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Showing posts from February, 2007

Dear Lei,

To answer your question, no I am not immune to people and their behavior, and yes it hurts. I do not want to become immune. It is all part of life with Ivey. We take the good with the bad, and this part keeps us grounded.

If you are confused, let me explain. The other day my blogging friend, Lei, asked a couple of questions in reference to the post about 'our club'. She asked if we have become immune to people's behavior toward Ivey over time. (The negative behavior) She questioned if the behavior hurts. I have to say that just thinking about it cuts to the quick. However, it is a very hard question to answer because it makes me deal with something most people spend time desperately trying to avoid, especially when it comes to Ivey - reality. We take our spoon full of reality around here every day.

My instinct is to give Lei a round about answer that avoids the truth and makes her walk away feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Something like, "Oh, it does not reall…

A Night at The Fabulous Fox

Sunday, February 25th Matt and I celebrated Ivey turning 10 months old. We went to an event at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Our original intentions were to listen to a young man by the name of Patrick Henry Hughes play the piano. Oh, can he play!!

Patrick was also born with bilateral anophthalmia like Ivey. He plays in the marching band at the University of Louisville where he plays trumpet and is pushed around the field in his wheelchair by his incredible father. Patrick appeared recently on the Oprah Winfrey show and has had the opportunity to travel worldwide giving others the chance to hear his music.

We were also privileged to meet and hear Dick Hoyt. He and his son, Rick, form "Team Hoyt". Together they compete around the world in marathons and triathlons. Together they have competed in over 945 athletic events in the last 27 years. It was an amazing story to witness.

Matt and I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Patrick. What an amazing young man!

I encourage you a…

Come Join Our Club

Good morning. It is 1:42 am. We have a new nurse tonight, the fourth new nurse this week. We switched nursing companies last Friday, so now we are on the quest for the right nurses for Ivey. Our nurse tonight got me out of bed just a little bit ago and now I can not sleep. My mind is racing back through the events of the day - and other days - while I listen to the nurse. She seems very sweet. And praise Jesus, she is not afraid to wake us up to ask a question when she is uncertain.

Due to a glitch last week, the new button that was only 2 weeks and 6 days old had to be replaced. They, the radiologist and GI doctor said originally to have it changed once a year. Ivey was at Scottish Rite at 8:00 am in the intermedial radiology for the exchange this morning - I guess that would be yesterday now. Ivey has gotten to know Amy, the radiologist, very well over the course of this G-J tube. To exchange the tube, Amy has to literally strap Ivey to a table. To say the least, no one was excited t…

One Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

The day I found out I remember thinking, "Is this physically possible? Are we crazy?" The day Matt found out went like this.....

Knox decided that he wanted a fish. That would be perfect.

We loaded into the then Expedition with our two boys. We drove to a local pet store.

As we were standing over the gerbil pin reminding Knox that we were there for fish, Matt asked, "So how many fish should we get?"

Perfect.

"Three. One for each."

Matt stared blankly at me for a split second. My normallydiscrete husband forgot that he was standing in the middle of a pet store. "What? You’re p.r.e.g.n.a.n.t? A.G.A.I.N?"

My thoughts "Yes honey, I did this all by myself." Seriously, can it be that big of a surprise? Men.
That's right folks - AGAIN. It was a record. There we were standing with a barely two and a half year old, a barely eleven month old and pregnant again. Three in three years. Insane, but precious.

We took three fish home that day.

Our Road Trip

Let’s pretend we are going on a road trip to DFW, Texas, maybe to see Sarah. Okay, here we go. We are driving down the road. Easy - we know how to navigate through our town and the general direction in which to go - west. At the city limit sign we must decide which town to travel to next so that we keep traveling west toward Texas - yes, Florida would be warmer right now, but let’s stay on course.

After rummaging through the glove compartment, we only find a map of Georgia. Oh, no. How will we ever get to Texas?

We keep pressing forward - west - toward Texas. Occasionally, we stop and ask a gas pump attendant for directions, only to be told, ‘Uh (scratching his head), I am not certain, and (looking perplexed) I think it’s that a way (pointing west and shrugging his shoulders).”

