Friday, November 30, 2012

Oh, Poo!

So I know I owe you guys the great big Disney World post of 2012, but sometimes life gets in the way and we get distracted. This morning was a perfect case in point!

Not only am I trying to keep my daughter's elementary school updated with the various happenings as our Facebook page admin, plus working with her teacher to plan and organize the class holiday (CHRISTMAS) party, plus planning and preparing for my sister's baby shower (YAY!) as well as getting ready to completely overhaul Chase's room next weekend (whew!), plus working extra holiday hours at The Store and decorating the house for Christmas plus shopping for gifts and working on my annual iPhoto Christmas project and cooking/cleaning... whoa. I think you get the point. So with all of that going on, I'm trying to find time to post about our Disney World trip, which unfortunately is not the priority on my growing list of things to do...

Anywho, the point of today's post? Poo. Oh, yes, friends. Poo.

With my first day (in what seems like FOREVER) without any plans to be anywhere or do anything but lounge at home, I was taking advantage of my Friday morning by napping intermittently on the couch while Chase played with some toys and watched PBS. This is my FAVORITE morning activity by far -- especially since it's what I did almost daily during my first trimester.

So I'm half asleep on the couch and I hear Chase in the downstairs play area saying he needed my help. Of course I tried to get out of it but after asking a few questions about what he needs, I hear him mention the word: Poo.

Crap (literally! haha!). I got up off the couch as quickly as my overweight, out-of-shape, almost 18-week pregnant body would allow and found this. Obviously we can all agree I have a hard core commitment to documenting our lives via electronic media since my first instinct was, of course, to take pictures rather than address the issue at hand.


Can someone please explain to me how poo went from the back, top area of his diaper all the way to his feet??! I expected that perhaps it had "dripped" down his leg, but no. His legs were clean. Just his little foot was covered in poo. I have no idea how little Houdini made this happen. But I was certainly grossed out. Not what I had planned for my quiet, relaxing Friday morning of napping.

So after stripping him down and cleaning up the poo, I sat him next to the sink to wash his feet off. Within a matter of moments, the entire kid was submerged in a sink bath!

He was having a wonderful time! It was so funny because I'm pretty sure our kids have NEVER been sink bathers, even as little ones that would actually fit in our sink. So it was pretty hilarious to see this big 3-year-old of mine stuffed into a sink bath. But he had a blast!

This next one is pretty blurry, but I think it does a good job of capturing his joy of sink bathing. I just love this kid to pieces!!!

And not to leave you guys hanging, I thought I'd share a little teaser photo of Disney if for no other reason than to prove that the trip DID happen and that you WILL be seeing photos and a recap here... eventually. ;)


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Update Time!

Well, okay... it's been a bit too long since my last post, but as most of you can agree, this is a busy season of the year! In addition to life and work and everything else, we just spent about a week in Florida for a family vacation! There's so much to talk about and so many pictures to share, but for now, I owe you a little update on a little something else.

Next Tuesdays marks week 18 of my pregnancy with baby #3. It's been about 5 weeks since LO and Chase shared a little message with you guys about our big news. I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to talk about it here!

So let's see... hubs and I always wanted to have one of each -- boy and girl -- and boy were we ever blessed with LO and Chase!!! Those kids are the light of my life and I am so grateful to be their mommy! Once things settled into a new normal with Chase (meaning after his first two heart surgeries and once we were out of the mandatory "protective bubble" stage), we realized our family just didn't quite feel complete yet. The idea of a third child crossed our minds, but neither of us were 100% set on the idea. We definitely weren't against it, but were not ready to move forward. Then in November 2011 we purchased our new home, and had the joy of four months of dealing with building it and eventually moving in. Then settling in. And that last part took a LOT longer than I had ever expected! Sure, all of our belongings were "moved in" but it didn't feel like our home until I was able to make the time to make it ours -- hanging photos on the walls, purchasing the necessary furniture to fill it up (we went from about 1,500 sq. ft. to over 3,200 sq. ft.), window treatments, etc. Again, this took way longer than I had expected!

So fast-forward a few months, and we started to discuss the family dynamic again. Things still just didn't feel complete. So we talked about #3 again. And this time, we both felt we were ready. It was time.

Within a few short months, we found ourselves expecting baby #3! Of course we were overjoyed, but I'll admit I was a bit apprehensive as well. I clearly recall enjoying every moment of the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy with Chase, until we got his CHD diagnosis, and things were so scary and unbelievably difficult for the second half of my pregnancy. I mean, how can you not dwell on the "what if's" when your baby would be born with only half a functioning heart? How could you think about onesies, diapers and pacis when you have to focus on relocating your family 4 hours from home, worrying about your child's birth and first open-heart surgery while maintaining some sort of normalcy for your 2-year-old daughter?? Ugh. I always knew if we had another baby, I'd experience the exact opposite of my pregnancy with Chase: I'd spend the first 20 weeks worried out of my mind about my baby's health, then (HOPEFULLY) spend the last half of the pregnancy looking forward to the birth of a healthy baby boy or girl. And I guess that sort of sums up where I'm at now.

