4th Generation Air Force and Proud

https://www.peterson.af.mil/News/Article/1596102/four-generations-of-service/

My husband is coming up on his 8 year mark in the Air Force and to say I am proud of him would be an understatement at best. He is not only an incredible husband and father but he is also a person proud to serve his country.

We first met in high school where our parents were both stationed at the Air Force base in a small town in Idaho. The Air Force is all either of us have truly known with all four of our parents serving in the military at some point in our lives. We are so proud to be the military family we are and to have the chance to raise our boys the way we were raised.

I wanted to just take a second to share this article that was published in the Peterson AFB paper about Jordan and our family. It is amazing to me the dedication from entire families and generation to serve. ♥️

These are the banners that Jordan’s grandfather had made and he stands them outside his house. This picture truly speaks volumes just seeing the generation after generation of service.

Lessons learned

I would like to think in my life that I have learned a lot. Obviously I am no where near learning and actually enjoy learning everything about anything. I have been told I am like a sponge because I like to absorb all things I can lol. But at 30 years young I have learned that whether I go out and get stupid drunk or just go to a late night concert with some mom friends, both leave me feeling like death the next day. Or in this case two days.

I jumped WAY out of my comfort zone this past weekend and went to a Luke Bryan concert with my amazing friend who asked me to go. It’s funny when you are on your almost 2 hour drive to the concert and your friend confessed that she did NOT think you would say yes so basically she asked because she knew I would like that she asked me even if I said no. But the funny thing is as she was telling me she pretty much pitty asked me to go I looked at her and said I was so happy she asked even if she thought I’d say no because she extended the offer. To me what does it just to ask even if they say no because you made them feel included. Well joke was on her because when she did ask I was out with family and had two drinks so I was a little more loose than I normally would have been so I said that I would go.

So fast forward to the next day and we leave the house at around 2pm and didn’t get home until around 2:30am. Now if you know me you know I barely stay up until 9:30 pm because my boys wake up well before 6am so I like to get sleep where I can. However, on this night I went to bed around 3am and woke around 8am and spent the day feeling so exhausted my eyes were burning it of my head.

Even the next day on Monday I was still feeling tired but drank an extra pink drink and finally woke up. The concert with my friend was an experience to say the least but everything in life can be a challenge good or bad and I am so happy I was able to go with my amazing friend to this.

But I would say that if you are old like me and you get no sleep you might as well stay up the whole night and start over the next. Because either way you will feel like a car wreck hahah

Momlife at its finest!!

I have been a mom for almost 4 years now and let me tell you it has been a major rollercoaster of emotions. I always say NOTHING beats that moment when you are done laboring for hours and hours and you finally get to hold your baby. I still can still go back to those days and memories of the first time I held both my boys and I do it often as it is my happy place. When you first hold them, kiss them, and study every small detail of them, it’s like the world doesn’t exist besides the two of you at that moment. You are able to block out everything and every worry that is soon to come.

But that moment, though forever in your heart, is not something that stays long and soon the worry starts. I don’t know when it happened for me but at some point after becoming a mother I quickly started to fear so much. Fear the basics like I don’t want to do anything stupid that could kill me and leave my child without a mother. Fear that they aren’t eating or sleeping enough. Fear that you will screw them up while trying your best to make these choices for another human being that you didn’t realize would be so hard. And just everyday fear.

I have always been a planner and a “why girl” (that name was given to me by my parents when I was a child because I had to know everything) I need to know everything. But when you have children there aren’t always answers and that is hard for me. When your child is born with a CMN and there is no answers to why he was born with it or how it happens it’s hard to swallow the unknown. When your child is diagnosed with Autism which in itself is a word of “uggghhhh IDK” it is impossible for a black and white thinker like myself.

But you do the best you can with what you have am I right? It took me years to finally feel like I could leave my kids for any amount of time and get away. I would leave the boys with my husband to go to my doctor appts or to go do something really quick, but to leave the boys with a babysitter or even family took a lot of time. You see Jordan and I run a very routine household for our boys. It really helps my oldest with his autism and it helps my youngest grow and succeed as well. So the idea of leaving for a date night or anything where we both were together had me scared that all our hard work would be thrown away.

