Monday, December 22, 2008

We've chosen a home!

It looks like our home for the next 6-9 months will be at Duke University Medical Center. Thanks to all who were praying today that Matt and I would sense the Lord's presence during our visit to Duke. Matt and I prayed specifically that the Lord would go before us today, prepare the way if it was His will and make His peace known. Well, would you believe that as we walked into the lobby of the Children's Health Center a gospel choir was belting out loudly "O Come Let Us Adore Him ... CHRIST THE LORD!" He had gone before us, and His name was already being praised in this place! The singing echoed through the lobby and up to the loft of the oncology clinic! Aside from the singing, we had a good visit - met a couple of great doctors and most importantly have peace about starting treatment here at Duke. That being said, there was a bit of a scheduling kink, due to the holidays and the time span needed to switch all of Matheson's tests and lab work from Baptist to Duke. Therefore, the doctors from both hospitals have agreed to work together in a somewhat creative fashion to get Matheson's treatment started as quickly as possible- So here's the plan of action:
We will be able to be at home for Christmas. While we are anxious to get things started, we are also pleased to be able to spend Matheson's first Christmas together as a family. Jaxon and Jones deserve some loving and lots of presents too! This is going to be super tough on them as well- (not that presents change that...)
Monday, Dec 29th - we will have pre-op visits with the oncology clinic, pediatric surgeon and anesthesiologist at Baptist. Tuesday, Dec 30th - the surgeon at Baptist will place a central line (to enable Matheson to receive chemotherapy), do a spinal tap (to check spinal fluid for leukemic cells) and inject an initial dose of "preventative" chemotherapy into the spinal fluid. If all goes well, we will be able to bring Matheson home that night. Wednesday, Dec 31st - Matheson will be admited to Duke and will begin his first round of chemotherapy.
Please continue to pray for Matheson - that in this time that we are waiting, and enjoying our family time, that the leukemia will not spread elsewhere. We pray that the procedure next Tuesday goes according to plan, with no complications and that the transition to Duke is a smooth one on Wednesday.
From this point on, I will be journaling on a caringbridge site that I have created for Matheson. We would certainly appreciate you passing this site along to others you know that are praying -

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thanks for your prayers!

At this point, most of you already know what is going on with our little
Matheson- In that case, this note will serve as somewhat of a summary for you. For the rest of you, this will come as a shock - as it did to us on Friday.

We have taken Matheson to several different specialist at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital over the course of the last month in attempt to figure out the origin of some "buise-like" splotches that he has on his body. As a result of a skin biopsy, we got a phone call on Thursday evening telling us of "suspicious cells" in the biopsy. We were instructed to bring Matheson back in first thing the next morning for a series of additional tests and procedures. After spending the entire day at the hospital and many many tests, we were presented with a most terrifying diagnosis - leukemia. As you can imagine, Matt and I were shell-shocked. No parent ever imagines they would hear this about their child. Fortuantely, his numbers (blood count and bone marrow) looked good and we were able to bring him home with us. This time has allowed us to contact several other doctors, enlist the help of family and friends, and spend some quality time as a family being as normal as possible before things change drastically.

Currently, we are in a bit of a "holding pattern" as we research doctors, hospitals and various treatment protocols in attempts to make the best possible decision for Matheson. Please pray specifically that Matt and I will have peace with a decision. While we are fortuante to have this time (and Matheson's good levels, etc...), it is also just delaying the obvious - we are ready to make a decision, start treatment and face the music. We will visit Duke on Monday and intend to make a decision after our time there. As soon as a decision is made regarding where Matheson will be treated, I will update you all!

We covet your prayers during this time- We are honored to serve a great and mighty God. We cling to the many truths in His precious word. We know for a fact that it was God himself who created Matheson, and knit him together perfectly in my womb. He knows ALL of his days - the beginning and the end. Therefore, none of this is a mistake. It is all a part of His plan - Matt and I desire earnestly to fulfill God's purpose through this life experience. We ask you to join us in prayer, not only for the healing of our precious baby boy but, also for strength and wisdom so that we can shine for Him in the midst of this darkness. Pray that the Lord would lead us to the right place, and the right doctors to treat Matheson best. If there are options to his treatment, please pray that the Lord would make His way clear and that Matt and I would be able to
stand on that decision with no looking back or second guessing ourselves. Thank you again for your prayers and your friendship!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What a big boy!

