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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Last Halloween...

Monica was Ariel. This is a picture of her and a friend. They dressed alike for the Trunk 'N Treat held at the school's parking lot.

This year, she is excited to be another Princess, of course. I'll tell in another post!

This post is being linked to the SITS girls blog for an AWESOME giveaway prize. Join us and find out what it is!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Do you play games?

This giveaway is now closed!

I have a fun holiday weekend giveaway to start today! My Blog Spark and Hasbro have teamed up to provide a lucky reader with the game Scribblish!

It's kind of a cross between the historic "telephone game" and pictionary. The players are each given a phrase to draw. Then, they switch drawing papers and have to guess the phrase based on the drawing from the person who handed them the paper. Then, they switch again, and the next round has to give a new phrase to the drawing. At the end, players vote on which final drawing and phrase was the one they started with and which one turned out to be the funniest transition from the original phrase.

I hope this makes sense. I'll post game play pictures after the long weekend so you can get a better understanding of what the game is about. If you want to enter to win your own Scribblish! game, just tell me in the comments what your favorite game was growing up or what your favorite game is now!

The fine print: Hasbro provided me with a free game, information, and the prize pack to the winner through MyBlogSpark.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Water and Diet Coke don't taste the same!

I know. I know. We already knew that, right?

My taste buds have definitely been shell shocked because I took some of the greatly needed advice that you guys left me last week. Thank you all so much for your comments and suggestions.

I don't have Diet Coke in my house anymore. I had my last one last night.

I have only had ONE 12-pack since my last post on Wednesday.

I have been drinking more water in between my caffeinated beverages, coffee and diet coke - which I no longer own stock in, LOL!

I do have some coffee left. I have only been drinking about half a pot of that a day though.

My taste buds don't like water as much as diet coke.

On the bright side, I think I saved an extra roll of toilet paper over the weekend with my lessened intake of liquids.

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm an addict

It began as a light desire for what tasted good.

Yes, I admit that I just "liked" coffee and Diet Coke.

It's not such a problem when you have a regular schedule to keep and you can't have one of those two items on you at all times. You just enjoy it while you can.

That changes, though, when you don't keep a schedule and you are able to have one of those two with you at all times.

It starts off all innocent. Oh, I finished my last one? Better get another.

Then, it became a part of me. It went from being on the table next to me, to my hand, to an attachment on my purse that goes everywhere I do.

When I put it somewhere and I couldn't find it, I got another one out. When I finished that, I got another one out. When I found one I left somewhere and didn't know where it went, I combined it with the one I was currently drinking. (Notice the container size difference?)

It's a big joke when you finally realize just how much you consume. It doesn't affect you personally. And, it's a very socially acceptable addiction. After all, I'm not smoking or doing something really bad for me or anyone else.

It isn't a joke, though, when you realize that Diet Coke has become half of your grocery budget and you only buy it when it's on sale. You say to yourself, I should stop consuming so much of it, right?

So, I bought more coffee. After all, it's cheaper to make yourself.

I was talking with my husband recently. I asked him what I should do. He said, "You should just start weaning yourself off of it." Then, I asked him how I should go about doing that. He said, "You should just limit yourself to, like, one a day."

"Um, Honey, I don't know if you've really been paying attention to what I am telling you. But, when you (I can't believe I'm typing this!) consume a 12-pack a day, only having ONE is like going COLD TURKEY!"

What am I going to drink the rest of the day? I always have something with me. Stitch a seam. Take a drink. Stitch another. Take a drink. Make a blog post. Take a drink after each paragraph. Um, does anyone know how many paragraphs are in my blog posts? A lot. (And all you readers thought I just know that breaking up long posts is easier to read on a computer screen - insert scary, sarcastic laugh here.)

Have you noticed the tension I have in writing about this subject today? It's taken a lot of anxious energy to write this one, LOL! (Just count the number of paragraphs here.) A whole giant cup of coffee has been consumed already in the time I have written this. I am currently out of Diet Coke. Coffee is my back-up caffeine.

Yes, this is a real addiction. It has taken years of habit formation. I have real symptoms when I don't consume any for a few hours - really.

In light of the subject of my last post about eye twitching, I have decided that I need to do something about this addiction. I am starting to wonder if this addiction is part of the cause of my brain not being able to settle down at night to sleep. Although my sleeping issues started last year, for obvious reasons I hope, I can't help but wonder if the caffeine is compounding the problem. Both of these symptoms are causes of eye twitching - fatigue or lack of sleep and the over consumption of caffeine. I can't help but wonder - is this my wake up call?

I do have a doctor's appointment in early November and will be discussing this issue there as well.

Until then, I am asking you lovely readers, what would you do in this situation? How do I go about weaning my caffeine consumption? Do you know anyone who has been in this situation before?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why is my eye twitching?

Or, better yet, why won't my eye stop twitching? That's the question that's been bugging me the most. It hasn't seemed important so I've been trying to ignore it the last few weeks.

Then, I caught this thread on MckMama's forum. She was wondering why her eye was twitching too. Then I realized there were, like, 5 pages of responses from people who had the same problems and links to common sources to the eye twitching problem.

Here are the most common sources of the problem according to Eye Care Basics.com.

