Deep Fried New Year

Y’all know I am from the south. Traditions are important here. Some consider them superstitions.  Let me say whatever you want to call them they run deep. It is New Year’s Eve and folks around here are busy busy busy.  Give me a few minutes to explain.

It is believed that how you welcome the new year will be your fortune.  Your activity can influence your year.  At midnight the door must be open for the old year to escape and the new year to be welcomed in.  While the door is open make loud noises (cheers, poppers, and horns) so that evil doesn’t want to come in.  Evil spirits do not like loud.  Washing clothes or dishes on New Year’s day can bring two things. One is hard work all year long. The second is death to a relative.  If you sweep the floor you are sweeping your good luck out of the door. Don’t break anything for this could led to destruction in your life. So, be careful. Maybe, even use paper products since you should wash your dishes. Try to remain happy because crying welcomes sadness for the year.  Make sure you have money in your wallet and your pantry or cupboard is stocked.  These two promote the promise of prosperity.

Our New Year’s meal is just as important as our activity.  A meal of luck. The hope of good fortune. While, most of these foods are common staples in the south. However, the meaning behind them on New Years makes them lucky foods. Collards, black-eyed peas, pork, and cornbread are required. The collards represent green money. They must be slow cook and with the pork.  The entire” mess” ( mess means bundle in the south) has to be eaten. If you throw any out your good luck may run out.  Black-eyed peas are noted as pennies that can be added to your wealth. Pigs are known to root forward. Pork respects wealth to come.  In generations past only the rich family had hogs.  Pork seasoning makes all these dishes yummy. The cornbread’s color represents gold. Ideally, include kernels of corn to represent gold nuggets to really help out you bank account.

It is midday on New Year’s Eve and I have been washing clothes, sweeping floors, prepping our meal for tomorrow.  I make a mix collards, kale, and mustard.  I am not a fan of collards, but I don’t want to shake tradition. We will have pork chops, bacon in our black-eyed peas and ham in the greens. I know what not to do or I will hear “Lord have mercy on her”.  I am blessed to have experienced and learned a good southern New Year’s meal. I look forward to seeing all that 2018 brings.  Happy New Year, Y’all!

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Is It Ever Enough?

 

I had a moment early Christmas morning.  I was in our family room with my mom and step dad double checking that my job as Santa’s helper was done correctly.  Without evening realizing I had said it out loud I ask, “I wonder if we have done enough”.

Joe and I had made a decision together early last year to give our twins four gifts For Christmas.  They would receive from us a want, a need, a wear and a read.  We put a good bit of thought in our decision.  We considered what would be beneficial to their therapy.   We had thought of our  budget.  We thought of our living space. We thought of the photos and posts of stacks and piles presents that we consider overboard. We wondered how long the toys would last and how long they twins would use it. After all they are still babies. The 4 gifts from us and a few from Santa was decided would be best for our family.

It is hard not to get consumed in the giving aspect of Christmas. Who wouldn’t enjoy a bundle of shiny packages with big bows? It is easy to walk in a store, see an item, and think of how much they would enjoy it or how cute they would look in it. I had to catch myself many times putting something in my cart because it was cute or knowing they would like playing with it.

My step dad in a low voice said something like…”Remember the meaning of Christmas.  You’ve done enough.”  It was just what I needed to hear.  I know why we celebrate.  My faith is that this is the day of Jesus’s birth. Nothing I give is greater that His gift.  It is a celebration.  We don’t have to keep up with the neighbors, coworkers, or the Jones…we just have to do what is right for us.

 I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

I Can’t Handle Your Help

Often times when people come to our home they try help.  We love that our twins are loved so much.  A few sit with the twins so I can run errands or get a chore or two done.  Sometimes, laundry gets put away, the trash gets taken out, and toys get reorganized.  I appreciate your desire to lend your time and attention to our family.  However, sometimes I can’t handle your help.  I can’t.

Joe and I went out for a bit yesterday.  Today, I feel set back in tasks and chores. That laundry was not put away because the twins out grew it and some it was being donated.  That trash was recycle that needed to be driven to the recycle center.  When it is put in our bin it takes up the most room and then were have no room for the real rubbish.  The trash truck has not picked up our trash this week due to the holiday.  Now, what can I do?  That one toy truck that you pull out from each place I hide it in the play room is hidden for a reason.  Joe bought a bin of antique toys and wants the boys to have them when they are older.  Most are displayed on a shelf.  Evan loves this particular truck. However, he throws it and on occasions hits Jack with it.  It is to wide for the display shelf so I have hidden it.

I wish I was asked why Joe and I do the things we do instead of people just deciding we are wrong.  We do that we think is best for our family at the moment.  The twins are at 9 therapies a week.  I have a lot to do and little time.   I am thankful to have offers of help.  I can’t handle help that just makes more tasks for me.

So, readers next time you visit someone and want to give a helping hand ask them how you can help. It may be as simple as taking the littles for a stroll or a casserole. That sincere offer will be received so gratefully even though you may have to offer more than once for them to step out of their comfort zone to accept it.

Making Memories

My parents divorced when I was young. Allowing me the opportunity to have Christmas traditions and special activities with my two families.  I have two favorite activities from my Dad’s visits.  One was him reciting the story Twas the Night Before Christmas.  The second was going to cut down a live Christmas tree.  Making cookies and treats was my favorite activity to give as gifts for Christmas was a favorite to do with my Mom.  I wanted to do something special with my babies this year.  I hoped for happy memories and start traditions with them.  They are only 18 months old leaving us with limits of what we can do. I knew I was in for a challenge.

