Thursday, January 31, 2013

Snow Sledding..In Texas.. In 80 degrees.. and a surgery update

Snow!! The kids have been dying to play in snow, well this weekend they got their chance, well sort of. Our town had its Annual Winterfest, we have not been able to go in years past due to other commitments, so this was our first year. AND IT WAS A BLAST!! Of course it wasn't real snow since it was sunny and 80 degrees, but the kids had fun regardless.

We got there a little early in anticipation of the crowds (about 30 minutes before the gates opened). The lady working said they will start selling tickets in a little awhile, they it was just open for special needs families right now. I asked her what constituted as a special needs family and told her about Colin. So we got to go in AND it was free for special needs families. Big kudos to the City of Pearland for that. So we got to do a lot before the real crowds started coming in about 2 hrs later.

I had no idea how big of an event it was with so much to do, and we pretty much did IT ALL! They had 2 snow hills to sled down (Katherine was big enough for the big one, Colin was happy to be on the smaller one). Colin LOVED it, he must have gone down that hill about 15 times! They also had an arena for snowball fights.. this was a lot of fun for all 4 of us.

There was pony rides, petting zoo, carnival rides, carnival games, about 40 different types of moonwalks, live entertainment, and yummy food vendors (just had to get some funnel cake). The only things you had to pay for once you got in were the carnival games and the food, all the rest was included. We stayed for about 5 hours playing and when it was time to leave, the kids weren't ready just yet. I even got a little sunburn at the Winterfest.

It will definitely be on our calendars to do next year. Colin has talked non-stopped about the snow hill and snow ball fights. Katherine loved the carnival rides the most.

Just an update on Colin's surgery.. Tuesday we got a call from Texas Children's Hospital about looking at dates for his surgery. They had in their notes for Spring/Summer and they are in the process of scheduling for Spring. I told her we want to do July and she said she would call back after Colin's cardiology check up on March 5 and we will discuss how the appointment went and talk about dates then. JUST WANT TO THROW UP!! I know he needs it, I trust in God and our team of doctors, I know he will do so much better, I know we are strong and have great support and I am THANKFUL for all that.. But bottom line.. my 4 yr old (he will be 4 by the time of his surgery) has to yet again have his little heart worked on.. if they need to fix the valve (which they are not sure about yet), they will have to actually STOP his heart from beating. My sweet boy, my little stinker of a silly boy, my outdoors little surfer man. So we are going to LIVE it up this Spring, so what the blog for all the fun trips and activities before we are put on surgery lock down!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gymnastics, Chili cook off, Gators, and Bake Sale

Katherine decided for this spring season not to do soccer. This will be in the first time in 2.5 yrs that we are not spending our Saturdays on the soccer field. At first, I have to admit I was a little bummed, but excited to see her start something new and it might actually be nice to have our Saturdays back. She has had 2 lessons now for gymnastics. She really likes it so far and it is picking it up pretty good. She goes every Tuesday night until the end of April. Sorry for the poor picture quality, it was taken behind some dirty, smudgy glass.
Learning how to do a handstand
She is all legs lately
Learning to flip on the bars

Saturday we took the kids over to my parents for a little while so we could go down to Galveston to see some of my friends at a Chili-cook off. It was a nice day to have some adult time. Though I learned later it hurt Katherine's feelings that we went & did something without her. Her words to me were "I know you love daddy, but it unfair to do things without me. I need you too". Very sweet, I think part of the neediness lately is her not knowing how to express some of her fears about Colin's upcoming surgery.  Though Saturday night she got to pick the movie "Beverly Hills Chihuahuas Part 2", glad I had some wine in the house to sit through that one.. talk about unfair :)

Sunday was a gorgeous day so we took the kids down to Brazos Bend State Park, known for it's alligators. We saw 20 of them and about 60 turtles. The kids loved the nice walk and off course the playground!! It was a great family outing. 

This week at work we held a bake sale to help raise money for Team Colin's Annual Heart walk. I just have to say how amazing of a company and co-workers I have. First of all for my volunteers to bake on their own time for 3 days to supply us with all the goodies. We made $416 from the bake sale. I am so grateful for the support my whole office shows for Team Colin. As of today, Team Colin has raised $1,886, which my company matches dollar for dollar, so REALLY we have raised $3,772. It's not to late to sign up to walk with us, the walk is free and there will be a family funfest afterwards with live bands, moonwalks, rides, games, and food.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Time to get out your walking shoes.. Team Colin is on the move!

Time to get out your walking shoes.. Team Colin is on the move!

This will be our 4th year walking in the It's My Heart Annual Heart Awareness walk. Over the last 3 years, Team Colin has raised about $13,000 to support families with children diagnosed with Congenital Heart Defects.

1 in 100 babies will be born with some type of Congenital Heart Defect. It is the #1 birth defect worldwide. Congenital Heart Defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths. Each year 100,000 babies (under 1 year old) will not live to celebrate their first birthday.

