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What a Plus Year!

9 Aug

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Christian with Ms. Christa & Ms. Paige

Today I sit overjoyed.
Overwhelmed. Truly Thankful.
Christian completed his first year with Pediatrics Plus and we couldn’t be happier!
Our story started with Pediatrics Plus not too long ago, yet the place already feels like “home”.

When Christian turned 1, we started noticing things were a little different, but we couldn’t put our finger on it. We went through the Autism screenings and more to only find out we have quite the “Sensational Little Boy”.
You can read about that here.

When someone tells you there is something “different” about your child, you start questioning what you could have possibly done wrong, your “ideal view” (which is stupid by the way) is shattered, and you feel lost. All you wanna do is “fix it” because at the time all you know is that your perfect child seems “broken” because when you have a child with special needs, you initially focus on “what’s wrong” when really there’s nothing to be fixed at all. You, “the parent”, realize that you’re the one that needs fixing, along with the world that has a long way to go in accepting these beautiful extrodinary children for who they are. That’s where I am today and that’s where the team at Pediatrics Plus has been SINCE DAY ONE.

Christian & Jen

Christian & Jen

Christian started at Peds Plus with therapy after he was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). He was given some of the best rockstar therapists from the start. It was determined early on that he needed a speech therapist since his vocabulary was almost non-existent. Jen took him in and made him work from the beginning. She worked through the meltdowns, the sensory issues, and layed the ground work. Shortly after came Anna. Christian accepted Anna from the beginning and I always told them, “I think he has a thing for Blondes.” Anna and Jen made a

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Christian and Anna!

dynamic team and they did everything in their power to get him to where he needed to be. They both assured me, if I could get him in the preschool, I would see a world of difference, and, boy, were they right! They continued with therapy and we were making great strides, and then after being on the waiting list, Christian was set to start preschool in 2016.

I was nervous. He had been in Soulie (Grandma) school once we realized that traditional daycare wasn’t cutting it anymore. He would be entering a new world, and they were going to teach him, work through the sensory issues, the delays, yet I still didn’t know what to expect. I was told Jen would no longer be his therapist, I was even more nervous. Who was going to keep my son on track, help him with speech, and who would be teaching this superhero 3 year old of mine? Here comes Ms. Christa, Ms. Paige, Becca, and later Mr. Jordan.

All of a sudden we had a team on our side. We had teachers and a new therapist who knew how to work through the kinks (that’s all they are), who knew how to build those skills, push the limits, and push my child to be the incredible little boy that he is. They cheered through his triumphs, encouraged him through his difficulties, and sat with him when leaving mommy in the morning was just a bit too hard.

They kept food diaries, to assist during the time when food textures became too much and he refused to eat. When words became hard and Christian was having a rough day, he had a speech therapist there who was willing to be creative and teach through play, who celebrated when he could say the “ink” in pink, and so much more. (Becca I could go on and on about how awesome you have been) All of a sudden my husband and I weren’t in it by ourselves. We had a team who celebrated victories, who were there at his birthday party, and became a true part of our family.

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Christian with BECCA!

Christian was no longer by himself either. My son, who only had the close family friends who saw past everything, now had friends. He even had his special friends Molly Kate and Emma (love those girls). Christian loves Emma so he tries to take care of her and Molly Kate, well that sweet feisty little girl just loves on my son and I’m so grateful that she’s a part of his life (she has the best family too).

Christian has an increased vocabulary, isn’t as afraid as he was in public environments, works through his sensory issues, loves to read books, and seems to be a happier, full of life, he has the sweetest friends, and super loving little boy.

Emma and Christian

Emma and Christian

So today, My heart is full. I’m thankful for each and everyone of you. You have made such a dynamic team for my son and you’ve forever changed his life.

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Ms. Christa, Molly Kate, Becca, Christian & Ms. Paige

Ms. Christa- Thanks for loving on him when he was having those hard mornings, and assuring me that he was having incredible days just rough minutes ( not even mornings) because they would never last longer than 4 minutes). Thanks for  teaching him so much! I swear he has asked for every book that you ever shared during Circle Time! Thanks for being such an amazing teacher and always reminding me that Christian is extremely smart and he will go far!

