Nolan’s Birthday | 10 Gift Ideas Under $100

Hello!

I am so excited to do this post, I actually wanted to do this last year but I wanted to make this more for other families who have a little boy around Nolan’s age range so what was suppose to help our families, can help everyone! You can purely look at this as a wish list for him but you could look at this as ideas for Christmas too, although most of the items are under $20–I didn’t plan on that, it just happened!–I went for stuff he would love for the summertime. Every item I talk about in this post is subject to change, but even if some of them do, it would still be under $100 on Walmart’s website!

Nolan has a lot of interests, and according to his babysitter and OT, he is very smart and has a good imagination! He is very busy but he loves to get cozy with his blankets, books, stuffed animals and watch movies. And like every other little boy in the world, he loves anything wheels… so he has over 300+ cars, tractors, trucks, and a single toy wheelchair that is affectionally dubbed “Meghan’s” everytime he finds it through the basket at our house! I tried to remember the main things I knew he would enjoy the most for when I was creating the post but I think it could work for any kid in his age range too.

Blippi: Let’s Look and Find Book – $8.08

This year, I think, the theme will be about Blippi because he is utterly obsessed with this dude! He doesn’t watch him at our house so I’m not exactly familiar with him but I knew if I didn’t add anything Blippi related I’d probably get in trouble with him, so I was very happy to find this book. To me, it looks like this generation’s “Where’s Waldo” and/or “I Spy” and I think he might like it for that because he’s always had an eye for finding things – when he was a baby, he could find holes in things like clothes you didn’t even know about at the time!

It actually looks pretty hefty which considering the rest of his boxes, he might be ready for these thicker ones now.

Pinkfong Baby Shark Ultimate Sticker and Activity Book – $5.88

Last Christmas, when he went to visit Brandon’s family, he came back with a sticker book that he thoroughly enjoyed and when I saw that they had one of Baby Shark, I thought it was too cute to ignore. Nolan enjoys singing along with the songs and even has Aunt Meg doing the hand motions with her feet (thankfully they’re very easy for me to do!) but nothing is more funnier than dad trying to dance and Nolan getting mad at him for not doing it the right way!

Marvel’s Superheroes Board Box – $10.47

Nolan is starting to fall in love with superheroes, and so far he likes Marvel characters. Although at first he was saying “Batman” but now he is obsessed with the Hulk and Spider-Man.

There is a show all about the Hulk and his mates on Disney+ and I think he started watching it with the bigger kids at the babysitters during the week because we didn’t introduce it to him. I want to show him like X-Men but I also don’t want to scare the little dude either so I’m trying to hold off on as much as possible.

So while looking through Walmart’s website I saw this box full of books about Marvel’s characters, even I became a little jealous! The site says there are 12 books included and considering how cheap the entire block is, that’s really nice! They also have Pixar, Paw Patrol and Frozen blocks as well.

Large Plush Sloth Toy – $10.00

Besides his Hot Wheels cars, he also has a large amount of stuffed animals. He has two of my Husky pups in his toy hamper at our house but he also has Mimi’s cow she use to have on the kitchen table too! So, it was only right to include another one of his favorite animals to the mix, which is a sloth. There were a lot of different sloths but this was my favorite because it looks so cuddly and cute. He really would love it to pieces!

Bubble Play 64oz – $14.99

Another one of his favorite things in the world is bubbles! He has always loved bubbles since he was itty bitty, and it is so nice to see that he loves them so much because it is something that I still love too, so I thought it would be smart to include it in the list too.

M&M Character Candy Case – $3.00

This one might be a little weird, but for the past six months, Papaw has been giving him a handful of M&Ms from his secret stash and for a while, it was the only chocolate thing he would eat, but we think because they were covered in various colors that he wouldn’t see it as chocolate because everytime we tried to give him ice cream with chocolate syrup or chocolate chip cookies, he’d stay away from them.

I was hoping to find M&M plush toys but I think I will have to go on Amazon for that but then I saw these and I was like, I think he’d enjoy having the figurines up in his room.

Melissa & Doug’s Wooden Train & Race Car Paint Kits – $13.40

One of things that Nolan has been really interested to do is paint! I have to thank his occupational therapist for this because he use to hate having his hands dirty, and considering his mommy and I use to spend most of our childhood digging along the sidewalk of our nana and papaw’s house was very odd. Thankfully, he doesn’t mind getting a little messy now!

What I really liked about these kits is that they are wooden, so they are sturdy (hopefully) enough to last through Nolan’s playing and can be packed up and stored somewhere after he has grown out of them too. I just thought they would be cute to do with him or he could do them with his parents!

Garbage Truck Toys – $30.88

I have not included a lot of cars and trucks into this post because he has his fair share of these items already but if you are looking for something that could keep your child happy with multiple toys in one present, this might be your ticket for a lot of excitement!

It has over 10 trucks included and they range of various careers like construction to farming, and I thought it was pretty impressive honestly. It definitely could be worth the $30 in the end, you never know!

Play Food – $9.97

My nephew still loves his play kitchen, unfortunately, it didn’t come with food and for some odd reason, he still doesn’t have any after two years! I feel bad for him because he still “makes” us things and will use his actual snacks in the dishes so I feel like the poor kid needs something and thankfully, they are incredibly cheap on the website so that’s why I decided to include it on this post.

