Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! We had a great time at our church's "Trunk n' Treat" festivities, which involved a lot of candy and ended with an outdoor showing of a Veggie Tales movie.

Here's our "nice dinosaur" as she called herself:

And of course, our adorable and sweet little monkey:

It's amazing to think of where we were just one year ago today. Our little miracle was 5 days old and his first open-heart surgery had officially been scheduled for Monday, November 2, 2009. He celebrated his 1st Halloween in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) at MUSC. He was intubated and had an ng-tube, along with a UVC, UAC, an IV, an obnoxious sensor thingy on his forehead, as well as some other "stuff" I just can't seem to recall right now. All I know is that this is where we were last year (see pic below) and God has brought us through SO MUCH. We are so grateful and so very blessed!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

NOT Just Another Day...

Guess what my sweet little guy has been up to today??

Reaching a H-U-G-E milestone that we've been working on for MONTHS! Check out my amazing big boy in action!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Feelin' Good!

I'm so happy to share that LO is feeling better today, and I'm even more ecstatic that Chase still hasn't seemed to catch any of it (knocking on wood). Yay!!

Here's LO with her play-doh this morning. She's also watching "Thomas, Hero of the Rails" for the zillionth time. Something about her being sick and getting to watch endless DVDs had her choose to watch the same one over and over and over... (sigh)

And our little cruiser... He'll go from the toy box to the train table without a second thought. I just wish he would get comfortable with sitting down from a standing position. He'll just stand there wailing until I come over and knock him down. ;)

I love my sweeties!!!

Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Heart Mom Help

Hello, fellow heart mamas! I need your help...  I have a Google Alert set up to notify me whenever there is a new entry on the Internet that includes "HLHS" or "Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome." I specifically look through these for entries from moms-to-be who get the shocking and unexpected diagnosis of HLHS for their babies and post on message boards (BabyCenter, etc.) looking for help/hope. I have a "canned" response of sorts that I use as my basic reply (sharing Chase's story, a link to my blog, etc.) but I also want to include a list of links to helpful, relevant information on the diagnosis. I of course think of sites like LittleHearts (I know I read through EVERY SINGLE HLHS STORY on this site before Chase was born) and the U.S. News Best Children's Hospitals: Heart & Heart Surgery report, but I know there are a handful of other websites that have helpful information about the diagnosis and the prognosis for the promising future these kids have ahead of them. If you have any go-to links that you'd like to share, I'd be super grateful!

I know when we got Chase's diagnosis, I spent a LOT of time on the Internet and was so discouraged by my findings. A lot of the research and statistics out there are NOT at ALL current and I'd want to save these new heart moms the anxiety and fears of reading that kind of stuff and instead point them to some sites that give accurate info and provide hope.

Thanks a bunch!

What a Day!

Well, things have been somewhat eventful around our house over the past 24 hours. Of course, our sweet little monkey turned ONE yesterday... still so hard to believe an entire year has gone by and we've been SO blessed with him in our lives! We celebrated quietly as a little family of 4 yesterday. We started with our traditional birthday pancakes...


He's not too sure about seeing a candle again...

I'm pretty sure he's contemplating tears in this one...

Such a beautiful boy!

Uh... "cheese??"

Hmmm... it's food, so everything is gonna be okay. Whew!


Last night we let the little guy open his gifts from mommy & daddy and LO. Turns out he does a pretty good job all by himself of ripping the paper off... it just takes him a little while. He got a few more little electronic toys, another book, and a fish toy for the bathtub from LO (I think she may have been thinking of herself with that selection)... We still didn't bust out his new bean bag since he's just not quite mobile enough to handle himself getting on and off the bean bag. I think I might get it out in the carpeted play area later today to give him something else to practice climbing on. He's started pulling himself up on LO's train table, but he has to be motivated and in the right mood. He's not at all interested in crawling on his hands and knees (prefers the BUTT SCOOT over all other modes of transportation, with the army crawl a very distant second, much to his mommy's and PT's dismay). But we continue to make progress each week and that's all that matters to me!

