Friday, January 10, 2014

It's been too long

I can't believe my last post was in July!  It's been way too long and my hope is that I will have some time to sit down and write some entries this year.  What an eventful year 2013 turned out to be!  I'll give a recap here and then I'll feel like I can move on :)

We really had a great summer.  We didn't do anything major, just hung out around here.  It's a great plus when you live at the beach.  Garrett still went to school two days a week but we enjoyed our time together.  Garrett and I spent our last "free" weekend with a trip to Charleston with my mom and sister. We had a great time.  We saw the sights, shopped, ate good food, and even rode on a trolley-which he didn't like at the time but now wants to ride again!  Ahh, the life of a two year old :)  We hosted a huge 40th birthday party for my brother in law complete with an inflatable waterslide which all of the kids (and adults) loved.  It was a great summer!

Tommy has had some hiccups if you will with his heart health.  He was out of normal rhythm too many times over the first part of the year which led to 3 cardioversions.  We were basically visiting the hospital every other month.  His doctor here suggested that we go back to Duke to meet with a doctor about the possibility of having another ablation surgery; this is the same surgery he had in 2009.  We met with him in August and he felt like Tommy was a candidate for a repeat ablation.  He said sometimes those areas heal back and start causing the irregular rhythms again and then it could be coming from the condition of his heart.  His schedule was pretty booked so the first slot he had open would be sometime in late September/early October.  They finally scheduled him for October.  He had an appointment with his local doctor on September 17th, he was and had been out of rhythm this whole time, and his doctor suggested going ahead and doing another cardioversion so it wouldn't be so with him being out of rhythm.  Wouldn't you know it, later that afternoon Tommy called me and said Duke called, there's an opening this Friday for the ablation.  We quickly got things together, made sure my parents could keep Garrett for us and made our way to Duke on September 18th.  They ran a bunch of tests on Thursday and then he had the ablation surgery on Friday, September 20th.  The surgery lasted 10 hours but the doctor felt confident that they had gotten most of the areas.  He was afraid Tommy may go back into an irregular rhythm overnight because of the irritation in his heart but he didn't.  He stayed in a normal rhythm for about 2 weeks and then went out again.  He had another cardioversion in October and so far, everything  has been good since then.  Hopefully it was from all of the inflammation on his heart that caused that one.  We've been back for check-ups and they are pleased with everything.  We feel he is with a great team of doctors and feel confident in their decisions.  He's being seen by a heart failure/transplant doctor and an adult congenital doctor at Duke.  They did run a test on him in November and his numbers are pretty low; these are the numbers they look at when considering heart transplant.  But like the doctor there said, we don't know how long his numbers  have looked like that because he's never had this test.  We're just praying everything levels out because we don't want to face a transplant anytime soon (hearts only last about 10 years).

Garrett continues to be the light of our lives and keeps us busy and tired :)  He doesn't forget a thing and I love having conversations with him.  It's so funny the things he comes up with.  We took a trip to the mountains in October and he got to experience his first train ride.  We went with family and it was a great time.  We also stopped by the apple orchard on the way home and he loved that as well.

The holidays were also fun for us this year.  We hosted everyone for Thanksgiving and Garrett loved entertaining everyone.  He loved Christmas this year and he's starting to understand everything behind it.  It's such a neat experience to view it from a child's perspective.  He's totally amped up now for his birthday.  We've been hearing about the "birthday party" for weeks now.

We still haven't pursued anything else on the adoption front.  While we would love for Garrett to have a sibling, we want Tommy's health to be ok first.  Plus, I don't want to add any extra pressure on him about it---that's the last thing he needs right now.  I have moments where I really want to have another child but we truly are enjoying our time with Garrett.  I've talked to some of the parents whose kids I've taught over the years that are only children and they've given me some great advice on how to help him be a well rounded child.

We are excited to see how God is going to use us this year!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Chirp chirp

Wow, has it really been 3 months since I've written anything?!?!  I really have good intentions of getting on here and writing something creative but time has just passed right on by!  We are having a great summer.  I feel so blessed to get to stay home with my sweet boy.  He's growing so much and I can't believe he will be 2.5 on Friday.  Where has the time gone?  He's talking up a storm now.  He's always asking if "you okay" :) everyone.  That boy hasn't met a stranger.  I now have random conversations with grocery clerks and people stocking shelves as well as other customers trying to shop.  Not to mention all of the random people we've talked to at the beach!

