Jun 21, 2017

My Beautifully Unique Child

I know that I've talked about how Jake marches to the beat of his own drum. He is Beautifully unique and amazingly original. In light of the current funk that I am still in I thought I would post about my little ray of sunshine. He and Mr. J remind me of how lucky I am. 
I started this blog a little before I found out that I was pregnant with Jake. He is now 8. There are some years that my blog went by the way side and was neglected but all the fond memories that I have posted are here FOREVER and I am grateful for that. 

Last week I picked up Jake from school like this ↓(see pic below). I asked him if his class was making hats today. He said no, I just wanted to wear a hat today. I asked what the 7 meant and he said, 'I just like the number 7'. That simple. As I walked into his class that day, he stood out to me. Not because he is my child but because he was the only one that made himself a hat that day and wore it all day. Some times kids laugh and snicker at him but when that happens I am grateful that he doesn't always get that they are doing that. 
One day last week a kid in Jake's class was very upset with him. He said 'Quit rolling your eyes at me' and Jake said, 'Um I can't help it, I'm blind'. Jake has involuntary eye movements and to someone that doesn't know that, you would think he is rolling his eyes at you. I loved how he advocated for himself but it did hurt his feelings a little. He quickly recovered though. 


One of Jake's favorite things to do after school/adventure zone is to sit at the island with us and write or draw. The other night he made himself a scavenger hunt. The life of an only child. 

His favorite ice cream treat is vanilla with chocolate syrup and cherries. 


Last night Jake laid in the pay window writing colors in Spanish. He has never been a kid that wants to play video games or sports. Possibly due to his visually impairment. I can't be quite sure but I love that he loves to write and would much rather do this.

I am proud to say that my kid is a little weird. I don't use that word in a negative way at all. I am extremely proud of my child's uniqueness.

"It’s weird not to be weird". ~ John Lennon

"Blessed are the weird people – poets, misfits, writers, mystics, painters & troubadours – for they teach us to see the world through different eyes" Jacob Nordby

"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary". ~ Cecil Beaton


Jun 16, 2017

What's Up Weekend? June 16th, 2017


I can't believe that I haven't blogged since May 26th. Shame on me!! I am in a funk but I am not going back to my old ways where I neglect my blog. So SNAP OUT OF IT!! 
One thing I can always count on when it comes to my blog is my love for my Friday posts. It is a way for me to remind myself of how lucky I am and to be grateful for what I have and who I have in my life. Here is a list of what made me happy this week. 


1. This speaks for itself. Proud Mama!!


2. Since moving into my new office my plant has 5 new flowers. This makes me happy. 10 years of having my own office and this is the first one with a window. I LOVE IT! It makes me so happy. 

3. Since going low carb/no sugar 15 weeks ago I have MISSED BBQ sauce. I was able to find Simple Girl online. They offer samples of their products to try before you buy for 4.99. I tried this last night on ribs. It definitely satisfied my BBQ sauce craving. I'm excited to try the other sauces and marinades in my sample pack. 

4. I finally framed one of Jake's water color pictures. I wish that I could for one minute see the world as he does. He is just so happy all the time. 

5. The moon was just so beautiful that I had to get a pic. Unfortunately my camera didn't want to cooperate. I can't wait until I can get my new camera I've been eyeing for a year. 

6. Mr. J and I were laughing our heads off watching Jake do the hula hoop. This action shots cracks me up!!

7. He jumped for 2 hours. Pure joy!

8. Being silly with my 8 year old brings me such happiness. We took this pic after jumping on the trampoline together.

9. You can get pretty creative when you are a carb junkie that goes low carb/no sugar. I am very happy that when I am being lazy and don't want to cook, I can grab one of these out of my freezer.  

10. I know that this seems like a strange thing to make me happy this week but I am posting it because it made me laugh at how NUTS it was. Who takes a sip of their coffee and it literally breaks in their hand?! That would be me! This is the type of shit that happens to me all the time. I just have to laugh. (or I will cry) 



I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. 







