Sunday, July 30, 2006
Basking in my new surroundings!!
Hello all! Dawn has done it once again. . .created a new blog template, that is. . .for ME!! I am very obsessive about each detail, but Dawn forged ahead unafraid of my extensive demands concerning the shape/style/font/color/picture/verse/sizing/placement/etc./etc./etc. I think it is absolutely SUPERB! She is amazing. . .and very patient too! :)

What do you all think??

Introducing the famous, "UNCLE SCOTT!"
If you haven't heard Katie talking about her beloved Uncle Scott. . .you just must not have been listening!! When there is any mention of the name "Uncle Scott," Katie's ears perk up, she drops immediately anything that she is doing and starts with the unending questions. . ."Is he coming?! When is he coming?! Is he going to play with me?! Is he coming NOW??!! Where is he??"

Uncle Scott is Danny's older brother who has a magical gift of, in an instant, becoming 5 years old again. . .pretending to be anything and everything that Katie's heart desires! And Katie absolutely ADORES him!

A couple of days ago Uncle Scott and Aunt Karen dropped by the house. . .Katie squealed with happiness as he walked through the door. Pretty soon the both of them were "rockin' out" with the iPOD - both of them lost in their "rockstar" world. . .

. . .and making awesome memories that will last a lifetime!

Friday, July 28, 2006
Katie Greer's "Sneak Peek" into Kindergarten!!

Katie woke up early, early and the first words out of her mouth were. . ."WE'RE GOING TO MEET MY TEACHER TODAY!" Did it sound loud when you read it? - 'Cause it was very loud when she said it. . .followed by nervous little giggles and the biggest grin you can imagine! After exercising and errands, errands, errands - the time had finally come - 1pm. Daddy took a half day off of work just to come and watch his baby girl as she walked into her classroom for the first time.

In front of the school, there were a MILLION cars. . .I don't know what I was expecting - I guess just our little family walking through the doors. . .but I was shocked to see so many kids and momma's and daddy's and more kids, kids, kids!! Katie hardly hesitated a moment for me to take a picture ("oh mom!" sigh) - then ran down the sidewalk to the front door without so much as a glance back at us!

Katie walked down the hall, dodging lots of other soon-to-be kindergarteners until she got to. . .Mrs. Barrett's room! Daddy found Katie's name on the "class list," and Katie double-checked to see it for her very own eyes.

When she walked through Mrs. Barrett's kindergarten classroom doors for the first time, she stopped and almost had a shy moment. That is, until Mrs. Barrett lifted up her eyes and said with a warmth and excitement that every kindergarten teacher should have. . ."Well, you must be Katie!"

That was all it took - the magical fact that Mrs. Barrett already knew who Katie was when she hadn't even yet said a word sent Katie into a gale of giggles! She ran right on over to Mrs. Barrett and a friendship was born! Katie found her seat with a huge packet of information about lunch money, car rider/bus rider, snacks, dress codes, volunteers, curriculum, school rules, school calendar, and on and on and on!! (WHEW! I think I'm the one who's going to be overwhelmed by kindergarten!) Mrs. Barrett had a hard hat for each child with their name on it for them to take home - because they are "constructing their learning," of course! We learned that ours will be one of 3 Katie's in that class! And we found out that 2 of Katie's pre-school classmates will be in her class here! I tell you Katie has not stopped beaming!

I would like to introduce to everyone. . .Mrs. Barrett (in the red striped shirt) and her assistant, Mrs. Sutton. . .standing with a tiny little "spitfire" of a girl that these teachers will never forget!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006
And here's the "little man!"
Nathan is my baby boy. . .

Another true blessing from God delivered 10 1/2 months ago. Being on bedrest waiting for his arrival for 5 months - I felt his every single twist and turn, down to each tiny, rhythmic hiccup. We bonded when he was just millimeters in length. . .I couldn't possibly love this wiggly little person any more than I already do.

I don't really remember "life before Nate," but I am sure that I got to just sit a little more than I do now! He is a ball of fire, climbing on and crashing into and throwing everything he can get to. . .and if I say, "no, no". . .this child stops and slowly smiles, and I can just see him making a mental note to go back to this LOTS!

