The Status Woe

Rising above mediocrity one mishap at a time

Can you help?

Dear “Friends of Kelli,”

While visiting with Kelli this weekend, we realized it’s been 9 months. In the past 9 months we have learned even more about what an amazing person Kelli is and how much she is loved by her family and friends. In the past 9 months Kelli has faced significant personal challenges besides being incarcerated. As her friends, it has been hard for us to watch her go through such a difficult time in her life while remaining helpless. We support Kelli to remain hopeful and then there are days when she supports us to remain hopeful. Kelli wants us to thank everyone who has so generously offered words of support, donations, and action on her behalf. She feels lucky to have people in her life who are willing to remind her she is worth it and she is loved!

As the trial grows closer, we continue to struggle with the financial aspect of this situation. Right now we are seeking funds to hire an expert witness we believe will give important insight to the judge and jury at her trial. Currently, Kelli has no assets to speak of and we are growing extremely concerned about her future without this expert witness. The charges against Kelli hold a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. Our friend has been broken for a long time. We all know Kelli has struggled with her daughter’s continued aggression toward her and her family. We know how hard she fought in attempts to give her daughter a better quality of life that included community support and a home free from aggression for her family. No family should have to struggle as much as Kelli’s family has. Since she has been gone, her daughter continues to struggle with the same aggression, the only difference is there is only 1 parent left to coordinate her care while continuing to raise their other two children.

OUR FRIEND NEEDS OUR HELP! We currently need to raise funds in EXCESS of $20,000 for an expert witness crucial to Kelli’s defense. All donations make a difference whether you are able to donate $20 or $2,000! Please give what you can, share on your blog or website, and pass it on to those who can also help. Below is the link for donations. Feel free to copy the donation link. If you’d like a paypal button for your blog, please email us at kellistapletonfundraiser@gmail.com

Click the link below to donate online. You do not need a paypal account to pay by credit card, just click the link on the page to the left that says to pay without a paypal account.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=FT765MLU9TM7L

You can also donate by check or money order by mailing a check in Kelli’s name to the address below. All funds raised go to Kelli’s personal account.

If you would like to donate via check, please make it out to Kelli Stapleton and mail it to:

PO Box 58, Frankfort, MI 49635

PLEASE help our friend Kelli…she needs our love, support, and a strong defense.

Please give what you can.

Thank you so much.

~Marlowe and Vickie

P.S. One of Kelli’s friends has taken action to get the ‘postcard only’ decision by the sheriff overturned. She was successful! Kelli can once again receive regular (PLAIN) letters! So keep on writing!

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Angsty is not professional or helpful. I’m looking at you Recipient Rights Office in Lansing, MI *waving*

If you read my last blog post about my friend Lisa, you know that we asked anyone who read her story to submit a recipient rights violation and send it (old fashioned snail mail)  to the recipient’s rights office at the main building in Lansing.

Many people sent in letters.  And I’m happy to tell you that Preston is in treatment.

PRESTON IS IN TREATMENT!!!!

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I’m not exactly sure how Preston got into treatment.  Letters, prayers, and I suspect there were many people working behind the scenes to move mountains of paperwork for this child.  They did it.  A family who was in severe crisis is now on their way to an improved life and getting Preston the help he deserves.  I don’t know who you are but THANK YOU!  You have just given this family a miracle.

Similarly, there were people working behind the scenes to get Issy help.  Moving mountains of paperwork, phone calls, jumping through hoops.  We are so very thankful.

It seems to me that currently, to get a child who has extreme behaviors help, you almost need special treatment.  You have to get the attention of important people.  I hope that changes.  I hope there becomes a streamlined process for families who have suffered at this level (yes, living for years in a life threatening situation is enough suffering) so that the attitude is helpful and sincere.  Please say words like this to those families:

How can I help you Mrs. Stapleton?

I don’t know how you have done this for so long!

Here is our plan for your child.  What do you think?

Here is a program for you and the siblings, run by excellent professionals who have experience with what you have gone through.

Please call us with any concerns.  We want to help you.  We want to improve our services for other families.  So really, any concerns you have, just call, email or text me. 

Ok….I know that’s a dream but I believe it can happen.  We live in a great state!  The mitten state!  We are surrounded by HUGE freshwater lakes.  Did God do that with the other states?  Noooooooooooo!  Clearly we are favored here!

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Which brings me to a recent EPIC disappointment.

