Sunday, June 29, 2008

Nathaniel's Six Month Anniversary

Technically our six month anniversary of Nate's gotcha day was June 21 as we signed all the paperwork and met him for the first time on December 21.
However, today is the six month anniversary of Nate coming home.

I have been so full of emotion today as I think back to Nathaniel joining our family. He is such an incredible gift and fits into our family so well. The journey from the first phone call asking if we might be interested in adopting him to actually bringing him home was long, sometimes scary, and full of a lot of hope, tears and prayers.

The six months since Nate came home have been anything but easy. No one could have predicted that our lives would turn upside down just two months to the day of Nate's homecoming. Coping with Tyler's illness and lengthy hosptial stay was horrible. It was even worse knowing I had to leave my brand new baby. Thankfully that part of it is over.

I can't begin to describe how wonderful this little boy is. He is calm, happy, loving and just so incredibly sweet. He is the perfect addition to our family and I simply can't imagine not having him here. Sometimes I have to remind myself that he has only been here for six months since it seems we've always had him.

Nate has overcome so much in his almost ten months of life. He is a fighter, he is strong, he is amazing. He was born too early, too tiny and too sick to survive. But he did. Not only did he survive, he thrived. He fought, he grew, and he came home. And since coming home he has continued to fight. He has grown and changed so much. He is doing amazingly well, better than his first doctors predicted. I have no doubt that he will continue to do well, to grow, to learn, to fight. After all, he is a Gardner!
We love you, little man!

Our first picture of Nathaniel

Holding Nate for the first time.

Nate today, outside in the swing.

My Blog Needs A New Name

I have been thinking of re-naming my blog for quite awhile. My reason? Well, 99% of the time the things I post about are not random. I usually give them quite a bit of thought. So, 'Jodie's Random Thoughts' no longer seems to fit. That, coupled with the fact that I enjoy switching things up every so often, has led me to think of a new name. Alas, I can't decide so I am hoping you all will help me. Here are my choices....feel free to suggest your own.
Gardner Groove
Gardner Goings-On
Life From My Dot On The Map
Life In The Fun House

Pics From Emmalee

Emmalee really wants a camera of her own. She LOVES to take pictures. Today Brent got out our old digital camera and let her snap away. She actually got some really good shots. Here's some of the best.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We Finally Have A Date

We finally got an appointment scheduled for Nate's ABR test. It will be on Thursday, July 10 in the morning. They have to give him some mild sedation meds so that he will sleep through the procedure. As you can imagine, we are anxious to get this test done so we know what we're facing. It will just be great to have a final diagnosis and plan.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The "Nothing Is Really New In Our World" Post

Yep, it's true. Things are fairly status quo around here. Slowly but surely we are settling into a routine with Tyler's clinic schedule and all the added therapy appointments now that he isn't able to go to school. Tyler is making it one day at a time and feeling well, for the most part. Some days are better than others but that's to be expected. He's a tough kid for sure!

Emmalee had to have her blood tested because Brent and I thought she may be diabetic. Thank goodness everything came back normal and there are no worries. She has, however, fully become a three-year-old. Whoever said "terrible twos" lied. Three is much worse. She is testing her boundaries more and more every day and I am sometimes shocked that I have any hair left! We are hoping to come up with some sort of discipline that clicks with her. Any suggestions??

We are still waiting to get the next hearing evaluation scheduled for Nate. We're coming to terms with the fact that he is likely deaf or at least very hard of hearing. Just like everything, we will take it one step at a time and do our best to get through. If we've learned anything over these past months, it is that we are strong, especially as a family. Plus, learning sign language is something Brent and I have always wanted to do.

So, that's pretty much it from here. We have clinic again tomorrow and we're hoping Tyler feels well enough to have a good weekend!! Thanks to everyone for checking in. We truly appreciate all the love and support we receive!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day, Honey!

I have been trying to put into words just how incredible my husband is. He is amazing. He is my best friend, my partner, my eternal companion and most of all, the most amazing Daddy any children could ask for. He is kind, loving, compassionate, patient and genuine with me and our children. He is, without question, one of the greatest blessings I have ever received. He is everything I had ever hoped for in a husband and father and so much more. He works hard every day to give us a wonderful life. He values my role as a Mom and is beyond supportive.

