Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How 'bout some pictures?


I mean, come on, how can you not eat up that scrumptious face? Now I may be a little partial or something because, let's face it, I did birth the child, but he has to be the cutest and sweetest little boy alive. And I know you just wanna pinch that itty-bitty hiney...I mean, who doesn't love a baby's soft little tushy?
Nate's physical therapy was this morning, and I am always encouraged and uplifted each time we leave there. We have seen some slight improvement in his breathing at times due to the kinesio tape and the daily "exercises" that we have been doing to help stretch his intercostal rib muscles, and I just hope that he will continue on this path. He still doesn't tolerate having to use extra energy to do something that well...ie: crying, rolling over, having tummy time, etc. His respiratory rate gets ridiculously fast during these times and he has to work double time to get a good breath. I am anxious to find out how this will be as he gets older. My questions to the therapist and doctors lately have been along the lines of "Will he be able to run and play and climb like a normal kid or will he be short of breath during these times?" I hope and pray that he can improve enough with therapy to be able to do these things. He started rolling over from his stomach to his back consistently this past week. If you remember, he rolled over 3 times when he was just a few days old...something I contribute to just a fluke, I guess. He does it with purpose now, and it is so much fun to cheer him on as he tries so desperately to shift his body weight enough to get the momentum to roll onto his back. His therapist was pleasantly surprised by the amount of strength and control he has gained in his body this week. I see the Lord's hand on Nathan every day...strengthening him. Sometimes I waiver in my faith, but deep in my heart, I believe that God will heal my little man of his infirmities eventually. And that is my daily prayer for Nathan.
We are sincerely humbled and thankful for the countless prayers that have been and are still being said on our son's behalf. We have received numerous cards from churches and families saying that they are praying for Nathan. We saw some dear friends from a church in a different state this weekend who said that Nathan has been on their prayer list for the past few months. And one of Jay's colleagues called last week to find out if Nate was okay...he is friends with a family in Western Kentucky who had told him that they have been praying for our son. Jay's colleague had no idea of the problem previous to that conversation. We are humbled to tears about all of this. To know that so many of you care enough about our little family to lift Nate up in prayer gives an overwhelming feeling of heaviness in my heart. We are so thankful for you all. I believe that God has heard your prayers and answered them...and I believe that he continues to work in Nathan's life and answer these prayers.
Along with his weekly physical therapy appointments in May, Nathan will also be seeing the Neurologist (next Thursday), having another renal ultrasound to check the fluid on his kidneys, and seeing the Pulmonologist again. I pray that the Lord will grant his doctors wisdom and open their eyes to see what may be causing Nathan's breathing difficulties.

I took some pictures of Nate's room before he was born and forgot to post them on here, so here's one I took the other day. It was so much fun decorating his room in cowboy attire...complete with lariat, cowboy hat, and bandannas that I hot glued together to make a valance on his window. I may not know a stitch about sewing, but I sho' have mastered that hot glue gun.
(You want a picture, woman? Okay, I'll give you your picture!)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Where we fail as parents


Abby, who can not stand doing anything alone, recruited our pastor to go outside and watch her play and jump on the trampoline at his house yesterday. Now, little bit has a mouth that can run a marathon (hmmm, wonder where she gets that from???) and not that I have anything to hide (because it has been made known many times before that I pretty much say everything I know on here) but I would really like to know what is spewing out of her mouth to our pastor when I am not there to defend myself.

Me: Abby, what did you and Brother David talk about today?
Abby (who has a bit of a runny nose right now and has created an Olympic sport out of ummmm, how do I put this delicately?, snorting her snot up rather than blowing it out): He was teaching me how to spit my snot out onto the ground.

And that is why we love our pastor so much. He picks up in the parental duties that we fail in teaching. Everyone should have someone like him around.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

