Nathan is Hebrew and means "gift from God" - we couldn't have been more blessed than to have been chosen as his parents!

Thank you for keeping up-to-date with Nathan. We hope you visit often and enjoy experiencing our son's journey as much as we do. Please feel free to leave comments.

We love hearing from everyone!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tis The Season....

...for giving back, for joyous celebrations, for lots of delicious cookies, for taking stock in our blessings, and for getting into the magic of the Christmas season, which includes lots of time with Ho Ho (as Nathan says).

Last weekend, we took Nathan to brunch with Santa and as much as Nathan thought Ho Ho was cool, he wanted no part of sitting on his lap, even if was giving him a present.  He goes back and forth.  I can't figure it out! :-) 

Ho Ho gave Nathan an Elmo potty book that he absolutely loves! After brunch, we headed over to Santa Central, a.k.a., the mall, and had our official 2011 picture taken with the big man in the snazzy red suit. Nathan was happy to sit on his lap and take a few nice pictures.     
Danny thought it would be fun to do a family photo ~ I guess we're never to old to ask Santa for a gift or two on Christmas!  We believe....

Nathan and I also recently attended Disney on Ice.  This was our first ice skating experience, so I wasn't sure how he'd like it.  Well, he loved it!  He sat in his chair the entire time and never moved, well, except for dancing and getting into the performances.  We will definitely be attending future shows.   I took a lot of pictures, no surprise there, but here are just a few.

This year's photo shoot was a little different than our traditional Christmas backdrop pictures.  My sister wanted a cityscape picture and I thought the Capitol building would be perfect.  I took lots of gorgeous pictures of my niece and a few of the two of them together. It was cold out, so we had to work fast.  We were hoping for a little snow to add to the effect, but not this year. These are my favorites of the two of them together.


Tis the season for giving back.  Nathan and I also worked the Make-A-Wish, Adopt an Angel booth, with two of my close friends, who are also Wish Granters for the Foundation.  In just three hours, we we sold enough angels to raise almost $500!  That is probably our record high.  The angels are $3 for one or 6 for $15, so we sold a lot of angels!  Thank you to all of those who came to visit us and help make the wishes of children with life threatening diseases come true! 

Making wishes come true one angel at a time.

Finally, Nathan and I attended the annual Victorian Stroll in Troy.  On top of it being a beautiful day, Nathan had the opportunity to make a Christmas tree ornament, a gingerbread house, see Santa, and meet Father Time.

The Habitat for Humanity students from RPI, sponsored the gingerbread house-making table.  Fitting.

We hope you're enjoying your Christmas Season.   Merry Christmas from the Terrys!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bidding Farewell To Our Angels of Hope

Nathan officially "aged out" of Early Intervention in August, and when we made the decision to send Nathan to Preschool, we had to say good-bye to Nathan's A-Team.  It was one of the saddest days I've had in years and even after several months, writing this brings tears to my eyes.

For the first-time, I'm going to introduce them to you. 

Miss Dale
 This is Miss Dale, Nathan's Special Education teacher.  Dale began working with Nathan when he was about 8-months old (I think) and she and Nathan had loads of fun learning how to play. It's hard to process sometimes, that Nathan had to be taught how to play, but he did and still does.  Most children know instinctively how to play with toys, but Nathan needs more help in understand how things work and Dale made that happen. Dale would bring farm animals, dinosaurs, and loads of other fund toys.  Dale has a sweet disposition and Nathan just loved her. When Nathan began toddler school, Dale would provide special education there, so he would have a familiar face and friend in the classroom.  Plus, with Dale there, she was able to provide insight and guidance to Nathan's teachers, so they could support him and their efforts. 

Dale recently came to visit Nathan at his new school and it took him a few minutes to remember her, but when he did all he wanted to do was hug her!  He didn't want to let go.  Broke my heart to see how much he missed her.   
Miss Kathi
 This is Miss Kathi, Nathan's Speech Therapist.  Although, Nathan has had speech since he was 5-weeks old, Kathi didn't come to our family until Nathan was a little older, because we had to switch therapists.  When you're trying to teach little ones language skills, you have to be over dramatic and that's what I'll remember about her sessions with Nathan ~ the fun and fiery exaggerations of words and play.  Nathan loved it! Kathi was animated and so fun!  Kathi used play as her primary mechanism of teaching Nathan language skills ~ both verbal and sign.  She also was instrumental in helping Nathan with drinking, eating, and self-feeding skills.  Kathi has a kind disposition, a caring heart, and always offered words of wisdom and inspiration.  She still does.   

