Thank you Delaney and Happy Birthday Wishes

It isn’t often that someone comes into your life that completely changes your outlook on life and the desires of your heart.  It isn’t often that you can say thank you because someone CHANGED your life just by being born!

I can say thank you to a special someone, who happens today to be a 9-year old little girl.  If it wasn’t for her, Hannah, most likely wouldn’t be here…..I know, I know, it took more than a 9-year old girl to make Hannah come into existence; but if it wasn’t for Delaney Ferguson…..my heart most likely would have never been changed to want children.

Delaney’s parents and I go WAY back…..her dad Todd and I shared a bed many, many years ago…..in the nursery at Sunday School, (come on people get your minds out of the gutter).  Her mother, Christy and I have been friends since graduating high school (23+ years ago).  Delaney was born 9 years ago today and she was probably a couple of weeks old when Dennis and I went to visit her.  Dennis, of course held her for the longest time as I was very content on just looking at her.  Well, if I remember correctly Dennis MADE me hold her…..you see, it was at this time in our marriage that Dennis was REALLY praying hard that God would change my mind about not wanting children.  For those that don’t know…..I never wanted kids!  I was too selfish to think about sharing my life and being responsible for someone else!  Dennis had told me a month earlier that he wanted to start a family and sad to say, I laughed at him and said, “WHAT, you want kids?”  To which he replied, “yeah, you don’t?”  To which I said, “this cannot be news to you.”  Oh boy, this is where I realized that we never discussed having children before we got married….(I strongly recommend everyone talking about this before walking down the aisle).  Anyway, I told him that he needed to pray for me that God would change my heart and of course I told him that I would pray that God would change his sooner.  HA!

Well, back to him making me hold Delaney……he put that precious angel in my arms and I.COMPLETELY.MELTED!  After holding her for a while, I remember looking at Christy and Todd and saying…..”I think I might want one of these things.”  Yes, I know she wasn’t a “thing” but I do recall that is what came out of my mouth.

So, today…..I honor Delaney!  I am so very thankful that your mom and dad decided to have just one more child (they already had 2 boys).  Because of you Delaney, I decided I wanted a baby and so I guess I can credit you in part for Hannah’s existence!

Happy Birthday beautiful Delaney…….I love you and your sweet family so very much!

Delaney

Delaney

Happy Birthday beautiful girl!

Happy Birthday beautiful girl!

I also want to give a BIG BIRTHDAY SHOUT-OUT to my cousin Katie’s little girl Hayes, who turns 1 today!  You are a doll Hayes and I wish we lived closer to you!  Enjoy your day and DIVE into that cake!  We love you and your family!

My cousin Hayes Happy Birthday cutie pie!  XO

My cousin Hayes
Happy Birthday cutie pie! XO

Until next time……….

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A Chip Off The Old Block and Ramblings

Well, I couldn’t let a few more things that Hannah has done or said lately go without jotting them down.  Sometimes she ABSOLUTELY amazes me with the things she says or does.  I would so very much like to know what is going on in that head of hers.  I am sure I would laugh and be amazed almost daily.

Hannah is a creature of habit…..she gets it honestly.  We love structure and routine around here (even Dennis has adjusted to it).  In the mornings after breakfast now since school is out, she will go into her room and play.  When I say play I mean she utterly DESTROYS her room….toys everywhere…..Hurricane Hannah is how I describe it.  Now, for those that know me, you know I love order, organization and everything is tidy and had better be in its place.  So, you can imagine my horror everyday when I tell Hannah it is time for lunch and her room has to be clean first.  In the past, Hannah will clean when I tell her to, but it takes FOREVER and a day.  The other day, I told her 30 minutes early that it was almost time for lunch.  That is all I said and her response was “Okay mama, clean room first.”  I said “okay, you do that,” knowing full well that it would be time for lunch and she would still be working on it.  About 10 minutes later she came and found me and said, “room all clean, look mama.”  I laughed to myself knowing she did not have time to clean that room.  Much to my surprise I walked in and the room was SPOTLESS!  She then proceeded to tell me, “Hannah clean room, great job.”  She gave me a high-five and a hug and told me, “let’s eat.”  Ever since that day she has cleaned without me even asking her to.  When I say clean, I mean EVERYTHING is in its place.  Hannah is just like me with that.  She knows where everything goes and she wants it there.  If you put something in the wrong place, she will go get it and put it where it is supposed to be!  Just a side note, I get this SO honestly too, from my mom.  I have a crazy Uncle, whom the WHOLE family loves, you can’t help it….he is just that guy that has the best sense of humor and always smiling.  I say that my brother should have been his first-born because they are just alike with their sense of humor.  So very funny!  Anyway, Uncle Gary will purposefully go to my mom’s house and rearrange things.  He will take her figurines and decorations and swap them with other things.  He will go and turn all the pictures upside down on her refrigerator and the ones in frames around the house, etc.  He won’t say a word about it and then he will leave.  My mom will spend hours fixing everything and walking around the house trying to find everything that Uncle Gary messed up!  It is hysterical and it drives my mom batty (in a very funny way).  Anyway, just like my mom, I must have things in a particular spot and it looks like Hannah has inherited that trait as well!

