"God doesn't give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with special needs doesn't take a special family, it makes a special family."
" Faith makes life possible. Hope makes life workable. Love makes life beautiful."

The Winwards

The Winwards

Monday, January 10, 2011

Up and Into

Tanner is really starting to get "up on & into" more and more things.  He climbs up onto just about anything now. He can climb up onto rocking chairs, kitchen chairs, the kitchen table, couches, beds, coffee tables you name it. And he loves to sit and read.

Tanner also loves boxes.  He love to climb into bigger ones, and hopes that he can "fit" into smaller ones. 

I wonder if he can fit his head in!  LOL!

He also loves playing with shoes.  Here he is "walking" inside Daddy's shoes. Using his hands in the shoes as he crawls along.  So cute!

Up on the couch all by himself. So tired after a full day of climbing and exploration. Ready to go to bed in his Thomas PJ's

Tanner & Aidan

While in Utah we also visited Ray's Grandma and some extended Family. One of  Ray's cousins has an 8 month old little boy named Aidan.  He is so adorable!  I think he has as much hair as Tanner does, if not more!  Tanner loves babies, and he loved Aidan!

At first they didn't really know what to think of each other. There was a lot of touching and and looks. But it was so cute!

In the end they entertained each other by smacking Grandma's coffee table. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Let it snow.....

It snowed while we were up in Utah. Snowed all day the Wednesday after Christmas. These pictures were taken the morning after.  So pretty, but so cold!  BRRRRR!

Tanner's first experience of being in the snow.  He had seen a little of it before last February when my Dad died, but nothing like this!  I don't think he really knew what to think of it. He kept calling it "dagglefluff" :)
Ray took him out when I was out with a friend so I missed it, but I'm happy that this video was taken!  It's so cute that he doesn't understand why the snow is sticking to his gloves, and his wonder as he is trying to crawl through it!

After going out in the snow, and some of the days following it was so cold!  Tanner was entertained at Grandma Linda's house.  He liked played on the computer & tons of toys!  Tanner got so spoiled this year! He got puzzles, over 40 different hot wheel cars, a mini train set, a bowling set, a sit'n'spin, tons of new books, clothes, a Mr. potato head, a play tool set.... There is probably more, just can't remember right now. 

Even though there were some rough patches for me, it was a great trip and we all had fun!

Oh Christmas Tree

 We went to Utah for Christmas this year.  I grew up there, and its always nice to go back. We had a great time there and were able to see most of my family and friends.  It was SO COLD!!   I think the warmest it got was around 15 degrees BRRRRRR!  Or as Tanner would say..... brrr, I code (cold).   But no matter where you are the Christmas Trees are all pretty.

This is what our tree looked like at our house in AZ. We were able to go up near Payson and cut down our own tree this year.  That was an experience in of itself thanks to Ray and his "know it all" attitude!  We hiked down the mountain carrying Tanner and a saw the whole way, found the tree we wanted.  Then Ray wanted to hike back to the car and get the twine which he "forgot" to bring. I want not a happy camper about his because I knew that we probably wouldn't be able to find the same tree again and because it was cold.  Being a good wife I went back with him, ate lunch at the car, and left Tanner with Grandma. We hiked back down and couldn't find the same tree. Thinking to myself "Why am I not surprised".  This is how things work in the Winward family.  Fed up, cold and tired my attitude was swiftly going down the mountain. I told Ray, "Find a tree and cut it down, I'm done."  " I don't care what it looks like".  Well below is the result of that statement. :)

Kind of lopsided and had big blank spots on one side. But it had character, like everything else we entangle ourselves in. :)  Tanner helped decorate it, pointing to where he "wanted" the ornaments to go.  Ray lifted him up and he placed each and every candy cane.  Although they were all grouped together and I really wanted to move them, I left them where Tanner had placed them.

This tree was at my Mom's house in Utah. A fake already lit tree with oodles of decorations and ornaments with a rotating stand.  Tanner was fascinated by it!

