Life Lately

I’m back!

 

The last few months have been a little crazy. We’ve had so much fun getting out with the kids this summer. But truth is, I have no idea where June and July went. I can’t believe how fast the year is flying by. You with me ?

With the kids being off from school, our usual routine was thrown off. We had an amazing summer together and I try to always remember to give myself some grace in the midst of the chaos. We even had some relatives visit from out of state which was nice.

I’ve decided to turn my blog in to a documentary of our lives with a sprinkle of lifestyle and motherhood tips. It’s therapeutic for me. Things have been pretty tough this month and I can feel myself coming out of the funk I’ve been in . On a good note, I have been introduced with such amazing opportunities that continue to show me I’m doing exactly what I’ve been called to do in my life. We also just celebrated our 8th wedding Anniversary after being together for 17 years! We’ve been through so much together and I’m so grateful for it all. We’ve both grown so much since being little teens and our marriage is beautiful . We’re both busy with personal goals and projects all while trying to make time for ourselves. He is a keeper .

First off, do you ever look at your kids and just ask yourself ” Where the heck is time going ? ”

I can’t believe how fast my daughter is growing. She just started second grade . I look at her and I’m in awe with the little girl she is becoming. It seems like everything has been an argument lately and she sure enjoys making sure I understand that she is a big girl now. I just adore her and want to encourage her to be herself and speak her truth . This summer we took a break from Girl Scouts aside from having their Brownie Bridging Ceremony and camping at the zoo. Volunteering to be her Troop Leader has been an amazing experience .

I told myself that I would figure it out along the way because this is something that Ava and I can do together. Every now and then that mom guilt sets in and I think that I need to give my daughter more attention in the midst of this new extra needs journey with my son .  Our new Troop  season starts in October and I’m heading in to this new season positive and optimistic because I have one year under my belt. I’m learning as I go and this is such an amazing opportunity for our girls. I plan on delegating more with the parents , being more organized with my meetings, and creating some awesome memories with the girls!  I’ve told myself that being busy is a privilege . Being busy is good as long as you stop to smell the roses and learn to give yourself some grace along the way .

My son just started preschool. He is 4 years old and this will be his second year of school. Its been a while since I’ve shared much about our journey in here . I guess you can say I’ve been a tad paralyzed with fear and the constant reminder that everyone sure has an opinion with how they think children should be raised or their way is the right way. The reality is that my reality is hard sometimes. One thing that was really bothering me was that anytime I shared anything , I felt like people or even my husband would say ” Why are you sharing that?” or ” Well… it doesn’t look like anything is wrong with your son ” Then I would feel like I was opening up myself to opinions that I just did not feel like hearing. I’ve come to realize that I’m not alone and some other parents have bigger problems . So if you can relate at all with my journey, please be sure to connect with me!

Truth is that there is nothing wrong with my son. He has an ability is how I like to see it . One thing I find super frustrating is how long it takes to just get some answers . Not just that, but I hate that children have to be labeled to get some help . My goal is to be the best mom I can be for my kids and to put my family first before anything. Elijah’s diagnosis at three years old was a speech and language impairment and a developmental delay. That is when a lot of doors to new resources opened up for us. For the longest time, my husband and I were so financially drained with co-pays, opinions, evaluations, check ups, and worries. We have found that we are his voice and we have to do whats best for him . Not just that, but those diagnosis’ mean nothing. We treat him normal except we’re learning more and more about how important it is to be patient and more understanding to his behaviors. 

I’m blessed in the sense that I’ve been able to get my son some intervention since we was two years old. For the longest time, he was receiving early intervention, occupational therapy, speech, and physical therapy. We later added behavioral therapy too. I found an incredible therapy based preschool that is perfect for him and we discontinued therapy. Our local school district did not make it easy to get him qualified to get there and the whole process was long-  But worth it .

My anxiety has been through the roof lately because I’ve been over- thinking and playing scenarios in my head about the transition from preschool to kinder. Then I start asking myself if this district is even right for him. The biggest hurdle are the tantrums and the behavioral and sensory issues he tends to have at times. I go back and forth about seeking ABA Therapy for him . I was hesitant about whether or not I should seek such an aggressive therapy for all of us . The worst part was  that I finally decided to go for it because I do not want him to think that its ok to act the way he does when he doesnt get him way at times. He is such a smart cookie and super receptive. He understands everything you say . His attention span is super short at times, he has been having many accidents with potty training when he’s been potty trained for almost a year now , and he can get pretty defiant quick. It takes some work to calm him down. He gets loud, whiny, and will zone out when he gets over – stimulated. His vocabulary has increased and I hear him trying to say new words and sounds. He is constantly improving at his own pace and I just have to meet him where he is at.

