“Unstoppable”

I’m excited to finally have these, “Unstoppable,” Braille T-shirts available so that everyone can show the world how, “Unstoppable” they are.

Why did I choose the word, “Unstoppable?”

Two reasons.

Reason 1.  My Aunt Say.  For those of you who have followed my blog for a few months now, you may remember me writing about her.  Last October, at the age of 48, she suffered from a stroke.  For the first few days following the stroke, she was paralyzed on her left side.  Two months later, she walked into her newly remodeled house (a welcome home surprise from her sisters) with the assistance of a cane.  Today, she is walking, cooking, cleaning, and …driving!   She is, “UNSTOPPABLE.”

Reason 2.  My Mini-Me, my Marley.  She is the ultimate mirror of her mommy.  At the exact same age, she displayed the exact same symptoms, and we have the exact same diagnosis of Optic Nerve Atrophy.  Just like her mommy, she doesn’t let anything stand in her way.  She is a determined, courageous, creative, passionate, and UNSTOPPABLE little girl.

Are you Unstoppable?  Show it off by wearing one of these, “Unstoppable,” Braille T’s.

 

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How to Make a Sweet and Simple Braille Valentine

25 hand made Braille Valentine's Day CardsWhat can be sweeter than a home made Valentine’s Day card for a preschool Valentine’s Day party?  Hand made Valentine’s written in Braille.

I’ve never really considered myself the, “Crafty Mom.’  I like to think of myself is the, “Creative Mom.”

What did I do to create these adorable sweet and simple Valentines?

Step 1.  On the unlined side of a 3×5 index card, I wrote in Braille, “Happy Valentine’s Day,” on the top left, and, “Love, Marley,” on the bottom right.

Step 2.  I measured, folded, and cut rid construction paper just big enough to glue behind the card, hiding the lined side of the card, and creating a red border around the white.

Step 3.  Marley placed tactile bubble heart stickers on the top right of the index card.

Step 4.  Marley glued the index card onto the red construction paper.

Step 5.  With a hole puncher, I punched two holes on the bottom left and tied a red bow.

Step 6.  Daddy wrote the same words in print on the back of the card.

I thought about glueing Hershey kisses onto the card, or taping a heart sucker to the back, but decided against adding any extra sugar since I knew she’d be coming home with a box full of sweets.

I shared the photo on Facebook yesterday.  My mom called after seeing the photo and asked where I’d bought them from.  She said they looked professionally done.  I told her, “Nope, they were a Marley and me project.  They were simple.  They were easy.  They were fun!”

 

 

Tweet Tweet, what’s that sound?

All of a sudden, I am hearing twees, chirps, buzzing, and dings left and  right.  What the heck is going on here?  I can’t keep up!  From twitter, to Groupme, from Facebook, to Whatsap, everytime I open my phone there are at lease 18 new notifications.  You would think I’m overwhelmed by the constant inflow of social media alerts.

Nope, not I!  I thrive in this constant communication.  Knowing that I’ve got things to do, people to respond to, and taskes to complete keeps me on my toes

I wake up in the morning with a list of goals to accomplish.  Now-a-days it seems like my list is longer than ever, but that just means more structure.  This type A mom thrives in structure.  Calendars, lists, charts, and spreadsheets are my Christmas.

As I move along responding to those tweets, chirps, dings, and buzzes, I think, “Hmm…what a great blog post!”  Along with the soon to be written post on public restrooms, recipes, and toilet paper.  Don’t miss any of it.  If you want to stay on top of those quick instant posts, follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

Until I write again,

MamaRupp

 

 

Have You Called Your Mom Today?

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One of my weekly rituals every Sunday morning is to call my mom.  After I’ve got the kids settled with their breakfasts, I pour my coffee and find a nice comfy place to curl up, pulling my feet underneath my bottom, and I call my mom.

I don’t just call her on Sunday mornings, my mom and I call each other at least a few times a week.  It’s rare for us to go longer than three or four days without talking.  This morning Ifelt expecially pulled to our Sunday morning rituals.

Why this morning?  Well, my week had flown by.  I’d been preoccupied with winter break ending, getting the house back into the school week routine, entertaining the kids with crafts and activities since we’ve instated the no TV on school days rule in our house, and preparing for Marley’s IEP to dispute the ridiculous recommendation that, “she is a visual learner… Braille should be considered when she reaches second or third grade where she will need to read for longer periods, smaller text, and for content and speed…””

So you see how it was easy for me to let the week fly by without calling my mom.  I also completely forgot that she’d told me about a procedure she would be having on Thursday.  While I was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off on Friday morning getting the kids and myself ready, and waiting for my husband to get off of a 24 hour shift so that we could drop the kids off in time at a friends house before Marley’s IEP, my mom called me.

