A-Z Disability Challenge | J : Just Watch Me

Hello.

I don’t think people will ever understand the importance of this phrase. It is like Nike’s motto, but it’s more straight forward. Whenever you say it that means you already know you’re going to do it, there’s no use of trying to talk you out of it. While the other is telling you to do something, you’re still liable to think about it and see whether or not if you need to do it.

For people with various types of disabilities, this is like embed into their brains. It’s definitely been into my head for what feels like forever. There is nothing like proving people wrong, and I always strive for that opportunity to look at someone and not necessarily say it to their faces, “do not underestimate me.” It’s the most amazing rush, as it’s second to being an adrenaline junkie, which a lot of us will put the two together and that is usually a recipe for both excitement and disaster, but we normally don’t go looking for that other part!

I think a lot of people can learn from people with disabilities, especially if they have a physical disability. We tend to push ourselves harder, because it’s not all about proving others wrong, we’re also trying to prove us wrong too. Our bodies get weaker the older we become because that’s part of life, but sometimes once we realize we’re missing out on something or losing an ability that helps us to do things can help build up our strength within and we try to change it for the better!

Here is something to keep in mind:

There is one thing that I need to speak up about first, we do have our limitations like everybody else. Sometimes those limits need to be tested of course, but it’s all about patience. Nothing you do will come to you overnight. If you’re like me, you’ll be up all night trying to come up other ways to complete something! I do not like to throw in the towel as some people would say but if none of my plans work, there is no shame in letting go. This is a harsh thing to think about, because we as humans hardly ever want to accept defeat, and when it comes to disabled people, it certainly feels like the universe is letting us down. If something is not working out for you, you can either think of it in another perspective or you have to leave it in peace.

When I lost the ability to get myself onto my bed or couch by myself, it was the worst feeling in the world because to me, that was my main thing I could do if I wanted to get out of my floor or room in general. It does continue to hurt (mentally) every once in a while, and in the last few years my parents have been losing their strength in being able to lift me off the floor, and that means I am not able to do anything on the floor like I used to. I don’t like to accept something I can no longer accomplish on my own, but I am able to look at it in a different way, because now that we’ve moved into our new house, I am getting out of my room a lot more because there is so much space between rooms. Being able to move around in my wheelchairs is as good as scooting, plus there’s a lot less pain in my back and hips too!

How are you with proving people wrong with your limited abilities? What is your mindset whenever you cannot do something that you’ve worked so hard to finish?

Depression | One Year On

Howdy!

It’s crazy to think that it’s been a WHOLE year already, for not only the presence of my nephew but asking for help to deal with my depression! I almost had forgotten about it, but something on Pinterest one afternoon, made me realize that it could be a good idea if I talked about my mental health and give you an update on all of that.

Do not let the shadows of your past darken the doorstep of your future. Forgive and let go.

Overall, I think I’ve been doing really good. I am always going to have my ups and downs in my life but for the most part I am feeling great! However, I feel like I would be lying to you if I didn’t mention that I am afraid of going into July and August. Since I have so many negative memories of getting through both of those months that I automatically feel panic at the thought of them coming soon. I am trying to really keep positive though, but sometimes I just can’t help it, those visions are on a loop at the end of summer. 

This year has a lot of different meanings, between my blog’s 8th birthday, Nolan’s first birthday,  and celebrating 10 years as a blogger in October. I have had a lot of plans this year and the fact that I’ve had quite a few months with little as two posts in roughly 31 days has been somewhat frightening. I have been trying to let it go and so far that’s been working out great because I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to get things finished. I’ve been feeling somewhat zen ever since I accepted it. I’ve also been enjoying telling myself that you don’t have to set things up if you don’t want to right now. 

That’s one thing that I think my antidepressants have been helping me out with the most, keeping everything straight without branching off into a million different directions. I’ve always wanted to adopt a healthier state of mind, because my brain goes a hundred miles away with different things and it gets to the point where I get really angry with myself over being lazy but I think it is a good thing to slow down, watch a little TV and just chill out for a while.