Miss Kim
 Miss Kim was Nathan's physical therapist and with him since he was 5-weeks old.  Kim was a part of our family and saying good bye to her was unbelievably difficult.  Kim can be summed up in one word ~ sweet. Nathan just loved Kim and when he did begin to verbalize, her name was the first he said.   Like all of his therapists, Kim used play as a means of building Nathan's muscle strength.  One of the things I'll remember about Kim's sessions was that she was like a big kid and really got into her work.  I loved listening to them laugh and play ~ crawling through tunnels, jumping, stepping on fun blocks, bowling, throwing balls, and so much more.  I'll also never forget that the toys and things Kim brought to each session probably weighed more than she did! 

Today, Kim is expecting her third child and we wish her nothing but the best.  She's an amazing therapist, person, and mother.  We certainly miss her constant presence in our lives.

Miss Laurie
Miss Laurie was Nathan's Occupational Therapist and she began working with Nathan when he was about a year old. She worked on skills like coloring, cutting, eating, and all sorts of fine and gross motor skills. She would bring all sorts of fun stuff to play with too and she and Nathan made all sorts of fun projects. She also reinforced the goals of the other therapists while accomplishing her own objectives. They'd sing songs, ride on fun scooter toys, and swing around in make-shift hammocks.  What I'll remember most about Laurie, is that she was as tough and no nonsense as she was upbeat and fun.  When Nathan didn't want to do something because it was hard, she pushed him through it. I liked that.  She knew he could do it or at least thought he should try.  What I valued most about her approach was that she didn't see Nathan's disability as an excuse to not do something, but as an obstacle that could be overcome. Laurie and I are a lot alike, which doesn't surprise me because we also share a birthday.  Happy Birthday Laurie!

I knew this day would come and we'd be forced to say good bye. I agonized for about two years over what I'd give them when this day would eventually come.  I wanted to leave them with something that would remind them of Nathan and the love they gave him, the hope they gave us, and honored their dedication to all children facing such obstacles in their lives.  

We bought each of them a Pandora bracelet with an Angel of Hope charm.  We hope that each time they look at it, they'll be reminded of the "hope" that each life brings and of the "hope" that families such as ours desperately need. Each child with a disability has something to offer the world and it's our "hope" that the world recognizes it and embraces our children.  Well, that's my hope anyway. 

Kathi, Laurie, Dale, and Kim ~ We miss and love you.  Thank you for being who you are and choosing to help children like Nathan, that face major obstacles and challenges everyday.   Some people just know how to be mothers, others, like myself who have children with special needs, have a lot to learn.  Thank you for helping me do everything in my power for Nathan at such a young age, and for your unconditional love and support.  I am forever grateful and indebted to you. xxoo

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Macy's Thanksgiving Day To Remember

As a child, it was tradition to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in our house.  Until Nathan was born, I never thought about driving to New York City to watch the parade live, but like most kids, we knew he would love watching those massive balloons, listening to the bands, and taking in all the other spectacular parade performers. 

The primary obstacle to executing this idea has always been the people.  This year, the parade officials anticipated an estimated 3.5 million people were going to line the streets of the parade route. That's more than New Year's Eve!  Obstacle number two ~ Danny hates crowds.  So, if we were going to attend this parade, I had better figure out how to get some bleacher seats.  Yes, there are some sections along the route where people with tickets can sit and enjoy the parade away from the crowd. 

Without getting into any detail, just days before the parade, I was notified that we indeed would have seats for the 85th, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!!  I seriously had tears in my eyes when I received the news.  I knew Nathan would love watching the parade and so would I.  What a dream come true.

The logistics of getting the tickets and getting there early were a little challenging, but where there's a will, there's a way!  We spent the night at a friend's house in the City, and on very little sleep, headed to the parade at 6:00AM.     

Nathan and Martha
It was a 30 minute drive in the morning, so we arrived really early for the parade, which was scheduled to begin around 9:00AM.  We needed to park on the East side of the parade route, so we could leave without much fuss and we wanted to park on the street.   If we had parked in a garage, it very well could have take an hour just to get our car out.  We lucked out and were able to find parking two blocks from our seats! 
We hung out in the car to stay warm for a while before venturing out.
The weather was nice considering it was the end of November, but we were bundled up anyway.  Our seats were terrific - just steps from the parade; with an unobstructed view of the performers. 

This is the start of the parade.

What I love most about this picture, is that you can actually see the floats as they're coming down the route.  The pictures that follow, are a small selection of the collection I took.

He loved the balloons!  They are enormous in person.

The cutest smile of the day!

Neil Diamond was on this float ~ taking pictures of the crowd!

look at how many people it takes to walk with these floats!

I love this picture.
I waited for the torch, that's carrying our service men and women, to be in front of these buildings.
They reminded me of the Twin Towers

The parade was amazing!!  Having seats made all the difference.  I would never go without them.  There's far too many people to dodge and it's almost impossible to see everything unless you're in the front or standing on top of something.  I did see people carrying buckets, so I assume that's what they were for.

We even made it home for Thanksgiving dinner!  What a day!