Monday, June 30, 2014

My Imperfect Perfect Child:Speech Delay and Embracing The Challenges

So the moment you realize that there may something wrong with your child... your heart drops. Well I know that is how I felt when my sons doctor told me that we needed to get Caleb's hearing checked and go through a speech assessment. A What? Why do you think my son needs to go through a speech assessment he likes to do things on his own time!!! AS MOMMY PROTECTION CLAWS COME FLYING OUT!!!The doctor explained that he is not saying as many words as he should and it is recommended that he does the assessment. Speech development varies among each child and people will tell you varying things but most experts will agree that a child by the age of 2 should have a vocabulary around 50 words. My son on the other hand maybe had 10 clear words but had his own language.

The property of A Bipolar Mom: Do not Copy or Use

There are so many questions that ran through my head but our child comes first and we proceeded with the hearing and speech assessment. Well long story short his hearing is fine and it was determined that our two-year-old son has enough speech delay that he should have speech therapy. I am not going to lie but it very hard to hear the word "delay" you begin to think about all sorts of what ifs. However, in life there are so many what ifs and just like many other challenges we would embrace this and hit it full force and put our son first to give him the best possible outcome with the challenges he faced.

The first thing that our son's speech therapist told us is that we did not cause our son's delay. There are many things that can cause speech delay to an physical impairment to something going way down in their brain. Some where in our son's brain he is encountering difficulty using and coordinating lips, tongue, and jaw properly to make speech sounds. He is not speaking because I did not read to him enough, or talk to him enough, play with him, and so on. This did not make me a bad mom.

So if you have a child facing speech delay please realize you did not cause it you are not a bad parent!

I have always known his speech delay has never defined him. There are areas that my son excels in and is way ahead of the game to other kids his age. Just as kids are excelled in other areas and behind in other areas. A speech delay is simply a delay it does not mean he is less intelligent for a child who does not have a speech delay it simply means it is something that we need to work on to get him through this.

So if you have a child facing a speech delay please realize it does not define your child! 

Using speech therapy has been one of the best things for him. Within the first couple of sessions I was already seeing improvement with my son's speech. Not only was seeing improvement with my son's speech but my husband and I were also being taught ways to communicate with our son. We help him and in between lessons. So it is just not your child going through speech therapy it is your entire family going through speech therapy and helping your child be the best they can be. It makes things easier and less stressful in the house because you and your child are communicating  with each other. It broke my heart when my son could not tell you what they need your want not because they do no want because they do not how or can't. However, seeing your child slowly blossoming makes your heart melt and smile knowing they are making progress. Know that it goes on just speech therapy service. Whether you are using speech therapy services or not it goes beyond that. I am constantly finding new ways to help my son's speech delay by one doing our speech therapy homework, looking up games, researching, and son. There are so many resources and areas to research the options are endless and we have found some pretty neat ones. I will post some ones that we have done in a later blog.

So if you have a child facing a speech delay use all possible tools!

This is not an easy process. I have learned he is not going to be reciting and giving speeches over night. There are good days and bad days. We have great speech therapy lesson days and some days it is like his first day. However, with every step forward in the right direction is just that! So he first time he signed and said more or says a word that we were not even working on take it and embrace it. I love it when says a new word and when I tell him good job and his smile is so infectious.

So if you have a child facing a speech delay realize it will not resolve over night! 

I realize everything will be okay


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : 52 Week Savings Challenge : Frugal Change or shoul...

A Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life! : 52 Week Savings Challenge : Frugal Change or shoul...: There are many aspects of the frugal lifestyle. As I have researched the many areas of being frugal the one area of being frugal is the abil...

52 Week Savings Challenge : Frugal Change or should I say ching ching?

There are many aspects of the frugal lifestyle. As I have researched the many areas of being frugal the one area of being frugal is the ability to start saving money. Now there are many topics about saving and which is the best way to go about it to pay down your debt and save at the same time and frankly for me it is overwhelming with all the information and which is sad I am a person who likes to research. All I can is say about this point I highly doubt I will blog about this exact subject and which way we decided exactly to go. However, but that will be for a different time and blog post if that does happen. There are also many articles out there about easy ways to save and how to cut cost to put some extra money in your pocket. So I figured that is prefect area for someone who is exploring the frugal lifestyle to start when it comes to savings and to really get started about serious about saving money.