Now I know it sounds like I’m complaining here, but this is my normal. This is what I’ve been dealing with and as Elijah’s mom, I only want whats best for him.  So after finally calling to get approved for this therapy, ofcourse my PPO won’t cover it . So I tried with our secondary insurance for him and found out they would only cover him if he has a diagnosis of Autism. This is when reality sank in for me recently. There is a possibility that my child could be on the spectrum. Now I’ve been waiting for answers for the longest time but his pediatrician and director of his school both say sure he has delays that are similar, but he does not meet that box. I personally am not ready to have another psychologist evaluate my child. I would like to give it more time because Im already doing everything I need to do to get him the help he needs. We have a consultation next month for genetic testing and that alone is a lot to think about right now .

So in a nutshell, my thoughts and emotions have been all over the place. Answers will come and either way, it doesn’t matter to me if my child gets another diagnosis . A diagnosis does not define your child and only gets them more help. But sometimes I do feel like children are over diagnosed the second a medical professional evaluates them . That’s my personal opinion.  But truth is, as his mom, I know him better than anyone. I know I sound like an in denial parent, but I’m just speaking from the heart here. This is all so new for me. He is a normal 4 year old little guy who loves nerf guns, playdoh, and tools. He loves people. He is social, friendly, compassionate, and outgoing. He even looks you in the eyes.  I feel like sometimes they just want to put a label on your child in order to open up some additional resources for them. These thoughts I have are really hard for me to explain . But time, faith, prayer , and patience is what we have. I’m so thankful for his incredible team of teachers/ therapists who take the time to talk to me and and offer comfort and tips. We have to trust the process because everyone is unique and different.

Aside from heading to the salon on my work days, my workouts and my coaching business have been an amazing outlet for me. I’ve taken a step back in the sense where I’m focusing on family and marriage before anything. My wellness is the biggest priority right now and my wellness groups mean the world to me . I love waking up to my amazing rock stars striving to be better versions of themselves and making themselves a priority too. I’m blessed with this incredible gift of helping others live healthier and more fulfilling lives too. Beachbody has changed my life for the better. I do not know where I would be if I didn’t have these incredible workouts and nutrition guidance. The old me would be eating everything in plain site and probably at an unhealthy weight. My wellness journey and coaching business is a way for me to give back and feel good at the same time. Thank goodness my husband and I are on the same page and stronger than ever. If we weren’t, I think I would literally be broken . I’m so blessed .

 

They say when you’re feeling down, the best thing to do is to turn it around and use that energy to help others.

 

Sometimes we have to remember that life can get pretty messy . That’s just how it is. Our mess is what others might be praying for. I tend to keep myself super busy and I’m learning to let go and just slow down .

 

We have so much to be thankful for and I’m looking forward to our family vacation coming up!

 

XO,

Jaclyn

 

 

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Living With A Grateful Heart

This last weekend was amazing. I had the best experience going on vacation with my husband and had some time to really catch up on my thoughts and talk the future with my husband.

For one, I haven’t had time to really blog as much much as I’d like. Between my new role as a Girl Scout Leader and juggling both of my businesses, there hasn’t been time for much.  On top of that, being a mom and wife is a full time job of its own. I am so incredibly blessed . I’ve realized that I just need to write. I need to write my heart out and share the good, bad, and the ugly. It helps with clarity and knowing it can inspire or relate to someone is just so incredible .

I’m living in this season where I’m truly learning so much about what I can and cannot handle.  For one, I do a lot . Why? I don’t know. I’m such an over-achiever , I know. I like to consider myself extremely self driven and motivated to chase after what I want.  I love doing it all.  Everything I do , I do with love and I lead with my heart . When things get tough, I fall and get back up. I try to not stress too much about the month or weeks ahead. Instead, I like to be optimistic and take things one day at a time or else my anxiety will rise.

