Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Last Day...

Can you believe it is the last day of February??  Already??

The last day of February sort of sends a signal that spring is coming, especially with this year's super mild winter.  There is still plenty of time for a little snow, though...

It's also the last day of Heart Month.  I'd like to end this Heart Month by posting something paramount, something that would showcase a bit of wisdom gained from my years in the role of 'Heart Mom'.

I can't seem to get past ponderous.  The more I try to think about it, the more I face my biggest fear--fear itself.

About a year and a half ago, I met a fellow Heart Mom.

In real life.

That doesn't happen often, even though there are many of us.  To meet someone with a child like mine, in an every day-random-sort-of-way....never happens.

But, it did.

Our kids, close in age, were born with similar heart defects.

Now, I'm not claiming a BFF situation.  The truth is, we met a couple of times while she was taking care of my mom during a hospital stay.  Afterwards, we did some messaging and we planned playdates that never happened.  You know...we are all so busy...  We celebrated the good and prayed for the not so good.  And then, with little to no warning, her child...died.  Last week.


Reality slapped me upside my head.  My friend buried her beautiful, almost five year old, full of life, perfectly adorable child last weekend.  (I wish I could share a photo, but out of respect, I'm keeping the details to myself.  I'm sure y'all understand.)

I can't stop thinking about her.

I can't stop thinking about how much I still take for granted.  Every day is a blessing.  Every day is a blessing.  


If I can just pass THAT message along during Heart Month, to myself and to all of y'all, then I've accomplished something.

Wordless Wednesday--Storybook Dream

A snippet....

My goal is to post all about this before the 1st year anniversary.

*sigh*  I know.

Pretttyyyy saaaad.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Milestone....

First lost tooth...

Totally freaked out, but showing good self-control

(In his defense...it did bleed for a while.  Darn aspirin.)

Enough with the camera, Mom-Mom! 

All bagged and ready for the Tooth Fairy.

Candy money!!!!!  Happy (sleepy) boy....

He's getting big.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday--Pink Calla Lilies....

From my Valentine.

Pretty, huh?

I love lilies.

I love daisies more, but I love lilies, too....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Not Just Valentine's Day....

It's CHD Awareness Day!

Just wanted to shout out to all of my Heart moms and dads today as we all think about our special kids and those to come....

By the way... I finally added our heart story to my blog.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

NOVICA Valentine Giveaway Winner!

Sorry for the extra dose of anticipation.....

The $50 NOVICA GC  winner was selected using the random number generator at Random.org.  The winning comment is #6:
 Gina M Maddox said...
I would love to get this robe, although their jewelry is stunning! http://www.novica.com/itemdetail/index.cfm?pid=157319

Thanks for the chance to win!
gina.m.maddox (at) gmail (dot) com

Congratulations, Gina!  So excited for you!  Check your email....

Thanks to NOVICA for sponsoring and thanks to you all for playing along.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It's Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week--Reflections of CHD

Three years ago on this day, we were inpatient at LeBonheur, preparing for Eli's open heart surgery the
following day.

It was OHS Eve.

You know that feeling you get when you are driving and you have a 'near miss' with another car?  That feeling that starts in your brain, moves into the pit of your stomach, camping out just long enough to make you sick, then moving down your legs, making you weak in the knees?

Yeah.  That feeling.

That's what OHS Eve feels like.  It comes over you in waves like the tide, pounding against your soul.  It whispers the details you fight so hard NOT to think about.  Over and over it comes, stealing your breath, knocking you to your knees as you watch your child sleeping in ignorant bliss.  Scary.  Scary for anyone at any time, but none more fearful than when it is your baby in that bed, in pre-op holding, being carried away by masked strangers, waiting to have his heart stopped.

No sir.

If you know me at all, you know that we are quietly celebrating a successful surgery three years later--thankful every day as we watch our son grow.

February 7-14th is Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week.  This week someone you know will write a blog post or a Facebook status filled with personal CHD experiences or facts and statistics.  You may think no one you know in real life has experienced CHD.  You are probably wrong.

There are lots of us.

In spite of a lack of research funding compared to other serious birth defects and childhood conditions, the advancements made in care and treatment of Congenital Heart Disease over the past 20-30 years is amazing.  I can only imagine what could have happened if funding truly matched the level of need.

My oldest son might still be alive.

