“How to be a HAPPY special needs parent”

Working as a team.

  1. My husband and I came up with a genius sleep schedule, and may not work for everybody, but to keep everyone happy (including Mommy) sleep is important. Since I am a stay at home mom I get up during the week days at night whenever Conner is having seizures, or whatever the issue is. On the weekends my husband takes over Friday and Saturday night. I use ear plugs to have a quiet peaceful sleep and even though it’s only two nights, it does make a huge difference!
  2. Stop keeping count of who last did what. My husband and I have done this a lot in the past. “Babe, can you please give Conner his medicine?” “But I fed him all night I thought you would do it.” “But I have to take a shower and get ready to take him to the doctor” STOP IT! All that matters is, is you are each equally contributing to your child’s needs. This will save a lot of arguments! 😉 If you know something needs to be done, why not buck up and just get it done if you can.
  3. Having disagreements when it comes to your child is only natural, but its best to express your opinion lovingly. When Joel and I were new special needs parents, Joel thought I was over reacting every time Conner did something weird. I sat him down and told him WHY I did this. I explained to him that the constant worry I was experiencing was taking its toll, and the only way I could cope was to make sure I did my very best at being in tune with Conner and if I was over reacting, I felt that it was better to be safe than sorry. After a while Joel saw that sometimes if I hadn’t been worried about it, things could have taking a turn for the worst. I don’t mean the wife is always right, sometimes the father can be right too lol, there have been lots of times when Joel had to explain how he felt about a situation. Give each other a chance to speak up, but never belittle each other in front of family, friends, or medical staff. Stay on the same page as much as possible. Come up with a plan for each situation that may arise. It will help things go smoother. That I promise!

Say no! Those of you that know me…you are going to think “Huh, she should listen to her own advice!” This is so true, but I have learned that when I say “No” to extra things I know I am doing myself a favor. I love helping people out because it helps me get my mind off of my own stress, and I know people appreciate the help! There are times though I say “Yes” too often and I end up becoming overwhelmed. So on top of taking care of my special needs son, my 4 year old daughter, being a wife, and a busy Christian (Jehovah’s Witness), I choose to put too much on myself and I just crumble under the pressure. DON’T DO THIS TO YOURSELF. Know your limits. Your friends and family will understand…

Beautiful inside and out. To begin with, being a special needs parent automatically makes you beautiful inside. What about outside? I’m not talking perfection here… BUT! Have you noticed when you put extra effort towards your hair and makeup it actually benefits you more than others? (Of course, I am doing everyone a favor by putting my face on, otherwise I would be ran out of town with pitchforks lol) I have noticed whenever I take a few extra minutes on my makeup, I feel at least 2x better than if I don’t. There is nothing wrong with sweats, messy buns, and naked faces! I am all for that! Try dedicating more time tomorrow for getting ready and see how you feel.

Romance. Why is romance important? Well that should be obvious! See my other blog…http://onerummymother.com/2015/01/13/never-neglect-date-nights-again/

Quiet time. Of course you all know I am a HUGE Quiet time advocate! See my other blog….http://onerummymother.com/2015/01/21/mommy-needs-quiet-time/

Ask for help. Don’t ever be ashamed to ask for help. We all need help time to time. I couldn’t be a special needs mom without the help of my family, friends, and support groups. Knowing you have people there to help you will put your mind at ease. If you keep trying to take on the world alone, you will fall apart, but with support, your peeps will keep you strong when you most need it. Even when you don’t need them, just knowing they are there for you can be really comforting.

Night out with friends. I try to make this a monthly priority. For you special needs moms and dads, you have got to take time away from home to be with your friends, and try your best not talk about your kids. Though it may be hard because they consume every second of the day usually and love them so much, but having some normal conversations is healthy and it’s okay, don’t feel bad. Remember, if you aren’t happy then your kids won’t be happy. Make time for you and your friends to just hang out.

Online support group. Since my son was first hospitalized I connected with other parents online via Facebook, Inspire, etc… The support was at times overwhelming! I would post about a bad day and I would instantly have over 20 comments posted. All to encourage and to keep us going. At times, I know you agree, you don’t even answer your family’s phone calls. Somehow getting online is my favorite way of receiving support. Not that my family doesn’t give great support because they do, but accessing the internet and talking with other parents saves my voice from cracking and emotional break downs over the phone, which I avoid at all costs. LOL

