Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Frog Legs and Chicken Wings

So I want to start letting you all into our little world with London. I'm gonna start by telling you a little bit about why simple things like giving London a bath can be so difficult...
With London, as with many differently-abled kids, she tends to curl up when she isn't comfortable or when she's scared or upset. Well, either that, or she arches her back. Either of these things can make what should be a simple task very frustrating!
A lot of the time, her arms are bent at the elbow and wrist, tucked into her sides, with her hands pulled up by her chin. Those are her chicken wings. When she does her 'chicken dance' (chicken wings with legs bent, crossed, and tucked into her tummy)- EVERYTHING is more difficult! Holding her, putting her in her wheelchair or car seat, getting her dressed... She's surprisingly strong (more of a muscle spasticity issue than her guns being loaded), and she doesn't like having her arms moved FOR her, so trying to get her to relax those little chicken wings long enough to strap her in or dress her can be a challenge all in it's own.
Other times, she'll arch her back, stiffly hold her legs, knees dropped and heels brought together. Those are her frog legs. She does this a lot when we pick her up by holding under her armpits and almost always when we give her a bath. So there we'll be, her in the tub, me on the side of the tub with my feet on either side of her, holding up her head and torso with my left hand and washing/rinsing with my right hand... as if she's not difficult enough to hold on to, add frog legs to the mix and not only do things get more difficult, but she usually ends up hitting her knee on the side of the tub and that, obviously, makes her cry. Add crying to the mix, wait, actually she's usually already crying (being lifted up out of the water partially like that sends her into hysterics usually... but we'll cover that later), so she cries even harder, bring out the frog legs, and twists her wet soapy body all while I'm trying to hold her up with one hand... just thinking about it makes me tired- and, honestly, a little anxious. Bath time is NOT our favorite activity around our house.
Anyway, that's ONE (or would it be two?) that things can be a little draining at our house.
I will continue to post about London and our life at home with her- I've learned that so many people want to know about things like this, but are afraid to ask and risk offending us. Let me tell you this: I, and so many other moms of special-needs kids, would LOVE for you to want to learn more about my sweet girl! Your questions don't offend me! What offends me, or hurts our feelings, is when people stare and whisper things like, 'she must be retarded' or when parents quickly pull their children away from us as we walk by, like we're carrying a contagious disease, or when a mother tells their child to 'look away'... I actually really love when kids ask me questions about London or her wheelchair when we are out and about (well, at least I have so far)! I like knowing that they aren't just quickly turning away from her and ignoring her presence. I like that it gives me a chance to show them that London isn't scary or gross or dirty. She's just a kid in a wheelchair, who needs a little more help than most kids because her brain is different. So thanks to all those parents who haven't been afraid to get close enough to us to let their kids ask about London or talk to her or touch her wheelchair! :)

Hugs from me and London!

A little clarity...

So I have been asked a few questions lately that I'd like to answer here on the blog... Maybe you've been wondering the same things or maybe you can relate to these answers...

1. Question: Why don't you just go to the bank and take out a loan for a home? Answer: Well, let me ask this in return: Can YOU go get a loan for $500,000 or more? Do you qualify for that and make enough money to pay for it? We have to eat, just like you. :) To be totally upfront and honest, we are not and will not be in a position to afford a high monthly payment for a home- that's why I am trying to raise/earn/save enough money to just be able to pay for the home we need for London. With the money we can have each month if we don't have a mortgage payment, we can get the specialized equipment London will need for therapy and various adaptive activities. I would also spend the rest of my life paying forward the kindness that we will have received from everyone who helped us realize this dream we have for London.

2. Question: Why does London need extra space, she doesn't walk. Answer: Um... no, she doesn't walk, she relies on us to carry her into different rooms. I need more space when I walk down a hallway carrying anything than when I walk down a hallway empty-handed, don't you? So it stands to reason that carrying London around the house, I need more space. :) I need more space to maneuver. I need more space to store things like her wheelchair, and adaptive equipment I hope to one day have for her. We need more space in the bathroom to make things easier (for us and her) when bathing her. We need more space to get her dressed because she can't sit up- it's like dressing a 3-foot-long doll. We need space because we'd like to be able to use London's wheelchair in the house- like at the dinner table, in the living room to watch a movie, in the kitchen where she can sit up and help me bake cookies...