So, yesterday evening LO started a really yucky sounding cough. She didn't eat anything for breakfast and I all but force-fed her lunch (learned that lesson later...).We were standing in the kitchen when she started another coughing fit, and I told her to keep coughing to get that yucky stuff up, and of course, she threw up all over the kitchen tile (much better than the carpet -- yay!). I quickly grabbed a bowl from the cabinet and told her to keep coughing -- she needed to get the yucky stuff out, and sure enough! There went her lunch! (TMI?) She took a long afternoon nap, woke up still not feeling very good, and took a little nap while hubs, Chase and I had dinner. She didn't eat a thing for dinner, and I gave her a nice warm bath to help her feel better. I also gave her some cough medicine and then put her to bed a bit earlier than usual. Hubs and I went to bed later, and around 11:45 PM, LO was standing next to my bed, covered in puke. We went to her room, where there was some on her sheets, Dora blanket and on the floor, but mostly in the bowl I left next to her bed (that's my girl!). I quickly helped her change her PJs, then had her lay on the floor while I changed the sheets on her bed. I gave her some juice, took her temp (now up to 100.2°F) and a little dose of Tylenol. We kept her home from school today, although (THANKFULLY) there haven't been any other issues other than her cough and her feeling yucky.

Then this morning, I had the joy of taking Chase for his 1-year check-up at his Pediatrician's office. Let's just say something must've snapped with my normally complacent, happy little baby. This new 1-year-old "toddler" wanted NOTHING to do with the doctor's office. As soon as we went into the exam room, he busted out crying. Weight, length, O2 sat, temp, head circumference... it was like pure torture! And don't get me started on the doctor actually listening to his heart or checking his mouth or ears! All that topped off with two shots AND a finger stick to check his iron (I assume). My guy was NOT happy about all of this. Of course he crashed in the car on the short 8-minute drive home. He took a rather lengthy morning nap (can't blame him!) and now seems to be acting like his normal, wonderful self. If nothing else, this really scares me when I think of his cardiology appointment next Friday the 5th. We'll need to get four blood pressures, O2 sats, an EKG and an echo. I'm thinking it's not gonna be a picnic like it's been in the past. I'm starting now to get my arsenal of distractions ready for that appointment. It's a biggie and now I'm not just worried about the findings... I'm worried about being able to GET good pictures and accurate readings considering my boy is SO over doctors offices.


Oh, and I also fed Chase a few bites of a PB&J while we were in the waiting room. I've been DYING to confirm his LACK of a peanut allergy, and am HAPPY to report he had no allergic response to peanut butter. WOOT!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Big Birthday Bash!

Chase's 1st birthday party was so much fun! We partied and ate and celebrated and ate and opened gifts and ate some more! Can't go wrong with that, eh?

So I'm just posting a TON o' pictures on this post and providing a little commentary. The day was wonderful and emotional and I can't help but feel so very privileged to have been blessed with an entire year with my sweet boy. God is so good!

One of the party favors... blue M&Ms and banana Runts!

Some table decor... candy!

My favorite party favor in the gift bags I gave to our party goers... personalized Purell bottles!

Chocolate-dipped pretzel sticks... yum!

Ready for the party favor bags!
Of course there was plenty of food!
I rolled up the forks in the napkins and printed a little monkey napkin ring for each one.
More food...
Little appetizers.
The "O-N-E" I used for Chase's party invitation made a nice addition to the table decor!
A LOT of food!
Chase's smash cake!
Uhhh... more food!
Chase's smash cake! It was a layer of vanilla cake, cookies & cream buttercream filling, and a layer of chocolate cake, all covered in buttercream! Hey, you only turn ONE once, right?!
The cake! Yay! It turned out pretty much like I imagined it would. I didn't put a LOT of time into details, but pretty much put it together exactly as I had sketched it out. The bottom cake is dark chocolate with cookies & cream buttercream filling, and the top cake is just vanilla with buttercream. I think the chocolate one was AWESOME, but the vanilla definitely needed some adjustments. I had such a hard time finding a good vanilla cake recipe! Argh!

