Vloggers That I Love #4

Howdy!

I am so happy that I brought this series back because it seems everybody has been enjoying the last one a lot, so I figured it was time to come back for another post. This time we will be talking about family orientated YouTube channels. I have been loving these types of channels mostly because even though it’s usually a small fraction of their lives being recorded for us, they’re always so fun and interesting. I really look forward to a new vlog every week!

Now as much as this will be discussing the family side of these people, I really picked them for the fact that they’re all mothers but you get to see their interests in various things than besides their children. I was going to only list two for this post to keep up with my list, but I thought the last one fits better with this post than having to give it to another theme. Here are the channels that I think you should check out next!


Natalie Bennett | lifestyle + motherhood


Natalie has a second channels that includes her husband an their whole families. However, for this post, we are only highlighting her main channel. There are similarities to both of them as the kids: Liam, Judah, and Hailey are featured in several of her videos. I mean, you can’t expect her to turn off that part of her life. She does a lot of fun videos that include them right into the theme, like holidays, homeschooling, food, and even her daily routines.

As far as the lifestyle part, the term itself means “anything goes” so she does talk about beauty, fashion, health, and God. She’s had some issues with her health for the past few years, that involves her stomach, mostly it’s her GI tract and the woman has had a lot of changes in her diet between having to go both vegan and gluten-free at the same time. I mean, that in general is usually a choice you make on your own, but for some people it was recommended by your doctors. We haven’t had a proper update about her progress in a while so I hope she is doing better!

One of the things that I was surprised I wasn’t turned off about was the fact that both channels talk about their relationships with God. They do not shove it down your throat, but it does come up quite a bit in their vlogs. If you watch her morning routine video, you get a piece of it as she likes to take time out in the mornings to read sections of the Bible and incorporate it into her outlook of the day. I think because she has such a soft voice that whenever she does talk about her religion, it’s almost comforting and the fact that the kids want to learn about it is really cute too!


Megan Fox Unlocked | millennial, Mennonite & mom.


Now, if you’re thinking the actress Megan Fox made one heck of a life change, you’re wrong! This Megan Fox was born as a Mennonite in Pennsylvania. She lives a basically normal life, as she is a wife and mother of two: Evonne and Fletcher.

When I found this channel, I was a bit stunned but I really feel like I wasn’t the only one that has discovered her in the recent year or so! She has a whole video talking about others assumptions of what it is to be a Mennonite. It really did help at figuring out her way of life. For the most part, I’ve been around the Amish community, but hadn’t met anyone as a Mennonite until 2016. There are differences between the two, so before you go all judgmental, you need to really see her channel for yourself.

In a lot of ways, Megan and Natalie have a lot in common than besides their views in religion and motherhood, Megan also has a really nice voice. She doesn’t talk too fast or too quiet. She just seems like she wants to be your friend really, as she’ll give you some great tips about various things, such as decorating. I have grown to love those types of videos in the last month or so! She loves fashion, and the fact that she knows how to sew, she likes to make a lot of her own skirts and dresses, and even some household items like curtains too!


SparklyFamilyVlogs | teen parents of 3 living in Hawaii


The final YouTube family I love to watch is SparklyFamilyVlogs! Liola and her husband Na’ia are in their early twenties, parents to three beautiful, blond babies: twin boys Kekai and Koda, who have to be around four and daughter Everleigh who is under the age of two I think. They all live in Hawaii. Liola is a stay-at-home mom. They are basically homeschooling the children and they all live a vegan lifestyle.

How I managed to find them was interesting, because I think I was watching a vlog about a vegan dish and their newest video was on my right side, calling to me basically! I clicked it and was immediately curious about one of their sons, because they were running around behind their mama Liola, I wasn’t able to get a good look at the front of this child but I could see a familiar feature of the shoulders. They looked exactly like mine!

Little Koda has Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congentia too. No, I haven’t messaged them yet, I want to, but I don’t to overstep any boundaries so I’m still thinking about my approach before I go making a mess of myself! One of the reasons why I love watching their videos is because of him. He is so brave and living life to the fullest. Actually, the vlog I watched showed him trying to climb a tree with his brother. Koda can walk, he just can’t extend his arms, they’re bent at the elbow like mine. So, the fact that he basically walked on the bottom part of the tree was good enough for him. He was just excited to get that far I think! Liola is very nervous about him and how she’ll have to explain the differences and struggles to him and his siblings as they get older, but I think she and Na’ia will be just fine in the long run.

Before I go, I wanted to say that I didn’t think all of these families had more things than one in common with each other! I knew about the homeschooling and religion parts but it’s crazy to see it all written out in front of me! I know what I like, and that is an authentic sense of family even if it is on YouTube. They’re not bragging about the money that they could be gaining with their sponsored items, every vlog is like you’re hanging out with your best friend and since I can’t physically get out to be with my friends, this is enough for me!