Our trip to Cancun was amazing. It meant everything to bring my husband to this trip. For one, we deserve our time together. My marriage is a priority.  Seems like both of us are just trying to achieve our goals and provide for the babies. I do not want time to pass and wonder why my marriage fell apart. I want to live in the moment with my husband and have him enjoy the fruits of my labor too. He is my number one. None of anything I do would run smoothly if it weren’t for his support. I seriously hit the jackpot with him . Him being on this trip really helped him see why i work my tail off.

The hubby and I had a blast. Seeing him smile and tell me how proud he was of me really meant so much . I work hard. I work really hard to work on myself and help others. This was my first all – expense paid trip earned for just doing what I love by helping others get started on their health and fitness journey! It was amazing! The company I work with really spoiled the heck out of us . You see, our lives are changing. I am not who I was last year and I’ve learned that its ok to have several passions.  Our kids are growing, we are growing, and being able to experience time and financial freedom is a huge priority to me .

I’ve also learned through my entrepreneurial mindset that I should never focus on just one stream of income. I have learned that nothing in life is ever guaranteed. You have to find out what it is you love and go for it all while remaining humbled and finding a good balance between business and family.

There was a time I completely lost myself though. I thought I had it all together and figured out. I thought I had this mom job under control. Then I experienced some trauma while pregnant with my second. My mom was diagnosed with cancer. It had nothing to do with me . But my mom is my everything. I’m an only child. She IS my person . Then my son was born with some unexpected health issues and was not able to come over for 5 weeks . That NICU ride was a roller coaster followed by visits with specialists and restless nights. My world changed. I changed. Life and stress became so overwhelming to me yet it became all about the littlest of things. So much of what used to matter did not matter anymore .

All I wanted was to feel good and have an outlet aside from this new relationship I was trying to have with the Lord. Work became just work . My thyroid was out of wack. I was a mess.  I was tired all the time and at one point I decided to draw the line in the sand. No more. After experiencing my postpartum depression , I realized that I was in charge and I needed to do something.

I’ve learned that God only puts things in our lives that he knows we can handle. Sometimes we don’t know why. But there is a lesson in everything. I feel my lesson to this day was to learn to have faith, let go, and let God do his work .I am a control freak. Learning that I am not in control has done wonders for me.  Before this whole experience, I questioned the difference between religion and faith so much. I did not feel a close relationship to God until I truly needed him. That’s sad right? So common though . I have become so much closer to God and my faith is stronger than ever. I do not practice any type of religion yet I’m super spiritual in many ways.

God sent me my babies to make me a better person. I am so blessed to be a mom period. I really had no idea how religious the name Elijah was until after I had him. Elijah was a prophet in the bible who was sent to people to help them believe in God. Wow. Not a coincidence at all right ?

God sent me this incredible opportunity to serve others in ways I love to not only help myself but to help others who are struggling too . I struggled physically by being stuck in the yo- yo diet cycle. I abused my body by eating my emotions and eating all the wrong all while self sabotaging myself. I went through extremes to try to make my body look the way I thought it should look. I went through a phase where I even experimented with substances to help me cope with certain difficulties. Along the way I’ve learned that we all go through trials where we use substances to cope with life without not even realizing it . I struggled financially as my husband and I had some unexpected struggles on top of co pays and medical visits. Being a hairdresser meant that If I didn’t work , I didn’t get paid. Being with my kids mattered more than money. Emotionally, I was a hot mess. The worst part was realizing that I was taking it out on the closest ones I love by lashing out on them and shutting down .

Beachbody came into my life when I needed it the most. I’ve learned that I matter. It is not selfish to learn to love yourself and treat yourself well. Our sanity and mindset mean everything. At first I wanted to lose 50 lbs and along the journey, I’ve learned that I really just needed a healthy and sustainable life change. I learned that I didn’t have to forget about me. I reinvented myself. I am not perfect and that’t what I love about being a lifestyle coach. Becoming a coach has helped me stay accountable in many ways. I found structure in not just my life, but in my days. I have been able to improve our marriage, communicate and understand my husband better,  work on my mindset, teach my family healthier habits, and meet some incredible people. It’s so much more than just a fitness journey. Its about living a healthier and fulfilling life all while dreaming big and going after what you want. You should never be told your dreams are too big. You should never feel guilty for chasing that one thing that sets your soul on fire.

