Friday, January 27, 2017

"Weighted Hugs"

My sister Jennifer Alvarado and I are launching our new business:
"Weighted Hugs".
 

The following story is shared with my daughter's permission.

It all happened "by accident" when I tried out a weighted lap pad--that I had made--on my daughter Hope. She was struggling with sitting and concentrating during school. (She is home-schooled.) Her schooling was taking way too many hours, so I put a weighted pad on her lap as an experiment to see how she did with her classes.

Obviously, Hope didn't know about the experiment. She just knew I gave her a "comfy pillow" to hold on her lap. The school days were put to the test, without coercion from me for Hope to complete her school work.

During my five-day experiment, the days Hope did not use her weighted lap pad, she accomplished between  to  pages of work during her school hours.

On the days she used her weighted lap pad, she finished between 16 to 17 pages of school each day--with beautiful handwriting!!!


I was a believer! How I wish I had known about sensory processing issues and weighted pads earlier! School days would have gone A LOT smoother!

So, I began researching sensory processing difficulties, weighted products, and experimenting further.

Hope's weighted lap pad for school is simple with no distractions on it. Her lounging pad is portable and has sequences on it that she can "draw" and "write" on. She keeps her pads near her at most times and even sleeps with them most nights. She says: "They feel so good!"

Hope with her "thinking pads" (as she calls them):


With such great results, my sister and I began making weighted lap pads and weighted lounging pads for others to experiment with. Positive results were continually reported back to us.

For example, one result came from a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who does mental health therapy with her clients. She wrote: "I tried two [5-pound] pads with a sixth grader today who is 11.... The boy is autistic, bipolar, and suicidal with extreme anxiety. He has never sat through a session in the two to three years I have had him. He is constantly spinning in his chair, rocking, or moving around in some capacity. He's always rushing to be finished with the session and cannot focus for more than a few minutes. I tried the pads on him this afternoon, and he gave me 45 minutes of undivided attention, did not rush the session, and did not move from his chair or spin the chair the entire time. Praise God!" 

Another report came from a preschool teacher who wrote: "I find the blanket* to be soothing, enabling the child to calm down and be comforted. The weight acts as a warmth of a cuddle. My student kept it on for a while and thus was the stimulus for academics. Thank you for allowing me this luxury."
*Lounging pad


So, why weighted products?
"[D]eep pressure from weighted products can be beneficial in calming and modulating the brain's ability to filter the overwhelming stimuli from the senses. Pressure through the use of weighted materials has been effective in helping people achieve that 'just right' state of being calm and alert." (http://occupational-therapy.advanceweb.com/Archives/Article-Archives/Benefits-of-Weighted-Products-for-Managing-Sensory-Processing-Disorder.aspx)

We have seen the results first-hand, and therefore, we wanted to help other children, teens, and adults who are struggling with anxiety, restless leg syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, sleep issues (falling asleep and/or staying asleep), post-traumatic stress disorder, Asperger's Syndrome, ADD/ADHD, etc., or who simply need help concentrating.

Thus, we have decided to launch our line of "Weighted Hugs" in the form of weighted lap pads and weighted shoulder wraps.



Weighted Lap Pads
7-pound pads shown:



Sammy with a 2-pound "choo-choo train" lap pad:
Weighted lap pads range from 7½" x 18" to
11" x 20" depending on the weight.


Weighted Shoulder Wraps
-pound wraps shown:
Shoulder wraps are up to 36" long depending on the desired weight.

**We also sell matching sets.**

Available in soft, snugly fabrics which include
PRINCESSES:

CHOO-CHOO TRAINS:

PRETTY KITTY WITH HEARTS:

RACE CARS:

BOWS WITH GLITTER:

BUSY VEHICLES:

RESTING OWLS:

KALEIDOSCOPE:

BLUE CAMO SHARKS:

FLOWERS, BUTTERFLIES, AND BUTTONS:

GREEN CAMO:

 BRIGHT OWLS:

BE-YOU-TIFUL:

PLANETS:

BELIEVE IN YOUR DAYDREAM:

BLUE ANGELS CAMO:

FLORAL CIRCLES BROWN:

COFFEE, TEA, LATTE:

Pricing for our weighted lap pads:
2 pounds = $24.00
3 pounds = $29.00
4 pounds = $34.00
5 pounds = $39.00
6 pounds = $44.00
7 pounds = $49.00

Pricing for our weighted shoulder wraps:
 pounds = $22.00
(suitable for younger children)
3 pounds = $29.00
(suitable for teens and adults)

E-mail us at WeightedHugs@yahoo.com for shipping prices.