Dedicated family time. Family time, I know, can seem rare because of all the stress from therapy, doctor appointments, just everyday life with a special needs child but just take a moment to clear your mind and ask yourself these questions “How can I be happy?” This is one of my favorite quotes “Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to be like and celebrating it for everything that it is”- Mandy hale. We get so caught up with our busy lives that we forget what life is all about. My favorite thing to do is just sit and watch my kids play on the floor. I always think to myself how much time flies. I have to gobble up all of this cuteness and enjoy time with my family. We shut the TV off, and our phones and just relax, and listen to your kids play. That is how I celebrate the life I have. I listen… Also see http://onerummymother.com/2015/01/20/how-to-find-happiness-after-life-hands-your-family-lemons/

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Time to Upgrade yours child’s immune system

Time to Upgrade yours child’s immune system

Sometimes our computers pick up virus’ that can slow down it’s thinking. The best way to keep this from happening is to download a good anti-virus. The same can be likened to your child and self! We can easily pick up nasty germs from grocery carts, door handles etc…Here are a few ways to upgrade your child’s “anti-virus program” Immune system.

  1. Enough Sleep.

There is an old wives tale that says “If you don’t sleep well, you will get sick” This statement is actually true! Our immune system is designed to protect us from colds, flu, and other ailments, but when it is not working properly, it fails to do its job. The results can be awful!

“A lot of studies show our T-cells go down if we are sleep deprived,” Balachandran says. “And inflammatory cytokines go up. … This could potentially lead to the greater risk of developing a cold or flu.” What are T-cells? It is a cell that participates in the immune response.

Not enough sleep can suppress immune system function. So try putting your kids to bed maybe a little earlier? And if you haven’t established a bed time routine, you’re crazy! LOL

  1. Essential Oils.

Thieves’ oil. Thieves is a blend of essential oils including Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon bark, Eucalyptus and Rosemary. I rub 2-3 drops undiluted on the bottoms of our feet daily. You can also diffuse it! Here is the link to go get some delivered to your door! It is called OnGuard through this website. http://www.doterra-aromatics.com/products/blends/onGuard.html

3. Probiotics.

Our bodies are filled with billions of types of bacteria that help fight off infections and maintain healthy organs. Consuming the right kind of bacteria can actually help your immune system. Probiotics are a good bacteria that can benefit you in a lot of way. What foods are filled with probiotics? Organic yogurt, Miso, Kefir, Kampuchea, Fermented Cheeses, and Fermented Vegetables are some of the foods I am aware of.

  1. Fruits & Veggies.

Here are a few great foods to eat with great immune system benefits. Kiwi, Garlic, spinach, carrots, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and berries.

It’s obviously difficult to get our kiddos to eat just anything. My favorite way to get my little one to eat them is by only setting their veggies and fruits on the plate first. They must eat all of their veggies and fruits before they receive the rest of their meal. Obviously everyone has different likes and dislikes. I don’t believe in pushing children to like something they just don’t. I have my likes and dislikes. I wouldn’t like anyone telling me I have to eat something I hate, but there is a limit. If your child is straight up rejecting quite a few fruits and veggies just keep offering it. Don’t make a huge deal, and make them feel bad for not eating it. This can result in the opposite of the direction you would like to go.

  1. Toss those chemicals!!

Prolonged and excessive consumption of refined sugars and highly processed foods containing pesticides, chemical additives, and preservatives can weaken the immune system and make you vulnerable to developing chronic conditions.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria is significantly hampered for up to 5 hours after eating 100 gm of sugar (equivalent to three cans of sweetened soft drink).

So go walk to your kitchen and toss that crap stuff away!

  1. Get moving!

When you exercise regularly with your kiddos, there are a number of things that benefit yours and their body. Your heart gets stronger and is able to pump more blood throughout your body when you exercise. Your lungs get better equipped at handling oxygen and dishing it out to the rest of your body. Your muscles also get stronger as you use them more often. Your child’s immune system is no different.

Doctors have found that exercise can boost your immune system by providing a boost to the cells in your body that are assigned to attack bacteria. These cells appear to work more slowly in kids who don’t exercise than in those that do.

  1. Vitamin D

You may find it surprising that vitamin D is so important for your health, especially if you’re still under the impression that it’s mostly a nutrient for your bones. Most people also think that vitamin D is really a vitamin, but in reality, the active form of vitamin D is one of the most potent hormones in your body, and regulates more genes and bodily functions than any other hormone yet discovered. Vitamin D is produced as a pro-hormone in your skin after sunlight exposure, and is then converted to the potent hormone form. Without this hormone, you could die, and indeed, many do die from vitamin D deficiency-related causes.

A Japanese study showed that school children taking vitamin D3 supplements were 58 percent less likely to catch influenza A. That’s a higher effectiveness than any flu vaccine can claim, and doesn’t come with a barrage of potentially devastating side effects! And there are numerous studies like these, showing the superior effectiveness of natural strategies like vitamin D in the prevention of disease.

  1. Get those hands clean.

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.