Melissa & Doug’s Vehicles 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles – $9.79

Another thing that he really likes are puzzles. My mom bought him this little tin of puzzles for Christmas but nothing is in English nor did it come with an actual picture of how it was suppose to look like after you finish! We’ve had to hide it from him because we still don’t know what to do with it.

Once I started searching for puzzles, I was very careful as to what I was looking for, easy for all ages and most importantly for the adults, the main language is English! And I found Melissa and Doug brand of puzzles and I thought these would be perfect as you get more than one puzzle and again, they are wooden so they will definitely last longer than any of puzzle piece I think. And of course, they are of various vehicles, so I think we have a winner here.

I really hope you find this post helpful for you, as at this moment, I will not be doing a post for toddler girls but in the future, if you would like me to do it for Christmas, please let me know and I will consider the option. For anyone who have used these products in the past or present, I would also like to hear your thoughts (both good and bad!) and will relay the information back to my family.

If you could, what is one item on this list that you would purchase for their little man?

Goals For 2019!

Howdy!

On the 31st of December, I saw a tweet that was asking for the top 5+ goals you’d like to accomplish for the new year on my sister’s account. I don’t usually post things like that, because mainly I don’t usually have a clue of what I want to do, but this time I did and I just decided to list all five of my goals for 2019!

The next day, my mom was at work, so it was just my dad and I for the day and I actually let him on these goals, because I thought he’d get a kick out of what I put down for the first two; what I didn’t know was that the next day, the second goal is getting closer to happening. I was a bit shocked by the news, but more so on the fact that my dad asked me what number that goal landed on my list. I was kind of stunned that he had remembered them in the first place, because when I originally told them to him, he was half asleep on me. And then as I was busy telling the both of them, I realized I forgot to tell my mom at all! Oops!

Move Into Our New House ✔️

We’ve been in the process of dealing with our new house for longer than we had planned. Everything was supposed to be done before Thanksgiving, but we’ve passed two holidays and we’re still not in the house yet. We’ve had a lot of issues! I don’t particular want to talk about that on this post.

Update: On January 9th, we finally moved in! It took a few more days to the rest of the stuff into the new house, but we’re here. I’m hoping to do a longer post about designing the perfect bedroom soon.

Finally Getting My New Wheelchair

I think my parents got the ball rolling on the house and my wheelchair around the same time! September was a big month for us, that lead to more question marks than anything else. However, we recently got a letter that most of the things we were wanting to be added onto the new chair were approved, so that is a good sign! I am still fairly wary about the whole thing. I’ve been waiting for a new wheelchair for almost 7 years. I’d like to gain some of my freedom back, like being able to clean my room by myself and just spend a couple of hours outside with our cats, taking pictures than being stuck up in my room the whole day.

More Cuddles With My Nephew ✔️

This had been the only goal to have been fulfilled at the start of the year! My sister brought little man over on the 2nd, and my mom let him sit on my right leg. We haven’t been able to do that before. Even though, he is really active, he really calms down whenever he sits on my lap. On this occasion though, he did something that kind of made me want to cry, because I wasn’t expecting it. He gave me a hug. He grabbed ahold of my shirt and left hand and pulled us together and I couldn’t help but put my head on the top of his; we only stayed like that for a couple of seconds but he’ll never know how much that meant to me, especially since I love giving cuddles myself too!

All The New Music

This one kind of stumped my mom, but as a music blogger, you know you can kind of devout your time into talking about Christmas music, because once it becomes the middle of November, the amount of real music coming out the next month is fairly smaller than you’d like and unfortunately, January has a slow start to releasing new music. You definitely don’t hear anything brand new right away in the new year. You usually have to wait until the second week of February to fade before you hear anything worthwhile. That’s why I’ve had to go back through the last bit of 2018 for any albums I can review on here!

New Opportunities For My Blog & I

In 2018, I decided it was time to branch out a little, away from the blog, and even separate myself from Disability Horizons for a while. I had big ambitious to start writing pieces for other people, whether they were other bloggers or bigger sites for digital magazines. Technically I have a three part series that I was planning to give away to a site that I actually like, but more importantly because they don’t have a lot of disability themed articles. I just wanted to lend my voice to them. I’ve talked to several blogger friends, Lucy and Melissa were very helpful during this time but I kind of lost my nerve at the end of spring.

One thing that I was able to do was work with The History Of Royal Women. I was writing for them at the end of 2017, but most of my work came out at the start of the year until the beginning of summer. I had done two different themes: disabled royal princesses and lives of heiresses of the eras. I’d like to end out that last one, because I still have two more ladies to talk about, but I worry that it’s been too long of a gap and they won’t let me back on to write anymore.

I would love to have more opportunities to write for other people, plus also offer up to other people to write guest posts as long as they match the topics I normally discuss on here. If you want to contact me, click here.

I do have more personal goal. The reason why I want to keep this one under a lock and key, is because I don’t want to put any pressure on anyone to make it happen right away, nor do I want to feel bad for my expectations. So, for the time being, the sixth and final goal will remain hidden away.

What do you hope to accomplish in 2019? Can you name five or more in the comments?

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?

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