Filed Under (The World) by Kel on 22-05-2010

I have to wonder – is it completely wrong or completely right to choke up with tears multiple times during the day after someone else’s baby is born?

I woke up to an email from my best friend Nat announcing that her second child had been born. I’ve cried both times I received word of one of her children’s births, the first time from grief, the second time from overwhelming joy and relief. Yes, baby Kate is here, alive, healthy, and wonderfully perfect in every way!

What amazes me most of all, however, is the outpouring of love that follows this child. As word has spread around the Internet, time and again people offer congratulations and joyful tears. These are no “yay, congrats!” or “hooray, a baby!” offerings that typically follow a birth; they are heartfelt messages of love and celebration. All who know her story – four years of infertility, countless failed medically-assisted cycles, an ectopic pregnancy, and her 35-week stillborn Devin – share in her thankfulness, her elation, her relief, her unadulterated joy as she is finally able to hear a baby’s cry, to (soon) take a baby home.

That moves me to tears just as much as Kate’s birth itself does.

Nat has posted pictures, and will have a birth story soon I’m sure – it’s one heck of a story too! She’s cute, and has her brother’s nose and round face, the most perfect lips, and true family loving her from every corner of the globe…not to mention two parents who want her and love her more than words could ever describe.

What a truly lucky and blessed child she is.


Filed Under (The World) by Kel on 27-04-2009

The March of Dimes is one of those organizations that most everyone knows about, to a small degree. They stand up for babies, make them healthy, and fight prematurity. Who hasn’t heard of them, right?

I learned, last year, that they do so much more than that. They research stillbirth and provide education to help prevent babies like Devin from dying. They fund programs that research treatments – like the one Danny received last year – for CMV, and educate women on how to prevent themselves and their babies from catching this devastating disease.

They champion the little guy in an almost literal sense.

Danny spent 2 long months in the NICU. He was “only” a month premature, but with all the other complications he had a long haul. One of the things that stands out in my memory of the time he spent in the hospital was coming in some mornings and seeing a little card tucked into the side of his bed, a card from the March of Dimes saying we were being thought of.

It was a little thing that brought a smile to an otherwise rather unhappy place.

The march was Saturday, and the weather was great. We raised $510, a total I am very proud of! There were hundreds of people there, maybe thousands, I couldn’t say. Families, coworkers, all ages and shapes and sizes come together for the same cause. It was an incredible thing to see, and to be a part of.

I strongly suggest it to everyone, whether or not you’ve been touched by prematurity or infant loss. These struggles and losses can be prevented, with the right support.


Filed Under (The World) by Kel on 09-03-2009

One of the best things about being a mom is having an excuse to go play in toy stores! Seriously, I’ve always loved neat toy stores. Toys R Us is neat, but I could get lost in some of the little hole in the wall local stores in strip malls so, so much.

We found one over the weekend, Toy Tyme, that I could seriously buy out. I kept turning around finding more things I wanted for the boys! We ended up leaving with a couple of puzzles for Eric, one of his new loves. This, of course, delights me and thrills his dad, who is a big puzzle nut. By the end of yesterday, Eric was able to take the wooden puzzle we’d gotten for him and put it together all on his own – he is always asking to “do the puzzle pieces” now. At this rate, I’m going to need one of those wooden puzzle racks or something, because he has … one … now but I think that won’t last too long.

I’ve also found a love for Melissa & Doug stuff. (Which, ironically, is one of the brands at the store we found this weekend!) They make puzzles, they make puppets, they made wooden toys, they make just awesome stuff … and the best part is none of it needs batteries. I’d never seen their baby stuff until going to their website, and it’s pretty cool. I didn’t realize that the stacking train and tool kit we got are both by them too – not surprising though! The cutting food we saw at the zoo that Eric liked are also by them. I could go on and on. Love the stuff.

