Mommy

Today I have officially been a mommy for 3 years. Yes my sweet little boy turns 3. I has gone by so quickly. I will never forget the first time I saw Ephriam’s little face. It will be embedded in me forever. After pushing for 2 hours it was a glorious moment how sweet to look at your baby’s face. We still didn’t know till a few minutes later that he was a boy. It was the momment that made me a mother. Something I will now be for ever. I would have never have guessed how fast and quickly he would have come into the world (only 6 hours of labor and 2 of them trying to push him out). It was pretty painless, yes PAINLESS. I only kicked Chris once while trying to breathe through a contraction and I was already 4 cm when I made it to the hospital. Did I mention that I didn’t use any pain medicine. That’s right no IV drugs or an epidural, all natural.

Ephriam fulfilled my dream of being a mother. It was a great day for me and I am glad to have such a wonderful son to take care of, even on the hard days. I love him so much and I hope that today is special for him. I know in the years to come that with his birthday being so close to Christmas that it will be hard to make it special for him but I am going to try my hardest.

So my beautiful precious son….

HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY EPHRIAM.

Merry (Belated) Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope that you all had a blessed holiday this year. It has been quite the adventurous one for us. We had a three day run of Christmas Bliss.

Day One:

We were suppose to go out to Chris’ sister’s house to have Christmas with his side of the family. Only we got a phone call at 0930 saying that one of the kids had been up all night getting sick and that the party had been canceled. This was a total bummer for me but Chris and I had quick thinking and moved some of the party here. Chris’ brother and his family were not going to attend anyway because their baby was sick so that left just us and his parents, his other brother Mark and his Grandma. So we quick threw a party together here! The kids got to have Christmas with at least part of their family Christmas and that we were able to see some of our family that day.

Day Two:

Christmas eve! We just hung out at home most of the day but ended up having Christmas Eve dinner at Matt and Heather’s House. It was a beautiful event. We started out with appetizers to lead only into dinner that had ham, turkey, mash potatoes, gravy, green been casserole, cheesy potatoes, and rolls. Then we all gave ‘gifts’ to baby Jesus and sang Happy Birthday to him. Then we had our ‘free’ gift exchange. I ended up with at gift card to Starbucks and a nice coffee mug. It  will be nice to treat myself to a cafe mocha every now and again. Chris ended up with a new golf umbrella and a nice little regular size umbrella. I am sure that they will come in handy for him. I am now looking for my ‘free’ gift to give away next year. I am sure that I will be able to find something before then. Hoping to be able to help Chris out too with something. We went home and put the kids in bed and Chris and I did our Christmas together. I really felt that we both made our budgets stretch out pretty far this year. I think that my favorite thing that I got from him was my outfit. He did a great job at picking something out for me to wear that was young and hip and instyle. I am looking forward to wearing it tonight to church. I also got a thin line Bible to go to church with. Now I don’t have to lug my big Bible with me and I will be able to have a Bible with me at all times. Then Chris and I waited for Santa to come for the kids before we went to bed. We didn’t make it to bed till 2 am.

Day Three:

I was then awake at 5 am in anticipation of the kids opening their gifts. I couldn’t wait to see the joy on their faces after they made it down the hall to the Christmas tree. So at 6:30 I finally was able to wake up Chris and get breakfast and then get the kids up. Kendra was awake quickly and ready to go. Ephriam of course was half asleep when I sent them down the hall. They immediatley started playing with their new kitchen. Then we moved on to the stockings. Ephriam didn’t want to open his but Kendra was all about digging in till she got the candy. One by one she started pulling out the mini reece cups so daddy showed her how to dump it out on the floor and that was that. They then moved on to presents, each more interested in what the other was doing then what they were doing themselves. Only 30 minutes that they had been up and everything was open and they were playing. It was great for them. While they were playing I gathered things up to head off to Toledo to go to my Grandma’s house. We were able to leave our house by nine and make it to her house by noon. We no longer got there before the paper started flying. With 30 people in her living room it is always a bit squishy but we make do for the short time we are all there. The kids got great gifts. Kendra played with one and then another and then another and then back to the first one. Ephriam open all his presents and then since he didn’t sleep on the way up fell asleep on Daddy. Then after opening gifts we were on to eating. I think that between all the days that I ate way to much but that is part of Christmas. We played some games and visited with everyone and then we were off back home. Kendra had so much sugar to eat that she was wild in the car for a while before settling down to sleep. Ephriam was awake till she fell alseep and then he drifted off himself. The day ended the way it started… watching my angels asleep in their beds. What wonderful Christmas memories for me.

