Thursday, September 30

My Sweet Love

Lately Teagan has been wanting me to sing "You are my Sunshine" to her...and that she truly is!

Wednesday, September 15

Weekend Away

Spent a lovely weekend away with the fam at the beach house belonging to family friends. We had such a great time, hanging out, kickin' back, seeing the local sights via kayak, conoe, or motor boat (which we couldn't start, so it was rowed about).

Teagan had the best time running around the huge yard, picking dandilions, and checking out everything under the sun. She wore herself out, taking a 3-4 hour nap each afternoon and sleeping 10 hours each night. She loved everything...except for the huge dog that lived next door but prefered our company. Brody looked like a bear loping across the fields towards you. Daunting for the adults~never mind a little girl!!!

He was really a sweetie...overwhelming but sweet.

The beach house.  Is this not a gorgeous a place, or what????

And this was our'd think it couldn't get better, but then the sunsets made it even more so....and then the moon! Oh the moon!!! It was gorgeous!!!

Happy, happy girl!!!

Happy grown-ups!

The only bummer was that I was in a lot of pain the entire time and had to be on extra pain pills the whole time that barely took the edge off. But it was still a great weekend. We want to go back again year September! Can't wait!!!

Wednesday, September 8

Growing Up Fast

For some reason, this summer was a hard one for me physically. And the past week has been horribly painful. Yesterday I lay on an airmattress in our living room writhing in pain despite my arsenal of pharmaceuticals.
I am hoping the new neurologist I've found will be able to help me with this.

But today there's a bit of relief. And the most wonderful distraction of all: my lil Tea-Rose.

I realized it's been a while since I've posted any pictures of her...she is certainly growing up fast. Teagan is 18 1/2 months now!!!

She is stringing together 1-3 word sentences. She knows most of her letters by site. She has been counting from 1-10 (forwards & backwards) with a bit of help. She knows her basic colors. (Her favorite colors to say are lellow and bleeewah...yellow and blue.)

For some reason, she has a bit of a New York accent~especially with words like "car" or other words that end in an "er"...I used to pick up a New York accent when I spent my summers back there as a child and it drove my mom nuts. However when it's her grand-daughter doing it, it cracks her up. (Of course, knowing that Teagan will grow out of it helps...but I'm hoping it means that she'll be good with accents and can speak a second language and sound good while doing so!)

Today, to keep her in the living room (so we didn't have to keep chasing her up the stairs) we put our ottoman across the walkway from the room and she ran from side to side yelling, "Hep, hep! (help) I stuck! I stuck!" Too funny!!

"I Stuck!!!"

And she gets when things are funny and gives great big belly-laughs or erupts into giggles. The other day she saw a Loony Tunes cartoon with Foghorn Leghorn~she thought he was hysterical!

She is seriously "playing" now: taking 2 toys and having them dance together or kiss or other things. She loves baby dolls and find Barbies fascinating. She likes being mama to her baby dolls. And she still loves her Pooh and Eeyore. She stack blocks and cups and then knocks them down.

And she is still passionate about being read to.

She loves to dance. And enjoys taking nature walks~though with her they can also become power walks. This girl  can move FAST! Yet at the same time, she loves to stop and listen to the wind blowing through the trees. And she also likes to look for stars in the dusking sky. (She also loves to have Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star sung to her, over and over and over....)

Look out, ducks! Here she comes!

Teagan plays dress up (her "scaf" or scarf is still a favorite wardrobe accessory but hats are fun too).

Hmmm...wonder where she get that whole scarf & hat thing from???

She loves to play with her cousins. She misses her Ava~she carried her picture around for the week after Ava returned to CA, saying "Ava gone...Ava bye-bye."

She runs around with Van, trying to keep up with him, and is so happy that Kenyan is home after being gone for the summer. When we went to the Whidbey Island Fair, she and Van sat happily together on the ferry, hugging! Too freakin' cute!

Van is a bit disappoint that Teag doesn't understand the finer points of soccer: like NO HANDS!

She went to hospital to visit her little cousin Cooper after he had surgery this past week and was so gentle with him.

She has gotten taller, her hair has gotten longer~and turning curly in the back!~and some of her baby fat is disappearing. As Kenyan says, she's like a real person now!

She loves to have me do the Itsy Bitsy Spider on her back and squirms and gigles as it tickles her.

Best of all, she still loves to cuddle. She gives hugs and kisses and snuggles.

