The Harnisch Family

The Harnisch Family

Jan 31, 2010

"Oh The Places She Will Go"!



We have been advised by Macy's pediatrician to keep her out of illnesses way. Of course, any parent of a newborn should do the same, however, due to her Down Syndrome, she is especially prone to sickness. No need to take any chances. Better to be safe than sorry! Sorry Kenzie :-(

I stumbled across this sweet poem a few moments ago out there in "blogosphere". I thought I'd take the liberty to change out a several things to customize it for our little Miss Macy. :-)

We are very excited to share our journey
with Little Miss Macy Lee.
She surprised us on December 28th
three weeks early.
A sweet, precious and perfect gift
from our Lord up above,
We welcome her into our lives
with Much Joy and Endless Love.

Fearfully and wonderfully made
By our God in heaven,
Instead of 46 chromosomes,
He gave her 47.
Known as Down Syndrome,
Or Trisomy 21,
The blessings Macy will bring us
Have only just begun.

We share this news with you Not out of sadness or despair, But so you will know,
and so you can pray,
And because we know you care.
Macy, though special,
Is like any little girl.
Just needing a little extra help
To make it in this world.

We are tickled pink to have Macy,
And can’t wait to watch her grow.
We will watch with amazement at
The Places She Will Go!

Jan 29, 2010

Eventful/uneventful week

This has been what I would describe an eventful/uneventful week. Eventful, in that we had a lot of visitors over to the house, and many neighbors brought over yummy meals. We also ventured out of the house to run a lot of errands this week. Went to the library, etc...
Uneventful, in that we had a few doc appointments and luckily there is really no "news" to report other than Macy is doing AWESOME!! We visited Dr. Sebastion Troia, a Pediatric ophthalmologist the other day. Due to the fact that it is likely that some children with Down Syndrome may have eye conditions ranging from Cataracts, Glaucoma to esotropia (crossed eyes), it was recommend that we visit the ophthalmologist to have her checked out. He dilated her little pupils, took a good long look in her eyes...and and wa-la...perfectly normal! We will take her back when she is 6 months old to ensure that they remain okay.
Next we visited her pediatrician for her 1 month "well-baby" visit. Again, no news. She is a perfectly healthy, fast growing little girl!! She is currently 19 inches long and is all the way up to 6 pounds 8 ounces. What a "porker"! j.k. But seriously, that is tremendous growth from our last visit just 2 weeks ago :-) I've gotta say, due to the fact that I am nursing her, this is awesome news, I feel very relieved and even a little proud! :-)
We continue to be sooo thankful each and every day for Macy's good health. As you can imagine, when we learned of her diagnosis with Down Syndrome, we were immediately worried and concerned about all of the possible health conditions that could and probably would arise. We, of course, took a step back and told ourselves to simply take it one day at a time. "It will all be okay". And so far "everything IS okay". I believe strongly, that God is looking down on us and hearing all of the powerful prayers on her behalf! Thanks BE to GOD! I understand that this is a life journey and their will be many ups and downs, but for the time being, we are extremely grateful for all the UPS we are experiencing!!!

Below are some photos from our visit to the Elkhorn Library earlier today...

We did a little bit of reading...
But mostly a lot of playing!
Silly Grandpa...I don't think you're supposed to play soccer in the library! But wait...if you're not allowed to, than WHY would they even have them there?? So I guess it's okay! :-)
"Hi Baby Macy" "You having fun baby Macy"?

We had so much fun at the library, we are definitely going to make a regular outing. Next time, we are going to visit Waterloo's library! We've got "Toddler Story time" and a character visit by Dr. Suess' "Maizey". We're looking forward to that next week :-)

Jan 26, 2010


Our little baby girl is a whole 1 month old!!! Weighing in at about 6lbs 2oz today :-)

And what better way to celebrate 1 month of life than to take some
"John Deere Girl pictures :-) right??
Big sister McKenzie agrees that this is a good idea!

The picture below is a page from McKenzie's she is at about 1 month of age in those same John Deere Boots. See the resemblence? Thanks Aunt Gayle for the awesome boots!

Jan 25, 2010

Sunday Dinner!