My anxiety has taken a hint, and calmed down a lot in some unexpected ways, like for example, we weren’t expecting it to help out was my fear over the nail clippers. I have always been afraid of these damn things since I was little, but I haven’t been sweating like crazy or attempting to pull my fingers away of my mother’s grip as much so that has been probably the biggest surprise of all! I have surprised myself with how much I trust myself and others when it comes to certain things, like feeling I am going to fall because again I have had a serious fear of heights all of my life, but now I am so chill. It’s nuts!

I am better than I was yesterday, but not as good as I will be tomorrow.

Despite the fact that things are going really good lately, unfortunately, these pills are not a cure-all. I wish they were, because I have a couple more issues that I wish would go away in less than a year. I’ve been trying to find some ways to distract myself along the way so that I don’t give in so easily and sometimes that works, but then again it doesn’t. Thankfully I am a patient person and I love to learn to work things out better for me, so hopefully I’ll be able to get through some of these other things on my own. 

So, yeah this is my life one year on after accepting the help that I needed for my mental health and maybe come back to blogging full time again, because honestly I really miss it a lot! 

Have you ever decided to take anything for your mental heath, whether it be anxiety, depression, OCD, etc? How long  did it take for you to see some results? 

Nolan’s 1st Party!

Hello!

Last weekend we celebrated my nephew’s first birthday with a big party! It’s been a long time since I have been at his house. I told my mom that he had to been around three months at the time, because Brandon and I were watching Black Panther after it just came out on DVD. It was very difficult to keep my eyes on the screen and not on a certain little baby in the pack-n-play! He was surprisingly very good for us, until towards the ending where he wanted to be fed quickly and he wasn’t – he wasn’t very happy! He has yet to grow out of that by the way!

The theme of the party had changed a few times over the coming months, but ultimately they decided on one thing: Llamas! So, in March, my sister found him this cute little llama stuffed toy at the store for Easter and he apparently liked it so much that she set out to find other items to fit in that theme, thus making the entire party about llamas. The only thing that wasn’t in a llama shape was the cake, although she did try to find someone to make one for her back in May!

One of my favorite things that had llamas on it, were our shirts that Blondie found for us. Both sides of the family were given customize T-Shirts of a black silhouette of a llama with whatever we are to Nolan. For example, I am his “auntie” so that’s what I got on mine, but both of his grandmothers have different names. My mom is “Mimi” while Brandon’s mom is “Grammie” to him. I have always had a small stack of tops that fit perfectly on my shoulders and if there was a special design on the front, it isn’t blocked by my hands the whole time the stack was even smaller! I’m very glad to tell you that I can add this to the pack! You can see everything, I love it so much!

My mom and I were the first ones to get there. I was greeted by Chipper and the cats. Chipper was SO excited to see us, but the look on Nolan’s face when he realized that Mimi was the one waking him up from a nap in his crib, was so cute! He was so surprised! He looked stunned when he found out I was there too! We were there about 10 minutes before my dad and our “uncle” Russell came over. Nolan was very happy to see his papaw! He just wrapped his small arms around his neck (and beard) and my dad was all too happy to deny him. Nolan was a little unsure about Russell at first but after a couple of minutes, he actually asked to be held by him and it was so adorable.

They were originally supposed to have 30+ people coming to the party, but since we were under a Tornado warning all afternoon, we were happy with the small get together instead. It was an interesting mix of people though, the best thing was everybody got along perfectly! We ate food, chit-chat with one another, played with Nolan. Our friend Jayde, who is expecting her first baby boy later this year, ate around three cupcakes. She and I made a deal that she could have the cupcakes and I can have the broccoli. I love broccoli! She fully agreed to that! I’m actually shocked on how little I snacked though, because I’m known to eat quite a bit at parties but there wasn’t a lot of room for me to eat by myself or have my mom feed me easily without being in the way of little guy eating his strawberries in his high chair! Honestly, I made myself a deal at the end of the party, I was going to have one vanilla cupcake. I did get my cupcake, but I almost regretted it on the way home…

After everybody grabbed a seat, we decided it was time to open some presents. He got a LOT of interesting toys for his birthday! The first one that “he” opened was from his Grammie and his aunties too. Blondie opened the cards first, which is always a nice gesture even though they are usually the last present anybody ever wants to open, because they usually have a message inside that could make you cry in front of your guests. Nolan was another story entirely, he loved his cards! The one that his Grammie got him had shiny glitter inside the number one symbol on the front, so you could essentially shake it like a snow globe and everything will move around. He literally did not want to put it down! It was in his right hand during the rest of the unwrapping.