Just the other day I got this comment on my blog about Lisa  from Beverly Sobolewski 

She works at the recipient rights office in Lansing.  I’m hoping that she isn’t the main director.  If she is, my disappointment just became exponentially worse because this attitude will have a trickle down effect with her underlings (I’ve seen it before).

This is the comment:  photo (3)

It just seems angstyya know?!

My reaction:

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Well, I can’t speak for the entire state government, but this is the attitude that exemplifies what is wrong with our state system in dealing with extremely disabled children.   And not unlike what I’ve gotten from nearly everyone who is in a position to help us and chose to say words that ultimately do nothing to help more the situation forward.

Here is the comment I wish she had written.

Dear Kelli,  Thank you so much for bringing this case to our attention.  It is heartwarming to see so many good people support Lisa and Preston.  I wish more families had this wonderful of a support system!  We have received 50 letters from MI, 20 from other states and 2 from
Canada!

Now that we know about this situation we will open an investigation.  It will involve talking to her, her local CMH, and others so we have a complete understanding of her situation.  We understand that this is an emergent situation so we are pulling all of our resources to help this family.

Our office is here to help families like Lisa.  Please don’t hesitate to file a recipients rights complaint in the future anytime you feel a consumer is being mistreated.  It is our job to help.

Best wishes to Lisa, Preston, you and Issy!

Sincerely,

Beverly

I know, I know.  This isn’t realistic.  Not yet.  But someday the attitude in our great state will be one that is supportive and helpful.

YOU MAY SAY I’M A DREAMER

but I’m not the only one

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Thank you for reading,

Kelli

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Mail a letter, save a family. Get some karma for yourself here!

Please help my friend Lisa and her son Preston.

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Lisa is a widowed mother of one boy, Preston.  He is severely autistic and horrifically aggressive.  He decimates property, injures his caretakers, and hurts himself.  Lisa has been asking for help but not getting it (sound familiar).

There are some issues in the state of MI regarding children like Preston and my daughter Issy.  No one wants to be responsible to pay for the treatment they so desperately need.  It’s complicated.  Lisa is exactly where I was six months ago when I had lost all hope for my future and Issy’s.

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Only Lisa’s situation is much worse.  There is no insurance company that is going to come out of the woodwork for her and play the fairy godmother.

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It is like watching a train wreck.

I now know exactly how my friends and family felt when it was me.  Helpless, horrified, mystified that there REALLY isn’t any help.

Well, WE CAN HELP LISA!!!!!!  It took some people smarter than me to figure it out (I’m looking at you Nicole and Suze) but here is the information we learned:

Lisa is getting services through her community mental health agency (but clearly, not enough).  When you have a problem with your services you file something called a “recipients’ rights violation” report.

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Well…..this is where it gets good:

ANYONE CAN FILL OUT A RECIEPIENTS RIGHTS VIOLATION REPORT ON BEHALF OF ANOTHER PERSON!

We can ALL file a report to the recipient’s right officer at the state capital (in regards to Lisa and Preston).  All of the reports MUST be followed up on (as required by law).

This will help Lisa in the following ways:

*It will let her complaints be known at the state capital and prevent her local community mental health agency from ignoring her.

*It will let important people know that MANY of us are watching this case and expect intervention.  And if something terrible happens to Lisa before she gets help, well, there is a paper trail from all of us who love, worry, care, or can relate to her and her needs.

*Not only are we helping Lisa, we are helping the state of MI recognize children with severe aggression and their desperate need for help.  Michigan is an amazing state.  Once they know better, they will do better for our kids.

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All you need to do is print out a copy of the recipients rights complaint.  Fill out the 5 blank spaces that are pointed to in red (I filled in the rest for you, to make it easy).  Then mail the complaint to the capital.  Emailing is not an option (I totally wish it was).

Here is what you do:

*Click the link

*Print and fill out the 5 spaces on the form

* Mail to:     MDCH – Office of Recipient Rights

                          320 South Walnut Street

                        Lewis Cass Building

                        Lansing, Michigan 48933

Here I provided these examples.  The form is already filled out except for the information we need you to provide.

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Here are the downloadable forms:

You can click on this version:

Microsoft Word version here: Preston RR form 1

or this one.  They are the same:

PDF version here: Preston RR form 1

Want to help more?

Here is a fundraiser—> http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-lisa-preston-put-their-life-together-piece-by-piece-/47136

If you would like to send help in the form of gas cards, target cards, walmart cards, (or anything else you can think of) you can send them directly to Lisa here:

Lisa Sain

9422 Tiger Run Trail

Davison, Mi 48423

*When I asked about putting her address ‘out there’ in public Lisa laughed.  She said if anyone wanted to come to her house for unkind reasons, they would take one look at her life and run in the other direction.  I just love her!