Help for Ephriam

On Wednesday we took Ephriam for his speech evaluation. He will be going once a week to see a speech therapist once there is an opening for him. He is 2 years behind on his verbal but only one year behind on his understanding and his play. The speech pathologist was really impressed with all that I have been doing with him. She kept asking if I was or am studding to behavior and developmental stuff. I told her of course that I wasn’t but that the internet has been a great tool for me. I have looked up all sorts of things to help him including toys that he would need to get to help him for Christmas and his Birthday. She was supper impressed with how hard and far he has come over the fast 4 months. She didn’t have but a couple more things that I can do with him at home that I wasn’t already doing. She would like him however to go to Head Start. So I called them after my parents left and they need to do some paper work but they were going on break on the 20th so I wouldn’t hear back from them till after the 7th of January if he qualifies for the program (Head Start is mostly for low income families but since Ephriam has so many ‘special’ needs they told me he would probably qualify for the program despite how much we make). While he is at Head Start they will work with him with his speech and occupational therapy while he is in preschool. This will also be a good opportunity for him to get to be with other kids 4 half days a week. While he is there he will get one meal and snack too. So when I hear back from Head Start to see if he qualifies for the program I will let you know. I do know that if he doesn’t qualify for Head Start that the Hamilton City Schools are required by law to provide his speech and occupational therapy for him so I don’t know where that will lead us next but I will keep you informed.

 Thank you all so much for your prayers as We are going through this. I have had some tough days have some “could  I have done better” even though I know that I am doing the best I can now. Please continue to pray for Ephriam as he has lots of work ahead of him but at least it will be fun work. Please pray for strenght for Chris and I as we continue to work with Ephriam. Pray for Kendra too (as she will have to come with me to all his appointments) that she will gain patients.

Kendra does do our therapy at home with Ephriam too. She takes part in all our activites for crawling down the hall to noodle jelwery to coloring to egg carton snacks. Her vocabulary is increasing as Ephriam and her are repeating words together. So she is staying ahead of the game so far. I will be watching her closely since Ephriam has these delays.

So help is on the way for Ephriam and I am sure the will amaze me with his skills and vocabulary. Can’t wait till next year when he can make his own Christmas and Birthday list!

Put to work

Today we had Ephriam’s evalutation for his occupational therapy. It was a good appointment to learn where Ephriam needs help. He will only be going once evey other week for his occupational therapy which is better then I thought, because I thought he would go once a week. He does have muscle weakness in his hands and upper body so now we have been put to work to get him to do things to help him build up that strenght. Ephriam will also be put to work and they want him to even do more helping around the house. They want him to help carry some sheet and towels when we do laundry or bring in a couple cans of soup after I have gone to the grocery store. We also will be working with getting him on his hands and knees more to crawl so that he pushes himself up and builds up that strenght. To work more with his hands we will be playing more with playdough and working on having him only pick up one piece of something at a time to get him to do the ‘finger pinching’ that kids do to pick things up. As soon as I get an empty egg carton and some goldfish crackers he will eat them by picking them out of the carton with his fingers. They said also that if he didn’t need to have a snack to use small objects like buttons, popcorn kernals, ect. So now that we know the right things to do with him we will work more with that. I am looking forward to seeing him improve over the months and to work himself to be discharged from therapy all together. So my prayer is that he will co operate with us and will grow more strenght in his upper body and arms. Also that I don’t try to push him too hard to the point where he doesn’t want to do it at all.

My take on Ephriam’s Therapy

Okay so this all started to come about about 4 months ago when I got a call from my Grandmother with concerns about Ephriam. She caught me at a bad time and this lead to a huge melt down. And I mean HUGE. Hours of crying, worrying, praying, hoping, and wondering.

Now no at the time I didn’t think anything was wrong with him (and still don’t for that matter). I thought that maybe he might need a little help but wasn’t thinking that he was what my Grandmother says that he was (he still isn’t according to his doctor). I was just having a meltdown just incase. Incase of what you wonder. And just what in the heck am I really talking about? Autism. I was indeed offened and some days still am that someone might think that about my son especially since I don’t think he is.

