Saturday, July 31, 2010

So Yummy! So Yummy!!

I would be a horrible excuse for a blogger if I didn't share this lovely little gem I discovered tonight with all of you. First of all, you have to be a lover of oatmeal raisin cookies--or at least oatmeal cookies--to truly appreciate this post. If you're not a fan of said cookies, you can move on to your other blogs now. :)

I love oatmeal raisin cookies. I'm always searching for the best (read: soft, thick, chewy) oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. I think my search is over.

Aren't they beautiful? They taste even better than they look! So I started with this cookie recipe from I didn't do anything different except omitting the ground cloves (since I didn't have any) and chilling the dough for about 10 minutes before baking each sheet of cookies. I think chilling the dough really helped keep these bad boys thick and chewy! So here's the cookie recipe:

Beth's Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, butter flavored shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until light and golden. Do not overbake. Let them cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely. Store in airtight container. Make sure you get some, because they don't last long!

As if they aren't already delicious enough, I knew there was ONE way to make them even better: Paula Deen's Brown Butter Icing. I tried her cookie recipe once before and it didn't really do it for me. But the icing? DI-VINE!!!

Brown Butter Icing

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in 3 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in enough water (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make an icing of drizzling consistency. Drizzle on warm cookies.

Yield: enough to ice 5 dozen cookies

Do yourself (and loved ones) a favor and mix up these sweet pieces of heaven right away! Words can't express the yumminess!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

LO's 3rd Birthday Party

We had a great celebration on Sunday for LO's 3rd birthday! She had an incredible day and it was so much fun to watch! I love that she's old enough now to really participate and make decisions and do stuff all on her own. My baby is getting SO big!!!

Her day started out with her birthday pancakes! Yum!

Isn't she lovely?

Ready to blow out the candles!

Yay, LO! Way to go!!

Now to shield her eyes as mommy and daddy unveil her new Imaginarium train table...

Wait a sec... mommy doesn't trust that she's covering those eyes and not peeking. We should use baby jaguar as a safety measure.

Check out the genuine excitement and joy on this face as she sees her train table for the first time! Love it!!

Here she is telling me all about Thomas and how her new train table works.

Later that afternoon, it was party time. Here she is opening some gifts. Love this shirt -- you can guess who it was from. ;)

Love these awkward poses where we make her hold stuff up for pictures...

Here she's listening to one of her birthday cards. It played music from The Chipmunks! She didn't bust a move in front of everyone, but was sure to get the card out after everyone left and dance a little jig.

The Thomas cake!

Riding her new bike! Thanks, Gramma & Pa Pa!!

All decked out in her rollerblading gear...

She didn't love the rollerblades. We'll work on that. ;)

Finally, an afternoon nap around 5pm! I let her sleep 'til 6:30pm and found this when I went in to wake her. She was O-U-T!!!

And finally, the post-party, post-nap hair do! Based on this look, I'd say it was a VERY successful birthday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Little Surprise, Unveiled...

First of all, I want to wish this sweet boy a Happy 9 Month Birthday!

Now then, as promised, I'm sharing with my wonderful readers the little surprise I mentioned last week. I told you we were having Chase's dedication at our church yesterday (Sunday) morning, and I had a pretty sweet little surprise up my sleeve. Well, here's the deal:

For Chase's dedication, I prepared a video montage and needed the perfect song to go with it. Well, as you may imagine, it was very difficult to find a song that says, "my baby was born with half a heart and has made it through more obstacles and difficulties and pain in 9 months than most people will see in their lifetime." It was weird: the idea crossed my mind to write a song, but I shrugged it off, considering I'm not a songwriter, or singer, or composer or whatever.

But I'd lay in bed at night, wishing I was asleep, but instead hearing phrases in my head that express what I was feeling in my heart. This happened night after night until I finally grabbed my iPhone (in the dark) and started writing down these phrases in my Notes app. It never was really a complete song; just a few lyrics here and a few more there, random night after random night, until one day I finally decided to give it a go and see what happens.

