Night at the Museum

We had a fun filled day in Charleston Saturday. We originally planned to go down Friday afternoon and visit John, Jess, and Lo, and go to the Heart Walk Saturday morning. We had a change of plans because Lo was discharged Friday!! She did amazingly well, and was sent home! Wonderful news! So we decided to go down Saturday and have a day in the beautiful city. We missed the Heart Walk because we couldn't drag our lazy selves out of the bed Saturday morning...it's so hard to get up when D's still sleeping! :) We were really going to go if we would have spent the night in Charleston...we would have had to leave our house around 6am Saturday, and it wasn't happening! We'll definitely be at the one here in Columbia!

Anyway, look who drove us down Saturday morning....

(But before anyone calls DSS, or the cops...we were sitting in the parking lot, getting ready to feed the man, LOL!)

We did some shopping at the outlets, which is always one of my main goals when we go to Charleston.

Notice how he has his feet propped. He just chills wherever...he doesn't care!

After shopping we went to the Children's Museum for the Cardiology reunion. We had a really good time playing in the museum, seeing some of our heart friends, meeting some we've talked to but never met in person, and meeting some totally new friends. It was really fun meeting the people who said, "There's D! We read about him!" It was so nice to meet you!!!

Here are D and Noah. We felt like we knew Noah and his family, but finally met them for the first time that night. Derrick loved him!

Noah asked his mom if they could give us $200 so he could take D home to be his little brother. LOL!! So funny!

D got held prisoner in the tower of the castle.

He and daddy had to take a break from exploring.

He became an artist...not really, he just wanted to put his feet in the paint. Maybe next year! :)

He sat on the king's throne, (Sorry...this is a bad picture, but I had to post it!)

and stared in a puppet show.

He went down the slide,

And took a duck ride.

D played with the dolphins,

and met 'The Pig.'

But the day wore this guy out, and he couldn't take any more fun! We didn't even realize he had fallen asleep! Poor man...but he was still holding the pig's hand.

We had lots of fun visiting, and are looking forward to seeing our Palmetto Hearts friends again in a few weeks at the pumpkin patch! :)

I know this is long...but here's one last thing I just have to post. Here's D sitting on the King's bed all by himself. We thought it was hilarious!


Happy Birthday Jimbo!

We went to a surprise 60th birthday for Justin's dad (Jimbo/Papaw) Saturday night. We ate some really good barbecue and watched Gamecock football! It was fun...and we won, so that made it more fun!!


Here he is, surprised when we all walked in.

Our team spirited banana pudding that we took for dessert. I was trying to add some garnet to the pudding, but I didn't realize that the sprinkles were actually cinnamon flavored. Oops! :) It turned out pretty good though, at least no one said out loud that it was terrible!

And ladies and gentlemen...it looks like we have a Ladies man on our hands! LOL!!

All of the ladies wanted to hold the little guy and kept passing him around....he loved it!

Papaw teaching D to cheer for the Gamecocks.
C~A~R~O~L~I~N~A GoOoOo Cocks!!!

Happy Birthday Jimbo! Thank you so much for all you do for us. We hope you had a FANTASTIC day and we love you!!!

Guess who has their first ear infection....

Yep, it's D, and he's NOT happy about it! As terrible as this sounds, when we took him to the doctor Monday we were hoping Dr. Bonnett would find something wrong...at least this (hopefully) explains why he's cut his eating in half! After only 2 days on his antibiotic, he's been eating a little better, so hopefully we're on the road to recovery! You know what a stress the eating is! BUT....D weighs a whopping (LOL!) 12 lbs, 4 oz!! The baby food is all that saved us there, that's for sure!

We're going down to Charleston Friday to visit Lo, Jess, and John. Lo had surgery Monday and is doing well. She's almost 1 1/2, so it's been tough for Jess and John to watch her want to do things and her have to be sedated because she doesn't understand what's going on. We're also going to the heart walk, and to the MUSC Ped. Cardiology reunion Saturday. It will be fun to see some of D's nurses that we loved so much and to see our Palmetto Hearts friends.

If you don't hear from us before....we'll have lots of pics next week! We love you all!!!


Guess Who's FIVE Months Old Today!