Now, we know we will need travel home once we get to DFW, Texas. So, we record where we are - where we have been - and we keep traveling west.

We do notice along the way that there is beautiful countryside between…

My Girls

I always wanted to teach my girls to set goals and then work - relentlessly - to achieve them. I have wondered over the years if that point was ever made from all of the opportunities I had to help shape their lives. Looking back, there are so many ways that I could have 'done it better'; but at the time, I was doing the best I could with the experience, or lack of experience that I possessed.

I was once told that my expectations were too high for girls their age (15 - 18). 'Really? The world is a lot tougher than I am.' The truth though, I was incredibly tough on them. Have you ever tried to keep 20 girls moving in the same direction? It ain't easy! They lived by guidelines - rules - consequences. I pushed them to their limits, or what they thought were their limits, and then nudged a little more. My girls were physically strong - in shape. Just ask any of my girls about boot camp, our bootcamp came about long before bootcamp was the thing to do. Oh, the stories th…

She is our wonder +

Doctors have come from distance cities just to see me.
Stand over my bed disbelieving what they see here.
They say I must be
one of the wonders - God's own creation.
And as far as they see they can
offer no explanation.


I will be able...




I will be gifted...










with love, with patients and with faith.

I'll make my way





I do believe that fate smiled down and she is our destiny. Just listen.
Happy Valentine's Day.
This is what love is all about.
gwen+

Once Upon A Time....

Life with a daughter seemed almost surreal. We were planning for our third child, yet her conception caught us completely off guard. It seemed that she was to be a life of surprises right from the start.

I did not need a sonogram to tell me Knox was a boy. I think Matt actually wished Knox into being a boy. Walker is all boy; no guess work was ever required. With Ivey, Matt knew from the dawn that she would be a girl. This time he did not need a picture to tell him. The dream of our family was complete. There would be a mother and father, two sons, and one princess.

Plans for our future began to evolve. We are all guilty of it. We lay out our children’s futures before they have the opportunity to show us who they will become.

Matt and I made plans for Ivey- everyone did. She would have my blonde hair and my eyes. She would act more like Matt; she would forgo my lack of patients. I can remember someone saying, 'She'll be your very own cheerleader.' My thoughts to that, 'Ug…

Is that a light at the end of the tunnel?

Ivey's surgery punctuated the end of another sentence in our saga. Somewhere in the distance, a faint light is beginning to shimmer. The sun is beginning to peek from behind the clouds-and guess what? A silver lining does exist. We have been trudging forward afraid to glance too far to the left or right, not wanting to gaze too far into the future, yet reluctant to look back. While the entire time, waiting for more of the unknown to come crashing down around us. We have made it to the other side. Ivey's birthday is fast approaching and one year is quickly drawing to an end. For the first time since her birth there is a calendar sparse of doctors' appointments and surgeries, there is only the promising thought of Peace.

I sat down tonight to check my emails, and I took a quick peek at Ivey's blog. Here I am tapping away-the last thing I really need to be doing at this moment. However, I got the urge to type. In the past couple of weeks, I have been very reluctant to even…
First off, Ivey is doing AWESOME! She is happy and playful. Having the new ‘button’ instead of the G-J tube hanging from her tummy at all times has given her some freedom that she has never had. She is adjusting to her new palate. It is fun to watch her check it out with her tongue. Unfortunately, she is wearing welcome sleeves for two weeks to prevent her from putting her fingers in her mouth. Welcome sleeves velcro around her arms to prevent her from bending her arms at her elbows. Ivey also has to rinse her mouth with Nystatin twice a day. This is a medication to prevent a fungal infection in her mouth. Tastes absolutely terrible-I tried it. Imagine not getting to eat and the few things that do go into your mouth tasting like some thing you apply to your feet. Ugh!!! She is a little trooper. Happy as a lark.

Super Bowl Sunday at Home? Really?

Ivey is going home tomorrow!

This surgery has definitely been better than the last. There have been no medical issues to deal with other than her pain. Her mouth is very very sore as well as her tummy. Pain medication is being administered every two hours to try and keep it as minimal as possible. Other than that, she is doing very well.