Tag Archives: toys

Chop Chop


kindle

A few years ago I bought myself a Kindle HD Fire, hoping that it will help me with my studies. I was thinking of ways to save myself money by downloading my college books or other reading materials for my classes, though ebooks for college courses are not as cheap as I had imagined.

I also purchased the kindle during the time my daughter began her therapy sessions. My intentions were for me to use the kindle for school, but I didn’t have luck in way of obtaining WiFi coverage at the college I was going to, unless I could find one of the very, very few hotspots where I could use my kindle; so it was generally used at home.

During the summer months, I kept my daughter home, rather than put her in daycare. It saved me money, plus, I was home majority of the time and would rather spend that time I had with her. Since she wasn’t going to daycare now, her therapists began visiting her at home. Upon their many trips to my house, I noticed that they were using an iPad as a tool for part of her therapy. They showed me a few apps I could download for her that would be beneficial for her in OT.

Since I had a tablet, of the sort, I began downloading all kinds of free apps for her, to help teach her the ABC’s, counting, colors, shapes, all kinds of helpful learning apps for children her age. At that moment, my kindle became her kindle and has been ever since. It’s encased in a pink hard leather case, decorated with many stickers from our trips to the ER or doctor visits, though some of those stickers have since been ripped off. The kindle has been a treasured item for my daughter, who is easily bored when there isn’t any form of entertainment for her.

Flash forward a few years and to the present…it’s endured water, juice, and milk submerges; many drops to the floor (carpet and concrete covered); a near attempted meeting with the toilet; an almost attempted dunk into the Arkansas River, landing in the muddy river banks; a trip to Disney World, followed by a trip to the beach; a couple of family reunions during the hot summer days; and many roads trips thereafter and is still working. Only once had I taken it back to Best Buy, where I had purchased it, for a reboot, but it has been one tough piece of wonderful electronic device I had ever purchased and to have survived my five year old for the past three years plus.

Though, yesterday, the wonderful case which holds the kindle from meeting its dreadful doom, finally met its match…a pair of scissors. Those scissors are usually kept up high, so that tiny little hands can’t reach them. Those scissors have chopped bangs a tad bit too short, chopped up a tail of a stuffed dinosaur, chopped hair off a stuffed Pegasus to mimic a horrible mullet. Yes, those scissors have many reasons to be kept put away…in a safe place…until yesterday, when someone left them lying on the kitchen table, where they were being used to cut quilting fabric.

Mini me came running into the office, holding her kindle, still encased, though now in two pieces. My first reaction ‘Man, it finally ripped right in two’. Then, the careful learned forensic archaeologist that I am studying to be, looked carefully at the hard leather case and saw cut marks…this pattern looks strangely familiar. I didn’t get mad. The sad eyes I was given, followed by, “I’m sorry, Mommy” would only soften anything I would think to say, other than, ‘Where are the scissors?’

I followed her into the kitchen, took the scissors left lying on the kitchen table and put them back in a safe place. Then went to find my roll of duct tape, which coincidentally is the same color as my daughter’s kindle case. Duct tape, pink or any other color, can fix anything, including her kindle case. She just happened to have cut the case along the fold, allowing me the chance to save it, whereas, the many other things that she’s broken had not been savable.  But on this occasion, it was. And once again, I’m the Superhero Mom, whose daughter is now toting a kindle, whose case is held together by pink duct tape.

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OWPC: Mauve part 2


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Sometimes, mini me doesn’t like the toys that she gets in her Happy Meal, so she hands them to me and tells me that they’re for her cousin, Hunter, whom she is really close to. There were two times that I had asked her if Mommy could have the toy she’s giving away and she agreed. Both of those toys were beanie babies, an octopus and a turtle. I thought they were cute and placed one above my rear-view mirror, and the other tucked between the roof and sun-visor. She loves my idea better than giving them away.

For other One Word Photo Challenges, click here.

Winter Fever, Cabin Blues…


Or is it ‘Cabin Fever, Winter Blues’?