A shot of the dark chocolate cake... Delish!
The vanilla cake... a bit too dry for my taste, but still pretty! ;)
Time to sing to the birthday boy! He was a bit timid with all of the singing and gathering around him, but there were no tears!
It didn't take him long to get into the fun of eating cake. And of course you'll notice LO got her fingers in there, too!
Cake is yummy!
"All done!"
After the cake, Chase and I opened his gifts and boy did he make out awesome with all his new stuff! It's been quite a challenge to get LO to understand that these are Chase's new toys, not hers. I think she thought it was Christmas morning!

After the guests left, we put Chase and LO down for naps. Chase hardly slept for 30 minutes before he was up again, ready to party! I think he realized his only opportunity to play with all of his new toys was while LO was taking her nap... ;)

Later into the evening, we were getting ready to eat dinner so hubs grabbed Chase from the play area and brought him into the kitchen to eat. I happened to notice Chase's drool was quite pink -- very unusual and not at all expected! Upon further research, we found this:

You may or may not be able to see it in the picture, but somehow the boy got a TINY little cut on his gums, well below the gum line where a new tooth was popping up. The only thing we can figure is that he somehow jabbed his gums with his fingernail, but it was so crazy because he never once cried or made any noise whatsoever that he had been hurt. It didn't seem to bother him at all, but I'll tell you the blood was POURING out of this teeny little cut and pooling between his gums and bottom lip. Of course he was swallowing all of this and I was desperate to figure out what to do. I tried using a paper towel to put pressure on it, but he got MAD! Then a washcloth with an ice cube in it... he didn't want anything to do with that, either. I decided to call our pediatrician's office to speak with the nurse on call, who suggested I mix up a slushy with lots of ice and some juice. He surprised me and ate it from a spoon for 10 minutes or so, but I still saw no decrease in the bleeding. I fed him some soft banana and a jar of baby food, got him dressed for bed and took another look. It finally started to look like the bleeding was slowing down. We went ahead and put him to bed, and checked on him about an hour or so later. He was sleeping peacefully with his paci in, and when we took it out, there was no sign of blood anywhere on his paci or in his mouth. WHEW! We were seriously worried we might have to take him to the ER on a Saturday night, which was ridiculous considering how TINY the cut was and that we knew they wouldn't really be able to do anything for him anyway. Luckily he woke up wonderfully (albeit quite late... not 'til after 10AM!) this morning and has been super-great all day, with no sign at all of his little boo-boo. What an awesome trooper!

We had a wonderful day celebrating all that Chase (and hubs and LO and I) have made it through over the past year, and look forward to celebrating many more birthdays and milestones in the years ahead! God has blessed us beyond measure with our son, and we couldn't be more grateful for His goodness and grace.

Thank you to all of our blog readers, heart families and friends who have followed our journey and prayed for us along the way. I know we would never be where we are today if it wasn't for the love and support of our friends and family, so THANK YOU!!!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I've got a lot to do. My list is two pages long, and it's not all crossed off just yet. Chase's 1st birthday party will officially begin in less than 3 hours. Yet I find myself drawn to writing this post. A post of reflections. This isn't a reflection of all that Chase has been through over the past year. It's not a reflection of where we were one year ago today. It's a reflection of God's grace. His love. His blessings unfolding abundantly on undeserving little me.

When we started our heart journey with Chase on June 16, 2009, my life changed. Forever. I will never be the same person. At the time, that was a scary thought. But now? I am so grateful that God has changed me. He's pushed me to grow as a Christian, a wife, a mother and a person. He's pushed me through the deepest darkness I've ever known. He's pushed me closer to Him. And for that, I couldn't be more thankful.

