Friday, December 26, 2008

New Perspective

I'm exhausted! I was up at 5:30am yesterday to get brunch started and didn't turn in until after midnight. I hosted my first ever Christmas brunch for my parents, Ian's parents and his grandmother. I was up early chopping apples (for my homemade apple salsa...that goes well on cinnamon pita chips or waffles) and dicing potatoes for my hashbrown casserole. The previous day we spent cleaning and then Christmas-ing it up at Ian's other grandparents' house. I've always had the easy part of Christmas...jump in the car and show up when you tell me to. Now I'm the hostess that painstakingly arranges every minute of oven time so that everything comes out perfect. That sets the table and lights the floating holly candles. That makes sure that Downey has been giving her treat from Santa so her noise isn't in everyone's lap...the little mooch! I don't remember if I sat down...
I always wondered why my mother was so tired on Christmas. After staying up getting everything ready the night before, only to get up early the day of to do even more I get it! It's a lot! But it's worth it. I'll do it every year from now on. And every year, the grandparents and great-grandparents will watch my sons' eyes glow when they open their Santa gifts. And every year, all eyes will becoming teary as we recount Christmas's of old and watch dvd's and family videos. Just like the one I made this year, from the boys.
Merry Christmas from our house to yours. And wishing you a peaceful and healthy new year to come!

View this montage created at One True Media
Merry Christmas! Love, the boys!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A quiet moment...with a vanilla frosty.

Just have a free minute...those are rare around here.
It seems my littlest boy has his first ear infection. I'm relieved! Thought it was a line infection in his hemo catheter at first...yikes! Glad I know have something normal to worry over instead of something unique to him. :) Despite it, he is in great spirits and all smiles...helps that hemo was yesterday. This is his BEST day...the day after. I just tell him over and over how much I love him and just do anything I can to get a laugh out of him while he is so happy and "healthy".
My oldest son has been waking up with nightmares recently. He then runs into our room to "make sure mommy is still here". I feel so bad that I am gone all the time either with surgeries, hemo or just errands to various speciality drug stores and medical suppliers. I just don't have any one on one time with my oldest baby. Yes, he's still my baby...he'll be my baby until the day I die. Luckily, it is now Christmas break for the school system. Both my hubby and my mother are out for two weeks!! Monday, Ian will go to hemo with Matthew and me and William are going to relax, watch movies, eat junk and take a nap together! Friday, my mother is taking Matthew to hemo and me, Ian and William will eat brunch at IHOP together. I'm looking forward to the William time that is coming!
Ian, the little darling, (and for once I'm not being sarcastic!) as booked us a night at a fancy hotel in downtown Atlanta for next Saturday night. It will be our 5 year anniversary! We will be going to Dante's ( )which is a jazz/ fondue restaurant with a sailboat/wharf theme set in the Mediterranean. Then we are off to the movies before turning in for a full uninterrupted night of sleep. No poopie diapers, no night mares, no refills of feeding bags, and no alarms from the feeding tube pump...just sleep! Awww...I think I look forward to the sleep the most!!
Speaking of sleep, don't you love the look on a little baby's face when they are fighting sleep and you help them out by brushing their hair or face? I was just doing this to Matthew minutes ago. He was yawning and rubbing his eyes, so I scooped him up and off to bed we went. He was all squirming so I went in for the "kill". ;) I rubbed his eyebrows very gently. His eyes just started rolling back in his head. I started to snicker, because it is just too precious. This of course starts waking him up, so I do it just two more times and quickly and not so quietly leave. It was enough and he was out. But I just love seeing bright blue...then nothing but white. hee hee.
Well, my frosty is starting to melt and I promised William I would save half for him. So I'm off. Just thought I would actually write something more than a survery for once this month.
Merry Christmas too all! And a peaceful, happy, and healthy New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

An A-Z get to know me...but for my see if I know him as well as I should after over 9 years together. 5 year wedding anniversary in 9 days! Wow!
A- Automobile of choice? He loved his Honda Civic, but needed an SUV for all of his scuba gear.
B- Born? June 27th
C- Cookies or Candy? Cookies all the way for him. I have to add that to the grocery list for every visit!
D- Date of Choice? A night away from kids...anywhere!
E- Essential Item? cell phone and watch
F- Favorite Foods? My cooking naturally. ;) He loves italian and mexican the most!
G- Gas or Diesel vehicle? gas
H- Hobbies? scuba diving, geo-caching, raquet ball and head wrestling coach...around the house PLAY STATION!
I- Ice Cream Flavor? he loves it when I treat him to the Breyers Heath crunch icecream
.J- Job? high school biology teacher
K- Kids? 2 boys, he wants a girl...I told him he has our Downey girl. ;)
L- Last Vacation as a couple? Disneyworld before the boys were born! Several weekend getaways...but that was the last "true" vacation
M- Morning person or night owl? Night owl!
N- Number of Siblings? nada
O- OCD or sloppy? In between
P- Pet Peeves? me leaving the open bag of potato chips at the base of the couch, slow drivers, and a whiny William
Q- Quiet or Loud? Quiet
R- Restaurant? That boy is always up for MOE's
S- Sports? He doesn't really follow sports on tv, but he loves to play everything but baseball...he says it's too boring.
T- Tight wad or spender? Used to be a spender, but I've helped him tone it down.
U- Unknown Fact about him? He's got a shy bladder.
V- Vegetables? Italian green beans or my squash/zuchinni medley
W- Worst Habit? Staying up too late and procrastinating...on EVERYTHING!
X- Xtra Curricular activities in high school? Football, wrestling, soccer...a sport for every season.
Y- Your favorite things about him? He's a huge help with the boys and the house and allows me "time off" especially if he sees I'm starting to stress. He's very good to me. :)
Z - Zodiac Sign? Cancer...and boy is he moody just like one!

Monday, December 8, 2008

An Interview via photobucket

Oh, yeah...another photobucket meme. Go to the image organizer of your choice, read the question, find the answer and copy the code. Pretty easy. A picture is worth a thousand words, so no explainations.

Where are you from? Fort Benning Pictures, Images and Photos

What does your fridge look like? Leftovers Pictures, Images and Photos

Last movie you saw in the theater? twilight Pictures, Images and Photos

Last movie you saw in your home?elf Pictures, Images and Photos

What is your favorite pizza? Pizza! Pictures, Images and Photos
Bonus - BBQ Sauce Pictures, Images and Photos

Name a favorite restaurant. MMM... Cheesecake Factory Pictures, Images and Photos

Part of your daily routine. crest pro health Pictures, Images and Photos

What color are your eyes? green Pictures, Images and Photos

What relaxes you? books Pictures, Images and Photos

What does your dishes look like? Ocean Breeze Pictures, Images and Photos

What do you have planned in the next 12 months? Organ Donor Pictures, Images and Photos

Where are you on a Sunday night? Longhorn Pictures, Images and Photos

What is your favorite holiday?christmas Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, November 27, 2008

