Stuffed Turkeys!

We had so much fun this Thanksgiving!  We spent time with family and ate WAY too much...twice!! Well, Derrick and I ate twice.  Justin had to work so we missed him the first go round.

First, we went to Gong Gong's house. 

Derrick and Colin hung out a lot.  They had a GREAT time together!

The boys played ball,

and we tried to get a picture of the great-grandchildren. 
 After much ado, this is the picture that best shows everyone's face at once.

We had after dinner snacks.  Some got "real" food,

while some got leaves. 
We were so glad to have Evan at Thanksgiving this year.  He has been stationed away from home every Thanksgiving for the past six (or seven?) years.  We missed him, but are so grateful for him and all of the other service men and women who miss holidays with their families to protect us!!

D enjoyed some football with Teresa,

and we took our annual walk.
I am a terrible mother and did not bring my child a coat.  He had to wear Gong Gong's shirt on his head to keep warm! :)  I'm still having trouble realizing that just because I'm not cold doesn't mean Derrick isn't.  I guess I'll figure that out one day.  Until then, thankfully, someone always saves me.
After the walk we said our good-bye's.

We headed home to get Justin, and went to Danielle's to eat again!

Derrick has been practicing drinking from a sippy cup, and now he thinks he's a pro.
He's got tricks!!

We stuffed our bellies,

and Carter was close by to show D how to put down the red velvet cake for dessert.

 We looked through the adds to make our wish lists,

and just hung out together.


The little boys 'wrestled,'

and so did the big boys!
We have SO MUCH to be thankful for, so "YAY" for a great Thanksgiving with good times, good family, and good food!

This little stuffed turkey had a fun first Thanksgiving.
We hope you had a GREAT Thanksgiving too!!



This year I have more to be thankful for than I ever imagined possible. In January when we found out that Derrick had a special heart, we knew that there was a possibility that he wouldn't be here to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. Amazingly he is, and my cup runneth over.

I have a beautiful baby boy who is defying the odds. He is growing, learning, entertaining, and living proof that we have an all powerful God. I have a warm home with plenty to eat, and reliable transportation. Justin has a job that allows me to stay home with Derrick. I have a job that I love, where I am able to work, but not have to leave Derrick with someone other than family. I have a mother-in-law that makes that possible.

I have a wonderful, supportive, and understand husband whom I love more than I could ever express. He is also an incredible father. I have a loving, supportive family.  I have great friends and an incredible 'heart family.'

I live in a country where my freedom is protected selflessly, and where I am free to give all the thanks to GOD, who makes it all possible.

Yet this Thanksgiving, my heart is burdened. I think for the first time ever, I am truly aware of how much I have to be thankful for, yet how much others suffer. There are many who are homeless, unemployed, hungry, and lonely. And this year, I know many parents who will be celebrating Thanksgiving, but with a part of themselves missing. I cannot imagine the pain that this time of year brings to some, but I ask you to please include them in your prayers of thankfulness.

Dear God,

Thank you for all that we have been given. It has been far more than we could possibly deserve. Thank you for being our God, for loving us when we are unlovable, for being patient with us when we are selfish, for carrying us when we are weak. God, thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice of your son's life, so that we may live with you in eternity.

Please be with those suffering. Make them feel your arms around them so they know you're there. So they know you love them. Please especially be with all of the moms and dads who are missing their children this year, and also the ones who are with their children as they fight for their lives in the hospital.

God, thank you for choosing us as your children and for blessing us with your love. Please guide us to show others how wonderful and powerful you are, so that they too, can feel your grace.

In Your mighty name,

I am thankful for all of you who read about and pray for my Derrick. You have no idea how much comfort it brings to know that he is prayed for and loved by so many. No idea.

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy all of the scrumptious food and the time you have with your family and friends. Give your kids an extra hug, and remember to give thanks to the one who makes all possible.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Thankful for these guys!


Seriously, a girl?

Derrick always seems to draw attention, especially from the ladies. Tonight in the grocery store was no exception. However, he was obviously posing as someone else. People kept talking to him, making comments about him to the other person they were with, and even saying, "What a precious little girl!"


A girl?

He had on a blue shirt and had a blue blanket over his legs.