2 months


My little Nate-Nate,

2 months, my precious son. This month has been another eventful month, but I am beginning to think that you are just going to be my eventful child. I really wonder how your personality will be as you grow older...will you have drama circling your every move or will you be the laid back kind that is able to push through life's struggles with ease? All I know right now is that you have shown us a little peek at the ferocious temper you like to display every once in a while, and I am quite leery about that part of your personality. But, of course, you are my little red-headed boy...at least for the time being until your follicles of fuzz decide which color they will remain as they grow less fuzz-like.
When you were a week old, I decided to start taking a picture of you next to a stuffed bear at different ages to see how you grew in comparison to the bear. I can not believe the drastic change this month brought about. You are my little chunk-o-luv and I could just eat up that double chin of your's. Funny enough, you aren't nearly as big as I thought you would be. Today's 2 month appointment put you at a whopping 11 pounds 2 oz (30%) and 22.5 inches long (20%). While that is still on the lower size for other boys your age, you are a good pound more than Emma and 2.5 pounds more than Abby when they were 2 months old. My big ole' growing boy! You still eat every stinkin' 2 hours...we've tried bottles of breastmilk, bottles of formula, and nursing, but nothing really does the trick to tide you over for more than 2 hours, so I have thrown in the towel and decided to embrace the fact that you are attached to me for a good majority of the day. On the bright side, it seems to help in slimming down the large bodunkadunk that the pregnancy-induced chocolate attacks gave me. On the other bright side, I commend you for needing to nurse at prime times that get me out of work...like right after dinner when it is time to clean the kitchen. I high five you for thinking that one up. Keep it up, little man.
Let me just say how happy I am that you are finally able to pass gas freely and comfortably by yourself...and just realize that this is the only time that I will be thankful that you are able to pass your gas with ease. Your first month of life was rough in this aspect, and I spent many nights feeding you mylicon like it was candy and squishing your knees up to your chest in hopes that I could help you let one loose...our own little different kind of "pull my finger" approach. Kudos for getting control of your exhaust system this month, little dude.
You have become a lot more expressive this month. You smile so big sometimes that your cheeks push your eyelids together to display itty-bitty slits and the dimple on your left cheek sinks in and just makes me want to kiss it. In fact, you get so many kisses all day long that I am sure that your au naturale scent has started to take on the lovely smell of my coffee scented lips. Let's just call you my little latte'.
You started physical therapy this month with a wonderful woman named Andrea. You greeted her with a smile this week and are very receptive to her voice and touch. PT is going great, and we hope to see some great improvements in your breathing over the next few months.

You are my little Nathan...my precious little boy. I love you so much sweet pea. I love to play with the fuzz that covers your head; I love to open your teeny fingers and hold your hands; I love to tickle your feet and pinch the fat on your thighs. I love to hold you close and breathe in the scent of your head. I love when you suck on the end of my nose to let me know that you are hungry. I love how you still lay your head right on top of my heart when you want to fall asleep. And I really love how you stick your tongue out mid-smile.
I love you, Nathan Andrew. My growing boy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Being a mother...


Being a mother makes you say "stop blowing bubbles in your milk" for no apparent reason whatsoever. Milk bubbles are generally harmless...they seldom make a mess, they cause no physical damage, so why is it mandated that children must refrain from this activity? Why does it annoy me so when they blow bubbles in their milk when I secretly still do it when no one is watching?

Being a mother makes you loose all sense of privacy...especially if you have a child whose greatest anxiety is having to be alone, causing her to set up shop on the side of the bathtub just so she can talk to you while you shower. "Honey, please let mommy shower in peace." "Oh, I will mom. I won't talk to you...I'll just watch you."
Being a mother gives you patience you didn't know you had when your child flips over her bowl of cereal or spills her drink for the 3rd time that day.

Being a mother gives you the ability to translate phrases like "tooby too banbay" (scooby doo bandaid), "I had it first!" (I really wanted it but she was playing with it, so I'll use this manipulation tactic to see if mom will intervene and give it to me.) and "I (sob) no (sob) wanna (sob) go (sob) night-night (sob)" (Why in the world did you wait this long to put me in bed, woman? You see I'm clearly a blubbering mess now.).
Being a mother gives you the responsibility to explain why we do not talk about the corn we found in the toilet bowl as we are all eating dinner and why parents can say "you need to work on your attitude today" while young children are forbidden to make such remarks back to them...especially if said parent really does have an attitude problem that day. Being a mother makes you explain answers to questions such as: Why does that woman have so many wrinkles? (Her kids probably gave them to her, sweetie.) Is that person over there a man or a woman? (Sorry, hun, I can't tell either.) Why does daddy let me climb on things at the playground that you won't let me climb? (Because your daddy doesn't want you to grow up to be a sissy and mommy just knows that you will fall and break your leg, thus preventing you from being able to shower with a cast on and giving you the life-long reputation of being the stinky kid. I only care about your emotional well-being, sweetheart.) and Why is the sky blue? (Well, there are millions of little particles that...aw, you don't care about that stuff yet...because God wanted it to be blue.)
Being a mother is truly one of the most exhausting and satisfying jobs around...I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Introducing...


