Hanging With the Huies »

Hi friends!

I took a couple weeks off from posting so I thought it would be fun to sit down, chat about what we’ve been up to, and have a cup of coffee together!

To watch via YouTube click here

A little update on Weston and his summer program woes (which I chatted about in the vlog).

He’s loving summer program! It took him a day to get adjusted to the change but he’s having blast and was tickled to make new friends. Whew I was a but nervous but he was excited to go each day and I think in the long run it will be good for him to experience the change of meeting new teachers and making new friends.

Connect with our community over in our private Facebook group. You can find it by clicking HERE or searching “Hanging with the Huies Friends” on Facebook

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Summer isn’t really my jam. We live in Texas aka HOT HOT HOT and y’all the heat and I aren’t really friends. We just kind of tolerate each other, you know what I mean? To get myself jazzed up for the scorching hot days coming our way I needed to create a little summer excitement.

Enter our summer bucket list!

I created a fall bucket list in the past. It was fun and I noticed the years that I made the time to craft a bucket list I was more focused to get that fun in. If it’s on the list it has to happen, right? Okay I’m not that strict about it. If it happens great, if not no big deal. The list just helps set the plan in motion and get my boys as well as myself excited for what’s to come.  I’m more apt to look into events around town and ways to keep us active and enjoying the season if I have a plan in place.

The boys and I set down with paper and crayons and created our list together. I made a rough draft while Weston drew a picture of the things we were adding to our list. Weston came up with some great ideas (Backyard Camp Out, Go to the Movies, See a Puppet Show, Trip to the Carnival) all in his own. He’s so very excited and keeps asking if it’s summer yet.

I wanted to share our list with you in hopes it gives you a few ideas to sprinkle a little fun into your summer!

I’ll be back next week with my summer bucket list! I have some fun things I’m excited about! I plan to sit down with the camera for that one so we can have a little chat while I go over my summer plans with you!

PS……..
In the next few days I’ll be checking in with the ladies in my private Facebook group to chat about all things summer! We’ll also be doing a summer bucket list challenge where we check in and share how our adventures are going. If you would like to join in you can find our group  HERE. It’s a more private place to connect and chat verses our blog’s Facebook page.

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I love to plan lessons for my boys around books as well use books as a tool to get my boys ready for an upcoming adventure. Our most recent adventure was a trip to the zoo! About a week before our trip I stopped by the library and chatted with one of my favorite librarians about all things zoo themed.

She asked if I was interested in looking into anything off the list I had brought in (courtesy of Pinterest) to which I said “YES!!!” She left for a few moments and came back with arms full of books for our library bag even a zoo themed CD.

Hugs to all the awesome librarians out there!

I checked out the zoo themed books I found on Pinterest along with the books she recommend and headed home with a full and happy library bag!

My boys are fans of reading and rereading books over and over annnnnnnd over so to say we loved on those books that week leading up to our zoo adventure would be an understatement. The books I found on Pinterest were fine but the ones that got the most love were the books our librarian recommend. They know their stuff!

Since they were such huge hits I thought I would share them with you!

Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo:
This was their favorite and one I’m sure we’ll be checking out again! It’s a quirky story about how the Flu um I mean Floo came to be. While it focuses is on Felicity’s trip to the zoo it would also be a good tool in talking about keeping our germs to ourselves.

 

The Baby BeeBee Bird:
The boys thought this book was hilarious! It’s a cute story about the zoo animals welcoming their new friend the BeeBee bird. The BeeBee bird keeps the other animals up all night. Tired and cranky the animals work together to find a fix for their sleepless night problem.

 

Wild About Us:
I’m a sucker for beautiful illustrations in children’s books and oh boy does this one have it! Not only is a beautiful book it’s provides a great opportunity for a powerful conversation about embracing our differences. This is one I’ll be purchasing for our book self and giving as gifts at childrens birthday parties….shoot I know a few adults that can stand to learn this lesson as well!

