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Cerebral Palsy does not Define her

As most of you all know, my daughter Ciara has Cerebral Palsy, but that is not what defines her.

Cerebral Palsy is defined as “a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination (spastic paralysis) and/or other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth.”

Because of her disability, she cannot walk out talk, but she does not let that stop her. There is so much more wonderful things about her other than her disability.

Here is a list of what makes Ciara so special and proof that cerebral Palsy does not define her.

She loves EVERYONE!

She has a special excitement for life.

She takes pride in everything she does.

She loves her job and never complains.

She enjoys it when she is given responsibilities or chores, so she can prove she can do it.

She loves to cook!!

She has the biggest heart and really does care about everyone she knows.

She worries about her friends and prays for them.

She is obsessed with music, her favorite singer is George Straight.

She listens to everything she hears and absorbs every word like a sponge. She can know a song after only one time of listening to it.

She knows and understands her disability.

She knows how to work her disability and is quick to tell people “I am handicapped“, as a rebuttal.

She is a sensitive soul and can get her feelings hurt easily.

She sometimes feels sadness because of her disability.

She wishes she could do what others her age can do.

She longs to be a mother.

Her maturity level is that of a 12 year old.

She has a special innocence about her.

She hates her hands and feet, because they don’t do what she wants them to do.

She feels embarrassment from her disability, such as drooling, having an accident or because of the lack of hand control.

Her “best friends” are people who treat her like a regular human being.

She doesn’t like being spoken to like a “baby”.

She has an “attitude“.

She startles easily.

She can read and communicate via messenger.

If you are one of her “best friends”, she will text you every day.

She loves attention.

She tries her best at every single thing she does.

She always wants to help others.

She loves sweets!

She loves coffee!

She smiles through the pain.

She struggles every day but remains happy.

She loves Disney and is saving her money to go to Disney land.

She has an old soul and enjoys watching old murder mysteries.

She loves going to the lake and camping.

She gets so excited when she learns something new or masters a new goal.

She forgives but she doesn’t forget.

She loves the Lord and looks forward to the day she will “walk” with Jesus.

She is my hero.

She has so many people that love and adore her.

She has a mom that will advocate for her everyday of her life.

Of course, there is so much more I could share about my sweet girl, the list could go on and on.

CP may affect her body, but it can never take away her beautiful mind and heart.

I encourage you to get to know people with disabilities and don’t let their diagnosis define them.

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Sensory Toys at Five Below

So, I love me some Five Below. I find myself browsing their website multiple times a month, looking for new items.

If you are not familiar with Five Below, they are a budget friendly store, and their prices stay Five dollars or below. They do have products that are in their “Five beyond” section, but usually it’s worth the price.

I love looking at their new inventory they get in stock and recently saw that they have sensory toys.

Sensory toys help children that have sensory issues, hand control problems, and kids that fidget a lot.

Now, I’m not showing you fidget poppers, because, honestly, you can get them for $1.25 at the Dollar Tree.

So, here are the great sensory toys I found at Five Below.

Gravity Sand

This gravity sand rainbow set looks like so much fun, I would enjoy this as an adult. For my daughter with Cerebral Palsy, this helps with hand control and gaining strength in her hands and arms. I think this would be a great sensory activity for any child.

Sensory Toy Bin with Sand and Water Beads

This is so cool! Any special needs mom has seen their special kiddos play with bins similar to these at therapy sessions.

There is different themes you can choose from. The one in the picture is Dinosaurs but they have other options. Online they were sold out of the other ones, but I know at the Waco, Texas location, they had a bunch of them on the wall.

These would be great for hand control, or just to keep them busy for a little while.

Zen Garden Sensory Tub

So, this one might be better for older kids or teenagers. There is a choking hazard warning about the small parts.

I could see my Ciara having fun creating a Zen Garden and also getting therapy in her hands at the same time.

Pair this with some calming music, and maybe, mom gets some zen relax time as well.

Pug in a Mug Sensory Toy

How cute is this?? This would be a great calming tool, or a long grocery line toy.

It not only strengthens little hands, but surprises them with a cute little pug as they squeeze the toy.

Rainbow Ramen

Okay, so I’m not sure what this toy does, but it looks cool. If you have this toy or if you purchase this toy, please leave me a comment, I would love to know what it does for sensory.

