Monday, February 23

Kellan Joshua 11 Months

This past month has been incredibly busy around the Morgan household.  One of the biggest events was Kellan's hearing tests at Cooks. 

As a premie he was screened for hearing before leaving the NICU and as far as we knew, he passed.  As a follow up for any baby who is in the NICU for more than 5 days, they are scheduled for a hearing screening again around 6 months.  We went in around Thanksgiving and he failed the test.  They said it could have been from fluid in his ear from a recent cold and rescheduled us for December.  When we went back in for the second test, he failed again.  His right ear passed with flying colors but the left ear failed.  It didn't tell us much, just that there might be a problem and we needed to do further testing.  This past month we went in for a different, more involved test.  I sat in a padded booth with him while they played sounds in his ears and watched for reactions.  On his right side, he responded perfectly, but on the left side he did not show response until they moved the sound up to 80.  After the test, the audiologist sat with me and explained the results.  She told me that he has substantial unilateral hearing loss in his left ear, and perfect hearing in his right.  I had never heard of anything like this, so naturally I had a ton of questions for her.  We do not know the cause of his hearing loss and are unsure if any auditory aids will benefit him in the future.  There is a potential for speech delays and difficulty in school because of his disability, and we wont know more until he's tested further as he gets older. 

I used to work for a wonderful ENT in Fort Worth before teaching and decided to give him a call to ask see if he could be of any help in explaining this all to us.  He was incredibly helpful and suggested having an ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) test since he is still so young.  We now have this test scheduled for next month and are hoping it provides us with more answers.  Unfortunately, Kellan will have to be put under anesthesia for the test... It will be the first time one of my babies will go through anything like this and naturally I am feeling anxious.  I know that God has big things planned for this little guy and this is someday we will look back on this diagnosis and give God all of the praise for choosing Kellan to carry it. 

It's hard to imagine life without those bright blue eyes and auburn hair.  We are so incredibly thankful that he does have perfect hearing in his right ear and know that God is the ultimate healer.  We continue to pray for healing on his left side, but give praise for a healthy baby boy. 

At 11 months Kellan is weighing in at 18 lbs and despite a cough that just wont pass and popping out 5 teeth, he is still a very happy boy.  We celebrated his very first Valentine's Day and watched him become more expressive with his emotions.  Keeping up with him is nearly impossible as he's constantly exploring and crawls like a speeding bullet when he sees something he really wants.  Eating nearly anything we put in front of him, he's been a breeze in the food department, too!  Birthday invitations have been ordered and party plans are well under way, this kid will be ONE in less than a month... Kellan, we just love you to pieces!!!  Happy 11 months, sweet boy. 





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Storenvy Shop Announcement

Lately I've been venturing into the world of bibs and have absolutely fallen in love with sewing them!  I decided to branch out and open up a storefront using Storenvy.  Etsy has been great for the past couple of years but the fees really take their toll and I was offering a lot of random accessories.  With my new venture, all the accessories will be premade instead of made to order, hopefully saving me some time and stress.  I absolutely adore the new patterns/prints that I found and I can't wait to see where this new step takes me!  
 
Eventually, I will be adding more categories in the shop (headbands, leggings, etc...) but for now I'm starting small...

If you have never heard of the "bibdana" it's just a bib designed for catching drool and looking cute.  We have a bazillion bibs perfect for meal time and getting covered in smooshed peas and carrots, these bibs are made for wearing over a nice outfit to keep it dry from the inevitable pools of drool from teething babes.  Kellan looks simply adorable in his CMC bibdanas!
 
 

These bibs are backed with either terrycloth or fleece to be extra absorbent and are finished with a snap closure.  I tried Velcro at first, but it catches on EVERYTHING in the wash and snaps just look cuter.  If you have a little one and you're tired of their drooly clothes, or are just looking for the perfect, trendy baby shower gift, these bibs are perfect for you!  Take a minute and check out the shop, share with your loved ones and leave me some love... Each print has very limited quantities so grab your favorite print before it's gone!  
 
