It Just Doesn't Snow Around Here

This is from two weeks ago, but it has to be in the books, so...  (and if you get this via email, click on the title and it will take you to the blog so you can see the pictures.)

We finally got a snow day, so we hurried outside as soon as we caught a glimpse of the first flurries. 
You see, it just doesn't snow around here, so we didn't want to miss it.
We had to go back out later because you could actually feel the flakes this time.  
We didn't want to miss it, 'cause you know, it just doesn't snow around here.
Later that night, it really did snow.  
 And of course we had to take pictures of
our house,
 our trees,
and our deck to prove that we really got snow.

I mean, look at the difference an hour made in our palm tree.

Daisy wasn't so sure what she thought about having snow here in SC.
 She hasn't played in the snow since we lived in VA, because it just doesn't snow around here.
Sampson was pretty excited,
but Andy was worried about his tummy getting frostbite! 

Annabelle and Lucy weren't interested at all.  They wouldn't even come out to pose for pictures.

While the dogs played, this little guy said his bedtime prayers.
"Dear God, please let the snow still be here in the morning!"

And God answered.




But when this guy said it was time to go, we did.  Cause it just doesn't snow around here. 

The great thing about the snow here is it was GONE by 2 pm! :) 

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater. 
Isaiah 55:10

Please keep Zeb and his family in your prayers as he undergoes heart surgery Friday.  Also, remember Ruthie!  She's hanging out in the hospital waiting for a new heart.  I know both of these families would REALLY appreciate your prayers


Big TEN!!

Derrick, somehow ten months have flown by, and you're officially in double digits!  We were worried that surgery would set you back but boy were we WRONG!  You have made amazing strides this month, and we couldn't be more proud!

  • You've gained weight despite the fat-free diet.  You actually doubled your birth weight (finally) this month!  You weigh 14 lbs, 6 oz and are  26 3/4 inches long.  You wear a size 2 diaper, size 2 shoes, and I'm getting your 6-9 month clothes out of the attic tomorrow!
  • You try to stand by pushing/pulling up on anything and everything.  You've made it all the way up a few times, and you've been able to stand on your own for a few seconds.
  • You're very proud of yourself.  
  • You LOVE to dance!
  • You've gotten much better at shopping.  Especially when you're getting something. :)
  • You thoroughly enjoy dropping things on the floor.  You also like to throw things behind your head.  You'll turn around to get them, then do it again.  For some reason the behind the head thing is lots of fun.
  • You LOVE balloons!  You had a fit in the grocery store when they had them everywhere for Valentine's Day.  They were all over the store and you kept reaching up saying "oon."  Of course I gave in.  :)
    • You learned to drink from a straw, and we finally found the perfect sippy cup for you.  It has a built in straw and it's soft so you don't scrape the roof of your mouth.  You'll hold it and everything.  You're actually quite the drinker!
    •  You can sign "more."  You being able to do this has really cut down on the whining for things, which is great.  Really, I think you just mean "I want that," but that's ok.  You sign "more" often.  It's not exactly right...yours is more of a slow, very deliberate clap, but it's really close and we know what you mean.  It's quite cute if you ask me.  :)
    • You moved to your big boy car seat, and you love it!  You smile when we open the door to get you out.  

    • You've added "oon" (balloon) and "dog" to your vocabulary.  
    • You played in the snow for the first time (and probably the last time for a really long time).
    • Huge news....You're CRAWLING!!

    • And my absolute favorite new thing you do...you give KISSES!  You really like kissing your books (especially the teacher in Brown Bear, Brown Bear) and your reflection in the refrigerator, but you will give us kisses. After you kiss us you always smile. It's absolutely adorable!!  We both LOVE your sweet, wet, open-mouthed kisses!   
      It has been an incredible blessing to be able to watch you learn and grow, Sweet Cheeks.  As I write this, it brings tears to my eyes thinking about how strong you are.  Only one short month ago you had just finished your second heart surgery, and today you're crawling...kissing...EATING!  You are an inspiration to your daddy and me, and to many others.  God has given us our very own miracle to hug and love every day, and we are so very thankful.  Not a day goes by that we don't thank him for you and all you have taught us, and the joy you bring to our lives.  
      We love you Cheeks...to the moon and back!
      Mommy and Daddy


      Why Blog?

      ve been "stalking" Kelly over at Kelly's Korner for a while now.  She does a "Show Us Your Life" segment most Fridays and I've never participated (but really enjoyed nosing around)...until today.  Today's topic is pretty much sharing the purpose/ministry of your blog.  It appealed to me because it made me wonder, really, what is the purpose?

      When we found out about Derrick's special heart, we started his Carepage to keep family and friends updated on what was going with him.  It turned into a great support system for us during such a difficult time.  Through Carepages we made many new "heart friends"  and were able to find other families who were going through similar situations.  I found that I really enjoyed writing about our lives (which totally surprised me) and I started feeling a little guilty writing about regular family stuff on D's Carepage, so I started this blog.

      The blog has been so much fun.  It's kind of our scrapbook (let's face it, I'm just too lazy to get all that scrapbook stuff out just to put it up again over and over)/Derrick's baby book/ photo album.  So while it's "the books" for us, it's my hope that our blog will spread awareness about CHDs, offer hope to others who are facing or going through heart journeys, meet new people, share the joys and heartaches of day to day life with a child with a serious heart defect, give and receive prayer and support, and show the blessings we've received and the way God works His Mighty Hand in our lives every day.

      All in all...I guess our blog doesn't have a real specific purpose! :)  If you're new, we're happy you're here.  If you're not, thanks for your support along the way (and we're happy you're here too! :).   We're blessed to have such a supportive bloggy community!  Feel free to leave us a note and say you stopped by!

      While you're here, D wants to share his recent struggles with becoming more independent...

       Being on your own takes determination and hard work.
       It can be VERY tiring at times.
       Sometimes you get backed in a corner,
      and you want to throw the towel in.
      But you take a deep breath,
       and put your big boy diappy on,
       and pull yourself back up.
       'Cause nothing worth it is ever easy!

      ~Deep Thoughts 
      by Derrick Carter


      Who Said Calories Don't Count??

       NOT this guy!!

      We took D to the pediatrician Monday for fear that the "gunk" in his nose had gone to his chest, and we got two great bits of news.

      1. Lungs all clear! Yes!!

      2. FOURTEEN POUNDS SIX OUNCES!! Woo hoo!! Up half of a pound in ONE WEEK!! This guy (at almost ten months old) has officially doubled his birth weight and then some!

      Yes, he's still eating fat free....so you better watch those calories!! They DO count!

      He's had a BIG NEWS week, but you'll have to check back for D's "ten month birthday" post on Saturday for all of his news.  I can't spoil it everything!  It'll be G-O-O-D!!  :)


      Just Hangin' Out

      I have been a complete slacker with our blog...especially since it's CHD Awareness Week! Time has not been on my side, and neither has a little guy who wants ALL of my attention ALL of the time (including during the almost non-existent nap time). I'm not complaining, just sayin'! :)

      Everything around here has been great. Derrick is working so hard on being mobile. He gets in the crawling position a lot, and we kept wondering why he wouldn't go anywhere. What we've figured out is that he's not trying to crawl. He's trying to STAND UP! He'll get on one knee and have his other foot flat on the floor, and you can see him trying to lift his hands up. He's not grabbing at anything when he does this, he's just trying to get up. Biggie!

      If anything or anyone is nearby, they're fair game for pulling (or pushing) up.

      We went to see Dr. Bonnett Monday because D has been giving our washing machine a run for it's money! He has had terrible tummy issues for the past 5 days. We were concerned about where this was coming from, and worried about him getting dehydrated. Dr. Bonnett checked him out and he's not concerned about his hydration, but we're keeping an eye on it and checking back in later this week. We discussed changing his formula to the one other option, but don't think that's really the issue either. What it finally came down to was that D probably has some viral infection that the rest of us have been exposed to before because we haven't had any issues (knock on wood!!). We're hoping to be on the downward slope. This was the first morning out of four that we haven't had to change his sheets and take him straight to the tub...yuck! I'll spare you the details, but it's been R.O.U.G.H! He's also had a runny/congested nose and been chewing on his finger like crazy, so maybe some little pearly whites are playing a part in this mess too. No idea, we just want it to be gone!

      Yesterday we went to see Dr. Shuler for a follow-up and an echo. Everything looked and sounded GREAT, so we're very, very thankful for that. Cardiology visits are always scary...and they probably always will be. You just never know what's going on in that little chest. It was a breath of fresh air to get a thumbs up today! We go back to see Dr. Shuler March 3 and....drum roll.....we're adding SOME FAT back into this little guy as long as everything looks good! He said he's had kids who don't want anything fatty after they've been eating fat-free for six weeks. Nightmare! I don't think we'll (or I really, really hope we don't) have that problem.

      In the waiting room at Dr. Shuler's office.


      Do you think he's proud?

      We've been practicing drinking out of a straw, and that's going really well.  D really thinks he needs our drinks now!

      He can even drink a juice box all by himself!  We don't let him hold it...those things are super messy, but he didn't have any trouble with that tiny straw.  He had trouble with this drink later though...too much protein is not good for D's tummy.  It all came back up!  Too bad, because one of these juice boxes has 250 calories!

      The Fatz breakfast was a HUGE success! We had WAY more people there than we anticipated, which was fantastic!! I cannot thank everyone enough who came out and ate, helped serve, and sent donations!! As of right now, we have raised over $2,400 for CHD research!! I'll have a final count later this week because we have a few more donations coming in. We are beyond thrilled with how everything turned out. Stay tuned for pictures and a grand total!

      I heard it could snow Friday...not likely, but hey, it's possible!  I better go stock up on bread and milk, because those things fly off the shelves around here when the "S" word is mentioned!
      And we surely don't need to run out of applesauce!!


      Biggy, Biggy, Biggy

      Quick reminder...tomorrow (Saturday) is the big day....
      Come eat breakfast at Fatz!!
      You don't have to have a ticket, just come on.  Everyone is invited.  We'd love to have a HUGE crowd!  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click here.  Derrick will be there around 10 with fat free pancakes and egg beaters in hand.  Wish us luck!!

      We're still trying to break the bad habits Derrick developed while he was in the hospital, and boy has it been tough!  The worst is that he has decided that he no longer enjoys napping.  A full day with a little guy who thinks he's too big to nap can get a little rough!  D has also learned how to scream.  {Insert tears here.}  I remember Justin and I having the conversation about how loudly some kids cry, and how Derrick didn't scream when he cried like that.  Hello!  I don't know why I haven't learned not to say some things out loud!  Derrick figured it out, and he can belt out with the best of them.  And he can turn it off as quickly as he turns it on.    We're hoping he'll kick that one too, but it's not looking so good.  

      We went see Dr. Bonnett yesterday for a weight check, and imagine our surprise when we put D on the scale and it read 13lbs, 11.5 ounces!  He's up half an ounce!  Holy cow!  Justin and I were really just hoping that he hadn't lost weight...but gained!?  Woo hoo!  Half an ounce doesn't sound like something to be excited about, but this guy is on a fat free diet, remember?  It's tough, but we're making it.  I'm wondering if this whole diet thing is contributing to his lack of sleeping and irritability.  I know when I try one of those crazy diets I'm pretty annoyed (that's probably why I can't stick to one more than a few hours, but that's beside the point).  Hopefully we'll completely have the "old D" back in three and a half weeks.  Yep, that's how much longer we have.  Almost half way there!

      I'm really bad about nicknaming; especially when it comes to pets and children.  I think our dogs have at least five nicknames each.  I can't help it.  It just happens, and Derrick is no different.  He has several names, and he will probably always be "sweet cheeks" or "cheeky" to me (which Justin is not a big fan of, but I don't really care).  We have recently added "biggy" to the list.  Ironic, because he's quite tiny, but he thinks he's B.I.G.  Often times when I call him biggy, it's in song..."Biggy" likes it when you sing to him. Don't you remember "Biggy, Biggy, Biggy, can't you see...?"

      I digress...here's why I call him Biggy...

      He's learning to use a stethoscope, thanks to his fellow heart buddy Lo.  She said that all heart babies biggies should know how to use one.

      He is beginning to show interest in the girls.

      He is very proud that he can stand and play work unassisted.

      He takes his work very seriously.

      And he learned to drink from a straw!!

      This is the COOLEST thing.  This cup has tubing in it, and you pump the lid, and it pushes the liquid up the straw, and into the mouth.  (The yellow thing is a guard, so the straw doesn't go in too far.)  Genius!  About two pumps later, D was drinking out of the straw with no help!  

      Using a honey bear and squeezing it works just the same.  Cool, right?  (That's apple juice, not honey he's drinking.)We've gone through many sippy cups, and none of them work for D.  We decided to just pull out the big guns and go straight to the straw.  He probably thinks he's too big for a sippy cup, that's why none of them "worked."  Drinking from a straw has been a goal of D's for a long time.  He's probably going to think he needs his own Sonic strawberry limeade from now on; since he's so big and all.
      We're in for it when he's two!

      We have a few prayer requests...
      Ruthie was given the go ahead to be placed on the transplant list.  That's an answered prayer in itself, but she has a long road ahead.
      Logan has an unexplained fever and they haven't been able to pinpoint what is causing it.  He had surgery about a week before D, so of course there's big concern.
      Zeb is going to need surgery within the next few months.  It came as a shock to his family, because he has been doing so well.

      These kids are really special to us, and we would appreciate if you join us in prayer for them and their families. 
      My Biggie 
      (complete with apple juice all the way down his shirt)!