November 22, 2013

Forget Me Nots

This morning Ivey-loo-whoo set off to begin her second week of school.  From the looks of things, she was not quite in school mode this morning.

This is how this week is starting.

When I say she is a ham, she is A ham!  

Matt sent the picture since he is on the rotation of taking her to school this week.  I think Ivey may have figured out that she has started back to school but the boys have not.  I'm sure this is her way of protesting.

While Ivey is working hard at school, the boys are officially winding down summer and gearing up for school.  Walker actually said last week that he misses his friends and is ready for school.  The boys are all registered for school with uniforms being pulled out of summer storage and new shoes revving to go.  Personally I'm not ready for summer to end.

The boys and Ivey are obviously in two different school systems.  Ivey is in our county school system and the boys attend a private school.  I get tickled as the school years gear up.  Tickled, but exasperated at times.  For Ivey the beginning of the school year is exciting, she is surrounded by great educators.  At the end of each year we meet, form the new IEP, and think toward the future.  So the beginning of the year is never a big surprise.  This year Ivey will have a new speech therapist.  We are going to missssss Mrs. Libby, but I have great faith that the "team" that supports Ivey will lead her and guide her and teach her the ropes, the deaf blind technique ropes.  And, I believe the new person wants to do her best with my daughter.  They all want the best.  I also know that everyday will not be a picnic.  I also know that no one goes into special education without an underlying realization that their days will be a little more challenging than other areas of education.  That is a fact, not opinion.

With the boys the beginning of a school year starts off a little differently.  In the weeks leading up to the first day of school we

September 29, 2013

A Race.

Last weekend Ivey, through the eyes, ears, lungs and legs of her brothers, completed another R.A.C.E Rome triathlon, this one to benefit the Open Door Home.  

Am I proud of them?  Absolutely.  

I am proud that Ivey has found a stable spot in her life.  That spot is something deep inside her.   

As for the boys, I am proud of their hard work and finishing each race - for their own perseverence.  Ivey is merely the cherry on top.  

As a spectator, it is interesting to hear different comments as the three of them move through the race.  
Yes, they are amazing.  But to me they are amazing because they are my babies.  

BUT.  The boys pulling Ivey through the race, for me, not so amazing.  

They do with her because they love her and they know no other way.  

Literally, they don't know or remember a life without her.  

A "typical" life I know.  Matt knows.  As for the boys - this is it.  
There are no memories of any other way or choice, no before.  For them it is - always and forever.  

They, just like every other aspect of their life, race differently.  They race the way kids do when their sibling requires -  different.  

During the races, the spectators are reminded of the value of "normalcy".  The value of our "typical"  abilities become more valuable.  

I am proud of the sportsmanship.  I am proud of our community.  I am proud of the school that hosts this race.  And I am proud to be their mom.  


August 17, 2013


"Sometimes being a BROTHER is better than being a SUPERHERO."

This summer our rep for Ivey's IVig infusions called to ask permission to nominate Ivey and her brothers with an organization called "TinySuperHeroes".  The children nominated for this organization all have special needs and the organization makes and sends superhero capes to the children. In this case, Britni asked to nominate Ivey and the boys because Ivey is our superhero and the boys are her superheros.  

The boys were so excited to get a cape too. They are getting older but there are somethings that can never be outgrown. Sometimes it is the simple things that mean the most and say the most to the boys. Simply, it is the same thing we seek for Ivey, inclusion.  Someone thought of them, someone realized their value and most importantly someone saw the magnitude of living this special life as well.  

They are the unsung heroes.  They are easily overlooked in the presence of Ivey.  Often.

They take the hits.  Hard.  

They take the backseat.  Willingly.  

They revel in their roles as Big Brothers to such a fully involved Little Sister.  Selflessly.  

So, thank you Mrs. Britni.  You filled their buckets.  

Here is the link to the website for TinySuperHeroes.  I will put Ivey and the boys on their website soon.  In the meantime, if you need some inspiration go to the site to meet some amazing tinysuperheros.

The capes came in and I have yet to get some really good photos.  So these will have to do for now. 
Maybe the boys can wear them in the next triathlon...


August 16, 2013

Summer Re-Cap 2013 (Very Brief)

Top Sail, North Carolina (Camp Lejeune) with Taylor and Craig.   Frightening amount of huge shark teeth on that beach.