Now with most of these frugal post I am going to put a little bit of testimony/truth/confession in here on why we are doing this. I feel like expressing these on here it helps relieves the stress but being honest where you at in your life makes you face reality and you can move forward. I also know if I can be honest openly I know maybe there is someone out there that I may reach and say "hey I am not alone","Wow they are really being honest about their life situations and they are taking it a step at a time" or "they are just telling me how to do it they are living it and really doing it step by step". When I ready for a change or want to make a change in my life I usually get all excited about it and bite off more than I can chew whether it is weight, taking a new approach to my bipolar disorder, organization, a new plan with the kids, and so on. I read stories, research, start with too much, and so on. I become overwhelmed, become very intimidated by all the success stories, and even a little jealous who I view has their life really put together (whether it is actually or not because I do not know what is going on behind close doors). However, it took me a long long time to realize with any change it really does take small steps and nothing will really happen overnight. Even though if you have this huge goal or change in mind if you take small steps, small goals, small changes to reach it... you will have amazing results. So at the end of this blog post I want to thank a couple of people who really inspired me. So moving on  from this sidebar and on to the truth part of this post.

TRUTH: My husband and I are horrible at savings whether we like to admit or not. Now we have multiple savings accounts and besides the one I keep for small craft business Gifts By Vaughn (  they are pretty sad. Now why cannot we save? Well the first answer is we can't but that really is a lie because we have an allotment going to one and if we were able to leave it alone than we would be "saving". Well the first honest reason is the main one that usually goes hand in hand with checking (like most people have with banking) we just do not add money to the savings account plain and simple. If we do start putting money in there it will eventually make it way back over to checking whether we moved it or the bank moved it because we were short in our checking account and then we lose a $1 for them moving our money for us. So we open an additional account outside to a different bank and set up an allotment to that account to start building our savings up. Well sadly every time we thinking we are getting ahead something comes up and we have had to take from that savings and when you take take from savings and only put the bare minimum in you have no growth in savings and a whopping no balance and the constant fear if something happens what are you going to do next? So what does this really mean? My husband and I really need to reprogram ourselves on how to save money and save it well. So that is why we decided on the 52 Week Savings Challenge as one way to approach to saving and the main reason for this post!!!


If you simply Google 52 Week Savings Challenge you find your answer and tons of charts on what type of challenge this is. However, the basic concept of this challenge each week of the year you will deposit a certain amount of money into a account or place of your choice. It is recommended that your  weekly deposit follow the week that you are on. So for week one you will deposit $1, week two $2, week three $3, and week fifty two $52. If you follow these amounts by the end of the year you will have saved $1,378. You can find more information about the basic concept of the 52 week savings challenge here .

How we are doing it. Now we decided to take this challenge but decided to leave the money outside the bank and a place to see the money to watch it grow.  So if you are going to leave the money outside of the bank you will need a 52 week savings challenge chart you can simply Google it or look it up on Pinterest there are tons out there that range from fancy, simple, and even are modified a little for people who have adjusted the challenge to meet their need. I posted below a simple example of the 52 Week Savings Challenge Chart for you but I will also show you what and how we are doing.
Source: via Google images
Like I stated above you just have to search and you will find tons of these charts! Now onto the way Christopher and I are doing it and I will throw a little psychology into it. Hey I have a Bachelors in psychology and working on Masters might as well use it! Well my chart is nothing fancy in fact I jotted it out on an index card... I know fancy right?
source: image belongs to Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life!

