Friday, July 24, 2009

On the eve of Kat's second birthday

I am thinking of Brookwood and so thankful that we are not there!! Seriously, I can not believe that it has been two years with my blessed miracle caboose! Kathryn is a genuine firecracker, a funny little comedian, a tremendous snuggler, and a devil in an angel's disguise. She has eyes that reel me in, a laugh that melts my heart, and a love for life that is contagious! I am so thankful each and every day for the answered prayers that brought my baby girl home!!

So on the eve of Kathryn's second birthday, I say good night my sweet angel and Happy Birthday!

Love, Mommy

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Where to even begin

It has been so long since I last posted on this blog. I honestly thought that maybe I had just abandoned it permanently, but something kept drawing me back to it. Anyway, so I won't even try to play catch up, but here are some highlights of our life since April 2009.

So we left for Destin in April and the next day, April 24th, my nephew was born at 29 weeks. We enjoyed our beach weekend in late April. May was a crazy month with Mother's Day and Maddie's kindergarten graduation. Then began our summer including an overnight trip for Greg and I to Atlanta for Greg's brother's wedding reception, VBS for Maddie, a trip to the Chattanooga Aquarium (where we are now members!!), a father's day camping trip, Maddie's swimming lessons, a gymnastics class for Kathryn at Kid's Gym in Vestavia, Maddie's two week gymnastics camp, and a recent vacation to our favorite beach ever, Rosemary Beach!! Kat is doing so incredible without oxygen and we go in two weeks for her official checkup with BPD clinic where we hope she will graduate. Kathryn will also celebrate her second birthday in just nine days. Maddie lost her first tooth on vacation last week, learned how to do flips and handstands in the pool by watching other little girls do it, and officially starts Kindergarten in just under a month. Greg is becoming friendly with the airlines lately as he has been traveling quite a bit for work to Texas, Louisiana, and now Missouri. I was having a pretty flexible work schedule until about 3 weeks ago, when we were asked to put in extra hours and now I am working 6am to about 5pm each day. My brother Beau and his wife Brittany stayed in Washington, DC until about a week ago when Gaines was finally transferred to a hospital back in Alabama. He is doing much better but seems to continue to require oxygen and it appears that he may come home with oxygen also. He is a handsome little thing.

Well, better run. I am making a promise to myself to be better about blogging since I really enjoyed it when I did it before! It's a little more enjoyable now that we have a new laptop at home that isn't a slow old dinosaur like our desktop was. (It was seven years old though which is great great grandfather age in computers!)

Faithfully, Kelly

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's all gone!!

Pediatric Specialists of Alabama pulled into and out of my driveway yesterday for what I pray is the last time EVER! The oxygen tanks, concentrator, pulse oximeter, and all the various medical supplies are gone!! I feel like the chains have been lifted! Kathryn truly knows no limitations now and I am so proud for her.

On other news, we also had a checkup on Monday with her opthamologist, Dr. Metz. He said that her eyes have not changed in the past 6 months which is a huge blessing and another prayer that has been answered. She has a tiny bit of nearsightedness, but nothing that would require glasses. He said that even if she was 5, the amount of her nearsightedness is so small that it wouldn't require glasses! It may progress over time, but we thank God for the current blessings we are receiving! Because she is doing so well, we do not have to go back for a year! (Enter the theme music, "another one bites the dust", that we use to describe how quickly Kathryn knocks out doctors and medical equipment!)

A few last ramblings: Kat is doing very well sleeping in her room now. Greg and I love having our room back for the first time since July of 2007 - I know, it's been a long time!! Maddie's papers came in the mail yesterday for Kindergarten registration. I can't believe it's coming so soon! Just a few months away and my baby is growing up to be in big school. We are leaving today for our long weekend beach trip!!! Yea for Destin Florida!

And last but most certainly not least, please keep my brother and sister in law, Beau and Brittany, and their baby Gaines in your prayers. She is now 29 weeks on bedrest at GWUH, but this morning started having contractions. Please pray for more tummy time for little Gaines.

Faithfully, Kelly

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Results are in - no more equipment!!!

Kathryn's results came back this morning!! The doctors have discontinued her equipment and will be picking it all up!! We have a normal baby and she will finally go to bed tonight for the first time in her life with NO CORDS!

My God is an amazing God and he is so faithful!!! Praise God for Kathryn's strength!

Faithfully, Kelly

Still no oxygen

So, Greg and I made the executive decision without the consult of our doctors that we would just not put Kat back on the oxygen since the study last Wednesday night. She has now been SEVEN nights (and days) without oxygen. This morning when I checked on her she was 100 for her O2 reading. How great is that??? To be honest, we thought we would have had the results by now, I mean come on, a week??? Anyway, I called yesterday and raised a stink and we should hear something this morning!

