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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Parenting With A Speech And Language Delay

These last couple of months have been such a huge stepping stone for my little man and such a huge emotional and spiritual breakthrough for myself. The biggest issue I have is how hard I am on myself as a mother  and that is something that I am working on . I find owning my truth to really help me cope.

I still remember the day I went in for my child’s psychological exam results and hearing the woman tell me that my child scored low enough to be able to diagnose him with mild intellectual delay. In my defense , I let her know that she barely knew my child and simply sat in a room with him for one hour. He was having an off day. She suggested I be OK with the diagnosis on paper in order to get my child qualified for additional services through our local regional center. I found out that this would allow my son to qualify for services for as long as he needs them.  I walked out of that office really confused and upset because I don’t believe my child is intellectually delayed. I cried a lot  and I was so confused. Yet I questioned myself because I also do not want to sound like a mom who is over reactive and in denial. Its hard to explain this to someone who has never been through it. Everyone has an opinion and all that matters is what we as parents choose to do for our child.

After giving it a few days and talking it over with my husband, we agreed to move forward with the intent of being able to get him qualified for all the services he needs. Will this affect his future? Will this be a for sure diagnosis ? Will my son be able to be mainstreamed and be in a regular school setting ? Everything was piling up in my head and to this day it still does. After asking all of the many questions we had, we decided to do whats best for our son. My son has a language and speech delay and he is the most amazing and perfect little soul. Because he is delayed in this area, he scored low in his receptive and expressive language as well. I also believe that because he was in the NICU for 5 weeks and lost a lot of oxygen , it delayed him in some areas. He didn’t have the easiest first month of life. He actually struggled to breathe many times before he was able to come home. He is so smart and understands what you tell him. I can stand there with him and have a conversation with him and he eagerly tries to express himself. I’m his momma and I am his everything. When he was a baby, I taught him a few signs and that really helped us a lot in the beginning. My son is not intellectually delayed. In fact, he is extra special and such a smart and loving child.

For the longest time I doubted that there was an issue. Boys just develop later than girls. All kids are different and grow at their own pace. The first two years of my sons life consisted of the many doctors appointments, lack of sleep, paperwork, tests, specialist visits, physical therapy, early intervention, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. I was exhausted. I still am at times . But then something just clicked.

I realized that speech and language delays are super common. I realized I needed to get myself together and stand tall. I also realized that there is a huge amount of other parents going through the same feeling I have. I have to be at my best and feel my best if I want to raise these two beautiful humans God has blessed us with. No matter how much I questioned everything, how in denial I was, how tired I was, how unhappy I felt, and how sluggish I felt, I needed to get it together for my kids. Who cares if I have to cut back on hours at the salon. Who cares if I have to have a lower paycheck so that I can be home and present with my kids. Who cares about everything else in my life. What matters is living in the moment and being here for my kids because today will eventually be the past. The minute I decided to openly talk about this, everyone had a suggestion. Everyone has an opinion.  Ultimately it comes down to you as the parent. You know whats best for your child and no one else. Your child is normal and everyone has issues. You just have to work on your issues a lot more than others.

Throughout the early stages of this journey I found my love for health and wellness. I came across a fellow mom’s positive post about how good she was feeling and I felt envious. I felt awful about myself, my body, my marriage, and I was tired of being tired all the time. That was when I drew the line in the sand. I decided to try my first fitness program, the 21 day fix. I fell in love with the results  and decided to try to pay it forward. Why not.  I never knew this was capable as I have absolutely no background in fitness other than being out of shape and wanting to be healthy. But I believe God brought me this new venture because he knows I need to feel my best and I needed a positive outlet. He knows that I can use this platform to connect with other people who have felt the same.

I started to get my life back. Then my stress and anxiety started to get so much better. I started getting results in all areas of my life. Once it became clear to me that my son was delayed in some areas, I became more aware of the many issues we were experiencing in our household and it all started to make sense. I finally let my guard down and decided to be more open about this.  The frustration was picking up and the tantrums can get really bad from the frustration. Once he gets to a certain point of frustration, its impossible to get his attention until I let him calm down. The sensory seeking became something I was now aware of and started to educate myself about. The world of sensory seeking is extremely common with kids who have extra needs.  This little guy loves to bite anything and everything. He ruined our brand new blinds with all of his teeth marks. To this day he loves to put everything in his mouth. Its a  coping mechanism. It all started to make sense and as much as I get frustrated too, I hold myself together and knee down to his level and try to put myself in his shoes. I repeat myself over and over and I ask him to do the same. It’s not his fault and its important that I tell myself that its not my fault either. I am an amazing mom to both my son and daughter. We are doing the best we can. He is making so much progress with the weekly therapy sessions and I know that we see and hear so much progress each and every week. What bothers me is when people tell me he looks normal and he is normal. Ofcourse he is normal. He just have some extra needs . He is no different. In fact, he is extra special.

This is a journey of its own and I try to remember that its important to sneak away and spend alone the time with my daughter too. I think I’m doing a really good job at that. I found out that I really love being a entrepreneur and for the longest time I was so hard on myself about this. Its ok to want to build two businesses and deal with all these issues too. I feel like I have been given this incredible platform to show other people that everything is going to be ok . I am walking proof that you can be an amazing parent, a business builder , and a good wife all at once. You can have it all . I do not believe in balance as much as before . I believe in molding it all together as much as you can though .

Health and wellness are crucial if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Health is wealth. Not monetary items. I love that I am now building this incredible team of other woman who are on their own journey as well. We empower one another, life each other up, and hold each other accountable.

If you find yourself feeling sick and tired of feeling tired all the time like I did, lets talk. I would be more than happy to show you how you can start your journey too. Fill out this form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdLcQFt3ZRiqXQdmfT5nT_9Eh3rqsvZDbttJT-MD7res-La_g/viewform?usp=sf_link and we will be in contact. No matter how hard life gets or how much you are going through, it starts with that decision to make the change for yourself. Its like that saying ” In order for things to get better, you have to be better ” and I agree.

I know that all of this is a gift and I’m so grateful. I have no idea what to do sometimes or how to even express these feelings I have. Im learning to accept what is and only change what I can change.  Writing about it and sharing helps. Deflecting my positive energy on to others helps. But I don’t expect most to understand. The journey is priceless and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m happy I get to work from home and spend the days with my children while providing an additional income . I’m looking forward to summer time and I plan on really creating some awesome memories with the kids. I’m so full of gratitude and I love my life. My daughter just graduated from  kindergarten and she is the sweetest little girl with the biggest heart,  smile,  and imagination. My son is healthy and thriving. My marriage is special and my love is so supportive and such an amazing dad. I get to wake up feeling fulfilled each day. It doesn’t get any better than this. I am blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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