“Not Mad. Motivated.” to Find Solutions

Life presents obstacles . . . daily. It is sometimes the smallest, most mundane difficulty which seems to multiple any other hardships you are experiencing. You know what I mean, right? You are juggling the ‘world’ while cooking dinner and making sure the kids are participating in virtual learning and then . . . you spill a cup a milk. The reality is that we sometimes cry over the [tip-of the-iceberg] ‘spilled milk’. After that “cry”, it’s time for a “Not Mad. Motivated. to find solutions” mindset.

This year, most of us have found ourselves at home more then usual. With schools closing in March and virtual school this fall, my youngest son has much more time and opportunity to get into things. He is quick and quiet when he wants to be. And he has proven that toothbrushes, toothpaste, and shampoo are not safe around him. Regardless of his special needs, I must teach him how to interact with household items. However, until that lesson is learned, solutions were needed to relieve some unnecessary stress.

More time home? More time for small hands to be busy!

1. Wall Mounted Adhesive Toothbrush Organizer Stand

Many toothbrushes – and a few tubes of toothpaste – have gone missing over the past few months. Some have been recovered, often behind beds and mostly in a bare state (without bristles). After buying yet another pack of toothbrushes, I decided to look into a solution to keep these valuable grooming tools safe.

I decided to give a wall mounted toothbrush organizer a try. The system should be sufficient for two people – I purchased one for each bathroom. It is easy to assemble and to secured with the included adhesive strip. After a month, there is been no issues with it moving or shifting, and no toothbrushes have gone missing. A win so far!

2. Door Monkey Door Lock & Pinch Guard

We recently had a room change in my house. My youngest son moved out of a room that was his for most of his eight year. I expected that he would continue to go to this room and treat it as his own, even though his brother’s belongings would now be in there.

I thought about adding a chain lock to the outside of the interior doors; although I did not like this idea. I was ecstatic to find a temporary solution that did not require drilling, plus every one who is suppose to open the doors could easily do so. It keeps the door slightly open, but can be pulled off with no problem when complete privacy is needed. However, it only works if it is on the door, so remembering to return it is important to our success!

3. Rustproof Suction Basket

Have you ever spent a little extra money for a good bottle of shampoo or conditioner – and then see it going down the drain? I had my new bottles of hair care items in the reach of my son while he was in the bathroom. What a mistake! I went to the next room, briefly, and I returned to see his bath water full of my investment. When I replaced my shampoo and conditioner, I also picked up an handy basket to keep items higher .

The suction on this basket has been 100 percent reliable so far. My son has not paid too much attention to it yet. If he started pulling at it, I will really see what it is made of. However, for now, it is serving it’s purpose – eliminating a small bit of unnecessary stress from my day!

Bonus Solution: A “It’s-Right-Here” Fanny Pack

I recently purchased a fanny pack in hopes that it would help me keep up with medicine, and small items that I may need at anytime. Here are some items I keep in my “It’s-Right-Here” fanny pack:

  • Nose Spray
  • Nail Kit (clippers, emery board, nail file. . .)
  • Box Cutter (for opening and breaking down boxes)
  • Eye glass screwdriver (mainly for tightening small screws)
  • Assortment of writing utensils (pen, pencil, Sharpie, Expo marker)

What would you keep in yours?

Not Mad. Motivated. to Find Solutions

Sometime, the smaller obstacles in our daily lives can feel tremendous when they are placed among other taxing problems. Look for solutions that can help ease those smaller obstacles. You will not only relieve a little stress but you could also build up confident and motivation to conquer bigger tasks! Your ability to problem-solve is infinite. Get creativity and find what works for you! And remember, do Not get Mad. Get Motivated. to find solutions!

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Celebrate Often: Indestructible Books

Since the closing of school in March, I have thrown away several books that my young son, Hadith, destroyed. Hadith is big on hand fidgeting and it has become clearer in the last few weeks just how much he enjoys turning, flapping, and overall manipulating paper products with his hands. However, his paper play often ends up with torn pages and strips of paper littering the floor. Then I remembered. . . Indestructible Books!

It was last year, in 2019, when I first saw an indestructible books. We were at the local Special Olympics spring games and Hadith’s class was participating. This was a huge event since schools from the entire county attended. While waiting for schools to and getting ready for the opening parade, my son became a bit unsettled. That is when his teacher handed him an indestructible book that he happily played with for a time.

Unexpectedly, this memory flashed through my mind last week as I thought about his “relationship” with paper. I thought that maybe having indestructible books at home would fulfill his hand fidgeting need and reduce the incidence of other books and papers being destroyed. I immediately ordered several books, two of which were delivered this week.

What are Indestructible Books?

