ABL denim review and a discount

I was contacted by ABL denim recently and I must say I am impressed.

 

ABL denim isn’t your average pair of jeans. 

This is my first pair of adaptive jeans and I would have to say my favorite part is the higher waste in the back! The color was super stylish and the fabric was incredibly soft. Someone asked me if These would get them out of their sweats. I say yes. They’re almost just as soft as sweats but not quite! 

My girls in chairs would you agree that no matter how great a pair of jeans fit the back is always too low?

What ABL Denim?

ABL Denim is a denim collection with adaptive features making them easier to get on and off. Designed for men, women, and children with disabilities.

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A few of you have you reached out expressing interest in trying these.You can get a discount – just use this code!

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I’m a keynote speaker

I am excited to announce my FIRST OFFICIAL SPEECH!!

I was contacted by Tarleton Universtiy here in Texas to speak at their Diversity and Inclusion conference at the end of March, and to top it off they asked me to be their KEYNOTE speaker! How amazing is that?!

I have my outline finished and I’ve been practicing. I’m incredibly nervous. What will I wear? What do I REALLY have to offer!? You know all that stuff that probably goes through every speakers head.

I am hoping this is the first of many speeches and that I have a new career to not only help support my family but to encourage more people around the globe to never give up no matter what life throws at you.


Valentine’s Day

Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone and this year my husband and I were able to enjoy each other’s company on the actual day! 

We are extremely busy parents to 3 active boys so this is a very rare occurrence. We thought for sure finding a baby sitter on Valentine’s Day just wasn’t going to happen. I know it’s cliché and over rated but it was on my bucket list. 

 Not one week before Valentine’s Day I noticed someone in my neighborhood advertising that they would be watching kids in their daycare center. They are hoping to expand their facility and this is a way to raise awareness and make a little extra money. I jumped at the chance. 

 My husband emailed the manager at our favorite restaurant, Kona Grill, and made arrangements to pick up sushi after he dropped the kids off Saturday.

Why did we choose to pick up food and not go out? 

Why fight the crowds when you can enjoy your favorite meal by candlelight at home?

While he was out taking care of the kids and the food, I prepared dessert and set the table.

Everything was perfect and I hope we can do it again next year!


New home: Formal

We are about to overhaul our Formal living room so I thought it was time to share it with you before that happens. We’ve only been in our house about 6 months, but it is truly our HOME. I LOVE it.

I’ve been on a jewel tone kick (dark reds, deep purples, greens, etc) for quite a while and I am transitioning to a lighter more traditional/nautical vibe while some how incorporating all the gorgeous antiques I inherited from my mother in law. This results in a very eclectic style.

The couch is in fantastic condition so we are going to attempt to make a slipcover for it. If we fail miserably we will sell it.  We are taking our inspiration from Tator Tots and Jell-O and using drop cloths that we will bleach to the right color. White sofas with kids is all the rage right now and I am jumping on the wagon. In all seriousness it GREAT with kids. You can bleach it clean no matter what.  It looks fresh and airy and works with my desired nautical feel.

Win-Win.

Here are a few pictures of the space. I am clearly NOT an expert and home decor photography so just bear with me. 

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Love Story

When I was paralyzed just a little over 15 years ago I knew I still wanted to find love, settle down, get married and make beautiful babies. Nothing was going to stop me.

I just didn’t know I would find this man.
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I didn’t know that we would make these beautiful babies.
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In fact, I didn’t know what our life would look like it all.

Fast-forward just over 12 years and our life is pretty awesome. We just bought our second home, which I’m having a blast decorating. Well I’m planning the decorating. I haven’t done much just yet. I am planning an initial wall in our kitchen and this is my first piece from Personal Creations. I love how it starts with our wedding date! We truly became one.

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We’ve also been homeschooling our 3 children now for just over three years. That’s always amazing but we wonder if it’s the right choice. If we do ever go back, I wouldn’t trade the time we’ve had for anything in the world.

I am beyond blessed that my prince charming can provide well enough for us that I can stay home with our children. There have been times when he’s forgotten flowers or cards but the gift of being home? That makes up for it.

My prince charming and I will be celebrating our13th Valentine’s Day together this year and it is a far cry our first. I still remember what he bought me. Pearls. They were rather lovely, I still wear them. They might be one of my favorite gifts for him.

The part you weren’t expecting? I was in the hospital on this weird air bad that blew sand at me to help with circulation because I couldn’t get up. I was recovering from a surgery to remove a horribly infected pressure sore. We have been engaged five months at this point.

He was with me for better or for worse even before we said I do.

This is the first year in quite a while we will have a sitter for the boys. I will update with a future post on how lovely our date was.


Classical Conversations update

I guess it’s time for a classical conversations update. We made it through our 2nd 6 weeks and the entire FIRST half of cycle 3. Then we had a break. We have now started our 3rd 6 weeks and the second half of cycle 3. 

