Sep 30, 2009

Stalling


This is a stalling post. I am stalling because I am too far behind. I'm in over my head and I can't catch up. What is it about the fall that makes everything speed up and get completely crazy?

I love this picture!! It's not very often that there is a picture that I know I will cherish for years. This is that picture. She is tube free, pain free, and she's one blue eyed creature that I am in love with.

Mia is still army crawling, and is in no hurry to travel in any other way. Out of nowhere she is chowing down on food that previously gagged her, AND she can sing her abc's- HA! Just making sure you were paying attention. She does have a few new words, "ba bye," "Ugh" for uh-oh and "gut'n" we don't know what that means- but it's cute.

She Just finally learned to clap!! Usually babies just pick it up- yes, yes, but I have been determined for months to get her to clap. I am not exaggerating. I clap for everything... maybe that is why it took so long. We play Pat-a-cake all the time and still nothing. In fact, when I would let go and continue to cheer she reverted right back to Ole'. I think I mentioned this... the crazy flailing of one arm while the other is held above her head. Now she can clap- I'm so proud :-)

Tomorrow I find out if she has reached 20 lbs... wish me luck!

The hospital called and scheduled her cath. I know she needs it done, but I just don't think I'm ready to hand her back. I have been trying not to think about it because it stresses me out. It's not that big of a deal... right? My goal is to not worry about it until we're closer to the date... I've never been very good at goals.

I have a lot of questions, but don't really want to know the answers yet. It's funny but she has already had one, and I've had one, but now that we have been home and she is our little crazy maniac I am terrified of any more sedation or procedures, or biopsies.

Do you remember the first time we were on the floor with Mia and I was daydreaming about just running out of the door with her? I wondered if security would chase me down? We were about to go home- in case you didn't read that and were thinking I was crazy. I have that same feeling when I think about her cath- can't I just keep her home?

Alright alright, I'll say it. I am terrified of.... blood clots.... there I said it. We know she already had a larger one from her first cath- remember the stroke scare? I am sure everything will be fine! I know I am not in control. I will post about it again when we get closer to the date. It is in November.

Sep 22, 2009

Schoolio

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Mr. Big stuff Kindergarten-er. I can't believe he is in school! I just can't! He was more than ready to go, and had all school supplies arranged ever so meticulously for the weeks leading up to the big day. His favorite things so far: lunch- he really digs his lunch box, but is going to give hot lunch a go this week. He loves his teacher and absolutely loves show and tell.

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Here he is walking in. I thought I would be sad... I wasn't. It was a happy moment. He was ready, I was ready... no tears. He did look back and give me a big smile, and in that moment I knew that things would be never be the same. I love this kid.

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Because he turned 6 before school started he got to bring a treat for the class. He helped me make all the cupcakes, and I surprised him with the little happy birthday flags. He said, "ooh mom, that's fancy." Thanks son, I try. :-)

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Elvis started preschool around the same time. No picture of the first day, but she sure hammed it up on harvest day.

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Look mom... CORN! Ellie came home from harvest day and promptly picked our garden clean of all vegetables... except for the green tomatoes.

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Enjoying the fruetts of her labor. OK she did the sweetest thing that day- I better document this so I can read back and remember what an angel she is, right? Those of you who know her can laugh... go ahead. Anyways, when we got home she arranged all of her loot on the table. She peeled both of the carrots and handed one to me and to Jense. I asked her why she didn't want one (the girl loves carrots) and she said: "I want both of you to get one." True story. I think her number one quality is generosity- she wants everyone to have something... even before herself. I was so proud of her- I ate my entire carrot and boy was it tasty!

One last thing to share before I publish. John and I have never been that great with taking the kids out one on one, but have done it more frequently lately. Of course the kids eat it up, and like to announce when it is a "mommy/Ellie" date or a "mommy/Jense" date. Sometimes I talk up a quick trip to the store and pass it off as a date- they don't know the difference. Last week we were on our way home from taking Jensen to school and this was our conversation:

Ellie: Mom
Me: Yeah
Ellie: Can we go on another date, just you and me?
Me: Sure
Ellie: Can we go to the last place we went? (We had gone to Dairy Queen)
Me: Which place?
Ellie: You know the ice cream place... the ice cream place where we ate the ice cream- and we got the hula hoops. The yummy hula hoops with the onions inside?

