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Ruby Mae’s Outfit of the Day: vintage floral denim dress by OshKosh B’gosh // pink bow belt by DownEast Basics.

Apr 14

Adjusting expectations.

Posted by Lookie Boo in Autism Awareness, Jude Dylan

Just because you’ve met one person with Autism, doesn’t you’ve met them all. I find this a common misconception made by most. A misconception I used to have. Jude is considered what some would label “high functioning”. Most people are surprised to also learn that he actually tested in the “moderate” category. April is Autism Awareness Month and in honor of that I’d like to share a little more about our personal journey.

Friday, I got ready (for far too long probably) and packed the kids up to go on Jude’s field-trip to our local fish hatchery. Thursday, when I had picked up Jude from Preschool his main teacher (aka my hero) said to me, “Are you excited for tomorrow!? It’s going to be a TOTALLY different visit than last year! He’s progressed so much!” I smiled widely and agreed. The last time we visited with Jude’s class, he had a REALLY hard time. Was laying down on the ground. Screaming. Trying to injure himself and being completely overwhelmed by the experience. His only way to escape/cope at that time was to run around in circles, hide under my legs, etc. I smiled wide because he HAS come so far. From completely non-verbal to ordering me around the house. From being unable to enter a grocery store without having a complete meltdown to asking me to to take him to Target so, “I can haz smoothie there, Mama!”

Upon arrival Friday, I was feeling even more excited. We’d miraculously arrived early. Both kids joyful. We were all wearing clean clothes and nobody had pissed themselves yet.

But once we came to the courtyard to meet up with our friends, I could tell he was upset. I wasn’t sure why. I wanted to comfort him so I offered all sorts of suggestions and tried to remain calm. “Are you hungry Bug? You probably need to eat lunch? No? You wanna run around with your friends?” His agitation continued and not even the attempts of his teachers and peers could calm him. I ended up having to put him in timeout at some point because he was so out of control.

After what felt like a very long, sweaty eternity, the tour guide came to welcome Jude’s class to come inside. Thank GOD, I thought. This will get easier now.

Once inside, the kids were asked to sit on the carpet while one of the tour guides talked with this giant stuffed fish about bugs or something. I’m not quite sure, because Jude was sitting in the middle of his classmates, crying. Wiping his snot all over his shirt. Two of his teachers continued to try and reason with him. I thought maybe if I sat with him, maybe then he’ll calm down. So I went to him and held him. Maybe if I rock him, I thought. So I began to sway from left to right. I rubbed his back and whispered “shh” in his ear. I smelled his smell, like frail hay and maple syrup. But he did not stop crying. When I tried to lift him to remove him from the group as to not be a bigger distraction, he made his limbs loose and fought me. As if he was putting all of his dead-weight and then some. A teacher lifted him and tried to take him for a walk outside. Nope. Ruby tried to comfort him, hug him. Nope. His trapped frustration only grew.

Eventually, I caved. I told myself to let it go. Let go of the expectation that Jude was going to have a different experience this year. I pulled Ruby and Jude’s hands and began to drag them both out of the room, embarrassed. Feeling like a complete failure.

During our walk of shame out the door, his teachers gave me soft, understanding looks of support. While almost out the door, Jude’s main teacher said softly, “I’m so sorry.” This is where I lost it, I tried really hard not to cry, but the tears left my throat and escaped my eyes. “Thank you. It’s okay” I choked out.

The walk back to the car was about 1/4 of a mile. The whole way, the three of us sobbed. Sobbing and pissed off at Autism. For taking away Jude’s ability to communicate his frustrations. For reminding me that no matter what plans and expectations I may have in my head, Autism can strike. For making me angry and wondering why I’m not “good enough” to fix my child’s pain. Ruby cried how it wasn’t fair. She’d sat like a good girl. She’d done everything she should, everything I told her to. Why was she now being punished?

We got to the car and I continued to feel hot, wet, unstoppable tears. I strapped the kids in and sat in the drivers seat, beginning to feel the cool air from the air-conditioning tickling my face. I wiped my tears away with a napkin. I took a handful of deep breaths. I put my shoulders back. I remembered I am in control of my own happiness. I reminded myself I have to be strong for my children.

