Crazy Busy

Just wanted to check-in.  I am crazy busy trying to get ready to leave here this weekend.  Hannah and I begin Canine Companion training on Sunday for 2 weeks.  I am trying not to stress but it is going to be alot of hard work, lectures, tests and field trips (not the fun kind)….HA!  I am busy packing not only clothes, but learning type things for Hannah, toys and food.  Our lunch is provided each day, but we are on our own for breakfast and dinner.  It is not something I am looking forward to, in fact I am almost dreading it; but when it is over…..we will hopefully be bringing home a wonderful, sweet, well-trained new family member that is going to help Hannah become more social and self-sufficient.  I am looking forward to reaping all the benefits of having a dog.  Not so looking forward to cleaning all the new messes of having a large inside dog…..but, this is about Hannah not my OCD on cleanliness!

I am hoping to be able to blog the whole experience, but I am not sure what internet capabilities I will have in Orlando, but I will be sure to journal it all and then blog about all of it when I return.

Gotta get busy…..so much to do, so little time!

Not My Child and Happy Day

After all the “down-in-the-dump” posts from last week, I thought I had better do a “happy” post to at least let people know that I might get “knocked-down,” every now and then but I don’t get knocked-out!  You can’t let life’s circumstances get you down for the count.  We all have bad days and circumstances beyond our control, but what we do with that is on us!  I choose to get back up and fight……refuse to wallow in self-pity; even though, honestly that would be easier at times!

Hannah is NOT my child when it comes to her taste in music lately!  Her daddy has RUINED her!  Hannah loves……SOUTHERN GOSPEL!  UGH!  Don’t get me wrong, especially for y’all that love that stuff….I love Christian music, but there is a huge difference in what I like compared to what Dennis does.  There is just something about twangy Christian music that I don’t like.  Dennis LOVES the Gaithers, Gold City, Guy Penrod…..some of you are wondering “who the heck are these people,” and others might agree with Dennis, but I just don’t like it!  I love Mark Shultz, Kutless, Laura Story, Casting Crowns, etc. but I could live without the Southern twangy gospel!  Well, one of Dennis’ and Hannah’s favorite things to do is go on the internet and play Southern Gospel videos.  One of Hannah’s favorites is “I’m Not Giving Up” by Gold City and she has absolutely insisted on watching them EVERY.SINGLE.DAY since Dennis has been gone….Lord, help me!  HA!  Hannah does love all kinds of music and we did enjoy watching some Toby Keith and Martina McBride this week too since those are our favorite country singers.  You might be thinking…..okay, you like Country music but not Southern Gospel, that doesn’t make sense.  Maybe not, but I just don’t…..can’t explain why except I just don’t picture Jesus as liking His music being sung with a twang.  And don’t judge, because I am the first to turn up some 80’s rock every now and then too……love me some Bon-Jovi and REO Speedwagon!  I remember not being “allowed” to listen to that music growing up because it was “vulgar.”  HA!  It is easy-listening music today compared to what is out there now!

Today is a HAPPY DAY.  Dennis is on his way HOME from Alabama!  Whoo-hoo, happy dance!  Hannah has asked me every 5 minutes….”dada home mama; dada home.”  Not yet, baby girl, but he is on his way.  Hopefully he will get home before I have to put her to bed tonight!  He should be….not sure what time he left but he will lose an hour heading home.

This has been a wonderful weekend with Hannah.  She has been so well-behaved, so loving and so sweet….thankful for this as it was MUCH needed!  Now, we just wait and see what next week brings at school…..praying last week was just a BAD week and won’t be repeated!

Friends to the Rescue

I am so thankful for my friends.  Yesterday, after the day I had, I received several texts, emails and Facebook comments from sweet friends encouraging me and praying for me and it means more than I can ever say.

Even my dad called and asked what he could do for me.  Of course, when it comes to my dad and me most everything is a joke or at least we make it one, (even when it is inappropriate); but that is what I love about him.  So, when he asked me what he could do I just nonchalantly said, “help me fake my death, buy me a deserted island and just send me money every month so I can eat!”  Of course, I was joking….well, except for the “send me money every month” part…..so, dad if you are reading this you can still do that if you wish!  HA!  I do love that about my dad….he is very sincere in asking what he can do for me, but he always finds a way to help me laugh about whatever is going wrong and also provides a much-needed “different perspective” on my problem!  So, thanks for that “old man.”  Don’t be offended people, I call him “old man” and he calls me a slew of other names including but not limited to, “brat”, “goofy”, “idiot”, etc…..there are others, but it would take up my whole blog to list them!  HA!