I love her interpretation of the onion ring- my kids have never eaten them before, and I can see how hula hoop fits just fine.

Sep 16, 2009

Little Hearts, Big Hearts, and Angel Hearts

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A while back (Yes, estoy muy behind) we met up with fellow CHD kiddos for a picnic. Jesse and I ventured out with our heart babies, and despite all of the forces of the universe working against us- We made it! I was excited to see all the the heart families we have grown to love over the past year.

I was so happy to see many familiar faces- many of these faces only remember me from one exposure during Mia's wait. It was a few months into our stay at the hospital and I decided to go meet some other CHD families that met at the hospital once a month. I had no intention of falling apart in front of people I didn't know- but I knew they knew how I felt. Mia's line had come out-- AGAIN-- and it had been a terrible day. That day came rushing back to me as I saw their smiling faces. I felt silly knowing they saw me at such an emotional state, but was glad for them to meet Mia, and see that I was O.K. She was worth all of the tears!

Oh- and I this is what you get when you have a fixed lens and a group shot...not a good combination! Sorry to everyone who is cut off...if you read my blog :-) If you've been waiting for the reunion pics- get ready for many a photography mishap!



The pic on the right was our heart transplant picnic. It was neat to meet these families- the transplant kids are incredible! I loved hearing that some kids are taking swimming lessons, participating in sports, and giving THEMSELVES their medicine. So encouraging, and refreshing! I might have been a little over the top with asking people how they do things and why they use the drugs they do etc. I just cant get enough of finding out what my future might look like. I'm still a rookie!

The pic on the left- my heart home-girls. I stole this pic from Katie.

John and I attended a organ donation advocate appreciate dinner ( no pic). It was neat for me to meet the range of people that attended. I met organ recipients, family members of people waiting, donor families, and families of those who passed waiting. The evening was inspiring- and there is so much to be done to educate about organ donation. The most amazing part of the night for me was to meet a woman who lost her husband who then became a donor for many people. He saved so many. She now works for living legacy and is responsible for many registrations this year. She is amazing! One thing is for sure- there are young and old in need of organs- and it's humbling to see the look in the eyes of loved ones who are waiting for that call for someone they love. It's the look I'm sure my eyes could not hide. I am so grateful to our donor family- I love them!! I have a letter from our donor mom and if I get permission I will post a picture of Mia's darling heart angel!


This little sweet heart baby returned to Heaven. My heart is broken for their little family. His mother is amazing. She writes:
I prayed he would no longer have to suffer. . . and the Lord answered the prayer. I wish I could say that my peace outweighed my pain. It doesn't, but there is no bitterness. Just blessed to have had the MANY tender mercies that we had. We live and we learn. . . and quite truthfully, where else would you have your child be (if not with you) but in heaven awaiting celestial glory! He is now whole!


After learning of his passing I decided to team up with a local heart foundation to send out a care package for heart families that are faced with such heartache. I know nothing I can do will take away the pain, but I need to do something. It is still in the beginning stages, but will be up and running soon. If you have any suggestions as to what to include I would love some. email me. If you want to read about this sweet little baby click HERE


The best news of my month hands down was learning that this daddy and fellow CHD patient received a heart transplant. Paul grew up with the same doctors and nurses and I did, and he is one amazing musician. His story is inspiring and his blog will captivate you- it does me. This is for the few that don't read his blog already :-) Paul, I am so excited for your family! I am so grateful to your donor family- and ecstatic that you and Lynette get to raise that little girly together! It looks like you won't be the tin man for Halloween after all!

This about does it for heart news... for now.

Sep 12, 2009

Utah Take ONE

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Thing ONE- Check out the hair on this girl. Mia loved her first vacation. The drive there was a beast, but we made it and no illness to speak of. As you can tell from this picture that Mia is quite the little ham. Her new nickname is "spaz"- because she goes a mile a minutes. No, she is not crawling yet, but if there were a prize for crawling minus the coordination she would earn it. Her arms go, her legs just don't quite follow. She pulls herself to a stand and will stand for a long time. Her favorite exercise is what we call "O'le" She raises one hand above her head palm up, then pats her tummy with the other hand. It is hilarious and we don't know where it came from, but she'll do it on demand. Her personality is so much fun and she is already our little jokester. When we ask her where a nose is... she will reach out with her index finger then right before touching someones noes she will pull it back quickly and just laugh and laugh. We love her!