  1. Play in the dirt.

Exposure to dirt and other microbes make our immune systems stronger. It’s okay to let your toddler eat dirt and kiss the dog. A new mouse study suggests early exposure to microbes is essential for normal immune development, supporting the so-called “hygiene hypothesis” which states that lack of such exposure leads to an increased risk of autoimmune diseases. The study found that early-life microbe exposure lowers the number of inflammatory immune cells in the lungs and colon, lowering susceptibility to asthma and inflammatory bowel diseases later in life.

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Mommy needs quiet time

Definition of QUIET TIME: It’s the time when Mommy’s blood is turned down to simmer.

I am a mother of a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old special needs child. I also suffer from CD, so quiet time, for me, is a must. Every home/family is different, but reading this will show you how important it is for you and your child to have quiet time, and how you can accomplish it. Use that time to do whatever your heart desires. Get some rest, watch some TV, or read. Whatever, but this is YOUR time. HAPPY QUIET TIME!

First of all, just because you are feeling in desperate need of quiet time, does not mean you are a bad parent. You need to let go of the guilt and realize that having a break is necessary because you can regain your patience. Have you noticed, some days with your kids just make you so impatient that you just automatically start answering “NO!” to everything? It time for a break… Children also need quiet time for them to relax and wind down a bit.

What is my strategy?

CONSISTENCY & ROUTINE…It is best to start training your kiddos as early as possible. I knew from early on, with my first child, that I had to establish a break for myself daily. Stick with your quiet time plan!

Most children refuse to take naps, but I make it inviting. I say something like “Lacie, you don’t need to take a nap, but you have to play quietly. Maybe do some puzzles or color?” Because my child is so used to this being a daily thing, she knows what quiet time means. I bring her into her room with a Sippy cup of water. I tell her to please play quietly so Mommy can rest. She knows the only reason she comes out of her room is to go potty or if something is wrong. Usually I will take this opportunity to take a cat nap. If she does end up needing the bathroom, she will stand at her door and yell “Mom can I go potty?” “NO!” Just kidding LOL.

Because my delayed son is so well-behaved, I can put him in his play pin for an hour with a few toys and he will be so happy!

I know Lacie is safe in her bedroom because it is childproofed. Plugs covered, windows locked etc…I know she is safe. Of course you wouldn’t want to do something stupid like stick ear plugs in to sleep, you need to be able to hear if anything happens while you are napping or relaxing. I am a very light sleeper but I also have a baby monitor hooked up to hear if she opens her door.

I hope you find this strategy helpful, please comment below if you have found other ways helpful! Thanks for reading! Please follow & share… 

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Put your baby to bed, the right way…

Baby sleep solutions:

“Babe, can you please get up this time?” I am sure these are famous words by many of you parents out there, enduring through sleepless nights.

Enough is enough…time to put your baby to bed, the Right way…? There really is no RIGHT way…but here are a few ways to help the process.

Are they hungry?
After a baby turns 1, they normally don’t need to be fed during the night. If they are used to you giving them a snack during the night, they will most likely continue waking up expecting their snack. Try to feed them enough before bed. If they don’t have much of an appetite, try giving them a bottle of formula/milk before bed. If they wake up, give them a bottle of water. They will usually get upset. That is okay. They need to learn they will only get water during the night. They will no longer wake up hungry after a few nights of this routine. This is a personal tip. I did this with my daughter. She began sleeping through the night, 2 nights later. (of course this does not apply to children who are under weight, or sick)

Did the Pacifier fall out again?!
Don’t get me wrong, that first year with Paci is wonderful. They start fussing and “Boink!” In goes Paci and out goes fussy! There comes a time when saying bye bye to Paci is brilliant. When they start regularly waking up because they miss their Binkie, this would be a perfect reason to let go. Try the broken routine. Throw the Binkie in the trash. Show them, and say it’s broken. My mom actually did this with me, and it worked great so I did it with my daughter it worked like a charm. This seems to work about 80% of the time. What can you do if it’s broken? Hopefully they don’t question it…

White noise
I have used white noise with both my kids. It works perfect! Studies have found that white noise turned up too loud or too close could impact your child’s hearing. As long as the machine is placed across the room, and set to a moderate volume, I think you should be fine. Use your own judgment on this one. I have found it very helpful for my kids to sleep, and myself!

Have a simple routine
Remember that no mom is perfect. Your child doesn’t have to be bathed EVERY night. Unless you are a clean freak (I know a few!) Call me lazy all you want, but when your life is as chaotic as mine, priorities seem to be different lol. A warm bath can get them pretty tired but if you’re like me and just want to get them to bed here is my advice… Try to set a goal to have at least one regular routine that says it about time for bed. This could be reading a book, singing a soft lullaby, rubbing your kiddo down with lavender lotion, giving them some Benadryl (JUST KIDDING!) Just a signal that pushes them in the right direction.

