**Nathan was born January 2008 with Achondroplasia dwarfism. Achondroplasia is the most common form of dwarfism. This blog welcomes a look into our family as we raise our son as a Little Person.**

Ho Ho Holiday #1

Tuesday was the day to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family. It was a small gathering of my husband and kids with my aunt and grandma. We celebrated at my aunt’s house which is always beautifully decorated for the holiday. Since the kids are so anxious to open presents we did so before Christmas dinner. They received a bag full of goodies, one being a Hersey Kisses cane which was the perfect size for Nate. He enjoyed walking around the house using it as a cane. The kids got a lot of wonderful stuff and Nathan is still afraid of his remote control skidster. It will be awhile till he can brave that.

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Ho Ho Holiday #2

The next celebration was Christmas Day at our house. I really thought that we would make it to 7 am before the kids would be up. I was wrong. I was gently nudged and whispered to in my ear at 4am by Audrey. I mumbled back to get back to bed. Soon after I heard her singing in her bed in which I had to tell her to go back to sleep. 5 am rolls around and I hear in my ear, “mom, I know what Santa brought me!” Go back to sleep Audrey!! At 5:30 I finally gave in and we gathered to open presents. Audrey was ready to tear into everything, forgetting that there were presents for her brother. I got her to slow down and read the gift tags. Nate wasn’t to sure what he was suppose to be doing. He insisted on taking off his PJ’s. I had him in a cute footed sleeper, which he hates because his feet are covered. You’ll notice his homage to the 70’s with the sleeper half unzipped in some pictures. But he finally understood that ripping paper off to see what’s inside can be fun. The kids were happy with all that they got and really enjoyed there gifts. Nate got two more gifts that took some warming up to; his dump truck and his talking Buzz Light-year! We do gifts for our animals too! Bentley got a gigantic bone which was funny to see him carry around. Kids got to play with all their toys until we left for Holiday #3.

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Ho Ho Holiday #3

By 3:30 we were off to my in-laws. More gifts and a wonderful meal awaited. My father-in-law is a wonderful cook and made the best spread this year. Beef roast with all the fixings and cheesecake for dessert. But before all that the kids had to open their gifts. Now you think that it is the kids who are impatient. No, no grandma and grandpa can’t wait! This is their favorite time of year. My father-in-law works for 4 weeks decorating. He puts up 3 Christmas trees. The first being a 16 ft tree in the living room. Decorated with at least 10,000 lights and thousands of glass and handmade ornaments (some which he made). The second tree is a 12 ft three in the sunroom which has a Victorian theme. Pearls, crystals, candles and paper ornaments decorate that tree. Thirdly is a small tree in their bedroom decorated with birds and snow tipped as if it just came in from the outside. He makes all the mantle pieces and the decorations for the stairway. It is amazing and beautiful. So the kids made out pretty well for Christmas. Audrey got a TV for her bedroom. We got it all hooked up and now I can’t keep Nate off her bed. They both enjoy watching it. Nate got a playhouse for outside and a rollercoaster for him to ride. Both brought big smiles and that’s all he wanted to do. He didn’t want to sit at the dinner table and eat. So, frustrating when you just want to relax and enjoy the night. As mentioned early, the decoration don’t allow me to let a 2 year old run around unsupervised. It was a wonderful Christmas and look forward to celebrating 3 birthdays in January. Nate’s is the 4th, Matt’s the 10th and Audrey’s the 28th. Hers will be the big one with a party!

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We also enjoyed baking with my new cookie pan. It was easy to make and easy to clean and the cookies were yummy. Audrey visited Santa at the library. I also have some cute pics of Nate with Matt and Nate trying to ride Bentley!

Happy Anniversary!!

I can’t believe that December 28 is our 8 year anniversary. I have been so blessed to have found my best friend and soul-mate for life. Although it’s been 8 years of marriage. Matt and I have been together for 11 years. I love you so much Matt! We have had a wonderful life and 2 beautiful children. Thank-you for all our precious memories.

Matt and I met by chance. The funny thing was, how many mutual friends we had, yet we never met before that night. Some girlfriends and I had met up with these boys (one being Matt) and were hanging out having a good time. My friends chose to drink. I chose not to. My friend had been the one to drive us and refused to leave. I argued with her about getting back home (it was late) but she didn’t want to come. She offered to drive me home but she wanted to come back. I knew better then to let her behind the wheel. We argue about this for half an hour before Matt offered to drive me home. My knight in shining armor! The next day we ran into each other at a friends Halloween party and enjoyed talking with each other, so much so that I broke my curfew (only 19 living with mom and dad). I thought I had made a good friend and never knew what this relationship was going to blossom into. I knew after a week he was something special. After 3 months we had enough courage to say the “L” word (love you) and at 6 months we were talking about getting married. I made him wait an official year before he popped the question. Old fashioned parents wouldn’t question it after a year long courtship. We were engaged for 2 years as I was finishing school and on December 28, 2001 Matt and I wed.



