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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Morning with Mojo

I got up bright and early this morning (as in, 4:30 a.m.!!) to be on the Mojo Radio Show on WZYP. I went on to talk about Melissa George Night at the Huntsville Havoc game this weekend.

Mojo is the voice of the Havoc. He'll have his own jersey to auction off after the game Saturday night. (See post below to learn more about the game.)

I had a blast with Mojo. He's a great guy and I appreciate him letting me come on his show to promote the big night. Morning radio is so much fun. It's so hard pulling yourself out of bed, but once you get there, it's a great format and a lot of fun.

Mojo also put 20 tickets to the Hannah Montana "Best of Both Worlds" concert movie on ebay and auctioned them off for the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. They raised $810.01. Thanks Mojo and ZYP!

One of the highlights of the morning was a phone call on-air from a mom who's child was in the Neonatal ICU at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children years ago. She told me they didn't think her daughter would live through the night when she was born, and even if she did, they thought she would probably have developmental delays. Instead, she's a pre-med student in college. How awesome is that? I love hearing stories like that.

Thanks also to Fish at The Rocket 95.1 for letting me come on his morning show yesterday (unfortunately, I forgot my camera!) Let me tell you, that guy is a trip! Freak Daddy with the Rocket also has a jersey that he'll auction off Saturday night and he went on the show with me to promote it.

In addition to that, I was on WHNT Wednesday morning, talking about the jersey auction with my buddy, Lisa Washington. To see that video, just click here.

I can't wait until Saturday night. It's going to be great! If you haven't purchased tickets yet, do it now, because it's almost sold out. You can call 518-6160 or email

Monday, January 28, 2008

Melissa George Night at the Havoc Game

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, this is it!!

Saturday, February 2nd, is Melissa George Night at the Huntsville Havoc game. Last year, the players wore jerseys trimmed in pink and auctioned them off after the game. We raised $54,400 for the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund!

This year, the boys are wearing jerseys trimmed in baby blue. In addition to auctioning off those jerseys, the Havoc added something new this year. During warm-ups, the players will use pink sticks. They'll hold a silent auction during the game, and those sticks will go to the highest bidders. And, the first 1,000 fans who bring an item for the NICU or a monetary donation to the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund will receive a Craig Bushey action figurine. Those items include clothing, blankets, hats and booties for premature babies. The NICU also needs disposable cameras. They leave these by the babies' bedsides and the nurses will take pictures while the parents aren't there. For instance, the first time they ever gave Ann Catherine a bath was at night, and Chris and I weren't there. Her night nurse, Stephanie, took pictures for us so we could see them.

We'll use the proceeds from this year's game to buy another Giraffe OmniBed for the Neonatal ICU. They are state-of-the-art beds for critically ill premature infants, most weighing less than two pounds. When we first started Melissa's Fund, the NICU didn't have any of these beds. Now, they have five - all purchased by donations to Melissa's Fund. And while that is wonderful, they need more. These beds are very expensive. They cost around $35,000. But the benefits far outweigh the costs! Doctors in our NICU tell me they are seeing better survival rates because of these beds. Think about that. Someone's child, someone's grandchild, someone's niece or nephew, may have a better chance of surviving because of these beds. If it was your child, wouldn't you want to know the latest and greatest technology was there? That's what we are trying to provide through Melissa's Fund.

I hope you'll consider coming out to support us. Tickets are going fast! To order, call 518-6160 or email To read more on WHNT's website, click here. By the way, to those of you who aren't familiar with Melissa's Fund and what we do, just click here to learn more.

And to those of you who have supported Melissa's Fund, my sincerest thanks! YOU are playing a part in helping to save lives. What a wonderful thought.

I'll see you Saturday night! Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at the Von Braun Center, but you might want to get there early. It's going to be a great night!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Different Child

First of all, I snapped this picture of Lily this morning while she was watching her Elmo video. Why don't our children ever listen this intently when WE'RE talking to them??

