Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chickenbutt, Bobin and Dude

Do you have nicknames at your house?

Sharaya tells it like this -
"One day Dad took Beth, Diana and I to Kmart but the 3 of us decided to wait in the car while he shopped. We were just playing around and Beth and I kept calling each other Bob (like Bob the Tomato from Veggie Tales). She got really hyper and started saying 'Bobby, Bobbo, Bobba, Bobin!!' I said, 'Bobin'? And she said, 'Yes, B-o-b-i-n! Bobin!' And it just kind of stuck. So we've called each other Bobin ever since. I think I was about 12."
To this day, they still call each other Bobin.







We were teaching Sunday School last week and Diana called Beth Chickenbutt. Chuck and I didn't think anything of it but Theresa, a high schooler who was helping us raised her eyebrows and slowly asked, "Chickenbutt?"
Typing the word does make it seem rather... odd.
But at our house, it shows love and a bond that can't be broken.To be honest, I don't remember how or when this came to mean,
"You are important to me and I love you."
But for Beth and Diana, that's exactly what it means.






When Beth walks through the house, on her way from her bedroom to the kitchen or laundryroom, and she sees Chuck she says, "Dude." Won't look at him, won't go over and give him a hug, just keeps walking and says, "Dude." We don't know why she uses that term, don't know where she got it from or when this all began but for years now, he's been Dude.
As he's walking up the driveway at the end of the day, she will run out to the yard to give him a hug and welcome him home. She sits at the kitchen table and gives him her bowling score for the day or will tell him the song (complete with track number!) she sang at karaoke. But walking through the house, casual, relaxed, happy in her world, he hears, "Dude."
And he always responds with "Dudette!"




Sunday, April 25, 2010

And I Cried

When I first found out I told myself I wouldn't cry.
I'm an adult. I can handle this news.
I'm different from everyone else.

Well, I'm not.
And I cried.

I kept wishing the doctor would leave but he didn't.
He just sat on the bed and watched me cry.
He mentioned something about chromosome tests,
But I wasn't really listening.

All I could feel was the pain.
My insides were in a knot.
I had a lump in my throat.
And I cried.

They said she was only showing signs of Down Syndrome.
They would have to do tests to be sure.
We should know in 7 days.
Seven days can be an eternity.

I had almost forgotten about it.
Almost.
The phone rang.


The results are positive?!


It can't be!
They must have the wrong blood cells!
I was stunned.
I hung up the phone.
And I cried.

That began the testing.
The special schools.
Evaluations.
Therapy.

It's been many years since that first week of Beth's life.
I'm still accepting her diagnosis.
Each new day brings reasons for acceptance.
Again and again.

My daughter is a glorious gift from God.
When my love for her overwhelms my heart,

I cry.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ABC's and 123's

Beth loved school.
The bus rides, the activities, her friends, even the homework.




She liked doing homework so much that I purchased some homeschool type books from the half price book store. I found some with her favorite Disney characters! I make copies of the pages so the books have lasted a very long time! Sometimes on a Friday, along with her list of chores I'll put out some homework for her. She gets so excited! She likes to use her calculator for Math but I think she likes writing her Spelling words the most!




Friday, April 16, 2010

It's not just any Friday....

It's Fun Photo Friday!


These are Beth's cousins Kenneth and Tim. 
Both became new dads last year.
At a family reunion we had in October 09, they impressed us with their amazing diapering skills! 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I hate fractions, but I've learned to love 1/2

I am not a big fan of fractions. They make my palms sweat, make my head hurt and cause my heart to beat faster. But over the years, I have come to love 1/2.

One Half.

That fraction describes Beth.

Beth learned to sit up at 1 year old.
Most kids learn this at 6 months.

She learned to walk when she was 2 years old.
On average, this is accomplished at 1 year.

At 14, she was doing the math of a 7 year old. 
At 22, it seemed she was entering the emotional turmoil of a 12 year old.

Beth has consistantly lived her life half way behind her peers.
You would think that would make one sad, but I have found it reassuring.

Knowing where my daughter is mentally and emotionally has helped me know how to explain things to her. It has helped solidify in my mind, what action was needed, what discipline might be appropriate and what words to use. 

Fractions scare me. But I've learned to love 1/2.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I wish I had captured it on film!

As you can tell by various pictures I've posted, Beth has Down Syndrome. What you probably can't tell, is that Beth is double jointed. Or at least she was. She's become less flexible as she's gotten older. (Haven't we all! Well, maybe I shouldn't speak for the rest of you...)

Beth learned to sit up when she was two. But she didn't get there by rolling over onto her side or pushing up to her knees. Oh no. She performed a move that was impressive enough for the Olympics!

Beth would begin on her tummy. Tiny arms in front of her, feet banging on the carpet behind her. With a huge smile, she would begin to move her legs, one to each side, until she was in a forward split. Like this.....

  
Her legs would continue their journey forward, her toes (if we were watching this from directly above her) making a perfect circle on the floor. She would push her body up with her hands and laugh as loud applause and painful moans erupted from her audience of friends and family. And there she was! Not only sitting up unaided, but getting there by the most unique and creative move I had ever seen by a 2 year old!!!

Taadaa!!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fun Photo Friday!

It's not over 'til......

 
your elbow's in the plate!


This is Diana (I'm sure of it!) after eating her first meal completely by herself!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

She only slobbered on it a little...

Ryan and Sharaya brought Allison over this afternoon so Beth could give her the basket.








Allie loved it!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Basket for Allie

Beth colored a basket in her art class this week.
She brought it home and said she wanted to give it to her niece, Allison.



We went to the store and bought Allie a small stuffed animal.
Beth liked the cat the best.
She filled the basket with Easter grass. Then as a surprise (shhh!) she put in some peanut butter cups for Allies mom and dad!



She added the kitten....


And now she can't wait to give it to Allie!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fun Photo Friday!


I love this photo of Beth and Sharaya.
Beth is being the big sister (not just the oldest) and teaching her baby sister about bubbles. 

Beth is always teaching us, about patience, about ourselves and the way we interact with others. But I'm rarely able to capture it on film.

(Well, since posting this, there has been much discussion about whether this is actually Beth and Sharaya.
It might be Beth and Diana. Or even Sharaya and Diana.
Sigh. I still love the photo.... of whoever these kids are!)