Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

May the God of Hope fill you with
all Joy and and always.

Merry Christmas from our family!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Your opinion?

Well, he woke up chipper this morning, so that's a relief! He must be fighting something. His night was more settled after the advil. Although he woke up many times, it was never for a long time like the previous night. But, as I've found out, if you take care of the fever, those other symptoms - like the breathing and heart rate - usually reduce.

So, now it's your turn. I've been using an electronic thermometer in Nate's armpit for readings. He doesn't mind it, but I find it be be really inconsistent, and I do 3 or 4 readings just to see a range of temperatures...usually differing by a degree.

So the options are the ear thermometer and the temporal artery (or scanning) thermometer.

My favorite nurse in Edmonton told me that the ear thermometer requires a technique to get a proper reading. She told me if a nurse came in and didn't tug (gently!) on the back of his ear before inserting, the reading wouldn't be accurate. I also think that this will be much more annoying to a child than an armpit reading!

The temporal artery thermometer is quick! Just press against forehead and scan across to the temporal artery. It's really quick too. It appears to be quite accurate from what I've read, although there always are disclaimers. There were only a couple of nurses using these in Edmonton.

Any experience or information you'd like to share?

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Well, we'll see how tonight goes!

We gave it a try! Last year, we didn't take Nate to any functions, other than close family get togethers. This year, since he is a year older, and we don't have a surgery date looming, we felt a little more free to venture out!

We enjoyed two different family Christmas parties on Saturday evening. Nate enjoyed himself, it was evident, as he played and hung out with the kids. His night was a different story.....awake and restless from 12:30am - 4, then on and off till 8.

He seemed fine throughout the day today - I kept him home from church, but he played the day away with Brady, no problem. I was putting him to bed tonight, and again he was really restless. High heart rate (in the 130's) and rapid respirations. A slight fever too, so I gave him a dose of advil. He's sleeping now, so thankful for that! We'll see how the night goes!

So, this is either a little warning for us.....or a consequence of a decision made! Or maybe it has nothing to do with all of his interaction yesterday, but it's hard to ignore the results!

Praying for a good nights sleep! Hope yours is restful, too!

Friday, December 17, 2010

He did it again!

Our Nate made us proud (again) this morning at his appointment! We went in to see his cardiologist in Winnipeg for an 11:00 appt. This boy has come around, 180 degrees!! He studied the numbers as his blood pressure was being taken....not even a wiggle (he was getting really good at this already near the end of our stay in Edmonton....his job was to tell us when he heard the beep - and then he could take the cuff off himself!). He laid perfectly still and calm for his entire 20 minute echo. Although he was trying to make sense of the crazy stories I was telling him, I'm sure! Something about a rocket ship, landing on planets, and then zooming around earth, looking for his cousins' houses! Hey, you do what you can to keep their attention! Very fortunate to have a very smart tech (and mom to a 4 year old) who helped me confirm a few dino facts in my story!!

He was 100% compliant through 2 physical exams and prodding around his tummy and heart. Not even a peep or sign of fear. Such a relief!

The summary is this:

Nate looked a lot better at this appointment, compared to his last one, six weeks ago. He was showing some signs of failure then, but one of his meds was increased at that time, and there has been improvement in symptoms. His liver was not enlarged this time - also good news related to heart failure. The gradient on the band has not increased, ie. it's no tighter now than it was after surgery, so no improvements in leakage. He is wheezy in his lungs, and she suspects there might be an asthma issue, but we've been dealing with those symptoms for a long time.

We are waiting on Toronto's opinion for Nate's treatment. She feels that as long as Nate stays out of failure and continues to gain weight, as he has been now (he is 31lbs), and stays healthy, they will probably want to give him more time to grow and get that band tightening on his artery.

Thanks for praying for us through all of this! Prayer requests for the coming weeks are for Nate to stay healthy and be able to fight off any bugs that he'll be exposed to as we plan lots of fun family events!

Monday, December 13, 2010 far!

We're not even halfway through has yours been?

It's felt like a bit of a whirlwind in our house. Coming....or's anybody's guess! It started off with a bang on our anniversary.

I discovered the extra star cookies we'd served at our wedding, that I stashed away in our freezer. After 10 years, it was time to acknowledge them and move on!