The books I purchased were published by Workman Publishing. They are advertised as chew-proof and rip-proof. The 100% nontoxic, paper-like material is even washable. They do seem to hold up pretty well. The one that my son plays with at school is over a year old and still in tact – which is really good! Most reviews on Amazon were also very positive.

Indestructible Books book set!
This book set should arrive next week!

The books are simple stories. They introduce concepts (such as counting, shapes, or numbers), nursery rhymes (such as Row, Row, Row Your Boat and the Itsy Bitsy Spider), places (such as the city, the farm, and the neighborhood), and more. These are great for story time with a young child. However, they are also great for an older child who may need the sensory input (without the mess).

Celebrate Often: Indestructible Books

Having an Autistic son with developmental and academic delays, who is also very curious, creative, and spontaneous can be quite the challenge and quite the adventure. When challenges occur, being able to find creative solutions are important. Chewed up, torn apart books have been a problem in our house. Will indestructible books be the solution to that problem? Maybe not completely, but I believe they will help drastically. We will let you know how it is going in a few months.

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Celebrate Often – Even Now

We are officially in week two of no school. Assignments for my middle schooler are piling up. I am behind on lessons with my second grade, special needs son. Even more, my middle schooler and forth grader have already had to be separate. However, I can still find ways to celebrate often – even now!

Celebrate Often - Even Now
Make sure to celebrate often, even during times of uncertainty!

Stuck at Home

Having three sons – ages 12(E), 9(S), and 8(H) – in a three bedroom home means someone is sharing. Although I am grateful for the space we have, figuring out the best rooming arrangement has been difficult. For most of the time, E had his own room; while S and H shared a room. Last year, S was done with this arrangement! Since H is Autistic, his sleep pattern can unexpectedly become unpredictable. He might be up laughing or turning on lights at midnight. He would even climb up the bunk bed steps and bounce S awake, that is if he made it to sleep.

Eventually, we decided to move S into the room with E. It has “worked” for some month, although every couple of weeks or so they are fighting about something. But after last week’s pushing and hitting, E and S are in separate rooms. H is with me for now. H doesn’t seem to care about what changes we have going on. He keeps running to “his room” every night. So we are working on a few big adjustments right now. Regardless of the challenges, we can still celebrate!

Celebrate Often: Opportunities to Learn

Although I feel like my “home-schooling” abilities are lacking, I appreciated that this crisis has forced me to be even more hands-on with my sons’ education. It has been somewhat stressful, on top of my full time job, but it is also rewarding. E has lots of homework, but at least I know that he is turning it in . . . and not losing or forgetting it! As far as S, he has been more self-sufficient, but it has been nice to have a physical book to “teach” out of versus just going over homework.

H’s teacher gave me a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) manual and H’s binder of pictures so I can work with him at home. I am very much excited to learn more in hopes to help his ability to communicate more effectively.

Furthermore, I started a free online course, The Science of Well-Being through Coursera.

Celebrate Often: Opportunities to Explore

Being stuck at home does not mean we cannot explore. Check out this list of virtual field trips, which also includes “lesson ideas, activities and book suggestions to extend the learning for each type of destination.” We have also used YouTube to explore one of my favorite aquariums, the Monterey Bay Aquarium (Monterey, CA), our favorite local museum, the Museum of Life and Science (Durham, NC), and our to-visit-once-we-can-travel-again, Stone Mountain State Park (Roaring Gap, NC).

Exploring does not have to be all about places. Explore your talents! Do you like to sketch, or up for a sketching challenge? Check out author/illustrator Remy Lai on Twitter (@Remy_Lai) for the #sketchwithremy theme of the day. You do not have to be a professional illustrator to participate, just have fun!

Further explore your creativity with downloadable activities from writer/illustrator Jarrett Lerner. You will find a variety of blank comic book pages, “Finish This Comic!” comics, and drawing/writing prompts. There is plenty to explore on this website!

Celebrate Often: Being Apart Brings Us Together

As we all experience this world-wide pandemic, we are able to witness people all over the world giving support in ways that may be unique to their regular lives. Authors are having online book readings to help bring comfort to us in our new reality. Neighborhoods are organizing bear and scavenger hunts to indirectly connect with and support each other.

One huge way that I witnessed people come together, in terms of numbers alone, was on Instagram. This weekend, DJ dnice hosted a nine hour ‘party’ for more than 100,000 of his “closest friends”! People from all over the world came together to dance, sing, or just listen together! It was a wonderful experience within a difficult time. I can imagine the people who got dressed up to “go to Club Quarantine”!

Support Not Mad. Motivated.

Times are difficult for so many people all around the world. We are Praying for everyone’s safety and well-being. You are not alone. Stay in contact with people. Check on each other. Everyone is in need of some type of support. Hopefully, this post have added a little something positive to your day. If so, leave a comment, subscribe to our newsletter and blog, or visit our shop to purchase Not Mad. Motivated. merchandise.