Monday, April 26, 2010

Thanks will never be enough

When Ella was born, people all over the country helped us out. Some people brought us food, some sent us special gifts, some gave us money, and most sent up hundreds and thousands of prayers for our sweet girl. At the time Joe and I were completely overwhelmed with the love and support. It was a scary time for us and knowing that others were thinking about us and praying for us really made all the difference.

Last week Ella got 2 special packages in the mail. First, she got a beautiful prayer blanket with her name embroidered on it. The card was signed by a woman I’ve never met, who attends a church I’ve never heard of. She is my grandmothers hair-dresser (I’m not sure if that’s the PC term) and as soon as she heard our story she decided to make a special prayer blanket for Ella. When we received the box I cried. It is still so overwhelming to have strangers take so much time to make something special for Ella. The second gift was a new Dr. Seuss book. Once again, I cried when we got it in the mail. A friend of my mom’s sent it to Ella after she read how much she loves Dr. Seuss books and it was so touching that she wanted to send it to Ella.

Saturday we headed up to Frederick, MD to visit with the Eagles. You’ve read about them here before, it’s the most amazing civic group that has adopted EB as their charity for the year. We have been able to visit with them on several occasions and have grown to love this group so much! They have the most amazing hearts! Saturday they had a bowl-a-thon to raise money for EB and they raised over $7,000! Incredible!

On Sunday it was my turn to go to the church service and Joe went to Sunday School with Ella. In the bulletin was an announcement for a new baby, and in reading the announcement I was taken back to when Ella was born and how much our church family gathered around us. They brought us food, came over to our house and offered words of encouragement, and lifted us up in prayer. On more than one occasion members of the church gathered together to pray for sweet Ella and ask for God’s healing hand. I remember one of the first Sunday’s we brought Ella to church and a woman sitting in front of us said, “Oh, this is the precious baby we’ve been praying for!” And even now (more-so than when Ella was born) our church is so supportive. It’s one of the few places we can take Ella where I don’t feel like everyone is commenting on what happened to her…because they’ve been there since the beginning.

All of these examples bring me to the point that Joe and I often talk about how we will never be able to repay all the kindness we have received since Ella was born. Just saying ‘thank you’ will never be enough. We are continually overwhelmed with how people want to help and how much they love Ella and want to see her grow and develop. You all are amazing! You warm our hearts and let us know that the world is full of amazing, kind, helpful people. Thank you…from all that we have in us, thank you for everything.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Theo Geisel

I started reading to Ella when she was 1 week old and in the NICU. I heard that studies showed that kids who are read to at an early age have better speech development. It also helps shape their memory and listening skills (what kid doesn’t need better listening skills). So I knew from the start that Ella and I were going to spend a lot of time with books. And I knew from the beginning that she was going to own many Dr. Seuss books (AKA: Theodore Geisel).

Also, in talking to a friend of mine who is an elementary school reading teacher, she said that one of the biggest issues she sees with kids is that they don’t know how to rhyme. They just can’t hear that cat rhymes with hat, or mouse rhymes with house. So I was determined to read rhyming books and poetry to Ella (Yes, she owns Where the Sidewalk Ends.)

Now, at nearly 3 years old, Ella recently discovered the joy of reading Dr. Seuss books, and now that’s all she wants to read. The problem is that she only has 3 books, and one of them is How the Grinch Stole Christmas so we haven’t been reading that. So at night Joe and I have read Green Eggs and Ham and The Tooth Book more than we would like to count. In fact, we have read it so much that Ella has much of Green Eggs and Ham memorized…and so do I…”I am Sam…Sam I am…That Sam I am, that Sam I am, I do not like that Sam I am!….Do you like green eggs and ham?” You know the rest.