Hannah is very much a germaphobe, I know, I created a monster!  She washes her hands constantly.  Yesterday, I caught her in the bathroom washing all her baby dolls hands and telling them that they were “dirty birds.”  Yes, I tell her before her bath everyday that she is a “dirty bird” and she has picked that up too!  I couldn’t understand what she was asking for the other day and I told her to show me, so she got her chair, put it up next to her chest of drawers, stood on it and got the hand sanitizer down and proceeded to put some in her hands.  Yes, a monster, I tell you….but a clean one!

Hannah also keeps wanting to go to the “hotel.”  She keeps saying “hotel mama, hotel.”  She loved our trip to St. Pete and loved our hotel room.  I keep telling her we will go stay in a hotel soon as we have another trip planned later this summer, but she wants to go NOW!

Henny has been sick.  Looks to be kennel cough again and some tummy trouble.  Our wonderful vet has changed her food and put her on antibiotics and cough medicine.  She has been pititful and has had no energy.  She has pretty much stayed in her kennel all day every day until yesterday.  I snapped this picture of Henny and Hannah listening to Carrie Underwood on her iPad.  Henny seemed to be feeling better but then had a rough night last night coughing……hopefully, she will be all better soon!  On a side note:  Dennis thinks Carrie Underwood makes everyone feel better!  HA!

Please excuse the mess, I was making Hannah's bed after washing her sheets!

Please excuse the mess, I was making Hannah’s bed after washing her sheets!

At the vet....not feeling well!  In Hannah's words, "poor Henny."

At the vet….not feeling well! In Hannah’s words, “poor Henny.”

In a few posts I have talked about the “R” word.  Yesterday, I saw this on Facebook so I thought I would share it on my blog…..kinda sums it all up:

THE R WORDHannah has been taking swimming lessons again!  We have the MOST AWESOME swim teacher, Miss Desiree.  She is also a teacher at Hannah’s school and I hope she still is when Hannah gets in Middle School!  Hannah loves Miss Desiree and she loves the pool, so Hannah is very much in Heaven in this picture!

"Digging" with Miss Desiree!

“Digging” with Miss Desiree!

Well, I really must get busy!  I have so much to do before I go to a class tonight on a subject that I am dreading!  But, I want to begin preparing for this…..it is a Puberty Workshop for the parents of kids with Down Syndrome.  It has been one of my biggest “fears” in raising Hannah, so when I heard that the Down Syndrome Association and Hannah’s school was putting it on I wanted to go.  I am praying the Lord returns before Hannah hits puberty though…..so NOT ready for any of that crap!  HA!

Until next time………

Educate Yourself and Then Your Child

I have had several people email me or send me a private message on Facebook wanting my advice on how to talk to their child about Down Syndrome.  Some people are truly concerned that they teach their children about kids with disabilities so that when they encounter a child that is “different” they will understand and be compassionate.  In turn, that helps a “typically developed” child accept and be kind to a child with special needs and keeps them from staring, pointing or asking very embarrassing questions.  I have had difficulty answering people because I don’t have a “typically developed” child and I honestly don’t know how to communicate well with one.  I know all there is to know about Hannah and I know how to communicate with her, but it is so very different.

I learned something yesterday though…..if you just explain to your child that there are kids that might look different or act different; but are still just like them and they deserve respect, kindness and love…..your child will respond appropriately.