So I put on music as we drove away, only 30 minutes after the field-trip had begun, singing at the top of my lungs. At first Jude was more agitated. But I just kept singing. Ruby looked confused. But eventually, they both joined me. Not knowing the words to Death Cab For Cutie, but sing-mumbling their little hearts out.

In that moment I knew we would be okay. We had escaped from Autism for a while. We didn’t allow one small defeat contradict the rest of our day. Everything was gonna be just fine.

When we got home, Jude came and laid in my bed. I laid my head down next to him. He placed his small, cool hand on my sweaty forehead. “Mama? I love you Mama. I’m gonna hug you.” he said, sweetly. He wrapped his tiny toddler arms around me. Tears began to fall again, but not because I was sad. Because I was lucky. Lucky to experience the gift of unconditional love and affection my children give away so freely.

There are times where I am so pissed off that my son was not born “typical”. I watch him struggling and upset and I want to fix it for him, take it all away. I resent it when I begin to pity myself because I know, “It could be worse”. I’ve learned to so quickly dismiss myself. Yet, sometimes our frustrations sneaks up on us. So quickly it punches us all in the gut. No matter what we’ve done to prepare ourselves, its unavoidable. No amount of therapy, school, books can take that feeling away. They teach us to lessen it. I remember one of Jude’s first therapists told me a few years ago, “Just wait. Things WILL get better.” She was absolutely right. We’ve gone from life feeling borderline unlivable to functioning well.

My son Jude is one of the happiest people I know. He doesn’t care if you’ve just met, he is probably going to give you a hug and try to kiss you too. He fills our lives with so much joy and spontaneity. I’m thankful for the journey we’ve embarked on, and the obstacles we will crush in the future.

1400439_10153567739945374_880073876_oAmanda Rose Photography

Remember that one time I gave away an epic SOL REBUBLIC Deck Portable Bluetooth Speaker System? Ya. Some dude named Bob won and everyone was like, “WE HATE YOU BOB. DIE BOB. YOU’RE THE WORST HUMAN EVER, BOB.” Things got heated real quick. So, Bob I have some great news for you, I am doing another SOL REPUBLIC giveaway. I hope the death threats stop and you can find a way to move forward with your life.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet SOL REPUBLIC’s Master Tracks Over-Ear Headphones.

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I recently gifted these to my handsome husbie, Michael for his birthday.

He had no clue they were coming and he was so excited that I’m pretty positive a squeal came out.

IMG_5251Do you want to feel pure joy like this bearded fellow? I thought so.

First, lets talk in detail about how freaking awesome these Master Tracks actually are.

master tracks interchangable sol republic lookie boo 2Master Tracks are the first interchangeable over-ear headphones to deliver the ultimate immersive music experience.

I think the absolute most revolutionary thing about these headphones is that they are completely customizable. I can’t tell you how many pairs of headphones I’ve had where the cable gets twisted wrong and just stops working. With these? Since they come completely apart, you can just replace the cable. So they will last you as long as you want them to. Not to mention said cables come in rad colors. The same customizable options are available for the headset piece. Check out SOL REPUBLIC’s website to see all the prints available. They also have some sweet College Team headbands if you or someone you love is a big fan.

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Here’s some more information straight from SOL REPUBLIC: Committed to changing the world one listener at a time, SOL REPUBLIC is proud to announce the arrival of its Master Tracks over-ear headphones in three signature colors: gunmetal, white and blue. Built from the groundbreaking Tracks on-ear headphone platform, Master Tracks over-ear headphones offer virtually indestructible, interchangeable headband and cables for total customization and personalization. Unique to Master Tracks are the new X3 Sound Engines that deliver an immersive music experience balanced with powerful bass, clear highs and vocal accuracy. 

 Scott Hix, SOL REPUBLIC President, notes: “Since we announced Master Tracks in January we have been inundated with requests to see it, listen to it and to buy it. Now available at our retail partners, Master Tracks are an extension of our commitment to offer every music lover a comfortable over-ear headphone with incredible sound and style.” 