Jones pee-peed in the potty!!! He has been "playing" with the idea for about a month now - He would go to the potty, lift the lid, pull down his pants and stand there. But, it was always too late - he had already gone in his diaper. But, tonight for the first time - he made it to the potty before he went in his diaper! You can imagine the joy on my face and the celebration that ensued afterwards! Yeah for Jones! One BIG step in the right direction ...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Feeding Time at the Zoo

11:00 am - Check out our little Pilgrims and Indians enjoying a "feast" to conclude our Thanksgiving unit yesterday -

9:30 pm - Our little Matheson had a feast of a different kind - his first solid food! After letting him "taste" rice cereal a couple nights in a row, I decided that he was ready for a whole serving. So last night before bed, we braced up for the mess - and he loved it!

9:30 am - And then, like most of us, after a Thanksgiving feast, Matheson slept. I mean, he REALLY slept. He slept all through the night and into the morning. I kept going in his room to check on him, and finally at 9:30 am, this is what I found - a smiley, happy baby ...

... ready to eat again! :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Snowy November Surprise!

At 7:00 this morning when Jaxon ran in my room proclaiming that it had snowed, I almost didn't believe him! Fortunately for Jaxon, atleast one of his parents (father dearest) gave him the benefit of the doubt and looked out the window! Would you believe it? Snow in November in North Carolina! Crazy Times! Needless to say, we were up putting on our gear and outside in no time! Jones wasn't quite sure what to think and spent most of his time on the sidewalk!

My little angel ...

Who was I kidding????

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


After spending the better part of last week and this week learning about the election process and studying past presidents during "school time," Jaxon has decided that he wants to be the president when he grows up. This decision lead him to dress up in a shirt and tie, create a list of laws and parade around to different rooms of our house giving campaign speeches. And it even lead us to stand out front of the polling place this morning in the rain handing out literature! Actually, Jaxon handed out literature in the rain, I sat with the other boys in the car most of the time! I am so impressed with his interest and political involvement! Who knows he really might be president one day ...

That being said, if Jaxon were president, things would be a little different than the are now:

"Little brothers would not allowed to bother big brothers when they are doing puzzles."

"We'll just shoot the bad guys."

"It will NOT be okay to kill babies."

Wisdom from the mouth of babes - He's got my vote, how about yours?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

For reasons other than the candy, Halloween really rocked this year!

Jaxon, obviously, decided to ditch mom's cute family theme idea and go on his own, as a rock star! Rock on dude - The other two were a bit more tolerant of the "cuteness." Check out my monkey (shown here with Grammy the cat) and my banana! Everyone enjoyed the festivites trick or treating in the neighborhood, fall festival at church and Trunk or Treating at Grammy and Papa's church. I've never seen so much candy!!

Football Pics as promised...

Jaxon in his stance and ready to rush...

"Action Jaxon"

... and here's a look at what the rest of us were doing during the game...

Good Game ... Good Game

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Great" is great!

How many adults are fortunate enough to have a relationship with a grandparent? WOW, I am so blessed! My grandma, affectionately known as "GCL" (grandma crazy lady) since childhood has just turned 70 years old. She drives a red miata convertible, has an incredible fashion sense, a shoe and jewelry fetish, and is a real bargain shopper. Her weekly schedule includes the walking club, bowling, golf, and rook nights. But, besides all these things that make her so much fun to be around - she truly loves the Lord. In fact, it was her that took me to bible camp as a child and even lead me in praying to receive Jesus Christ as my Savior. Since that night, she has modeled for me and taught me how to mature as a Christian woman and make choices that are right for me and my family. I could just go on and on ... the point is that I love my grandma and cherish the time that I get to spend with her and the relationship that we share! As a child, I loved playing with my grandma and now my children enjoy spending time and playing (yes, really playing) with their "GREAT"!

