Monthly Archives: November 2013

Bulky winter coats are not safe when it comes to car seats


Today the temp outside was a chilling 27F. My daughter didn’t want to wear her coat, instead she wanted to wear her jacket. Who wouldn’t want to wear it, it has mermaids on it. She calls it her Bubble Guppies jacket. I happily agreed to put her jacket on her just to refrain from her having a meltdown.  I then chased her down and put her coat on her as well. She then wanted her mittens and knitted owl hat to go along with her coat.

Though it’s cold out and I want her to dress warmly, I do have an issue in her wearing the bulky winter coat when I have to buckle her into her car seat. I loosen the straps just so I can get her arms through them, then I buckle her in. I try to re-tighten the straps so that they’re snug, but not cutting off circulation. To me, it just seems unsafe. I just need to get her a mile down the road. It’s already hectic getting her into the coat, just to get her out the door. It isn’t even near thinkable taking her coat off of her before I strap her into the car seat. I need to rethink this one over, I thought to myself.

While surfing FB I noticed a particular blog link someone had posted. Interesting I thought, as I clicked on it. It was discussing the same issues I was having earlier today. Car seat ponchos or taking the child’s coat off, buckle them into their car seat properly, then have them wear their coat backwards. Hmmm, not a bad idea, but curious how an autistic child with sensory needs would react to this. I’m going to give it a try.

Here’s the link to that blog site. She’s made some really good points, so I encourage all to give it a read.


I’m having a contest for a free book give away


Yesterday, I received my Dana’s First Fish coloring books. And yesterday I decided to start a little contest on my author page on Facebook. All it takes to enter into the contest is to ‘like’ and ‘share’ a picture of the cover of Dana’s First Fish from my Facebook wall. Then post in the comments section below to say that you have ‘liked’ and ‘shared’. One winner will be randomly picked and I will announce the winner on my Facebook page. I will then contact that person to let them know they have won so that I can get their mailing address from them in order to ship them their gift bag.


The gift bag give away will include a Dana’s First Fish story book and coloring book, along with a few fishy toys. I will pick one winner each week from now until the week before Christmas – 8 Nov – 19 Dec. It makes a great Christmas present for that special little one you have in mind.

Come stop by my Facebook page for your chance to win a copy of my book, Dana’s First Fish

Dana’s First Fish tells the story about a little girl whose mom is taking her to get her first pet. Dana has decided that she wants to get a goldfish. But where do goldfish come from? Dana and her mom go on an adventurous journey to find out!

What Is Poverty

Today in Sociology class we watched a video called ‘Slum Insight’. It was about a small nation in Africa whose people are living in absolute poverty. Absolute poverty means that it is life threatening. There is no access to clean water, no shelter, or the means to obtain food. There are over 1.4 billion people on the planet who live in absolute poverty. Though it is rare, there are some people in America that live in absolute poverty. Relative poverty however, is the most common here in the United States. Relative poverty means that people have the ability to afford the basics, but are unable to live in the average standard of living. The basics are food, clothing, shelter, and clean water. There are very few people here in the United States without access to clean water, but it is rare as our country makes it possible for its citizens to have access to such an important basic need.

It was really hard to watch the video without shedding a few tears. There was a scene where a family lose their young child and were laying him to rest. I could not imagine life without my daughter. She fulfills me in every aspect of my life and is the reason why I look forward to waking up each morning. I am going back to school to better myself in hopes to sustain a better life for us. I grew up knowing what it is like going to bed hungry, being bullied because I lived in a shack, and bullied because my clothes were dirty and ragged and worn.

Growing up I lived with my parents and two sisters in a small 24X24 house. It had a basic house frame with a plywood exterior and basic sheet-rock interior. We did not have any walls separating rooms in the interior of the house, we had sheets. Sheets hung from the ceiling to the floor, sectioning off an area for a small bedroom for my parents. Later they moved their waterbed out and move a twin bed in, placing it in the living room area. It was also used as a couch. My sisters and I slept on bunk bed, they were on the top and I was on the bottom.

There was a curtained corner where a ten gallon bucket was placed where we would use it as a potty. It was my job to dump it daily. I resented my parents every day for making me do this job as I found it disgusting, but that was one of many chores that I had to do…every day. Not to mention it was too heavy for me to carry at times and the contents would slosh out on me making me feel even more resentful.

We had to heat our water for bathing, which was time consuming, so they were not a daily thing. At first we took our baths in a thirty gallon tin tub in the middle of kitchen until our grandparents found us an actual bathtub. It sat outside for the longest time until a bathroom was built on to the house. We had running water in the house that came from our own well that we dug out, but in the five plus years that I grew up there, we never had hot running water, nor an actual toilet.

It was extremely hot during the summer time. Our house had three windows and one door. Every summer we would have one box fan sitting in the window, facing inwards, and another box fan sitting in the window facing outwards to have some sort of air flow going through the tiny house. This sounds like a great idea, but it only cooled it slightly. Not to mention, we lived on a dirt road, so each time someone drove by, a cloud of dust would make its way inside the house.