3. Question: Why do you need so much money? Answer: A customized home is expensive. Really expensive.

4. Question: Why do you want to use London's wheelchair in the house and why do you want to have so much equipment? (stander, special chairs, etc.) Answer: London has no trunk support whatsoever. Her head flops, he back slouches and her shoulders slump. She needs to be seated in proper positions to encourage muscle development, core control, and proper bone growth. For example, we want to have a stander in our home because since she does not bear weight on her legs and hips (not standing, walking, running like 'normal' kids) her hips are at risk of not developing properly and becoming easily dislocated. We want to be able to use her wheelchair more because she tolerates it well and it sits her up so nicely- I want to be able to engage her in activities like cooking and baking with me in the kitchen, eating dinner at the table, watching a movie, playing at a table or sink... all these things require her to be sitting up straight. Right now, we either hold her, lay her on the couch or her bed, or sit her a beanbag chair when we're in the house. Holding her and putting her in the beanbag chair certainly do not promote proper posture, core strength or muscle control.

5. Question: Why don't you use her disability income to pay for a house? Answer: First, she doesn't receive disability income; second, it certainly wouldn't pay for a house! haha!

Well, if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask! We'd much rather answer questions about London, her condition, and our situation than have people be afraid to offend us! :)

Love from me and London!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jar Update!

So on Tuesday I took 5 jars to the Harmon's on 2nd street in Ogden and yesterday (Saturday) I got a call from one of the managers... he said I might want to come empty them because some of them were getting pretty full. I found a few minutes to drive down there to empty them and I was SHOCKED by the amount of money that I collected!

First let me tell you this: I left a small handful of coins and a few dollar bills in each jar...
So me and the manager on duty are pulling out this money and there are several five dollar bills and a few tens, even a twenty! When I got home and counted the bills and change- I had just over $124!!!
I was so overwhelmed by the generosity of these strangers who dropped their change and extra bills into the jars! I had thought to myself, "would I have dropped a twenty dollar bill into a jar like this?"... sadly the answer was probably that I would give a few ones or a five and keep my twenty. Well, not anymore!

I have said from the beginning of this crazy campaign that I will pay this kindness forward in any way I can and this even made me realize that that promise is more important than I even thought. All those people made such a huge difference in our lives by their spare coins, dollar bills, fives, tens and that twenty- I hope that I can make a difference for people by helping at any opportunity that comes my way... Paying it forward truly IS the way to make a difference in the world! You are just one person, but you are presented with so many opportunities to make a positive impact, big or small, on other people! :)

To those Harmon's shoppers who gave a little or a lot to help us out: ThAnK YoU!!!

I have also been able to collect money from the jars at both Domino's locations (thanks, Nick for helping out with the location in Tremonton!), Quizno's, Arby's, and Dylan's on 12th street (thanks, Mom!!) and a few very kind friends have made it possible for us to put jars up at Walker Cinemas and Capital Theater in Brigham City (thanks SO much, Tabitha and Kymnbel)!!!

Also remember, visit Willard Bay Gardens for their Basket Daze and so much more and check out the gardening aprons I have for sale there! :)

Thanks friends!
Hugs from me and London!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Scensy for London!

So if you love Scentsy, like I KNOW you must, you can put an order in HERE from now through St. Patty's Day and all the proceeds from your order will go toward A Home For London! So get your Scentsy fix and help our campaign at the same time! Here are a few of my personal favorite things:
**Room Spray! I LOVE this stuff! I spray it in my garbage can between changing bags, in my kids' rooms, the bathrooms, and my car! Anywhere!
**Buddies! So London has a lot of sensory issues and this is just a fun way for her to have something to stimulate her senses... And to be honest with you, my son, Kannon is OBSESSED with his sometimes! He loves to snuggle his Roarbert at night! I think the scent is very soothing for him and bed time is a breeze because of it! We've had our scent pack in his for a few months and I haven't needed to change it! LOVE IT!! The Buddy Babies are new and oh-so-cute!!
**Scent Circles! Ok, so these are SO great to hang on your mirror in the car and I LOVE them for CLOSETS!! Seriously, try it!
Plug-Ins! Perfect for bathrooms. Enough said! I actually got mine a long time ago and the plug rotates so that you can put it in whether your outlets goes horizontal or vertical and I would always bump mine and spill wax all over my counter. But now they LOCK so that doesn't happen so that is awesome! These are also THE BEST gifts for any occasion!

Remember, your online orders must be in by the end of the day on Saturday, March 17th. Online orders ship right to your house but if you CAN make it to the actual party, please come! It's at my house on Saturday, March 10th- stop in any time between noon and 6pm. You can smell the yummy scents, browse the catalogs and place your orders, eat yummy snacks, purchase raffle tickets ($1 each) for a brand new full-size Scensty Warmer, check out a few other fun things we'll be selling and have a great excuse to get out of the house! Bring your friends and make a girls day out of it! If you come to the party at my house and wear GREEN you will get a fun little prize!

** If you're placing an order online, make sure to order under the party name: A Home For London **

Thanks, friends! Hope to see you all there!
Love from me and London!