I’m struggling. I LOVE the community and the WEALTH of information my kids are (mostly) learning. However I keep having this internal struggle. I don’t honestly feel it’s enough. I want to reach out and “double up” with another curriculum. I want something tangible that I can see instead of just hear.

Memory work has it’s place, but I don’t know that it can or should be all there is. The idea is that ALL we need is to drill, drill, drill, and they do more as they get older (Will’s age) and then in Challenge. I’m almost completely certain we will NOT use Classical Conversations (CC) all the way through.

I know that probably doesn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t we follow it all the way through? 

Will is 10 (he would be in 4th grade if we were still at our local school) but at a 5th/6th grade level. In fact we had him tested to re-enter a public charter school and they would place him in the 6th grade. That means he would be in SEVENTH grade next school year (15/16). YIKES.

If we were to stay with CC, he would not be allowed to enter “7th grade” or their Challenge A program until the 17/18 school year. He would basically be “held back” for 2 years. That would NOT be good for him and it goes against every reason we have chosen to homeschool. I’ve had friends explain the reasoning to me time and again and I wholeheartedly disagree. I know what my son capable of. There are many parents that adjust the workload for their kids that are old enough so why couldn’t I do the same!?

Now we are faced with the decision to continue with foundations next year, so we cover all 3 of Classical Conversations years at least one time. Or to move on. We must decide soon as early registration ends early this month. My social butterfly side wants to stay, but I don’t know that it is ideal given the challenge we are facing with challenge.

If we do I will just continue to do what we are doing now. Going over memory work and reading based on our history/science. There are many great book ideas on the Half a hundred acre wood blog.

What does an IDEAL day/week look like in in our Classical Conversations homeschool? Here is our rough schedule and what we HOPE to accomplish every week/day.

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Wednesday

  • We meet with our group from 9-3. We usually stay and clean up until around 3:30
  • Gymnastics at 4:45-5:45
  • Webelos Den meeting at 7 (We plan to change Dens after this week so we will be meeting on Monday at 7 – this will be a HUGE sigh of relief for everyone)

Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday – 

We try to start around 9 – 9:30 … At some point in the day we go over memory work together (Timeline song, last 3-6 weeks of grammar, English & Latin memory work for John 1:1-7, listen to memory work in the car, too.)

Will 

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  • Teaching Textbooks and supplementing with Khan Academy
  • Essentials. He is either working on a Key Word outline, writing a paper, editing it and adding in dress ups/qaulity adjective. I try to get him to work on charts/vocabulary words. We will diagram a sentence 1-2 times a week on a good week
  • Easy Peasy Grade 6 (this is where gets his “meat” and it’s not terribly meaty (I asked his opinion and he said it’s too easy)- He is studying Ancient History, Anatomy, Poetry (learning to interpret and appreciate),  Language Learning (teaching you how to learn other languages… but not an actual language.)
  • He likes to listen in when I’m reading SOTW or other (semi-related) history books
  • Crash Course for History and Science
  • Memory work or Classical Music in the car

Lucas

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  • Singapore Math and/or Life of Fred -we just started Khan Academy.
  • Phonics and copy work. We are slowly making our way through All About Reading (AAR). Sometimes we will work on sight words. We are just starting copy work again and he just copies something relevant to memory work. History, Latin, science, etc
  • We just rediscovered Reading Eggs for the days AAR isn’t working.
  • Literature – We are venturing out and using Easy Peasy with Lucas and reading Classic Stories and Poetry
  • History Reading  – lots of reading related to our history -related history from Story of the World,  history snippets from our curriculum, related timeline cards. historical fiction, biographies, etc. I have NOT been very good at this and I REALLY want to be. Will usually reads on his own but sometimes listens when I’m reading to Lucas
  • Science – this is insanely sporadic and one of my biggest struggles. Science can be SO much fun but keeping it relative to what we are currently learning is a recipe for a headache. I need to dig deeper into Easy Peasy. Surely they have Science that would correspond with our chemistry lessons. I didn’t worry about it to much last semester because we were learning body systems and that was surprisingly easy to supplement. 

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NOTHING formal. He just listens and makes messes while we work. He did discover Reading eggs and Math seeds so he is playing on that.

Tuesday & Thursday

  • Schoolwork from 9-11:45/12
  • Tae Kwon Do from 1 – 1:45 (we leave at 12:30)
  • We usually do errands after
  • Home to relax/finish school
  • Thursday ONLY – HYPER at 5:30 (we leave at 5)

Monday & Friday -

  • School work in no particular order or schedule, BUT I want to to try and make TaeKwonDo classes on 1-2 of these days. That class is at 4:30.
  • Every other Monday we have a Cub Scout meeting at 6:30 for Lucas and 7 for Will. I stay with Lucas for his meeting and Daddy takes Will. Sometimes they are on the ams Monday and sometimes they are not.

My experience: Spinal Cord Injury and Pregnancy

spinal cord injury and pregnancy

Janie jones photography spinal cord injury pregnancy

My experience with spinal cord injury and Pregnancy.

