Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from our little Charley Bear!

She was also a skeleton for daycare on Friday. Its not the greatest picture as it was from a cell phone, but you get the point! The little bones glow in the dark. Apparently all of the kids piled into the bathroom together and shut off of the lights so that they could look at "Baby Charlotte" glow!

There has been a huge lack of pictures recently as I forgot my camera in Omaha a few weeks back. My mom was up this weekend and returned it so I'll try to be generous with them this week!

Tomorrow (Monday) we have an appointment with Dr. Sami and an echo. I always get a little frazzled/paranoid as these visits approach, which I think is only natural. However, looking at that cute little teddy bear above, I have a hard time believing that we will get anything but good news! None the less...please keep little Charley in your prayers. Hopefully we'll have a fantastic update for you tomorrow sometime!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Believe in Angels

Angel of God,
My Guardian dear,
To whom God’s love
Commits me here.
Ever this day
Be at my side
To light. To guard.
To rule. To guide.
This simple prayer quickly earned a spot in Charlotte’s bedtime routine. She heard it every single night before I left the hospital and has heard it every night since she has been home. As a matter of fact, she started hearing it before she was even born.

Yesterday my family gained another guardian angel as my uncle Frank (dad’s older brother) passed away. When I first got word of his passing, my mind first went to his wife and children.

I remembered the feelings and emotions I felt when my dad died.
It hurt.
My heart hurt.
My head hurt.
My stomach hurt.

My heart ached for them…it still does.

Shortly after I got the news about Uncle Frank, I got an email from my mom that made my heart flutter. It was too good for me not to share.

For many years now, my Uncle Frank has had progressive dementia. A few days before his passing, one of his daughters was over at his house helping prepare a meal. At one point while she was there, she noted that her dad was just standing there talking to the wall. When she asked him who he was talking to he replied that (lump in my throat)…Paul was telling him that he needed someone to play catch with. Paul is my dad.

Though our hearts are heavy with the loss of such a wonderful man, it’s comforting to know that after 15 years apart, two brothers are together again. Their bodies are healed, their spirits are free. They can finally play catch again.

To steal some words from my sister…

“I don’t know how people can’t believe in God…He sure has shown us on plenty of occasions, happy and sad, that he’s here with us.” We love you Uncle Frank!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Sorry frustrating.

I think that I solved the problem. Nothing should get sent without my authorization.

I hope that you don't get frustrated and quit subscribing to the blog! We love you all and want to keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Sorry if you all got a message that looked like it was from Little Miss Ritchie.....that user has officially been banned from the blog! No clue what happened there. My appologies.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Terrible Terrible Tummy Time

Two open heart surgeries in the span of 2 weeks.
A rib cage that was propped open for 3 days.
Sternal wires holding everything back in place.
A month on her back because of surgery and a wound vac.
Another couple of weeks of healing with daily dressing changes.

Add all of these things together and you get a 5 month old who struggles when placed on her belly. She usually lasts about a minute and then ends up with her face planted into the ground, barking out uncomfortable sounding sobs. She knows that she can just turn her head to the side, but she also knows that Mommy and Daddy are more likely to roll her back over if she tries to suffocate herself!

Tummy time has been a very slow going process in our house. Charlotte continues to build her strength and is lasting longer and longer. She will prop herself on her forearms for short periods of time, but definitely wouldn't choose to be placed that way!

So, getting to my point......

I put her on her belly tonight, totally expecting the same old routine.

Lay, lay, cry, roll her over.

Instead what I got was

Lay, lay, lay, look at some toys, ROLL OVER ON HER OWN!

She has never even made the slightest effort to begin rolling over to her back! She just pulled it out of nowhere and it didn't even seem to phase her!

GOOD GIRL CHARLEY!!! You are getting to be such a big girl! Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Matt!

I have known Matt since the fall of 2002 and in the 8 years since then, I have been fortunate enough to help him celebrate 7 birthdays. As I think back on them all, its pretty entertaining to see how much we have changed and grown over the years. We have spent birthdays in bars, birthdays in Mexico, and now we are both pretty content with quiet birthdays in the comfort of our own home.