Are you a fan of family YouTube channels? Do you watch any of the ones I mentioned above? If you have a favorite, please share them with me in the comments!

Happy Blog Birthday | Let’s Donate To Big Cat Rescue!

Howdy!

May 13th is my blog’s birthday, and even though the date actually lands on a weekday, I thought about what I am attempting to do, so I needed this post to publish a little earlier than I originally wanted it to, but it’s all good I am making it work one way or another! I’m not planning on having a big celebration or anything, even though I’d like to have one for sometime in October, since it will be 10 years since I became a blogger and I think it would be nice to celebrate that milestone on the lines of my actual birthday too. We’ll just have to see what happens though!

I’ve been thoroughly confused about how old this blog is for the past few months. I’ve told a LOT of people–including anyone who’s read my “About” section lately–that my blog is nine years old, when in reality it isn’t. It’ll actually be eight instead. Sometimes I’m not good at my math, and basketball can only help with so much so let’s be happy I’ve corrected it before this post goes up! Honestly, it doesn’t really matter if it’s eight or nine years, it’s all a milestone anyways, and I’m very proud of myself for keeping it alive and thriving through it too.

This year though, I didn’t want to write a regular uplifting post. As much as I love writing them, I wanted to do something completely different.

On Facebook, you can create a donation fund to your favorite charities. My sister and dad have each created their own for their birthdays, but they’ve raised money for Shriner’s Hospital For Children because that’s where I was looked at all throughout my journey with my Arthrogryposis and Scoliosis, plus all of my surgeries too, so we care deeply for the hospital and what it has done for not only me but my family as well! You would think I’d follow in their footsteps, but no, I’ve had another organization in mind.

I am a big lover of cats. Now when I was younger, I wasn’t. Our family cat had a special bond with my mom and sister then he ever did with me. I loved being around dogs, getting their attention was somewhat easier and being able to get them to come to you to pet them was awesome to someone as small as me! Cats on the other hand, they only come when they want to and they normally don’t like to be petted either. So, growing up I was always Team Dogs! It wasn’t until my sister found a little stray cat that she later named Bootsie did I began to enjoy the company of a cat compared to a dog. Honestly, when she started having kittens that really made me want to be around them more often because I will always have a soft spot for baby animals!

The kittens have all grown up now. Our last litter just turned three in early April, but unfortunately we also lost one of our beloved cats too. My sister and brother-in-law had three of our babies living with them: Gru, Toni, & Otis. I think a week after their birthday, Gru got really sick and started having seizures. They ended up having to put him to sleep that same day. Gru was one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever been around. All of our cats are very affectionate but Gru loved cuddling, being around all four of his brothers: Otis, Samuel, Chipper, and Nolan. He and Nolan had a pretty special bond with one another, Gru had a lot patience so he didn’t really mind the tugging of his fur or ears, he was just a good kitty! The household has definitely been grieving over his loss. After it happened Otis was really sad and Toni, who isn’t really a lovable cat, may have sensed that and showed him lots of love over in the past few weeks. It’s been sweet and weird to see Toni be this way.

Although my love for domestic cats have been a slow process, I’ve always loved big cats! I don’t know why or how it got started in the first place but it’s been interesting to see it flourish overtime into other cats in various sizes. For the past few months I’ve been watching these YouTube videos of the different types of wild cats that they have at the Big Cat Rescue in Florida. They have all kinds but the only breed I’ve never seen there are cheetahs. Big Cat Rescue is basically a sanctuary for big cats that were trained in the circus and are retired, and then you have ones that were rescued after becoming unwanted or become ceased by the police on raids. There various reasons how a wild cat could have ended up there.

I’ve always been a huge fan of lions and tigers of course, but I’ve noticed that the longer I watch their videos my tastes in wild cats have changed slightly. I do love Siberian Lynx, Savannah Cat, and the Cougars or Mountain Lions as we call them. I love each one for different reasons, like the Lynx just look exotic because they have thicker coats and they belong up in the mountains of Asia. I think I purely love Savannah cats because they look like your standard domestic cats but they’re not! And finally the real reason why I am a fan of cougars are because our family cat Oliver was nicknamed a mountain lion by my dad because he would always stand on high places and look so regal doing it too. I also love how big their eyes are too!

I am asking you, my readers to help me raise about $100 or $200 for this great organization. If you cannot donate, that is fine, but I was wondering if you could please share this post with your family and friends so they can see these wonderful cats. They are very beautiful and goofy at times and I know from experience that if you only watch one video, whether it’s on their Facebook or YouTube channel, you’ll be hooked! If you click here you will be directed to my blog’s Facebook page, the donation tab will be pinned to the top and you can do what you want with it. The post will be LIVE until the 16th, so it’ll be open for everyone for a week.