Actually, this is the shirt he had on. Now, maybe the stars look like polka dots? Maybe it's a little girly?

Maybe it's the hair.  But let me tell you, if it's the hair, there's not a thing I can do about that! LOL!  There is one chunky row of hair straight across the crown of his head that will not lay down.  At all.  If it's dry, it's standing at attention!

And that's just the way it is.  Yes, we could cut it, but I'm not ready for him to have a hair cut.  It won't solve the sticking up problem anyway, it will just stand straight up shorter, that's all.  I actually think it's really cute.

But I assure you, if he were a girl, he would have large bows in all that crazy hair!

It really doesn't bother me that people mistake him a girl.  I know sometimes it's hard to tell.  I truly take no offense to it at all.  I think it's funny that he seems to get so much attention.

Anyway, this past weekend we went to Tennessee to see Nana, Aunt Shirley and Uncle Gary.  We had a lot of fun hanging out with them.

Yep, Nana was trying to fix his hair!

We met Stephanie and Kevin on Saturday and did some shopping.  It was fun to see them again, and D was especially glad to see Kevin.

They have a strange 'stinky face' bond.

We went to Chili's after shopping all day, and Derrick enjoyed himself. 

 I cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned this table.
It bothered me to no end that he was putting his food on it, but...

Derrick insisted that we order the Molten Lava Cake since he's allowed to eat table food now.  I'm pretty sure this is not what Dr. Bonnett had in mind, but he said to give him whatever he would eat!  The kid likes sweets!!

As much as he enjoyed dessert at Chili's, D is still concerned about something...

"Do I really look like a girl?"

P.S. Would you please keep our friend Parker in your prayers? Some of you may remember us mentioning that Justin's sister had a friend, Amy, who was expecting a little boy named Parker in August. They were told that Parker had fluid on his brain and they were worried about the development of his corpus callosum. After birth, they found out that Parker's brain was fine (a complete miracle!), but he has quite a few VSDs (Ventricular Septal Defects, aka holes in his heart). Parker was hospitalized Friday because he has been struggling to gain weight, and has recently lost weight. He will be having surgery in early December, but will most likely be hospitalized until his surgery. I've enjoyed getting to know his mom over the last few weeks, and I know that this is scary and stressful for all of them right now. Please go by and visit Parker's blog and keep him and his family in your prayers!


Wow, SEVEN Months!!

Derrick, you are SEVEN months old today!

  • You weigh 13 lbs 1 oz (zero percentile) and are 25 inches long (15th percentile). 
  • You wear 3-6 month clothes, size 1 shoe, and a size 2 diaper.

  • You usually sleep for about 13 hours each night, and have been for the past month and a half or so.  
  • You have given up your binky and get mad if we try to give it to you.  The only way you'll take it is if you pick it up yourself, and then you only chew on it.
  • You took your first ambulance ride. (Not that this is something we're excited about, but it needs to be written in your history...and it scared us to death!!)
  • You will reach to get anything! 
  • You still love the dogs.  They're the only ones who can make you happy all the time.

  • You've been given the "ok" for table food, and you LOVE it!  You want anything we're eating.  You ate real peach cobbler tonight and loved it!
  •  You eat baby food three times a day now.  All of a sudden you've figured out how to eat it without pushing it all back out of your mouth with your tongue.
  • You LOVE music.  When we're in the car, sometimes you get mad if we turn the radio down.  When we turn it back up, you're happy.
  • You LOVE to dance.  You dance almost any time you hear music.  

  • You've learned to clap, and will do it sometimes when we ask you to, but usually only when you want to.  If we clap with you, you stop.  You don't want anyone stealing the spotlight. :) 
  • You've started waving.  Your first wave was to a girl in the make-up store when we were in Charleston.  She was waving to you, and you just waved back.  All of those times we tried to get you to wave, and you choose some random girl.  Flirt! 
  • You've really started to be interested in your limbs.

  •  You are INSANELY active.  You move ANYTIME you are awake.  (And we wonder why you can't gain weight?!)  We are in T-R-O-U-B-L-E when you start crawling or walking.
  • We think you'll be left-handed.  (Seriously, if you are, I think that's the only thing you'll actually get from me.)
  • Your favorite toys are hangers, paper, and cell phones. (All of those expensive toys that take up a ton of room...you don't like them. :) )

  • You say "ba, da, ma, na, and ga."
  •  You especially like to yell "ba!"
  • You're a mama's boy! (Shhh...but I love it! :) )

 The cute sign is now gone...it makes picture taking impossible.

It seems like you learn something new every day.  We LOVE watching you learn and figure things out.  You're SO funny!!  We literally sit around for hours and laugh at the things you do.  Just when we think it isn't possible that we could love you any more than we already do, we wake up, and we love you more!  It's just unreal.  You are a great little man!

We love you sweet cheeks!!



Yesterday we took Derrick to have his VCUG and kidney ultrasound (as a follow-up from the hospital incident).  It went well, but oh my gosh that VCUG was TORTURE to watch and listen to!!  

We started out with the kidney ultrasound.  That was great.  Derrick "helped" the tech maneuver the probe.  He didn't pull on it, just held onto it as she looked around.  He was just as happy as can be "helping" her check out his insides.  She said from what she could tell his kidneys looked fine. Yay!


Then came the VCUG.  I was already nervous.  When he was cathetherized in the ER, it was a nightmare, so I was not looking forward to him being hurt again.  But I was also scared to death that they were going to find something else wrong with my baby's anatomy.  Terrified that he was going to have to go through yet another procedure or surgery or find something else to watch and wait for...

Really, just paranoid in general.  But when we walked in and I saw the BOARD he was going to be strapped to, oh my!  I knew then that this was NOT going to be good! Thankfully, the cathetherization went much better than last time, but I know D was still uncomfortable.  Especially when they strapped him down.


They injected fluid to watch the flow of his urinary tract and he had to be tilted on this board so they could get pictures from different angles.  I held his little head as they tilted him and he screamed.  (Picture rotisserie chicken.  Yep, that's exactly what it looked like.  And it wasn't funny at all.)  They said that everything appeared normal from what they could tell, but that a doctor would read the x-rays and they'd let us know in a day or so.

It's times like this that make me feel so guilty.  I know there's nothing I can do about it, but I feel so bad for the things Derrick (and lots of other kids) have to go through.  It seems like one thing after the other that he has to feel pain from.  If I could trade places with him I would do it in a second.  It's too bad he has to be the one poked and prodded all of the time.  Sometimes it's overwhelming to watch him so innocently playing and knowing that you're getting ready to hand him over to someone who will turn his little world upside down.  It's so hard not to tell the people to just stop and leave him alone.  But, I just cry with him and bite my lip, praying I don't say something I shouldn't.  

Today we went for D's six month check-up.  He's now 25 3/4 inches long and in the 20th percentile for length.  That's HUGE for him!  He only weighed 13 lbs 4 oz, which puts him at ZERO for weight, but who's counting...right?  


I wish.  

It looks like we're starting our every two week weight checks again.  Dr. Bonnett didn't say he was concerned, but by him asking us to come back, we're pretty sure he is.  He gave us the ok to give D whatever he would eat.  Food off our plates that we could smash up...whatever.  His caloric needs have to be met, especially with surgery looming.  

Dr. Bonnett was impressed with how well D is sitting up and that he's clapping and dancing.  He's very pleased with how he's doing overall, if we could just win this eating battle. 

Derrick thought this visit was much better than the one he had yesterday.  He like's Dr. Bonnett's "toys."  Maybe he's practicing for his medical career!?

The visit was all fun and games until it came time for the shots.  Then it got ugly.  He got three regular shots and his first round of the H1N1 vaccine.  Fun stuff.

Wow...this ended up being pretty long.  Sorry!! :)  

Oh, one more thing.  For those of you who have been wanting to leave a comment but have had some trouble...under our signature where it says"'posted by the Carter's at (a time) # comments," just click on "# comments."  That will show you comments other people have written so scroll down to the end of those.  Write your message in the box and choose "anonymous" from the "comment as" drop-down menu.  Just don't forget to sign your name!  Then click "post comment" and it will ask you to type in the secret word.  That's it!!  (I know, I know. Carepages is easier, but give this a chance and you'll see that it's not so bad.)

Thanks so much for all of your support.  We love you all!!!