Life as a heart mom isn't easy. There isn't a DAY MOMENT that goes by that I don't think of the "what if's" of having a child with a special heart. Point blank: The fear of losing my child is REAL and is with me EVERY MOMENT of EVERY DAY. Most parents don't have to deal with this. But I do. And it's so very hard. But God continues to push me. He pushes me through those dark thoughts and fears and reminds me of just how good He is. And He is so very good.

I can't help but think, as we celebrate Chase's first year, that there are so many other families who have lost their precious little one to this evil thing called HLHS. So many  young, innocent little lives have been called home to Heaven while their parents grieve and mourn their loss. This is unimaginable to me. I fear it happening to me every day, but to actually experience it? There are no words. There have been so many lost, and there are so many who are fighting for their life even as I type this post. I cannot understand this side of Heaven why God chooses to let some of these precious little ones stay here with their families, while some of them are called home to be with Him. So as I celebrate all that God has done for my sweet Chase over the past year, I can't help but think of all of the families who will never experience the joy of the amazing milestone of their child's first birthday. We are so blessed. And I do not for one second take that for granted.

As I looked back on the blog to see what we were up to one year ago today (3 days before Chase's birth -- there was a Target run, a dead Jeep battery and a lack of AT&T cell phone service involved -- I came across a post I wrote that contained some quotes from a book titled, Little Miracles, compiled by Dan Zadra. There are a few quotes that are especially meaningful to me today, and I'd like to share them with you again.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. ~ Joseph Campbell

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've never been one who thought the Lord should make life easy; I've just asked Him to make me strong. ~ Eva Bowring

When nothing is sure, everything is possible. ~ Margaret Drabble

Where there is great love, there are always miracles. ~ Willa Cather

I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today. ~ William Allen White

How simple it is to see all the worry in the world cannot control the future. How simple it is to see that we can only be happy now, and that there will never be a time when it is not now. ~ Gerald Jampolsky

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Sneak Peek...

I'm so excited!!! Can't wait to celebrate my boy tomorrow!!!

Posted from my iPhone


...will be celebrating his FIRST BIRTHDAY with a great big party tomorrow?


I'm so excited about his party and all of the little details I've put into it! Oh, and the cake is coming together like you wouldn't believe! I can't wait to share it with you after his party! There WILL be lots of pics, people! I'm just sayin'!

So stay tuned!!!

Posted from my iPhone

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday Fun

Sunday afternoon we took the family to a local pumpkin patch for some fun. We had a blast! We took LO 2 years ago and she had so much fun again this year! Chase wasn't sure what to think of it all... I'm sure it will be more fun for him next year when he's bigger.

Here are a few pics of the fun!

Yes, there was a Cow Train to ride!

And pumpkins to pick!

And a "bull" to ride!

And a "horse" to ride!

And a "cow" to ride!

Two years ago we could barely see her head over the top of the seat!

And of course there were naps to be had on the way home (thank goodness)!

We had a great time, even though it was WAAAAY too hot for October pumpkin pickin' (in my opinion).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Can't Hardly Stand It!!!

I took Chase for his 1 year pictures this morning, and I can't hardly stand it! I have to share!!! His pics came out SOOOOOOO great that I just had to share some of them IMMEDIATELY!

Click HERE to see the set of some of his 1 year pics! Yay!!! So cute!!! Yay!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Chase did super-awesome with his RSV shots on Monday. I so hate that he'll have to get one in each leg, once a month, for 6 months. But it's worth it to keep him safe and healthy!!

The poor fella also got his 2nd flu shot (booster) yesterday morning. He is such a trooper! As soon as the needle goes in, he wails (obviously). But by the time the band-aid is on and he's back in mommy's arms, he's just fine! That's my boy!

