Sunday, February 20, 2011

2011 Heart Walk - Team Colin

Team Colin raised $6,620 this year and had 35 amazing walkers to raise awareness on the 3 mile walk. Thank you all to those who supported and walked with us. We are very lucky and grateful to have such wonderful family, friends, and supporters. I want to really thank my company for matching our $3,000 goal and for raising $345 at our Team Colin bake sale.
Team Colin was awarded an It's My Heart award for being one of this year's top fundraisers. We could not have done this alone. So thank you all again. It felt really good to walk up there and get the award knowing that the money will be used to support families of children with a CHD.

It was great to see two families we met in the hospital when Colin was first born, Elle and Abigail. It was so great to see these two girls so happy and healthy! We also were lucky to meet a 16 year old boy with HLHS, his family was so nice. We also got to see Colin's occupational therapist who helped us learn how to eat, oh how I love her :) It was a beautiful day and after the walk we enjoyed the family fun fest with moonwalks, snow-cones, snacks, entertainment, and time to spend with those who walked with us.
My parents were not able to join us as they are taking care of my grandma in Arizona. But they did their own walk and even planted a flag for Colin on their 4.8 mile hike. To read more of their story, go here

We had a great time at the walk and can't wait to do it next year and every year!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Party on a Ranch, Valentines Day, Team Colin

First an update on Team Colin, thank you all so much for your support. We raised a little over $3,000 and my company just matched us, so that brings our total to $6,000! This money will help support families who's child has been diagnosed with a CHD, what a wonderful cause! There is still time to come walk with us, Saturday is going to be a beautiful day and it's free!

Saturday we went to a birthday party for Katherine's friend Anna Grace. It was at our daycare director's ranch. The kids had a BLAST! They were able to pet and feed ponies, pet the bunnies, pigs, goats, cow, and horse. They were even able to go horseback riding. Katherine wanted to really bad, but once she got up to the horse, she got scared and chickened out. But Colin got right on and LOVED it! No fear what so ever! They also had a lawnmower set up as a train, Katherine really liked riding it around the yard. We lucked out with the weather, after having all the freezing cold rain, it was a nice sunny, 65 degrees! They were both upset when the party was over and it was time to go home. Sunday we ran some errands and did the kids' Valentines day cards for their parties on Monday. We also made chocolate cupcakes for their class, which I think they came out great looking. Both kids loved liking the beaters and the bowl!
For Valentines day, Matt was sweet and got me a charm for my Pandora bracelet that had two adults and two kids and it says Family. He also got me a massage, can't wait to use that. The kids of course got way too much candy, which I am rationing a piece a day for them, but will soon have to throw out the rest. Katherine got a new Tinkerbell doll and Colin got a toy boat, he is fascinated with boats.

It was a great weekend. I am looking forward to this weekend to get to see family, friends, and our heart friends at the walk. I wish my parents were able to make it, but they are taking care of grandma still in Phoenix. They are greatly missed by us but they are where they need to be. They are going to go do a strenuous hike on Saturday with their Team Colin shirts to spread awareness.

Monday, February 7, 2011

CHD Awareness Week

This week is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness (CHD) Week. I never heard of CHD until Colin was 3 days old, when he was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Colin's left side of his heart developed too small and was not functional. He has had 2 out of the 3 series of operations to reroute his blood flow.

Colin's heart will never be fixed, he will always live with a CHD and will never have a fully functional heart. After surgery number 3, Colin may not have any more, he might require more surgeries, he might need a transplant, and even his heart might just give up. This is the future we are faced with but we are fighting and fighting hard! Many children do not get to fight this long, so we know we are blessed.

We have the privilege of our story being featured on another blog today to raise awareness. Please visit this whole week to read many stories just like ours.

To raise awareness, I though the best way is to give you a real peek into what having a child with a CHD is like.

I rely on God, doctors, medicine, hospitals, technology, and nurses to stay alive. My family has spent many days/nights by my bedside crying, praying, laughing, and hoping for the best. I have had two open heart surgeries and awaiting one more. I can not live without medical intervention. My mommy fears when it is time for the next surgery because I will be more aware and she is afraid that I will be scared.
I have spent more time in a hospital in the first year of my life, than most adults will ever spend. I now have a fear of anybody in a white coat. I have seen my pedritican more than my 4 year old sister ever has. I hate scales, I used to have to be weighed everyday and now cry when I see a scale. I am happy even in the toughest of situations. I know I am a miracle and the chance of life is an opportunity not all get to have. Some might feel sorry for me, but my family and I are proud of me!I am fascinated with BOATS, Love Boats, Boats is one of my favorite words to say. I will own a boat one day :)Like every 2 year old, I love to swing. I love to play at parks. People are often amazed at how well I talk and move about, because they think I am a lot younger than what I am because I am small for my age.

