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twenty-one.8

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Alexander's 2nd Birthday has come...and gone!
That means he has been with us for 24 months, and I have written a whopping 8 blog posts.  I could make a truckload of excuses.  Most of them would point to B-U-S-Y!  Our whole family is busy!  Lots of activities to track and participate in.  Lots of laughs to have and love to give!

This school year, we welcomed a German host student, Nikolas into our home.  We opened a door, and in turn, our hearts have been opened too.  He is a great fit for us.  I secretly watch him build a very special connection with Alex.  He nonchalantly is often doing therapy with Alex.  And, in that manner, Alex is quite fond of therapy.  Also this school year, Grant started Kindergarten.  It has been an adjustment for him, and I have finally in his life seen a few days where he is totally worn out.  This fall, Nora and Grant both played soccer.  It wasn't really intended for Nora to play, but she went along with it and ended up enjoying it.  She was actua…

twenty-one.7

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I'm sure you have seen the latest picture of our three kiddos--Alex is wearing a shirt that says, "Yes I Can!"  It's among some of his great shirts--a few others say, "Current Family Favorite" and "Dinosaurs are Scary, Down Syndrome Isn't".  It's amazing how a shirt with a great saying and his smile can just make your day.  But, earlier this week, I asked Valerie to send me a picture of the three kids after school.  I needed this picture because I was asked to be a small part of an upcoming Webinar discussing ABLE accounts.  I'm always happy to help other families in anyway I can, so I saw this as a terrific opportunity.  When the main presenter asked for a bio and picture, I quickly sent a bio I had written for something else and my business head shot.  Then, I thought..."this isn't about me."  This ABLE Account we have for Alex is for him.  But, more than that, it is for his siblings too.  See, we know some day, one or …

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Disclaimer:  This post has been on my heart for a long while.  I've feared putting these words into writing because I am afraid they will offend someone.  Please know this isn't to make anyone feel bad.  It's just my way of spreading a little bit of education coming directly from my heart.  Read ... and share if you want.  And, if you take offense, please know none was intended.  Peace and Love!

Here goes...

Inclusion.  
That's a buzz word isn't it?  What does it mean?  I went to Webster (because what else do you do when you want to know the meaning of a word).  There were 4 meanings.  It wasn't until the 4th one I found what I was looking for, "the act or practice of including students with disabilities in regular school classes."  But, perhaps the simplicity of the first one is what I love, "the act of including: the state of being included."

I feel very fortunate to have been in the human services field, specifically assisting people with dif…

twenty-one.5

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Each morning, the first thing I do is look at my memories on Facebook.  I realize this might be sad.  But, mostly it is a mood booster.  It's a way to get me ready for my day.  For the past week, the memories have been a good reminder of this season--to be thankful.  And, boy, am I thankful.  For so much, but mostly this journey God has placed us on.  The unexpected journey that has turned out to be so full of love and community.  The memories in the past week are a constant reminder of all of the things I am extremely thankful for.  I remember this day so well.  Today was the day the genetic testing came back.  I remember sitting in our special room in the step down unit and hearing the doctor say, "oh no....oooohhhh no."  I honestly think he was worried about coming to tell us our son had Down Syndrome.  Little did he know I had already accepted this diagnosis and wasn't scared, fearful, sad, or really any negative feeling.  I was hopeful.  I knew this boy was ful…

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It has been a long while since updating the blog.  Lots has been going on around here--lots and lots of smiles from the main-man himself.  He continues to amaze us daily with his easy-going nature and un-explainable happiness.  He can turn any day into a good one with the way his personality shines like the sun!  He certainly isn't a demanding child and will show us as much patience as any child you have met.

At a young age, he would flirt with girls (of all ages) in church by blowing raspberries at them.  Once they made eye contact with him, he would show them his gorgeous smile.  Recently, however, he has been winning them over with his new "dancing head" move.  When you see it, you can't help but smile which is then quickly followed by one of his smiles! 

Developmentally, he is doing well.  He meets his social development milestones with little to no problems.  With his gross motor development, he has begun to fall considerably behind (which is to be expected with …

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9 months.  We are about to celebrate 9 months with our beautiful blessing.  In some ways, it seems like just yesterday and in other ways, it seems like he has been with us forever.  There hasn't been one day since Alexander came into our lives that I haven't looked at him and said "why me".  But, it's the best "why me" you could ever question.  Why was I blessed with this perfectly made little boy?  Why was I given this opportunity to love him and be loved by him?  Why me?

I remember Dr. Morton leaving us with a very important charge upon meeting us.  Dr. Morton is a developmental pediatrician with the Carle Physician Group.  He's more than a pediatrician who has taken the time and education to be an expert in developmental disabilities to me, though.  He's the brother of someone with down syndrome.  He's experienced the pure joy we get to experience every day.  He knows what challenges we face.  He gets it.  So, when he spoke from the hear…

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91 days ago, we gave birth to Alexander Sean.  What has he been up to since?  Well, let's see...

He's been making people smile. PERIOD.  His sweet disposition, genuine smile and easy-going nature are all characteristics that make people smile.  A day doesn't go by that he leaves me with a smile.  And, by smile, I mean that cheesey, sometimes teary-eyed smile.  He's perfect in every sense of the word and the most important part of that perfection is that he is perfect for our family.  He makes us complete.  He also continues to rock his therapy--hitting his developmental milestones like a "typically" developing child.  He has some of the best therapists around whom have quickly become friends and who we know will help us help our boy reach his goals!

Recently, I posted a picture of Nora on hero day where she was dressed up like a flight nurse.  The post went viral.  I got messages from several people, but the one who stands out the most, is the message from th…