"Our Little Trooper"

"Our Little Trooper"
"Let me live, that I may praise you!" Psalm 119:175

Friday, December 27, 2013

Rowan Jameson Windham Christmas Giving Project 2013

It's our favorite time of year...time to buy, wrap and deliver gifts to Methodist Children's Hospital patients and their parents who will be in the hospital with them during the holidays.
Rowan helped me get started by stocking up on big fluffy "Won't Go Flat" pillows. 
We also had some "Sleep Number" Pillows donated this year.
After stuffing them into some nice soft pillowcases, we had some great gifts for the parents.
We decided to add to the parent gifts this year and gave them travel coffee mugs and Starbuck's gift cards so they could go get coffee in the food court, or refill at the hospital nourishment room whenever they wanted.
The Child Life Department had let us know that teenagers and infants were sometimes overlooked,
or that they didn't have age appropriate gifts to give them.  So, we tried to fill that need this year too.
For the older kids Rowan signed cards and gave them I Tunes gift cards inside.

We also bought t-shirts, sports memorabilia, games, crafts and magazines
for the children who were a little older.

I had lots of fun buying bath time products and bright colorful infant toys for the littlest patients.

Then, as we have done every year, we also stocked up on lots of fun flavored chap-sticks
and brightly colored socks for all ages and sizes, to comfort the kids while they are in the hospital, and stuffed animals to bring some comfort and cheer.

More toys and crafts for school age children...

And of course we couldn't leave out the wonderful nursing staff, that care for these children daily, and even miss spending time at home with their own families to do their job at the hospital.
 A little chocolate can go a long way on those long shifts:)


We wrapped box after box of goodies for both the patients and their parents,
and got them ready to take to the hospital a few days before Christmas.

Our car was loaded to the brim, and one of the other Foundation Board Members
also had her truck filled with all the pillows and 60 blankets that were made by the Linus Project
and donated to our Christmas Giving Project again this year. 
Thank you "Linus Project"!
Rowan was pretty wiped out at first, but he perked up once we started delivering the goodies.

Thank you to the amazing Child Life Staff for helping pick up all the boxes from the parking garage and for delivering them to the patients and parents who so deserve to be treated and pampered.
You have blessed Rowan and I again and again during our long stays, so it is an honor to give back.



Thank you to Sandra, Stephanie, and Maris for your work on the Board
and for helping make my dream of turning Rowan's Story into something good,
for helping him help others like himself.  We couldn't do it without you!

 (Thank you to our daughters for helping us make this day happen as well:)
Merry Christmas from the Rowan Jameson Windham Foundation

As if this day wasn't already a blessing and a joy to be a part of,
today I received a remarkable package in the mail from New Orleans.
Rowan's fireman friend Matt Ducote, and his wife Megan Ducote,
had been collecting blankets and chap-sticks as well, to add to Rowan's Christmas Project.
Look at all the soft beautiful blankets and chap-sticks that they sent us!
Looks like Rowan and I will be making another trip to the hospital for New Year's Eve!
Thanks for helping us bless even more patients!
(By the way Matt, did you notice what shirt Rowan wore to deliver presents?
He is honored to wear your Fire Department's shirt and your personal badge number.)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Rowan
and The Rowan Jameson Windham Foundation!

Monday, December 23, 2013

"Special Spaces" ...has a special place in Rowan's heart!

Rowan was recently chosen to have his bedroom made over by Deanna Wilks with "Special Spaces - San Antonio".  This is an especially big deal because Rowan has never had a room of his very own.  He has slept with me since he was a baby because of all his medical issues and all the equipment that he is attached to every night.  Deanna came out to interview Rowan several months ago, asking him about all of his favorite things, colors, hobbies, etc.  She also discussed all of his medical issues and special needs with me privately, so that Rowan wouldn't have to focus on those details.  She was very sensitive to his needs, and wanted to make sure that the entire process was fun and full of excitement for Rowan.  After several months of her hard work gathering sponsors and volunteers, designing and shopping for supplies, furniture and room d├ęcor, the big day finally arrived!