SOL REPUBLIC believes if music sounds better it feels better and that headphones should reflect your sense of style and be built to last. With our carefully chosen materials, colors, and finishes, Master Tracks let you personalize your headphones  – making them the ultimate music fan’s accessory. Like SOL REPUBLIC’s Tracks headphones, Master Tracks are virtually indestructible. Constructed from SOL REPUBLIC’s proprietary polymer called FlexTech™, Master Tracks Sound Track headbands can withstand heavy and frequent use without breaking.

New X3 Sound Engine Delivers An Immersive Sound Experience
SOL REPUBLIC is made up of music fanatics who want to bring great sound to the masses. Inspiration for the sound of the X3 Sound Engines came from the music experiences you get from a great-sounding nightclub. While not all clubs sound the same, the best ones have big, immersive sound systems so well powered that what you hear is controlled, dynamic, tight and clean. What you feel is the power and emotion of the music without it just being “loud.” 

To provide that rich, deep and powerful sound, Master Tracks feature SOL REPUBLIC’s new X3 Sound Engine, delivering super-deep bass that stays amazingly tight with smooth, controlled highs. But the true beauty lies in the X3’s mid range, which replicates vocals with detailed authenticity. Mid-range is where voice lives and because most people know what it’s supposed to sound like, many manufacturers tune around it if they cannot reproduce it accurately. Master Tracks X3 Sound Engines deliver mid-range vocals so clearly, that we showcase it instead of hiding it. 

Gunmetal, Blue and White Master Tracks are available now at SOLREPUBLIC.com and at leading retailers worldwide, including Apple, Best Buy and Target, for $199.99. Separate Ion Green, Progressive Purple and Fluoro Red Remix Sound Track Headband colors are also available in mid-June at SOL REPUBLIC.com for $39.99. Master Tracks come standard with 3-button mic and control cable and an all-new reinforced nylon ripstop fabric carry case, and are backed by a 1,000-day headband guarantee where SOL REPUBLIC will replace a band in the unlikely event that it breaks. SOL REPUBLIC continues to set the bar in what a music lover should expect from headphones.

Follow SOL REPUBLIC on Twitter.  Like SOL REPUBLIC on Facebook.

Want to win a pair of SOL REPUBLIC Master Track Headphones (retail $199.00)?! Follow the prompts below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 09

Ruby Mae’s Outfit of the Day!

Posted by Lookie Boo in Brags, Ruby Mae, Toddler Girls

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Ruby Mae’s Outfit of the Day: Nautical Anchor & Sailboats Romper from Old Navy // red velvet ballet flats from H&M.

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Outfits from H&M.

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Beautiful Hailey is our #lookieboo of the Day! Thanks to her Mama @jgvaldeezy for tagging @lookieboo on Instagram!

In early March I had the pleasure of throwing a vintage Star Wars themed birthday party for Walker, my adorable client.

Cookies by  Bake My Day and cake by All Occasion Cakes!

Photos by  Amanda Rose Photography! Check out her Photography Blog & like Amanda Rose Photography.

I was thrilled when Maria, Walker’s Mom, hired me to help plan his Vintage Star Wars Party! Maria was able to find some really awesome authentic vintage party supplies and posters (thanks internet!) that I think blend in a cool, eclectic vibe with the items I made. My favorite thing I made was the large navy “W” marquee light! It’s hard to tell in these photos, but it fully lights up. I also made an awesome Death Star Pinata and pool noodle light sabers that aren’t pictured.

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Picture Package6Picture Package3“You R2D2 good to me” free printable by AleciaDawn Photography.

1118R2D2 Water bottle free printable by Upper Stuart General Store

13Picture Package412“The force is strong with this one” free printable by A Bubbly Life (available in 3 color schemes)

1619Vintage Star Wars character photo-props from Star Wars // Star Wars Quote photo-props by Clairedays

 

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Shop Winter Water Factory Boys Online

Shop Winter Water Factory Girls Online

Winter Water Factory is a Brooklyn-based design and manufacturing company specializing in screen printed textiles and organic kids’ clothing.  Fresh, bold, and beautiful textile prints are the signature of Winter Water Factory. Printed on soft organic cotton and fashioned into classic designs, our line of kids’ clothing has been a great success with retailers and consumers alike. We believe in creating high-quality products for a healthy planet. Every item is crafted from 100% certified organic cotton and is made in the USA—from the fabric to the final stitch.

