Friday, January 30, 2015

Dear Grandma and Grandpa, Don't read this post. Love, Jen

I've been trying to think of something upbeat and positive to post today, but sometimes I just need to vent to get past the funk that's trying to push its way into my mind. So bear with me.

I just got out of a "Transition to 3" info meeting and my heart is heavy with information overload. It's crazy that Ryan is about to turn 3. It brings out a lot of feelings, not only reminders about the traumatic birth and the resulting 7 months in the NICU, but now that he's being evaluated for placement into a special ed preschool program, it sort of highlights his disabilities and forces everything to the surface and it isn't always an easy thing to process.

As I sat in the meeting and they went over the list of qualifying "disabling conditions" that would give a child access to the special education program, I couldn't help but feel like each one was another twist of the knife into my heart.  Here was the list:

Autism (Maybe?)
Deafness (Check)
Intellectual Disability (Check)
Orthopedic Impairment (Maybe?)
Other Health Impairment (Check)
Specific Learning Disability (Possibly?)
Speech or Language Impairment (Check)
Traumatic Brain Injury (Hmmm...lack of oxygen in the NICU maybe?)
Visual Impairment (Check)

Basically, what DOESN'T he have??  I try to stay positive, I really do.  But this Transition to 3 crap SUCKS.  It's freaking emotionally draining to be one of the few parents sitting in a room who has to ask a million extra questions because my child hit the lottery for disabling conditions. 

The presenter is going on about how their goal as an education agency is to get the kids in and out of special ed.  Help them meet their goals and close those gaps and get into the mainstream classroom.  Except, that's not going to happen for Ryan.  And this whole meeting is just making me face that reality head on and my brain and my heart weren't emotionally prepared for that at this moment in time.  I have enough of a challenge trying to keep it together every year on his birthday so as to not dwell on the PTSD-inducing experience that was his birth.  I've held his first two birthday parties in July because his actual birthday in March brought about more tears than joy in my memories.  I blamed it on the flu season timing, but the reality was, I didn't think I could handle it for my own selfish reasons.

So now, here we are.  My baby is turning 3 and starting some sort of preschool.  He'll be evaluated 3 times over the next few weeks and we'll have his first IEP in March right before his birthday.  We'll set some goals for him, figure out the best and safest placement for him for a school site, and he'll be on his way.  And I can't even begin to wrap my brain around it all.

On the drive home, I heard that song "Give me a Reason" by Pink on the radio and do you guys do this?  Whenever I hear a duet I always picture myself singing the girl part and usually Mr. Spray Pal singing the guy part.  Only with this song, today, I was singing with Ryan.  And it was SO fitting in my head! Probably because I thought the line said, "We're not broken, just better" but when I looked up the lyrics after I got home I found out it's actually bent, lol.  So, me it was amazing.  I was singing with Ryan:

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken just better
We can learn to love again.
It's in the stars
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
We're not broken just better
We can learn to love again.

(I think Pink should take note, this song is AWESOME with my adapted lyrics!  ;) )

And for some reason only God knows, that song struck a chord in my heart and made me realize somehow this was going to be ok.  Ryan's not broken.  And he really is better than so many of us.  He is innocent and sweet and happy.  He never throws a tantrum, he never talks back, he never feels like his life is lacking anything.  In his mind, he's not broken.  He's just him.  And he is loved.  And he's just better.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


In case you haven't heard, Tutti Bambini is hosting THE most amazing baby event in Miami on February 6th, 2015, and Spray Pal will be there hosting the Mission #Makeclothmainstream booth!!  This booth was the genius idea of Monica from Tutti Bambini to provide a comprehensive resource  for all the new and expecting parents in Miami who are interested in learning about modern cloth diapers and how easy it can be to save tons of money, keep waste out of landfills, and keep your baby's bum wrapped up with the most adorable, chemical-free fluff around!

If you are attending Miami's Ultimate Baby Affair, be sure to stop by!  I'll be there with Elise from Sloomb and Melissa from Lalabye Baby to answer any and all of your cloth diapering questions.  Our booth will have cloth diapers and accessories for you to check out, touch, feel, and experience first hand.  We'll be happy to guide you with our wealth of knowledge (between the three of us we've cloth diapered 8 kids!) and introduce you to the various brands and styles of modern cloth diapers on the market today.

The amazing Mission #Makeclothmainstream Sponsors!

We'll also have some pretty amazing goody bags to hand out!  These are separate from the main event goody bags and will be specifically for those parents who are already using cloth or interested in making the switch. They will have LOADS of cloth diapering swag and info in them provided by the amazing sponsors listed on the graphic above! ***Cloth diapering goody bags available FREE while supplies last!! Stop by the booth early to snag one!***  Many of the products you'll see at our booth will also be available for purchase right at the event at the Tutti Bambini pop up shop!

To celebrate this awesome partnership with Tutti Bambini, we are giving away a pair of PREMIUM tickets to this event valued at $150!  Each admission includes access to the event for ONE person. Ticket holders will have access to all seminars, samples and all general event offerings and additionally will receive a Premium Gift Bag filled with samples and information from participating sponsors. Each ticket is for ONE Premium pass and ONE Gift Bag ONLY. Premium ticket holders will also receive a certificate for $150 off Tutti Bambini Photography's "Watch me Grow" package. Premium Pass ticket holders will also receive 1 prize drawing ticket (To be used in one of the three sessions.) Winner must be present to claim prize.

To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter below!  If you're not going to be in the Miami area that weekend, be sure to share this giveaway with your Floridian friends so they don't miss out on the fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway