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Monday, September 26, 2011

He did his first sign!!

He signed "Thank You" for the first time today!! We were at the doctor's office (he's got Bronchitis)and as we were leaving I told Mitchell to sign thank you, I showed him the sign and he did it! It was such a proud mommy moment! The problem is that we have asked him all afternoon to repeat it and he's blown raspberries instead but he did it for the Dr. and that's all that matters! Mitchell has inspired me to prepare a lesson on sign language for the kids I work with after school. Not only is sign language a fun language to learn (you get to talk with your hands!!) it's also important for everyone to learn as it gives a voice to the voiceless.
I am finally done feeling sorry for myself when it comes to Mitchell's DS. I told Mike tonight that sometimes I wish all three of my kids had DS and he looked at me as though he thought I was crazy! Mitchell's ability to capture the hearts of those around him is amazing. I have never experienced love like Mitchell's before I had him, it's the warmest, deepest love I have ever felt. He has the ability to lift the spirits of those around him, he can change even the grumpiest moods. He's an amazing child who is full of happiness and love, he never gives up, he's what I want my other two children to become. Mitchell lives in the moment and is always smiling when my other two are so often wanting more and miserable. How do we teach our other children the traits that come so naturally in our children with DS? I want my other children to live in the moment and not worry about what tomorrow brings. I want them to love deeper and be kinder. I want them not to worry about what others think of them, to be happy with who they are. These are things that I wish came easily to my older two children. Maybe Mitchell came to show our family how to love a little more deeply, care a little more and to care what others think a little less. Maybe he was sent to us by God to teach us, perhaps the lessons to be learned aren't to be learned by him but our family as a whole.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

For Jenny

I guess I had better make this a great post because it's for one of my favorite bloggers, Jenny Chillihitzia!
I don't blog much anymore because I don't feel like I have all that much to blog about. Sure, once in a while I think to myself "I should blog about this" but then life with three kiddos sucks me back in and I completely forget what I was going to blog about... I do however check my blog and I read a lot of what you all post, it helps me through tough days knowing I have other mommies that are going through the same challenges as I am. I really enjoy seeing the progress of all of the kids, it really gives me hope for Mitch.
Speaking (I am not speaking, rather typing) of Mitch, he is doing wonderfully! He still isn't walking but he's with in inches of cruising. We bought him a Little Tikes shopping cart yesterday in hopes that he would walk while pushing it and that's exactly what has happened! He thinks he is so big as he pushes his cart. His brother and sister take him "Shopping" and put his toys in his cart for him, he loves it!
I think it's so great that many of my struggles with Mitch are the same as any mom that has an almost 2 year old. He's into everything, he's super picky in his eating and he's constantly testing me. I can't keep my house clean unless he's down for a nap because he makes messes quicker than I can pick them up. He's figured out how to open various drawers around the house including his favorite, my underwear drawer! He loves to strew the contents of the drawers all over whichever room he's in. He loves to "Sort" the laundry, unfortunately he's not much help as it's a huge mess when he's done "Sorting!" He loves my cupboard with my pots and pans, he loves the dogs dishes... He's my mess maker! I need to make him a shirt that says, "If there's trouble I'll find it" because he is always in trouble! He is climbing too which means he's stuck quite often. This makes him mad because he doesn't understand how he got in but can't get out! He definitely tests my patience and there have been a few "Time Outs" lately, they are more for me than him. I have to contain him occasionaly so that I can finish picking up after him. He is defineitely on his way into the "Terrible Two's" AAAGGGHHHH!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NDSC Conference

This years conference was held in San Antonio Tx and we had the best time! It was an experience that I will never forget, the happiness, the love, the acceptance, it was amazing! We were all there with one common goal; to learn as much in 3 days as humanly possible. We all went to learn different things as there were seminars offered on everything from feeding issues to explaining sexuality to our children but we all walked away with the knowledge that our children are accepted, maybe not by all but the vast majority of people love and accept our children. I learned that having Down Syndrome doesn't define our children, it is part of who they are but they are so much more than Down Syndrome.
There were so many aspects of this conference that were life changing. There were the brief meetings in the elevator, hanging out in the pool and meeting other parents, sitting down at a table and talking for hours to a presenter. There were so many amazing experiences but walking down the halls was my favorite. It was in the hallways that I was able to talk to other parents, I was given many ideas and suggestions because they had just accomplished with their child what we are trying to accomplish with Mitch.
I was amazed by how many families were there that had adopted children with Down Syndrome, they choose this journey and by the end of the conference I could see why. I have never in my whole life been part of such a loving group of people, love just seemed to emanate from everyone. Maybe it was because we were there for the same reasons but I think it was because we have all been blessed by someone with Down Syndrome and love is just a by-product.
Going to NDSC Conference was a a wonderful experience and I am looking forward to doing it again!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Major Vent!

