Happy 8th Birthday Miss Emma!

Yesterday was Miss Emma’s Eighth birthday!!!


Happy Birthday to my sweet and sassy, beautiful and bold, energetic Emma!

It’s very hard for me to believe she is eight, already!!!

We decided to keep all the kids birthdays this year low key, and to do the parties next year. We’ll probably do it that way (every other year) unless there’s a milestone year for one of the kids that is a “must-have-a-party” kind of a year.  And since Daddy had drill this weekend anyway, family-only and low-key seemed the way to go.

Emma picked the Chinese Buffet for dinner, so as soon as Daddy got home from drill, we were off to for dinner. Our big eight year-old got bumped to the higher-priced kid bracket (3-7 is one price, 8-11 is another) and picked cola as her drink (of course, because otherwise it would have been water!) and choose pizza, bananas, cantaloupe, sweet and sour chicken, and cookies for her dinner.  After and awesome dinner at the Chinese Buffet, we went home to have cake and open presents.

My princess Emma had a blast blowing out her sparkler candles on her pink and purple princess cake.  But I think mostly she enjoyed opening, and playing with her new toys – barbies, barbie styling etching plate set; art easel; frozen stationary; baby unicorn fingerling; some awesome new clothing, etc.

Happy Birthday My Sweet Princess Emma!



Regression… It’s a dirty 10-letter word?

Regression – It’s a thing all kids go through when they are under stress.  Regression is when a child exhibits behaviors they have grown out of and/or are developmentally younger than they are.  A few examples of regression is when your fully potty-trained four-year-old starts having accidents or when your independent first grader starts having a temper tantrum every time you mention the word “school.” Typical regressive behaviors include temper tantrums, whining, aggression, thumb sucking, and baby talk.

As I mentioned, regression is a thing a all kids do when they are under stress – like when they are frustrated or a traumatic event occurs in their lives – such as the arrival of a new sibling, the divorce of their parents, dealing with death, moving, or the start/end of school or daycare.  These situations can leave children feeling insecure, angry, or scared.  And as children they often lack the proper communication skills to share how they feel with their parents and will revert to the behaviors they know will attract adult attention; thus regress.

Ok, so you already knew all this? Good, so did I.  I wanted and needed the reminder.  I should also point out that the information is on point for so-called “neuro-typical” children.  When we’re talking children on the spectrum, well, there are a few more things to consider…

so…my sweet little Vivian has been on this downward regressive  spiral for a few weeks now.  As a reminder, Vivi is my six year old, who just entered the first grade, is on the spectrum, and is completely non-verbal.  Also, she’s a tiny thing, at about 30 pounds my almost two year-old is almost as big as her.  We have struggled to find a way for her to communicate effectively, and I think this is where much of her frustration and tantrums come from.

Vivian’s regressive behavior, started suddenly a few weekends ago with what I will call “hard” tantrums.  At her norm, Vivian tantrums regularly, with crying, yelling, running back and forth and flinging her body, but in these tantrums she was screaming as loud as she could, walking/running on her tip toes and with her tip toes rolled over (ouch!), pulling at body parts, and really flinging her body on the couch and other pieces of furniture.  Vivian also had multiple bathroom accidents, which hasn’t really happened in months, and her eating has regressed as well. She has eating issues, but they’ve gotten worse.  She seemed to have lost the desire to feed herself completely when we are around — I say it that way only because she does much better with feeding at school and at ABA.  On the bright side, we’ve managed to get her to gain 1.5 pounds over the past month (which is a really great, great thing)!

So as the days turned into weeks I racked my brain to figure out what wrong — something medical (pain, ear infection?), some change in environment? Other than starting school two weeks prior and a new schedule to go along with, going on a weekend trip to see a maternal biological relative (this never to rarely occurs), and the addition of another ABA therapist, I couldn’t think of anything.  Sure, any or all of these could trigger regressive behaviors, but we hit the trifecta with Vivian’s regression here.  It’s been rough.

So, in the effort to find an answer to what might be going on here, I took her the pediatrician to see the regressive behaviors could medically-related…but no.  Actually, everything came up pretty darn perfect, medically speaking.  And, as I mentioned, even with the new feeding struggles, we managed to pack some more weight on her. So that was one dead end. At this appointment, we did decide to put her on a medication to increase her appetite and hopefully aide in the weight gain. But no answers about the regressive behavior.

Then my hubby took Vivi to the developmental/behavioral pediatrician for a check-up and it was decided to take her off one of medications meant to help with anxiety sometimes associated with children with severe autism.  We originally put her on this medication in the hopes that the some of tantrums and anxiety would subside, and more functional communication and academic learning could occur.  Well, with the uptick of tantrums, the medicine was obviously not working so we decided to take her off and see how it goes without it. But no real answers about the regressive behavior.

So here we are, still without answers, and it almost seems like Vivi is “settling” into this new regime of this regressed behavior.  Which is a bit sad and depressing.  And it makes me really wonder what was the cause of the sudden flashback of regressive behavior and aggressive tantrums.  Is it medical? Is it environmental?










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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However, this particular amount of regressive behavior has been extreme, upsetting to see without knowing the cause and being unable to correct the underlying issue for her.


Labor Day Weekend!


Welcome to Labor Day weekend and the unofficial end of summer!  Some take those last short vacations, others have barbecues with friends and families.  But how many people know the history behind Labor Day?

When a holiday with a history comes up, I like to ask my oldest daughter, who is 14, if she knows why we celebrate the holiday and how the holiday came about.  I just don’t want her or any of my kids thinking Memorial Day is a day solely for picnics and barbecues and Christmas is about a tree and receiving gifts.

Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September to honor the American labor movement, which was dedicated to the social and economic achievements made by American workers to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country. The first Labor Day Parade was held in New York City in 1887 and was organized by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor. Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official Public holiday in 1887, and by 1894, thirty states made Labor Day official.

Today, unions are on the decline, for many reasons.  Personally, I believe in unions, and what they say, so long they are run with honesty and integrity.  I grew up where my Dad was a teamster and a shop steward. By definition he was part of the foundation of the union – elected by his coworkers to represent them while dealing with management and negotiating collective bargaining negotiations.


Now for the fun stuff…. Labor Day Freebies and Deals:

Blue Star Museums: Blue Star Museums is a collaborations between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families the DoD, and many museums across America and participating museums offer free admission to our Active Duty Military, National Guard, and Reservists and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Baskin Robbins: On September 2, you can get a FREE sample (3.5 oz.) of the Pumpkin Cheesecake Cappuccino Blast (at participating locations).

Dairy Queen: Get a FREE Blizzard on Labor Day just by downloading the Dairy Queen App on your phone.

Olive Garden: Not exactly a Labor Day special, but, they are running a But-One-Take-One Special, starting at $12.99.  Buy one meal for dine-in and get a second entree to take home FREE.  Ends 09/23

Sonic: Through Labor Day, American Classic Meals are only $2.99.  American Classic Meals include either a hot dog, a quarter pound double cheese burger or chili cheese coney with medium tots.  Also, Sonic Nights ends Labor Day so get your half-priced shakes, floats and ice cream slushes after 8pm while you still can.

Wendy’s:  For a limited time only, get yourself a Frosty for just fifty cents.

And if you live in the Tampa, FL area, here are some FREE activity ideas:

Downtown Clearwater Art Walk: Cleveland Street, Clearwater, 6-9pm: Take a stroll down Clearwater’s Cleveland Street as you sip, eat, and enjoy beautiful art. Drink and menu specials will be offered and some locations will also have vibrant live music.

Gecko Fest: Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, 10am-10pm: The waterfront village streets will be filled with two stages with live music, hundreds of food, arts and crafts vendors, childrens’ activities, as well as acrobats, magicians, daredevils, aerialists, escape artists, fire eaters, and balloon artists.  This year’s theme is “Gecko-Con,” celebrating superheroes, villians, cult characters, and imaginary locations these characters live in.



So, It’s Been Like Months….

So, it’s been like months and months, literally since I posted to my blog.  You know, life happens.  And it especially happens when you have a one year old, a six year old, a seven year old and a fourteen year old. And its summertime, your routine is off, and you get the idea.  Actually, summer wasn’t all that bad… Emma and Jennifer were in the Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp (full days, all summer), which was nice because the Club provided tons of activities and field trips for the kids to keep them active over the summer.  The positive thing was it got the girls out of the house everyday, the negative thing was that Emma picked up lots of really bad behaviors there from the other children.  She did last year too, so it was no surprise.  But the socialization she receives is outweighs the bad behavior.


In June, Vivian started her ABA therapy for twelve hours a week (I wish it could have been more, and in actuality she was approved by our insurance for up to twenty hours a week, but no one told us that and the therapist only scheduled her for twelve hours a week). Oh, well. At first, we did not see any changes at home, but her therapist was very impressed with how quickly she was catching on concepts and moving up in her therapy steps.  Most of what they worked on at first was PECS-related, and Vivian has been familiarized with PECS many times so that is why I think she zoomed through those steps.  So far, she is still doing well, which is great.


As for Baby Shawn (err..Toddler Shawn?), he started a Learn, Grow and Thrive class at the local YMCA twice a week for about a month to start (to see how he did) where little one from 18 months to 5 years old sit in a small class for an hour and go over colors, letters, numbers, animals, and such.  They said he did really, really well for being one of the youngest in the class.  During his first class he sat in his seat the whole time, colored, didn’t cry… and was such a big boy!


So that’s my super quick summary of the summer.  I’m working on getting my blog into better shape — looking better, working better, you know, a complete overhaul.  So please, be a little patient.  But the posts will keep coming, on the regular, promise!

Until nest time, remember,


The Fake Fiance Groom $25 Release Day Giveaway

The Fake Fiance Groom (Texas Titan Romances) by Taylor Hart

Walker Kent, professional football player, hates the press. After a year of dealing with a dishonorable discharge, he’s in no mood to play nice at a bachelor auction. When a beautiful actress buys him, then announces he’s her fiancé … his barely endurable night has just turned to purgatory.
After discovering her ex is engaged to her best friend (ex best friend, thank you very much) Scarlett Powers is desperate to find a fake fiancé to take to her brother’s wedding to show the happy couple she’s NOT a pity case. Good thing she spots the perfect bad-boy football player to take with her—Walker Kent. Too bad he turns her down!
After re-negotiating terms of the fake fiancé deal, Scarlett soon finds herself in the middle of a controlling father, a cougar mother-in-law, and a crazy bridezilla who wants to personalize the wedding with DIY craft projects for the guests. When Walker sweeps her off her feet by taking her on an ‘off books’ date, she finds herself on a Ferris wheel, sharing things with him she’s never told another living soul.
When a secret comes to light and she is forced to tell the truth, she has to make a choice—walk away or risk losing the only thing that’s ever been real.


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Author Taylor Hart

Taylor Hart has always been drawn to a good love triangle, hot chocolate and long conversations with new friends. Writing has always been a passion that has consumed her dreams and forced her to sit in a trance for long hours, completely obsessed with people that don’t really exist. Taylor would have been a country star if she could have carried a tune—maybe in the next life.

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Giveaway Details
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 6/17/18

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