New Blog for Nathanael

We recently started fundraising with COTA to cover Nathanael's medical expenses, so updates about him will be on his new blog from now on: Please check out the blog, pictures, and opportunities to help, and feel free to pass along the link to others. We appreciate your concern!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Nathanael!

Our sweet and crazy little boy has been such a blessing to us - and to everyone he meets! - these past two years. He is consistently happy and smiley (unless he doesn't get his way, of course), loves to imitate his big brother, and makes us laugh with his silly antics. He is also much more thrill-seeking than the rest of us, which has caused me to add gray hairs more quickly this year than in years past. He loves to climb and fall down, throw himself backwards, and when he's really excited he runs around with his tongue hanging out!

While we are thrilled that he's doing so well, it's a little ironic that each year on August 19 Nathanael has been sick in some way. We hope this isn't a trend that continues!

2009 - A minor bleed on his brain was discovered shortly after his birth, and he was transferred to a children's hospital an hour away to be given washed, irradiated platelets. The bleeding resolved within a few days.

2010 - We were finally all home in Texas again, when he was hospitalized for a urinary tract infection for several days. We were sad, because Pop Pop David & Valerie were in town to visit, and they ended up meeting him through a hospital door while he was hooked up to IVs. The staff at the hospital did bring him gifts and decorated our room with a big sign though!

2011 - After fighting off an upper respiratory infection in July, he developed a cold a few days ago, and has been coughing a little. However, he has otherwise been completely himself, throwing food, splashing in our hotel pool, and trying to climb out of his car seat. I'm pretty sure I even found proof tonight - don't ask me how! - that he's been eating a green crayon. (I'm sure I'll find the rest of the offending piece of wax when I clean the car out this weekend!)

On the bright side, each year around his birthday Nathanael has been able to see one or more of his grandparents!

2009 - Joyce was here when he was born, helping us with Jamison while I was in the hospital with Nathanael, and then stayed for a few more days once we were home.

2010 - We saw my parents for Jeff & Julie's wedding in Columbus, OH the week before his birthday. (It was hard for me to keep the boys away from almost everyone else in our extended family, but with his low immune system and the risk of illness, we decided it would be best.) Then David & Valerie came to visit on his birthday, and while they could only see Nathanael briefly at the hospital, Jamison had a blast with them!

2011 - We visited Great Grandmom Jane in Spokane, and were able to celebrate (early) with her, as well as with David & Valerie, who came up for a visit, and with Uncle Doug & Aunt Chris, as well as cousins Carrie and David and a few others from Aunt Chris's family. We loved seeing Nathanael (and Jamison!) interact with everyone. We spent his birthday driving from Colorado Springs, CO to Amarillo, TX on our way home, but we did get to swim in the hotel pool that night, which he LOVED!

I should mention that we're really grateful that he has not been hospitalized at all since last December, so the fact that he has been able to stay home and fight off several minor illnesses is AMAZING progress from where we were even a year ago. It is still our prayer that God would use our family, and this whole situation, for His glory...we are just thankful that for now His plan includes having two healthy little boys at home.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vacation Continues

Here are a few pictures from the second week of family vacation: lots of time with family and friends, lots of relaxing and playing, and lots of silliness! All-in-all we had lots of fun, and are thankful for the time we've had together.

The boys enjoyed "making sandwiches" with some borrowed toys (thanks Jerri!) that we too
k along on the trip.

They also enjoyed wearing the hats from Nathanael's impromptu birthday celebration.

Jamison was especially intrigued by the secret playroom under the stairs at Aunt Chris & Uncle Doug's house, but he let Nathanael play with him for a short time as well. ;)

Oh, and Nathanael had to "borrow" Grandmom's shoes to walk around. We laughed and laughed at his facial expressions, but I couldn't seem to capture the best ones.

Nathanael loved the "art room" at the Teague's house, and quickly decided that his favorite place was in front of the chalkboard easel!

We spent half a day at a park near their house (north of Seattle) and walked on the pier (saw a small dog shark!), played on the playground, and picnicked. It was great fun in a beautiful setting!

The boys all played really well together...and it was fun to see them get to know each other again, since it has been so long since t
hey've seen each other! They did all get a little rowdy, but for three little boys ages 2, 3, and 4 they didn't get hurt very often, and had lots of fun! Meanwhile we had time to visit with wonderful friends!

We did spend a few hours downtown Seattle, and saw the aquarium, where the boys all had fun checking out the octopus, seeing the sea lions, and running around.

We were sad to leave, but glad to have been able to visit, and were glad we could have a few more days with family in Spokane before heading back towards home.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Family Vacation!

Being such spontaneous people (ha ha ha) Brad and I recently decided to putthe boys in the car and take a trip to visit his grandmother in Spokane, WA this summer! (This was a little spontaneous for us, as we only made the final decision to leave about 3 weeks before our actual departure. Apart from missing our church's VBS this week, the timing could not have been better...we're missing 108 degree weather back home right now!) After over 30 hours (5 days), 4 museums, and 7 states, we finally arrived, and have been enjoying time with family for several days now. Here are a few pictures from our adventure so far! (They are out of order...if anyone can teach me an easier way to move pictures around in Blogger I'd LOVE to hear about it!)
  • Nathanael wanted to help with the packing. :)
  • Brad was so excited to escape the heat in Texas that he could hardly contain himself.
  • The boys had fun in our hotel rooms each night - I think Jamison is "hiding" in this picture!
  • We visited the Denver Museum of Science & Nature and a kind staff member offered to take our picture on the balcony. It was a great place to visit!
  • We drove through the Bighorn National Forest on our way from Thermopolis, WY to Billings, MT, and saw some gorgeous scenery.
  • We snapped this shot of the boys overlooking Hell's Half Acre in Wyoming just before hearing an eerie rattling sound that prompted us to scoop up the boys and head back to the car...stat! Other people told us they had seen a snake, but we sure didn't want to see the one we heard!
  • The boys and I are checking out a triceratops at M.O.R.

  • Brad and the boys posed with "Big Mike," a replica of a T Rex outside Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT, another great place to visit!
  • Posing in front of Shell Falls in the Bighorn National Forest - another stop at a scenic
area that was well
worth our time!
  • Playing at a rest stop in Montana just to stretch our legs for a few minutes. The boys loved this!
  • Beautiful mountains somewhere in Montana. :)
  • Four generations of the Banks family - see the resemblance?
  • Visit to a fire station in Spokane where cousin David works - the boys had a ball!
  • Valerie and I enjoying a fun evening together with the rest of the extended family: Uncle Doug and Aunt Chris had some other relatives over, grilled dinner for us, and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to Nathanael to celebrate his special day. (August 19th he'll be TWO years old!)

  • Grandmom Jane and four of her six boys (Nathanael was in bed, and Jason is in Atlanta for the PGA tour).

We're off to Seattle tomorrow to visit friends, and will return to Spokane before starting our long drive home. More highlights of the trip to come! :)