Friday, September 14, 2018

Why Quality Time With Your Children Is Important

Many people go through life consumed by their never-ending to-do list—causing them to spend less and less quality time with the ones they love. That pile of laundry and those emails waiting in your inbox—they can wait. Your children need your attention more. Finding the balance between work life and home life is challenging. Quality time is the key to connecting those two worlds and creating a family dynamic that is impenetrable. 

I was reminded of this recently by my two-year-old daughter while we were running errands. She was having fun playing with LEGOs while I was getting my tire repaired. When it was time to go, she started crying and saying she wanted to stay and play. I normally would have viewed her outburst as a typical toddler tantrum, but at that moment I slowed down long enough to really listen to what she was saying. 

I had a choice to make. I could either go home and let my daughter play there while I did the work I needed to do, or I could spend quality time with her doing something she enjoyed. I chose quality time—and here’s why.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Hot Mess Mom vs. Back to School

Now that the first few weeks of school are under our belts, we can all take a collective sigh of relief. We all made it through the start of a new school year — and that’s something to be very proud of. If you’re anything like me — a hot mess the majority of the time — you had a pretty rough first week back. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Tips on How to Talk to Children about Disabilities and Special Needs

Alyssa Claire Greer

In a perfect world, my daughter would never be stared at, whispered about, made fun of, or mistreated by people who don’t understand her. Instead, she would be praised for her individuality, unique abilities, beautiful personality, and her capacity to overcome any obstacle put in her way. Although she faces many physical and cognitive challenges, she is still a six-year-old child — and it is my hope that she will grow up in a world that is more understanding and accepting. 

In order to make sure that our future generations grow up in this idealistic world, it is vital that parents spend more time talking to their children about disabilities and special needs. By normalizing disabilities and exposing our children to people with special needs, we are encouraging the creation of these relationships. 

Finding the right words and timing to talk to your child about disabilities is challenging. Below are tips to help break the ice and begin the discussion. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Truth About Weight Loss: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Truth
If you’ve been struggling with your weight loss—getting started or staying on track—don’t get discouraged; you’re not alone. Losing weight isn’t easy. It takes a lot of determination and self-motivation. It takes sacrifice and making hard choices that put you outside of your comfort zone. It forces you to look inward and assess why you’re in the shape you’re in—and that’s hard for a lot of people. Because losing weight isn’t easy, not everyone can do it or be successful at it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the obesity rate in America is somewhere between 26-32%, almost one in three Americans. Nearly all dieters (90-95%) regain the weight they lost within one to five years.

It’s a lot easier to stick with your current way of eating and not think about how the food you put into your body is affecting you both mentally and physically. It’s also easier to make excuses for why you aren’t working out. After all, we’re all busy. And when you don’t see results instantly, you throw in the towel without ever giving it your full effort. We’re a culture obsessed with instant gratification, and weight loss isn’t one of them. 

After you can get past all of the things that have been holding you back and decide that you are worth the risk and investment, you can finally set your mind to changing your life for the better by losing the weight and getting in shape. Getting to that point is actually the hard part—not the journey itself (or so I thought). 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Why we chose to transition our special needs child to a medical daycare, and how it affects our entire family

Special needs parents become accustomed to being their child’s primary caregiver. After all, no one knows them better than us. We are the ones who have been there for them every strep of the way. Every doctor’s appointment and new diagnosis, every hospital stay and medical procedure, every illness nurturing them back to health, every late night meltdown and every miraculous moment they overcame an obstacle put in their way. 

As our children get older and become ready for their next transitional step, whether it be starting preschool, mainstream school or attending a medical daycare facility, it never gets any easier as a parent to give up more of our caregiving role and put our children in the hands of someone else. However, this is a necessary step and important for the development of the child and the relationship they have with their parents and the outside world. 

Last week marked the start of a new chapter for our almost six-year-old daughter, Alyssa, and our entire family. Alyssa will now be attending a daycare facility for medically fragile children called PediaTrust in Columbus, MS. She gets picked up from school and transported to the center, where she spends the remainder of the afternoon until they bring her home. At the center she receives therapy, works with a special education teacher during a designated time, participates in group activities such as arts and crafts, story time and music therapy. She also gets one tube feeding during lunch time while she is there. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

How to plan for your child's surgery in 5 easy steps

Hospital stays, no matter the length of time, can be unpleasant and nerve racking. You are already having to deal with stress and worry surrounding your child’s surgical procedure, so the last thing you want to be worried about is something you forgot to pack or plan for. Being prepared will help ease your mind and make your stay a little bit easier. 

In this post I will break down the 5 easy steps you can take when planning for your child’s next surgical procedure. These steps apply to both outpatient and inpatient procedures.  

Sunday, January 7, 2018

How to survive flu season with a medically fragile child

Unfortunately, the best way to survive flu season while having a medically fragile child is to avoid as many situations as possible that put your child at risk of catching an illness. 

Sometimes that requires having to miss certain family events, birthday parties, holiday events, even school and therapy. 

For medically fragile children, exposure to people in a household that have had the flu can be serious to their health. So, it’s extra important to be aware of the people you put your child around when they are medically fragile. 

Yes, it’s hard when any child gets sick, but when children that are medically fragile get sick, it is taken to a whole other level. Unless you have experienced and witnessed your child in such a fragile state, you couldn’t even comprehend. 

I’ve seen my daughter go through way too much already, that if I can do something as simple as keeping her from a person that I know has the flu or a stomach virus or a cold, then I’m going to do that. 

I’ve seen Alyssa go through weeks of being ill and not being able to get out of bed, not being able to keep down her food, not being able to lift her head even on days, because she is so weak and fragile. 

When you’ve seen your child go through something like that it changes you. It makes you want to do even more to protect them. And if that means we have to miss a birthday party or family event, then that’s what we’re going to do. 

What defines a medically fragile child?

Medically fragile children are children that have feeding tubes, tracheotomy devices, need heart monitoring, oxygen, or IV medication administered. It is any child that has extensive medical needs beyond your average care for other special needs children. 

Alyssa is considered medically fragile because of her feeding tube. It is her sole source of nutrition, and because if that her needs can be extra challenging, especially during flu season. 

When Alyssa gets sick it affects her in ways that are so different than the average person when they get a cold or flu, or even a stomach virus. 

She becomes very weak and lethargic. She’s unable to keep down her feedings. She constantly throws up. 

Alyssa is five and a half years old and only weighs between 31 to 32 pounds. When she gets sick and she’s unable to keep down he feedings, she can easily lose a pound d or more during the week span that she is sick. 

She can get dehydrated very easily, and if it wasn’t for her feeding tube, there would be many times that we have had to hospitalize her based off of a simple cold. 

We’ve been fortunate this flu season to not contract the flu in our household, but Alyssa has had her share of illnesses over this season. 

Being sick is no fun!