The News that Rocked My World

It was the second week in December. I wished I remembered exactly what day I was told that Nathan was going to be different, but I don’t. I enjoyed this pregnancy, hardly gaining any weight (unlike the 40 lbs with Audrey). I was all geared up for the holidays and the one month arrival of our baby boy. I went for the routine check-up, all looked good. The doctor thought we should get a weight on the baby so I stepped into another room for the ultrasound. At this point I was thinking that the baby must be a good size. Audrey was 8 lbs. 10 oz. leading me to believe a 9lb. baby was coming.

I’m laying down with the squishy jelly on my belly, the wand moving up and down, the tech clicking buttons. God, when is she going to be done I thought. Audrey was with me and getting antsy. She wipes off my belly and said she’ll be right back. She leaves, comes back to take me to an examine room. I’m thinking I’m going to hear about how big Nate is. The doctor comes in, she sits on a stool by the window. Audrey’s on the chair by the sink, I’m up on the examine table. I think now about how much I remember and how much I don’t. The doctor starts by commenting on Nate’s long bones measuring short. “Short?”, I begin to wonder what’s going on. She comments on what the normal value is and that Nate’s is this range and that’s this many weeks. He’s behind. My body goes numb. I think, “hold yourself together, show her no fear.” Then I think about Audrey, “don’t let her know that something’s wrong. A 3 year old won’t understand. Anyway, we don’t know for sure. I need to have a specialist ultrasound to verify and confirm. It’s scheduled one week later.

One week I had to sit with this news. Checking my emotions. I don’t want everyone to know how scared I am for him (I know nothing about dwarfism-NOTHING). I cry only to my mother, isn’t that what a daughter should do? I immediately start my internet research. It’s frustrating to hear about all the complications and thinking that your child is going to have a hell of a ride… if he survives. One should never research on the internet or at least know of a reputable website. A week passes and Matt and I head to the second ultrasound

This place was such a doctors office in a hospital. It was cold and uninviting. This was where we are going to get the confirming news.?The ultrasound room was big and dark, too big. Another tech, another ultrasound, now waiting for the doctor. (Not a racial slam) An Indian doctor comes in the room and begins talking, great an accent. It always sounds worse with an accent. Not only do I have to understand what she’s saying but I have to “understand what she’s saying.” The gist: his long bones are short, his head is large…looks like a 9 lb baby…he will have achondroplasia dwarfism…we see this in fathers who are 35 and older. Okay, since my husband and I are both 28 does that mean your wrong? Should have asked that question. To this day, that pisses me off, what relevance does our age have to do with this. I did a non-stress test and then it was time to go. I really just wanted to get the hell out of there. I want to feel my emotions and not swallow them back down.

By now it’s night. Dark, cold and rainy. Once again, we had Audrey with us. Time to go get some dinner, head home and call it a night. Matt and I still needed to talk, one of the stresses in the marriage. What was his feelings on the whole situation. I feared that he would blame me. Nate is his only son. Maybe I did something wrong. He really surprised me and was quite a strength through the whole 3 weeks. Yes, after the first mention that Nate was to have dwarfism, I had to wait for 2 holidays to pass. To date, the worst Christmas ever. I just wanted to know that he was okay. The holidays are the worst time for needing to see a doctor. After many frustrating conversations and arguments later, Nathan was scheduled as a C-section on Jan. 4th. I couldn’t wait to see my little guy. That morning, they told me I could deliver him naturally. No way, I’m here for a C-section and I want my baby now. Nathan was born at 9:03 a.m. weighing 7lbs 6oz. Not the 9 lbs they said. He was beautiful, and healthy and doing just fine. I saw him for a little while before he was taken to the NICU. There they did a full work-up (x-rays) and 5 hours later I got to see him. I took one look and knew he had dwarfism. I saw those characteristics but he stole my heart and I didn’t care about how he would look. I never really did, I just wanted him to be healthy and happy. And that’s where we are today!