Ms. Paige- I swear you were Cj’s First Crush. How many stories have I heard with Ms. Paige’s name in it? How many times did I hear, I’m going to hang with Ms. Page (I guess he doesn’t just like Blondes!, ha ha) Thanks for always being so sweet and soft with him. For always being willing to provide that extra little love in the morning. It made a WORLD of difference for him, and I want you to know it doesn’t go unnoticed. Thanks for being an awesome babysitter too!

Mr. Jordan- Thanks for being Cj’s friend. He would always talk about playing with Mr. Jordan and cool things that Mr. Jordan showed him in class. Every kid needs a guy like you in his corner.

Anna- Thanks for sticking with us from the beginning. Thanks for never giving up on my son, for your INCREDIBLE communication and for always willing to come up with solutions. You never stop, no matter what time it is, and you’ve always been so accessible to me. I’m so grateful for you.

Jen-Thanks for being the beginning of our journey. Thanks for laying the foundation and being so incredible.Thanks for pushing, encouraging, and just being you!

Becca- MAN! Thanks for just being you. For your heart. Your Spirit. Your soul. Your love for my son. For pushing him. For never settling for mediocrity. For never giving up. You are a light my friend like no other, and I’m glad to know you.

To my fellow pediatric mommas I’ve become so close with- Whitney-Nikki-Janaye-Thanks for being rockstars. Thanks for being supportive, shedding tears with me, laughing with me, and being in my corner. I can’t forget Mary Lu and Paula either!

To all of Pediatrics Plus Faculty & Staff in Little Rock, thanks for being so awesome and for showing everyone that these children aren’t different, they are “special”. Unique. One of a Kind. Thank you for showing the world, that the kids who go here are dynamic, little superheroes who will change the world one day.

Thank you for being a champion for my kid and being behind me 100%.
I’m in awe of each and everyone of you, and how far Christian has come.
Thank you for being a part of our extended family. We love you all very much.

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs.SPJ 🙂

 

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Dear Perfect Parent,

25 Apr

Or shall I say, to the parents I see out and about staring at me, sometimes pointing,  and piercing me with their eyes while my child is having a moment.

I see your eye rolls.  I see your glares.

I see you mouth the variety of statements from the following choices of:

“she has no control over her child”
“my child never acted like that”
or my favorite
“she needs to give him a good spanking”

Yep. I see it all right along with my fellow parents of children  deemed “different” “special” or “misbehaved”.

We see everything. But what is sad is, that you don’t.

You don’t see how desperately we want our children to be on their best behavior.
You don’t see how we want them to enjoy the same activities that your children do.
You don’t see the constant appointments that turn into disappointments, the desire to do what’s best for your child but at times not knowing what that is or even means, and you don’t see the pain that YOU cause, by  your actions.

I can’t tell you how many times YOUR actions have caused me to second guess mine.
How I have sat at a table holding my child with severe anxiety in my hands and tears rolling down my face because at times I don’t know what to do or  how to keep the world from spinning around me in slow motion, to only look at you staring across the way, judging me.

I try to be strong, I need to be strong, for my child, but your judgement, your ridicule, your disgusting lack of respect for my child and situation, make a difficult situation even worse at times. When you have a child that is already labeled “different” and reacts to life on edge at times, you simply want to crawl in a hole somewhere, and there you are, ready to throw dirt on top and bury me.

Perfect parents, I’m sorry my child is keeping you from enjoying your perfect little world. Perfect teachers, I’m sorry my child doesn’t learn the way you teach. Perfect family members & friends, I’m sorry the way I’m raising my child doesn’t line up with what you all did “back in the day”.

I’m raising my child, I’m loving him, and I’m fighting for him along with a large majority of parents out there still learning how to find the right resources for their children and fight for their needs. At times, all I can do is pray because I’m trying so hard to “love like Jesus” when your actions make me want to go off on you in public and say things which Jesus would definitely not approve of. But I leave you with this-

When you see a child having a moment in public, think long and hard about how you respond. Before judging them, before putting them in categories, and deeming  my parenting “unfit” in your eyes, just stop and think- there’s a chance it couldn’t be what you think. The child having a moment could be struggling with a disorder, disability, etc.
Everything can’t be seen with the naked eye.