Well I decided to write it out one it was quicker to jot it down and because we are "both" doing the challenge I can write down the actual amount of each weeks deposit. So for us week one is $2, week two is $4, and week fifty two is $104. We also let room if were able to save a little extra. We actually just deposited week 2 and we actually put in an extra $1.77 so as long as the base deposit is met each week by 52 weeks we will have saved $2756! Do not fear the bigger deposits towards the end of challenge because by the end mark it should be easier to save which is the goal of this challenge!! Also if you are living frugal it should start having extra money to save making this challenge easier as is progresses through the year. You also need to decide when you are going to deposit your money each week since it is not going into a bank account. For hubs and I we decided on Sunday and since we may be adding more than the base deposit we store the deposit on the side until it ready to go into the jar so it can be counted.
source: image belongs to Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life!
Since the money is being stored in our bedroom we have these plastic leave dishes that went with our bedroom decor (we are country/woodsy) that I bought at the Dollar Tree a couple years back that ended up not being used and were collecting dust on top of jewelry box. So this where we sit that weeks deposit until the wend of the week until Sunday and count it put in  the mason jar! The cat is just my crocheted kitty that protects the money...hehe! Our challenge sits on my bookshelf  on the top shelf with Dean Koontz you cannot get any better than that in our bedroom!!!
source: image belongs to Bipolar Mom and Her Daily Life!
Now if you remember earlier in this post I stated that my husband and I needed to basically reprogram ourselves on how we think about saving. That is why decided to keep the money outside of the bank and bare with me this where the psychology comes into this and why this is a good challenge for someone who needs to reprogram in the way they think about saving and how to positively reinforce that behavior by positive motivation. Motivation is simply defined as the process that initiates, guides, directs, and maintains goal-orientated behavior. It is literally the desire in which we decide to do something whether to actually make a change or just sitting around thinking about making a change. In psychology terms motivation involves biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces to activate one's behavior. Now there are a number of theories on motivation and fancy terms that are used when psychologist discuss/debate about what motivation really is but that really is not the point. So lets stay focus on positive motivation and why me and hubs are using are using at as a tool to positively reinforce our behavior on saving. By seeing are money actually grow through the year we have a tangible results on hand to see that it is working and growing. You can also look at as extrinsic motivation or outside positive motivation at work at this challenge and at the end of this challenge we can take that tangible "result" and do something with it whether it is vacation, investment, savings, and so on. Now there is also intrinsic motivation or internal positive motivation at work as well in this challenge and what I view as the most important of these challenge. By completing this challenge not only will you have personal gratification that you completed your goal but you are helping yourself reprogram your brain on how to save and setting yourself up for positive results, success, and a long term future. Well that is what we want to do! Well that is my psychology degree at work now only if my grammar was better and my student loans would just up and vanish...hey I can dream/wish?

Sorry I had no idea this was going to be as long post

Personal Thanks: There are a couple of people I wanted to thank who have motivated me though my life. These thanks are not all directed at 52 week savings challenge but just in general about motivation and change. 

I first want to thank my parents. They have been one of my biggest supports in my life through so much through my heath issues, life struggles, ups, downs, good times, bad times, and so on. They are who keep me motivated besides my husband! I am not sure what I would do without them. 

Shannon-  I first met Shannon when we first moved to Camp Lejeune. You talk about a woman jack of all trades. She has been one of the most motivating people I have ever met!! She actually reminds me of a much younger version of my mother and which is amazing because my Mom is one of best friends. Now I can go into details of all things on why I am very motivated but all I will say she is an amazing military wife and mother and now it is her time to shine! So I am going to give her a shout out. If you live in North Carolina check out  the Owner Formal Creations she does amazing work! I just want to thank Shannon from the time that I known you from your jokes that people often do not get, to some great conversations, being a role model whether you realized it or not, and reaching for dreams you truly are a motivating person to me. 

Lisa- she is also another positively motivating person I have ever met and the sweetest. She has helped me embrace my physical life changes as well as the emotional ones that come with trying to make a healthier lifestyle. Just with type of change it can be overwhelming and she is right there with you helping you. She runs a group Lisa Kingslayer Fit Future and I promise she is not in your face about her group but actually cares about the ups and downs of obtaining a healthier lifestyle. She is a real person not a supermodel and embraces herself flaws in all and which makes herself that more motivating! I want to thank her so much for the impact that she has made on my life. 

Ashley- I have known you through a couple of deployments now and I think you are an amazing and motivating person, wife, and mother. I know there are tons of wife and mothers out there in our shoes but you have always to me seem so motivated and positive in the things you do through the life of being a military wife. Which is extremely motivating and encouraging to move forward with all my goals in life especially as a mother and I thank you for that.

There are a couple of wives that I just need to thank: Jodie, Megan S, Dara, Dawn, Carri, Sarah C,  Shelly F, and Rebecca D.