Tuesday, January 31, 2012

heart day bunting.

Remember the burlap bunting I made for Preston's birthday.  Well I left part of it up, cut out some white hearts from cardstock, and fixed them to the burlap in an attempt for some Valentine's Day decor. 

While the Gherkin was out of town Saturday, Mr. P and I had craft hour and made some artwork that I hung in the entry way.
i used card board from a toilet paper roll, reshaped it as a heart, dipped the end in red paint, & let P stamp the hearts.
he thought he was big stuff and didn't want me putting my hand over his.
that's one of the few battles i won though :)

Linking up with Becky  today for the DIY Craft of the Month.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

project 365 {366}: wk 4

Linking up with Between the Lines.  Love this link up and project because it helps me stay on top of documenting each day with photos and/or videos of Preston.  Plus I can then blog about them so my dad will quit pestering me with the "you don't post enough pictures of Preston." :)  

Friday, January 27, 2012

a guest post from a special someone

My cousin, Lexie, is in the 2nd grade and raising money for the American Heart Association's Hoops for Hearts as part of a school project.  She's asking for donations (she's not shy at all. Not one bit. See video below) in honor of Preston and in hopes of helping other children and/or adults with heart disease. 

So here's Lexie (oh, and she's the cute patootie carrying Preston here) ...

Here is Lexie's page for the AHA Hoops for Hearts.  I know she'll appreciate any amount of a donation.  One dollar can go a long way and it's for a terrific cause.  Donations will be accepted until February 8th.  Thank you :)

I love that her school is teaching her about community service, about being healthy and active, and about the social skills needed to effectively communicate and raise money for a cause that she feels strongly about.

Also, I'm over at Libby's Life today joining in on her series of featured bloggers.  I wrote the answers to Libby's questions back during the holidays (hence the Frasier Fir and peppermint mocha talk), and I'll be honest it kind of made me crave the holiday season already. Thanks for having me, Libby.  You can see the post here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

product of the week: Praise Baby DVD collection

I know I've talked about Praise Baby on here before, but I'm officially making it a product of the week.  Because it's awesome, that's why!


A friend (hi, Erin!) introduced us to our first DVD when Preston was just a young baby, and he's been a huge fan ever since. 

How huge you ask?

It can stop a temper tantrum by the first chorus.
It takes his mind of those aching gums when teething.
It keeps him entertained in his high chair when eating for a full 30 minutes.
He forgets that he's strapped into a car seat during long drives.
It's the only thing that can get him to sleep when he's not feeling well. 
Turn PraiseBaby on, and mommy's got 30 minutes to cook, clean, or fold laundry.

Heck, it even calms and soothes me.

You can check out some video samples here.
We own two dvds, and I have almost every album on my iPhone (available on iTunes).  Love them all.
Here's my sick baby who is suddenly all smiles because mommy turned PraiseBaby on. 

What is your product of the week?  Link up and tell us.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

the faces of CHD: Pinterest awareness challenge.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week is just around the corner.  February 7th through the 14th to be exact. Some fellow heart mommies started a pinterest page to help raise awareness for CHD.  Great idea, and y'all know I love pinterest.

Thanks Ruth, Stefanie, and Becca for starting the Faces of CHD: Pinterest Awareness Challenge and for getting the word out.

A Trip to Holland

Most of you probably know about Preston and followed before or right after he was born and his open heart surgery, but for the new Pineapples and Pickles' followers (welcome!) feel free to click on tab above to read about Preston's story (and that reminds me it needs to be updated to include our November 2011 cardiology appointment which I will do right now).

still my favorite picture and memory... getting to touch him before they wheeled him to TCH.
This hung on his crib post op.  It's the surgeon's diagram of the repair.  I still have it.  It's in his baby book.

project 366 {late but joining in}

Eating my words of "he kicked RSV's butt" as I left the pediatrician's office yesterday with a prescription for antibiotics instead of P getting his 12 month shots.  Should've knocked on wood.

 He is completely asymptomatic and has been overly happy and satisfied as you can see above. 

Excited to be linking up with Laura for Project 366 this year.

 - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

what's on my mind: everything. ha!

How 'bout a random mix of feelings?  Ready for this?

