Thursday, July 29, 2010

15 Pounds and Pediatrician Appointment

She did it!!!  She reached 15 pounds and she also made it on the charts.  She is 5% for weight, almost 5% for height, and the little missy has a big brain...50% for her head measurement.  She had a great check-up with the pediatrician and everything looks really good.  She is doing great with her development and I am guessing she is going to start crawling in the next month or two.  She loves to stand up and is almost doing it without my help...she probably can do it without my help, but I am very cautious.  She is babbling like crazy and still finds mama much easier.  I think she has said dada a few times, but mama is always on her lips...I spend a lot of time telling her mama so that she will say it more too.  She also figured out that she can roll all over the place to get around and that is her new little trick.  It is really cute to watch her figure out that she can get around a room and I am pretty sure she is enjoying showing off her skills to her brothers.

I will be including information on all my posts about our Children's Heart Foundation Family Fun Day.  We have received many great donations from wonderful companies in Ohio and around the United States.  We are really excited to be coordinating this event and hope that we can see many of you that follow along with our blog at the Family Fun Day.  I know Hope will enjoy meeting her many followers and sharing her first birthday celebration with you!  Please take a look at the website to see the great items we have received to raffle off and provide as donations to the Children's Heart Foundation.  We will also have a 50/50 raffle that anyone can buy tickets for and you could be the winner of some big money!  If nothing else, please consider donating to the Children's Heart Foundation.  It is a great organization and provides wonderful benefits to all heart families through funding research and bringing awareness to congenital heart defects.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Children's Heart Foundation Fundraiser

I know there are a lot of organizations that provide great services and support for heart families and I plan to get involved with a few in the future.  This year I have decided to focus my time and energy on raising money for the Children's Heart Foundation.  The Children's Heart Foundation is one of the first organizations I found when Hope was first diagnosed.  They have a great resource for parents It's My Heart.  It is a wonderful resource for new 'heart' parents.  I also like that the Children's Heart Foundation focuses on funding research for our little ones.  I believe that their futures depend on research and awareness and that is the focus for the Children's Heart Foundation. you ask, what are you doing to help?  I am working with my sister to plan a Family Fun Day.  It is going to be a day of fun for the whole family.  It is taking place on September celebrate Hope's first birthday.  We have received a bunch donations for our raffle and if anyone would like to buy tickets...they are available online or you can send me an email.  Along with the great items we have received, we will also be having a 50/50 raffle and you can purchase tickets for the 50/50 raffle as well.

Please read more about our Family Fun Day here.

If you are in Ohio or would like to join us for the day...we would LOVE to meet you!  If you would like to donate or purchase raffle tickets, please refer to this website

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Not a good idea

I love traveling and I especially love being able to spend time reading great books when I am flying.  I can't sleep and don't want to watch TV the whole time.  I decided to bring my new 'heart' book with me.


It is a WONDERFUL book.  Here is why it was not a good idea...plane completely full and me crying my eyes out as I am reading all of the stories.  So many emotions come flooding back to me as I read through each story and it is impossible not to cry.  Our little ones are so blessed to have Sandra Kay as an advocate.  She shared our stories with so many people and I am hoping more awareness will help people understand how much we 'heart parents' go through with our little ones.  Please click on the link and buy the book.  It will change your life.

Thank you Sandra for making my flight so memorable.  I will never forget the little ones in Volume 1 and I am looking forward to Volume 2.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

California and Snakes

I know the title sounds a little funny, but that is what I am sharing today.  I leave for California in the morning...San Francisco area for work.  I will be there for a few days and then head back home.  Who would think it is actually going to be 30 degrees cooler in California than Ohio...only in the summer!  I am leaving with excitement and fear.  I have not left Hope alone with anyone overnight.  I have been with her every single day of her life.  I know everything will be just fine when I am gone, but it is still hard to leave.  I am kind of excited about getting a full night of sleep, room service, seeing my wonderfully supportive co-workers, and just being away for a few days.  I will feel pampered being able to take a shower first thing in the morning.  I bought a few books to read and I am looking forward to the 5-hour flights to get caught up on reading.  I will be working too while I am gone and it will be nice to be able to work a full day without having to get kids ready to go to the sitter and then making sure they are picked up on time.

