Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where is the Freeze Button?

Okay, so the question I have is where did the time go?  When I was pregnant with Jada the one thing all the seasoned people advised me on is…”Treasure every minute, they will be grown before you know it”.  Right, right…well for right now let’s get through the dirty diapers, the meals I need to prepare for and the laundry that needs to be put away.  Never did I think that each minute would actually be only seconds before they grew up.  Jada is now 6 years old, and I keep telling her that she is going to get into trouble if she keeps growing…and her response, “But mom, I can’t help it!”   I wish we could just push a freeze button on certain times.  One of those times is when they reach over and give you a kiss and a hug on their own without asking for it.  Or when they begin to take their first steps, first laughs, or look relieved that you are picking them back up from the sitter.  Now trust me, I know there is plenty of time to enjoy and we are still in the beginning stages of life…but boy were they right about them growing up so fast.
I think it’s hitting me really hard right now as I’m preparing for Logan’s 2nd Birthday.  Is he really turning two?  It feels like just yesterday I was sitting in the hospital wishing I wasn’t eating dried out meatloaf with stale bread that accompied it.  It feels like yesterday that I was picking out his “take home” outfit and arguing with myself which one was the best one.  It feels like it was just other day when I first looked back in our van and realized that there are three car seats in the back that we were responsible for.
Now this Birthday is a little harder for me personally.  Logan does not feel like he is turning two.  Looking at pictures of the Second Birthdays of Jada and Asher they were eating cake, walking, talking, opening their presents on their own, and thanking the guests in their own way.  They were doing what a typical two year old does at their birthday parties.  Logan isn’t going to be doing things the same way the other two kids have done.  But would that be Logan?  Logan likes to do things different…He will be blowing kisses, saying hi the whole time, froggy crawling into the party, he will be excited to see his new toys by doing his excited scream, and doing what he does best…Smiling.  And that’s Logan.  We wouldn’t want it any other way…honestly after going through 2 two year old birthdays, it’s nice to have it changed up a little;)  I am still looking for the freeze button…so if you find it, let me know because I want three of them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Me, my tongue and a fingernail.

What you are about to read is embarrassing. It's Hilarious. It's gross. It's a great story...so please do not view me differently ...but laugh with me! Okay...so if you know me, you know I have a ton of embarrassing stories and weird things always happen to me...so here is the latest funny story.

I was in our youth staff meeting on Monday and I was biting my nails. Yes, I know...It's gross, but just like picking your nose...it's disgusting, you don't ever admit it...but you've done it. You all have probably bit a nail or two in your life time. And one of my nails went in the back of my mouth really far where I couldn't get it easy. I didn't want to go digging in my mouth with my finger so I tried to manuever my tongue so I could get it out. And all of a sudden a sharp pain went in my tongue. I had cut my tongue with my nail! Gross. Okay, so I wish that was just it, but that would be not a story worth telling.

Monday night happened, and my tongue was still hurting. I woke up on Tuesday and it hurt even worse. The day went on and as the night came I thought I would look at my tongue to see the damage this cut was. And I was horrified!!! I looked at my tongue and in my tongue was a finger nail!!! I had given my tongue a splinter with my finger nail!!! And because the tongue heals so fast it was impossible for me to tweezer it out! And yes...I was up late trying to tweezer a fingernail out of my tongue!! And I couldn't do it. So I woke up in the morning trying to figure out what type of doctor to go to...Do I go to the Doctor, Dentist, Chiropractor, Therapists, Oral Surgeon?! I mean who removes a finger nail from a tongue?! I called my Dentist and said, "Okay...I am soo embarrassed, but I don't know what to do...I have a fingernail in my tongue, please help me, I don't know what to do" The other side of the phone was quiet, and then I hear a giggle...They were laughing at me!!! She said, "Never in my career in Dentistry have I ever had a phone call like that!" So I went to the Dentist and as I walked in with my head down and giggling...they were waiting and ready to laugh! So they did what they had to do...and I am Fingernail free.

Note to self...Don't bite your fingernails...it can not only hurt your tongue but your pride.

