Cutie Patootie, Pumpkin Bootie!

We had these cute trick-or-treaters come over tonight. (Zac, Sheaffer, and Ivy)

When D found out he wasn't going trick-or-treating, he was pretty upset.

But when he found out his cousins brought the treats to him, it was all good. :)

Derrick got dressed up in his costume,

but as you can see, he was less than thrilled.

 But this sweet pea finally got over it and decided to have some fun.  Seriously, how cute is he?!

Justin even dressed up for work today.  (Really, this was his way of getting out of wearing a tie...but I think he claimed to be a groom?  I don't really know.)

We've had fun all month dressing D up in his Halloween attire.
He's been waiting for this day all month long...

And this, my friends, is Cutie Patootie Pumpkin Bootie!

Hope you had a great Halloween!!


Boogity Boogity!

That's "Hello" in pumpkin, in case you didn't know. (According to some cartoon Derrick was watching, at least!)

Derrick carved his first pumpkin this week. Ok, well Justin carved D's first pumpkin this week.   We had a lot of fun with it, and D enjoyed watching. 

Pumpkin guts. 
We offered to let him play in them, but shockingly, he wasn't interested.

His face totally says, "I'm not touching that junk!" LOL!!

 Justin worked away and created D's first pumpkin.

This picture didn't turn out so hot without the flash,
but it looks really good in the dark all lit up.

The proud little man!

We started a new tradition this year and roasted our pumpkin seeds. 
We started with these...
And ended up with these.  We made ours sweet, and they were oh, so delish! 
So good in fact, that Justin ate them straight off the pan.

I'll post a Halloween fashion show for you tomorrow.  Happy Halloween everyone! :)



Some people say that our world is falling apart. That there is no good left, and that people just aren't as good as they used to be. I beg to differ.

A few months ago we were contacted by Tara. Tara had never met us, but had been reading Derrick's Carepage since before he was born. Tara emailed me and told me she was planning to do a Halloween pageant, and said that she would like us to be the recipients of the profits from the pageant to help with our various CHD projects. Of course my first response (as always it seems) was tears. How in the world would someone choose us for this? She doesn't even know us, and wants to do this!?!

The pageant was this past Saturday, and it was beautiful. Twenty-four adorable girls competed in the pageant. I spoke (barely) and of course didn't get through it without breaking down (told you my response to everything is tears), but I made it and it was over. Sigh! At the end of the pageant Tara handed us an envelope with


(Yes, tears AGAIN!) WHAT?!? Yes, $816! I NEVER expected to get that much. No clue that there would be that much given for our projects.

I cannot thank Tara and all of the girls and their families enough for their generosity. We are completely overwhelmed and humbled and more thankful than we can express. Yes, there are definitely good people left who do great things for people just because. Thank you!!

Our plans for the money are to keep $316 for the BraveHEART Baskets and to donate the other $500 to MUSC's CHD research team. Again, Tara and any of you other pageant moms and people who were involved who are reading this, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! Your hard work will touch way more lives than just ours, I can promise you that!

Two of Derrick's girlfriends from church were in the pageant. It was great to have the support of two of his sweet little friends. I have known and been great friends with both of their moms since we were all born. We have all gone to church and school together since day one, and I can't thank them enough for supporting us.

Ashleigh Rose
This cutie is one of D's "older women."

Gracen will turn one in a few weeks. She and D have been an 'item' for several months now. LOL!

Aren't these little beauties just adorable?? We just love them to pieces, and can't thank them enough for being in the pageant to support us. :)

And of course, we can't have an update without the little stud himself...the guy who already has several girlfriends...

Well...they're both studs to me. And the little one better be the only one with several girlfriends! LOL!! :)


Home Sweet Home

We made it home today about 3:00....RELIEF! It's crazy how two nights felt SO LONG when we spent 16 days at the hospital when Derrick was born. Justin and I were talking today about how difficult it's going to be when Derrick has surgery and has to stay for at least a week.

He HATED being in the hospital! His stranger anxiety has definitely kicked in. Every time a nurse came in he whined. I think he knew that they were going to mess with him, plus they all looked scary wearing masks. You could just tell he was uncomfortable. I didn't realize he would care that much about not being at home. I guess I underestimated the little guy, because he is...

(read his shirt :) )

D was READY to go home. As soon as they mentioned the word 'discharge' he was in his big boy clothes and waiting to be unplugged!

He slept better last night, but it was tough getting him to sleep. He fought so hard to stay awake, but he finally gave in. We had the screaming kid down the hall again last night, but they didn't wake D like they did the night before. Thank goodness! I think he was that exhausted. I know Justin and I were!

Yes, even in the hospital he slept with his hands behind his head.

