Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall is my favorite color



Weekends in Door County are special.  There are no two ways about it.
I have memories of this wonderful place from way back to when I was young.
In every season, this charming collection of villages that makes up the peninsula of Wisconsin holds an abundance of treasures.  Spring brings an awesome display of tulips, daffodils and any and all other bulb flowers that show their pretty faces each thaw.  So many in fact...there is a festival just to usher in the blossoms! Summer is cherry harvest time...and late July is when you can go to any number of local orchards and pick your own cherries, not to mention nearly every eatery has a cherry-infused something or other...
YUM


Summer time is gorgeous.  The lake is beautiful no matter if you're on the bayside or the lakeside.  Each little village has its own unique qualities and boasts individualities that are endearing to every visitor.  If you talked to anyone who spends time in Door County, inevitably they will wistfully tell you that although they love it all, there is that one place that is their favorite....


That place for me is Ephraim.
Especially Ephraim in the Fall.
Pumpkin patches and apple orchards.  ((*sigh*))
I took my mom and Nate to our camper this past weekend.  Our camper is in Sister Bay about a mile from the Ephraim shoreline.  We went to Pumpkin Patch Festival, ate fish fry at the Sister Bay Bowl (omg the best fish fry in the state) visited our favorite farmers market and had incredible bakery.
We did a lot of nothing, too. 
Which was the best.


Nate loves going to the camper more than just about anything.
He asks about it a lot.
"when are we going camper??"
There is a lot to be said about breathing in the peace and tranquility that is always waiting there. 

We used to have a pop-up camper, and for several years while Nate was younger, we camped a lot.  I mean...almost every weekend!  We camped in Door County, but we also camped all over the state, too.  Nate slept in a pack-and-play that fit nicely in the camper, and it was easy.  When he started getting mobile, it was a little challenging because we wanted to be really careful around the campfire, and then before we knew it he was too big for the pack-and-play.




Last summer, after lots of visits to Children's Hospital of Milwaulkee, and lots of tests, we were told that Nate has SMA 3 (Spinal Muscular Atrophy).
It has nothing to do with his Ds diagnosis.
In a nutshell, it means that as he grows up, he will eventually be unable to walk.
We ended up selling the pop-up because we could no longer camp with Nate as we tried to assist him with mobility, bathroom visits and bathing.  

We talked about getting a larger camper with a bathroom, shower, living area etc.but that's about all we did...talk about it.
But I should have known that James would continue to search for one....and from time to time he would mention something about finding this one or that, but I didn't think much of it.




Then one day he said he had found the one; a 35' park model RV ...and the most amazing part was it came with a sliding glass patio door, a deck already added on and a handicapped accessible ramp.
What??
It was our dream come true.  We were not even necessarily looking for one in Door County, but there it was, already placed on a permanent site, ready and waiting for us!


We came, we saw, we bought.
It was the best investment e.v.e.r
Nate is so happy.  He gets to camp again!
Next summer, when we have it for our first full season, we'll be able to take him boating, fishing, swimming and all of the other activities he loves so much.


Spending this time with my mom was really cool and special.
James was in Nashville with Andrew and the girls were gone...so it was just us three.
Fun!
We ate our way through the weekend and enjoyed every moment;  peaceful hours sitting on Adirondack chairs watching the sail boats float by, hanging out in our pjs all night laughing and making new memories; taking Nate to the beach, festival, out to eat...and lots of fun pictures which is something I really love to do.


Next weekend will be our last weekend before the camper hibernates for the winter.
James and I will go up for one last Fall Fest hurrah, and then we'll be #sisterbaydreamin until April!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Miracle League

We were out of town when Nate had team photos taken....so I had to take pics of him in uniform and email them to the staff.  Here are a few out-takes for your viewing pleasure :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What about Nate


Last week I had an interesting email correspondence with Hannah's Bio teacher. The topic in class was chromosome and karyotype analysis, and the subject of Down syndrome was discussed. A student asked if Down syndrome was preventable, and the teacher replied, "no, it's just bad luck."


weeeeeeeell now.....let's suffice it to say that didn't go over well.  I had a bit of a come-to-Jesus with her, in a nice way (ish) ...all is well.  I told her in the end that I'd be happy to bring Nate to her class so her students could meet him and ask me all the questions they wanted to.  It would be my pleasure actually...nothing would make me happier than to set the record straight with that teacher and to watch Nate charm his way into every heart at Bayport.


But that got me thinking. Day dreaming actually about what I would say to a class full of teenagers who may or may not have any experience with a kid who has Ds.  A hundred different thoughts went racing through my mind, all piling up on top of each other vying for my attention. I tried to organize them in  a steady stream of what I know to be true, starting with who he is....



