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October 5, 2016

My New Shop...For All You Mama Bears!

Friends! I'm super excited to announce the GRAND OPENING of my Map Unknown Shop! Last month I opened the (virtual) doors and it's been SUCH a joy getting this baby of mine into the world! It is an extension of my blog/website, Map Unknown, and each and every product is designed by me, with fellow mama bears and their incredible kiddos in mind. You'll find racerback tanks, tees, mugs, baseball tees, (like this one!), kids tees, onesies, and lots more.
This suuuuuuuuuper soft baseball tee I'm wearing comes in over 15 color combos! What?! Get your kids sports team or school colors and represent! Come on over and take a gander!

All my love,
Mary Susan

August 28, 2016

Our New Vintage Jewelry Shop!

Hi Friends! I wanted to introduce you to the new shop my mother and I started this year: Zelvis Emporium. Zelvis Emporium features rare and vintage jewelry and handbags for the exceptional eccentric. We've had a blast selling these beauties!
 Visit us HERE at  https://www.etsy.com/shop/zelvisemporium and come take a look around at some of our unique one-of-a-kind pieces. ALL SHIPPING IN THE USA IS FREE!
Also, while you're at it, come visit me at my new blog www.mapunknown.org and let's get reacquainted :)
Happy Saturday!

April 14, 2016

Road Dogs and Special Education Updates - New Posts

Hi friends-
There are new posts over at Map Unknown :

Road Dogs. 
Abi's Experience in the Public School System So Far

There's also a new post on where we are in regards to Abi's feeding tube...

Come hang out in our new space!! www.mapunknown.org 

Happy Thursday friends! One more day until the weekend!

February 25, 2016

Ambulances, Dislocated Hips, Girls Night, & Mary Tyler Moore (and more).

These past few weeks I've been partying over on my new blog Map Unknown. 

Here are a few of the most recent posts:

Anatomy of a Weekend: Ambulances, Dislocated Hips, Girls Night, & Mary Tyler Moore

The Guessing Game of Special Needs: Learning Abi's Language

Go check it out! Also, if you feel so inclined, click here to follow the new blog on Bloglovin', or click HERE to sign up for weekly recaps!

Toot-a-loo friends!  Hope you're gearing up for a great weekend!

January 12, 2016

We've moved! COME WITH US!

Hi friends,

I LOVED blogging on this space for many years, and now I'm taking the party to a new site I created that I'm really excited about. The new blog is called Map Unknown and can be found at www.mapunknown.org . 

Come visit us there!

Much love!
mae mae

November 18, 2014

IEP Meeting 2014

Last week we had our second annual IEP meeting. I can't imagine how difficult that process might be for families when their school isn't a 'safe' place for their family. For us, however, Abi's school is like going to your favorite great-aunt's house. It's warm and inviting and exciting and you get the feeling that everybody is working behind the scenes to make sure Abi's time with them is the very best it can be. They are enthusiastic and positive and acknowledge Abi's many gifts. Our hour-long meeting was spent discussing Abi's strengths and the ways we can use those strengths to help her grow. 

Some highlights from the meeting:

- Assistive Technology team is providing a head-switch for Abi! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!
- Abi met her goal of being able to look at an object for 10 seconds. So, the team is also giving her an eye-gaze board!
- They are also supplying her teachers with a sensory pillow, and some other really exciting cause and effect pieces they think Abi will love. We will be able to check out any tools that are working and bring them home! 

Each member of the team: Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Classroom Teacher and Speech Therapist shared with me the things they were doing in class and the ways Abi was responding. I love that they are allowing Abi to pick books and songs for the class using the eye-gaze method. She is included in every aspect of the class except snack time. We did however, reach a major milestone, when at her classroom's Fall Party last month I was able to attend and assist Abi in eating some of a sugar cookie, orange icing and a little bit of grape juice! It was very exciting for me. While Abiella can safely eat by mouth it's still a delicate process with some anxiety attached if not done in ways her feeding therapist has shown me. I'm sure we will be joining snack time in the future, but for now, I have a peace with pulling her out. As a major benefit, while her classmates eat a snack, she gets to go to the floor and receive some extra one-on-one time with her physical therapists. They use both school PT's at the same time and she seems to love being with them. It's a wonderful way to give Abi something special during that time that she really enjoys.

I left the IEP meeting with half-a-dozen leftover muffins and the excitement that my girl is getting  an incredible education! So thankful.
mama mae mae

PS- This school is a public elementary school that has a free early childhood program for eligible students. Half of the students in the early childhood program have varying special needs and the other half is considered typical. It's an inclusive, half-day program, 4 days a week.

May 6, 2014

Abi's Tap Shoes

Last week I was in Goodwill when out of the corner of my eye I spotted these beauties. 

Thinking they were a good pair of neutral flats, I picked them up to see if they would fit Abi and discovered not only were they the right size but they were TAP SHOES. TAP. SHOES.
This was monumental for a few reasons.

Abi loves loud SOUNDS and since we are working on mobility, I thought tap shoes could be an awesome motivation.  We recently got a walker called a “kid-walk” (thanks to the amazing community of special needs mamas in this town).  This amazing piece of equipment holds her upright and allows her torso to be totally secure while she explores the mobility of her legs. She LOVES to kick when she’s lying down or in her chair. Now if we can get her to do that upright, I think the possibilities are endless . SO I figure if she likes the sounds of the tap shoes on the floor, she might be enticed to bring those kicking skills into our time with the walker.  “KICK! KICK! KICK! MARCH! MARCH! MARCH!”  These are our new favorite phrases -- Followed by lots of clapping and us both laughing. Right now I’m still putting her feet a little bit behind her and letting her feel what it’s like to push off on her own and roll backwards a little. Today I saw her trying to move forward a bit when I was out of her view. A little independent exploration is so very very awesome to see. 

Meanwhile, I found my own tap shoes in the back of my closet. Abi laughs hysterically every time I walk in them. This is going to be a fun and *noisy* summer. 
mae mae