Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thank You! Thank You!

Thank you so much to everyone who supported our "March For Babies".

Dave and I put out emails on Monday and Tuesday of last week with $10 on our sponsor form. In thirty six hours our amazing friends and family put us over our goal of $500. When we walked on Sunday we had raised $940. In less than a week our loved ones took on this cause that is so close to our hearts and we can't tell you how moved we are by everyones generosity. We walked with St. Joseph Mercy-NICU team and our contribution brought the team total up to $6945. Wow.

The day was chilly but the walk was beautiful. Thank you to some dear friends for taking it slow with us. We also appreciate the help with all of the extra wheels we needed and the extra hands that we needed to keep track of Kiera and Ben as they went in opposite directions. It was so great for Ben to get a chance to walk a bit and even better to see him walk across the finish line.

We had told Ben that we were going to "March For Babies. That morning he told us that he was marching for babies that were in the NICU just like him. We never told him that. He just picked it up. Pretty cool : ) Kiera had other things in mind as to what a "March For Babies" was so brought her own baby to march for. Being that it was a chilly morning and the baby was under dressed, Kiera carried the baby around in her coat for most of the day. Pretty cute : )

Thank you again for supporting this wonderful cause everyone!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Good Friends

Did you see that? Did yuh? Did yuh? I sent an email out about the March For Babies and in less than 48 hours my super friends took us over our goal. Less than 48 hours. It says volumes about the generosity of my friends but also speaks to the effect that Ben has had on their lives. Wow. I am so thankful for every one of them. So thankful.

Monday, April 21, 2008

This is our one week reminder to please support our fundraising goal for the March for Babies (previously Walk America). What? You never saw our other solicitations? This is the first you have heard that we are walking on April 27th for the March of Dimes? Then we all came back from our fantasy time and remembered that we are dealing with Shannon and Dave. Hey at least I am getting this blog up BEFORE the walk.

Seriously, if you are reading this you probably know why we are walking. Growing up, my mom literally collected dimes for the March of Dimes and I never paid much attention. It wasn't until I saw the heroic measures taken to save my early baby that the March of Dimes MEANT something to me. The steroids and surfactant that Ben received before and after he was born are a direct result of March of Dimes research. These measures alone may have helped to keep our little guy alive. That is all I need to know and these are just two of the medical advances that March of Dimes research is responsible for.

Every year 120,000 babies in the US are born too soon. Many don't survive and many of the babies that do survive, including our amazing Ben, do so with life long disabilities. We are walking to try to change this number. We are walking to celebrate our baby who was born too soon.

This year our goal is $500. If you can give, please do so by following this link to our donation page (I have NO idea how to do that fancy click on the word thing) or click on the badge posted on the right. If you would like to walk with us we would love to see you.

Anything that you can do to help support this cause that is so close to our hearts is appreciated. It would also be nice to get the amount on my goal tracker above $10. It is really starting to make me feel like a looser ; )
This boy
Should have never had to go through this

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I just walked in my front door, home safe from a mad weekend dash to Kentucky and the first thought that ran through my head was "Thank goodness no one had to come in here!" It seriously appeared as if we were taken from our house and put up quite a fight on the way out. We made the 8, er 11 hour trek to Tennessee to see Dave's parents just four weeks ago (a whole other blog that hopefully I'll get to some day) so I wasn't sure how the kids were going to do. When it was just Ben we could go anywhere, do anything because he was such an agreeable guy. When Kiera had her say, we just didn't travel as much. I think the trip where I looked at Dave with tears running down my cheeks and told him that I wanted to throw myself from the car to get away from the constant screaming, closed that door. But we are all older and better at expressing ourselves and we are taking some bold steps toward family travel. Hence the trip to Tennessee followed closely by the trip to Kentucky. The trip (and the drive for that matter), fantastic. This is our 4th annual trip to Lexington to visit with seldom seen and much missed cousins. There is so much background here that I could write for days but the short version goes; I remember seeing all of my cousins (there are only four) when I was 2ish but the memory is of playing in a suit case. I saw bits and pieces of two of my cousins through out the years and then when my little spitfire Muner (my dads mom) died. My dad died just a few months later and we packed it up and headed to Kentucky. For the first time in over 20 years all six (four cousins, my sister and myself) of us were together. It was new and wonderful getting to know the grown ups that my cousins turned into. Our time was short, we said good by and again time passed quickly. Then their mom died and again were came together to talk and laugh and fill in where we left off. That began a yearly trek to Kentucky. The gathering is amazing. We have missed so much of each others lives that you would think that we would need time to reestablish any sort of bond. We don't. It's an easy sort of happiness that allows us to just pick up as if we had dinner just last week. We talk quickly and overlap our stories trying to get and give all that we can in such a short time. We hug and laugh and drink wine until it runs out. We step away at the end of the night carrying sleeping kids and looking forward to the morning when we can start all over again. Then, it is Sunday and we take too long to say good bye. Reluctantly giving hugs and more hugs and begin to think of how quickly our lives will take center stage and how long it will be before we get to sit and talk of the little things with each other. We say good bye at the hotel door and my wonderful sister turns around and makes our reservation for next year. Time will pass but come next April it will feel as if we saw each other just yesterday. I can't wait. I love you guys.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'm In The Wrong Business