As I mentioned, we're almost 18 weeks pregnant. In 2 weeks, I have an appointment at the same Maternal-Fetal Specialist we saw when we received Chase's diagnosis. This appointment will include a full anatomy scan (boy or girl!?) as well as an in-depth look at the baby's entire body/organs/etc. We are hoping and praying we will receive a wonderful report at this appointment! A few weeks later, we'll return to this office again to meet with Chase's pediatric cardiologist for a fetal echo on the baby's heart. Again, we're praying for a healthy report at this appointment as well!

I'll admit that while I am a bit apprehensive about the baby's health, I'm not totally consumed by it. And this actually surprises me! I can't tell if it's just because life keeps me so busy with my current little ones or what? The negative side of me thinks that I'm not allowing myself to get too attached to the baby because of the fear of the unknown... but the rest of me just thinks this is what it's like when you're resting in faith that God is in control. He knows my heart; He hears my prayers. We are fully trusting in Him and are praying for GREAT news at our upcoming appointment on 12/11.

As far as how I've been feeling this time around? Ohmahgah the exhaustion and fatigue during the first trimester pretty much kept me camped out on the couch during all waking hours of the day. It was straight up unbelievable! I had no idea it could be so bad! Obviously caring for 2 kids, managing the  house, working a job and everything else on my plate was taking its toll! Seriously. I cannot put into words how awful it was! I would send LO off to school with hubs and crash on the couch until I had to get up to make Chase some lunch. I'd pile dirty dishes into the sink -- without so much as a quick rinse. I all but refused to empty the dishwasher and certainly never took the time to load it. Poor hubs! I wasn't cooking at ALL, the house was a horrible mess, and it was all I could do to function on a daily basis. Oh, the fatigue!!! Luckily, as with both LO and Chase, I didn't have any real nausea to speak of. No real morning sickness -- just an occasional feeling of wanting to puke but thankfully not doing so. ;)

Now that I'm into my second trimester, I'm feeling much better, have much more energy, and actually feel like a contributing member of society again! I'm looking forward to our appointment next month so we will know if we're having another boy or girl so I can start getting the nursery ready. There's so much to do and so much to be thankful for!

Thank you to those of you who have asked about how things are going and have gently nudged me on Facebook or via text to share more about this pregnancy. Talking and writing about it makes it more real and it's definitely something I need to get used to! Thank you in advance for your prayers concerning our upcoming appointments... we covet them and are so grateful for those of you who have been with us over the long haul! Your support means so very much to me!!!

Coming soon: lots of pics from our Walt Disney World vacation!!!!! :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Big Boy Room Inspiration... Help Needed!

Working on some inspiration for Chase's new "big boy" bedroom. I want something train-y, but not like Thomas the Tank Engine threw up all over his walls. Right? The bed and dresser below are the furniture he already has (although the dresser is more brown and less black -- just a bad pic... and he's still in the toddler bed -- this is all about the transition to full size bed, which will take place in December).

Much to my husband's dismay, today I purchased the train sheets and quilt from Pottery Barn Kids. These were NOT cheap, my friends. Major setback. But I'm pretty adamant he will be taking that quilt to college and use it for his own kids some day.

I found a cute night stand and table lamp from Target, will put up some navy blackout curtains (2 floor-length panels), and paint the walls a very subtle gray. Then it's just a matter of adding in a few accent pieces of wall decor. I'm somewhat partial to the block letters I found on Pinterest that are made from cardboard letters and spray painted. I'll probably do them in blue or red to contrast with the gray walls. Then maybe add in a few train-y pieces like the RR crossing sign and whatever else I can find that I like.

Overall I'm SUPER CRAZY EXCITED about what his room is going to transform into in just a few short weeks. I have plans for some custom homemade pillow shams and possibly a bedskirt if I feel it will be needed (do boys rooms really need one?), but that won't be 'til Phase 2. ;)

Thoughts? Comments? Anyone have any other ideas for awesome train decor we should include in this super cute new room? I'm such a novice at this stuff... I have no home decor skills whatsoever to speak of, so I'm very open and willing to hear any/all suggestions you lovely readers may have!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cardiology Results

Well, as expected, Dr. H brought up the "F" word at Chase's cardiology check-up this morning... Fontan. That's his 3rd planned heart surgery. Whoa. As much as I thought I was ready to talk about it, turns out I wasn't really ready to talk about it.

Not surprisingly, Chase was NOT in the mood for the simple things like height and weight. I'm sure it's possible he has bad memories of such things at the cardiologist's office as he usually does really well with height and weight at his pediatrician's office. Weird. Once we were in the exam room, and he saw the blood pressure machine roll over, he was NOT having it! He was ordered to have BPs on all four extremities, but the nurse took pity on us after both legs and an arm. He was screaming and fighting through most of it -- he's never been a fan of having his blood pressure taken (can't blame him!) and today proved no different. His pressures were all good and we were very pleased with his o2 saturation in the upper 80s!

