Life as a Single Mom… with Multiples & Special Needs

Jumping into a life that is laid out so differently than one you lived just months before can be a bit intimidating, yet exciting. Life as a single parent sure does throw a curveball with every passing day, it seems. Especially when your life is full of multiples and special needs!

I have embarked on this new journey in life that is very interesting, entertaining, chaotic, and fun, though, too.

singleparenting 223x300 Life as a Single Mom... with Multiples & Special NeedsThere is certainly an aloneness that comes from being left after 12 years of marriage. What’s interesting to me is that out of all of the possible areas I could feel alone as a parent – be it dressing the kids, playing with them, feeding them, bathing them, getting homework done, making sure they have their needs met – the place I feel it the most is knowing that I’m the sole responsible party.

I can’t just say “I’d like to go out with some girlfriends this Friday night if you are willing to watch the kids” anymore!

They are my responsibility 24/7. All 11 years, 7 years, and two bundles of energy at 3 years old! It’s up to me to make sure their physical needs are taken care of, but also their mental, emotional, and spiritual ones, too.

The twins, of course, have also chosen this time during the past few months to start letting their inner toddler ‘tude come seeping to the surface and explode in my face every once in a while. I’m pretty much guaranteed to get tears and screaming at some point in each day – because such is the life of a special needs 3 year old that can’t seem to get all their words out, has to defend themselves and their toys from the other 3 year old (gotta love brothers!), and generally just gets cranky because they can’t figure out if they are interested in napping or not… or fighting it all the way. Fun! Fun!

As much as I have to deal with the craziness that, some days, feels built into my household, I love the fact that I can still focus on the great relationship I have with my kids and what I alone can teach them.

They spend most of their time with me, so I’m choosing to pull them into this exciting time of the unknown and embrace it – the sky is the limit!

It’s critical to me as their mom that I’m maintaining the kids’ schedules and rules of the house, and even encouraging them to step it up a notch. I’ve even started a new chores plan and included new ways for them to earn money.

There are things in life that only parents can teach or else your child will learn by default from someone else (or may not even learn at all). I’m not letting that happen to my kids.

I’ve determined these are the areas I’m going to focus on with raising my kids during the rest of 2013:

~ how to give, save, and spend wisely with money

~ which foods are important to eat and how to eat a healthy lifestyle

~ how to cook

~ how to clean and keep an organized house

~ how to maintain a good attitude while doing something you don’t want to do

~ how to be disciplined to work, even when you don’t feel like it

~ how to treat each other kindly and with respect

~ how to trust God in everything, no matter what the circumstance looks like

~ and to always, ALWAYS be thankful for everything in your life

I learned some of these things, thankfully, from my own parents growing up, but others I’ve had to learn the hard way. Now is the time to instill these into my kids so they don’t have to go through as much as I have and will have a solid foundation for finances, relationships, keeping a home, and even making smart food decisions.

I heard on the radio this morning about a dad who removed all possible items from his son’s room for 3 days because the son was so ungrateful. Now, his son thanks him for everything!

We live in such a “ME” age where people think they are owed things from their family, neighbors, friends, even the government. They aren’t thankful for anything they have and expect to be given more with no effort on their part. And unfortunately, our children in this society are picking up on that attitude, too.

My children will not be ungrateful nor expect a handout. They are being trained and groomed for success so they can take their lives into their own hands and have hearts to bless others. Hopefully, I won’t have to go to those same measures as the dad did in the story above, but my kids are going to learn it one way or another… sooner rather than later.

What kinds of things have you done with your kids to teach them how to honor and respect others, be grateful for what they have, and know how to be wise with their money? Share with me in the comments section below!

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JessBio200 Life as a Single Mom... with Multiples & Special NeedsJessica Stone is a mom of 4 and owner of her own businesses in the fitness, beauty, and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE gift to you, 30 Easy Snacks Your Kids Will Devour: Eating Healthy Never Got So Simple. Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

Life as a Single Mom… with Multiples & Special Needs

A Message From a Mess – Life Through Divorce

I know my story can help others. Please share it and like it on Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail it out to those hurting and looking for hope… because there IS hope!