Studying for my boards made me want to go back to school. Sort of.  Maybe a little bit.  Because eight years just isn't enough.  It won't happen... just a thought.

 I can not even fathom how my fellow PA (physician assistant) friends conquered PA school with kids.  Studying for one test was hard enough with one kid, and some of you guys did it for 2.5 years and too many tests to count with one or more kiddos.  How? 

Hubby is taking a class this semester.  I'm kind of jealous, but I look forward to Wednesday night dates with just me and my little guy.

I recently saw this, and I love it. So very true.

I also read this, and I get it. I totally get what she's saying.

Preston's one now (just in case you missed it. ha!) I've transitioned him to whole milk.  No biggie!  Now I need to get him off that bottle, or so they say.  I haven't yet.  Letting go of that bottle is so hard for me.  I guess in my mind no more bottle = no more baby.  Tear.  I guess this week, though, I'll adorn my big girl panties, take away his bottle, grab my bottle (of vino), and just deal.

On Saturday evening my sister got married.  She was stunning.  Preston was the ring bearer.  The ring bearer who wouldn't walk down the aisle.  I was her matron of honor.  In addition to watching my sister say her vows and be happier than I've ever seen her, I enjoyed being pampered the morning of.  My make-up was airbrushed on. I will definitely do this again.  I got my hair did ... you know the good ol' east Texas style way...  big and teased.  You gals from east Texas know what I'm talking about, right?
the big hair, the beautiful bride, the ring bearer & adorable flower girl.
I mentioned above that I joined my sister and the other bridesmaids and had my make-up airbrushed on that morning.  I will definitely do that again if I ever get the chance.  At first I was skeptical, but let me tell you my make-up still looked flawless at the end of the night.

I will, however, never get a spray tan again.  Ugh, gross!  For starters, the orange bronzer did not match my olive skin tone at all. I was orange. I had streaks.  It smelled bad.  I couldn't shower for 8 hours afterwards and did I mention that it smelled bad! Oh, and the chick that did my spray tan left me standing there, naked, in a cold room, for 15 minutes while she (and I quote) "ran home to check on her son."  True story. No tip for her.  Zip, zero, nada.

Guess that's just about enough rambling on my part, but don't forget the product of the week link up on Thursday.  I had so much fun reading the links from last week so did my wallet.  Adios.

Monday, January 23, 2012

sharing the love.

I received an e-mail from Minted last week to take a look at their classroom friendly Valentine's Day cards, blog about them, and order some.  Well, duh!  Especially when they have such cute, cute options.  

Here are my favorites. 

love the yellow & white striped option for the back on this one.

these are my absolute favorite.

Friends and neighbors, please act surprised (like you've never seen either of these before) should Preston hand one out to you or your kiddos for Valentine's Day.  mmmmk, thanks :)

*Minted sent me free cards in return for this post.  All opinions are my own, though.*

Thursday, January 19, 2012

product of the week: goat milk soap

  I've been saving this one for a while since I took a few weeks off in preparation for our link up (hence the Christmas tree in the background)

It's Canus Goat Milk Soap.

Available at Whole Foods.
Smells amazing ... very fresh and clean.
Very affordable.
Comes in a wide assortment of scents.
Now go get some.
You can thank me later.


Have a product you love and would like to share? If so, link up

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

product of the week link up, tomorrow.

Getting those posts ready for tomorrow?

Here's the button you can include in your posts.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

there's no place like home.

This is my favorite picture from a year ago today.

It says Team Preston goes home. 1-17-11. 

You can see my Type A (ugghhh) personality all over that board with my crazy to-do list, but what I love about this picture is that I was lucky enough to bring my baby home from the hospital.  I seriously wondered if that day would happen.  I can never ever begin to explain the way I felt that day.  There are no words for the joy.  At the same time, though, my heart ached and still aches for mommies that didn't or can't bring their babies home from the hospital.

My "let's remember/recap from a year ago" posts are done after this, but thanks for letting me share those memories with you.

I remembering committing to the Lord in prayer while I was pregnant that I would forever share and tell of Preston's testimony should his will allow for Preston to be ok. Well, I got to bring my baby home so I'm holding up my end of the deal. Thanks for letting me share and keep that commitment.

Monday, January 16, 2012

the party.