Last night all of us "Lees" got together at mom & dads house in Waterloo for Sunday dinner. This photo is missing some the kids (they were off running around downstairs) & Dan (he was working). It is always wild, crazy and loud. Last night there were 9 adults and all 10 kids. Not even "man-to-man" kid coverage, we had to resort to a "zone" defense. Thankfully most of the kiddos were in the basement playing most of the time. :-) Made for a fairly peaceful evening. Only a few tears. MOM, you have OCD, you polish the floors waaaay too much, the little ones are slipping & sliding all over the place! The floors do not have to, as Miss Hannigan would say "Shine like the top of the Chrysler Building"! seriously...
Anyway - back to Sunday Dinner...
We see my family all the time (b-day parties, holidays, out at Woodcliff Lake), but it has been quite a while since we have had our traditional "Sunday dinner" gathering around the table.
Growing up, I'm sure you can imagine, we had a VERY busy household! Us four girls were barely home it seemed, as we went from one activity to another. We all played a lot of sports throughout our school years. Not to mention both my parents worked full time & bless their hearts, NEVER missed a game basketball game, volleyball game, track meet or whatever other activity we had going on. (on a side note and this is a completely separate blog topic, I could not imagine not having my parents in the crowd watching & cheering for me at ALL my games, or present at my school activities, it just would not have been the same)...anyway - because our family was always on the run, It was rare that we would be able to sit down and eat dinner as a family during the week, we'd typically just have to fend for ourselves.
But, on Sundays, we could always count on one of mom's large home-cooked meals. I knew this was special, as many families I knew hardly ever even utilized their dining room tables, let alone actually sat around them all together...I had a few friends (Erin, you know who you are :) who would also join us for Sunday dinner on occasion, but I think I did take these dinners for granted, at least until I left for college. By this point my 3 older sisters had also moved out of the house, but they would still come "home" to Waterloo for Sunday dinner at mom & dads house. I just went to Midland Lutheran College, only 20 minutes away from home. I lived on campus the first two years and lived in a house off campus with 4 girlfriends the last two years. I was also very active and involved in campus life, I was in a sorority, played basketball, was busy with various journalism programs and practicums, was in several clubs and had a few jobs (oh yeah, I went to class on occasion too. :) So with all these college activities I, like most college students, probably would not have made it back home too frequently. But this was NOT the case for me. What kind of broke college student would turn down a "free" home-cooked meal. Not me, that's for sure! I also, "stole" several other items from mom & dads fridge, milk, butter, bread, toilet paper, shampoo, and other various necessities that you need, but hated to spend your limited, hard-earned money on back then. On the way out the door and back to Fremont, I'd give them a hug/kiss good-bye, and my famous last words were, "oh btw - you're out of bread, or something else I that I had taken the "last of". tehe!!! THANKS MOM & DAD! HAHA

So, in conclusion, I hope our family still continues to gather for Sunday dinners at mom & dad's house, at least on occasion! It is very much a goal for me to continue to carry on this "Sunday Dinner" tradition with my small branch of the family as well! I want my girls, when they get older to appreciate the same kind of small things that I appreciate ... for example, something as little as Sunday Dinners :-)

Below are a couple other "Sunday Dinners" from several years ago that I just happened to have photos of:

Jan 23, 2010

Enjoy the Little Things...

Enjoy the the little things...for one day you may look back and realize they were the BIG things. ~Robert Brault
And as the great Ferris Bueller once said: "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it".

Being on maternity leave (and the fact that it has been insanely cold) has really allowed me to spend a LOT of quality time with my family. We love hanging out at home and just watching our two girls. They are the highlight of our existence! We had a great Saturday morning just hanging out in the living room doing absolutely nothing!
Here's a picture of Joe napping with his girls on the couch...After a few hours of this "doing nothing" Joe and I looked at each other and said "this is pretty pathetic"...we should probably get up and "do" something. So we did. But looking back at our morning, I'd like to think that we were actually quite productive. You don't get this opportunity very often, so when you do, take advantage of it & DON'T feel guilty about it :-)
Speaking of the "little" things: Macy is already starting to develop a little personality, she has such cute little gestures and motions. She does this cute "ooooh" thing with her mouth, her eyes really move around and focus in on you when you talk to her and my favorite thing that she does as of late is in the mornings. It is so funny when we free her from her little "swaddle me/straightjacket" in the mornings...her arms and legs stretch out far and wide, she has a yawn that is as big as her little face. SOO ADORABLE!
I remember McKenzie did the exact same thing. Oh how I miss that, wish I would have taped that :-( Speaking of McKenzie, she is also changing so much each and every day. So glad, I can sit back and enjoy these "little" things.

The Witt's just stopped by to hang out with us. Now Heather and Chad are at the grocery store...I asked them to please leave a couple of their kiddos here, it works out nicely for me. McKenzie is having fun with them and I am able this. tehe :-)

Last night the whole "Lee" family went to the DC West basketball game to watch Danielle cheer during half-time. She's in kindergarten, so as you can imagine, it was super adorable. She did a fabulous job! It was kind of surreal being there. It was the first sporting event of my alma maters I had been to since our school district had consolidated with neighboring town Valley. You see, we used to be the Waterloo Panthers - Blue & White were our school colors. Our old rival Valley's mascot was a Terrier and their colors were purple and gold (yeah, I know what you're thinking, Terrier, how lame is that?) tehe. In any case, they are now the Black & Red, DC West Falcons and this is just so strange to me.
Sad how things change, but change is good! Just sit back and enjoy things the way they are today, because tomorrow things will change, and you'll be sad if you didn't take the time to enjoy it while it lasted...