We had friends that were passing through Jacksonville last night going back home to South Carolina and they wanted to come by.  We were so happy to see them but I have to admit, I was curious how their 2 kids (ages 7 and 9) would react to Hannah.  MUCH TO MY DELIGHT AND SURPRISE they both took to Hannah like white on rice……they didn’t treat her any differently.  They played with her, read her books and danced!  Their sweet mom, Amy just explained to them before they got here that Hannah had Down Syndrome, told them a little about it and the kids took it from there.  What this PROVED to me was kids aren’t mean if they are TAUGHT!  We have had so many bad instances with Hannah and “typically developed” kids that I tend to blame the child but if the parents teach, train and explain then the children will respond!  I truly don’t believe kids are mean by nature….I just believe that if they haven’t been taught, then they can be mean.  It is up to each parent to teach their child.

There is so much on the internet about Down Syndrome and other disabilities that parents have no reason NOT to understand.  My suggestion is to educate yourself and then teach your child.  It isn’t real difficult.  At some point in your life and in the life of your child(ren) there is going to be a time where you will encounter someone with a disability.  Instead of your child staring and asking embarrassing questions, educate them.  Now, I have had adults stare, ask embarrassing questions and be mean and I guess unless an adult is willing to educate themselves then this blog post is null and void.  But, if you are willing to learn; please take a few minutes, go onto the internet and research things like Down Syndrome, Autism, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Multiple Sclerosis and other disabilities whether they are chromosome abnormalities or other issues.  Then, talk and educate your kids!  What a huge difference it would be if people would just talk to their children like my friends did last night.  Hannah had a wonderful time last night all because 2 parents cared enough about Hannah and mine and Dennis’ feelings to just talk to their kids and explain differences.

Also, since I am on the subject…..the “R” word and for those that don’t know what that word is, it is “retarded,” but I will refer to it as the “R” word in my blog.  Teach your kids it is wrong and learn that for yourself as well.  So many people say that the words “stupid” and “dumb” are “bad words” in their home…..shouldn’t the “R” word be too?  If YOU use the word, then trust me…..your kids will use it also.  I have also heard people refer to “the short bus” or “a few fries short of a happy meal.”  Those are all negative phrases that refer to people like my Hannah!  It is humiliating and demeaning and honestly makes my blood boil.  Your job as a parent is to teach and train your child to be kind, considerate, compassionate and accepting.  If you don’t teach them, no one else will.  Well, until they are mean to a child with special needs and that childs’ mother (like me) will give your child an education that they will NEVER forget!  Trust me……us mom’s of special needs kids are pit bulls, mountain lions and bears all wrapped up into one and we will “ATTACK” (not physically but verbally)….well, on second thought I know some moms that might attack physically!  Not really….but there have been few times I have been tempted!

Anyway, I wrote this blog post to help you educate your kids…..you have to be willing to educate yourself first!  On Facebook lately alot of my Down Syndrome moms have had to be on the defensive because of mean-spirited adults and children and I think that is so very sad.  We are ALL different and thank God we are.  This would be such a boring world if we all looked and acted the same!  God made us all exactly the way He wanted us to be……He didn’t make any mistakes and we are ALL precious in His sight.  THAT is what we need to teach our kids……what is the song….”Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world; red and yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight…..Jesus loves the little children of the world!”  Yes, that song might only mention “color,” but I think it refers to ALL little children even those with Down Syndrome!

This post was actually not to come across accusingly; but hopefully helpful to those that want to talk to their kids about children with disabilities……if every parent educated themselves, even just enough to be able to explain the differences to their own children; we might not have the problems we do between the “typical developed” and those with disabilities!

Until next time……..

My Little Comedian

Hannah has been doing some really funny things lately and I wanted to document some of them and share them as well because she absolutely cracks me up at times.

She told me the other day after she and Henny were finished kissing….”mama Henny doctor, stinky breath.”  No lie…..so everyday since she has reminded me to call the doctor for Henny’s “stinky breath.”  Then she will say, “poor Henny doctor all better.”  In other words poor Henny has to go to the doctor but the doctor will make it all better.

Hannah’s speech is broken, but she is doing really well putting 3,4 and 5 words together, you just have to listen carefully.

While we were at the beach she started calling her daddy “Dennis.”  HA!  I guess she has heard me so often say his name that now instead of saying “dada” or “daddy” she has decided to use his name!  She then will laugh hysterically at herself.