A Special Day

When we found out about our son being diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome... It was a day full of questions, uneasiness, disappointment, confusion... All turning out to be the best day of our lives! You see, Logan helps us appreciate the small things, he brings light to everyone he meets. He makes sure he makes eye contact, then lands a huge healing smile. He makes you feel like you are a comedian because he laughs at almost anything. His low muscle tone melts in your arms making you feel like you are always hugged. His accomplishments, although delayed, are praised as if he just got a gold metal because you know how hard he had to work for it. His physical features are different but they shout love me and I'm ready to play. His Peter Pan spirit will assure us we will always have a playmate. My son has downs syndrome. We are blessed. We are proud. Now my other two kids... We feel the same way... Proud, overwhelmed, blessed, it's not just Logan... He just has completeled our family. But Logan helps us appreciate the small things. He helps us stop our busy lives to focus on what's important... People. .So if you are reading this, and maybe you've forgotten about the small things that make you happy, the people in your life that are special to you... Take time today on national downs syndrome day to appreciate the small special things in your life. I know this day Is special to me cause I now have a reminder the rest of my life what it's all about. Thank you God for Logan... I thank you for this extra blessing that I am honored to raise...I promise to love him, be patient, and to show others that You never make any mistakes.

Tripping over my feet

Okay…so it’s setting in now that Logan has Downs Syndrome. The thoughts go through my mind…some I share and some I think would be better not mentioning that the thought had crossed my mind. I started looking at different “Typical families” with the dynamic that I thought would be ours- One sister and two brothers. Jada, of course doing her hair and trying on about two thousand dresses a day. Some she doesn’t even change, she just layers them on top of each other until she realizes that she is too hot and comes to the conclusion that it wasn’t maybe the best idea. And the two boys, Asher and Logan, wrestling on the carpet, throwing a football and competeing for the girls. I realized that it would be different. Some moments I’m excited about the Challenge God has placed before me, and then other times…I think that I don’t know if it’s something I can handle. One of my thoughts I had said was that I don’t want to change a 40 year old’s diapers. I Don’t want to have a kid the rest of my life…what is Jody and I going to do when everyone is having a blast with the “empty nest syndrome” and we are still going strong with taking care of him. Now yes, that may not be the best thoughts, the best attitude to have…I am fully aware of that. But unfortuntly…That’s what I thought, I can’t help it…these are the things that come to mind every now and then. And then I thought…why am I thinking so far into the future…are we granted tomorrow? Logan is a baby right now, he is our baby and when he’s forty years old and we are having a laugh together…he is still my Logan. He won’t be a forty year old man that I have to take care of cause I have to, but it will be about me wanting to.

So many times we start running, we think that it’s the only way to get to the next thing, the next thought. And I realized that I was tripping over my own feet. If I put myself ahead of time, I’ll miss the laughs and good times along the way. I’ll miss opportunities to tell my story because I’m too busy thinking about the next thing. When Lazarus, Jesus’ best friend, was pronounced dead and Mary and Martha came running to Jesus to tell him that He must come to raise him from the dead. Jesus took His time getting there. He took four days to get to Lazarus and along the way He healed and touched people. If He would have run to the aid of Lazarus, He would have missed the opportunities for a miracle. To encourage you to just walk, not run through your life. Enjoy the moments that you have with each other, embrace the mistakes, and know that God knows the Future you have and He will prepare you for those days ahead…but to not let today pass you by because you have your mind on tomorrow. Hang up your running shoes and enjoy the Life that is before you.

Not riding the Same bus

There are so many things that we are learning that I never thought I would have to. All the different programs from Bright Starts, Champions, Alta Regional, etc, that we are participating in and meeting with. There are so many. We have had a lot of different appointments, meetings, and discussions with many different doctors and caretakers. And we have been very fortunate to love all of them. But on this particular day…I thought different.

“Let’s talk about School” Pat Davis shares from Alta Regional, Logan’s Coordinator. “When he’s ready he can go to school and can be picked up and dropped back off by a Charter bus…” She said a lot more right here…but I didn’t really hear much more. I heard that Logan would not be riding the same bus as Jada and Asher. I heard that Logan was not going to have that memory of riding on the same bus with his siblings as I did. I heard that my kids would be going in different directions.

I remember the bus rides like it was yesterday. The fight for the window seat, the placing of the bag at the end of the seat closest to the aisle so it would look like you were saving the seat, so no one would sit next to you. The sly moves to eat the leftovers from lunch so the bus driver couldn’t see. The window rolled down and the air blowing in your face thinking about the note you wish that boy hadn’t seen. The homework you would cram in so you could just play as soon as your feet hit the ground. The conversations and debates with the other less fortunate to not have a driver’s license like you. The complaining of the teachers assignments and their hair pieces that just don’t fit their heads. But the thing I remember most was riding with my sister.