We've been busy with trips to the beach, blueberry picking, helping shuck corn in the country, aquarium visits and visiting with family.  Garrett's most favorite activity has been going to the water park.  He loves it and he's not scared at all of the water.

We are still working on the potty training.  I know it will come someday so I'm not overly worried about it.  He's in pull-ups and will go some at home.  He does pretty good at school and I think it will improve when he goes back full time in August.

Tommy has had some heart issues again but we're making it through those as well.  Hopefully he will stay in a normal rhythm for a long while!

Hope you all are having a great summer!  I know I've been slack with commenting on your blogs but I have been reading!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The newest happenings

I promise I'm really trying to write more in this blog!!  This is busy time for me at school; we only have 6 more weeks left.  Hopefully I can get myself together to become more devoted to writing here!  First, thank you all so much for your sweet comments and support from my last entry.  Your words of encouragement are greatly appreciated.  There are days when I wish I were closer to you "triangle" girls but I know God has us here for a reason.  The adoption support groups just aren't here and those that have adopted here seem to keep to themselves.  Maybe I need to change this :)

Now for the latest happenings around here.  We had a great Easter.  Garrett quickly learned the act of picking up Easter eggs.  He was a pro!  They had a little egg hunt at his school and his teacher told me that they were all running around picking up eggs.  She said the next thing she knew, Garrett had "discovered" there was candy in them and he sat down and started eating!  It was pretty funny.  We took him to an egg hunt here at the battleship and he loved it.  Our niece and nephew went with us to help him.  He also rode on a pony which he loved.

He continues to talk up a storm.  He now tells us "I got it" or "I do it".  My little baby is now becoming a big boy who likes to try to be independent.  I love hearing him talk though especially when you get those unsoliciated "I love you's"!  We also tried working with the potty.  Ugh, disaster!  He went one day at school and his teachers told us that they thought he was ready.  They suggested going to straight to underwear because they don't like to be wet.  We tried it for a day and he was kicking and screaming going to the potty.  We decided to wait.  Obviously he's not ready having those kinds of meltdowns.  We let him go now when he tells us and we'll work on it more when I'm out of school for summer.  That way we can just stay at home and practice :)

Over the weekend, he also learned to climb out of his crib.  He did it once and then we put him back in just to see if he'd do it again and sure enough he climbed right out.  He's smart enough to put one leg over and then hold on with his hands so he doesn't fall out :)  After the second time of "escaping" he came running down the hall and told us "Here I come."  Both Tommy and I cracked up laughing at him.  It was too funny.  This weekend's project is to transform the crib into a toddler bed :( I can't believe how much he's grown!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Update time :)

Each time I think I'm going to do better with updating the blog, something else comes up :)
But I'm really trying to make a commitment to record my thoughts on here.  I won't lie, it's been a tough month.  From Tommy's "heart health" to making a decision about what to do as far as the next baby is concerned, it's been a little overwhelming.  I still find myself in that rut of "fitting in" too.  I remember having these feelings when we were going through infertility treatments.  It seemed as though everyone around me was having children and I was just stuck on the sidelines.  Now that I have a child, and don't get me wrong-I love him to pieces and he's filled that void that was there, but it still feels like I'm trying to find my place.  I go to events and women talk about pregnancies and child birthing, something that I know nothing about as far as personal experience goes.  I think often times they forget because Garrett looks so much like me.  My story is different.  I came to motherhood through a much different route than most others.  I want Garrett to have some buddies to play with and friends to grow up with but it's so different now to find your niche if you will. I'm praying that God just continues to open doors in this area; that He'll lead us to friends who accept us with open arms into these circles.  I've wanted to write this for some time but just could never get those words out.  I really am fine but I guess I'm just longing for those deep rooted friendships that are often so hard to find.  

