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Review + Giveaway: Stewie BOOM! And Princess Penelope: Snowflakes, Handprints and Playdates.

April is National Autism Awareness month and this month I really wanted to focus on being inclusive, and gaining more understanding and sensitivity with my earnest littles about Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Many children that have Autism can go undiagnosed for a long time and the spectrum is so broad that even a diagnosis is not the full answer. I wanted to be sure we learned that no matter the behavior we see, every child deserves a friend. I found this exact message in Stewie BOOM! and Princess Penelope: Snowflakes, Handprints and Playdates by Christine Bronstein.

This book highlights what it means to play with someone new, making friends, understanding differences and every character is completely relatable for adults and kids. Following the story there are some stellar tips on reaching out to new friends, being accepting of differences and starting a conversation about Autism with kids.

When asked what her inspiration was to write Stewie BOOM! And Princess Penelope: Snowflakes, Handprints and Playdates; Christine said:

It is a book I wish I had when my kids were younger.  One of my children had some special needs and I know how isolating it can be.  Too many families with children with ASD are struggling with isolation and bullying and these are two things that are actually solvable if we all work together to embrace these families and children into our communities.

This book speaks to me on so many levels and would be the perfect addition to any home or classroom library to help open dialogue on all of the points that Christine listed above.

GIVEAWAY: Want to win a book of your own?! Comment below if you have been or plan to be involved with Autism Awareness this month (or longer!!). Examples could be you did a community walk, changed your Facebook frame, bought cookies that will benefit the Autism society, or maybe simply talking to your children about what the spectrum is and how we can be more kind, outgoing and accepting. Please share your plans, ideas and activities below! Giveaway now CLOSED. The winner has been announced here in the comments and on earnest mom’s Instagram (@earnestmomblog), be sure to be following to find out if you have won!

x. earnest mom.

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Oh Boy!! From Two to Three…WOW.

As a mom of three now, life IS so different. People used to tell me that the biggest transition when having kids was going from 2 kids to 3. Well of course, I am one of the moms that have my own opinions until I experience it and it was TRUE!!  In all my life, going from two children to three has absolutely been one of the hardest transitions.  Earnest dad and I are officially outnumbered.

Our oldest, Earnest Boy 1.0 is in school Monday through Friday and that helps during the days, but he is 8 and needs his mama in ways completely different from the other two. Earnest Babe, she is now 3 and fill of energy, life, goldfish and lollies (they are vitamin C pops by YUMEARTH lol). We often struggle to find a happy medium between playing enough together as every 2 hours I am nursing, changing diapers and swaddling/rocking baby to sleep.  Of course, the Disney Dance Parties help satisfy her playfulness and gets mama a bit if cardio (Lord knows I could use more!).  The littlest, Earnest Boy 2.0 is well, a new wee babe and is awful demanding in the cutest ways!

Earnest Dad works two jobs so I can be home with the littles and so often when he is home, I am leaning on him 100% – in this life, I would be LOST without him.  Earnest Grammy (my MIL) recently moved across the street and what a help she has been in this crazy time of my motherhood journey.

A few weeks back all the demands took their toll and I found myself, after the older two were in bed, in tears.  I was exhausted, the house was a wreck, I had dry shampooed for about three days straight (mom talk for had not showered in 3 days), I am pretty sure we were all out of clean clothes and my fuel tank was empty. I remember Earnest Dad taking Earnest Boy 2.0, and telling me to go take a shower.   You better believe that night I left the conditioner in an extra 5 minutes.  In that shower, I had a huge wake up call; I was at the end of the 4th trimester, I was feeling more like a human again after giving birth but I had not been alone for more than 20 minutes in three months.  I needed me time.  I needed to take some time to “refuel” so I could be better for my family.  What good was I as a stay at home mom if I was completely depleted?

Earnest Reader, I tell you now – I know moms need to take care of themselves so they can take care of others, but as noted early on I am one who needs to experience it to “get it.”  And now, I get it!  That weekend, I went and got my hair done.  Honestly, something I had not done in a decade.  Typically, I would just run to the closest quick cut place when the necessity of a cut came and in the interim I would just cut my hair myself.  Getting out and doing something for just me, made me feel new again.  Like I had shed the old skin of: pregnancy, delivery and postpartum delirium; and emerged a new brilliant, fresh, revived creature.

Since then, I have taken the time when all are in bed to paint my nails, because I love how I feel when my nails are painted. When I have a quiet moment, I read which is a great favorite of mine.  I have also taken the opportunity to go out with a few mom friends here and there.  These have all been #momlife changing for me.  Pushing myself to take time for me, separate from the kids, and my husband and just focus on me has been incredible.

Yes, we still have crazy days where the kids are having what feels like screaming competitions or challenging each other to see who can tell me “no” the most.  We still have days where the  laundry sits unfolded until we have worn it all and are all out of clean clothes; or dishes that sit in the sink for a few days and I earnestly consider tossing the whole lot and buying all new sets, lol.  But those days do not seem so cumbersome or overwhelming with these intentional breaks that I am taking.  Helping me take care of me, helps me be a more earnest mom!  This is one time, for the first time in my life that I am being completely selfish and feel wonderful about it!

What advice do you moms have out there for spreading yourself evenly to reach all demands but avoid feeling like that clumpy peanut butter that just ends up ripping the bread apart?  Please share, whether you have one or nine, how do you make time for you?

x.  earnest mom

 

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World Autism Month

In honor of World Autism Month, let’s talk about autism and The Light It Up Blue campaign this month.  Having been touched by personal friends and family who  individuals with autism in their lives, I am earnestly hoping to help spread awareness and education about autism.

What is autism spectrum disorder?
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.
The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.

Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. Autism Speaks urges parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.

Some facts about autism 

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
  • An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year.
  • Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
  • Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
  • Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.

To test your knowledge of autism, click this link and the Light It Up Blue take the quiz to learn more about people with autism.  Also, join us in sharing in the #LightItUpBlue campaign in the month of April on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  http://bit.ly/ASDquiz

x. em.