Toddler Learning: Puff muffin Tin

8:00 AM

I have so slacked on these posts! Here is a new post on one of our favorite "school" activites!

What You'll Need:
Muffin Tin
Colored "puffs" { you could also use, small colored balls or anything really}
a pair of small tongs
Paper of the color of puffs you choose 

-COLOR: Learning the colors of the puffs. Say them out loud while they are putting them in the tins. "Where does the BLUE go?" "what color is that?" 
-MATCHING: Placing the colored puff with the coordinating color that you put in the bottom of the tin
-FINE MOTOR SKILLS: GREAT pre scissor skills right here! Kennedy {like in the photos, which were taken awhile ago} was use two hands to pick up each puff & now can easily use the tongs with one hand; & now uses scissors GREAT!

I am pretty sure I got all my supplies here from the dollar tree!
I used colored index cards for the bottom of the tin!
Just cut circles & taped it to the bottom! 
Easy, Peasey!
My girl picks this up everyday even when we aren't having "school" time. 
It one of her favorite games, she is always saying "i did it I did it, again? again?"

a few of our color circles are missing from the bottoms here! :)

If your little is new to matching don't sweat it. Is a concept they generally pick up on pretty fast!
With new activities like this it always helps for YOU to do it first a few times.
Make it sound exciting "Hey come & look at this"
Then try to explain matching in words your tot can understand.
I said to kennedy "see this one is yellow? look the bottom is yelllow" & placed it in there then did the next color & so on then repeated!
Also, if your tot doesn't know their colors yet, they can still get this concept! :)

"we found a spot on her brain" pt. 2

8:00 AM

See part 1 HERE

Right after I hung up, I got a call back from the Dr.
The neurologist saw cause for concern & was to come in for a emergency  appt for a MRI.
From the looks of the scan it look like she had, had a stroke.

&; I lost it.
I remember cry/screaming I TOOK HER IN FOR A EAR INFECTION.
I remember saying that over & over to Brandon. We over analized everything about her.
Why wasn't she walking yet? Why wasn't she talking more? What about her leg that drags?
I remember them saying what kind of syndromes were being thrown out there.
But i refrained from google. Which is huge for me.

I seemed like forever but we finally got to the Neuro.
She was also about 98%  it was a stroke.
I could have been one, or it also looked as tho it was made up of 3 spots.
Had there been 3? Was there one that was recent?
The other 2% was horrifying thought of a mass/cyst/tumor.

We talked about all the preterm labor, my pregnancy in general, ALL of the medications I was on.
How that it could be the answer to this.
& I sobbed.
ME. I could be the reason why my baby had this spot on her brain. ME.

 The Neuro decided to do a EEG that day & not overwhelm her with both in one day.
We needed to see if that side of her brain was slowed, if it had any correlation to her foot.

She did so well, her appt was VERY early in the morning since she was supposed to be put under for the MRI.
So they hooked her up to a million wires, while I got to hold her.
I asked to turn down the lights, they turned on Dora & she nursed herself to sleep!

smiling thru it!

The EEG shows no slowing of the side of the brain, & it was was on the wrong siden to be effect her foot. Which was great news.
But we still didnt have any real answers which lied with MRI.

I seemed to take FOREVER for this thing.
The ansesistologist was on vacation {she had to be put under for it} so they had just a "sub" if you will one in & he wasn't there as often.
So we had to sit & wait & think & think which was awful.

Finally the day came.
 It was a over all rough morning. There with a problem with the scheduling & we were told things that werent true.
Like that we would be able to hold her when they put in the meds for her to go to sleep.
It was just one thing after another.
I remember them taking her away & putting her on the stainless steel table.
She had her paci in & they put the med in & just like that her paci fell out.
her mouth hung open & they drapped her little bunny blanket {its her favorite} over her little body.
& i started bawling. I kept thinking she looked dead.
I checked to make sure a few times.
They had to give her another dose because she wouldn't fall asleep.
Then finally they sent us out. I didn't know she would be in that huge room all by herself. That gave me anxiety.
before we went into the MRI suite. Watching Mickey in the Hospital room
55 tiles. There is 55 tiles on the ceiling in that MRI suite from where I was sitting.
Brandon & I didn't say anything to each other.
He was white in the face, he wouldn't even sit down.
I remember in that moment I smiled, thinking she is fine, she is perfect. No matter what this says, my baby is perfect. & now matter what a test says it wouldn't change anything.

I know that seems like the normal thing you are supposed to say, but call me a bad a mom; it wasnt.
I was so sad, thinking something was "wrong" with her.
That is why she wasn't doing this, why she wasn't doing that.