AJC article

I can't take credit for this article. It is an annual Thanksgiving piece that the Atlanta Journal and Constitution does every year. It always helps to make the Tech/UGA fans smile around each other...for just a minute at least. Most will not understand this, but those that do will undoubtedly get a chuckle. Enjoy! Go Jackets! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Field Guide for Tech, UGA fans
By Mark Bradley Wednesday, November 26, 2008, 01:01 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
I’m asking: What would Thanksgiving be without the annual Field Guide to Tech fans and Georgia fans to make each side fling a gravy boat in anger? Less fun, I’d submit, and not nearly as messy. Napkins at the ready, here we go:
• Tech fans believe Jonathan Dwyer will be their version of drought-breaker Theron Sapp. Georgia fans feel like saps for making hotel reservations in Miami.
• Georgia fans giggle over Tech’s conference. Tech fans giggle over Georgia’s curriculum.
• Tech fans wonder where Mark Richt gets his tan. Georgia fans wonder where Paul Johnson gets his gall.
• Georgia fans screamed when Knowshon Moreno jumped over that Chippewa. Tech fans screamed when they heard Florida had scored again. (And again … and again …)
• Tech fans will welcome Urban Meyer’s volleyball-playing daughter to their campus. Georgia fans figure she’ll fit right in.
• Georgia fans built a Web site imploring Moreno and Matthew Stafford to stay. Tech fans are hacking into it as we speak.
• Tech fans are wild about Johnson’s Perfect Option. Georgia fans believe the perfect option would be for Willie Martinez to resign.
• Georgia fans consider Tech’s calculus requirement a bunch of hooey. Tech fans contend they need advanced math to keep track of all the Bulldogs who’ve been arrested.
• Tech fans think it’s hilarious that Georgia gets flagged for so many penalties. Georgia fans think it’s criminal that Rogers Redding, the SEC’s head of officiating, is a Tech grad.
• The Georgia fan’s lowest moment of the season: “Timeout, Florida.” The Tech fan’s lowest moment of the season: Gardner-Webb.
• Tech fans know their A-backs usually go in motion. Georgia fans wonder where their team’s “A” game went.
• Georgia fans were crushed when their latest Blackout flopped. Tech fans see color-coordinated crowds as gauche — even when it’s their school doing it.
• Tech fans can be a little snooty. Georgia fans can be a little obvious.
• Georgia fans always take note of the empty seats in Bobby Dodd Stadium. Tech fans always take note of the empty bottles outside Sanford Stadium.
• Tech fans don’t mind that Johnson’s offense makes him old-school. Georgia fans worry that Richt’s sunglasses make him look too cool.
• Georgia fans don’t know what to do with all the preseason magazines they bought that proclaimed the Bulldogs No. 1. Tech fans would be glad to offer a suggestion.
• Tech fans appreciated Michael Johnson leading cheers via the Bobby Dodd message board. Georgia fans did not appreciate Alabama affixing 31 first-half points to the Sanford scoreboard.
• Georgia fans will arrive early Saturday for the dedication of Vince Dooley’s statue. Tech fan Taz Anderson is ready to erect a downtown tower honoring Dan Radakovich, the man who canned Chan Gailey.
• Item of clothing no Tech fan would ever wear: A Reggie Ball jersey. Item of clothing no Georgia fan would ever wear: Jean shorts.
• Georgia fans are mad at some AJC guy named Mark Bradley for touting the Bulldogs too highly. Tech fans pretty much stay mad at yours truly, whom they long ago renamed “Bark Madly.” (FYI, Mr. Madly still thinks the Bulldogs will win. If you’re a Georgia fan, you should be very afraid.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

my sister

I'm off in a couple of days, for a couple of days, to see my "sister". She is a sister by bond, not blood...which actually I think makes the love stronger because it was by choice (and not just your parents feeling horny)! I haven't seen her since Dec 2006 when William was 10 months old. I miss her SO much! We still talk every day on the phone and by email as well...and myspace and facebook and shutterfly and our personal websites. But it's just not the same as in person.
As I was leaving my active duty military wife persona behind, she was just jumping in with both feet. Her hubby is in the airforce and they are stationed just outside of Shreveport LA. So, that is were I am heading. That is pretty neat in itself. I've been all the way up north into Canada and all the way south to Miami, but never been further west than Montgomery or Birmingham AL...don't have a map in front of me, so I'm not sure which is further out! I get to see the mighty Mississippi!! Exciting...I love to sight see.
My little sis is a remarkable woman, not only does she have great instincts (she introduced me to my husband), she has a great heart and is an all around great friend! She never lets the little things go by. Even if it is just a call to say I'm thinking of you when I was going through the torture of all of my taps and infusions (see blog from last March through May) or sending books to my older son for Christmas or his birthday. She makes a mean lasagna and we wear the same size clothes which is great for borrowing for those special occasions.
We've only "known" each other for about 10 years, but it seems like she's been part of my life forever and always will be. I just can't contain my excitement of seeing her and her little (big) pregnant body! This is the BEST part...she is pregnant with TWINS! Twin boys!! How exciting for her. She is gaining and growing and working full time and doesn't complain...which is more than can be said for MANY pregnant women out there. She's a tough cookie that has had her share of heartache, but has always bounced back stronger and with more determination to see things through.
I'll be on my way in less than 48 hours...EEEEEEEEEEEE...I can't wait!
This is us when we were youngin's in college.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Too early?

One of the house two streets up from ours is decorated for Christmas, lit tree in window and all. Usually this just peeves me off, but for some reason I find myself smiling when I pass it. I am ready for Christmas this year. Not REALLY ready, NO presents have been bought at all and the house needs a thorough cleaning before I get more dust every from boxes that haven't been opened in nearly a year. I'm just ready for the season, the reason and the magic of it all!
At our wedding (Dec 27th), Fr Harrison told us that Christmas time was a magical time. I haven't felt that magic in awhile, and I am determined to this year. Christmas for the past three/four years has been more headache and hassle than anything. Traveling 8 hours with a dog, baby/toddler, presents, suitcases and NO room always made us wonder why we bothered towards the end of our trip. If people want to see us, let them get off their lazy butts and drive up for once you know. (but that's another blog entirely) This year, we are already here. We will be doing Christmas morning at OUR house for the first time and all family is invited if they so wish. I will be serving brunch.
We will naturally do Christmas dinner at each of our parents' homes both on Christmas Eve and Christmas day as usual though, but this time I get to bring food too. I've always felt bad for not contributing to the feast and have wanted to share my own culinary skills (however limited) with the family too. This year I get too. Yay for me. (I'm one of those weird people that LOVE to cook).
William has been listening to us when we talk about Santa and knows he brings presents. Matthew is alert and giggly, and I can't wait to see his reaction to the Christmas tree. Downey is...Downey, but she's great at warming your feet on cold winter nights. ;) I'm just so excited to see Christmas through my sons' eyes. The newness for one and the excitement for the other. Enter magic!

Friday, November 7, 2008

yellow jackets

Has anyone else noticed the abundance of yellow jackets still out this year. I thought by November they surely would have started hibernating. Granted it hasn't dropped below freezing yet, but it is chilly in the mornings. Hopefully, this is a promising sign of things to come.


Go Jackets. One win away from the ACC title championship game. I have faith and pride!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just one thought

then I'm through with the subject. I didn't stay up on election night to see the speeches made by either candidate. At 11pm eastern time, it was all but decided and I went to bed knowing I had to get up with two handfulls early in the morning. So yesterday, I downloaded Obama's speech. Everyone was talking about how well it was delivered and how beautiful it was. It was a nice speech; Obama does have a way with words for sure!
But actually it was a few words that were left out that have me the most worried...he NEVER thanked God! Now rappers winning awards for songs about killing cops and greed/fame obsessed sports "stars" thank God on tv all the time. And that is just for "trophies" they put on a shelf in their home. This guy is going to the big WHITE home on Pennsylvania Ave. He thinked his family and even his strategist...but not God? He gave the required "God bless America" ending, but not the I want to think my heavenly Father beginning? He just won the most powerful earthly seat in America, in fact in most of the world. He broke boundaries and stereotypes to become the first black President after running a historical race where color and gender were finally seen as non-issues.
I thank God everyday for letting me get up in the mornings and see the smiles on my sons' faces or that I got the dog outside in time when she made her "pukey face" (yes, she has a pukey face to warn us). He did mention that some people would not like everything he does...that will be the understatement of the his term. I will thank God for him however and pray he leads us with hope, morals and justice.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fall photos

William and I took the opportunity to play in the back yard with Downey while Matthew was snoozing in his swing and I just happened to look around for the first time in a LONG time. My mind is finally coming back to me after weeks of stress and strain. I'm finally able to recognize beauty outside of my sons again. So I ran in (gave a quick peck on the cheek to a slumbering infant) and grabbed my camera. Just had to share a couple of pics of our backyard wearing a fabulous shade of autumn. :)

Looking up from our woods to the sky:

tree tops

My favorite color for trees:


Happy Fall ya'll!

still alive!