To those people who are supportive- I’m not talking to you. I love you. I thank you. You give the “high fives” when moments are rough.

To my fellow mamas and papas of these special children God has blessed you with, don’t lose hope. I get it. I know it’s tough and people are mean. But we can do this. God gave us these awesome children for a reason.

Until Next Time, Much Love

SPD MOM- Steph

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Cj turns “TWO-DLES”

2 Jun

My little guy turned 2 last week and I still can’t believe it!
In honor of his birthday, we opened up “Christian’s Clubhouse” for an unforgettable “TWO”dles event!

After feeling a bit uneasy and rushed after Cj’s First Birthday party, I knew that I wanted this year to be different. It wasn’t too hard to find a theme being that my son is obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!  However, I wanted to do something a bit different than the norm. No red, black, and white, and I wanted to incorporate all of Mickey’s friends!!!

Since we knew the theme, picking out colors was next. I picked red (of course), aqua/sky blue, and yellow! I wanted his clubhouse themed party to be fun and colorful just like he is! After that, I started trying to think of decorations that would go with his theme. I searched pinterest all over for unique and fun Clubhouse party ideas (there were way too many)
I saw this really cute idea on pinterest to do centerpieces that represented all things Mickey, but I didn’t want to go overboard. I combined centerpieces with balloons and that was the setting for the table! I just saw a picture and my husband designed the centerpieces. If you do a simple search on Etsy, you can find some amazing centerpieces! I just wanted to go the diy route!

Next in the planning process came picking out games. I wanted games that babies and toddlers could enjoy, but I wanted it to have a clubhouse theme. I wanted to link all games to the character’s cj loves most as well as make it easy for parents to grasp! All kids in attendance recieved what I like to call “The Toodles Sticker Card”

twodles card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Each child was encouraged to visit at least 4 out of the 8 stations, play the games, and get the chance to earn a sticker at EACH station! Once your “Two’dles card had 4 stickers, you could turn it in for a prize! Here are the stations we had:

Mickey & Minnie Golf 
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This set was purchased at Walgreens and was the perfect size for lil Mousketeers! You can also do a search for some online, they aren’t that expensive (under 15 bucks)

Daisy’s Rings & Things
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Another great Walgreens purchase! It’s just a simple ring toss game! However Daisy and her fabulous splendor are all about rings & things!

PIN THE BOWTIE ON DONALD

I totally forgot to take a picture of this game, but my husband designed a poster of Donald without a bowtie. Bowties were then glued to foam board and viola! You could also do pin the ear on Mickey using your child’s photo which is something I’ve seen a lot of other people do! I just wanted each friend to be represented in the clubhouse!!!

PLUTO’S HIDDEN TREASURE
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I purchased this bin for about 8 bucks at Target and we cut up some water noodles to “bury” the treasure! Dogs are great at hiding things, so if you could go through Pluto’s hidden treasure, you would find great age appropriate prizes you could keep! Some of the prizes included, but not limited too, bath toys, Disney necklaces, trucks, balls, etc, flash cards, etc.

GOOFY’S GUMBALL POOL
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This was probably my favorite! We took about 200-400 ball pit balls and filled up an inflatable pool with them!
I do not recommend this exact pool, but the game was great! It was big enough for the big kids, but perfect for the baby mousketeers too!

TOODLES WATER TABLE
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My son loves his water table, so we thought, why not let the other kids enjoy it as well? This one was purchased from Babies R Us last year on sale! I’m sure you could find the same! They have all kinds!

PETE’S PAINTING PALETTE
My husband is quite the artist, (he did all of the artwork in Cj’s Room), so we figured we would set out some canvases, paint markers, and let children become their own little Picasso! The great thing about this game is at the end, you have an interesting beautiful keepsake, from your child’s birthday party!
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THE CLUBHOUSE TOSS
My son could play the Clubhouse Toss for hours! You can find kiddy versions online, but they are either too cheaply made and would break or wayy to expensive so my husband made the one for the party. He even added a painted touch!
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We had such a blast and I’m really happy with the way everything turned out! I saw lots of smiling faces and even my lil guy seemed to be having a good time!
Pinterest and Etsy really will be your best friend and don’t be afraid to get creative on your own!!!!!