Next I heard the nurse say "Dr I am not picking up on the blood pressure do you want me to go in there"
& my heart sank. Brandon looked like he was gonna punch someone.
The dr ignores her.
2 mins go by & we are just staring at each other in fear.
The nurse says again "dr im still not getting her blood pressure what do you want me to do"
& that is when Brandon marched in there & YELLED at the dr.
He said it was fine, he would see she was fine & to go sit down it was almost over.

Luckily it was, it was the longest 20 minutes of my life.
She came out awake & bubbly; wanting me to hold her.
She was like a newborn, her neck she could barely hold up.
They said we would find out results hopefully in 24-48 hrs & just to just keep calling the neuro & bugging them.
We took her to breakfast, I had to sit in the back with her in case her neck gave or & to just keep a eye on her.
She was SUPER sleepy the next 48 hrs.
We got a call later the next day asking how she was doing & that there had been a irregularity in her blood pressure & make sure she didn't get overly upset or overly excited & to get lots of rest this first 24 hrs. Um 24 hrs? its past that. To which they replied OH, we have down here it was this morning.
Seriously, this hospital was a MESS with their communication.

Monday came & we went to the park. It was beautiful out.
I see the neuros # come up on my cell. & I have my friend stay with the girls while I walked away to hear better.
The results were back.
She had, had a stroke. Mostly likely during pre term labor or during my fast fast birth.
It wasnt three, it was one.
& it was just that.
A spot on her brain that doesn't get blood flow, but it was FINE.
Everything is FINE.
She will have to have follow up MRIs just in 6 months & a year & so fourth to make sure it doesn't get any bigger but the spot is not effecting her!
She was 100% healthy.
I could have fallen to the ground. I was so happy.

We celebrated that night.
& honestly just took a deep breath.
Brandon & I both were just on egg shells, holding our breaths for weeks.

We didn't tell very many people about this because we didn't want to scare anyone & in case, which it did turn out to much of nothing.
But for those that did know?
Thank you for prayers I truly felt GODs precinse in each of the those rooms when she was getting tests done.
I fully believe in the power of prayer & I know that is why my girl is completely healthy & completely perfect in everyway! :)

"We found a spot on her brain"

12:38 PM
I am going to have to break down all of these into more than one post, there is so much I have to write about & I want to remember all of it, to share with her one day.

7 weeks ago Kensley wouldn't sleep.
All she would do was cry, back arching, stiffening, blood curdiling screaming. It went on for hours, & I mean hours. It had been happening the last few days but tonight it was different.
I was up all night with her, I remember sitting saying out loud, WHATS WRONG.
I was "this" close to taking her to the ER, but then she finally settled. She then woke up every 20 mins crying but nothing like the 4-5 hours of non-stop, hyper ventlating crying.

I remember when it clicked. She has a ear infection I had told myself.
I had noticed she was grabbing the sides of her head & ears.

Neither girls had ever had a ear infection but I knew the symptoms.

The next morning I made her appt first thing, & asked my friend Alisha to come over & watch Kennedy.
She got there & I told her I would probally be gone half hour tops, I would just get something for her ears.
Boy was I wrong.

We go into the office & I am explaining what has been going on.
She checked her ears & her ears are perfect.
I litterly was taken back, so I just stood thinking well then what is it?
We brain stormed alittle.
& I brought up Kennedys acid reflux.
We check her throat & do a fast test with this probe thing, no reflux.
I stood there seriously confused.
She left the room to do something & that is when Kensley had a "episode" 
It lasted about 15 mins before the Dr came back in & watched her for a little bit.
At this point im crying, something was wrong & I had no clue how to help her.
I couldnt even hold on her, she was stiffening & arching herself away from me.
& then just like that, the room was filled with Drs.

Asking me questions I thought were so irrelvant. 
Throwing out names, name dropping "syndromes"
Asking about her foot {she drags it}
Before I could blink they were putting a urine bag on her, taking her blood & we were off to get x rays & a CT scan.
Everyone was walking on egg shells around me, & all I could do was cry.

We get the breif CT scan results, that cross off the first immediate concerns like meningitis, & they said they would call me with the written results.

The next morning I get the call.

"Hi, how is kensley doing this morning? We noticed that her sinuses were a little swollen so we are calling in a antibiotic to help with that.  {well that explains it, i thought} We also found something else on the scan that we sent over to the pediatric neurologist, I wasn't even going to mention until we heard back from her but wanted to let you know"
"what do you mean something"
"we found a spot on her brain, its small & its very deep in her brain. If it is something to be concerned about the neurologist will have her come in, but no news is good news."

I remember the room spinning for a split second.
& I stayed completely calm.
It WAS nothing. 
This is completely non-tara-behavior.
I called Brandon & let him know.