Now for the snakes.  We have a bit of property and it includes a nice pond.  We all love it here and I couldn't imagine living anywhere else.  With that said...I hate some of the frequent visitors...mice, rats, skunks, and especially SNAKES.  I do NOT like snakes at all.  I don't much like mice, rats, or skunks either...but I really HATE snakes.  They are just too creepy for me.  Anyway...I have boys and that means I have had to learn to live with them bringing me 'pets'.  Usually it is a harmless frog, an injured bunny that the cats got, but didn't finish off...thank God!  Today, daddy found them a snake.  YUCK!  He also told them that the lovely snake does not bite, so they both decided it would be great to pick up and play with the snake.  My youngest carried that snake for what seemed like hours...but was probably a few minutes.  I finally made them put the snake back by the pond when they tried to let Hope play with it.    I know I shouldn't let them see my fears or they may become afraid of snakes, but I really do NOT like them at all.

Here is a boy (my youngest), a dog, and a snake.  He is returning the snake to the pond...after mommy nicely asked that they remove the NOW! 

Just thought I would share that with everyone.  I know the pictures are funny and I hope you enjoy them.  I honestly didn't enjoy taking them all that much.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

10 Months and Reflections

This post is probably going to ramble, so bear with me.  Hope is 10 months today and I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the last 10 months and the months leading up to Hope's birth.  Life has changed so much in this short amount of time, but some things have remained the same.

Our families have always been great and supportive and that is one thing that has not changed.  We may not get to see them as much as we would like, but I know that if I need something, I can call and know that someone from one of our families is more than happy to help.  I have leaned on family for so much support before and since Hope has been born.  Our family is our rock...they are solid and supportive.  Thank you all so much for everything you have done for us!

Our employers have been the best!  I am not real eloquent in my writing, but with everything that we have gone through, our employers have given us the time we have needed to take care of Hope.  Both of our employers have been very understanding of everything we have and continue to go through.  There has been no issue getting time off to take care of Hope and that takes a lot of stress out of our life.  I feel bad for the families that do not have the same respectful and caring employers.  I would list our wonderful employers here, but I am not sure I am allowed....but know that they are great companies to work for!

My heart family is a group of parents that I love and many of whom I have never met.  The first blog I started following is a beautiful woman from Lakewood.  She is so close and yet we have never met.  I know that will change one day.  Her beautiful daughter did not win her fight with HLHS, but I know Kaia is watching over Hope.  Another wonderful mommy I 'met' also lost her beautiful daughter, Sami.  She is from across the country, but she and I went through a lot together and she supported me so much when everything was so heartbreaking for our family.  I belong to a couple of support groups as well and met some of the best women and mommies ever.  These ladies met with me and shared their stories before Hope was born.  They solidified my decision to carry Hope and pray that everything would be fine...they saved my life and Hope's as well.  My heart family that follows my blog has given me so much more than I can ever describe.  I love all of you and pray for your little ones all the time.  Heart families are a close group and we share a lot...experiences, emotions, friendship, love, sadness, and happiness.  It is a 'family' no one would voluntarily join.  You belong because of experience. is a family that knows and understands and is a shoulder to lean on any time.  Thank you to everyone in my heart family.  You all hold a special place in my heart!

I know most of my posts are focused on Hope and how well she is doing.  I have been reflecting so much lately on everyone that has done so much for my family.  This post is for all of you.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy 4th of July

I know this post is late, but we had such a busy and fun weekend, this is the first chance I have had to share it with everyone else.  Hope loved the fireworks...her first year of seeing fireworks.  I cried a little because I remember last year and praying and wondering if Hope would ever be able to see fireworks.  Hope stayed up for the whole display and got so over-tired that Jerry had to walk her around as I sat in traffic with all the kids.  We are all about routine at our house, so all the kids get a little over-tired when it is past their bedtime.  I try not to be too much of a tyrant about our routine, but their bodies know when they need to eat and sleep and it basically follows our routine at home.

We have had Destiny for a few weeks and she has been amazing.  She is helpful and loves spending time with all of us.  She also gets a chance to spend time with her friends from around here and even got to go camping.  I know it has to be hard for her at times because there are so many of us and our house gets NOISY, but I think she likes it here for the most part.

Hope loves Popsicles and her brothers are very good at sharing!

We have the best cat...he just lays there and lets all of the kids pull on him and lay all over him!

Hope doesn't have anything scheduled for a few weeks when she has to go to the pediatrician for her 9 month vaccinations.  I can't wait to go because I am hoping she will be up to 15 pounds.  She has been eating like crazy and still taking about the same amount of formula.  She is really getting big and growing in so many ways.  She is wanting to get up and walk around, but she can only stand for a few seconds.

Check out that is my oldest son, Jerry's, very first catch and it was the biggest catch of the day!

We hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July.  Freedom feels so good on weekends like this!