 

Check out the shop here!  Visit my store on Storenvy
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Saturday, February 7

First Haircuts...

This morning I gave Kellan his very first haircut.  I've been wanting to trim around his neck and ears for quite a while, but finally got some time today.  The change isn't TOO drastic, but I am in love with his new "big boy" look.  Callie is nearly 3 and has never had her haircut, and we don't intend to any time soon... So this was my first time having my baby get one!  I cut Josh's hair all of the time to save money, so who better to cut Kellan's?  Check out his before and after.... Not too shabby, right? :)



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Friday, February 6

Out of the Darkness Walk

It has been four years, one month, and twenty-two days since I last heard my dad say, “I love you.”  On December 14, 2010 I lost my daddy to suicide.   I can still remember every detail of that dreadful day as if no time has passed.
 
 I was working from home when my phone rang at 3:14 pm.  It was my dad.  I answered with my usual greeting and waited for a response.  A hushed “I love you” was sighed from his lips.  I instantly knew something wasn’t right. 

“I love you, too, Daddy! --- Are you okay?”  His response still haunts me…  “I will be soon sweetheart.”  His voice had an echo to it, like he was in a bathroom or a small space and I could tell he wasn’t himself.  It was as if he had been crying for hours with barely enough strength to talk.  I asked if he wanted to talk about it, but the conversation was cut short.  He had somewhere to be, but just wanted to call me and say how much he loved me.  Confused and slightly uneasy, I said goodbye to my dad for the last time. 

A few minutes later my phone rang again.  This time it was my grandmother.  Our conversation was normal until she asked, “Is everything okay there?”  I immediately started crying and told her that I wasn’t okay.  I replayed the conversation I had just had with my dad and she started to cry… He had called her too and she was concerned.  My next phone call was to my mom where I quickly found out that he had also called her, she too was uneasy about their conversation.  It was as if he was checking people off of a list  - which sent us all into panic mode. 

My dad had struggled with depression for years.  He was medicated, counseled, medicated some more, and even spent a week in a hospital to get help during my freshman year of college.  All of our minds went to the worst-case scenario.  We divided up and decided to search for him.  My mom went to his office, my brother to hospitals and I went to their house to see if maybe he was there.  No one was successful.  An email from him sat on the computer, a mix of legal jargon and work happenings, but the thing that stood out most was the way he closed the email; “God forgive me…”

Hours later, ridden with anxiety, minds rolling with possible devastating outcomes we all (with the exemption of my then 13 year old sister who still hadn’t returned from her basketball game) reconvened at my parent’s house.   The next 7 hours are a mixed blur of emotions.  I spent time hiding in his closet behind rows of button down shirts and dress pants crying and praying that he was just taking a drive to clear his head.  I prayed, and prayed, and begged God not to take my dad from me. 

When my sister finally came home she stopped in her tracks as she walked into a room of friends and family who simply couldn’t hide their red eyes and distressed looks from their faces.  She instantly panicked as I took her into her room and choked out the words, “We can’t find Daddy…”  We sat in her room with sobs shaking out from our bodies.  We hoped for the best, but deep down in our hearts, knew that something was very wrong. 

I will never forget the shrieking cry that shot through the walls next.  It was as if someone had grabbed my mother by the heart and shredded her every being.  To this day, I think this will be the sound that fills the empty spaces of Hell.  It was then that we knew… My dad was gone. 

Four days later, on his 48th birthday, I read a letter to my dad as we celebrated his life at his funeral. 

I suffered from depression and anxiety after his passing and was put on medications to help.  I didn’t have the money to get proper counseling so, in a last attempt effort to pull myself together I started going to grief counseling at the Warm Place, a nonprofit organization in Fort Worth.  It was through this counseling and the overwhelming love of my Heavenly Father that I was able to process and accept the death of my dad.  I am now 100% free of antidepressants or medications and have never felt better in my life.