She is quite bossy, especially to Henny.  She has learned ALL of Henny’s commands and actually says them appropriately.  She has also learned that if Henny doesn’t do what she says that she can say, “don’t.”  It really is funny, although to be honest, Henny does ignore her some of the time, but other times she listens and obeys!

Hannah is really into blowing kisses using 2 fingers instead of her hand.  It is hysterical because she looks like she is smoking a cigarette when she does it!  She also bows and curtsies every time she does something that she thinks requires a bow and curtsie and you had better clap for her…..if not, she will clap for herself!

I have made up little songs that I sing to her and NO, I cannot sing and I cannot carry a tune in a bucket (thanks for that Dad), but she loves my made-up silly songs and she has added hand motions to them…..we are quite a sight at times!  I am sure people see us and think that we are completely off our rockers!  Needless to say I don’t embarrass easily!  HA!

Every night before Hannah goes to bed she will tell me…..”Hannah wake-up happy, dry diaper, pee-pee in potty.”  Then in the mornings when she wakes up she will say, “Hannah happy, dry diaper, pee-pee in potty….great job Hannah.”  Yes, I don’t even have to praise her as she will do it herself!

She praises herself throughout the day by saying, “great job” or “awesome” when she does something I ask her to do like clean her room or put her laundry away.  She will also give herself 2 thumbs up constantly!

She tells me throughout the day what it is time for.  For example “apple juice,  juice box mama.”  Which means she is ready for her juice.  At lunch she will tell me exactly what she wants to eat and I had better give her exactly what she asks for or she will tell me “go store bye-bye mama.”  We do a lot of sequences at home.  For example I will say “okay Hannah, here is what we are going to do….#1 pee pee in potty, #2 bubble bath, #3 drink milkshake (this is her veggie/fruit smoothie that she drinks every afternoon), #4 iPad.  She will then repeat to me in order what I told her and then follow-through.  It works great and lets her know what to expect next!  She feels very accomplished when she gets that iPad or whatever is at the end of the sequence.

She has been sleeping ALOT this week.  I don’t know if I am wearing her out during the day or if she is catching up from our beach vacation but I LOVE IT!  She is going to sleep at 6:30pm and sleeping to about 7:30am…..normally she is an 11- 1/2 to 12 hour sleeper but 13 hours works too!  HA!  Maybe a growth spurt because she is eating like she doesn’t know where her next meal is coming from.

Hannah LOVES to sing.  As I have said in the past Dennis has ruined her with Southern Gospel.  She loves the Gaithers, Gold City and Robert Winecoff!  She also LOVES Charles Billingsley (now I do to but he isn’t hard to look at either….shhhhh, don’t tell Dennis)  HA!  So, we have been listening to LOTS of those singers either on CD, DVD or You Tube!  Let me tell you, she will get her microphone and sing at the top of her lungs…..it is so funny!

Sunday night we went to First Baptist Church West Jacksonville where Gene Hodges is the pastor.  We love the Hodges family and consider them more family than friends.  Anyway, they were having a Song Service and all the music was The Gaithers.  So, my mom and I took Hannah.  Dennis wanted to go but he had to work.  Hannah loved it…..almost think I am raising a Pentecostal because the child wanted to get up and “shake her booty.”  We had to leave early and Dr. Hodges saw us leaving and called Hannah up on stage, (which my child did not mind one bit.)  He was telling the congregation what a miracle Hannah was and Hannah was blowing her 2 finger kisses at everyone and getting in trouble with Jeannie Peeples (Gene and Leanne’s daughter).  Hannah definitely doesn’t mind being the center of attention and I certainly don’t know where she got that from……(yes, I do but I am not ratting myself out.)  This is my blog and some things I will plead the 5th to!  HA!

Well, I guess that is about it for now……I just wanted to write these things down while I was thinking of them!

Here is a picture of my Singing Diva!

Love singing some Southern Gospel

Love singing some Southern Gospel

We carry our microphone everywhere just in case there is going to be a chance to sing!

We carry our microphone everywhere just in case there is going to be a chance to sing!

Until next time……….

