all day and had no energy in the evenings for my son and didn’t even feel like making dinner. I loved working, but what was the cost? I was giving my best hours to someone else and barely made enough to pay the babysitter.
In this masterclass, I am teaching you how you can work from home, get paid for your brilliance and find more balance in your life.
Today, we are talking about the missing link in your health. This is something for anybody and everybody doesn’t matter your age, your sex. This missing piece may be contributing to other health factors, keeping you sick, keeping you at the doctor’s, and it’s something people that a lot of people are talking about. You may or may not know my story but a few years ago I was always exhausted, I was working 60 hours a week, and even though I was working from home I didn’t have a lot of rest, I didn’t have a lot of play time, I was constantly on the go and I realized that lack of sleep was contributing to a lot of other health issues.
We live in this fast-paced world where we are on the go constantly from early morning and then we’re getting to bed really late. We are always on our phones, watching TV and having really late at night which is disrupting our sleep, a lot of people are only getting anywhere from four to six hours of sleep. What I learned was that lack of sleep can contribute to other health factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
What happens is, when you sleep this is when your body rests, recharges, and this is when your body goes into recovery. Ideally, you would get seven to nine hours of sleep, you would wake up, rested, ready to go for the rest of the next day and have a really focused productive day. However, in our super high fast paced society, most people are not getting that ideal seven to nine hours, and it is contributing to chronic fatigue syndrome, high blood pressure, obesity. Getting that adequate amount of sleep is important.
I recently had to start implementing better sleep habits more consistent bedtime routines. Because I know for me to function at my highest and to be able to wear all these different hats that I wear.. I have to get an adequate amount of sleep, I have to get optimal levels of sleep to perform my best.
Here are some recommendations for getting adequate sleep despite your busy work schedule:
• Get up and go to bed at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you’re working or not working or even on your days off, make sure you’re having that consistency because our body thrives on routine. The more routine that you can build into your day, especially when it comes to getting up the same time and going to bed at the same time, is going to be so helpful in helping you get that restful sleep.
• Make sure you’re not spending too many late night hours on electronics, whether it be your tablet, phone or TV.
• If possible, not taking any caffeine after 4:00 PM can be really helpful.
• Implementing a bedtime routine like an hour before bed can really help your sleep pattern. Find things that allow you to de-stress gets you in a more relaxed state of mind. This could be meditation, yoga, journaling, reading a book, having a cup of tea before bed. Try calming lavender essential oil to help you relax before bed.
These are some things that you can do to start to promote sleep, and when you sleep you can be more relaxed, stay asleep longer, and wake up restful and recharged.
Are you ready for some radical self love? In this guide, I give you everything you need to start feeling like a goddess. Grab it here.
Do you ever wish you could work from home? Even better, do you wish you could get paid for doing something you already do?
I remember thinking “if only I could get paid for drinking wine and hanging out on Pinterest”.
Be careful what you wish for, it may actually come true!
These days, I don’t drink a lot of wine, anymore, but I still have a love for Pinterest and all forms of social media.
Today, nearly 100% of my clients find me on Facebook.
It’s no accident. I am very intentional with how I use my Facebook. The first thing and most important thing I do is to connect with people, and make friends. I don’t carry regular business cards around because they go in my purse and I never look at them again. Actually, I have been meaning to get new cards made, but it isn’t a high priority. I usually just get out my phone and ask them if we can friends on Facebook – I’ve never had anyone tell me no.
Whether you already have a business and want more exposure or if you are wondering how you can work from home, here are some ways to utilize Facebook for business and why it is a great place to connect with potential clients:
Just Be Real
- With Facebook, I am able to connect with anyone because almost everyone has an account these days which makes it much easier for me to just add a person and we can actually interact and be friends. They’re able to see what I’m doing and I don’t have to force my way into their pocketbook. If they want to do business with me they can see me, they can reach out to me. organically, we can connect by seeing the things we have in common. Naturally, we do business with people we know, we like, and we trust and the only way that is going to happen is when you can connect with people and actually just bring them into your circle and just be friends with them.
Share Your Story
- Another way I use Facebook for business is to share my story. I share my story a lot because it is what brings clients to me. I always share my transformational story with my health, my weight loss, and my energy on Facebook and people always want to work with me because they can relate with what I am sharing and this is what attracts people to me. They think, “if you did it I can do it too” and the story is really the glue to your business. If you have a brick and mortar business it might be a little different but if you have a personal brand, you have to sell yourself and the way you do that is with your personal story. People just want to know why you do what you do.
- The third way I use Facebook for business is Education. I like to educate my friends whoever is connected with me about things I’m passionate about. It doesn’t always have to be business related but things that you are really passionate about and others can learn from, for example, I am passionate about health, women, parenting, and children. I’m very passionate about just being a good person so when you can just educate people on what you’re passionate about and why you’re passionate about it people will love that and if they’re passionate about it too, you now have a common thread and they’re likely to relate better with you because you share the same passion.
Facebook is all about connecting and the way I connect is both personal and business because my business is my personal life, my personal life is my business. It’s all intertwined, so I like to let people see that through my social media.
Register for the next masterclass on how you can make money from home
While traveling, most people are stuck between abandoning their healthy eating plans or not traveling at all. It can be tricky to eat healthy while traveling. With a little planning ahead and smart choices, you can stick to a healthy eating plan while traveling.
Let’s talk about snacks for the road and what to take. If you have a long road trip coming up and you are the type that doesn’t like to eat on the road or doesn’t really like the unhealthy options on the road then you will find this travel snacking tips very useful.
Here are some healthy snacks I pack when I am traveling with my family:
• Some hard-boiled eggs.
• Turkey and wraps to make some turkey roll-ups with hummus.
• Protein bars
• Meal replacement shakes for breakfast.
• Beverage mix, it’s got protein in it and it counts as a snack.
• Bananas that are getting a little ripe to make some healthy muffins.
Whenever I travel with my family we like to stay in an Airbnb because we are in and out of meetings the whole weekend. I also love having a kitchen because I can make my own breakfast and dinner, and I can just come down to the refrigerator if I need a midnight snack. I can keep some yogurt, or some eggs in there, and I can just have a snack before bed if I want.
So if you will be staying in a hotel or in a rented Airbnb, try to take things that will be easy for you to put together to make a quick snack or meal and that way you won’t be tempted to snack unhealthily. Some other things that I take along with me are jerky, and cut veggies. I also put either hummus or peanut butter in a mason jar, and cut up celery sticks and just stick them in there. And, that way they’ll just be ready to go.