Sandy was the most sweet, non confrontational person I’ve ever met. She was the Peace keeper. Never hurting a fly. And on the bus was the beginning of my first long fight. With tears in her eyes she begins to explain that someone had called her a name in school. Now mind you…this name was “dork”, although not an extremely upsetting horrible name…it hurt Sandy. And if you hurt her…you’ve messed with me. The girl happen to not only live in the same neighborhood as us…she road the same bus. Score! I was going to make sure that she knew who I was and that she would never pick on my sister again.

Walking up with confidence I calmly said, and with great fear behind my voice…”Hey…I’m Sandy’s sister, you called her a dork today, and if you do that again…you will mess with me, Got it?” She shook her head, and I confidently walked back to my seat, of course without the bus driver knowing I was up off the seat. And I felt good. She was protected and I did my job.

The next day we were loading on the bus and this rather intimidating large girl who was a grade older than me, came up to me. “I’m Rachel’s sister, the girl you said you were going to mess with…yeah…I’m her sister and if you mess with her…you mess with me, Got it?” The bus rides were never the same. This Junior would gather her friends tell jokes and snicker as they laughed at me. I would feel a paper ball hit me in the back of the head. But I could hold my own. It’s all part of memories. Sandy continued her bus rides and her conversations as if no one had ever called her a name. It was worth it, cause I did my job. I protected her. She didn’t have to worry.

Who is going to do that for Logan? I know Asher will be there for Jada. I know that my kids will do the same for each other. But I want Asher to be able to put an end to any harassing on his younger brother. That’s what brother do, right? These are the times it’s hard. The things you always dream about for your kids and their relationships with one another…you want that to be for all your kids, not just a couple. They aren’t going to ride the same bus. They aren’t going to go to the same school. They aren’t going to go to the same classes. They aren’t going to be playing the same sports. But…but, they are going to come home to the same house. They are going to experience the same love and attention. They are going to share the same memories of our vacations and holidays. They are going to know the same God that we serve. It’s all different. The things that are normal to most families becomes abnormal for us. But normal can be boring…repetitive…and forseen. This is not a forseen life…and we are okay with that. We are okay with that.

I have the Golden Ticket

The Golden Ticket.

I am sure you are at least familiar with the movie “Willie Wonka and the chocolate factory”. That was one of my favorite movies growing up. Although my sister was deathly scared of the Umpalupas, it was still a family favorite. I watched that movie probably a dozen times when I was a kid. I’m sure it had something to do with my sister having to run away at the site of Willy’s helpers…but regardless, I loved the movie. It is different, full of adventures, where craziness takes place in an unknown world. It’s intriguing. It’s different. It’s Bizare. Well I decided that it was time to introduce the movie to my older kids Jada and Asher. I always tell them the story line in our daily conversations to see if it would cause any concern to watch the movie, to test if they are old enough. If you think about it…it’s pretty funny, “Okay, so then there are these little green guys that comes out randomly that are small but large heads…and they suck a child in a small tube because he ate the chocolate. Then there is this mean girl that ate a blueberry gum and turned into a blueberry and had to roll her away…” But there was no rise from them…just bewilderment. If nothing else, I thought that maybe, just maybe that they would not ask for gum anymore.

So they weren’t scared so I popped in the movie. They loved it. They weren’t scared at all. I was pleasantly surprised. You always want the same childhood memories that are good to bring joy to your own kids. It’s something I could watch and enjoy as well. And as I watched this movie as an adult, something popped out that meant something to me.

Here they gave only 5 tickets to the world to see this factory. To visit a place that not many have seen. A place of mystery. A place that is untouched. A place that only 5 people will be able to experience. And as I sat on the couch with my two older kids and watching Logan playing on the ground…something hit me. I have one! I have a Golden Ticket! You see, not many people have and will be able to venture in this world of Down’s Syndrome like me and my family get too. We get to take a journey into uncharted land with a few other families that have been fortunate enough to get a golden ticket as well. We are able to experience, see, and enjoy what others would want if they knew how amazing this journey leads us on. Now there are also scary parts of this journey…the unknown, the embarrassing times, the looks, the indescripable feelings that come and go, the health issues. But if you asked Charlie…he would do it all over again if he could. He would take more people into the factory if allowed. I feel that way…I would take more people on this journey with me for sure. It’s different, it’s crazy, it’s never ending, and it’s my life. I realized that I have 2 wonka bars and a golden ticket. A Ticket that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the whole world…but I’d take you with me on this journey for sure.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Phone Call