While everyone worked on Rowan's makeover, they sent us away for a day of fun.  Rowan was given gift cards for Build-a-bear and for lunch.  Here are the photos from Build-a-bear, where Rowan made a stuffed German Shepherd that he names "Titan Jr."  Inside, Rowan placed a recorded device that had his voice saying "I love you Titan!" What a treasure Rowan now has, and what a treasured day Brian and I had with him.

Of course Rowan wanted to buy a medical kit for Titan.  Titan used to get sick a lot just like Rowan, so Rowan wanted to be able to take care of him.  So precious!
When we got the call that it was ok to return to the house, Rowan was so excited! 
And look what we came home to...

This was the second team of volunteers, so just half of the people who worked so hard on Rowan's room all day.  They released 210 balloons, one balloon for each person who donated to Special Spaces in Rowan's name.  There were many others who also volunteered their time, talents, work or resources to make his room extra special.
Here is Rowan as he was about to go upstairs and see his new room for the very first time.
And....the reveal!


Rowan with the designer and team leader, from Special Spaces San Antonio: Deanna Wilks.

Zoe, Ian and Rowan...planning their first sleepover.

(You may remember, when we asked Rowan what he wanted in his new room
the first thing he said was his own laundry hamper
so he could take his clothes to the laundry room himself like Zoe and Ian. 
Well, Deanna even remembered that special detail!)
Here is Rowan with just a fraction of the very generous volunteers.
Thank you for your time, freindship and talents;)

Deanna and her husband followed by her two precious children. 
I'm sure they all sacrificed a lot of time with their Mom/Wife
while she planned and produced this epic room for Rowan. 
So, we owe you a debt of gratitude as well!

Such a happy boy!
Our own little Iron Man has an Iron Man room of his own.
And he LOVES it sooooooo much.

It all came full circle when Rowan started taking care of "Titan Jr." right away in his new room.
He was so comfortable.  What a perfect day!
Here are some photos that give you a 360 degree view of the room and show each and every special detail Deanna and the Special Spaces volunteers made sure were included.
Amazing bunk beds, which Rowan requested because he wanted Ian and Zoe
to be able to have sleep overs in his room sometimes. 
They got twin over full size beds so that I could still sleep with Rowan
when he wasn't feeling well or needed me to be close.
They also installed video and audio monitoring equipment, which we can watch remotely from our master bedroom, so that I can always see and watch Rowan and be able to keep an eye on his pulse oximeter machine, so I can monitor his breathing and heart rate from my room.  It has been one of the main reasons that Rowan has stayed sleeping with me in my bed...so I can see and hear all of his monitors and equipment.  This provides me more peace of mind than you can imagine!

Great book shelf (Mom's only request) for his books, piggy bank and memorabilia.

Larger than Life-size Iron Man Fathead:)

His very own tv & dvd player.
Look at this absolutely gorgeous wall screen that the mother of one of the boys on Brian's soccer team offered to hand paint with all Rowan's favorite super heroes.
 She is so talented! Thank you Susan Taylor.
And thank you Deanna for having the sensitivity to include this screen in your design,
so that Rowan's oxygen concentrator, iv pole and other large medical equipment could be hidden when not in use.  It is seriously the best part of your entire makeover process, making sure you transformed his room from looking like a clinic or hospital, to a "normal" kids room.
For that, we can never thank you enough.

Rowan also had requested a "treasure chest" for all his special things...
and as you can see, they did not fail him there either. 
A great vintage American flag treasure box
for Rowan to fill, with all the treasures he has received.

More Fatheads...

I love the personalized letters on the wall above his bed!

And the bedding is perfect as well of course.
Rowan presented Deanna with a special card and a gift from our family to her. 
This was her very first Special Spaces Room Makeover, and we just know that God has great plans for all the lives she is going to touch through this process.  So, we gave her a silver James Avery charm bracelet, and have ordered a very special charm from Rowan to her...with the idea that she could start adding a commemorative charm to represent the room of each child that the does a room makeover for, so she will have a constant reminder of the special work she is doing in the lives of chronically ill children and their families.

Thank you Deanna Wilks, your precious family, your team of volunteers, our friends, neighbors, and complete strangers who came together to volunteer for Special Spaces San Antonio, to provide Rowan with the bedroom of his dreams and some much needed independence.
We thank you from the bottom of our families' hearts
and from the bottom of Rowan's Iron Man Heart!
You have a "special space" in all of our hearts.