Right after I hung up with him, I got a call back from the Dr.
The neurologist saw cause for concern & was to come in for a emergency  appt for a MRI.
From the looks of the scan it look like she had, had a stroke....
Read part 2 HERE!

I am a Mom with ADD

1:46 PM
Can I be real?
I am overwhelmed.
There I said it.

This is vulnerable.
Frankly I am scared to publish this.
But I need to for me.

My senior year of High School I got tested for ADD & low & behold I had it.
Geez, that sounds like some terminal illness.
Growing up I went to several schools, in 4th grade one private school a teacher actually confronted my mother about me being "retarded".
I was far from dumb {academically} but was no means a "star student"
There was just always something that wasnt connecting, or so it seemed.
Thru the years of school everything was more difficult for me mostly because I can not remember a thing. Litterly would forget after being told minutes later, or my mind jumping to something else.
I learned my way around it. 
Getting planners, writing on my hand {which i would get in trouble for} sticky notes, alarms in my phone.
When I was officially "diagnosed" I was put on a medication that made me feel awful. I was off by the end of my senior year.

I really haven't thought about me having me ADD for the longest time. It didn't really effect me.
Until I became a Mom, or really a Stay at Home Mom &
I sat there crying wondering WHY it seemed so hard to remember things. WHY it was so hard to just  it DONE. WHY it seemed so much easier for everyone else.

Its something I have been secretly struggling with pretty badly the past few months.
I jump from one thing to the next all the time.. you know I start cleaning the living room, walk thru the kitchen to throw something away then see the dishes need done, I start doing the dishes go to give kennedy a sippy & see that the play room needs swept.. do you get where I am going with this?

Grant it, to give myself some credit I believe to a certain extent its a "mom thing"
& I have two very young children.

But I am overwhelmed.
Im feeling like a failure. 
If being a momma was a class, I would be getting a big fat F but with a big E for effort.

I broke down & told Brandon.
How lucky am I to have this guy?
It took everything in me but I said I need help right now.
If the dishes are pilling up, it not that i want to see them all; its because i need help with them. When laundry is piling up it isnt because i like to look at my clothes everyday, I need help.
Do you know how hard that was?
SO hard. I am tearing up now, thinking about that conversation.

How can someone that only wanted to be a mom their how life royally be sucking at it?

So I have to DO something about it.

It is hard having a child with ADD/ADHD but what do you do when YOU are the one that has it?

I have a very  low case of ADD. I can compete tasks but some are just harder to GET DONE.
Which was effecting my work & my momma/wife duties.

Heres a few signs of ADD

  • poor organizational skills (home, office, desk, or car is extremely messy and cluttered)
  • tendency to procrastinate
  • trouble starting and finishing projects
  • chronic lateness
  • frequently forgetting appointments, commitments, and deadlines
  • constantly losing or misplacing things (keys, wallet, phone, documents, bills)
  • underestimating the time it will take you to complete tasks
If you were to put bullet points as a "about me" most of those will be on your list. I am never late, but the rest is pretty spot on.

I refuse to take meds for this. I am not un manageable so please dont go thinking I am mental patient over here!

& while on that subject, let me also just say that many people think that ADD makes you not smart, & jumping off the walls; just overall crazy person. One word you think: Ritalin. I am here to tell you that in my case & many others is just not true.

What am I doing to "help myself"?
Write it down, whatever it is just write down! Your gonna forget.
I take a extra step & I put into a to do list app I have on my phone that will notify me {cause lets gets real, ill probably lose that piece of paper}
We are painting a chalkboard wall in the kitchen, this I will write on daily for me to see every time I pass it, which is often.
I keep a paper on my fridge that I dont live by, but helps me with tasks everyday.

Alot of things I just make harder on myself.
My house is far from a disaster {most days} but hardly Pintrest perfect.
& I want it to be somewhere in the middle.

A few things that are helping me?
Getting up BEFORE the girls. Even if its 10 mins I am amazed at what I can get done.
Do a load of laundry everyday, even if its a small load do just one from START to FINISH daily.
Put one of those The Works tablets in the back of the toilet. Spraying down the tub after the girls get out.
 I let things pile up to where it ends up just being more work on myself.

Here list I mentioned above thats on my fridge! 
I modified it from one I already found.
Feel free to pin it, & print for yourself!

I know some of these seem so "duh" but for the reminder when my mind get off track it helps SO much.

So why I am writing this? I am hoping that getting it off my chest will be a little bit of healing. Or maybe to find out if I am alone? 

