Mission Statement

To provide a place for parents and family members to meet and share experience, strength, give hope and awareness, to other families who have similar experiences raising children with ADD/ADHD, SPD, Anxiety, ASD, mental health diagnosis, developmental and behavioral challenges. Through sharing in this experience of raising these hard to raise kids, we grow stronger and more resilient.

Easy to Love is a 501 (C) (3) Non-Profit Organization

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Family Sports Activities - The Mountair Mile

Having a special needs child in our household has made it difficult to endure and participate in sports activities.  If it is a good day and everything goes just right; we might just learn something and have fun.  Often, sports activities don't end up this way.  They transition quickly into an emotional meltdown, over-stimulation, or just plain stubborn non-compliance!  I am happy to say that over the past few years I have found a few events that have that, just right mix, of not too serious and light enough on the commitment, to be fun.  It also helps when I come prepared for anything, even leaving if we have to.

One such event that we stumbled upon last year was the Mountair Mile Children's Race,  in which all proceeds go to The Sharing Place, in Salt Lake City.  The Sharing Place is a non-profit grief support program for children and their families and also happens to be the generously donated space for our Salt Lake City Support group meetings. 

The volunteers and staff do such a good job of making it fun and exciting for them. Greyson, my typical kid, was so geared up, you would have thought he was in the Olympics. He sees my husband and I run races all of the time, so for him it was finally his chance to be in a big event.  I was still prepared with all of our gear and also prepared to leave if I needed to.  Hudson, my autistic little guy,  was huddled into the stroller armed with his blanket and my iPhone and Greyson was armed with his official number and water bottle. The horn sounded and we were off!  They let me run next to Greyson with the stroller and I saw many other families running/walking together and cheering on their kids.  I was pleased to see that Hudson really got into cheering for Greyson.  Greyson ran almost the whole way and felt so proud of himself that he walked up the award table before the awards and demanded his ribbon. This was really a great and positive family day.  We all had loads of fun.

Lindsay and I thought it would be a great idea to get all the families touched by our support group in Davis and Salt Lake, involved in the 2012 Mountair Mile, Saturday June 30th at 8 a.m.  There are two versions of the race:  A non-competitive Mini Mountair Mile, that the kids can run or ride their scooters, bikes, trikes, wagons or anything else they wish until just before the finish line and then they can park them and run through the finish and a competitive Mighty Mountair Mile, which is 2.2 laps: one on wheels, one without. We will be participating in the Mini, but if you have an older athlete that Mighty might be fun.  If you pre-register the event is only $10 a kid and they get a t-shirt and a ribbon.  After June 17th you can register the day of for $15 but that does not include a t-shirt.

Register through their website www.thesharingplace.org  Please come and join us, it would be a great way to start the summer. - Jen

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Summer Time & Group Changes

Hello Everyone!  can you believe June is knocking at the door? Where did spring go? We are excited for summer, but things are going to be a little crazy!

The group is  taking a break from regular scheduled groups through the summer. We are going to use the summer time to work on getting set up as a non-profit organization. This will open the door to some funding, which will hopefully equal more groups, activities, speakers etc.
Some changes you might see... we are hoping to get some businesses as sponsors so you may see some buttons/advertisements on the blog. We have struggled to figure out how to manage this with out anyone feeling like we are taking advantage of our group goers. We will only include companies/products we use or believe in and other than the blog advertisements we will NEVER use any of our meetings to advertise anything. It is just one of those things... a group cost money to run and this is the way to help the group grow & reach more people. Thoughts? concerns? let us know. There is also a new "donate" button on our blog that is linked to an Easy to Love, Hard to Raise paypal account. Any funds donated will be used for group expenses only. Things such as copies, rent for a regular meeting space, special presenters etc. We think all of these things will be a positive thing, but remain protective our group & keeping it the same "grassroots" feel.

We are keeping the Davis County group going-yay! We have several new members and are thrilled that the word is spreading! Chrissy Young (she runs Layton-Farmington Macaroni Kids) will be helping us run the group. It just has become too much for us to mange both SLC & Davis. The topics will be the same, so will the handouts. It will have the same Guidelines and it will still be held the 3rd Wednesday of the month. We will also still pop in to the groups when our schedule allows. Chrissy is awesome, super fun and energetic. She will be a great fit for Davis. Watch the blog for a introduction post!

Group plans for the summer:  we have a playgroup scheduled in Salt Lake on June 22nd. It will be at 1130am at Liberty Park. There is more info on our Facebook page under "events". We will probably schedule one more playgroup this summer, so watch for that info. July will mark our 1 year anniversay, which is amazing! We are so excited to hit that milestone and are planning something fun to celebrate! We will post more as it gets a little closer!

Groups will resume in September on their normal schedule (2nd Wednesday of the month for SL & 3rd for Davis).

Thank you to our wonderful group members! You guys are awesome!! We are so thrilled to have you all a part of our group as we enter our second year!

Jen & Lindsay

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Self Care- Sleep

Is this you?

Or this?

I happen to be a very restless sleeper. It's usually because I have 10,000 things  running through my brain at all times. I like to get things done while Emma is asleep, maybe squeeze in one of my shows & then usually lay in bed & think of everything I should have gotten done, need to get done and usually stress about Emma, finances etc. creep in.
Before I was a parent I slept about 8-9 hours a night. After Emma, sleep went out the window. Emma did not sleep as an infant, most of my nights were spent pacing the kitchen, with the water & stove fan running to try & sooth my screaming child to sleep. Once she was asleep it usually lasted 1-2 hours and we would start all over again. When she was put on the feeding tube I had to set my alarm for every couple hours to switch out the formula (on top of Emma waking every couple hours) I was a frazzled, exhausted mess of a person. Now Emma is for the most part sleeping better, but she is in to everything, HARD & we are all over the place during the daytime. Once I get her to bed I feel like I need to get everything I couldn't do during the day done. I am averaging about 4-5 hours of sleep a night... which is way better than the 2-4 I was getting before... right? ;)

It is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
Not getting enough sleep is linked to :
* Increased risk of car accidents
Honestly I didn't think of this. With all the driving we do to & from activities, appointments etc.This one hit home & freaked me out.
*A greater risk of obesity- sleep deprivation causes an increased appetite
I have had a pretty big weight increase since my sleep went away. Something that is a huge struggle for me.
*Increased risk of heart disease & diabetes
*Increased risk of psychiatric  conditions including depression & substance abuse
*Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals & remember new information.

According to researchers Michael H. Bonnet and Donna L. Arand, "There is strong evidence that sufficient shortening or disturbance of the sleep process compromises mood, performance and alertness and can result in injury or death. In this light, the most common-sense 'do no injury' medical advice would be to avoid sleep deprivation."

All in all... I have made the decision to really work on getting more sleep. I have put a notebook by my bed so I can write things down if they pop in my head vs. worry about them. I have a cleaning schedule that I am follwoing that has my house TO DO's broken into 6 days. There is only so much I can do about the stresses of raisng a special needs child... but I can't help but wonder if I would be less stressed & do better during the day if I had more sleep. So I am starting slow... increasing to 7 hours of sleep & seeing how I do. If I can get away with just a couple more hours I will stay there, if not I will increase to 8.

I hope all of you can make sleep a priority for yourself! Good luck!