On the other hand, this will be the first time that Charley will get to help her daddy celebrate his special day...and boy is she ever excited. So excited, in fact, that after I got her all garbbed up in her "My Daddy Rocks" onesie this morning, she proceeded to spit up all over it! If thats not excitement, I don't know what is! Charley even helped me make some special birthday cupcakes last night. Too bad the mix has traces of soy in it (never mind the fact that she doesn't have any teeth) or I may have given her one.....maybe....ok, probably not.


Happy birthday! As I have said many times before, I feel so incredibly blessed to have you in my life. You are an amazing husband and an even more amazing father. Nothing in this world makes me happier --more content--than the time that I get to spend with you and watching you interact with our little girl. Thank you for everything that you do for our family. Even when life has presented us with a bumpy road and I've felt like crumbling at the prospect of so many unknowns, you have stood by my side and held me up. You are my strength. You are my heart. I look forward to spending the rest of my life helping you celebrate birthdays!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

5 Months

Dear Charley,


You are growing and changing right before our eyes. It seems like you learn something new every single day.

Mommy and Daddy's FAVORITE thing that you did this past month was to give us your first giggle. You made Mommy work pretty hard for it, but it was SOOOO worth it. Let me tell you, Charley, that little noise coming from your cute little mouth just melts my heart. I think that I have watched the video we took about 100 times so far!

You are 100% fascinated by your two puppies, Maybe and Stella. You have always paid attention to them, but now you stare at them and smile when they are barking like naughty puppies. I even caught you with a fist full of Maybe's ear one morning. I'm not sure that she loved it...but I know that she loves you! Stella, too!

You have officially learned to "squak" for Mommy and Daddy's attention--especially when we are trying to eat dinner. As soon as we give you the attention you are looking for, that famous Charley grin lights up your face. Such a little stinker.

Like your Daddy, you are definitely a football junky. While I know that the Huskers and the Packers are your favorites to watch, you seem to enjoy watching the players from any team scramble around the field.

You have finally decided that eating is a good thing! Yes, we've had our stumbles along the way with food allergies, but you're eating better every day. You have tried a few different foods so far...homemade applesauce and avacado....(yes, avacado). At this pace you'll hit 13 pounds before we know it!

My precious baby girl, I hope that you had the greatest 5 month birthday. Your Daddy and I are so blessed to have you in our lives and can't wait for what the next 5 months have in store!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Arts and Crafts

I finally re-discovered my creative side. With a new baby and going back to work, I haven't exactly had a whole lot of time to do "me" things and have definitely started to get the itch lately. I've been searching for the past week or so to find myself a project and today I wandered around Hobby Lobby trying to get inspired.

Here's what I came up with...


Really...How can you not like the Yankees when you see something this cute!?!?

Charlotte's new hat was my "experiment" and I figured out what worked and what didn't. Up close you can see that the edges of the Yankee logo bled a little, so I switched some things around and came up with this.....

A work in progress

This onesie turned out SOOOOO good! I think that I might have a new addiction.
Notice how me "re-discovering" me still revolves around little Charlotte??? Funny how that happens!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Prayers, Prayers and more Prayers...

The current statistic is that 1 in every 100 babies will be born with a congenital heart defect.

Charlotte is 1 in 100.
Talia is 1 in 100.
Logan is 1 in 100.
Hope is 1 in 100.
Joshua is 1 in 100.
Luke was 1 in 100.
Ewan was 1 in 100.

It’s scary to think
just how many 1 in 100’s I’ve encountered in the last 4 months.

Unfortunately today, with a heavy heart, I add to the list.

Caleb is 1 in 100.

I’m writing this message today to get the prayer chains going. A co-worker of mine learned yesterday that his 3 week old son has coarctation (narrowing) of the aortic artery. He was initially admitted to the hospital here in Sioux Falls, and subsequently Care Flighted to Children’s in Omaha where he is having surgery this afternoon. Charlotte’s surgeon, Dr. Hammel, is doing the operation and I truly believe that Caleb is in the best hands possible.


God, be with baby Caleb and his family today and in the days to come.
Keep him wrapped safely in your arms and give him strength in his recovery.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Stella!

Our little ball of fluff is TWO years old today!

Happy Birthday, Stella! I'll admit that I was a little leery about getting puppy #2, but you have been the perfect addition to our little family. You have grown from that little fur ball into a loyal and incredibly smart pup.