Sensory Palm Popz

These palm popz are new to me, I have never seen these type of fidget toys.

My son has ADHD and he loves fidget toys! I am excited to get him one to try.

Sensory Fidget Cube

This fidget cube would be great for adults as well as kids. I know for me ,personally, I fidget when I am nervous. So this would be a great calming toy for anxiety.

Of course, there is a lot more, I just shared some of my favorite sensory toys.

I am not an affiliate for Five Below, this post is only to share sensory friendly toys with other moms. I hope you enjoyed my post!

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Girl scout cookies

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Make Your Own Rules

Having a Special Needs child comes with its own set of difficulties. There is no rule book for how to raise a child with disabilities. Books about reaching children’s milestones do not apply to your child’s specific special needs.

Even learning about your child’s diagnosis does not help prepare you, because every disability is so different. For instance, Ciara has Cerebral Palsy and cannot walk or talk, but there are others with CP that can walk and talk normally. So finding the right information or help, can be exhausting.

I have learned that we have to make our own parenting rules and go by our own knowledge.

After 21 years, I am still learning about Ciara. I am still trying to figure out what I am doing and questioning if I am doing the right things for her.

I thought I had everything figured out and then..she became an adult! I thought getting her through school and puberty was my most difficult challenges. I was wrong. Now, I am learning how to transition her into adulthood and prepare a future for her. I feel as if her whole future depends on the decisions I make now for her.

There is no manual to tell us what to do to prepare our kids for the future, so we have to what we feel is best for our children.

On top of all the stress of raising a special needs child, there is always judgment and pressure coming from professionals. “What are you doing for her future?” “What is your next step?” The questions never stop coming! Seriously, I don’t know what I am doing with my life, then I have to tell them exact plans for my daughters future!

People never stop judging, you just have to get past all the questions and realize you are doing whats best for your child. People can make you feel like you are not doing enough for your child, but you are. You cannot completely exhaust yourself trying to be perfect, you just have to do what you can do.

There was a point in my life where I let Ciara’s disability control my whole life. Everything I did in my life was directed towards Ciara. I was was consumed in therapy appointments, Doctor appointments, special needs conferences, and lots of research.

I still do what needs to be done for her, I just don’t let it consume me. We have a life outside of her disability and we also have a nice balance of special needs activities. I feel she is happier now that I am not obsessed with her disability. She is not reminded constantly of her disability and it helps her to feel more normal.

People may judge me that I don’t have her in tons of therapies and Doctor appointments to consume our weeks, but I make the rules and do what is best for my family.

She still sees her Doctors when she needs to and I am still working on preparing for her future, but we are going to enjoy life in the process.

Make your own rules for your special needs child. Do what you think is best and forget about the judgments and questions. You know your child better than anybody, so you will make the best choices.

Don’t let your child’s disability consume you, enjoy life with your special needs child.

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The Truth from a Special Needs Mom

As I sit here watching my daughter rest after an exhausting night of vomiting, I can’t help the feeling of sorrow and pity for my child.

After almost 21 years of having nights like this, it doesn’t seem to get any easier watching your child suffer.

At the age of 20 she should be able to run to the toilet when she feels sick, instead she has to struggle to sit up as she vomits all in her bed.

I run to her rescue but can never get there in time to save her from the disgust of lying in her own waste.

She looks at me helplessly and ashamed of the mess and I reassured her that it is ok .

I clean her up, change the bedding and get her back into bed.

An hour passes and I hear the dreaded sound of her gagging, I run to her as fast as I can but I never get there fast enough.

I clean her up again, change the bedding and get her back in bed.

This goes on until morning, as the sun is rising, my eyes are falling but I know I must stay alert to hear the sounds of what sounds as if she is choking on her own vomit.

Now, as she rests so peaceful, I can’t help feeling sorry for the life she has been given. I know she has a purpose in this life and God has a greater plan for her, but why must she struggle so.

I can’t help but feel sorry for myself, that for the rest of my life I will have nights like this and my child will never be able to care for herself.

Then I remember how blessed I am to be her mother and how thankful I am to God that he gave me this wonderful human being, so strong and resilient.

I remember that this too shall pass and I will see what God has in store for this precious child of mine and I get to be a part of raising such an amazing person.

Bad nights are going to happen and sickness will be apart of our lives, but I will remain thankful for this blessing God has bestowed upon me and take care of her until I no longer can.