I know...I know...I went MIA for a while, but hopefully I'm back for more regular postings soon. Out of the 31 days of October, 21 of them were spent at Egleston's Children's Hospital in Atlanta for three different surgeries. But we are home, playing and growing now, so all is happy in my little world! And this weekend was made even happier when Georgia Tech won a nailbiter of a game against FSU and the puppies from Athens got their tails handed to them by some Gators. :) Just had to throw that little tidbit in for good measure!

Autumn has finally arrived in Hotlanta! The past two weeks, I actually had to turn the heat on at night when it would dip into the upper 40's some nights. Other nights we mistakenly left the windows up since it's been in the upper 70's during the day, well when 6:30am rolls around for Ian to wake's a mighty rude awakening. Being in the 50's outside drops the inside of the house into the mid 60's. The kids and I were bundled up in sweatshirts for a good hour while the heater caught up once I turned it on. But I love the weather and the show outside along the roads.

Matthew and I were heading up from our labs at Scottish Rite late this morning and I had to stop along side the road our neighborhood is off of (Hwy 20 in North Ga). It's a crappy pic because it was taken by camera phone, but here it is:


Today is election day. I'll be voting once Ian gets home and dinner is made. I'll be one of the stragglers that the polling places hate I'm sure since they are ready to close up and go home after a long day. I know who I favor and would like to see as the next president, but I don't know if America is ready to agree or not. It seems people have a bad taste in their mouths for Republicans at the moment, whether you are actually affliated with the party or not. Kind of like the Clinton era. Gore probably would have won the presidency if people weren't sick of the lies and immoral behaviors that were unfortunately part of the administration. I have a feeling that with the economy, war and just being 8 years...America is ready for a change.

I have prayed on this, even when driving home from the hospital this morning. Just because I think I know who is right for this country and helping her to turn back to her values that everyone has completely forgotten. But maybe God has other things in mind. Maybe it is His plan to let this nation under God hit (Barak) bottom and people will realize how much we still need Him. Can't rely on the government for our spiritual well being, though it seems they think they are the only ones capable of "saving" us. I pray God will guide our country with whichever president He sees is best for us at this time. Time will tell us of His plans, for now I'll just sit back, bite my tongue when I feel obsenities starting to rise out, and wait to see what He has in store.

Go vote for whoever you believe in even if it is the odd man out Nadar! Just do your duty as a citizen today. God will always watch over us, no matter which man sits in a oval room!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A "sense"ible post

It's easy, just list five likes and and five dislikes for each of the five senses.

likes: cookies baking, baby breath, gardenias, my hubby's aftershave, and right before the rain comes.
dislikes: poop (and the older you get the stinkier it becomes i.e. baby Matthew to daddy Ian), the outside garbage can on a hot day, a load in the wash if it was left too long (Thank the Lord for vinegar!), eggs cooking, and wet dog.

likes: caramel (preferably when mixed with chocolate), cheese (feta is my indulgence cheese), soup when I'm cold or sick, garlic (it's my all purpose spice) and bell pepper (I use it a LOT when I'm cooking and experiementing)
dislikes: Dr Pepper (I weird am I - just wait...I get weirder), OJ (not a big fruit fan to begin with), eggs of all varieties (goes along with the fact I get nauseous just smelling them), mushrooms (you go to the doctor to get RID of don't put it in your body willingly) and tea (yes, tea...all types from green to southern, which is better known as syrup for how sweet it is). Told ya I'm weird!

likes: my boys! (all three), a new mother's face as she looks at her child, the night sky, the wag of a dog's tail, our Christmas tree.
dislikes: my children in tears, a cockroach (ewww!), dirty dishes in the sink, bumper to bumper traffic and dead, brown-gray grass.

likes: giggles, fire crackling, ocean waves, drums and a new baby's cry.
dislikes: someone being sick to their stomach (I'm sure they dislike it more), the beeping of the alarm clock, "license and registration ma'am" (oh crap!), Dora's voice (she is banned from our house!), and strange night noises when I'm by myself.

likes: silk, someone brushing my hair, baby parts (all of them), my hubby's lips (but I won't go into detail) ;), a dog curled up in your lap or on your feet.
dislikes: to be tickled!, shots/injections/infusions (take a guess why), wet socks, hot sand, papercuts

The Do's and Don'ts of attending football games

Yes, I'm a girl and a football nut all in one. I was raised on the Ramblin Wreck from Georgia Tech and a loyal fan through and through. Yes...even through the Bill Lewis years (shudder). While at the GT/Mississippi State game this past weekend (where we handed them their own backsides) I was thinking of some of the common "errors" of fans. I thought I would share my list with you...aren't you lucky?

First off, when you force the people behind you and the people behind them and the people behind them to stand just so they can see the play. Rules for standing are as follows:
When to stand -
1.When the team is beyond the 30 yard line towards the endzone if you are on the opposite side of the 50 yard line.
2. When a Hail Mary is thrown...whether it is caught or not is irrelevant, but if it is caught you should add jumping and clapping to your standing!
3. When a runner has pushed past 10 yards and is still on his they say...he could go all the way!
4. Points - in the form of touchdowns, field goals or a safety. Get on your feet and hoot and holler loudly.
5. A loose ball or turnover. It helps to make sure the refs are making the right call knowing that the are being watched. ;)
6. Kickoffs give support to your teams special teams...pumps them up.
7. Naturally when your team enters the field at the beginning or following half some love.
8. And last but not least, for the national anthem. You're an American before you are a fan idiot! On your feet! Not from here...I don't give a horse's're here now. Show some respect you turd!

When not to stand-
1. Second down. First down - sure show support at the beginning of a play or as a congrats on getting that first and ten. Third down - on your feet for the D! Fourth down - whether you or the other team is going for need to make some noise!
2. When a player is hurt. Now's not the time to stand up and clap for the awesome tackle that left the poor guy writhing in pain.
3. When the team is playing right in front of you. If they are snapping the ball on the 28 yard line and you are sitting on the 25...I think you can see just fine.
4. During mid-play. If the ball was just is not the time to realize you need a trip to the weenie cart! You can hold off until the whistle rules the play dead...the weenies will still be there and no one will call you one!

And one final thought, be mindful of what you say. Kids are surrounding you, so keep the dirtier thoughts you are having about that ref t yourself! Also remember the players are doing the best they can. They didn't go out there with the intention of dropping that pass...and I bet they are much more mad than you are! Just have fun, enjoy friends and family and be a good sport and fan!
Go Jackets!!