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Low-Key Thanksgiving

We have kept ourselves busy from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Mostly the normal things like running to the store and taking Audrey to school but also with other things I rather not have to deal with. Yes, it’s that time of year. Where sickness enters your home and doesn’t want to leave. It all started with Nathan one night spiking a fever. It went away the next day but two days after that I had it. It felt like the flu without all the nasty trips to the bathroom. Then soon past but not before I could tell that Audrey was fighting something off. Before I knew it she was barking like a seal, croup. How far away can you stay when your cooped up in the house. Not far enough because she passed it to her brother. Nate’s fever got up to 103.8F and lasted almost 12 hours. If it hadn’t broken in the morning I would be in the ER with him. The worst of it was that the kids were sick for Thanksgiving. Nate was finally at the age to enjoy a real turkey meal but he didn’t want to eat. I had Audrey home for a 1 1/2 weeks between the vacation days and sick days and I needed a break. Couldn’t wait for school on Monday but Sunday night mom just wasn’t feeling right. I had a fever of 101F and woke up the next morning tired. I took Audrey to school. Later that day I started a headache and soon a cough followed. That cough lasted 4 days non-stop. Finally went to the doctor since I was sure I had an ear infection now. Little did I know that my coughing was due to bronchitis and the doc confirmed an ear infection. Today the kids are better and I’m feeling good but can’t hear since both my ears are plugged up.

Audrey did get her letter from Santa and she was really excited. I don’t think that she wanted to show me how excited she was. She’s at a funny point where she doesn’t want to express her full emotions but I knew it made her happy. Enjoy the pictures to follow and the video of Audrey.

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Dec 5 2009 152 Dec 5 2009 165 Dec 5 2009 170I was trying to get a nice picture of the kids. They were not cooperating. I got a nice one of Audrey and the ugly cry from Nate. He didn’t want his picture taken with his sister.

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T-day table setting and Nate playing with the door. It squeaked!

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Matt and Audrey doing a book puzzle

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Nate’s new head light gear. He thought it was cool for 5 minutes.

Trick or Treat--- give me something good to eat!

We’ve been doing a count down to Halloween. I mean Audrey has been counting down. It started at about 20 days prior. Everyday, “Mom is it Halloween yet?” After the 5th time I think I told her she wouldn’t go if she asked me again. That squashed it for awhile. Then the day of Halloween at 8am I got the question again, “Mom, is it time to get my costume on and go trick or treating?” Torture, I hate being asked the same question over and over again. I only know that when Christmas nears closer (it’s almost here) that I will get the never ending questions. Just yesterday she sat down to prepare her letter to Santa. “Mom, how do you spell…..?” Really?

I am excited for her to get her letter from Santa. I decided that this year only, I was going to pay the money and have a professional looking letter sent to Audrey from Santa. It gets mailed out after Thanksgiving. I’m sure she will pee her pants with excitement. I really need to get off the Christmas subject.

Halloween was fun this year! We always have dinner over at my in-laws. Audrey walks to their neighbors and up and down their street. Then we pack up and head back to our place. Matt is already there handing out candy. I thought for sure that Audrey would make it around our whole sub. We have roughly 70 houses (so my husband says). About half way through she was half asleep. I guess all that anticipation wiped her out. But they both made out with candy. Matt’s sister substituted for Nathan. I had him so bundled up because it was so cold.

I was however bummed. I will learn to definitely take pictures right away. Wednesday, we carved our pumpkins. I was going to take pictures on Halloween but discovered that morning that someone stole one of our Jack-o-lanterns. I can only hope that someone was that hard up that they needed it to put a smile on their kids face. It’s the only thing that can make me overlook the distraught that was on Audrey’s face when she realized that it was gone. At least they didn’t take the one that she carved.

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Matt and Nate Nate petting the kitty!

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Audrey as a witch (hat is purple on chair). Great-Grandpa & Grandma Hanson (Matt’s grandparents)

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Grandpa’s yummy cake Audrey’s ready to go

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Nate as a pumpkin Oh, this pumpkin glows!

A Little Nathan Fix!

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Nate couldn’t wait to unload the dishwasher. I wonder why…..?

This Past Week

I’m really exhausted from everything that went on. The most from the weekend. I need to get some sleep and take care of myself. Overall, the kids had a great time and that makes me feel good.