St. Simons with the Griffeths'.  
This is a handy-dandy gift from Santa.  She fits weight wise but she is so long.  But, good workout for the daddy.  I apologized to her in advance for the crazy hair.  I put sunscreen everywhere, so those curls get a little messy.

 Snuggling with the brother.  (She is almost as long as he is.)
 Standing in the stander with her new back brace.  Loves it!
 Birthday party for our Ava. (Ava is the one in the construction gear.  All girl, but note she is the only girl besides Ivey, so she's just one of the guys. )

 Again, St. Simons with the Griffeths'.  Godparents are the bestests!  (I know that's grammatically incorrect.)

 Griffeths' amazing dog.  Would not leave her side the entire time.  And lots and lots and lots of puppy kisses.  Ivey gave him the Heizman.

 We go nowhere without a toothbrush.  (her favorite "toy"."  Good hygiene.)
 See, kisses galore.

 Ava's birthday.  Notice she is in heels.  What girl wouldn't wear heels and construction gear?

 More brother.

 Adults only.  Bahamas with our awesome friends "The Milfords".  Shark Week aired the following week.  Good thing.  I would not have put a toe in the water.  Needless to say, all the falls off the paddle board ended with me screaming thinking a shark would eat me.  (great fear thanks to one marine biology class.)
 More stander.  Such a big girl!

Ivey is NOT a snuggler, but when it is your Godmother, the rules don't apply to her.  I don't know what I would do without these two girlies.  (and Ava)

 I can't get over the pink sparkly heels! (not to mention the goggles.)

 The boys at the lake with our awesome neighbors.  Love them.

 And ... exhaustion from one very busy summer.  Note:  no pictures of a hospital...... the first of many "normal" summers for us....FINALLY!

August 15, 2013

Not gonna do it..

A view from Matt's rearview mirror as he is taking Ivey to school. 
Obviously, she's more than figured out this peek-a-boo thing. 
Love me some Ivey-lou-who.
If it weren't for her shoes, she might have pulled this off.

August 11, 2013

Semper Fi

I'm not sure where to even start.  Summer is winding up, a great summer that is, and a first in many years that has been low-key yet busy all at the same time.  This summer only one trip was made to a Atlanta for a doc visit, one trip to Scottish Rite's ER and one trip to Ivey's local pediatrician.  If you know Ivey, normally all that can happen in one week, one day even.  But this post isn't about Ivey.  

It really is funny how paths cross.  Several years ago this sweet girl attending Berry College came into our lives just to observe "life" with a special needs child and somehow we wound up here with her permanently part of our lives.  We have received a piece of life from her that, I must admit, will not come in the same form with Ivey.  From watching her graduate college, live a summer with us, travel to Utah for grad school and become a wife all the way to the basic daily routines of life, she has become a vital piece of our family.  I miss her.  

(There's a couple of links there with some photos of their wedding...)

But she married this really amazing guy, and together they go.  

So this guy naturally fell into place in our family.  He graduated from UGA, so you know Matt loves him.  He is a natural athlete, so the boys love him.  He loves working with children with special needs, so Ivey loves him.  He loves Taylor, so I love him.   

(Yep, he really is great.) 

After graduating from UGA - and getting Taylor back here from Utah - and a little waiting on the military side, Craig officially began is path with the Marines and began his officer training.  This path led them to Virginia for several months and to North Caroline over the summer.  

Craig graduated at the beginning of August.  Now they are to be based in California.  

They leave today.  

This stay will be for a couple of years.  So around Georgia there are lots of tears. Happy and sad all mixed together.  

Craig was made to be a Marine.  He thrives in this environment so much so that he graduated THE top of his class!  

These two make us so proud.  Proud to know them.  Proud to be part of their lives.  Proud that Craig serves our country.  Proud that Taylor and Craig are so complementary and supportive of one another.  

We love them and miss them when they are away, but they are always in our hearts.  They are woven into the fabric of our family.  A brother and sister, son and daughter, friends - the perfect combination.  This trip is going to great.  Opportunities for Taylor to be in a state with a strong deafblind background.  A place Craig can thrive.  And the opportunity to explore and experience life together.  

But here in Georgia it looks like it's time to start booking a flight to sunny California........

(Please be safe....and Semper Fi!)