This message is too strong to keep for yourself. Someone, someone you know, is hurting because of rejection, abuse, neglect, or just through the tearing apart of something they once valued, loved, and respected. Divorce can be brutal. Feeling there is no one there, no one understands, or no one cares can be heart-wrenching. They need to know there is hope. They need encouragement. Maybe we, together, can be that encouragement to them today by you simply spreading this story. I don’t mind – that’s why I recorded it. Please, please share it!

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JessBio200 A Message From a Mess   Life Through DivorceJessica Stone is a mom of 4 and owner of her own businesses in the fitness, beauty, and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE gift to you, 30 Easy Snacks Your Kids Will Devour: Eating Healthy Never Got So Simple. Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

A Message From a Mess – Life Through Divorce

Recipe: Amazing Gluten Free Lasagna

glutenfreelasagna 187x300 Recipe: Amazing Gluten Free LasagnaAs a favorite growing up, I have adopted and tweaked my mom’s recipe for spinach lasagna into a gluten free meat lasagna that my kids can’t get enough of. Of course, the spinach variation works itself back into my household once in awhile since it’s a great way to get more greens into my kids… shhh, don’t tell them.

Since my family is gluten free (daughter is Celiac), this recipe is made with gluten free noodles. If you are not gluten free or avoiding wheat products, just add normal lasagna noodles in place of mine and you’re all set.

Now, on to the goods…

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg

  • 1 lb of ground beef, turkey, or chicken*

  • 24-oz container of small curd cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, whichever you prefer (I use cottage cheese because it’s nicer to the budget!)

  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

  • 8-oz shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1 jar your favorite spaghetti sauce**

  • 1 package gluten free lasagna noodles***

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the meat in a skillet on medium heat.

In a large bowl, whisk egg until yolk and egg whites are well-blended. Add all of the cottage / ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, sea salt, and ground beef.

In the bottom of a large 9 x 13 type baker, add about 2-3 tbsp of spaghetti sauce to the bottom of the pan, spreading with a spoon or silicone spatula, covering the bottom of the pan.

Add one layer of noodles on top of the sauce. Add half of the meat / cheese mixture on top of the noodles. Spread evenly over the noodle layer. Add half the mozzarella cheese across the top of the meat / cheese layer. Top with half of the remaining spaghetti sauce. Spread evenly.

Begin layers again with the noodles, then meat / cheese mixture, then the mozzarella cheese, followed by the remaining spaghetti sauce. Use the last of the parmesan cheese (1/4 cup) on top of the entire lasagna as the final layer.

Place lasagna in oven for approximately 1 hour.

Serve & Enjoy! Makes 8 large servings or more if you serve less with a side salad.

*Variation: if you would like to make a meatless, vegetarian lasagna, replace the pound of ground meat with 1 package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed, with water squeezed out.

**I prefer to use either “Sockarooni” by Newman’s Own for it’s added veggies or Napa Valley Bistro’s Tomato Basil sauce to make this absolutely delicious!

***If gluten free lasagna noodles aren’t available in your local store (I’ve also had trouble with this), replacing them with a layer of regular gluten free noodles (spirals, elbows, penne) is just as good.

I’d like to know what you think of this after you try it – remember, the sauce and cheese are what make this meal awesome. Don’t skimp on quality!! Be sure to come back and share!

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JessBio200 Recipe: Amazing Gluten Free LasagnaJessica Stone is a mom of 4 and owner of her own businesses in the fitness, beauty, and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE gift to you, 30 Easy Snacks Your Kids Will Devour: Eating Healthy Never Got So Simple. Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

Recipe: Amazing Gluten Free Lasagna

10 Things Every Special Needs Kid Must Know

I recently read an article called 20 Things a Mother Should Tell Her Son (it’s excellent, by the way!).

