Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Today I decided to try out watercolors with Nate.  I wasn't sure how this was going to go over since he has issues with most everything wet and/or messy.  He does love to color though, so I figured I had a fighting chance. 
Turns out Nate was born to paint.  Check out this masterpiece he made on his first attempt.

He thought the whole process of dipping the paintbrush in water and then picking a paint color was fantastic.

Eventually he discovered finger painting, both on paper and his own body.  He thought it was so fun he didn't even mind the mess or the bath that followed.


PS Have I ever mentioned Nate can take some really horrible pictures?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nate's love affair with himself as a baby just keeps growing, so we've been looking at a lot of old videos and pictures lately. Sometimes it's completely miserable for me to look at the "before" pictures of sweet little tubeless Nate, but it's also fun to remember what a happy and goofy kid he's always been. Here's a little gem we came across today...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Knock knock

Yesterday I got Nate up from his nap, put him on the bedroom floor to play, and went to the kitchen to get his lunch ready.  While I was out of the room I heard the bedroom door slam.  Then some soft little knocking started.  When I went to check on things, this is what I got.

This started a fantastic game of knock, knock, who's there, Nate, oh hi Nate, where's Nate, etc. etc.  Every time I opened the door for him he'd poke his head out and then slam the door shut.

After awhile I started to worry about the neighbors getting annoyed by all the door slamming so I thought I'd go in and get Nate.  Then I realized I had no way to do that since he was blocking the door.  A few bribes and shoves with the door later, Nate emerged unscathed.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Have you ever seen this picture of Nate?  No?  Well, you've been missing out for the last two years.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Today we took a family field trip to Ardenwood Farm.  Nate has been to the farm a handful of times and loves seeing all the animals and tractors.  But today he did not care about the goats, pigs, sheep, or cows.  Today he loved only one animal--the peacock that is always wandering aimlessly around the farm.  Nate's mission was clear: find the peacock and follow it wherever it went. 

It started as a stroll in the peacock's general direction and ended in hot pursuit.  At first the peacock didn't seem to mind being followed.  Then it darted off into the bushes trying to get away from us.  When we appeared on the other side of the bushes, it picked up the pace.  Nate was adamant that we not let it get away, so we kept at it.  Eventually the peacock took a stealthy turn into some more bushes and we decided to give the poor thing a break.  When we told Nate it went home to take a nap, it did not go over well. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

From the Nate Factory

Nate is a goofy kid.  We've always known this about him but now that he's talking, we're getting more and more of the goofs.  Here is a sampling of what's been coming out of his mouth lately...

  • Today when Scott was getting dressed, Nate said, "No!  Not that shirt.  Different shirt."  Then he made Scott go through all his t-shirts until Nate found one he liked (a Star Wars shirt). 
  • He demanded that I turn on "Payphone" and when I did, he kept saying "Too quiet!  Too quiet!  Too quiet!" until I turned it up nice and loud for him to dance to. 
  • Every night we put a little sensor on Nate's toe to monitor his oxygen and heart rate. This is part of our bedtime routine which Nate knows very well. The other night he reminded me to put the sensor on...
    Nate: Sensor, sensor on toe!
    Mommy: Okay, I'll put it on. Should I put it on your biggest toe or smallest toe?
    Nate: Biggest! (It always goes on his big toe)
    Mommy: Okay, if you say so...
    Nate: I say so.
  • He has been getting scared of loud trucks coming by our house lately.  He usually says "Scared!" and lunges towards me when they come.  Yesterday I told him that instead of getting scared, he should be brave.  So everytime a truck passed by, he said "I'm brave!  I'm brave!"
  • After I got him up from his nap...
    Nate: Daddy! See Daddy!
    Mommy: He's not here.
    Nate: Go see Daddy! In bedroom. Daddy bed.
    Mommy: No, Daddy's not in bed. He's at work.
    Nate: (pause) Hm. I get it.
  • I was growling yesterday morning about being tired and having a headache and Nate waking up too early when Nate started shouting at me "Calm down!  Calm down!!  Calm doooown!!!"  He wasn't wrong, I did need to calm down and him saying that made me laugh so hard it worked.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Earlier this week I spent a few days with my family in Tahoe. 