I just got our first "Insurance Pending" notice from our increase in physical therapy. It covers March 5th thru March 28. That is 7 visits. It is $2,002. Holy crap. Time to dust off the boxing gloves and prep for an "Insurance Denied" notice.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Straw

The straw that broke the camels back. A phrase that had little meaning to me as a child is lived out on a regular basis in my house. When I first heard it I remember thinking "It's just a straw." while visions of fast food cups were running around in my mind. Just a tiny little thing would have no impact on a camel. Then I learned that we were talking about straw. Literally the stem of the wheat that grew behind my house. Oh...Nope still didn't seem enough to send the camel over the edge and so I began thinking about the author of the saying and what camel we were talking about. I had ideas of a weak, sad old camel just keeling over dead causing some man to think that the straw had done the damage and not the fact that the camel's heart stopped due to being 110 years old. I had thoughts of someone who just wanted his words to live throughout time so kicked the poor beast over. Then I grew up a little and thought I had an idea of what we were really talking about. The 4th paper assigned in two days, all due on Monday. Then I grew up a little more. Totally out of money, rent is due and my car wont start. Then I grew up some more and grief taught me its own lessons. Then I grew up even more and found that the "straw" doesn't have to be the great big things on top of great big things but just the tiny packet of taco seasoning that is missing from the cupboard when dinner is 5 minutes away from on the table. That's it. Not a bale of hay just a simple straw that takes the wind right out of your sails and makes you want to run screaming from your home note in hand stating that the straw has finally broke the camels back and could you please go check on my hungry confused children.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

As I listen to my dear, sweet daughter scream to wake the dead while thrashing her body into everything that didn't get away fast enough (so sorry Dave) I have some thoughts about our day...

You may not get as angry about getting dressed if you would keep your clothes on. When I help you put on your clothes because we are going somewhere and you take them off, we need to put them back on. Every time you take them off. If you take off your clothes three times then you will get dressed four times in the morning. Nakey bottom is not an acceptable outfit for school.

You will not get a positive response to phrases like "get it Mama!", "No Mama!" and "COME HERE RIGHT NOW!"
Taking your brothers milk is not funny and will make him yell. So will eating his food, taking his toys, hitting, pushing and bugging him while he is on the potty. It also just sucks when you run to the potty so that you can get on first when he says he has to go. Give a guy a break.

If you ask for a cookie and I pass you a cookie then you yell "No!" I actually think that you don't want a cookie. The look of confusion on my face when you start crying because you don't have a cookie is real.

Wrapping paper belongs on the roll unless you ask otherwise and is not as pretty around a present when it has been crumpled in a ball.

Toys are for playing with. Simply transferring them all around the house is not really a game. It is a chore. For me. And I don't like it.

Hand soap is for hands. Just two small hands mind you and if you use the whole pump of soap you are not really more clean then after the first washing. Also, if you feel the need for clean feet please ask for help. Sitting on the counter isn't safe. The "soap for your hands guide" applies to feet.

A sandbox is made to hold sand. Not just to store it until you have time to dump it on the ground. And when I ask you to keep the sand in the sandbox I expected an answer like "OK" and wasn't really excited about you telling me to "Bewax (relax), Mama".

55 degrees is not no-jacket-bare-feet weather.

Sleds don't work on dry pavement. Even if you scream and cry.

Snorting is pretty funny but I will tease you about it when you are older.

If you wander off while outside you may get lost, hit by something with wheels or run into a wild animal. So when I ask you to come back I'm not being mean. I really am trying to protect you.

If you chase the animals while screaming, or not for that matter, they will run away.

Please ask for help if you have decided to use the potty chair. Cleaning pee pee and poop off of the floor is no fun. AT ALL.

While standing on the chair at dinner with no pants on, dumping water on the floor and screaming into your cup may be funny, we won't laugh and you will get in trouble.

Please only unwrap gifts that are intended for you.

Please sleep in your bed. Wandering into my room every night is not a good choice and sleeping on the couch when you feel like it scares the daylights out of Daddy. Its a comfy bed, good blankets, nice pillow, use it.

Lastly, because of days like today (yes this all happened today), when you get older and bigger and you think that you are the center of the world I will show your prom date this picture.

Or maybe this one.

I love you.
Love Mom.