Hellobee

Talking to a Parent of a Special Needs Child

Sometimes D’s issues aren’t obvious, so I don’t think we have hit the worst of the peanut gallery yet. However, Mr. T and I have still had plenty of people say extremely hurtful and inconsiderate things to us about D’s situation. We try not to dwell on them (beyond complaining to each other), but some things stick with me.

One of the exchanges I will never forget was our first time going to D’s weekly PT appointment. At that time, D was on the IV and feeding tube for the vast majority of the day, so he was hooked up as we were in the waiting room. I’m sure I looked pitiful, hauling him in his bucket seat, plus his backpack and diaper bag, with three tubes running. I sat down and was playing with him when I heard a voice say, “Wow, I just hate to see kids with medical equipment.” I said something like, “Well he needs it and it’s keeping him healthy so I’m trying to stay positive.” The guy then asked what it was; I explained it was a feeding tube and an IV, and then he proceeded to tell me how convenient it must be to not have to feed my child, as his (seemingly) perfectly healthy preschooler ran around the waiting room. I just stopped making eye contact and ignored him, but I was so angry and also just wanted to cry. I hated the pity, and the othering – at a pediatric therapist’s office no less! I still don’t have it in my heart to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, but I know that many people may say comments without thinking through them first.


We’re a family with ups and downs – just like everyone else!

I can only talk about things that are personally offensive or hurtful to me, but I think that they would also apply to many other families who are in similar situations with LOs with either temporary health scares or chronic illnesses. Here’s what I recommend not to say to me, acquaintances, dear friends, or strangers on the street:

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Hopscotch Twins Have Arrived!

I’m excited to share that last week the Hopscotch twins made their arrival – right at 38 weeks! We are quickly finding out that twins are a whole lot of work, but of course incredibly loveable!

On the left is little miss and on the right is little mister (when I’m less sleep deprived I’ll come up with better names – feel free to give me your suggestions!).

She weighed in at 6 lbs, 4 oz and 19 inches long, while he weighed in at 6 lbs, 9 oz and 19.25 inches long. Yep, that means I had almost 13 pounds of baby in me at the end! Crazy. They also look so delightfully different from one another I still can’t get over it. I’m pretty sure that she is a mini-me and he is a mini-Mr. Hopscotch.

I’m especially excited to share their birth story; in addition to wanting to ensure I remember it all, I really want to share it because it seems rare to hear about twins who are born vaginally. When I found out we were having twins, I immediately assumed I’d be scheduling a c-section. I had no clue that trying for a vaginal birth was something we could even think about, let along successfully accomplish!

While I’ll be snuggling up with these two for awhile, I hope to be back to blogging more regularly!

DIY Monster Toss

I am class mom this year for Drake’s Pre-K class. Our first party is coming up this week, a Halloween party, and I have been preparing to make it fun and entertaining for the kids. In the few weeks leading up to this party, I have been glued to Pinterest looking for ideas and decided I wanted to try to make a monster toss game similar to this one. Because I would need to be able to carry this in and out of Drake’s school by myself, I decided to only use one piece of wood for weight.

These are the materials I used:

  • 1 sheet of plywood
  • Paints (water based from Michaels)
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw

I drew out the monster outline and Mr. Chocolate cut out the mouth for me over the weekend  Then I sat outside and painted (with a little help from my little monsters).  It was quick and easy and took us only a matter of hours to complete.

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Christmas Pyjamas for the Family

Christmas jammies are a big deal in the Oatmeal household. Every Christmas Eve, we unwrap a brand new pair of cozy PJs to curl up in and eagerly await Santa. Now that Little Oats is in the picture, I’ve fallen in love with the idea of family pyjamas; coordinating looks for Mom, Dad, kids and pets! Everyone can get in on the snuggly PJ fun. Here are the best I’ve found this year:

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13 Toys that Encourage Fine Motor Development

Fine motor skills (or, the skills children develop as they learn to coordinate their hands and fingers with their eyes) are an incredibly important part of child development. Because of this, many children’s toys are created with development in mind. Lucky for the kiddos, these toys are also really fun! Here are some of Little Lion’s favorites, as well as some that are currently on our wishlist and some that I would love to get for him later in the future!

1. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Boppin’ Activity Bugs - I don’t think a generation has gone by that hasn’t had some version of this toy. This one develops fine motor skills and also teaches babies cause and effect!

2. Plan Toy Punch and Drop - This is one of Little Lion’s favorite toys! He figured out how to put the balls in the holes pretty early on, and would push on them until they went in the holes. Later, he developed enough coordination to use the mallet to pound the balls through the holes.

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Kate Spade and Jack Spade for Gap

Kate Spade and Jack Spade have teamed up for a limited edition collection with the Gap that launched today. The signature bright, fun colors that epitomize Kate Spade make this collection perfect for the holidays! I saw it in person last night, and it’s gorgeous — many pieces are already sold out on-line (especially the toddler sizes), so going into a store might be your best best. Most of the items are available in both girl/boy and toddler sizes.

Here are some of my favorite pieces:

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Our Childcare Choices

We’ve gone through several different childcare arrangements with K and D! In summary, we’ve done SAHM, WAHD, Grandmacare, and preschool – although we tried unsuccessfully to find a nanny at one point. Now for the long version:

Back when K was born, I worked full time (outside the home with a longish commute), and took 3 months maternity leave. Since Mr. T worked at home running his company, when I returned to work he took over morning childcare duties. My MIL would come in the late morning to switch with him so he could get some work done. I worked an early schedule (6am – 2:30pm) out of the house before the boys were up, and with traffic was normally home between 3:30 – 4pm. I would relieve my MIL and then have K for most of the evening while Mr. T worked, often late into the night. This worked pretty well, although my MIL sometimes wouldn’t be able to come until the early afternoon, so Mr. T had to always keep his schedule flexible. We planned to enroll K in some kind of part-time preschool after he turned 2, to give Mr. T some more dependable work hours, and to give K the benefits of school (socializing, structure, crafts, etc). D ended up arriving a few days before K’s birthday, so we scrapped those plans as we dealt with other, bigger changes in our life!

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