Thank you everyone!

Here is mine!

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Please take a picture of your envelope and post it here on my Facebook blog page here—> Kelli Stapleton-The Status Woe   I hope there are thousands!

*fingerts crossed* for you Lisa!!

Thanks for reading everyone!

Kelli

UPDATE!!!!! 

Preston went into treatment today! July 29, 2013.  Welcome to your miracle Lisa and Preston!  

Please check out Lisa’s blog for further updates!!  

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Meaningful Work

I had lunch with two of my bffs, Vickie and Wakako.  They are both amazing women and it was bliss to sit and have a grown-up lunch with them.

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At some point in the conversation Wakako asked me:

Wakako: What’s Issy going to do when she gets older?

Me: Well, she will be home.  She can’t have a job. Can you imagine the first time her boss asked her to do something she didn’t want to do?!  I really just want her to be happy.  I guess she can watch movies ands surf youtube…..

Wakako.  Well, I think she can to do something.  She can do something that’s meaningful AND contribute to society.  I don’t know.  Maybe a chocolatier?

Me: I guess she could learn to melt chocolate and pour it into molds.  I could have her sell the chocolates to the local stores.  Maybe?

Wakako:  Well, that or something else.  You’re just going to have to pick something for her.

Me: Pick something for her?  Like a career?

Wakako:  I’ve had students that were “typical” but extremely indecisive.  I told their parents to just pick a career for them.  If they changed their mind later, fine. But at least they were working toward something rather than just fumbling through different courses in college.

Me:  Well, Issy’s smart.  She can learn ANYTHING!  She’s only 13…. so if we started working on skills now, well heck, she would be able to do millions of things!

That moment Wakako  seriously changed my life!!! I was so excited! I didn’t sleep a wink that night.  I was going to find “meaningful work” for my daughter.  It was time that she started a “job”.

In ‘normal’ life, most 13 year olds do not have jobs.  However, most of them do homework or participate in sports and/or any number of extra curricular activities.  Issy however, doesn’t do any of those things.  But instead of those things, she will have “work” or she will go to her “job”.

A huge problem we have with Issy, is boredom.  She just doesn’t enjoy that many activities.  Sure she loves to go to the water park but clearly, we can’t do that very often.  So she has a lot of time where she is just hanging out at home.  The more unstructured time like this, the more we see her behaviors.  During the weeks she is busy with school. On Saturday she is really happy to just hang out at home watching videos or playing on the ipad.  But by Sunday, she wakes up full of rage.

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Is it because she is board?  Is it just a habit that she has to rage on Sundays?  We’ve tried to structure Sunday’s but failed when we tried to take her to church (she had a melt down. I was hit several times. It was horrible for the congregation to see.). We also live an hour away from a shopping mall or fun activities like a bowling alley or large movie complex.  Sundays are just bad news for us.

Back to my point, Issy will now have to do work daily.  It is going to be a part of her schedule just like going to school is.  In fact, she will go to school ride the bus home, have a snack, then go to work.  Just like other kids go to sports practice or whatever.  She will also have “work” on the weekends.

“Work” will be in a different place than home.  Our church offered the use of one of their rooms.  She will go to work, stay for a reasonable time, and then come home.  “Working” will help structure her time and may even give her the opportunity to earn her own money.

Currently, Issy is in residential treatment.   I told the behaviorist about Issy’s “work”.  They are incorporating Issy’s “work” into her daily schedule.

So what did I decide to do for Issy’s meaningful work?

Ready for it?

Drum roll…….

crafts

Yes, crafts.

meaningful work

She will be able to make crafts that we can sell at our two local art fairs in the summer.  I’ll also set up a website where she can sell her crafts. Maybe someday we can purchase a craft tent for shows and/or maybe eventually a building for her work in!!  Who knows?!

So for now, Issy’s work is using this paper punch to punch out pretty scrapbook paper, fold it into an envelope and use a small piece of double sided tape to secure the envelope.

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I doubt that there is much demand for a large number of mini envelopes.  I’m thinking that we may not do any craft fairs this year.  But the point is that she is learning to use the double-sided tape (she has to be careful and only use a small piece), she is using a paper punch, and she is doing SOMETHING.  There is great value in her just doing something.

