Saturday, February 28, 2009

Who Needs Handy Mandy

.....when you have Handy Jaime! For those of you who don't have small children at home and may not know who Handy Manny is, allow me to explain. Handy Manny is a spanish cartoon in which the main character is a handy man/Mr. fix-it.

I have crossed over to the world of home improvement projects and successfully used a power tool for the first time today! This is a huge accomplishment for me because I have always been terrifed that I would somehow manage to drill a hole in the wall or create some other disaster. But today, I told myself I would no longer be ruled by fear :)

This so called project was a very minor one. I don't know if any of you who have been to our house noticed that some of our door knobs on the inside of the house were spray painted silver. Yes, I am the one who spray painted them. When I was trying to update our house a couple of years ago, I changed out the hardware in the kitchen and bathrooms from brassy gold to silver/brushed nickel. All of our door knobs were brassy gold. At the time, I didn't want to spend the money on replacing them all so I got this idea from a Real Simple magazine to just paint them. This worked...for a while, until the paint started to wear off.

So today, we went to Home Depot, bought a few new knobs and I installed them all by myself (with a little help from my handy husband. Now we only need 11 more and everything will match!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I am no Abraham

You're in for a long read......This post is actually an excerpt from my journal that I felt compelled to share. My thoughts stemmed from a sermon my pastor's wife preached yesterday. In a completely unrelated part of church, another pastor preached about tithes and offering, which my church does every Sunday, and told the story of Abraham and Isaac. Even though he was preaching about financial sacrifce, my mind went back to the story in Genesis of a father and son. Praise God, Carter is alive and healthy. I trust God to keep Carter healthy. I can stand on the promises of God and my faith is not shaken. But I can't say I've always felt that way.

I have testimony after testimony how God has healed and protected Carter, even before he was born. When I was about 4 months pregnant, I developed a rash on my belly. My doctor was concerned I had parvovirus (fairly common in kids). If a pregnant woman contracts this virus, it can cause severe fetal anemia, fetal hydrops, and miscarriage. When those words came out of the doctor's mouth, I immediately started crying. Theo was looking at me with a panicked expression and asking me what that meant. I couldn't even explain it to him at that point because I was so hysterical. Those several days of waiting for the bloodwork results were some on the most difficult and faith-challenging days I have ever experienced. I went through the whole range of emotions. I was mad at God that He would allow me to get pregnant only to make my precious baby sick. I was scared I had done something wrong. I begged and pleaded to God for the life of our baby. I bargained with God that I would do anything if he would just spare our baby's life. I cried every single day. My bloodwork finally came back and it was normal. I had not been exposed to that virus and Carter was born 5 months later, perfect and healthy. Only by the grace of God.....

Fast forward to a few months later when Carter was a little over a month old. Theo and I took him for a routine well baby check-up and were told he has a heart murmur and most likely a congenital heart defect. At the time, I was almost done with my pediatric nurse practioner program and was fairly familar with all of the various congenital heart defects. I know Carter's heart defect could be relatively minor to life threatening. I lover our pediatrician. She is very smart and I trust her with Carter's life. She said it was most likely a ventricular septal defect (the most common heart defect in kids) and since he wasn't experiencing any symptoms of heart problems, he could get an echo in a few weeks whenever the first non-emergent appointment was. This time, I felt pretty confident that Carter's problem was what Dr. C said it was and trusted her and God that it would be okay to wait a few weeks for the echo. Theo, on the other hand was more nervous about it than I was. I remember both of us scrutinizing Carter and every little thing (like the fact that he was such a sweaty baby and wasn't gaining great weight) and wondered if it was his heart defect. But praise God, he did have a VSD and only required monitoring by the pediatric heart dcotors.

Fast forward again to April of 2008. Most of you probably know this story but I feel I need to put my thoughts out there. Long story short is Carter was waking up several days in a row, screaming, unable to open his eyes and he had the most extreme light sensitivity I have ever seen in someone. He looked like he was having migraines. He was not himself. I tried to blame it on a multitude of things but I did feel uneasy in my spirit. When Theo finally said, "If you don't take him to the doctor, I will!" I knew something was wrong. I remember dropping him off Michele's house the next morning and he was screaming uncontrollably and wouldn't let go of me. I started crying and said "I can't leave him here like this". When we got home, I immediately called his pediatrician and they worked him in right away. His regular doctor was off that so we saw one of her partners. I remember describing to him what Carter had been doing and the look of concern that came over his face is something I will never forget. He looked at Theo and me and said "We need to scan his head" meaning get an MRI of his brain. He was concerned about the very thing that we were...that Carter might have a brain tumor. Carter's MRI was normal and he has been fine since then. But THAT was the hardest thing I have ever been through in my entire life. I remember praying and crying for hours at a time. I thought I prayed hard when I was pregnant, but that had nothing on this situation. I remember writing in my journal the morning he went in for his MRI that "this was the day we find out if our son has a brain tumor" and how weird that seemed to be writing those words. I have never been more terrified. I don't remember if I prayed for God's will to be done. I do remember begging God to not let Carter have a brain tumor. I knew I loved God and trusted Him but what if the outcome was not what I had prayed for? Then what? I am no Abraham. I can't say I'm eager to give up my son if God asks for him. I want Carter to far outlive me. I don't ever want to experience the death of a child. But what if God's plan for my life is to experience an unimaginable loss and heartbreak that is literal and not just figurative? I am no Abraham. But I do and I will trust God and want his will to be done in my life no matter the cost. No matter what his plan includes and although I may not ever understand the reason behind things, I do choose to trust him and stand on his promises. I am no Abraham but I am a child of God.