 

 

God’s Silent Preparation

While we had a fabulous time at the beach (see previous post), there was one part of it I didn’t enjoy.  Our suite (as nice as it was….loved that it had a kitchen, living room and bedroom) was right by the kid and family pools.  Those pools did not close until around 11pm and let me tell you….it was LOUD! Kids screaming, yelling, splashing and squealing and did I mention the very loud music….Oh.my.goodness…..I wanted to shoot someone!  HA!  So, even though my sweet Hannah slept through all of that….(THANK YOU LORD)…..I couldn’t.  So, it gave me time to lay there and just think and pray.

During those times I thought about alot of things and even though I had thought of it before, the light bulb hadn’t clicked on until now……an epiphany; if you will……

I didn’t meet Dennis until I was 28 years old and we were married when I was 29 years old.  I was 33 when I had Hannah and I am now 41.  I have had so many people tell me that they are afraid that I am going to turn 60 and wonder where my life went.  Don’t get me wrong…..I know people mean well when they say this and they are referring to me being stuck to Hannah like glue; never getting out and my world revolving around her, probably more so than mom’s with “typically developed kids.”

I have pondered this many times and often wondered if I will look back one day with regret.  I can honestly say…..no, I don’t think I will.  I just came to this while on vacation though.  Here is why I think I won’t have regrets…….

I had a great life growing up and made lifelong friends.  I “lived” in my early 20’s and I will admit I probably lived a little bit more than I should have, but I digress…….I married too young (yes, for those that don’t know I was married before Dennis) and it was a marriage doomed from the very beginning and that is all I am going to say about that!  After my first marriage ended I was CONTENT to live alone with my cat and NEVER marry again!  God had different plans and He brought Dennis to me.  Dennis and I had 4 wonderful years of marital bliss before Hannah arrived and I am SO THANKFUL for that time he and I had.  It was during those 4 years that God began to “prepare” us.  I can look back now, nearly 12 years later and go WOW…..I see what God was doing.  I didn’t see it then, but I know now why we made some of the decisions early in our marriage that we did.  We made sure we were “debt-free” and to this day, we still are.  Every penny that I made when I worked, we saved.  Yes, we could have spent like crazy buying a big house and I probably could have had my Range Rover or BMW, but to us it was more important to be debt-free and have a “nest egg”.  I know now, that was God that gave us those desires.  Where materialistic things were never as important as planning for our future and never stressing if something broke and wondering where our next meal was coming from.

I say all that to say this……God alone knew what He was fixing to do……He knew the “extra” things, especially medically that Hannah was going to need.  He knew that I was going to have to stay home with her and He knew that we were going to need a “nest-egg” so I could stay home.  I can honestly say, God gave me the desire to stay home with Hannah and He has given me the grace and joy in which to do it.  I am not your “typical” stay-at-home mom……most of the stay-at-home mom’s that I know NEVER stay at home.  They are off shopping, going to the park, going out to eat, going to the movies, etc……me…..well, for the first 5 years of Hannah’s life she and I didn’t go anywhere except a handful of times to church and then many doctor and therapy appointments.  I truly was a stay-at-home mom.  I would wait until Dennis got home from work so I could go grocery shopping or Target shopping but besides that…..I was home.  You know the most wonderful part of that?  I NEVER once got cabin-fever.  I NEVER once wished I could be out shopping, going out to eat or going to the park or movies.  I was CONTENT and I still am.

God silently prepared me for this journey with Hannah.  I didn’t know what I was being prepared for; heck I didn’t know I was being prepared for anything.  I can look back now and see God’s hand; His provision; His grace and I know WHY we made the decisions that we did early in our marriage and I am so thankful that we allowed God to prepare us; even though at the time we didn’t know He was.

So……that was my epiphany…..that is why I don’t think I will look back when I am 60 years of age and wonder where my life went; because I know that it is going exactly where God planned for it to go.  Yes, I don’t get out much and I don’t get to do lunch dates and play dates but I am EXACTLY where God wants me to be and where I am needed most.  I will never be able to get these years back…..but, you know what……I wouldn’t want to.  These past nearly 8 years with Hannah have been stressful, scary, lonely and tiresome at times…..but the JOY that she has brought to mine and Dennis’ life far outweighs the life that others think I am missing out on.  So, yes, at times I am sad and like everyone I get down once in awhile….but, when I truly think about my life and I look back and see God’s hand, that is when I know that I am right where He wants me to be and I will never regret that!

