This blog was inspired by 31 for 21 & is about my wonderful family.

"As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible & trust God with the impossible." ~Ruth Bell Graham

"Never look down on someone, unless you're helping them up!"

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"What had happened was..."

     Do you know what happens in 5 days?  The start of Down Syndrome Awareness Month!  Which also means the start of 31 for 21 for me.  :)  But I just couldn't wait that long to share what happened yesterday!
      I already posted on facebook how Troy was sharing his cookies with his Crunch & Count Cookie Monster.  But I was too busy to get back on & report that he counted to TWELVE all by himself!  And how when he wants something he says please!  Oh, & how he has stopped signing the words 'thank you' & 'please' when he says them.  He still signs 'more' sometimes & 'girl' & 'boy' all of the time....but those are the only signs he uses! 
     Last night, Mackenna was in her Bumbo seat as she played with one of her musical toys.  Troy had a plastic spoon pretending to eat out of the bowl he had just had his nighttime snack in.  He realized that he could reach her, so he came up to her, & was pretend feeding her with his spoon & bowl!  How sweet is that?  He was sharing with his little sister!  He just loves her & she loves him, too!  She thinks he's something.  He can stand in the floor & dance & she'll laugh uncontrollably!  And they both think the world of their big brother, Chancey.
     I realize that it seems silly for me to be happy over just everyday things.  But it's those little things that make me smile.  You see, Troy has fought so hard just to be here with us.  And to see him thriving & accomplishing these simple tasks is amazing to me.  When you have a child with special needs, you tend to cherish every little accomplishment & treasure every milestone.  Those simple things turn into HUGE hurdles & once you clear one, you don't forget it...the pride just wells up!  So I do tend to brag a bit.  I'm not trying to be boastful, but to show how proud I am.  And ALL of our children deserve recognition for doing their best & showing such determination. 
     What are your plans for celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness Month?  Are you doing the 31 for 21, too?  Are you posting facts vs myths on facebook?  Are you going to a Buddy Walk?  Are you wearing an Awareness ribbon all month?  I'd like to hear your plans.  I'm doing all of the above! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Can you say HYPOCRITE?

     I try to be a positive person.  I try to see the best in everyone.  But the actions of some people just hurt.  And to KNOW that their actions are done to deliberately hurt you, well, that's just like adding salt to the wound.  I realize that their actions were meant to be spiteful.  I was raised in a home that is dead set on revenge.  Taught to cut your nose off to spite your face, no matter what the cost.  But now that I'm an adult, with a family of my own, I TRY not to be that way.  And I say TRY because I am a work in progress.  It's a hard habit to erase after living in that all of your life.  I am trying to be a better person.  A person that my kids can actually look up to.  A person who can stand at the feet of God & take my judgment with pride.  That being said, I'm done with childish games.  I'm not on this Earth to hurt folks.  I'm not here to please any one.  I am here to live my life, raise my kids, & show everyone the love of God.
     I haven't been a perfect person.  Don't claim to be.  I've hurt people.  I've sinned, haven't we all?  I've been spiteful & perhaps this is my karma.  Perhaps this is my punishment for being spiteful in the past.  Maybe this is God's way of showing me my wrongs.  I do know that I am learning.  I am a work in progress.  Aren't we all?  But the actions of these people have rocked me to my core.  Have made me more mad & hurt than I believe I've ever been before.  I'm sure they are laughing & living it up knowing that their mission was accomplished.  But, you know, I picture my Heavenly Father shaking His head in disbelief.  I can see Him marking this down to remember on that faithful day we are all awaiting.  I also think of one word when I think of this whole situation...HYPOCRITE!  Here's the definition:  hyp·o·crite [hip-uh-krit] noun. 1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie (to show to be false) stated beliefs.
     With all of this being said, I am wiping my hands of this entire situation.  I am sick & tired of people getting their panties in a wad when I get hurt & MY KIDS GET HURT & speak my mind to those people (something that doesn't EVEN involve them).  So because I stand up for my children, I am shunned.  Because I'm tired of my children being last, & I mean DEAD LAST, on the totem pole & I call those people out...for that I get THIS?  And I know if the roles were reversed & they were in my shoes, that they'd do the same thing...because they, too, love their children.  I'm done being treated like a doormat...only used when needed.  Called, shoot, who am I fooling, TEXTED when they NEED something.  Not to check on me or my family.  Any way... I know that God wants me to forgive them.  And I will.  But right now, the wound is raw & this will take time.  I have forgiven them so many times without even receiving an apology & this time, I believe that I'm entitled to one.  For me to be treated with such disrespect after I've done absolutely NOTHING wrong...yep, I'd say I am entitled to an apology if they want a relationship with me.  I've bent over backwards to help them time & time & time again.  I have done things that I didn't want to, because I felt like God wanted me act as He would.  I've allowed these people to be at some of the most important, momentous times in my life, when in fact, I really didn't want them there either.  Because to me, some things are sacred & are meant to be for the people in your life who actually love you & truly care for you.  Yet, they were there.  Hindsight being 20/20, I suppose I should've acted the way they did.  But that's not who I am.  That's not who God called me to be.
     Lesson learned.  I know where I stand.  My heart is broken, but it will be repaired.  But I serve a loving & forgiving God, Who knows my pain.  Who knows my sins & accepts me.  I have the world's best husband, who loves me & stands beside me.  He is always right beside me, loving me!  And we have 3 immaculate children, who love & support me, too.  These 4 people love me unconditionally!  Yep, we argue, we have disagreements. but talk about it & we get over it.  We don't seek revenge.  And I'm not teaching them to be that way.  I want better for them.  After all, if God for us, who can be against us?  They can be against us, but God will always be victorious! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Public school or homeschool

