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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