Our weighted lap pads are hand-washable as we use clean, smooth pebbles for lots of texture for busy hands, and our weighted shoulder pads are machine washable on cold and dryer-friendly on delicate, since we use Polypropylene Pellets for softness around the neck and shoulders and to provide uniform density.

Each weighted lap pad and weighted shoulder wrap is made individually to order.


The best weight for therapeutic results is 10% of one's body weight--so that the weight is felt on one’s deep pressure points. However, since weighted lap pads that are too heavy are not very portable, our maximum weight is 7 pounds. However, the pads and wraps can be combined for greater weight.

If you would like to place an order or if you have additional questions, please contact us at WeightedHugs@yahoo.com. Thank you!


Disclaimer: Jennifer and I are not professional Occupational Therapists. We are simply wanting to help others achieve the sense of able-ness and calmness that our children have experienced. These pads and wraps are not for infants or babies who may not be able to crawl out from under them. In addition, the shoulder wraps are not meant to be heated in the microwave.



UPDATE:

For all those who have ordered weighted products: thank you for trusting us! We are now caught up on orders and wanted to let you know that we now accept credit cards. If you or someone you know needs weighted products, you can search for us on Facebook: Weighted Hugs

A sampling from this week...

2-pound weighted lap pad:

4-pound weighted lap pad:

4-pound weighted lap pad:

7-pound weighted lap pad:

7-pound weighted lap pad:

3-pound weighted shoulder wrap:

How the lap pads fit:


We truly hope and pray our customers find the help they need through these products. Help can, indeed, be "benign"--as our pediatrician calls our products. Here's to joy with no negative side-effect!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Daniel's head injury update

So, amongst the flu and strep throat we have been struggling to fight, Daniel had an appointment with his doctor. The doctor said that the way his head is healing is indicative that he did indeed fracture his skull. My little guy!  How sad!

However, we praise the LORD he did not have a more serious head and brain injury!

Daniel has already had so much radiation following the stroke/brain hemorrhage he endured as a baby, that the doctor at Crucial Care had not wanted him to undergo even one x-ray. We were just to "wait and see".

Daniel is healing, and we are so thankful that God's hand of protection was on his brain!

Thank You, Jesus!

My favorite picture of Daniel so far was from this summer:
God bless sweet boy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Piano sidekick

If Cherish is practicing her piano lesson, her sidekick Sammy is always by her side.
Always.
Always.
Always with his arm around her. So, so precious!!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Sensory processing and a mommy who is learning

So, we have some sensory processing sensitivities in our family, and I have been learning A LOT about sensory processing lately. (more on that later...)

While working on projects--yet having children who need to be with mommy--I asked for help with transferring rocks from a bag to a bowl.

I never thought about how powerful little rocks can be!

Have you ever really looked at rocks?
Ever noticed how different they are?
Ever noticed all the swills and dots in rocks?
 Have you ever really felt rocks?
Ever rubbed your hands around and around in rocks?
Ever examined how smooth they can be?
Have you ever transferred rocks and heard their amazingly different
sounds as they hit the bottom of different types of containers?
Ever really felt rocks?
On your head?
Rolling down your face?
Apparently, it's amazing!
 Ah-may-zing!!
Ever thought of putting rocks in a vinyl glove like this guy did?
Strangely, it feels and moves like a skeletal hand with skin on it!
Ever seen and listened to rocks roll around and then plop through little holes?
It is way cool!
 
Our children have had hours and hours of fun this week exploring rocks with all their senses. (Yes, I had to teach Sammy not to put rocks in his mouth!) It's amazing the joy something so simple can bring when given our full attention!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Caring big sister

I put Cherish on babysitting duty for about ten minutes and came back to this:


She said Sammy had been pointing at his carrier, so she put it on and put him in it. Within minutes he was asleep for his afternoon nap.

What a help she CONSTANTLY is! She is continually on the lookout for the littles and how to help them.

