Saturday, November 29, 2008

What a week!

Teeth are highly over rated.

That's what I would have told you at the beginning of this week.  Now, that's me speaking as a mother of a baby who is in the middle of the teething process, and not as a dental assistant or dental health advocate!!!  But, then Brady picked up a nasty cold and being the sharing kind of brother that he is, passed it on to Nate.  Then me.  As diligent as I was with hand washing and all those other precautions you take, we still got it bad!  Funny how something like a cold would normally be annoying - but something you just take in stride.  Now with Nate's condition 'just a cold' is a loaded statement.  We just keep praying that he will stay safe and healthy this winter season.

So, needless to say, we've had some very long (or short, depending on how you look at it!) nights.  My perspective has certainly changed.  Once we kick this cold thing, teething is going to feel like a breeze! 

  Here's my cute little Nate.  When Brady saw this picture, he said it was him when he was a baby.  Though there are similarities to Brady, he's seems to be showing a few of his mother's traits.


Some of the little Schmidt grandkids.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to my brother-in-law,
Happy Birthday to you!

Did you know it's this guy's birthday today?  
He's turning forty *cough* ish *cough*!

By the way, he takes his coffee with cream!

An Ode to my Brother-in-law

My brother-in-law is quite a guy
He has a cool plane that he loves to fly.

He plays the drums, the sax and pool
All his kids think that he's pretty cool.

Tonight he's taking the family to watch "Bolt"
and he'd better not doze off or Kali will give him a jolt.

He married a 'Schmidt' so he's pretty smart
If you see him say Happy Birthday to Rich, you old fart lark.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Going to the Service

Just thought I'd share a memory from last week.

Kids have a way of making you laugh just when you need it.

We were getting ready to go to the family memorial service for my Grandma Schmidt.  Brady needed to change clothes and put on something more appropriate than his football jersey.  If you know Brady and his love of his much too small jersey (which he'd wear 24/7 if he could) you'll know this would be no easy task. 

Don and I told him "We're going to a service for Oma Schmidt".   He suddenly got really excited and started chatting away.  Straight to his bedroom, very excitedly, changing into proper attire.  He was talking non-stop.  Every once in a while I picked out "lady bug" and "at the service" and "airplane".  Don and I were both baffled by this sudden excitement and motivation to change clothes and get ready to go.  We were actually in the van, driving to the memori
al service when it hit me.

We're going to a circus.

Now it all made sense.  And it was time for some very quick damage control.  You see, the Harvest Festival, to Brady, is known as the circus.  And the ladybug and airplane - some of the rides he went on over and over.

I tried explaining to him that this was a church service for Grandma Schmidt.  Apparently that didn't help, as he starting talking about the circus (ie. fundraising lunch with an inflatable bouncy ride and other activities) that our church had a few months ago.

Okay, time to take service out of the equation!  We explained.  He then understood (mostly).  Enough said!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saying Good-bye

This past weekend, our family said good bye to Grandma Schmidt.  She lived 103 years!  What a legacy she has left.  You'll remember some precious pictures I have from a previous post.

My dad (the youngest of his siblings) spending time with his mother.

I am the youngest of 20 grandchildren.  Nate is the youngest of her 52 great grandchildren!
There are also 13 great-great grandchildren!   

It was great to reminisce with the whole family!  I even learned a few things about Grandma that I didn't know!

We love you Grandma!

See you in Heaven!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quick Nate Update!

We just got back from Nate's appointment.  I was praying for 'good news'!  Here's the run down!

Nate did really great for his EKG and echo.  The tech who did the echo did not know Nate's background or history.  About 30 seconds into the echo he asked us - 'Do you know what's going on in here?  And would you care to tell me?'  We all got a little chuckle out of that, and it reminded me how uniquely special our Nate is.  You would never know just looking at him, the complexity of his heart condition.  Our tech took some extra time to show us Nate's heart on the screen, which was helpful to put into real images all of the different aspects we've come to talk about so easily.  He showed us in 'real time', the leaky tricuspid valve, and how so much of the blood that was being pumped was coming right back down into the ventricle.  He commented how there was a LOT of leakage.  My heart sank right there.  

After the echo, we had some time to sit and wait before seeing the cardiologist.   I told Don - prepare yourself to talk about surgery.  It was good to have the time to just try to wrap my head around the idea.

When we went in to see our Dr., she told us there was little change from last time.   And even though the leakage is still quite high, the good news is that he is not yet in heart failure.  For that reason, they are comfortable holding off on that surgery (tricuspid valve replacement) until he is a bit bigger or until he would begin to show signs of heart failure.

Nate also started his RSV injections - once a month for the next 6 or so months.  This is to help protect him against RSV.  Older children and adults may get RSV but not even know it, but for babies under the age of 2 who are "high risk" with either heart or lung issues, or are preemies, this virus is can be very serious and cause hospitalization.  They stressed how important it is to protect him from anyone who has cold or fever symptoms.  

The other good news it that it was a very quiet ride home.  Nate slept the whole way (rare!).  After 4 Timbits, Brady also fell asleep.  Huge thanks to Auntie Bonnie, Owen, Avery and Rylan for letting Brady play there all afternoon, and for the yummy lunch!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don brings home the latest addition to our family!!

One week ago, we met a fabulous couple from Edmonton.  How did we meet them?  If you can believe it, through Kijiji!!!  Here's the story....