Pray for the Dowells

Here's a link to an article that features friends of mine that will be going through their transplant surgery starting this morning. I'm SO excited for them. Life is about to change drastically and for the better. We have already made a pact to meet up when both of our boys are healthy post transplant. Please pray for them to have a successfull surgery and a smooth recovery. Here's the article from their local newspaper in MT:

I can't wait for our turn (hopefully starting in about 18 months!) As some of you already know...we are returning to dialysis soon after our nice month long break. Last night we tried to do too cycles to clear out his catheter...and it wouldn't go. It seems we have a clog. :( This means another surgery to replace the catheter that is already in place. Hopefully when we go on Friday to Egleston they will just be able to do a transfer set replacement instead of doing a full surgery. Please pray for that too! I'll post on little man's website this weekend about the goings on.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Where are your manners?

Yes, we are all aware that we should chew with our mouths closed, don't pick our teeth at the dinner table and please find somewhere a little more discreet to pull out the underwear that has ridden up to an unmentionable area. ;) But...were you aware that the roll of toliet paper (to be etiquettely correct - I make up words as they come to me) has a proper position on the roll. I personally thought it was awesome if my husband mangaged to just put it in the roll instead of sitting it on top of it, but actually the "miss manners" way of positioning it the toliet paper comes over the roll not under. I heard this yesterday on my way back from my son's lab draws on the radio, and it really got me thinking.
What are some other bathroom rules so we avoid other bathroom blunders...besides the ever popular "courtesy flush"? Well...I'll tell you!

At work - Do Not conduct business in the bathroom (people have enough "shit" on their minds in there...hee hee...I kill me). Do wash your hands! If you notice someone is taking a while, come's embarrassing to have your bowel movements timed. And remember, everyone is an equal in the eyes of the toliet! Boss or janitor, eventually you'll have to knock on the next stall and ask them to "spare a square".

At someone else's home - Use the fan if there is one...if not use spray or matches. If you clog fix it! If the hostess hasn't provided towels for hand-drying, then ask for some. Clean up after yourself: loose hair, snotty tissue paper and tooth paste blobs.

And in general - AIM! Close the door behind you. Pee in the toliet, not the shower (gentlemen!!), put the seat back down (gentlemen!!) and most importantly: If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What I want...supposedly

Liz got me off her blog. So here I am googling my wants in life. Feel free to join in by typing in your own name/nickname into google (or any other search engine you prefer) and write down your top ten wants:

1. Karen wants to be a dog (actually, that would be the life wouldn't it?!?)
2. Karen wants to be a dinosaur (uh...not so much)
3. Karen wants to smell delicious (actually, I think that is one of my hubby's wants)
4. Karen wants to go home (already here)
5. Karen wants to know what you think (well, tell me about it)
6. Karen wants to try pizza at Olympic (I want to try pizza anywhere)
7. Karen wants to be a loyal fan (already am...GO JACKETS!)
8. Karen wants to pump milk for our baby (been there...DONE with that)
9. Karen wants to help you create the perfect body (gotta work on mine before I can help you with yours)
10. Karen wants you to look at her myspace photos (only if you have free time)

So, what do you want? ;) Actually...I DO want pizza now!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day off

I LOVE being near family! They have been a huge help these many months during and following my pregnancy. But now, they want to continue to help even on days we aren't at the doctor/hospital. Yesterday we took up an offer from Ian's aunt to watch both boys while we enjoyed an entire day to ourselves. I felt guilty for about 5 minutes and never looked back afterwards. We so needed this!

Ian left the house to drop the boys at 9:30am and I showered and "prettied" myself up (I actually wore a skirt - gasp!). We headed out the door for the thirty minute drive to Calhoun (about 45 minutes south of Chattanooga TN on I-75). We ate at the Eastern Chinese sit down, not buffet restaurant that EVERYTHING tasted wonderfully. My dad had eaten there a couple of weeks earlier and recommended it. We wanted to try it, but didn't want to take two kids on a 30 minute journey if we didn't like the place. Let's just say we will be returning with the family!

The we headed across the street to the outlets. * Note to Liz - outlets were great, but not as big as the ones in you know. :) They were having great deals with the Labor day weekend too. I got lots of clothes. :) Shirts, jeans, casual pants and stuff for my babies too! Most items were anywhere between 50%-75% off of normal retail. Love that. I got birthday presents for both my niece and nephew too. With it just being a thirty minute drive, I definitely know where I'll be Christmas shopping!

We then made it back to the house for some "quality time". Eventually we made our way into our garden tub with candles...and we both fell asleep for a good 20 minutes when the cooling water woke me up! After getting re-dressed in comfy clothes, we called Ian's aunt and told her we were on our way. She said take your time and go out to dinner...OK! We just headed up to Stevie B's pizza place for a quick, inexpensive bite...since we had spent quite a bit for the day!

We then headed over to pick up the kiddos. We spent a nice relaxing hour chatting with Ian's aunt and grandmother as they recounted their day with the boys...laughter ensued at the antics! We bundled them up and they headed for bed when we walked in the door. Thank goodness we brought their pj's over when Ian dropped them off. Mommy and daddy cuddled on the couch and then turned in ourselves.

Today we are off to my parents' house to spend the night. Me and my mother are going to the movies tonight when the boys turn in, and me and Ian are sleeping in tomorrow while my parents make breakfast cooked to order for the whole family (Downey included). We'll then head out to Red Lobster for a late lunch after William is up, and afterwards split ways.

This Labor day weekend has been wonderfully labor free! Can we do this every weekend??

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Snapshot Sunday

This is the continuation for the last "snapshot" back in July. I filled in the blank you could say. :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Prayer heals all wounds...

The term "faith healing" is sometimes used in reference to the belief of some Christians who hold that God heals people through the power of the Holy Spirit, sometimes, but not always involving the "laying on of hands". Of course, we should all turn to God on bended knee in both good and bad times. Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Eph 6:18 But that is easier said than done. When things are going right in the world, most never think to offer a simple thank YOU to God...we just take happiness and health for granted. But the minute we fall on hard times: sickess, financial issues, marital problems or even just before taking an important exam, we suddenly remember God is there for us. He is there all the time! But actually, I'm getting away from myself (typical). I want to talk about the power of "true" prayer and how God answers.

To heal either mentally, emotionally or physically through prayer and meditation is still somewhat questioned and I guess will always be. Some don't know God and therefore are not aware of what He is capable of doing. Some refuse God and that is there choice, but I pray that something opens there heart and eyes to Him someday. Others just have to question everything's their human nature and they need facts and proof documented to believe anything other than the fact that water is wet!

I am a firm believer in God healing those that have faith in Him through their prayers and the prayers of others. Exodus 15:26, Luke 4:40. My mother has been raised an extremely devout Catholic and my father a twice a year Baptist...what a combo huh? ;) I just consider myself a devout Christian with a Catholic upbringing. But if anyone out there is familar with the Catholic Church then you should be familiar with the life of St Bernadette in Lourdes, Frances.

Among the best-known accounts by Catholics of faith healings are those attributed to the intercession of the Virgin Mary at the grotto of Lourdes, and the remissions of life-threatening disease claimed by those who have applied for aid to Saint Jude, who is known as the "patron saint of lost causes". (just for the record, the Catholic Church sees this as a personal/private experience and not a public experience - if a Catholic does not believe the "story" that doesn't make them any more or any less Catholic) The Catholic Church has given official recognition to 67 miracles and 7,000 otherwise-inexplicable medical cures since Mother Mary first appeared in Lourdes in February 1858. These cures are subjected to intense medical scrutiny and are only recognized as authentic spiritual cures after a commission of doctors and scientists, called the Lourdes Medical Bureau, has ruled out any physical mechanism for the patient's recovery.

