Saturday, January 26, 2013

Covered with Love

For Kate on her birthday...

Shortly after Ramsey's diagnosis, I viewed a story on the local news about an amazing woman named Kate Crawford. After the loss of her daughter Shannon, and the subsequent NICU stay of her three other children, Kate and some friends started Project Sweet Peas. Project Sweet Peas is a non-profit organization run by volunteers across the country, who through personal experience have become passionate about providing comfort to families with children in the intensive care units and to those who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. Kate named her division after her daughter...Project Sweet Peas Shannon's Star. Shannon's Star works with Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and Magee-Womens NICUs to provide their patients, and families with items to aid them throughout their stay.

Kate's project was especially touching to me since I knew we would be one of the families served by her project. What the news didn't mention, but I soon discovered, was that Kate's daughter Shannon died from CDH. A few days later, Kate and I spoke for the first time. I had so many questions for Kate, and she was eager to help in any way she could. It was comforting to have gained a local friend who understood the fear of what we faced.

After Ramsey's birth, and before I was even discharged from West Penn, Kate delivered one of Project Sweat Peas signature tote bags. The bag had hospital necessities like paper, pens, chapstick and lotion...but it was filled with more than just that. It was filled with love.  There was a frame painted by Kate that said "Sweet Pea" and had Ramsey's name painted on it. A wooden turquoise star, also handpainted, read "Ramsey, Strong Soldier" (the meaning of his middle name). Kate selected a beautiful handmade quilt just for Ramsey. The fabric was covered in ladybugs, which she shared, reminded her of her daughter Shannon. Shannon is one of the angels watching over him. I remember sitting by Ramsey's bed, when I couldn't hold him, and I couldn't yet cover him with it. So, I held it. I spread the small quilt over my legs and let it comfort me. I was covered with love.

Butterflies in memory of Shannon and a cute mask.

Ramsey: Strong Soldier

Now, it is our turn to cover Kate with love. Kate has faced the unimaginable in her young lifetime, and she is about to do it again. She was just diagnosed with breast cancer. She and her husband, Steve, who have grown so accustomed to helping others now need our help. Can you join me in praying for Kate and her family? Let's show her that her good deads have not gone unnoticed. Let's overwhelm her with prayer. Let's cover her with love.

Show your support to Kate and her family on their Facebook page!
Watch this great story on Kate!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Terrific Two's

Ramsey turned two on January 12! Like every day since we knew he was a survivor, we spent it feeling blessed and extremely thankful for both of our boys. Reed also had a birthday; he turned 5 on December 16. We celebrated their birthdays together this year, with a New Year's Day/Birthday Celebration.
A giant balloon "ball drop" was filled with candy surprises.

Grandparents (and Aunt Veta) having fun in their glasses LOL!

At a recent gathering (following my dear Aunt Doris's funeral), the boys had the chance to play a little basketball and to run to their hearts content. Surprisingly, all of that activity had little effect on Ramsey's breathing. Take that CDH and Asthma! To me, this picture taken that day says it all...there's nothing stopping our little guy! He's got high hopes...

He even got to meet his CDH supercousin, Tyler. Finally, the family hero's met!

Ramsey loves trying on everything in site. We're talking shoes, hats, gloves, headphones, safety goggle, and yes, even toy kitchen tongs.

We love our two terrific boys!