The other issue here is that Ella now wants to eat green eggs! Yes, I have taken to dying her scrambled eggs GREEN! The good news is that now she’ll eat 2 eggs instead of 1…protein baby! And no, I do not dye Joe’s eggs green, nor do I dye mine. We eat regular yellow eggs just like the rest of the world. I guess as long as she’s eating her eggs I shouldn’t complain, but green eggs just really don’t look that appetizing.

Anyway, we’ve already decided that we’re going to start expanding Ella’s Dr. Seuss library. I’m thinking 1 Fish 2 Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, mainly because she has a red fish and a blue fish. Do you have any other suggestions?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I started singing in choir when I was in 4th grade. I couldn’t tell you exactly how many different choirs I’ve sung in, but it has been a lot. Yes, I was in Show Choir…I wore a purple cummerbund and bow tie…it was shimmery. Yes, we sang and danced at the same time and it was wonderful. I loved every minute of it.

All this considered, it shouldn’t be surprising that one of my favorite shows on TV is Glee. I love the drama, I love the comedy, I love the romance, and I especially love the music!

I pride myself on not getting star struck. I have lived in DC for 7 years and over the course of that time I have met a lot of important people, so I have learned to keep composed when we meet. I have met hundreds of our country’s leaders including a president and vice president (who happened to go to the same high school I went to). I have stood in elevators with 5 members of Congress and managed to come up with something witty to say like, "Be sure to vote the right way." I've even been known to stop a very high profile House member on the escalator and ask him if he remembered his high school Speech and Debate coach (my mom...and yes, he did remember her). I have met many singers and actors and been completely able to keep my cool (ask me about the time I saw Angelina Jolie in the bathroom). However, yesterday I met someone that made me feel like I was back in 7th grade and meeting New Kids on the Block.

If you don’t know who this is, then you’ve obviously never watched Glee. This is Mr. Schuester (Mr. Shu), the trusty glee club director. I met him at the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday, and I completely made a fool of myself.

Picture it, a hot and tired mom pushing a stroller with her hot and tired 2 year old daughter. They’ve seen all they came to see and all she wants is to find the exit. All of a sudden, there he is…Mr. Shu. Insert total freak out.

So, I saw Mr. Shu and immediately started scrambling to get out the camera. By the time I got it out of the case and prepared to take a picture, he had passed. I stood for a minute and evaluated my options:

1) Chalk it up as a loss and just tell my friends that I saw him.
2) Take a picture of the back of his head.
3) Run down the hill and grab him to get a good picture.

Well, as you can see from the picture above, I chose option 3. I grabbed Ella (I believe her exact words were “Woah Mommy!”) and started running down the hill…all while pushing a stroller. I was bobbing in and out of people like a pro. Finally, I came upon Mr. Shu (yes, he does have a real name, it’s Matthew Morrison, but to me he’s just Mr. Shu) and asked the dumbest, most obvious question, “Are you in Glee?” Hello Katie...of course he's in Glee. That's why you chased him down!

Well, because he’s nice, he said “Yes” as though I didn’t ask a stupid question. I of course asked to get a picture with him, but the woman who was escorting him to the Glee performance stage wouldn’t let him stop…not even for 1 minute (mean lady). So I just walked along side of him and snapped a picture.

He was cute, I’m not gonna lie…much cuter in person than on the show. I think they may nerd him out a bit on TV so that he goes with the theme of the show. Anyway, he was very cute and very nice. The whole 2 minutes that I was walking next to him (pushing Ella in a stroller) I was rambling on a bunch of stupid stuff about how my coworkers and I were Gleeks and how we talked about what happened on the show every Thursday morning (although now it will be on Wed. morning since the show is moving to Tuesday nights), and I know I mentioned something stupid about how I was a former show choir member…and I went on and on until finally something in my head told me to shut up, so I just thanked him for the picture and left.

There it is, my brush with fame. Right after I saw him, I saw Betty DeGeneres and Tony, Ellen’s DJ. I had used up all of my 12 year old NKOTB juices, so I just snapped a picture and left it at that.

Oh yeah, and Ella had fun at the White House too.