Separation Anxiety
Every parent is different. If you want your children to sleep with you forever, fine! I, however, have never been able to sleep with my kids in my bed. For me to be a good mom, I need my sleep. If your child is learning to sleep in their crib/bed alone, obviously make sure you invest in a dim night light. Here is how to break this anxiety.

1st night: Put your baby in their crib while they are sleepy but still awake, and then sit in a chair next to them. If they get upset, softly pat her back and give verbal reassurance. Stair at the floor, read your own book, get on Pinterest (lower the brightness). Do not make eye contact. They will try to get your attention which will make the process longer. Do not leave until they are asleep.

2nd night: Move the chair to the middle of the room, again do not
make eye contact. Wait to leave until they are asleep.

3rd night: Move the chair to the door. Remember, no eye contact. Leave once they are asleep.

4th night: Keep the chair at the door but this time leave just before they are falling asleep.

THIS ADVICE IS NOT FROM A PROFESSIONAL, IT IS MERELY BASED ON MY OWN OPINIONS AND ADVICE FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCES. PLEASE ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT ANY OF THESE TIPS YOU MAY WANT TO TRY. THANK YOU

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7 tips for us tired mom’s, to go back to sleep…sweet dreams!

You know that point where you are so beyond tired you catch your second wind? I call that rummy. Dont ask me why, but I have always called it that. As I am sure most of you parents can relate, there are times where we are forced out of bed to comfort our kids from their nightmares, or to make sure all the doors are locked after hearing something fall or crash.

Finally you come back to your bed, rest your head on your pillow, and EYES ARE WIDE OPEN….RUMMY!

Rummy is always apart of my life. I feel as if I never really recover from it, hence my blog name….One Rummy Mom.

We have all been there. So in this blog I am going to post 7 tips for us tired mom’s, to go back to sleep…

1. Valerian Root: It’s known to smell like stinky socks, yuck! However, it is a natural herb that can help with anxiety, sleep, and menstruation cramps.  You can pick it up at any drug store for about $10. I usually take 3-5 capsules depending on how anxious I am. (Discuss this with your physician first)

2. Have a mid night snack: Carbohydrate-rich snacks may be best, because these foods likely increase the level of sleep-inducing tryptophan (an amino acid that is a constituent of most proteins. It is an essential nutrient in the diet of vertebrates.) in the blood. Try eating, boiled eggs (prepare ahead of time, who wants to cook in the middle of the night? I don’t!), Citrus fruits, Apples, healthy cereal, or nuts.

3.Go pee already!:  Even if you don’t have to pee, i suggest going anyway. You know the moment you hit the hay, your bladder will suddenly feel like it’s going to burst! So why not just go sit and get it over with?!

4.Melatonin: It’s already naturally produced by your body. People use this usually to adjust the body’s internal clock. My son used to have a hard time falling asleep. I began giving him 1 mg of this stuff, and it really helped! YAY! Any drug store will carry it and it is usually about $10. There are different strengths. Try taking less the first time.(Discuss with physician first)

5.White Noise: When a noise wakes you up in the night, it’s not the noise itself that wakes you up, but the change or inconsistencies in noise that awake you. White noise creates a mask effect, blocking out sudden changes. I downloaded a free app on my iPhone that I use every night. It’s called “Sleep pillow”. If you are a light sleeper like me, you will love this app!

6. Set up a baby video monitor: No matter how hard we try, sometimes every possible worry will keep us awake. “Did I remember to close the baby’s window?” “Did I uncover his face from his blanket?” “Did I just hear him cry?” Why are you driving yourself crazy like this?! You will be up like, 100 times during the night if you don’t change something soon! I invested in a baby video monitor. Not only because my son has seizures but because it put my mind at ease and if i want to quickly check on him I just click a button and I see him there snoozing away. I bought mine at Target (My favorite store!). Here is the link to the exact one I have. http://www.target.com/p/samsung-babyview-video-baby-monitor/-/A-14261096?lnk=sc_qi_detaillink  I have had this one for over two years, I have never had a problem with it and it is awesome!

7. Come to the dark side: Melatonin is actually suppressed by light sources. Either, your laptop, tv, phone, or bright night-light. Sometimes street lights can shine through your shade and blind your eyes from sleep. I bought sun blocking shades that were super easy to put up. I just got a cheap tension rod slipped it through and hung it up! Try to leave your lap top and TV’s out of the bedroom if possible. This can be an easy thing to turn to in a sleepless night, but that sleepless night will continue if you don’t put down that remote!

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