Here are some Freebies! Please feel free to use what you need!!!

Twodles Birthday Sticker Card
Mickey Head Centerpiece
Mickey Hand Centerpiece
Mickey Pants Centerpiece
Red Stars Centerpiece
Yellow Stars Centerpiece
Clubhouse Sign

 

I hope you have a fun Mickey Party as we did! Check out some more fun pictures below! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below!

How awesome are these photos from my dear friend and photographer Pier Nguyen?

If you are in the Little Rock area book him!

 

Today I wear Purple

19 May

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Today I wear Purple.

It’s not simply because I think it’s a beautiful color.

It’s not because I’m trying to get in with some fancy trend.

I wear purple for those who fight daily while their bodies fight back.

I wear purple for those who live with the invisible illnesses that fall under
Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

I wear purple for those who have good days and bad days, with a disease that flares it’s ugly head up when it feels like it.

I wear purple for those who have illnesses that are blind to the eye, which makes it blind to those not living in pain.

I wear purple for those who start to feel like “maybe it really is all in our heads” because those not living with it, make them feel as if their pain “isn’t a real disease”.

I wear purple for those who sometimes refuse food, because they know what follows, and those who just don’t want to get up in the morning because they don’t have the strength to.

I wear purple for those wanting comfort, wanting answers, and needing a cure.

I wear purple to help spread the word about Crohn’s, Colitis, and IBD, so that we can find the cure for those living with it, and to help those who don’t, understand it a little better.

I wear purple today for Dwight.
Simply, because he can’t.

                            Rest In Peace                                                   October 8, 1969- January 16, 2015


Life Takes Guts! Crohn's Awareness

Life Takes Guts!     Crohn’s Awareness

A loss & Arrival

18 Jan

Early on my 310917423_10100273058226660_8342578752251464810_n3 birthday, January 16, 2015, I received a phone call, that my beloved 1st cousin had passed away. This news has been devastating for me and my family, since we lost his mother just 2 years ago… (Aunt Artie) Friday, I was exhausted with all of the phone calls, details, and a small birthday gathering, so late last night, I really had some time to sit and think. I found myself up in the middle of the night, and I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I wrote a poem for what was on my heart.

 

 

 

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Shock and stunned you arrived,
This is different than before.
Not a nighttime of hanging with the Buddies,
you came upon the golden door.

“What am I doing here?” you thought,
“I was just asleep?”
“You belong here with me child,”
They said, “these wings, for you to keep.”

“What about those I have left behind?,
They will miss me terribly.
I’m the life of the party, everyone’s friend,
what about my family?”

“My dear,” the angel sweetly said,
“They’ll grieve but they’ll be fine.
No one will understand it at all,
But everything in God’s time.

We have a place right here for you,
a golden guitar and magical keys.
The world’s greatest soundboard
you could ever imagine, drums too,If you please.

The angels will get to enjoy you sing
So don’t feel sad and blue.
Although this is a lot to grasp,
Your heavenly father has been waiting for you.”

“But I must go back, they need me there,
I bring smiles to everyone!
They won’t understand, they’ll be heartbroken,
when they find out that I’m gone. ”

“They will, but life’s a journey,
and sometimes it just ends.
Without a notice, without a reason,
that’s simply life, my friend.

But I promise, you will love it here
you are free, what a better place you are in!
No more hardships, No more ailments,
No more pain, and no more sin.”

With that he smiled and scratched his head,
but walked on forward,As he should.
But then he couldn’t believe his eyes,
In front of him, there she stood.

He ran and embraced her,
and began weeping quietly.
“Your home now son,” she said,
“it’s time for you to rest easily.”

She was so beautiful, and smiling,
“come on “she said, “I have a treat.
Remember my dog, screechy? He’s here!
Now there’s someone special I want you to meet.”

