Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Pink!

Claira got her cast today ... and it's PINK! She is so much happier now. The doctor said it will be scary how much she tries to use her leg, but we still need to keep her from walking or putting weight on it. Before the cast, getting in and out of the car was a nightmare! Now she's no problem. Maddy came home from school and she held her leg up high and said "look at my leg!"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

That's it!

Claira beans broke her leg today at church. She was busy as usual and fell! She will have a cast up to her hip for several weeks, and may not be able to walk throughout that time. Her Dad and I have decided she's filled her quota for her little life ... NO MORE!
Her big sister Maddy wanted to get her something to make her feel better, so while we were waiting on her happy pills she picked out a singing puppy for Claira. Nah ... she won't be spoiled ... will she?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

3 Years!

Our little miracle girl is 3 years old ... a month ago!Busy Mom of 6 and in nursing school ... gimme a break! She's the boss of this house, and we LOVE her! She 's in preschool this year, and looks forward to seeing her teacher each week. When she got a boo-boo recently, she had to tell her teacher so she could kiss it for her! You wouldn't believe how stubborn she is.
The easel and paint set was a compromise ... she was found in the "big girls" room painting with acrylics on Chelsea's masterpiece. Ugh! After three times of taking the paint away and hiding it, I decided it was time she had a paint set of her own.
Happy Birthday Claira!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Squeeze those cheeks!

So ... I've been busier than I ever imagined I would be at this stage of my life. Surviving nursing school and 6 kids is about to eat my lunch!
This girl, however, is magical. I've been practicing ausculating (technical term for listening with my stethescope ... big words make me feel smart) on all my kids. Who knew having a big family would prove helpful in practicing physical assessments? I was in the process of mastering heart sounds, and was curious to listen to Claira's patchwork heart. I couldn't believe how NORMAL it sounded! What a blessing ...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Just a word ... about the way it felt to enroll my baby in preschool for this fall! Wow ... life has sure changed ... but change is good!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

2009 Heart Walk

Okay ... I'm 2 weeks late in posting this. Let's say life's been a little crazy lately!
We had a great time at the Heart Walk. One of my friends, and her daughter, walked with us ... as well as Annie & Mimi! The threat of a thunderstorm kept most people away. We had great success in selling t-shirts, thanks to Uncle Sam's creativity and especially your generosity! We'll donate $175 to the American Heart Association. Claira received her red survivor hat again (Evie thought she had to have one too) so everyone would know what she's overcome. Thank you again for all your support!
To see more Heart Walk pictures visit our family website ... Partyof8

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Heart Day Claira!

Two years ago Claira's 2 holes were repaired via open-heart surgery. She came away with a lack of desire to eat, and a long road ahead. Today she is a CHUNKY (emphasis on chunky),healthy, active, vibrant 2 year old that loves to eat! In lieu of her past struggles ... and this most blessed day ... I've posted a few pics of her 1st homemade pb&j sandwich! Her favorite saying is, of course, "NO! I'll do it mysowf!"

(Sorry the pics are such poor quality ... the camera on my new phone is terrible!)
Thank you to all that helped us support the AHA by purchasing shirts for the upcoming Tulsa Heart Walk ... we will be giving the organization a donation of $175.00. It's not much, but every little bit helps! It certainly helped advance medicine by researching new procedures and medicines to help little ones like our Claira!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Order a 2009 Tulsa Heart Walk shirt!

The first year we participated in the American Heart Association's Heart Walk, Uncle Sam designed the shirts we wore in Claira's honor ... it was only 2 weeks before her open-heart surgery. This year he has once again designed the shirt, and I think he's outdone himself! They're WAY CUTE! (I'll put picture up as soon as I can figure this out!)
You can order one of these adorable shirts AND support the American Heart Association's research and awareness for CHD.

  • Pink short-sleeved tee with brown logo $12.00
  • Pink baseball tee with brown sleeves and logo $15.00
Contact me by email
Saturday, April 18th ... wear your shirts and walk with us!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Prayers for Ethan

Ethan is one of Claira's heart buddies that could use your prayers right not. In a message from his Mom ... "We leave early this Thursday, March 26th, for Ethan's heart cath. It is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. In the heart cath, they will be plugging a fenestration hole that they put in the Fontan (tube that goes to the lungs) to allow more blood going to the lungs for oxygen. The tube was put in his last heart surgery, June 2008. Please pray for Ethan, Brian & I. Please pray for Dr. Sperrazza (the cardiologist performing the heart cath), nurses & anesthesiologist taking care of Ethan. Please pray that Ethan acclimates to more blood going to his lungs smoothly. Thank you so much for your prayers. We appreciate them so much."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You're NOT Excused!

Claira burped today! Why is that a big deal you ask? Well ... 1 week after her heart surgery, she had a feeding tube placed directly into her stomach so we could force food into her body. During the surgery she had a fundoplication, which means that her stomach was wrapped around her esophagus. The hope with this procedure was to keep Claira from vomitting her, so desperately needed, nutrition. The bad side is that she couldn't vomitt if she had a virus, and ... she couldn't burp! We were told it would start to loosen up in a few years, and that she'd be fully restored by the time she was an adult. The first few days after her procedure were miserable for her while we learned how to manually burp her, even though her tummy was very full of gas. After her mickey button was removed, there was no way to relieve the gas or "back-up" except to wait for her body to move it the other direction!
So ... now do you understand our excitement? She burped!

Monday, February 23, 2009

My heart's all better!

Claira, Tom and I visited Dr. Kimberling last week for her yearly visit. It was very different this time because she seemed to understand a lot more. During the Echo, she laid very still and was very sober. While she was looking at the picture of her heart, the tech said ... "look, that's your happy heart".
After the Echo, another tech performed the EKG ... and she was wonderful! She let Claira put some of the stickers on her chest, and she took that job very seriously. After, she was in charge of taking all the stickers off ... she loved that!
The end result is ... she's a miracle! The Dr. said the scarring in her aorta is improving as she grows. He doesn't see any more invasive procedures in her future. There is still a murmur due to the small leak next to the patch, but she'll always have that. We'll continue yearly visits until she's 5, then we'll see!
When we got home we talked about her little heart, and I told her it was all better ... she said "Yeah! My heart's all beddur!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Join us April 18th!

It's almost time for the 2009 Heart Walk! This year will be our family's 3rd year to take part in this event to help spread awareness of CHD ... and to get a little exercise!
Uncle Sam will be designing the t-shirts once again this year, and will be sold at a minimal cost (with proceeds going directly to the AHA). If you would like to order one, let me know!
Last year, we were amazed by the show of support for our little friend Grant who survived heart surgery a few months after Claira in 2007. We cant wait to see Grant again this year ... and want to have an even BIGGER group of our own! Join us ... work out your hearts ... and wear your pink/brown t-shirts!
Click here to visit Team Claira's page.
Click here to learn more about the Heart Walk, and how they help children just like Claira!

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Thank you David and Gina Brim for helping to express our gratitude for an amazing show of compassion and generosity.