I sat down at my piano (for those of you who know me, you know I've been playing the piano for over 15 years) and thought through those phrases I had typed up. I started thinking through the lyrics more, connecting the missing pieces, not paying any attention to rhymes or rhythms or anything else that a "professional" music writer would care about. I just put my heart on paper using words. Next came the music. I thought through the lyrics in my head and played some random melodies on the piano, waiting for something to sound "right" (although I couldn't explain what "right" would sound like). After a couple of hours (broken down into 5-10 minute segments, compliments of two small kids at home), I finally had something that I felt would work. I met with the music minister at my church (he's awesome!) and he had some great words of encouragement as well as some wonderful suggestions for improving the song even more. Before I knew it, I was recording the track at our church one afternoon, about 2 months after the lyrics started showing up in my heart and head. With his help, I now had a music file I could use for Chase's dedication video.

So that's how this all came about. Without further ado, please enjoy Chase's dedication video, featuring my first (and only) song, written, accompanied and performed my little ol' me. And please remember, I'm NOT a singer so the "quality" of the vocals is nothing to brag about. Just listen to the words and you'll hear my heart expressing the journey God placed my family on when He blessed us with our little miracle/Rock Star, Chase.

((lyrics posted below))

Promise of Peace
© 2010
Music & Lyrics by mom2lo

Verse 1:
How do I begin
to tell you of the love
that awaited your arrival in our world?

Our lives would be complete
once you took your first breath
and we brought you to the home where you belong.

But before we knew your name,
we heard devastating news.
Our lives would never be the same.

And God said,

Rest in Me
Trust in Me
For I know the plans I have for you my child.
My peace I bring
in the midst of the storm.
You'll find hope
in My promise of peace.

Verse 2:
For months we prayed for you
and the healing we desired,
but it wasn't in the plan God had for you.

We prepared the best we could
and trusted with the rest,
knowing God would always meet our every need.

We knew He had a purpose
for this challenge we would face.
Yet we trusted Him and rested in His grace.

And God said,

Rest in Me
Trust in Me
For I know the plans I have for you my child.
My peace I bring
in the midst of the storm.
You'll find hope
in My promise of peace.

Verse 3:
The day that you were born
I was overcome with fear.
Would you make it through all that lay ahead?

I waited anxiously
for a chance to hold you son,
afraid each moment could be your last.

But I never should have worried,
you were held in His hands --
a miracle before our very eyes.

And God said,

Rest in Me
Trust in Me
For I know the plans I have for you my child.
My peace I bring
in the midst of the storm.
You'll find hope
in My promise of peace.

And as I watch you now,
growing stronger everyday,
I'm so thankful that I heard the Lord say,

Rest in Me
Trust in Me
For I know the plans I have for you my child.
My peace I bring
in the midst of the storm.
You'll find hope
in My promise of peace.
For the record, there is a copyright on file for this song (lyrics and music) with the U.S. Copyright Office. In other words, please don't reuse or distribute this song without my written approval/consent. However, I would be honored for you to link to this post to share it with other families to whom this song may minister.

God bless!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Birthday Planning

LO's birthday is tomorrow and, unlike her first two birthdays, I haven't been planning the event for 3+ months. I guess that might have something to do with having two kids now... the time I had before #2 came along just doesn't exist anymore. This time around the planning went kind of like this:
Me: "LO, what kind of party do you want to have this year for your birthday? Dora? Toy Story? Yo Gabba Gabba?"
LO: (looking through the Celebrate Express catalog) "I want a Thomas party!!!"
Me: "Are you sure?"
LO: "Ya!"
Me: "Okay."
I went to my trusty friend, Vistaprint, for help with the invitations. Don't ask me why, but I'm not one to buy the "store bought" invitations with lines to fill out the "Who, What, Where" information. For one thing, I have crappy handwriting. My other thought is in the time it takes me to write out the invitations by hand, I could've created something fabulous and have them shipped to my house, requiring nothing more than addressing the envelopes. So easy! I found a stock train invitation and went all out customizing it for Thomas the Train. See for yourselves.

