Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sometimes I Say "YES!"

not often, mind you, but sometimes i say "yes" to my kids.....not just "maybe," "let me think about it," "perhaps later!"    this past saturday i said "YES!"   i know that forrest must have been completely shocked, but i did, i said it!   although wyatt was, unbeknownest to me, coming down with double ear, nose, and eye infections, i took my 2 youngest sons to the park for a picnic with my parent's church!  it was a beautiful day, tim and ethan had work to do, and the boys and i were free!  the picnic was at a shady park, and it was just a picture perfect (although hot!) day!  
the park is situated on a bay that has access to the gulf of mexico, and it's very shallow for 20 yards or more, so forrest (10) immediately headed down to the water's edge to explore!   after a while i went to check on him, and he was headed up to the pavillion with several crabs to show us.   after i admired them, i sent him back to deposit them in the water, saving them from certain death!   

after eating, forrest immediately headed back down to explore some more.   i followed a short time later with wyatt in tow.   wyatt was very interested in the water, so i took off our shoes and we walked and walked and walked in the shallow (6 inch deep) water. great physical therapy for him!  and he LOVED watching and following the little fish and crabs!   forrest then asked "can i swim?"    AND I SAID YES!!!!   mind you, this is not in my nature to do!   and he was not wearing a swim suit!    fortunately, he was in gym shorts, so he just took off his shirt and had fun swimming and chasing sea critters!    and i even let wyatt join him!   they had a blast together!    wyatt kept licking the salty water, which was very cute!   i didn't have my camera, but mom's pastor took this lone picture for me, to document the day!  

on the way home, wrapped up in a picnic blanket, forrest talked about what a great day it had been, how glad he was that we had gone......and i know that it would not have been nearly as great had i not said "YES!"    

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Let Me Tell You What Wyatt's Been Up to Lately!

did you ask what wyatt's been up to lately?  let me tell you.....his speech therapist has noticed a real "speech explosion" as she calls it.  it's funny how you don't always recognize all that your kids are doing when you're with them all the time!   she wants to increase his speech therapy time, as a matter of fact!   that's pretty exciting!   he has perfected saying "ethan".....so very cute!  and big brother ethan just eats that up!   sometimes it's just "than" (like thor....) but often it's "e-than!"   just this morning he said "on" as clear as day!   he has words for "g-mama" and "g-daddy," as well as "bubba" for forrest!  other words include "good," "go," "hand," and "balloon," to name a few.....pretty exciting!   he also makes roaring and growling sounds when we ask him what the bear, cow and lion say.....

he's also adding lots of signs, and imitation of signs!   we don't work on that a lot, but he seems to pick them up pretty quickly!   he pretty consistently signs more, ball, shoes, please, water, bath, play, daddy, mama, eat, all done, bird, nursing, baby, night-night, and thank you!   it's amazing to see him "get" things....when you see the "lightbulb click on!"   and he's started doing the motions for "wheels on the bus," "itsy bitsy spider" and "twinkle, twinkle little stary" ALL BY HIMSELF!   he's been moving our hands for a while now, but how fun to see him make the motions himself!  

he's practicing walking A LOT!!!!   his physical therapist says we should make him walk 2-3 times a day for 30 minute increments!   whew!    he's really doing terrific, and we keep thinking....."any day now!"   he can push stuff around while walking all day long, but he just doesn't have that confidence built up quite yet....  he has also learned that he can climb up on his little chair to get up on our end table.   he likes to sit there......UGH!!!!  scary!!!! 

he's also entered the "terrific twos!"  just like his older brothers, he started a little earlier than 2.....around 20 months, actually!    he's quite stubborn, and can pitch a fit if he thinks it fits the situation!   it's pretty hard to convince him to do anything he doesn't want to do!  he's a very busy little guy these days!    naptime is a wonderful thing!   whew.... it's hard to keep up with him!    as stubborn as he can be, he can still melt your heart with his precious little smile.......

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Can You Give A Little to Help a Lot?

"pure and genuine religion in the sight of God and Father is this; to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."  james 1:27
my dear friend patti is at it again!   she's trying to find a family for precious albina, an orphan who has Down syndrome who lives in an orphanage in eastern europe!   i thank God for patti's tireless efforts to advocate and raise funds for these precious children!   an anonymous family has committed to match fundraising efforts for albina up to $5000....they are almost at that goal!   and then perhaps a family will feel that they have the ability to commit to albina and raise the remaining funds to adopt her!   perhaps you are that family?   perhaps you can give? please pray specifically for this beautiful girl, that her forever family will come forward quickly to bring her home!   visit patti's blog a perfect lily to read all about albina and the giveaway (a canon rebel digital slr camera) that is raising funds for her!

and please check out my friend christie's blog for the giveaway to bring her precious alexander home!   there are some great prizes in that giveaway, but the greatest prize of all is knowing that you're helping bring alexander home to his mommy, daddy and brothers who he doesn't even know are waiting for him!   he is so cute, he looks like such a happy little fellow!   alexander has already been transferred to an adult institution.  please pray specifically that he is being well cared for, that God will give him a special caregiver who loves and protects him.  pray that he has food and is healthy.  pray that his mommy and daddy can go get him soon...... i can't wait for him to be welcomed home!   (and for them to visit northwest florida so i can meet all of them in real life!)

there are so many families who have the heart to adopt, it's a shame that adoption is such an expensive endeavor.   please give as you can.....and above all else pray!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Graduating's Hard Work!!!!

busy, busy, busy.....that's what this past week has been!  who knew that graduating a child would be so labor intensive?   haha!   not quite as hard as the labor it took to push his 9 pound 3 oz body out, but pretty labor intensive anyway!   with senior banquet at church, recognition day on sunday, recognitions/academic awards days at school, family party, pre-graduation dinner....the list goes on.....we were pretty busy!
"gotta put on this blasted tie!"
it's still hard to fathom that our oldest son is now a high school graduate! and much relieved high school graduate! those days leading up to his graduation ceremony on monday night were just a wee bit stressful for all of us! it was amazing the difference in ethan's countenance from pre-graduation to post graduation! i'd forgotten how nervous graduation can make you! it's been a loooooong time since i graduated! he was so happy to have it over with!
it's almost time to get started...
but he did come over to say "hi!"

"whew, it's over!"

we were blessed to have both sets of grandparents in attendance, as well as our best friends, scott and susan, and adam!   ethan graduated #20 in his class of 451, with 40 hours of college credit behind him!   yep, we're mighty proud of him!   now he's full steam ahead, getting ready to attend the university of west florida in the fall, entering as a sophomore!   the school is located in pensacola, florida, which is only about 100 miles away, so that's not too far......but i will miss him!
we also got to relax with his grandparents from texas a bit once the graduation was over!   we headed out to the beach area for a little shopping, walking and beach gazing!  it was a beautiful day!   just wish our other guys could have joined us......

i'll catch y'all up on all that wyatt's been up to this weekend...he's been a busy boy, so be sure you check back in!   blessings....

Friday, May 13, 2011

To Everything-Turn, Turn, Turn.....

as i reflect during this very busy weekend, this song by the american folk rock band the byrds keeps running through my mind (over and over and over again!):
"Turn, Turn, Turn..."
To everything- turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven....

these lyrics were taken almost verbatim from the book of ecclesiastes in the Bible, particularly from the king james version...
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens: 
 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (niv)

lots of change going on in my life right now.  lots of "turning....."    ethan is graduating from high school.   one of my very best friends in the world is moving across the country.  other things are changing as well..... and it's not easy.  it's hard.   i'm in the season of "weeping and  mourning" right now.  

it's hard to picture my first baby, ethan, graduating from high school and moving on to the next step....college.   do i think he's ready?   you bet!  does that mean i'm ready?  no way!    where has the time gone???  

and my friend susan?   well, there is so much to say.....she is amazing!   she is the person i can call no matter what, no matter when, and she will be there for me.  we've been best friends for about 14 years.   that military....her hubby is an air force pilot...and it's time to move again.   okay, i know it's unusual for them to have been here for the past 9 years, but i got pretty spoiled during time.   we've been through a lot together.   deaths, births, an adoption, wyatt's birth and diagnosis, the list goes on and on.  they left panama city before and came back...i'm just afraid i won't get that lucky again. our sons are best friends... our hubbies are good friends...... 

 i know that God has great plans for both ethan and susan.  i'm thankful for them, and thankful that i am blessed having them in my life!   it's just these changes of seasons in our lives is so very hard.........peace......