I am passionate about health and fitness because feeling healthy makes me feel whole. Being healthy makes me have more energy and continue striving to be a better version of myself than I was yesterday . It is my platform to meet other people and offer them a solution . Through my journey as a mom with thyroid nodules and a goiter at only 31, I’ve learned that I should never take my health and mindset for granted. Life is beautiful . Its about quality. If you don’t feel good, it shows. I want to have energy for my kids. I want to keep up with them and be around for as long as I can. Not just that, I want to teach them these incredible and sustainable habits that they can grow up with. Its not about perfection. Its about finding a healthy balance and eating for fuel . Its about LIVING and being present in the moment all while showing yourself some grace.

Becoming a lifestyle coach has added to my passion for helping others. I get to do what I love for a living. Coaching gives me a sense of purpose. I want to show my kids that its ok to be an entrepreneur and chase your dreams. You do not need to go out there and do what society expects of you . It’s ok to do what you love and make sacrifices to get you to where you want to go . Hard work pays off and I want my kids to grow up knowing that.  I love living the no boss life. The dreams are big yet the hustle is sold seperatly. I want my kids to always remember that their mommy was there to take them to school, pick them up, and always have the resources to create memories and experiences to do things together as a family.

This trip to Cancun was a HUGE eye opener for not just me , but for my husband! SO much is possible when you work hard and believe in yourself. My mission is to help woman crush their fears and chase their dreams all while creating a sustainable and healthier lifestyle change. My mission is to inspire other extra needs moms who have struggled with self doubt and show them that change is possible. Perfection is a joke. Its ok to fall and have a pity party for a few minutes. But with struggle comes strength .

Becoming a coach has allowed me to connect with other extra needs mom’s and help them feel good too . I’ve found that being part of an amazing community has been key to feeling like my head isn’t going to fall off. The support has been incredible. Without Beachbody, I wouldn’t be in the shape I am in today nor would I be able to find a way to earn an income doing something that fulfills my passion and purpose . I am blessed.

 

 

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Our Laryngomalacia Journey

To the parent who just found out their child was diagnosed with Laryngomalacia ( LM). Don’t worry if you can barely pronounce it because it took me a few tries. In no time, you will be an expert at explaining it and pronouncing it. Always know that you don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why your child sounds noisy either. In  time, you will know so much about LM and you will literally be considered a LM Supermom.

Let this be the start to your journey. Never get upset or angry about it . Just embrace the journey and the changes as I have come to do.Lean into your faith and grow closer to your spouse.  Seek support, find new LM mom’s to connect with, and embrace the fact that you will be your child’s number one advocate. Most importantly, take care of your own health. Your child needs you.  A mother’s instincts are always the best. The best advice I can give is to stay as organized as possible. Become a sponge and have a special place you can keep all numbers, notes, and co pays. If you have a bad memory like me, notebooks and calendars are essential.  Listen to your child and don’t let the opinions of others get to you. You know your child more than any monitor or specialist too. Vocalize your concerns and fight for what you think is best.

It’s been quite the journey having my son Elijah. This whole experience  has given me a whole new outlook on life. Some days are harder than others but somewhere out there someone else is experiencing worse. It’s changed me for the better.  My son was born with an airway defect called laryngomalacia . Laryngomalacia is a congenital softening of the tissues of the larynx (voice box) above the vocal cords. This is the most common cause of noisy breathing in infancy. The laryngeal structure is malformed and floppy, causing the tissues to fall over the airway opening and partially block it. I remember it sounding way worse than it really was. Now at the age of 3, I can still hear it after he exerts himself or he is under the weather.

For most infants, laryngomalacia is not a serious condition — they have noisy breathing, but are able to eat and grow. For these infants, laryngomalacia will resolve without surgery by the time they are 18 to 20 months old. However, a small percentage of babies with laryngomalacia do struggle with breathing, eating and gaining weight. These symptoms require prompt attention.

Our first year felt like a blur to me. I remember how it felt to barely sleep after having our first child and I felt prepared  to take on having a newborn at home with a 3 year old . The constant dr visits and specialist visits felt never ending. Looking back, I realize having a baby with LM truly teaches you the meaning of lack of sleep all while cherishing every breath we take. I have learned to live in the moment and take everything one day at a time.  I remember never sleeping  because my husband and I were always so worried about choking and blue spells. He was in the NICU for 5 weeks after birth and he suffered many episodes where he lost oxygen and his heart rate would drop. I truly believe whole heartedly that this is the reason he has been delayed in some areas. He had a rough start. Every day I thank God for these two amazing and beautiful children he blessed us with.

