Being a Working Mom During a Pandemic Part II

Where has the month gone? I read my last post about Being a Working Mom During a Pandemic Part I and realized how far we’ve come in 30 days. We left off with the overwhelming transition into homeschooling and remote work. It was a huge undertaking to get familiar with the Google classrooms, lesson plans and class conference calls. We’ve been joking that our daughter is having more conference calls than we are during the week.

All joking aside, it’s been a tough transition. I wonder how other moms and dads are managing everything each day. I’ve seen funny pics with kids climbing around during Zoom calls and attended calls where the presenter was locked in a closet to get an uninterrupted call done. Many parents have thrown in the towel on homeschooling all together. Continue reading

Being a Working Mom During a Pandemic Part I

Well that’s a title you don’t see every day. Being a working mom can be tough during any given week. Now that we’re in the middle of a global crisis, being a working mom feels like 5 more jobs at the same time. We shifted from going to work, school and community gatherings to working and schooling from home with complete social distance. That’s a lot to take in.

Like many working parents, I worked remote a handful of days out of the year. It wasn’t the norm for me, but when it was needed, I made the best of it and my employer was accommodating. It was a very abrupt shift to remote work and online school when it happened two weeks ago. I was already on PTO for a couple of days before the change and then I got the call that my office was for the most part moving to remote. As of this writing, I haven’t had a day back in my office for three weeks. Continue reading

Kids, Bikes and Adaptive Play

Riding a bike is like a right of passage for a young child. It’s the moment when the training wheels come off and they take off with that little wobble. I saw a father help his girl take that first ride in a field behind our house the other day. She was smiling and beaming with excitement. She fell once and then got back on long enough to ride away.

For moms like me, watching that moment is inspiring and also bitter sweet. It’s hard for me to imagine our girl taking off on her own two-wheeled bike.

She has balance and coordination challenges along with other conditions and intellectual disability. She tries very hard to ride her bike and she really just wants to join in play with others. Continue reading

Planning a Petting Zoo Birthday Party for Special Needs Kids

Birthday party invitations are few and far between when you have child with disabilities. My daughter who is part of the SPED program at school has been invited to two birthday parties in the last 8 years. My son who is able-bodied and has a group of buddies he hangs with will get invited to birthday parties throughout the year.

Before we moved out of state from our hometown, it didn’t matter if the party invites came in for her because we had big birthday parties with grandparents, family and cousins. Living in Arizona, we don’t have that network so her parties became dinners with cake and a couple of my son’s friends. Continue reading

Horse Therapy for Kids with Disabilities

Horse Therapy for KidsI love horses. I do. I rode for years with a friend when I was growing up. She was a natural trainer when we were kids and has a successful training business today.

When my husband and I relocated to Arizona, I remember telling him one of my goals was to get back in the saddle. I missed it and was determined to start riding again.

Our new town has an equestrian culture and I stumbled across a horseback riding class for special needs kids. I put my riding aspirations on hold and enrolled our daughter who has disabilities. I was nervous the first session, but it was amazing to see her light up. Continue reading

Sensory Processing Issues and The Morning Routine

Sensory Processing DisorderSequence, lace and bows make little girl clothes cute and adorable. For the little girls with sensory processing issues, cute and adorable becomes a nightmare. It’s scratchy. It burns. It irritates.

Sensory processing issues was a new term we learned when our daughter’s conditions were finally diagnosed. Her conditions include a lengthy list with sensory processing issues plus developmental delays and intellectual disability.

Sensory processing refers to the way the brain receives messages from the senses and turns them into the appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Continue reading

5 Ways Stay-at-Home Dads Are Changing the World

Stay-home Dads RockWhen we lived in Silicon Valley, we did what a lot of what Silicon Valley parents do. We had the double income, two mortgages and two car payments. We also had two kids with two childcare bills. The American Dream, right?

We struggled. We were miserable and knew it wasn’t for us anymore. It was hard to let go because we were both born and raised in San Jose, before the term “Silicon Valley” became so popular. We wanted something different from the norm and California was too expensive to raise our kids on our terms. It took us a few years to decide to relocate. We relocated to Arizona before we had kids and then moved back to the Bay Area. After we had kids, we realized we couldn’t make it work there and the costs were a constant struggle. Continue reading

What Intellectual Disability Means to Me

Baby GirlI couldn’t stop staring at two words on my computer screen: Intellectual Disability. After 5 years of doctor appointments, tests and more tests, we had several conditions finally diagnosed for our daughter.

Our journey included two neurologists, two geneticists, pediatricians and development delay specialists that spanned two states. It’d been a long road to diagnosis and after talking with other special needs parents, I learned that’s kind of the norm. It can take several years to diagnose a child who has disabilities. It’s like a puzzle and every appointment or phone call provides a piece of hope you’ll find an answer or in our case answers. Continue reading

The Land of Play Dates

We have arrived in the new world of play dates.

When I was working full-time at an office and the kids were in preschool, play dates included hanging out with friends. Our play dates meant I caught up with old friends while the kiddos hung out. It was an easy choice to leave my kids with my mom friends if I needed to run errands. We’ve known each other for years. Continue reading

Our Parenting Curve Ball – Part II

Our Parenting Curve Ball – Part I was about the waiting game before taking our girl for an MRI. I was actually a wreck. No matter how much you focus or keep positive thoughts, there’s a reality check that goes through your mind when you are faced with a test like an MRI. At least that was how I felt.

The MRI went well. It actually went very fast that morning which confirmed my theory about how often  the anxiousness before something happens is much worse than it actually happening. Continue reading