May 26, 2017

What's Up Weekend? May 26th, 2017

Happy Friday, Lovelies! Linking up with my sweet friends Lindsay, Charlotte and Chrissy. Here is a list of what made me happy this week.


This week was long and I think I was on autopilot all week. Mr. J worked crazy hours this week and Jake and I were alone a few nights. Not something I am used to anymore. So here it goes.

1) I will say that having a partner to share my life with that has the most amazing work ethic makes me very happy. I am grateful for how hard Mr. J works. One day he worked 6:30 am to 12:15 am.

2) After a month of trying to unpack my house and my office I will say that my office is done. Not so much my house though. The office is finally organized and that makes me happy.

3) Jake agreed to finally get his hair cut. This makes me happy. I really had an idea of what we wanted when we decided to stop cutting it but it was an epic fail. He just has a hard time managing it.

4) The office remodel is approaching the finish line. I didn't hear power tools all week. Yay!!

5) Jimmy John beach club unwich. Enough said

6) Driving to work today and it only taking 40 minutes. Thank you to all the peeps that took today off to start their 3 day holiday weekend early. 

7) Driving to work today and hearing the reminder that starting July 2nd liquor stores will be open on Sunday's in the great state of Minnesota. This is after a 159 year prohibition. This is a HUGE deal for the state of Minnesota. No longer will we have to plan ahead our Saturday liquor runs to make sure we are ready for football Sundays.  Sorry Wisconsin, you will no longer get my business. HAHA!!

8) T minus 6 hours until the 3 days weekend. 

9) The Sun. Finally! after many many days of God watering his plants we get sunshine.

10) It makes me so happy when I pick up Jake everyday and he says he's had an awesome day. He loves his new school and after school care. It just has a different vibe than his old school. 

So there you have it. I guess when I started to write my list, it wasn't that hard to think of what made me happy. It is very important to reflect and remember to be grateful for the life you were given because it's pretty awesome when you think about it.

Have a great Memorial weekend!!

May 24, 2017

DEAR GIRLS, LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR CRAPPY FRIENDS

I loved this blog post from Babble and wanted to share it. I wish that I would have thought this way when I was a preteen seeking approval and had an overwhelming desire to be liked. Credit to the author Anna Lind Thomas. These are all her words from her blog post on Babble. Check her it out here.


