Big Boy Caden in his new roomBefore I get into the details about today’s OB visit, I want to give a little history of the past few weeks. Sherry reminded me after the last post that I had not blogged about the big move. That big move being that Caden (Big Boy Caden) is now sharing a room with Big Boy Riley. We moved these guys in together on 7/14. This was the first weekend after the baby shower. The picture is of Caden during his first night of asleep in his crib in his new room that he shares with Riley. It is a new room for both of them since Riley’s old room was being converted into the new nursery. Caden’s old room will now become the new office/guest room. (Just add air mattress) Right now we are working on the behavior issues associated with them sharing a room. Caden is very funny and Riley has not been able to restrain himself from getting engaged into bedtime fun of laughing, talking, and even jumping on the beds. In the meantime, we are letting Riley start his night off in our bed or on the floor in the baby’s room until Caden goes to sleep. I had a little talk with a much more experienced dad this weekend at the GFI National Conference in Chicago who confirmed that our current way of dealing with this situation is probably best. More on the conference in a minute.

Baby Update

Baby O at 35w2dThe fetal echo cardiogram was the non-event that we hoped for and expected today. As you can see we did get some pretty cool pictures out of it. That is a foot by his left eye if you can’t tell. The final word was that there are no signs of heart defects, the baby’s bladder and stomach look great, there is a healthy amount of amniotic fluid around the baby, and so on. Baby O is showing absolutely no signs of Di George or anything else for that matter. PRAISE GOD! He is currently measuring an estimated 6 lbs 3 onces with Sherry being 35 weeks and 2 days into this pregnancy.

Baby hair seen during an ultrasound at 35w2dThe last picture shown here on the right is of this little guy’s hair. The ultrasound technicians pointed out the amount of hair on his head. Sherry could actually see it swishing around in the amniotic fluid. I still don’t see it, but maybe some of you can. Sherry did have an exam and is showing no signs of progressing toward labor.

GFI Conference

I spent part of the last week in Chicago…well it was actually Naperville, IL. That is like telling someone you went to Charleston verses Goose Creek, SC. Everyone knows where Chicago, IL is, but not as many know where Naperville it located. Anyway, that was the location of the GFI (Growing Families International) 2007 National Conference. Sherry had to stay home because…well…read above. She is 35 weeks pregnant. She did want to be there and boy did she really miss a big one. It was literally the largest one I have attended yet in terms of attendance and information. There are a bunch of things happening in the GFI ministry and I have a been involved in some of the online changes. A new web site called GrowingKids.org LOGOGrowingKids.org was launched during the conference. I have been involved in the development of this site and I am extremely excited about all that is going on in the GFI ministry. You should stay tuned to GrowingKids.org web site to keep up with the things that are happening in GFI. Gary and Anne Marie answered the bi retirement question during the conference and added a ton of material to support that answer.

For me, even though I did assist Mr. Ezzo in presenting a couple of workshops, I must say that the most moving part of the conference for me came in the first few minutes after registration and just a few minutes after the last general session ended. I am sorry Gary, I loved the workshops and I am more excited than ever, but I hope you will understand. Please just read on since I have not had a chance to share this with you.

It was only minutes after arriving at the conference while having some refreshments that I turned to see a pair of familiar faces. Chills running all over my body, jumped to go an greet some dear friends that I had not seen in a couple of years. Eric and Karen Olyejar were there with Rich and Julie Young the night they opened Caden’s chest back up just a few hours after his heart surgery at six days old. Our family had disbursed from the hospital several hours after Caden had been stabilized in the PCICU. We were all alone when the cardiologist came out and told us that they weren’t sure Caden would make it through the night. They had done all they could do for him. Eric, Karen, Rich, and Julie came to our rescue and mopped us up out of the puddle of tears we found ourselves in that night. Eric and Karen attended the Growing Kids God’s Way class along with us and many other couples in the month leading up to Caden’s birth. Rich and Julie led the class and were the first people I called after calling our family. Eric was a resident at MUSC back then. He and Karen moved their family to Arizona as a result of taking a job out there when Caden was about six months old. I had not seen them since they left Charleston and had no clue they were coming to Chicago.

The minutes following the conference left me in tears as I bid a farewell to Eric and Karen. It was just a few minutes later that I was approached by a young mom who wanted to talk web site stuff. I felt something odd as she approached me and began to introduce herself, but I did not know what the feeling was all about until a few sentences into our conversation. The feeling is much like what I have experienced in the past when I knew it was the presence of the Holy Spirit. As we began to talk, this young mom brushed past a few little tidbits of information that jumped out at me and nearly took me off my feet. I am paraphrasing, but she said something like, “we have struggled with the issues surrounding our 3 1/2 year old son’s diagnosis of Di George. He was on a feeding tube until he was 2 1/2…” I was nearly speechless, but I was able to get out a response something like, “I have a 2 1/2 year old who has been diagnosed with 22q11.2. He is still tube fed, had four heart defects at birth, did not walk until after his second birthday…” She looked as if she was going to pass out and then she burst into tears at about the same time I did. Her husband was only a few feet away and noticed both of us crying and came to see what had his wife so upset. Then we were all a pile of emotions as we shared with each other what little we could before our departure. I believe every single hair on my body was standing straight up. I had chill bumps on top of chill bumps. I am not sharing their names because I have not asked if it will be okay to do so.

We exchanged contact information and have been in contact via email already since my arrival home yesterday. I shared this with Sherry over the phone about meeting these guys and she cried. I was reading their contact information from my notebook while on the plane and cried again. It was an incredible experience to meet a like-minded family who understands so well what we have been through over the past 2 1/2 years.

The trip home was also VERY eventful in its own way. I will share at a later time how an eight week old baby got me a first class upgrade all the way back to Charleston.

God Bless!!!




  • Melissa

    Hi I’m a member of GFI also.
    Love the site.