During the winter we had a three foot tall kerosene heater that was used to heat the whole house. Mind you it was still cold in the house, but not as bad as it would be without that heater. We were fortunate to have a grandmother that had the ability to make quilts. Our beds were layered with them, at least mine was. I think at one point I counted how many blankets were on my bed and remember it being around eight or nine.

After about two years or so the sheets that were used for walls came down, except for one sheet left separating the living room area from the bedroom area. This gave us some privacy for three growing girls. By that time we had a bathroom and a front porch built on. Our potty bucket was replaced by a portable potty and moved into the bathroom. It was still my job to empty and clean the thing. We had a washer put in the bathroom, but it only used cold water. The tub was moved from the front of the house, into the bathroom and running water was hooked up to it, though we still had to heat our water for our baths.

We had a garden that was at least an acre or two in size where we got our fruits and vegetables. We raised rabbits, chickens, and a couple of turkeys, so we had eggs and meat. Later our grandparents bought beef cows, so now and then we had beef in our freezer. Our mother only went into town when she had transportation. She would get basic commodities, which included peanut butter, powdered milk, beans, and cereal. At times the only food we had was what we ate at school, so it was crucial to not miss a meal or to not leave food left on our tray.

Having watched the video, Slum Insight in class today, I can say that we were much better off than most. We did have running electricity and clean water, so our situation was not absolute poverty. It will always be something that I will not forget from my childhood and it is something I would not like my child to experience.

For those of you who would like to view the short video, it is free and it is only fifteen minutes long. Go to:

*NOTE: This timeline of my childhood was from when I was in the 5th grade until I completed the 9th grade in Prattsville, Arkansas

In search for the right daycare

Since I’ve been told my daughter is on the Spectrum I have been curious. Curious on how she would be treated, how she would fair in a regular daycare, how she would get along with other kids who aren’t on the spectrum. It is a fear of mine for her to be held back because of how delayed she is. But what people don’t see is how smart she is. She knows her colors, letters, shapes, how to count to at least fifteen. She can even count to ten in Spanish. She’s non-sociable with kids around her age only because she’s used to being around her older cousins. She is particularly hard to deal with for some people when it comes to them not knowing how to communicate with her. She isn’t that verbal and when she is, some people have a hard time knowing what she’s saying. This leads to meltdowns. I’ve been approached many times on how to deal with this when she does that, or how do I do this when she does that.

Well, some of my fears have come true. I found out a few weeks ago that she’s been held back in her daycare due to the fact that she’s still in diapers. Instead of being in the classroom with the 3 1/2 and 4 year olds, she’s in the classroom with the 2 year olds. Why had I not paid attention to this sooner? Well, with the high over turn in teachers, and the fact that she was moved around twice since putting her back in daycare a few months ago, had me thinking she was in her proper class. I did not find out she was in with two year old until I was signing her field trip form and it had what class she was in. I was not happy and even expressed this. Because I can’t get her to be fully potty trained, this causes a problem with the daycare she’s in.

This past week one of her specialist handed me a list of daycare’s to look at. These are daycare’s that have pediatric services. Daycare’s that have qualified teachers who specialize in areas for kids with special needs, such as Autism, down syndrome, delayed development, etc.  I have checked out at least two of them on the list and one of them I like already. I especially like that it has proper security measures, such as a door you have to push a button to request getting in and press a button to get out. At my daughter’s current daycare you can just lean on the door and it opens without issues. This becomes a problem with me as my daughter is a runner. She has on a few occasions gotten right to the busy street before I catch her. I swear I lose five years off of my life each time she heads for that door.

Upon checking out one of them, the one that I like the most, I have seen so many things that would benefit my daughter and her sensory needs. For the past month she’s been giving everyone a difficult time due to the fact that she’s in need of sensory input and I just so happen to be picking her up after a few hours of her having a lengthy meltdown. No one knows what to do for her when she has a meltdown, nor do they recognize that she’s even having an meltdown or the fact that she’s requiring some sensory input. Instead, they put her off to a corner and tell her to play by herself. At the daycare I checked out the nurse giving me the tour showed me all kinds of sensory toys. Thinks for yoga balls, slides, trampolines, ball pits, special swings, you name it, they had it and my daughter will benefit from these items as I’m sure she’ll be using them on a daily basis. This will also help me when I come to pick her up, as she won’t be cranky and out of emotional balance.

This daycare also has a wonderful staff that I had the joy of meeting. Their classrooms were much bigger and situated differently than the daycare my daughter is in currently. I noticed immediately that I was in a classroom for children that require structure and stability, something that my daughter needs. Actually I think every child needs structure and stability. I was also told that she will be placed in a classroom with her peers. I think my heart leaped with joy when I heard that. There are a list of other things that I liked with this daycare, though I still feel the need to look at a few others before I make my final decision. I’m sure I’m already biased in picking which one I want her to go to already.