We have another big step for her too - she has slept two nights in her own bed now. I know what you are thinking, she's closing in on two and had been sleeping in our room all this time? I was a little leery with all the equipment and such to put her in her own room, but now that she is off the oxygen, it was definitely time to try it. Mind you, the last two nights have not been easy; she cried for almost 40 minutes last night!

In other news:

1. my sister in law Brittany is now 28 weeks - you can visit them at to check up on Beau, Brittany, Reed, and Gaines
2. we are planning our first beach weekend getaway since Kathryn's birth -HALLELUJAH!!
3. Maddie's kindergarten orientation is coming up soon - when did she become so grown up?

Better Run to get dressed for work!
Faithfully, Kelly

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No Oxygen!!

We did Kathryn's pulse oximetry overnight test last night - for you non-medical folks - (that includes me), that means she slept all night with oxygen! And she did wonderful!! No alarms. The oxygen company comes today to pick up the machine to download and see if she passed, but I am pretty certain that she did pass!! Our house was creepily (is that a word?) quiet last night with the concentrator turned off for the first time in over a year - but I am not complaining!!

I am sorry for being such a crappy blogger lately!! We are so enjoying living life now that unfortunately, my time at the computer has gone by the wayside. Plus our computer had some viruses and we were getting them fixed!

Anyway, please pray that the results are as we expect they will be. We should know in a few days! Keep praying for my nephew Gaines to stay in his mommy's tummy for a while longer. She is now 27 weeks!

Faithfully, Kelly

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Done with taxes - yea!!! Finally.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kat's clinic update

We had a clinic visit on Monday with our favorite Dr. - Dr. Lozano. As of now, we are decreasing her Viagra to once a day for two weeks and then we will just stop giving it to her!! Wow - what a big accomplishment. Also, about a week after we stop Viagra, we will do an overnight pulse oximetry study (at home) where they monitor her sats all night without oxygen. If she passes, we will stop oxygen all together! So by mid to late April, we may be able to pack up all this oxygen equipment!! I never thought that I would see that day. We also now will be going to BPD clinic every three months instead of every two and when we go back in July, if Kat is doing well, we may even graduate from that clinic. At that point, we would default to the regular pulmonary clinic which is every 4-6 months. What great strides my little miracle is making. And she finally hit 16 pounds!!

All of these wonderful accomplishments aside, please continue your prayers for my sweet nephew to be, Gaines and his wonderful parents Beau and Brittany. And also pray for Reed while he is away from his mom and dad. They are holding steady at 25 weeks and Gaines is still with his mommy where he belongs!

Keep praying - the prayer of the faithful is powerful and effective!

Faithfully, Kelly

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Please be in emergency prayer with us

As many of you may remember, our second daughter Kathryn was born at 24 weeks, 1 day weighing just 14 ounces in 2007. Our family is praying for another miracle now and we ask that you pray with us. My brother Beau and sister-in-law Brittany are expecting their second little boy, Thomas Gaines Daniel. Gaines is due on July 7th, but God may have other plans. Brittany was on a business trip in Washington DC and started having complications yesterday. She was admitted to George Washington University Hospital last night and they determined that her water has broken at 24 weeks. The great news is that she is at a wonderful hospital. The bad news is that she is now in DC possibly indefinitely until Gaines is born. The doctors have said that she could go as long as a month (or more we pray) or as little as a week. Their firstborn son Reed is with family.

As you can imagine we are praying for God's hands in every step of this. I have created a blog for them, with their permission of course, that they can use to update us all. Please feel free to comment on the blog as that is the best way that you can support them right now. You can also pray for them. I for one know EXACTLY how Brittany feels right now and Greg can TOTALLY understand where Beau is. Prayer is one of the most amazing things that you can do to lift up this family. The blog address is

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up . . . pray for each other so that you might be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:14-16

Faithfully, Kelly Ellis

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Yeah - we closed on our refinance yesterday - 4.625%! Never thought I would see interest in the 4's!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yes we did but now we're not

So, yes we did have to make a trip to the hospital yesterday, but no we did not have to stay!! They took chest x-rays to look at Kat's lungs - which looked good - and then they did a breathing treatment. They also sent us home on breathing treatments, a liquid steroid, and an antibiotic for the ear infections. Poor thing, she sacked out as soon as we got her home!

Thanks so much for your prayers.

