Thursday, June 14, 2018

Don't Sit On it!

:::Results of Brayden's preschool speech evaluation::::

Many of you have asked how Brayden's speech evaluation went in regard to qualifying for services due to his speech delay in articulation (read about how wrong I was here), and I apologize for not updating you sooner.

So in a nutshell, he definitely qualifies for services, two times per week for 30 minutes.  

But here's the kicker...he can't start the services until September.  This felt like our sucker punch! #ouch

Because he is a preschooler (age 3-5), services are given during the academic school year.  Now that we are in the month of June, we have to wait until the Fall.  If he had an extreme delay, I believe (don't quote me) he'd receive services all year round; since his articulation isn't THAT severe, September is our start date.

Now, we could reach out to a private agency and see if our insurance company will cover services if we were to do them now. The Hubs and I are exploring this option.  But one thing I can tell you... I am kicking myself in the you-know-what for not completing the initial paperwork when I requested it.  

I won't lie.

I probably sat on completing the paperwork for 2ish months or so and I feel pretty terrible about it now.  My thought process is if I completed it sooner, maybe he would have received services this academic school year?   

But instead, I held it off-convincing myself he didn't need it and got upset with the Hubs when he asked if the paperwork was completed (because who wants to fill-out 13 pages of questions, anyway?)

Sooo.... we are just going to take that "mama of the year" award and throw it out the window...

If there's one thing I've learned throughout this whole process, even when we did this for Sophia, is an evaluation in any area of concern CAN'T  hurt.  If you are a little bit concerned your child isn't speaking clearly or maybe you're noticing some fine motor or even sensory issues, get him/her evaluated- it's free through your school district!! 

Take your pride (I'm a middle school special education teacher #irony) and throw it out the window.  Although we'd all like to think we are experts when it comes to our kids... I learned pretty quickly articulation is clearly not a strength of mine. 

If you're debating about starting the process for any evaluation, feel free to contact me and I can point you in the right direction.  As difficult as it may be to admit our babies need help that they can't get from us, it's our job to make sure we get them what they need in order to thrive and be successful.  

Take it from me, it's not a sparkling moment NOW, but when your child can say "leaf" instead of "weaf", you've done right, mama <3

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A day in the life: Dinna time!

I am often asked, "How do you do it with three kids?"

Well, I invite you to take a look at a typical evening in our home (minus The Hubs) as I'm prepping dinna! 

The day in the life of The Nikola Clan getting ready for dinna- a gluten free one, too! 

And the shrimp were a bust!

Any other mamas relate to my crazinesses during dinna time? 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

I Swore I was Right


Have you ever felt you knew you were 100% right in your thinking?  Like you were so confident that you just didn't even consider, "What if I'm wrong?"

Well... I'm here to admit...

I was wrong and I feel pretty ding, dang, dong terrible. #icancry

Let me explain.

But first let me say, I know this is NOT the end of the world and everything will be fine (me, dramatic, no wayyy). As I always do, I share my thoughts with you mamas with the hopes you can relate or say, "Shoot... it's not just me!"  #loveyourtribe

Sooo, going back to that whole being wrong thing...

If you follow me on FB, you saw last month I took Brayden to get evaluated for speech services.

We got his results a few nights ago and just by seeing the expression on The Hubs face, I knew exactly what he was reading and I knew I was wrong...




Brayden's articulation isn't where it should be... According to the testing, his articulation skills are at about a 2.6-year-old.

He just turned 4.

The special education teacher in me is saying, "Don't look at the numbers...we'll just contact Sophia's speech teacher and she'll work with him, just as she did with Sophia."

But the Mommy in me still can't BELIEVE I thought he was OK.

Sophia's articulation was much more severe than Brayden's.  Sophia's "Okay" was "Otay".  Brayden can say "Okay" but "computer is "computa" and Leaf is "Weaf".

I was wrong.  I swore I was right...


His preschool special education meeting is in a few weeks and we'll discuss whether or not he qualifies for speech intervention, which clearly he does.

Of course, we will advocate for him so his speech will clearly be intelligible...


In the meantime, I will swallow my pride and just think about what I've learned from being wrong,  again.

A. It still hurts to hear and admit your child is not "where he should be" when compared to others his age.
B. As cliche as it sounds, it is absolutely true that every child is different.  Just because Brayden doesn't struggle with the same sounds Sophia did, doesn't mean he is clearly understood.
C. Brayden is following in his mama and sister's footsteps #speechhelpforall 

Have any of your children receive the same early intervention service(s)? 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

We are Pretty Great Mommies! 

Happy Mother’s Day to my Diamond mamas!!

Just wanted to share this quote that really resonated with me from a mama whom I recently discovered and quite honestly, can’t get enough of- Rachel Hollis!! 

Nice reminder, right?!?

This is something I have to keep in the back of my mind. I do not consider myself "perfect" by any means, but accepting the fact I can lose my iiiish here and there and not feel defeated is OK.

I’m a pretty great mom and so are you!! 

Being a mama doesn’t come with a manual and this journey isn’t a walk in the park...


At times, it may feel more like Jurassic Park.. but given the title of "Mommy" is something...

something special... that fills my heart...

"Mommy, I spilled my drink a little bit.."  I mean, how can you love someone so much after cleaning up their spilled orange juice all over the kitchen table, chairs, and walls hours after it was JUST cleaned?!   #thankyouB

It’s a mamas love!

Now go ahead and enjoy your brunch, mimosa, or possibly some peace and quiet and remember, we are pretty great mommies! Go sparkle!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month! #sparkleswithceliac

Besides Justin Timberlake reminding us it’s May #sorrynotsorry

May is also an important month in our household; it’s celiac disease awareness month!!