Thank you for always being here for me, and hope you enjoy the rest of your day! ūüôā

Baby’s First Easter!

Howdy!

It has been a really long time since I’ve blogged about a family gathering or in this case, a celebration. I keep wanting to kick myself whenever we babysit Nolan because I have good opportunities to snap a few pictures of whatever he’s doing, so the night before our Easter festivities, I had my mom charge up my camera because it’s been a couple of months since I’ve last used it and I felt like this was a good idea because I’ve been in the middle of something and all of a sudden my camera goes black on me. This way, I knew I would be good for two hours or so, depending on what I think was worthy because that in itself is a totally different story. Since my nephew has become very mobile either when he is in his “car-car” or army crawling on the couch or floor, the booger is fast. and he changes his reactions quickly that I needed a lot of juice in my camera so I wouldn’t have to depend on anyone else for help if it dies on me.

Nolan is at the age where not only does he put everything in his mouth, but he is very aware of things. When it comes to holidays though, I think we all kept going back and forth whether he would be interested in going on a makeshift Easter egg hunt. He loves colors, mostly red, so we figured he’d enjoy that part but there was the fact that they’re somewhat slippery and they can split apart. These are two things that he hasn’t experimented with a lot lately, so there was a slim chance that he could ignore my mom and I’s best efforts to make the living room into a sea of shiny colors!

When they first arrived we basically fell in love with his little outfit and gushed on him about it. Blondie and Brandon looked very nice too, but they didn’t get as much attention as him, which I think they were pretty fine with anyways! Personally, I thought he looked like a little farmer with his overalls, and since the redness in his hair is starting to push through more often, he looked like an Irish farmer! After obsessing over how cute everyone looked, we took some family pictures and surprisingly Nolan actually minded really well. Once he noticed the eggs all around though, he began to lose interest with family pictures pretty quick, but we managed to get everyone together before we released him to check them out.

One year, Blondie and I had to settle for an inside Easter egg hunt and we even did one for Halloween too (only because it rained for four days straight!). We weren’t happy about it at first, but I actually enjoyed it because I was allowed to get on the floor and scoot around to the candy. When we officially decided on this idea I was really pumped to bring it back for him. It’s in a controlled environment and leaves clothes very clean afterwards, or it should. I think Nolan enjoyed himself, that is until somebody tried to take away one egg so he could look for others. He didn’t really like that part, but he was obsessed with the eggs though! He played with them all day long.

Nolan also received a couple of baskets from the Easter Bunny as well! The one that came to his house got him a backpack instead of a basket, because the next day he was to start going to the babysitters and it would be an easy place he could put his toys in, and honestly it’s a freaking adorable idea! The backpack came with a few various sizes of Hot Wheels cars that not only can he enjoy but his daddy and his Aunt Meggie can too! The Easter Bunny came to our house too, and asked his MiMi (my mom) to decorate his basket. Next year he might want to consider asking me instead and you’ll understand in a minute what I mean. He got a very cute soft lamb that says the Jesus’s prayer for children. He was also supposed to have a sippy cup but Pa-Pa apparently couldn’t wait and let him try it out a week in advance. He’s known to do this, I was supposed to receive my first cell phone on my 16th birthday but he couldn’t wait anymore and gave them to us two days prior! He’s a soft-y when he wants to be!

After that, we had lunch, the adults had lasagna but Nolan had half an avocado and almost a whole banana! A couple of weeks ago, he decided that he was done with baby food so now he only drinks formula and people food. My dad has never been happier!

I think he had a lot of fun! I know we all did that’s for sure! Nolan has a lot of energy, and I love playing with him. I swear he gives out that energy everytime he comes over. Everything is innocent in his eyes, he’s not scared of anything, he’s not jaded as we are and I think this is a time to really cherish because as he gets older he’ll lose all of that and fear most things and can be influenced in other directions. We’ll get to all of that in a later¬† date though, right now let’s focus on these moments.

How was your Easter weekend? What were your traditions growing up? Do you have an alternatives when it comes to a rained out egg hunt? Let me know!

A-Z Disability Challenge | G : Long Term Goals

Howdy!

For today, this post will hopefully be lighthearted; the kind to make you smile with some of the things that I’ve been collecting as part of my long term goals to accomplish in the future. It’ll have the same format as the other post about my goals for 2019, but I’ll explain a little more about each one, so you will understand why they are important to me.

I like to think there’s a big difference between a bucket list and long term goals. In my Pinterest board for my bucket list things, are not very realistic. You’re wishing to do them rather than actively trying to seek them out. Now, I’ve seen a lot of people who make bucket lists and actually cross off certain ones, but not everybody is that lucky. I’ve never thought about having or even listing out my own personal long term goals like this before, but since I wrote out my other top five goals for the year, I figured maybe I’d be lucky and actually push myself a little bit to actually make a dent in my list. I’m hopeful that’s all that matters to me!

