I want to preface this entire post by apologizing in advance if you’re reading from a mobile device right now. Weeks ago I was half asleep and did something that royally messed up my margins and mobile appearance.. and I don’t dare f*ck with the coding because things will only get worse. ugh.
I know I’ve mentioned here a million times that Riot is an aspiring YouTube toy reviewer.. And I fully support his dreams! Cause, you know, child-stars have such high rates of success stories, ha!
This post contains affiliate links.. which just means if you make a purchase through a link found on RRRIOTmama, you won’t get charged any extra, but Riot and I will make a couple of dollars to save up for take-out at the end of the week!️ Every penny counts.. thanks for helping us out!<3
Anyways, in the past 24 hours we accidentally ended up with doubles of a toy (Peppa Pig figurines) because this mama spaced out and completely forgot that weeks ago she ordered them online.. and then also purchased the same Peppa toys yesterday during, what I call, a blackout Targeét shopping sesh. oops! IcannotbeheldaccountableformyactionsduringablackoutatTargeét.
Wish.com is one of the many MYSTERIOUS, way-too-good-to-be-true-appearing online stores that is always taunting me In facebook’s designated adspace SCATTERED THROUGH my feed.
I never even bother checking out the clothing shops because I know what I’ll receive is absolute shit that hardly appears to be the same garment as the website’s photo. But, for whatever reason, a few weeks ago something made me venture onto www.wish.com and let me tell you.. If you’re like me and LOVE dollar stores, you will LOVE wish.com. What could possibly be better than endlessdollar-storesqueshoppingFROMYOURBED?! Ugh .
I digress. So, Riot is really into figurines right now which is awesome because they’re great for pretendplay. We recently aquired Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy off of Zulily for fairly cheap (they sold out so I linked to amazon).. some Minions out of blind bags, and today, a double dose of Peppa! On my wish.com binge a few weeks ago I could’ve sworn I ended up settling my internal conflict and ordering Paw Patrol figurines.. but, apparently I didn’t ’cause Peppa Pig & Familyarrived in the mail seconds after I couldn’t possibly wait until Christmas and gave Riot his new Peppa Pig & Family from yesterday’s Targeét haul.
QUICKSIDENOTE: If anyone knows where I can get a DaisyDuck figurine to go along with our set (or if you have one kicking around that wouldn’t be missed) please leave a comment at the end of this post to fill me in! Riot is a big Daisy fan and keeps interrogating me wondering why Zulily didn’t think she was good enough to be included.
Peppa Pig & Family Figurine Toys:
Real (I found afterwards Amazon was slightly cheaper)
The picture above.. those pigs are the real deal. They’re great. Riot was so stoked when he opened them this morning and didn’t stop playing with them the entire day. MommyWin. I didn’t realize when I purchased them that these little piggies have movable arms, legs, and heads.. which make them even cooler than his Mickey crew. The little legs make a huge difference on the real Peppa Pig & Family set.. These figurines stand up without a problem, despite how unfortunately awkward their body types are, ANDthe legs together fold down and click into position so that they can all sit down without wobbling or falling over! Pretty rad. Other than the obvious lack of attention to detail with colors and physical appearance, the legs were the biggest quality difference between the real thing and the wish.com imposters.
(..in the above photo the guys standing on the box are the brand name set..) So, yea, LEGS. Huge difference. The wannabees DO NOT stand up at all. Not even for a second. Sitting down is hit or miss.. Unless you’re extra careful they usually just flop over. The legs dont click into place for standing upright or sitting down. And details! Fake Peppa’s family’s legs are all black vs. Real Peppa’s pink legs with black booties.
FAKE Mommy Pig and Daddy Pig are WAY bigger than the real guys. How Rude! But, knockoff Peppa and George are slightly smaller?.. Riddlemethat, China.
I’m a stickler for color details and I have been my entire life so even as a child this would’ve made me twitch a bit. The exaggerated, dark, drug-addict-like circles around fake George Pig and Peppa Pig’s eyes kill me. The other color differences I guess are passable if they aren’t al hanging out in the same room, but the eyes, man.. I can’t. I guess Riot is far less judgmental than me.. trotting around with his safety pin on his shirt like he’s better than me.. because he treated them all as equals. Loved them and abused them all just the same. Both Pig Families got along great with the Mickey Mouse gangand before I knew it things were poppin off at Knapford Station.
Real talk.. $2 plus an extra $1 for shipping.. how could you go wrong?! They are absolutely perfect for being the set that’ll get thrown in my bag and used as bribery when we’re out and about. The real Pigs are definitely worth the few extra dollars though.. remember the legs and those god awful eye circles?!
oh, oh, oh, and one last difference: nothing says I’M AN IMPOSTER like a squishy head. It’s like they’re wearing rubber halloween masks to rob a bank.