Wow, I can't believe you're FIVE months old already! Here's what you've been up to lately...
  • You are very wiggly. It took a LOT to get a good picture!
  • You had your first heart cath.
  • You had your first stay in a hotel, and you did really well.
  • You haven't rolled over yet, but you do roll to your side.
  • You sat up for about ten seconds today all by yourself! It may be a little odd that you just might sit up before you roll over...but that's ok, we'll take it! :)
  • You LOVE your feet! You are always holding on to them and enjoy putting them in your mouth, especially when we're feeding you baby food.
  • You love baby food time and have added 'plums and oatmeal' and 'sweet peas and turkey' to your list of foods you've eaten. You REALLY enjoy the plums and oatmeal!
  • You have reverted back to eating only 2-3 ounces from your bottle. This is by far the most difficult thing for us...you are so stubborn! But we love you anyway!
  • You still aren't sleeping through the night. You wake up 4:30 every morning, almost like clockwork.
  • You moved to your room in your big boy crib!
  • You enjoy being read to (which makes me REALLY happy!) When you are fussy at bedtime, we can read to you and it calms you down.
  • You really want to eat and drink what we're having. You always open your mouth like you think you're getting a bite.
  • Nona likes to give you sweet tea, and you like it!
  • You've really started noticing the dogs and you think they are so funny!! Daisy likes it when you laugh at her. The rest of them just ignore you.
  • You've decided you're too big for your swing, but you like your exersaucer and still have fun in the jumperoo.
  • You still put your hands behind your head when you're sleepy, no matter what you're doing. Yes, even when you're jumping!
  • You fit really well in your 0-3 month clothes, and you're in size 2 diapers now.
  • You have wild, straight hair that sticks out everywhere (just like your daddy's).
  • You have grown so much! We love you baby boy, and are very proud of you!

PS....Our good friends, Jess and John, are sending their little girl Lorelei for her second heart surgery in the morning. Please say a prayer for them!!


Yummy yummy in my tummy!

Since Derrick thinks he's too big for the swing and screams every time we put him in it, we went to Babies R Us and got him an EXERSAUCER! While we were in the store, we let him try out a few so he could pick out the one he liked best. Is it normal to let your kids get in toys in the store? LOL! It was really pretty funny. We had them out in the isle...people were walking by looking at us like we had just brought him in to play. The thing is, we weren't sure which one he'd like better, so we let him decide. He decided on the Baby Einstein one...

He looks pretty pleased with his choice.

We moved on to stage 2 foods this week. D does much better with them because they're thicker. His first "big boy baby food" meal was prunes and oatmeal. He LOVED it! I couldn't get it in fast enough.

He ate half of the jar and this was all the mess he made. It was pretty awesome! However, I handed him the spoon, and it went straight to is hair.

Not all food makes him this happy. We've had to start mixing applesauce in his veggies or he gags and won't eat them. It's gross, but it works, so whatever! The bottle, however, is not going as well. Derrick has decided that he doesn't want his bottle. We aren't sure if his stomach is bothering him again or what, but he cries with it and only takes about 2 1/2 ounces every 3-4 hours...yes, close to what he came home from the hospital on 4 months ago!! Ugh! This is the most frustrating thing (other than his heart, of course)!!


Yep, it's flu season!

Poor Justin didn't get to eat today at work, so look what he brought home!

Yes, I fed him, but he had to have his breakfast from this morning (McDonalds) and TWO Butterfingers after dinner to make up for the busy day! LOL!! Poor guy!

Yesterday after church we went to The Stable Steakhouse for lunch. Mmmm...talk about good southern home cooking! The veggies are probably worse for you than the mac and cheese, but it was SO GOOD!
D and Nona...she likes to sneak him sweet tea!

Nona, the cool man D, and Sheaffer

Gong Gong and Derrick

We found out our dachshund, Andy, has HEARTWORMS! We give all of them heartworm meds, so I'm not sure how he got them. Poor guy. We just really hope he's ok! He's spending the night at the vet tonight so he can get his second treatment in the morning.

We hope his treatment is successful and he's back home soon. We miss you tonight Doodie!


I'm a BIG boy now!!!

Our little guy is growing up SO fast! This does not look like the face of a 4 1/2 month old, does it?!?!

We had fun last week watching the first football game of the season.

Here's D, ready for the game.

It was a little past D's bedtime, so he wore Gamecock PJs to bed to bring them good luck since he couldn't watch the whole game. This is one cute little Gamecock!!