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Grandpa was hard at work and the kids were not far behind. Chores have never been so exciting!

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Close to my sisters house is a fun little splash park. Ellie made some friends, and Mia could live in the water- she loves it.

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Little cousin Abbicus/Abbs/Abracadabra She is darling, yes?

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The "Zipper" club. When my dad first told me he was joining me in the "zipper" club we were on our way to school and I thought, "ok, sure dad, the zipper club- whatever floats your boat." I had no idea what he meant, and didn't give it much attention until it was brought to my attention again. Both my daddy and I have had the Ross procedure- you add a sweet little baby with an angel heart and voila- ZIPPER CLUB. More Z club pictures to come.

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Mom to Abbs, and my older sis Raegan. Our time was too short- and let's be honest we were getting ready for the reunion most of the time I was there! I took all of about five pictures- some of these picture are compliments of the Sellers. Suzie's sweet baby Sydney was blessed while we were there- again, pictures to come.

Yes, that is a heart monitor- and no it does not shock me. Ever since the news about my heart I have been experiencing some chest pain. I am no stranger to chest pain, but for some reason it just hurts more and longer. It's a funny thing, that human nature. I feel like now that I've been "diagnosed" my little heart is thinking... "now that you mention it- I am going to poop out." Maybe I am just more aware of the pain now that it has been brought to my attention- who knows. It is the culprit for why I am really behind in my blogging. Birthday, blessing, reunion, camp-outs, and first day of kindergarten all waiting in the wings.

Sep 7, 2009

It Just might be time to retire those socks...




From across the room Jensen's socks looked a little off. Mimi is really good at filtering through the clothes and storing the ones he grows out of, but it seems that we missed this particular pair of socks, 4 YEARS STRAIGHT!! I will say that it is satisfying to know that we got our money out of that investment.

Sep 5, 2009

Dancerellie

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This face! Ellie took a few dance classes this year. She loves to dance, but mostly loves to dress up for dance.

Last year I did a post about the dance recital, but never got the video going. To get a glimpse into her personality watch this video from last year ( I edited most of it). You'll know which mouse she when you watch it. She cracks me up!


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Yes, that is me up there as large as the house in the background! This was two days before little Mees came into our lives. All three girls up there on stage...well sorta. I wonder if that will ever happen again? Ellie was in my friend Jen's class but she moved to Costa Rica right before the recital. She left me some note cards with the dance steps on them, and this was my interpretation. I had actually watched the dance plenty before, but I spent class time talking to doctors and specialists... so... I don't know if got it right on or not.


John and I get a kick out of turning on any type of music and just watching her go. I need to video that! The other night when we were watching SYTYCD- she was mimicking as many of the moves as she could. She gets so into it and takes it so seriously. If I can catch the right dance it will be a great entry for funniest videos.

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These are her "pretty fingers"... pretty sure she stole this from Napoleon!

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I LOVE this picture of her and my daddy! He calls her spitfire- and she calls him... spitfire too. They are quite the pair

Sep 2, 2009

A taste of Midway

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I grew up in literally the best place on earth! Midway Utah. Let's be honest, if you know where Midway is- you'll mostly likely agree with me.

Midway is a small town tucked just west of Heber City, and is best known for it's rich Swiss culture. As a little girl I would walk to town square just to see the Glockenspiel that went off every half hour. I remember counting how often it rotated before it went back inside. If you don't know what I'm talking about- sorry. It is a Swiss clock thing much like a cuckoo clock just with rotating wooden figures and loud yodeling. When the post office was part of the same building I would have my dad wait so we could see it. The excitement eventually wore off and I can't remember the last time I saw it. I don't know if it even goes off anymore. Midway residents, is it still alive and kicking? When I was home this past week Midway hadn't changed that much, except for a new church and the fact that there was a turn lane when I went to turn onto my old street. I am sure there are other changes, but for the most part it looked exactly the same as it did a few years ago. I miss Midway.