YIKES! It's been a while...

Life here in the Barber house lately has been so wildly wonderful that I haven't even had time to post any of it!! So, instead of posting individual things, I've just compiled a bulleted list (that any "Darin Carr" type man would appreciate)-

* We rented our house out for furniture market this year which in total took about 2 1/2 weeks of our lives ... We were actually out of the house for 10 days but, took several days in advance cleaning and preparing and then several days afterwards getting things back to normal-
* During that time, I took the boys to my parent's house at the beach. My grandma came along to help with the boys and Matt was able to drive down and join us for the weekend. We had a great time! I could totally post a whole entry about just that (and maybe should...) I could also devote an entire page to how awesome my grandma is and how truly blessed I feel to be able to have such a relationship with my grandma as an adult ( I think I will...)!
* Jaxon is playing Upward Flag Football and loving it! I'm not particularly crazy about standing outside freezing during practices and games but, I guess that comes with the territory and this mother of 3 boys is going to have to toughen up some! I'll try to post some pics of that soon!
* Jones is officially allergic to peanuts. BUMMER! We've suspected this to be true for a while but, now it has been confirmed by a trip to the allergist and several back "scratches." Just FYI to all who are reading this - Don't give my kid peanut butter! And, I guess this means that I will have to confiscate any candy containing peanut butter from his trick or treat bag this year. HMM... wonder what I can do with it?? YUM!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

So ... I am officially trying to lose baby weight (er, should I say "babies" weight). Therefore, if you see me with a cookie, or ice cream, or candy, or brownies or a coke ... Man, I'm starting to drool... STOP ME PLEASE!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Me!

So, my dear sweet husband is even more dear and sweet than originally thought ...

Today, September 30th is our 8th Anniversary and to celebrate this occasion, Matt planned a surprise weekend getaway for us this past weekend! He arranged childcare and everything! After dropping the bigger boys off at their respective homes for the weekend (Jaxon stayed with the Duke's, Jones stayed with Grammy and Papa and Matheson got to tag along - he's still and quiet, plus he's sorta attached at times...), Matt and I hit the road to Wilmington! We were able to have an actual conversation on the drive without interruptions, ate dinner without cleaning up messes and sharing my food with anyone, turned the tv on in the hotel room to a channel that wasn't NOGGIN, went in lots of shops without anyone begging for anything, and without having to go in a single toy store, took a shower without peeking out the curtain one time to make sure everything was allright, and slept beside my wonderful husband all night long without anyone crawling in the bed between us! Oh, the simple things ...

Thanks for a wonderful weekend, Matty! I love you and can't wait to see what the next 8 years of wedded bliss brings our way!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Keeping my fingers crossed...

Hopefully, the last 2 nights are more than just a fluke! But, Matheson has slept through the night!! Could it possibly be true?! Actually, on Friday night, he slept from 11:30pm to 6:30am - I was super excited (after I rushed into his room to make sure he was breathing)! But then Saturday night he woke up twice in the middle of the night. However, Sunday night and last night (Monday) he slept from roughly 10:00pm to about 6:00am! Keep it up little man - you are definitely on your way to becoming mommy's favorite! :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Now ALL my boys have bumps on their heads!

Please don't call DSS on us but, ALL my boys currently have bumps on their heads! We all know Matheson's story but, what about the other boys? Well, The week started on Sunday night with Jones slipping on a seat cushion that was on the kitchen floor and falling into the corner of the kitchen cabinet! There was a huge knot on his forehead before we even got over to pick him up! This resulted in call #1 to the pediatricians office.
Treatment: lots of love, a ziploc bag of ice and a cookie.
Then Monday afternoon, Jaxon ran across the hardwood floors at a friends house with his socks on (after taking his shoes off at the front door like a good little boy) and flat out busted his lip big time! This resulted in call #2 to the pediatricians office. Since they won't put stitches in lips ...
Treatment: lots of love, tons of shout and lysol wipes (blood everywhere!), ice, a short visit to Jaxon Duke's house, cleaning with a mixture of peroxide and water, and a box of popsicles.
Then, during a wrestling match with daddy on Thursday night while I was at a meeting at church, Jaxon was running away from Matt who was throwing pillows at him and he ran into the door frame! BAM! Instant knot and gash on his little blonde head! This resulted in call #3 to the pediatrician's office.
Treatment: lots of love, ice, a visit to nurse Grammy, a visit to the ER, and 3-4 stitches. Too bad it was way too late and the ER was way too crowded to hang out with a sleepy 5 year old boy - therefore we opted to replace the "3-4 stitches" suggestion with some neosporin and a band-aid. Oh, and a krispy kreme donught.
And, if a zit counts ... Matt has a bump on his head too! :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

