Archive - March 2014

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Happy Gotcha Day and Giveaway winner
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DIY: Multi-Sensory Weighted Lap Pad Tutorial
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This time last year
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Sensory Diet

Happy Gotcha Day and Giveaway winner

Today is March 19th! My sister’s birthday and Liam’s Gotcha Day. The day we had him in our arms for good, forever. Really interesting fact about our two children who entered our family through adoption: both of their Gotcha days are on my siblings’ birthdays. Lola’s Gotcha is June 18th, on my brothers birthday and the day before her sister Charlotte’s birthday. And Liam’s, like I said, is on my sister’s birthday. Thank you God for little reminders along the not-always-easy paths of life.

Oh Liam. Oh Liam. What a joy you are. You are a feisty and naughty almost 3 year old, but my goodness how you have knit yourself completely into my heart. My love for you was immediate and overwhelming. I dreamed of you becoming my son since I was a child. When you became my son God showed me how He fulfills the desires of one’s heart in devastatingly beautiful ways. Our stories collided 2 years ago and while it is steeped in heartache and pain God has redeemed what was lost. We have much to walk through as you grow older and your story becomes clear to you, but know that you are firmly grafted to my tree, you are my joy, my son. I love you in indescribable ways.

Meeting Liam on our first trip to Ethiopia

Meeting Liam on our first trip to Ethiopia

Returning with my momma to bring Liam home on our second trip to Ethiopia

Returning with my momma to bring Liam home on our second trip to Ethiopia

Driving away from the orphanage

Driving away from the orphanage

Arriving home with Liam, the whole family is finally together

Arriving home with Liam, the whole family is finally together

Our big guy

Our big guy

HoFamily11

Our family tree

THIS is Our family tree

Congratulations Amber Minor! You have some Lemon oil coming your way! Please send me a message with your address. 🙂

DIY: Multi-Sensory Weighted Lap Pad Tutorial

Since discovering that Lola has sensory processing disorder we have been reading tons of books, adjusting our parenting style and adding lots of new, fun items to Lola’s daily routine. One item, Lola’s current favorite, is the weighted lap pad. The lap pad is used primarily when she is sitting but she has enjoyed lugging it around the house as well. A lap pad is intended to provide calming proprioceptive input and aid tactile defensiveness. I initially intended to make one lap pad, for Lola, but when you have lots of kiddos everyone ends up wanting one.

I’m really glad I gave in and made one for each of them. I’ve observed the kids using the lap pads according to their personal needs and it’s truly therapeutic. Elliott likes to drape his across his shoulders or toss it in the air repeatedly, while Charlotte prefers to cuddle with hers and lay on it while sleeping.

Today I’m going to share (through terrible iphone pictures taken with my free hand) how to create a multi-sensory, washable weighted lap pad. Multi-sensory? It just means I added a few embellishments that can be rubbed or pulled on for addition sensory stimulation. I hope this helps another momma out there! Happy Monday!

1. Gather your materials:

Fabric (enough for two 12×18 rectangles)
Embellishments (texture, ribbon
sewing machine
poly pellets (amazon)
scissors or rotary cutter
self healing cutting board
ruler
funnel and a measuring cup



2. Lay out pre-washed fabric, iron if you desire and cut out two 12×18 in rectangles. I saved time by folding the material in half and cutting once using the rotary cutter.

3. Lay the fabric with right (pretty) sides together and sew up 3 sides leaving one long side (18 in side) completely open.

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4. Turn the fabric right side out. I sewed an embellishment, an additional piece of green minky dot fabric on top of the main fabric at this time. You will now have what looks like a BIG fabric pocket.

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5. Measure the width of your fabric pocket and divide it into four sections. Mark the sections by drawing a line with chalk and sew up the lines from top to bottom. Continue to leave the top open. (little hands may start joining in at this point)

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6. Fill each section (you have four sections at this point) with poly fill beads. Do yourself a favor and use a funnel to do this. I did not have a scale so I divided my 2 pound bag into 8 equal parts using a measuring cup. It’s important to make sure the sections have equal weight/amounts of poly beads.

