Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Picking Out his Tie

Tomorrow night Noah will be attending PROM! I know, it seems early for prom not only in early in the year as most proms are usually in April or May but also early age wise since technically he is only a freshmen but this is a special prom. It is called JOY Prom and is a community wide prom for special needs high school age students and young adults with special needs. Each child has a "date" who is a college aged trained volunteer.  There will be hair & make up for the ladies, shoe shines for the guys, a red carpet, and more. I have been looking at other JOY Proms across the country from previous years and they really seem to go all out for these kids! 

I had already signed him up to go and was talking to my Mom about everything when she reminded me that my brother didn’t want to go to his prom so I got a little worried because I realized I didn’t really give Noah a choice. (Bad Momma moment, I know!) So I asked him and he definitely wanted to go! He loves the school dances he has attended thus far and as I explained Prom is a fancier version of the dances so he is pretty excited to go.

Originally we were going to borrow a suit from a friend for Noah to wear but when that fell through we decided to just rent a suit. We wanted to save the tux for his senior year. So we went and had him fitted for the suit and will pick it up later today. 

We let Noah choose the tie
and you won’t be surprised to know that he chose an orange one! 

He’s going to look so handsome in his suit! 

(And yes, I’ll post some pictures sometime after!)

Linked to 5 Minutes for Special Needs

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mamarazzi Defined

I always get a good chuckle when people tell me not to forget pictures when something big or semi-big is going to be happening. I chuckle because I take my camera almost everywhere with me. Seriously, I think it drives J nuts sometimes! My camera even has a name. (It’s Sonia in case you were wondering.) And sometimes I even have two cameras with me!

My Dad has calls me the Mamarazzi. When he sees me walking towards him and Noah with my camera, he’ll say “Noah, here comes the mamarazzi!”

If you have never heard of a Mamarazzi, quite simply it’s the Mom version of the paparazzi.  Quite simply it is the Mom version of paparazzi.

I love the Urban Dictionary’s definition of Mamarazzi.
1. Mothers who constantly follow their children around with several cameras snapping photos at each turn and documenting each milestone or event with at least two dozen photos.
2. Groups of aforementioned mothers
3. When referring to yourself as described above 
Yep, sounds like me!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Quote of the Week: Joy

"Joy is a flower that blooms when you do."
- Unknown

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekend Wonders: The One with Wreaths

I need an everyday in between seasons type wreath because it was definitely time to take down the hearts but feels to early for Easter so I was looking at some wreaths that would work for any season. My faves are below. 

I love this little owl wreath from Love People Like Things and although she calls it a fall wreath, I think you could get away with it in the in between seasons like now too! 

So this isn't technically a wreath I guess but I love different things for front doors. I love this bright and cheery "welcome" door hanging with the Chevron print made by Jen at Tatertots and Jello

You know I have a weakness for damask prints so it's no surprise that this damask wreath from The Patriotic Peacock instantly had my attention. I love the pop of color the pink flowers give. 

I love this initial door hanging created by Maybe Matilda. 

I love this monochromatic wreath over at Fiskars.
Got lots of buttons? This wreath would use 'em up! Head on over to Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo for a how to.

So, what do you hang on your door during the "off seasons"?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Special Testimony

I think that sometimes society over looks special needs children and adults and forgets that they have things to contribute, talents to share, and stories to tell.  

But God doesn't! God sees their talents and puts them to use.

The video below is the perfect example of that. God used this young man to give hope to others. 


Monday, February 20, 2012

Quote of the Week: Reminder

"Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and where you want to be." 
- Unknown

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekend Wonders: For the Walls

I've been looking at different things for my walls this weekend. Some of my favorite finds are below.

Established Canvas Wall Hanging
I love this canvas wall hanging for wedding photos from Treasury of Memories.

Easy to Change Frames
These frames Shanty 2 Chic are bright and colorful. The clip makes it super easy to change out the photo on a regular basis.
I love the classic look of silhouettes. Love Never Fails shares how she made her own silhouettes of her children.

Inexpensive Giant Picture
Sugar Bee Crafts shares how she created this large picture for her daughter's room for under 15 dollars. 

