Of Cones and Toes

Patrick enjoyed a routine visit to the Cardiologist this afternoon {“enjoyed” may not be the right word…but he was fairly brave and tried to curb his indignation, tears, and requests to “go back to the gold car.”}

P’s troublesome ticker looks pretty much the same as it did in July. While there is no imminent danger, we will need to do something {in coming years} to reduce the amount of blood that regurgitates into the atrium–enlarging the right side of his heart. Dr Rhee feels that a surgical procedure called a cone repair will do the trick. The idea is to move the three leaflets of the tricuspid valve up where they should be and reshape them into a cone.

Before doing a cone repair, the surgeon(s) will probably want Patrick to get older/bigger. In the meantime, they will call us in soon to do a study on his heart to see if he still has electrical pathways in his heart that could cause SVT (rapid heart rhythms). If SVT is still a potential problem, then they’ll do a low-risk catheter ablation to get rid of the SVT pathways. Both the study and the cath procedure would just be overnight procedures (so that they can monitor him after he’s been under anesthesia).

In other news, we are loving our new house (will share photos in the near future) and getting excited to meet the soon-to-be fourth member of our family. My due date is May 1 and so far the baby is healthy and whole. We had a fetal echo done in January to take a close look at his heart–it looked totally normal. The only item of not was that Patrick’s baby brother has 12 toes! The better to kick me  with, of course…







I Speak For the Trees

Patrick’s birthday loot (back in early September, and yes I meant to post about P turning 2…) included the Lorax movie and he has been obsessed with it ever since. OBSESSED.

He’ll even finish your sentences for you

if you say, “my name is…”

P smiles and says, “the Lorax!”

“I speak for…”

“The TREES!”

So, he was delighted when his Lorax costume arrived.

This is how we imagined he would look:

This is how real life turned out:

{I can’t really blame him for not wanting to wear the mustache–it was itchy!}

Most people thought he was a Pumpkin, which works for me. If I saw him at a pumpkin patch, I’d take him home for sure!

Happy Halloween!

18 Months

Today Patrick is 18 months old! We are excited for him to have his first official day in the children’s class at church tomorrow (he’s been visiting the class for a month with mom or dad, but tomorrow he gets to go all by himself).

Patrick is all toddler, and all boy. He is opinionated but sweet, affectionate but independent, curious but particular, and oh-so-happy but with a hulk-like temper.

We have a lot of fun watching him learn, and hearing his growing vocabulary. We definitely have to watch what we say really closely now that he likes to parrot back random words and phrases. As it is, you can already tell who he hangs out with the most (his daddy), because some of his favorite words (besides “car”) are: “bassball” (baseball), “buball” (football), “tar” (guitar), and “ipad”. To be fair, though, his daddy also taught him “Isis” (Jesus).

My favorite of his phrases will probably always be “I wuvv wuvv” (I love you).

Steady as He Grows

Patrick had a cardiology check-up yesterday and Dr. Rhee said that while his heart is still enlarged, it has not become any worse. If his heart stays as it is, he may not require any future open-heart interventions!

It is likely that P will need a couple of less-invasive procedures in the cath lab (one to test the electrical pathways again and make sure he’s not in danger of an arrhythmia, and one to further close his ASD). But we can handle quick over-nighters at the hospital for these types of procedures. We’re so grateful things are holding steady!

I would upload a photo of P wearing nothing but a diaper, hospital anklet, and sandals in the exam room (playing with cars of course). But I don’t have my phone  (which contains the photos)with me, so instead here’s one that Braden took on Monday (also with cars). You’ll just have to imagine that you can see his pot-belly and chicken legs ♥

Stig it to the Man

This year Halloween brought us a Steve Jobs and the Stig

and someone scary who was too busy collecting black turtle necks, etc. to find something better than this wig (but really, is there anything better than this wig?)

Our awesome neighbors were out and about. Patrick loves to play with Mia and Ruby. Mia is fun to chase and Ruby usually has toys that he likes to “borrow” from her. Sharing is one of his talents, as long as it’s other people sharing with him.

Sometimes when you are visiting friends on Halloween, you just need to take a break to play with rocks. (Especially if Daddy is talking about Football–then you might as well make yourself comfortable.)

Seriously, though, playing with rocks was probably Patrick’s favorite part of the evening. The next best part was trying to lock/unlock the door when we got home.

We love our little Stig!

{Great} Grandma Robins

Braden’s grandmother passed away this morning. She will be missed!

Tonight we are packing our bags to head to Salina, UT tomorrow to be there for the funeral this coming Tuesday. As I was prepping my camera bag I realized that I had not downloaded the images on my memory card from our last trip to Utah at the beginning of July. In the batch of neglected photos were some that we took when Patrick met his Great Grandma Robins about a month ago.

Seriously one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. We are grateful that Patrick was able to meet her, and I’m sure he will hear many, many stories about her as he gets older…

King of the Chair

This morning little man P was adamant about sitting in the rocking chair. NOT on my lap in the rocking chair. Just him. My baby boy, all alone in the chair…

At first he sat back, pleased with his station in life. The Sultan, we like to call him.

Then he actually sat up and started rocking the chair by leaning forward and back repeatedly.

This made him quite happy!

(I handed him the shoe to distract him from his urgent NEED to have the camera strap…)

Heaven help us, he wants to be just like daddy…I suppose he could do worse ♥

Patrick Burrito

Sometimes Patrick’s love for his blanket combined with his love for perpetual motion results in a Patrick Burrito…

Note the heart monitor sticker peaking out of his onesie. Yeah, there was supposed to be a sensor thingy attached to that sticker, but those often came unattached for some reason. I’m sure that you can’t imagine what the reason was.

The cardiologists had Patrick on an Ambulatory Cardiac Telemetry (ACT) Monitor for 21 days so that they could make sure that his heart rhythmn is healthy now that the amiodarone has cleared out of his system. You can see the sensor battery pack by his leg below:

We were pretty sure that things went well since the only time the monitor buzzed at us was when either a) Patrick had pulled off, rubbed off, or otherwise removed one of the sensors, or b) the sensor battery was nearly dead. Yay for no “events”.

Today we saw Beth Rumack at the new Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH) clinic {St. Joseph’s and PCH merged, so the pediatric clinics moved to the children’s hospital}. The new facilities seemed nice and very colorful–but it sounds like we won’t need to spend much time there anyway. Patrick’s echo looked good. His right atrium is still enlarged, but it hasn’t gotten enlarger. His tricuspid valve is still leaky, but it always will be. If things continue this way, Patrick may not even need another heart catheter until young adulthood. We will keep seeing a cardiologist once every 4-5 months for now, but only 2-3 times a year will be SO nice. We are pleased with how well our little P is doing and very glad that he had the surgery when he did.


Weight: 8.8 kg (19 lbs 6oz) – 30th percentile

Height: 2.5 feet – 50th percentile

Head Size: 90th percentile!!!

And that’s why they call him Mega Head (or at least Aunt Aubrey does).

We are told that his proportions will start to even out eventually–the Glenn procedure is still playing a large part in the crazy growth curve his head size is on. Credit for that is also due to his genetic inheritance (Patrick says, “thank you, daddy!”)