So I’m on a quest to find crafts that Issy can do, but not childish looking craft projects.  So please comment if you have any ideas.  Oh, and have you SEEN PINTEREST!?!?!  I’m getting some great ideas there.  I even started an Issy board!  Let me know if you want permission to pin to it and I’ll add you (and be forever grateful to you).

I don’t know that Issy will do crafts for her entire life.  At 13 years old, and starting now, she may develop into quite an artist.  Or maybe we’ll switch over to making candies and chocolates.  She may, at some point, be able to tell me what she wants to do.  Can you imagine that day?!  We would turn the world upside down to offer her any opportunity she wanted.

So what about ‘meaningful work’ with your children?   Have you thought about it?  What have you decided to do?  I would love to hear your ideas and feed back.

Thank you for reading!  This is a picture of me giving you all double high 5’s!!!!!

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Day of Reckoning

This is the day that Issy would have been released from the treatment facility.  She has been in for 30 days.

Conflicted and grateful is the best description of how I feel.

Conflicted: 

troubled

I’m so glad she is getting treatment. So very glad.

I miss my baby so much. She spends her days and nights with people who are working with her, but they don’t love her.  All children should see someone they love EVERYDAY.  We see her once or twice a week….we all miss her.

Grateful:

grateful-heart

My last blog post got a lot of attention (you can read it here).  Because of it, state politicians know about our case.  The insurance providers know about our case, and we are getting media attention.  The most amazing thing of all is the incredible amount of donations.  Let me just say for the record that Matt and I were completely against taking donations.  Really, our CMH or the state or BC/BS insurance should be paying for this because we pay in for services.  However, we can’t really be too proud.  She only has 30 guaranteed days and we need more.  Many more.  Friends, family, and friends we haven’t met yet (a better term than strangers) have donated for Issy.  Incredible.  One person donated a whole day! That’s $760.00!!  Another donated $1,000.00.  Can you imagine!?!?  We are so overwhelmed… so humbled….so grateful.

To date donations are enough to pay for another 20 and 1/3 days of treatment.  With the 30 days (I’m going to do some math here.  I’m blonde so be patient…)

That is 50 days of treatment!!!!

50 days!

50 days!

Now… let me talk about my daughter!!!!

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When Issy was 7. One of my favorite pictures of her.

Through something called a “functional analysis” they can figure out why Issy is being aggressive.  Is it because she is trying to get out of something like school work or chores?  Is she trying to get attention?  Does she like to look at tears (I mention this because she looks at you tube videos of crying babies a lot!) ?

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What they learned was that Issy can’t tolerate being told no, or not being able to get what she wants.  Um….. Sound like every teenager on the planet.  Amirite?!  But add in her autism+ hormones+ whoknowwhatelse = aggression several times an hour (yes, an hour.  Remember the video in the last post?)

More math:

Autism+hormones+whoknowwhatelse=a large can of whoop ass

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When a normal beating just won’t do

So now we know!  And this is a completely fixable problem.

Now let me tell you about an extinction burst.  I googled for an example and google did not disappoint:  The following is copied from here—->  http://www.shirleychong.com/keepers/archives/bursts.txt

If someone’s gained some reward every time for a particular behavior, the behavior will persist.  If suddenly the reward stops coming, it’s likely that the person or animal will not immediately give up the behavior. Instead, they’ll try it again and again, harder, faster, more emphatically.  It’s a burst of activity.  If the reward still doesn’t come, eventually the behavior will extinguish, or become extinct.  So, the burst of behavior before extinction of the behavior is called an “extinction burst”.

My favorite example is the elevator button.  Let’s say you ride the same elevator every day.  You get in, you push the button for your floor, and you’re rewarded by the doors closing and the elevator taking you to your destination.  One day you get in and push the button, and nothing happens. Do you immediately say, “Oh, this must not work anymore, I’ll just take the stairs to the 11th floor”?  Or do you push the button again?  And again? And harder?  And faster?  And in special sequences?  That’s the extinction burst.

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OK, so Issy is at the facility for three weeks and they are seeing her problem behaviors.  And some of them are the start of extinction bursts.  That’s great! Only problem is she is due to come home in a week.  If her aggression is going to get worse, perhaps much worse (Picture the elevator), she’s doomed.  Seriously, we are all doomed.

The treatment center is asking for is a little more time….because they feel they can help Issy!  She just needs more time.

In comes the Michigan Education Special Services Association (MESSA) who provides our insurance. They oversee our benefits like insurance.  They aren’t really insurance, but you can read about them here.

TIME:

Time

Even though our BC/BS insurance will not cover any of Issy’s treatment, this association offered to pay for two more weeks of Issy’s care.  TWOMOREWEEKS!!!!!!!