She took him in to meet God, who said,
“I’m so glad you are here.”
They talked. They laughed, and it all made sense,
Everything became clear.

“It’s not for them to understand, ” Dwight said.
“For some this will be a test.
I get it now, they love me,
But God you’ve always loved me best.

Its all in your plan, you make no mistakes,
You always see your will through. ”
Artie said, “you understand now son.
I’ll take you to see Pop Pop too.”

With that, they went along in heaven,
though we feel an empty space.
Our new angel says, ‘Don’t cry for me,
I’m now in a happy place.”

So as the tears fall, and our hearts our broken,
we will need some time to grieve.
But remember the good times, always smile,
stay positive, always believe.

Love everybody, be a good friend,
help each other, stay kind.
Remember our beloved Dwight and know,
you’ll see him in due time.

Stephanie Jones
January 17, 2015
12:30 am

What’s Up with this Mommy?

13 Oct

Hey Friends!

I know.. I know.. It’s been too long… But you know how that is, Life happens, things get busy, and before you know it, it’s been a whole MONTH since you’ve posted! (Don’t kill me) However, God is good as always, and this MrsSpj along with my family, have been SUPER Busy!

NEW BLOGGER- Sprinkle of Jesus
I’m now a guest blogger on Sprinkle of Jesus! I love everything that Dana Chanel stands for and her movement of bringing young people to Christ so I’m more than honored to be a guest blogger on her site. It’s a very moving and fullfilling site, sprinkleofjesus.com You can follow her on Instagram at DanaChanel . See below why I’m such a huge fan:

BRAND REPPING-
Christian has been repping some amazing brands! I try to show the world that styling a little boy can be fun! Christian currently represents Two Little Kings  and Rad Republic Threads! They both offer some amazing items for little boys! Check out Christian Rocking these brands:

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TOUGH HUBBER/I mean Mudder-
The husband completed his first ever Tough Mudder! He was so excited and pumped up from doing it! Let me tell you now, this is something you don’t EVER have to worry about me doing, but I’m so proud of him and he has already started training and planning to do one again! If you think you are up to it, go ahead! But let me show you what  you are getting yourself into:

After the "Shock"

After the “Shock”

All in all, trying to balance the mom,wife,work, life mode can be tough at times! I keep saying I’m going to do better, and although I try, I sometimes just have to take a break. I love keeping in touch with you all, and sharing my world with you though!!! Don’t fret, I’m coming back!

P.S.- Did I tell you I cut one side of my hair super short? It’s really cute, but I’m not sure it’s me. However, I did what I had to, so this hair could grow!  Team Healthy Hair!

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Until Next Time, Much Love,

Stephanie

 

 

Birthday Fun with my Mom

8 Aug

Today, I want to wish my mom a very happy birthday!

1459228_923770290510_2001953168_nSometimes, being away from Family is hard. I miss North Carolina more than you’ll ever know!!

So Mom, let’s just pretend for a minute that I’m there.

Let’s start the day off with mani and pedis at Tony’s little Nail shop (Nail World) down the street. (We love them and have been going to them for years)

Let’s then go eat lunch at Krazy’s. I’m thinking a house salad with Italian dressing, oh and let’s ask the waitress for the ranch as well.(They taste so great together)

Let’s stop in Roses. We hardly ever buy anything there, but always seem to look anywho.

Let’s do a little shopping in the mall. Maybe J.C. Penny’s will have some great sale we can take advantage of!

Let’s kill some time hitting up some stores all around town.

It’s dinner time. I’m thinking Olive Garden. It’s one of your favorites (Kind of one of mine too since that’s where Jermaine asked me to be his wife)

Let’s finish the night with Misto Shakes from Rita’s. Gotta love that good ol Rita.

Now we are back at the house, I’m up for a scary movie, are you?

If I were in North Carolina, I believe our day would go very much like this. Don’t you think?

Well let’s just imagine the day is just like that. You can do so much with an active imagination.

Love you Mom. Miss U.

Happy Birthday,

Until Next Time, Mrs. SPJ 🙂

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