God has used this tragic story to drastically change my world, my heart, and my everything, for the better.  However, if I could go back and change the events that unfolded on that fateful day, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment. 

Please support me as I take an amazing journey. The Out of the Darkness Overnight Experience is an 16-18 mile walk over the course of one night. Net proceeds benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, funding research, advocacy, survivor support, education, and awareness programs – both to prevent suicide and to assist those affected by suicide.

I am walking to remember my dad.  I am walking to give thanks for my life – a life that could have all too easily followed the same path.  I am walking to raise awareness.  I am walking to, hopefully, prevent someone else from this terrible death.  I am walking because depression and suicide have shaken and transformed my family.  My prayer is that every dollar earned will go to helping someone like me; recover from the loss of a loved one to suicide. 

I know that reading this could not have been an easy thing to do, and I thank you for taking the time to do so.  Thank you so much for your donations and love as we continue to walk on this journey together.  We will never recover from the loss of my dad, but by the grace of God, we will live our lives to the absolute fullest as we remember the incredible man that he was, and do our best to honor his legacy.  

You can donate by visiting our team page "Galen's Legacy."  Your gifts will not only allow us to walk for this amazing cause, but will also help others like myself as they deal with the effects of suicide in their lives. 

Thank you...

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Tuesday, January 20

Kellan Joshua - 10 Months

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a crawler!  For the past couple weeks, Kellan has been inching his way across his play areas by scooting on his tush or rolling around.  I saw glimpses of a "crawl" but nothing that screamed mover.  This past week he decided living a solitary life was overrated and found the drive to move, now he is everywhere and into everything and I LOVE IT! 
Another big milestone this month is his first tooth!  Yes, my kids are late bloomers in the dental department.  Callie got her first tooth at 9 months and Kellan at 10!  As a nursing mother, I am not complaining, but he's been ready to eat what we are eating for some time and it's hard not being able to give him what he wants, especially when he's such a good eater.  

He's wearing 9-12 month clothes, size 3 diapers and weighs in at a whopping 18 pounds.  The past month he and I have both been battling a whole slew of illnesses.  I broke down today and finally took him in for meds.  I tested positive for strep last week and he's being treated for an upper respiratory infection, so our house has been loads of fun.  Guess it's time to break out the lysol.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from his 10 month photo shoot.








This past Sunday was also my 29th birthday.  Everyone has had fun teasing me that it is my last year in my 20's.. but I'm still awesome.  I'm not sure if I'll ever feel my age, and I prefer to keep it that way.  We had a great, relaxing weekend.  Sunday morning, with all of the sick bugs going around our house, we decided to stay home from church and instead had my family over for birthday donuts and board games!  The kids are finally at an age where they can entertain themselves (for the most part) and for the first time ever we were able to play a full board game together!!  During the kids' nap time, my sister babysat while Josh took me shopping.  


We then finished the night at Ruth's Chris with awesome steak for our date night where I found a delicious onion ring the size of my face...


 
I feel very blessed to have been given the life I lead and birthdays do a great job reminding me that I was created for something bigger than me.  My life is not mine, but God's and knowing He has chosen me for something greater always brings excitement into my heart as I enter another year of life. 

  

  
She never sits still long enough to snap a picture, so when we get moments like this..... We snap, snap, snap!  <3 p="">





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Saturday, January 10

Long time, no see!

Needless to say, I am slightly ashamed of the length of time that has slipped by since my last post!  I cannot believe how long it has been.  

I went back to work teaching full time after 8 months off (bed rest and maternity leave), and to say it has been an adjustment would be the understatement of the century.  This year I was moved up from kindergarten to first grade, looping with my kids from last year.  It was so great to see their happy faces when they showed up on the first day of school to see I was their teacher again.  For the most part, it is the same class, but there are about 5 that left and then 10 new ones added in the mix.  It has been a very rough adjustment for me.  Spending all of that time at home with my precious angels and then having to say goodbye to them so abruptly really took its toll on me.