I got my first hurtful comment about DS tonight. I had gone to my neighbor's home to talk about an issue we've been having, we sat talking when she asked me what our plans are for the summer. I told that we have a few trips planned including San Antonio Tx for NDS conference. I then told her what a hard time we are having getting OT and PT services for Mitchell. She told me that she didn't think he should recieve these services because they cost the state too much money and that if we want services for him we should be paying for them ourselves "like parents used to do"! I tried to tell her how much these services would help him and she looked at me and said "You can't tell how much they'll help him, he's only a year and a half!" She is a school teacher and has recently had her hours cut, she told me that the state spends way too much money on children like Mitchell and not enough on regular ed. I was floored! I want my son to have the best education and learn as much as he's capable of, just like my other two children. I have the same expectations of all three of my children, Mitchell is just going to need some extra help to reach his potential. This woman has never been married or had children so I can't stand the fact that she stood there telling me what a burden my son was on the state.She has never walked even one foot in my shoes!! I just stood there and I am pretty sure that my lower jaw hit the floor because I was shocked, at a loss for words. My husband wanted to go over and speak his mind but didn't because he knew it would upset me. I would've spoke up but like I said, I was at a loss for words! I feel like she's blaming her lost hours directly on Michell, because of the services he's recieving, her hours were cut. She's crazy!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I've been "Blinded By Love!"

I had the opportunity after Mitchell was born to visit with another DS momma on the phone. I remember her telling me that her son didn't look like he had Down's Syndrome, she told me that he had none of the physical features that distinguish our children. Not too long after this conversation, I had the chance to meet this momma and her beautiful little boy. I remember thinking to myself, "Oh my goodness, how can she not see his features, he definately looks like he's got Down's Syndrome!"
Fast forward to today- I look at Mitchell everyday and I don't see Down's Syndrome, I see nothing that distguishes him from other children his age, I see beautiful blue eyes, a gorgeous crooked smile, a sweet little nose and incredible red hair. I see a boy who is trying so hard to walk and is really quite a jabber mouth! I see him for what he is, an incredible addition to our family, a boy who has no limits to what he can accomplish. I guess this is what it feels like to be "Blinded by Love" I see no faults, only perfection. I look at pictures and I don't see it, I know it's there but my eyes won't allow me to see what the Doctors have told me are his imperfections. All I see is perfection!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Trying to be the best

I am not a competetive person, I have never been into sports, I have never cared about winning.. But lately I have found myself becoming competetive in a strange way, through my children. However, It's not what you are thinking, I am not cheering them on while sitting on the sidelines of a soccer game, I find myself becoming ultra-competetive about their lives. I want them to have the best friends, the best clothes, the best grades, the best teachers. Simply put, I want my children to be the best. An example- Maddi was recently tested for GATE which is our Gifted and Talented program. In order to be tested she had to score at an advanced level in both reading- language arts and mathmatics on the STAR test. There were 22 kids that achieved this in her grade level. She didn't make it into the program, only a few kids were selected. I keep telling myself it's not a big deal, she is a smart little girl and she'll have a chance next year. I so wanted her to be in that program and I am having a hard time knowing that she didn't make it.... She could care less. I almost feel like I am trying to show others up through my children, "Ooohhh, Look over there, that's Maddison Green, Isn't she lovely." That's what I want people to say. I want my children to be the best at everything they do because they are a direct reflection of me, of my parenting skills. When they misbehave in public I feel like all eyes turn to me and people are whispering, "There goes Katie, what a terrible mom to let her kids behave like that in public!!" I worry constantly that I am not doing enough for my children, then I remind myself that there are only so many hours in a day and most of my day is focused on my children. I am constantly telling my friends that I wish that I had a magic mirror to show me the futures of my children, I just want reassurance that I am do everything I can possibly can be doing to produce wonderfully, well balanced children. Is that to much to ask?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ramblings

