• Rants & Musings

    What I Learned My First Month Blogging

    What a month it has been. This blog has had its ups and downs. If you have been reading along, you know how nervous I was about starting this blog (read Have You Ever Been Nervous About Starting Something New? I Am!) I have learned so much just in this first month. Here are the things I learned in my first month of blogging. It has been challenging, scary, exciting, imperfect, and full of mistakes.

    Blogging is Challenging

    Starting a blog is extremely hard. Creating a writing schedule and creating ideas for blog posts has been one of the more challenging parts for me this first month. This is something new, and I have had to rearrange some things to figure out when to write.

    Writing, in general, has been difficult for me. I don’t know where to start. I have so many thoughts I want to share; they are a jumbled mess in my head. Then I read other blogs, and I feel like I am not good at this and want to give up. I would say just keeping this up has been challenging in and of itself. Let’s say that starting this blog has been a lot harder than I ever thought it would be.

    Blogging Can Be Scary

    Starting a blog is one of the scariest things I have ever done. Opening up to people is scary for me because I am timid. I prefer to stay in my little bubble. I worry so much about what others think when they read my articles. I worry about making sense and if I am getting my point across. I am scared that I am boring and that I sound stupid. Being scared and doubting myself has been the one I have been struggling with the most.

    Blogging is Exciting

    I have learned that even through all the challenges and the scary parts, it has also been exciting. I didn’t tell anyone that I was starting a blog. That was part of doubting myself, but it was so exciting when I finally launched my blog. When I read my first comment, I was so happy. It made me feel like I could do this. It is also exciting connecting with people going through the same thing you are.

    Blogging Can Be Imperfect and Full Of Mistakes

    Obviously, from the name of my blog, you can figure out that I am so far from being perfect. This blog proved that. There have been so many imperfect things, but this journey is about learning that it doesn’t have to be perfect.

    I have made so many mistakes this first month of blogging. I read other blog posts that tell you not to do this when you start a blog or to do that. For most of those things, I made all the mistakes other bloggers have said not to make. That is how we learn, though, right? By making mistakes.

    It has been a long and exciting month and very worth it. I need to remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. I also have to keep reminding myself that I can’t compare my first month of blogging to someone who has been blogging for years. I hope to continue to grow and learn new things about myself.

    Above all, the number one thing I have learned in my first month of blogging is to remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect as long as I am doing my best!

  • Rants & Musings

    How to Avoid Doing Laundry on the Weekends

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via these links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclaimers for more information.

    Do you like to do laundry? How about doing laundry on the weekends? Doing laundry for me is on my list of chores I hate to do. It is right up there with cleaning the bathrooms. It is also on the list of things that must be done, no matter how much I dislike it. I would prefer not to do laundry on the weekends, so I have devised a schedule that allows me to enjoy the weekends with my family.

    My Weekly Laundry Schedule

    Before I start, I want to say that this schedule works for me. The best thing to do is make a schedule that works for you and your life. I am a stay-at-home mom, so this might not work the same for those working or those busy and not home all the time. I hope I can still inspire you so you can have days when you don’t need to do laundry.

    I love to make schedules and be organized. It is just something that I enjoy doing. So, of course, that is how I do my laundry with a schedule. Keep in mind that I have three kids. You may have less or more than that. I may have less or more laundry than you do, so adjust this to work best for you. Anyway, here is my schedule.

    Monday

    Monday is the day that I do my husband’s and my laundry. Depending on the week we had, I have anywhere from three to five loads to wash. I start my loads the night before by sorting our laundry and putting a single load in on a delay to start in the morning before I wake up. My washing machine has a delayed start feature, which is the best thing ever! So, I will put a load of laundry in on Sunday night before I go to bed, and I will delay it to start for 8 hours. Then, I can rotate laundry and start a new load when I wake up Monday morning. It saves me so much time. The rest of the day, I rotate my laundry as soon as a load is done until I have completed all my loads. I also like to fold the clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer. They don’t get done if I don’t, which happens more than I care to admit.

    Tuesday

    Tuesday is the day that I wash all of the towels we used that week, including the kitchen towels and rags. This can also take a couple of loads. I wash my towels in baking soda and vinegar. This makes it so they don’t get that mildew smell.

    Wednesday

    On Wednesday, I wash my daughter’s clothes. I have two daughters, so I have a few loads this day. I wash their regular clothes separately and then a load of delicates together. Here is a small confession. During the school year, I wash and fold their laundry, and they must put it away. During the summer, when they have more time, they are in charge of washing their clothes. Also, use a color catcher so you don’t have to separate your clothes. You can wash them all together. This is a huge time saver!

    Thursday

    On Thursday, I wash my son’s clothes. This day doesn’t take me long because my son doesn’t wear as many clothes as my girls! I have fewer loads this day, and because of that, I will wash anything extra. Sometimes, I have soccer uniforms or swimsuits or some other random things that I will wash.

