Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Last Night and Today

I'm going to insert a shameless plug here and ask all you Faceboook-ers to head over to our family page and click "Like" (or use the Facebook box on the right sidebar).  Then - and this is for all of you who currently like the page, too - hover over the button that says "Liked" and make sure "Show in News Feed" is checked.  That way, when things happen - like last night - I can update our Facebook page on-the-go and know that our prayer warriors are surrounding us yet again.


Around 6:00 last night, Ethan and I were in our pancake-making groove.  He helps me pour the mix and water, then starts to stir while I put together the rest of our brinner.  It was about the time I had the pancake pan heating on the stove top, and measured out the grits, that I saw him begin to fall from his stool.  

Within a literal split-second, he grabbed the closest thing he could find to help catch himself, and I took one step towards him to yank his hand off of the hot pan.  The screams that followed were heartbreaking.

Let me pause a moment to thank God, our incredible Creator, for equipping us with instinct and know-how, even in times we're not nearly prepared for.

Through Ethan's mind-jumbling cries of distress, I was able to immediately put his hand under cool running water and get him calm enough to move to the couch.  Then, I grabbed the first item I saw in our freezer - a bag of corn - wrapped it in a towel, and placed his seared hand on top of it.

Oh - and hey, God? Thanks for those Pixar folks, too.  Mater and Woody were the ultimate distraction from the pain.

I immediately called my mama, just because she always knows what to do, and together we decided that I should call our pediatrician's after-hours nurse line.  Jeramie was home by that time, and a quick chat with the nurse led us straight down I-40 into the Duke Children's emergency department.  

The visit there was quick and efficient.  They gave Ethan some oxycodone to relieve the pain and had his hand wrapped up and ready to go home within two hours.  Due to the nature of the burn, though, and the placement of the developing blisters, the ED doctors wanted Ethan to be seen at UNC's burn center this morning.  I was super impressed that such "rival" hospitals collaborate and refer patients between themselves, and incredibly thankful that both Duke and UNC are a quick 30-minute drive from our house.

Monkey has made as many trips to the hospital as Ethan has.

Going to a completely different hospital this morning was an experience.  It felt odd to not know my way around, or to not chat with medical staff in the hallways, and it made me a little sad that we've become that comfortable with any hospital at all.  UNC was great, though, and they took very good care of my little man!

The burn clinic physician diagnosed Ethan with 2nd degree burns, but was quite pleased with how well they already seem to be healing.  The blisters don't show any signs of popping, which is great for preventing infection, and everything should be completely healed within a week or so.

Ethan does have a compression glove - or, a super hero glove if you're to ask him - that he has to wear for the next 3-4 weeks, and we were given some cream to keep the burns protected and moisturized.  Other than that, it's life as usual, with a few hand stretches added in throughout the day.

It could have been so much worse.   

Thank you Lord, for protection and healing - for distractions and pain relief - for wise medical staff.

And, thank y'all for springing into action and lifting up prayers for my boy.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - Collage 4

For the story behind the collages, start here.
To see all the posts related to this project, use the sidebar button.


49. fishing buddies
50. my sister-in-law and future nephew
51. new-found independence
52. anxiety-free patient
53. forever friends
54. family snuggle time
55. strength
56. our washing machine and dryer
57. kisses
58. insurance
59. freedom
60. "those boys"
61. daddy time
62. blue skies
63. his smile
64. my sister

What are you thankful for tonight?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bloggy Award

Recently, Sherry over at The Sweet Life of the Reeses nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award.  It is an award given to "up-and-coming bloggers" and is based off of the German word, Liebster, meaning dearest.  Thanks, Sherry!

Here's how it works:

I'll answer the questions that Sherry asked, and then I'll ask 5 different questions to the 5 bloggers I nominate (I'm changing the "rules" from 11 to 5!).  If you see your blog listed, write a post on your own blog answering the questions I asked, then it's your turn to nominate and pose questions to 5 (or, 11) different bloggers.  Make sense? It's a fun, easy way to spread some bloggy love!

My answers to Sherry's questions:

1.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Europe.  Hands down.  And Hawaii.  And NYC with my hubby.  And...

2.  Who is your best friend in the world and how did you meet him/her? A sister is a girl's best friend from birth, but my best girlfriend is Brandi.  We met our freshman year of college, which means we're going on 12 years of friendship!

3.  Did you have a childhood hero, and if so, who was it?
My parents - they still are.

4.  What is your favorite beverage (alcoholic or not)?
Non-alcoholic: coffee.  Alcoholic: Amaretto Sour, with extra cherries!

5.  If you could have a vacation home in a destination of your choice, where would it be?
As long as a body of water is within walking distance, I'd be happy.

6.  What is your dream job?
I'm doing it.  Staying home with Ethan is the best job I never thought I wanted.  Someday I'd like to be able to get back into volunteering with the Special Olympics.