Yesterday was hubs' birthday. I cooked dinner and picked up his favorite cake: a Dairy Queen Blizzard cake. The kids and I gave him a few gifts and he opened his cards from friends/family. I really enjoyed celebrating his special day as a family in the comfort and quiet (ha!ha!) of our home. :)

Chase has his PT and OT sessions today. I love his weekly PT sessions because his therapist is simply amazing! He "performs" well for her, although he all but refuses to cooperate with me when I try the same exercises with him throughout the week. My goal since his PT/OT started was to get him mobile by his first birthday... He is mobile, with either the "army crawl" or the "butt scoot" so I guess that's progress, right? Honestly, I'm starting to regret my decision to get him mobile. I love loving on my little baby and am not at all anxious to have to chase after him rather than cuddle with him. I know with LO, hubs and I were both so excited for her to start crawling and take her first steps, but with Chase? I'm all about keeping him my "baby" for as long as possible! :)

Birthday plans are still moving right along! I've made a lot of progress on the personalized items I wanted to do, but am so irritated that I still haven't landed on a menu yet. Yes, I'm retarded. I put waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much thought into this kind of stuff. I'm pretty sure I'm driving hubs CRAZY with this aspect of Chase's party. I mean, really, I've already ordered his birthday present from us, I've already sketched out his cake design and found one of the two cake recipes I'm going to use, I've got almost all of the favor bag items ready to go, the invitations already went out, the Thank You notes were already designed, printed and shipped, his photo/video slideshow is almost complete, and yet... I still have no idea what I'll serve for food! I thought I was set with a "taco bar" type spread, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided I didn't love the idea for a first birthday. So then I've thought about the typical finger foods... sandwiches, veggie tray, meatballs, etc.... but I did that for LO's 1st and 3rd birthdays, so it feels like it's been SO overdone and since our party guests are pretty much the same each time, I figure they're sick of it. I don't want to do something heavy like lasagna since the party is during lunchtime. I don't want to do a "meal" (like baked ziti with salad, breadsticks) because I feel like a party should have a variety of food and some people may not like the meal I chose. ARGH!!! I totally realize this decision shouldn't be THIS hard, but I can't help it that I'm so crazy about little decisions like this! I also thought about getting pizza and serving it with a salad, breadsticks, a veggie tray, etc., but I can't help but feel like I'm supposed to be Betty Crocker, so who am I to "buy" food for one of my kids' parties and NOT make it all myself from scratch? This isn't supposed to be so difficult! I know I can't make everybody happy, but I want to at least strive to make the majority of them happy! There's nothing wrong with that... right? Right?? Ugh. I'll keep thinking and eventually I'll figure it all out... I hope. ;)

I couldn't post a miscellaneous update and not share pics/videos of the kiddos, so here's what Chase has been up to while I've been writing this post...

And here's what LO was up to during the "Choo Choo Soul" commercial on the Disney Channel a few minutes ago... ((I've learned that if I hold my iPhone horizontally, it takes bigger, better HD video instead of the tall, skinny video... but I keep forgetting to do that.))

Monday, October 11, 2010

Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Chase had his first RSV appointment of the season this morning and I'm so happy to say he did great! We were referred to a different office than last year, and I'm not complaining because it's about 35 minutes closer to my home than the office we used last year was. Nice!

Overall the appointment went well and we were out in less than an hour! For my fellow heart moms, you know that any doctor appointment lasting less than an hour is a blessing! ;)

The greatest thing about Chase's appointment this morning was that I learned more about RSV and more specifically, the Synegis shots he received this morning. I thought the shots were like every other vaccine that prevents the person from getting a particular disease, such as RSV. But actually, these Synegis shots DO NOT PREVENT CHASE FROM GETTING RSV; rather, they just make it to where IF he gets it, it won't be "as bad." Hmmm... I had no idea! What a horrible mommy, right? Not even knowing about this stuff I'm having injected into my son! Wow.

So I felt compelled to share some information about RSV for my readers (and family & friends who are around Chase) to help educate us all about this nasty virus!

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is a viral disease of the lungs. It is one of the most important causes of lower respiratory tract illness in infants and young children.

RSV is spread by contact with droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person. Persons with mild infections usually get better without treatment. Severely ill children often need to be hospitalized. There is currently no vaccine to prevent RSV infection.