Once we got home Derrick was a different kid. He was so relaxed and happy. He just smiled and talked and played with his toys. It was so sweet. He took a nice nap in his bed and was ready to go to bed tonight and his regular time. He wasn't fussy at all. What a nice change. :)

Justin is still a little questioning of the UTI diagnosis. If it wasn't a UTI, we're still trying to figure out what happened. Derrick had no clinical signs of any infection. He is uncircumcised (they wouldn't do it b/c of his surgery) and that made it difficult to get the catheter in. Justin's not sure that it's not a contaminant. It's just so weird that they "caught" it right at the beginning of the infection. One of the doctors even let on a little that she wasn't exactly convinced, but since he was fussy, they were going to go with it. They really had no other explanation.

We have to go to the pediatrician in ten days after D finishes his antibiotic for him to be tested again and then he'll go for a VCUG. That will help let us know if there are any structural issues. They want to eliminate any structural issues being the culprit versus just him being uncircumcised and being at higher risk of a UTI.

He had an ultrasound to make sure there wasn't any kidney damage, and that looked good at first glance. The doc hadn't had a chance to read it by the time we left. We'll pray there's nothing wrong with his 'insides' and that we don't have this crazy scare again. We have some further research to do on this whole issue.

Once we got home and I was rocking D in his own room and his own rocking chair, all of this really hit me. I realized just how blessed we were (and are). Our first ER trip was so much better than it could have been. The whole time D was at the hospital he was able to sit up and play and we were able to hold him. It could have been bad, but God has blessed us once again. I know we'll have emergencies, it comes with the territory. I know healthy kids have emergencies, but heart kids are pretty much guaranteed to scare their parents to death every now and then. I am so thankful that after only two nights in the hospital we were able to bring our sweet boy home, back to his normal life. Nothing extra except ten days of an antibiotic and a few doctor's visits. I can handle that any day. I'm just thankful for our little miracle. I'm also thankful for all of you who love and pray for our miracle.

The whole stay wasn't bad. D had fun with his new toys while there were no scary masked nurses in the room...check him out.

Thanks for everything. We appreciate it more than you'll ever know!!!


Guess it was time for a scare!

We've noticed a change in Derrick's color over the past few days, so after I fed him last night, I decided to check his sats. To my horror, they were 62, and staying there. After watching the pulse ox for about ten minutes and it not going above about 70, I called D's cardiologist.

Apparently something was going on with their paging service because Dr. Shuler didn't call back right away. The lady on the phone said, "Honey, I can't give you medical advice, but if I were you, I would call 911." Ohhh....I didn't want to hear that!

Somehow I managed to dial 911 with incredibly shaky hands as D kicked and laughed. I almost felt crazy because he was acting so happy. Anyway, the ambulance came and we took our first (and I would love for it to be our last) ambulance ride. Justin was at work, so I was extra nervous. Thankfully, he called his mom who happened to be a few minutes away from our house. She came busting in the door right before we were getting ready to leave. Relief. I wasn't alone!

They strapped his car seat on the bench in the ambulance, and off we went. This probably seems odd, but yes, I took pictures. (The camera happened to be in the diaper bag.) Derrick was holding his own oxygen mask!

The paramedics were SO nice! The lady that rode in the back with us said that if I ever felt nervous or weird about anything that was going on with D, that I could always call, and they'd be there. She even gave me a hug. Good medical people can really make tough situations a little easier to deal with.

Justin was able to get someone to come in for him at work, so he made it to the hospital just a few minutes after we got there.

This daddy was SO glad to be with his little man. He couldn't stand that he wasn't with us.

Derrick thoroughly enjoyed himself while they were admitting him for the most part. (Except the IV and the catheter, of course!) He loved all of the attention from everyone here. They kept telling him how cute he was and making him laugh and smile.

After admitting us, D's sats were up between the low 70s and 80. They ran all kinds of tests, trying to find a reason they dropped so low. They came up with nothing. All of his tests and his EKG looked normal. Of course they wanted him to stay last night for monitoring and until cardiology could come check him out. He ended up being put on oxygen overnight to keep his sats in the 80s. We made sure they understood that he didn't need to be higher than 85, which is really strange to people who aren't used to working with "heart kids." His oxygen came off during the night because he was satting in the 90s.

This morning Dr. Shuler (D's cardiologist) came in to check on him. He was worried last night that with sats that low he may have a clot, but assured us that his sats wouldn't have come back up if he did. He said his shunt sounded great, lungs clear, and that he looked great. He said that sometimes when these kids are starting a virus, their sats will drop and a few hours later they will spike a fever. He was almost certain that this was what D was facing...a virus of some kind that would present itself later.

As they monitored his sats and intake (because we all know how he doesn't like to eat) we spent the day hanging out here playing. It was tough finding things to entertain D. I guess this was a glimpse at what it will be like when he goes for surgery.