Faithfully, Kelly

Monday, February 23, 2009

Prayer Warriors needed

Kathryn has had a small cold over the weekend and she was sounding worse today so we headed to a 3:00 doctor's appointment. The prognosis is that she has a double ear infection, but also a significant "rattle" all over her chest. For Kat that can be dangerous because it can get into her lungs. She has been free of daytime oxygen for about 4 weeks now, but today she had to go back on daytime oxygen at 1/4 L (which is also her nighttime amount). Right now it is precautionary in order to keep her oxygen sats where they need to be. We are at home and treating her for her ear infections. Please pray that Kathryn will improve, this will not spread to her lungs, and that she will not need to go back in to the hospital. She has been hospital free for one year now and that is the last place we want to go back. Right now, we just kinda wait and see how she does (and we pray a lot!).

We covet your prayers!

Faithfully, Kelly

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Today is an anniversary

Today we celebrate one year hospital free with Kathryn!!

What an outrageous 12 months it's been.

Off to watch the Oscars. (and to Facebook)

Faithfully, Kelly

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More random thoughts

So here we are, another week has gone by and I have neglected the blog again! I used to have much more free time! Anyway, on to the news . . .

1. Maddie - Greg went this past Saturday at 5:30am to stand in line to reserve her spot in after school care starting in August. He was #8 in line and we still got first on the waiting list! I did talk with them on Monday afternoon and it seems pretty positive that we will get a spot, we just won't know until later this week. On the sickness homefront, Maddie is much better. A week and a half and now Maddie is back! She is thrilled to be back at school this week too.

2. Kathryn - had been hanging in all week and not getting sick, and now . . . she's getting sick. So far so good though with the oxygen. We had one little spell last night where she started to breathe funny and her sats were a little low so I put her on oxygen early, but other than that she has been doing well with nights only for about 2 1/2 weeks. Her sickness so far seems to just be really high fevers - 103 is the highest and that was last night with the crazy breathing spell. We went to the zoo and the park this past weekend and she loved running around without an attachment.

3. Greg and I - working, errands, etc. Greg was scheduled to go to Texas again this week on Monday and Tuesday and Monday morning after he had taken his travel bag to work, the trip was postponed. That trip will now be next week. Today he is headed to Mobile. Travelling fool! I'm in town, working, juggling appointments, holding down the fort, etc. For Valentines, we are doing the BE&K 5K this Saturday morning to help raise money for Kid One Transport. That's right, while you guys head out for your dinner dates, our date is a walk! (we save money and we get exercise - and I get some time with just my husband!)

Anyway, better run to get dressed for work!
Faithfully, Kelly

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Random Things

1. Kat is doing very well without oxygen during the day. She has been doing it about a week and a day and is doing excellent! She loves the freedom to go places in our home that she couldn't go before! She walks with a passion. She has now converted "Bay Bay" to "Bai-ly" to call our dog. If you ask her, where's Maddie, she turns to look straight at Maddie. In this fashion, she knows who the following people are: Maddie, Mommy, Daddy, Nini, Pawpaw, and Miss Cheryl. She waves bye bye with a vengeance and is just starting into "uh-oh".

2. Maddie is still recovering from a weekend of sickness. You name it, she's had it. Let's just say that our washing machine keeps getting a workout from all the sickness. Poor thing, her fever has been as high as 104, coughing, vomiting, chills, no appetite, etc. I hope that she is starting to round the curve to wellness because she isn't herself at all. I am also very tired from little to no sleep for the past four nights!

3. We went to the circus on Saturday night because Maddie seemed fine and we had the tickets. 10 minutes after intermission, Maddie threw up all over Greg so we left. Kathryn seemed to have a ball though! I have pictures of them that I will post later.

4. I joined FaceBook - that thing is fun, but is a definite time hog!

5. Greg's company won a job in Texas for some huge amount like $60 million that he helped to find! Go Greg!

6.Greg and I had a date last Friday night at the Comedy Club. It was very nice to get out and Nini and Pawpaw were gracious babysitters!

That's all for now! Faithfully, Kelly

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sancticty of Life

Friends of ours (actually one of our dear nurses who cared for Kathryn in the Brookwood NICU) emailed me a few weeks back asking permission to use some pictures of Kathryn for something at her church. It's called Sanctity of Life Sunday and it was this past January 20,2009. This is a day to celebrate the life that each one of us is given by our Creator. Our friends made a beautiful slide to share with their church family on this important day and I wanted to share this slide with you.

For this child I have prayed! I Samuel 1:27

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Great accomplishments

Again, getting terrible with regular updates!