My husband and I both enjoyed looking at Christmas lights as children.  Really, we still do. Joe thought we should take them. We went to see the Celebration of Lights in Conway.  Such a lovely view!  It was a drive thru sighting.  The twins were in their car seats.  We couldn’t see their excitement. Well, Evan’s that is.  He said, “Oh, wow’ over and over.  Jack slept.  Maybe, that will be a win next year.

I often enjoyed making cookies and gingerbread houses with my mom growing up.  I thought that may be a nice activity to share with them. I was wrong. I bought all the goodies and spread them on the table. Jack looked at everything and crawled down.  He was not interested.  I guess it didn’t help that they have never had candy before.  Evan cared only a tiny bit.  He likes helping me.  I encouraged him to try the candy  and found all the goodies tasty. He was not into decoration the house.  He just wanted to eat the decorations off.

Joe and I have lots of meaningful ornaments hanging on our Christmas tree.  There are ones we individually had before we were married and some we have collected since we have been together. I adore homemade ornaments.  So, I think to myself.  That’s what we will try next.  Bonus, they can be gifts for the twins to pass out.  They each carefully picked cookie cutters from the bowl.  Evan’s first choice was a duck.  No, I didn’t stop him. He was proud. Evan loved playing with the dough and painting.  He hated making his foot print.  Jack didn’t like making hand or foot prints.  He loved painting.  Finally, winning toddler approved activity.

I have read to them the story of Christmas and Twas the Night Before Christmas.  We have watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, and Frozen.  We have gone to church to celebrate the meaning of Christmas.

My babies are so young that they will not remember any of these. We have some photos to show them. I will keep an ornament from each of they for them to have when they are older. Mostly, I will hold on to the memories and continue to share and develop new traditions and special activities with them.

Merry Christmas to you and your family! Hold tight to your memories and have fun making new ones!12040079Epaints

To the Person that Went in my Car:

I would like to thank you.
I was in a hurry today. You see I had driven two hours and twenty minutes to get to Charleston. I arrived 15 minutes late to my youngest son’s doctor’s appointment. The GPS was not helping. I was crying. I took the first parking spot I could find. I took his diaper bag and ran. I left my doors unlocked.
Thank you for not taking my laptop. My twin son’s first birthday photo disc in in the cd drive. Thank you for not taking their party bags. The twins got them Sunday from Santa at the Down Syndrome Christmas party. They like stickers. Thank you for not taking our stroller. I can only carry them at the same time for a very short distance. One of their special needs causes one son not to walk yet,  I depend on it to carry him.
I noticed you only took drinks and crackers. Did you see me and my son? We would have shared with you. If I had known you needed food I would have shared. I had a gift card for a free chicken sandwich.
I believe you were sent to me. My faith allows me to believe that life gets hard, but when we trust He will carry us. I don’t know what you are going thru, but I thank you for reminding me life is about needs not wants. I hope you are doing well. It is cold outside. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Staying at Home

I have been a stay at home mom for 9 months now.  At times I feel like I look like a fawn getting adjusted to her feet. You see, I am not just a mom. I am a twin mom. I am a dog mom. I am a toddler mom. I am a mom to a son with Down Syndrome.

I am accustomed to getting up and dressing in business professional attire, grabbing breakfast and a coffee, and driving off the to office. A day full of adult conversations and spontaneous schedule changes including both early mornings and late nights.

Now, I get up and dress casual. (It has been mentioned by a lady that has no clue on my life “Since, you do not work anymore you can just stay in your pajamas all day.” I would like to say not one day has that happened.) Maybe, I get breakfast and a coffee. Sometimes, it is so bonkers here I forget. I feel like a keep a nice schedule for my guys. They have 9 permanent therapy appointments a week. Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays are booked. I try to give us all Tuesday and Thursday off unless they have doctors or specialist appointments. Honestly, those are not days off. We get visits often and unannounced. They twins love this! These are the days when I try to catch up on chores and I never completely catch up. Three meals a day, laundry, and many messes. Our home is well lived in. We play. How could I not take the opportunity to get down on the floor and push cars, build with wooden blocks, and play farm?

My days are never how I expect. My journey is not the path I dreamed. My life has more joy, support ,and love beyond measure. I have Joe, Claire Belle, Evan and Jack.

P.S. It is 3:44 am. I have just finished laundry, dishes, and breakfast prep. We are making homemade dough ornaments tomorrow!

Team Jack the Great

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We are Team Jack the Great.  Since October is Down Syndrome awareness month, the Buddy Walk is a perfect opportunity to educate, communicate, and celebrate milestones.

Joe and I knew very little about Trisomy 21 commonly called Down Syndrome when Jack was diagnosed.  One of Jack’s doctors started us off with basic information of Trisomy 21.  After reading the first packet, he offered more reading.  Absorbing the facts and statistics is only a portion of what we need to know. However, we knew we would need more.

Joe and I fell in love with these two precious baby boys before they were born.  Loving them was the easy part. We prayed for guidance.  We needed advice and hands on experiences to help Jack be the best.  Joe’s niche is research and that is what he did.  He found Grand Strand Down Society.

Grand Strand Down Syndrome Society offers knowledge and experience that match our family’s needs.  My response to so many things was “I don’t know”.  I didn’t know where we needed start.  For an example I knew Jack would needed therapists, but I didn’t know therapists for infants.  One day I received and email that said have you checked out these and named specific resources.  I was not aware of any of them!  I went right down the list making phone calls.  One place lead me to another.  We have made connections and contacts that is helping prepare us and Jack.

Currently, Grand Strand Down Society is preparing for the annual Buddy Walk.  The Buddy Walk is a fundraiser to help raise awareness and monetary support for the Grand Strand Down Society. 

We are Team Jack the Great.