Paper Clouds Apparel: amazing art by individuals with special needs on Earth-friendly shirts

Diane, an olde tyme blogge friend is working with the owner of this company. He has a Kickstarter campaign going to fund this project into fruition. It’s a fablulous idea that you can become a part of. Below are some excerpts from the description.

You can show support with as little as $1

The ultimate goal at Paper Clouds Apparel has always been to design shirts using art from special needs schools and organizations in all 50 states. This is where you can help!

How Do Shirts Help Individuals with Special Needs?

When a special needs individual creates a piece of artwork and discovers that we want to use it on a shirt, their face lights up. Seeing art that they created end up on a shirt — and finding out others want to buy and wear something they designed — brings their self confidence up to a new level. Paper Clouds Apparel will also be hiring special needs individuals to help with the packaging of all our new shirts, thus providing them with a steady paycheck while helping them develop a heightened sense of pride and independence.

You can show support with as little as $1

Home shopping special needs style

We need a bigger house. Four people, two dogs and two cats is too much for 1100 square feet. It’s gotten to the point that when Fluffy shakes off her stuff after school onto the living room floor we don’t have any space to walk in any longer. A regular ole pile of laundry to be washed blocks the rear exit. Not cool.

This summer, I had to move the girls out of their room to what had just been transformed into our super office schoolroom area. The water heater sprung a leak in the hot water pipe and we had mold almost over night. I had to tear out sheetrock and insulation yadda yadda. There went the third room. Fast forward to Christmastime. I had reset the office stuff into the smaller room with the new water heater. Everything was set up nicely according to my finicky work aesthetic. Then we went and invited the family over. Everything that wasn’t tacked down was shoved into the newly cleared room to make space for the dozen coming in for dinner. Bye-bye office!

home shopping special needs
can we find the perfect home?
I haven’t been comfortable in this trailer for a few years. I tried painting, new linens, psychotherapy, and whatever else was suggested to me to get rid of the cramped, unhappy feelings that I have as we head into the second decade of living here. After running a hopping small business out of it for two plus years, I concluded it was the house, not me. He didn’t want to admit it but Mike was unhappy with it too.

I saw an ad for a realtor who specializes in foreclosed homes in the area on Facebook. The more I looked, the more it confirmed this was the best time for us to buy. The price bubble has burst. Mortgage rates are low. Inventory is excellent. We have been looking for homes now for months. I didn’t realize the long list of needs we have because of the I’ll call it “uniqueness” of our family.

  • Remain in our current school district. No parent of a disabled kid wants to move an IEP unless absolutely necessary.
  • Two stories. We need separation for quiet spaces.
  • Garage. I am sick of scraping ice off my windows. Plus, it is an instant containment area for Bear when she gets out of the car. She has this thing about running down the driveway into the street when she exits a vehicle at home.
  • Off the main roads. See above. Plus, Bear is a runner. I can’t have her close to a busy street in case she wanders off.
  • In a subdivision with sidewalks and level roads. Fluffy loves to ride her bike and Bear is trying to learn. The incline our house is on has discouraged her from trying. It’s fun to go down but not when you can’t power your bike back up the little hill.
  • Families. There cannot be too much socialization for the kids and we could use more as well.
  • 6-foot fence. Houston can jump our four-footer!
  • Office downstairs. I need to work in the main traffic area.
  • Larger kitchen + better layout for eating area. MORE COUNTER SPACE! I want to break the girls of eating in front of the TV because we have to use the table to dry dishes. They can’t learn table manners eating on the sofa.

It’s hard to move because we have made several intimate connections on our neighborhood. I am torn. I know it’s for the best but the transition of a move is going to turn us upside down and inside out.


I am mom and I am mean

this is me lately.

angry zebra by awestlan




Fluffy has made her job – once again – to push all my buttons. At least it seems that way. My rational brain knows it is her way of manipulating the situation into a more comfortable one. One where she gets every damn thing she wants when she wants.

Mike and I have made it a point as parents to teach our children to follow the rules. No one would call us strict but we don’t cater to them. No matter how many times the short person asks, the answer stays the same. Negotiating doesn’t work. Whining brings on more disdain. Arguing is a quick trip to Timeouttown.

Our daughter has lived with these rules for 455 weeks. You couldn’t tell. Other people will attest to our consistency with these boundaries. It’s not new that once you’re told to do your chores, you’re not going to get out of them by asking to take a shower.

Unless you are my daughter. Everyday, it’s a new opportunity to learn these tenets of our home. Every freaking day.

Case in point: Last night- T-minus 5 minutes to bedtime

ME: Bedtime is in 5 minutes. If you’re still hungry, come and get some more dinner now.
FLUFFY: *silence as she looks at an ad circular, a slight flinch of recognition is detected*
ME: Bedtime is in 5 minutes. If you’re still hungry, come and get some more dinner now.
More nothing. So I put dinner away.
ME: You need to go to bed.
ME: (voice increased, tone flat) Time to go to bed!
FLUFFY: Can I sleep with you?
ME: Nope, I have work to do and I won’t be going to bed for several hours.
And she remains on the sofa for several more minutes.
ME: Go to bed now or you will go to bed 30 minutes earlier tomorrow. (predetermined consequence for stalling at bedtime)
FLUFFY: *insert long whine* AaaHHHHHhh….. grumble mumble
Fast forward through tuck ins and kisses to 15 MINUTES LATER
The house is closed for the night. Mom is working.
FLUFFY: I’m still hungry, can I something to eat?

What in the hell! This type of stuff is happening every night. Every day. She is forever testing the boundaries that NEVER change.

Is this an ADHD thing? Is it a stubborn as a mad mule in May thing? HELP!