True to my Mom and tradition.... Always tons of food to eat.  No wonder I always gain weight over the holidays! 

Tanner learned to say "cook" (cookie) and "cand" (candy) while we were there. :) He also learned to say "santa" and "noman" (snowman)  
He did learn another word much to my dismay.  He was trying to say cracker.... but couldn't quite get it right. Take the "cra" of the front and insert a "fu"  and well.... you get the picture. What am I going to do with my sweet adorable guy.  Guess I'll just have to keep loving him!


What can be said about em??  They are sweet, soft, and melt in your mouth, and Tanner loves them!  I can't leave them anywhere!  He will find the bag!  Here he is thinking "I'll just sneak a few, before anyone notices".

OH!  Caught in the act!  His eyes say "What?  I'm not doing anything!"

Becomes flirty and funny when caught to get more!

Such a cute boy!  Gotta love him - even if he sneaks into the marshmallows from time to time!

Update on Feelings

After the last post, I've had a lot of feedback.  I've appreciated all of it! My days go up and down, and I've had more down days lately than up days.  When I have a down day everything seems to fall apart.  You know the saying... "If Mom's not happy, no one else is".  Tanner felt my negativity and reacted to it by not wanting to do anything for himself. (becoming a baby again).  I've decided to turn a new leaf and be happy for him.  I will save the negativity for when he is sleeping if I need too. :)  I look at how amazing he is, how he smiles all of the time, and is not mad at the world.  If he can do it, so can I.
Things really aren't as bad as I imagine them to be or as they seem.  Things could always be worse, and I am grateful that they aren't. I know that any help we can receive makes things easier for mostly the parents, but any release in stress is helpful. :)  I only wish it wasn't so hard and a constant fight.
I'm making a goal to do the best I can and rely on God to help with the rest.  That's all I really can do :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tons of Emotions..... Star's Feelings

Bear with me....I've been in deep thought a lot lately.

I sit here wondering what I can do given the little resources I have to make Tanner's life a bit better.  The bigger he gets the harder it gets to swallow that he really is "different". It's so hard for me to watch as his cousins run circles around him and to see him get so frustrated because he can't keep up.  Things like that are such harsh reminders about how easy other kids get around and how hard Tanner has to work to get anywhere.

I am so frustrated with Arizona and the lack of support and resources.  When I was pregnant with Tanner I was told numerous times... "He will get approved for a lot of things that will help out" - Currently he hasn't been approved for SQUAT!  I don't mean to sound bitter, but I have to admit that I am. I almost wonder if we would qualify for more things if we lived in another state.   I really feel like Tanner is getting short changed, and I don't know what I can do about it.  I've applied and applied and applied....and appealed and appealed and appealed.... only to get denied repeatedly for the things I was told before that Tanner wouldn't have a problem getting.

Christmas was hard for me this year.  Not sure if it was because it was the first Christmas after my Dad died, and he was all about Christmas or the fact that I'm still unemployed.... or maybe its something else.. I try so hard to be happy and not get stuck in sadness, but I seem to be stuck in a rut.
We were able to go to Utah where my family is and where I grew up for Christmas this year.  I felt it important that I be there for my Mom, and hoped it would help me too.  I know my Mom loved that we were there, and Tanner got spoiled rotten!!  But things just felt off for me, and I'm still puzzled why.
I was able to spend some time with friends which helped, but I still felt off.  Ray even noticed that I was off, and got frustrated when I couldn't tell him why.  I still can't tell him why.

He said the other day "I want the wife back that I married".  I don't know if I can give him that.  Having a child with special  needs changes a person. At least I feel like it has done that to me.
Some people tell me I need to get on anti-depressants.... but I'm already a "walking medicine cabinet" ... why would I want to add one more thing.  I don't know....maybe I haven't grieved enough about things and need to grieve more.

Don't get me wrong, I love Tanner... I would die for him.  He is my world, and the light in my life.  He is so funny and always amazes me with the things he is able to do given the circumstances.

Just had to clear my head.  Thanks for listening.