Either way, it’s another fine winter day, stuck indoors. I’m actually being a bit sardonic, but who wouldn’t be unless you could be outside enjoying the weather. Though there aren’t any slopes here for me to grab my snowboard and head out to. Nor is the ground covered in snow, for mini me to go sledding. Instead, the ground is covered in ice that has been melted and frozen, again, and again, over the past few days. Today, our forecast called for a snow and rain mix, which didn’t began falling until late morning. It just made everything that much more slippery. I decided to stay home with my daughter, since I have to drive North where the roads would be much slicker.

Though I have driven in wintry conditions, it is very different here in Arkansas, especially when you’re surrounded by drivers who cannot drive on ice and/or snow. Some cannot even drive when it’s raining, so I find it best to stay clear by staying home. My daughter finds serenity in watching the snow fall. We have a large picture window in the living room with a wide window sill for her to lean on and to also give her plenty of space to play with her toys.

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On days like this, I find myself in the office, on the computer, trying to finish up homework, or work on the next research paper for a class or two, or do a bit of writing. I think if I redecorated this office, it would have more of a calm, soothing atmosphere where I can be more creative. I think it’s the only room that still has the fake wood paneling from the 1960’s, covering it’s walls. Plus, the photos that cover the wall space above grandpa’s desk are decades old and could be upgraded.

I think I may have found my next summer project…to redecorate and rearrange the office.

I mostly find my creative energy in a mixture of places, such as, bookstores, coffee shops, libraries, front porch. Sometimes, the recliner in the living room, next to our picture window is a perfect spot for writing, especially on days like today. Anywhere my mind can roam freely.

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Lately, I’ve been spending most of that free time between classes, in my college library. Just yesterday, I had my headphones on, music going, and I was able to finally finish editing chapter one of my young adult novel. This is the same novel I had tried querying agents last summer for, but without success. It’s a tough job, being an author. Tough market, actually. Some of them were very close in saying yes, adding tidbits of helpful info that would make the next round of querying a bit more successful.

So, I began working on it….again.

There was originally a prologue, but I had cut it out entirely. Now, I added it back into the novel, but instead of it being a prologue, I made it the beginning of chapter one’s story line. I then moved some of chapter three into chapter one, so the next on my to-do-list is to edit chapter three.

I’m coming up on 60K words total…on the manuscript that is. I’m going to make that a goal that I must achieve. Once that’s done, I am finished…I hope, cross my fingers and knock on wood. I’m looking forward to seeing it finalized once more and also hope that I can send it off to the publisher very soon. I think I’ll try querying agents again, if not, I know a few small publishers that wouldn’t mind publishing it for me.

Dana’s First Fish book signings coming soon


Dana's First Fish

I love it when I stroll through the aisles of my local bookstore and the employees recognize me as one of the local authors. It makes me feel proud, happy, and excited. I’m no Charlaine Harris, but still, I need that little nudge of encouragement, a boost of motivation. It hasn’t been a successful start as a published author. I’ve paid to have a marketing team help me put myself out there and it started out a little rough, but the wrinkles are starting to work themselves out, finally.

If I were a betting person, I’m not, but if I were, I would bet that if you googled Dana’s First Fish or my name, Jennifer N. Adams, a nice looking picture of yours truly would pop up. 🙂 Go ahead, google me, it’s okay. 😉 Granted, it took a lot of work and quite a bit of time for that to happen, but Dana’s First Fish appears as my book now and not the work of the other children’s author who shares my name. Since she’s written and published quite a long list of titles, I think it is I who shares her name and not the other way around.

When you spend all that time, money, energy into creating something and not receive credit, wouldn’t you be upset? I was. I would show up to events and the coordinator would frown as they were expecting the other Jennifer Adams to show up.

I’ve had a few people personally ask me to get with them in a few weeks (when they’re starting to book events) so that I can set up a date to have a book signing with them. I love when someone asks for me to do that. Make sure you keep your eyes open, as I’ll start setting up book signing events for late March or early April.

I still have a few copies of Dana’s First Fish on hand if you would like to purchase one or two of them. Just make sure that you make a memo as to whom I’m making it out to in the comments section before you check out completely.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself


This week’s photo challenge is a little too easy. As most of my followers know, I have a five year old daughter with ASD and SPD, but nothing stops her from expressing herself, it just depends on what her mood is, I guess…

Mommy's lil pirate...

Mommy’s lil pirate…

I can see you better now, Mommy!

I can see you better now, Mommy!

Yes, there's a bucket on my head, but it's my hat for right now...