Like I said, I went all out. Anywho, the invites were ordered and mailed about 2 weeks before her party. I picked up the Thomas party supplies and a few decorations, ordered a Thomas cake and will have a few balloons as well. We're keeping it totally low-key this year with essentially a family-only party. I figure she'll start preschool next month so this most likely will be the last party I can get away with only inviting family. But once you add up my family, we're still looking at about 30 people! Yay!

Of course hubs and I picked up the Imaginarium train table for her as I mentioned in this post. On a side note, I just had to share this. The instructions to put the train table together? Almost rocket science. This is what hubs did last night (with a little help from me)!

How to actually put the thing together (whew!):

And putting the train tracks/buildings/etc. together once the table is assembled? This is where an engineering degree would come in handy:

But it'll be worth it all because I really think she'll be crazy-happy to have this bad boy all to herself (at least until baby Godzilla/Chase starts toppling buildings and tracks once he's mobile). I'm keeping the party itself relatively simple with finger foods (a TON of 'em!), cake, ice cream and punch. I'm really looking forward to her party and I'm learning that it isn't so bad NOT to spend months of planning for one big day. Don't get me wrong, now. Of course as soon as the dust settles from LO's party, I'll get to working on Chase's FIRST BIRTHDAY -- a mere 3 months from Monday! :)

And as you may remember, we're having Chase dedicated during our morning worship service tomorrow as well. I'm VERY excited about this! I've already told you I have a surprise up my sleeve for his dedication, which I promise to share with you all on Monday. I also bought a NEW DRESS (I heart retail therapy!) which happens to be 2 sizes smaller than I was wearing 3 months ago. (Woot!) So with the busy day I have scheduled for tomorrow, I probably won't be posting but I DO plan/hope to post some pics on Monday, assuming I'm not totally wiped out and recovering from my kids' big day!

Friday, July 23, 2010

How to Take a Nap

Take a lesson from LO. This is the "right" way to take a nap. Don't think about using that big full-size bed 10 feet away from you. Really. Crack open the door a bit to see if mommy or daddy are close enough to yell at you to close the door and tell you to get back into bed. No? They're not within earshot? Okay then. Just lay down for a sec. Go ahead, curl up on the carpet -- just for a second. They'll come around the corner and tell you to close the door and get back in bed. In just a second... or two... or three...

Or not.

If all else fails, just conk out and mommy will eventually come in and carry you to that bed 10 feet away and nap time will officially commence. ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Q&A with a 20-year-old HLHS College Student!

I'm sure several of you watched the ABC show BostonMed a few weeks ago when the episode featured a family expecting a baby with HLHS, right? I watched it. And honestly I was disappointed that it didn't provide any time lapse information so viewers had at least a little clue as to how long the Peerless family was in the hospital with their son, Sam. In my opinion, it went from birth, to an emergency surgery to discharge and then suddenly showed video from their home. It never once indicated how long the family was in the hospital, the fact that the baby had a second scheduled heart surgery (the Norwood) and didn't show any obstacles or struggles with feeding or any other area of the baby's recovery. I was disappointed to say the least. Again, in my opinion, ABC (through their wonderful editing) made the HLHS journey come across like a walk in the park.

I spent some time reading through the various comments on the Peerless family's patient page on the BostonMed website and honestly it seems apparently I'm the only one who felt the way I did about how ABC represented this family's journey. I know they had a very rough time, obviously any family in this position would have a scary and uncertain future ahead of them and I know first-hand (as do several of you) how difficult it truly is. So again, let me emphasize that I'm disappointed with how ABC represented the story and in no way have any ill feelings toward the Peerless family. I am ecstatic their journey with little Sam has turned out so well and am so pleased that their family is together (i.e. her husband is no longer deployed).

