Tuesday, February 28, 2017

OT Graduation

Our Autism journey has been filled with so many ups and downs since it begin back in the early part of 2014. I can still remember the night I walked upstairs and told my parents I thought something was wrong with Harper-Lynn.  They felt the same the way.  That next day I called her pediatrician and we started on a long journey of answers.  

One of the stops on our journey has been occupational therapy at McKenna Farms in Dallas, GA.  I can't say enough great things about this place and about the therapists who work there. I truly believe Harper-Lynn's OT, Rachel, was handpicked just for her by God.  Today has marked two and half years of working with her. I'm happy to report it is "graduation" day for my little girl.  

I could never really do justice with words in how Rachel has helped Harper-Lynn.  She has been so much more than a therapist.  She's been an encouraging, enforcer, friend, confidant, cheerleader and supporter.  Rachel fulfilled her life's calling when she chose to be an occupational therapist. Her love of children coupled with her patience make her the perfect person for this kind of job.  

I look back on these two and a half years and see the amazing effect they've had on my daughter.  We leave McKenna Farms not because Harper-Lynn no longer has Autism, but because together we've learned how to help her and Rachel has given us strategies and techniques to conquer issues that may arise. And, if down the road we need to see Rachel again, I know we'll do it.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

My Little Model

Harper-Lynn tried to model last year for the first time in about a nearly 2 year span. It didn't go too well.  When she was asked to model recently I didn't know if I should say yes or no.  I did end of saying yes and am so glad I did.  My precious girl gave it everything she had at the model shoot.  I really feel like her personality shined through in each shot.  

I'm thankful for the opportunity to do this and see just how much she's blossomed and grown. Sometimes mommies of special needs children need moments like these to show us the progress our children have made.  Harper-Lynn has definitely made progress! So much so that this Tuesday is our LAST occupational therapy appointment after two and a half years.  I'm definitely a #ProudMommy!

Here are some of my favorite shots of the shirts and jean jackets H modeled...

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

U.S. Space and Rocket Museum


The kids are on winter break for a few days this week so my sister and I took them to the U.S. Space and Rocket Museum in Huntsville, Alabama yesterday.  We wanted to go back in December but it didn't work out. I'm glad we ended up waiting because the weather was a perfect 75 degrees! I was surprised with how massive the campus is.  I would describe it as a graveyard for rocket ships and their parts.  We had a blast! There was definitely a variety of things to do inside and out and a good variety of things for all ages, too.  4 and under are FREE so I just paid $24 for my ticket.  It was worth that and much more in my opinion.  

It would figure two new exhibits open today, the day AFTER we were there,  so of course we'll have to go back in the coming months to experience them! 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fairy Princess Ball 2017


Last night Harper-Lynn attended the Fairy Princess Ball with my dad, her "Pop," held by our county. She was absolutely radiant when she was all dressed up and ready to head out.  

Sadly, I wasn't sure if she was going to go after all the preparation my dad and I put into it.  H's Autism started rearing it's ugly head about an hour and a half before they were set to leave.  After two mega meltdowns she asked for a second chance and I was more than happy to oblige.  I'm pretty certain her anxiety was to blame.

If you read this blog then you know we started her on anxiety medicine back in December.  I've noticed an incredible change in her mood swings. In fact, she's hardly had any meltdowns besides the ones from last night.  In all honesty, if her anxiety had kept her from going last night I would have been okay with it.  I've learned not to push her into doing things as they will come in time.  I am thankful she did go, though.  She and her "date" had a wonderful time and she couldn't wait to tell me all about it when she got home.  

This morning she woke up and told me she was ready to go to the Ball again tonight! ha! The sadness on her face when I explained it would be about another year before she goes again.  We do plan on attending a local Mad Hatter Tea Party next month so she still has something fun to look forward to!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Day 1

After talking about it...thinking about it...dreaming about it...pretending I didn't dream about it...today is the day! Today I started my weight-loss journey.  I'm doing it the good ole fashioned way...blood, sweat and tears...JUST KIDDING! ha! There may be some tears though. Anyway, my plan is to do it by altering my diet and MOVING! I plan on working out every single day in some way. Today I walked for 40 minutes while Harper-Lynn had her occupational therapy.  Tomorrow it will probably be at a local park since it's going to be much warmer outside. 

I can't live like this anymore.  I'm too ashamed to post my starting weight.  I know it, God knows it and my doctors know it. We'll just leave it there! 

I've given every part of my life to God, but this is the ONE thing I just seem to always hold onto. Probably because it's the hardest for me.  I know I need to treat my body like a temple.  My current lifestyle is definitely not doing that.  