I was seeking clarity and wisdom last night, so I did call Hannah’s BFF (best friend forever).  Now, Hannah’s BFF is older than me….don’t worry Melanie, I won’t put your age on here but it is older than 41 and less than 50!  HA!  Anyway, she and Hannah have a connection like nothing I have EVER seen.  So there is not only a bond with Hannah but I am endured to Melanie for so many other reasons.  She is probably one of the Godliest, wisest, most encouraging, sweetest and meanest people I have ever met.  I say meanest, because like me, you mess with her or someone she loves you better RUN and RUN FAST!  I think Dennis is even scared of her!  HA!  Anyway, I called Melanie and she really helped to put some things in perspective for me, which I needed because if I didn’t get it I was going to call someone to just bring me alcohol to drink!  HA!

Well, tonight the doorbell rang and to Hannah’s SURPRISE and AMAZEMENT there stood Melanie and my other friend who I cannot live without, Julie!  YAY!  Friends to the rescue, not only to play with Hannah but for me to have some much-needed girl time with!  They brought dinner and lots of hugs and “cuddles” for Hannah, which she LOVED!  And, they introduced me to Tyler Perry and Madea, to which I am now forever grateful!  Funny stuff!

By the way, I will say that today started out REALLY bad with Hannah, and I did get a text from one of her teachers this morning telling me that I might have to come up there with my spoon again.  But, apparently they warned Hannah that if she didn’t straighten up, I would be back with my spoon and guess what?!?!?  Hannah straightened up and even had a “B” day today!  YAY!  Which in my book is like an A+++ right now!  She was so excited because she knows if she gets an “A” or a “B” at school for the day she gets her iPad, so you can guess what she enjoyed doing after her bath today!

So, for all who prayed for me last night, thank you…..please keep praying as we still have a big decision to make.  But, I am happy to say that today was MUCH better than yesterday!  Here’s hoping and praying that the weekend will be fabulous!  Dennis will be home on Sunday, so maybe all will be right with the world then!

Challenging Week, Disappointment and Difficult Decision

This has been an extremely challenging week for Hannah and me.  I don’t know if it is because Dennis is out-of-town or Hannah has all of a sudden decided that she knows best and doesn’t have to obey……not sure why or what but I don’t know my little girl right now and am at my wit’s end!  She hasn’t been bad at home but she has LOST HER EVER-LOVING MIND at school!  She has been sent to the Principal’s office EVERY DAY this week and today I was actually called twice.  The first time just a short 10 minutes after dropping her off and the 2nd time about 30 minutes after that and this time told to come back and bring my spoon with me!  Thankful for a school that supports discipline, but I have never hurt so badly as I did today when “giving” that discipline.

I know Hannah is growing and learning to find her way, having to test boundaries and try her wings…..but, oh.my.goodness……I just pray that this shall soon pass because I am about to go cray-cray all up on her!   It is a miracle she is still able to sit after this week!

Needless to say, I am so disappointed and heartbroken.  I never expected my little girl to act like this.  Bet the people at Sunday School and Church are breathing a sigh of relief right now that we aren’t bringing her!  HA!  I do think it is a combination of things.  She is growing and changing, Dennis is out-of-town, something is going on health-wise which we still haven’t figured out and well, she did get a triple dose of stubborn, strong-willed and independence.  I say a triple dose because she got one dose from Dennis, one from me and one from having Down Syndrome!  Gotta love that extra chromosome sometimes!  HA!

With everything going on with her right now we have a very difficult decision to make and I am praying for wisdom and discernment.  I am having difficulty right now knowing what is best and trying to decipher God’s will from my will.  Right now I am confused and the road on which we need to travel is hazy and blurry.  I don’t want to say anymore than that but I do ask that you will pray that God makes His will clear to us in the next day or so.  We need to come to some decisions and I know what I want, but I truly want God’s best for Hannah not what I think is best.  Very difficult for me and it doesn’t help that Dennis isn’t around.  Yes, he and I have discussed things over the phone…..well, if you know Dennis I have discussed and he has listened.  He sees my viewpoints and agrees but he too is unsure of what we need to do.  So, if you would, please pray for us to make the RIGHT decision, not based on our wants or needs but based on what is best RIGHT NOW for Hannah.  My will won’t work…..I want God’s, but sometimes it is not so easy to see!