My class is truly wonderful, but there have been a lot of new challenges I have never had to face before and it has made everything just that much more stressful.  It's taken all I have in me just to make it through each day.  God has blessed me with a job doing something I love, and it is only because of HIS grace and HIS strength that I've been able to complete the first semester. All of that to say, I am sorry for my huge leave of absence in blogging, but I'm thrilled to say, I'm Baaaaack!  

My last post was Kellan's 4 month update.  Eesh... Kid is now nearing the 10 month mark and I've already started planning for his first birthday!  Truly, where does the time go??  Here are a few pictures from the past few months of our little man.  He has grown like a weed and is already surpassing his sister's one year weight by leaps and bounds.  Kellan is ALL boy, and I couldn't love him more.  I wish there were more pictures of Callie, but she is a two year old FULL of personality and energy who loathes standing still for more than .5 seconds...


~*~ 5 months ~*~

"What an incredible month it has been! We went on our first family vacation and you experienced the beach for the very first time. You're a wonderful sleeper and eater and have become so alert and love to interact with us. Those dimples are going to be the death of me! Same with your cheeks and lashes. You are SUPER talkative and love when we sing to you or put our faces right by yours. You are definitely my snuggle bug and LOVE to be held and played with. Unfortunately you had your first illness this month, but you battled through it like a trooper. We love you Kellan!"
 

 


~*~ 6 months ~*~

"Your smile brightens every room and those baby blues melt me completely. You LOVE to snuggle and Mommy hopes you always will. You are still a quiet little guy unless you get excited and then the whole world can hear your happy squeals. Callie is the ONLY one who can get you to belly laugh. You love her more than anything. We started solids this week and your little shiver after each bite makes us giggle. We adore you, more than ever, Kellan!"






~*~ 7 Months ~*~

 "You're such a relaxed little guy, full of smiles, fun sounds and LOTS of snuggles. You adore your big sister, and she adores you fully in return. We are so proud of how big and healthy you've become! At 16 and 1/2 pounds no one would ever know you were nearly two months early! We love you so much Bubba!!!"




~*~ Eight Months ~*~

"You're the most chill little dude, Kellan! Your favorite place to be is in mommy's arms snuggled up and smiling, you adore Callie (no surprise there) and eat food like a champ. Right now your favorite foods are pears and green beans/carrots. You've mastered sitting up by yourself and have even started scooting, but you HATE being on your belly, so crawling isn't in the near future. We think you'll just go straight to walking! This month you'll experience your first Thanksgiving and we cannot wait to start new traditions with you, Little Man. We adore you and are so thankful for your health and your sweet life. "

~*~ Nine Months ~*~

"You love to babble and are an expert with saying "Mama" and "Dada." You scoot everywhere, but haven't shown much interest in crawling yet. You'll do it when you're ready! We love watching the way you explore the world around you, always watching, always taking things in. You continue to adore your sister and are particularly loving this new season of Christmas. The lights and the wonder have a way of lighting up your beautiful blue eyes. Still no teeth for you, but mommy isn't complaining since you still nurse like a champ. You adore food of all kinds, especially chicken/potatoes and pears, or anything with carrots. We love you little man! "






That pretty much catches us up to now! Our Christmas was such an incredible, magical time for our family this year.  Watching it through their eyes has been like nothing I've ever felt before.  They are so full of wonder and excitement with each light, present and new kind of food.  Here are a few of the pictures from the holiday.








One of my few New Year's Resolutions for 2015 is to make some time for blogging at least once a week, so hopefully I'll be seeing y'all shortly for more fun with the Morgans!  Thank you for hanging in there with me during my leave of absence, I'm looking to many more great memories yet to be made in the coming days and months!  Happy New Year!!!!  


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