Kathryn is now walking without holding on. About two weeks ago, she completely let go and is walking full force. She actually sometimes appears to run! She does say mama now and we are fairly certain that her first "official" word that she is calling out correctly is when she calls our dog, Bailey. She runs to the back door and says "Bay Bay". Funny that this would be her first word since Bailey is primarily an outside dog.

She is doing very well without the oxygen and has even had two days of 8 hours or more off of it. She had a cardiology appointment on Tuesday the 20th and they told us that her heart looks just fine and we can start to ween the viagra! This past Monday, we went for our BPD checkup and they officially told us that Kathryn could go to nights only on oxygen as long as she was doing ok throughout the day. That is a huge step!! They also told us that we could start to ween the viagra, so for the next two weeks she is on only three doses a day and if she has no adverse complications (don't worry, they told us what to look for), then after two weeks she will go to just two doses a day until we go back in March. If all looks good in March, we will go to one dose a day for two weeks and then discontinue the viagra!!!! So by mid April, she could be viagra free!!!! Please pray for that! Also, in March if she has been doing well with the nights only oxygen, then we can start to talk about weening her off of nights for her oxygen and she may be oxygen free by May!! We are obviously excited about these possibilities and are prayerful that she stays extremely healthy right now. As we saw this past Thanksgiving, one little cold can send her back on oxygen, so we will be praying for great health for Kathryn right now!!

Maddie is head first into school. They are learning their phone numbers and their addresses. She has grown up to be such an impressive five year old. We have real conversations and she is such a help with her sister. And my how the two of them adore each other. I actually think that Kathryn probably loves Maddie the most of any of us. Sister bonding is pretty neat to watch.

Greg is staying busy at work and is travelling a little bit. Mostly in state, but yesterday he took a trip to Texas. The weather was icy, so his trip ended up being a 6:00 am flight to Dallas airport, waiting all day in the airport since his second flight was cancelled, and turning around to fly home at 3:00pm. We are just thankful that he is staying very busy right now because in this economy construction can very easily be placed on the backburner. My job is actually pretty hectic right now. I am on a big project so I am working extra hours and am very ready to get back to my normal hours.

We are taking the girls to the circus this coming Saturday night and Maddie can't wait. I can't wait to see how Kathryn responds to everything. Maddie was about her age when we took her the first time, so hopefully she will enjoy it!

Take care! Faithfully,

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Christmas Pictures - Finally!

Playing at McWane.

Christmas morning and toys with Santa.

Maddie's Barbie house from Santa.

Maddie and her Christmas jammies!

Maddie and her Pawpaw!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Our new year so far. . .

So you can tell that the blog is taking a backseat lately. We have been so busy or so busy resting from being busy. Here's our world in a nutshell lately.

Now walking. She still cruises mostly along furniture, but she has taken as many as 20 steps in a row unassisted. She seems VERY proud of herself with this new accomplishment. The teeth are still busting through and the bottom two are much more visible now. No new ones though. Food is becoming more interesting - yea!! Her favorite foods are meats (even steak), cheese, squash, crackers, and last night we finally had success with our first fruit - banana. Not really a vegetable or fruit eater yet though. Her OT to improve her eating is going well and is now once a week since her eating is such an important issue to gaining weight, dropping the oxygen, and becoming healthier. Oxygen is still with us, but we are trying to start weening again. She did an hour off of it two days last week. I am pretty sure that she finally said mama last night too! Of course, she wasn't calling me that yet, but it was nice to hear her finally say the "ma" sound so that I know that she can say mama.

She started back to school on Jan 5 and is now 9-2 instead of 9-1. I guess it is getting her ready for big girl school in the fall. She really likes it and they are learning sooo much. She is becoming one smart cookie and is spelling, reading a few words, and writing like crazy (many times the same words over and over because that's what she knows). She still supposedly has the same "boyfriend" and just adores Alex Redmond, although some days he seems a little in competition with Jackson and Josh that are in her class.

Greg and I:
Back to work. Trying to be more healthy and shed the extra pounds we put on through the crazy past year and half living in and out of hospitals. We had the opportunity this past weekend to have a "date" and attend a baby shower and then go to a movie while the girls spent the night with Nini and Pawpaw. We saw Seven Pounds - very good but a little depressing. It was very nice to sleep restfully, but getting them both out for the night took a small army for all the equipment!

I promise to get new pictures posted soon!


Friday, January 2, 2009

So I was tagged

Here is the 4th picture in the 4th folder from my computer. Wow! What a difference from fall 2007 to January 2009! I have humbly decided to not pass the tag along because so many of us have already been tagged!! Enjoy.
By the way, the cannula in this picture is the same size as the one Kathryn wears today. Kinda puts things in perspective, huh? I'll put her current picture just below this one so you can compare!