 

That’s Good That’s Bad:
We actually lucked into buying this one at a local thrift store. It’s been a hit in our home for a few months so I excited to see that our librarian give it her stamp of approval with her recommendations. Another book with great illustrations and a powerful life lesson. It’s fun to read, my boys get a good laugh out of it, and I can think of tons of lessons we can use it for. Even if you’re not looking for zoo themed books this one as well as Wild About Us would be great library rentals for your littles.

 

Giraffes Can’t Dance:
A much loved hit and while it’s not zoo focused per se it’s packed full of animals you will see at the zoo. It’s a fun story about a giraffe who loves to dance but takes a little time to find his way past his long wobble legs.

 

Bonus Tip: Throughout the week I hyped up a fun movie night to round out our week of zoo themed goodness. I rented the old Jungle Book from the library (please tell me you love on your local library). We talked about the characters in the movie during the week and had fun pointing out the animals we were seeing at the zoo that we would also be seeing in the movie later that night. A movie night was the perfect chill activity after a busy day at the zoo!

Our zoo trip was a hit and I know these books aided in my boys excitement for our adventure!

What are some of your favorite zoo themed children’s books?

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I’m a bit of a podcast junkie and have several that I like to check in with from time to time. When I’m not with boys I usually have ear buds in listening to podcast or the occasional audio book (I just finished the audio version of “Where’d You Go Bernadette” so so good!). Having a little audio entertainment is the perfect fit for the season I’m in as I’m able to be productive during those kid moments while still getting a bit of a mental escape.

In a previous post (you can find it here) I shared my favorite variety podcast. There’s a little bit of something for everyone on that list but today I want to focus on some of my favorites that are centered around motherhood.

Most of these podcast are formatted very closely (host + co host + guest being interviewed on various topics). I’m not going to go into too much detail about each podcast since they are so similar format wise but I will note the ones that are a touch different in my description below.

Coffee + Crumbs:
Bloggers and now podcasters these mamas are so fun to listen to as they chime in on different topics centered around motherhood and lifestyle. I always feel like I’m sitting with some of my girlfriends having a chat when I tune in. Their honesty and realness about topics such as miscarriage, marriage and motherhood make this one of my most favorite motherhood podcast.


The Longest Shortest Time:
I love the variety of the topics on this podcast from family planning, to kids views on politics to how friendships change when babies are born. If you love to learn about diversity in families and the different paths people take to become parents I have a feeling you’ll love this podcast as much as I do.

 The Thrifty Little Mom:
A variety of topics all with a thriftiness in mind.

Motherhood in Hollywood:
This is a bit hard for me to explain but let me try…..
Heather the host interviews people in “the business” such as musicians, reality stars, actresses to name a few. During their interviews they chat about the ins and outs of the business and share how they are handling motherhood. I really enjoyed the recent interview with Lisa Loeb. I love her yet I had no idea she’s now writing children’s music or that she’s from Dallas. Ummm I live in Dallas HOW DID I NOT KNOW THAT!?! The host is a bit chatty in the begging but I promise the interviews are fun and interesting.

Lighten Up:
I love Melanie’s fun personality!

Respectful Parenting:
This is one I could have saved for my parenting podcast list but it really helps on my hard mama days so I figured I would toss it in with the motherhood list. Janet’s podcasts are short and to the point. I love hearing what she has to stay about the different struggles in parenting. A viewer writes in a parenting question and Janet dives deep into ways to support. It’s usually on those days that I’m struggling to find patients for the boys that I tune into this podcast. Janet’s voice is so calm and her views on parenting are just what I need to hear on those rough mama days.

This is the part where I’m going to start getting a bit redundant if I continue with podcast descriptions (remember what I mentioned above about similar formatting).
I will say that each of the podcast below bring their our flair and personality which is why I so enjoy listening to them but as far as formatting (host, co host, occasional guest) the post cast below are delivered in a similar style.


The Mom Hour:
Host Megan and Sarah are so fun. I find myself binge listening to this one from time to time.

Power of Moms Radio

The Mom Life

The Masterpiece Mom

Marvelous Moms:
I always enjoy her guest who are usually mamas doing awesome things through motherhood!

