Archive for March, 2009

welcome home daddy!

March 31, 2009 1 comment

A lot of you probably felt like we fell off of the end of the earth about two weeks ago.

We didn’t.

I just fell off of the edge of the Mason-Dixon Line (do I feel a cheesy country song coming on?).

Last week was Union’s Spring Break and I led a team of students to share the gospel in the city of Providence, Rhode Island.

There will be plenty of time for talk about Providence, now is the time for all of us to see what I was so excited to see when I got home from the airport this past Saturday night.

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To be absolutely honest, and – I think – biblical, while I was gone I thought most and missed most my beloved bride, Beth.

But she is not much fun for me to video when she’s not watching – so here are some of Abbey’s latest tricks.

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Abbey loves to practice her walking, especially when the is supposed to be asleep:

Abbey is still working on figuring out that she has hands, which is decidedly frustrating when she wants so badly to suck on them:

Now, my personal favorite, Abbey gets down to KT Tunstall:

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The blog is back in action, see you soon!


pastor daddy, pooping daughter

March 20, 2009 Leave a comment

With the new duties (delightful ones) of daddy-hood, coupled with the thick of the busy season at work, blog posts have slowed down here at rewilsons.

Consider this a trial of your blog commitment – will you endure through the thin times and hope for the good things to come? Or, will your attention wain and disinterest set in?

For my part, I can promise good things to come.

You might say that this post is part of the ‘firstfruits’ of all that is to come on the blog.

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Part of my busyness comes from my preparation to lead a mission trip to Providence, Rhode Island – prepping the team and soaking up time with my family without my laptop open in front of me.

I am bracing myself for the trauma of being away from my girls and, in an attempt to cope, I decided that I would do something special for Abbey.

One of the things I love to do is read to her, so I decided that I would record a video of myself reading a book entitled ‘Pastor Daddy‘ to Abbey.

I opened the book hoping to impart spiritual truth and daddy’s love to my little girl – but she had other plans in mind:

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That’s right, Abbey absolutely unloaded in her pants for about half of the time I was reading to her.

I could not be more proud of my daughter.

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Also, confession moment, I took the video for Abbey to watch/listen to while I am gone, true, but I was equally motivated by having something I could watch to see Abbey when I get sad and miss her and her mom.

I don’t guarantee you will get the same results, but I highly recommend that you purchase a copy of ‘Pastor Daddy

it goes by fast: week three

March 16, 2009 3 comments

We know that you are aching for photos as much as Lee aches to get home from work at the end of the day to hang out with his girls.

Apologies for the delay.

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A sweet and sleepy little Abbey


Abbey sprawls out on my chest for movie night


Check out here sweet little hands and that hair.  Beth loves her hair.


My two girls snuggling together this morning before I headed out the door for work.  Abbey looks really sweet, but I gotta tell you that she really only stretches out like this when she is working on a dirty diaper.

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Beth and I both agree – bath time is the best.

Abbey is usually wide awake and happy in the warm water.

She also makes some of the best faces:




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We both hate to say it – but Abbey really is getting big.

She was just shy of 10 pounds at 3 weeks, but she is not very rolly polly or chunky.


Here is our big girl hanging out and staring at her daddy.

spotlight: asian stoves, a marvel of modern engineering

March 11, 2009 5 comments

This culinary adventure by my good friend Becky may be one of the most baffling things I have ever read.

How is this possible?

All it really is is a glorified hot plate: two burners and some buttons. If you’re willing to get your hands dirty, you can even lift the entire unit out of the countertop. Who knew that such a seemingly simple decive could spiral such a saga?

My first hunch was that maybe I just didn’t know how to work it. I can’t read the buttons so my feeble attempts to operate it resembled the hunt & peck method akin to eighth grade keyboarding class. No matter what combination of buttons I pushed, I got the same result: incessant high pitched beeping, no heat, and extreme frustration.

I asked two of my local (and literate mind you!) friends if they could diffuse this dubious device. Despite their best efforts, no immediate solution was reached. So we called the landlord to seek his expert advice. Unfortunately, he was out of town on vacation and could not be reached.

Two weeks later, we finally heard back from the landlord, who had this brilliant piece of technical advice to offer: unplug it, wait 24 hours, plug it back in. Seriously? That strangely seems to resemble what you do if your PC is acting up, not your stovetop. My other American friends thought that sounded like a pretty reasonable idea, so, even though I was convinced they’ve all lived in this country way too long to believe such a ridiculous idea, I tried it anyways. No luck.