These are some of the gifts that I could remember of the party.

  • A small red and blue slide (that was wrapped in Batman paper! I loved it, and I’m not a big fan of him either!)
  • A large stack of different summery clothes.
  • Bubble making lawn mower
  • Tool bench and belt full of tools he’ll need to fix my ‘broken’ wheelchairs
  • A standing drum set
  • A big yellow truck to put all of his toys
  • Paw Patrol trucks with characters of the show
  • A book for bedtime made specifically for him as it has a blond baby named Nolan.

There were a lot more that you will see at in the gallery below. He will certainly be really busy making lots of noises in the next few months! My sister actually sent mom a picture of him standing at the drum kit in the middle of the pack-n-play without any help of the walls after the party was over! We’re getting closer to seeing cutie pie walking around on his own.

Once we were finished with the presents, we moved on watching him eat his smash cake. For this, he had to become semi-naked and as much as he loves being like this, he absolutely hates taking off his clothes! After everything was off, he was placed in his high chair again. I will be inserting the before and after pictures of the cake itself in a minute, but Nolan isn’t necessarily a messy eater, he likes to inspect things so he was really puzzled by this cake at first. He literally only would stick one finger into it at a time. Brandon quickly realized that we’d be here forever if he continues doing this, so to make things go faster, he literally grabbed Nolan’s hands and planted them right into the cake! Nolan was not sure what to do with all of the icing on his hands so he was literally shaking his arms but he actually accepted the fact that it did taste pretty good!

The part that made me remember that I am still teaching him things without even realizing it, was when he started leaning his mouth into the cake. As everybody was laughing and taking pictures at this, I was like “oh, crap!” Whenever I eat in the kitchen, he is at the same level as me, so he can watch me like a hawk, because I do lean into my plate so my tongue can reach everything. So seeing the now one year old mimicking what I do for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner, was pretty cute! He was trying his best to get into it, to the point that my sister actually had to hold the cake up in front of him to reach with his mouth! He’s such a smart cookie!

Once he was done eating the cake–well, actually his mommy had to take it away from him! He wasn’t very happy about that, but after he was basically washed down with many, many wipes, he was rewarded with his new toys! He quickly went back to his tool belt and started waving it around in the air. This was also the time where half of the guests were leaving to go home. Russell and dad were one of the firsts to leave because we needed them to be ready to get back into the house, which was a fun mini adventure on its own!

My mom and I left about 10 minutes later, but we were going to get food from Applebee’s and it was roughly a 20-25 minute wait to pick everything up, we decided to go look at the expensive houses in town. I’ve been watching Property Brothers like crazy lately so this was my jam! However between the two of us, we realized how different our tastes in houses were as far as exterior design goes! I still love my ranch-style houses, but even I started finding some of these larger houses to be very beautiful, especially that Tudor house! Once our 20 minutes were up, we went to pick up our food and eventually made our way home!

I had an awesome time spending the day with a great bunch of people, and what I think really made it better was the fact that after the small storm we had, the sky actually perked up. It was sunny again, which was really nice considering how much rain we’ve had in the last couple of weeks or so! I also had lots of fan watching my little nephew enjoy time with each family and friends as well!

What do you think is the most weirdest theme for a birthday? What did you think of my day too?

A-Z Disability Challenge | I : The Real Definition of the Word “Inspiration”

Hello!

Today we will talking about a rather touchy subject, and that is the word “inspiration” when it is used to describe a person with a disability. I’d also like to say a warning before we continue on with the post because I tend to get a little angry with this topic, but only for that it’s super important to show others that because we have disabilities that we do not strive to be an inspiration to anyone. So, I’m hoping you’ll understand where I’m coming from as a person and be able to respect that.