Anyway, I say all of this to tell you that while reading through the comments, I came across a comment from a 20-year-old HLHS college student named Tom. He provided his email address in his comment to the Peerless family, so I decided to email him, hoping he wouldn't mind my "stealing" his contact info from ABC. :)

I was pleasantly surprised, overwhelmed and utterly encouraged by the response I received from Tom. I asked for his permission to share his thoughts/comments and answers to my questions here on the blog, and he was so very nice enough to oblige. Thank you again, Tom, for your generosity!

Here we go!

Here is Tom's story, in his words:
"I was born (first child to my parents) in 1990 in the San Fransisco Bay Area and diagnosed within hours with HLHS. I am not sure what the hospital was called but I was transported to UCSF where I underwent my first step of surgeries. I had the norwood and glenn at UCSF with Dr. Haas which was supposed to be 2 surgeries but because of complications was actually 4. My last open heart surgery was done at CHOP (Philadelphia) which was the Fontan with Dr. Spray. I am not sure how many catherizations i have actually had but I actually have one this thursday at phoenix childrens hospital. All of my caths have been done for mainly 2 reasons. 1. To get images, data, and information about what is going on in my heart that is difficult to get other ways and 2. to perform small procedures as in placing a stent or a balloon in the heart.

I am currently on 3 medications; coumadin as a blood thinner, digoxin for my heart rhythm ( i have been known to have heart flutters) and enalapril for the blood pressure in the aorta.

So thats the logistical for me, I feel great ! I have lived nearly a normal life with just more restrictions on certain things...less caffeine, less athletics, sports, etc. I played sports until i was about 10 though....just recreationally and with friends and still play some sports with my friends. I just have to make sure I know my limits and my friends respect that which makes it alot easier. I am a college student entering my junior year this august. I am a physiology major hoping to enter medical school soon ! my cath this thursday is simply a checkup on my heart to see whats going on since they have had a difficult time getting images via MRI because of the metal coils in my heart."

After sharing his story, Tom was nice enough to answer my questions:
  1. I'm curious if you have any older or younger siblings, and if any of them have any heart issues?
    • I am actually the oldest of 4 and my sisters and brother have not had ANY other issues; heart or anything.

  2. Did you have a similar series of surgeries like they're doing today? Norwood, Glenn, Fontan?
    • I have had 5 open heart surgeries as of now....the norwood was 3 for me because of complications, the glenn, and fontan! exactly the same but probably go more smoothly now haha

  3. How much of your early experiences/surgeries do you remember?
    • I do not remember anything from my open heart surgeries...its been about 13ish years I think since my last open heart surgery but I do remember some from my catherizations since I have had a few the past few years and one this thursday...its not traumatizing or anything but I do get scared before I go under anesthesia a little. but being the future doctor that I wanna be, I know that medicine and my doctors willl do the absolute best for me so I don’t worry too much.

  4. What was the hardest thing for you as a child growing up with HLHS?
    • I will say that junior high was by far the toughest....boys being boys and being that age is tough because people are sooo critical of each other. I was always embarassed of my scar which I now know is not at all a big deal, in fact, girls dig scars lol.....I also LOVED sports so having to let go of them around the age of 10 because of how competitive they became was also difficult. I had to get over the kids teasing me and stuff in PE class but honestly, after junior high, it was easy because people understood.

  5. If you have siblings, did you feel you were treated the same as they were? Would you have wanted to be treated differently?
    • I have been treated the exact same as them...I mean obviously after a surgery or something ill get special care but other than that, everything was the same which I really appreciate because as HLHS children, we just wanna be as normal as possible.

  6. Did you get sick often as a child, or did you stay relatively healthy when it comes to colds, flus, etc.? If you did get sick, how serious was it?
    • I actually have had a great immune system and hardly ever get sick....when I was a child my parents did everything they could to keep me from getting sick so it never really happened but when I do get sick, its nothing worse than a normal flu or cold.

