Friday, December 26, 2008

Well, it's over

Christmas is over, and honestly, I don't know whether to be happy or sad. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year, but it seems it gets harder and harder to enjoy every year. Maybe it has something to do with being responsible for meals and know, all the stuff we didn't have to worry about years ago, when we could stay out all night drinking and having fun, then show up at Grandma's house the next day for food prepared by someone who didn't stay out all night and didn't need Tylenol to start the day. Funny thing is, I don't miss those days all that much and wouldn't trade my life for that now. We had such a great day today. Aidan and Rhae woke up to a HUGE spread from Santa. Aidan got so excited about opening his presents from us that he could hardly finish. He would open something and want to play with it, oblivious to the fact he had more to open! It was so much fun. Rhae got some really nice toys and is trying to figure out what to do with most of them! After everything was opened and thoroughly inspected this morning, Aidan informed me this was definitely the best Christmas ever!! Oh, to be young again! I got so caught up in handing out presents and helping Rhae open hers that I only got a few pictures--shame on me! Some of the cutest I got though, are of my neice, Halle. She sat in front of her presents and once Mandy would get her started she would go to town getting into her present! She had so much fun opening them...she looked like an old pro. I tell you, I really do think our babies got crossed somehow! Not only does Halle love presents like her Aunt Dana, but she is also not very girly, like her Aunt Dana and not at all like her girly-girl of a cousin, Rhae. Halle also loves to eat like me and Rhae could care less! :)

We had our Busby Christmas at Rhonda's on Christmas Eve, as we do every year. We had a delicous meal and just enjoyed all being together. Allie couldn't join us, but Rich got her today and was able to have Christmas with her. We'll see her tomorrow to give her her present and I can't wait! We got her an Easy Bake Oven, and I hope she loves it as much as I did when I was a little girl...I wonder if that's when my love for cooking started? Afterwards, we headed over to the Wilson's for their annual Christmas party. We got to see so many people and I had a really good time, other than just being nervous walking around with Rhae. There were SO many people there, and I get very nervous when I am in a crowd with her. I got to see My Charlie and for some reason, it didn't really hit me until this year how grown up he is now. In my mind, he should still only be about 17 or 18!! He's grown into such a fine young man, just like his daddy, and even gives the, "hey baby!" greeting so familiar to those of you who know Dan!

The Clem's came to our house for Christmas morning as we have for the last 5 years. This tradition started many years ago, when we would all go to Jennifer and Molly's to see what Santa had left for Molly. After this, we would head down to Granny and Happy's for our gift swapping and then head over to the Dinning's for breakfast. Well, when Aidan finally got to where he could understand the whole Santa thing, everyone started coming over here to see the Santa stash, and eventually, we began having breakfast here. I really enjoy having everyone here and don't know what we are going to do from now on since we now have two houses that get visits from Santa! We had a good time, but it still wasn't any easier this year without Granny. I had my breakdown that had been building up late Wednesday afternoon, and if I hadn't I don't think I could have made it through the morning. Christmas is such a special time in our family, and it still just doesn't feel right without her.


I love her smile!!


Yea!! An Alabama cheerleader!



Bo, Nana, and their babies

We all headed over to Mandy and Darrin's for a BIG Christmas lunch with the Howell's, Milling's, Clem's, Busby's, and Hynniman's. We had a great time and a wonderful lunch. Thanks to Mandy and Darrin for hosting the large crowd. Afterwards, we came home and all passed out for a little while. Later that night, I found my new addiction in Guitar Hero III. I am the most rockin' person in my house right now!! Michael and Susan came over for a little while, sans Hunter, and we enjoyed catching up.

So, that was our day. Loads of fun, tons of new stuff, and over way too quick. This is a sad time, because I know I only have a week left to look at my decorations. I love Santas, and i love my tree and our stockings and I wish I could leave them up year round. I've actually thought about it with my tree. I had a nurse manager once who left her tree up year round and decorated it with seasonal things. Sounds strange, but it was really pretty. Oh well, maybe next year.

My tree

My mantle with my Santas and stockings

Saturday, December 20, 2008

No time!

I really do try to find time to keep this blog updated, but it just seems I have no time. I think there is a Black Hole out there that somehow sucks time out of a parent's day. So, I have a lot to catch up on, it's been a busy month. I know my posts can get really long sometimes, so if you don't like them, stop here because this will probably be a doozy! Ok, so here we go...