Tommy finally had his cardioversion and it went well.  He's back in normal rhythm again and we met with 2 doctors at Duke last week.  The first was with a congenital cardiologist that specializes with adults.  He was great.  He explained what Tommy's heart looks like and told us that while he can't do anything to change his heart, he can continue his daily exercise and limit the salt intake to help out.  That way the heart won't have to work as hard.  He said the things he has going on now, leaking valve, enlarged heart in areas, isn't uncommon for people who were born with the same defect.  Then we met with the heart transplant doctor.  He was as equally great!  He told us that he expected to walk in and see someone who looked sick and that wasn't at all the case.  He said that there is a possibility that Tommy could live his life and die with his heart and he also said that he, at some point, would be a good candidate for a heart transplant.  But he said, you're 37; let's save that talk for when you're 60.  That was a relief.  We know that most heart transplants only live for 10-12 years if there's no issues with rejections.  I pray that they can maintain his health for a long, long time and then we can cross that path when we're in our 80s :)  They both are going to keep an eye on him and they took some baseline tests so that way they'll know if things start to get worse.  They also were both in favor of the new device for monitoring heart failure but both said to wait until the battery needs to be changed in his current device (probably next year).  So that's where we are with all of that :)  

We are still praying and trying to find God's way for the next baby.  I feel like there's one more out there for us and like I said earlier, I would love for Garrett to have a sibling.  I don't see us doing anything until next year some time.  That way we can make sure Tommy is on the upswing and will give us more time to get the finances in order :)  We've also learned about a local agency and may meet with them to find out how their services work.  I'll be honest, while we loved working with Bethany for Garrett's adoption, when we started back up for the second one, they had no idea of who we were.  That's a little disappointing especially when you've invested that much money into an organization.  So I'm not sure what we'll do about that route yet either.  But I do know God will show us His way :)

Garrett is continuing to be the sweetest boy ever.  He's talking more and more each day and I love to listen to him.  His newest concern is asking "are you ok" and he'll ask until you give him a response, even if he's talking to himself :)  He loves the beach and talks about going all the time.  Last week I had "spring" break and we went to Myrtle Beach for the weekend.  We took him to a resort that had an indoor kiddie water area and lazy river and he loved it.  Every morning he would wake up, look outside and see the beach and then ask to go swimming.  He's definitely a water baby.  What makes my heart gleam even more is he is definitely a mama's boy :)  

Continue to pray for us that we would not grow weary and that we'll continue to seek what God has in store for us!  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Turns and twists

I know a while back I wrote about Tommy's heart being out of rhythm again.  We went to the doctor a few weeks ago and he basically said that he would go ahead and schedule a cardioversion and then we would take a look at putting a new device in (one that controls heart failure).  The cardioversion was scheduled for the 21st, which worked out great because we both were off of work already.  We are usually out of the hospital within 3 hours so it's not something that takes all day.  As Tommy was checking in, his doctor calls and the nurse has both of us go back to talk with him.  He said that he had just gotten back from a national conference and learned some new things about this new blood thinner that Tommy has been on since the summer.  He said that there wasn't enough research out there yet to make him comfortable with doing the cardioversion.  He was worried about Tommy forming a blood clot after the procedure.  So they've put him back on his "old" blood thinner and he should be having the cardioversion in the next couple of weeks.  I know he's ready; he's tired and worried about it all.  We also have appointments at Duke in early March to get some insight about what will be the best next steps as well.

Tuesday we had our homestudy renewal.  Tommy had an awful day on Monday with still having this cold stuff and then the rhythm issue.  It was so bad that he woke up around 2 that morning and couldn't go back to sleep.  He drove himself to the point of worrying so bad that he had worked himself up and he was having trouble breathing.  He went to the doctor and everything checked out fine so we knew it was just him.  I asked if he wanted to postpone the homestudy meeting but he said he'd be fine.

We met the new social worker and went over things and it went well.  However, I couldn't shake this "not feeling right" feeling that I was experiencing while she was here.  We went to lunch afterwards and it was still the same.  Tommy and I talked and he said he wasn't sure how he felt.  I know he mainly said that because he didn't want to hurt me by saying let's wait.  So when Tuesday night rolled around and I couldn't sleep, I knew something was up.  I prayed and prayed and asked God to show me what He wants us to do.  I'm worried about a lot of things with this one.  First, getting Tommy back on track with his heart.  Second, the money side of it.  Adoption is so expensive and even with the tax credit, this money comes out of your pocket first.  I know God can provide but at this point I felt like He was tugging at my heart saying you need to wait.  When we got up the next morning I told Tommy how I was feeling.  He agreed and said he didn't feel completely right about it either.  I talked with the social worker over the phone and explained things to her to see what would be the best course of action.  Since the homestudy is nowhere near being final, we wanted to make a decision now so we wouldn't be out of more money.  She said at this point our best course of action would be to withdraw from the program.  If we decide to move forward later on then we could and we can basically pick up with where we've left off.  I talked with Tommy again that night and we both felt the best thing for us to do right now is to wait.  As soon as we made the decision my heart felt at peace.  I know we've made the right decision.