  7. If you could change anything about your experiences over the past 20 years, what would you want to happen differently?
    • I would not change a thing honestly. and if somehow I could take HLHS away, I wouldn’t because it has made me a MUCH stronger person and I would not be the person I am without it. it has taught me a lot about life and has really opened my eyes to life in general. and my interest in medicine has become a result of HLHS.

  8. What prognosis has your cardiologist provided for your future?
    • I have not really spent the time talking to my doctors about my future that far down the road. The problem and reason that this is the reason is because I am one of the oldest children with HLHS still living....I think the absolute oldest is mid 20s. as bad as it sounds, my "generation" of hlhs patients are like the guinea pigs that are almost like the test material that they learn from....this is why I still see a pediatric cardiologist, because cardiologists don’t know much about our diagnoses and futures. but, as my generation continues to grow older, we will learn more and see how long term effects our hearts.

  9. Just curious... how did your parents handle your diagnosis and surgeries?
    • my parents handle it well actually....I don’t have memories of my open heart surgeries but as for catherizations they act normally leading up to the day but when I get taken back and stuff for the anesthesia, my parents do shed some tears and get nervous....kinda like I do too though. but they handle it well.....probably better than when I left for college lol

      hopefully i gave some good information for you...i know just how hard it must be for you and how much you worry about your child but trust me, medicine is so great right now....i mean, i was born in 1990 and i have been amazing! nearly normal life....just a few bumps along the road.
What an amazing blessing and encouragement Tom has been to my family and I with his open and informative response! I hope and pray he can be a blessing to you, too!

Tom was happy to have me share his email address in case you'd like to contact him yourself and ask any other questions. He's super nice and I just can't get over what an encouragement his story has been to me! You can email Tom at glenntm3(at)cox(dot)net.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Da Da!

Figures the little guy would pick his daddy over me... Seems he's come up with his first word, which I'm pretty sure was the same as LO's first. I'm feeling so under-appreciated these days...


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

This Sunday is a B-I-G day for our family! First of all, this little guy right here is being dedicated at our church during our morning worship service:

I have what I believe to be a HUGE surprise for my family and friends but am not going to say anything about it so they can all be genuinely surprised on Sunday during Chase's dedication. Yay! However, I DO plan to share the surprise with all of my blog readers... but it won't be 'til Monday! ;)

Hmmm, now what else is happening on Sunday? Oh, right. Ya. This girl will be turning THREE on Sunday!

She chose Thomas the Train for her birthday party theme. She's really into trains. This should work out well that mommy & daddy got her this for her birthday present:
One of her favorite friends has one of these and she LOVED playing with it! She also LOVES playing with the one at Barnes & Noble and the one at the doctor's office. I can't wait to stop tripping over trains and train tracks laid out all over our living room floor! I'm not sure who is more excited about her getting this gift!

I can't wait to share pictures with you guys of both Chase's dedication and LO's 3rd birthday party. It seems like only yesterday I was planning her 1st birthday! And to think I'll be throwing another 1st birthday party in 3 months for my special little guy! Yay!

So suffice it to say things have been a bit busy around here, causing my lack of frequent posts/updates on the blog. I'm so sorry for that and hope to have things squared away here after this weekend so I can get back to regular scheduled posting! Thanks for your patience!

Friday, July 16, 2010


It's been a trying and difficult day for me today, so rather than post a detailed synopsis of the joy I endured today, I figure I'll spare my readers and share something a bit more lighthearted instead.

I give you: LO's latest dance moves...

Even though you can't hear the music, the best part is her awesome dancing!

Oh, and I can't leave my little guy out of the spotlight. Finally, after almost 9 months, we've had a tooth bud sighting... or TWO!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Familiar Feelings

A few months ago, I found a new heart mom, Jill, who is expecting a baby who had been diagnosed with HLHS. Her precious son, Joshua, will arrive in about a month, and he has the same journey ahead of him as Chase has. It's a scary place to be. Getting that kind of diagnosis on your unborn child is absolutely devastating. If there were another word that meant even worse than that, it'd be applicable here. Those of you who have healthy children and have never had to receive such catastrophic news can never truly identify with the road we "heart moms" were chosen to walk down.

