Thursday, August 27, 2015

DIY No Sew Burlap Baby Bedskirt Tutorial

I have not posted in ages! We've been in the process of buying a new house and moving. Things have been outright crazy the past 2 months! But since we've moved, things are slowly beginning to get back to normal. And I wanted to post about something I did recently because my other Burlap Bedskirt Tutorial has been very popular. Here's the tutorial on how to make a No Sew Burlap Baby Bedskirt!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Next Week And A Half

The next week and a half may be stressful for our family.

Tomorrow Timothy goes to see the Developmental Specialist to see if he is autistic. This will be our first visit with a specialist. This far he has only been seen by his pediatrician and teachers from the Pre-K program (They all agreed that they believe he has a form of autism) But he has never been officially diagnosed.

I am having to gather his baby book, school work, evaluations, etc  to take with us to help them diagnose his condition. I am nervous, stressed, scared, relieved. I have so many mixed emotions. I will be happy to know something concrete. But I am also anxious.

No matter what, I know that things are going to be okay. Timothy is such a precious, beautiful, little soul. I love him so much. And I will be happy to be more educated on his situation so that we can help him to the fullest extent.

Then the Tuesday after next, Benjamin has to go to the Radiologist at Children's hospital to get an MRI on his head.

At Benjamin's 4 month checkup, his head was measuring in the 40th percentile. When we went back at his 6 month appointment, his head was measuring in the 90th percentile which is a really big jump. He also has a nodule on the back of his head that is really hard.

Everything is fine with Benjamin developmentally, but the doctor just wants to be thorough. Initially they had ordered a CT scan, but later decided that an MRI would be better.

The doctor said that Benjamin may just have a large head. And that 95% of the time that is all that it is.

I have been praying hard that everything is okay with both of my boys. And I try to be strong. But of course I am worried. But I know that it is in God's hands.

-Ashli

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What Do I Say?

I don't know if it is okay for me to complain about the situation with Timothy. I am not complaining about Timothy. I wouldn't change a thing when it concerns Timothy. I love him with all of my being. But sometimes the situation that we are in can be really hard.

People come up to us. Strangers are all of the time stopping us to look at Benjamin and talk to Timothy. And I think that is awesome. They think that my children are cute. What parent wouldn't want that?

But the thing is, they try talking to Timothy. Timothy doesn't talk. Hardly at all. So when people come up and say, "What's your name?" or "How old are you?" they don't get an answer. He just looks at them or looks away. And then they are standing there with no response.

Most of the time, I say "His name is Timothy" or "He's 4 years old!" gleefully. And if they keep trying to talk to him, I'll say "He's just a shy boy". Which is the truth, Timothy is very shy. And a lot of times, people will back off at that point. But sometimes they don't. And it can be very uncomfortable.

And I am not upset that people stop to talk to my children. I am fine with that. But I don't know how to handle the situation sometimes.

Timothy has not been diagnosed with autism yet. He may not even have autism. We are waiting for the developmental specialist to set the appointment. But even if he does get diagnosed with autism, do I tell people "He has autism" if he does not respond? Do parents of autistic children tell other people that in certain situations?

I am really confused on how to handle those types of circumstances. And I hope that I am not the only person who has ever felt this way. I am going to read other parents stories and how they handled things. I have a wonderful friend on facebook who is mother of autistic children (Shout out to Alicia) She has really helped with any questions that I have.

I just feel like I am the parent. I should be the strong one. I should know how to handle this stuff. But sometimes I don't. And it can be really hard. And I hate that I am even making it into anything because this isn't about me. It is about Timothy. I think doing some research on other parent's testimonials will help though. And blogging about it is helping too.

-Ashli

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mason Jar Candle Holders

We did this a little while back. I had these jars from Walmart that I had bought ages ago, and I had no idea what to do with them. Then I came across something really cool on Pinterest that I wanted to try!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dollar Tree Trays


I actually did this project a few months ago and am just now blogging about it. But it's super easy and super cheap! I already had the super glue, primer and white spray paint, so I literally just had to buy the photo frame hardware, 3 Dollar Tree Trays and the stickers. (I actually bought more stickers than what I used for this project)


Friday, May 1, 2015

Update on Autism

Timothy just turned 4 years old. We have now switched pediatricians. Everyone was super nice at the last pediatrician office that we went to but honestly....I felt like they didn't take our concerns all that seriously when we expressed them until last year when Timothy was already 3 years old.

And maybe they thought we were just being too worrisome or they thought that he was just a shy boy. (We have thought those things also) But as doctors, I feel like they should have stepped up more than they did with the situation. They had been seeing Timothy since the day that he was born. We had never taken him anywhere else until recently.

But I am not going to play the blame game. Things have ended up this way for a reason.

Timothy went to his new pediatrician on Tuesday April 28th. (Our newborn has been going there since he was born and we really like them so far) It was just for a 4 year checkup. But we ended up being there for an hour because Timothy was scared, and they had a lot of questions.