Super Zebra Dude! (duhn duhn duhn)
This new and improved super hero's secret powers include charming the socks off of anyone who wears socks, melting the coldest and stoniest of hearts with only his smile, winning attention by batting his blonde eyelashes at any sweet thang that passes his way, and keeping his mother up at all hours of the night with an appetite that is so grand that it should most definitely win some kind of award. Super Zebra Dude to the rescue!
So, Nateman's all taped up and ready for his audition with "Smurfs on Broadway". He didn't quite care for his therapy session today because it was pretty much a solid half hour of the exercises he has grown to dislike mucho grande. We are seeing a slight improvement in his breathing right after his exercises...at the beginning of today's session, his respiratory rate was 80 breaths per minute and fell to 64 breaths per minute at the end of the session. (Normal for his age is around 40 breaths per minute) While the decrease in his respiratory rate is short lived after his exercises, it is a step in the right direction. We are hoping that using the kinesio tape for a few weeks will help bring his ribs down some and start training his brain in breathing correctly.

The kinesio tape on Nathan is designed to "strengthen a weakened muscle by providing biofeedback information from the skin and muscles to the brain to increase muscle activation" (from an information sheet Nate's therapist gave me today). Pretty cool, huh? I asked the therapist today for her honest opinion of whether she thought that Nathan's breathing issues were just something anatomical or if she though they were a result of something else we haven't found yet. She confirmed what we had been thinking over the past couple of weeks in that she thought the breathing issues were secondary to a bigger problem within him. I just pray that the neurologist will be able to figure the little dude out and shed some more light on all of this.
It has been a blast watching Nathan grow more and more each day. He's a little ham that smiles nearly every time you look at him...and speaking of ham, he's about as big as a big ole' ham too. Gosh, this kid is growing fast. After trying him for a couple of minutes at a time in the Bumbo the past few days, he was finally strong enough to sit in it for a good 10 minutes today...and he loved every bit of it. Can't ya tell?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Next step: Puberty


Notice anything different with the oldest child Ferrell? Except, of course, for the smokin' hot green bruise on her forehead that she got when she fell head first onto the concrete in the garage and screamed so fiercely that I was sure that a tiger had eaten her arm off?
Perhaps something that glistens and glimmers and makes one feel all Princess-like? Jay and I have always said that we would let the girls get their ears pierced when they asked to get it done...I just didn't realize that she would ask this early. So after about 4 days of repetitive questioning of when she could get them pierced and 4 days of me telling her that she could but it would feel like getting shots in her ears, we headed to the local Claire's boutique this past weekend where Miss Abigail picked out a ca-hute pair of pink flower earrings.
The lady who punched the holes into my child's ears with (crossing fingers here) sterilized utensils asked her if she was excited, to which Abby wrung her hands in anxious anticipation and gave out a pretty believable "Uh-huh". She then immediately whispered in her Daddy's ear: "I told her I was excited, but I really am nervous." She barely even flinched when they pierced her ears and immediately started laughing, which I totally believe was a cover-up to keep herself from crying. She was so brave, and her earrings are extremely cute. It just makes a mama sad to see her baby growing up. Abby: MOM! I was climbing on our gate and saw a big black snake beside me in the forest!
Me: (frantically locking all doors...you never know when those things are going to grow arms and open the doors to our house with intentions to taste a little human blood and kill us all. A bit dramatic maybe? You haven't seen these monsters around here.) What was it doing?
Abby: It was slithering around in the forest looking for people to bite.

That's my girl!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Approved


Dear Juror #04241 (that's me...my own unique numeral. I feel oh so special.),

Your request to be excused from jury service has been approved. Please do not bring you or your grimy little hooligans into our courtroom. Congratulations, you have just figured out a great way to get out of your civic duties.

