Normal is boring

I’ve said it a million times… I’m an awful blogger. The longer I go without making a post, the tougher it is to sit down and write. Part of what’s added to the craziness is that I went back to work this year. I was a teacher in my former life, and became a stay-at-home mom when Zac was born. Teaching is a passion, but with a pre-schooler who needs me, working a traditional job (teaching public school) was impossible with our schedule. Instead, I’m teaching pre-K at my son’s former church pre-school. I am still able to drive Zac to school every morning, go teach my kiddos, then have an hour (sometimes more) in the afternoons before the bus brings him home. It’s the best of both worlds and I love it.

Working in a pre-school is great in so many ways, but one benefit (for me) is a relaxed dress code. When I taught in the public school system, I dressed up most days. Now, my uniform consists of jeans, a graphic tee, and comfortable shoes. Because I’m me, I’ve enjoyed designing my own t-shirts for work. It’s expanded into selling them to friends and followers.

My newest (and favorite) t-shirt design was actually inspired by my son. Zac was officially diagnosed with autism a year ago. I know every parent reacts differently to receiving an autism diagnosis for their child, but for me it was a relief. Zac was already in an autism preschool program for a year at that point, but once we received the diagnosis we were able to get help for private occupational therapy. A few weeks ago, while I was in the waiting room at his therapy office, one of the speech therapists asked me if I ever made an autism shirt. April is autism awareness month, and she hadn’t found anything she liked. A couple days later one of Zac’s old OTs reached out to me asking the exact same thing, so I decided to draft something up.

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I love this shirt. I love bringing awareness to autism. When I had my suspicions about Zac, I actually had somebody (a professional) tell me there was no way he could have autism because he smiled, laughed, and enjoyed being hugged and tickled. If you’ve met one kid with autism, you’ve met one kid with autism. No two kids are the same. When you hear, “it’s a spectrum” people tend to to think of a linear line where autism is categorized mild to severe. It is a spectrum, but there are many spectrums- verbal communication, nonverbal communication, social awareness, sensory integration, cognition, and adaptability. My son didn’t talk until he was 3, but now at age 5 is VERY verbal. The kid never stops talking and asking questions. Zac struggles most with sensory integration. He craves movement and touch, but is super sensitive to certain noises. I am amazed at the progress he’s made through school and private therapy. We’re now at a place where he can say, “mommy, it’s too loud in here.” It’s saved him (and us) from struggling through a meltdown. Pic Jointer.png

Autism has brought some wonderful people into our lives- teachers, therapists, fellow moms… I’m thankful for every one of them, and the impact they’ve had Zac.

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Preschool…

My little guy started preschool this week. I had great intentions of writing this post when I got home from dropping him off on Tuesday, but I spent the first hour pacing the floors, and when I got over myself and decided to get some work done, I received a phone call that he never stopped crying and it may be best for me to come pick him up. Thankfully, he had a much better day on Thursday and, to everyone’s surprise, he made it the whole day. He woke up today asking to go back. Let’s hope he’s this excited next week!!

I’m not sure how it is in other parts of the country, but here preschool registration starts in January. Yep, I said January. School starts in September… As a first time mom, I completely missed the boat on that one, and the preschool across the street from our house was full. I had a moment of panic where I actually cried, thinking this would somehow affect where he went to college, before I put on my big girl panties and started talking with friends and calling other schools in the area. They say that everything happens for a reason, and I truly love the school where Zac ended up. They have 8 students with 2 teachers in their 2-year-old classes. I don’t know anywhere else that has that ratio. Additionally, he has music and spanish classes once a week. So, we signed him up, paid our registration, and then somebody pressed the fast-forward button on life, because in the blink of an eye, this week arrived.

Me being me, I made sure that Zac was ready with all the personalized school gear that one embroidery machine could create. I made him a shirt and matching shorts for his first day of school, I embroidered his name on the fire engine lunchbox he picked out, and then I embroidered an appliquéd patch and his name on his book bag. Let me talk a minute about this backpack- I posted a picture of this on Facebook and immediately had friends requesting them too. They’re now listed on Etsy and quickly became my top seller. They are so easy to do, so I need to remember this for next year. Last, but certainly not least, I need to introduce my newest baby- the Silhouette Cameo. This machine really needs her own post, but I’ll work on that for next week. It was a complete impulse buy, but I used it to slap Zac’s name on his water cup for school, as well as make a little welcome gift for his teachers too.

If you have questions about any of the items pictured below, please leave me a comment. I need additional practice with the Silhouette, but I hope to create some things to list on Etsy for the holidays. Till next time, friends!!

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