Whether your kid is into Peppa or not, I hope this helps you out if you’re on the fence about spending some extra money or being okay with sacrificing some details. I know I’ll be wasting spending a lot more time having dollar store shopping sprees from my couch because wish.com is like a gold mine!
Don’t forget to comment below if you know where I can find aDaisyDuckwithout buying some massive set OR if you are just so rad that you want to gift us the one that’s laying around your house not getting enough love!
I dont usually participate in the whole Throwback Thursday thing, but when I do..
IT’S BECAUSE TWO YEARS AGO I HAD THE COOLEST BABY JACK-O-LANTERN!?
Don’t try to beat it. You can’t. I’ll just go ahead aned stick with my exact quote that Facebook told me I wrote..
Sorry, but none of your kids are ever going to be cuter/funnier/cooler than [mine]. It’s okay – don’t get down on yourself about it – you did the best you could.
How did 2 years happen so fast? This was round 1 of our pumpkin decorating the other night (we still have at least 1 more session before they’ll be done).
Rumor has it that when we go to his best friend Rocco’s birthday party this weekend we’ll be CARVING pumpkins! This will be a FIRST for BOTH of us! Thankfully there will be some real adults there to supervise since this mama has no idea what she’s doing!
oh, ya, and this
If you have the pleasure (?) of knowing me IRL then there’s no doubt you aware of my hoarder tendencies. I’d love to hold onto every piece of Riot’s clothing forever and ever, but I’ve come to terms with knowing he’ll be my only child.. there’s no reason for me to keep these kickass outfits any longer so if you digg our style now you’re just a few clicks away from having it. It’s really a win/win.. your kiddo gets to look way cool and in turn I get to buy homeboy some new gear because he’s growing faster than I can type this post. Real talk.
For a while I was doing great with selling what the boy had outgrown on TotSpot, but they’ve now been taken over by Poshmark and I just can’t get down with it. They charge sellers significantly more so you’re making nothing if you want to cash out and their selection of kids clothes simply sucks. Anyways, we’re up and selling on Mercari now! I have tons to sort through, photograph and post so keep checking back if you don’t see anything you love the first time you look. If you click on the image above it should redirect you right to our online closet to browse (and shop!!) Whether or not you end up buying something from me personally, use the code KXHMGH and you’ll get a $2 discount. I’m going to put a link for our closet on the sidebar too so you guys won’t have to look for this post after it’s buried under more of my stories.
“If a child cannot learn in the way we teach.. we must teach in a way the child can learn.” -Dr. O Lovaas
I can’t believe we’re just a week shy of it being one year since Riot was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (10/28/2015). That sentence alone brings on such a tidal wave of emotions, memories.. all the feelings! Two weeks ago Riot and I drove into Boston for his one year follow up appointment with his developmental pediatrician to go over his progress and discuss what our next set of goals would be. With the biggest smile on my face I’m the proudest ever to report back to anyone reading this that his doctor was absolutely blown away by all the skills he’s learned in just 12 months. People often forget that he understands nearly everything that is said to him (because he doesn’t have all the words just yet to respond), but the night before and on our way into the city I reminded him what this appointment was for and how he should walk right in like a big boy and show off everything he now knew how to do. And he did! While the doctor and I caught up he went down the list giving examples of all his new tricks: he was signing to ask her if he could play with the toys she had on the shelf.. which he pointed to (if you’re not an autism parent then you probably don’t know that pointing to show you something is a big deal), pairing those signs with words.. WORDS! Truck! Car! Percy! Thomas! Owl… Hoooo-Hoooo! He sat at the tiny kids desk in her office and played.. making the toys all talk to each other and making propeller noises while he held up an airplane that was using the windowsill as a runway.. Imaginative play! Then he stopped to ask me (signing and verbally) for a snack and something to drink. Yup. It literally went as good as it could’ve possibly gone. I couldn’t have done it better myself. Or, like, if I had bribed him with a tub of chocolate frosting (he’s definitely my kid) and unlimited hours of iPad time. Not to mention he was so well behaved for the entire 60 minute appointment and all of the travel time.
That little boy, man.. I’m telling you.. He’s my masterpiece.
I’ve heard stories of families who have had to jump through hoops in order to get their child diagnosed so they could get all the right help for them. Stories of parents going from one doctor to the next, advocating for their kiddo, searching for answers, and hoping for a diagnosis on paper because then and only then would it be real.. And from there they could fight with every phone representative from their health insurance company.. until finally therapies and autism specialty services were set up and ready to start! Almost every autism family that I’ve met has a similar story to this. Thankfully, Massachusetts is one of the best states to live in if you have autism or are caring for someone with autism.