The wires were the most fun to play with.

But the blood pressure cuff came in a close second.

The bear that child-life gave him was also very entertaining. D enjoyed blowing strawberries at him and talking to him. It was quite funny.

Derrick's sats have been in the 80s all day, but because he wasn't eating like they wanted him to, they told us we had to spend the night again. One of the doctors came in to talk to us and she said that some bacteria had just shown up in his urine culture and that he had a UTI. She said it was kind of strange that it took so long to present, and that he really didn't have any symptoms (no fever, etc), but that he definitely had a UTI and they would start him on antibiotics. Good thing we were staying anyway, right? :)

The doc said that this could explain his sats dropping because his body was trying to fight off infection. I'm just glad to have something to blame, because that was really scary. I'm also glad Dr. Shuler's prediction was correct, and I hope we have no other sickness in the near future. I hope this is it.

I want to thank everyone who has called to check on us all day and checked the blog and carepages and left me messages on facebook. (Sorry it took me so long to update. I didn't think about grabbing the computer when we left in such a hurry...I didn't even get a bottle. Bad mommy!) I love that so many people care about Derrick. It makes my heart smile.

Thanks so much, and I'll update again tomorrow.

We love you all,


You're Not Gonna Believe This, but....

Derrick, you're SIX MONTHS OLD today! 

 You have changed so much lately, and are SO funny!  Here's what you've been up to this month:
  •  You've gotten really good at taking your medicine.  You open your mouth when you see the syringes.
  • You still love your baby food, as long as there is something sweet mixed in.
  • You really like your crib now.  You don't want to be rocked to sleep, you would rather be put down in your crib and watch your mobile to go to sleep.  That's good, I know, but I'm afraid you're growing up too fast!
  • When you wake up, you don't cry.  Usually we go in to check on you because it seems like it's been too long, and we find you lying awake, looking around.  You give the BIGGEST smile when you see us.  It melts my heart every time.

  •  You love to laugh.  You'll laugh just because now.  If we laugh, you laugh too.  You have a high pitched squeal that you do after your laugh too.  It's really funny because your voice doesn't reach that high and it comes out in a whisper.
  •  You love Dora and Sponge Bob.  You laugh and kick around while you watch them.  (It's really only while I'm in the shower that you watch tv...I don't want you turning into a couch potato.  I can hear you laughing while I'm in the shower though, so it makes me happy that you're happy while I'm busy.)
  • When someone smiles at you, you smile back (most of the time).
  • You sleep on your side.
  • Your favorite thing to do is be thrown up in the air by Daddy.  I refuse to do this because it terrifies me, but you think it's the best thing ever.

  • You finally rolled over...twice.  That's it, just twice.  That's ok though, because you rolled from back to front and got stuck and screamed.  It scared me to death, but I was so proud.  Daddy was very upset that he was at work and missed it.
  • You fake cough, a lot.  Especially when you think you're not getting enough attention.
  • You blow "strawberries."
  • You enjoy sitting and playing like a big boy.
  • You drool ALL THE TIME.

  • You're (finally) wearing 3-6 month clothes, well, shirts anyway.  The pants...not so much.  The waist is WAY too big.  I really wish they made 0-3 month long, because you're either wearing high waters or saggin'...neither of which I enjoy.  You're cute anyway though! :)
  • You rub your eyes when you're sleepy (but you still put your hands behind your head).  
  • You've been making this wrinkle-your-nose-and-snort face lately, and it's really funny.

We have more fun with you than we ever thought possible.  We love watching you learn and grow.  It seems like you're doing something new every day.  We love you more than you will ever know, and are so proud to be your mommy and daddy...we love you sweet cheeks!!!

Looking at the pictures to post here gave us a shocking reality, well, two really.  One, is that we were told D would have surgery between four and six months.  Now he's six months old.  Two, is how much his color has changed.  It's really obvious in the first picture.  I almost didn't want to post it, but this is how he looks right now, and that is that.  We knew his color had changed, but looking at him all day, then looking at a picture...you know how pictures can put things into perspective.  Just scary.

D is getting his flu shot Friday since he's officially legal now.  We're not doing the H1N1 shot.  We're just not comfortable with a brand new shot...we'll give it a year or so. We're praying he doesn't get sick, and the shots are no guarantee of that anyway.   

Saturday we have the Miss Halloween Fest pageant.  We're really excited about that.  We were graciously given the opportunity to speak at this pageant (which I am NOT looking forward to and TOTALLY SCARED TO DEATH about.  I don't do adults...I can talk and act like a dork in front of kids all day, but adults!?!  Ugh! )  I will (somehow) get through that, because I get to spread awareness about CHD, and we're getting BraveHEART Basket donations, and CHD research donations.   How INCREDIBLE is that!?!

Big Heart Hugs,