Speaking of chaos... Carter's birthday was the 7th, so we had his party last night. He really wanted to have a sleepover, and since we didn't have a party last year we obliged. There were twelve boys here and nine spent the night. They had so much fun - we took lots of video and pictures. My friend, Dianna, is one of those moms who always does fun stuff with her kids. She came over on Friday to give me some ideas for games. She was talking about a game where the kids put all their mittens in the middle of a circle and the one to get a match on first wins. I started thinking, and I know this is just wrong, but go with me... I had this huge basket of socks that desperately needed sorting... So, a new game was born. No, I'm not kidding. We had all the boys sit in a circle and close their eyes. We brought the monstrous basket of socks in and dumped them in the middle of the circle and told the boys that the one who got the most matches was the winner. The prize - a giant Hershey bar. When we told them to "go", you should have seen them. They tore into the pile and started shouting, "I FOUND A MATCH!" Dianna and I almost wet our pants, we were laughing so hard. We videoed the game. Dianna is sure we'll end up on the Today show or something for this one. It was hilarious. I'm going to try to download it and put a link on here. I heard one of the boys telling his dad about the game as he was walking out this morning. I can't imagine what his dad was thinking. I'm sure the moms will either think I'm a nut or brilliant. The winner had 27 matches - that is just so wrong, isn't it?
Ok, now for some news I'm so excited to share. We have most of the plans ironed out for the event I've been eluding to in memory of Maverick. This event will raise awareness about congenital heart defects and will raise money for research to help treat and prevent them. February is such a heart-related month. Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week is Feb 7th through 13th, then Valentine's Day on the 14th, then Mav's angel day on the 24th. So, all that said, on February 12 and 13, we will have an event at Dejah Quinn Photography (http://www.dejahquinn.com/). She and her associate photographer, Julie will be doing their beautiful pictures - and for a donation, you will get one of those beauties, on site, that day, to take home thanks to Best Buy and Mr. Quinn. They do the most amazing work, and I promise you will not be disappointed. If you don't have children, don't let that stop you from participating. Wouldn't it be sweet to have a photo of you and your spouse or significant other taken for Valentine's Day? When's the last time you had YOUR picture taken? All the money raised will be donated to the Children's Heart Foundation (http://www.childrensheartfoundation.org/). This organization's purpose is to fund the most promising research to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of congenital heart defects.
On Saturday, in addition to the photos, we will be hosting a blood drive in Mav's memory. There will be two blood mobiles available for your donating pleasure. We will be able to sign up 55 people - and they want people to sign up in advance. The lady from the blood institute was a bit skeptical about our ability to get that many donors. I took that as a challenge and told her I would love to prove her wrong. Now, I know all of you have blood, so pLeASe help us show her how wonderful you all are. They are even going to bring a special machine on one of the blood mobiles so if you want, you can donate PRBCs (packed red blood cells). Those are used for babies, some may be used on heart babies like Mav. Wouldn't that make your heart feel good? Also, if you're into sweets, Maddie is hosting a bake sale. She'll be making some of her famous sweet treats. I'm sure Carter and Chloe will get in on the action as well. Those proceeds will also be donated to CHF.
To wrap up the event, we'll have a balloon release in honor of Mav and all the other babies and children who fought so hard during their precious lives here on earth.
I'm so excited about this. It is so bittersweet, but after losing our little fighter and watching so many others lose their sweet babies, I feel like we HAVE to do all that we can to help prevent someone else from having to walk this road. I feel like research is the only way, so that's why we're donating the proceeds to CHF. This is my passion. I hope all of you have a passion, and I pray you don't have to experience tragedy to find yours. I'll keep you updated on all the details. Love you all, jc
P.S. Please join me in praying for another sweet heart patient. She's a precious three year old that will be facing a heart transplant if a miracle doesn't come her way. Her caring bridge site is http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/katiebracken.