    Friday

    On Friday, I will wash the sheets. I just started using the new Lysol Washing Sanitizer, which makes my sheets smell so good. It makes me feel like they get extra clean when I use this.

    Saturday and Sunday

    On Saturday and Sunday, I relax and spend time with my family! Like always, this is not a perfect schedule, but it is the best I can do!

    I love that I have days that I don’t have to worry about doing laundry. Like I said before, this is what works for me. Are there weeks that it doesn’t work out like this? Yes, all the time. It isn’t perfect. I try my best to follow this. Do you have a laundry schedule? I would love to hear how you get all your laundry done during the week! Please comment below!

  • Family,  Tactile Defensiveness

    Our Family’s Two Completely Different Types of Picky Eaters

    The other day, I was talking to my youngest daughter about her picky eating. She commented about how she is a picky eater, but her brother is a picky eater, and he has an excuse. Then she said she was so sorry about being a picky eater. After some thought, I realized my family has two types of picky eaters.

    Our Picky Eater #1 – My Son

    Our family’s number one picky eater is my son. He has tactile defensiveness. (Read more about his challenges with tactile defensiveness). If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve heard about it, but for a quick overview, my son doesn’t like how things feel on his skin. This also includes how food feels in his mouth. Because he has tactile defensiveness in his mouth, he has difficulty eating certain foods.

    Finding something for him to eat at mealtime is challenging and a daily struggle. He won’t eat anything slimy or gooey, such as soup or pasta with any sauce. What usually ends up happening is he will find something he likes to eat, and then he eats that until he doesn’t like it anymore, and then the process starts all over. This makes it hard for me to make dinner for him. He will usually try something new if it doesn’t look too gooey. A lot of the time, I typically have to find something else for him to eat other than what we are having for dinner.

    I know there are a lot of you out there who are probably saying make him eat what you cook. With him, it just isn’t that simple. I try to make food for dinner that he will eat, but sometimes, I like to make what I want to eat. I make him try it, and sometimes he will, but he often doesn’t like how it feels in his mouth. So, with him, I try to do the best I can.

    Our Picky Eater #2 – My Youngest Daughter

    Our family’s number two picky eater is my youngest daughter. She doesn’t like anything. Listen, I mean anything when I say she doesn’t like anything. I try to make a variety of food for her, but she won’t eat anything. She is the most stubborn person I have ever met! Her essential meal is pasta but without sauce. It’s just plain old pasta, sometimes with melted butter. There are very few other things that she will eat.

    It is hard to explain why she has to eat something when her brother doesn’t. She has grown up watching her brother being a picky eater, so she comes by it honestly and thinks she doesn’t have to eat something if he doesn’t. She is still young and doesn’t fully understand her brother’s condition. We have tried explaining it to her, but it is hard for her to comprehend. Now that she is getting older, she is starting to understand, but that hasn’t made up for the years of her picky eating.

    I believe most of her picky eating comes from being afraid. She’s often afraid to try something new and thinks she will not like it, so she doesn’t try it.

    How Do I Handle My Family’s Picky Eaters?

    Now that you understand more about what kind of picky eaters I have, you are probably wondering how I handle it. Honestly, there is no magical way to handle it. The best thing I do to help them with their picky eating is encouragement. I try to encourage them to try new foods. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it feels like such a milestone for me and for them.

    Is there some magical way to get your picky eater to eat? I am going to say no. I think each child is different. What works with my son doesn’t work with my daughter. I would do the best you can with your child. They can be stubborn, that is for sure. I must remind myself to keep going constantly; you are doing great!

    I would love to hear from anyone with a picky eater and how they deal with it. I often feel at my wits’ end. Please comment and share your knowledge so we can all help each other.

  • Family,  Tactile Defensiveness

    3 Fun Therapy Activities for Kids With Tactile Defensiveness

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via these links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclaimers for more information.

    When my son was first diagnosed with tactile defensiveness, we had to do a lot of occupational therapy with him. We took him to an occupational therapist but also had some in-home occupational therapy. I learned a lot from these therapy sessions. I want to share three activities that my son liked the most.

    #1 – Sensory Bins

    Kids playing in a sensory bin filled with rice and small toys as part of an occupational therapy activity for tactile defensiveness.

    Sensory bins are a great therapy activity to do with kids who have tactile defensiveness. To create a sensory bin first take a couple bags of rice and dump it into a medium size container. We always used a container that had a lid, so we could just store it for later. Spread a blanket out on your floor and put the container in the middle of the blanket. Gather a some small toys that your child enjoys playing with and hide them in the rice. Have your child dig through the rice and find their toys. This makes a mess, so you have a blanket to catch spilled rice under the container.