A sigh of relief...

In an effort to make a long story short... (which you all know I'm really bad at doing) Matheson's first visit with the specialist at Baptist this past Thursday was a bit concerning. The doctor "wasn't convinced" that his spot was a hemangioma, and was concerned that it could be something much more serious. We were given the spill about possible effects, defects (including brain damage), surgeries, etc... and asked to return the very next day for a CT scan. HOW SCARY! So, we took poor little Matheson back the next morning. In order to do a CT scan on a newborn, they have to be sedated, and an IV had to be put in place to deliver the "dye" used to make the images. AGAIN, HOW SCARY! Then, we had to wait nearly a week for the results! It was during this week, that the Lord reminded us that there was really no need to fear, and that Matheson was clearly His plan from the beginning (not ours, that soon after Jones for sure! haha) and so anything and everything that happens to him is just a part of that plan. Matt and I both had a sense of peace somehow as we walked into the doctors office at Baptist for the results (no matter what they were) - And would you believe (yes, because God is so good) that it is a hemangioma afterall! Praise God! And as if that weren't good enough, it seems at this point that Matheson is part of a very small percentage of hemangiomas called "rapidly diluting" hemangiomas that actually correct themselves without any medical intervention much more quickly than other hemangiomas! Praise God Again! God always answers our prayers - sometimes not exactly the way we had hoped, and sometimes, like now, even greater than we would have ever imagined! Here's a new pic of our little answer to prayer - you can hardly even notice the hemangioma already!

Friday, September 5, 2008

My boys rock!

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Having such a wonderful father and big brother can only mean one thing...Jones has some BIG shoes to fill!

While you were Sleeping...

"Mom, wanna see what I did while you were sleeping?" Well, let me think, you didn't burn the house down, I didn't hear anything crashing to the floor and breaking into thousands of pieces, your brothers are still asleep... Sure honey, what did you do while I was sleeping?

How pleasantly surprised I was to find that while I was taking a desperately needed, much deserved nap, Jaxon hadn't done anything crazy after all ... Instead, he created "The Pequod," the ship from Moby Dick (yes, I'm reading Moby Dick to my 5 year old), complete with a whaling boat, crew members and harpoons! And it was actually floating in my bathtub! Unbelievable! Ah, the joys of homeschooling ... He has totally taken initiative on himself to complete this "project" that I would have never dreamed of assigning! And for you skeptics, he's obviously listening and comprehending as we read Moby Dick at the end of our school day!

Monday, August 25, 2008

One Month Old!

In all honesty, I feel like I could make a career out of doctors visits - Being pregnant and having children makes for lots of doctors appointments! Can I get an AMEN?

At Matheson's one month check-up on Friday, he weighed 11 pounds and was 24 inches long! That means that since he was born, he has gained 3 pounds and has grown 3 inches! Yeah for mama milk!! At this appointment we also got a diagnosis for a lump that has been over his eye since birth. It is officially called a "hemangioma" which is a group of blood vessels that didn't fully develop before birth. At any rate, it is basically harmless and should disappear before he's 5 years old without any medical intervention. However, since it is so close to his eye and is already causing him to have some slight difficulty opening his left eye, we have been referred to a specialist at Duke that will keep an "eye" on it and decide if any treatment is needed to prevent it from affecting his vision in any way. This sounds a little scary, but in reality - I am thankful for a doctor who is willing to be so pro-active and precautionary. And I'm thankful for answers! So, now I know what to say to those numnuts who ask "did you drop him already?" - Seriously?