Of course the passion behind the team is Colin.. My son is 1 in 100 born with a CHD. He is currently awaiting his 3rd and hopefully last open heart surgery this summer right after his 4th birthday. As a parent, I cannot even begin to explain what it means to have a child with only half a functioning heart but I will try.

- Blessed – We are blessed that Colin is still here with us today. Over the years, I have seen too many children with Colin's condition not make it to their next birthday. This year we are walking in honor of Addison Scott, our heart friend who lost her battle with HLHS just a few weeks shy of her 4th birthday. She is a reminder that life is too precious.

- Terrified – Coming upon Colin's next surgery, I am scared of the "what if's" What if this happens, what if the surgery doesn't take, what if after all this he still might need a heart transplant one day. I am afraid of his heart failing one day, I am scared how this affects Katherine. I am scared that he will be teased as a kid for being smaller. I am afraid that one day a girl will break his heart because she won't want to deal with the "what if's". I am terrified that one day my son won't be here with us.

- Hopeful – Medical technology has come a LONG way. Even though the oldest person with Colin's condition is early 30's, the medical field has advanced so much in the last 30 years. I have so much HOPE when I look into his face.Even though Colin only has 1/2 a functioning heart.. he LOVES to swim, fish, hike, run, play, loves boats, "surfing". HE IS FULL OF LIFE.

- Strong - Colin has taught me so much about strength (his, my own, and my family’s), love, and what really matters in life. He has taught me how special my family is and how precious life really is. Every day brings a new day of hope and thankfulness. We do not let this keep us down for our strength grows out of our weaknesses! 

- Supported – I know I need my support system to lean on. We cannot do it alone. We have a great network of family, friends, other heart parents, and co-workers that help.

This is what the walk is about, that support system. For those to come and celebrate Colin, his strength, his journey, his future with our family. To all walk with our heads up high that even though Colin will have struggles, he is LOVED by so many. And all these people will be there to support him. And to have fun doing it

The walk will feature the following fun-filled activities
- 5K Walk for all ages.
- Post-walk entertainment: Live music and performances.
- Post walk family oriented activities such as, face painting, raffles, bounce castles, rock walls, gyro rides and more.
- FREE food!
- Creative Sponsor booths with additional activities.

DATE & TIME: Saturday Feb. 9 at 9:30am at 900 Bagby Street Downtown Houston

To join the team, please click here
and select the "Join this team" button at the of the page. When registering select, Join a Team, and select Team Colin. The entry fee is $25 for adult, free for kids.

If you are not able to join us, but would like to still donate, please click here

Colin right after his 2nd open heart surgery, he was 5 1/2 months old

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Matt, an Aggie win, a pretty BUT cold day on the island, AND TEAM COLIN UPDATE!!

Last Friday we had a birthday/A&M bowl watching party at our house. This week was Matt's birthday.. I will keep a secret of how old he turned.. let's just say he's not 21 anymore. We had our family and friends over for a great Cotton bowl game, pizza, drinks, and lots of celebrating.

I will try to minimize the mushiness, but I do want to say how much I love my husband, he is truly my best friend. Though our life may not be "perfect" in some ways, our love for each other and our kids is. We face the challenging times together and enjoy all the fun that life has to offer.  So Happy Happy Birthday Matt!

Back to the real news of A&M beating Oklahoma 41-13.. WHOOP! What a great season we had this year. First year in the SEC conference, Manziel winning the Heisman, beating the National champs, and ending the season ranked #5, can't wait until next year!! Saturday we had another game watching party for the Houston Texans.

Sunday we went down to Galveston for a few hours to enjoy the sunshine since it has been raining so much! It was still cold but a pretty day to get out of the house. The kids of course wanted to go to the ice cream & candy shop, who could say no! So there they were eating ice cream in their winter clothes. Matt bought me some much needed NEW wine glasses, can't wait to try them out.

We are gearing up for our annual Team Colin Heart walk. This of course means a lot to us to help raise money for such a great cause, Congenital Heart Defects. Team Colin is also walking in memory of Addison Scott, Colin's heart friend who lost her battle with HLHS in October, just a few weeks shy of her 4th birthday.
DATE & TIME: Saturday Feb. 9 at 9:30am at 900 Bagby Street Downtown Houston. After the 5K walk, there will be live music, face painting, raffles, bounce castles, rock walls, gyro rides, and food vendors. It is a great time for families to get some exercise, support a great cause, and have some fun.
To join the team, please click here select the "Join this team" button at the of the page. When registering select, Join a Team, and select Team Colin.

If you are not able to join us, but would like to still donate, please click here

Matt's birthday "cake"
Matt & DJ being silly

Lunch by the ocean, too bad it was too cold to play on the sand
ice cream in winter
Decisions, Decisions
This should help he gain weight, it's bigger than his head
My new wine glasses, might have to get them a test run tonight