This has been sitting in my drafts for weeks now, I am just now getting the courage to press "publish".
Ive learned so much from putting my thoughts to "paper". Having ADD doesnt mean I am a bad mom. Does it mean the house is probably gonna be a little messy? Yes. Does it mean I am probably gonna forget about "Hannahs" 5th birthday when the girls are in school, & they will hate me forever, cause mom how could you forget? Probably. Does it mean when they need a certain paper, its gonna take me forever to hunt down where I put it; cause i put it in that special place to help me not forget where i put it & now i don't remember where that spot is ? Most defiantly.

But that doesn't make me a bad mom. I am great, unorganized, messy,forgetful, amazing Mom. 

Kensleys FIRST "Minnie" Birthday!! {decor}

9:13 PM
My Princess is ONE!
My girl is a Mickey/Minnie freak! 
So naturally, Minnie was the theme for her birthday!

My lot in my little mom life is to have cute birthday with doing anything too character-y.
The day I go into party city & get a charcter birthday theme pack, I will cry {even tho I know its lingering in my pre teen future}

One of the biggest misconceptions of; if you will, a "pintrest-y party" is that they are really pricey. & that is just so not true. By making everything while, stressful & time consuming is so much cheaper.
Each party the most money I spend is on the cake & food, which is as it should be :)
Minnie Mouse Birthday

Minnie Mouse Birthday Cake
Oh this cake couldnt have been more perfect!
We go to the same gal as always & she always blows us away!
When I took the cake out of the box to put it on the stand {it was deilvered the night before}
the humitdy from the box mad the cake bubble & the button was hanging off, I almost cried.
we were able to make it look better, but this photo I photoshoped the right button in so it looked better :)

These little center pieces are just three syrofoam balls I painted black, put together by tooth picks. I got a pack of the small bows from Hobby Lobby for .99 & glued them to a tooth pick.
The plastic pot is from the $1 aisle at Target.

The jars, are just Dollar Store Minnie figurines spray painted red, hot glued to the tops of the jars!

The favor bags were plain red.
I cut out the mouse ears & bows from scrapbook paper, & used garage sale stickeres as the dots!

It was the best party!
We were so happy to celebrate our princess!
Happy Birthday Kensley!

Disney on Ice!

8:00 AM
Its no secret, we are Disney freaks.
So when Disney on Ice or live or anything that remotely brings Disney to our town you better believe we will be there with bells on!
We took just Kennedy to this little event, Kensley is just not the type to sit thru just about anything.
& we are really working taking time for just Kennedy to help her behavior!

Our niece was in town so it was nice to spend sometime with her & Brandons family during, also.

Shall we travel down memory lane & look at Kennedy at her first Disney on Ice?

& this year she was cinderella as well.
because well..duh.

why yes those are mini glass slippers.

There are many moments I find myself absorbing. Taking in everything about girls. This night was one of them. Every expression, every "ohh" & "ahh" and "OH MY GOSH MICKEY, BUZZ!" It was pure magic seeing Kennedy that night. That excitement I saw in her that night I will always bottle up!

We spent a little more & was 2 rows up. Totally worth the money!

she downed that popcorn like nobodys business!

Disney on Ice!

We cant wait for next year to take both the girls!

Easter! {better late than never?}

6:02 PM
Oh geez I am always behind.
I keep saying I want keep up on my blogging but the truth is, I will always be playing catch with these two little girls keeping me on my toes.

With First birthday celebration prep in full force why not finally share our easter? :)

The Friday before Easter we went to the local bontaical gardens for their easter day. Holy, who knew out town got so into Easter? Luckily I got the time wrong & we got there earlier because litterly there were HUNDREDS of people lined up outside down & around the street. NUTS.

My mom thankful came with to take on the day with the girls. Outings like this alone by myself  make me sweat. {shout out to the single parents of two little ones, shits hard.}

kennedy designed her own bag :)

sister didnt put down this egg all day! she picked it up & by golly it was HERS.

oh come on mom.

Then on our Saturday they had a Easter egg hunt at the park.
I was pretty bummed this weekend that I had to do this stuff alone {which is normal cause of brandons work schedule but it sucks during fun holiday stuff like this} so my parents came along to this too!
In theory it seemed great. It was broken down into age groups ect.
Well the parents were about ridiculous {you could win a bike} & TRAMPLED kennedy. She was bawling & when we finally got her warm up & there was barely anything left kennedy went for a egg a MAN took it, even tho he saw her going for it! We walked away with one egg & some candy :)


the girls & I!
Then finally EASTER!
I grew up getting Easter bunny prints on my floor, before it was the total rage from pintrest {cough AP } & this was our first year doing it! We had the best day.

the perfect first Easter for this girl!


Easter hunting at Nana & Papas

my mom litterly got them WAGONS full of stuff Easter. 

more easter baskets from Aunt Tiffany!
It was the truly the most perfect First Easter as a family of 4.