Until next time………

Beach Vacation, Silly Girl, New Friends and Father’s Day

Hey Y’all, I am back!  Did you miss me?  I took a little blogging break to enjoy vacation with my family! We had a great time, but as much fun as it is to get away…..it is always nice to be back home too and for me, getting back into our normal routine is WONDERFUL!  I am definitely a girl who likes routine and structure….maybe that is why God gave me Hannah.  She HAS TO have routine and structure and since I do too, we are the perfect match for each other!

We had a wonderful time.  Dennis had a conference he had to attend in St. Pete Beach and since he was staying at a Resort right on the beach; Hannah, Henny and I tagged along for some rest and relaxation!

We had a beautiful suite right on the ocean.  The west coast of Florida is SO much prettier than the east coast.  Our view was gorgeous!

Standing on our balcony!

Standing on our balcony!

The first night we were there, we let Hannah stay up WAY past her bedtime (yes, we paid dearly for that the next day with Miss Grumpy Britches) to watch the sunset.  It was beautiful.

My 2 favorite people walking to get a seat to watch the sunset

My 2 favorite people walking to get a seat to watch the sunset

Waiting for the sun to set

Waiting for the sun to set

BEAUTIFUL!

BEAUTIFUL!

Hannah LOVED the beach.  She loved the sand (yes, she ate it and told me it tasted like “soup”).  She and Dennis went swimming in the ocean and she kept calling for “Nemo” and wanting to see a shark.  I am so glad that a shark was nowhere to be found!  Dennis made me so nervous taking Hannah out in the ocean.  I know he wouldn’t let anything happen to her, but you can’t see what is in the water with you and that freaks me out!  Needless to say, I didn’t go past my ankles!  HA!  Hannah and Dennis also went swimming in the pool at the resort, but we spent most of our time on the beach.

Her happy place!

Her happy place!

I asked what she was making and she said "chocolate ice cream."  Her mind is ALWAYS on ice cream!

I asked what she was making and she said “chocolate ice cream.” Her mind is ALWAYS on ice cream!

Hannah started a new way to pose for pictures while we were gone too.  I don’t know where she learned this from but half of all the pictures I took while we were gone has her doing this pose:

Silly girl!

Silly girl!

Of course we cracked up laughing every time she did it, so that is the reason she did it every time I went to take her picture!  She is such a ham!

Henny was in “heaven” while we were gone because we didn’t take her kennel with us and she got to sleep in the bed with Hannah!  That dog LOVES a soft bed…….

Nighttime silly-willy's

Nighttime silly-willy’s

Nighttime snuggles!

Nighttime snuggles!

We didn’t take Henny to the beach with us.  They had a rule that no dogs were allowed on the beach.  I probably could have pressed the issue since Henny is a “service dog,” but I didn’t.  Plus, She would have gotten all wet and sandy and all that sand would have gotten in our room and I was just as happy not to have that happen.  Henny did seem to miss us while we were gone though…….

Missing Hannah while she was at the beach

Missing Hannah while she was at the beach

People watching!

People watching!

We also made some new friends.  The conference Dennis was attending had over 300 in attendance so we got re-aquainted with some friends we hadn’t seen since the last conference and we also met new ones.  Hannah met a sweet girl named Ashley whose dad was attending the conference too.  Hannah took to Ashley like a fish takes to water.  She is still asking to “play with Ashley.”  I hope Ashley doesn’t mind me posting this picture that I snapped as they were walking.

Hannah and her new friend, Ashley

Hannah and her new friend, Ashley

We had a wonderful time.  It was great to get away from Jacksonville and just relax.  I don’t allow myself much relaxation time when I am home and going away kind of forces you to take time-out.  If you ask me, not such a bad way to take a time-out either!  HA!

We got home yesterday evening and we unpacked and I got organized.  Today, I have already bathed a VERY dirty dog,  finished 4 loads of laundry and cooked Dennis a “Happy Father’s Day” lunch.  He has to work nights beginning tonight, so our vacation is officially over, but it sure was fun!

Hannah and I plan on hanging at the pool, doing some reading, going to the playground and of course my “usual list” of cleaning, cooking and laundry!