Yes, there’s a bucket on my head, but it’s my hat for right now… 

Lil Houdini is at it again


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My nephew Hunter’s 10th birthday was this past weekend. We surprised him with dinner, followed by cake, ice cream, and presents at gram’s house. Among his presents were two wrestling belts, one black and one white. Hunter was having the black belt opened, while mini me held on to the white one. Once the black belt was free of all wrapping, mini me handed the white belt to pop pop to be opened. Once it was free of all it’s wrapping, she took off running with it. She was gone about a few minutes, but returned to the kitchen empty handed.
My nephew, curious about what she had done with his belt, asked her where it was. She would only reply by changing the question. It only took us a few seconds to figure out what she had really done with it.
My sister Jaci, Hunter, and I spent almost two hours tearing up the whole house searching for that belt. Under the furniture, around, in, on, in every closet in the house, under every bed in the house, on dressers, in dressers, under dressers. We searched every inch of this house and in every spot we knew she would hide stuff, but turned up empty handed.
She had hidden it very well. She said it was hers and when we asked where it was, she would change the subject. She really wanted that belt. We searched her room, what we thought was thoroughly – under the bed, in the toy box, under the covers of her bed, under the mattress, all around the tv and dresser, even under. We searched the whole house again.
Then it dawned on me to look in the box of diapers on top of the dresser in her room – there it was. She started to cry as soon as she had seen we found it. “My belt,” she cried. I had forgotten she was good at hiding things – my lil Houdini!
We had a good laugh and teased about how she’s the reigning champion of hide and seek, if not the greatest little magician we’ve ever known. She can surely make things disappear. I’m guessing I’ll have to get her one of those wrestling belts for Christmas, if not for her birthday.

Slowly Breaking Habits


My daughter, from about the time she was one, has always had to carry a toy or two, or a bucketful along with her to the car. It didn’t matter if I was just driving down the street to the bank, she still had to have her toys with her. And if I were going into the store, she had to take her toys in with her. If I didn’t allow her to take them, it would create a meltdown.

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Let’s see, I got my sippy cup, airplane, giraffe, little lamb, and dinosaur. Did I forget anything?

There’s only been one time where I couldn’t allow her to take a toy into the store with us, as it was her big plastic dump truck. I can understand why she loves the thing, it is colorful, it’s a big cool truck, and it can carry more of her toys. But I’m not sure the store’s employees or security team would see it that way, especially if she tosses it out of the buggy a few times and I relentlessly give it back to her, rather than leaving it where she threw it.

When I say meltdowns, some people just think, oh it’s just a toddler thing. But to those who have Autistic children or have worked with them know how Autistic children can be when it comes to needing that particular toy or item. Autistic children can either be very smart or the complete opposite. They don’t understand feelings, like if they hit you, they don’t know that it hurts. They can’t understand why they can’t have a certain toy, or a cookie before dinner. This leads to a meltdown.

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They all want to go for a ride too, Mommy!

My daughter has a Sensory Processing Disorder which means certain things feel funny to her, or she doesn’t like it if you touch her hands, or feet. She can’t stand the feel of mud on her skin, or silly putty, or anything that feels wet on her skin (unless she’s taking a bath or swimming in the pool), her reaction is to quickly wash whatever it is off of her.

She also has the tendency to hit herself when she has a meltdown, sometimes even bangs her head against something, mostly the floor. When I say she hits herself, I’m not talking about a light tap, she has her hands in a fist and literally hits herself in the head or her arms, really hard.

She has a wonderful group of therapist that see her each day. And I had the chance to see what all they do with her this past summer. By seeing how they work and her reactions I’ve been able to continue the same process with my daughter myself. Like drawing, coloring, helping her with her shapes and colors, puzzles, playdoh, the list is endless on the amount of activities and all to continue to help my daughter throughout the day.

Most recently we’ve been working on keeping the toys and stuffed animals in the car, instead of taking them in with us. I think she started doing this when I started taking her swimming this summer. I told her calmly that we couldn’t take all of her toys with her, but she could play with them once we got back in the car. I began to notice that she started leaving her toys in the car when we took our trips to the store and now when I drop her off at daycare in the mornings. She still has meltdowns, but not when I ask her to leave her toys in the car.