That's why CHD Awareness Week is so important.

A few facts for you taken from the March of Dimes website:

  • About 35,000 infants (1 out of every 125) are born with heart defects each year in the United States.  (Other organizations estimate closer to 40,000 or 1 out of every 100)
  • The defect may be so slight that the baby appears healthy for many years after birth, or so severe that his life is in immediate danger. 
  • Heart defects are among the most common birth defects and are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths. 
  • In the United States, about 1.4 million children and adults live with congenital heart defects today. Almost all are able to lead active, productive lives. 

CHD Awareness.  Pass it on.

*I'm working on posting our "CHD Story".  You can click the tab "Our Heart Story" on my header or by clicking here.  I'm hoping to have it posted today.  

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Dollhouse Project--Part 2

My dollhouse is coming along! 

I have all of the 'siding' on and I've painted one side, including the bricks on the fireplace. 


I'm going to add rounded posts on the front to make it not so flat.  (It has to be fairly flat to fit
back into the case.)

Here's a shot of the other side without paint.  I have the 'grout' color on the fireplace.

My pictures aren't great today; something is up with my flash. 

But you get the idea.

Today, I paint! 

Oh, and don't forget about my $50 NOVICA giveaway!  Ends Friday night....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just in Time for Valentine's....NOVICA Review and Giveaway!

I love peridot.  I love gemstones in general, but I love peridot more than anything else.  Not only is it my birthstone, it is also my favorite color.  (In case you didn't notice....it's my main blog color!)

When NOVICA contacted me to do another product review (see my last NOVICA review here) , I went straight to the jewelry section and searched for peridot.  I tripped over the wrap bracelets (beautiful!), but ultimately settled on a ring.  This ring.

And this is what it looks like in real life...

And on my pale, chubby hand....

I was looking specifically for something I can wear with my wedding set.  Isn't it just lovely?  

Like all NOVICA products, the ring came beautifully packaged and included a little card with details about the artist, the country, and the item.  My ring came from India and was made by a second generation jewelry designer.  He even included a handwritten post card thanking me for choosing his ring.  

Let me take just a minute to tell you about NOVICA.  Think about going to countries all over the world, shopping at the local market places, purchasing handcrafted items from local artists.  NOVICA in association with National Geographic makes it possible by utilizing the Internet as a worldwide local market place.  Small village artists are no longer limited by their geographical location or by tourist seasons.

Pretty cool, huh?

You can buy a handmade wool shawl from India, a couple of Alpaca sweaters from Peru, or one of the warm cardigans from Guatemala, and hundreds of other items.  And you don't have to travel--you don't even have to leave your living room!  Shipping? Only $2.99 on most items.  Check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

NOVICA recently took their efforts a step further by introducing NOVICA LIVE.  For those of you who love home parties, check out this exciting home party concept.  $199.00 gets you started.  If any of my readers are interested in starting a home business, just shoot me an email and I will give you all of the details on how to get started.

Now, about that giveaway.  NOVICA has generously offered a $50.00 gift code to my winner!  Valentine's Day will be here before you know it.  My winner, chosen at random from all entries, will have $50.00 and a whole world of gift choices, literally.  Or....my winner can choose a wonderful item to keep.  No strings attached.  Jewelry, clothing, accessories, home decor.....  Good luck choosing....so many beautiful offerings....

Mandatory entry:
To enter, visit Novica and leave a comment sharing an item you would like to have. 

Extra entries:
1 entry if you follow this blog via GFC.
1 entry if you follow me and NOVICA on Twitter.
1 entry daily if you tweet about this giveaway. (Be sure to include @LisalynSchaffer and @NOVICA in your tweet.)

Comment each entry separately, please.

Participants must be at least 18 years old.
U.S. residents only.

This giveaway starts... right now and ends at 11:59pm Friday, February 10, 2012.  Winner will be chosen and announced here on February 11, 2012.

Good luck!

*I was offered a $50 gift certificate to spend on the Novica website in exchange for this post and product review.  Opinions are honest and uninfluenced by this compensation.  An additional $50 gift certificate was provided for this giveaway.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday--Beads of Courage

Each bead represents a medical procedure, hospital night, poke, xray, surgery, etc.  We are waiting for a few more beads and then I'll share more.  

Wonderful program and organization:  Beads of Courage

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