And of course, as much as I see and love all this stuff for Eric, I also see SO many language opportunities in all of it. There’s something to be said for toys that incorporate language themselves, like the Laugh & Learn stuff we adore. There’s also something to be said for toys that are just pure imagination that we apply our own language to.

I love toys. I love toy stores. I’m such a huge kid.

Eric’s birthday is in 5 months…


Filed Under (The World) by Kel on 03-12-2008

I don’t do this often, but now and then something comes along that I really like to share. Having a special needs child, and going through the roller coaster we have this past year, has really made a lasting impact on who I am – as I’m sure everyone can agree. Also being an adopted child, this hugely jumped out to me, and I want to share.

I’m now sporting a shiny button in the top right corner of my blog. Everyone should click it! Or you could just click here to go to the same place. What’s going on is a raffle for 3 charities, one that support parents who have lost children or have children with a fatal diagnosis, and two that help parents looking to adopt children with special needs. It breaks my heart to think that, had Danny been born to someone else, he might have been given up for adoption because of his challenges and then struggled to find a family of his own.

So click if you have a few dollars you can spare. 100% of the money put into the raffle goes to charity. And hey, if you happen to win a really cool camera package out of the deal (seriously, this is the type of camera that a lot of photographer-type people love), even better!


Filed Under (The World) by Kel on 04-11-2008

So. Election Day in the USA. My first general election. Honestly, I was quite excited to vote today. Call it nerdy. Call it crazy. But I was, because I got to participate, because I got to have a voice. I’ve wanted to vote since my dad took me with him to the school next door to mine in elementary. The weather is gorgeous, the turn out is huge, and at 6am the wait was an hour long at my polling place – which, from what I’ve heard, was short compared to many places.

First and foremost, if you’re a US citizen and you haven’t already – go vote.

I could go into politics. I could tell everyone who I voted for and why. I could go into why I did not vote for his opponent. But instead, I think I’ll take a different path and share some of my favorite election day funnies.

Indecision 2008 could keep me busy for hours, if I had hours to spare.

Palin as President is hilarious, whether or not you support the McCain-Palin ticket. The people who thought it up have too much time on their hands, and I’m glad they did! Make sure you click on everything at least twice, as some of them change.

Jib Jab (featured above) is awesome. I particularly loved the cards featuring our VP candidates, Sarah Palin and Joe Biden.

This site has what they call the funniest videos of the election. I agree they have some good ones! I love the SNL skit with Palin and Clinton.


Filed Under (Hearing Loss, The World, Toddlerdom, Year One (Daniel)) by Kel on 30-10-2008

It’s hard not to get caught up in looking forward to next Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving this one! Eric and I have had so much fun with window stickers, pumpkins, spiders, you name it. I brought in the pumpkin this morning that we are going to carve tonight and he was so, so excited – he could barely contain himself! I went to put it on the table and he was quite upset; he wanted it on the floor “right there!!!” so that he could check it out and sit by it as I got ready. There is a huge spider on a house on the way to daycare (fake, as big as the house) and every morning as we drive by it he exclaims, “Big Spider!!” He is totally loving it.

I do think forward, though. Next Halloween, Nat and I will be able to compare costumes for our little ones. I do believe it will happen, I’ve gotta believe! Next Halloween, Danny will be able to hear Eric’s excited squeals and give his own. I look at all of the words Eric has learned for Halloween and fall and am so excited to see what Danny picks up next year. Plus, of course, just double the fun with two boys to enjoy the holiday!

We did Fall Festival at daycare yesterday. Neither of the boys minded any of the costumes at all, and Eric had a lot of fun. We saw a lot of his friends dressed up too, they were far too cute. Of course, so were my boys. There was a girl about 12 helping the festival, part of a girl scout group doing community service, who had bilateral cochlear implants. I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable, so I didn’t ask any questions, but she commented on Danny’s hearing aids and I shared that he was in the process of going bilateral himself. It was pretty amazing to watch her hear without any problems even in the crazy bussle of a daycare festival with kids everywhere.