Anyway, I posted earlier this week that Lily had tubes. I already knew how much they helped children, because Ann Catherine has also had them.

But, I'm telling you, Lily is a different child.

She has felt better this week than she has in two months. It's even affected her personality. Lily has felt so crummy for the past couple of months between her ears and having RSV, that it made her pretty whiney. And that's not Lily.

Now, she's back to being the sweet and happy Lily that I know. I am so glad we did it!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Losing a Child

Like so many of you, I have hurt this week for the family of Rick Burgess, with the Rick and Bubba Show.

I don't know him personally and have never met him. But I share a bond with him. We have both had to say goodbye to our child.

Whenever I hear of someone else losing a child, it opens so many wounds. The death of your child changes you forever. You are no longer the person you were before he or she died. It's as if there are two worlds: the one before they died, and the one after.

I have prayed for Rick and his family repeatedly this week. I hurt and ache for his wife. There is something so completely unnatural about carrying a child, and then having to tell them goodbye. Unless you have held your child as they take their last breath on this Earth, you can't possibly understand the pain. You can sympathize, but you can't truly understand the hurt, the grief, the pain, the despair.

But the thing that has amazed me this week, is the strength this family has shown. I listened to Rick's message at his son's memorial service, and he's right. That was God speaking. A parent who has lost a child could never do that.

Chris and I are living proof that God can take a horrible and tragic situation and turn it into something positive. Every time I walk into the NICU at Huntsville Hospital and see those precious, tiny babies laying in beds that were purchased by donations to Melissa's Fund, I am overwhelmed. Her life means something. It meant something while she was on this Earth. And it means something now.

When I share my testimony, I always say, "This is never the path that Chris and I would have chosen. If God had given me the decision to take Melissa or allow her to stay, I would have kept her here with me. But this is the path he chose for us. And we are following it, and in awe of what he is doing through her." I can't think of a better way for us to honor Melissa's memory, than to be faithful to the God who loves her and who is keeping her until I can get there.

Don't get me wrong. We're not perfect. When Melissa died, I asked why. I couldn't understand why God would take my daughter, and allow mothers who are on drugs or who don't care about their children, to keep theirs. But I can see now, that God's purpose for Melissa's life is so much greater than anything she could have done on this Earth. I take comfort in that.

If I could talk to Rick and Sherry, I would tell them this: I know you can't imagine it now, but there will come a time when you won't cry all night long. There will come a time when you can say his name without crying. There will come a time where you can think of him and smile instead of cry.

Those things happen down the road. Right now, they are in the midst of intense grief and it's a grief that I wouldn't wish on anyone. But their faith in God is strong and he will carry them through.

I know, because he carried us.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Lily Got Tubes Today

Lily had her surgery today to put tubes in her ears. She did so good.

Ann Catherine had the same surgery a year ago and it truly changed her life. She had had six ear infections in six months, and antibiotics weren't helping. Once she got tubes, she became a different - and healthier - child.

It was the same with Lily. She had had four ear infections in four months, and rounds of antibiotics and a shot of Rocephin didn't knock them out. It was obvious that she wasn't going to get better.

The surgery itself literally takes 10-15 minutes. By the time you get to the waiting room, the doctor is coming out to tell you the surgery is over.

The WORST part is what comes after: your child coming out of anesthesia. They just become crazy. They hate you, themselves and everyone else. It's a pretty miserable 20 minutes, but once they come out of that, they're fine.

I'm just glad it's over. And I'm glad she had the surgery. Ann Catherine hasn't had a single ear infection since she got tubes and I'm hoping the same holds true for Lily.

When you look at it that way, those 20 minutes of misery are worth it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

First Trip to the Dentist

When you have kids, life is full of "firsts."

First tooth, first word, first steps.

We added one to our list this week: Ann Catherine's first trip to the dentist.

We talked about it the night before and I told her the dentist was a doctor who looked at your teeth. She was fine about it. That morning I think she saw it as some type of adventure.