Meantime, at the facility: They have seen Issy’s behaviors (she has injured three of their workers, destroyed all of her personal property including a flute and ipad, plus broken two of their phones).  They estimate that in a perfect world Issy would need possibly up to eight months of treatment.

More math:

30 days (paid by Medicaid and CMH)+20 days (paid by donations) + 14 days (paid my MESSA)= 64 days of treatment.  Fabulous news right?!  Yes!!  We are beyond thrilled.

But

The facility recommends 240 days.  After my recent visit to the treatment center and based on the data I saw, I think her treatment will be somewhat under that (we hope) but it’s going to be significantly more than 64 days.

We are reluctant pioneers

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In a phone call with my MESSA advocate, she called us “pioneers” because people will be coming after us and hopefully getting the treatment they deserve.  Already, so many parents have contacted me with our EXACT story!

Big high 5s and hugs if your life is a Pat Benetar song.  I know what you are going through.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!  There are many of us trying to help our children. Stay strong.  Help is coming!

Relavent:

First and foremost, I need to get Issy’s full treatment financed.  Secondly, I need to be very loud about how this is done.  Thirdly, I need a big audience because it will be hard to deny a little girl treatment if the world is watching.  Fourthly (is that a word?) anyone who is living this level of aggression needs to be able to ask for help and GET IT!!!!  These are PROBLEM behaviors.  Not “annoying” behaviors.  Not “pesky” behaviors.  Not “typical” behaviors.  These are OHMYGODHOWDOPEOPLELIVELIKETHIS  behaviors.  I never want another parent to have to tell this horrible story.  Put themselves “out there” for criticism and back yard quarterbacking (just look at some of the comments on my blog!).

If you are dealing with problem behaviors you should be able to get help.  Your local doctor should know who to call, your local school should know who to call, your local community mental health, should know who to call.

Our story has gone viralish.  We have a lot of attention.  But in order for this to really make change, we need more.  Please share our story.  Share with your politicians, medical professionals, journalist, favorite websites, favorite bloggers, favorite celebrities.  If one celebrity notices and does something, the world will change for families like ours.  Please help.

And FYI, if you contact any of the above people, be sure to include your contact information so they can reach you.

Please help me make sure the world knows and watches.  Spread the word on twitter and facebook.  I created this little picture to help get peoples attention:

teamissy

Facebook: Team Issy 

Twitter:  @TeamIssy

Jesus: Issy Stapleton

The donation page is here, if you would like to donate.  $3 is 6 minutes at the facility.  Every minute counts!  Thank you so much http://elberta-alert.org/please-help-issy-stapleton/

Thank you for reading….  Go team Issy!!!!

p.s.  Our local NPR station did a story on us.  If you would like to listen you can find the show here—> http://ipr.interlochen.org/ipr-news-features/episode/benzie-county-mom-goes-public-her-struggle-help-violent-daughter/2013-02-0

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ParentsPalooza: Parenting Expo in Atlanta.

ParentsPalooza:  Parenting Expo in Atlanta.

I love expos so hard.  Going to them, being a vendor, or hosting.  Seriously, so much fun and swag in one place.  What’s not to love, right?! The show was two days.  Honestly, I wish it could have lasted a week.  The vendors I talked to were amazingly sweet.  I love looking at all of the different products. It feels a lot like shopping.  And when I buy things, that’s exactly what it is!

For this show I was participating as host.  However, a poor facilities sound system  turned me into the voice of every adult on a Peanuts cartoon.  *sigh*  If the NYC transit authority ever needs voice over work, I know where I’ll be recording.

The families that came by my booth were all so receptive to my talk show and book.  I love seeing the mother’s eyes light up when I tell them what I do.  There is something that compels us to share our stories (any stories!  We’re social creatures, after all), and even more so for our birth stories.

When a poor unsuspecting man comes by my booth, I would tell him exactly what my show is about.  I say, “I’m just like most men.  I talk about vaginas all day!”  That usually get’s a laugh out of them as they flee my booth.  Cowards.

A highlight of this show was meeting my bff Mickey Marie Morrison in REAL LIFE.  She is the author of Baby Weight . The Complete Guide to Prenatal & Postpartum Fitness  I’m  proud to promote her book on my website as a “friend of the show”.

Mickey  was participating in the Expo’s  “Book Nook”.   Since she didn’t have a regular booth, she spent a lot of time at our spot.  It was *awesome*.