He is "cruising" the furniture. . .not quite walking on his own yet. . .but I am a little frightened of the day he figures it out! His favorite pass times of late are gathering up anything that resembles a ball and walking to the steps where he throws it through the railings and watches it bounce, bounce, bounce down the stairs. . .and stealthily crawling around the couch, under the dining table and to the china cabinet, where the most fun thing is to fling open the cabinet doors and grab and toss all of the crystal heirlooms in every direction - YAY! As I am following behind, picking up the pieces in the destructive trail he leaves. . .he is off to find Katie's stroller so he can throw it upside down and figure out how those wheels work -- of course, to Katie's horror that her Baby Holly has been hurled across the room.

He still wakes up in the middle of the night a couple of times to nurse and snuggle - but I let him. He has super-elastic arm length at a restaurant, pulling drinks, salsa, and just anything onto himself. He spits the last bite of food all over you to tell you he's done. He pulls the dog's hair, Katie's hair, and my hair. . .and well, even sometimes his own hair.

What a crazy little person that has landed into our family!

And I just cannot even write into words how much I am absolutely in LOVE with this little person!!!

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Monday, July 24, 2006
My Miracle Baby Today!

This is my 2 pound, 1 ounce little miracle today! Katie Greer is 5 years old - oh my, almost 6 years old!! She is amazing and beautiful and funny and loving and smart and sassy and. . .an absolute blessing from above!
From her "crazy" start in life, she has had barely even a cold to date. The only residual affects from her "preemie" birth are hypertone muscles in her legs causing her to have difficulty walking. . .but she runs like a wild woman in her walker!! As a huge answer to many, many prayers. . .she is cognitively above average in her class and her language skills. . .well, let's just say she can tell you everything you would ever need or want to know about anything - and will whether you ask or not!
She will be starting Kindergarten in one week, and I still can't believe it.
Katie Greer is truly a gift given to our family.

Sunday, July 23, 2006
My Precious Miracle. . .Katie Greer
This is my miracle baby girl. . .born 3 months early, weighing a tiny 2 pounds and 1 ounce.

Just to give you a glimpse of our journey since that day. . .
Katie was diagnosed with a traumatic bleed in both hemispheres of her brain at a few days old. The doctor cried with me on the phone as he told me.
. . .but God was with us. . .
She endured brain surgery to place a "temporary shunt" so that nurses could manually drain the excess fluid from her brain when she was 2 weeks old. I sat in the waiting room unable to breathe.
. . .but God was with us. . .
Katie was given 9 blood transfusions, was on a respirator breathing for her for a month and half, was fed through a tube for a month, and had fluid pulled from her brain every couple of days. We put a tiny tape player in her incubator that played "Amazing Grace." I sat by her side.
. . .and God was still there. . .
She came home 1 month before she was due! Earlier than some of the other babies around her born at the same time! She was still watched closely by all of the doctors. . .a huge following of doctors which included the pediatric opthamologist, the neurosurgeon, the pulmonologist, and the pediatrician. Our schedule was full of appointments every week. . .and none of them very fun either, for me or Katie. But by far our least favorite was visiting the neurosurgeon to have ultrasounds and MRI's of Katie's brain at the hospital, and then sitting in his office waiting for him to tell us what he saw. And it was always, "I don't know. . .it still doesn't look good." I cried all the way home every time.
. . .God was there. . .
At one of those visits, the neurosurgeon announced that he would need to put a monitor in my little Katie's brain to measure the pressure - she was just 2 years old. We stayed for 3 days in the hospital with Katie literally tethered by a long guage from the top of her head to a machine that recorded readings every second. This test was to determine if Katie would need to have a permanent shunt placed, that would need constant monitoring by doctors because of the threats of infections and malfunctions. Those 3 days were the worst days of my life so far.
. . .God was there with us. . .
Early in the morning, that 3rd day, the doctor came in the room, looked at the readings and said, "Well, hmmmm. . .looks good. . .you can go home." And just like that - we all went home.
God was all around us! And still is. . .

Thursday, July 20, 2006
Home is when we're all together - wherever that may be. . .

Well, here we all are. . .smiling and laughing at one of our most favorite places on earth - the beach! This is the place where we can all relax. . .free of schedules and jobs and housework! (well, laundry follows you everywhere you go, I suppose - but all other housework suspended at least for a week!) This is the picture we took this summer. . .just like the family photo we try to get every summer at this same beach. We have changed so much, it seems, with every year's picture - our baby Nathan made his first appearance this year in our family's tradition.