Below are some pictures of when Macy visited Daddy at work the other day! :-)
These are a few of his co-workers, I couldn't show them all 'cuz there are a LOT of them.

Macy' Great Grandma Salisbury stopped by for a visit the other day :-)
Live Simply
Love Generously
Care Deeply
Speak Kindly
Leave the Rest to God

Jan 20, 2010

Macy's Genetic Test results

Many people have inquired about Macy's specific diagnosis, so I thought I would go ahead and share some of the detailed information we learned from the genetic testing performed by UNMC's Munroe Meyer Institute. FISH Cytogenetics Report.

As you know, we learned shortly after Macy was born (about 10 to 15 minutes after), that she may have Down Syndrome. The doctors and nurses were quick to point out several physical characteristics that supported their theory. Between you and me, I would have appreciated it if they would have, of course, waited for Joe to get back in the room before starting to fill me in on this. (You see, Joe had left the room for no more than 30 seconds to simply share the exciting news of Macy's arrival with a few of our family members who were in the waiting area). Looking back, I do not understand why they would have wanted to break this sort of news to a new mom, without her VERY supportive and PRESENT husband right there WITH her?!? I know this was obviously an oversight on their part, but I still think it was strange & worth mentioning...

In any case, Through genetic testing, this diagnosis was confirmed by looking at the chromosomes found in Macy's blood cells which revealed an extra chromosone known as #21. If you look at the chromosomes in the average person's cells, you will find that each cell contains a total of 46 chromosomes. 23 pairs. The egg and sperm each contain 23 chromosomes, so when conception occurs, the fertilized egg will have 46 chromosomes. Individuals with Down Syndrome have 47 chromosomes. This extra chromosome is a third member of #21, and thus it is sometimes called "trisomy 21".
This misdivision is the result of an accident or chance event of the chromosome division process in the formation of the egg or sperm. There is nothing that could or should have been done to prevent this and there is nothing that we had done to have caused it. It was not our fault! :)
The specific type of Down Syndrome that Macy has, where there is a separate extra 21st chromosome is NOT an inherited type of Down Syndrome. The most common type (not the rare Mosaic DS or DS due to translocation). The risk of us, or anyone else in our family having a child with Down Syndrome is not increased above the risks of the general population based on their age.

(full disclosure warning: in an effort for me to be most accurate, some of the above information is slightly "plagiarized" from a letter we had received from UNMC's Dr. Bruce Buehler.)

Baby Harnisch ***DUE DATE!!!***

So, as most know, I am (or at least I would like to think I am) am a pretty organized person. I keep my office at work pretty tidy (most of the time) and I keep track of all meetings, events and appointments in my outlook calendar. So, why wouldn't I, of course, enter baby Harnisches due date of January 19th, in outlook. It was pretty funny to get the "event reminder" notification yesterday, Tuesday morning. haha! We didn't exactly stick to that schedule now did we!?! :-)
I had a great time with the ladies at Bunco last night and Joe survived his first evening alone with the girls. I certainly was not worried, I knew he would be perfectly fine. And PERFECTLY fine he was...he had both girls "jammied" up and in bed snoozing before 8pm! What a man I tell ya!! :-)
I was going to post some pics of the last couple days (as I usually do), however I can not seem to locate the camera at the moment, I think Joe must have taken it out of town with him. Yes, out of town, me and my baby girls are home ALONE for the next couple nights, while Joe travels to another fabulous destination, I do believe he is venturing to sunny North Platte, NE, for a hospital audit or something like that. We'll be okay, I'm pretty sure I can handle it. We've got "man of the house" Toby, the aggressively protective, Westie, Gaurd dog. Well all that, minus the aggressive part I suppose.
I wanted to post pics of our trip to daddy's office yesterday...and great Grandma's visit, plus a few other visitors. I also took some pics of our visit to cousin Mason's house. Ashlynn & Autumn got to hold baby Macy. It was pretty cute, they wanted to call a few of their neighborhood friends and show Macy off to them (So, Dakota, Cody and Emily all rushed over & held her too). Even Shelly called her neighbor friend, Melanie. tehe! How sweet!! Macy, you sure are LOVED!
Soo, since I could not post any new pics, I thought I'd leave you with a few of our "first born" Toby. :-) He is very good with babies by the way. Very calm & gentle when they are around...he just adores McKenzie and Macy!

Toby is not just our "pet", he is very much a "member of our family" we LOVE him SOOOO much!

Jan 19, 2010

Sleepover, Sesame, toothpaste Dance Party FUN!

