"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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Look back on May

As each day passes my life get fuller and fuller. Tanner is such a joy and is really coming along great. Although I get asked a lot why he isn't walking, and what is "wrong" with his legs, to me he is just perfect! I wish that others could realize that walking doesn't define a person.  It sure doesn't to me. 
Tanner's personality is that of a total goof ball!  Always laughing at random things, and doing random things. He sure helps brighten my days, and keeps me smiling and laughing. He is such a little "Cheezer"

Tanner recently got his newest equipment, twister cables. They are currently bolted to his braces and have a leather waistband.  I have learned from other moms that they can be bolted to his shoes instead, so we'll see if we can go that route when/if he needs new ones. The leather waistband rubs red marks on his sides so I'm currently working with the orthodics company for a resolution. 
Twister cables are to help keep his feet from turning all different ways and getting all twisted up.  They also help him stand correctly with his feet positioned in the best way possible.  He has had them less than a week, and is adjusting well.  It does make diaper changes very difficult and time consuming!  But it sure is nice to not have to tell him to fix his feet every few minutes and to see his feet nice and straight.  
When he has them off we've already noticed a difference in how his feet and legs go naturally!

Tanner's newest "love" is a burger king crown.  Who would've thought that a trip to burger king for a kids meal would result in endless fun for 2 weeks after!

Here Tanner is being his silly random self!  He thought it would be fun to try on Mr. potato head's glasses. 
He kept saying "too small" "too small" and laughing - so funny!

Now that May is over and here comes June, Tanner is just 2 weeks shy of being 2.5!  I can't believe how fast the past 2 years have gone.  I look forward to having more fun with him!
He loves to sing songs, especially twinkle twinkle - but he sings it "tinkle tinkle on da star"  Ha ha!  
He also knows his ABC's by sight and is learning the sounds.  He knows most of the colors, and shapes. And he can count to 10.  He is really starting to talk more and more each day, and loves repeating words. So I've had to be extra careful about what I say around him. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Who is Fun ??

There isn't much to say about this video other than it is just so dang cute!  Had to share!  My husbands brother "Uncle Don" seems to be Tanner's favorite lately. I love his fake laugh and the way he says no over and over.  The video is a bit long, but worth the watch!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter Weekend

Easter fun began the Saturday before Easter for Tanner.  With not only 1 egg hunt, but 2!  To say Tanner scored big time would be an understatement!  I put some long shorts on him and he crawled around like a champ!  I had brought some gloves in case he needed them, but he didn't. He was such a trooper, and seemed to love every minute of it.  
The first hunt was a church sponsored one and all the cousins were there!  They had a pancake breakfast first and then the hunt.

The second egg hunt was at some friends of ours, parents house.  We were personally invited to join other family and friends in the fun.  There were eggs literally everywhere!  In fact, you had to watch where you stepped otherwise you would step on one!  It was a mine field of easter eggs.  I don't think I've ever seen that many eggs in my life!  Most of the eggs had candy in them, but there were some that had small slips of paper that said "toy" on them.  If you were so lucky to get one of these, you got to go and pick out a small toy.  Tanner got 8 of these! Don't ask me how he got so many... just lucky, I guess. :) 

They also had a bouncy house.  Tanner wasn't too into it while the big kids were in it, but he tried it by himself for a bit. 

Easter morning... Tanner found this where his breakfast usually is!  I don't think he knew what to think about it, but he loved it anyway!  His favorite is definitely the big truck!  He also loves the sidewalk chalk.  Ironically enough he still hasn't touched his chocolate bunny. 

Tanner trying his very first Peep!  He liked it at first... and then... he threw it on the floor.  The dog ate it.  I'm not big on peeps either. Like mother like son it would seem. 

After church we ended Easter festivities with a family dinner. 
All in all - It was a good day! :)

Baby # 2

Yes, we are expecting Winward #2!  Due November 22nd!  

I am excited about it, although it was unexpected and completely unplanned!  Both Ray & I are unsure of how things will work out, but we have faith in God, and that is what matters most.  It's not the best timing, due to the fact that I have no job, and insurance is expensive.  I know that God will help us, and we have lots of family and friends surrounding us.  

Am I nervous about having another spina bifida child?  You bet! Because our chances are increased.   But if it were to happen again, at least I'll know how to handle it this time!   

I'm hoping for a girl this time, although at times I think it may be easier to have another boy. Because we already have all the boy stuff. :)  Either way I'll be happy.  Prayers for a healthy baby would be appreciated.  :)

A Day in the Life of Tanner

Tanner never ceases to amaze me as his mom.  He is becoming more and more independent. He has many opinions about what he likes and doesn't like.  And he is so stubborn just like his mom!  But through it all, he is always smiling. We were able to find a four wheeler at the second hand store, Tanner loves it!  All he has to do to make it go is push a button on the handle bars.  He's still learning to steer, but he loves to crash anyway!

He doesn't always like his picture taken, 

Is soon to smile anyway!

Still obsessed with Mickey Mouse, this is his favorite hat!  Wears it at least 1 time a day. 

And loves to be silly in it too!

Tanner also loves to watch T.V.  Although I try to limit that, he still looks so glued to it! :)

He laughs at almost anything & is such a ham about it too!

His shirt says "My parents are exhausted" Ain't that the truth! :)

After a full day of playing, teasing, riding, climbing, and being his silly self, this boy is tired. 

And why not end the day with his sunglasses upside down, sleeping in the car. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Invisible Mom......

No pictures this post... camera is out of commission until I can make it to the store to get some more batteries!

But.... I ran across this the other day and really loved it!

Invisible Mom

It all began to make sense -- the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids would walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. 

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie
this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' 

I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?'
I'm a taxi for order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock?  Where's my phone? What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. 

She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . She had just returned from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.

It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself.  I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .
I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:
'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devoured - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 

1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 
2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it.’  And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

‘No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.’

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself.  I just want him to want to come home.  And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, 
he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there...'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.
Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know... I just did.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pay Attention......

Tanner loves his bath time!  He likes to stay in the tub until the water starts to get cold, and sometimes until the water is all drained out.  He also loves bubble baths.  He loves to play, and dump water out of a cup. 
On this particular day I was sitting by the tub reading and taking a video of him playing.  Not paying enough attention apparently....because the little Stinker.... dumped a whole cup of water over the tub edge right on me!

Enjoy the drama!