A weighted lap pad should equal 5% of the person’s body weight, so take that into account when purchasing supplies.


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7. Once the four sections are filled find the halfway point, or the 6 inch mark from the bottom and draw a line across the entire pad. This will be your sewing line to divide the four sections. Carefully shake the poly beads to the bottom and sew straight across your line.

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8. Repeat step six for the top four pockets. My suggestion, to avoid spilling poly beads everywhere is to fill a section and then immediately sew that section. It would be faster to fill all four sections and sew straight across, but I’ve done that and it resulted in spills and me saying a bad word. So yeah. Take your time on this part.

9. Once everything is safely sewn together you can add more embellishments for soothing touch. I added a silky blanket binding and a rough, textured ribbon.



And that’s it! I’ve made three of these babies now and it gets easier to contain the poly pellet beads every time.

This time last year

A year ago we received our official adoption approval from China. We wouldn’t travel for a few more months but as far as paperwork goes she was ours, it was done. At that point we were able to send Lola a care package and a birthday cake. Lola’s birthday was in January but we were not allowed to send anything at that time. So last year Lola celebrated her birthday, with her first birthday cake ever, in March. I haven’t shared many pictures of Lola in the orphanage, we don’t have many of her life before us. The pictures we do have are a precious glimpse and perfect reminder of what life was like in the years before family. The thing that makes me overwhelmingly happy about her pre-us pictures is that while she sometimes looks thin and pale she always wears a smile. I’m so thankful that this year she ate cake at home with her family but when I see the sweet faces in the background I can’t stop wondering if their day will ever come. Maybe I’ll just start sending them cakes. Ugh. I don’t know, but as we ponder if our family is complete we also have to ponder what our role is in the lives of those left behind.

Sigh.

So here’s a sweet glimpse into Lola’s life this time last year. When she learned a family was coming for her.

Lola and friends playing with fresh flowers

Lola and friends playing with fresh flowers

Lola enjoying dinner at the orphanage

Lola enjoying dinner at the orphanage

We sent a book of pictures to help her understand the family she would soon meet. While she couldn't see them clearly the orphanage staff was happy to help with descriptions.

We sent a book of pictures to help her understand the family she would soon meet. While she couldn’t see them clearly the orphanage staff was happy to help with descriptions.

Lola sharing her birthday cake and sporting the new outfit we sent over

Lola sharing her birthday cake and sporting the new outfit we sent over

Sensory Diet

A couple of weeks ago I found myself sitting in a very hectic area of Vanderbilt. Lola’s name was called and we headed back for 3 hours of testing and observation. Then we took a lunch break while the OTs talked and scored Lola. When we returned the occupational therapist sat me down and said “well, we feel that Lola has a rather severe sensory processing disorder, she is extremely sensory seeking.” As she paused to let that information sink in I blurted out “I knew it! I knew this was more than adjusting to a new environment. This is great!”

So I’m thinking most parents aren’t excited about sensory processing disorder. But man… sometimes it is just nice to know that something is really going on. And the best part? With sensory processing disorder you can actually do things to help your child learn to process. My love of research, reading and doing has really collided on this one. I’m savoring words like proprioceptive input and vestibular system (which is what contributes to balance and spatial awareness, inner ear). Glorious.

Lola is now enjoying a sensory diet. This means that we provide many, scheduled, sensory experiences throughout the day. This “diet” gives Lola the chance to receive the proprioceptive and vestibular input she desperately needs. Are you feeling smarter yet? I am.

I am so excited to start blogging through our new activities and sharing about the items we add to our sensory diet. It’s new, it’s overwhelming but there is so much hope.

If you feel that your child may be facing sensory processing disorder I highly recommend picking up The Out-of-Sync Child. It breaks down the different types of sensory processing disorders, gives solutions and explains when professional help is needed.

A little sit n spin time before breakfast.

A little sit n spin time before breakfast.

 

All Content © Erica Ho, Goodbye Normal