Click here to check out what the state insurance coverage for autism and autism speciatly services is like in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
I’m grateful that our ASD diagnosis story was nothing like the dozens of others I’d heard from friends and acquaintances. Ours came quite easily, actually. So easy that.. I honestly had no idea it was even happening. How embarrassing.
It went down like this: On a random day in the last week of August, 2015, was Riot’s 15 month well baby checkup. Up until that point I never had any questions or concerns regarding milestones to talk to his ped about. This time I went in knowing what I wanting. I told his doctor that even though he may still be on schedule for being considered a late talker, I wanted to make an appointment with an SLP. Thankfully his pediatrician knew me well enough to know that I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. After his generic some kids are just late talkers spiel, he referred us to an SLP for an evaluation.
About a month, maybe 5 weeks at most, after that was the day we met the SLP. She commented how impressed she was that Riot was so advanced for his age. I specifically remember this was because he had spotted where she hid the key that unlocked the cabinet that held all of her most precious jewels.. AKA all of her toys.. and, of course, then spent the majority of his appointment trying to keep her distracted long enough to pull off his first B & E.
Around his first birthday he’d been saying mama, dada, and.. pasta. WHAT?! lol, yes. Now let’s pause for a sec so you can get a proper visual of what a one year old Riot looked like. The dopest one year old I’d ever come across.
I digress.. By this point (15 months) he was completely nonverbal. Months later I found out that this is the time period that a lot of autisitic families refer to as when their child “lost their voice”.. Since Riot only had those 3 words, it wasn’t something that stood out when we stopped hearing them. It seemed like he was just focused on mastering other skills instead. DO NOT BE FOOLED – just because he was nonverbal didn’t mean he was quiet. That boy never shut up!
Anyways, the SLP wrapped up the session by saying she was going to get in touch with Early Intervention so they could come to our home and do an evaluation with Riot. She explained that because Riot wasn’t talking yet that he would likely qualify for Early Intervention and they would set up an SLP to come to our home for weekly sessions. Wait.. So we won’t even have to leave the house?!? Sign us up!! Early Intervention evaluations took some time to schedule and then after that you have to wait a bit while they find a therapist to fit into a set weekly schedule for you. The timeline to get the whole thing up and running could take a couple of months. The SLP said that she had available slots open and could work with Riot until EI began. Before saying our goodbyes (or.. notsaying goodbye) she had us make an appointment (about 3 weeks from then) with a developmental pediatrician in our network.
At that point in time, I had no clue how any of this shit worked.. health insurance in general, needing referrals, not needing referrals, in/out of network, HMO, PPO, PCP, Obamacare, EPO.. Actually, if we’re being all honest here, I’m still winging it. Leaving the SLP’s office that day I was happy and satisfied and under the impression that seeing a developmental pediatrician was something that we had to do in order for the SLP to take Riot on as a regular patient.
Fast forward 3 weeks, Riot and I were late, per usual, but we made it to Boston for the appointment! The doctor was nice; there wasn’t anything extraordinary about her. She spent 60 minutes doing a play-based evaluation and that was that! She booked me an appointment for two weeks later, said I was not to bring Riot along, and that’s when she would go over her evaluation findings with me.
I cannot stress enough that I sincerely thought this meant she was going to sit me down and say “Yes, you were right. Your son will, in fact, benefit from seeing a speech therapist.” then hand me some award for being the world’s okayest mom and wrap it up with a high-five.
Now two weeks have gone by and we haven’t thought any more about the evaluation with that doctor. Riot goes to his grammy’s for the day so I can go to the recap appointment.. and I swear, before my ass even hit the chair she said, “So, I’ve diagnosed your son, Riot, with AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER. I’ll now go over the critieria from the DSM-5 that he met in order for me to come to that diagnosis.” She went over her 4 page written evaluation with me and recommended that Riot receive 25-30 hours a week of intensive in home therapy. Wait. What!? WHAT?! Let me take a second to say that is wasn’t the diagnosis that took me by surprise. You can ask any of our closest friends and they’ll confirm that I’d suspected ASD for some time. Pre-mom-life I would’ve said that a mother’s intuition was total bullshit.. but, it is so so SO real. Little quirks and things began standing out to me as early as when Riot was just 8 months old. whoa whoa whoa.. wait a sec though.. I had NO idea that we were seeing this developmental pediatrician for an ASD evaluation. There was never any mention of anything autism. I had not mentally prepared at all to receive that kind of loaded information. I literally didn’t even know that card was on the table!