So the landlord himself came to my house to investigate. He took away my stove and brought it back later that afternoon looking like this:

Yes, there is certainly cardboard on top of one of the burners wrapped in packaging tape. The landlord told me, “You can’t use this today. You can use it tomorrow.” (And I actually understood him!) Apparently, the 24 hour recovery time is common for Asian appliances. To prove his point, he took my new crockpot (courtesy of Asian e-bay) and put it on top of the recovering burner.

My local friend that had been helping me with this (since January!) called me to ask if it was working. I turned on the other burner (not the bandaged one with the crockpot on top) to check. And guess what!?!? More beeping…no heat…more frustration.

Another call to the landlord elicited this final piece of electrical advice: I have the wrong kind of pots.

Now if that isn’t the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard! You’re telling me that my stove is SO smart that it can detect what kind of pot is on it before it decides to heat up or not?

Yes. That is exactly what they said.

This news sent me into a downward sprial of culinary depression that lasted at least another two weeks. Our diet, now vastly improved with the addition of the crockpot, still consisted of far too many pb&j sandwiches. My microwave vegetable steamer was going into overhaul with the absence of a stove to boil water.

That is until one fateful day…

Another national friend verified this hypothesis about the wrong kind of pots. Still skeptical, I borrowed a different kind of pot from an America friend. Ten minutes later, I sent her a text at 9 PM that said: “You’ll never believe what I just did! Boiled a pot of water!”

So at 9:05 that very night, with her kids in bed and my studying put to rest (where we both should have been!), we went out to buy me some pots. We were the only folks in the deserted store (which is truly a rare phenomenon around here) and perused the pot selection until our heart’s content…well, really until they kicked us out of the store by turning off all the lights.

Here is why I’m thankful for this adventure:

* the words for “pot” and “stove” are forever etched in my mind. Nothing like experiential learning to make it stick!
* I now own four pots that work on my stove.
* I can fry an egg for my husband.
* I was thoroughly humbled by my disbelief of the rationale behind my broken stove.

So the next time someone tells you you might need new pots, I’d take their word for it!

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I would be hugely grateful if anybody has a clue how and why a glorified hot plate needs to sense special pots in order to turn on.

Follow the (mis)adventures of Kevin and Becky at A Peek at the Peeks.

calm after the storm: a week of photos

March 10, 2009 1 comment

The Wilson family has been breathing a collective sigh of ‘relief’ after two weeks of doctor’s offices and hospitals.

Relief because Abbey is going to be okay, more than okay – she will be perfect.

Yes, Abbey’s thyroid is defective.

Yes, this is a massively serious condition.

Yes, Abbey will require blood tests every two weeks.

Yes, Abbey will be visiting our specialist in Memphis every four weeks.

Yes, Abbey will have to take medication every day – probably for the rest of her life.

But, she is going to grow up and mature just like any girl, any girl with a fully functioning thyroid.

There are many evidences of God’s grace in all this, reflections that will find their way onto this blog in due time.

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Until then, we will make up for a weekend of blog silence with some photos from the last week(ish):


Abbey is not sucking her thumb in this photo – she doesn’t even know she has thumbs



Hungry Abbey, but that’s the wrong chest baby.


Una-daddy with his Una-baby


Abbey at her 2 week check up – everything looked great.  8 lbs. 15 ounces and a pair of chicken arms.


Abbey’s first outing to Picasso’s Pizza – she was riveted.


Abbey in a bag – that’s what we call her sleep gowns (they’re our favorite)

a day at the hospital: photos and film

March 5, 2009 Leave a comment

This past Tuesday was a full day at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital – there was a lot of waiting, many big words, and not a whole lot of food, but fortunately we have a really cute baby to take photos of to pass the time.

We arrived at our thyroid specialist’s office at 10:30 am, having had a bit of fun driving around downtown Memphis with some pretty awful directions.

We rose above the bad directions and we were awarded with a 2 1/2 hour wait – sweet action!

The long wait translated into a photo session with Abbey:


(behind us is the sink Beth turned on that exploded all over Lee)



(Lee, Grammie, Abbey, and Beth)


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Finally, the doctor showed up in our room, did a quick exam, and sent his nurse in to whisk us off to Abbey’s nuclear scan:


(Beth, immediately before Abbey was injected with radioactive dye)

That’s right, yet again we got to play to “poke and prod the baby” game – this time with the excitement of radioactivity (just a tiny amount).

