Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just Audrey

Audrey is doing well overall and will be 8 weeks old on Sunday.  She's gaining weight like a champ!  I slipped her on the scale at the hospital last week, and she weighed 9 pounds!  Her next well-child isn't until August 11, but she's already blowing Keegan out of the water, weight wise.  We are anticipating another echo to rule out for good any latent heart issues, and our hematologist wants to see some basic labs since we're not completely sure Keegan's blood disorders aren't genetic.  Poor thing is also in the middle of the "baby acne" stage.  It sure is rough being a baby.

Audrey is showing us all about the "normal baby" things we missed with Keegan.  If you don't count the medical problems, Keegan was the easiest baby ever.  He slept through anything.  He adapted to a schedule immediately, and he rarely fussed about anything when he wasn't being poked on or eating.  Audrey is SO the opposite!!  She is bucking our every attempt at a schedule and pretty much hates to sleep...at least when we or any rational human being would want her to!  She has earned the nickname "Miss Fussbuckets" from her Daddy.  I have given her the nickname "Spit up Queen".  I guess both of those speak for themselves.  Sheesh!

Still she has plenty of moments of cuddly cuteness and sweetness every day, and we're definitely in love.

I dare say I see a hint of a smile there!

Yeah, I think we'll keep her.  ;)

Just Keegan

Keegan has been doing well lately.  He continues to surprise us every day with his love for his little sister.  I think some days he is more tolerant of her fussiness than I am!  He is making small progress in feeding and speech.  He has the cutest little voice.  I have to get a video of his newest words soon.  He will "parrot" or copy just about any word you ask him to, but he still does not talk independently.  His therapist says it will happen soon though.  His labs have been looking slowly better and better.  After six weeks off his shots, his counts are still pretty stable!  He still has not gained any weight, but he has made small gains in height.  As long as he doesn't drop under the 25% for weight, his GI doctor is willing to let him stay on overnight feeds only for now.

Aunt Alex and Mamie took him to the Aquarium last week for the first time.  Here he's telling the tiger to "wake up!"  And I just realized this picture is sideways, but I'm too tired to go back and fix it.  Sorry! 

Aunt Alex & Keegan at the Aquarium

Enjoying a popsicle after a hot afternoon in the pool.  He is "swimming" like a fish.  With his swim vest on, he's completely fearless and will work his way all around the pool.  Without it, he's more cautious but still LOVES being in the water.

This is why popsicles are an outside/swimsuit only affair in our house.

Ok, so this isn't "just Keegan", but I had to share.  Daddy and his babies on a Saturday morning watching "toons", as Keegan calls them.  I think all three are pretty darn cute.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Carter!

Today we were so blessed to go celebrate our little friend, Carter's third birthday!  We pray this is your best year yet, C!  Thanks for inviting us!

The birthday boy

Keegan actually took one bite of Carter's birthday cake today, so we're hopeful that he might actually eat his own birthday cake for the first time this year (in just two months actually! Eek!).

Carter and Keegan with their Daddys

Family Reunion

My dad's cousin, Kristen, and her husband, Keith, and children live in Liberia in Africa.  Keith is a dentist in a clinic he helped found there.  They came home this summer for vacation for the first time in two years.  Each time they come home, my dad's side of the family hosts a little reunion to catch up.  This time, my parents had it at their house.  It was hot but so much fun to see everyone!  We were so busy talking that we didn't end up with many pictures, but here's the few we managed to snap.

My cousin's little girl, McKenna

My crazy little fish

Trying to stay cool in the shade

Aunt Alex and Keegan

Lauren & Samuel with Alex & my dad.  Lauren is Kristen and Keith's youngest, and they have adopted Samuel and another little boy, Steven, from the local orphanage in Liberia.  They are still in the process of fostering Steven, and he was not allowed to travel to America with them yet.

Taylor, Samuel, and Keegan taking a break from the pool to watch some Toy Story

We enjoyed catching up with everyone.  Can't wait until the next reunion!

Monday, July 12, 2010


People have been asking me often how Keegan is dealing with Audrey.  He is starting to show more interest in her.  At first, he was very indifferent, which was probably a great thing.  He didn't want to be super-involved and wasn't super-jealous.  Lately, he has been wanting to "help" a little bit more.  If you ask him to give Audrey her pacifier or "play" with her while she's crying, he does a great job trying...even if he does fuss about it at first.  He loves to push the foot pedal on the dirty diaper trashcan and throw the dirties away - go figure.  I've been amazed at how tolerant he is of her crying or just being in his space.  Today, she was fussing at his naptime, and I had to hold her throughout his book and singing.  He didn't seem to mind at all and fell right asleep.  (If only that happened at night!)  I'm so proud of how he's adapting to being a big brother.  I'm looking forward to the bond between these two getting stronger.

Letting her hang out in "his chair" for morning cartoons

Reading a book to her (yes, we realize the swing shouldn't be on the table, but sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do.  Rest assured, she was buckled in!  And this photo was captured mid-yawn; she's not screaming..)

Your turn, Audrey.  You read it to me!

So this was not our brightest idea.  We asked Keegan to go play with Audrey while she did her tummy time.  This is what we found.  It's a start, I guess!  (And yes, he's in just a diaper...he'd been playing in the sprinkler outside.)

Just because I thought this was funny.  After I put Keegan down for his nap today, I went to clean up his toys and found his tractor like this.  Notice that piggy is joyriding on the front; the horse is driving, and it appears he's kicked the farmer out unceremoniously.  I particularly love the twin cows hitching a ride in the back!