The best ways to prevent the spread of RSV are to cover coughs and sneezes and to wash hands often and well. Intravenous immune globulin treatment has recently been approved for use in high-risk infants.

What is respiratory syncytial virus infection?

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is one of the most important causes of lower respiratory illness in infants and young children. It also causes both mild and serious respiratory diseases in older children and adults.

What is the infectious agent that causes RSV infection?

RSV infection is caused by the respiratory syncytial virus.

Where is RSV infection found?

RSV infections occur worldwide. Most children are infected at least once by age 2 and continue to be reinfected throughout life. In temperate climates, RSV infections usually occur in the winter. Peaks occur in January and February in the United States.

How do people get RSV infection?

The virus is found in discharges from the nose and throat of an infected person. People can get RSV infection by:

- Breathing in droplets after an infected person has coughed
- Hand-to-mouth contact after touching an infected person
- Hand-to-mouth contact with a surface that an infected person has touched or coughed on

What are the signs and symptoms of RSV infection?

RSV infections can range from very mild illness to serious lower respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia, that occur mostly in the very young, the very old, and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms can last for a few days to several weeks.

Signs and symptoms in young children are usually mild and similar to a cold. They include stuffy nose, cough, and sometimes ear infection. In older children and adults, RSV causes upper respiratory infection involving the nose, throat, or sinuses.

Children who develop a lower respiratory tract infection often have low-grade fever for several days, a cough that sometimes lasts more than 2 weeks, and respiratory symptoms including difficult or rapid breathing and deep coughing. Symptoms in newborns and young infants may include irritability, listlessness, and poor feeding.

What complications can result from RSV infection?

A person with a first RSV infection can develop severe breathing problems that need to be managed in the hospital. RSV infections in premature babies less than 6 months old and in infants with chronic lung, heart, or immune problems are most likely to be severe and lead to death.

((If that doesn't make you want to wash your hands often around babies like Chase, I don't know what will!!))

How soon after exposure do symptoms appear?

Illness usually starts within 3 to 5 days of infection.

How is RSV infection diagnosed?

There are tests for RSV infection, but the diagnosis is sometimes based on symptoms and time of year.

Who is at risk for RSV infection?

People of any age can be infected. Very young infants, premature infants, and children with underlying lung, heart, or immune system problems are at high risk for severe RSV disease. The virus can also cause serious illness in elderly persons and in adults with lung disease or weakened immune systems.

What complications can result from RSV infection?

Infants and young children with a first RSV infection can develop a severe infection in the lower respiratory tract. Approximately 80,000 children are hospitalized with these infections each year. Most children needing hospitalization are newborns and infants and those with weak immune systems, congenital heart or lung disease, or prematurity.

What is the treatment for RSV infection?

Most people with mild RSV infections usually get better without treatment. Care of patients with mild illness centers on relieving symptoms and easing breathing. Those with more serious infections are sometimes treated in the hospital with the anti-virus drug ribavirin. Some hospitalized patients need intensive care and mechanical ventilation (respirator).

How common is RSV infection?

RSV is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract illness in infants and young children. In the United States, approximately 50% of infants and young children become infected with RSV each winter season. RSV causes about 90,000 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths per year in children under age 5 years.

Is RSV infection an emerging infectious disease?


How can RSV infection be prevented?

There is currently no RSV vaccine. The best ways to prevent the spread of RSV are to cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often and thoroughly, and dispose of used tissues properly. Immune globulin intravenous (IGIV) treatment to prevent RSV infection has recently been approved for use in high-risk infants.


Thank you for reading this post and learning how to help protect me!

Love, Chase

Posted from my iPhone

First Birthday Stuff

I've been working on plans for Chase's first birthday party for at least 2 months now. For most of you who know me, that should come as no surprise! Since I mailed the invitations out last week, I'm so excited to share with you what I created! I wanted to do something different, but needed it to match his party theme, and wanted it to include his photo, too. No easy task, right? Well, after googling some ideas, I found one that I loved and created it for Chase's first birthday invitation. Without further ado...