 Loved the simplicity of this invitation from Tiny Prints

DIY burlap baseball door hanger.
  I've been eyeing these in boutiques all over town, but they ain't cheap.  So I bought some cheap burlap at Hobby Lobby (love their 50% off coupons), cut two round pieces of burlap, painted it with Elmer's glue (because it makes it stiff), stuffed it with white tissue paper (for a slightly rounded look like an actual baseball), sewed the two pieces of burlap together at the edges with white thread, painted the red stitching, and hung it on the front door with a blue ribbon.  Easy peasy! And it cost less than 6 bucks to make.

Of course I already showed y'all the baseball cake that was so good even the dog had to taste... we also had cupcakes that matched the cake.  Carrie from Carrie Made The Cake made both.  Her cookies and cream filling, which was what the cake was filled with, is heavenly. The cupcakes were white with buttercream. They were good, but nothing comes close to her cookies and cream. If you're in the Houston area I highly recommend Carrie.

DIY bunting banner I made.
 Thanks to my brother for gathering up all of his old baseballs from his younger days. I threw them in vases and in some faux grass I had around the house for decor.

I am in love with Preston's baseball shirt. Crazy that it was the first weekend in January and he was in shorts, huh?  The weather was perfect.  Mid-70s, low humidity, sunshine, nice breeze.  I was in flip flops.

thank you Kristy for letting us borrow your prop :)
Starting in November I was on a mission to find the cheapest 36" balloons I could find because I'm kind of in love with them. I think they're super fun. Anyhow, Darlybird had a 25% off at the time with a low shipping cost so I ordered a red and a blue. We also used the red for Preston's birthday pictures which can be seen here. I took them to a party warehouse to be blown up the day of. Did you know that they can clip balloons instead of knotting them so that you can reuse them?  I had no idea.  Anyhow, we popped the clip off the next day and I can reuse them whenever I want.  Brillant!

I use blue card stock, red and blue twine, and stickers from Hobby Lobby (again with 50% off) to make bunting that said Rookie of the Year for his high chair.  Less than five bucks... took less than 20 minutes and most of that was heating up the hot glue gun.

I completely forgot to take pictures of the "concession stand" and the food.  I now realize I miss a few other things, too.  I must have become a bit discombobulated after the dog ate the cake. Kristy came and took pictures, too. Maybe she got some of the food and whatnot that I missed.

invites: Tiny Prints
cake and cupcakes: Carrie Made The Cake
36" balloons:  Darlybird
banners, buntings, and door hanger: DIY and free printables from here.
Preston's birthday shirt:  SheSheMade (the quality is terrific).
tall birthday candles (LOVE these)here  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

don't forget.

The Product of the Week link up starts next Thursday, the 19th.

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I can't wait to see what y'all have to share.
So get those posts ready. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

it's a dog eat dog world.

I promise to post pictures and details of Preston's Rookie of the Year party very soon.  While I'm getting the pictures together and the post prepared I want to give y'all a sneak peak and share a pretty funny story.

I've been planning Preston's cake for months.  MONTHS!  Actually, truth be told, I tasted this cake a couple of years ago at a baby shower (Hi Lyndsay!), and I've known since then I would serve this cake at my child's first birthday.  It's cookies and cream filling and it's soooo good.  Seriously. 

So here it is.

Pretty, huh?
I was so in love with it.

And here it is about 30 minutes prior to everyone arriving.

photo credit: Kristy of Owens' Originals Photography

Yep, the dog got into the cake.

I screamed. Mr. Gherkin made it from the back yard into the kitchen in two, very quick strides.  My friend (love you Christin!) poured me a glass of champagne, and then we laughed and laughed and laughed.

My friend cut off the part of the cake contaminated with doggy slobber and grabbed a spatula, but there was no covering it up.
you can see the red icing in his beard if you look closely.
Just in case you're wondering ... Carter (or Yar-ter as Preston says) is still alive and we even let him in bed with us last night.  Next time, though, we may not be so forgiving.

Makes for a good memory, though, and the cake (minus 1/8) was still delicious. 

By the way, the cake was made by Carrie at CarrieMadeTheCake. If you live in the Houston area I highly recommend her and her cookies and cream cake.  Trust me, you won't be disappointed. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

documentation of Preston's birthday week.