This is my son, Nate. He's six years old. He loves playing games on his ipad and eating pizza. In fact pizza is probably his favorite food, except for burgers. I've tried reading him a few different books at night before bed, and he didn't like any of them, until I found Little House on the Prairie.  He learned sign language at around 8 months old, and even though he doesn't need it anymore, sometimes he still uses it, for emphasis...as in "pleeeease, momma...a cookie?" There have been more than one occasion that he has called me "cray" with a crooked grin. Potty training can be tedious, but he is very sensitive to it. I have to be careful not to show frustration because he'll say he's sorry, even though he hasn't done anything wrong.  The dogs finally listen to him which makes him giggle every time.  He loves to cuddle, especially in our bed. And watch movies. He loves movies. The first time I took him to a 3D movie I thought he'd come out of his skin! He's grumpy sometimes when I wake him up to go to school, but he gets to swim twice a week at Syble Hopp, which he loves.  He talks about his church a lot, and asks every week if it's "Able Friday." He is the darling of Camp Daniel. He is affectionate, tender, hilarious, brave, sensitive, charismatic, loyal and smart. He's totally adorable, too.  :)  He tells me he loves me at least a half dozen times a day, and usually it is when I am helping him, which is all the more endearing.  He plays baseball in the Miracle League. He loves Mickey Mouse and Curious George. And his big brother. Whenever his dad plays the piano, he gets out his drum and plays along. He reminds us to pray before meals, and requires us to hold hands around the table, even though we have not historically ever held hands during prayer. (he also will look around the table while he's praying to make sure everyone's eyes are closed lol). He loves yogurt, especially sitting on the counter eating it while I cook. He notices if I get a haircut, likes hot tubs, loves his sisters and is a great traveler. Whenever the front door opens, he'll often say, "Becky's home!" He's tired of getting his photo taken, complains about taking medicine and will pretend he hasn't heard me say it's time to turn off Spy vs. Spy.


These are just a few things off the top of my head that describe this awesome kid. The list is ever-changing.  Bad luck? I don't think so.  Although Hannah's teacher apologized to her, I really wanted her to apologize to the entire class for making such a horrible comment that may stick in the minds of kids who may not know any better. But Maddie told me to let it go, and Hannah was mortified at the thought. I still may, but I might not. I haven't decided.  All I know for sure is I get to live every day of my life with this boy who has changed me forever. The last thing I said to Hannah's teacher was "the best luck I've ever had was the day Nate was born."
This kid....yeah....he's the end of the rainbow.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Happy Birthday


This is the first time Andrew has been away from home for his birthday...and I miss him!
Happy 19th birthday!


Friday, November 01, 2013

Just a day ...


October 30, 2013.
This morning I had to go to LaForce hardware to pick up master keys for one of my properties. That business is right next door to the Boys and Girls Club on Oneida St. That's where Andrew used to have basketball practice last year, and it hit me really hard because I miss him so much. I Remember dropping him off or picking him up throughout the basketball season and how much fun it was just having in the car with me. It's funny how something and come out the blue right at you unexpectedly. It makes me love this town because this is where my memories are. So I thought I grabbed my phone and make some notes so I could blog again more frequently like I've been telling myself every day that I should do. Days go by and I forget the little things that make my life so full of joy. I don't want to forget those times, like today. Even though it was a hard memory, it's still brings joy to me because it reminds me of someone that I love very much. So like I said, I grab my phone and open up my notes app so I can write it down, in the first note that opens up is in his graduation party. How funny is that.



I have been thinking about Andrew this morning anyway, because he called me yesterday to tell me that his charger for his Mac didn't work anymore and he needed a new one. I was making a mental note to text James to see if he knew what kind it was so we could order new one for him.
I am reminded how the ins and outs of life weave a beautiful tapestry.

This morning when I was getting Nate ready for school, he was sitting on the couch and I was putting on his socks, orthotics and shoes. (He's wearing those cool Jordan high-tops!) 

Anyway, before I put his socks on I grab his little feet and rub them and rub his ankles and kisses all of his toes and I think, "I know I did this with my other kids!" 
It's just so hard to remember them being that little. But I know I did, because I can remember saying some of the same things to them that I say to Nate. So I just want to say it officially right here and right now....Natie you have the cutest little baby feet and I never miss an opportunity to kiss them and kiss you. Every chance I get, little boy, I kiss your face your neck your head and your feet. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you like I love Andrew, like I love Hannah, like I love Maddie....I just didn't write it down back then, and I should have.
 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Whilst I was in the dressing room...



...and this....



....this too.



Just screwin' around...
ðŸ'—ðŸ'—ðŸ'—ðŸ'—


This was happening.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lunch for breakfast, breakfast for lunch

I was making Nate's sandwich for lunch and he says, "no mom. Hot lunch" And I looked at his lunch calendar and saw that it was going to be pancakes and eggs and I asked him, "do you want pancakes and eggs for lunch? There's pudding for dessert...!"  



he said yes! to that so I'm like ok, well....eat your sandwich for breakfast then. 
He's like, alright so he grabs his fishing pics from yesterday...


I know, right?!?


The he says, "I'm done. Here ya go."


LoL! Here ya go?!


Monday, September 02, 2013

We finally got to go to the Bruette cabin!! Spending the holiday with Becky, Tim, Tony and Karol was amazing. I loved every minute. Even the outhouse.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Saying "so long"

Andrew texted me a few minutes after we said goodbye. He said, "thank you for everything ❤"
I miss him already.