So let’s start with the definition of the word, and I used the first thing that popped up on Google for this.

A person or thing that inspires.”

The synonyms include “influence and muse” and the first things that came to mind after seeing these two words were: art and blogging. An artist can have a muse or multiple of them for he/she to find a sense of creativity that might be lacking for a piece. Now anybody that is using a platform to promote a product is a Influencer, whether they are a blogger or YouTuber, that is the term that’s generally used online. These are real and true ways to describe a person, but it says nothing for people with disabilities, because there isn’t a word for us. We don’t fit in that box and that is the one thing we’re perfectly fine with too!

For us, it’s all about adaptability. We’ve had to find ways to figure out how to do things on our own without any help. If we want to be independent this is what we have to do in order to achieve that way of life.

Unfortunately, it’s usually the little things that gives us the most praise. For me, it was always my art or being able to grab things in various sizes with my feet. When I was in school, I did enjoy the attention I was getting in art class, but once I got into middle school, if you had the talent you were basically taught to seek out perfection, and whenever I couldn’t get there in the same amount of time as my peers, it really hurt me mentally. It actually took about three or four years after I graduated just to feel comfortable to do art again, mostly painting, and I never enjoyed doing that in school so that worked out well!

When it comes to doing things with my feet out in public, it always a depends on my mood, sometimes I don’t care who sees what I can do, but there are also times where I can sense somebody is watching me. Now I don’t mind children or elderly people staring at me or asking questions, but it’s everybody in between that annoys the crap out of me because that’s when I usually hear the word often. As much as I’d like to look at them and say, “I’m not here to inspire or motive you!” I usually give them a nod or smile to them because I know they’re not doing it to hurt my feelings, but when you’ve heard it pretty much your whole life, it’s the least compliment you’d ever want to receive, okay?

So what can you say when you’re standing or watching next to someone who has a disability that you find fascinating? Honestly, there isn’t the perfect solution to this, but my advice is you could smile at them. A simple smile to a person usually makes them happy, so if you notice something a person is doing that’s “inspirational” just give them a smile as a way to say “what you are doing is absolutely amazing!” This will make that person feel so much better, because you’re not focusing all of that unwanted attention on them for something that they had to learn to do at some point in their lives.

I hope you enjoyed this post and take my advice the next time you’re around a person with a disability. Please be respectful to one another, that’s all you really need to do! 🙂

 

 

June Playlist

Howdy!

I am posting this a week earlier than I originally planned on because I am going to be writing about Nolan’s birthday party. It is going to be a fairly large post with lots of things, and I didn’t want to force myself to write it up in three days so this is your gift for the end of the blogging week instead!

Honestly I wanted to work on this like four days after the May playlist published but I told myself to chill and wait until I actually create a fairly good size list for this month. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be giving you a 20 song playlist this time around but I think you’ll still appericate it anyways, right?

Dancing With A Stranger by Sam Smith featuring Normani
The World We Made by Ruelle
Flexible by Jordan McGraw
Wait For Me by Jake Miller
Brand New by Ben Rector
The Outside by Taylor Swift
Here With Me by Marshmello featuring CHVCHES
Out Of Love by Alessia Cara
Playwitme by Kyle featuring Kehlani
Tip Toe by Jason Durelo featuring French Montana
Thinking Bout You by Ciara
365 by Zedd featuring Katy Perry
Wish Wish by dJ Khale featuring Cari B & 21 Savage
Sound Of War by Tommee Profitt x Fleurie
Back It Up by Prince Royce featuring Jennifer Lopez & Pitbull
So Am I by Ava Max
Chances by Backstreet Boys
Started by Iggy Azalea
Unforgettable by French Montana
My Prerogative by Britney Spears

Okay, so maybe I was wrong and I have listened to over 20 songs already this month! It took me about an hour just to get that list together, because I kept coming up with songs and trying to add on to the previous list was a pain in the ass, but I got it done so I’m a happy camper now!

Two songs that I have been loving like crazy are “Flexible” and “Wait For You,” they are so good! I was hooked the moment they each started playing. They both have very catchy lyrics and melodies, I am really bad at keeping still whenever they come on so I know that’s a good sign! I am still shocked that Jordan McGraw is actually the youngest son of Dr. Phil! I thought he was a rocker? Oh well, the song’s great.