We put his balls, all 200 of them, in his pack-n-play and he played his heart out in there. He even attempted to nap in there at one point.

He hung onto his birthday balloon for as long as he could. 

We took extra long wagon rides and enjoyed the beeea-u-ti-ful weather.

See this red hammer... it's what he reaches for and hangs on to anytime he's sick or teething (he cut a new took last week... fun, fun)

I sported my Team Preston shirt all week long.

Lots and lots of snuggling took place, of course.

Then we partied on Saturday.  Details to follow.
photo credit:  Kristy of Owens' Originals Photography

Thanks for all the sweet birthday wishes and for all your kind comments on my what's on my mind post. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

what's on my mind: 1 year post open heart surgery.

I can't stop thinking about this past year, the miracle I witnessed, the many ways I've changed, and the way the Lord used our situation to strengthen me.

One year ago today they took our baby from us, wheeled him into the OR, stopped his broken heart, and fixed it.  Today, one year later, I woke up with my baby next to me, spent some extra time snuggling with him in bed, then listened to him say "mama," "dada," and "Yar-ter (for our dog, Carter)," as he cruised around the kitchen.

I remember sitting in an office looking out over the Texas Medical Center when the cardiologist told me there had been a mistake about Preston's diagnosis and that the new and correct diagnosis had a much more grim picture that the first.  I remember hearing her say "We've never seen this condition before."  I remember her confirming my worst fear when she answered "No, we've never fixed this condition before."  I freaked.  I hyperventilated.  Try being five months pregnant and sticking your head in between your legs to keep from fainting.  Not fun, but that's what I did. 

In the midst of all that hype, I had an unusual and unexpected peace though. The thought (from the holy spirit, the Lord, my brain, defense mechanisms kicking in, who knows) occurred to me that possibly, just possibly, that this could be a door opening to cure Preston's heart defect. I remember telling Mr. Gherkin as we drove away that I felt like the new development could be a way for God to cure Preston's heart condition.  I think maybe I told my aunt, but I don't think I ever shared that with anyone else. 

Source: etsy.com via Tiffanie on Pinterest

It's all so surreal now. The doctors at TCH fixed his heart. He was their first as they'd never seen or fixed this defect before. They know how to diagnose and treat other kids that present with the same condition now at Texas Children's.  Hallelujah!

The cardiologist used the word "cure" when we saw her in November.  She thinks Preston just may be cured.  I pray that proves to be the case as he gets older.  So that gut feeling I had that one day I mentioned above may actually be coming true.  She even mentioned him playing sports one day. I spit my coffee out. "Play what," I asked.  I am quite alright just being his caddy. Not sure I can stand the thought of my baby being tackled or line drives being hit his way. Oh the joys of being a boy mom.

All that being said, I can now say ... 

I believe in miracles.
 I believe in living by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
I believe that believing allows us to see the glory of God (John 11:40).
I believe in modern medicine.
I also believe in postpartum depression now (although my doctor didn't call it that I will say that postpartum hormones do C-R-A-Z-Y things to a woman's body. Trust me, and don't judge).
 I also believe that everything happens for a reason.
I believe that God is the Great Physician.
I believe even that much more in Heaven (something about almost sending your baby there that makes it much more real).
I believe (although I'm not perfect at it) in cherishing every.single.day because we don't know what will happen tomorrow (James 4:14).

I have such a grateful heart this morning, and of course I'm still in complete admiration for the doctors and nurses at Texas Children's for taking such wonderful care of Preston (and me) one year ago.  Grateful for friends and family who were there for us when our strength failed us.  Of course, I'm utterly in love with the little blessing running around my house this morning calling me mama.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

happy birthday, Preston.

from our first touch to our most recent hug... it's been perfect!

I really can't find the words to write.
I wrote a letter to my sweet Preston as I plan to do every year on his birthday.
I will give him those letters for him to read one day ... when he's ready. 

This is about all I can choke out right now...
This has been such a sweet, sweet year.
Thank you, Jesus, for a happy and healthy Preston!

photo credit: Owens Original Photography (yep, Kristy ... shocker, I know)
big red balloon:  Darlybird 

Happy 1st Birthday, Preston Randal!
I'm so proud to be your mommy.
Know that each day's like a gift from God.