I love powdered donuts, who doesn't. I used to hate to eat. I would cry because it hurt too much. I would gag on solid foods and throw them up. I had to go to therapy to "learn how to eat" a simple basic function of life was not very easy for me.

I love to climb, I get onto the chair all by myself. I like to say "Cheese" when mommy pulls out the camera which is like 500 times a day. She thinks she might miss something if we don't take lots of pictures. I think she fears of what happens if I am not around to take pictures of.

I love pushing my trucks around the house, scuffing up the walls. It took me longer to walk than most babies, but at 15 months I finally did it. I am a true boy at heart. I am rough and tough, sometimes too rough and tough. I get to go to time out just like other kids because of me being too rough!
I do get tired of all the pictures. This is juice in my cup. I still won't drink much milk from a cup, call it a comfort thing. Mommy has let me still have a nigh time bottle because of all I have been through, she likes that I love the bottle now instead of hate it. But I am getting too old for it and it needs to go bye-bye.
I love chocolate cupcakes.. what 2 year old doesn't?? I look just like every other kid my age, I don't look or act sick.
I wake up with horrible bed head! When my mommy puts me to bed, she thanks God for each day I have spent with them and she prays for even more days.
I throw tantrums just like very toddler my age! Though this one is a great relief to my family, as I am begging for food. Feeding used to be such a struggle and I have always been underweight for my age. I have given my mom a few white hairs at her "young" age due to the stress of feeding time.

I love playing hide-n-seek with my sister. I love my sister. I follow her around like her shadow. I want to do everything she is. My parents treat us the same even with my special heart. I know one day I will have limitations and may not be able to do all that she does. But we will deal with that as it comes. For now, I will chase her around and pester her as a little brother should!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Team Colin Bake Sale,Rolling Blackouts, Ice Day, and Alligator Hunting

As you can tell from the title of this entry, last week was a busy and bizarre week.

First of all, we had a bake sale at work to benefit Team Colin in the It's My Heart Annual CHD Heart Walk. I have such wonderful co-workers that volunteered their time to bake and spend their money for a great cause. The Bake Sale brought in $340, which brings Team Colin to $2,000. My company is matching me up to my goal of $3,000.. So that REALLY brings us to $4,000! It's not too late to sign up to walk, they have waived the registration fee. To sign up please click here,

Wednesday the State of Texas had rolling blackouts due to the snow, ice, and freezing temps. After 3 blackouts at work, they sent us home. . I had a meeting in the semi-dark, we rolled up the window blinds to see. Not very productive that day. They were afraid of the servers crashing for good if they kept bringing them back up. So I worked half a day from home, which was nice. Katherine was all excited when I picked her up to tell me about "flashlight time" when the power would go off at school. Each blackout lasted anywhere from 15 mintues to an hour. It was an interesting day.

Thursday afternoon Houston was suppose to get a snow storm, so I had to get off work early to pick up the kids. Friday morning to our disappointment, we did not have snow, but we have a city covered in ice. I was able to work from home, but Matt had to go in for a little while. His normal drive of 20 minutes, took him 1 hr & 20 minutes. There were 750 car wrecks that morning in Houston, thank God Matt made it to work and home safely. I worked from home again.. I could get used to this :) Except for the kids interuppting me.. Colin got to talk on his first conference call.. Good thing my team thought it was cute.

Saturday once the ice melted and the temps warmed up, we were able to get out and get some errands done. Matt's parents came over and we went to a famers market to buy some fruits & veggies. Katherine pciked out broccolli because it's green and healthy for you ;) It was nice to get out of the house and have warmer weather (60 compared to the high of 32 we had for a few days).

Sunday was a beautiful day, high of 73 and sunny. We went with my brother and his family to Brazos Bend State Park, they are known for their alliagtors. We got to see three of them on our hike around the lake. We watched one gator eyeing some birds, we were hoping to see him wat them, but no luck. The sunshine felt so good. The kids had a great time running around since they have been couped up all week. We are southern people, we don't like winters of 32 degrees and ice. I live in the South for a reason, I actually like heat and hummity.. I am not one for cold. So spring hurry up and get here.. My kids NEED to be running around OUTSIDE and NOT destroying my house.

Looking for Gators
Katherine leading the way.. Run.. get that energy out!

Matt showing off his tree climbing skills

The kids following in daddy's footsteps

Gator sunbathing with some turtles

Look Blue Skies!

Russell, Kannon, and Colin watching the ducks

Colin throwing rocks.. Had to really watch him.. he is perfect size for Gator bait :0