Our Decision to Have a Third Baby

“Do we need these baby gates?” I asked Ed.

“Yeah hun, hold on to them because we will want to put up a gate to keep the little one from wandering out of their room,” he said.

Weird. Little one wandering. It seems like such a foreign concept. After he said that, I couldn’t help but think…is this child going to walk?

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Beginning Again- Here we go 2018!

Wow y’all. I really let my blog go. I started to write about our journey as a special needs family, and along the way, I started to wonder what on earth is my focus with my business, my life, and with this little space on the interwebs?!  So, I took some time off from writing, and after all of the love, support, and just flat out incredible messages from you all, I finally think I know what to do with this blog. I want to share what you can expect from me.

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Tablescaping for Habitat for Humanity

About a month ago, I received an email from Restore director, Amy McLoughlin to design and participate in a tablescape challenge in which all items donated would be sold to benefit Habitat for Humanity. It also had to incorporate items from my small business for promo purposes. SO FUN! I came up with a Peter Rabbit theme where I illustrated and hand-painted bunny napkins, and made a pretty sweet illustrated invitation, map, rsvp, and calligraphed the menu and leaf place cards. The tablescape turned out great! By great, I mean, I’m proud to have my name next to it. Anyway, I just wanted to share my tablescape adventure in case any of you have upcoming events where you need to decorate a table!

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Spring Cleaning & Making 2017 Happen!

Hey y’all! I realize it’s been awhile since I last wrote. There have been some major changes happening here on the MarisaMade site and I want to tell you all about them and the exciting things that are happening in 2017!

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Adventures in Face Painting

Last weekend, I was hired to face paint tweens and teens faces at Tamarack in West Virginia by a friend of mine who works with the RAZE campaign. My first thought of face painting was using those chubby, little, crayon-like sticks of paint to draw smiley faces, hearts, and stars. Nope, nope, and nope. Face painting is no joke! It is a serious art form. Think, mini masterpieces on every single face you paint! Tiger faces, princess crowns, beautifully colored butterflies, skulls that looked pretty real…I was intimidated, and really unprepared. 

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Maxwell Turns TWO And The Start of Max Squad

MAX TURNED TWO LAST WEEK!! (oops, this blog post is a little late!) Max’s favorite show is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so, of course we did a Mickey themed party!

The day before the party, my husband, aunt, and myself pinterested…hard! We painted Mickey and Minnie pumpkins, made black pom-poms with ears, drew and painted Mickey garland with Maxwell’s name on it, and made a Mickey paper chain. It was too cute! I forgot to mention, my husband had the most tedious job of all…cutting small, white circles from labels for “Mickey’s buttons.”

I made the cupcakes from a box, and whipped up some icing to make Mickey cupcakes. I LOVE bakery cupcakes, but I procrastinated and had to DIY the night before!

This birthday was different for me as a mom.

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Painting Jordan's Journey

Last summer, my dear friend, Cindy Chamberlin, who was Maxwell’s physical therapist mentioned that she thought I was the right artist to paint a very special picture for her. The picture she wanted me to paint, the story she wanted me to tell, was Jordan’s Journey.  Jordan was Cindy’s daughter who passed away from Trisomy 18 three days after she was born.

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Maxwell's Diagnosis

The past few months have been a whirlwind! We have sold our house (after 3 years of trying), moved to a new city, established a new therapy team for Max, and enrolled our oldest in preschool. Several months ago, Ed, myself, and Maxwell had our blood taken for a detailed genetic test. The results came in with an actual diagnosis for Max. 

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When Your Child Doesn't Qualify for Social Security

Having a child with special needs does not discriminate based on your income level.

It just doesn’t.

However, if you are not considered low income by the Social Security Administration, your road to obtaining assistance on a federal and state level is MUCH more difficult. “You don’t qualify” will be the most frequent phrase you encounter, and you will believe that, but I’m here to tell you there is another way in West Virginia.

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Cortical Visual Impairment & Seeing West Virginia in a Positive Light

The very first diagnosis Maxwell received was Cortical Visual Impairment. I watched Max lay on a blanket for the first 7 months of his life only looking to his left side, crossing his eyes when he tried to focus, staring at the light, and shaking his head back and forth when he became overstimulated. I took notice that all of his toys were exactly as I had placed them on his blanket. Not one had moved. Not one had been picked up. Not one had been played with.

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