When I created this list, I tried to list them in some kind of order, but we all should know that life doesn’t always follow this rule all the time, but at least it’s organized for me to explain each one for you below!

Write A Cookbook 

I’ve always wanted to write a cookbook, between being my dad’s guinea pig for years and the beloved recipes that my nana was taught by her parents, and then papaw’s family, I just feel like this is the next step! What I find interesting is that I have these big plans of writing it and including inventive gadgets that could help other disabled aspiring cooks and/or bakers, but I still have yet to actually do anything in the kitchen.

When I was with my nana, I could convince her to let me help her mix or pour the various things into the bowl, but I can’t even do that with my own parents! Recently, I went out into the kitchen to watch my mom make broccoli and cheese soup and she would not let me do anything. In her defense, she hadn’t made it in a long time so she was basically panicking making sure she had everything and it was all coming together. I was basically there to express my cooking knowledge with her, which that part was fun, but I yearn to actually do something. I’d love nothing more than to make my parents dinner one day, but these two goofballs won’t let me!

Go To The AMC Convention 

In 2012, I found out about the Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita Convention. This was also the same year, I found the whole mother-load of fellow AMCers and the fact that we even had an awareness day for us! I was extremely happy because I love to talk to people, especially family members of kids that have various types of disabilities. Parents and guardians are always looking for others that may have experienced similar situations, and I enjoy being a voice to the younger generations to gain some independence and be who they want to be. This was one of the main reasons why I created my blog in the first place!

It wasn’t until 2017, when the AMC group basically announced to everyone where they were going to host the next convention – because they go to a different state every year, so it keeps things interesting for everybody that attends. Well, I usually like to look on their Facebook page on the last day to see where they will be going to, and for 2018 they were going to Louisville, KY. I was happy! I showed it to my mom, who basically told me “if you can talk your dad into it, then maybe.” Now this came out at the end of July, my sister announced to us in October that she was pregnant and that she was possibly due at the beginning of July… So, my nephew was the reason why we basically dropped that idea from ever happening.

I would love to go to the convention one day, which is why I have included it onto this post. I would love to meet other people to see how they’ve managed to do things. I also think it would be a good thing for my family too, because I’m always hoping that they’ll want to help other families, especially my sister, she’s very helpful and I think she’d enjoy meeting the siblings and basically talk to them about her experiences of being the younger sister of someone with such a physical disability. I just think it would be a great experience for all of us!

Speak On A Panel At AbilitiesExpo

A couple of years ago, I heard about the AbilitiesExpo. I know there is one in Chicago and the other is in Los Angeles. I saw a vlog on YouTube of an attendee that jacked a tripod onto the foot pedals of his wheelchair so he didn’t need somebody else holding his camera for him. I was stunned at this, and I immediately showed it to my dad, we’ve been tempted to do something similar to mine. Anyways, I think the expo is very cool! It is usually for three days, and includes small sections of different companies for fashion, wheelchairs, biotechs, etc.

I have had the same recurring dream of speaking on a panel with other wheelchair users, it usually included Tiphany Adams, Jordan Bone, and myself. These ladies are very special to me as they’re always talking about their experiences of becoming a wheelchair user, and what keeps them going and thriving! I think being able to speak to a large crowd with several other fellow disabled ladies would be interesting! We could discuss real topics like sex and relationships, and give people another outlook to women with disabilities. I don’t know if AbilitiesExpo has ever done anything like this, but I thought it would a cool idea to do in the future!

Visit England

I think everyone knows about this one. I actually didn’t have it in the original line-up, I had a totally different goal but I realized that it kind of went with the first one, so I switched it out.

I’ve talked about how much I love England, and yes, most of it goes with the royals, but I have become kind of obsessed with the overall history of the country. I love the cities, London being my favorite! Bath and York are two of my favorite cities that like to show off their impressive structures, from the cathedrals to a row of houses.¬†¬†Recently, I’ve been loving various pictures of the countryside. The villages are beautiful, they’re completely different compared to what I see here in the United States. Buildings and houses that were built in the 1600’s still being used to this day, the architecture is gorgeous! If you’d like to know all of the places I’d like to visit one day, click here.

Have A Baby

For a long time, this was the only long term goal I ever had and as the years go by, it continues to go further down the list.¬†I’ve talked about this in the past, so I’m going to attempt to keep this as short as possible.

Years ago. I did include the words “get married” before it, but I’ve sort of lost my interest in wanting to do that. Even though I have my parents and sister’s marriages to look at for inspiration, marriage as a whole in this day and age doesn’t appeal to me. People make vows and sign a certificate but will cheat on their spouses anyways. I don’t want to say because of my disability, I’d always be faithful, because I am not invincible to anything, especially my own temptations.¬† However, being attached to someone that could be the one to give a child frightens me, because they could always come up with a story that I could be a bad mom, adding to the stereotypical image of people with disabilities can’t bear and raise children.