The one female track that I want to talk about is Alessia’s song “Out Of Love.” Like the other two above, I only had to hear it once and I was gone. It’s such a bittersweet type of song, but it’s also very beautiful too! What gets me though, is that it reminds me of a song that was on the film, Look Who’s Talking with Kirstie Alley, John Travolta, and Bruce Willis. The song that I’m talking about is called “You Need Hands” by Dan Lennon. The reason why Alessia Cara’s song makes me think of this song is when she gets to the chorus and how slow she says each word, the music too helps bring back that similar sound of this track specifically at the chorus. I can’t to find out how many of you actually attempt to listen to the songs and see if I have actually lost my mind or not.

I think the Ben Rector song will always be on my June playlist, mainly because it was literally the first song that I heard on the radio when we got home from Nolan’s birth. I actually didn’t go to sleep right away like my parents, so that is how I managed to hear it. And what was really interesting, is that I heard it on the day of the party! So, it has a very special place in my heart and deserves to be on here every year!

What were you listening to this month? How are you about hearing songs play on days that hold special meanings, whether it’s good or bad?

Vloggers That I Love | #3

Howdy!

Today I am going back to a short-lived series I created back in 2015, it was called “Vloggers That I Love” as it was a play on another series I did for my favorite bloggers at the moment. Unfortunately, I haven’t been wanting to read anything but I have been watching tons of new YouTube channels lately, so I thought that you would like to know who has grabbed my attention the most and maybe even watch them too!


Hannah Witton | disability, geek, sex & relationship


I don’t really remember how I discovered Hannah’s channel. I saw a video floating around on Twitter of somebody’s favorite disabled YouTubers and I think I watched two of them all the way through and I’m pretty sure that’s how I found her.

One of the things that I enjoy when I watch her videos, is how real she is to her audience. I think the best way to show you what I mean, is featuring the video where she explains her Stoma. I was very shocked on the fact that she was willing to show basically the whole world an exposed area on her lower stomach where her colon is located, to show us how she takes care of it day and night. Even though that was my initial reaction, I was honestly very impressed on how brave she is on doing that in the first place. She likes to talk about Crohn’s disease a lot. She helps spread awareness of it and isn’t afraid to talk about other disabilities on her channel either!

She is sex positive, which means she does discuss her sexuality very freely on her channel. I’ve noticed in the last few years that I would like to talk about sex and relationships not only on here, but in general. I’ve always believed that I am influenced by an 80 year old woman that makes me keep those topics as far away as possible, but I am slowly breaking away from that and trying to find ways to be more open to speak on about sex and relationships in my own way. I feel like she is helping me find that confidence to finally talk about some of these taboo subjects out loud.

The last thing that I felt I needed to mention is that she is a true geek. She loves to play video games with her boyfriend and friends. Whenever she talks about her monthly favorites, there are times where she’ll discuss about the games she’s been playing the most or books she’s been reading lately. So, she isn’t overwhelming you with her disability or talking about sexual things, she has a lot of other interests and that she is as “normal” as everybody else.


Jessica Kellgren-Fozard | disability, history, LBGTQ & vintage fashion 


Since I’m going in alphabetical order apparently, I think I should mention that I found Jessica the same way as Hannah. Actually, I think Jessica helped me find her but I can’t remember, the best thing is that I found them and enjoyed them so much that I still watch their videos!

I think Jessica is a very unique YouTuber for so many reasons. The first time I ever watched one of her videos, I was sort of memorized because firstly her fashion sense. She loves vintage fashion, so much she literally dresses up in 1950’s clothes! Her red hair is curled perfectly and she apparently doesn’t own a pair of trousers at all! She lives in boldly patterned but cute dresses and red lipstick. It was amazing! However, it’s not just her style that is “old” she is like me and also love history! Whenever she discusses history, they are usually very informative, which is what I find kind of interesting since she is deaf, she talks on her videos and she is surprisingly clear in the way she speaks to her audience, but whenever she goes into these historicity figures is crazy, but in a good way! You literally forget that she is wearing hearing aids at all! 