Sorry for the down-in-the-dumps post but it is how I feel right now and I am not real shy or real good about hiding my feelings; especially when I write…..it all comes out!

Praying for a better day tomorrow…….

Bad School Day, Doctor Visit and Prayers for Preston

Well……I am exhausted!  I have been going at this parenting thing without Dennis for 5 days, 4 of which Hannah has had no school and has been home with me and I am just about to LOSE MY MIND!

I had to take the car to the shop today for “routine service,” which turned out to be more than routine; costing a horrible amount of money (to which I haven’t told Dennis yet, and I know as soon as he reads this, I will get a phone call or text).  While at the Honda Dealership, I received a phone call from Hannah’s school, (mind you I drop her off at 9am and this is only about 10am), informing me that Hannah has been sent to the office for bad behavior!  WHAT?!?!  In the office….bad behavior…..I didn’t know whether to cry or scream (I actually did both after I left the car dealership, but it was not only because of Hannah…..ha)!

Hannah had an appointment today with the Endocrinologist, so I picked her up early, where she gave me a sweet, shy smile and told me she had an “A” Day and should get her iPad……yes, I am raising a manipulative, conniving little fibber.  To which I replied, “your joking, right?”  I gave her a stern talking to and told her she might see her iPad again on the 33rd of NOTOBER!  This behavior thing at school has me wanting to scream.  I might have to just go sit in the back of the classroom with “Mr. Sad Spoon” and spank her every time she acts the fool!  Yes, we do spank…..”spare the rod, spoil the child,” that is how I was raised!  So anyone reading this that thinks I am just horrible for spanking my child with special needs, all I can say is stop reading!  I truly don’t know how to get through to her, but I am thankful for her teachers and staff at her school that are willing to work with me and call her “a work in progress.”  I just wish we could see some good behavior SOON!  I am happy with “B” days……but she can’t seem to get those right now.

So, after the “stern talking to,” off to the doctor we go, as she is still having alot of health issues, which could be playing into these bad behaviors as well.  Our endocrinologist, Dr. Fox thinks it would be a good thing to go ahead and refer her to Gastroenterology because of her issues and we have once again heard that there is a possibility of Celiac Disease, and even though that wouldn’t be the worst thing……it would NOT be fun!  Now, we just “hurry up and wait” as Dennis says for an appointment/testing/diagnosis with Gastro.

Like I mentioned earlier…..this single-parenting thing stinks…..it is for the dogs and Dennis, if you are reading this……GET HOME!  Once again, kudos to you folks out there that raise children on your own with no help.  I only have to do it a few weeks out of the year, but holy heck……it truly gets harder the older and more INDEPENDENT Hannah gets!  I miss the days of her not walking or talking.  I didn’t realize just how easy it was back then compared to now!

Well, needless to say…..today hasn’t been my day, but I know it could be worse.  I have a friend right now who’s newborn is in the hospital and having alot of difficulties with his lungs.  If you would, please pray for Preston.  He and his mama and dada really need your prayers right now.  As bad as my day has been, their day has been worse!

Now, I am off to put my “Princess” to bed……..I won’t be far behind her either!  Here’s hoping that tomorrow is better!

Sanctity of Life Sunday

Today is Sanctity of Life Sunday.  A day that isn’t really acknowledged much but should be.  Here are some statistics that you might not know about abortion:

Every single day, a silent horror kills more Americans than were killed on 9/11. Every single year, this silent horror kills about as many Americans as have been killed on all the battlefields in all of the wars in U.S. history combined. This silent horror is called abortion, and it is a national disgrace. Overall, more than 50 million babies have been slaughtered since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. We have become a nation with so little regard for human life that nobody even really talks that much about this issue anymore. But the truth is that it is at the very core of what is wrong with America.

The following are a few facts about abortion in America that should make you very sick….

More than 4,000 babies are aborted EVERY SINGLE DAY.

More than 90% of babies diagnosed during pregnancy with Down Syndrome are aborted.

There have been more than 53 million abortions performed in the United States since Roe v. Wade was decided back in 1973.

