Friday, January 30, 2009

Who doesn't love a giveaway!

Very Cute bags!

Awesome FREAKING stroller!

Also check out the button to the right where my product will be featured in the giveaway!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What life is like for Brok

So I know I just posted & Please read that one too but this is so exciting I had to post!

We have been having some issues with therapists... Brok is on his 2nd PT (physical therapist) & we had been having some serious issues with our OT (occupational therapist) so I called my case manager for DDD (department of developmental disabilities) & discussed our options... Basically our new PT is awesome & has done a lot of figuring with Brok to see what works & doesn't... Everyone has been saying that he has sensory issues- at first they thought it was aversions to sensory input (ie standing on his toes to avoid the whole foot on the floor) but she realized the other day through a simple activity- dried beans in a bucket big enough for him to sit in- that he CRAVES sensory input.

Well we started with a new OT today & he gave the best explanation ever for why he is the way he is! & those of you who know Brok will agree that it makes complete sense!

Imagine that you have just gotten off a rollercoaster- you want more & you feel as though you are still moving- still have that adrenaline pumping- That is what Brok is like 24:7. His body doesn't know how to regulate that input- his brain keeps saying I need that movement- therefore he moves- but he can't satisfy the need because he can't move efficiently or have that lasting effect- so he just keeps going to try to satisfy that need! When Brok does therapy- we can't keep him still- UNLESS- he has that input (ie swinging, rocking, bouncing on a ball)

The OT said that the reason Brok can't learn to do things normal is because there is that need & he related it to feeling hungry or having to pee- you can't focus on anything because you have that sensation- well once that sensation is gone you can focus on what you need to do- Brok has the sensation he needs to move constantly & that he needs that input so he can't focus on developing because he can't sit still- kinda like ADHD or ADD but not...

Anyway so to "cure" that he is going to start with finding where Brok's breaking point is- swinging intensely for 15min or bouncing- giving him an outlet for that sensory need & fulfilling it in a more effective way- & once he figures out how much he can/can't take- he will work down from there to make him "normal" or as close to normal as possible. He is also going to give him structured play- like stacking blocks & shape sorting- things a normal 2yr old can do-

Brok also likes to be in control of his environment- he will freak out when his therapists work with him making him do things because he is not in control... Another related thing to his sensory issue- he can't control it!

Basically with a lot of working- & definately won't be overnight changes- he can become just like everyo0ne else! PHEW what a relief! We have a referral now to go to the developmental pediatrician so that we can learn if for sure he does have any issues but it's looking like there is a strong possiblity that he really doesn't!

YAY for people who know what htey are talking about! How a child gets like that I will never know but I can't deny it has been an experience we will never forget! I love my special kid!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


My life seems to just be getting more & more CRAZY!

We have had a lot of ups & downs this past few weeks... I can't seem to find the time or the energy to sit down & catch up!

We took our first trip to the zoo- ok well the 2nd really but last time it was just Brok & I with the kids I used to watch & he was like 6mo old. Brok had a blast! They have this zoo by us that is called the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium & it was so awesome! We got the year pass for Christmas & plan to use it often! Some highlights of the zoo:
-playing with the crazy cracked out monkey: he was in a cage all alone & was so cool! He acted like he was on drugs & was obsessed with Kevin & trying to eat his finger! We could all put our fingers out for him &he would just shake them but Kevin's he always tried to pull through the cage! He loved Brok!
-The Grey Hornbill bird eating Captain Crunch from Kevin's hand & then almost landing on Brok trying to eat it!
-The Skylift ride- boring but still cool- It was so warm!
-The touch tanks- Brok got to pet starfish, horseshoe crabs & sea urchins- It was so freaking cool!
-Petting the Sting Rays!: There was a larger pool- like the size of a swimming pool- that had sting rays in it & you could reach in & they swim by you & you could touch them! Even Brok got to do it which was the coolest thing!
We LOVE the zoo!

We also have battled sickness- AGAIN! Last year we didn't get sick hardly at all & this year it won't go away! I managed to escape it but this past weekend it caught up with me! Boy was I sick! Still am really but feel much better today!

Lukas is afraid of the dark- I kid you not! He will not sleep at night in his bed, but if I hold him, he is fine. I know it's not his bed because during the day he sleeps in it just fine! & not a long time either-just regular naps! So we have determined that he is afraid of the dark! He is such a different baby than Brok- He loves to be held & to cuddle! As much as I hate having him sleep in bed with me- He is so stinking cutE!

We joined a "Mommy & Me" group. I met 2 ladies through hosting my boutique that are part of a group of women with kids ages 6mo-2yrs & they invited me to join their group- We went to our first meet-up last week & had a blast! Now I have more friends & Brok gets to socialize! Plus there are more mommies that are either prego or have babies Lukas's age so they can all grow up together!