7.  What is your greatest goal in life?
Hello, deepness.  My ultimate goal is to get to Heaven.  I'd like to hear "well done, my good and faithful servant" when I get there.  I have a lot of work to do.

8.  What is your idea of the perfect date?
Actually, because we just planned it for our anniversary, I'll tell you ... A swanky hotel room overlooking one of the greatest rivers in N.C. (in my humble opinion), dinner and fresh-brewed beer, a sunset stroll on the riverwalk, sleeping in, and lounging by the pool.  Maybe one day...

9.  If you could buy anything (just one thing though), what would it be?
A Honda Odyssey. I'm not even joking.

10.  Would you rather be able to sing or dance if you could only do one really well?
Dance.  Who marries someone known as "The Dancing Machine" and can't dance?!

11.  What color do you wear to make yourself feel better?

My nominations (giving some love to my in real life blogging buddies):

1.  Heather @ The Balsley Bunch
2.  Shannon @ Carolina Carters
3.  Alinna @ what we're made of
4.  Rebecca @ Of Law School and Lullabies
5.  Jenn @ re{de}fining

And my questions for you:

1.  What is one trait that you'd most like to pass on to your children?
2.  What types of flowers were in your bridal bouquet?
3.  Tell us about one of your favorite childhood memories.
4.  Which household chore do you like the most?
5.  What is the most played song in your iTunes library?

Have fun!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cath Date!

To those of you who read about my sunburned fat lip on our Facebook page this morning, I'm happy to report that two Ibuprofen did the trick! The swelling is finally down and I am talking (and looking!) much better than I was when I woke up this morning.  In the past two weekends at the lake, a fish has drawn blood by biting Jeramie's nippy-nip and the sun gave me a fat lip.

It would only happen to us...

Even still, it's amazing what a weekend on the water can do for the soul.  The night that picture was taken, we cruised until well after the sun went down.  We laughed and goofed off and, at one point, realized that between the eight people on the boat not one of us had a phone with us.  While that wouldn't have been great if we had ran out of gas, it was freeing and affirming to know that life goes on (and pretty happily, actually) even without texts and the internet and incoming calls.

Bring on the houseboat.  I could seriously live on the water.


Team Ethan is off to a strong start! We're up to $100 raised and the Hearts Together charm has been a hit! Follow that link to find out how to get a charm of your own, and support Team Ethan in the process.  I have some other fantastic fundraising plans to tell you about soon, too, so stay tuned - especially if you live in our area!


Speaking of Ethan and that special heart of his...

We got a call on Thursday night and his cath is scheduled for Tuesday, August 14th.  It's strange feeling, though.  On one hand, I feel like throwing up at the thought and, on the other hand, I want to kick my heels together that we got on Dr. R's schedule so quickly. 

Your encouragement and prayers will be greatly appreciated between now and then!


And, just because I'm missing this sweet face that's been at "Camp Granny" for almost a week now...

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Now, Then

Now: July 14-15, 2012 
Then: June 26-July 3, 2010

And some other favorites from the weekend:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Boy Mom BlogHop - 2012

Today I'm linking up to the Boy Mom BlogHop over at The MOB Society.  If you're a mama whose heart's desire is to raise a boy into a man of God and you haven't checked out this site yet, you need to.  Do yourself a favor and spend nap time reading through some of the most recent posts.  I'm pretty sure you won't regret it.

To those of you coming over from The MOB Society - Hi! My name is Joye (yes, "Joy" with an e), this is my little slice of the internets, and here's a little bit about me:

I am a born-and-raised southern girl.  I grew up on the coast of North Carolina where we had sweet tea and biscuits with every meal, and I say "y'all" fifty-eleven times a day.  I love the water; my heart will always be at the beach, but my body prefers the lake.  I have an unhealthy fear of snakes.  I'm fluent in sign language, but I'm not deaf.  My hubby and I just celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary, and we share a love of German chocolate cake.  I've been blogging since mid-2008, when I first found out I was pregnant with our now son, Ethan.  I had no idea what this blog would become, or how much I would come to love the writing process, when I started it four years ago.  Writing is therapeutic for me.

As you can imagine, I write mostly about Ethan.  He has quite the incredible story and, since a lot of you are probably new here, this post is the best place to start.  It is long, but I'd love for you to take some time to learn all about the broken heart that has completely transformed mine.

Ethan is now a energetic, snugly, strong-willed three-year old! While some days his persistence can run me ragged, I know that God has equipped him with the exact traits he'll need to live a lifetime with his special needs.