But again with my mother being devout, she is a firm believer in several Mary appearances through out the world and Our Mother's work in turning people back to the Son and Father, where their praise and prayer belong. Last Wednesday I met with my son's urologist and nephrologist and we scheduled surgery for my 10 week old baby boy for the following day. My mother came up to sit with me during the surgery since it was Ian's first week of work with the students in school and he has no time saved up yet to ask off. When I was bathing my little precious bundle and getting him dressed from his clothing to the hospital gown they gave us, my mother brought out a vial of water (in the form of a prescription medicine holder actually). My grandmother went on MANY trips in her retirement all over the world: Nova Scotia, Alaska, Mexico, Jerusalem and even Lourdes) When she was there she gathered a bit of the water from the spring and put it in one of her arthritis pill containers since she didn't have anything else. She asked if I would mind if she made the sign of the cross on Matthew's back (where his kidney's are) with the Lourde's water. I said no. I don't believe in magic, healing water coming out of the ground in France...but like I said, I am a firm believer in faithful prayer and it's healing power. God chooses whom He wants cured, and whom He does not, and by what means. Bernadette said, "One must have faith and pray; the water will have no virtue without faith."

I will post later on in the week about Matthew's condition (if you haven't been following along on his caringbridge site). I also wanted to say with deepest gratitude, thank you to Liz for her special prayer for Matthew at St Peters! It truly touched my heart (and made my mother cry) :) Thanks again!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Can't help myself

We just came home from another week long hospital stay with critical levels of high potassium that eventually led to us moving up Matthew's surgery from Oct 1st to this past Thrusday. He did really well, but was in quite a bit of pain the following day. We came home yesterday afternoon...and now he is back up at the hospital.
He has a low grade fever, splotchiness, labored breathing and cries unconsoleably. It just breaks my heart. I had to get my husband to take him because I just couldn't bare hearing him scream in pain anymore. I know...bad mommy. :(
I just can't stand how much he has had to endure and how helpless I feel about it all. I'm in pain everytime he is in pain and my heart just can't take it right now. And that makes me feel even worse. Look at all he has been through, and I'm the one that sitting on the couch crying her eyes out. I just want to take it all away from him. I never thought I would say this, but I want to speed up time...go through his babyhood in a blur just to get to our transplant surgery. I know there will be more surgeries to follow on the heels of transplant, but he'll be older and stronger. It's just too much for him! He will be 10 weeks old on Thursday and he has only been home for 8 days of that. He has endured two surgeries, peritoneal dialysis, IV therapy, a premature birth, a strep infection and over 100 needle sticks in the form of shots, iv's and blood draws.
Is it not too much to ask that he can have ONE day of rest?? Doesn't he deserve a "normal" infancy like everyone else? Please God...I beg You!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

these two guys...

OK, so one calls me mom and the other just burps in my face...but I'm completely taken by him. Isn't mommy love AWESOME?!?

Happy Birthday

U. S. Coast Guard Facts
Did you know…
Each day, the men and women of the 35,000 plus active duty Coast Guard, 8,000 Reservists, and 32,000 Auxiliarists provide services over 3.4 million square miles of Exclusive Economic Zones.
On an average day, the Coast Guard:
Conducts 109 Search and Rescue Cases.
Saves 10 lives
Assists 192 people in distress.
Protects $2,791,841 in property.
Seizes 169 pounds of marijuana and 306 pounds of cocaine worth $9,589,000.00.
Processes 238 Seaman licenses and documents.
Investigates 6 vessel casualties involving collisions, allisions, or groundings.
What else happens during an average day?
Small boats are underway for 396 sorties/missions.
Aircraft fly 164 missions, logging 324 hours, of which 19 hours are flown off patrolling cutters.
Law enforcement teams board 144 vessels.
Cutter and small boat crews interdict and rescue 14 illegal immigrants.
Marine Safety personnel open 8 new cases for marine violation of federal statutes.
Marine Inspectors board 100 large vessels for port safety checks.
Vessel examiners conduct 20 commercial fishing vessel safety exams and issue 11 fishing vessel compliance decals.
Pollution investigators respond to 20 oil or hazardous chemical spills totaling 2,800 gallons.
Buoy tenders and Aids to Navigational Teams service 135 aids to navigation.
Vessel Traffic Service controllers assist 2,509 commercial ships entering & leaving U.S. ports.
Auxiliarists conduct 377 vessel safety checks and teach boating safety courses to 550 boaters.
Still want more...
The U.S. Coast Guard seizes 18 drug smuggling vessels every five days.
Icebreakers and buoy tenders assist 196,938 tons of shipping daily during the Great Lakes ice season.
International Ice Patrol sorties provide ice safety information to facilitate the 163,238 tons of shipping during the North Atlantic ice season.
And they accomplish all of this with member numbers smaller than the New York City Police Department.

Happy 218th to all the Coasties out there. They may be the often overlooked stepchild of the military, but they certainly pull their weight!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I won't be around this weekend and most likely for a good part of next week too. My baby's coming home!!! After 7 long weeks in the NICU, Matthew is being discharged tomorrow to head over to Egleston. Ian and I have been there for the past four days doing our out patient peritoneal dialysis training at their clinic. Tomorrow...we practice on a living person...our BABY! EEK!! The clinic is only open on Mon - Fri, and we have to do a 48 hour trial run. So, depending on when he gets there on Friday, if the clinic is still open we can start then and finish our observation period on Monday and bring him home that evening! If not then we have our observation period Monday and Tuesday with Matthew coming home on Tuesday evening. But I will be spending the night with him in his patient room (not the NICU!) starting tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to waking up at 3am and feeding and rocking him. I'm looking forward to his screams of outrage when I give him his first sponge bath from a parent. I'm looking forward to holding him without my gaze having to stray back to the monitors if an alarm nearby goes off. I'm looking forward to him not having any wires or constraints to him...I'll finally be able to dance with my baby properly! I'm just looking forward to it all. I'll write when I get the chance and post pics! Thanks for being part of our little short journey so far!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

snapshot saturday

My, I haven't done one of these since Matthew's birth! it is. Not so much a snapshot from the past, but a snapshot of what is to come. A sneak peek if you will:

Our tentative week is July 28th thru Aug 1st. They won't actually give us a "day". But we are getting ready for our little superbaby!

Friday, July 18, 2008

It suddenly dawned on me...

that some people just don't get it, and others never will. I don't mean that in a condescending way. I didn't "get it" before Matthew. Now I do. I honestly hope you never have to! Most people I have been talking to about Matthew have all asked how I could stand to be away from him. Aren't I just sick I am missing out on all of this time with him. Isn't it disheartening for him to have been nearly on his way home, only to get sidetracked by infection and made to stay another two weeks.

So in answer to these questions my response is that it is God's way of how things should be. Like I said before, to someone else it may seem like a downer, but to another person it's a blessing. These are all blessings to me. People say I am being robbed of my time with Matthew, actually I see the opposite! I am getting to spend MORE time with my baby than most people are allowed to do. My child was born almost 9 weeks early. William was born only one week early. I will have 8 more weeks of time with Matthew than I did with William. Now granted, most of the time he is sleeping, whether I'm around in the NICU or not, but it is still a time of learning and touching and getting to know one each other.

I feel weird about even typing this, but Matthew's homecoming for the NICU will be kind of bittersweet to me. I've been able to sit and hold Matthew uninterrupted for three hour chunks at a time...that is how long it takes until I either had to pump or pee. :) How often do you get to just sit and be? It's just me and God staring in wonder at one of His newest perfect creations. No one else exists, nothing needs to be done. Just a need for rocking, singing, praying and day dreaming. I still have yet to figure out how time moves so fast in Matthew's little cubicle, especially since I have no knowledge of time when I'm there. Just in the here and now moment. Have I ever posted an actual picture of his little cubby hole?

