Cutest Blog on the Block

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Big Sister is 12!

Today, on her 12th birthday, the blog is dedicated to Rebecca.

As I posted in one of my very first posts, about a year after we married, God led Bill to Psalm 127 one morning, letting us know that it was time for us to start a family. A couple of months later, we found out that we were expecting. In 1998, God blessed us with a healthy baby girl. A healthy 8lb 13oz baby girl! (Ow!) This proves that it is absolutely true what the Bible says,
John 16:21 - Holman Christian Standard Bible -
When a woman is in labor she has pain because her time has come. But when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the suffering because of the joy that a person has been born into the world."
Well, it may have taken a few days for me to "no longer remember the suffering"...

I know that I may be just a little bit biased, but I want to try to describe Rebecca for you. She is a special girl. God created her with a huge personality. She loves shopping, music, and sports. She is a girly-girl and a rough-and-tumble athlete all in one. She is amazingly smart and makes us so proud by her drive and performance in school.

They say that a picture's worth a thousand words. Since I could write about that many words about our sweet girl, and chances are, you don't have time to read that many words, here a some pictures of her through her 12 years that will kinda tell her story.










2008: The girl loves to SMACK a softball!

2009: Typical brother and sister: they usually start out playing nice...


We love you Bec-Bec!
Hope you have a blessed birthday!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

14 amazing years...

It was 14 years ago today that I walked down the aisle and said "I do" to the love of my life!

I am so incredibly blessed to be Bill's wife.
He is one of the kindest, most humble people I know and I have learned so much from him about living life.
It was his incredible witness that led me to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He has taught me how to show mercy and grace and love.
He has shown me how to how to trust God for His provision.
He has held me up during hard times and danced with me during carefree times.
He loves me despite all my quirks and flaws and hormones.
He is a dedicated husband and father.
He is a gift from God.
I love you, Bill!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Enalapril, Lasix, and Pull Ups

Zach had a follow up visit with the cardiologist this morning. If you'll remember, about 2 weeks ago, we told the dr that we had noticed that Zach had been breathing harder as he plays. We had another chest x-ray done and Dr. R. said it looked clearer (he saw pulmonary vascular congestion 2 weeks ago). Just in the past few days I have noticed that Zach's breathing has been a bit better, so maybe that was the cause.

We are still on Lasix 1x a day. That stuff sure does work quickly! We are diligent about going potty every 20-30 minutes for about 1.5 hours after he takes it and we wear a Pull Up just in case! So now, he is bumping us up from 2.0ml to 3.0ml of Enalapril 2x a day. That is a bigger increase than we have ever had before. He said that could increase tee-tee's too. Lovely. Anyone notice that a dosage increase of Enalapril affects behavior for a few days? We have seen that in the past.

The dr could have gone all day without making me realize that Zach's heart cath is a little over a month away. Yikes! In my mind, April seems like a year away. But I know it will be here before we know it! I am nervous --- it has been so long since we have had to have anything major done. Zach had the Glenn at 9 months and curcumcision at 16 months. Now that he is older, I an anxious about how he will deal with it all. This time, he will be very aware of everything that is going on. How will we prepare him? How have you prepared your Brave Hearts for procedures and surgeries? What worked and what didn't? Please post your ideas in comments.

More from the funny boy:

These boots are made for walking,
and that's just what they'll do.
One of these days
these boots are gonna walk all over you.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Catching up...

I think I have come to terms with the latest big event in my life... See if you can figure it out.

Rebecca helped Nana Cherryl design this cake in honor of 2 BIG events: the first is my just completing an online Master's degree from USC. I like this kind of computer! Just a clue about the second BIG event... at the bottom, it says

Notice the black balloons that were there at Olive Garden for all to see??? You can't tell, but I am holding my Over the Hill Survival Kit that my loving family gave me: Oil of Old Age, Gray-Be-Gone Hair Dye, Old Age Survival Pills, Over the Hill Soap, and some false teeth. Ha Ha very funny.

I did get a beautiful set of onyx earrings, necklace and bracelet. Thank you so much Bill, Rebecca and Zach!

Other happenings...

This has been such a strange winter here in the South... I can remember some recent winters when we did not even get any snow. This winter, we have had several snow/sleet/ice events and boy, has it been COLD! Our heating bill shows it, too!
Here are some pics we took while enjoying the blizzard that occurred last Friday...

It snowed for several hours Friday afternoon and evening!

It stuck to the trees and was soooo pretty Saturday morning under the sun!