We've had a little bit of time for play, too!

Um, it didn't seem as much fun for Nate. First time on skates and he wasn't too impressed with the whole thing!

Then, there was the opening of The Loft, at Eldon's Furniture. I tackled 200 mini cupcakes for the event. It's a beautiful gift, furniture and accessory boutique in the store - you'll have to check it out!

The next day was the Birthday! Happy Birthday to our 5 year old!!!

In between, it's been the usual work days for me, along with our staff Christmas party at the Gates on Roblin (even tried calamari....cross that off my list now!). Lots of fun volunteering in Brady's kindergarten class, putting together 9 gift baskets for my boss, a super fun bake exchange with my book club (I'm now ready to retire my mini muffin pan....after putting out 25 dozen mini's in just a couple days!!). And then trying to find some special gifts for some special people on my list!

While I was getting some shopping done in the mall, and passed by Empire movie theatre, I had to laugh. Don and I haven't gone to a movie together for at least 5 years (ie. before the boys were born). I've gone to movies....and he's gone to a couple, but never together! I suppose we need to work on our dating! We used to go to a couple of movies each month, back in the day! And now that things are getting a little easier, leaving Nate, we'll have to start dating again! There are a couple of movies coming up that I'd really like to see - and if you buy $30 in gift cards, you get $30 worth of coupons to use! Now, that's a win-win! It's an easy gift to give, too. And you can choose to be super cool and generous and add those coupons to the gift....or you can keep them for one will tell!

Coming up this week is Brady's first ever school Christmas concert on Wednesday! And then on Friday we'll head into Winnipeg for Nate's scheduled appointment at the heart clinic with his cardiologist.

We'll that's my December update - for the first 13 days, I guess!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Note to Nate's Cousins...

At about 10:30 this evening, Nate was finally ready to go to bed. We had already done all the bedtime and Bible stories earlier, with Brady, so now Nate and I were just going to say his own prayer and go to bed. At the age he is now, if we'd ask Nate to pray before bed, he'd end up just saying one of his meal time prayers, so Don or I pray in short phrases, and then Nate repeats what we say.

So we prayed, then Nate and I lay down in his bed. After about 2 minutes of quiet, except for some soother sucking, Nate suddenly said "Didn't say cousins". Sure enough, in the prayer tonight, I forgot to pray for all of Nate's cousins. We quickly did another prayer, especially for all of his special cousins!

It made me think. These precious little children are watching and listening to us so carefully. We don't always realize what they are all taking in, but it's moments like these that remind me. The biblical truths that we are teaching them are already taking root. What an awesome (and huge) responsibility.

So, to all of Nate's cousins....whether you live a few blocks away, or a little (or a LOT!) further away, and to his 2 very special cousins that we are all so eagerly awaiting to come home - Nate was thinking about you tonight and you are ALL in our prayers!!


I cherish this time of year.

To me, Christmas celebrates the love of our Father, and the gift of his Son.

Christmas is about family. Togetherness. Love. Joy.

Being a 'Christmas Baby' also brings extra meaning and celebrations. Christmas should be my middle's not, but Carole is my first name! Add to that our anniversary and the birth of our first child, December brings with it special memories and so much joy!

Be present in the moment, in these days of Advent.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

10 Years

Friday, December 1, 2000.

It was a cold day, much like today, but the trees were a thing of beauty, hoar frost covering every branch. After a fun day of photos at various locations, (the outdoor shots being my favorite!) we headed to the Chapel at the Winkler Bible Camp. Later that evening, as guests started to arrive, they walked down a snowpacked sidewalk, lined with twinkling Christmas lights. As they approached the entrance, carollers - dressed in long coats and muffs, and the men wearing top hats - lined both sides of the walkway, and filled the air with the beautiful sounds of Christmas Carols in four part harmony.

Our guests were seated around tables in the cozy cedar chapel. We all enjoyed a time of worship and singing, words from our pastor, our vows were spoken... the beginning of our life together. Then the party started!

10 years later....two beautiful little boys, family and friends who love and support us, a marriage that gets stronger through every adventure and our God who has blessed us and carried us through each and every day.