Turns out that being the sole source of nourishment for a wee someone has benefits other that brain development and bonding experience. Though I can't help but think that me getting out of jury duty had something to do with the mastitis episode. It's a conspiracy theory. The government's way of punishing me for skipping out on them.
This electric, hurt-your-eyes shade of blue would happen to be the new coat of paint on our neighbor's house. Let's just say that Emma running out to greet the UPS man in only her underwear is no longer the topic of choice among our neighborhood gossipers. On the bright blue side of things, it does make a cool backdrop for pictures...and it makes me feel like we're livin' the high life in Key West.Finally, I have to give a shout out to the talented Nancy Masterson from our church. She made this super cool blanket for Nathan that showcases all of the colleges that we have been a part of over the past 10 years or so. How cool is this? I just love it! (The picture below would be so much cooler if I had realized that the blanket was upside down.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The big guys that make Resolve love us



Oh yeah, our carpet is so getting replaced when the kids stop peeing, pooping and spitting on it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Such a great morning!


More therapy talk...but mostly because it was such a great session that just uplifted our spirits! Nathan's therapists did some reading about therapies for breathing problems and talked with another therapist who had just come back from a respiratory therapy conference, so she had a couple of exercises to try on him during our session this morning.

We unlocked another piece to this strange little puzzle named Nathan: his ribs are way too high and positioned too close together, and his diaphragm is not aiding in his breathing at all...his stomach muscles are doing all of the work. The therapist showed me an exercise to start doing with him that involves sticking my finger between each individual rib and tugging down to help stretch out each muscle connecting the ribs. Hopefully this will gradually loosen up those muscles enough to pull his ribs down to a more normal level in his chest.

I was also shown an exercise that makes his diaphragm aid in his breathing instead of his stomach. With both hands on his chest, I put a little pressure on him and tug down on his ribs. He breathes really really fast at first, but after a few seconds, he takes a few deep and slower breaths like he is supposed to be doing. It is simply amazing to see the difference in his breathing during this exercise. Unfortunately, it tires him out pretty fast, so we can only do a few of these at a time, but we hope that he will improve gradually over time. We are introducing the tape therapy next week that will help train his diaphragm to start working correctly, so I look forward to seeing the improvement that it will hopefully make with his breathing.

Now, the question is whether all of his problems are from an anatomical defect (his ribs and chest muscles not developing right) that can hopefully be trained to respond correctly or whether it is something neurological or physiological that has created his chest muscles/ribs to respond this way and prevent him from breathing correctly. Hopefully this is something that our neurologist can figure out.

The other great news is that Nate's therapist finished her evaluation on him today and came to the conclusion that while he may be a little on the lower side of "muscle tone", she does not think that it will effect him developmentally. He has improved drastically in strength over the past week especially, and he continues to grow stronger every day. We will continue to watch him and work with him to make sure that he is hitting his milestones, but she thinks that he should develop just fine. What a relief!

So, this is some of the best news we have received in quite a while, and I am on Cloud 9! I have been praying for the little man to get stronger and surpass the diagnosis of hypotonia, and it looks like that prayer has been answered. I am so thankful! So, clearly I had to share with everyone about our wonderful morning.

I had the wonderful privilege to meet and photograph a precious little family this weekend and wanted to share a couple of the pictures from that shoot. So, yes, I am back to doing photo shoots, but very sparingly. Obviously, it takes longer to edit pictures when nursing a little one every couple of hours, and I usually do all of my editing at night but sleep is a very dear thing when I can get it. Due to this, I will more than likely limit the sessions to 2 a month for the time being. Please email or call if you are interested.

It was so great to get out of the house for a couple of hours and have fun taking pictures of someone other than my own kiddos. And these two were such a joy and the sweetest little things!! Thanks for the opportunity. It was so great to meet you all!!

**More pictures on the photography blog.**

Monday, April 14, 2008

Therapy


His first physical therapy session last Friday went so well. They called me on Thursday saying that they had a cancellation for Friday and wanted to know if I would take that appointment. Heck yeah! The pediatric therapy place is only about 5 miles from the house, so that is an added bonus. Our therapist is a really sweet woman who is due with her first child in July, so we also had a good time chatting about baby names and birth plans. She was so good with Nathan and very helpful to answer any question I had.
We found out that Nathan's rib cage doesn't move at all when he breathes, so that is one of the reasons why he retracts so badly when breathing. She started brainstorming some plans for a newish tape therapy for him to hopefully train those chest muscles to work and expand his rib cage each time he takes a breath. During the hour and a half that we were there, she really got a great view of his breathing at it's worst (when he is upset), at it's best (when he is in a deep sleep), and everything in between. He is almost always tachypneic (with a breath rate of about 65-75bpm) when he is awake, but his respiratory rate slows to a more normal level when he is in a deep sleep.
In Nathan's assessment, she tested him on different things that a baby should be able to do within the 0-2 month range. He only passed one of them, but he still does have another week and a few days before he is 2 months old. The good news is that he is not severely hypotonic, but he does seem to have low muscle tone. He is holding his head up better and better each day and putting weight on his legs (when he is mad), and he is starting to shift his weight a little when he is on his back...all great signs. His muscle tone (which is the amount of tension or resistance to movement in a muscle) is something that we can not change, but we can help strengthen his muscles with different exercises. Nate is going to be attending physical therapy every week until we see improvement in him...it is then that we will start going less frequently but still doing therapy sessions at home with me leading them. In these sessions we will be working on making those chest muscles work and making sure he is hitting all of his developmental milestones and retaining them. We are just so thankful that he was able to get in at such a young age and with such a wonderful group.