The dye is used to mark Abbey’s thyroid for this next step in our medical journey:


(tiny baby with a massive nuclear scanner)



(Abbey was exhausted from crying during her injection, so she sleep soundly for the 40 minute scan)


(Mama looks at her little girl – both Beth and Abbey were troopers)

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The nuclear scanner looks really sexy, and I guess it is if you really like large computers and nuclear imaging, but it moves so slowly that it is not really very exciting.

Due to a shortage of visual excitement, I decided to try to catch the emotion of the moment in this video clip:

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Finally, at 3:30 in the afternoon, we finished Abbey’s scan and we had lunch!

Back to the doctor’s office, where we were informed of Abbey’s immature thyroid and paused to take a photo with our awesome “handler” Jackie for the next, well, rest of Abbey’s lifetime (or however long we live in Jackson, I guess)


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Also, you may find this strange, but we were also encouraged because Abbey was really fussy and cried because she was hungry when we got back to the Doctor’s office:

The reason this is a good thing is that part of Abbey’s thyroid condition is that she tends to be really sleepy and super laid back – so it was good to see her get opinionated about needing her dinner.

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After a really long day, we headed home and here is what we felt like physically and emotionally when we finally walked through the door of our home at 7:45.



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In our next post I will let you know what the future holds for Abbey and her treatment for congenital hypothyroidism.

abbey’s thyroid: official diagnosis

March 3, 2009 5 comments

I will start with the fancy diagnosis:

Abbey has a sublingual thyroid and her official condition is congenital hypothyroidism.

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Here is ‘simple’ version.

The thyroid is a vital gland that works in conjunction with the brain to stimulate physical and mental growth and development.

Initially, the thyroid and brain develop together.

Eventually, having matured, the thyroid moves down to its final, healthy location down behind the hollow spot low on the front of your neck.

Healthy maturation and correct location are intimately connected when it comes to assessing the development of the thyroid gland.

On Abbey, her thyroid developed with the brain and descended, but it did not arrive in the proper location.  Instead, it is ‘sublingual’ or ‘under tongue’, which means that it is located higher up the throat near the base of her tongue.

While she does have some functionality from the thyroid gland, the blood tests we have taken indicate that it is not working the way that a fully developed (and properly located) thyroid gland should.

What’s the big deal?

Our doctor: “There is nothing more important than the thyroid in the healthy development of the brain – in the first three years of life, especially”

The risk?

Our doctor: “Improperly functioning thyroids are the leading cause of preventable mental retardation in the world.”

Don’t freak out.

Yes, Abbey’s thyroid does not function to its full capacity (this is clinically known as ‘congenital hypothyroidism’, hence the diagnosis above).

Yes, this is a very serious condition.

But, Abbey is going to be fine.  Not just fine – excellent and wonderful.

Because the problem was caught early on, we will be supplementing her thyroid with synthetic thyroid hormones.

If Abbey receives her daily supplement of medication, her brain will continue to develop properly, with no complications, no delays, no worries, no problems.  She will develop to her full potential mentally and physically.

Our doctor: “I had a patient, diagnosed at the same age as Abbey, who took her medication daily, recently graduated as valedictorian of her high school class, and is currently enrolled at M.I.T” – not bad.

The gravey: One of our nurses today has congenital hypothyroidism, was a really awesome girl, and employed at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital as a nuclear technician – not bad at al.

(More on the radioactivity and nuclear scan tomorrow, if you are interested)

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Follow up points:

How is Abbey?

Exhausted, asleep, hungry, with 4 more needle sticks in her sweet little arms – but she is going to be fine.

How are Lee and Beth?

Exhausted, sleepy, emotionally drained, physically drained, extremely thankful to our gracious God who ordained Abbey be born in this place, in this time, when congenital hypothyroidism is on the radar and mandated, by State Law, as a standard test for newborns in Tennessee.

We are frazzled, to be sure, but it is good to know exactly what is going on with Abbey and what exactly we need to do to ensure that she grows up mentally and physically healthy.

It is going to be a tough thing, at times, with the monthly blood tests and pediatric endocrinologist visits in Memphis.  It will be hard as Abbey starts to realize what is happening and look at her Daddy and Mama with a “please help me” in her eyes.

Praise God that he gives good gifts to his children, and we thank him profusely for the good gift that he has given us in our sweet little Abigail Ruth.

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Serious stuff, I know, so here are some photos to look at and unwind:





Here is our exhausted little girl at the end of a long, long, long day at the hospital.

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Tomorrow, a photo/video tour of our day at the Childrens Hospital, complete with an explanation of why abbey cannot hang out around small children or pregnant women for the next 24 hours.