This all lead to me working with him more trying to prove the world wrong. I didn’t want him to be ‘special’ in any kind of way. I wanted him to be a normal kid. In part for my sake because I didn’t think I could handle it but mostly for him. I didn’t want the cruel world to lable him, tease, him or even get there hands on him. I wanted him to run, jump, and play like a normal kid. I just wanted him to be normal.

Then Kendra was do for he 15 month check up so I thought that I would schedule Ephriam’s 3 year well child check with hers and get the ‘real’ scoop. I already knew that he needed some speech therapy and could deal with that knowing he would just go for a while and then be done but even though I knew he was fine I needed an expect opion to ease my mind or help in the next step. So off to the doctors we go. Ephriam has seem to have made some progress with us working with him to get him to talk. Some days are better then other and some days nothing. After spending over an hour on just Ephriam Dr. Lang confirmed that he would need a little extra help to catch up with the other kids his age but no he didn’t have Austism. She felt that he was too curious, cuddly, and interactive to have austism.  Man was there some relief behind that. Praise the Lord she only felt that he had developmental delays and needed some therapy. So she faxed the referrals over and we were off home.

I felt so much relief and better being able to tell people that he just needed help catching up with the other kids. And that we did find that he would need some occupational therapy along with the speech therapy. I could now say something in response to people’s questions about him. There was an answer.

That was really what I was looking for. It really didn’t matter if he was going to need extra help along the way or not what I was really looking for was an answer to my question. What if? Could I really handle all the things that he need? Could we get him all the help? And what about the money? Now I know and have known all along…

YES. Yes I can handle it no matter what. Yes we will get him help. The money will come too.  The answer is Yes. Even though he hasn’t seen any of the therapist yet and Austism is still a possible diagnoses I know that Yes I will handle it.

One family that has 4 kids in our small group has an austic child. How do they do it? How do you devote the time needed not only for the other children but also for Austims?

The Answer: GOD! Through all him all things are possible (that is verse somewhere in the bible) By prayer! Praying had for his guidance to do the right thing. There are also all sort of support groups out there to help too. Not to mention that Cincinnati Children’s Hospital offers groups for parents who’s children have special needs. GOD has given it all to us.

God has entrusted me with his beloved son, Ephriam Michael Walker. God gave him his name, birthday, parents, sibling, ect. He has entrusted me with him and his needs.

I am going to make it happen for him. I am enjoying momments now like “love you too” and “all aboard” things that 4 months ago we didn’t ever hear and now hear day in and day out.

I also got to talk with  a neonatolgist about the possible causes for Ephriam’s delays. I wonder if maybe his 27 bilirubin as a baby had anything to do with it. She told me probably not. It was probably just the fact that he is a 1st born male child with a sibling so close in age. Cause while worring about anything else you wonder if there is something else that you could have done for him or that you could have changed and if that is the answer then the answer is no. I can’t change it and wouldn’t for the world. I love being a mom even though it is tough some times. I love it. I love my kids and enjoy seeing them grow.

I am now looking forward to see what he will be able to do with a little help. I am looking forward to seeing him grow to his age and beyond. Mostly I am going to be there to pull him through on rough days and celebrate the good ones. He will know that he is loved and cared for. Not just from his early parents but also that his Heavenly Father loves him more.

Ephriam will continue to go to church with kids his age and do the things they are doing. He will continue to play and pray with them. He will have friend there I am sure to pull him through too. I know that the people that have in right now look for him to come to church. He has put a mark on there hearts and we get so many good remarks on his behavior.

Now my outlook… We will survive and pull through no matter what. For God is on our side always.

Small Group Review

Okay so I have made it through my second small group meeting. And I just love these people! I just feel so welcome and connected. I have no fear of sharing my life with them. They still rock. Of course they still have their newness about them but I am sure that the more I grow with them the more I will love them. God truely knows what he is doing.

This week we started looking at our study that we are going to do on a book called ‘The Insider’ We had a really nice talk about what groups we belong to and what Non-Christian people we know and people that we are praying specifly for to follow Christ. Rob did a great job leading the group and keeping up focused on the task.  We even started almost on time and we did end very close to 8:30. Chad also did an awesome job playing the guitar and singing praise songs since it was the first time it had ever been done in our group.

I am bummed about not being able to meet untill New Years Eve oh well. If any of you (Anjali this means you!) read my blog please feel free to comment at any time.