Dear lovely girls,
I have a secret. Being popular, liked, and included by your peers is totally overrated. I can see your eyes are glazing over. Hold on, let me put on a One Direction t-shirt so I can get your attention. OK, let’s try that again.
Don’t get me wrong, friends are important. We are wired to long for community. You’ll desperately want to be in one when you’re in school. I hope you develop friendships that allow you to be your true self. Friends who care for you, support you and make you feel good about who you are. But if you can’t find these special friends, don’t panic. And please don’t get desperate.
There isn’t much I’m going to say here that you’ll probably believe. Hearing someone say popularity is overrated when you’re in the lonely abyss of being unpopular is like me telling you that one day you might be a little embarrassed by your Justin Bieber bed sheets. Right now, your Bieber Fever won’t allow you to hear me. I understand.
Let me just tell you what I know to be true. Maybe some day when you feel sad, lonely, jealous, or excluded, you’ll remember little snippets of what I said and take courage.
Life is way too short for crappy friends.
We just don’t have time for that nonsense. Each one of us has a purpose for being here. Some might tell you that it’s all random and you have as much eternal relevance as a cup of dirt, so just have fun while you can. But I hope you won’t believe them. You have gifts and talents, activities you enjoy and fill you up. Maybe you like to draw or write stories. Maybe you can sing or play an instrument. Perhaps you’re a wiz at math and love architecture.
Maybe it’s none of those things, but there’s something. I know it.
Now is a wonderful time to cultivate these talents. To practice, play, and explore everything that lights you up — all the gifts you can give to make the world a better place. Now is the perfect time to start to discover who you really are.
A good friend worth keeping will support you and what you love to do. They’ll celebrate your talents and they may even share them. A good friend brings out the best in you, loves you, and even forgives you when you’re in a real salty mood and tell them their artistic portrayal of Katy Perry on the back of their Five Star notebook looks like the school librarian with a lazy eye.
You’re only human. You probably didn’t mean librarian with a lazy eye in a bad way, necessarily. Just be sure to say sorry, though —  just in case.
Our desire to be liked (or have our selfies literally liked on Facebook) is normal, but it can outweigh our desire to truly be ourselves. This is where the real trouble begins.
If we live our life seeking other people’s approval, we’ll never actually live our life. And we only have one shot at this, so let’s not screw this part up.
There are obvious signs you might be in a friendship you shouldn’t be in. Obvious signs could include that the person makes you feel bad about yourself, you’re constantly paranoid about losing the friendship, or the person blatantly uses you and may even be mean and verbally abusive towards you from time to time.
But there are subtle signs too. They don’t outwardly treat you badly, but there’s just something about the way they interact with you that makes you feel inadequate. Sometimes you decide to hide certain aspects of yourself because you’re not convinced they’ll like or accept all of you. Sometimes you’ll start compromising your values to have something in common. Sometimes you find yourself acting like the person you think they want to be friends with rather than just being the precious being you are.
Sometimes, even though you’re surrounded by “friends,” you start to feel lonely and insecure. They’re your friends, but the friendship has limits. Maybe your feelings don’t matter if they inconvenience them or if you ever share that they have hurt your feelings, they decide you’re a little too exhausting to keep around.
Did I mention life is too short for crappy friends?
Here’s something else you probably won’t believe: if you stop worrying about being liked, popular or even having someone to sit with at lunch, and start focusing on becoming a better you, sharpening your skills and talents so that you may be a good friend to others, amazing people will start to gravitate to you.
I know, too much hocus pocus, right? But the truth is, we attract exactly what we put out. If we’re pretending to be someone else, all we’ll attract are other people pretending to be someone else, creating fake friendships with a bunch of people who will probably make us feel bad about ourselves by lunchtime. No thanks, sister.
Sometimes you’ll find that some people just aren’t able to be a good friend to you, even if they want to be. Their traumas, insecurities, anxieties, health issues or life circumstances can make it difficult for them to give you much of anything, let alone a friendship you can rely on. It doesn’t mean they’re nasty or they don’t like you (well, sometimes it does) it simply means they can’t give you what you need — a friendship worth investing time in. So stop investing time in it.
Either way, to be our true, authentic selves takes real courage and it may mean we won’t always have a surplus of friends. For a season, it may seem we don’t have any at all. Many people will grow old never finding that courage. But I can tell you this, they’ll spend their last days wishing they spent more time focusing on becoming their best self and giving their gifts to others, rather than worrying if everyone is at Applebee’s laughing hysterically without them.
Although your life and priorities will evolve into adulthood, I’d like to tell you these problems with friendships will go away completely. Maybe with you, they will. But for many of us, our desire to be liked, to have good friends and to be included still resonate loudly well into adulthood. Whether the person next door invites the entire neighborhood except our family to their party, or all the “cool people” huddle together like an impenetrable army at a professional conference, grown women care about this too.
Why? Because we all want to be loved. So badly, at times, we’ll settle for the superficial bullcrap when we all deserve the real deal. Your ego wants to be liked at any cost. Your true self wants to love others and trusts it will eventually be returned without fussing too much about the details.
It’s hard to be our authentic selves — it makes us vulnerable. It’s hard to give and love without the expectation of getting anything in return — we typically give what we so desperately want to receive. It’s hard to accept that friends worth having are actually quite rare, when there’s a void, we want to fill it fast.
But it’s easy to care about what other people think. It’s easy to pretend to be someone you’re not. It’s easy to focus our lives on things that don’t matter, sacrificing everything that does.
One good friend who loves you unconditionally is far better than 100 superficial friends who really don’t care all that much about you, trust me.
If you’re feeling lonely in study hall at 14 or in your cubicle at 34, I hope you’ll try to rally your courage. I hope you’ll put your energy into living your life as your authentic self, with purpose and excitement. I hope you’ll turn your focus from being uninvited, towards your talents and gifts, cultivating them to make the world (or someone’s day) better.
And here’s an idea — be a good friend to someone else and see what happens. I know, I’m a genius. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to change out of this One Direction t-shirt. I don’t want to betray my one true love, John Stamos.