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gotta Love Those Terrific Twos!

enjoying the grass....
well, i've thought it for a few months now....wyatt has officially entered the "terrific twos!"    and at 22 months!  (actually more like 19 months!)  yep, he's quite advanced in that area!   he's been progressing quickly towards that status, and many people have joined me this week in making that diagnosis!   haha!    so much for "all kids with Ds are so sweet and loving all the time!"   as i've heard many other parents attest, this is not the case!   they truly are "more alike than different" from other creepers/toddlers/kids in general!    

singing a little song....

wyatt does have such a sweet disposition......as long as everything's going his way!    don't take away his ice cream (or let the bowl get empty!)!     don't stop driving the golf cart!    don't leave the room (only sometimes....)!    daddy, don't go to work!   don't tell him "NO!"      and don't get too close when he's aggravated.....you will get "smacked" with his pudgy little hand..... it's just so hard to discipline him...he does not respond as the other boys did.  he has such a high tolerance for pain that a pop on the hand does not phase him ONE LITTLE BIT.

don't forget the grand finale.....

he is so busy!   we've now entered the "lock everything up" and "batten down the hatches" stage.   he is curious and strong enough to get what he wants.   he explores everything.....he's quite nosy!    i see changing the locks on the doors in our near future (to keyed interior deadbolts....just like we had to do with forrest to keep him in the house....)!  

he also is exploring lots of new foods and textures.  i'm sure he would have done that earlier if i had thought of it!   it's so hard to remember what to do next with 8 years between each of our kids!   he's talking a LOT more, as well as signing to get his needs met!   he's not walking independently yet.....but he's getting there!   why walk when you can crawl at breakneck speed?   he's mighty fast!    you have to constantly be on guard now with drinks, food, pens....the list goes on.....if it's within reach, it's fair game to him!   oh my......

and he's off!!!!

wyatt is such a joy.  he loves his brothers, gets so excited when he sees them.  and this has been a crazy week not only for me, but for him as well.  i've had to leave him a lot this week with my mom and friend susan as ethan and forrest have had things they needed me to attend at their schools.  i sometimes forget that that is not necessarily easy for him....those transitions to not having me here all the time.  and tim's been travelling for work as well.    unfortunately, there is no end in sight right now, with ethan's graduation barreling towards us!   but we'll get through.... if i don't go completely bonkers first.....   peace!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Meet Wyatt's Friend Madison

as i have mentioned before, wyatt's diagnosis of Down syndrome opened my world to so many people that i would never have met had it not been for his Ds.   i was "introduced" online on facebook by a mutual "in real life" friend to my sweet friend april last year.   april and shane have a daughter named madison who is absolutely adorable!   madison is almost 3 1/2 years old and is cute as can be!  

our connection?  madison has a rare genetic disease called Mucolipidosis Type II, also referred to as I-Cell disease. this is a lysosmal disease that affects her enzymes. april told me that early on madison was actually tested for Down syndrome, and after that test came back negative, no other testing was done.  i believe it was after she began missing some developmental milestones that much further testing was done, and they eventually discovered that madison has mucolipidosis type ii.  april and shane were told that madison's life expectancy is 3-8 years.   one statement that april made to me was "i only wish that she had Down syndrome....."   that puts things into perspective, doesn't it?  

april and shane have recently started attending our church, and i am loving getting to know them better.  april is MUCH younger than me, but her faith is AMAZING!   she has such peace, that only comes from completely trusting our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!  and madison lights up a room!   everyone at church is drawn to her, as they are drawn to wyatt as well!    she has a little walker that she can scoot around in...you should see her go!   she is just precious!   

this week april and her parents are in birmingham for madison's 6 month checkups; shane stays home to run their family business.  i wanted to share something april said yesterday in her blog, the life of riley: "I can honestly say that this is the first time that I have not been anxious and sick over these appointments.  I was earlier in the week but I knew I could not keep stressing about this.  I have laid all my worries and anxieties at the Lord's feet.  This situation is out of my control and in his.  Please keep our sweet Madison in your prayers this week."  so i join april in asking that you pray for madison this week.  there are a lot of appointments with many specialists...their days are long and exhausting.   pray for good rest for them all, and good reports from the specialists.   pray for april and her parents as they care for madison out of their home environment.  and go visit april's blog.....you'll really enjoy getting to know them better, and you'll see LOTS of cute pictures of precious madison!    peace....