Extraordinary Moms

This Inspired Life

The Mom Inspired Showed

That was some list huh?
I sure hope you found a few new to you podcast. f you haven’t seen my other podcast post be sure to check that out as there’s a little something for everyone on that list.

What are your favorite podcast?

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  • Jessica Awad - I’ve been looking for podcasts like these. Thank you for taking the time to research and give us your favorites!!ReplyCancel

 

Hi!  I’m Shauna, a 31-year-old wife and mama of two, Hailey (6) and Colton (almost 2).  I am a nursing student but when I have free time I enjoy long walks down every single aisle of Target, iced coffee and spending time with my family. I have been a fan of Hanging With the Huies for a couple of years now and love that Kendra has created this lovely little place to invite all of us to see beautiful glimpses of her life, because y’all she is one beautiful person inside and out and I have grown to really adore her and her little family.  I hope to one day hug her neck and catch up over a cup of coffee.

When Kendra asked me to join this week’s guest post, not only was I flattered and somewhat nervous, but an idea immediately came to mind on what to write about… infertility.  For so long it was my identity and my world that it seemed natural that I would use that to reach others.  But something kept pulling at me to go in a different direction, telling me I had a more important story to tell.  So, here I sit, in a raw state of emotion still not sure how I will get through this dry eyed – I am sure I won’t.

Becoming a Mom. I will never forget that morning.  The morning I woke up at 4 AM as I often did to obsessively run to the bathroom to see if today was different, and on this morning it was, because for the first time after years of trying, failed fertility treatments, a lot of tears, and a whole lotta pregnancy tests, there it was, that second pink line I had always hoped for.  I remember waking up my soundly sleeping husband yelling, “THERE ARE TWO LINES… TWO LINES!!” It is one of my favorite memories.  As most mamas do, I began dreaming about who this tiny person would be, what he or she would look like and who they would become.  Of course, when Hailey Jo arrived, she was perfect.  I loved being a mom from the moment I held her and my days were filled with pouring into this tiny being.

 Photo Credit: Ashley Rocha Photography

Parenting. I had been around enough kids to know that parenting would be hard.  I had researched, read every book, and discussed discipline views with Tim, the whole nine yards.  The late nights, the millions of diapers, the challenges, we were ready.  We were going to rock this parenting gig.  I don’t know that there is a person, or book, or experience in the world that can prepare you for the trenches we have gone through with Hailey because what none of those books could ever prepare me for was raising a child with anxiety and sensory processing disorder.

Challenges. It must have been at about age three when we really started struggling.  Others didn’t really notice a difference in Hailey but we noticed.  The challenges we faced were nothing I had ever dreamed.  At first, and for a long time, I thought I was doing something wrong, that Hailey was poorly disciplined and that this was all behavioral.  Then, we got pregnant with our sweet Colton.  At the same time, Tim began working out of town so it was just Hailey and I on our own.  I began noticing times when Hailey seemed overwhelmed with anxiousness and fear and times when she seemed overwhelmed with excitement to the point that she literally couldn’t control her actions.  All of her emotions were big.  When she was sad she was really sad, when she was angry she was really angry and when she was happy she was really happy.  I also began noticing that she would cover her ears if I raised my voice, she asked for headphones if we were watching fireworks, and she flinched at any loud noise even if it didn’t seem loud enough to startle someone.  Hailey also made it very clear when she wanted to be touched and when she didn’t.  She seemed to get better once “bubba” came along, he loves and adores her unconditionally and she seems to see him as her “safe” place and someone who she can freely be herself around, often hugging him or just laying near him when she is upset. Then when Hailey started Kindergarten, we really noticed an escalating behavior pattern and this is when we really started seeking help.

