Thursday, April 30, 2009


Baby Girl: I can hardly believe it but this time 365 days ago, I was almost 7 hours into labor... a labor that would last over 24 hours and would leave me with one of the best blessings in my life, Chayse Nicole! I can hardly believe that she will be 12 months old tomorrow, ONE YEAR!!! Tomorrow will be a wonderful celebration around here!!!

Baby Boy: I went to the doctor on Tuesday and had my monthly check up. I am now at 23 weeks!! The baby's heartbeat was in the 150's every time it was checked and he seems to be happy in there from all outwardly appearances. He is no longer the size of a tiny little bean... he is getting big and he is VERY strong. He makes my stomach move all the time. It is no longer little flutters inside that only I can feel. He can make my whole stomach rock n' roll when he gets going. My weight gain hit the 5 pound mark this check up, which is not bad for being 23 weeks pregnant. When I go back next month, I will have my hour long glucose test done. I failed this test with Chayse and had to have the half day test done (which I passed) so I am praying I have no issues with it this time.

Helping Babies: Other than that, life is good. I have been reading lots of blogs lately, several with very very very sick children, and I find myself praising God more often for the healthy miracle we have in Chayse. We have started getting toys in the mail from friends and family for the toy drive and we are also several hundred dollars into the raffle drive for the quilt. It will be amazing, and I am sure very emotional, to be able to give back to Duke Children's Hospital in this way. I miss Hope every day of my life and I thank God for this little girl Chayse that I get to see everyday. She is my friend, my daughter, my partner in crime. I love watching her learn new things every day... she is amazing and I pray that the children who use some of the things we plan to donate will be able to make some of these same memories with their parents! For those of you who have given me advice as a parent of a hospitalized child, thank you so much. We have gotten some great ideas and plan on adjusting some of our purchases to include mobiles and mirrors for infants in cribs, a wagon (if the life reach coordinator says we can take one), as well as games for some of the older children. THANK YOU ALL so much for your input on this... if you have any more ideas, please, let us know!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things....

This is Chayse's paci collection, of which she always has around 10 in her crib so she can easily find one in the middle of the night if she starts to look for one...The tiny shoes that are now lining up with ours in the mud room...
The never ending curiosity of an almost one year old learning about the sprinkler system for the first time... and that she was fully clothed doing it!!The quilt that will be raffled for the Duke Children's Hospital fundraiser that we are having this weekend to celebrate Chayse's first birthday!! I love the colors and the pattern that are in this quilt and I am thinking of making up a name, entering tickets under that name, and seeing if I can win this thing!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Supporting Duke

I cannot believe that Chayse will soon be turning one. It has passed so quickly. Today was my due date with her and I warped back to 365 days ago when we were waiting for her to make her entrance into this world. I was scared to death that something would happen to her and I wanted her to get here, so that I could see her face. I needed to see her face, her arms, her legs... her being healthy and whole. I could never have really fathomed the love that I would have for her a year later. When she was born, I had such a sigh of relief... she was here, alive, breathing, she was Down Syndrome free, she had a heart with all FOUR CHAMBERS, kidney's that worked, organs that functioned... Praise God for that was a huge sigh of relief that came after 42 weeks of fear and worry. We would have loved her with any health issues she had but in all honesty, our history shows we don't have healthy DS babies... we have MULTIPLE organ issues when we have them and we have MAJOR defects within the organs. I really do not think that I would have been able to handle the loss of another child. Hope's journey almost broke me, I cannot image having to do that again. To be able to enjoy her without the worry of organ defects or congestive heart failure or transplants or kidney dialysis was just overwhelming.

