Sunday, December 23, 2012

It's about Sharing

On thursday we played Santa as we delivered roughly 200 toys to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh on behalf of Rooting for a Reason.  We owe this to the generous individuals and businesses who came together to bring smiles to patients this Christmas! Thanks to everyone who sent their toys to me, to Liz McNulty, and to our drop off sites at Studio 2 Advertising, Aw Else Boutique, Doud's Furniture, and Community Pediatrics Natrona Heights
The McNulty "Elves" in front of the toy donations.

On the morning of the delivery, Reed woke up with pink eye.  He was so bummed to miss out on the toy delivery and a birthday party planned for him and his buddy Case. I was disappointed too- I wanted to him to experience the joy of giving. Still, I was relieved that our greatest problem for the day was only pink eye. I kept Ramsey home as well, just to be safe. 

We're trying to teach Reed the importance of sharing and saving. When Ramsey was hospitalized, a sweet 4 year old gave him his own birthday money.  All who came to his party were asked to bring a few dollars instead of gifts. The money was placed into three jars- a save jar, a share jar and a spend jar. When asked if he wanted to share the money with Ramsey or with an animal shelter, he picked Ramsey...and threw some extra cash into the jar! We decided to get three similar jars for Reed.  We made three banks labeled share, spend, and save. He calls the spend jar his "tractor store" bank because he loves to buy toys from the Tractor Supply Store.  We've been a bit disappointed (and slightly amused) that his spend bank is much heavier than the other two. I hoped that he would learn the lesson on his own, without us pushing the issue.

As we prepared the toys for delivery to CHP, my proudest mom moment occurred. Reed gathered 10 envelopes along with his "spend" bank and put a handful of money into each to give to the "sick kids".  That spend bank might remain the first one that he fills, but if he's willing to share it then I'm a happy mom! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bungee Jumping and Superheroes

Ramsey had 2 appointments this week at children's. First, he had a CT scan as a follow-up for his spinal anomaly followed by a review with neurology. The fusion of his skull to his spine hasn't changed much. His symptoms are mild and we won't need to follow up again for two more years. At that point they will do flexion x-rays. We weren't surprised to learn that we'll need to limit his physical activities due to the risk of spinal injury. That means no football, wrestling, trampoline jumping and yes, no bungee jumping, ever. I hope he'll have enough interest in other activities that he won't mind the limitations. I wonder how he'll feel to learn he can't do those things. Also, I worry about unexpected accidents. We returned home from CHP that same day and he fell over the arm of the couch right onto his head. These things worry me. I know with time my fear will fade. I know that I could unknowingly have the same spinal anomaly...any of us could, but knowing about it somehow makes it scarier and googling it does too. Google is good for a lot of things but not health concerns!

Ramsey also had a chest x-ray and appointment with his surgeon. His lungs look great! His diaphragm looks great! He's just an all-around awesome almost two year old.
Playing at RMH between appointments

We were happy to see some of our NICU friends. Most of them hadn't seen Ramsey since his discharge. They were AMAZED at how good he looks. That he walks. That he talks. He breathes and eats and does all the things odds said he might not do.

Our NICU friends are everyday people but every day they have the chance to impact lives. In my mind they look something like this:

They save. They encourage. They entertain. They bond. They say good luck and sometimes they say goodbye. I don't know how they do it, but they handle the ups and downs and still return to work everyday, ready to do it all again. Call me corny, but they're my heroes. They inspire me and I'm proud that they remember my little superhero as one of their successes.

This is how I say "Cheese"

Ramsey loves his construction hat!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I wonder

I'm surprised by how much time has past since I last blogged. Even more amazing to me is that Ramsey will be two soon- January 12! December 2nd will mark the Anniversary of my preterm labor and the bed rest that followed. It's hard to believe that I rested for 6 weeks. I have to admit, that sounds pretty appealing right now!

I wonder if Ramsey remembers anything from the beginning. Maybe remember isn't the right word, but I question if he already knows what a miracle he is. I love introducing him to people who prayed for him along his journey. Often, they notice how his smile rarely fades. Recently, he visited our dear friend, 95 year old, Miss Honey. I love how easily he brings joy to others. That smile of his is contagious!

Ramsey loves dishing out hugs and kisses, but he doesn't like to be held. I wonder if that's just the type of person that he is, or if his NICU experiences made him that way.

Tonight, he fell and got a little "boo boo" (one of his favorite words). He wouldn't let me comfort him. Instead, he ran away crying. I just wish he'd let me cuddle him! I suppose his toddler energy has something to do with it as well. Even with all the chairs pushed in, he still manages to sneak up on the dining room table and give the chandelier a little swing or throw some food into my centerpiece. He's quick!

Several weeks ago, before the weather turned cold, we had some fun times playing in the backyard. The boys loved the leaves....

As the sun set and we headed inside, Reed and Ramsey ran together through the yard. And it hit me. That was THE MOMENT...the moment Dennis and I both imagined nearly two years ago. On that day we knew for certain that Ramsey would survive. That just might have been my favorite day in the NICU- learning he was out of the woods.

These are a few of his favorite things:




Doc McStuffins!