Yes it November already, so I decided to challenge my self to think of 30 things I am thankful through out this month. Not so much a list but a real effort to write something every day with more detail. I think that it is very important to count one’s blessings to help you appreciate what you have. We should all be doing this more (including me) than just in November but it is a start. Everyone can do this too, it doesn’t need to be religious in any way. So feel free to follow me lead and write a list your self, weather you share it or not.
You all can join me at #analinaragdollsgratitude on Twitter or comment what you are most thankful for below. Feel free to think out of the box, I will be updating this list almost daily and tweet each update.
1. The first thing I am thankful for is my creativity and ability to sew and create things. I have to thank both my parents for that, my mom can sew and craft, and my father is a woodworker. I seriously could not imagine not having a passion or hobby, well more of an obsession at times LOL, but I love crafting. Not only do I sew but I love scrap-booking, fixing things, and DIY holiday decoration to name a few. Do you have a hobby?
2. The next thing I am thankful for is having a roof over my head. This time late year I was weeks away from being homeless. I moved here and within 4 weeks the bank auctioned off the house I was in and locked me out, with no notice either. I am a firm believe that everything happens for a reason and this is a great example of having faith, especially since I was told I wasn’t going to get this house (I was 3rd on the list).
3. On day 3 I am thankful for the opportunely to be a stay at home mom to care for my children (know not all parents are able to do this). It has has been very important that I am here all day for all their needs. With having 2 boys with Autism, Bipolar, ADHD, Asthma, and more, there are a lot of therapies, appts, phone calls and activities that all need to be organized. I am blesses to have been able to raise them and watch them grow, especially my oldest (17), who has had the most struggles and come the furthest. He will graduate this year, he has had a job for a year now, and he plans on going to college. I truly believe this is what I was suppose to do, being a single mom of 3 great children.
4. Today I am thankful for my Neno’s special ed team at school. He team have been good to him, there is still some room for improvements as always but he likes school. This may seem like an odd thing to be thankful for but I have been through this before with no help (even the same school). As a special needs mom it can be extremely difficult to get your child’s need met, and it is often a fight and lots of nos. Neno’s school has been very good to from the top (principle chats with him all the time) to all the other aids (he visits most of them weekly to read). He does get a great a lot of service but I think the class room it self may be to overwhelming. I picked this today because I have an IEP meeting at 10am and hoping to get more Autism specific help because his progress seemed to stall this year.
5. Today I am thankful for my oldest son’s strength, no matter what he keeps going. He has had so many medical and mental health issues that started before the age of 1. Next year he will be 18 and graduate high school. He has had a job for a year now and plans to go to college. When he was little he was always happy even when he was sick and in the hospital. Even with a diagnosis of Autism, Bipolar, ADHD, and several stays at the hospital and residential treatment he has been able to get through school.T his year he has been doing great go to school almost every day and has decided his meds were not benefiting him as much as they were hurting him (both are a big deal for him). I have been trying really hard to focus on the positive and let go of the negative or bad behaviors to support him better.
6. On this Sunday I am thankful for my mom, she has been there for me and support me as a mother since I was 18 (when many parents would be so mad). She helped my raise my oldest with all his special needs and now she is enjoying be the fun grandma with the younger two. Any free time she has she will take and spend it with one of the kids to help give them special time (with her and the other one gets one on one time with me), which makes a big difference is sibling rivalry. Being a single mother her self, I have learned to be strong for my kids and to do what I have to make sure they are taken care of.
7. Today I am thankful for social media, I love being able to share my work to a wider audience. As a work at home mom, social media means something different than it does to others. Social media is our store front and sometime the only way to reach customers. I know for me getting to craft fairs and events can be difficult with 2 little ones, right now. I am really excited to host my first online auction event on Facebook since I can’t get to holiday craft fairs this year. By far my Facebook fans are the best and show me the most love for all my work. My other favorite platform is Pinterest but I love it for personal use too, I love collecting ideas and sharing them with other. What is you favorite social media and why?
8. Today I am thankful for my Neno’s view on the world, he enjoys almost everything (even through the over stimulation). I really think more people should have an open mind and a love for all things. Neno has Autism and he says what he means and feels at that moment, yes it can be a challenge but for the most part I love him for that. He cares about all things an nature from people, trees, animals, money, rocks, and he love to give positive feedback to them all. Yes he talks to coins like they are real and have feelings. One of his new things is telling people they are beautiful, even from the car driving by (would guess that’s because a lot of people tell him that). Being able to see the world through Neno’s eyes in something that not many get to do, and for me is extremely special.
9. Today I am thankful for the Season change in New England. It wasn’t until a few years ago did start to love the season changes here, I love we have all four season. Each season brings something new to love, my favorites are Fall and Winter. Fall I love the leaves changing and all the beautiful photos that can be taken. I have always loved snow and all the white, my all time favorite thing is to stand up outside in a snow storm at night (quiet and you can hear the snow fall). Spring is my least favorite season but I do love the new growth that pops through the snow. Summer is gardening and swimming season, which I love both. I really doesn’t know if I could live some where without season changes. What is your favorite season?
10. On this 10th day of thankfulness, I am struggling to think of some thing to be thankful for. But I am going to say I am thankful for ME and my ability to keep going no matter what is throw at me. As parent we all know that there are struggles but as special needs parent (single parent to boot) there are so many more day to day struggle that occur. I have been able to handle all the stress with grace and get everything done that is needed for my kids. Many times, like this week, as a parent you will have to do things that you probably never thought in your wildest dreams would be a problem. This maybe something only a parent with a child or two with disabilities will fully understand but our strength is what holds the family together. I live by a day by day attitude, every morning is a new day!!