Our baby girl is growing up! Let the sleepovers and girl drama begin. McKenzie is already talking on the phone, insists on picking out her own outfits and shoes, needs her nails painted so she can be like "mine Anna" and she drinks out of a "big girl" cup now! She was even invited to her first "friend" party...oh and did I mention the "sassiness"?!? Where did she get that? hehe Now, if only she would master this potty training gig already! She seems like a giant in her size 5 diapers compared to little miss Macy in her preemie sized diapers. haha!
Below are some pictures from a couple recent sleepovers over at cousin Anna's house. Lucky girl!
Thanks for taking all the pics Keri :-)

Kenzie, Cousin Anna & Cousin Danielle - Dance Party USA! This was a couple weeks ago.
Pedicure time!
All the color choices! WOW! My mommy doesn't have this many colors?
Silly girls :-)
Anna, Sarah and McKenzie at last nights sleepover.
Sure Keri, they slept all night huh? I'll bet they stayed up, shared secrets and giggled the whole time!of course, it's important to do your bedtime exercises!
Dance Dance Dance
Let's "hug it out". Sarah (the cutie on the left) is McKenzie's best friend from daycare. She's Joy's daughter :-)

McKenzie sure is one very fortunate little girl, she has so many friends and family looking out for her, who are all there for her at the drop of a hat.
When we were in the hospital delivering Macy and then over at Children's NICU taking care of Macy, soooo many people were quick to ask about McKenzie and offered to help out by watching over her. All the offers were greatly appreciated. Rest assured that during that time McKenzie was VERY much taken care of. She felt as though she was on a mini vacation, having a GREAT time. She spent a couple days with Grandma & Grandpa Harnisch, which is ALWAYS so much fun for her. She just loves going to play at their house in Fremont. Jerry & Lynette even brought McKenzie to the hospital a couple times. Once at Lakeside to meet baby Macy for the first the first time. And then again when we were at Children's Hospital. It was SOOOO nice to walk out into the waiting room, while Macy was having her echo done, and see McKenzie there. What a nice surprise! She ran up to me and gave me the BIIIIGGGGEST hug ever! oh boy did I need that!!! A little "kid therapy" goes a long way when you are going through a tough time. It was at that very moment when I sat back, watched and listened to McKenzie, and realized that she is growing up SOO fast. I swear, she grew a little and increased her vocabulary and annunciation skills tenfold.
Then she spent the next couple days with Grandma & Grandpa Lee. And oh, did Grandma Lee have something special in store for her...she took McKenzie to Sesame Street Live!!! LUCKY! boy did she love ELMO. Grandma even bought her a big Elmo balloon. :-)
What great seats!
All the cousins enjoying the show! Dylan, Colton, Danielle, Brook, Dalton, Mason, Anna & Renee.

Elmo rocks, definitely a crowd favorite.
On New Years Eve night Anna stayed over at G&G Lee's house for a little celebration. And then she slept over at Anna's the next night.
uh oh!
Look Keri, art...toothpaste art! gotta give them some credit on creativity and resourcefulness :)
One of those days, cousin Erika & her friend Natalie took the girls to "Pump it Up", an inflatable playground place. The girls had a blast. Anna especially, McKenzie was a bit more "cautious", not quite as daring as Anna.

So as you can see, McKenzie was VERY much taken care of and in good hands. Oh, and of course, how could we forget about Toby? Ja & Bethany took care of our puppy dog for us that whole time. Thanks guys! You are the best!! So glad you live in the neighborhood :-) We appreciate all that you do for us as well.
It was so nice and comforting to know that she was okay and having so much fun. Because of this, we were able to really spend all of our time by Macy's bedside, holding, cuddling and feeding her. She really needed us. Actually, I think that should be the other way around, we REALLY needed her, we needed to be there WITH her, there was nowhere else we could have imagined ourselves to be!
It was pretty sad actually, as I looked around at the many other babies up their in the NICU. Of course, they were being well cared for by all the nurses and doctors up there, but soo many of them, just about all of them, were alone. They did not have their mommy's and daddy's up there. There were a few mom's coming in and out to feed, but no one else was "hanging" out up there like we were. I did not get it, it made me confused and sad. But I suppose not all of those babies were from Omaha, many were transported from far away. Plus, many of those babies' parents probably had jobs or families to tend to. They probably did not have the same support system that we had, that would have allowed them to simply put all of their other life priorities on hold, so they could tend to their brand newborn babies every need. Thank you family for taking care of our "other priorities" FOR us :-)
Well, we are off and have fun, busy day in store. Macy is going to visit daddy at his work and meet his co-workers. Then we are going to visit with Great-Grandma Salisbury. We also have several friends coming over to the house afternoon & evening :)
After that...BUNCO time! I am very much looking forward to getting together with my girl friends for our monthly Bunco gathering. I may even join in the fun and have an adult beverage (or 2). :-)