Do you think I was a little too excited to meet her?

The book nook was a brilliant feature of the show.  There was an area where authors had their books for sale and did readings.  Seriously, this was one of my favorite parts of the show.

Bracelet wearing bffs!

I love any opportunity I get to go to Atlanta.  My brother lives there with his lovely wife.  His children are grown and both are now responsible for making me a great aunt.  Seriously, I’m far too young to be a great aunt.   This is a picture of my sister-in-law Tonya and my great nephew Bryson.  Isn’t he a cutie?!  He had so much fun at the expo.  There were bounce houses, trampolines, baby/toddler food vendors. …

He is much happier than he looks. I think.

AND A CONCERT BY LAUGHING PIZZA!!!  There were there for a meet-n-greet just before their performance.  This is Bryson’s first star collision!

In addition to Family I have some real life bffs who LIVE IN ATLANTA!

Kelli and Tracy
Bffs 4 ever!

Tracy and I went to college together (Kalamazoo College. Go Hornets!) and are lifelong bffs.   I can NOT even begin to explain all the ways in which Tracy helped me this weekend.  She was at my table covering for me when I was off announcing, speaking, or networking.  Getting ice, finding lost children, finding lost vendors; you name it.  She was the “yes” girl when I really needed one.

I should be kissing her on the lips in this picture.  Total. Life. Saver!  Did I mention that she is the mother of TWINS?!?!

I met  Emmy award-winning TV journalist Joyce Brewer last year at Parent’s Palooza.  For over a year now we’ve been “sisters from another mister”.  I love everything she is doing with Mommy Talk Show and love LOVE LOVE her book.  I couldn’t get to Atlanta fast enough to see my favorite mommypreneur!  Did I mention that she has an EMMY!?!   We become real life bffs and a support for each other in our internet and parenting  journey.  Check out her show and Facebook page.  I know you’ll love her too!

Use What you Know  A Business Idea Guide for Moms

Ok….So maybe I come on a little strong. I didn’t mean to scare you Joyce!

Some other fun at the parenting expo:

The flu shot!!  Who gets a flu shot at an expo?  Turns out, a lot of people!

I can’t tell you the thrill that went through me when I saw the girl scouts had a booth!  BEYOND EXCITED!  You see, Samoas are my all-time FAVORITE cookie.

Well, and then this happened…….

I wish they had boogie wipes when my kids were little.  Talk about a brilliant product.

I do however feel the need to let you know that they do NOT work well on the wall next to the kid’s bed to wipe off boogers.  That requires scraping.  With your mouth closed.  Don’t ask me how I know…

Lots of nits but no bugs!  Win!  Right?  That is a good thing??  Right???? *itches head*

And I just made you itch too!

She mentioned that getting lice could be an occupational hazard.  They should put those things on salad!

Did I mention that I love authors?!  So this is me after several diet cokes and handfuls of candy with awesome authors  Parnell Donahue, M.D.​ (on the left)  the author of  Messengers in Denim, The Amazing Things Parents Can Learn from Teens  and Paul Powell​ the author of From Autistic to Awesome: Spiritual Growth through Life with My Special-Needs Child.  Really wonderful gentlemen!

One of the biggest highlights of the weekend was meeting with Deborah Gilboa of Ask Dr. G.  I started following her on twitter (ok, stalking) and couldn’t wait to meet her in real life!

Deborah looks scared.

The internet famous “overly attached girlfriend”

Anyone else see this?!

Deborah is BEYOND awesome.  You can ASK her any parenting question on her website.  ANY. PARENTING. QUESTION!  I asked her about getting my kids to stop fighting.  Her answer was pure gold.

Did I mention that she is a doctor?  And a mom?  And an Author?  And a speaker?  You get the idea.  Your basic overachiever.

Get her book here!

Doctor G’s “parent size” book.

And guess what?!  We’re bracelet wearing bffs!  Seriously, I love her so hard!

Bracelet wearing bffs!

This little one is the daughter of Aimee Brittain AKA The Coupon Diva.  And she loved to play with my hair.  So I let her try it on!  She looks adorable with blonde bangs.

I told her she may have my hair when I die.  Now she is weirdly excited for me to attend the deadbangers ball.  Related blog post here.

Ok, it was there and it was open.  I thought it would be FUN to go through it.  Really, where is their sense of humor? *eye roll* (Thanks Power Home Remodeling Group! You guys were so much fun!)