I remember the first time I walked (well, wheeled) through those doors. It was the 2nd day of his little life and my brother and SIL had come up to Northside to visit. Since they weren't able to come for the birth with their two year old in tow...I told them to come up that day since I was given the OK to head across the street to visit Matthew. Of course, the doctor meant for me to ride the shuttle...but the shuttle was taking FOREVER! We had a two year old that was getting close to her nap and a momma that hadn't seen her baby except for the brief 1 minute stop over before the ambulance carried him to Scottish Rite the morning after he was born. So...we walked/wheeled it. (A note of precaution to other mommies - if you have a c-section and are bounced over sidewalks, gutters, dips and potholes - you will regret your hasty decision by night time!) I was so nervous when I went through those big security doors. You have to have a pass code to be let in, and only two people are allowed bedside at a time. So David and Kristen stayed in the waiting room with Leah while me and Ian went in. I reached up and held his hand as he wheeled me over to our little one's isolette. I was so intimidated by the machines, alarms, staff...everything. But the minute I saw him...everything faded away. We weren't allowed to hold him, he was on a ventilator and the top had to be kept closed to maintain his temperature...but he was beautiful.

I stuck my hand in through the port holes on the side and held his little fingers. I teared up happy tears since this was the first time I was touching my baby. :) The nurse saw and let us open up his isolette (just for a minute she said with a smile).

That minute was the fastest and slowest minute of my life. I have taken for granted SO many things. Birth - a natural event that occurs every second of every day somewhere in the world. Babies are coming into this world as I type. I wonder if those parents with full term, healthy babies realize how fortunate they are...or do they just take it for granted like I did with William. I never thought about baths and diapers and brands of formula. I just went to the grocery store and bought a can his doctor recommended with out a second thought. I grumbled out loud as I noticed we were down to a handful of diapers and had to make the trip up to Walmart after William's nap. Bathtime was just a fun game of splashing for him and an opportunity for me to get soaked.

This time around, we will probably only go through a couple diapers a day. Matthew's formula will have to be ordered online through a pharmacy distribution center. It will be far too dangerous for our little one to sit in the bathtub where germs like to gather...even the germs from him own body. Can't get the dialysis catheter wet or submerged in water. Sponge baths will be all he knows. And yet, I'm still grateful that he even gets to enjoy those. Because do you want to know the number one reason why I am so blessed to have this special child? I get to give him life the form of one of my kidneys. He already has my heart.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The nursery pt 1

Ian and I are in the midst of preparing our home for little Matthew's homecoming. I know what you are've had plenty of time girl! But I was on bedrest for a good three months and wanted to be involved in the planning and decorating so we put things on hold. Then he got here and I have wanted to spend every free second I have had with him. :) Now with Ian at new teacher orientation and the other car in the shop for new tires...I have time to get things together a bit!

Matthew's nursery is nowhere near complete, but we have painted the walls and put the crib together. I'l be taking pictures of it by week's end to show everyone, but for now this will have to do:
This site as a picture of his bedding. Of course we didn't go hog wild and order everything you see! But enough to make it "pretty" if that is a word I can use for a boy's room!

I love cutesy nurseries! Never really been a fan of walking into a room and not knowing if it was a baby's room or a grandparent's...except with the obvious sight of the crib. They are only babies for a little while and everything will change when they become toddlers and you transform their rooms again.

William's is now all about vehicles: cars, trucks, planes and boats! On his bed, on his shelves and and toys scattered on the floor too! But when he was a baby (which I think he will always be in my eyes) he had a safari animals nursery (with touches of Noah's ark in there for good measure). Here are a few pics of his old room:

I can't wait to have another baby sleeping peacefully in his crib. Soon...just got to be patient. AAAHHH! I just remembered...I'm not very patient. ;) More to come...

Per request of Susie

Well...if you insist...I'll share more pictures of my little tiny hiney. (No not MINE - it's more jello-y and jiggly if you ask me) but the cute little one at Scottish Rite.

He's doing so well and should be coming home within the next two weeks!! We can't wait for our whole family to truly be together! Here's my little guys website if you are interested in hearing more about his fight: There's a few pics there too.

Here are pictures from this past weekend when the brother's were able to finally meet face to face. :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Well, we've had some welcomed guests and quite a few UNwelcomed guests this week. Little Matthew got sick with a strep infection on Tuesday. Ian and I rushed up to the hospital just in time to see them physically stimulating him to get his heart beating again. That was the scariest thing I've ever seen and do NOT want to see it again. But the antibiotics are working like a charm and he is back to his usual perky self (well, as perky as someone who sleeps 20 hrs a day can be).
My older son William was able to go visit Matthew in the NICU today for the first time. William was more amused by the faucet near us that kept turning was motion activated and people were walking by. But he did give his little brother a kiss on the head before going downstairs with grandma to see "nemo" in the huge fish tank in the lobby. It was nice to finally have the whole family together...even if it did only last about 5 minutes.
Unfortunately my dad was dealing with his own unwanted guests in the way of a stomach bug. We left his pukey self out the house! With Matthew getting over an infection this week, no need to ad a stomach virus to the mix! And honestly, I don't want it either! YUCK! All of those drugs to stop preterm labor are still fresh in my mind and I'm all puked out from those still.
We had yet another guest this week in the form of a little stray doggie. My husband was coming home from visiting Matthew on Monday night. He was traveling up I-75 North. If you have ever been around Atlanta, you know that no matter what time you are on this road...there is ALWAYS traffic. It was about 11pm and he was almost to our exit when he noticed a little dog crossing the road. Luckily up this far from Atlanta (about 30 minutes) there are only three lanes. Unfortunately, one of those lanes was occupied by a semi-truck. Ian pulled over into the emergency lane to see if he could coax the dog to him, but couldn't get out fast enough. The truck bowled right over on top of the poor pooch. Because he was little he went right under the truck, missing the carriage and tires, but just tumbled repeatedly due to the air current under it. Ian ran out to get it.
It was alive, but definitely in shock! Who wouldn't be?? Ian went ahead and put him in the back of his SUV and called me to find a 24 hour vet care place. The closest one was 20miles away, so off goes Ian to the rescue. He gets to the vet and tells them the story. They look over the little guy and give him a clean bill of health based on his quick physical exam. No broken bones or sprains or need for stitches. Just some bumps and bruises and the fact that he'll be quite sore in the morning since they were guestimating that his age was 10 years +. With out needing care, the vet couldn't keep we had a house guest for the night. The following morning we found a no-kill shelter and dropped him off.
This made us both so sad, even though we knew he was "safe" we really fell in love with him in that short amount of time. He looked just like a teddy bear. Too sweet. But not even knowing how things will go when we bring Matthew home with our Downey girl, we didn't want to add another dog to the mix as well.
So, needless to say...we are all "guested" out this week. I'm putting up the No Vacancy sign as we speak! :)