See Vanessa Craft shares how she made her own photo canvas.

Photo Frame Placement
Unsure of how to arrange your photos? Ann Beck Photography shares tons of examples of photo placement. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

She's not Bad

In one of the follow up posts about Noah’s grand mal seizure I mentioned that since the seizure Noah had been blurting out some words. This has slowly continued. It is not consistent by any means but hey, we’ll take what we can get and are overjoyed at anything that comes out of his mouth.

Yesterday morning while I was getting Noah ready for school, I had let his puppy Paisley outside to take care of business and she began barking. Paisley rarely barks so I went to check on her and let her inside. She ran into Noah and was still barking and I said, “Paisley, stop barking. You are being a bad girl!”

Noah looks at me and says, “She’s not bad.” It was a little slurred together. I stopped and said “Did you just say she’s not bad.” He signed yes. Then he said “Nana, Nana.” (That’s not a new word, that’s one of the few words he’s consistently said for years now.”

After a minute, it dawned on me. Once when I had told Paisley she was a bad girl in front of my Mom, she said, “Paisley is not a bad girl, she is just behaving badly.” THAT is what we he was trying to tell me by saying “She’s not bad.”

I don’t know if/how long/how much will come of Noah’s talking, but I’m treasuring every single word and the deeper glimpses I’m getting of my son’s personality through his words.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Eating Out with Noah

Around the time that Noah was about 7 years old we stopped eating out at restaurants. I hated that we had to do that because we had been having lunch or dinner on Sundays out with my parents but it had just become too overwhelming for Noah and he’d have meltdowns and you could tell he was just miserable. Plus that made it un-enjoyable for all of us. So we stopped.

In the past year, Noah has grown up so much. He wants to do things or is able to do things that I never thought he’d want to do, like art projects and painting or attending the Christmas Eve Candlelight Church Service so recently J and I decided to give eating out a try. Over Christmas break at my parents, Noah had eaten chips and cheese dip that had been brought home from the Mexican restaurant and really enjoyed them so we chose a small Mexican restaurant. We sat at a booth and Noah sat in his wheelchair at the end of the table and did so well. His behavior was awesome. He didn’t get loud or upset and he just loved the chips and cheese dip and made a mess (he even had cheese dip in his hair!) but we didn’t care; we were just happy he was being so well behaved!

The next Saturday night, we found ourselves without a PCA and on that side of town again. Noah pointed in the direction of the Mexican restaurant and signed please so we tried it again. I kind of wanted to see if the first time had been some sort of fluke or something but nope, it wasn’t a fluke. He did awesome again!

J and I decided to get really brave and this past Saturday asked my parents if they wanted to have dinner with us – and Noah! – in honor of J’s birthday. I was nervous about the aspect of bringing them along (at times in the past Noah has become more overwhelmed when it’s all of us) but wanted to give it a try.

I’m happy to report, that once again, Noah was AWESOME! He behaved so well and happily sat next to his Granddad. He ate well, chatted a little bit, and even though it was really loud (and there was even a baby crying nearby at one point which usually upsets him) he never got upset or acted out at all.

It seems so normal doesn’t it, to have dinner at a restaurant with your family? The second Saturday, I remember looking across the booth at J, smiling, and saying, "This feels so normal." But it’s something that many of us probably take for granted. I know I did before and I’m just thankful that for now, we are able to enjoy an occasional dinner out as a family.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day and Birthday!

First of all, I hope all of you are having a great Valentine's Day and have shared the love with someone in your lives! Noah took his Valentines to school today and was SO excited for the Valentine's Day dance! He had a great time and came home telling me all about it. 

Secondly, Valentine's Day is also MY Valentine's birthday so I want to take a minute and wish my sweets  an awesome birthday! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Noah's Valentines

I gave Noah several choices for Valentine's for his classmates. I thought a version of this pop rocks Valentine would be cute and age appropriate but I guess he wasn't feeling it. My personal favorite was a version of this Valentine with chocolate lips but he wasn't feeling that one either. 