And just because I thought she was too cute not to share! 
Can you see the red in her hair now?

Watching her brother play.  I hope she's not getting any crazy ideas from him already!

Say of your brothers, "my people," and of your sisters, "my loved one."
Hosea 2:1-3

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

8 years

A little over thirteen years ago, I met my soulmate, and eight years ago today, I was lucky enough to get to marry him.  I think if you know me at all, you probably know that I'm not a very emotional person.  I am horrible at showing and sharing my true feelings.  I am never the one to show affection in public.  So, I hope that it's a good surprise to Gray that I am putting this out there on the internet for the world (or our small realm of readers, at least) to see.

There are two photographs of us from the day of our senior prom framed in the hallway outside the kids' rooms.  Most days I pass them by without even noticing them.  Today, I stopped and studied them awhile.  I wondered if the two kids in those pictures really knew what love meant, even though we said it so much.  I wondered if they would have stayed together had they known the challenges that were to come.  I wondered if we were even the same people today that we were then.  We certainly had an opinion of what we thought our future would be, and I guarantee you it didn't work out that way!  In the short amount of time we've been together, we have survived more burdens and trials than one couple should have to face in a lifetime.  It has certainly changed us as individuals and as a couple. 

Yes, a lot has changed since those photos were taken.  I know a love today for my husband that is so much stronger and deeper than what I knew then.  I know that when life gets too hard, I couldn't make it without him to pick me up...nor would I want to.  I know that our children are the best thing that has ever happened to either of us, and when I look at him with them, I can see God's love come to life before my eyes.  We had only been dating a few months when I knew that there was no one else in this world I wanted to grow old with, just to be with.  No matter what life throws at us, I can't imagine waking up each day without him at my side, knowing that we will face it together.

There's a song playing on the radio lately called "God Gave Me You" by Dave Barnes.  It made me cry this morning as I listened because it rang so true to me.  When I saw the video, it felt almost as if the song was written just for us.  (Click HERE to hear and see it.) 

Gray, I don't know who I'd be without you.  I don't say it enough or show it enough, and for that, I'm truly sorry.  You are everything to me.  I'm so glad God gave me you...for the good times, the bad times, and everything in between.  I love you, honey.  More than you know.  Happy Anniversary!

On my own, I'm only half of what I could be,
I can't do without you,
We are stitched together,
And what love has tethered,
I could never undo.

God gave me you for the ups and downs,
God gave me you for the days of doubt,
For when I think I've lost my way,
There are no words left here to say,
It's true.
God gave me you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!!

There were coordinated, patriotic outfits...

Cute firecrackers...

Fun with Aunt Alex...

Lots of swimming...

Saying "yeehaw" on the rocking horse Poppy made 30 years ago for Mama...

Deep thoughts by Audrey & Poppy...

And lots of appreciation for living in the land of the free and home of the brave!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Update: Audrey's Newborn Pics

Since the minute we found out that Audrey would be born healthy, I have struggled with how much of this precious newborn time we missed with Keegan.  I've said it before on this blog, and everyone is probably tired of hearing it by now.  I simply can't express the bittersweetness of seeing these beautiful picutres of our little girl.  I wish I had seen what he would have looked like at this age without tubes, lines, a ventilator, and an open chest.  I can see him in her though, and while they make me smile, it breaks my heart at the same time. 

I love these two children like I never thought was possible in my whole life.  Oh, Keegan and Audrey, I hope you know how much you mean to me.  I ask God every day that He will let me keep you and see you grow.  That probably doesn't make sense to a lot of people, but it means so much to me.

Click HERE; select "newborn/maternity", then "audrey", and enter password harrison to see Erica's amazing photographs.  Thank you, Erica.  Thank you, thank you.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Oh my! A's Newborn Pics

I just couldn't wait!  We had an amazing photographer, Erica May, take Audrey's newborn pics last weekend.  She was a little older than the "prime" time for newborn pics, but oh my!  This sneak peek Erica posted on her blog makes me so excited for the full set of photos to come! 

Today was a rotten day.  I won't go into details, but rest assured, it has nothing to do with either child's health.  I really want to forget this day ever existed, and I will probably be drinking a large amount of wine to forget!  (Deep breaths...deep breaths...)

This is the perfect way to forget today for me, and I hope y'all like them too.  What do you think?


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Be the Match

Tonight, I don't have anything to say about my kids.  Instead I am asking you to do something very special for this little boy.

This is Jameson, and he needs a bone marrow transplant. 

Jameson is the son of a friend of mine's from high school.  He was diagnosed recently with a blood disorder called Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, for which a bone marrow transplant is the only cure. 

We've pleaded with you many, many times to register as organ and tissue donors.  Now, I ask you to take one more step and register as a bone marrow donor.  You could be the one that saves Jameson's life or that of so many of others waiting on that perfect match.  All it takes to register is a swab of your cheek.  It's that easy!

If you're in Texas, you can drop in to any Carter Bloodcare Center to register.  No appointment necessary.  No cost associated. 

If not or if you don't have time for that, you can go to http://www.marrow.org/JOIN/Join_Now/join_now.html.  They will send you the cheek swab kit in the mail to complete and send back.  This website also contains lots of info on facts and myths about bone marrow donation.

Please take time to register to be the match for Jameson.  He's worth it!  Don't you think?

Random cuteness