I just got off the phone with my hubby as he was leaving from his visit with our son Matthew. We take turns visiting if we can't find a sitter for William, so I go tomorrow and we will both go on Tuesday together when Ian's dad watches William for us.
I asked him how our little tiny hiney munchkin was doing during his visit and he informed me he only visited with him for about 20 minutes! He had been there for an hour and a half...why only 20 minutes? They had closed the NICU temporarily. What on earth would make them close the NICU to parents of sick babies that need the loving touch of mommies and daddies? Well, Ian had an idea...though it wasn't made sense.
When they opened the NICU back up, Ian saw a nurse and the hospital chaplain following a couple holding a teeny tiny bundle in a blanket. Ian knew a baby that small could not make it off of monitors and iv' his conclusions is that the baby didn't make it. :(
The minute he said this, we both started crying on the phone together, me on the couch and him in his car. We realized how truly lucky we are and how strong our little fighter is. We knew going into the this that it was all in God's hand, but we are so happy to know that He still has plans for our little boy. Even going into the NICU and seeing all of the babies, some VERY sick, it just doesn't register that some may not make it. You just pass a kind, knowing smile to the fellow parents and rush to your baby's bedside. You never talk about why a baby is there, you just rejoice that they are getting help.
I pray for heaven's newest little angel that has floated up into Jesus's arms tonight. Rest in peace little one. Your fight is over. Visit your parents in their dreams...I'm sure they'd love to see you. I also pray for the parents and family of this little baby. Help them get through this tough time. Give them the support and love that they need. And thank you God for letting Ian be there instead of me...You knew I would have fallen apart. Please continue to rest Your hand on Matthew.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

I love fireworks. Something about them just mesmorizes me. It actually intrigues me even more now that I know how they work and what they are. All the little pieces that go into making one small shell to get an "ooh" or an "ahh" out of a crowd. If you wish to be kept in the dark, then you might want to skip this entry in hopes of keeping the mystery alive still. If you are interested, don't expect rocket science here...although the only difference in the two is the oxidizing agent for color...but that's another story. This will be kept on the level I teach my chemistry kids. We do a fireworks lab in my class to help them name the different chemical compounds in fireworks. The colors they give off during the explosion is unique to different chemicals.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. First lets start off with what a firework shell is composed of and how it packed together. First you need a shell/container that holds all the fun inside safely. Inside the shell you need black powder/gun powder, a bursting charge (the actual firecracker that booms in the sky) and stars. The stars are where the aerial display comes to life. In this shell is a colorful chemistry lesson. As I said before different elements/compounds have different chemical properties (any old chemistry students remember the old standard flame test?) That was always a fun lab day huh? :) Anyway, if you have an excellent memory you might could recall that lithium produces a red flame, barium a green flame and copper a blue flame. Now there are MANY others naturally, but this is just to give you the idea of where colors come from in a fireworks display. Now this is just for luminescent fireworks.
Have you ever noticed fireworks that change colors or seem to "fizz" on their own? Those are incandescent fireworks...made up of different things but a main ingredient is charcoal of all things. Have you ever noticed how charcoal goes from black to red to orange to white...this also reflects how hot it is with white meaning it's reached is prime temperature? Same with fireworks. A lot of the incandescent fireworks will appear gold and "sparkly" or as I refer to them as "disney fireworks" because they remind me of Cinderella's castle.
Now that you know about colors, what about shapes? Have you noticed hearts, smiley faces and stars (especially for the 4th)? How do they do that??? Well this has to do with how the stars from inside the shell are arranged. The more tightly woven together they are packed, the more compact the display of color, the more widely spaced, the more room is taken over in the night sky. Also, if the stars are arranged in a pattern...such as a see a star in the sky.
So here's hoping you enjoy your night of excited electrons dancing in the sky. My family will finally be able to spend America's birthday together watching the show downtown tonight. Can't wait. Have fun, be safe!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sweetest Day

Today was the best visit to the NICU. Ian and I both got to hold Matthew, which we have done before a few times...but I was able to nurse Matthew for the first time. It just warmed my heart. I was giggling while my eyes were filling with happy tears. I was touched by his little hand resting on my bare chest and his little face nuzzled tightly into my skin. So sweet! He also surprised EVERYONE, me included, when he actually did nurse. They just expected him to "play around" and get use to the idea with out accomplishing anything...but that kid went to TOWN! Yowza! I am just so proud and happy. The doctor's even told us we will be starting out training at Egleston's Children's Hospital near Emory for outpatient dialysis. This means we are in the homestretch. They said they would send us to training when Matthew was a couple of weeks out from coming home! I need to get his nursery ready!!! AAAHHHH! I'm so excited! Paint samples, here I come! :)

Pity Party

Bad things everyone. What is "bad" for one, is a blessing for another. The word is getting around to some of my "aquaintences". Naturally, my friends have been in the loop with my high risk pregnancy, but I didn't feel the need to share all the details with everyone I have ever talked to before. Now they are springing up from the ground...I might not have even talked to them in years. It's nice to be thought of and I love the extra prayers for Matthew, but spare me the "poor baby, poor mommy" outlook.
Yes, I know...we have LOTS of challenges in the future and the future itself is very uncertain. The nephrologists has given us the statistics of Matthew even making it two years of age and they are not good. But I will NOT let this get me down. Nothing is "bad" to me. Bad would have been if the doctor's didn't do diddley and I never got the chance to even hold him. Bad would have been losing him before I even got a chance to know him. Bad would have been listening to Satan and aborting him when the doctor's told me to...that actually would have been evil.
I have so much to be thankful for and I'm aware of it daily. On every trip up to Scottish Rite I see so many children with terminal diseases like my son...but my son's is treatable...he just has to hold out long enough for the treatment. Many of these children's diseases are not. You pass their parents in the hall, the kids are being pulled in little red wagon's because this is the only way they are allowed outside of their room. Some are too weak to even sit up and look around, they are propped on pillows and bundled in blankets, with the other parent following the wagon with their monitor or IV stand. Daily we see families leaving with tears on their cheeks and red eyes. My husband and I leave hand in hand with a smile on our lips and a prayer of thanksgiving in our hearts because we had one more day spent with our son and he is doing SO well.
I don't know why this happened to our family and our son. Why God decided we should be the parents of such a special little boy, but I accept it with open arms. I am ready to learn why we were chosen. I am prepared to have my eyes opened to whatever has blinded me in the past. I am eager to start this journey with my family and loved ones. I am willing to give my son part of me so that he may live that much longer...though I will request a lot of pain killers after the surgery. ;)
So please, don't feel bad for us, we are truly blessed in our little family. Matthew is strong and so are we...we have God on our side. Only have tears of happiness that he is doing well, only have words of praise that God has given us such a special son, and only offer words of support and thanksgiving. The only thing in all of this that hurts is the doubt and gloomy thoughts of others. Please be happy for us, we are thrilled with our new arrival!

Matthew one week

mommy and son

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Butt soap?

Well, that got your attention didn't it? hee hee :) With our nearly daily drives down to Scottish Rite hospital to visit our new hubby and I have been having some entertaining conversations (especially if there is road work and we need to pass the time) Our conversation yesterday involved cleanliness. We are about to become "germ-nazis" when our little one is able to come home. With his kidney failure, he is less able to fight infection and with his dialysis, germs have a direct entry route into his body. So we were talking about shower habits and such.
Do you use a wash cloth, your hands or just the soap itself to clean yourself? My husband uses all three. Wash cloth for his face, hands for his body and soap for the uh...nether regions. So, if he gets in the shower before I washing with "butt soap"? EEEWWW! I know germs won't live on the soap, but I don't necessarily want leftover "residue" that toliet paper didn't quite reach on my soap either!! I think when I leave for my visit with Matthew today, I'm stopping by Walmart for some body wash. ;)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

One week ago...

