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Why I Didn't Take My Screaming Child Out of The Movie Theater

This summer I really wanted to be a fun mom and do a lot of awesome things together with our family. We've crossed a lot of items off our summer bucket list, but with only three weeks left of summer, I really wanted to kick it into high gear to get those last few things done! Yesterday, in attempt to be a fun mom while Derek was at work, I decided to take the kids to the Regal $1 Summer Movies that they do every year. We saw Happy Feet Two, but it wasn't the most relaxing theater experience I've ever had. 

Disheveled child leaving the theater.

Things started off great. I sat in the middle and had Jay on my right, and Em on my left. We brought her portable booster seat so that she could be clipped in and safe while watching the movie, and was really happy and content for the first 20 minutes. But then she found the buckle on her seat and wanted me to keep buckling and unbuckling the clips for her every 10 seconds, and then she threw her first fit. I let her sit on my lap for a minute, but then she saw the stairs. 

She has been obsessed with having Derek and I help her walk up and down the stairs all day long at home, but I wasn't about to let her do this in the movie theater. She started screaming when I told her no, and then I told Jay I was sorry, but that we were going to have to leave the movie. He started to cry because he was sad about leaving early, and then when we got in the lobby I told Em she had one more chance. We got back in there and she said she wanted to sit on the stairs, I should have known better, but said that she could, and it bought us another 20 minutes before she wanted to be walking up and down the stairs again, and another meltdown ensued.

We went back out to the lobby, did another round of, "this is your last chance", and then headed into the theater where I put her back in her booster seat, in the seat next to me. She screamed her face off, but I decided in that moment that I wasn't going to take her out of the theater and drive home, and this is my reasoning why: 

Jay has to put up with a lot. His day is constantly being rearranged to meet Em's needs and while he is always so good about that, I don't want him to grow up thinking that her needs are more important than his. I didn't want Jay to be punished for something beyond his control, so I decided that we were going to stay and let Em scream. The movie was loud enough in the theater that I'm sure most of the people in the room probably couldn't hear her, and if the people next to us had enough of a problem with it, there were plenty more seats elsewhere where they could have gone to sit. 

Em screams as a result of her not getting her way and I really want to start teaching her that I'm not going to give in and cater to her screaming. It's also taken a lot of self control on my part to not raise my voice and get my own emotions involved. Once Em was buckled back into her seat and crying during the movie, I just ignored her, and watched the rest of it with Jay. Sure enough, after I ignored her for five minutes of death screams she stopped and watched the rest of the movie. I'm sure there will be people in the theater who will say, "There was a mom who just let her kid cry through the entire movie, it was ridiculous, she should have taken her out so that we all didn't have to listen to it", and that is a valid and respectable argument, but I was trying to teach her a different lesson today, and I was trying to show my son that he is important too. And that his happiness matters. And that we cater to his wants and needs too, and not just his sister's. 

I Ran My First 10k

I've done a lot of running throughout my life. I ran four years of high school track, ran very long distances post high school, sometimes averaging 13 miles per day, but somehow in the mix, I never really ran an official 10k. Last summer when I was training for a half marathon that I wound up never running, I ran a virtual 10k, but that one never felt official to me since it lacked the formality of other runners, timing equipment, etc... 

Last Saturday I woke up bright and early to compete in my first "official" 10k and I really am pretty proud of the effort I produced on the course. I actually signed up for this race only a week before. I'm currently training for a half marathon that I'm going to be running in October and last Saturday I was supposed to run 6 miles as part of my training. I realized that if I was going to be running 6 miles I might as well find a race and get a medal for it. Luckily there was a race happening in the next town over, so I registered, and then woke up bright and early to make it to the race on time.

My nerves were going crazy before the start of the race. Like most races that I run, I tried to do a warm up run and started crying again, so I just tried to relax and stretch before the race started in a few more minutes. When the race actually started it felt like there were literally hundreds of people passing me. I thought many times, "there is no way I'm actually going that slow...". The hardest part was that they were running a 5k race and a 10k race simultaneously. There was no way of knowing whether or not the people passing me were running the same 10k race as me, or if they were going faster simply because they had half the distance to cover. 

The race was held on a 3.1 mile loop, so the people running the 5k ran one loop, and the people doing the 10k ran two loops. When I finished the first loop I looked over at the clock and saw that it was 33:06, meaning I was running eleven minute miles. I was going pretty slow, but steady. I find it hard at races to see people who get faster times than me when they walk/run the distance on and off, and then I'm just cruising at the same speed, never walking but get a slower time. 