Over the Labor Day weekend, we met our great friends Steph and Kevin for a quick trip to Asheville. We had a great time, and Derrick spent his FIRST night in a hotel! He did very well. I always worry when he spends the night away from home...he's kind of picky about where he sleeps. We took his pack-&-play, and he did just fine. We'll make a little traveler out of him yet!

Monday we went to the Biltmore then did a little shopping. (It's always fun to check out malls in other places!) If you've never been to the Biltmore, it's really a neat place...imagine growing up in a 175,000 square foot house (that covers FOUR acres) and having 8,000 acres to play on! WHAT?! They are completely restoring the house, and it really is cool to see the process of recreating wallpaper from the 1800s and other crazy historical things. There are acres of beautiful gardens, but we had to cut that visit short. There are so many steps! It completely defeats the purpose of having your child in a stroller when you have to carry the stroller. I wish I would have gotten a picture of Justin and Kevin carrying it! Derrick looked like a king being carried on his throne. Funny, but really annoying!

Here we are on one of the massive porches. What an amazing view!

Some of you will think this is mean, we thought it was funny! No, we didn't feed him pizza, but he kept watching us eat and opening his mouth every time one of us would take a bite. He knows what to do and is ready for some real food. See...

The busy day wore the little guy out!

When we got home, I took a deep breath, and decided that instead of putting D to bed here

I would put him here.

Here he is after he fell asleep.

And in the morning after a good night's sleep in his big bed...

I wasn't sure I was ready, but I took the advice of a few other moms (and a little nudging from Justin), and decided it was time. If I waited much longer, it would be a lot more difficult for him to transition. I had originally convinced Justin that he could move to his room after his next surgery. Well...I expected it to be sooner than later, and we figured he'd be too big for the bassinet by that time! He slept pretty well, although I don't think quite as well as in the bassinet. I'm sure he just has to get used to it.

We had a visit with Dr. Shuler Wednesday for a check-up. He said D looked good and he wants to see us back in a month unless we notice his sats starting to consistently drop. I'm really thankful we have the pulse ox. What do you do if you don't have one at home? Hmm...

Derrick weighs 11 lbs 11 oz now. He had a setback pretty much the entire week after the cath, and then again a few days ago. The GI doctor wanted us to try fortifying his food again so he could get 24 cal/oz instead of the regular 20 cal/oz. We did this, and he seemed to do fine for about a day and a half. After that, he started fussing while he was eating and refusing his bottle after a while. We stopped fortifying, and within a day he was back to eating again. He still isn't taking more than about 4 oz at a time, but at least he's eating again. We will not try the fortifying again. I know I've said it before, but that's it. No more. His tummy obviously can't handle it.

Dr. Shuler said not to worry about the extra calories. He said that would really only add fat to him, not make him grow. That makes sense if you think about it! So, by adding extra calories, Derrick will not necessarily be ready for surgery any sooner. That takes a little bit of the eating stress away...(a little bit, he should be eating more than 4 oz by now, but...)

That's about all that's going on around here. I encourage you to visit my friend Jen's site

and make a donation to help support her in a heart walk in NJ. They have a team in honor of Derrick! Also, if you live in SC and want to put your cutie in a pageant, email me (carolinacarters@gmail.com). Some of the proceeds from the pageant will go to the BraveHEART Baskets and for CHD research!

We had a tough reminder this week of just how blessed we have been so far with Derrick. This Heart World is one that you can never be comfortable in, because it seems that just around the corner there is bad news for someone. We read the page (cp:Roberts_Family) of a little guy, Jack, who earned his wings Saturday. He was a little over seven months old, and was never even able to go home. Please keep his parents, big brother, and twin sister, as well as the rest of his family in your prayers. They sure could use the extra prayers for comfort during this time that no parent should ever have to think of, much less actually face.

Please also keep Ruthie and her parents (cp:RuthYarborough) in your prayers. She has done EXTREMELY well, and should be going home today! A super exciting, but really scary time for mommy and daddy! Also, please continue to keep Jessica in your prayers as she continues to mourn the loss of Ethin and find a new "normal" in her life.

Until next time, big heart hugs and prayers!

Oh, PS... If anyone has advice on how to get a nap longer than 30 minutes at a time, I'd really appreciate it. Derrick only sleeps 30-45 minutes at a time, and wants to do that about 5 times a day.... I'm thinking that's not quality sleep!