We went back and forth about taking Nate up there but decided it wasn't a good idea this year.  So Scott offered to stay home and watch Nate while I took a break from real life and spent all day swimming and eating Jo-Jos.  He is the best husband on the planet.

While I was gone, Nate just sat around waiting for me to come back.

Actually, it sounds like he didn't care at all that I was gone which makes me feel even better about my decision to go.  He visited Grandpa Green's office...

And the toy store...

And rocked out on a Nate-sized piano.

This vacation was as close to a necessity for me as a vacation could be.  Even though I missed Scott and Nate a lot, having three whole days to relax and not look at a piece of medical equipment did my soul good.  And don't worry, I'm going to return the favor to Scott when he goes on his own retreat next month.

Friday, August 10, 2012


George is Nate's bestie. 

Lately George has been participating in most of our daily activities.  He comes on walks, reads books, and plays the iPad with Nate.  The other day I caught Nate trying to use George's hand instead of his own to play the iPad.  He was frustrated that it didn't work. 

Nate also likes to make George dance, fly, take naps, and give hugs. 

I wish Nate could stay two forever.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Today in History

Remember when I wrote about Nate's hospitalversary back in April?  Last year, he was in the hospital this entire time (minus a couple of weeks in June).  August 9th is when he got discharged after getting his trach. 

Looking back, he was not ready to be discharged because 1) he was not stable yet and 2) Scott and I had no idea what we were doing.  Yes, we had been trach-trained at the hospital but there was a lot we didn't know, and we didn't know we didn't know it. 

We were so excited to get him home that day.  We just lounged around the house feeling happy we were getting back to some version of normal. 

When we put him to bed that night, we hooked up his vent to a humidifier (it's like a water chamber that heats up and humidifies the vent circuit).  His whole vent/humidifier setup had been checked in our home by a respiratory therapist earlier that day.  As soon as we hooked him up to the humidifier, he seemed like he couldn't breathe. 

We suctioned him and it didn't help.  He turned blue.  We used the manual resuscitation bag with all the oxygen we could give him and it seemed like it was only sort of working.  Called 911.  Went to the ER and couldn't get him stabilized.  They couldn't get an IV started on him quickly enough so they drilled it into his bone.  The sound was horrible. 

the shirt they cut off him in the ER
Nate had had a lot of very close calls up to this point, but this was the only time I really truly thought it was the end.  His heart rate was barely there, his oxygen was barely there, and he had an entire team of ER doctors working on him who couldn't seem to do anything about it.  If I hadn't been watching the monitors, I would have thought he was dead.  He definitely looked dead.  Scott and I just sat there silently begging God to let us keep him.  I'm not sure how long the whole thing actually lasted.  From what I remember we were in the ER for a couple of hours before he was stable enough to be transferred to the PICU. 

He got a good night's sleep and went home again a couple of days later (no it was not his last trip to the hospital that week).  So, what had happened is the hospital sent us home with their humidifier.  It wasn't compatible with our vent.  When we hooked it up, it started shooting water directly into Nate's lungs, drowning him.  At this point, something like this would never, ever happen because we know exactly what we're doing now.  But we didn't then, and Nate wasn't strong enough to handle the mistake.  If the same thing happened today, it would be bad but I don't think we would have the same result.

I tell this story not because I enjoy reliving any of it but because I feel like everyone needs to know that Nate is actually the Boy Who Lived, and Harry Potter is just an impostor.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cows can have trachs, too

Today while we were playing with the cow popper, Nate got a look of revelation on his face and exclaimed, "Trach! Trach-tie!!!"

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Tonight I was looking for a way to kill that painful hour that comes everyday between dinnertime and bedtime and had a stroke of brilliance. 

A fort! Nate was totally into it.

Here is Nate insisting that it is actually called a "fork" and totally dismissing the hard work I put in to throwing a sheet over three chairs. 

Of course George was invited to join us.

Bedtime came quicker than usual tonight.  The fort will be making a reappearance again very soon.