After a bit of a wait, we were taken back for the echo. He wasn't happy about having his shirt taken off or laying down for the echo, and he definitely was not interested in the stickers they typically apply to his chest to capture his heartbeat during the echo, so the tech was nice and left them off. Once he was comfortable and noticed Despicable Me was playing on the TV in the exam room, he was his usual echo champ that we've always known and loved! He was perfectly still and cooperated perfectly! The tech was able to get the images she needed and we were taken back to the exam room to wait on Dr. H.

When he stepped into the room, he was amazed at how big our boy is now! It's been 6 months since his last appointment, and I guess he's had a bit of a growth spurt since then. He definitely looks huge to me! But Dr. H was pleased with the information collected this morning and of course, essentially the first thing he said after greeting us, was that it was time to talk Fontan timing.


It's never easy, even in these early planning stages, to even THINK of turning your 3-year-old son over for a third heart surgery. I won't even get into the many thoughts that run through my mind because they're mostly depressing and I don't want to dwell on them. But just imagine our surprise when Dr. H suggested we go ahead and get his Fontan scheduled for March.


As in, like, 4 months from now.


We of course mentioned our biggest concern about that timeframe (with the knowledge that we will most certainly be bumped for more urgent surgical cases once or twice... potentially taking us into April or May), was that Chase's little brother or sister is due the first week of May. Dr. H congratulated us and agreed that we definitely needed to consider the timing of his surgery very carefully. Dr. H agreed we didn't want to schedule the Fontan during the winter (cold/flu/RSV) months, which we wholeheartedly agreed with, and that being 7 months pregnant (with the ginormous size and lack of energy that comes along with it) isn't ideal, either. Going for a summer Fontan (June/July) would be tough considering the lack of sleep and other big changes that comes along with having a 3rd child, so then we talked about early Fall 2013. I'd love to have it done before LO starts 1st grade because I'd hate for her to miss too much school (it goes without saying that she would be with us in Charleston for the  entire duration of our stay for Chase's surgery). I'm pretty sure if she misses 10 days she doesn't get credit for the year (or something weird like that?). So maybe early August would be best?

We all agreed that we would bring Chase back in 4 months (March) for another echo. Really the ONLY thing that could potentially force our hand to have to schedule his Fontan is a section of narrowing in his LPA (left pulmonary artery). It was ballooned during his pre-Fontan cath last year, which gave it a bit more wiggle room, but according to today's echo, it appears to have gone back to what it was before that cath. So if we see in March that the size of his LPA narrowing has worsened, we'll have no choice but to get him on the books for his Fontan at MUSC. If all looks good, we can most likely schedule it later in the Fall.

It was encouraging to hear Dr. H say that there is some research that indicates delaying the Fontan as long as possible (within reason) is actually beneficial to HLHSers like Chase because as adults, HLHS patients are appearing to have significant issues with their liver due to the higher pressure that the Fontan brings. So hanging out with Glenn circulation (which is what Chase has now) is potentially ideal anyway. He mentioned there's a surgeon in Atlanta who is waiting as far out as 7 or 8 years old for his single ventricle patients before their Fontan because he used to be an adult cardiologist and saw the significant liver issues his patients were having as adults, and feels that delaying the Fontan as much as possible can help reduce potential liver issues as they grow into adulthood.

So that's that. We'll go back in March and Chase's LPA will tell us whether we need to go ahead and schedule his Fontan or if we can wait it out a bit longer. Whether I'm still pregnant or have a newborn to contend with, I am NOT looking forward to the thought of going in for the Fontan. However, I am looking forward to being post-Fontan and not having any additional planned/scheduled surgeries in our future. As difficult as it is to block out the negative thoughts that come up all to often during this journey, I know my hope is in the Lord and that He has a perfect plan for our boy. I am trusting in Him, even and especially through this heart-wrenching journey.

I didn't take any pics of the kiddo at the appointment, but here he is after we got him loaded up in the car to head home. He's got pretty much all of his favorite things: Mickey, monkey, juice and food. The only things missing are his iPod and a Concrete Mixer from Culver's. ;)

Thanks a bunch to those of you who were praying for us today! God answers the prayers of his people!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cardiology Check-up

Chase has his 6-month cardiology check-up Tuesday morning. Please say a prayer for our sweet boy! We're expecting it's about time we start discussing his third scheduled surgery, the Fontan, which we're thinking will be some time next summer/fall.


Can't even start to think about that right now.

I'll share an update tomorrow after his appointment. Thank you so much to those of you who have loved us, supported us and prayed for us along this journey with our amazing Chase!!! We wouldn't be where we are without you!


- Posted via my beloved iPhone 5


Can someone please tell me how to tackle this madness? These Tupperware cabinets have been the bane of my existence since we moved into the new house... I can't get it under control!

Need ideas STAT!!! Please help!

- Posted using my beloved iPhone 5