I remember the first time we went on a date for a couple hours when we lived in Germany and my parents watched the boys. I was so crazy about leaving them that I only agreed to do it if we left after we put the boys to sleep. So we put them to bed and then left the house for a Christmas party for my husbands work which we were late to. We had a pretty good time although I kept texting to check in on my boys lol. But when we returned from the party a couple hours later we came home changed and then all of a sudden our oldest was awake and puking. First time he had ever had the flu (and only time) so we went from a date night to a sick child up all night. Now I know that it had nothing to do with us leaving the house because soon after my parents, my youngest, and myself all had the flu, but it was hard to come home and feel like I neglected my child. So it was a long time until we tried that again.

Once we moved to Colorado and got settled in my husband started to push for more time together alone so I started the process of finding someone who could regularly watch the boys so they became close with them as well as so I could trust them. I literally interviewed, ran background checks, as well as driving records before I picked someone. After finding the right fit for our family I then paid this person multiple times to just come hangout with us and “train” to be our sitter.

So fast forward to present day and I guess I started this who post to talk about the fact that now I have time to myself if wanted, all I feel when I leave and do something is guilt. I left the house the other day to play bingo for a couple hours and looked at my phone pictures of the boys the whole time and felt like crap. I then returned home early and played with the boys while our sitter was still here and being paid because I felt so bad. I struggle ALL the time with leaving my kids and literally cry when I do and I don’t know if that will ever change.

Tribute tattoo and my experience

So I’m not sure what the focus of this blog post will be I’ll be honest from the start with that, but non the less her we go.

A couple years ago I I started thinking about the idea of getting a tattoo that would support my son and draw attention to Autism Awareness. I looked around for a couple years until I decided on the tattoo I would have for the REST of my life.

I decided on this dandelion that I would remove the lines and birds and have the artist turn the wishes into morphing puzzle pieces. When I went into the appointment the artists assured me he could EASILY do this for me so we booked a date and time. Days before my appt I started having bad dreams that the tattoo wouldn’t tune out good but I ignored them. I mean after all he told me is would be easy and not to worry.

So what did I end up with you ask?

Yep you can see it correctly. That is a robotic looking, smiling laughing at me, fake looking dandelion at best. I paid the guy and went home and cried. I am not someone to make a big scene until I can gather my true feelings and figure out how I’ll handle the situation. (Don’t worry if you are explosive and implosive it took me years to get to this point in my life)

So after I slept on it for a day I emailed the tattoo shop explains everything and waited for a reply. I then received an email from the receptionist saying that she would help get me to the right person to help me. We talked back and forth all day until she suggested an artist named Ivy at their downtown location in Colorado Springs (by the way the tattoo shop is called Pens and Needles and both are locally owned by an Army Veteran which is why I picked this place) so Ivy and I talked back and forth for a few days and eventually set up a consult where I felt like she cared! You didn’t see me as another payout she actually cared that I was upset and she did everything to make it better.

We set up an appt for two weeks later that would end up being over 6 hours of work. I came into her room excited to fix what was making me so upset about my tattoo. While at the consult we decided to go bigger to make it better. She fixed the hardest part which was making the fake looking wishes REAL, as well as added more puzzle pieces and some very very kick ass watercolor. Like actual water color which I loved! She finished and I was so happy, like here is something I can be proud of and be happy to show my support of my son with this tattoo.

If you are local to the Springs and want a tattoo or maybe have one you hate and want to cover it up, you have NOTHIN to lose and only happiness to gain by going to see Ivy. She is a fantastic artist who cares about her clients. And the experience with Pens and Needles owner and staff is beyond real. They took care of me and fixed my tattoo is such a professional and we care kind of way. I will go back every time I want something because they are so amazing!

Cell phones……and the new age

Unlike most kids these days I got my first ever cellphone when I was 16 almost 17. I remember back when I was in school no one really had cellphones until maybe junior year in high school. For one there wasn’t the smart phone aspect of phones (you were lucky to have a camera phone which made you pretty cool) and for two we didn’t really care to have phones because then our parents could check in on us. However, like most decisions made when you are a teenage girl, I begged my parents for a cell phone when my boyfriend at the time said he was moving an hour away.