I’ve always wanted to be a mom. My maternal instincts come out whenever I am around young children. I want to teach them how not to be afraid of someone like me. It is hard sometimes to be around my sister and nephew together, I still get fairly jealous that she has a son to call her own, but I also have to tell myself that I get the easy job as an aunt, but I’ve always wanted to do the things that she does on a daily basis. I have met with other disabled moms out there and they do ease the questions of whether or not, if it’s possible to have a child, but it’s getting to that point where I can fulfill that dream of mine that feels impossible. Hopefully one day it will happen.

Do you have any long term goals? What have you done to try accomplishing them?

A-Z Disability Challenge | A : Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita

Howdy!

So, last week I basically announced to the world that I was starting my own challenge. I have created this challenge to talk about disability topics in alphabetical order. Some will have a personal touch, like today’s post will discus my condition: Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. The others will be educational and/or opinion pieces. I wanted to give you a good mixture of different themes that everybody, whether you have a disability or not, would understand a little better.


Honestly, I just wanted to write this for people who are really curious about my condition, and who are maybe a little embarrassed or shy to ask me questions up front. This will hopefully help you understand a little more about what it is, what areas it affects, and some of the stuff I’ve had to learn to do, to adapt to my surroundings.

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita is simply as a joint condition that can affect many areas of the body, but it is formed in the womb. Since my joints of my arms and legs are limited to movement, the muscles never really developed, thus why they are really skinny. My arms have always been bent at the elbow, I’ve had many therapy sessions to help lessen the tension in my arms. My elbows will never unlock and I’m okay with that. I’ve always had insecurities with the fact that my hands just lie there. I was never able to use my fingers, but there are a lot of people and young kids whose hands like mine and they can actually write and draw with them. I don’t know what actually possessed me to use my feet, but it was definitely a day to remember for my parents that’s for sure!

I am not able to walk like everybody else. I have two very different feet, and neither one are able to lay flat on the ground, so whenever I did experiment with walking, I usually walked on my tippy toes instead. I grew up rolling and eventually scooting around on my bottom. The only way I can explain for the rolling is because since I wasn’t able to move my arms on my own to get them out of the way, I think my family was afraid I’d get rug burn, so I just started rolling around. Thankfully, I was so small that I could fit through most doors and hallways. I can’t give you a definite age when I switched to scooting but it had been¬†before I was four years old, because I was going to a special school and honestly I needed a better way to get around. I was pretty slow, but I didn’t care one bit. I use to chase my sister and cousins around my grandparent’s house all the time! Of course, for long distances, I was usually carried around but when I was four years of age, I got my first wheelchair and then the roles were reversed and everybody had to chase me!

As I continue to get older, I am in more and more pain. The majority of it is around my back, but the rest of it is in my hips and knees. I was very active as a child, but as an adult, I’m a pretty-stay-in-one-place for a long time. I can sit in the same position for close to three hours and power through the pain in the sides of my hips in order to get work done. Don’t worry, I was not in any pain while writing this post! I feel like I should be considered lucky with the pain in my knees, because I have family members with different types of arthritis, so I always know it could be worse. My nana goes old school and just rubs Vicks on the affected area, I’ve tried talking to my mom about going that route but I agree with her of the overwhelming smell, so I take painkillers to ease the pain away.

If you have any other questions, I will be doing a Q&A later on in the challenge, so just leave your questions below if you’re curious about anything.

Nolan Update

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Howdy!

Before I officially begin with this post, I thought I would mention to everybody reading this, to not steal my pictures used below! They’re not yours and if you want to ruin my generosity to freely show him off on here, you will ignore the urge to take the photos! Thank you.

It’s been a long time since I talked about my nephew, the only post I’ve managed to publish is his birth announcement back in July! It doesn’t really seem that long age since that day, but it has! I constantly fight with my parents (and sometimes my grandparents) to stop calling me a “baby” when I’m clearly not one anymore, but I get why they never stopped calling me that because now I’m saying it about him! We all call him “our baby”, which really ticks off my sister and she’ll tell you right off that he’s not ours, he is her baby!

So, knowing I have about four months to get you updated with what’s been going on has been a little daunting for me, because there has been lots of things happening, but let’s start at the beginning, okay?

1st Month:

I have to say, my sister and brother-in-law have been doing a very good job at raising him, since neither one have really been around a baby before. Blondie had never held a newborn before Nolan, so this has been a totally new thing for her, but I think she really loves it! Brandon has really young cousins in his family, but I doubt he’s been up and down throughout day and night because of a crying baby before this!