I have been back & forth on this subject since before Troy was born.  At first, I thought, he'll go to school.  I want him to be as typical as possible.  Then, after hearing SO many horror stories, I decided that I'd homeschool him.  After all, he does interact with other children at church...that's enough for me.  Plus, he has a mild form of sensory processing disorder.  He can not stand loud noises or hearing screaming/crying.  It makes him very upset & he cries for what seems like forever.  But, since we moved districts, I thought, "well, maybe I'll allow it, now."  Well this was until I called the school system to find out that I can't choose what school he goes to.  It's all based on his needs & which school can satisfy those needs.  So even though the school I want him to go to is just a few miles away, he probably won't be able to go there!  Plus, it's a charter school now, so I'd have to apply (which I am completely clueless about...how in the world can the county force you to pay to go to Elementary school.  I'm not sure how that process works) & pay tuition for him to attend there....which is fine, if they'll accept him.  So he could possibly be going to the other end of the county, on a school bus without seat belts or car seats (I'm assuming), just to go to school?  Um, no! 
I'm a firm believer that God makes things apparent to us when we have questions.  And my husband & I have been questioning this whole school dilemma for years now.  I think God but us at the right place at the right time on Saturday.  We were walking around a local festival & this lady stopped my husband (he was pushing Troy in his stroller, while I pushed Mackenna...I know, I know.  I NEED a double stroller, but they are expensive).  I heard her say, "I've just got to see this baby" so I stopped, too.  We began talking & she has a son with Down syndrome.  We talked for quite some time.  She told us that her son went to school in 3 different counties.  First, he went to an awesome school especially made for kids with special needs.  But circumstances forced them to move & he could not attend that school any longer.  The school system they transferred to was good, but not as great as the school he was in.  A while later, they moved to our county.  He was tested & placed at a school.  She told us how she went to pick him up early & unexpectedly one day from that school.  She looked around the classroom & couldn't find her son.  So she asked the teacher & parapro.  The looked at each other in disbelief that she was there.  She noticed that the credits of a Disney movie was playing on the t.v.  She began to worry.  She noticed a refrigerator box in the middle of the room, so she picked it up to find her son in there.  He had been crying for so long that his eyes were swollen & snot ran down his chin.  She said he had never cried a day in his life!  She was horrified.  When she complained, she was told that she could go ahead & make a lawsuit....that it'd be tied up in court for 15 years, they hoped she had the money for that.  OH NO!  Let me tell you that if someone did that to my Troy, heads would be rolling!
This isn't the first time I've heard of kids with special needs being mistreated in our school system.  My mother in law talked with a lady who did her hair one day & she told her that her son is Autistic.  She went to pick him up early one day to find him tied to a chair!   
My husband & I talked about it, & we believe it's best for Troy for me to homeschool him.  Unless I can get him in the school I want him in, that's going to be the decision.  So if any one knows how I can get him in to this school, PLEASE let me know.  Also, if you know how this charter school thing works, PLEASE let me know.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Not every superhero wears a cape, sometimes they have almond shaped eyes!