God bless Cherish!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hope's smile

What I love: toothless smiles!

Brave girl pulled the tooth out with one quick yank.
I'm so proud of her--since I can't bring myself to pull teeth!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Samuel's Dedication

Remember when I said that health had finally come to our family? Well, it lasted a couple of days. For that, I am thankful.

Samuel has had no vaccinations, because he has been constantly sick. After his adenoid surgery and the surgery to put tubes in his ears, Samuel's surgeon said he would probably stay well from now on.

Well, Samuel spiked a fever on Friday evening and by Saturday morning was congested with green phlegm. We did all we could to get him well, and by Sunday morning was doing a bit better.

The Dedication was already set, so we timed his medication to ensure he would feel comfortable leaving the house for a short time.

Little guy was dedicated to the Lord today, and what a privilege it was!






Samuel is a sweet blessing added to our family!! We are so thankful for him!!!

Thank You, LORD, for the gift of Samuel!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

December Catch Up

Our December was jam-packed, so I tried not to be on FB or our Blog as much as possible in order to get as many quality moments out of the month as possible. There were lots of things to keep us busy: three birthdays in a month's time, two Gotcha Day Anniversary celebrations, play time, schooling, illnesses, surgeries, head injuries, Christmas with all its' beautiful celebrations, prepping to launch a new business (more on that in another post), etc.

So, here's our story as told through pictures:








 Andrew is in that animal's mouth!
 Daniel LOVES airplanes!

 The three birthday children:






 Cherish is the love of each of her brothers!!

Time with Nanny and Pappy:

Derek, Andrew, and I had a BLAST(!!!!) sliding down these ice slides over and over again!
We were just walking along the streets of Orlando,
and these two ladies joined us:



 Cherish had a tie-dye birthday party with Brownie Sundays as her dessert of choice:

Sammy had his birthday celebration, which included a Brownie Sunday just before bed. It was his last sold food for two weeks.
The next morning Sammy had surgery that took care of four problems at once. Two surgeons worked together to put Sammy under anesthesia just once. Therefore, there was only one recovery time. The recovery time was supposed to be two weeks but ended up being about three weeks long.

Uncle Paul and Aunt Kelsey stopped by for a visit and brought the children a Gingerbread House to decorate. That surely helped with being housebound for the three weeks.

During those three weeks of Samuel's recovery, we finished up school for the semester--completing 43.5% of our school year. I was very proud of the children!

In addition, our neighbor looked out for Andrew and his need to be outdoors, so he was invited to go fishing with their family several times:
(Picture compliments of Cheryle)

During that time of recovery came two very serious head injuries for Daniel--both of which should have (could have) broken his skull. Crucial Care said just to watch him, as he had had too much radiation from when he had CT Scans following his stroke.

Having not even had his head felt by the staff at Crucial Care, but showing no symptoms of severe trauma, we simply waited.

Now, however, his skull feels like it has healed with a break that has had bone heal over it. I can't explain it, but it is WEIRD!! I can't wait for him to be seen by his pediatrician!

(Sometimes I put a helmet on the child just to give my heart some rest from his constant falling! He could give me a heart attack!)

Part of our Christmas celebration included an Advent Calendar that our church put together. It was fabulous!!! Each day our children ensured that we had time to complete each day's study and activities. We all loved our time together working through the Advent Calendar, and we have made it a point to make it part of our family's Christmas tradition.

Speaking of traditions, we went out caroling on Christmas Eve again. We had a blast walking around our neighborhood singing. We were actually joined for a short time by about other three families! We laughed so much and came home wishing the night wasn't over.

Christmas morning dawned, and the children found lots of gifts provided by some very special people! Special thanks to those who gave gifts to our children! What a precious blessing you have been! We pray for you and ask God's blessing on you!







After about three weeks of needing to stay close to the house, we broke free! Out we went to spend some time outside, enjoying nature:




Though December was hard, with very little sleep and lots of pain for the little ones, we made precious memories and stayed close together in the moments. Through our time together, we have reached a new level of bonding. If nothing else, that was the jewel that I am most thankful for.

Thank you for praying for us, Dear Ones. Life has been difficult with someone sick pretty much every day from August through to the end of December, but now health has returned to our family. We are enjoying life one day at a time.