I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. Thank you for all you do honey, I love you! Happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Never A Dull Moment

Things are going well for us, for the most part. However, for the past few weeks we have been concerned that Nathaniel isn't able to hear. We did several very non-scientific tests at home, all to no avail. Yesterday I took him to have an actual hearing screen done and it looks like we were right. He did not respond to any of the tests nor did they detect any movement in his ear canals from his ear drums, etc. They were reluctant to give us a definitive diagnosis until we have one last in depth test done. We're waiting to hear from our pediatrician to get this scheduled. It will be done at the hospital, hopefully sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Of course Brent and I are sad at the thought of Nate being deaf. But, once again, we are reminded of how blessed we are to live where we do. Rochester has an amazing deaf community and there are so many resources available to us here. We even have an ASL interpreter in church every week. There are awesome schools and we know that it will all work out.

We'll know more after the next test. I'll keep you posted. And of course, it doesn't hurt to pray for a miracle. :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fun Way To Learn More About Me

I found this on another blog and thought it was a fun way to get to know people. The underlined items are things I've actually done. Copy the list to your blog and share a little bit of yourself with the rest of us.

1. Touched an iceberg

2. Slept under the stars

3. Been a part of a hockey fight

4. Changed a baby’s diaper

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Swam with wild dolphins

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a tarantula

10. Said “I love you” and meant it

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise

15. Seen the Northern Lights

16. Gone to a huge sports game

17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables

19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope

20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Bet on a winning horse

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Taken an ice cold bath

28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Ridden a roller coaster

31. Hit a home run

32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking

33. Adopted an accent for fun

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment

36. Loved your job 90% of the time

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Watched wild whales

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach

41. Gone sky diving

42. Visited Ireland

43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited India

45. Bench-pressed your own weight (yeah right)

46. Milked a cow

47. Alphabetized your personal files

48. Ever worn a superhero costume

49. Sung karaoke

50. Lounged around in bed all day

51. Gone scuba diving

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Done something you should regret, but don’t

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Been in a movie

60. Gone without food for 3 days

61. Made cookies from scratch

62. Won first prize in a costume contest

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Been in a combat zone

65. Spoken more than one language fluently

66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone

67. Bounced a check

68. Read - and understood - your credit report

69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy

70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did

71. Called or written your Congress person

72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over

73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge

74. Helped an animal give birth

75. Been fired or laid off from a job

76. Won money

77. Broken a bone

78. Ridden a motorcycle

79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph

80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing

82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days

83. Eaten sushi

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read The Bible cover to cover

86. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about

87. Gotten someone fired for their actions

88. Gone back to school

89. Changed your name

90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands

91. Eaten fried green tomatoes

92. Read The Iliad

93. Taught yourself an art from scratch

94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt

96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language

97. Been elected to public office

98. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream

99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care

100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you

101. Had a booth at a street fair

102. Dyed your hair

103. Been a DJ

104. Rocked a baby to sleep

105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all four

106. Raked your carpet

107. Brought out the best in people

108. Brought out the worst in people

109. Worn a mood ring

110. Ridden a horse

111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap

112. Cooked a dish where four or more people asked for the recipe

113. Buried a child

114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play

115. Been inside the pyramids

116. Shot a basketball into a basket

117. Danced at a disco

118. Played in a band

119. Shot a bird

120. Gone to an arboretum

121. Tutored someone

122. Ridden a train

123. Brought an old fad back into style

124. Eaten caviar

125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need

126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant

127. Published a book

128. Pieced a quilt

129. Lived in an historic place

130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage

131. Asked for a raise

132. Made a hole-in-one

133. Gone deep sea fishing

134. Gone roller skating

135. Run a marathon

136. Learned to surf

137. Invented something

138. Flown first class

139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite

140. Flown in a helicopter

141. Visited Africa

142. Sang a solo

143. Gone spelunking

144. Learned how to take a compliment

145. Written a love-story

146. Seen Michelangelo’s David

147. Had your portrait painted

148. Written a fan letter

149. Spent the night in something haunted

150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane

151. Run away

152. Learned to juggle

153. Been a boss

154. Sat on a jury

155. Lied about your weight

156. Gone on a diet

157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget

158. Written a poem

159. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox

160. Gotten food poisoning

161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission

162. Hiked

163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks

164. Gone to the opera

165. Gotten a letter from someone famous

166. Worn knickers

167. Ridden in a limousine

168. Attended the Olympics

169. Can hula or waltz

170. Read Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books

171. Been stuck in an elevator

172. Had a revelatory dream

173. Thought you might crash in an airplane

174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert

175. Saved someone’s life

176. Eaten raw whale

177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint

178. Laughed till your side hurt

179. Straddled the equator

180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing

181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival

182. Sent a message in a bottle

183. Spent the night in a hostel

184. Been a cashier

185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

186. Joined a union

187. Donated blood or plasma

188. Built a campfire

189. Kept a blog

190. Had hives

191. Worn custom made shoes or boots

192. Made a PowerPoint presentation

193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course

194. Served at a soup kitchen

195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube

196. Know CPR

197. Ridden in or owned a convertible

198. Found a long lost friend

199. Helped solve a crime

200. Worked as a dog catcher

Monday, June 9, 2008


It has been awhile since I've posted some Emma-Isms. She has given me several just in the last couple of days. Enjoy!

Yesterday she told her Dad, "you're not too shabby, Daddy!"

Also yesterday she was playing with Tyler and he threw one of the toys. She looked at him and said, "whoa, easy fella."

And my personal favorite happened tonight. I asked her to go get me something from the kitchen and she said, "yes sir, captain sir!"

I sure love that kid!!

Cancer Sucks!

Having a blog has brought me into contact with some amazing people. I have "met" many families touched by Down syndrome, Leukemia, adoption and just life in general. One of these people is Renee.

Renee has four beautiful children. The third, Kennedy, is an adorable little girl who happens to share many similarities with Tyler. She has Down syndrome and is also battling Leukemia. She is amazing, as is her family!

I was looking through Renee's blog the other day and found this post. I sobbed. I sobbed because I am sad for Matthew and his family. I sobbed because I am sad for all of the children who are living the cancer nightmare. I also sobbed because I have heard these same words from more than one person, that Leukemia is the "good cancer."

Each time Tyler has to have another dose of chemo therapy, endure another poke of a needle, another surgical procedure, another hour of lost sleep due to nausea, another stare from a stranger because he has no hair, I am reminded that there is no such thing as a "good cancer." There is no such thing as an easy cancer. There is no such thing as having the better cancer.

Yes, cancer is survivable. Leukemia is survivable. For that, we are eternally thankful. But make no mistake, cancer is not easy. To be quite frank, cancer sucks!

Be Careful What You Wish For

As recently as three weeks ago I was complaining because it was still pretty chilly. Highs were in the 60's, (if we were lucky,) the kids were still wearing jackets and there were a couple of mornings that I had to turn the heat on in the house. It was certainly not 'play outside' weather. I was starting to think that summer was never going to come. Oh how I wish I had kept my mouth shut!
Now we are in the middle of a heat wave with record breaking heat. Coupled with the high humidity, once again it is not 'play outside' weather. (At least in my book!) It is hot, muggy and miserable with no real relief in sight.
Lucky for us, our amazing landlord put in central air last summer. I'm sure our power bill will be outrageous but you know what? It's worth it!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Nathaniel Is Nine Months Old!!

Not only did Tyler turn four on Sunday but Nathaniel turned nine months old! Wow!! He had his nine month well child check yesterday and here's the latest...
13 pounds, 8 ounces
25 inches long
He has sure grown from the tiny boy he was at birth. He is doing really, really well. He is nine months according to the calendar but size wise and developmentally he is at about a four month level. He is making great strides and is babbling, smiling all the time, giggling once in awhile, trying to roll over, using his hands to grab and reach for toys, bringing toys to his mouth, and he has given up a binky due to a preference for his hands and fingers. He also got the all clear yesterday to begin some baby cereal and bananas. He is drinking six ounces at a time and has been sleeping through the night for quite awhile. He recently moved into 3-6 month clothes and a size two diaper.
There are some concerns about his hearing and he has a hearing evaluation next Wednesday. We're hoping for the best but we are also prepared for the worst.
Nate is a super easy baby and so sweet and loving. He adores his brother and sister and I must say, he is a bit of a Momma's boy and I LOVE it. He is such a wonderful baby and we are so blessed to have him in our family!!

Happy Birthday, Tyler!

Tyler celebrated his fourth birthday on Sunday. It is so hard to believe that he is four years old already. It seems like we brought him home just yesterday. He has grown and changed so much and every day with him is a miracle. I am so very thankful to be his Momma.
We spent the day quietly at home. Ty's immune system isn't great right now so we weren't able to have a party. It was a great day, none the less.

Click to play Tyler's 4th Birthday
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