I need to point out that Jessica isn’t just deaf, she has a somewhat long list of other things “wrong” with her. They are Hereditary Neuropathy with Pressure Palsies and Mixed Connective Tissue Disease. Personally, I am still learning about them through her videos but there is a specific video that you can learn more about it on her channel!

Lastly, she loves to talk about the LBGTQ+ community. She is married to her wife Claudia of two years I think. They have two puppies, Tilly and Walter. Claudia does join in her videos from time to time. She also helps her photography on her Instagram and YouTube channel, but really they seem to have an awesome relationship and they are really funny together too!

I hope you enjoy these two ladies and their channels if you check them out. If you know of any other disability vlogger that you think I would like, please send them my way I would love to see what their life is all about as well! 

Do you like to watch people on YouTube, recording parts of their daily life? Who is your favorite?  

A-Z Disability Challenge | H : Asking For Help

Yes, I am going to try to get back to my A-Z Disability Challenge! I have been kicking myself for not doing it for so long but I think I am finally ready to start on it again. If you have missed any of the other letters, I have them at the bottom of this post so you can check them out afterwards.

This week I will be talking about the notion of asking for help. Although it is a fairly popular topic of other disability bloggers and YouTubers out there, I think it’s a good idea to have many pieces out there for people of different generations in multiple point of views to help people learn more about what they should do if they ever found themselves in a situation where they want to help, but are not sure on what to say or do at the time.

I will be firstly talking about why a disabled person will probably never ask for help. It’s honestly a mixture of things, I think the most important reason is because we don’t want to look weak. We actually love doing things for ourselves. Every ounce of independence we get, we relish in it for as long as possible. However, the day it runs out, it is a heartbreaking day. For example, after I had my back surgeries in 2002, I wasn’t able to jump back into my regular physical therapy, we did a lot of moving around and my body wasn’t used to all of that yet. Our main objective for me to learn consisted of how to transfer from wheelchair to couch, chairs and toilet. I finally re-learned how to transfer again two years after I recovered. Unfortunately I never learned how to get on my bed by myself, which was probably the biggest blow out of the whole thing. I can scoot down off, but I do not have the strength to pull myself back up anymore.

If you were raised like me, you basically had full rein on what you could do, and it made you feel “normal” for once. We love to challenge ourselves in our daily lives. and being able to learn something new is the biggest drug we can seek out. Unfortunately, some of these challenges can be more complicated with some of our limited movements. So, we can sometimes be slower than not only we would like, but for other people too. I’ve realized in the recent years is that our families are usually the ones that have the lowest points of patience of the bunch for some odd reason! They don’t like to see us struggling, especially our fathers, so they want to “help” us. What they don’t know is that they’re doing more harm, as it is better for us to learn how to complete a task than leaving it for someone else.

I do understand the reason why people feel like they should help us. Even though you should always ask that person if you can lend a hand, we will try our hardest to make sure to let you know we don’t need you. Something you may not know is that we have a huge sense of pride within ourselves. Giving up on anything that lets us be like everybody else is the worst thing possible ever. So, when we can’t finish what we started, we will reluctantly ask for help. We will not be very happy with ourselves, but at that time it will be something that needed to happen.

I have always had a difficult time accepting help. One thing that I despise is when someone close to me will automatically do something for me, when they know I can clearly do it. I love trying to find new things to do with my feet, nothing really makes more happy in life than discovering new ways to do ordinary tasks around the house or out in public, but it does make people nervous, they think I’m going to get hurt, so they try to dodge that obstacle as fast as they can and yes, it is very annoying but you have to let it go and hope for the next time. You have to realize your patience is not the same as others so in a way, I think both sides need to keep that in mind when it comes to these things. It also ultimately depends on them on if they can learn to grow to trust you with the various tasks you know or learn later in life..

Here are previous letters and their links if you want to check them out now!

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita | Building Trust | Be Truthful To Your Children | Dear Disability Community | Events | Treat Your Friends The Way You’d Want To Be Treated | Long Term Goals