This is bff Leslie Petruck of Stepping Stones: Counseling & Consulting.  I think she gave at least 4 talks at Parents Palooza.  Seriously, a superhero.  And if I wasn’t convinced of her superhero status before, I was when I met her son.  Because my daughter is significantly affected by autism, I feel like I have the right to just jump in when I see another child with special needs.  Well, I very rudely asked, “What’s going on with your son?”.  And Leslie graciously responded.

We spoke for a few more minutes but it wasn’t nearly enough.  I love connecting with other mothers who are on a journey that I can relate to.

Did you see her adorable shirt? The back is even better! And I have one *squee*!!

Check out Leslie’s website here: www.omgisoundjustlikemymother.com

Have you all ever seen one of these booths? From the It Works! company?

Where they wrap up your body parts and you magically lose inches.  MAGICALLY LOSE INCHES!!

So basically I told them to SHUTUPANDTAKEMYMONEY!!  I had to try this!!

So into the little tent I went. I decided to wrap my upper thighs.

Thighs were measured and wrapped

Saran wrap green is TOTALLY my color!

90 minutes of tingle and heat (and a bit of chaffing because I was running around the expo) and my newest bffs took off my wrap.

The “after” measurements were taken and….

I had lost nearly an INCH on each thigh!  Just like that!!

Thank you so much Carol and ladies!!

Not quite sure what they are implying when they started wrapping my head. Huge ego? Fat head?

I met bff Nicole last year.  That picture is on the left.  Just before the picture was snapped I asked, “Would it be weird if I asked to nurse your baby?”  Her burst of laughter is what you’re seeing!

I can’t even say how thrilled I was that she came back this year!

BFF Jeni came to the show too! Jeni is a Doula! A real live DOULA!!

And my most favorite thing in the world!  **PREGNANT BELLIES**!  Miriam was kind enough to let me touch her belly!

Thanks for visiting *The Status Woe* !

~Kelli Stapleton

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You found WHAT in your baby’s diaper?!

This article was originally written for my bff Joy Rose and her Museum of Motherhood fundraising project: http://mamapalooza.com/mamablogger365-mommy-fail-moments-by-kelli-stapleton.html

We all have them, those mommy fail moments. We look away for a split second, blink, or sleep and disaster strikes. Hopefully we can laugh at ourselves and move on. Inviting others to laugh at our moments unites us in the sisterhood of mothering.

You may remember my last post

You found WHAT in your baby’s mouth?!  Well, as promised I have a list of the worst items found in your baby’s diaper. Read with extreme caution:

Rock
Quarter
Fluorescent green poo. Maybe from fruit snacks?
A strand of mom’s hair
Crayon bits
Lego man’s head
Chocolate wrapper
Partially digested Dora sticker
“Yarn from my son’s raggedy Andy and his lion. It was soooo disgusting because it kept coming out of his bottom as I cleaned him up.”
A hair clip
Made in china sticker (she most certainly was not)
Watermelon seeds
Princess sticker
Marble
My sister found a polly pocket doll in her son’s diaper
77 cents worth of change
Spider
Bead off of a necklace
Two pacifiers (the back story is, we were trying to break my daughter off of her paci and so she got smart and would steal her little brother’s and stick them in her diaper so we couldn’t find them or she would hide them in her closest, when could never figure out how she keep getting pacifiers, lol)
Whole blueberries
Large button
“The day before, my son had eaten purple grapes, and dh was changing his diaper; he though baby had eaten a black plastic bag and was distressed until I could explain it to him!”
A raisin. My son was only two months old. His two year old brother “shared” the day before.
A bead
Tin foil
“Sand from the beach… when we had gone two weeks before.”
A piece of yard from her blankie
“My nephew put several slugs in his diaper to ‘keep them safe’. Needless to say when the diaper was opened we all screamed….lol”
Blue poo from superman ice cream
4 pebbles
A whole piece of corn
Button from pajamas
Glitter
“And live tapeworm. And I had to finish pulling it out.”

Parenting is an adventure. Enjoy it with love and laughter!

Kelli Stapleton
www.birthstoriesondemand.com

Kelli Stapleton is the producer and host of the radio show/podcast “Birth Stories on Demand” as well as the owner of the website and author of the companion book. Normally she does not collect gross out lists. She normally collects stories of women’s birth experiences; natural, medical intervention, c-section, quick entrance…in other words, all birth stories.

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You found WHAT in your baby’s mouth?!