Unfortunately, my sister gave up on breastfeeding him in the early part of July, because she honestly didn’t feel comfortable and was always worried she wasn’t producing enough milk for him. She really didn’t want to give up and felt extremely guilty but I think she felt better giving him formula and knowing he actually eating well. Although when he is hungry, in the way he cries (and screams) he expects that bottle to be there immediately, and it doesn’t matter who’s around him at the time. There’s only so much I can do to console the little guy, but I did figure out he likes to have his head rubbed, there’s only a 50/50 chance it’ll work but hey, at least I try!

38600263_1050894211753906_3251158598029410304_nThe animals are really great with him. Chipper is very curious and protective of his little brother. The cats are interested in him too, they want to be around and even try to touch him. There’s a cute video of their gray and white cat Gru attempting to pet him on the head and he’s being incredibly gentle, it’s so cute! Blondie and Brandon try to keep them at a small distance so neither one hurt each other by accident.

During the first month Nolan was here, we (my parents and I) were basically fighting to be the first ones to have him when they came down. I always felt that my time with him was short and somewhat shared with other people who came to check on the two of us, but after a while I grew out of that because as he grew and created more facial expressions, there would be someone else to bring out that smile of him. I wouldn’t get him to be happy like that as easily, but we quickly figured out what he really enjoyed while being with me. My bed.

When he was real little, and it was time to switch and let him have some Aunt Meggie time, everybody would put him out on the right side of my bed where I have two layers of velvet blankets and if he wouldn’t roll over on his side on his own, somebody else would, so I could see his little face. He loved being so close to me, and frankly I loved getting baby hugs and giving him kisses on the top of the head too. Everytime they’d bring him and I cuddled up to him in my blanket, I’d talk about all of the animals in the world, plus superheros and the Transformers, and eventually he went to sleep. Sometimes when he’s a bit fussy I’ll sing to him a made up lullaby for him that he just loves and my dad thinks is adorable too!

I think we were shocked to see how fast he started to really discover emotions. We don’t think he was trying to make faces at us, but there were expressions he’d make during that first month that would make great pictures and videos. At this point, they were trying a lot of things to keep him entertained and one of the things he kind of fell in love with was the movie¬†Moana.¬†He just loves the music and would get excited at different scenes and songs. This movie is about the only thing he’ll calm down to, and I think they started it was when they introduced tummy time to him. He was always fussy in the beginning and then he’d hear a familiar song and his mood would change instantly.

2nd Month:

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Despite the fact that he was constantly teething (and still is!) August was interesting because he slowly showed how smart he is, the first thing being how he managed to talk or in this case “sing the music of his people” (cry) his way onto Blondie’s chest day and night. He also loves Snapchat filters, and I know that’s weird to say out loud but this kid loves seeing himself on the screen in different scenarios, like one of his favorites is the “Dog” filter that allows you to have a fake tongue of a dog stick out with the nose and ears. Well, he had finally figured out how to get his tongue out, he’d do it instead! Everytime she told him to open his mouth, he’d stick out his tongue!

One last thing he learned to do was keep his head up on his own. Shockingly, he was already trying this out probably three days after the little dude was born! He was an overachiever as he was rolling around at that time too! Whenever he was doing tummy time, they’d put him up on his small pillow so he had some help leaning up on his arms, but he was still bobbing his head some days, for the most part he’d nod at you and look around the room. I think he really loves tummy time, well maybe for the most part!

3rd Month:

So, this past month has been fairly normal, except for the fact that everybody had been showing signs of allergies and/or sickness, and we having to be really careful with Nolan as we don’t want him to get anything either. No kissing on the cheeks, only on his little hairy head and everybody’s been washing their hands plus using hand sanitizer if they want to hold the kid. I know it’s for his own good so I’m not too bothered with it!

Nolan really likes books now! My mom and I each bought him a book after a visit to Walmart earlier in the month, and we got him a baby book that he can hold in his little hands and put into his mouth to chew on, but it’s a mini fabric number book, that has different animals of the pages. He really loves it! The book I got him is a baby touch and feel type of book, it’s about Baby Animals and on each page has a small portion that a child can touch to feel the various textures whether they’re soft or rough on their skin. I showed it to him while he was in his vibrating chair at the foot of my bed, and he just stared at it as I propped it up on the side. I desperately tried not to drop it while I was attempting to turn the pages in the process. He was so calm and seemed to be really happy too!

41379676_10204657428033710_379528470192979968_nHe has recently learned how to “talk” now! So far he’s favorite word is “nuh uh” and it’s freaking adorable! I swear I even hear him say “mama” every once in a while, but he hasn’t said it on command yet. The day he does say “mama” or “dada” is when we’ll all start crying for joy! He is a storyteller himself, even if you can’t understand him yet. It’s so cute on how he’ll be very quiet and take a big sigh before start talking to you. He seems to love it when papaw (my dad) threatens to ground his mommy, I mean literally, the kid has the biggest smile on his face everytime he tells him that.