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!   A very Happy Father’s Day to Dennis.  I know he isn’t my dad but he is a wonderful father to Hannah and I am so thankful that he is!  He loves us and provides for us without complaining or making me feel guilty for “not working” outside the home.  He wants me at home and I want to be here; so for that I am eternally grateful!  There is NO ONE in this world that Hannah loves more than her daddy and I am okay with that!  He definitely LOVES her more than anything or anyone else too!  Happy Father’s Day honey!

A special shout-out to my dad….the most wonderful, giving, loving, sweetest “old man” I know!  Don’t get offended people….I call him “old man” and he calls me either “brat” or “knot-head!”  In our life, those are terms of endearment!  Love you “old man” and I don’t know what I would do without you;  but as you and I have already decided…..we will be the LAST ones raptured because the Lord will want to keep the likes of us out of Heaven for as long as possible!

Until next time………

A Lesson In Human Decency

I am not by nature a controversial or confrontational person.  In fact, prior to Hannah being born I avoided confrontation completely, if possible.  I would certainly never speak up if it was easier to keep my mouth shut.  There were times that I had to stand up for myself; but for the most part I avoided it at any cost.

I am not that person anymore.  Don’t get me wrong, I do pick my battles even to this day…..but I don’t shy away from controversy or conflict if it is something I am passionate about.  The one thing I will NEVER back down from is anyone (friend, family or foe) saying anything negatively about Hannah!  There are things that I have ignored from time-to-time.  Some people are just ignorant and it is pointless to engage them.  Sometimes it truly is the best thing to walk away, which I have done in the past and will do if at the time it feels like the best thing.  I have though, gone head-to-head with people for their ignorance, rudeness, stupidity and carelessness.

If I had a dollar for every times someone has said or done something in regards to Hannah I would be able to take a nice long cruise by now.  Some people are just downright idiots!  I have had the “R” word used MANY times in front of me; some of the times actually directed towards Hannah (those are the times I truly LOSE my mind on someone).  I have had people stop me and ask me “what disease Hannah had.”  I have had people ask “what is wrong with her?”  I have had people tell me that if I had done or eaten certain things in my pregnancy Hannah wouldn’t be like she is.  I actually had someone tell me that a cure has been found for Down Syndrome, to which I laughed hysterically at them.  I had a nurse ask me how could I not abort Hannah and that I was selfish to bring her into this world and I was thinking about myself and not her well-being…..(yes, that is a true story back when Hannah was an infant).  I have had people tell me when I have commented on the milestones of their “typically-developed” child that “all normal babies do those things,” clearly pointing out the fact that I don’t know what I am talking about because my child isn’t “normal.”  Oh.my.goodness…..I could go on and on and on with the things that people have said.  Yes, I have “gone off” on people some and then other times walked away and chalked it up to their ignorance.  I have had strangers say things, friends say things and yes, even family!

If I said their words didn’t hurt, I would be lying.  The words cut deep.  People are so very rude and insensitive and lack common human decency.  I ran into an issue last night at Chick-fil-a that I have decided not to go into detail about on the blog because truthfully if I gave a blow-by-blow of the events I know for a fact my mother would be mortified at the words that came out of my mouth!  Let’s suffice it to say that I did not do a very good job at reflecting Jesus last night and for that I am sorry…..but, I am not sorry for making a grown man cry!

I don’t expect people to go out of their way for Hannah.  I don’t expect people to even acknowledge her but what I do expect is for someone to SHOW RESPECT for the mere fact that she is a human being that deserves kindness.  If Hannah was disruptive or annoying, trust me, I would be the first person to apologize to someone and discipline Hannah; but to call a child retarded……there is just NO place for that and I will put you in your place and most likely tell you to stick it somewhere the sun don’t shine!  (See, I get mad and my grammar even reflects it).

The bottom line is this…..as a parent you want your child to be accepted.   You want people to treat your child with kindness and decency.  I am not a “kid-loving” person, never have been….but, I would NEVER say anything to anyone (child or adult) that was rude, belittling or hateful.  I probably would never go out of my way to speak or make funny faces or “entertain” a child that I didn’t know or that I do know, for that matter because I am just not a kid person…..but, I would NEVER be rude!

Let’s just show some kindness to people that we see.  How difficult is it to smile?  Why is it so difficult to just not say anything at all?  That is all I request…..if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything…..it isn’t that hard as I do it all the time!

Okay, lesson for the day is over…….thought I would vent on my blog once again since it helps me let go of the anger!  Although, I am still a little mad!

Until next time……..