Before this life altering news, I had initially planned on going to the appointment then treating myself to lunch at one of my favorite city spots and happily walking up and down the aisles, daydreaming at Blick Art Supplies since it was on the same block. Without realizing it, I skipped my solo lunch and art store date and just got my parking validated instead.. I remember sitting in my car in the parking garage for a while without turning it on. It was grey out, drizzling, and humid for October. Come to think of it, the weather was almost exactly like it was yesterday. I wore cheap black flats and had walked through a puddle so now my feet were freezing. The weather along with how uncomfortable my cold, damp feet felt perfectly matched the mood I was in. After the initial shock subsided, the next feeling was one of relief. Now that there was a diagnosis, we were one step closer to learning all sorts of new stuff. To me, this was incredibly exciting. Oh, and this meant I hadn’t been crazy (LOL, or any crazier than normal) every time I voiced or silently noted my boy’s little quirks.
Riot didn’t know it yet, but we were ready.
I was able to get Early Intervention set up pretty quickly after the diagnosis. They started him slowly to get him used to the routine.. Only 2 hours/week for the first few weeks. I can’t remember whether or not I wrote about this whole process of researching ABA, choosing a specific provider, setting it all up, etc in THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, but since Riot’s father and I had had a falling out right around the same time, I was completely on my own navigating all of this and making major decisions. There was a lot of crying involved on my end. It was incredibly stressful. But, looking back now I’m so happy I did it without anyone else’s input because I know I set up the best possible team and goals for my son. (SON. Son! It still sounds so weird to me saying that I have a son! Ha!)
After meeting with Riot’s ABA team leader for the first time, I remember her telling me how a year from then (January 2016) I was going to be amazed by all the progress he’d made and how much he’d be able to accomplish in a seemingly short amount of time. Next, I remember thinking that she was full of shit with her generic positive pep talk that she was obviously trained to recite to each family.
. . .
WOW.. I’m eating my words now, huh?
Don’t get me wrong, I never doubted how smart Riot was and I knew he’d be able to learn whatever it was they were going to teach him… but I definitely did not anticipate that he’d be where he is today only 9months since that conversation.
How many other toddlers (aside from ones on the spectrum) do you know that have a time card working this many hours a week? And it doesn’t stop there. There’s no clocking out with ABA. These kiddos work harder than half of the adults that I know. Last May Riot had gotten up to 22 hours/wk, but right around when his dad and I split he lost one of his teachers due to.. I don’t know, she got her feeling involved or some weird shit that makes me want to slap her.. anyways, that cut a ton of his hours unfortunately. Things are getting back to normal with his schedule though! Since the end of August when we got joint physical & legal custody I’ve busted my ass annoying, ahem, I mean advocating andpushing for his team to get him more hours each week. And they have! In fact, I already have to update that weekly schedule I posted above because since then they were able to add hours again on Tuesday mornings. So, now we are up to 20 hours/wk of ABA therapy.
bla bla bla AUTISM JARGON bla bla bla
Explaining how autistic kids learn is confusing. Even though I get it and get how Riot, specifically, learns, I still manage to confuse myself when talking about it. Thankfully I found this stuff on the interwebz..
This is the rundown of all the different ways a skill is taught and practiced over and over again until eventually the child can do it on their own, unprompted..
And if you can’t imagine what each of those prompts would actually be in regards to teaching/learning a skill, these are great examples so you can have that “ahhh, now I get it!” moment.
I’m going to leave this post to be continued because I have so much more to share/bragabout the newest things my spawn has started doing over the past few weeks. If he doesn’t completely drain me of all my energy over the next few days I’ll be sure to write more and post! I’ll leave you with this quote I found, no idea who said it, but truer words have never been spoken! -Xo
Since embracing mom-hood, I’ve found there are two types of parents:
The kind that allow iPad/tablet use
The kind that think iPads/tablets have some new strain of Virtual AIDS that is transmitted through skin contact and may cause blindness. Only children under the age of 7 are susceptible to this strain.
I’m pro-iPad use. When I upgraded mine, I gifted him my old one, wiped it clean, and he has YouTube kids, pbs, Disney Jr., and a dozen fun learning games. 9 times out of 10 you’ll find him on YouTube kids watching video after video of kids practicing/reciting colors, animals, counting..all the general learning stuff. Now, this is on top of all the hours he clocks in working with his teachers and I; it’s like a kid loving homework so much that he does extra homework each day.
He loves it. He studies it. He drills it into his brilliant, complex little brain and then is so proud to incorporate it into his everyday TotLife.
We’re lounging in bed together after a busy few days and I just got to record this perfect example so I could share it with whoever is reading. Proud mama moment #28572441.