Welcome to my blog!

A blog about our busy family with two amazing kids, one of whom happens to have Down syndrome!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Skipping school

We skipped school today. Ryan woke up at a normal time and played with his toys. I must've shut off my alarm because Lauren and I slept in until 11:30!!! She's a little under the weather and took forever to go to sleep last night. I'm not sure if she woke up a lot overnight because my wonderful husband (and light sleeper) usually gets up with her.

So we played hooky. I took the kids to Costco where we shopped and ate lunch. We had so much fun! I feel minimally bad that I didn't take them to school but I also know this is Ryan's last year of preschool. I can't just not send him to Kindergarten, so I should enjoy this while I can. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Struggle

I've been doing two different bible studies on thanksgiving and thankfulness with my YouVersion bible app. Doing these studies has really helped me to realize how I have so so much to be thankful for. It's been eye opening and with Thanksgiving approaching, I feel like it's a very relevant topic!

However, being thankful doesn't always make me feel qualified.

Today has been a particularly trying day in regards to my sweet Lauren. She has been very whiny, acting like she can't do things for herself (like getting on the couch- she is totally capable of doing this with no assistance), and just crying for no reason other than she wants attention. It's really hard sometimes because I try to have extra patience with her, but when does it become too much? When do I need to put my foot down and demand appropriate behavior? Would she even "get it"?

I do truly feel so incredibly thankful and blessed that I've been chosen to be this special girl's mama. But sometimes I cant help but wonder- why? I don't always feel capable. I don't always feel like I'm very good at this. Raising Lauren has been a lesson in patience, that's for sure. Sometimes, like today, I wonder why God felt I was equipped for this.

When she throws her lunch on the floor for the millionth day in a row, I wonder what the heck I'm doing wrong. When she throws herself to the ground, again for the millionth day in a row, trying to avoid a ponytail I wonder how else I'm supposed to get her ready for school. As much as most of our lives with Lauren really are puppies and rainbows- raising a child with special needs is hard sometimes. Is it okay to admit this out loud?

 And I'm sure I don't speak for just myself when I say I feel like I'm all alone in this sometimes. A typical almost 3 year old could get a time-out, be told not to do it again, etc. But I know that right now she doesn't really understand. Sure, she knows she's not supposed to throw her lunch on the ground, but would she understand the consequence of a time-out?

And at this exact same time, Ryan is begging me to "go somewhere just you and me". Sometimes I feel so stretched thin between just one kid, and I have two! It's a balancing act where I don't always succeed.

I was attempting to rock her to sleep for her nap today, assuming she must be tired if she's whining and crying so much. And she was! I knew it, she knew but, but toddlers don't easily admit defeat. I was praying for patience and asking God WHY? Why did You feel I could do this?

A saying popped in my head- God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called.

I 100% believe this to be truth. For other people. But it's so hard to apply this to my own life. Days like today I feel like a failure. But I am still so incredibly thankful that she's mine to raise, even if I don't always feel like I'm doing a very good job.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

"What's Down syndrome?"

Let me start from the beginning.

We're running late to school (shocking, I know) one day last week. As I haul Lauren's wheelchair out of the van, Ryan asks me "When do I get my wheelchair? I want a green one!"

I replied with something along the lines of, "Ryan, honey you probably won't ever have a wheelchair. Lauren has her wheelchair because having Down syndrome makes it a little harder for her ride the bus because she's so small. So her wheelchair allows her to ride the bus with you and still be safe."

"Lauren has Down syndrome? What's that?"

Uhhh..... I wasn't expecting this question yet. Or, like, ever. I guess I just assumed he knew since we talk about it at home and it's not a secret.

I said, "Down syndrome is just part of who Lauren is. Like how you have brown hair and she has blonde hair, or how my favorite color is green and Daddy's is blue. God makes everybody different. Down syndrome might make it harder for Lauren to do some things- that's why it took her a longer time to learn how to walk and why we sometimes have a hard time understanding what she says. But it's not bad, just different! God made her that way."

