Thursday, January 31, 2008

Valentine's Day Plans

Instead of a romantic getaway this year, we'll be taking Lucas for a second opinion regarding heart surgery -- ironic, don't you think?

At the recommendation of Dr. Asanza (dad to my favorite set of siblings), we're going to see Dr. Richard Perryman, a respected pediatric cardiac surgeon affiliated with Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood. Once we discuss our options with him, I'll post our game plan.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Say it isn't so...

So...Lucas needs open heart surgery. He had a sedated echocardiogram on Thursday where he was put under to carefully evaluate the anatomy of his heart. Turns out he has something called an ASD -- basically a tiny hole between the upper chambers of his heart. It needs to be corrected to ensure it doesn't pose a future threat.

What does this mean? Open heart surgery, old school -- plasma and blood donations in advance, a night in the ICU, 5 days in the hospital and another week at home recovering, oh, and of course, a big scar to remember it all by. The cardiologist wants to wait until he's 2 years old (or older) because it decreases his recovery time. We're getting a second opinion. This blows. To look at him and watch him light up a room, you would never suspect this imperfection. Like many kids with Down syndrome, he has a congenital heart defect -- ASD is the most common in people with DS -- but luckily, the success rate is extremely high and although lengthy, it's a fairly straight-forward operation. As a parent, you never want to hear "heart" and "surgery" in the same sentence, but alas, here we are. Did I already say this blows? Anyway, we will be getting a second opinion shortly and keep you updated. Please pray for our little man, and for his currently stressed-out, overwhelmed parents.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

First Bath

Okay, so I promise not to chronicle EVERY puppy "first" but as a new parent, it's all pretty exciting so here he is after his first bath -- minty fresh and already getting into trouble outside.

DSA of Miami Picnic

Today we attended the Down Syndrome Association of Miami's annual picnic -- the weather looked really lousy this morning, but cleared to reveal a fairly sunny, warm January day. Last year's picnic was better attended, but it was good to see some of the same folks and have everyone comment on how big Lucas is -- Mr. personality was a big hit waving and blowing kisses at many of his new friends.

Here he is with my dear friend, Kerra's daughter, Krysta, who is a pistol and such a bright, loving kid...we always enjoy spending time with her family, and I love watching their little "lovefest" and how Krysta calls him "Baby Lucas"-- he could learn a thing or two from her, and I'm hoping this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

p.s. A fairly competent photographer, I purposely cut Tom out of these photos -- what can I say, I have a lot of love for him, but this was about the kids :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Our New Baby

Our new addition joined the family on Wednesday, January 23rd. He was born on November 17, 2006 outside of Rochester, NY. He's a Havanese, a non-shedding breed who makes a great family dog. He's a lot of fun and super cute (don't you agree?) -- but TONS of work -- just like having another baby around. Oh...the breeders named him "Rufus" but we're looking for a new name and haven't quite settled on us name him by leaving your suggestion in the "comments" section. Check back to watch both Lucas and the puppy grow!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Partial Eclipse of the Sun

Since I'm completely new to the blog-world, I'm like a deer in headlights, not knowing what is "worthy" of chronicling. This morning, it occurred to me -- whatever the hell is on my mind, so here goes.

Like every other school/work day before us, Lucas and I set out across the street headed for our respective days -- he in his stroller, and me trying to avoid the loud people and sounds of the busy intersection. An important point is that the University of Miami's medical campus is adjacent to the county hospital and smack in the middle of the innercity so it's a shady place, even when the sun is bright and warm, providing a false appearance and sense of security. As we made our way to the other side of the wide median, a baseball size rock rolled under Lucas' stroller and was stopped by a doctor who was on my left. All of a sudden, my mind put together the events as they'd unfolded -- a white, 60ish, scraggly looking man had picked up the rock and hurled it at Lucas ... AT Lucas!!! After we passed each other, he kept ranting nonsensically and squared up to me, pointed at Lucas and yelled "that baby!" with pure disgust. A few moments later, traffic opened up and he continued his rant as he fled across the street and into the heart of the campus. I thanked the doctor who stood by me the whole time -- I didn't get his name but I remember a nice-looking East-Indian man with dark, determined eyes ... without saying a word to one another, I knew he'd back me should this crazy man attempt us any harm. I wheeled Lucas into his Debbie School classroom, shaken, and as soon as I handed him off, I broke down, retelling the story to anyone who would listen. I reported the assault to security, filed a police report, and hope this man doesn't harm anyone else. For his sake as well as mine, I hope I don't ever run into him again ... although I couldn't provide too accurate a description, I won't soon forget him. From now on, I'll start dropping Lucas off right in front of the school and park at the garage myself.

So ... what did I learn from the experience? That there are too many crazy people in the world who need help and aren't getting it. That although you think you're street smart and ready for anything, you're not. That adrenaline can provide courage when needed, but will aid in forgetting important details. That no matter how ugly things get, there are still good people in the world, even in Miami. That you have no idea how much you love your child or what you'd do if anyone hurt him ... I'm glad I didn't have to find out.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year 2008!

Happy New Year, everyone!  We're already fulfilling our first new year's resolution ... to stay better connected with those we love.  So, we've decided to setup a blog where we can keep Lucas' many fans up-to-date by sharing photos, videos, milestones, and every-day adventures.  Make sure to bookmark the page, check back often, and let us know what you think.  

May your 2008 be filled with love, health, and happiness!