Shifting gears, I have a new found respect for any woman (or dairy cow, for that matter) who has ever had to endure mastitis. I had my first brush with it this weekend and was thoroughly miserable! I haven't had a fever like that since high school, and I forgot how a fever just paralyzes your whole body in aches and pains. I was able to kick the infection to the curb in a couple of days with frequent nursing sessions and lots and lots of those magical brown pills called ibuprofren. Hats off to any woman who has recurrent problems with this...I feel for ya!

Friday, April 11, 2008

If life weren't hectic enough...


I love checking the mail! Just the sight of that patriotic-colored mail truck makes my tummy feel all excited and stuff. Yeah, I'm weird like that. I bust at the seams with excitement at what could be lying in that box for us on any given day. Magazines? Money? A sweet letter from your little sister? (Thanks Bethany!) A college graduation invitation? (Way to go, Brad Day!) Junk mail? Bills? A letter from your utility company telling you that they have decided to give you a year's worth of electricity for free? (Hey, I like to daydream every once in a while.)

A summons for jury duty?

I have to admit that I cried when read it: "Amber Ferrell, you are hereby summoned to appear for jury service on May 5, 2008 at 8:45am." In my sleep-deprived, allergy-infested, somewhat stressed-out phase, this was the breaking point. I shot up a mini-prayer in desperation: "Not this too, Lord. Please no. I'm not capable of doing all of this. Help me."

A few minutes later, I read the glorious words that shone in the light and sang out with a most gorgeous voice: "Postponement or Excusal Request".

They didn't give me enough room to write everything in my excusal request, though. I wonder if they would mind if I took up all the front and the back of the page?

Postponement or Excusal Request:
1. I do not have enough crayons, coloring books, and candy to keep my children quiet for long enough as we all sit in the jury box.

2. My 4 year old likes to ask hundreds of questions a day that would more than likely prove to be a hindrance to the trial. Your robe and gavel would only exacerbate this problem. But if you don't mind the unending conversations, I am perfectly capable of tuning out her questions of why you are wearing a dress and banging that whack-a-mole thingy on your desk.

3. My 2 year old tells knock-knock jokes that make no sense whatsoever, but she is in that "you can not be cuter than you are right now" phase that will more than likely have the rest of the jurors paying attention to her instead of the bo-ho-ring lawyers and laughing at the adorable non-sense coming from her mouth. She also has to go potty at random times. Can we bring a potty chair? You know, cause I'm redneck like that and don't mind her doing her business in front of a court room of innocent strangers.

4. My littlest little one eats like a...well, like a baby who likes to eat a lot. I am not afraid to give the term "nursing in public" a whole new meaning. And if that is unacceptable, "pumping in public" should be a lot more fun.

5. Oh...no kids allowed? Well, I seemed to have pretty much exhausted all of my child care possibilities for the million or so, give or take a few, doctor's appointments we have had to attend. Could that kind lady over there who is doing a remarkable job typing out everything everyone says be so sweet to babysit my kiddos while we return back to business up in here?

6. I am very in favor of the death penalty. Tax evasion? Armed robbery? Delinquent parking tickets? Probation Violation? Fry 'em...fry 'em all.

7. Please please please please please don't make me do this. I might just go crazy in the process. Really. I'm not kidding here. And yes, that might just be a threat. Have you ever seen a crazy, sleep-deprived mama in the court room? It probably won't be purdy.

Now, let's just hope that those powers-at-be grant my request for an excusal.