Ok, to the point- this weekend is SWISS DAYS!! Have you heard of it? If you live in Utah you truly should go- it will be worth your time. Swiss days goes hand in hand with the town of Midway. You learn at a young age the importance of Swiss days when you take field trips there. One of my first memories of Swiss days was spending hours in the tennis courts where they had all of the kid games. Later as a youth I ran those games, until later when I got my license to pound the kraut. There is something for everyone at Swiss days!

What was it for me, you ask?

Two things:

#1- BRAZELI'S!!

Brazeli's are a paper thin Swiss cookie that taste like heaven. They are made in a iron much like a flat waffle iron, but specific enough that you cannot re create it's glory without one. I have come pretty close with my pazzelle iron that my mom gave me for Christmas last year. If you're feeling loaded you can purchase a Brazeli iron HERE. But, for A LOT less you can get a pazzelle iron and then try this recipe:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. cinnamon (Heaping tsp that is)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. lemon or almond extract (or try a little of each)
4 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions:

Cream together butter, sugars, and eggs, add cream.
Combine dry ingredients and add to butter mixture.
You may need to add additional flour to make a soft dough that you can form into a ball. Refrigerate overnight.
Form into balls about the size of walnuts and press in iron.

Serve them plain or with ice cream.
You could also make them into a cookie bowl by placing over a cup when they are hot.


CHECK me out!! I posted a recipe on my blog!! I have been meaning to post some recipes - I come very a foody family, but my kids always give recipes the boot.

and #2... drum roll... SWISS TACO (said slowly with a head nod)
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Recipe anyone? Ok- here it is- it is pretty basic. The KEY ingredient is the scone. Now, a scone in midway is different from other scones you may be thinking of. This scone is yummy delicious fry bread- not a small triangular dessert served with jam. If you live in the NW, you could equate it to an elephant ear only more substantial. The picture is from the last time I made them- how handy that I have a picture taking problem! Mine is not even close to appetizing compared to the real deal.

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 med. onion
2 cans enchilada sauce, hot or mild
1 med. can tomato sauce
1 can re fried or kidney beans
1 lb. grated cheese
1 head lettuce, chopped
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 sm. can taco sauce
INDIAN FRY BREAD:
4 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. warm water
Fry ground beef with onion, but do not brown. Add sauce and beans and simmer for 1/2 hour. For the Indian Fry Bread, mix the dry ingredients together well. Add water, mixing into a smooth ball. Break off a portion and pat into a large patty or roll out. Fry in hot oil. Top bread with sauce. Then add grated cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion. Add taco sauce sparingly.

Well, this isn't the Swiss taco recipe, but it is pretty similar. If you are reading this blog and you are going to work in the Swiss taco booth- fill me in on the True recipe. Then I will share with all of you! Swiss taco's are topped with slices of tomatoes- and I'm sure the sauce is different.

I am so hungry thinking about them. They have gone up in price over the years, but well worth it. Chances are you will have to wait in a long line to get one of these, but you will not be disappointed.

Besides the food, the town square is filled to the brim with booths loaded with charming merchandise. For years I always came home with a wooden helicopter toy- maybe that vendor is still there. I have some Christmas ornaments, a few outdated home decorations, and some jewelry... all purchased at Swiss days. The celebration is fun and you will see plenty of people running around in Lederhosen. If you catch the parade, don't be alarmed when the noise that comes from the alphorn isn't quite what you expected.

I haven't been to Swiss days for a few years, but last time I was the bulk of the entertainment is performed in the middle of the square in a white gazebo, the same gazebo I played in for hours upon hours as a young girl. I always imagined myself as the Swiss miss- doing a little dance. I was never crowned Swiss miss, but spent plenty of time pretending I was.

Midway is wonderful- I love it! I can't believe I missed Swiss days by only a couple days! Stinkin school system! Next year my kids will just have to start late! A girl can only go so long without revisiting a major part of her childhood.

Don't forget to get a Swiss taco- and take a picture of you eating it so that I can be be happy that someone is enjoy it! Oh, and the Brazelis are located at the relief society booth, but don't wait because they ALWAYS run out. Eat one for me- sniff sniff.