The most pressing question I had for my doctors 15 years ago was about pregnancy. I was 18 and being a mom was incredibly important to me. I couldn’t imagine not experiencing pregnancy.

Let’s fast forward 5 years and I was pregnant for the first time. I didn’t know any other wheelchair mommies. I found an amazing doctor, but I was his first SCI pregnancy patient.

The entire pregnancy was amazing and uneventful. I felt the baby kick around 14-16 weeks. We didn’t take any special precautions. As I neared the end, we discussed delivery. I had titanium rods and couldn’t bare down while lying down. I had huge concerns that I would try pushing and not be able to deliver vaginally. We opted for a medically necessary cesarean. I would go in fresh and I would know exactly what was going to happen.

The only glitch we had was with my epidural. We suspected it wouldn’t work and it didn’t. I have just enough feeling in my lower abdomen that we would have to use general anesthesia. This meant my husband had to wait outside the door. They handed him the baby within minutes and I was nursing less than 30 minutes later.

My second pregnancy was identical to the first, except for a placental abruption that wasn’t related to the SCI.

I saw a high risk doctor for my 3rd pregnancy because of the prior abruption. He didn’t feel it was necessary but my regular OB/GYN wanted the extra set of eyes. The entire pregnancy was uneventful. My water broke at 37 weeks, just 2 hours before my scheduled c-section.

We were planning an early delivery after an amniocentesis showed fully matured lungs. If you aren’t familiar with what an “amnio”centesis is, the doctor injects a needle into your uterus and extracts amniotic fluid that is then sent off for whatever test is necessary.  I had the amnio because I started to feel “off” and we wanted to deliver as early as possible prevent a second abruption.

I would have to say all 3 pregnancies were incredibly normal. 

This post also appeared as part of a larger post on the Push Living blog in November 2014 when I was asked to share my “normal” experience with spinal cord injury and pregnancy.


Arbonne 28 Day clean eating challenge: Day 5-8

I really hate all the drastic weather changes we’ve had. It is really messing with my results, or at least with knowing what is causing my results.

Day 5:

8:30 – Hubby came in to tell me goodbye. I was still SOUNDS asleep. I have been sleeping SO well these last few days. WOW! I’m not waking up to drink water in the middle of the night like I usually do. I had another horrible headache. Mostly the sinuses (and probably lack of nightly water). I took claritin and closed my eyes a bit. Nathan brought me milk and the boys jabbered.

Day 6: OH, MY! I made the BEST EVER fajitas!!!! 

Day 7: We ran into a HUGE challenge. I went to my mom’s and thought we packed everything for my meal. We did NOT! WE had to eat out. I had romaine lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette, grilled shrimp and steamed broccoli. Everything was probably safe but if not “going off track” is better than starving my body.

Week 1 results: DOWN over 5 lbs and one inch. Hmmm. That seems like a lot but I assume it’s water weight.

Day 8: I feel SO much energy and focus today! Hmmm


Childhood innocence

I love finding hidden gems. I wrote and NEVER published this well over a year ago!

Oh, how I love the innocence of my children.

I’m sitting with Lucas while he takes a bath and he is talking about bad guys and asks if a bad guy would draw on the bathtub with a regular crayon.

I said no.

He goes on to tell me things a bad guy does:

He will steal things.

He will destroy your house.

He will leave the electricity on while you are gone.

I love it.

The things kids say and how they relate it to life is just priceless.

He then goes on to tell me that he, Will, and Daddy can do TaeKwonDo on the bad guy but Mommy and Nathan can’t.


Arbonne 28 day clean eating challenge: Day 4

Well, we are on to day 4. I think next week I will move to updating every 2-3 days. I’m sure you must be getting horribly bored.

Day 4

8:30- horrific sinus headache and extremely nauseous this morning. Waiting for my tizzy to cool down. Oh a Tizzy is a detox tea and fizz stick combo.

9:00- okay. I’m down. This might be one of my “headaches”. It’s actually more like a migraine but not really?! I don’t know. I feel like vomiting and can’t keep my eyes open when I have one of these.

11:30- I can finally get up and function. I’m starving. I finish my tizzy and I eat an apple.

12:00-I make a shake. I mostly skipped breakfast so it needs to have more goodness in it. I put a HUGE fist of spinach and tablespoon of almond butter with 9 oz of almond milk and 3 oz of water. It was SO good. Nathan stole about 1/3 of it. Ooops.

2:30-Quick stop home and I’m feeling a little hungry. I eat 4 white bean chips.

6:45- I am finally home and make dinner. It will just have to be a little late. Turkey burgers and spinach/strawberry/almond/red onion salad topped with EVOO and lemon. I wrapped the turkey burgers in romaine. Everything WAS so incredibly amazing.

8:06- I am CRAVING a tortilla of breads something fierce. I thought it would be the coffee/cheese and wine but man!!