Chayse has truly been a blessing to us. When Hope was diagnosed with all of her health problems, we really learned what the value of a healthy baby is. Many people take them for granted everyday. Chayse is someone that I NEVER want to take for granted. She is someone I will always kiss goodnight and someone that I will love unconditionally with every fiber of by body and every ounce of my being. As we approach her first year of life coming to an end and her second year starting, we are going to give back to Duke Children's Hospital. Instead of gifts, we are doing a toy drive at her birthday party to donate to the children at Duke and we are also going to raffle off a handmade quilt for the occasion. With the money from the quilt, we are going to purchase more items for the children to play with while they are in the hospital. Hope was not alive long enough for us to learn the needs of children in hospitals so I am asking for your help. We have already spoken with the life coordinator for DCH and she said that they are in need of infant and toddler toys at this time. Are there some that are better for bed ridden children verses children who are mobile?? If you have knowledge of this, if you can give me any kind of advice on what helps children pass the time while they are on the children's floor, that would be great. I know about rattles and blocks and stuff like that... I just didn't know if there was something that often gets overlooked. Thanks for any insight you might be able to give!!

My Little Pampered Chef

Seriously, she loves to play in the cabinets...
And she pulls everything out of them when she does...

Which is why there are unused hairbands on the cabinet doors... keeps her out of the glass stuff and out of the cleaning stuff without having to put the locks and big bulky slides on the cabinets!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Finally... It begins!!!

We have been very busy so pardon the lack of posting! Nathan and I have decided to finish off our upstairs, which will in turn give us 1650 more square footage to our house! We had been thinking of building a shop out back so that Nathan could have more room than in the garage but with Baby Boy on the way, we decided we needed the extra living space now. We have been working with an architect and with a structural engineer to get things rolling. After a glitch from miscommunication we are FINALLY moving on the upstairs! These are some of the pictures I took last week before we began construction so we would have some before and aftere pictures! Here is our starting point:
This is what will become the office area and will attach to the bonus room. The walls here will come down and the stairwell will become open with an overlooking banister.

French doors will go in here off of the back end of the stairs as a break to the rest of the upstairs, which currently is one LARGE room... this area is about 1200 square feet so it was perfect for any design we wanted to go with.

This is the same open area, just from the other side of the room looking back to the stairs onto what will become a very open hallway, a bathroom, a closet/bedroom, a second kitchen, and a large family room.

This area is going to be floored and closed in to be used as a large "walk in" closet... perfect for all of my holiday decorations!! Yippie!!!

And this area is going to be redone completely. This is where the communication got misunderstood with the engineer and he told us we needed to TAKE OFF THE ROOF!!! Um, NO!!! So, after redrawing the plans, we will be able to open up this are (without taking off the roof) and make this into a sitting room with a fire place... this area comes off on what will be the family room.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A great report!!!

We were able to see Baby Burgess this week up close and personal! And I must say, I agree with Nathan... this baby looks like Chayse! Candice, the lady who did our ultrasound, spent a an hour and a half measuring bones and organs. We were so excited when we saw four perfectly-formed chambers pumping away!!! No obvious signs of cardiac defects! Praise the Lord! The baby was very "good" and Candice was able to measure all of the bones
and look at all of the organs that she needed to look at. All of the bones are measuring within a day of the EGA which is almost perfect! There were no organ defects seen on the scan either! The kidneys and the heart looked great! Actually, everything looks great at this time!
The doctor then came back to review the ultrasound findings with us. Thankfully, no structural anomalies were found!!! We opted not to have the amnio with everything looking as well as it did. So, as we did with Chayse, we will have to wait till the baby is born to get an absolute answer on everything but we feel great about the scan and the blood work and are not worried about anything!!! What a relief!
Have I said that this baby looks like Chayse? It is a good thing that I saved Chayse's clothes from when she was a bitty baby because we will be reusing some of her clothes if the seasons line up for the new baby to use them!!
Guess it ended up being a good thing that I bought some green and yellow things for Chayse just in case she came out a boy instead of a girl because we are having a BOY!!!!

I am sure one day he might not be too pleased that his Mama posted his "stuff" on the web but, we are so thrilled that all signs are pointing towards a healthy baby boy!!!!! Its truly a blessing to receive such a good report... it was at this stage in the pregnancy with Hope when we first learned of her cardiac defects. We already knew she had DS but we were not aware of all of the organ defects. Thank you all for your prayers this far... God has been faithful in answering them with a simple and loving “yes”.