I was fortunate enough to find the Tri County Regional Services when my son was just 1 years old. The NICU Occupational Therapist referred me to them because she felt as though my child was at a higher risk for developmental delays upon doing a follow up assessment. At the time, I remember getting super defensive and thinking how could she possibly think that if my son was only 1 years old . All kids develop on their own pace. That was the start to our therapy intervention journey. Since then, my son has received early intervention services, speech therapy, physical therapy, behavioral therapy, and occupational therapy. It sounds like a lot more than it really is. We have become so used to it and his therapist have truly been a blessing in our lives. You truly start to feel like you lose the friends you thought were your true friends, you lose your free time, and you just want to spend any free time you have alone with no one but yourself. There is no free time. There is just ” gaps ” of time . Upon my own research and the laryngomalacia community, I have found that there is an extremely high percentage of children who need speech and early intervention services. Its hard to estimate whether or not the child will need it. But its also noted that most children outgrow LM by the age of 3. Id like to say that my son has almost outgrown it except he’s super susceptible to illness and stridor.

Id like to tell you when the journey is over but I truly don’t know when. We are ending this transitional phase from Tri County to the school district services. I knew this month would be hard but not as hard as it’s been. Im a walking emotional wreck. But I feel so blessed at the same time. Here in California, the Regional Center offers these amazing services to children under the age of three. We as parents get the opportunity to have our children assessed by a phsychologist to find out whether or not any type of intellectual disability or autism is present. My son did so well during his last 6 months of services. All of his therapists reports were great. We have all seen tremendous improvement. But I was completely blindsided by the psychologists’ results. In her report , she stated that it’s essential my child continue to qualify for services through the regional center to maximize intervention services. She is not diagnosing my child with anything as he is only the age of 3 years old. But in order to provide my son with the services he needs, she suggest a diagnosis of Mild Intellectual Disability. Let me make it clear that I enjoy sharing this journey with you. Not so anyone can judge me or give me their opinion, but simply as an outlet for me. I find documenting our journey and taking care of my health essential. Its important I hold myself together and my workouts keep me sane.  I have met many  amazing mothers on this journey and don’t believe in judging other mom’s. Every child is different. Every mom is different. Every marriage is different. I share my truth and believe its the right thing I can do to keep myself healthy. There is no book on how to do this the right way. All that matters is the love we give our children. I enjoy the fact that I feel living life one day at a time is best. I cherish every moment and sometimes forget too. I don’t like to compare my first with my second child nor do I like when my anxiety kicks in because I second guess myself. Its the worst. But in my heart I know that Im the best mom I can be for these amazing children. Im doing the best I can.

The day these results were given to me caught me completely off guard. I feel as though Im trapped in a ” damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation” . I have so many questions written down for my Regional Coordinator. I have to be completely honest and just say that I don’t want to be selfish and say that my son doesn’t need additional services. I will continue to give him the services he needs through an outside facility. But then that voice in my head tells me that my insurance will quickly run out and I will benefit from both private and services from the school district and agency. I have to do whats best for my child . Having that diagnosis on paper for coverage reasons just doesn’t settle right with my heart.

My baby is such a light. He is so bright, outgoing, loving, friendly, and such a sweetheart. He loves his sister, he loves people, and he is truly a blessing. Opting out of the opportunity to continue services that have provided him amazing resources would be a selfish thing of me to do. My fears, worries, and defensiveness feel like they have been compiled into one. I have to continue to remind myself over and over that we are doing whats best for him. He will benefit from this. This might not be forever. He will outgrow this .He is bright and perfect the way he is.

What does this hold for his future? I don’t know. Will this title be carried with him when he starts elementary school? I don’t know yet. Is my child on the spectrum? I don’t think he is. Will he catch up and increase his vocabulary? Im so positive that he will. Will my child have the opportunity to be mainstreamed in regular classes ? I sure hope so. This new journey has given me a whole new outlook. I have to choose to do whats best for my child. I have to take care of myself too. I need to keep strong and focused now more than ever . I am him advocate. I will do everything in my power to make sure my baby gets what he needs. I will ensure that he is remaining challenges and he hits his goals too. I will continue to walk into this path of new uncertainty and I trust that God knows whats best for our family. I will educate myself on as much as I need to know and trust our decisions along the way.

So a new journey begins.

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