When you total up all forms of abortion, including those caused by the abortion drug RU 486, the grand total comes to more than a million abortions performed in the United States every single year.

One very shocking study found that 86% of all abortions are done for the sake of convenience.

Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger once said the following….

“The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”

In a 1922 book entitled “Woman, Morality, and Birth Control”, Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger wrote the following….

“Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.”

Planned Parenthood performs more than 300,000 abortions every single year.

Planned Parenthood received more than 487 million dollars from the federal government during 2010.  I am sure it is much more than that now.

The following is one description of the five steps of a partial birth abortion….

1) Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby’s legs with forceps.

2) The baby’s leg is pulled out into the birth canal.

3) The abortionist delivers the baby’s entire body, except for the head.

4) The abortionist jams scissors into the baby’s skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the skull.

5) The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child’s brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.

How can we murder our own children?

These are just a few of the statistics that I researched and know about.  There are many more horrible and sad statistics.  I have made no apologies nor will I ever as to my VERY strong stand of being pro-life.  I have been faced with the “choice” of abortion.  I was told my baby would not survive birth and that even if she did that she would never walk or talk.  I was told that she would have NO quality of life and that it was my DUTY as her mother to do what was best; which in the doctor’s opinion was ABORTION!  This mother and father did what was RIGHT and what was BEST and we will NEVER have the regret that so many women and men have after choosing abortion.  I can honestly say that the only regret I have is that I didn’t tell that doctor where he could stick his opinion!  Although, 6 weeks after Hannah was born I did run into that doctor and when he told me how adorable Hannah was, I reminded him that he was the one that told me I should murder her!  I digress……I am pro-life…..I don’t understand abortion, I never will.  I would never want the blood of an innocent child on my hands……

Psalm 139:13-18

New International Version (NIV)

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Officer Piggy

I was looking at some old computer picture files and came across a picture that still to this day cracks me up.

It was a picture that I took back in 2008.  Hannah had some “little people” toys.  She had a farm with the barn and silo and all the animals.  She also had the airplane, police car and fire truck with all the people who went with them as well.

I remember walking into her room to check on her one day and she had all her “little people” toys out and was playing and entertaining herself beautifully.  I turned to walk out of her room and something absolutely hysterical caught my eye and I had to take this picture……

115

Her piggy from her barnyard was driving the police car.  Now, I know you police officers out there that read my blog might not find this as humorous as I do.  Dennis did not find it too amusing either when I showed it to him, but you have to admit my kiddo has a great sense of humor, even though I don’t believe this was intentional on her part.

Please don’t get me wrong…..I love and respect our police officers and what they do and that isn’t just because I am married to one…..but, you have to admit…..this is quite funny!  HA!

Accepting and Embracing Your Life’s Journey

So many people who I know, me included, sometimes have difficulty really accepting and embracing our life’s journey.  Each of us have a different story and the Lord has asked us to take different journey’s. On the outside looking in, sometimes it seems that others have it better.  Whether it is because they have bigger houses or drive nicer cars.  Maybe it is because all of their kids are “typically developed” and don’t have any health issues.  Maybe it is because they have careers they love or what seems to be the “perfect” marriage….you get the picture.  The truth is, everyone, even those that seem to have it altogether struggle at one time or another.

I “accepted” this journey many years ago; embracing it has been a completely different story. Accepting is the first step.  To me, it is the easier step.  I mean, we got the news about Hannah at week 17 of our pregnancy, I didn’t have a choice but to begin the “acceptance process.”  What was I supposed to do, live in denial until Hannah got here?  I first grieved…..I grieved ALOT!  I got angry, asked why and cried!  I didn’t know how to pray, I didn’t know what to think and I didn’t want to take this journey.  But, I had NO OTHER CHOICE!  The doctor told me I did, but murdering my baby was not an option!  So, I started accepting my new circumstances.  I will be the first to admit…..it was NOT easy. I struggled and I cried alot!  I would put on the “happy face” but inside I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest and stomped on; completely destroying it.  I felt all alone, like I was the only person to ever go through this.  I truly believe it was the hundreds of people praying for us that got me through the next 20 weeks of my pregnancy.  It was our prayer warriors and the Lord carrying me, loving me and encouraging me that got me to the point that I began accepting that this was my new life.  That I would one day have new dreams for Hannah and that we would get through this.  When we heard the news that Hannah would have a chromosome abnormality and have to have open-heart surgery all those hopes and dreams we had as new parents died!  When you find out you are pregnant, you start wondering what and who your child will look like, how smart they will be and you dream big dreams for them; including college, dating, marriage, grandkids (all in that order too, ha).  All of that went out the window for us.  To be honest, because I knew NOTHING about Down Syndrome, I truly thought Hannah would never go to school, never have friends, never play on a playground, never learn her ABC’s or to write, read or do math,  ALL of which she does beautifully now!  So, over the years my hopes and dreams for her, although different are new and exciting.