When I read her latest post, I couldn't help but tear up. She's in the waiting period before Joshua's arrival. I too remember being in her shoes what seemed like only days ago, waiting on Chase's arrival, waiting to see what God had in store for him, waiting to see if he would survive his first life-saving surgery. It is scary. And it is lonely. I wanted to share a link to her post here today because I feel like family and friends of heart families need to be reminded of what heart moms go through. They need to know what we're feeling and thinking. Even if they can't identify with us, surely they would want to know how to specifically pray for us in our darkest time of need.

You can read the post on her blog here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

For the Record

So for the record, the responses so far to the question I posed yesterday regarding blood type have been very interesting. Out of the 11 responses I've received up to the time of this post (10:53 pm EST), NINE of our precious HLHS babies have A+ blood. Approximately 82% of responders. The other two responders included one O+ and one A- baby. Oh, and another random piece of info? I've always read that HLHS is more common in boys than girls. Of the 11 responses I received? Only 3 of them are boys.

Is it just me or is this weird? Granted, this is an EXTREMELY SMALL sampling of heart babies, but still... I can't help but wonder about this. I mean, blood types are determined at conception, right? Yes. And, according to a quick Google search, "one of the main factors which determine blood type is family genetics. A child receives separate sources of genetic code called alleles from each parent at the time of conception. One of the alleles located on chromosome 9 contains the precise blood type of the donor parent, and is classified as A, B, AB or O. An additional factor is called the Rhesus factor, which could be positive or negative. The actual blood type of a child is determined by the dominant blood type between the two parents..."

So obviously I'm not trying to get into a discussion how blood types are determined. I'm more interested in the simple fact that blood types are determined at conception. Before the heart begins to form. I don't know what role blood type plays in the grand scheme of things, but I can't help but find it totally ironic that so many of our precious little ones have the same blood type. Surely some big organization with lots of research funding is looking into things like this. I guess this is why raising money for CHD research is so important. I've been feeling led to do more to raise awareness but I'll save that for a later post.

Sorry if this was random or if it doesn't make a lot of sense. I've only slept for about 4 hours over the past 3 days, but that's totally for another post, too. ;)

Questions for Heart Moms...

Okay, this will sound totally random, but what blood type is your heart baby?

Also, what blood type are you and your heart baby's father? I think it'll be interesting to see if there are any trends here. I'm O- and hubs is AB+.

For the record, Chase is A+ (as is LO). Seems several of my heart family followers have A+ heart babies as well...

This is all very interesting...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just Some Random Stuff

So, it's been a few days since I've published a post out here, so I figure it's time. The awesome thing is that there really isn't anything crazy to write about these days! We're just an extremely happy family of four enjoying spending time with each other and loving our summer! I just can't say enough how amazing it is to just be a "normal" family doing "normal" things and enjoying our "normal" life! Thank you, Lord!!!

Hmmm... let's see. So yesterday I took the kids to Babies R Us to shop for a new car seat for LO. She's currently in a Britax Marathon, which I LOVE, and honestly she still fits well in it. The durn seat goes up to 65 lbs., and she's just now 30 lbs.! But believe it or not, she's getting close to maxing out on the height limit! Crazy, right? So I wanted to let her try out the Britax Frontier 85 to see if she'd like it. It's a combination 5-point harness seat (like she's using now) but also functions as a booster once she hits 40 lbs. My favorite thing (besides the excellent safety features) is that it has not one, but TWO cup holders! I can't tell you how tired I get of handing her drink back and forth while I'm trying to drive since her current seat doesn't have any cup holders. I also like that this combination seat has arm rests and doesn't seem as "inclusive" as her current seat. I guess I think it looks more like a "big girl" seat than a "baby" seat. So I put her in the Frontier and I'm pretty sure her face depicts her level of excitement regarding this particular car seat:

Ya, that's right. She was stoked. Totally stoked.