Ultimately, he chose this free bag printable bag topper from I Heart Faces in which we added his photo. We stapled it to a ziploc bag that we put some candy in. 

He's happy with them and excited for the dance at school tomorrow! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Quote of the Week: The Best in You

"Let go of those who bring you down and surround yourself with those who lift you up and those who bring out the best in you."
- Author Unknown

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Weekend Wonders: Sweet Treats for Valentine's

Looking for some sweet treats to show your loved ones how much you care? There are some great ideas in the blogosphere. My faves are below. 

Heart Shaped Cinnamon Rolls
Start the day off right with some Heart Shaped Cinnamon Rolls. Poppies at Play shares the how to.

Conversation Heart Cheesecakes
If my hubby liked cheesecake as much as I do, I'd definately be making these Cheesecake Conversation Hearts shared at Hungry Happenings.

Love Mix
Natalie at Johnny in a Dress shares this "love mix" which consists of M&Ms, marshmellows, and cheerios. This would be a great Vday treat for lunch boxes!

Heart Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip
These heart shaped fruit kabobs at It's All in my Head are a great alternative to all the sweets.

Vday Parfait
This parfait from Bee in our Bonet is festive and sweet.

Strawberry Oreos
Thirty Handmade Days shares yummy looking heart shaped strawberry oreos.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Winter 2012 Parent/Teacher Conference

In the 15 years I have been Noah’s Momma Bear I have attended many Parent/Teacher conferences. In fact, I have come to dread them. It seemed like all they would do is tell me all the things Noah couldn’t do or was doing wrong. I’d usually go home and cry after them.

Tuesday we had the winter Parent/Teacher conference with Noah’s teacher and let me just tell you it was the best conference I have attended. He’s had the same teacher for several years now so we have had conferences with her before and she is usually pretty good at giving us a mixture of the good and bad. But this time, she honestly had hardly anything bad to say and she just couldn’t stop gushing about how good Noah is doing.

My baby has gone from being a problem child with big time behavior issues to one of the leaders and helpers in the class. He is working on the computer independently (yes, ALL. BY. HIMSELF.) for 20-30 minutes at a time. We got to watch him work on the program and I was really impressed.  There was one point where he was about to get an answer wrong and he realized it and corrected himself with no prompting.

One of my favorite stories his teacher told us is that Noah is responsible for recycling the plastics in the classroom and will put them in a recycling bin that is in between two classrooms. When he first started doing it, he would take his teacher’s soda bottle when it was full! It made me giggle because I can just see him doing that – he did the same thing when he was learning to conserve energy by turning off the lights.  He’d turn the lights off when we were in the room so we had to quickly add “when no one is in the room” to that and his teacher has quickly had to add “when the bottles are empty” to his current task.

These may seem like small things to some parents but to us they are HUGE things. I’m always proud of my boy – but today I’m even more proud than usual. (If that’s possible!)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine's Day Mantel

I figured I should hurry up and show you my Valentine's Day mantel before Valentine's Day comes and goes! 

The mantel all festive and lovey.

On the right side of the mantel is some Valentine's themed subway art, a faux bubble gum machine containing red heart candies, and a vase filled with glittery hearts left over from a project from last year. 

In the middle of the mantel are the love candles I recently made sitting on scattered rose petals. 

On the left side of the mantel is my chalkboard frame with a pic of me and my honey and my Valentine's tree.
I think a mantel isn't complete without garland or a banner of some sort. I created this heart garland by cutting a bazillion hearts out of felt and then hot gluing them onto ribbon.

And that's it!

(Linking to the parties listed in my sidebar)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Noah's New AFOs

Back before Christmas, Noah was fitted for new AFOs. (AFO stands for ankle foot orthosis and is basically a brace that goes on over the socks and supports the ankle and foot.) Children can get decorative AFOs that have a pattern (clouds with butterflies, camouflage, etc) on them or you can get AFOs with "tattoos" that have an image on the back of the AFO. 

Noah got to choose the design for his AFOs and of course his eyes went straight to the Clemson designs. He couldn't choose between the orange tiger paw or the tiger so he ended up with this........