One other thing that I am glad to have the group for is that they are very resourceful group. There are so many of they that are from all walks of life and have experince tons of things from adoption to autism to job changes to family to bad chruch experinces ect. I think too that Chris and I will have a lot to offer them too from the many place that we have been.

RSVP-Week 2

Okay I totally lost my first thoughts on this so bear with me as I try to re-type them and hopefully not loose them this time.

This week Joe Boyd talked. I REALLY like when Joe talks and I think that Chris but it the best way when he said that we feel personally connected to him. I don’t know if it because his first week was our first week or if it that someday we will be personally connected to him. We will see.

Anyway this week Joe talked about the response of the Magi or Wisemen as most people know them. We looked in the book of Matthew where his ‘Christmas’ story begins with the Magi.

The Magi response is to seek. They traveled very far to seek out the baby. They ran into Herod and asked him where they could find this baby, the King.  So while the Magi were seeking out the baby Jesus so too was Herod. He told the Magi when the found him to come and tell him so that he could go see him. When they did find him they realized that they shouldn’t tell Herod this so they went another way. The Magi also brought what is thought to be expensive gifts( given the time period) to the baby that they were seeking after.

So our response would be to seek after God not just through the Christmas season but through the whole year. It is hard to seek him and sometime we feel that life it too busy too but we need to seek Christ first in our lives. I know that as a mother it is hard to seek him because I feel like my kids run my life right now but I do love the quite moments either at nap time or bed time where I get to focus on God. I hope that this year I can do my best to seek him first (not always so hot at this). How will I seek him? Through worship, prayer, bible reading, refelctions, ect ect. Not all of these all the time but there are may different ways to seek him.

RSVP- church series week one

Okay so I mentioned last week that I would tell you my thoughs on the first talk at church on our series RSVP. This is our Christmas series on how different people in the Christmas story responded to God’s call.

The first week was on Mary’s response. The guy that does our 1835 group (that is for people 18 to 35 years old) talked. He started out really well as to where he was headed but then he hit a wall. He kept saying that if we didn’t think that it was true that we should worship God with arts (songs, poetry ect.) that it is right in the Bible but he didn’t go much further then that. I was looking for more meat. Oh well. He did do a good job to start and just lost me in the end.

Mid Week Catch up

Okay so it has been almost a week since I have bloged so here is the mid week catch up on things.

The Weekend:

Friday night was a good stay at home night.  I took Eprhaim to do grocery shopping with me. It was nice to have him along for company and I don’t think I spent as much money with him there. He was good at putting things in the back of the cart for me and he enjoyed getting to do so. Kendra stay home with Daddy, snuggled up with him and took a nap till we got back. We bathed the kids and put them to bed and watch the Santa Clause 3 with Tim Allen. I liked it better then the second one but not sure that they could make another but I am not putting it pasted them.

Saturday we got up had some cinnamon rolls and then Caleb and Clare came over. They played with the kids and ate and ate and ate and then they watched Narnia while the kids napped and ate some more. After the kids got up from their naps they played together more while Chris and I got dinner ready and I got things ready for church. It was nice to have them and they were SO good. I hope that we will be able to have them again. The we ate dinner with Mark and took him to church with us. ( I will blog about church later.)

Sunday was a blaugh day. We stayed at home and did pretty much nothing but play with the kids. Kendra broke out in a rash but I think it is just from some new soap that I used on her. Since I have switched back she is doing fine and the rash has gone away. We did watch life church on the internet while we all ate breakfast. The kids like the worship part and then loose interest in it. Santa opend his workshop and got busy wrapping in the afternoon while the kids were napping. We also watched A Chistmas Story with him while he wrapped. So now all he has to do is our stockings. After dinner we watched Barnyard. It was okay I didn’t find it as funny as it had seemed but oh well.

The Rest of the Week:

Monday-Wednesday nights I have to work. Thursday is our 4th Anniversary, Friday is Ephriam to the eye doctor and Small Group, Saturday we are getting our tree and going to church, Sunday is Christmas shopping. Then hopefully back to a normal week other then Ephriam’s therapy evaluations. I don’t think life is ever going to slow down but in the end my efforts are worth it. Ephriam is going to take off like a mad man with his therapy and I am hoping we won’t have to do it for long. So that is what is going on for now.  More to come later….