I remember taking basically a presentation to my parents of all the numbers. I showed them how I had help my job at Albertsons for almost two years at the time as well as how much money I made. I then showed them how much a phone would cost every month and the cost of my car insurance and promised I would never miss a bill. They agreed and we went to Sprint and signed me up to get a phone. Back then it was easy and cheap! You went in and signed a two year contract and they said here are the phones you can pick for free or here are the ones you can buy. I always went with free and thus began my 14 years of Sprint service.

When my husband and I got together I added him to my phone plan and then when we moved to Europe for 4 years we put our phones on hold and when we returned EVERYTHING was different. We arrived in the US with our 5 year old phones looking to upgrade to whatever was free with a new contract and make sure it had 4G service. Boy ere we shocked when we learned 1. There were no more contracts 2. 4G was replaced by LTE for best service and 3. There were no more FREE phones.

Imagine coming back to your country only to find out so much has changed that you seem foreign when asking people for things that haven’t been around for years. So now that we knew we had to BUY two phones (as well as a washer and dryer, couch, and much more) we decided to get my iPhone for free through our credit card points to save money and then lease my husbands phone.

When we went to set them all up it made our monthly bill more than it ever was in the 13 years prior. And it seemed that every bill we received kept being higher with taxes and fees. So I set out to find better and save us money when a friend said T-mobile had a great FLAT rate military plan I thought it was too good to be true. I also pride myself in being very loyal in my life with everything. If you treat me good I will always come back whether that’s hair salons, tattoos, cellphone bills, cars insurance ect. But after 14 years with Sprint we were paying $150 for only two phones one of which we owned.

So yesterday I finally broke down and went to t-mobile to check it out and see if it was real. It took about 25 mins and one phone call to sprint to pay off my husbands phone as well as u lock it. I couldn’t believe that after 14 years all we had to do was make a quick phone call and then T-mobile did the rest to cut my ties with Sprint. We now OWN both of our IPhones and we went from a bill of $150 a month to a bill that has a flat rate of $80 a month. So far a great experience with T-mobile and of course I will keep y’all updated in a couple months to see if I still like that I cut off Sprint after 14 years.

The Family that Travels Together Stays Together

After spending 4 years in Europe we have been back for about a year now and finally have a steady routine for ourselves. Europe was amazing! We were able to travel all over 10 different countries and experience the different cultures to the fullest. But since being back in the great United States we have yet to do much but a trip to Louisiana.

But now we are ready to take on the whole county and show our boys how amazing this great country of ours is. Although Jordan and I have traveled all over the US we wanted to start a family nap to mark where we all have traveled together.

I loved the idea of those scratch off maps but when it came down to looking and looking I just decided to work with what I had so that I could spend a little money on other things to go on our travel wall. While at the dollar store I found a very cute US wall decal sticker for of course only $1 so I decided to start with that.

Although it’s meant for the wall I wanted to be able to move the decal from house to house so we could put pins in where we have been. I found a scrap piece of wood that was good enough size (yes Alaska and Hawaii aren’t exactly correct lol) I’m the garage and then set out to find something to make it a little cuter.

For supplies I have

•US wall decal $1

• Scrap wood already paid for

• White paint

• Wood glue

• Rustic wood panels I found for $1.50 on clearance

• Tape to hold on place after gluing

• Mod Podge

Also on the travel wall I bought a discounted wall decal set from Hobby Lobby for $8 and a picture “frame” from Amazon for $10.

So all I did was sand down the board and put a rustic white coat on it. From there I cut the pieces of white wood to go around the edges and glued them on while taping them in place over night. Once it was all in place I attached the decal and put a layer of Mod Podge over to seal it all in. I made a little road trip sign on my Cricut and it’s all done.

Once the picture keeper comes in I will be assembling my wall and will post more pictures. But I just wanted to do a quick post about using what you have to make one of a kind things. If you say you aren’t crafty you are wrong. Just start somewhere whether it’s making stuff, sewing, or even painting you can find things under a dollar at craft stores all day long. Once you get a good stock pile of random things just start experimenting with what you can make.