In the mean time, my little man was chillin' in the cart, eating his Puffs by the handful. No surprise there! Isn't he a cutie??

So since I'm on the subject, I'm going to sidetrack myself for a moment. In the picture above, Chase is in the Buggy Bagg I bought for LO a few years ago. I used it with LO for about a month or two and the zipper that closes the bag broke. The company was nice enough to send me a replacement. Within a month, the strap that connects the seat to the shopping cart broke. Keep in mind I honestly wasn't even using it all that often -- maybe once or twice a week. At that time, I just threw the durn thing aside in the garage and forgot all about it. I busted it back out to use with Chase, but since he hasn't really perfected sitting independently just yet, I want to be sure he's safe. Obviously he's buckled into the seat cover, but the seat cover doesn't buckle or attach to the cart. Long story longer (apparently), I decided to order a Balboa Baby shopping cart cover. It is the cutest thing ever (online) and I'm really excited to get it either tomorrow or Saturday. Have any of you used a Balboa Baby cart cover? It looks much more comfy and padded than the one I'm using now. I hope Chase likes it! I think he'll love the crazy geo print I chose for him! :)

Continuing with the random... for the 4th of July we headed to our church parking lot to watch an amazing fireworks show. I was curious to see how the kids would do. I know LO doesn't love the noise of the fireworks, but was interested to see how Chase would do. Here's a couple of pics I grabbed before the big display.

Chase with his little friend, A. She was totally over having her picture taken and was ready to take off. This sweet little girl is just a month older than Chase. I just know they'll be BFFs growing up. ;)

And here's LO looking totally excited to be hanging out with her friends and cousins.

During the actual fireworks, LO covered her ears and pretty much freaked out. She definitely didn't like the loud noise! But she sat on daddy's lap and he helped cover her ears and kept her turned around so she could at least watch the fireworks. She did say later how much she loved them and talked about all the different colors. So sweet!

Chase did amazing! Keep in mind this was around 10pm, and he's usually tucked nicely in bed by 8pm. He didn't cry at all! I think the first few scared him a bit, but once he saw what was going on, he was captivated. He stayed on mommy's lap and I kept his ears covered while he stared up in the sky in awe. I love imagining what it's like to see the world through his beautiful, innocent eyes.

Another totally random Chase story. My mom happened to pick up a box of those Huggies "designer" blue jeans diapers. Have you seen the commercial? "The coolest you'll look pooping your pants." No? Well, you've got to see it so you can truly appreciate the humor of these hilarious diapers. Go ahead and watch it below. I'll wait.

Ya. So what crazy product development department came up with those? And the marketing department coming up with that tag line? How very sad.

So my mom bought a box for Chase. I had to put him in them just so we could get a good laugh out of it. Without further ado, here he is!!!

Another shot of his awesome diaper. See how happy these designer diapers make him?? ;)

Crazy. Just crazy.

And for my next (final?) Chase funny story... I went in to get him up the other morning, turned the light on, and got sidetracked doing something. He was just cooing and talking to himself in his crib, so I didn't worry too much about it and kept doing whatever it was I was doing. A few minutes later, I looked over at his crib and noticed something unexpected... Do you see what I see?

That crazy, silly boy of mine! A few seconds later, I noticed his sweet, smiley eyes peeking out from behind the bumper pad as if to say, "Hello?! Mom!! What are you doing out there? I'm ready to get up now! Come get me!!!"

I so love this boy!

And of course I love my girl, too. Speaking of... I think I'll end this random post with a little video clip of a discussion I had with her earlier today. For the record, this was right after she woke up from her nap (as evidenced by the "crazy hair"). Can you say "bipolar??" ;)

Oh, and I added some captions to assist you in understanding her crazy-tired-whiney vernacular.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

That's So Funny!