Hearing her voice on the other end, I stopped in my tracks, sat down, and gave her my full attention.  It was a simple precautionary procedure.  However, given our family history, it was difficult to stop those fearful thoughts from flowing.

Here I am just a few months shy from turning 32.  I think about so many women my age who lost their mothers too soon.  My own aunt, lost her mother, my grandmother, when she was just 22.

Then there are those who’s mother’s are perfectly healthy and even live just a few miles away from them, who choose not to have a relationship with them.

Whatever the reason, whatever the distance whether it may be miles or years between you.  Every mother deserves to have that weekly phone call from their child.  This is the woman who gave everything for you.  This is the woman who sacrificed her body for you.  This is the woman who cried when you cried, kept you warm, nourished you both physically and emotionally, this is the woman who gave you life.

So… if you haven’t done so yet, call your mom today and tell her these two things.  “Thank you,” and, “I love you.”

Oh, and while you’re at it, call your dad too.

 

That Precious Time in a Mom’s Day Known as Nap Time

It’s that time of day again.  Nap time!  Those few precious hours I so dearly hold onto as tightly as possible.  Moms, chine in if you know exactly what I mean.

To me naptime means I am temperarilly not at the beckon call of every single want and need of my kids.   The best part of nap time these days is when Marley is in school and I have two hours just to me!

So how do I spend nap time?  It really depends on the day.  Some days nap time means I’m sitting in the car while hubby runs in and out of appointments and stores taking care of errands as Jack naps.   Some other days, nap time means Marley and I get, “Mommy & Marley Time,” where we read, work on Braille, and do crafts.

Today however, nap time means a mad rush to clean the kitchen, sweep and mop the floors, crank out a blog, and Braille out a few Christmas cards.  To make more productive use of my time I’ll be listening to an audiobook while I doo the majority of these tasks.

So for now, I bid you farewell.  I must tear myself away from the computer to go dance with the broom and mop.  Until I write again, have a wonderful day!

High Five Sister!

With my face in my coffee mug, after another sleepless night of taking care of my babies I found this in my inbox.  What a great way to  start a day!  Thanks Chrys.  XOXO!

Hello Terri,

My name is Crys Bradley and I just discovered your blog via a post you had tagged Tracy Eikleberry in on Facebook (he and I went to high school together).

As a person with low vision myself,  I read anything I find on Facebook related to blindness,  especially when I find it unexpectedly on a friend’s timeline.  😉

It’s great to find another visually impaired person with a positive outlook on life. Sometimes I feel like people expect us to be sad all the time.

While I’m not a mother and still have a significant amount of vision,  I hear myself in the words of your posts. I wish I had found your blog when I still lived in Vegas. I live in Colorado now and I love it. I moved out here because the quality of life I had dreamed of was so readily available. It’s absolutely gorgeous here!

At any rate,  I just wanted to commend you on your “full speed ahead” approach on life and motherhood. And I’m so impressed that you braille your own books — what a task!  You are an inspiration to someone who wondered how I might raise children with reduced vision.  I am often told by friends and coworkers that I do things so fluidly they sometimes “forget” I have an impairment.  I too, just do it.  But motherhood frightens me.  I’ve always said that there are blind mothers everywhere who do it everyday. I guess I need more vicarious experiences.  I look forward to reading more of your posts!

All the best,
Crys

How does a blind mom handle a puky and poopy day?

Since this is a milestone blog, my 100th blog, what better to write about than puke and poop?

Disclaimer, you may not want to continue reading if you have a weak stomach.

I have spent the last two days, and nights, dealing with puke and poop.  While I was scrubbing the poop off of the toilet seat, edge of the tub, and the bathroom floor yesterday, I laughed out loud at myself.  Only I would laugh and think, “Wow, this is going to make an awesome blog post!”

I chose my words carefully as I titled this post, “How does a blind mom handle a puky and poopy day?”

I’ll tell you how?  I literally, “HANDLE,” it.  Yes, quite literally, that’s the only way to know if you’ve got all of it up.