Top Toys for Speech Delays in Toddlers

We all know kids develop at different ages but when you have a child diagnosed with a speech delay or any other delay you turn into a therapist really quick. When I first started doing research on speech and motor skills my oldest was only 18 months old. When I dug into the world of speech it truly changed how I looked at toys in general.

With all the brands and selections of toys out there these days it can be hard to narrow down the best ones for our children. When you become a new parent you might think all the toys that light up and make noise are cool and will entertain your child. But when you do some research you will find that it will take you back to the most basic of toys. I have made a list of my top toys for speech in toddlers and will write some pointers on how to use them.

Balls:

Balls may seem really basic but have so many uses. You can use them for simple words. Get a bin or basic and you can use them to work on “in, out, roll, throw,” the list is endless and can go into the colors of the balls.

Cars:

Cars are another simple but easy tool to use for speech. Think about driving them on the ground and turning, pushing, pulling them and naming the colors and parts of the car. Then add in some recycled products like paper towel rolls and you can make some tunnels and push tracks to add into the word development.

Mr. Potato Head:

This one by far is my favorite. Not only do both my boys LOVE “Toy Story” but he is a perfect toy for labeling body parts. Start with the basics and of “in, out, push, off, and on” Those are just the easy words of teaching your child how to put the pieces in and out. Then there is the body parts. Ears, mouth, nose, arms, ect. You can pick up a Mr. Potato Head really cheap online or you might get lucky at a thrift store but this is a must have.

Blocks:

I prefer blocks like the Melissa and Doug set that have the alphabet on one side plus different colors and shapes. When using the blocks I like to start with just the basics of stacking them on and off. Push to knock over or simple play. Then use them for labeling colors, designs, abcs. The more you can point to the different things on the blocks and get your child engaged in the play the better.

Phone:

Finally I would like to mention the phone. This can be an old phone from the house, thrift store find, or a play phone. Not only do you have the hello goodbye aspect here with using the phone but you can use the buttons as well. Teaching push, numbers, on and off are all possible with a phone. We have the old fashioned toy phone from “Toy Story” with the string to pull it and love to use it for push and pull imitation as well as finger turning ect.

When shopping for toys in general I like to say less is more. Buy toys that get your child engaged in the play with you. You don’t want the toy doing all the play for your child, you want them to have to do the play. Avoid toys that need batteries or that have too much going on. Your child will benefit from the toys that they have to do more play with. And you will both have so much fun doing the play.

Dentists or salesman??

So I’m literally sitting here in the dentist chair waiting for some machine to mold me a new tooth…..

I came in today to get a teeth cleaning and am orthodontist consult for braces because the last dentist I had said I needed them to help with my nonstop teeth grinding. Well I came in and got my X-rays and ended up being told I need to crowns because my fillings from when I was a kiddo have chipped away allowing another cavity to build up under the filling.

Is it just me or does anyone else hate the “insurance” policy as far as dental is concerned? I mean this lady is telling me how great my insurance is because of how much they cover and then she tells me because of that it will only cost me $1362. When she said ONLY I was not thinking over a grand for two teeth. Then I continued to say well I guess I have to do it so my face doesn’t fall off(because that was basically the worst case that the dentist was telling me as he sold me on it.)

He told me that total time would only be two hours or less! Two hours and I’m paying $1362 and my insurance is being billed for double that! I really should have gone to school to be a dentist if in two hours you can make that kind of money.

So here I am face half numb and drooping to all hell and I’m thinking to myself that I go to the dentist regularly but since being back from Germany two different dentists have told me that I need to spend thousands on my teeth. They always follow up what they are saying by telling me my teeth are awesome and I have great guns. Oh really I have great teeth and gums but you need me to spend thousands for problem areas.

I wonder to myself if sometimes they are just telling you that you need all these things to up sell their work. As I’m writing that sentence I can hear the same dentist trying to sell the person in the next room on night guards for $350. Same thing they said I need after these crowns. So now a days does everyone just come in for a cleaning and leave with a giant bill lol?

It must be a scam…..