We just had to have a little sledding action, with the olympics going on and all!
They should make snowman building an Olympic sport --- I think we would deserve a medal, don't you?
Zach enjoyed the maze that was created as we rolled the sections of the snowman. 

Poor Mr. Snowman didn't fare too well over the next several days... He eventually fell over but still lies as one small pile of snow despite the past couple of sunny days we have had.

To celebrate Heart Day, I fixed a heart shaped pizza for lunch on Sunday. For Valentine's Day, our neighbor fixed us a heart shaped cake, which I failed to take a picture of before we cut it. I don't think he even knew that it was CHD Awareness week, but it was a nice treat!

I have been so encouraged by all the posts about CHD Awareness Week from other heart families. Before starting our blog and following others, I never knew anything about it! I realize now how important it is to be a voice for my child and spread awareness. I am mulling over some ideas to raise some money in honor of Zach's birthday for the heart walk at MUSC this year. I am also doing some reading about mandatory pulse oximetry, trying to figure out why in the world every doctor wouldn't want to do it. We may be just one in 100, but we can make a difference!


Friday, February 12, 2010

A preschooler's literal mind

I just overheard this conversation ...

Zach: Where are you going Daddy?

Daddy: To the study. (you know what he meant... the bathroom)

Zach: What do you need to study?

That boy is so funny!

Speaking of funny... this is what happens when you leave a poor, vulnerable little boy alone with his bored big sister...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

Zach would like everyone to know about CHD Awareness Week.
While you are thinking about buying cards and candy covered with hearts this week, please think of all the Brave Hearts, Heart Warriors, Cardiac Kids, and Heart Angels (and their families) out there whose lives are touched daily by CHD.
Our support is needed to help fund research for CHD through the pediatric cardiology department of teaching hospitals like the Medical University of South Carolina.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Funny boy!

--- Zach to Mommy
Mommy, you smell good! You smell like a flower!

--- Zach, on the dryer sheet that he was helping Mommy put in the dryer
This smells good! Totally good!

--- Zach on being "hungee"

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cardiology checkup

This morning, we had a checkup with Dr. Raunikar. He is so wonderful! He adores Zach and obviously loves what he does. He is very thorough and takes time to answer all our questions. We thank God for him!

If you'll recall, I talked to Dr. R. recently about Zach being out of breath, so we were a little anxious to see what this checkup would bring. Would Dr. R. see that Zach is getting "in trouble" --- that his heart function has decreased to the point that there needs to be an intervention (cath/surgery)? We have been members of this CHD family long enough to know that you must be prepared for unexpected news. It is all part of the journey, unfortunately.

I am so grateful that we are past the days of anxiety over these checkups. We still prepared Zach by talking about what they would be doing and since Zach loves to arrange "structions" in numbered lists, we told him he would have to:

Number 1: stand on the scale and see how much you weigh.

Number 2: let the nurse "hug" your arm to check your blood pressure.

Number 3: let the nurse wrap up your finger to check your oxygen saturation.

Number 4: lay down like a big boy and watch a movie while they take a look at your heart on the echo.

Number 5: talk to our buddy, Dr. Raunikar.

He was 30.1 lbs, up about 1/2 lb from his last visit not quite 2 months ago. His bp was good, heart rate was 112, and sats were 86-87. Dr. R. listened to his heart, lungs, felt his liver (an enlarged liver is a sign of heart failure), which was all normal. Zach happily chatted throughout the exam without a bit of fussing. Of course he giggled as Dr. R. pushed around on his belly to check his liver - lots of tickle-spots there!

He sent us across the hall for an echo and said that everything looks about the same as the last one. The med (enalapril) that Zach takes for his leaky valves is helping and he is increasing the dosage just a bit up to 2.0 ml 2xday.

He also sent us downstairs for a chest x-ray. We had not prepared Zach for this, so he was a bit anxious when we walked into radiology and he saw that huge machine. Daddy stayed right by his side though and he was just fine.

Dr. R saw some streakiness on the x-ray and said Zach may have some "vascular congestion" (I think that is what he called it). He is putting him on lasix for a while to see if he can "pee it off". Zach hasn't been on lasix since right after his last surgery. While he is potty trained, he does sometimes still have "ack-idents", so I am not looking forward to adding this. We plan on him wearing a pull-up for the first few days!

We go back for another chest x-ray on Feb. 23, so we'll see if his lungs look a little better and if his breathing improves. We are still on track for the heart cath April 6 and the Fontan sometime this summer.

It was a treat to see our friends who were there for their first checkup with Dr. R. They just got home from the hospital after Anna Grace's birth and first surgery. She is a cutie!

We are so thankful for Zach's continued progress, growth, and overall good health!