    Don’t push your child too much to start digging in the rice. Let them go at their own pace. It helps them if you play along in the rice with them and show them how to find their toys. Eventually, they will do this on their own. My son used his little pointer finger to dig in the rice the first time he did this. He did not like the feel of the rice on his hands at all. After several times doing this activity, he finally would dig through the rice with both of his hands. I would also give him spoons and cups, and he would scoop up the rice and put it in the cup. Once he was comfortable playing in the rice, I would have him put his bare feet in it. Once again, he did not like this initially but eventually got used to it. After a while, you can get the container out, and your child should be able to play in it independently.

    You can also put dried beans or uncooked noodles in the sensory bin. I had three separate sensory beans with rice, beans, and noodles. When I wanted my son to do therapy, I would get one of the containers out. This would keep him occupied for at least an hour.

    Amazon.com also offers some sensory bins available for sale, if you don’t want to make one yourself. Here’s a couple of quick and easy options!

    #2 – Shaving Cream Play

    Kids playing with shaving cream as part of an occupational therapy activity for tactile defensiveness.

    Shaving cream play is another great therapy activity to do with kids who have tactile defensiveness. This activity is very messy, so I would recommend doing it on a table. Take a cookie sheet and spray shaving cream onto it. You can start with just a little at first, or you can do a lot. Put toy cars or other small toys in the shaving cream. I liked to drive the cars through the shaving cream with my son. Show your child how fun it is to play in the shaving cream. The hope is that your child will start playing with you.

    Shaving cream play was more difficult than the sensory bins for my son. He started out moving his car around with one finger. If he got too much shaving cream on his finger, he would need to wipe it off. Over time, he eventually put his hand in the shaving cream.

    Another thing that you can use in place of the shaving cream is pudding. If you can get them to put the pudding in their mouth, that is huge. My son would never do this, but maybe your child will.

    #3 – Water Table Play

    Kids playing with a water table as part of an occupational therapy activity for tactile defensiveness.

    If you can, I would invest in a water table. It doesn’t have to be a big one, a small one will do. Our son loved this therapy activity because it allowed him to really use his imagination, and he loved playing in the water. We started with just water in the water table with a couple of fun toys. After our son was comfortable with just the water and toys we started adding additional things to the water. A few ideas of things we added were bubbles, water beads, and artificial snow. You can use anything you can think of as long as you can clean it out of the table. Plus, water table play is a great activity in the summer months when the kids can be outside.

    Water table play was my son’s favorite of all of the therapy activities we did. He would spend hours outside playing with the water table.

    These therapy activities are great for any child but especially great for kids with tactile defensiveness. I hope that these activities help you as much as they helped my son and me. Do you have any activities that you do to help your child with tactile defensiveness? I would love to hear all of your ideas! Remember, you don’t have to be perfect when helping your child. You just need to do your best!

  • Family,  Holidays

    How We Celebrate Valentine’s Day

    When my husband and I first married, we would go to dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day like everyone else. Valentine’s Day seems to have only gotten more chaotic as we’ve grown older, and we have changed how our family celebrates this day.

    I remember a Valentine’s Day when we used to go out to eat on Valentine’s Day. That year, we made a reservation at a restaurant that we loved, and when we got there, even though we had a reservation, the wait time for us to get in was an hour and a half.

    We decided to go to a different restaurant to see if we could get in any faster. We discovered the restaurant’s wait time was just as long when we arrived. Eventually, we returned to the first restaurant and endured the hour-and-a-half wait. Let’s say that experience was not very fun for either of us. Ever since that Valentine’s Day, we have done things differently in our family.

    These days, if my husband and I decide to go out on a date for Valentine’s Day, which we usually do, we will go out the week before Valentine’s Day so we don’t have to deal with crowds. Instead, we have the most fun involving our children in our celebration on Valentine’s Day.

    We celebrate Valentine’s Day by having a very fancy family dinner. It is one of the only fancy dinners we have the whole year. On Valentine’s Day, my husband will get the girls a single rose and a treat for my son. We set the table in the evening and pull out all the stops. Usually, the girls are in charge of doing this. We have a unique tablecloth we use. We use special plates and have fancy glasses. There are flowers for centerpieces, and we light candles. The girls will make nametags for the place setting. They have so much fun setting the table and making it look like a fancy restaurant.

    We make soup with pasta, a salad, and breadsticks. We also have sparkling cider as our drink. After dinner, we have a nice dessert. We have a good time sitting around our fancy table. The children seem more involved in the conversations and have better manners because they feel different.

    This is a simple tradition, yet it is one of my favorites. I love that it gets the entire family involved. The kids also remember doing it year after year. It teaches the kids that Valentine’s Day isn’t just a holiday of loving your significant other, but it can be about how we love each other as a family. The biggest bonus of all is that the introvert in me gets to stay home and avoid all those crowded restaurants!! Which is a win in my book!

    How do celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you have any fun traditions that you have as a family? I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment!