(A Better Late Than Never) Eighteen Months!

I'm five days late and I feel terribly guilty.  Things have been haywire around here lately and I feel like I can't keep my head above water.  Between working, trying to get this house in livable order (which it's still really not...to me anyway), running to the doctor (when someone had a 103 degree fever and gave me flashbacks to this time last year (and he was totally fine 8 hours later, just a virus)), cooking dinner (ok, sometimes), and trying to keep up with my now-eighteen-month-old, I have gotten so behind with blogging.  And I'm not happy about it!  This is, after all, our scrapbook of sorts.  

Anyway, I'd been planning to do this update several days ago, but you know I can't do it without pictures.  Well, Derrick has decided that he is completely against having his picture taken and refuses to look at the camera.  Never.  Ever.  So, I've given up.  I'm using the pictures from Trunk-or-Treat Sunday night.  At least they're current, right?!

{I'm only five days late, but} Happy EIGHTEEN months Derrick!!!

I cannot BELIEVE you are ONE AND A HALF!  Wow!!

You weigh 18 pounds 11 ounces now.  Your 6-9 month pants fit great in the waist, the problem is they're pretty serious high waters and I can't stand that!  I'm on a mission to find some baby belts.

You are a ball of fire these days!  You have more energy than I could even wish for and you are ALWAYS on the move!

You absolutely love living out in the country!  You want to go "mow-mide" {outside} and play all the time.  If the door opens you're gone.  You'd walk around in the yard for hours if we would let you.  You get out there and it's like you know exactly what you're supposed to be doing...like you have an agenda or something.  You're always on a mission.

You talk up a storm!  There's nothing you won't try to say.  Most of your words begin with either "M" or "N" sounds.  I'm assuming that's normal??

Some of my favorite things you say right now are "mup deah" {up there}, "back deah" {back there}, "meh-men" {medicine},  "muh moo" {love you....that's my favorite!},  "mama-dada" {when you want both of us at the same time}, "Oocy" {Lucy}, "booga" {booger...you're all boy!}, "bob art" {pop tart}, "no nert" {yogurt}, "be ba" {pizza},  and "nan ney" {candy}.   

When you wake up in the mornings you have to name everything in your room.  You'll name your bed, the wall, your monkey, "dee dee" {your blankie}, the fan, light, and "night night" {your mobile-turned-lamp}.  We have to go through all of these things every morning.  It's so funny! 

You love to throw things.  It is not always fun for us, but apparently it is very fun for you.  You're still throwing your food, which often gets you sent to time out {or "by bout" as you say}.  

You love playing with balls.  You'll say "beh bit!" {catch it} and whoever you're aiming for better watch out.  You have a pretty good arm!

We can no longer have a conversation in the car because you insist on the "muh mik" being turned up very loud.  We usually have to adjust the speakers so they're louder in the back so you can have your "muh mik" up and we can still hear each other.  If a commercial comes on, you immediately say, "Muh mik, muh mik!"  You're the same way if you're near the computer.  You must have "muh mik" and it must be loud!  You are your father's child.

You keep us on our toes, but you keep us laughing non-stop!  Derrick, you are such a funny kid.  We enjoy you so, so much.  You are an amazing little boy and we are so very thankful to have you in our lives. 

To the moon and back, Cheeks!

Mama and Daddy



Cardiology News

I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to get this up!  I've had lots of emails, phone calls and Facebook messages asking what was going on.  I'm so sorry to keep you waiting!  {If it helps any, we went to the fair after the appointment and we came home and all took a nap.  Too much fair food will do that to you!  Pictures to come soon. }

Today was a great day! :)

D was such a good boy.  He sat quietly while Dr. Shuler listened to his heart and he even giggled a little.

We went down the hall for an echo to check D's heart function and to make sure everything still looked good in there.

Derrick was completely still and quiet the entire time, thank you Mr. Ring Pop!
Dr. Shuler said the echo looked great, D's heart was still pumping strong, and that he'd see us back in three months.  Music to our ears! 

We cannot thank you enough for the encouraging comments and emails.  We appreciate them so much more than you know.  But most of all, we appreciate your prayers.  I know I've said it before, but knowing that so many people are praying for our little man makes it a little easier to travel this road.  We know we're not alone, and we know you love our boy.  For that we are forever grateful.




I've had that nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach for the last few days.  

Life has been gloriously "normal" for us for the past several months, and we've been loving it.  Most days, it almost seems that Derrick is just like any other almost eighteen month old.  He bolts out the door anytime it opens, he repeats everything he hears, he demands music anytime we're near the computer or in the car, and he's so full of energy that I'm the one that crashes at the end of the day.

And then there are those moments, like the ones where he's running and squealing with delight then has to stop and sit down to catch his breath.  Or the ones where we have to make him sit down and rest so we can check his sats because his lips look a little bluer than usual.  

Or the moment where the phone rings and it's the cardiologist's office, calling to remind us of Derrick's appointment on Tuesday.  Ugh.  Let the waves of nausea begin to crash over me.  

I seem to go into panic mode every single time D's number's up to go to the cardiologist.  Every time.  It's crazy, because part of me would really rather go more often, you know, just to "make sure he's doing ok."  I guess it's a good thing that we don't go more than every three months though, because I'd probably be a basket case.  I'm just always afraid that we're going to hear something new; something that we don't want to hear.  

For a single ventricle kid, Derrick has done amazingly well.  He has one of the most severe CHDs with a few added twists and turns and has breezed through thus far.  Don't think that I don't thank God for that every day.  Every. SINGLE. day.  I know what a horrific journey we could have been on, yet up to this point it has been so much better than we could have imagined.  Not easy by any stretch, but really, it's been ok.   It's been manageable.  

Maybe it's the overwhelming number of heart friends we've lost over the past several weeks that's making me worry so much.  Maybe it's my dear friend Elizabeth, who is having to fight pretty hard right now after having a small stroke as she waits for a new heart or for the FDA to approve a much needed device to help her tired heart.  Only they won't approve it until they "have a reason."  Maybe it's watching what she goes through as an adult CHDer that really hits home for me about what Derrick may face someday. 

Maybe it's D's sweet smile, contagious laughter and precious way he says "muh moo" {love you} that makes my heart race and my eyes fill with tears as I think of how our world could change.  

Maybe I need a little more practice giving my fears over to the Lord...

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

Will you please pray for D's appointment to go well?  That he behaves so that they can get a good look at his heart, but that his little heart is as healthy and well as it has been and can be?  We would greatly appreciate it! :)  

I'll update you Tuesday afternoon, after we return from the fair!

Dinner tonight at dinner at Wild Wings.  He was saying the blessing in his new "hat." 
Seriously, there's never a dull moment! Ha!



Tour of Homes: The Office

We've been working on our "new" house for a little while now, but the office is the closest to being finished, so I thought we'd share!

Here's the office two weeks ago when we moved in. 

We think this room was originally a formal living room.  I've never had a "formal" living room in my life, so I wouldn't know what to do with one.  I'm not into fancying up a room that we won't use, so we decided to turn it into our office.  

The office has to look nice because it's right beside the front door (with no door of it's own) so it's almost the first thing you see when you walk in the house.  The paint we chose was Guacamole by Olympic.  We had it mixed in their low VOC base and loved it!  It was so nice not to have the house filled with paint fumes!

Of course we have our computer and desk in here, and we also brought in this cabinet.  It was Justin's great-grandmother's so we were excited about having a place to use it.  It's holding our printer and some other large things that aren't so pretty.  To try to hide some of the not-so-pretty supplies, we covered the glass doors with two $1.99 placemats from Target.  It has that frosted glass look going on now so it does a much better job at hiding things than it did.

We're in need of some things on the walls in here.  Our plan is to put  some white floating shelves on the wall above the desk.  It's a little bare right now, but we'll get it completely finished eventually.

We made this message board from an old frame we had that we spray painted white.  We'll eventually put some magnetic paint on the glass, but this will work for now.  Behind the glass we put two more of those $1.99 placemats from Target for a little visual interest.

This bookshelf was recycled from our old living room and painted white.  The boxes and basket store all of the office necessities.   (Like thousands of sticky notes.  Yeah, it's a problem.  But I'm a teacher, so that makes it ok.  :)

We hung long white curtains on the window and brought in the chair we had in the living room at our old house.  After about a day and a half the room is finished!  The first one in the house!  (Kind of a sore subject since the living room was pretty much finished until I decided that I didn't like the color.  Have I ever mentioned that I love my husband? ;)

Anyway, pretty much everything that we used in this room was something that we already had.   We bought curtains, paint, and spray paint.  Not bad, huh?  

And because I know some of you are wondering what Derrick has been doing while we've been painting...
He's been practicing for Halloween.


Breakfast Anyone?!

I have some SUPER exciting Hope for BraveHEARTS news...

Remember in February, when we had the breakfast at Fatz Cafe to raise money for CHD research?  Well, the operating manager (or owner? I'm not sure, anyway) Bruce won an award for his outstanding community service since he helps the community so much by doing the breakfasts.  As part of his celebration, he's having a FREE breakfast on Saturday, October 23 and he chose Hope for BraveHEARTS as the charity to receive ALL of the tips from the breakfast!!  

How awesome is that?!?!

We have tickets to give away for FREE, so if you're interested, send me an email at carolinacarters (at) gmail (dot) com.  We would love to have all of you locals come out and enjoy pancakes and sausage and have the HBH crew serve you.  It's a great breakfast and I can't believe Bruce is giving away 500 free tickets!  

Don't be shy...if you're free that morning (anytime between 7:30 and 10:30) come out and have a great, hot breakfast on Fatz, come on!  Let me know and I'll get you the tickets.  Here's the catch....you have to promise to show up.  That's it.  You can't come in if you don't have a ticket, and if you have a ticket you have to promise to show.  And leave a tip if you so desire.  ;)  You'll get the best service, hands down!  :)

Email me for your FREE ticket!

And speaking of breakfast....
One of the first mornings we were at our new house, Justin had a craving for powdered doughnuts. 

In hopes of not getting powdered sugar and doughnut crumbs all over the house, we decided to enjoy a little breakfast picnic on the screened porch.

Somebody really liked the doughnuts.

He liked them so much, in fact, that he had three and a half all by himself.

What can I say, if the boy will eat it, we will feed it to him.

And he was loving that sugary goodness.

The next morning when he woke up,

the first thing he said was,
"Nungry, nonuts."




This had been a terrible week for our heart friends. 

We rejoice together, pray together, and shed tears together.  Unfortunately, this week has been flooded with tears.

Please pray for the families of Baby Taylor, Ewan, and Joshie, who have all gone to be with Jesus.

My heart is broken.



Words for your weekend...

Of course D was not cooperative once the camera was turned on, but here's a sneak peek of what we hear about all day.

When we were watching the video he was talking up a storm. Why do they do that!?

Have a great weekend. We're preparing for the big move on Monday. Wish us luck! :)

And please continue to keep Ewan and Joshie and their families in your prayers!!  They really, really need it right now!