Don't get me wrong, it has always been a dream of mine to have children.  I have no idea where God is leading us or what He has in store for us but I do know that it's better than anything I could come up with on my own.  I worry that if Garrett is our only one how will he fare as an only child.  And then again God may choose to bless us with another child.  I do know that we prayed for him for so long I do feel completely blessed to be his mom and if he is all I ever have, I have more than enough.

We would appreciate your prayers as we seek God's will for our family.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Two years ago

I can't believe the time has come and my sweet boy is now 2!  We prayed for so long that God would grant us the desires of our hearts and allow us to become parents and He answered in a mighty way.  I am forever grateful for that and for a sweet woman who chose life and chose us to become Garrett's parents.  My heart is filled with joy today in remembering all of the sweet times we've had.  He's had a big day today and still isn't 100% better yet but he's still had fun.  I love to listen to him talk and I love all of the sweet love he gives us!

We went to party city the other day to order balloons for today.  He was fascinated by the balloons and was carrying on a conversation with the guy who worked there.  When we got ready to leave, Garrett looked at the guy and said "love you."  Ha ha.  I don't know what was funnier, Garrett saying that to a stranger or the look of shock on the guy's face (he was young).  But what can I say, I have a sweet boy!

Happy 2nd birthday, Garrett!  Mommy and daddy love you so much!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A long, overdue update

Wow, where has the time gone??  I was trying my hardest to keep up with this blog but let's face it, I'd rather spend my extra time playing with my sweet boy.  I have been reading though and keeping up with everyone's blogs.  We had a great Christmas and enjoyed every second with Garrett.  It's amazing to watch how much he's growing up each day.  New Year's came and with it the idea of fresh starts and looking ahead at what the year would hold for us.  Day 1 of the New Year I spent at the doctor's with an awful cold.  They told me it was likely a viral sore throat, I now believe I had the flu.  A week later, Garrett gets sick with a fever.  After visiting his doctor, we found out he had the flu.  Thankfully we caught it early enough to start him on Tamiflu and it seemed to work pretty quickly.  In between us being sick, we get a call from Tommy's doctor that he is now in an irregular heart rhythm.  Not the best way to start off the new year but we're making the best of it.  We go to Tommy's doctor this Wednesday to find out the next steps.  We know they'll likely shock his heart back into normal rhythm but they may also go ahead and replace his ICD (pacemaker/defibrillator).  We thought we were finally on the upswing of things and that we would all get to go to church together this morning but alas we were wrong :)  Garrett woke up with crusty eyes and after a quick trip to the urgent care, he now has pink eye.  Ah the joys of preschool :)  

As for an adoption update, first we are so thankful that the adoption tax credit was renewed (and it looks like it's permanent).  All of our paperwork was received before Thanksgiving and we were assigned a new social worker about a week ago.  Our old social worker has retired :(  As of right now, we have our homestudy update meeting scheduled for the end of the month.  Then she'll have 30 days to write up a report and then we will be officially waiting again.  Right now it's been much easier with the waiting on things this go round, probably because we are so busy with a very active (almost) 2 year old!  

Speaking of that sweet boy, can you believe he will be 2 in 6 days??  I can't!  It's amazing to look back and see how much he's grown.  He's speaking in short phrases now and it's so funny to listen to what he picks up on.  He knows his ABC's, can count to 10, knows his body parts, colors, and what sounds animals make.  He LOVES anything with wheels and airplanes.  He is constantly running around and playing.  He loves to give kisses and even tells us "love you" now.  It's the sweetest thing ever!  He moved up to the next class at his preschool and so far it's going well.  It still blows my mind to think it was 2 years ago that we were waiting to meet him; I remember those days like it was yesterday.