Our December started off like every other one for so many years...CHRISTMAS ON THE RIVER! I remember how excited I was to take Aidan for his first COTR parade, but this year definitely trumped that because not only did I get to see Aidan enjoy another parade, I also got to watch Halle at her first parade and Rhae at her second, though it was more like her first, because the Homecoming parade isn't anything compared to this! Let me just say, if you've never experienced a COTR weekend, you should definitely fit it in your schedule next year! We bundled up Saturday morning and headed over to the Rogers' house as we have for the past 5 years. They are such gracious hosts, always providing a loving envioronment, great food, and an awesome spot for watching the parade. Below are some pictures from the day.

I'm so ready!

Halle seemed a little unsure, but sure did enjoy herself once the parade started.

It's almost time!

Next came Rhae's appointment with our new orthopaedic doctor. We have seen 2 orthos at Children's and I just haven't been pleased. Truth be known, I was pretty downright disgusted! The first doctor was nice but seemed a little inexperienced and I was just a little put off by him. Next came the doctor we saw with Aidan and really liked, but when it came to this...NO! Rhae was 5 months old when we saw him and he acted like we shouldn't know anything about OI, found it strange that we weren't carrying her on a pillow or board, became a little testy when I began questioning him, and then tried to get us to go to South Carolina to the Shriner's Hospital there where he just raved about how good their OI care is. Well, the parent's who are on are web group that have been there say they are no good at all. I was really starting to feel defeated and thinking we might as well suck it up and get to either Omaha or Montreal. I decided to schedule an appointment with one more doctor who I had always heard good things about as a last ditch effort. The day I scheduled our appointment, his nurse practitioner talked on the phone with me for 45 minutes. I was impressed not only with her spending that much time talking to me, but also with the way she was answering my questions. I also like the fact that there is an NP there. So, we saw Dr. Killian on the 9th and I am VERY pleased. I knew that when I found the right doctor I would know (like I have with the others) and I was right. He had a wonderfully nice staff, we didn't wait too long (not that it would have mattered), and dr. Killian spent a good bit of time in the room with us, regardless of the fact that it was lunchtime! I didn't feel like he was rushing our visit, I didn't feel like he thought I was an idiot and shouldn't know about my daughter's condition, and he actually examined Rhae. The first one didn't touch her, the second one lifted her dress and looked at her chest, but Dr. Killian requested we strip her to her diaper, and then he felt every part of her body. It was neat watching him. You could see everything he touched, he did with a little pressure to see if she responded, and then proceeded to FEEL the shape of her bones, not just depend on x-rays. He asked about her head control, then sat her up and held her to see how it was. He talked about several different things concerning OI, told us he felt like she would walk eventually, though her biggest obstacle would be the right tibia and fibula bowing. We talking about splinting and surgery, and he compared her xrays from birth with the most recent ones, pointing out several things. I know he really took us seriously and wants to help us. I'm so happy. And of course, as anywhere else we go, everybody fell in love with Rhae...not only because she is so absolutely beautiful, but because she also has the personality to match.

Later that week, we had Aidan's "friend" birthday party. We have a LARGE family, and decided this year, we would let Aidan have 2 for friends only and the other for family. It worked out REAL well, as there are about 28 members of our family. We had his 1st party at Batter Up, a local sports eatery. We had all the boys come in their favorite sports jersey, and I am proud to say, that Alabama beat Auburn yet again! Aidan had a football cake that was yummy and the boys ate chicken fingers and fries and had a ball just being boys.

Aidan and Jacob

This is pretty much how Aidan looked the whole night!

Aidan blows out his candles as Harris, Jim, and Luke look on.

Jim and Luke's adorable little brother, Ben.

We had Aidan's "family" party at the house on Tuesday night, his real birthday. I can't believe my baby is 6 years old!! After getting Aidan off to school that morning, I patted out 34 hamburger patties and made a cake. Aidan wanted a baseball cake and I think I did pretty good. Those of you who know me know that I'm a fairly good cook, but i'm no baker. However, everyone assured me the cake was delicious, and I thought it was pretty good too, considering I made it! Aidan loved how it looked and I was excited that I was able to pull through and make what he wanted. We had most of the family here that night along with some "should be family members" and Aidan got a lot of nice things. He was very happy, as the pictures below show.

The cake! (not bad, huh?)