I've always struggled with my weight.  When I lost 164 pounds over a 20-month period before I got pregnant, I was the smallest I'd been since middle school.  

I can't really say I've set a goal of where I'd like to end up on the scale.  Before I got pregnant I was 220 pounds, wearing a size 12 ladies pants/dress/shorts and size large shirt.  I guess that will be my goal for now. Ultimately probably 175ish.  We'll see.  

So what's my plan for the road ahead? Last month I stopped drinking diet soda and anything with a sugar-free substitute.  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be! I'm down to one regular soda a day.  My water consumption was pretty much NOTHING...now it's 40-60 ounces per day.  A huge difference from where I was one month ago! I'm hoping to stop drinking soda completely by the start of February.

I'm going to do a low-carb diet with no pasta or fried foods at all. I will be keeping fruit in my diet even though it's not really part of a low-carb diet.  Overall, I'm just going to make better choices. 

I'm ready to take this step, reclaim my body and change my life! Here is goes...

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A New Year...at the HOSPITAL!

I have the worst case of "mommy guilt" EVER! And I HATE, HATE, HATE Autism!!! 

About 3-4 weeks ago Harper-Lynn had an infection.  She had sinus drainage, a little facial swelling, but NEVER ONCE COMPLAINED. Apparently she was probably in a lot of pain, but with her Autism she rarely acknowledges pain.  

Fast forward about 4 days and her infection seemed to clear up on its own.  I was so thrilled! Since she had her two sinus surgeries over the summer she's had very few infections which have meant very few antibiotics.  This was wonderful.  

About 2-3 weeks ago Harper-Lynn started scrunching up the right side of her face to talk.  She was also still chewing her fingers and I knew she was about to start medicine for her anxiety so I didn't think much of it.  

Over school break the scrunching up her right side has gotten worse.  I've been treating it as another thing from her Autism and constantly trying to correct what I assumed was a behavioral thing she could control. I couldn't be more wrong!

Last night Harper-Lynn wanted to spend the night with my sister.  When I picked her up this morning my sister was insistent that there was something wrong with H's face and I needed to get it checked out. 

I'm not sure why I felt so pushed to do something after her comments, but I am soooooo thankful I did! I called Harper-Lynn's neurologist once we got home.  Their office is closed until Tuesday, but the person I spoke with said to get her to the hospital as soon as possible.  Well that's enough to scare a mom!

We packed up and off to Scottish Rite we went.  I checked us in and they immediately took us back to a room before we could even go to Triage. I tried hard not to look at the faces of the parents sitting in the waiting room hoping their child would be the next to go back.  It was filled to capacity! 

Of course, the staff at SR is amazing! They were so wonderful with Harper-Lynn, and me when I had a little breakdown.  Turns out Harper-Lynn has Bell's Palsy.  She has paralysis on the left side of her face which is why the right side was scrunching up so much. Unfortunately, there is nothing they can do to help her since she missed that window of treatment back 3-4 weeks when she had that sinus infection. I feel HORRIBLE! 

I take her to the doctor for everything and the ONE TIME I try to not go the course of antibiotics it turns out to be something very serious.  We're home from the hospital and will follow up with H's neurologist within the week.  

Once we see her neurologist I'll update.  Until then, please pray for her. The doctor said it can take up to 6 months to recover and in some cases it can be permanent.   I still can't believe this has happened. My poor little girl already has been through so much and now this! 

*Thank you to everyone who has called, messaged, Facebooked and/or wanted to come to the hospital to be with us. I appreciate all of your love and support! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2017 Goals


I learned many years ago not to set New Year's Resolutions.  All it did was set me up for utter failure! A few years back I started referring to them as "goals" and it really made them so much more reachable. 

I have really simplified my life a lot the past year.  2016 has been my best year in a very long time. I'm happier than I can remember being.  My relationship with Christ is what I've always wanted it to be and that has been reflected in every area of my life. I'm FAR from perfect, but more content and happy with the person He's molded me to be. 

This year I'd like to:

1. Lose 50 pounds.  I can't keep hoping for it to happen. I've just got to do it.  Plain and simple.  

2. Be living in our own apartment by the end of the year. We've lived with my parents for just over three years.  It's time to be in a bigger space.  Harper-Lynn needs her own room and I want my own kitchen again.  

3. Average one wedding per month. This is vital to that whole moving out thing!

4. Do something WAY out of my comfort zone.  Not sure yet what that will be, but it's going to be BIG!

5. Lead at least ONE person to Christ.