Friday, July 13, 2018

Salt and Vigenar

No, spellcheck, I meant to type vigenar.

It's one of those Sister sayings again.

Man! I get such a kick out of her mispronounced words! She has some real doozies, but the best part is when you correct her she gets upset with you and insists that's what she is saying as she says it wrong again. We have learned the hard way that you can't laugh about this though... it is not funny to her.

Do you remember the "Persimmon" post years back? If not, you really need to brush up on your reading... go HERE... then come back... I have more to say...


OK, just thought I'd check in...

Now are you done?

OK. Perfect, now back to the vigenar.

The reason why salt and vinegar is even a term in our household would be that it is a STRONG flavor and when you have children who are sensory seeking/needy, flavors can play a huge part in satisfying that sensory. Salt and Vinegar are two of the strongest flavors there seems to be that you just can't describe other than "salt and vinegar."

Ever since Lay's (at least they are the first brand I ever knew of that made this particular flavor) came out with flavor Brother has been savoring it completely. So much so that his lips swell and get all white from all the salt and pucker! Ha!

Also, I buy 20 pounds of apples 2-3 times per week for the same reason.

Sensory input.

Granny Smith green apples are the tartest and therefore the most preferred.

But they are not always good through the year and around this time it seems they are always soft until the next fall crop comes in. So I have discovered several types of apples that our kids will eat that are crisp and tart and the winner this summer has been the JAZZ apple.

Why do I tell you all this? Well, I am pretty sure that my kids are not the only ones with sensory needs who live around here and I am positive that I am not the only mom who tries to get a good deal on groceries.

I thought I was so cool when I discovered that Smith's Food and Drug had a store brand of salt and vinegar potato chips for way less than the Lay's brand AND had even stronger vinegar flavor! Perfection! And the apples my kids always want are always 99 cents a pound and have been for the last few years. I had discovered a way to not break the bank and still satisfy the sensory tastes of my kids.


But, I think there is someone else in my same situation because lately I have been going and they are out of salt and vinegar chips AND hardly any JAZZ apples left (only 8 pounds which last us, maybe, two days) so I am left to choose Sour Cream and Onion chips and sift through the soft Granny Smith Apples or take a chance that the gala's will be crisp still at this time of season.

Some one else has kids like mine and have discovered my secret!

Smith's is the place for affordable sensory needy foods!

How did this get discovered?

I haven't told anyone until now.

But, I guess I am OK with it. I want to help others so I will just have to deal with the fact that I may have some competition in the realm of sensory foods.


Thank you, Smith's Food and Drug, for your commitment to all of us mom out there who have children who are addicted to strong-flavored and snappy-textured foods.

I just have one request.

Can you stock more?

Because kids who are sensory needy are also very routine needy and aren't very happy when momma ain't bringin' home the bacon... or, in this case, salt and vinegar chips and Granny Smith or JAZZ apples.

The Vigenar Mom

These lovely photos were captured by their Uncle Joel.
If you look closely you might see some of the left-overs of their salt and vinegar chips on their faces...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Life has a Leash

I was taking my kids to summer camp this morning and came to a stop sign.

It was the usual stop sign.

Nothing new.

But this time I saw something interesting.

As I was waiting for the cross traffic to clear I couldn't help but watch intently, a woman pushing a stroller while talking on her cell phone and pulling a black lab on a leash.


I said "pulling."

I think if the dog wasn't so determined to not fall she would have been dragging him.

She seemed oblivious to the dog's struggle and just kept pushing forward, busy on her cell phone, pushing the stroller with her elbow and pulling the leash with her free hand.

I, and my kids, were able to watch her cross all the way to the next corner because of the traffic and as I pulled through to turn the corner I rolled down my window and hollered with as much compassion as I could fit into a yell loud enough to reach across the street, "It's leg is tangled in the leash!"

As I was rolling out of her view I tried to smile really big so she knew that I wasn't trying to be rude, but helpful, I don't know that she was happy with my efforts either way and didn't seem to realize what I had said until she was in my rear view mirror. I saw her stop confused and start to untangle her dog from it's binds. I honestly don't think she realized that the dog was tangled.

I mean she had so much going on, she probably just thought her dog was being resistant to her direction.

After rolling up my Sister began to reprimand me for yelling at someone on the street and also told me that what I said was rude. I chuckled inside as this did seem rude as she most likely didn't understand why I was trying to get her attention.

Then during her lecture I started thinking about the life's lesson in that experience.


I'm sure you've noticed that I've been absent from my blog for some time and even with that I wasn't blogging very often since the beginning of the year.

My analogy:

I've been like that black lab we saw today--limping along, trying to keep up without falling, stumbling, getting hurt and not quite knowing how to get me leg out of the leash so that I could walk at pace I could handle and not end up getting dragged along.

Life has a way of wrapping it's will around us and pulling us along whether we feel like we can or not.

I couldn't be more proud of all that Brother did this past year.

I couldn't be more grateful to all those who helped him succeed.

I couldn't love more the people, friends and family who have loved him no matter what and have nurtured his desire to grow up and be a happy young man.

But it was all happening so fast, so much, so forced that I was falling behind in all that I had to do as a mom of children with special needs who are trying to be as "typical" as possible.

Overwhelmed and under-prepared I continued forward even if I was only limping along in the process.

And then watching him graduate high school was like finally crossing to the street corner so that I could stop and assess what was keeping me down.

There have been lots of "drivers" along the way who have tried to yell from their driver's side window where it all was seemed so "clear" to them,

"Oh, we all go through this. Welcome to having a high school graduate!"

"I know, it's so hard when they graduate... having to let them go and hoping they make the right choices in life."

or, "It's so hard on us mom's to let our kids grow up."

I'll let you figure out on your own how I feel about those comments. They weren't horrible. They were well-intended and they were meant to put us all on an equal playing ground. I get it, I do.

Anyway, to make a long story/analogy short; I finally got the leash that life was trying to drag my by and untangled it and I feel like Life only has to tug at me a little bit now to keep me moving.

Here are a few photos of Brother's big high school graduation so that you can smile and enjoy the fruits of my limping across this moment of my life.

After Seminary Graduation with his graduating peers from the ward
(one of these young men left for his mission last week and one of them will be leaving soon!)

I bribed him with sweet tarts for this selfie!

Before walking in to the building for graduation 
with Mrs. Glahn, the angel teacher

Friends and family filled a whole row ourselves! There to support!

He waves his "I love you" simple to all who are cheering for him as he walks to line up to receive his diploma.

I love these next few pictures! 

Yep. I'm proud! I'm so proud! This might have been the moment that life started to unwind the leash I was stumbling on...

And Mr. Keyes, Brother's Choir teacher! They ended up having such a great relationship. They both grew over 3 years!

Following his peers to take his hassle from the right to left side of the cap to symbolize the graduation.

He was checking his peers to see if he should be crying like he was probably feeling.

But then he recognizes the excitement and shows off his diploma!

Lauren! What would we have done this whole year without his best friend and our greatest ally!

Yaya was so proud of him!

His cheer coaches!

4 of the 5 Life Skills Graduates and his dear friends 
His sweetest friends!

His buddies!

Besties and Brother... that's what he calls us (smile)

Grandma Judy's gift. He was really proud!

His "other" family

I just had to share this photo. This is walking out to where we were supposed to meet Brother after graduation and Lil B was being loved by both our girls (all heart eye emoji's here)