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Shop Winter Water Factory Online

 

 

Winter Water Factory is a Brooklyn-based design and manufacturing company specializing in screen printed textiles and organic kids’ clothing.  Fresh, bold, and beautiful textile prints are the signature of Winter Water Factory. Printed on soft organic cotton and fashioned into classic designs, our line of kids’ clothing has been a great success with retailers and consumers alike. We believe in creating high-quality products for a healthy planet. Every item is crafted from 100% certified organic cotton and is made in the USA—from the fabric to the final stitch.

 

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Adorable Brady is our #lookieboo of the Day! Thanks to his Mama @kelli_eliz for tagging @lookieboo on Instagram!

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Excited and honored to be chosen to be a part of Listen To Your Mother Sacramento cast this year! 

I’ll be the one vomiting into a bag. Check out the rest of the cast!

Buy your ticket now! Ticket sales benefit WEAVE, inc. !

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Location: The Guild Theater  (2828 35th St, Sacramento) Date: Saturday May 10, 2014 Times: 2pm and 6pm

 

The mission of each LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER production is to take the audience on a well-crafted journey that celebrates and validates mothering through giving voice to motherhood–in all of its complexity, diversity, and humor–in the form of original readings performed live on-stage by their authors.

LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER aims to support motherhood creatively through artistic expression, and also financially–through contributions to non-profit organizations supporting families in need. Each LTYM show donates a minimum of 10% of ticket proceeds to a local cause, as well as providing the cause awareness/fund-raising opportunities.

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Ruby Mae’s outfit of the day: vintage dress that was mine as a toddler & red velvet ballet shoes from H&M. Edie’s (left) outfit is from Old Navy and baby Faye’s onesie is from Baby Gap // skirt Old Navy // Saltwater Sandals.

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Ruby’s outfit of the day: navy striped peplum top from Target // petal pushers & red velvet shoes from H&M.

Mar 20

An open letter to Matt Walsh.

Posted by Lookie Boo in Discuss

Dear Matt,

Today my friend Miranda passed along this blog that you wrote in reference to a 9 year old little BOY who wore a My Little Pony backpack to school and this was physically and emotionally bullied at school. She wrote this blog in response and I also recommend reading that. You may learn something.

In your blog you wrote, This next part probably won’t come as a surprise, but here it is: I wouldn’t let my son wear a My Little Pony backpack to school. I don’t think anyone should. I wouldn’t let my son wear the backpack, I would discourage him from being a fan of the show, and I would and will guide my son away from “girly” things and towards “boyish” things. If my son wanted to wear a skirt, I wouldn’t let him. If he wanted me to buy him a Barbie doll, I wouldn’t buy it. If he wanted his room adorned in My Little Pony paraphernalia, I wouldn’t do it. Both my son and my daughter will not be able to do everything they want to do, nor “express themselves” in every way they wish to express themselves. In fact, my wife and I will have a lot to do with shaping their “selves,” thereby shaping their expression.”

Well guess what Matt? My son is 4.5 and he loves My Little Pony. Loves it.

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Jude on his 4th Birthday, playing with his gay-ole-unicorns. Look, the one on the left even has RAINBOW hair.

You talk a lot it seems about how the “modern world” is trying to make a big deal out of something that isn’t? What does our modern world say about us when a 17 month old baby is beaten to death for playing with “girly” toys. Ya. That murderer? He’s on your team.

You know what I think would be a better use of your time than teaching your son not to be effeminate? Teaching your son about love, kindness, empathy and friendship.

As I said my son loves a lot of “girly” cartoons. He also loves the shit out of cars, trucks and other “boy” things. My son has something called Autism Spectrum Disorder. This may come as a complete shock to you? But, not everyone is (or should be) the same. The world is not black and white.