Carter Cuteness Update and other P family miscellaneous info

Wow, I hadn't realized it's been that long since I posted on this blog. I have been updating my pregnancy blog but only about once a week. It's just more difficult now to a) upload pictures and b) find time to actually get on the computer without little fingers wanting to touch all of the keys. I do have some Valentine's pictures to post as soon as I can upload them.

So, what's new with us? Theo is still working hard as always and has been working incredibly long hours. He hasn't even seen Carter since Saturday and probably won't get to see him until tomorrow.....maybe. I have been enjoying staying home with Carter. I will admit I do miss working a little...but definitely not enough to go back right now. I am most likely going to go back to school next year. I know, what can I say, I'm a total geek! I have always loved school and obviously can't get enough of it. If I do decide to go back, it will be to get a doctorate. This particular program is the Doctor of Nursing Practice. There is some speculation in the nursing world that by the year 2015, all new nurse practitioner's will be required to have this doctorate degree. The already exsisting NPs like myself will most likely be grandfathered in. But if I want to be competitive in the job market, I feel like I should go back for this degree. Plus, what I really want to do is teaching at a nursing school. Most universities require a doctoral degree for the nursing program. So that's another reason. Plus, there are a few online programs so while I'm home for a while with kids, I might as well go back, right? :)

So what's new with Carter? He's still his adorable, but demanding self most days. Last Friday we went to this indoor bouncy castle place with some of his friends and they had a blast! I meant to bring my camera but the battery died. So next time, I'll get pics. Yesterday we spent the day at Omaw's and Papaw's house. He always loves visiting them. I can't wait for summer when he can go swimming in their pool! The cutest thing he's done recently is I showed him a picture of himself and asked him "Who is this?" He said "That's Carter. He's soooo cute!" I said "Yes, he most certainly is!". He gets that part of his personality from his daddy for sure! He is talking nonstop and his vocabulary grows daily. He is speaking more and more in Spanish thanks to Diego and Dora. He is slowly but surely starting to try some new foods....some by way of deception on my part (i.e. carrots chopped up on his pizza). Hey, whatever works! Life here is good. We're going to be taking a couple of trips in the next few weeks to visit friends. I'm really looking forward to that. Daddy won't get to come but that's okay. He'll be working. Someone has to put food on the table! That's it in a nutshell for now. More to come sooner rather than later....

Monday, February 9, 2009

No longer confined

We will mark this day down in our memories of parenthood. Yesterday, I was trying to get Carter down for a nap. I usually let him fall asleep on the couch but he was not having that yesterday. He only wanted to play. So after battling with him for twenty minutes, I finally decided to put him in his crib and was determined to let him cry it out until he fell asleep. About five minutes went by and he was laughing and playing in his crib. Then Theo said, "You know any minute we're going to see him running in here". Well up until that point, Carter had not figured out how to crawl out of his crib. But no sooner had Theo spoken those words than Carter came running out into the living room and was laughing hysterically. We were in shock but then we started laughing too. We thought it was so funny that we made Carter get back in his crib so we could actually see how he managed to escape from his crib. Of course, I had to get pictures to prove it :)

This is how to crawl out of your crib:

First: look around to make sure mom and dad aren't coming

Next, use your pillow to stand on and throw your legs over the side of the bed

And that is how it's done ladies and gentlemen. Now mommy and daddy's lives will never be the same :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

My New Blog

For those of you who don't already know or maybe didn't catch Carter wearing his "big brother" t-shirt in my last post, Theo and I are expecting our second baby....due on Carter's birthday (9/7/09). Everything is good so far except my morning sickness/wt loss/fatigue. My first official week as a stay-at-home mom has been tougher than I was expecting because I have been so sick. I did manage to make it out of the house today and take Carter to the park for an hour. The weather has been beautiful and now Carter is napping on the couch.

Anyway, I wanted to let you all know that I have a pregnancy blog in addition to this one. I will leave this blog for mostly writing about Carter, Theo, our family and friends, and daily lives. My other blog will be mainly about my thoughts and feelings related to my second pregnancy. It's more like an online diary so don't read it you aren't a fan of TMI (too much information). But please check it out and let me know what you think. You can either click on the "Pregnancy Journey" blog link under my blog list or copy and paste from the link below. There is also a picture of our first ultrasound on there.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday!

We finally had our first official Super Bowl Party! Until this year, we've always had the smallest tv of all our friends. But not anymore....not since we got the 52 inch flat screen LCD tv. I was finally proud enough to invite people over to watch the game. We had a great time. Theo made his famous chili again. We had tons of other food too. Here are some pictures from the party:

The Guests:

The Food:

Bad Call Ref!!