May 19, 2017

Sauk Rapids Prom 2017

It's been a busy few weeks. With moving, work and Jake being sick I haven't blogged much. I am going to forgo my usual Friday post to blog about two cute kids and their prom. Cool?
This past weekend Mr.J's son had his junior prom. Mr. J, Jake and I met them at Munsigner Gardens to take pictures of them. It was 80 and sunny, a beautiful day for prom. I've never been to the Munsigner and definitely want to go back when it isn't packed with prom kids. The flowers were beautiful but not as beautiful as these two.






I thought this was the perfect time for Mr. J and I to take our first picture together. With how many pictures I take I can't believe after all this time this is our first. 
And one with my boys!
This melts me!

After pictures we headed over to the high school for the grand march. It was fun to see all the kids dressed up. 
They even made the St.Cloud Times

May 17, 2017

My Rare Kid Gets a Rare Muscle Syndrome

I haven't blogged in a week and a half but I have a good reason. Jake was sick. Not just your average run of the mill sick but sick. Warning LONG POST!
It all started Saturday May 6th when Jake was unusually tired. He was not complaining about not feeling well, he just wanted to sleep. Completely out of character for him. I think at one point he stopped what he was doing and said, 'Mom, I just need a nap'. He also didn't have much of an appetite. Then on Sunday he displayed the same behavior. Not really acting sick, just didn't want eat and was really lazy.
 Early Monday morning he woke up with a high fever and cold like symptoms. He said that his head and throat hurt. I stayed home from work with him while he rested. Tuesday morning he work up and still wasn't feeling the greatest but I had to get some work done so I brought him into work with me. He started to complain that his ear was bother him. I decided to bring him into urgent care and sure enough, he had an ear infection. By this time he is in much better spirits and I'm feeling like we might be in the clear. 
Wednesday morning Jake wakes up and can't walk. Of course I think he is being dramatic and wanting to stay home another day. Knowing I HAVE to go to work, I beg him to try to go to school. As he cries in pain, I bribe him with an art project if he can make it through the day. He agrees, because it's an art project and if you know Jake that is his achilles heel. Mind you he is hobbling and complaining about how much his legs hurt. Again, I think he is being dramatic. Not my proudest moment as a parent but how was I to know. 
Throughout the day his special ed teacher was keeping me updated through email how he was doing. He made it to 1 pm when the school called. Jake said that he tried but it hurts so bad he wants to go home. 
After an hour drive from work I arrived at Jake's school. By this point Jake is almost no longer able to walk at all. As I am practically carrying him to the car he says, 'Mom, can I still do my art project? I really tried to make it the whole day'. 
He spent the rest of the day and afternoon on the couch. Only getting up to piggy back ride to the bathroom . I thought to myself that this is the oddest thing and if he still isn't better by the next day I am bringing him to urgent care. 
The next day was worse and Jake couldn't stand and I couldn't touch his calves without him crying from the pain. Urgent care here we come. 
After 3 hours in urgent care they sent us to the ER. 
Jake was in so much pain that they were giving him morphine. When he started barking like a dog and meowing like a cat, the nurse thought he was feeling better. I said, um that is normal behavior for my kid. lol. 

After several hours in the ER(6 to be exact) and lots of blood work it was discovered that Jake had Benign Acute Childhood Myositis a rare muscle syndrome caused by strep. This syndrome causes severe calf pain. Since we were in the ER all day Jake slept comfortably on pain meds and I laid next to him and watched movies. 

The ER doctor contacted Children's hospital of Minneapolis and asked what the course of action should be. Children's hospital wanted him transferred in an ambulance to their hospital to be admitted. I asked if I could drive him because an ambulance ride that far is very costly and he is on pain meds and feeling ok for now. The doctors agree and we packed up and headed to children's. Little did I know that choosing to drive him would be a big mistake. 