- - - - - - - - - - - - -
**Nathan had his first physical therapy appointment this morning and it went so great. His physical therapist is so wonderful! We are going to start going every week (Tuesdays at 8:15am). I'll write more about it all next week...we have friends here right now, and I wrote this post last night, but I wanted to update it with his PT appointment info.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's amazing...


...that the promise of a Hershey's Kiss will make a 2 year old look this darn adorable:
She's been impossible to photograph lately, so I am way too excited about these shots of her. I have been trying to get some shots of Emma and Nathan since I was able to get some cute ones of Abby and Nathan a few weeks ago. She just happened to be in the right mood yesterday...or rather, she really really wanted some candy. She tries to sneak candy when no one is looking, and she is just so dang good at being sneaky. The double chin is compliments of me...and candy, I suppose. Genetics is a funny thing, and Emma and Nate both seemed to have gotten that "extra fat on your neck" trait from me. From Jay, Emma received the makings of a unibrow.

Me: (as I was inspecting the growing vanilla hairs on the missing bridge of her nose as I rocked her yesterday) Oh Em, you are going to have to pluck your eyebrows when you get older.
Emma: No Mama, don't pwuck my eye-bohws.
Me: I'm not...but you will eventually.
Abby: Yeah Emma, you have to or you'll have a universe.
Emma: I no wanna universe.
Me: She means "unibrow".
Emma: I no wanna unibrow.
Me: Then you'll have to pluck.
Emma: I no wanna pwuck.
Me: Whatever. She calls Nathan "Buddy Boo", and I just love hearing that teeny voice talking to her little brother. She's been a stinker these days...probably due to the fact that she's been waking up between 5 and 6 each morning...and because she is 2. These kid things that we have running around at our feet all day surely are a blast though...I love 'em all so much.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Nafey


He makes fish lips the exact same way Abby used to when she was a baby. He looks so intently at something (usually the ceiling fan) and squeezes his lips together like that...to which I always thank him for the invitation for a smooch, you know, since he is all puckered up and everything. Then he looks at me like I'm nutso...but I get that look from all three kiddos all day long, so I'm used to it by now.
He has a smile that will melt your heart, and he practices it quite frequently these days. I sometimes crack myself up at the high-pitched non-sense coming from my mouth as I try to desperately to get a sneak of that toothless grin. His cheeks are so big that they automatically squish his eyelids together each time he smiles...just like his Aunt Bethany, and nearly every other Gowens out there. Looks like that is a trait that is freely passed down from my side of the family (and another reason why we sometimes wonder if Abby was switched at birth). He has a dimple on his left cheek like Emma, and I just love to catch a peek at it every once in a while.He is starting to go a wee bit longer than every 2 hours between meals...even spoiling his mama some days by going a full 3 hours between a meal or two. Whoa, nelly! He will always be known as the child who taught me what sleep deprivation was really all about. Me no likey. He sleeps in his crib at night until his first feeding, where I seem to always fall back asleep on the couch with him and stay there until the next morning where we awaken to the rough indentations of the couch cushions on our faces. So technically, he's in his crib for 2 hours...score! He is getting stronger, slowly but surely. His legs are very strong, and his back seems to be strengthening as well. He is starting to gain more control with his neck and can lift his head for a couple of seconds at a time. His respiratory muscles still seem to be pretty weak, so I hope to get some idea of how to help strengthen them when his physical therapy starts soon. The referral system with our hospital called on Monday with his neurologist appointment: May 8th at 8:30am. With the wait time usually at around 6 months, we are thankful that we were able to get an appointment in a month.
He's growing so fast and putting on weight extremely well. We finally had to retire most of his newborn sized clothes this weekend, so he is officially in the 0-3 month size. I suspect he is a little over 10 pounds now...a far cry from the wee 6 pounder I gave birth to a little over 6 weeks ago. I've already forgotten how small he felt then. He loves to squish up in a little ball up against your chest and be rocked to sleep. He will carry on a mini-conversation of coos with you when he is awake. He's a sweetheart...our little Nafey.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fairness


I had my 6 week post-partum check-up with my OB yesterday...which means that my little man is already 6 weeks old. Hard to believe. It was really great to see my doctor since we had been through so much with her through my pregnancy with Nathan...she has been such a blessing to us in so many ways over the past 6 months, and I am truly thankful for this woman as my doctor. For those of you who may be new to our life's journal (a much more sophisticated word than "blog"), when I was pregnant with Nate, he had 2 markers for a genetic abnormality that is usually indicative of Down Syndrome. Because of this, we have not been shocked regarding the tests they are having to run on him due to his current symptoms...saddened, but not shocked.