At 18 months, she loves life and lives it to the fullest and I hope that isn't ripped away from her as she grows older.

She kills me~she cracks me up and warms heart and can help me forget most of my pain. I love her to death! And would do anything for her. And I hope she will always, always know that!

The Post Every Pregnant Woman Should Read...

...This post is courtesy of Cora's Story and written by Cora's mom & my friend, Kristine. But I agree: definitely a post every pregnant woman (or even any woman thinking of getting pregnant) should read:

The post every pregnant woman should read.
by Kristine Brite McCormick

I decided to write it all down. Everything I wished I'd known about the most common birth defect. I know when I was pregnant, reading information about SIDS or car seat safety was tough, but after realizing that knowledge might save my child's life should they have one of those conditions, I powered through.

Reading about CHD is something every pregnant woman should take a few moments to do. Knowing the signs and symptoms and researching detection methods saves lives.

I know sharing Cora's Story with pregnant friends and family isn't always easy. But, I hope that you'll help. That you'll share this post (share on Facebook or Twitter). No family should ever be blindsided by the most common of all birth defects, occurring in about 1 in 100 births. Just remember, I'm not a doctor. Just a mom.

I present to you, a crash course in congenital heart defects (CHD), or what I wished I'd known about CHD before giving birth.

I found out after my daughter died that she had a congenital heart defect. When I first heard about it, I thought it must be something rare, for me, an educated woman that read everything I could while pregnant to no nothing about it. Turns out, it's not rare at all as far as medical issues in children go. Congenital heart defects are a leading cause of death in children and infants.

Some places, name CHD as the leading cause of death in infants. But, and this is a huge but, most CHD children live. In fact, medicine has improved outcomes for these patients so well, that more adults currently live with CHD than children. It's a hidden disability for these adult and children patients.

About CHD

Over 35 different types of CHD are known, and each defect looks a bit different in each patient. So, each CHD heart is like a snowflake, no two alike. Chances are you know someone with a CHD. Some defects require nothing but an extra doctor's visit every few years, while some are more serious and require a series of surgeries. Often someone figures out that they or their child has a CHD after talking to me about Cora's story. They just weren't aware because the doctor never used the term "congenital heart" with them.

While we're on the subject, congenital heart means simply born with, so a person with CHD is always born with the issues.

The exact cause of CHD isn't know. There's a genetic link, but CHD can happen to anyone. For example, there's no known CHD background on either side of Cora's family.

Nothing detects congenital heart defects all the time. But, early detection improves outcomes. The defects can go undetected into adulthood.

There's not really a cure for CHD either. Surgery can mend the heart and medications can keep things under control.

This makes CHD even more scary. Awareness doesn't mean much unless there's a reason to make everyone aware. And, there are things that pregnant woman can do to reduce the odds of having a CHD baby, having a child go undetected, and picking up on the signs of a CHD.

While Pregnant

Take a folic acid supplement. In fact, talk to your doctor about starting this before you're pregnant. There's a link to folic acid deficiency and CHD.

Don't smoke even if you're thinking about getting pregnant. Quitting when you find out isn't really an option. The heart develops early in pregnancy.

You know the ultrasound? The big one around 20 weeks where you find out if you're having a boy or girl? It's also to look at the baby's development. Ask your ultrasound technician about the heart and if all chambers are present.

After Birth

Ultrasounds, fetal echos, and doctor suspicion after noticing irregular in utero heart rates all lead to detection. But, many defects aren't found until later.

Ask if the doctors or nurses hear a murmur. A murmur often occurs and can be harmless, but can signal something else.

Request your child be screened with pulse oximetry after 24 hours of life. Your baby should be calmed and anything below a 95 might signal a need for extra testing. Talk to your doctor about adding the pulse oximetry in while your child is at the hospital. Some hospitals routinely use this simple, cheap, noninvasive test, but others don't. This easy test saves lives. Ask for it.

Memorize warnings signs of a possible congenital heart defect. In a newborn, dusky coloring, turning blue, trouble feeding, rapid breathing, sweating along the forehead, and tiring easily are warning signs. Report any symptoms to a doctor and request an examination.

Please share this important post to bring us one step closer to making sure every mother, father, and expecting parent knows about the most common birth defect.

Follow Cora's Story here:
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Thank you, Kristine, for taking the time to write this & to inform people of
some of the "basics" of CHD!
I love and admire you greatly!!!