This article was originally written for my bff Joy Rose and her Museum of Motherhood fundraising project: http://mamapalooza.com/mamablogger365-mommy-fail-moments-by-kelli-stapleton.html

I remember distinctly being at the beach with my 10-month-old daughter. I was spreading out the blanket and organizing our little beach space when I looked up and saw her reaching for a very small, but definitely dead, fish. Now, let me remind you that at 10 months old, babies like to put things in their mouth. And by “things” I mean EVERYTHING. My daughter was no exception. I watched in horror as she grasped the fish and with lightening fast speed, had it in her mouth.

IN HER MOUTH!

I ran to her but she had already spit out the fish. That didn’t stop me from rinsing out her mouth with a bottle of water. Poor baby, it must have felt like water boarding but she had a DEAD FISH IN HER MOUTH!!

We are each unique, just like everyone else. So I figured I wasn’t the only mom to have a mommy fail moment. So I approached the mommy communities on my Facebook pages (here) and posed the question: What was the worst thing you found in your baby’s mouth? Below is the list for your reading horror:

Live spider
Unused tampon
Pebbles from the beach
Wet, meaty cat food
Part of a pop-up book
Snails
Live cricket
Rubber band
Organic dog food
Dog poo
Silica gel pack
Placenta from a younger sibling’s home birth
Cat poo
Wood louse
Poo with straw/hay in it
Safety pin
Battery
Unknown animal poop from the park
Half of a slug
Huge locust
Human poo
Twix wrapper
Large piece of confetti
Rectal thermometer after use
Live minnow
Entire tube of lip balm
Sick goldfish from a pond
One of mom’s “special” toys
Entire tube of lubricant
Moth ball
Already chewed gum
Quarter
Balloon fragment
Toilet water-dipped Oreos
Half a cock roach
Hands…right after a dunk in an unflushed toilet
Hairball
Sand
Gum from an unknown source

Please tune in for my next blog submission where I share with you a list of the worst things found in a baby’s diaper…

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Little Things in Little Ways

I wrote this piece a while back to help benefit the Museum of Motherhood (MOM).  I’m a huge fan of Joy Rose and proudly call her a bff.  Please be sure to check out the MOM’s website and visit this amazing place the next time you are in NYC!

Little Things in Little Ways

Image

My youngest daughter is 10 and I have yet to complete a scrapbook. I don’t blog so I have no record of accomplishments from any of my kids. I could go on and on about how busy I am. The truth is however, I have the same 24 hours everyone else has. But honestly, I feel like life is passing by far too quickly. So for the last few years I’ve been working on documenting some little things, in little ways.

I started writing in books. The books I read to the kids and the books they read to themselves. I make comments on the inside covers and in the margins. When the kids outgrow a book, I add it to a shelf of books I intend to keep forever and ever. I picture their kids reading these books some day. Won’t that be fun for them to read the books and all of the little messages inside?

I write in cookbooks. I tweak recipes in them. But better than that, I write about how my family members feel about the dishes I make. I write a few sentences and sometimes add drawings. It doesn’t take any time. I enjoy it. And in the decades to come, I will have a great record of how horribly I cook and how ungrateful my kids are.

I write on artwork, sort of. I have original art, prints, and crap posters adorning the walls of my house. I don’t have art just for aesthetics. I have it because it means something to me. So I write why I own it on the back of the frame. I add the facts about the acquisition (gallery, gift or garage sale), why I like it, and anything else relevant.

Recently, I started writing on appliances. I know, I’m getting out of control, but this is quickly becoming my favorite thing. I have a sharpie on my dryer and write the items I find. Here is a partial list: coins, safety pin, guitar pick, barrette, ChapStick, money, poop, sunglasses, teeth (after a trip to the dentist), rocks, keys, and string cheese.

I have a journal book that floats around the kitchen and dining room. My husband and I leave notes to each other in it. The notes are sweet, angsty, amorous, antagonistic. You name it. But it’s a great record of little moments.

And finally, I keep a calendar like everyone does. I started adding a little more to it. It’s not much really. Not like a diary filled with reflections. But it’s about the best I can do for now.

Bio: Kelli Stapleton graduated from Kalamazoo College in 1995, and went on to work as a scientist/molecular biologist in both academia and industry. She gave up her short term genetics projects to work exclusively on three long term projects. They are her children McEwen, Isabelle, and Ainsley.

In her free time, Kelli is the producer and host of the wildly popular Birth Stories on Demand internet radio show. She is also the author of the Birth Stories on Demand Presents series of books written to entertain and inform women about childbirth. She manages the BSOD website and spends far too much time on social media.

Kelli is also aspiring to take over the planet!

 

 

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