For the second loop I really picked up the pace. There was a significantly smaller amount of people out on the course for the second loop so there would be 50-100 yards before I caught up to the next person to pass. As soon as I would pass one person, I would put my eyes onto the next person, and slowly pass them, and did this for the entire second loop. I sped up quite a bit, averaging 10 minute miles for the second lap. I sprinted the last quarter mile and finished the race in 1:05:44, a 10:36 pace! I'm really happy about that time, especially since my long training runs have been much slower, and I'm looking forward to my first 15k in just a few more weeks! 

How I Keep My Hair Healthy & Hair Straightener Curls Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias Inc, and it's advertiser. All thoughts and opinions are my own #GlissHairRepair #CollectiveBias

During the summer months my hair gets put to the ultimate test. Between long summer days at the pool, running out in the heat, workouts at the gym, and then the constant blow drying and curling that goes on, my hair looks a little worn out by the end of the summer. After being exposed to chlorine, environmental heat, and styling heat, and washing it everyday, the ends start to look frayed, thin, and dried out. I feel like I'm constantly on the hunt for good products that will restore my hair's natural health and make it soft and shiny again. 


One line that I have been loving lately is the new to the USA Gliss Hair Repair line made by Schwarzkopf that specifically focuses on repairing hair whether the damage is from heat, coloring, nature, or daily activity, Gliss Hair Repair has a line for whatever you're dealing with. Since my hair tends to get dry and brittle over anything else, I've been loving the Schwarzkopf Gliss™ Ultimate Repair Shampoo, Schwarzkopf Gliss™ Ultimate Repair Conditioner, and Schwarzkopf Gliss™ Ultimate Repair Anti Damage Mask to help strengthen my natural hair and make is more smooth and soft. I love that I can get all these products at Walmart, and there is a $5 off 2 Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair items when you click this link. 


I've gotten a lot of questions over the last several months since cutting my hair on what I currently use to curl it, and then answer is my hair straightener. I've found that this is the easiest method for me currently to curl my hair, and so I thought I would show you how I do it since I've been doing my hair like this all the time lately! 


1. Comb any knots out of your hair, and then split it into two sections. 
2. Grabbing one inch sections of your hair, clamp the hair straightener onto your hair at the top closest to the root, and then rotate the striaghtener away from your face.
3. Pull the straightener all the way down the hair shaft, and then release it when you get to end of your hair.
4. Once you've finished the bottom section of your hair, use hair spray to hold it in place as needed, and then move on to the top section of your hair. 
5. Repeat the entire process on the top portion of your hair, clamping the hair close to the roots, and then rotating away from your head, and pulling it slowly down the shaft of your hair. 
6. Spray your entire head once all your curls are in place! 

This is currently my favorite way to style my hair. Since I do this about 2-3 times a week, along with other activities, my hair really goes through a lot on a daily basis, which makes me super grateful to have awesome products like Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair to help keep my hair looking strong and healthy all summer long! Let me know which products you love to use on your hair in the comments below, and what your favorite summer styles are! 


Cord Blood Banking, or No?


During our pregnancy with Em it seemed like we were bombarded with decisions that we were going to have to make left and right. The first decision was whether or not we would carry on with our pregnancy, or terminate. From that first decision to carry on, we were then forced to make one decision after another, after another. We had to decided whether or not we would resuscitate Em if things went south during delivery. We had to decide where we would bury her when the time came. We had to decide whether or not to induce labor and have a very scheduled and planned delivery, or if we would just let nature take its course. We had to decide if we would have her be on life support, oxygen, feeding tubes, etc... I remember just being bombarded with questions, and then giving answers, and then signing on the dotted line to confirm these answers for what seemed like a weekly basis.

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One thing that we didn't really consider during our pregnancy was Cord Blood Banking. Cord Blood Banking is when the doctors remove and store the blood and stem cells from the umbilical cord after the baby and placenta are born, and they store that blood at a "Cord Blood Bank" for future use. The idea is that the stem cells found in the blood can be used to heal and regenerate parts of the brain or body that have been affected by a serious disease or trauma. So by saving your child's cord blood, you're basically providing a really valuable insurance for your baby should they ever get seriously ill. I learned a lot about Cord Blood Banking during Em's pregnancy, and how those cells can help to heal damaged parts of the brain, especially in instances of hydrocephalus, which is what they first initially told us Em had. I found myself on the fence about it at that point, but then when her condition worsened to holoprosencephaly and they essentially told us there was not going to be a baby coming home with us, it seemed pointless to consider Cord Blood Banking at that point.