Embracing all of this has taken longer; ALOT longer!  I think that I am just now (after 7 1/2 years) really getting to the point where I am embracing this life and journey.  The first few years of Hannah’s life are really a COMPLETE blur for me, unfortunately.  I went without sleeping, eating, socializing…..life was all about hospitalizations, many surgeries, including 2 open-hearts, many illnesses, feedings (which were VERY long and difficult) and being 100% focused on JUST Hannah.  So, I don’t really count the first 3 years of Hannah’s life as “embracing this journey,” it was more like “just making it through.”  Then, as Hannah started progressing, I was just “getting along, getting by.”  When she started school last year was really when I realized just how “eccentric” I had become.  I was finally getting out and realized I just preferred being home.  I do enjoy having 6 hours a day to do as I want; but honestly the best part of the day is after I get Hannah home and bathed!  I have come to realize just how much I miss her during the day and I have learned to embrace this not-so-new life.  It is still really difficult at times for me.  I am not one of those people who says….”I just don’t know what I did before having children….”  HA!  I KNOW EXACTLY what I did and life was REALLY GOOD!  I remember it just being Dennis and me…..I remember how quiet the house was and how I was only responsible for me!  But, I can look back fondly at those times now and actually say…..”life was good and it is again, just different.”  I couldn’t say that for a VERY long time!

It has taken me 7 1/2 years to truly embrace this journey.  Don’t get me wrong, I have ALWAYS been “in” this journey, I just haven’t always enjoyed it!  Remember, when I started this blog I wanted to be real and honest…..this is me being real and honest.  I love my Hannah with everything I have; she is my heart……but just because of that doesn’t mean that it has been easy.  I can absolutely, without hesitation say that the last 7 1/2 years have truly been the most challenging and difficult years I have ever had in my life.  But, on the flip side; they have also been the most rewarding!  This journey, although not an easy one is MINE and it is the road that the Lord has asked the 3 of us to travel.  A journey that I accepted years ago and now have embraced with joy in my heart!

This is CRAZY!

Crazy……the only word I can use right now to describe what is happening in our life!  HA!  Crazy, busy, exciting…..just plain CRAZY!

So, Monday we received word that we had been approved to be put on the waiting list for a Canine Companion for Hannah.  The waiting list is usually 6 months to a year wait.  Something we knew from the beginning, which was perfectly fine as we were just excited to have been accepted into the program, knowing that Hannah was that much closer to getting a new friend!

Well, yesterday afternoon the phone rang.  It was Canine Companions telling us that they had a dog for Hannah……NOW……like as in the training class is the beginning of February!  Oh.My.Goodness!  I was speechless……excited, but speechless and that doesn’t happen often with me; the speechless part!  HA!

The bad news means that my beloved trip to New York City has had to be postponed.  I will say it again….POSTPONED, not cancelled.  I want to make that very clear.  My NYC trip will happen in 2013, just not when it was originally planned!

But, the great news is Hannah and I and a couple of REALLY sweet friends/family that are willing to tag team and help me out are heading to Orlando in a few weeks for INTENSIVE training.  Hopefully and prayerfully at the end of this training we will be bringing home a furry new companion/friend/family member for Hannah!

Please pray that I can do this, seriously there is so much I have to learn so that I can teach Hannah and Dennis and I need all the prayers I can get!  Also, please pray that Hannah will stay well now and throughout the training process.  She will be with me and I just pray that she can stay well.

We are so super excited…..I am a little stressed and I am a little crazy in my head (which if you ask Dennis, he would say that is normal) but we are really thrilled for our new family member and what he or she can do and will do for and with Hannah!

Exciting times…..stay tuned as I will try to blog about our experience, should be good for laugh or two at my expense, I am sure!