This doctor took our concerns very seriously. She watched and saw for herself. She said that she could not diagnose him but that she "would say that I am 99% sure that it is autism."

As I said before when talking about this with his teachers, this was a relief. Not that he might possibly be autistic. But that our concerns were being heard and something will hopefully be done soon to help.

On Thursday in the mail, the doctor sent us letters on appointments with an eye specialist to check his sight, an ear specialist to check his hearing, and a developmental counselor to see if he is autistic.

2 days. That's how quickly this pediatrician was on top of it. 2 days. I am beyond thankful.

Hopefully in the upcoming weeks, we can get more educated on the situation at hand and find out what is really going on. I know it's going to be a long, probably difficult process. I am trying to prepare myself for whatever comes ahead of us. I know that I was made Timothy's mommy for a reason. And that we can get through this.

-Ashli

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

DIY Chalkboard



Chalkboards can be expensive if you're buying them from a craft store. I have now made 3 chalkboards of my own for less than $10 each. And it's so simple!


Friday, April 10, 2015

Special Needs

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has commented, messaged me, or talked to me in person about the situation that might be happening with Timothy. I appreciate it so very much. You guys don't know how much your kind words have meant to me. Some have resonated with me deeply.

In my last blog about it, I had said that I hadn't cried yet. That has changed.

Tuesday (The day after the meeting with the teachers) they sent a flyer home in Timothy's backpack. It is for a dinner at a church for "Special needs" children and their families. I had never thought of Timothy as special needs. Even if he has autism, I never thought of him that way.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with special needs children or their families. God bless special needs families. They're such strong, beautiful, encouraging people. I admire them so much.

But when I read that flyer, it really hit me. Hard.

I calmly made my way to our guest bathroom and I broke down. (I'm breaking down as I type this) I sobbed and I ugly cried for what felt like forever. I guess seeing it on paper like that made it even more real for me. But that wasn't upset me.

What upset me was that I doubted myself. "How could I be a parent of a special needs child?" I thought. I questioned if I could be strong enough or capable enough to take care of a special needs child. All the parents I see out there are so wonderful. And they do such great jobs. "Could I do that too?" I wondered. I've never dealt with anything like that before in my life other than when I substituted at the schools. I'm not trained. I don't have knowledge. It just really scared me. And I felt like I couldn't breathe.

But then I calmed down. And I thought, "Wait a minute. If Timothy does have autism or there is some other situation going on, I have been taking care of him the past 4 years. I have been capable the past 4 years. What has changed now?"

And it was simple. Nothing. Nothing has changed now. And nothing will change with any diagnosis. I will still be his mother. I will still take care of him the best possible way that I know how. I will still love him unconditionally. And I will still be his biggest cheer leader.

Like his teachers told me, it is going to get harder before it gets easier. I needed that cry. I needed to let it all out. And after I had, I felt so much better. And I still feel great.

Every little thing is going to be alright.

-Ashli

Thursday, April 9, 2015

DIY No Sew Burlap Bedskirt Tutorial

I am going to outline how to do a simple no sew burlap bedskirt. It is so easy, it's almost too easy! And it's very cheap.

Looking at online prices, to buy a burlap bedskirt (the kind that I wanted) range anywhere from $39.95 & up. The burlap (In Natural) I bought at Hobby Lobby literally cost me $15. I bought 7 yards (but really only needed 5 yards) I used the Hobby Lobby 50% coupon and that is how I got it all for $15.


Monday, April 6, 2015

My 3 Year Old Might Have Autism

Today's post was actually going to be about how to make a no sew burlap bed skirt. But I needed to get this off of my chest.

My 3 year old Timothy has been in a Pre-K program since the very beginning of December. We were referred by his doctor because we had concerns. At 3 he still is not talking. He can talk, but he has never once said a full sentence. He says words but only at random times. He keeps to himself. He doesn't play with other children. And if we veer from routine situations, he has meltdowns.

We had always chalked it off as maybe he's really shy or maybe he's delayed or maybe he just doesn't want to talk just yet. Maybe he doesn't play with kids because he's never been around other kids until recently. But in the back of my head I still wondered "What if?"

We got the referral from his doctor and met with our county's developmental department. We were interviewed. Timothy was interviewed. And we were accepted quite quickly into the Pre-K Program (You have to be approved for the Pre-K program. It has to be determined that your child needs extra help in the county that we live in)

We all thought once in that program that he would start speaking quickly because we've heard so many stories from other parents that all their child needed was "some extra help" or "to be around other kids more." So we were hopeful.

But it's been almost 5 months now and still no improvement. If anything, Timothy is speaking even less now. He used to say is ABC's and would count to 10 (Only on his own time and his own terms) My fiance asked for a meeting with his teachers.