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Obviously the doctors were far wrong about the type of life that Em would lead, and thankfully there hasn't seemed to be much "brain damage" that would require the use of stem cells, but it's something I think about often. Now that she's here, she is far more susceptible to having seizures, which could damage parts of the brain, and I wonder what we would do in those instances. I don't often "what if" a lot of situations, but sometimes I wish I had given Cord Blood Banking a little more thought in regards to Em.

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CBR or Cord Blood Registry is a foundation dedicated to advancing the real life clinical applications of newborn stem cells. They Partner with researchers on FDA- regulated clinical trials to advance newborn stem cell research and connect families to these trials if they qualify. CBR’s commitment to parents and their babies is to provide the best service and quality in the collection, processing, and storage of newborn stem cells, so that families are confident entrusting their precious cells to their care.

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While Cord Blood Banking isn't something that we chose with our kids, it is something that I would give more thought to in a future pregnancy, especially if we found out we were having another special needs child. I love CBR and their mission, what they stand for, and their transparency with parents so that they are involved and informed in the entire process. Have you done Cord Blood Banking for any of your pregnancies? I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!

What to Buy a Three-Year-Old Who Can't Walk

Em's third birthday is right around the corner. I'm typically pretty awful at getting gifts for her because while she is three, she can't do a lot of things that other three-year-olds are doing, and so it's hard to find the balance of things that will challenge her, but not too much that she gets mad, and things that are "fun", but also not completely lame and make us feel embarrassed for gifting it to her in the first place. 

One of my favorite "special needs mommy bloggers" is Ellen over at Love That Max. Her son has cerebral palsy and she just shares so many stories that I can totally relate to. Each year around Christmas time she puts together really awesome and comprehensive gift guides full of things that other special needs children (including her own) may love. Since Em's birthday is coming up I spent last night going through the last seven years of her gift guides pulling things here and there that she may like, and figured I'd share for anyone else who is purchasing gifts for an immobile preschool aged child. 

1. Roody Inflateable Hopping Horse: We got Em a gift similar to this on her birthday last year, but it was a ride on bike for inside the house. She loved sitting on the bike and playing with toys or watching a show, but she grew too quickly and her knees hit the handlebars and it's now really uncomfortable for her to fit on. I think she would love this as a replacement!

2. Magformers: These toys are all the rage right now. I'm still looking for a good brand that has a good price to magnet ratio, but I think these would be perfect for Em to work with her hands and I think her and Jay would both love building with them.  

3. A Mini Trampoline: I know some of you are thinking "why the 'h' do you want a trampoline for a kid who can't walk?!" But Em has used this several times at PT and since she has killer arm strength she actually does pretty well on it. She's strong enough to hold herself up, and it's great for her legs too!

4. Rainfall Rattle: I mostly just think this would be a really calming and fun sensory toy for her to play with. 

5. Play Tunnel: Jay is the type of kid who at the age of almost five, would think that crawling through one of these tunnels would be a rare form of scary torture, but Em is such a thrill seeker, and I think she would absolutely love this!  

6. Hungry Hungry Hippos: It's hard to include Em in a lot of board games still, but I love that this one doesn't involve moving pieces around a board. All she has to do is hit the lever again, and again, and I can totally see this being the one game that her and Jay can play together without it ending in an all out brawl. 

7. A Cozy Coupe Car: Out of all the things on this list, this is for sure the big gift that we're getting Em this year of her birthday (and likely the only thing), but she has been in these cars so many times, and she absolutely loves them. I think that this would be an awesome way for her to "ride" something in the driveway while Jay rides his bike, meaning we can all be outside and happy together as a family. 

8. An Educube: These little cube chairs while expensive for what they are, really are awesome. They have two levels of support, depending on which way you have the seat, and they provide just enough side support that the child feels safe, and still easily included in other activities with kids. This would be awesome to use at a small kid's table for coloring, play-dough, board games, etc... 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks for Women Under $50

My next installment in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale posts are picks for women under $50! There are so many great deals here from shoes and athletic wear, to jeans and skirts, and even dresses! Be sure to shop them all using the widget below. When you click on each item, it will take you directly to the item on Nordstrom's site! Be sure to shop early because a lot of items are selling out! Some of my personal favorite picks from the selection below are the Adidas leggings, the rain boots, and the cozy burnt orange tops! I can already tell I'm going to be living in all the burnt orange things this fall.



Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks for Toddler Girls Under $40

If you missed my blog post from five seconds ago, I'm going through all of the Nordstrom Sale right now and finding you guys all the best picks for your entire family. My goal is to keep all the items under $50, and I'm so excited about all the finds I found for toddler girls under $40! So many cute items, I think my wallet is going to be in trouble, especially since Em desperately needs new warm weather clothes for the upcoming fall and winter months! You can shop all my picks by clicking directly on the images in the widget below!