One of each! 


Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Tree

I wanted to add something a little different to my Valentine's Day decor this year so I decided to make a little Valentine's tree. 

Let me tell you what I did......

I started off with one of the little trees that the Dollar Tree currently has in their Easter section. I also bought two packages of Valentine's foam stickers at WalMart for 97 cents each. I also used red, pink, and white ribbon which I already had. 

Making the "ornaments" was super complicated. (Picture me saying that dripping with sarcasm.) I simply found two stickers in the package that were alike and peeled off the backing, looped a ribbon and placed it on the back of the sticker, and then stuck the two stickers together. I told ya - super complicated! 

The base of the tree (it was in a pink pot) looked kind of plain. I remembered a little box I had leftover from last year and thought it might work if the pot would fit inside it. It fit perfectly! Then I just added some red paper shreds. 

Love how cute it turned out!

(Linking up to the parties listed in my sidebar)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Quote of the Week: Love

"Let all that you do be done in love."
1 Corinthians 16:14

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Weekend Wonders: Valentine's Day Printables

I've seen so many cute Valentine's Day themed printables lately. Some can be printed, framed, and used as decor while others are actual Valentine's that can be given to friends or family.

Valentine's Day Subway Art
I love subway art because you just simply print and frame it. This cute subway art was created by Pink Polka Dot Creations.

Love Grows Bookmarks
Ella Emmet shares these cute bookmarks that say "Love Grows." Simply print on cardstock, then cut them a part.  

Valentine's Day Word Search and Coloring Pages
A Creative Mamma shares some cute activity cards for kids.

A True Love Story Printable
The gals at Eighteen25 share this cute printable. Pop it in a frame for instant decor.

Cupcake Toppers
These festive cupcake toppers at Anna and Blue Paperie are adorable. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Being Real

It’s Friday – the day where I join other bloggers and take five short minutes to just write from the heart. Five Minute Friday is hosted by Gypsy Mama and this week’s prompt is REAL. 

The first thing I thought of when I saw that this week's prompt was the word real is a song called What if we were Real by one of my favorite {Christian} artists, Mandisa.

The chorus says,
“We keep tryin to make it look so nice
And we keep hidin' what's goin on inside
But what if I share my brokenness
What if you share how you feel
And what if we weren't afraid of this crazy mess
What if we were real?”

I think sometimes as women, wives, and Moms we are afraid to be 100 percent real. We feel like we are supposed to be multi-tasking with a smile on our faces and have it all together but truthfully, no one has it all together all the time. But this song reminds me that it is OK to be real, that we should be real. It's OK to hurt, cry, and be afraid.

I have tried really hard in the past couple of years to be real on this blog especially in regards to Noah and the trials and triumphs of raising a child with special needs. I’ve shared good times and bad, laughter and tears, and fears as dreams. It’s not always easy to be real and admit that things aren’t perfect or even near perfect all the time but I feel in being real I will be able to connect with others on a deeper level and will gain healing through my writings.

What if we were all real and transparent? Then no one would have a reason to feel bad because they’d see not everyone has it all together all the time!

In closing, I invite you to listen to Mandisa’s song, What if we Were Real?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Love Candles

I finally got some mojo and crafted a little something. This is the first crafting I have done since before Christmas! Shocking isn't it?

So I created something new for my Valentine's Day decor.

This was a simple and quick project. Seriously, it took me about 15 minutes (if that long).

I started with 4 battery operated pillar sized candles, scrapbooking paper, red cardstock, and regular old tape. (I prefer to use the battery operated candles instead of regular candles as I just feel they are safer with children and pets but you could of course use real candles although I wouldn't suggest lighting them.)

Using a candle as a guide, I cut my scrapbook paper to the size of the candle. I wrapped the paper around the candle and secured it in the back with tape so I can use the candles again. I cut the letters out of red cardstock using my Silhouette machine but you could always use stickers if you don't have a cutting machine. I ran the letters through my Xyron Sticker Machine and stuck one on each candle and called it done!

Linking up to the parties listed in my sidebar