A Few for Friday

I wanted to share a menagerie of things this week. I have been crazy busy the past couple weeks. The last week especially. Thank heavens my Mom has been here. She's been soooo understanding and supportive and encouraging of all that I've been doing to keep my own dreams alive. Plus, I've had a lot going on with my kids, which I'll touch on later in this post. I've always been an extremely passionate person when it comes to both my creative side (which has taken the form of my profession and my paper crafting) and my family. I've spent the better part of the last 7.5 years focused entirely on my family. And now that my kids are getting older I am feeling a slight desperation to create, a lot. My Mom understands that need I have, and I am so thankful that she's allowed me, over the last several weeks to indulge that need. She even told me that when we come out in August to stay with her that she'll move her (beloved) sewing machine into my bedroom so that I can create. Wow. That really touched me. I am so thankful. I love you Mom. A couple weeks from now, you'll see something that I am working on for my Mom for being so special, and I can't wait to send it home with her on the plane next week. :)

Here's a little card that I sent in for publication that was passed over, but I LOVE it! It's using Practicing Creativity's For the Love of Dots stamp set. I think I'm slightly obsessed, or maybe it's that I am finally allowing myself to just love what I love, but I am really drawn to yellows and oranges as of late. If you knew me in my real life you'd be surprised because I've always been strongly against yellow and orange. I think probably because my focus has usually been on my home decor and I don't think I'd use it there. Maybe this is just my outlet for getting my orange/yellow on, but I want to use it on just about everything lately - lol!
This is my beautiful girl. She is so wonderful. Intelligent, artistic, loving, funny as all get out, passionate about science, talented piano player; bottom line she's awesome. As is my son. I've mentioned before, that both of my kids have Sensory Processing issues. With my daughter it has been auditory, tactile and oral motor (tastes, temperature of food). With my son it's been vestibular (balance) and proprioceptive (crashing into things on purpose, constant movement, jumping). With my daughter it never visibly affected her schooling so when she was diagnosed back when she was 4, there was very little that occupational therapy and the schools would do for her, and the insurance, forget it - and for $200/half hr session we couldn't afford to take her out of pocket at the time. Fast forward 3 years and last September my sons was diagnosed. In that time our insurance carrier changed through my husband's work, and we were lucky enough to have our son's OT fully covered 1x/week for 6 months. I cannot tell you the change in his behavior. It's been nothing short of miraculous. While my daughter has grown out of many of the acute symptoms that troubled her daily 3 years ago, she still struggles with eating (like a toddler), and many of the social issues that come with kids having sensory issues; hypersensitivity to not getting things "just so", meltdowns, trouble empathizing, etc. 
In the time that has passed, as a family we've made accommodations to try and understand her struggles by researching, reading books and trying to get as much information as possible to make her everyday life more comfortable. Before birthday parties we would talk to her about what she'd encounter, trying to ease the surprise element of all the noise and activity in hopes that she wouldn't freeze up and hide behind one of us or under a table at the worst moments. But we weren't always able to make things better for her. After dozens of similar encounters and leaving playdates early, birthday parties shortly after arriving,  or simply just not going to social functions due to her high level of discomfort, I have come to the conclusion, she still needs help- and that her earlier issues with her sensitivity have "stunted" her social skills. Recently at my son's parent conference, we were discussing my son's improvement with his teacher, and my daughter's similar situation. (God bless his teacher - she's the one who told us originally that she thought he had sensory issues (because his were so different from my daughter's I didn't recognize the signs) She told me about a local group here that sees kids who specifically struggle socially as a result of sensory issues. Hallelujah! So over the last couple weeks, I've been in contact with the group - first an interview with me, then an in depth interview over the phone with the directors, then an intake interview with a group leader and my daughter and me. I felt as though everything in their literature and how they interacted with my daughter were custom-made for her. How could the school system, pediatricians, everyone I've ever discussed her issues with never told me about this before? I admit, I think over the last year or so, I was thinking to myself, things were getting better, but really, were they? Maybe a little, but not enough. But now, I am just so happy, that both my kids are going be in the hands of people who can help them (and us) to live a happier life. It means the world to me. If you know anything about sensory processing issues, it is such as abstract issue, it can be very frustrating to get help because of it's sometimes vague nature.

Okay, enough blabbing about that. One last thing to share on a lighter note! I mentioned earlier that I've been working like a dawg (Go UW!) on publications. Well, I got my biggest lot accepted yet and I am soooo excited! I have to take everything to the post office today. So much fun. It's so affirming to know that what I am doing is inspiring to others. It's really humbling. I feel so blessed and fortunate. Thank you to everyone for always stopping by and leaving sweet comments, they really make my day and it's because of you and for you that I keep creating. :) The card above was one that was also passed over- but I think it's hilarious and I plan on giving it to one of my kid's teacher's at the beginning of the school year. 
Well that's it for now. I hope you have a wonderful Friday and that your weekend is sunny and delightful too! Thank you so much for stopping by!