Why Does My Eye Twitch?
Eye twitches can be triggered by a variety of different factors. Some of the conditions that cause eye twitches are environmental, some are physiological, and some are psychological in nature. Below is a list of some of the more common causes of eye twitch:

* Fatigue or lack of sleep
* Over consumption of caffeine
* Physical or emotional stress
* Anxiety or phobias
* Brain damage or other neurological disorders
* Associated with temper tantrums (especially in children)
* Eye stress associated with extended viewing of the computer screen
* Epilepsy

The only two I can't really identify with are neurological disorders and epilepsy (in myself, that is, because I have extensive experience in this area of physical ailments). Of the other 6 reasons, I deal with one of them daily from my daughter and the rest pretty much have. me. pegged. That must be the reason BOTH my eyes have been twitching this week!

(Plus, maybe the fact that I tried to post this on my business blog rather than this one. I hope I got it deleted before anyone saw it!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Today is a special day!

First of all, today is Megan's birthday. Happy Birthday, Meggie Meg! Mommy loves you!

Next, today I am officially announcing that a portion of my new e-book, Creating a Back-to-School Handbook for Your Special Needs Child, is available. I wrote this book because when I think about sending a special needs child to school, there is a lot of preparation that's necessary for a smooth transition. When I wrote this post with tips for starting the school year off right, I thought the main thing I could do to help people prepare is tell them what I did every year when Megan started a new school year. Then, I got an even bigger idea. And, my thoughts turned into writing a book. I wrote most of the text for this guide on Megan's first eternal birthday, October 1, 2010.

Creating a Back-to-School Handbook for Your Special Needs Child tells parents of special needs children how to organize the information that the school needs to know about their child. It tells parents what information to write about their child's personality, their medical needs, their daily schedule, and also what the school should do in the event of an emergency. This book is written so that no instructions to the school are left out. The teachers and aids know exactly where to turn when they have a question before they pick up the phone. And, they know which phone numbers to call depending on where the parent may be during the day when it is truly necessary.

Having this tool for your child and the school creates a "win-win" situation. The teachers and aids know exactly what your child needs. They are trained to work with your child specifically. And, you and your child are more comfortable (and less anxious) with the care he or she receives while at school.

This guide is for you if:
1) You are a parent looking for a way to help you organize the information you have to send your child to school.
2) You know a family who could benefit from this guide.
3) You work with a special needs student and their family and want to help them make the best transition to school as possible.
4) You are a school system looking for information to help your staff members learn how to care for special needs children.

To download a copy of Creating a Back-to-School Handbook for Your Special Needs Child, just fill out the form on the left sidebar of this blog and you will receive a link to download Part 1 of the e-book in your welcome e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be shared with anyone. I will only be letting you know when Part 2 of the e-book is available and when other great e-books are ready. (I have several ideas in mind to be written over the next few months. They all pertain to helping parents with special needs children.)

Part 1 details everything a parent needs to know to write their own handbook for their child's care. It is 11 pages full of helpful content!

Part 2 of the e-book is a sample handbook. And, it isn't just a bunch of words. It is the actual handbook for the care of my Megan that we used when we sent her off to school for the day. And, in case you're wondering, it talks about her personality and social needs, her medication and changing schedule, operation instructions for her medical supplies and equipment, and what to do when a piece of equipment isn't working right. This sample handbook is a lot more than 11 pages and may even save a parent some work if they use any of the same equipment that Megan needed. Because of the extent of the personal information and time-saving value shared, Part 2 will not be a free resource. However, it will totally be worth the price!

So, please sign up to receive Part 1 of this awesome tool! If you don't think you can personally use the guide, please Tweet or "like" this post on Facebook using the buttons below to let everyone know that this resource is available. This resource is awesome and could help parents, special needs children, and school officials start a strong relationship with one another.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In case you noticed the form

There is a new form in my left sidebar. It is for receiving free resources, tips, and advance notice of events that are sponsored on Our Special Needs Life. It is also the mode of delivery I have chosen to offer the free portion of my new ebook, "Creating a Back-to-School Handbook for Your Special Needs Child."

I am not quite finished with all the details. However, if you want to know what I've been up to before the "official" post - you can sign up to receive the information and get the link to the ebook now. There may or may not be an attachment showing on the e-mail system emails. You don't have to click it - I'm trying to figure out how it got in there in the first place, LOL! The link to the ebook file is in the body of the "Welcome Email" and not in the header where the paper clip shows. I've spent a lot of time on this today and it's late now. I'm headed to bed. Maybe I'll dream about how all this is going to work in the future and my problem will be solved by morning - a girl can dream, right?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Today is day 365!

If you look down to the left sidebar at the Twitter feed you'll see that it has been 365 days since my Megan went Home! She was rare! treasured! priceless! I have been getting by emotionally lately by not thinking about the fact that today was coming. But, the last couple of days I have been thinking about how I can make today turn into the best that it can for our whole family.

Ken is working today and Monica is attending school. I have been here in my studio working. The only project I have been working on today has been to finish writing the Back-to-School Handbook for Special Needs Children. This handbook is turning out to be really awesome. I haven't released it yet because its a bit more than I was expecting it to be. I think it is really going to help people who have a special needs and/or medically fragile child start an awesome conversation with the school and keep the lines of communication open, honest, and enjoyable.

I am using today to start contributing to my daughter's legacy rather than choosing to succumb to the personal stagnation that grief can create if we allow ourselves to be overcome by it. I am choosing to take each step as I feel led to offer inspiration, help, and hope to those who are living the amazing struggle of caring for their children in unfathomable ways. I can't wait to show you what I've been up to!

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"
Philippians 4:13