Let’s begin with Thursday afternoon.  As I prepared dinner, Jackson ran past the kitchen, ” I have to go poopoo!”  So what?  He announces every time he runs to relieve himself.  Only this time, instead of hearing the toilet flushing and the sink running, I hear the bath water get turned on.  I make my way to see what’s going on to find Jackson in the tub scrubbing his bottom with soap.  “I poop mama, and I wipe myself, and washing my butt.”  Ok, that’s great, takes care of the bath I was going to have to handle later.  I left him to cleaning himself, picked up his pants and tossed them on the bathroom counter for the time being while I had to check the pasta.  A few minutes later, I returned to check on him and turn the water off.  It still smelled awful in there.  Then… I realized why.

Checking to see if there was still poop floating in the toilet, I found it.  The smeers on the toilet seat.  Then I noticed the mile long drapery of toilet paper so commonly found in houses with toddlers, and as I began rolling the roll back up, my fingers stuck to the paper, and I found it again.  He was too adorable to be grosed out by.  He’d tried wiping himself, but never tore the paper off the roll.  Then… I found it again… when I pulled his underpants out from his sweats and felt the nice lump in the fabric.  There it was.  We haven’t had one of these in months. Poop in the underpants.  Those underpants went straight to the trash outside.  I washed my hands with soap, grabbed the bleach spray, and an old rag, and proceeded to scrub the toilet.

Now let’s move along to 4:00am Friday morning.  All night long Marley had whined and whimpered that her tummy was hurting.  All of a sudden she flew out of my bed, which she’s allowed to sleep in when daddy’s at work, yelling, “I have to throw up!”  If you are just starting to follow my blog, than you don’t know that vomit has been a pretty frequent visitor in our home.  So frequent, that my daughter knows to run to the toilet, trash can, or best of all requests for a throw up bowl to keep next to her when she’s not feeling well.  After that first explosion was over, I rubbed some essential oils on her tummy.  I’m not much into western medicine by the way.  My poor baby whaled as I cradled her in my lap.  I knew exactly how she felt, because that’s how I’d felt the night before.  There is a painful stomach bug loose in our house. Suddenly, she jerked off my lap and before reaching the toilet vomitted again on the floor.  Great… time to wake up, and clean up.

For the next 24 hours, I went through a lot of towels, bleach spray, hand soap, and the kids went through a lot of clothes.  One after the other, that stomach bug was making it’s way out of my babies out both ends.  To ensure that I got it all, I had to really, “handle,” the problem by feeling around in order to make sure there is no mess left behind.  Are those new chips and cracks in that toilet seat, or is that poop?  How far did the vomit splatter that time.  Oh great, I didn’t catch it all in the bowl.  Hurray!  It’s 1:00am and there’s vomit in my bed.

Thank goodness I don’t have a weak stomach, and thank goodness everyone is starting to feel better.  I am crossing my fingers that all goes well tonight.

Cheers to a restful night, to us one and all!

 

Good Morning Monday, and Good Morning Vomit!

Good morning Monday, and greetings to the last week of October.  We are still blessed with temperatures of highs in the low 80s and high 70s.   I’m still anticipating being able to wear my favorite fall sweater, an orange and white striped wool blend I’ve had around longer than my children.

After a late night of pigging out on pizza, and a few glasses of wine, I was pleasantly awakened by my daughter’s cries for me from the toilet this morning.  With my eyes still partially crusted shut, I made my way slowing toward uninviting aromas of diarrhea and vomit wafting down the hallway.  Thanks to her warning, my feet avoided the chunky slumps of the two slices of pepperoni pizza she’d inhaled which were now beautifully displayed all over the bath mat and bathroom floor.

Good morning vomit.  It’s been a while since you’ve graced us with your presence.  I remember the days where you consisted of breast milk and always seemed to know that we were about to head out the door.  You were always so precise in making sure to cover any nice outfits I wore.  As the kids grew, you grew into the delicious car vomit on road trips seeping into each and every nook and cranny of the kids’ car seats. My favorite visit was after Marley had consumed an entire bottle of milk, and a few sticks of string cheese.  I’m sure you remember this day just as clearly as we do.  We’d just been rear ended while in a caravan of cars on our way to visit the hubby’s grandfather’s grave on the one year anniversary of his death.  Oh and of course, who can forget our drive to San Diego where you decided you want to tag along two hours into our five hour drive.  You were a constant companion throughout Marley’s terrible twos, you never seemed to miss a beat, or miss a night terror.  I’ll have to admit, I wasn’t surprised when you showed up last summer on our 3,500 mile, 3 week, 4 state, camp-o-than.  It definitely made it more interesting traveling with a throw up bowl, rushing Marley out of the tent in the middle of the night, and taking her to get her blood drawn for all sorts of test upon our return home.   So you see vomit, you and I, we go way back.  There isn’t anything you can do to phase me.