You know, somebody really should tell me how bad I look before they take my picture!
(Thanks, Beck Beck)

Ever notice how you can always count on a Wilson for guaranteed fun? :)

Ok, so I told you this was going to get lengthy, and I figure if you're still here, you MUST love us! So, to reward you, here are some pictures that I LOVE! The first three are some we took while trying to find that "just right" picture for our Christmas card (is there really such a thing?). The next is a picture of Rhae sitting solo for the first time. Granted, it's not by herself, but she was happy (as you can see) to do it with no one attached to her! Thanks to cousin Halle for letting us borrow her Bumbo. Rhae was able to tolerate it for 14 minutes, which is much more than I expected...she's just so determined! The last two pictures I took last night and love them. Every year, MiMi has sent Aidan a Christmas-themed stuffed animal before Christmas. This year, he got a cute ice skating reindeer (which he loves!) that is as big as Rhae, and Rhae got a little reindeer holding a baby reindeer, and it's not much smaller than she is! :) Rhae also has on her Santa Claus jammies that MiMi sent her. The last one...well, I just love the look my children get on their faces when they are together. And if my pictures aren't proof enough of the power of sibling love, then I've included some videos! It amazes me that Rhae knows Aidan is her brother as young as she is. Isn't it neat how siblings know one another? I often look at them and wonder if Mandy and I were like that when we were little (I know I feel that way about her now).

I'm still not sure what exactly is so funny about this!

The sweetest raspberries are not ALWAYS a fruit!

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Sorry it has been so long since my last post. Can you believe Christmas is almost here? This is absolutely my favorite time of the year, not only for the meaning behind Christmas, but also because everything is always so beautiful at Christmas. I wish I could leave my tree up all year long! This year I have so much more to be happy about here at Christmastime.

Today has been sort of a bittersweet day for me. I looked at the clock this morning at 2:15 and realized it was December 14th. Exactly one year ago today, we got our first indication that something was wrong with our baby. She didn't even have a name yet, though we had thrown some around. I had not been feeling good for 2 days, and finally, at 4:30 that Friday afternoon, I called the doctor to let him know I was having some contractions and just didn't feel good in general, but I didn't want to go to Labor and Delivery to be monitored--basically I was only worried because it was 4:30 on Friday afternoon. He told me to go to the office to get checked out. I had an ultrasound that afternoon, though my complaints didn't normally warrant one. The technician noted that the baby's legs were measuring about 6 weeks behind what they should. I was devasted. I really didn't know how to process what I had been told. I came home and went to bed, as they wanted me on bed rest for the weekend. Aidan's birthday party was the next day, and Dr. Chu called me on my cell phone during the party to tell me he had looked at the US and there was indeed a big difference and he would get me an appointment in Birmingham for the next week. I told a few people that day what we had been told, but not everybody. We wouldn't find out for sure that anything was wrong until the 19th, though, when I had my targeted US in Birmingham. Jennifer and I went up that day and the possibility of OI was mentioned, but I think in my heart, I knew that's what it was. I felt like my world was crashing down around me. The night before, Jay and I had decided on the name Martha Rhae. I wanted my baby to have an identity if I found out something bad the next day. We had thrown around several names, but finally decided that no matter what happened, she needed a very special name. Martha was my wonderful grandmother's name who passed away in May 2007. I couldn't think of any other name that meant more to me than that. Rhae is after Jay's daddy, who died before Jay was born. His middle name was Ray, so we feminized the spelling and went with that. Now, all of a sudden my child had what I thought was the most beautiful name in the world. It had meaning and substenance, and having a name made her more real to me. Little did I know that giving her the name Martha would lead to her ultimate overall wellbeing and personality (for those of you who knew Granny, Rhae is SO much like her!) Everybody pretty much knows the rest of the story from there, but today will always be...I don't know what to call it...not bad or sad, or happy, but just a day that changed my life forever. You never expect to hear anything is wrong with YOUR child...that happens to other people. But, I am now that other person. Decemeber 14th is the day I got the worse news of my life, but also the day my life took on new meaning. The day I was humbled. The day my precious Martha Rhae began her testimony.

I know I have a lot of catch up posting to do, and I will when I get time. I need to post some pics from Christmas on the River and from Aidan's "friend" birthday party Friday night. My baby is going to be 6 years old on Tuesday--where does the time go???

I also want to take this time to say a very special thank you to someone. I received a Christmas card in the mail yesterday with no return address and no name signed on the inside. I only know 2 things about who sent it...(1) They are good, Christian people, and (2) they read my blog. Since I have no other way of telling you, I'll tell you here...Thank you! Your heartwarming card brought me to tears (and has everytime I have read it, which is many), and means so much to me. I don't even know if I know you, but you have definitely put a bright spot in my heart. Thank you.