Throughout the month, I will share a series of posts about our family's journey living with celiac disease, providing resources, and explaining how our household is gluten free for our six-year-old daughter, Sophia, who was diagnosed with it at the age of two-and-a-half.

"Celiac diseases a serious autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine." -Celiac Disease Foundation

In Sophia’s case, once she eats gluten or has food that has "cross-contamination" (gf food cooked on the same surface as foods with gluten) she vomits uncontrollably for 2-3 hours (you can read about our last experience here)

Luckily, she hasn’t had an episode in almost two years!
Sophia's eying-up a gluten free cupcake made into a donut! 

Since Sophia was diagnosed almost four years ago, there have been a plethora of resources that are now available to educate and assist those with this disease. Because The Hubs and I are verbal in the celiac disease community, we are often sought out and asked for advice on how we live with this life-altering disease.

One of the first things we recommend to others who are first diagnosed is this app. which is available for iPhones and Android devices. 
The Gluten-Free Scanner scans barcodes of foods and will tell you whether or not it's gluten free! #lifesaver

It's super simple to use.
1.Scan the barcode of the food you're checking
2. It will tell you:
A. "It's Gluten Free"
B. "No gluten containing ingredients" (Then I google the company to see if I can find anything in the nutrition section of the website)
 C. "Contains gluten"
D. "Buy the upgrade for $3.99" ::::the upgrade is worth the money:::: #buyit
We use this in grocery stores or even at birthday parties to scan food items that don't already have the GF label.
This App is user-friendly, even to the point where my father uses it when he buys snacks for Sophia. #ifhecandoitanyonecan

Secondly, we recommend attending the Mid-Hudson Walk for Celiac Disease for our friends here in the Hudson Valley area. 
This walk and vendor fair takes place on 
Sunday, May 20th, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
at the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie
and is organized by the Digestive Disease Center Community Fund and the ongoing research programs of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. 

After the walk, participants are able to obtain information about the disease, sample/purchase gluten free foods/beverages, watch cooking demonstrations from a Culinary Chef, and not have to ask, 
"is this gluten free?"

You can register the walk Here.

Here is our team for last year #teamsophiaandlily

I will continue to share our story and encourage you to share yours if you or a loved one have this disease. 

 Yes, it's life-changing but living with celiac disease and following a gluten free diet is manageable more than ever.  In fact, I would even say Sophia #sparkleswithceliac

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday!

What better way to kick off a Friday than to share some of my recent favorite items, mama and kiddie related! 

First up, the tulle skirt I wore for Easter.

I can't begin to express how obsessed I am with this skirt and will soon own the many color variations of it. ;) I was worried it would be too "poofy" but it falls very nicely. Plus you can't go wrong with an elastic waist. You can find it at Charlotte Russe, here

Impress Press-On Manicure

ImPress Press-on One-Step Gel manicures are a complete game changer!  I can't believe I was able to get 12 days out of this one package; I was so impressed! I actually gave a set away over on my IG and FB page. You can purchase them at your local Target, Walmart and of course,  Amazon here.

Jameson's ThinkBaby Sippy Cup

Jameson recently transitioned to a straw sippy cup and ThinkBaby is our favorite!  We actually had a few for Brayden and knew when Jameson was ready, ThinkBaby was going to be it!  It's easy for him to grasp and drink from, plus it doesn't leak!

Sophia's Baby Alive Super Snack Snackin' Lily

Sophia received this doll set as a gift for her birthday and she is obsessed!  Unfortunately, the two jars of playdough contain wheat so she couldn't use it.  We just replaced it with Model Magic so she could create food for her baby and change its diaper (it poos the food out.. It's gross concept, but she loves it!  lol).

The Greatest Showman

The entire Nikola Clan can't get enough of this movie or its soundtrack.  The story of P.T. Barnum's (yes, Barnum as in circus) vision is truly inspiring and as a musical is very entertaining.  You will not regret having a movie night with the family to watch this, promise!  You may even download the soundtrack and play it on your Alexa, just like us ;)

What are a few of your favorite things right now?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

When you can’t do it all...

“I can’t do it all” has been a phrase I’ve caught myself saying a lot recently.  No mama wants to admit she can’t balance everything, but I am here to tell you it’s OK to say that and I think it’s pretty normal to feel it.. at least that’s what I tell myself #lol

With all that said, I have to address the elephant in the room.  Within the past week, I’ve had several people reach out, asking if I’m still assisting others meet their health and fitness goals.

At this time, I am not offering my services simply because I have zero time to commit to helping others achieve their health goals. I am still affiliated with Beachbody because I love my shakes and swear by the fitness programs.  

If I had the time to fit it in, I 100% would #ilovedit

Since we added another Nikola to our Clan, I haven’t yet found a way to fit that back into my schedule.  It just wouldn’t be fair to do it now because I can’t dedicate the time it needs to actively coach and work my business...I can’t do it all #imok

I apologize to those who looked at me for motivation and inspiration.. I do believe 100% in living a healthy and fit lifestyle and although it can have its challenging moments, it can be done... I hope to continue to motivate and inspire you in different ways- not just when it comes to health and fitness 😉

I will continue to document my journey in the health and fitness world, sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Currently, I am incorporating 3-4 days of yoga (mainly to keep myself sane) and following a whole new nutrition plan that’s help me get past my prepreggo weight. #whoopwhoop, but that’s a whole new post coming soon!

For those who trusted and allowed me to help you meet your health and fitness goals, THANK YOU!  You taught me so much that I simply can’t put into words.. I applaud you in taking those steps to a healthier you and encourage you to sweat, sparkle, and shine! 

And mamas, don’t be ashamed of not being able “to do it all.”  Chances are, we aren’t realizing we are ALREADY doing so much! #truthbomb