When I met my friend over a year ago it was amazing how much we had in common. Our love of God and our families bonded us right away as well as having a very good mutual friend. But it was crazy the health issues we had in common, bad thyroids, migraines, fatigue, and anxiety/stress. I remember telling her how many medications I was in to help with all these different medical problems. And while I was listing them I couldn’t help but think of the scene in Grandma’s Boy where the lady pulls out her tackle box and starts making a smiley face on a plate out of her morning pills.My girlfriend on the other hand wasn’t on any medications for her problems because she was able to control hers with her Plexus supplements (even her Lupus.) so I went home for a hot minute and looked up Plexus. I started IMMEDIATELY seeing testimonials from so many people with what Plexus had helped them with. I saw infertility, anxiety, depression, weight loss, migraines, gout, thyroid, Lupus, fibromyalgia, the list keeps going. So of course being that it was something I would have to buy from a friend or sign up I figured this must be a scam. I mean common you are trying to tell me that one set of products can fixed all of these seemingly different medical conditions? I didn’t by into it a year ago and I can honestly say I wish I would have back then. I wish I would have tried it instead of spending the next year miserable with doctors, medication increases, surgery, and time spent away from my kids. After I had finally reached rock bottom and was so miserable I took the plunge and started taking the supplements after my friend told me about them again. And although at first my body was detoxing and I was having dry mouth really bad I soon started to see the benefits of taking Plexus. I started to get OFF prescription medication. I started to have more energy, weight loss, no migraines, my thyroid numbers were finally stable even when they weren’t with prescription drugs. The list can go on and on for the benefits I have seen from these supplements.And after being on them for months and deciding to stay on them I soon decided to share my story and hopefully reach out to as many people as I could about these products. That’s when I really decided to dive in and educate myself WHY these products were helping me so much. And the easiest answer is GUT HEALTH. The reason Plexus can help with such a wide range of medical problems is because of your gut health and how it fixes it. When your gut health is at its best your body runs so smoothly. So many things relate to our gut health and with the bad things we out in our bodies, and with the day to day stress it’s no wonder so many of us are experiencing such problems.You can never be too healthy! You can never be too sick! Everyone can benefit from these products and everyone CAN feel better. Isn’t it time you start feeling better?mysite.plexusworldwide.com/PatriciacisnaTake a look and let me know what questions you have

Trash into education

Special needs parenting takes a lot of effort and time. I me truly the paperwork. The planning and researching. The doctor appointments and therapy sessions. It’s overwhelming to say the least. But just like with any parenting there comes kids with that “I’m bored” attitude that depending on the age can result in bad behaviors or just general up your buttness. I try and keep my kids busy with things that are going to help them. When I first became a mom I bought things I thought were cool or made cool noises, but that all has changed.When I look at toys I see how they can be related to speech, or sensory, or even what they can learn from the toys. And well, that adds up FAST. I mean seriously if you google sensory toys, speech toys, or toys for Autism you are going to spend at least double for those toys because they label educational or sensory. It has become a real anger for me to see that these things that my child (and many others) needs are way too expensive. It starts to make you think you can’t provide the things your child needs and still keep food on the table.But over time I have truly change in my thinking. I think it all started when we were in the middle of moving from Germany to Colorado and we were living without our stuff for 4 months. All I could think about was how bad I felt for my kiddos without all their toys and comforts. But then one day Brodyn spent the entire day playing with a box of straws and a box of panty liners. Once your kid plays with panty liners your thought process on entertainment changes completely.It allowed me to not only see that toys don’t have to be expensive or come with fancy educational labels, but they can be hand made from things you already have or are throwing out. I now look at every container I’m about to recycle as a way to educate and best of all entertain my children. And the best part is with the craft section at the dollar store these days you can get supplies to use for super cheap and you don’t have to feel bad when you get rid of what you made when they start to get tired of it.We recently bought new bigger kids cups, plates, and bowls and while I put some in our camping gear, I also turned some into sensory touch and feel pads to put on the wall. I literally took things around the house (pebbles, sandpaper and nail files, sponges and beads, wine corks, googlie eyes and some fabric from a stuffed animal the boys ripped up) and glued them on the plates. The best part is I use two command sticky’s to hang each one so when they are bored with them I can take them down with no holes and pass them on to someone else.I love finding ways to mix things up for my kiddos at home. And the best part is that it’s super cheap when you just look at what you have.