This is something that I just had to share.  :)  We recently got Comcast (since DirecTv can't get a signal hear) & now we have 2 remotes...1 for the t.v. & 1 for the receiver.  Last night, I asked my husband "Mack, have you seen the remote?"  He said "No," as he began looking for it.  Troy was sitting on the side of the loveseat that I sit on.  He immediately looked on the end table, found it, held it up, & said "Mote, mama."  Mack & I looked at each other, smiled, & praised him for finding it.  :)  How brilliant was that?  I was so proud of him...still am!
Troy also has started talking in sentences!  If you ask him, "Troy, what does the tiger say" (yep, had to choose my tiger...GEAUX TIGERS!) he'll say, "tiger says roar."  And Chancey taught him the cutest little thing.  If you ask Troy what the baby says, he'll say "baby says waaaaa!"  LOVE IT!  And when he walks out of one room, even if he's only going a few steps, he'll tell everyone that is in that room that he loves them.  Hey, even if they aren't in the room & he loves them, he'll tell them he does.  For example, this morning, he was walking from the living room to the kitchen.  He said, "love you, Mama.  Love you, Nena.  Love you, Daddy.  Love you, Chancey."  How wonderful is that?
He can also count, somewhat.  He forgets to start with one, two...just skips to three, four, five, six...but hey, he's learning.  He knows most of his alphabet.  He can recognize almost every letter.  He's learning his colors.  He's got yellow down pat.
Oh, & last night, he noticed my apple swag that I had recently hung over the window in the kitchen.  He kept saying "apple."  I said, "son, I'd be glad to cut you an apple if you'll eat it."  He persisted, so I cut one up into bite sized pieces.  He ate almost all of that apple!  Those of you who know Troy, know the struggles we have getting him to eat.  And know how thrilled I am at this!!
We take Chancey to school every morning.  This morning, I go to get them out of the back & Troy is holding Mackenna's hand.  He didn't want to let it go.  Then when we got inside, he played with her until she fell asleep in her exersaucer.  When she woke up , we all played, & she was fed, I put her in her swing so I could talk to their daddy at lunch.  Troy went over to her & was playing with her...tickling her, talking to her.  They both laughed & laughed.  I don't know what they found so amusing, but it made my soul smile.
It just amazes me to the uttermost because this is the same child that doctors told us to terminate.  I remember being told that his life wasn't worth living.  Well, let me make it perfectly clear.  Troy was worth it!  He always has been, always will be.  He may not be where a typical 3 1/2 year old should be, but he's getting there!  He works hard to overcome all of these obstacles every second of every day.  And we all know that God doesn't make mistakes.  We are all made in His image.  What perfection!  You know, not every superhero wears a cape, sometimes they have almond shaped eyes!  And my superhero has the most beautiful almond shaped eyes. ♥

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Can you say STRESS?

     We've had a whirlwind the past 2 weeks!  Can you say STRESS?  PHEW!  Trying to get moved, get Chancey's schools moved, fix the things that needed repairing at our 'new' house, moving the utilities, Internet, cable, change addresses, cleaning & repairing the old house...all while trying to do our normal daily routines.  Then, guess what...I get West Nile!  It's awful!  I've been sicker, so it's not the end of the world, but it's really tough being sick & trying to move & get situated in a new place.
     Chancey is loving this!  He had a rough go at moving though.  It was all up to him and his daddy to move all of the heavy stuff.  It was really up to them to move it all because I was tending to the 2 little ones.  My mother in law & father in law came a few days to help us, too...but they aren't able to lift much.  Without their help, we would've never been able to pull this off.  Anyway, Chancey is LOVING his new school (well, the school is new, but he knows most of the kids in his grade since he went there from 1-7 grades).  And I'm loving that he comes home happy instead of grumpy!
     Troy has had a harder time than I imagined he would.  He finally took a nap yesterday in the new place & went to bed at a decent hour without screaming his head off!  I'm hoping he's finally settling in.
     Mackenna hasn't cared about any of it.  She was not happy when we couldn't hold her all of the time while we were trying to get everything moved, but she has adjusted well.  Still sleeping all night.
     But I tell you, it seems like everything is falling apart!  We had to fix Chancey's entire room before we could move in.  We had to clean it top to bottom...EVERYTHING in it was plumb filthy!  We finally got it clean...carpets shampooed, Chancey's floor fixed & recovered & his room painted, the kitchen walls wiped down, cabinets cleaned & shelving paper put in, fridge & oven cleaned...the whole 9 yards.  Then guess what...yep, you know SOMETHING has to go wrong!  The drain to the A/C was improperly installed so the condensation was leaking into the floor in the living room/hall!  Just after my wonderful husband shampooed the carpet!  I called Comcast to have Internet & cable installed on Friday (8/31).  They came out to install the Internet, but didn't have an order for the cable!  The tech hooked our TV up so we could receive the local channels, though.  So I called DirecTV to just have our old service transferred over here.  They came out yesterday, but couldn't hook up the HD.  That tech said he was calling in a second opinion & he'd let me know if we could get any type of service.  Well, guess what, NOPE...he never let me know a thing.  I had to end up calling DirecTV to find out the problem.  So I just cancelled my service & called Comcast to get them out for our cable & phone (our cell service is awful here...we live in the jungle, or so I say...that's why I got the West Nile...can't walk from my front door to my vehicle without mosquitoes swarming me).  They can't come out until Saturday, but hey, at least we can have HD!  I hate that we have to pay for a house phone, but I hate for something to happen to one of my kids or my husband & we have no service.  We plan on clearing the jungle, but that'll have to wait until Spring.  My husband is going to spray for these mosquitoes when he gets home from work.  He had to fix the A/C yesterday, plus it was raining, so it would have been redundant.  I know, you're thinking just spray some repellent on before going outside.  Yep, tried that.  They still eat me alive.  Tried putting dryer sheets in my pockets, citronella oil & candles, citronella plants, wearing pants, the Off fans...nothing keeps them off of me!  The only thing that half works is the Off fans & I have one on each hip going each time I walk out the door.  I wish I knew what caused them to be attracted to me so much so I could fix that!  Because let me tell you...this West Nile SUCKS, BAD!
     On another note, the Buddy Walk is a month away.  Check out our team page & join or donate...or both!  www.dsaatl.org/participant/troystrekkers  (Pre-registration closes on September 23rd...this ensures that you receive a lunch ticket & tshirt)