If Jude asked my husband & I for a My Little Pony backpack? We’d give it to him. Why? Because 1. It’s a miracle that he had the ability to ask for the things he wants/needs. 2. It doesn’t hurt anyone else or effect anyone else’s life in any way.

I hope your children are healthy and happy in every way, however consider for a second they weren’t. Consider that at the age of 1.5 your son begins to act and behave in a way that is not “typical”. Consider what your world may look like if your son was diagnosed with Autism. Would you attempt to teach him to be UN-Autistic? Would you force him to hide his hand flapping or twitching or love for My Little Pony? If the answer is yes, you make me sick. Literally, physically ill. It also doesn’t take Autism to recognize that My Little Pony is effing awesome, but I digress.

See, the thing is not everyone is identical. Life doesn’t always go the way you plan and you can’t always pick and choose the things that can and will happen to your children. You may think that you can shape, mold and steer your children into an exact life as you see fit. You may even be successful at that for awhile. But ultimately our children will grow into adults that can and will choose the things they like and dislike. Life may throw them a few curve balls, but if we consistently instill in them love, empathy, respect and compassion? Then we will know that we have done everything we can to help them.

Dare I say that small minded (or as you affectionately call yourself “old fashioned”) persons are the reason that this 9 year old child was bullied in the first place? Hate is a taught practice. Brainwashing your son that BLUE MEANS BOY is the reason he may see a child at school in pink and get confused. Become angry even. After all, HIS Daddy told him that blue is for boys NOT pink. Pink and boys is bad. This becomes very confusing to children. It is not the boy who is wearing pink who is at fault. It is the parent of the bully at fault for not teaching him to find self esteem in building other people up, regardless of their appearances.

Another important practice is to teach our children? WORRY ABOUT OURSELVES. If something doesn’t affect your life in any direct way? Don’t worry yourself with it then!

Teach your son that not everyone is the same. Teach your son that if he sees a 4.5 year old with adorable curly blond hair bouncing around singing Frozen or My Little Pony songs it doesn’t mean he isn’t a good enough boy. That maybe that little boy thinks with a different brain than you do and its none of your business what other people like, wear or do. Instead of judging that little boy, teach your son to be friendly and ask why he likes such things. Find something that you both DO like and talk about that. Be kind to him and treat him as you would anyone else. If you don’t want to be best friends, that’s okay. We don’t have to like everyone, but we do have to treat them with kindness and respect. We do have to treat our friends how we would like to be treated.

My point is basically this, at the end of the day our children will grow into adults and I’m hoping mine to be loving if nothing else.

The kind of adult that would NEVER write a blog like the one you did today.

 

-Tiffany Reese

 

Mar 17

Jude’s Outfit of the Day!

Posted by Lookie Boo in Boys, Brags, Jude Dylan, Toddler Boys

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Jude’s outfit of the day: Jean jacket & Junk Food slip ons via Baby Gap // button down by Joe’s and green trousers by Cherokee via Target. Happy St. Patrick’s Day all!

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Jude & Ruby yesterday evening sporting their Hello Apparel neon tanks.

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Ruby’s outfit of the day: Kitten Tee from Target // tutu & tights Baby Gap // ballet flats Old Navy.

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Adorable Lennon is our #lookieboo of the Day! Thanks to her Mama @itsalybetch for tagging @lookieboo on Instagram!

Mar 13

Ruby’s Outfit of the Day!

Posted by Lookie Boo in Brags, Girls, Ruby Mae, Toddler Girls

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Ruby Mae’s Outfit of the Day: dress H&M // leggings & sunglasses Circo via Target // sandals Old Navy.

As previously mentioned, we are making an extra effort to spend more time outside this year. So far, one thing I have noticed about the most popular parents at the park? They roll prepared. So, I’ve decided to make myself less embarrassing to my children and putting together a Park Party Bag to keep in the car. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far based on watching cooler parents than I. Please feel free to share your ideas!

Be the coolest Mom at the park {unlike me}

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Ruby & Jude’s Outfits of the Day! Ruby: jacket from Baby Gap // tank H&M USA // jeggings, hat & shoes via Target. Jude’s outfit Cherokee Boys via Target.