Don and I have been searching for a jeep for months.  Until now, we've only had one vehicle.  With Don working in Morden, it meant no motorized means of transportation for me - which I've been totally fine with.  I have put lots of miles on my stroller and Chariot.  But this winter, it was becoming clear that I'd be needing my own vehicle - more appts with Nate, and just needing to get out of the house!!  And so the search began.

If anyone has ever shopped for Jeeps - you know they are hard to come by in these parts.  Alberta and Ontario, for obvious population base 
reasons, seem to have a lot more.  We've spent a lot of time checking into the ads on auto trader and other sites.  Most jeeps are sold within hours of being listed!  And seeing as how we can't just zip up to Edmonton or Calgary to look at one on any given evening, the probability of us getting what we wanted seemed to slim!

Last Monday, one popped up into our radar screen 
on Kijiji!  Don called (and wasn't the first)  and had a wonderful conversation with T, the original (and very loyal) jeep owner.  She wasn't going to sell her jeep to just anyone who offered her the cash!  (I'm totally understanding the protectiveness owners have over their jeeps - just ask my mom about her green "Tienne" baby!)
To make this story short - she picked us!  And what followed were a series of fun 'getting to know you' emails.

Don got back from Edmonton this afternoon - very proud of his new set of wheels.  I was so touched by the gift package T sent along with Don.  (We had talked about sending Don to do some shopping at West Ed Mall, before he'd come home, they just got a Bath & BodyWorks!)  Take peek at the pampering I'll get in the next little while!  Those peppermint candy looking things are actually peppermint bath fizzies!!   When's the last time you got a care package like that from the people who sold you a vehicle?  

What a blessing!

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's something

Well, it's November 7th and still no trees...

However, this snow has gotten me a bit more motivated, so in the 3 minutes that I had, I did get started.

Here's the before:

And here's the after:

Did ya see it?  Hee Hee!!   Like I said, I had 3 minutes!!!  The real mantle-scape will come...but for now I'll just enjoy my Christmas berries!!

Here's Brady - loving the snow!  He's outside shoveling the front yard as we speak!


Sunday, November 2, 2008


My friends that know me well, know that I am all about Christmas.   Christmas music, Christmas decorating, Christmas gatherings, Christmas baking, and on and on!  My middle name should be Christmas (although Carole Christmas doesn't really roll off the tongue, so I'll stick with Carole Renee!). The truth is, that to my parents, I'll always be their "Christmas Carole", seeing as I was born on Dec. 26th. Maybe that's why Christmas has always been the most special time of the year for me. Throw in our wedding anniversary on Dec. 1st and you've got another reason to celebrate!

For as long as I can remember, my family has always gathered on Christmas Eve. I think that is my favorite day of the year - I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate Christmas than with my family. After the Church program, everyone heads to Mom and Dad's for the best meal of the year. Dad bbq's the biggest, baddest steaks you've ever seen! It used to be steak, salad, garlic bread, and home made icecream for
 dessert (also made by Dad). Now, with the growing family, for some reason the menu has also grown to include beans and schmaunfat, potatoes and more salads (and of course, candy for Kerry and me, the sugar addicts... remember those orange slices?).   We always read the Christmas story and have a time of prayer before getting to the presents.  We try to get some hot tubbing in too.  It's such a perfect night!

Now, back to the part about being late....
As long as we've been married, Don has given me one rule about decorating for Christmas....It CAN NOT start till November 1st! That is the day that I always look forward to. Before setting up the trees (there are 5 of them, but really, 3 are in a cluster in the living room, so that actually only counts as one, plus one in the dining room and one in the sunroom!) I first have to set the mood. This ALWAYS involves putting in a very old but classic Christmas CD by Amy Grant from the 80's. This has got to be one of my favorite songs!

So fast forward to last night, about 4:00 in the morning, while I'm up with Nate. I suddenly realize it's November 2nd...and the thought of starting to decorate hasn't even crossed my mind. Talk about reality check. Suddenly those things just don't have the priority they once did. Although I have to remember that life still needs to include all the 'normal' things that it always has.
So, I will get to the trees sooner or later. But for now, I'll just prepare my's never too late for that.

This is definitely NOT a picture of my house, but a girl can dream, can't she?!

I just had to add this, I'm sure my family will LOVE me for doing this!  Last year, we played a little game.  Everyone got a piece of paper and had to hold it behind their back and try to rip it into the shape of a Christmas tree!  It was a lot of fun.  Some turned out a little better than others!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The NHL prevailed in our house this weekend!  This was the first time 'trick or treating' with Brady, so obviously many years since I had gone.  Boy, things have changed a little since the last time I went!  At one house, the kids received an Adventures in Odyssey CD with 2 stories on it.  At another house, us parents were offered hot chocolate!  

One thing brought back some memories....I saw a Raggedy Ann!  Many, many years ago, my two dear friends Shauna and Meaghan, and I got 'dolled' up, complete with red yarn hair, made by my grandma.   Nice to see some of the 'old faithful' characters still being used!

Brady took some time to warm up to the idea of going house to house.  Luckily his 2 buddies were pros at it and showed him the ropes!

In other news...Nate has given me a nice gift the last two nights!  We've had 3 hour stretches of sleep!  Thanks for praying!

I was able to get Nate's next cardiologist appointment moved up 2 weeks sooner.  We were noticing some changes, so I'm glad we'll be going again in 1 1/2 weeks.

Here's one more look at our little referee!  Hope you have a great weekend!  Thanks for checking in!