Saturday, Audrey had her fall festival for school. It took place at a corn maze. There was face painting, pumpkin painting, bounce house, petting farm, mini haunted house, hay bale pyramid, hay bale maze and the big corn maze. So after the kids did the small stuff we entered the corn maze. They took off like bats out of hell. I’m screaming for them to get back to me (Audrey took her friend). Once I had them by me we walked through the maze. They did give me a map but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I was naive to think we couldn’t get lost. We did. We made it up to the word LIONS and into the football players shoulder or hand. That’s how lost I was. So I whipped out the map, I can read maps. Apparently, it’s not in between the lines you follow but the actual lines themselves. Oops! We only walked in a circle 4 times before I realized this. Fed up and the kids asking over and over again when we are getting out of this, I decided to back track. Finally, came across some stroller wheel marks. What relief!! You won’t find me in a corn maze or a corn field ever again. BTW, didn’t think through the whole pushing a stroller through dirt and mud (aka “a field”). Don’t recommend it but in the end it was a saving grace to get us out.

Sunday, Audrey had a birthday party at the bounce house. My original plan was to stay but I felt bad that Nate couldn’t bounce. He wanted to so bad. They had nothing there to entertain toddlers. At 1pm I decided to depart and take Nate over to McDonald’s for lunch. He enjoyed his nugget happy meal. By the time we got back the kids had finished eating and were about to open presents. Nate enjoyed that and I got to talk to one of the moms. I was happy that all the running around was done. Enjoy the pictures below

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I finally got around to cleaning up the basement from all that collects down there. I had a little helper, even if he played more with the toys. I think the toy vacuum counts. After I was all down this is where I found Nate.

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We also got a new washer. He found it cool that he could sit inside this piece of Styrofoam.

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A Quiet Weekend

Well, it’s quiet for now. I really thought I would have more time to myself when Audrey started school full-time. I’ve managed to slowly fill up my calendar. It’s nice to have activities but I’m a country girl at heart. I like the slow pace of things and the quiet you get from nature. Where I live it is nothing like that. On my drive to Indianapolis, I realized that Michigan has some of the worst drivers. We are speed demons, in a race where no one wins. We are also the construction capitol of the U.S., which means we’re racing to wait in line.

Nate and I have been doing mommy and me. He really enjoys socializing with the other kids. I hope that this also gets him talking more. One thing mentioned while we were in Indianapolis was that by 2 years of age, he may need speech therapy. It’s a struggle because I know how much he already knows, he just doesn’t care to say it. I have been encouraging him to “use your words.” Today, a word did come out that he hasn’t said in a long time. I was proud of him. Although Nate has said several words, he really only repeats a few.

I agreed to volunteer at Audrey’s school. First through the PTO ( I haven’t been asked to help with anything yet.) and secondly through her class. The teacher was obviously excited because she sent home a sheet that had 4 dates preselected for me. The first being this Monday. Now, I know that I agreed to help but I was under the impression that I would pick what days worked for me. Two of the dates happened to be while my in-laws are in Florida. They are the only one’s that watch the kids. So, unless the teacher agrees to me bringing a then 23 month old to class for half an hour, I won’t be any help on those dates. That is part of the reason I don’t like volunteering, it is sometimes unpredictable when you have kids. We’ll see what happens.

Audrey also started Daisies on Friday. That’s the youngest group for the Girl Scouts. She really likes it, even if she won’t tell me she really likes it. This also has commitments. They meet every other Friday (twice a month). She will sell those scrumptious cookies (along with her other various school fundraisers). And, I am to sign up as a snack mom. We do get to buy a beautiful blue smock that she will fill with badges and pins. It makes me proud to see things come full circle. I was a brownie when I was in grade school. I probably would have continued with it if I had control over things. I think that no one wanted to run it at my school anymore and it got cancelled.

Next, week will be a busy one.

  • Mon: at Audrey’s school.
  • Tues: Grocery shop.
  • Wed: mommy and me and we might get flu shots.
  • Thurs: Spa.
  • Fri: Quiet no Daises.
  • Sat: School Fundraiser.
  • Sun: Birthday party.

May not be a lot for you but for me it is. He’s some pictures of Nate with the outfit my mom found for him. And yes, my sons head got chopped off. It was the camera’s fault!!

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“I’m all done!”

BTW Audrey did totally embarrass me at the store today. There was a man in a wheelchair. My daughter decided she would stare at him as she was inches from pushing the cart into him. I have had several talks on how everybody looks different and staring isn’t nice. If you have questions you can ask me later. This kind of behavior scare me as we are now introduced into the LPA world. We are planning to go to Nashville and all I can think about is my daughter staring and saying to me,”Look mom, there’s a dwarf” as if this was a Where’s Waldo game. Anybody have this happen or know what might be a good way to handle the situation?

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