We received a phone call of news that is the beginning of an incredible but different journey for us Vaughns. And to take you back to where it all started to gather…here is the story and details about Logan Scout Vaughn. I had suspected something was different about our son Logan on the night he was born….there was something different about his eyes. I had asked the doctor if everything was okay….she said that he’s fine…healthy, nothing to be concerned about. We took him home and I still kept seeing some features that just didn’t seem normal to me. Now if you know my other two kids…Jada and Asher…I’m basically an incubator for my husband Jody. I have reproduced little Jodys and Logan didn’t look like them. I thought okay…maybe I finally had one that looks like me, and that is why he is different looking than his siblings. At his two month appointment the Doctor did her routine check up and was noticing some physical milestones he wasn’t reaching like holding his head up and engaging with his eyes. She mentioned going to a Neurologists, so we set up an appointment seeing why he seemed behind in his development. The Neurologists looked at Logan and said “this baby is perfect, he is a normal baby, 100 percent sure” We were relieved because no one wants anything to be wrong with their child. But he set up some blood work because he said he didn’t want to just blow me off because he believes in a mothers intuition. We got the blood work done and just had to wait. Meanwhile I switched Doctors and was at an appointment for Logan being sick. Mentioning my concerns she said what the other two Doctors had said...He seems fine, but I don’t know. Anxious about the test results I had asked if the Doctor was able to look up the results through the lab that we had gotten the blood drawn at. She said she would check and she’d be right back. My sister and I waited and as we waited my phone kept ringing, and I had this feeling it was Neurologist so I picked it up. “Is this the mother of Logan Vaughn? Doctor would like to see you asap…would you be able to come in on Monday?” I thought why if everything was okay would I need to be consulted…I asked questions and her answer, “I really am not supposed to tell you over the phone” I said, “It’s okay…we know he’s been tested…I’m okay with the results, I just need to know” She than proceeded with the news that made me weak to the knees, “Your son has Downs Syndrome.” I honestly didn’t know what to do for about 5 minutes. My sister just comforted and I just cried. The Doctor came back in with the results written in paper all the more confirmation that It’s real. And as most Doctors are more cut dry…she started to tell me that we need to get him in asap for a echocardiogram, therapy, consultations and many more words I was foreign to. “Please….I just found out…can I just call you…I’ll make all the appointments I need…I just need a minute”. Now I had suspected this, I had talked to my family and friends questioning “Do you think He has Downs syndrome? Do you see what I see? Doesn’t his eyes look different to you?” But after three Doctors all with no concern I started to believe that maybe it’s just me. Now we are all human, and of course it’s not the news you hope to hear but I wanted to share with you not only the story behind how we found out…but why this phone call is going to change my life in such an amazing way.

God makes no mistakes. His will for our lives is perfect. And I know that Logan Scout Vaughn is going to change my life, my families life and everyone around by just being him. I believe that we are here on this earth for two reasons…to love people and to tell people about God. Jody and I were talking about what holds us back in sharing God’s word and seeing Miracles happen. Lacking Faith and fear. The Bible says that we should have faith like a Child...and Logan will have that faith…and the Fear of rejection, fear of what people will say…Logan won’t care. You see I believe with my whole heart that Logan is going to change lives in such a unique way….he is going to teach us how to love…and to be free. I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to be one of the 400 parents that are entrusted with such a gem. Of course there is fear of the unknown, but we are going to take this one day, one step at a time knowing that this was all in God’s plan. I know that Jada and Asher are already the sweetest little kids and they will embrace this situation when they are old enough to comprehend…they will never know anything different than having an extra special brother. We aren’t thinking that this is going to be a breeze by any means…we know that this was a life altering phone call…but we are embracing it with open arms and are excited about the journey that we are going on! So please know we aren’t needing condolences…it’s totally not a sad thing…but an honor to have this situation come on us. As family and friends I wanted you to hear from us how we feel about the whole thing so you can know where we are and what we feel. Some of you weren’t at church this Sunday, or I haven’t been able to get the word out…so I figured I could get a lot of you on facebook and email. In fact it’s funny, I was telling my family…I actually feel sorry for Logan, Jada and Asher cause they have us for parents…they had no choice! It’s a crazy life being apart of our clan…as some of you saw the circus on stage at Logan’s dedication!

We just ask if you can pray for something…it’s health. That Logan will live a long amazing healthy life that we can enjoy. Not that God would change him…cause he is perfect but just to keep everything working okay!
Thanks for reading my novel!! I’ll keep you posted on this journey!

Missy Vaughn