It got me thinking about my sons and when I would tell them some of the things the author had listed. Then I started thinking about my daughter, her struggles, and living as a special needs kid.

What would I tell her?

What things would make the most impact to someone going through not being able to walk like the rest of us, needing to focus on her feet just to move them the right way, and dealing with the looks and comments of others that just don’t understand?

Here are the top 10 things that I want her to grow up learning, knowing, and implementing for her days to be filled with joy, contentment, and satisfaction:


1. Life is what you make it. You choose what hinders you and what doesn’t.

2. We all have struggles, issues, and trouble in this life. Just because yours may be more obvious to everyone else doesn’t mean you are any different from anyone else.

3. Be kind, even when others aren’t kind to you.

4. Always be yourself and show people your sweet heart. Getting to know the real you far outweighs the physical troubles you go through. You will be accepted for who you are, not how you look, act, or move. And if you aren’t, they aren’t a true friend anyway.

5. Let the stares, glances, and comments roll off your back. People do those things because they don’t understand. It’s their problem for not understanding, not your problem.

6. Value the uniqueness inside of you. God has given you special gifts that no one else has. Use them to bless Him & His children.

7. “Eat your veggies” is not just a phrase moms like to say. Always choose to eat them because they benefit your body, make you stronger, and help you live a longer life.

8. People are always watching you. Don’t just give them a show, teach them something special through how you live your life, your attitude, and your courage.

9. Always surround yourself with people that love you and want the best for you. Don’t take second best!

10. In all things, give God the glory. Be grateful for the blessings you have. Thank God and others often.

I will certainly be sharing some of these with my non-special needs kid, too, because I believe in every one of them and that life will be much better for them when they learn this early and implement it daily.

Do you have any other good ones you’d like to share? Let’s set up our kids for success!

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JessBio200 10 Things Every Special Needs Kid Must KnowJessica Stone is a mom of 4 and owner of her own businesses in the fitness, beauty, and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE gift to you, 30 Easy Snacks Your Kids Will Devour: Eating Healthy Never Got So Simple. Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

10 Things Every Special Needs Kid Must Know

Peppermint Wins Again

I’ve been duped. Or I at least think it’s a great possibility.

My oldest son has been home for 2 days this week, complaining that his tummy hurt. Yet, he’s been eating like crazy – even more than usual. Hmmm…

Sunday evening, I tucked the kids in bed, said goodnight with hugs and kisses, and rubbed their usual dose of lavender on them to help them sleep. They love that stuff. If I forget, they ask for it (yay, kids!).

Ten minutes later, my son was rolling around on the bed complaining his lower tummy REALLY hurt – intestinal pain. Definitely NOT trying to dupe me.

Time for the big guns.

I got out my peppermint essential oil, added 1 drop to some water in a glass, and had him drink up.

He didn’t even drink the entire thing, but I never heard another word out of him. Within just minutes, he was asleep!

I gave him peppermint off and on throughout the 2 days that he complained about his tummy. He said it ached. Then he was nauseous. One thing after another.

I don’t know what he was fighting off, but I know he never threw up, didn’t have a fever, and was a bouncing, playing boy when he wasn’t complaining or eating.

Peppermint wins again!

Also, I just learned that strep has been found in one of my twins’ preschool pals. I’m using elderberry (sambucus) juice and peppermint to fight off any nasties before they try to take hold.

(Peppermint is one of the most universal of the essential oils. It’s an excellent addition to a first aid kit for its soothing affects on indigestion, halting nausea, fighting and preventing illness, etc.)

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JessBio200 Peppermint Wins AgainJessica Stone is a wife, mom to 4, and owner of her own businesses in the fitness and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE gift to you, 30 Easy Snacks Your Kids Will Devour: Eating Healthy Never Got So Simple, to help you feed your kids quick & healthy! Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

Peppermint Wins Again