I am reminded today just how blessed I am, great friends, great family, a roof over my head, clothing, food on the table, a loving husband who provides for his family. Everyday is a miracle, a blessing, a gift. Although we have our fair share of trials, we pull through them and we are better off because of the experience. Some days I am not sure these trials are a good thing but when we have made it through a rough patch, I look back and I am realize how much stronger my family and I are because of what we have experienced.
Every Friday I volunteer in Maddi's 3rd grade class and I have been taking Mitchie along with me. The kids have come to count on Mitchie being there and once they have finished their work they then line up to play with Mitch. Mitch adores the attention he gets and the kids adore Mitch. This last week Maddi was holding her brother and her classmates were crowding around her, all wanting to play with Mitchie. I heard a child ask if Mitchie has Down's Syndrome to which Maddi replied "Yes." The conversation that then took place was pretty wonderful. Maddi and her classmates talked about thier different fmaily members that have Down's Syndrome, cousins, aunts, uncles. What impressed me the most was that while they were discussing it they all seemed so accepting, they talked about how much fun they had with these family members, how "Normal" they were. I think that this means alot to Maddi as well, it helps her to accept her brother, to understand that he really isn't that different and that her friends will still accept her. I think she enjoys having her brother in her classroom and being able to show him off.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blessed

It's been a little while since I've updated my blog. I wanted to report that Mitchie Guy has gotten a clean bill of health! He gained back his lost weight plus some and his blood counts came back good, his platelets are at a normal level, his white cells are still on the low side of normal but they are coming up in numbers. Wow, I am so thankful for his health. I don't think I have ever been so afraid for one of my children. He was so sick, so lethargic, so lifeless. That's not my child, he is full of it, he's a wild little guy, he loves to get into the garbage, he loves to pull his sibling's hair, he loves to crawl and get whatever it is that he's not supposed to be into. His little face has "Mischievious" written all over it. When he was sick he lost his sparkle, his shine, he was dull. I am thankful for every spilled trash can, I am thankful for every time my other children yell "Mitchie, don't pull my hair." I am thankful for him, all of him. Mischief and all!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Today

Today is a good day!! I am feeling at peace with everything, I am trying to remember that I am not in charge and I don't have the answers. I know that in time I will get the answers to all of my questions, somedays it's just hard to wait for the answers. Today we were finally able to submit a stool sample today so hopefully we'll find out if he is having problems with lactose soon. Tomorrow is more blood work and I hope that this is Mitchie Guy's last draw for a while, he hates being poked! I hope that by Fri. we will know if his blood counts are still off and if they are then I am hopeful we can decide on what our next step will be. He is eating good and talking more today, he seems to be on the mend. I am so greatful for every babbled word he speaks and every cheesy grin he gives, they give me hope, they keep me going.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My little prayer

Dear God,
I am so scared, scared for Mitchell, scared for Mike and I, scared for Maddi and Merrick. I don't like waiting for answers but I know I have to. Although you have given us answers to some of Mitchell's health problems, you have also added questions. I don't want anymore questions but I would love some more answers. I want to know why his blood counts are abnormal and why he seems to keep having tummy troubles (thank you God, he doesn't have Celiac or a thyroid problem.) I want to know why he is loosing weight and sleeping so much. God, I know you are an amazing God and therefore have an amazing plan for our family but none the less, I am scared. I pray for sleep for myself as I lay awake at night worrying that tomorrow might be the day I get the answers I don't want to hear. I am dreading the word Leukemia yet I am so afraid that is the answer you have for me. I pray that Mitchell will do well at his blood draw on Wed., he hates getting poked and I hate seeing him getting poked although I know it is something that needs to happen and It will lead to the answers that I am so desperately seeking. I am so scared but I know that you are walking this walk with me and that does give me comfort. God, keep holding my hand because I need you more and more each day. I am really learning that in order to make it through my day I need to turn to you and ask for strength because I can't do this on my own. I am thankful for the sweetest boy with the sweetest smile and all of the milestones he has accomplished, I am thankful for everyday I have with not only Mitchell but also Mike, Maddi and Merrick. I know you have blessed me in so many ways and I sometimes have a hard time seeing those blessings amidst all of the hurt that I am feeling. God, I pray that all of these trials are leading me closer to you and and deepening my faith.
I pray this in your son's name,
Amen