I mentioned in the beginning that whenever he is in my room, he is laying out on my bed? Well, by the middle of August, it was too difficult to see his face without him rolling over to where I can’t move him back without feeling like I could hurt him, so I started sitting up with him and now I can really talk to him and if he wanted to, he could watch TV since we usually try to prop him up a bit so he’s not lying flat on the bed. He loves to watch both¬†Tom & Jerry, Paw Patrol,¬†and¬†Bubble Guppies.¬†Whenever the last show is on, I like to say “bubble-bubble-bubble guppies” at a very fast pace which usually makes him laugh at me. We discuss the animals and what they’re doing, and everytime¬† they have music on, I try to get him to dance or wiggle, he likes to watch me wiggle than do it himself, but I don’t care. I like keeping him entertained!

Recently he experienced a “leap” where he has a growth spurt and gets very curious (apparently more than he already is!) of his surroundings, and I’ve noticed that he’s been watching my arms a lot lately. It’s incredibly tough to explain to a child that small what a disability is; he loves to kick and feel my right hand since it’s lower than my left, but one day when Blondie had a hold of him, he just stared at my hands. He doesn’t really understand why my hand can’t grab him like everybody else’s, but instead of frowning at the Tarzan like movement I do when around him, he smiles his head off. He’s a curious baby that’s for sure!

4th Month:

Since it’s the start of a new month and the fact that he doesn’t really turn four months old until next weekend, I think it would be kind of silly to really discuss his accomplishments for October! I’m sure he’ll do a lot though. One thing that I keep telling him is how long it is until basketball season, because he’s finally big enough to fit in his little Butler Bulldogs onesie! The weird thing about it was my mom also put me in my Butler shirt without knowing he was wearing his too! Of course, the picture was so adorable as he gave a slight smile behind his chubby little hands.

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I do want to end this with an interesting fact about Nolan. When he was born, my sister noticed something about his feet, one both feet his index and middle toes were webbed together. The nurses and his doctor told him that was common with premature babies. Nolan was supposed to be born on July 2nd, but he came on the second week of June instead, so he is considered a premature baby. Everybody has told them that it should fix itself in time but it doesn’t and he’s not able to walk, then they’ll worry about it. So far, nobody in either family has any feet defects, but one of my fellow Arthrogryposis made the point that it could be an effect by AMC itself, but we’re really not sure about it. I think it just makes me him unique, but I still hope he will be able to walk nonetheless!

I think I’ll wait to do my next post probably before NYE, so I can get his Halloween costume and what he wears (and eats, as he’ll be starting on solid foods soon!) for both Thanksgiving and Christmas! I also have another baby post coming as my cousin Kristi recently had her new baby a few weeks ago, so I’ll try to have that name reveal and update on them soon!

So did you enjoy this little update about my nephew? Do you think I should continue these types of posts or not?

snowflake

 

NYE Shenanigans!

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Hi ūüôā

Before I was hit by the flu in early January, I actually had a mini getaway. I stayed with a friend of mine. Afterwards I had lot of plans to get back into blogging right away. Well, not at the moment I arrived home because even I know I need to let my body rest for a couple of days before I actually got started on anything! I just didn’t know my body needed three whole weeks to get settled back into my normal routine.

Over the NYE celebrations, I went to hang out with my friend Brittany. You might remember her as she and my family, plus a few close friends knew of the surprise of a lifetime. She’s the one who took me to see Shinedown and Five Finger Death Pinch in 2016. She invited me over to her house for the weekend, to hang out with her and her Great Dane Lizzy Lou and cat Gravy!

We did a lot in those two days. We went out to eat twice–both places we love! And we went to Lowe’s, which was absolutely hilarious! We started out with her pushing my wheelchair while I had a hold of the cart. We realized this wasn’t really working so she went on to pull the cart from the front and I grabbed the bottom rail that connects the wheels together. The only way I can explain to you what I was feeling was like surfing, just without water! It was fun, I almost hit a couple of displays but I didn’t fall out or break anything in the store!

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She knows I’m always looking for a good time, so she found an opening at Painting With A Twist that was $25 for one person, unfortunately it was too expensive for the both of us, and she said she didn’t want to do it, but honestly we cheated a bit because she had to help me a few times so I feel she participated too! I had never done this before, but I’ve seen it on TV and seen the many, many pictures on their Facebook page. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a place where you go to paint and drink wine. So if you go to these “parties” you have to over the age of 21, but the one we went to was providing coffee instead so we had younger girls in our group. One of the nice things about it is that everything is already there for you to use, you can wear an apron to protect your clothes, and they provide you with canvas, paint and brushes.