He's in a class with 4 other children. He goes 3 hours a day 4 days a week. He has several teachers and they are all wonderful ladies. I feel completely safe knowing that he is in their hands.

Last night I was just browsing Yahoo's main page when I came across this other mother's experience with finding out her 3 year old was autistic. She had never even thought about it until one day she took him and her infant to the mall and they deviated from their normal routine. She said that her 3 year old had complete melt down right there in front of everyone. She didn't know what was wrong or how to stop him. She was alone and he was trying to hit and kick her and her infant. People were standing around watching and whispering. Judging.

Finally this little elderly woman came up to her and offered to hold her infant while she calmed her toddler down. No one else had even offered it at this point. She accepted and the lady stayed until she finally got him quiet.

As I read this article, I thought to myself "This is me." I am so thankful for my parents because they are able to watch my toddler and infant if I need to go somewhere like the store. Because I have had this same exact thing happen to me. And like the woman in the article, everyone just stares and judges. People automatically jump to the conclusion that you must be a bad parent if your child is behaving that way.

At that moment, I felt like it was meant for me to read that article.

I began researching autism. I was up until 4am researching it when I had to be up at 8am for my infant's doctor's appointment. I came across a website that asks questions and at the end they give you the likeliness that your child might be autistic. (Obviously it was just a questionnaire and not something concrete) I answered all questions honestly and at the end my results said: "Your child is at high risk to have autism".

I went to the appointment hoping his teachers would have answers. We talked for 20 minutes. We were asking questions like "Does he share?" or "Does he hit when he's upset?" and "Does he have tantrums?" And they answered all of the questions for us.

Finally the main teacher asked, "What do you all think?" I felt like that was a chance for me to say, "I think it might be some form of autism". And when I said that all 3 teachers looked at each other and shook their heads yes. They confirmed that they too believe that he has some form of it.

We stayed and talked for another hour. They were so helpful and gave us lots of ideas and tips. At his next doctor's appointment we are going to ask for a referral for him to see a specialist. The teachers are also going to try to get him in with the school psychologist to get her analysis. They said it may take a while to get him in but to keep on with the doctor's and do not let up because the sooner he gets evaluated and they find out what the situation is, the sooner we can help him.

 
Patrick teared up a few times during the interview. I kept cool. I am normally the one who cries and is over emotional. But I never did. I still haven't. I have even thought to myself, "Why haven't you cried? Your child may have autism"? But honestly I am not sad. I am relieved.

I am not relieved that he might have autism. I am relieved that we are finally taking a step forward. I have felt so helpless recently because I feel like no matter how hard we try we aren't helping him adequately enough.

He gets so upset, so easily if we deviate from certain situations. Or if we don't do something quickly enough or to his liking, he has a total meltdown. And because he doesn't speak, it makes things 10 times harder because it is a constant guessing game.

As I was typing this out, he was trying to hit me because he wants on the computer. I had to explain that I will be done in a little while and he can get on it. But it took almost 20 minutes to calm him down.

At times I have felt so helpless or like I was doing something wrong as a parent. I wondered why he doesn't talk or want to interact with other children, why he isn't more loving toward us. I've asked myself "Does he love me?" and cried. It's been really hard.

So hearing today that professionals who have been around this and know what to look for confirm that he might need to be seen made me take a sigh of relief. Again, I am not hoping that he has autism. He may not have autism. It may be something completely different or nothing at all. But we are taking a step forward. And it looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel.

No matter what, I love Tim Tim. I have mentioned all of the reasons that we think he may have a form of autism. But that isn't what defines him by any means. He's a beautiful, intelligent, wonderful little boy. And all I want to do is be able to help him how he needs to be helped.  We are now on the path of doing that.

-Ashli

Friday, April 3, 2015

Rustic Apartment Living Room Decor

I love love, love rustic decor. I always have. And it has always been my dream to use rustic decor in my home. And for a long time, I thought that you had to live in a house to decorate using rustic decor. Then I thought "Why?" Why would I need to live in a house to decorate that way?

The simple answer: I don't. You can live in an apartment, a townhouse, a trailer, a double wide, wherever and decorate however you would like. There are no rules! And why buy things to decorate this town home while we live here just to buy rustic decor when we buy a house of our own? That's silly. So I decided to decorate our townhouse/apartment in rustic!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Laundry, Loads, & Love

A new post and a new year! A lot has happened since my last post. I had a baby 2 and a half months ago. Sadly this blog has been seriously neglected. But I am going to try to be better. I have re-decorated all of the main living spaces in my home and even our bedroom. Needless to say I have a lot to show & share. Plus we have been making a lot of our on home decor items. It has been a busy month and a half. (The nesting never ended!)

Not to mention I have lost 40 pounds since I had my baby! 46 pounds since before I got pregnant. Which means that I weighed more before I got pregnant than I did when I actually had Benjamin. Things are a'changin.