I became a mom for the second time! I received my little 4 lb gift 8 and a half weeks early, but one look at that tiny face makes all the hardships to come worth it! I'm slowly recovering from my emergency c-section, but keep over doing it in favor of visiting with my little miracle that is an hour away in an isolette at Scottish Rite children's hospital in Atlanta. Been very sore and busy this past week. And I'm off to pump some good stuff for my baby boy, Matthew Ian. Can't post too much for now, but I'll be back as soon as possible.
Here's a link to his birth story from a baby site I journal on for him to read one day:

Please keep my precious bundle of joy in your prayers. We have a long road ahead of us, but have come a long way already.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Random musings

Atlanta Braves fans are rallying behind their favorite pitcher John is he not retired yet?? Anyway, he's having his third shoulder surgery in 8 years. He is planning on making a comeback for next year though.
Hot-lanta is living up to her name! It's going to be in the mid-90's all week. Kind of makes me glad to be on bedrest! William has been forced to play outside in the mornings only because daddy can't take the heat of the afternoon. :) This is the same guy that endured boarding team school in Charleston SC in July for 10 days wearing full body armor.
I'm trying to prepare William that he will not be "the baby" for much longer...but it's hard. I do refer to him as a good boy and a big boy, but sometimes the "baby" term of endearment just slips. Then he refers to himself as the baby after that. "Where's baby's cup?" I need to get better about this!
Downey girl is sulking beside me on the floor. Ian vacuumed the couches today as he does once a week. (another benefit of bedrest for me) ;) This means Downey is not allowed on the least until tonight when we go to bed and she jumps up on it anyway. But we like at least one day of no hair!
I just found a new favorite donut. Publix bakery! I do love their cakes and cookies, but have never in all my years of being near one tried their donuts. Man was I missing a good thing! Another note on Publix, I just joined the Publix Baby Club. I didn't get to join when I had William because we weren't anywhere near one in Wilmington. They sent an entire booklet of coupons (all buy one, get one free) and a 500 page book from the American Academy of Pediatrics...going from pregnancy through 5 years of age. It talks about milestones, common concerns (illness, development and answering "tricky" questions) along with first aid and nutrious recipes. Wow...and all of that for free!
I love the smell of Vick's Vapor rub...I don't know why...I just do! I don't know why I wrote that either...I just did!
I read for fun and to learn every night before bed. My fun books exercise my imagination and my informative books exercise my intelligence.
I am downing in between 80 - 100 ounces of fluid every day. (that's in between 10 and 12 glasses of water each day). So I have fluid going in me from every direction pretty much!
I'm getting a case of the munchies...gotta go! Happy day to you!


Monday, June 2, 2008

Just for you Randi! :)

Here's one of the very few pictures I have of Ian with hair on the computer already. We got a digital camera right before we got married and put it to use on our honeymoon at Disney World. ($10 bucks if you can name this restaurant! - hint- it's in the resort we stayed at) Anyway, he had his hair cut right before the wedding so it's not all curly and long here. I'll look through some actual photos from college and see what I can come up with.
Good night!
OH, and thanks for reviewing the photobook! :) Love ya!


Photo Meme from Liz

Go to goggle/photobucket/any image source.
Type in your answer into the search box
Using the first image that clearly shows your answer, copy and paste the code below the questions.

1. First name?

2. Favorite color?
Dark Green Hollister Polo

3. Celebrity crush? (ok, I don't really go for the celebrities, but I'm in love with Patrick Dempsey's hair. My hubby's used to be like that before he had to keep it in "regulation")
Patrick Dempsey

4. Band you are listening to right now? (actually no music is on...but here is what is)
Family Fued

5. Favorite movie? (one of many)
Gone With The Wind

6. Favorite Disney princess? (I have one classic, one recent)
princess aurora!
princess ariel

7. Favorite alcoholic beverage? (but only when tailgating on hot game days)
Michelob Light

8. Drean vacation?

9. Favorite Dessert?
Chocolate chip cheesecake

10. what you want to be when you grow up?
grandma's darlings

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Snapshot Sunday

For today snapshot, I was planning on using the incredible 3D image we received of our little son Matthew on Friday. We had to have two infusion in less than 48 hours this week due to complications during the infusion process on Wednesday...which I'm still bruised from. :( But for our efforts (and for getting up at 4:30am to beat Atlanta rush hour) we were given permission to get a 3D sneak peak at our little stinker. He looks NOTHING like his older brother, but is still just as gorgeous. Maybe I'll post it after he is born as a comparrison between in utero and out!
But yesterday we had an exciting day. I was having contractions through out the day like I usually do after repeated procedures like biggee. But then I started to feel crampy and nauseous. I went to the bathroom and there was blood. Not bright red and in copious amounts thank the Lord...I would have been hysterical! But I had passed my muscus plug. (I know...TMI!!!) When I did that with William, my water broke just a minute after and an hour after contractions were coming every 3 minutes. So, needless to say, I kind of over-reacted and FREAKED! We called both our high risk doctors and our normal OB. They both told us to come in for monitoring just to check if I was dialating. So, I get on the phone and call the family brigade out to watch William. Ian's dad, who is just five minutes down the road, and my mother. Ian's dad to stay with William if I'm admitted, my mother to be with me incase they say "it's time". I have already requested to have both hubby and my momma in the OR room.
When get there and get all hooked up. Little Matthew is doing wonderful. I'm having definite contractions, but they aren't in any pattern and after a quick check (ouch!) they see I have not dialated any...but have begun to efface.
They send me home with explicit instructions of do NOTHING, but drink lots, rest lots and urinate lots! If I have more than 5 contractions (with or without a pattern) in an hour come in immediately. So we are home, crossing fingers (and legs) that we haven't done too much too soon with those procedures back to back. I go see my OB on Monday to be checked again (looking forward to that...sarcasm dripping off the keyboard!) and then in for an ultrasound, tap and infusion on Tuesday with my perinatologists. If they think it is too risky, I'll just be admitted and monitored for no fluid and cord compression.
So with all of this going on, I just wanted to bring out some awareness of preterm labor and premature babies. Things have come such a long way and it's not the death sentence it used to be, but these little babies need more love and support than full term babies. Please say a prayer for all the families and babies going through this roller coaster ride. Thanks!


Monday, May 26, 2008

Snapshot Sunday-ish

I know it's Monday, but it's still "technically" a weekend. This is my first day of being able to head downstairs to the desktop where all of our pictures are loaded. So, that's my reason for my somewhat tardiness.
These two pictures sum up what every unrecognized military member must go through at some point. The elite members of the silent ranks...the spouses. You see all of those window decals on the back window of cars and SUVS everywhere: Hardest Job in the "fill in the blank". So in honor of all those that sit on the sidelines while the game is in full swing, thank you for the strength, support and stability you lend your military spouse. And incase anyone is wondering what it takes to be a military's a recipe for ya.

Recipe: for a Military Wife
1 ½ cups of Patience
2 tablespoons of Elbow Grease
1 Pound of Courage
3 cups Adaptability
1 ¼ cups of Tolerance
Dash of Adventure.
Marinate frequently with salty tears. Trim down excess fat and sprinkle ever so lightly with money. Knead dough until payday. Season with international spices. Baste with a lot of good memories and friendship. Bake for twenty years or longer until done.
Serve with pride!

waving from the Dili

Ian pulling out on July 6th 2004. Heading for a long stay at the yards. I was a mess! We'd only been reunited for a month before he had to go out again. It was a hard time during our first year of marriage.

welcome home kiss

Our reunion kiss on November 2nd 2004! My friend Laura (Ian's MK Chief's wife) took the picture was he ran off the boat giving short salutes to both the flag and the quarter deck. We ran into each other's arms. I still remember crying, but for a different reason. He has three days of stand down and was home for three weeks before off on patrol in the Caribbean.

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