I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you'll stick around! Say "hi!" in the comments so that I can learn all about you and your boy(s), too!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cardio Update - July 2012

Well, friends, today can be summed up in two statements:

1.  It has been a good, good day, and
2.  We serve a good, good God.

On the way to the office this morning, I prayed that I would rest in God's goodness regardless of what we heard.  While the majority of the news is great, we do have some work to do - and the fact that I'm not freaking out right now is evidence of God pulling me near and holding me close.

So, here's what we know.

As far as vitals go, Ethan is doing really well:
-Blood Pressure: 92/54
-PulseOx: 99%
-Heart Rate: 119 beats per minute
-Weight: 33.1 pounds (50th percentile)
-Height: 39 inches (60th percentile)

Those numbers reiterate exactly what I've been saying in the past few days leading up to this appointment - on the outside, my boy is just fine.  Of course, I knew Dr. I wouldn't send us home based on those numbers alone, so off to the echo room we went.

Now that we've reached echo number 30-something, I can finally watch for that pressure gradient measurement myself.  Based on what I saw, I knew Dr. I would have good news for us, and it was confirmed by the echo tech saying "see you in six months!" when she walked us back to our room.

As it turns out, the pressure across Ethan's conduit has.not.changed since January; it is remaining stable in the 60-70 mmHG range! Now, that number is still high (considering normal is below 20), but stable is good and stable it is.

What Dr. I can't get an accurate picture of (due to echo limitations) is the exact pressure of Ethan's right ventricle and the exact sizes of his left and right branch pulmonary arteries.  Due to this, Ethan will be put on the cath schedule as soon as possible and we should have some more definitive answers in the next few weeks.  None of this is on an emergency-basis by any means, but we're taking a very special trip with some very special friends in October and Dr. I wants to have Ethan raring to go by that point.  IF intervention is needed (cath or otherwise) we want to get it taken care of now.

From a pacemaker standpoint, all is well.  The battery still has two years of life left and all the leads are functioning as they should be.  Also, the pacemaker only recorded a few high-rate episodes over the past six months, which is awesome news!

Because our current call-in system for Ethan's pacemaker is no longer an option, we'll go back to the office at the end of September to have it checked before we leave for our trip.  Other than that, and the upcoming cath, Ethan got another 6-month pass!

Needless to say, we're pretty thankful.  Thankful for a God who is ever-faithful, for friends like you who lift us up in prayer and encourage us along the way, for caring doctors, and for resilient three year old boys.

Stay tuned for the cath date...

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

Shutterfly's Long Live Summer Photo Contest

Just popping in real quick to tell you about a photo contest hosted by Shutterfly, via Facebook, that began on July 9th.  The contest runs for five weeks, and each week is a different theme.

Week 2 begins today (July 16th) and the theme is "Great Outdoors".  All you need to do is upload your favorite photo and caption to Shutterfly's Facebook page based on the theme of the week, and you'll get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering!

The themes for Weeks 3-5 look a little something like this:

Week 3 (July 23rd): Water Fun
Week 4 (July 30th): Sports and Activities
Week 5 (August 6th): Parties and Celebrations

...and of course there are prizes!

-instant win prizes just for submitting a photo
-weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time per week)
-weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page and awarded a $500 gift card on Shutterfly and a copy of the new Lonely Planet travel photography book
-grand prize: trip for 4 to the Bahamas for four nights - includes a family photo shoot

Shutterfly Sweepstakes - Official Rules

Happy snapping, and good luck!


I am receiving a free 8x8 20-page hardcover photo book in exchange for sharing this information .

Monday, July 16, 2012


Hey y'all - hope everyone had a great weekend! We spent Saturday and Sunday at the lake with Jeramie's parents and it was fantastic.  Ethan is going to be quite the lake boy; I just know it!

Today I'm unpacking bags, washing wet clothes before they turn sour, and doing my best to get this water out of my ears, but it's tomorrow I want to talk about.

We take Ethan to see the wonderful Dr. I (his cardiologist) tomorrow morning.  It has been six months since his last appointment and I'm not sure what to expect.  I know three things.  One - his heart is a complicated, unpredictable mass of muscle.  Two - it must be doing one heck of a job to keep up with his energy levels.  And, three - God knows even more than I do.

As always, the gradient pressure where the conduit meets the pulmonary artery is our biggest concern.  I don't even remember what it was in January (who AM I?!), but I'm trusting that it has stayed within an acceptable range.  Will you pray with us, specifically for that?

Ethan has matured so much in the past six months that I genuinely don't have any concerns about how he'll behave with the various tests and procedures.  In fact, a couple of weeks ago at the pediatrician's office it was as if I wasn't even in the room.  To be funny I asked, "Ethan, do you even need me in here to help you?"  He sat perfectly still, shook his head, and confidently stated, "Nope."

Sorry, buddy.  But I'm in that room for quite a few more years at least!