When we arrived at Children's hospital I was under the impression that Jake would be admitted right away but because he didn't arrive in the ambulance we were put to the back of the line. 


There was a measles outbreak and then 4 critical cases in a row so we waited 4 hours to get back into the ER. My heart was breaking for Jake because the medicine was wearing off and he was so uncomfortable. By 2 am Jake was admitted and resting comfortably. 


The course of treatment for this rare syndrome is to pump fluids into the body to bring CPK blood enzyme level down to a safe/normal level. When Jake entered the hospital his CPK level was 6500. A normal level for a child is 60-400. Throughout the night and the next day Jake's levels trended down to an acceptable level where he could be released. 


And of course he got to do his art project.



I have major guilt that I didn't give him the benefit of the doubt and was so wrapped up in work that I didn't want to listen to him when he said he was hurting. It was an odd week but I am happy to say Jake is 100%. It came on fast and left just as fast. 

May 5, 2017

What's Up Weekend? May 5th, 2017


Happy Friday!! Linkin' up with my girls from PP, Lindsay, Chrissy and Charlotte. Here is a list of what made me happy this week.


1) After months and months of only seeing Mr. J on the weekends, Jake and I made the move to Our Happy Place. The move went pretty smooth. Thanks to Two Men and A Truck


2. Got the stain out!!




 3. Pizza night!


 4. First attempt at a fathead pizza. It turned out amazing! Even Mr. J liked it. 2 net carbs.


 5. I love the way our creepy trees look at sunset. 

6. Watching Jake play outside. After a year of living in an apartment he is finally free!



7. These two love each other and we just love watching them play. 


 8. Finally all moved in to my new office. Moving houses and moving offices at the same time was a bit stressful but all worth it.


9. Launching a photo hunt with my BFF Kristi. If you would like to participate click here. All you have to do is take picture of the 10 items listed on Kristi's blog throughout the month of May and then share them in a blog post June 1st then linkup. 

10. I posted about Jake's new school earlier this week but I wanted to include this on my list of what made me happy this week. Jake's new school is amazing and he is LOVING IT!! 



What made you happy this week??

May 2, 2017

Jake's New School

If you've stopped by my blog in the past month or so you probably know that Jake and I made the big move to Our Happy Place. My son Jake is visually impaired and requires special services. That being said switching schools mid year is not an easy task. To say that I was more nervous than Jake is an understatement. He is such a happy go lucky kid. He is constantly making me proud with his ability to adapt and overcome obstacles. 

Although we were excited for our new chapter to start at Our Happy Place, we knew that moving meant that Jake would no longer be with his Para Ms. Karla, who he has been with for 2 years. Jake and Ms. Karla have a special bond. She knows him so well. She spent 6 hours a day with Jake and he will miss her. I will miss being able to chat with her about Jake every morning when I drop him off. She is such a kind amazing woman and was born to do this job. 


Jake and Ms. Karla
Becker school was so accommodating to Jake needs. They made sure that his locker was on the end so he could find it and his name was displayed clearly and in red. 


Jake was so excited and didn't show any fear or anxiety on his first day. He made me so proud. I know if it was me I would have been nervous.


When I picked up Jake from school I had a few minutes to discuss Jake's day with his new Para Ms. Rikke. The first thing she said to me was, 'You have an awesome kid on your hands'. She said that the class was asked to write 4 sentences about anything they wanted. After they were all done the teacher asked the class if anyone would like to share what they wrote. Sure enough Jake's hand went up first. He went up in front of the class and this is what he wrote. 
1) I like the color red
2) I have a dog named Cooper
3) I have a cat named Rosa
4) I have a new bed. 
No fear what so ever!


After school he just went to his room. No care in the world. Like this life altering move didn't affect him one bit. Maybe I am a tad dramatic. This Mama was a ball of nerves for nothing. 

Hanging out on the couch with Cooper before bed

Now that we got the first day out of the way, I can relax. Jake moving schools was more stressful on me than the move itself.