11. Today I am thankful for the sunset, recently I have seen some of the most amazing sunsets. I love that each night the sunset is different and lights the sky up all different colors. Yesterday the sky was all kind of colors with bright orange over the trees and mountains and further away the sky was pink and purple. I love the grow that comes in the house from a bright sunset. Not to mention all the clouds which I think makes the sunset more interesting by reflecting the sun all differently. So tonight look out side and let me know what your sunset looks like.
12. Today I am thankful for all those who fought for our country, we have all our freedoms because of them. I am also thankful for their families and the sacrifices they make so their hero can fight, train, and help others in need.
13. On this 13th day of gratitude I am thankful for my little girl and her bond with her Autistic brother (who is 2 years old than but developmental younger now). Almost from day one she knew something was different about him, without her he would not a processed as far as he has. As they have grown up I think she was put her to be with him to protect him and teach him. Special need siblings have a totally different bond than regular siblings, it is much stronger and more forgiving.
14. Today I am thankful for my Fabric Stash, I collect fabric to make my creations and I love just being able to make things without going to the store. Although I do love shopping for fabric and can’t pass up a sale, I definitely could stop and still have enough for years. What do you collect or have a stash of?
15. Half way through the month and I am thankful that I am able to make my kids clothes. Not only is it a money saver but I am able to make one of a kind items. My Neno loves mommy made pants and hoodies, with his sensory issues it is much easier to make him clothes he will love (yes he will wear them until they are so worn out). Of course Nana just loves skirts and dresses and jackets, which saves a lot of money because I can still make most of that with small pieces. They do get a lot of mommy made stuff for Christmas, I have a huge pile of stuff to make right.
16. Today I am thankful for family traditions that hope my kids will continue on. I love driving around looking at lights, yes I even did it as a teenager. Second I give my kids a Christmas eve box with pjs, movie, popcorn, reindeer food, and hot cocoa it it. Its a fun way to spend the night. For my middle guy his favorite thing is to decorate cookies, so we do that every year (since preschool) on his birthday (right before xmas). My favorite mommy tradition I do is to wrap all the gifts to look like other things so they never know what’s it, or I will double wrap it just for extra fun (here’s a video from last year, I was hiding the PS4 from my oldest). Those are just a few, what are some of yours?
17. Today I am thankful for my kids laugh, there is nothing better than a kid laughing. I love that all my kids have a sense of humor, yes even my almost 18 year old too.
18. On the 18th day of the month I am thankful for the small moments. Like today, my daughter didn’t go to school (she didn’t feel well) and we went to get her brother from school and on the way home he said he missed his afternoon hug from her today. He told me the other day she was doing this but I didn’t think it meant that much to him. So I said she could hug him now and he had a huge smile on his face. I know he struggles at lunch and I think their hugging happens after that because she noticed he was sad one day.
19. Today I am thankful for rebate apps, yes I love to save money and get money back for things I buy already. My favorite right now is Ibotta, here’s a link to join my team, I have earned almost $200 since I started 2 or 3 months ago. I will get a bonus if your join (which is not how I am making money, that was all rebates) and you will get $10 to join too, WIN-WIN. I also use Saving Star, Checkout 51 (my least fav), walmart savings catcher (just started last week), and my points (for printing coupons). Every little bit adds up right!!
20. Today I am thankful for Gardening, I love being able to grow my own food. Although I don’t have big garden I think it is important to show my kids the value of gardening and growing food. My Neno loved gardening this year and harvesting the tons of tomatoes we got. Enjoying the earth is something I have grown to love with age but I have watched my family garden since I was very little.
21. Today I am Thankful that the post office will pick up packages at my door. It may seem odd but I hate going to the post office and waiting in line. I love printing labels here and if they are big enough they will pick them up on my porch, small business WIN!!!
22. Today I am thankful for that I have the same taste in music as my teenage son. Yes as I write this he has his radio so loud it is shaking the house, I am here jam too. What is even funnier is when we both have the radio on and the same song plays. I remember when I was young my mom hated my music choices, mostly rap and hip hop. My son loves 90’s hip hop more than me and I grew up on it LOL.
23. Today I am thankful that I learned to be a great mom for mom.
24. Today I am thankful for being able to help a local family in their time in need. They lost so much in a house fire last week and I will be donating one of my rag dolls to the surviving toddlers.
25. Today I am thankful for the night sky, I love stars and the moon. Nothing nicer than a clear star filled sky or a big beautiful moon shining through the trees.
26. Today I am thankful for being able to wake each morning and start each day fresh. This is something that has gotten me through a lot of tough days.
27. Today I am thankful for Neno’s new therapist she is working hard to get him more services outside home and school. Social skills groups are not easy to get into and are not offered by his current services, so she trying to get him the same service Zay has. Zay has been in a social skills group since 2007 and I think it has helped a great deal, along with all his other services he has gotten. Neno needs the same and his therapist see that.
28. Today I am thankful for for my mom, when she comes over she is always helping one the kids clean up their room, and organizing it. I try but sometimes grandma has more luck than me getting them to do more.
29. Today I am thankful for my little’s school, they have monthly school meetings and events that all the kids love. We get to see them sing and dance, we also learn to get on stage and speak in public (something a lot of kids are scared of). I watch my neno sing today and he is so shy but sings so loud, the faces and expression are priceless. I am grateful the music teacher has let him in chorus no questions asked, she has also requested Nana be in chorus next year.
30. Surprisingly enough I am thankful this month is over, for 2 reasons this list have been harder than I thought and Christmas is my favorite and busiest time of the year.