Luckily at your first trip they only look at the teeth and count them. Even so, she cried as soon as they made her lay down. You know, at her age, laying down at the doctor's office isn't usually a good thing. It either means you're sick and the pediatrician is looking at your ears or throat, or it means your getting a shot. So I think the act of just laying down made her pretty uneasy.

The good news is her teeth looked good and she didn't have any cavities. I was pretty happy about that because we brush every day and night, but sometimes you wonder if you're getting them really clean. I was glad to know we were.

One tip for you moms who are just starting to brush your child's teeth. When we first started, I wanted it to be fun for Ann Catherine. So I let her choose a song, and I sing it while I brush her teeth. When the song is over, we're through. It works great because Ann Catherine gets to choose the song (which is BIG at her age) and she is so into me singing (probably because it's so bad!) that she is still while I brush.

Speaking of advice, thanks to those of you who have posted advice about potty training. Every child is different, but you all gave me some great ideas and I really appreciate it. Keep them coming!

Monday, January 14, 2008

It's Potty Time!

Okay, fellow moms. I need some advice.

We're getting serious about potty training at our house.

I was never in a rush to potty train Ann Catherine. I've heard if you push them before they are ready, they'll regress. Plus, when Ann Catherine turned two, Lily was still a baby and it was hard to even think about potty training.

But, I can tell she's ready now. The problem isn't learning to potty. She can do that. Her problem is, she won't tell us when she needs to.

So, I need to know what worked for you. Different friends have told me different things. Some let their children wear big girl underwear and after a few days of wetting their new undies, they were potty-trained. My best friend let her kids run around without clothes for the weekend and they learned because they hated the feel of the pee on their legs.

What worked for you? I would love to know, because we are buckling down at our house. I know all kids are different, but I do welcome the advice. Hopefully, we can find what works for us!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sick Kids

To those of you who read this blog on a regular basis, forgive me. It's been a while since I've blogged. Unfortunately, my kids have been sick.

I'm telling you: this winter has not been a good one for us.

Lily had an appointment with the doctor this week to talk about getting tubes. She is a prime candidate for them, and quite honestly, I'm looking forward to it. Ann Catherine got them a year ago and hasn't had an ear infection since. The surgery itself only takes minutes. The worst part is the 30 minutes after surgery when your child is coming out of the anesthesia. I remember Ann Catherine was just crazy. She was so miserable, mad - the works. But it was a small price to pay to get rid of all of those ear infections.

Then on that same day, Ann Catherine started feeling bad and began running a fever. By the time I got her to the doctor, she had a 103.5 degree fever and was so sick and lethargic. They gave her a shot and then Chris and I alternated giving her Tylenol and Motrin throughout the night. Needless to say, we haven't gotten much sleep this week!

Everyone is getting better now. I'm looking forward to a full night of sleep for the first time this week. Here's hoping we get it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Sleeping Through the New Year

I'm getting old.

I couldn't stay up to see the ball drop last night.

I don't mean the one that drops at midnight. I mean the one that drops at midnight in New York - 11 o'clock central time.

Chris and I were watching the Auburn-Clemson game and I fell asleep midway through the 4th quarter. Next thing I knew, I woke up and Chris told me the game was over. I got up and went to bed.

Good thing too, because Lily is teething and I was up with her from 4-5:30 a.m. (Now it makes sense doesn't it? When you have little ones you catch sleep when you can!)

New Year's Eve just doesn't hold the same excitement for me anymore. I would much rather hang out at home with my family or friends than be out on the road or at some party. Call me old. I guess I've just changed. Motherhood will do that to you :)

Happy New Year to all of you! 2007 was a good one for our family - full of new beginnings: a new career for me and a new experience of being home at night with my family. 2007 allowed us to watch Lily grow from an infant into a little tot who's constantly on the go and Ann Catherine just blossomed into this little person with the funniest personality.

Here's to 2008! We hope it's just as good - even better. I hope the same for you. May it bring you lots of blessings.