Chase dropped a toy on the floor and daddy picked it up for him. Apparently it was the funniest thing he'd seen in his crazy 8 months as he busted out the biggest belly laughs we'd ever heard! What was even more funny was that he kept doing it over and over and over and over again, laughing the entire time!

He is so sweet and hilarious and amazing. I love this boy of mine!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010


Praise the Lord! Chase had a cardiology appointment this morning and I'm beyond thankful to say we received a fantastic report! His o2 saturation was 92 (which is probably the highest I've seen it), with the comfort level being between 85 to low-90s. Basically we don't want to see it get much higher than that before he has his final surgery, the Fontan. His blood pressures were great, his pulses were great and his echo looked great, too! Dr. Horne did still see a trace leak with his tricuspid valve, which was basically the same as what he saw 2 months ago. He did say typically this kind of leak seems to improve after the Fontan, so that was encouraging. And I was surprised by his latest stats: 27 1/2 inches long and up to 18 lbs. 15 oz.! I was hoping he'd crossed the 18 lb. mark, but apparently he's almost to 19! Way to go, sweet boy!

If that's not a good enough indication of how well our little guy is doing, maybe this will help: our next cardiology appointment is in FOUR MONTHS!!! Yay!!!

And I couldn't get over how incredible Chase was during the entire exam. From the blood pressures to the echo, he was a total CHAMP! I will say that towards the end, he was getting a bit tired of all the hoopla and was ready to leave...

Isn't that face just priceless?!

Dr. Horne did tell me something I wasn't aware of when I asked him about the prerequisites for the Fontan. Of course it's based mostly on weight, age, lung pressures and heart function, but I've always been told it would be between 2-3 years old. He said the majority of their patients are closer to 4 when they have their Fontans. Wow! I just assumed it could be between 18 months to 3 years, based on what I've heard and read on other blogs. And hubs pointed out maybe most of Dr. Horne's patients are closer to 4 because they have a hard time putting on weight. We haven't seen that to be an issue with Chase (as of yet), so perhaps he'll still fall in the 2-3 year range.

We also talked about the fact that we want to have Chase circumcised. We knew it couldn't be done at birth and it couldn't be done within a few months before or after each of his first two surgeries. Dr. Horne recommended early on that we wait until he's closer to 1 before we schedule it. Hubs and I have talked and we're leaning towards taking him back to MUSC to have the procedure completed there so we'll be close to the right people should anything unexpected happen. It seems like an easy enough thing to have done at the local children's hospital, but considering how Chase responds to anesthesia, we'd rather play it safe than sorry. So when we see his pediatrician in a few weeks, we'll ask for a referral to a pediatric urologist (I assume?) at MUSC. My poor boy!

So overall it was a wonderful appointment and was such a relief to hear that he's doing fantastic and no new issues or problems were found. Praise the Lord! We are so grateful for His hand of protection on Chase and for each new day he gives us to love on our beautiful son! Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers for the appointment this morning and for your prayers for Chase's continued health.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Boston Med

Just an FYI... ABC is running a medical documentary on Thursday nights at 10pm EST called Boston Med. It's an eight-part series inside three top hospitals -- Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women's & Children's Hospital Boston. On tonight's episode, they will be following a family that gives birth to a baby with HLHS. Here is a short synopsis from ABC's Boston Med website:
Renee Peerless has spent nearly nine months of her pregnancy alone while her husband serves with the military in Iraq. His absence is made more difficult by the knowledge that their baby in utero has a serious heart defect and will need surgery within days of being born. A story of courage and hope, viewers will recognize the universal themes of motherhood, duty and determination that summon the best from us in difficult situations.

I obviously have no idea what's in store for this episode, so I can't say how much it might mirror our journey with Chase. However, I am certain it will give you at least a tiny glimpse into the world of a heart family. Do yourself a favor and tune in!