His party theme is mod monkey:

And here's the matching invite (click the photo to see a larger image!):

It was SO MUCH FUN shooting those pics of the little guy. He was in such a great mood and was all smiles for mommy! I had a ton of pictures to choose from and I think the final product was absolutely perfect! Yay!

While I'm on the subject of his birthday invitation, I have to share the redneck/MacGuyver solution my husband created for me so I could get perfect, even coats of spraypaint on those letters you see in the photos. It was hilarious! It involved two step-ladders, some string, a level and 5 screws...

Wow, right? Seriously though... THANKS, HUBS!!!

Last week I was also finally able to order one of Chase's birthday presents: a bean bag! As you may recall, we bought LO a bean bag for her first birthday that matched her nursery decor and it has been the biggest hit over the years! She plops down in that thing several times a day and it has held up wonderfully. We thought we'd keep the tradition and find one for Chase, too! Well, it turns out the company I ordered LO's from just didn't have a pattern that I loved, so of course I had to make things difficult and order a custom one with fabric I found online. So his bedding is called Jungle Tales and is totally cute like this:

Lots of dots n' stuff. I was inspired by the dots and the chooclate-y color scheme, as well as the dots from the cribsheet. You can't see the sheet very well in this photo, so here's a close-up of:

After some online fabric shopping, I decided on this fun pattern of--of course, dots!--which all happen to match the overall color scheme of his room quite well!

This fabric obviously doesn't incorporate all of the colors of his bedding, but the ones it does include definitely match nicely! Besides, I figure the bean bag will reside in the living room next to LO's, so it's not like I'll be comparing it side-by-side with his bedding set! Plus, I'm sure one day his bedroom will turn into the latest Disney craze (Cars, Toy Story, etc.) and it won't matter anymore, anyway! If he enjoys his bean bag even half as much as LO, it will be money well spent! So typical me, I ordered this fabric over a month ago and have been waiting anxiously to send it to the bean bag company (highly recommended, by the way--their bean bags come with a TEN YEAR warranty!!!) because they only take about TWO DAYS to turn around a custom bean bag. I finally shipped the fabric to them last week so I could cross this item off of my To Do List. Yay!

Over the weekend, I made some serious progress with some other party-related items on my list. I'm putting together what I hope will be the cutest little treat bags for our party guests, complete with some very relevant and personalized items from Chase! So cute!!! I've also got to fine-tune the details surrounding the party food and also sketch out the cake design in my head so I can put some serious effort into creating a masterpiece! Haha... I know it'll NEVER look as good as the one I have in my head, but I've been putting a LOT of work into finding the perfect cake recipes! I have a wonderful chocolate recipe, but am still completely without a white cake recipe that (A) doesn't come from a box and/or (B) doesn't taste like cornbread (yes, for some reason all of my "from scratch" white cake recipes come out tasting like cornbread--gag!). So, I'll figure that out soon. I also worked with some fondant last week and decided that, as cute as it looks on the cake, I absolutely hate it!!! It was super-easy to work with and definitely did give me the smooth finish I wanted for the cake, but it tasted awful (even though I made it myself from a very trusted recipe) and is all but impossible to eat! I'll stick with a super-duper vat o' buttercream for these cakes!

So, that's a little update on some of the birthday stuff I've been working on for the past few weeks. There is much left to be done, so I'd better get my little guy out of bed and get this day moving! My poor fella has his first RSV shotS this morning at 10:30 AM, so hopefully he'll get through them okay. Last year he only had to have ONE shot per month, but since he's bigger (weigh-wise) this year, he'll get one shot in EACH leg, once per month, from October through March. My poor guy!!! But I sincerely believe it's worth it when you consider the alternative (a respiratory virus like RSV would be devastating to someone with a special heart like Chase!).