As a blind mom, vomit and I have an even closer connection than moms who can see.  During the clean up process, I need to rely on my nonvisual techniques to make sure I’ve done the job, and done the job well.  Nonvisual techniques such as, feeling around to making sure I’ve covered every square inch of the floor, picking up all the chunks with my fingers, and sniffing around the house to make sure there are no splatters I’ve missed.  I love Clorox Bleech on mornings like these.  A little bleech in the toilet for a nice scrub, and a few sprays on the floor.  However, I guess vomit wanted me to do a little more than just scrub the toilet and wiped the bathroom floor with a towel.  After I thought my morning of cleaning was complete, vomit projectiled it’s way out of Marley all over the kitchen floor.  On the bright side, at least it only hit the floor and stayed away from the carpet.  Not a problem at all.  You see, I had fully intended on mopping yesterday, but never got around to it.  So, yes, mop the house it is!  This is great.  This takes care of my workout for the day because mopping + dancing = calories burned.

That ladies and gentlemen was my Monday morning.  Not a bad way to start a day, and not a bad way to start a week.  I’m ready to dance my way through each and every obstacle or challenge thrown”my way.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Why was that mom crying?

This afternoon, we decided to kill the 2.5 hours that my daughter was in school by hanging out at a nearby park, instead of turning around and driving the 20 minutes back to our house for us to turn around again and drive the 20 minutes back to pick her up.

me at the top of a giant jungle gym made out of ropes

It was like every other park day.  There was nothing special or different, except since this was a new park, a much bigger park that I’d only been to a few times before, I kept my cane with me the entire time.   We climbed, ran, explored, and made friends with other mommies and kids.

Jack at the top of a hill with a multistory treehouse in the background

As we walked to our car when it was time to leave, we passed a mom with her little boy who were also leaving the park.  The mom was crying as she said, “Sorry I’m so emotional, but she’s so beautiful.”  It wasn’t until we’d passed her up a few parking spaces that I realized she wasn’t talking on the phone.  She had been talking to my husband about me.

Neither one of us could figure out why she was crying.  He’d caught her watching us earlier while we played.  He said it looked like she’d already been crying.  Maybe she was having a bad day?  Maybe she was overcome with empathy while watching a blind mom play with er son?  Maybe she has someone in her life who’s recently gone blind?  I don’t know, and I can’t stop wondering.  I also can’t help feeling like she somewhat felt sorry for me.  Perhaps that’s why her comment about me was directed to my husband instead of directed to me?

Think Love, Be Love

I saw this photo on Facebook this morning and just had to share it.  This week threw me a few curveballs that could have left me angry or discouraged. Instead of letting those initial emotions take charge of my reaction to the situations, I interpreted the situations as a chance to turn my passionate personality into a powerful one with action instead of reaction. I choose to live life with love in my heart, create and emanate positivity, and shun away all things related to anger and hate.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer also shared this photo saying,

“Think of the people you know who give love in response to negative energy that’s directed their way. There aren’t many people who respond lovingly in that situation. The ones who do are able to because they have love to give away. They know that it’s impossible to give away what they don’t have, and they’ve gone that extra mile to acquire what it is that they want to both attract and give away. If love and joy are what you want to give and receive, then begin by taking stock. What have you got to give away? What are you giving out to the universe, and thus, what are you attracting? Remember that you can’t give away what you don’t have, but you can change your life by changing what’s going on inside.

Low energy attracts low energy. Low energy thoughts, such as anger, hate, shame, guilt, and fear, weaken you. And they attract more of the same. By changing your inner thoughts to the higher frequencies of love, harmony, kindness, peace, and joy, you’ll attract more of the same, and you’ll have those higher energies to give away.

To begin to change what’s inside you, become more loving toward yourself. In your thoughts, cultivate an inner voice and attitude that’s 100 percent on your team. Imagine an inner self that only supports and loves you. You might schedule a certain time of day when that’s the only thought that you allow yourself to pay attention to. Gradually this loving attitude will extend to other people. You’ll begin to receive this energy back and ultimately be able to send thoughts of love and joy to everyone and everything in your world.

Make a pact to remind yourself often of this secret of not being able to give away anything that you don’t have. Then work on your personal program of self-love, self-respect, and self-empowerment, and create a huge inventory of what you wish to give away. If what you give is self-respect and self-love, the universe will return the love and respect you’ve been radiating. It’s really so simple. As the Beatles said: “The love you take is equal to the love you make.”