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Her Voice

As a special needs mom, you learn to be the voice for your child.

Whether it’s knowing their facial expressions, sign language, body language or their own language. You learn to know what your child wants and needs.

My daughter speaks to me frequently about life and what’s bothering her. People may not understand her words, but I do.

I am her voice and here is her words.

“I love it when people talk to me and include me in their conversations.”

“Just because I am silent does not mean I am not listening, I hear every word.”

“I do like attention but I do not like being treated like a baby. “

” I startle easy and it embarrasses me so please don’t make a fuss.”

” I love to be included, even if I can’t do everything, I try my best. “

“I like helping people, if you give me a task I will try my hardest to succeed. “

“I face every problem with a smile on my face, but that doesn’t mean I am not sad. “

” I may laugh in a serious situation or if I am in pain but that does not mean I am laughing at the situation.”

” I do wish I could walk and wonder why I cannot. “

” I want to do what others my age are doing, and cannot understand why I can’t. “

” I am scared of my future, and what will happen to me when my mom is no longer here. “

These are Ciara’s words, not mine. This is her voice.

Just because she sits silent in a wheelchair, does not mean she doesn’t have a lot to say. You just have to listen.

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Mom at 15

I became a mother at the ripe young age of Fifteen. Now as an adult and mother of Two children, I sit back and think “wow, I really was still a baby, having a baby”. I see my children at the same age I was when I was pregnant and think to myself “There is no way they could raise a baby, they are still so young and innocent”. I guess that is most likely how my mom felt seeing her baby girl pregnant at Fourteen.

I was not the town slut, I actually became pregnant my first time having sex. Although once you become a mom at Fifteen, you somehow become the small town whore.

I know a lot of people judged my mother for allowing me to become pregnant, she even lost friendships because of what I did. In reality, it was not her fault at all. She was a single mother, working 12 hour shifts in a Factory to provide for me and could not always watch me 24 hours a day. She trusted me, and now that I am an adult, I appreciate how much she trusted me and hate that I broke her trust.

Even though my mother was clearly disappointed in me, she did not leave me all alone to raise a child. She was there for me through every Doctor’s appointment, Lamaze class and delivery. She insisted I go back to school to finish getting my high school diploma, and she stayed up with a crying baby, so that I could rest for school.

I am not sure I could have done it without the support of my mother. Especially when at delivery there was a medical mistake that took place to cause my baby to start having seizures. She had to stay in the NICU for Two weeks after birth. As a child myself, I had no idea what was going on. I never thought anything could go wrong with your baby at birth.

After countless Doctor appointments, we learned she had Cerebral Palsy. I could not accept it. It took years of taking her to different specialist, and they all had the same outcome. She will never walk. My heart broke each and every time we heard those words. I finally accepted the fact that my daughter was special and I would do everything it takes to give her a normal life.

I regret the time I was in denial about her disability. It was wasted time.

It was not easy at all being a mom at 15, I had to see all my friends growing up and having normal lives. My sleep overs with friends now included a baby crying. It was challenging to say the least.

I would never suggest anybody become a mother at 15, but I believe that God blessed me with that sweet girl early in life because she would need me for a long time.

All you young moms out there, don’t give up. It gets easier, and you can still raise a baby and fulfill your purpose in life.

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About me

I am a Texas native and a mother of two wonderful kiddos. I am married to the man I fell in love with a age 16 and we now have been together over 20 years.

My family

My children are my world! I became pregnant with my daughter at 15, so I have been a mother for all of my adult life. My daughter Ciara, has Cerebral Palsy, which effects her ability to walk and speak. She can light up a room with her smile and she never complains about her hardships. My son, Leland, is a normal teenager with an attitude. He is definitely a “mama’s boy”, and constantly makes me laugh.

My Perfectly Imperfect Plus Life is about showing life is not perfect and nobody is perfect, but we can love ourselves and our lives no matter how imperfect.

Of coarse my blog will not be serious all the time, my imperfect life can be crazy, and I hope to share some of that craziness with ya’ll.

If you are into plus size fashion, plus size beauty trends, crafty mom ideas, special need moms, or dealing with anxiety. Then you should definitely follow my blog. It may seem a little crazy, but hey that is how my brain works. I am all over the place!

I hope you all enjoy my posts and can join me in being perfectly imperfect and loving it!