When Nathan was born with no signs of having Down Syndrome, we were all delighted that this trial seemed to be at it's end. So, when I had to tell my OB of Nathan's current situation, she was evidently saddened and concerned for us. She was very sweet and helpful in our conversation, but she did say something that had me pondering on my drive home. She said very sincerely, "It's just not fair for you and Jay."

Honestly, I have never viewed this situation as being "not fair". When I see that phrase, I am usually taken back to my childhood when the times that I would experiment by using those two words would quickly be reprimanded with "Well, life's not fair." And it's true. Life's not fair. But we have never been promised fairness.

When I was a teenager, I wanted so badly to catch a glimpse of my life in the future. Who was my husband? How many children did we have? Where did we live? Was I happy? Was I healthy? Oh, life would be so much easier if I just knew what to expect. After a little "wishing" that I could see my future, I soon realized that if I knew what lie ahead of me for the rest of my life, I would no longer rely on the Lord for guidance and wisdom in the decisions and circumstances that I would face along the way. I would no longer be faithful.

It's that same thing with the fairness of life. If life were the same for everyone...if it were fair, we would no longer look to the Lord to guide us; we would no longer praise and thank him for his mercy, we would no longer rely on him for strength to get through everyday trials. We would no longer have the relationship we are meant to have with our God. We would immediately just give ourselves credit and ownership of our accomplishments. If life were fair, the sweetness of heaven...of living with Christ...would vanish entirely. We would no longer desire a life with our Heavenly Father.

So, no, life isn't fair. We have a child who could possibly have a life-long disability; our neighbor lost his wife to breast cancer a few months ago; someone else may be having marital problems; another may have financial difficulties, and another may have trouble conceiving a child. All of God's children have daily trials they are facing, but doesn't that make the thought of heaven that much sweeter? Where we will live for eternity in complete bliss and happiness with our God...without the trials of life. What an incredible thought!

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Monday, April 7, 2008

If you were a fly on our wall last week...


"Girls, get those balls out of your shirts. You are not old enough to have boobies yet."

"Please stop pretending that you are a mosquito and poking me with that pipe cleaner."

"If you don't want your sister to bite you, then stop putting your finger in her mouth."
"If you don't want your brother to pull your hair, then stop putting your hair inside his hand."

"You may only give your sister a wedgie if she won't stop bothering you...don't just do it for fun." (I was only kidding when I said that one...kind of.)

"Get your funky feet off your brother. You're going to give him ringworm."
"You don't have to announce it to the world every time you have to poop."

And my all-time favorite...probably because I wasn't the one who said it:
Jay: "Abby, what you are doing right now makes me want to pull out all of your hair and weave it into an Indian blanket."
Abby: "Awww, you're just joking, dad."
Jay: "Yeah, you're right. I would never make an Indian blanket."

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sighs of relief


Our pediatrician called us this morning to give us some news that lifted our spirits and brightened our day. She was able to view half of Nathan's latest blood test results and called to give us the good news. His CK (Creatine Kinase) levels came back completely normal, erasing the fear of Nathan having a fatal or completely debilitating form of muscular dystrophy. His TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) came back within the normal range for his age, erasing the fear of him having congenital hypothyroidism. And his liver function test came back great, with his bilirubin levels continuing to drop. We are still waiting for the part of the test checking for metabolic disorders and certain deficiencies.
We are just elated with these results! It is amazing how a little good news in the midst of so much heartache can boost your spirit. The Lord has granted us mercy at a time when we have desired it so much. The tears that have flowed today were only tears of joy and thanksgiving.
Today's results did confirm what we have previously been told...this diagnostic time will more than likely be a long and trying time with many frightening tests. But I can say that we have been given strength and grace to press onward. I have personally prayed for patience along this journey, and I woke this morning with a newly found sense of peace in regards to how long this diagnostic process will seemingly take. Again, the Lord is merciful.
Our physical therapist called yesterday to let us know that she would be calling back within 2 weeks to set up Nathan's first appointment. She confirmed that he will start PT within the month...something that we have previously been told could take up to 4 months to start up. And again, we are thankful for the Lord's mercy.
"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." Psalm 27: 14

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