"Oh, ok!"

Um, what?! I needed to prepare for this! I needed to rehearse, write it out, edit out anything stupid I might say. I didn't plan on having this discussion with my almost five year old while we struggle to pull the wheelchair (that he insists on pushing) out of the van in the freezing cold.

I think I handled it alright. I hope so, at least.

I wanted to convey to him that while he and his little sister are different, I love them just the same. And that just because I might help Lauren a little more sometimes or show her extra patience at times, I love them both with every fiber of my being. I want him to know that I am equally proud of them for what they accomplish and who they are, regardless of how different they might be.

Ryan gave me a huge blessing- he made me a mommy and so he will always hold that special spot in my heart, just for him. And Lauren made me grow up and learn who I am, who I can be and how to truly love unconditionally and so she was always hold that special spot in my heart, just for her.

It was such an emotional conversation for me and it took place in about 30 seconds. I'm sure I messed it up, didn't say everything I meant to tell him and maybe even confused him. But being their mom means I get to show them every day how special each of them are. I get to show them how much I love them and how much I celebrate their difference and take joy in their similarities.

Parenting is a really hard job sometimes but thank GOD I get to have it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall fun

We had an unseasonably warm October day so after school the kids and I (along with Grandma Pam, Bubbles, Jesús and baby Timmy) went to a small local fall attraction.

There were pony rides, pumpkins, baby animals and grouchy ducks. Along with Laurens favorite, (fake) cows that she kept mooing at and calling over! Finally I had to tell her they were sleeping. And Ryan saved Lauren from an especially rude duck that tried to bite her. The nerve!

Luckily the kids were somewhat cooperative for pictures.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Stylin'

We got Lauren's wheelchair!! Its so cute and very stroller like. Her bus driver and para will be thrilled. Ryan's jealous that she'll get to ride the bus ramp.

Check out that cuteness!! She was so pissed. Let's hope she gets happier about it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Contentment

Time is flying by. I can't even believe it's the middle of September already. The kids are both really enjoying school and making friends. Today Lauren didn't even cry when I dropped her off! They said she stops crying as soon as I'm out of sight but it makes me feel a million times better to leave her in a happy mood.

Since school started September 2nd she's said grandma, spoon, fishy and red (while correctly identifying the color!).

Ryan is flourishing as well. He does great with the classroom routine. He's been such a sweet heart. The parapro on the kids' bus just loves him and has told me twice how sweet he is and how lucky we are. All awesome things to hear!

My twin sister is due any minute with her second. We were over there today and Ryan noticed some baby items and asked what they were for. My sister told him they were for the new baby. Ryan turned and told his cousin, "These are for our brother!". Melt my heart! How on earth did I get so lucky to get these kids?!

Greg and I started a bible study with a few other couples. Our Young Marrieds class at church has kicked off. We're both working/school full time.

Life is going well over here. It's busy. It's wild. But it's so much fun.

I am content.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Preschool Progress

Lauren's been in preschool for 2 weeks now. Today is the end of her second week.

So far, so good! She really seems to love it. She cries at drop-off, which surprises me. She's never cried when we leave her at church! Her teachers assure me that as soon as I leave she stops crying and waits with her friends on the bus bench.

Two of her teachers have children with special needs! This makes me so happy to know, I feel great knowing that her teachers are also parents who "get it". One of these teachers is Lauren's clear favorite, she's the one Lauren will go to when I drop her off.

This morning they told me that yesterday she was "the most verbal we've seen her yet"!!! She really has been talking more just in the last couple of weeks. Yesterday she said spoon and grandma. This morning she said baby. What a smart girl!!

Today was Ryan's first day riding the bus. Yesterday was the first day, but parents stayed. He just got home and said he loved the bus!! He told me he'll tell me about school "later" because he has to "work" right now. This means he's way too busy playing with all of his trains!

Man, I missed them!! It was a nice morning to myself and I got a lot done, but I missed them more than I thought I would.

Last year vs this year. My, how he's grown!