After we left Lowe’s, she called them to make sure they can accompany to my needs, because we were both worried about the height of the tables. I was very short in my wheelchair and I didn’t want to have her get me out of my chair and onto the floor–I didn’t feel like breaking her back! To say I was worried is a bit of an understatement. When we got there, they let me try out the smaller easels that they have laid out on the tables already, and this was too low to the ground for my foot. Luckily they had another option and brought over a bigger easel and this was a good fit.¬†I felt like Goldilocks in a way, because I was trying many ways to be able to get this to work.

Our instructor was Ryan, he’s also the one who helped the two of us in the beginning. He was very nice and easy to mesh with because I used to go round and round with my old art teacher in high school, we hardly ever agreed on things. I liked him, he was one of my favorite teachers but I think even he would say I didn’t listen very well! Anyways, he explained the different hand motions we should be making to be able to cover the canvas with the paint. He said it didn’t matter if it was too dark or light, and to take a few steps back to make sure everything is to your liking.

The design that I did was a peace sign on a pink background. I was asked if I wanted to stick to the original background or if I wanted another color, I don’t know why I chose to stay with the pink but I did! There were like seven of us in the room and only two of us kept the pink, while most went with both turquoise and purple. We had only one yellow!

As we waited for the paint to dry after we put on our background color. We took a short break and played a game of guessing how many corks were in this giant wine glass! We were given a paper plate and I had said 36 because it looked less than it was, and Brittany suggested it could be like over 300 of them. Well, it ended up being around 600+ wine corks in this glass! We were all shocked and depressed at our math skills! The winner was allowed to pick out a painting from the display on the outside of the room. After she came back in with the one she liked out, we started on our actual peace sign.

I’m one of those people who have to go bigger than the normal person apparently. I can never do anything small and delicate. We put the random yellow swishes on the left side corner and apparently I had a little bit too much fun. One of the things that Ryan had mentioned before we started was this is an easier design because you’re freeforming it rather than painting in the lines of the subject as we were told were how the other paintings were created, which makes sense considering I’ve seen a LOT of good ones and its easy to forget that the people who were doing them could had a lot of wine at the same time.¬† I can’t use alcohol to my advantage for my craziness!

Once we drew the peace sign on there with our pieces of chalk, we started painting various dashes around our outline. Another example of my “go big or go home” mentality I had that day! After this, we left it to dry and then we moved on to the splattering effect and he told us to put our canvases down on the floor. He said to get the paint brush really wet with water and then put it into the black paint and constantly go back and forth until you get this runny paint on the bristles, and he said to tap on the handle of the brush on the areas where you want the splatters to go, but while I was trying to do this, my wheels kept moving at the same and I was close to running over my canvas three times! Brittany actually had to help me a bit because I was having a hard time staying straight in my wheelchair. I will be happy when I get my new chair! I will say her splatters were the bomb and everybody agreed too!

Brittany had to do the drying parts for me, because I bet I’d probably break a blow dryer! I’d either run over it or drop it on accident, either way I would have like crap. After she came in, we had another break and we played a new game too.

26234834_10215236147714826_1148270273_nThis one was interesting because we used the paper plates we were given before and we were asked to close our eyes and draw out different things that go with NYE like a party hat, wine bottle and a glass. I could reach the top of the stools that everybody sat on, so I put my plate up there so I could participate in the game. Next time when somebody suggests to help you hold things there, just do it! Don’t pull a Meghan and mess up. However, I did a decent wine glass! Ryan said once we were finished, that he tends to give out two prizes for this game: if you can tell what it is and the hot mess. We had a couple of hot messes, even the girl who won that category agreed with him, but I won the other one. Brittany and I had went around the whole place beforehand and she had already expressed which one she had liked and lucky for the both of us, I used my “winnings” to her advantage and she got to take it home! It goes great with her color scheme of her living room.

Once we were finished with the whole thing, the canvases got one last blow dry and we washed our hands of the acrylic paint. I didn’t make a big mess of myself or the floor! My nana would have been shocked about that! We were given these giant brown paper bags to pack our canvases into as we left, but first there was picture time! We had the group photo and then Brittany put me into between the two designs that had Ryan already did for the class.

Now every artist has to name their project. My Linkin Park drawings I did in 2010 are called “The 6” because it was six portraits with close to six different mediums. So I named mine a little bit later, after Brittany and I realized something different about mine, and I was going to share that part with you, but I think I’m just going to post the pictures and let you see it for yourselves.

Since we had so much fun that day and our hopes of taking a nap that afternoon never happened, we didn’t make it up to midnight. We were sort of dragging that Monday morning when she dropped me off, but we’re both in agreement though that we’re waiting until it gets a little warmer but we had a freaking blast! Hope you enjoyed this post!

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Have you ever done anything like Painting With A Twist? Even if you’re not a “painter” I still recommend that you go and check it out anyways!

snowflake