I don't know what happened but since I got my sewing machine for Christmas, I have learned to make so many things! I can now make onsies with appliques, burp rags, nursing covers (the BEST!), binky clips & boppy covers! So if you know anyone having a baby or if you are I can make it for you!

& Guess what happened this morning! So we hear Brok crying this moring around 530ish... My first thought is ok he'lll cry himself back to sleep- after 15min he didn't so I got up & went to go get him out of bed- HE WAS ALREADY OUT! Don't ask me how he did it but the kid who can't walk can now get out of his crib! We didn't hear a thud & the dogs didn't freak out so our only thought is that he can climb! We will see how he does tonight & see if we need to move to a big boy bed! EEK I am not ready for that!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What cute kids!

I just had to take some time to just say how much I LOVE my kids! There are days when I feel like ripping my hair out but then there are times when I can't believe how cute they are & wonder where they get it from!

Brok is a doll! He gets so excited about the most silly things! Today he was so thrilled while he was in one of his therapies & I brought up a bucket of dry pinto beans! He could have played with that for hours! Or how when I was in the shower he comes & opens the curtain & gives me the best smile! One of the most rewarding & heartmelting things is how excited he gets when his dad walks in! He is his best friend! It makes me love the both of them even more! & it is the cutest thing when you are holding him on your hip he leans forward to look you right in the eye. & then he gives you the BIGGEST smile! What a crack up! I feel so bad for the kid. He has 4 therapies a week from 4 different people who are really just trying to help but he doesn' t understand that! I can't wait for them to be over! He has speech, occupational, physical & early intervention therapy... & this child just pushes through it! He is such a good big brother & is always concerned with if his brother is crying. Like this picture- I was in the bathroom & I heard Lukas screaming & I thought "Oh man what did Brok do" & I came out to see Brok consoling him! He had climbed onto the wrapping paper box so he could see better. This kid never ceases to amaze me! He is learning so much. We taought him to wash his hands & so when you put them under the water he interlocks his fingers & rubs them together to get them clean!I just can't wait to see what else he learns! I look forward to the next few years!

& then Lukas... What a little baby! I don't know how come he is so tiny but I am so in love! He had his 2 month appointment today (though he is 3months) & he only weighs 11lbs 11oz but he is 24in long. He has the cutest smile! I love to just sit & talk with him! He loves to read & like his brother loves music! He just discovered that he can hit his toys on his play mat & they move & make noise! It is so fun to watch him grow! I can't believe he has only been in our life for 3 months. What did we ever do without him! He is so cute! He is in love with his pacifier! He could suck on that forever! & he has to be surrounded by blankets! He has them all in his bed & loves to grab & cuddle them. & this child LOVES baths & being clean! He goes through 3 outfits a day! It is such a new experience for me! I never knew that my heart could hold enough love for both of them!

Right now I am just feeling like I am so lucky... I have the best kids & husband. They are everything to me! I love them so much!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Take the time to read this!

This legislation will force myself as well as many other small business owners to shut down. It is the end to resale stores, thrift stores & homemade gifts!Please read & send this letter to your senators & congressmen!

Save Handmade Toys From the CPSIA

A Proposal From the

In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to China and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small parts, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick. Almost every problem toy in 2007 was made in China.

The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August, 2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.

All of these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational toy manufacturers to comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each toy have very little incremental cost to pay for testing and updating their molds to include batch labels.
For small American, Canadian, and European toymakers, however, the costs of mandatory testing, to the tune of up to $4,000 per toy, will likely drive them out of business. And the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007. Toy makers won't be the only ones impacted by the CPSIA, the thousands of US businesses who offer clothing, jewelry and other gifts for children --in essence-- the entire children's industry will be as well.

The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of toys that have earned and kept the public's trust. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade toys will no longer be legal in the US.

Thriving small businesses are crucial to the financial health of our nation. Let's amend the CPSIA so that all businesses large and small are able to comply and survive!

From: [your name and address]

To: [your congress person or senator]

Re: Changes needed to the Consumer Product Improvement Act (CPSIA) to Save Handmade Toys in the USA

Dear [your congress person or senator],

Like many people, I was deeply concerned by the dangerous and poisonous toys that large Chinese toy manufacturers have been selling to our nations families. And, I was very pleased that Congress acted quickly to protect America's children by enacting the CPSIA.

However, I am very concerned that the CPSIA's mandates for third party testing and labeling will have a dramatic and negative effect on small toymakers and in the USA, Canada, and Europe, whose toy safety record has always been exemplary. It will also devastate small manufacturers of children's clothes and other handmade goods for children.