I'll be back tomorrow with an update, and sometime after that with some photos from our lake trip.  For now, I'll leave you with my favorite from the weekend...

Ethan's 1st catch - July 14th, 2012

We covet your prayers and thank you for praying alongside of us for our sweet boy. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

the Hearts Together charm

Hey y'all - happy weekend! If you follow along on our Facebook page then chances are you saw a photo of a pretty awesome Lego heart charm this afternoon.  It's called the Hearts Together charm and it's the creation of my best friend, Brandi, and her husband, Kevin.  While the idea may not be completely original (you can find everything on Etsy!), the generosity behind it absolutely is.

photo via Etsy

Brandi and Kevin have purchased and put together 200 of these charms with the hopes of using them to raise funds for the upcoming Triangle Heart Walk.  The process is simple: with every donation of at least $10 to Team Ethan, you will receive your very own Hearts Together charm!

(Note: For whatever reason, the AHA site will only allow donations of at least $25.  To make a donation between $10 and $25, please contact me.)

Brandi gifted me a charm a few weeks ago and I receive multiple compliments on it each day! A few donations have come in already and we've heard of folks wearing them as necklaces, bracelets, and even shoestring charms.  They are simply adorable and each charm represents all of us joining together to help mend broken hearts.

I would absolutely love for all 200 charms to find their way into 200 hands.  For 200 people to show them off proudly, while explaining what it means to be one in one hundred.  For 200 donations to be made to Team Ethan and the AHA.

Will you consider donating today?

Will you also share this post with your friend, your sister, your neighbor, your uncle? Will you do it to honor the children who are still fighting, and to remember those who CHDs took from us too soon?

Will you?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Potty Training for the Visual Learner

Recently, I have stumbled upon a new discovery when it comes to Ethan - he is, without a doubt, a visual learner.  The fact that he just might have a learning style of his own first occurred to me in the beginning stages of potty training.  It seemed as if he wasn't quite hearing the constant reminder that "pee and poop go in the toilet - not your underwear!" and it was causing much frustration all around.

Then, one day, a little voice inside my head reminded me of all that differentiation I used when teaching in the classroom.  I came straight home and asked my artist of a hubby to draw him a chart; if he wasn't hearing us, maybe seeing it would be helpful.  After all, we were already using a sticker chart to show-off his successes, so why not add explicit drawings of where his business should go?

That original chart helped tremendously! Between adding stickers to his "potty train" and having the visual reminder above the toilet, we found that things were really starting to click.  In fact, I can count the number of accidents he's had in the past two months on one hand, and I attribute it to the visual cues.

So, lately, when I realized Ethan was having a hard time with the entire bathroom process, I asked Jeramie to get out the markers once again.  We sat down with him and explained each step of the process as Jeramie drew it out.  After the 20-or-so minutes it took to draw and explain, Ethan grabbed the chart and began repeating each step as he pointed to the corresponding picture.  We hung it on the wall beside our downstairs toilet and he refers to it every.single.time he's in the bathroom.

While I know it's not rocket science, it is proving to be amazing.  I am continually reminding myself that this boy of mine is developing into his own person - opinions, personality, learning style, and all.  Figuring this out about him has made such a huge difference in how I interact with him and how I expect him to understand me.

I know many of y'all are in a similar stage of life as we are, so I wanted to share our new strategy on the off chance that it will help you as well.  Here's to learning all we can about our kiddos and making our lives a tad bit easier in the process!


Linking up with The MOB Society

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Fourth in Photos

Each year since Ethan's birth, we have celebrated the 4th of July on the 3rd in the cozy little town of Garner. They put on a spec-TACK-aler (Larry Crowne, anyone?) fireworks display and have some great activities for the kids. I love that we can then spend all day on the 4th celebrating as a family without having to rush to get somewhere that evening!

Storms threatened to rain on our parade, but we made the most of it - even after we had to retreat to our cars to escape the lightening. And, for the record, man-made fireworks paired with God-made ones make for a pretty incredible show!

Yesterday, we spent the day with my sister and her beau (who just happens to be my best friend's brother!) and we had an impromptu family/college reunion.  It was awesome!

I am blessed to live in his beautiful country with some wonderful friends and a greater-than-great family.  Hope y'all had a fun fourth, as well!

Our crew - about 40 adults and kids!


The sweaty, blurry Tri Mulli

M&Ms and funny faces while we wait for the show


Who's spoiled?


The life...

BFFs - going on 12 years!

All "my" children


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - Collage 3

For the story behind the collages, start here.
To see all posts related to this project, use the sidebar button.


33. summer breeze
34. His love
35. laughter
36. coming home
37. play time
38. shopping buddy
39. crock pot
40. growth
41. dave ramsey
42. six years
43. his love
44. motrin and tylenol
45. his love
46. country roads
47. water
48. air conditioning

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...