Being Different. The day we finally got the answers to why our beautiful little girl was “different”, why every single morning was a fight because everything I picked for her to wear was “too itchy” or “too tight”, why too much noise or yelling caused her to get overly excited or overly anxious, why she was struggling to get through the day at school without incident, and, hardest of all, why she only leaned in for my embrace when she wanted to and pulled away at other times, that day everything began to make sense.  Though I didn’t completely understand what we were facing, we knew two things; that Hailey was suffering from anxiety as well as Sensory Processing Disorder, specifically tactile (touch) and auditory. I spent hours that night sobbing on my bedroom floor and even cried myself to sleep.  Why hadn’t I seen the signs that she needed help sooner?  But wait there was HELP.  Tears of sadness that she wasn’t “perfect” and also tears of relief that this was something manageable poured from my eyes.  I still have those nights, on bad days, or days where there are stark reminders that the world doesn’t accept and doesn’t understand.

Judgment. I know many of us deal with judgmental women, especially when it comes to being a mama, and that I can handle.  What I have had the hardest time dealing with are the judgments and unkind ways Hailey has been treated. Adults that have been in her life that are supposed to love and nourish her have caused her immense heartache and trust issues by making her feel unwanted, unloved and even more different then she already feels.  This has proved to be challenging for me to handle because of course I have felt sadness, anger, hurt and even at times some hatred.  This is my baby, she is a child, and how could grown people not only treat me negatively at times but also do so to an innocent child?

Forgiveness and Grace. I feared the thought of bullies as Hailey entered Kindergarten.  We hear about it daily in the news and I wasn’t naïve to the fact that Hailey may face that.  I prepared her for it, we talked about and the one thing I tried to instill in her was that no matter who she was up against, no matter how unkind they were, no matter how hurt they made her feel, that all we can do is guard ourselves while also loving and forgiving them.  Luckily Hailey is a lover, she has the biggest heart and wants nothing more than to have all her friends near playing and having an amazing time.  While I had all these angry and hateful emotions inside me for those that were exacerbating what was already a challenge to handle, my little girl was using words like forgive and love. Isn’t it funny how we sometimes learn what we tried to teach our children, from them instead?  Sometimes they are the best teachers.  I had to find a place in my heart to let go of all of those thoughts and pains and offer grace and forgiveness for those who will never know how many tears I have cried on their behalf.  They don’t understand, they don’t see what I see in Hailey.  They simply don’t get it.  I wish so much they would or could understand things from my perspective, but I can’t make that happen so, instead, I have to do my best to show them the love and kindness that I hope for in return for myself but more so for Hailey.

Choosing Joy.  Hailey has changed me.  She has made me a better person in so many ways.  I am more kind, more calm, more understanding, more patient, more loving, and most of all, more forgiving because of her.  Out of all the trials, hurt and tears, this journey has taught me, the biggest lesson I have learned is that it is up to me to choose joy.  I make a daily choice not to let others defeat me or take away my happiness and I am able to do that because I see my girl do it every single day.  I choose to love, I choose to see past what others see, I choose not to judge that mom in HEB with a baby strapped to her crying as she’s trying to check out and her five year old is laying in the floor mid-tantrum, and I choose this because I was once that mom.  Instead, since I have been THAT mom, I now choose to joyfully ask her if she needs help, or simply say “you are doing great mama, you got this, don’t give up, this too shall pass” in hopes of bringing her a moment of relief.  I hope you, sitting there reading this, will also choose joy for yourself and to bring that same joy others.  Choose to be the one who sees that mama for the bad day she is having and the moment she is in and not for what may seem like bad parenting or lack of discipline, because while it may be those things, she may also just be fighting a battle that you aren’t aware of and she may need a couple words of encouragement instead of glances full of judgment.  Be the one to give her that sigh of relief and the extra push to make it to her car without breaking down.

Defining Perfect. I will leave you with reasons in which I have discovered that my sweet Hailey Jo is perfect.  She is funny, smart, kind, beautiful, strong, a natural leader, creative, energetic, honest, compassionate, and most of all this little ball of spunk was made for me, I was chosen, hand picked to be her mama, made to help her navigate through this life and because of that she is and always will be perfect for me.

Photo credit: Ashley Rocha Photography

For more information on Sensory Processing Disorder SPD please visit the links below:

What is Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD

Common questions asked about SPD

For further SPD support

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