Because of the fees charged by Third Party testing companies, many manufacturers, especially makers of beautiful wooden toys and unique children's clothes from Maine to Oregon will be driven out of business. Their cottage workshops simply do not make enough money to afford the $4,000 price tag per toy that Third Party testers are charging.

I urge you to quickly request the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make some very reasonable exclusions in their interpretation of the law as they continue their rulemaking process. For example, manufacturers should be able to rely on testing done by their materials suppliers instead of paying for redundant unit-based testing. I would also like to see an exemption to third party testing requirements for micro-businesses similar to the exemptions granted by the FDA for small producers under the food labeling laws.

If you feel that testing should still be required, then the CPSC should be made to offer free testing services for small manufacturers.

These toy makers and crafters have earned and kept the public's trust. They provide jobs for hundreds and quality playthings for thousands. Their unique businesses should be protected. Please visit to learn more about this issue.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


[your name]

Friday, January 2, 2009

Where oh where has the Beal family gone?

Everywhere you can imagine!

This post will be followed by pictures as soon as I can find the camera...

In the past few weeks we have...

  • hosted a boutique at our home
  • Kevin turned 24
  • traveled to Las Vegas & elsewhere to visit family& friends
  • gotten sick, gotten better & gotten sick AGAIN
  • learned that Lukas HATES formula & that it is not a good smell
  • Been able to sleep in til 830 or later everyday
  • had over 9days off in 2 weeks, paid without taking vacation time!
  • screwed up our paycheck royally...
  • Had our first major fall from brok

& pretty much any & everything else!

December has been a whirlwind for us. From boutiques to sickness to holidays... I honestly feel like the month wasn't even there!

I won't tell about everything but here are a few good stories!

We had an awesome Christmas... Because we had so much trouble with our car, one of the guys from Kevin's work nominated us for being one of those "Christmas Angel" things where they give you gifts... We were hurting & since it was the first year that Brok would really know what presents were, we were glad to accept... It completely blew our expectations out of the water. They were so generous & giving. In lieu of gifts for their workers, they donated it to us. We received gift cards to wal mart in large amounts, gas cards, food, & gifts. One of the best gifts was an annual memebership to the zoo that is right by our house. We will definately be using that! It was such a kind & selfless thing they did that it was easy for us to turn around & "re-gift" one of our gift cards to one of our friends who have been there for us on many occasions! (you know who you are & we love ya!) We were also able to go see family for Christmas & had a blast! Kevin had the 24-28th off as well as the 1st-4th. It had snowed a ton the week before we were there & it snowed on Christmas Eve & Christmas! It was AWESOME! I got a sewing machine & some clothes, Kevin got new tires for his bike & a blanket, the boys got tons of clothes & sweet toys!

One thing I can't forget to mention is that my wonderful husband celebrated his 24th birthday Christmas Eve, & most of it was spent driving! But we love him & he got some good stuff (all mountain biking: a bike repair manual, a mountain bike movie & a year subscription to a biking magazine)

Brok has gotten on a way better schedule recently... At least for us. Most parents would hate what I am about to say but it works for us! He takes a mid-morning nap around 11 or so for about 45 min & then a longer one around 5pm. He usually wakes up from that between 7 & 8 and is then up with me til between 10 & 11. But that works because Kevin usually works til then or later! & the best part is we get to sleep in! YES!!!!

Lukas tried formula for the second time & it all ended up coming back out... ON ME! Oh well, I guess he just keeps nursing! That's ok, I love the bonding time!

& last but not least... Brok has known how to climb the stair for about 2 months. but he slid down 2 stairs about a week after he learned & has not done it since... Until right before Christmas. We were downstairs hanging out & I guess he got bored so he climbed all the way up & now does that every time we are down there... The other night he was climbing up and got about halfway there & I am not sure what happened but he cam crashing down... HARD! He had fallen down approx 6-8 steps... Imagine just like you see on TV... It scared me so bad, I threw my cup of water down & ran to check him... He was MAD that I had gotten him up & proceeded to climb right back up to the top! What a trooper! It still scares me that he could fall & break something but for the time being,there is not a scratch or scrape on his body! He has accomplished one goal set by his therapists- standing at a toy flat footed for 1min. He did 3! We are getting somewhere...

That is all from us... We are alive & well... Hope everyone has a great new year !

Goals for 2009

  • cleaner house= happier family & more organization
  • budget= savings
  • Brok=walking

Things we are looking forward to in 2009

  • 3.9% pay raise (approx $250)
  • Brok walking & turning 2
  • 2 years in the Air Force & another pay raise
  • Lukas walking & turning 1
  • 4yr anniversary
  • & anything else life throws our way!