Mar 30, 2012

Can we get a punch card?

Last Thursday we went back to PCMC for a check-up.  Mia brought along her favorite dolly. I'm pretty sure she could not get any sweeter! She wanted to feed it, and diaper it, and held it like... well THAT (above).  I'm glad she had her baby because the blood draw was really difficult this time.  She usually handles it well, but most likely due to the steroids, she was super upset and kept yelling, "MOM!!!!" I felt mean, and not nice. The team didn't really have any new info for me.  They were going to talk about her in the big group meeting and let me know what they decide.  They decided to keep her on steroids for another few weeks.  I was hoping that we would taper off and be done with this whole rejection mumbo-jumbo, but it turns out that's not in the cards.  Mia has to go back for another biopsy.  AAAHHH!  I am totally bummed.  I don't want her to get poked anymore.  Her last cath left over five little scars on just one leg.  I know it is a necessary evil, but I just want someone to invent some way to test pressures in the heart without having to access my little baby girl.  I guess technically they are going to re-biopsy and that can only be done by taking tiny samples of tissue.  I just don't like it!  She is the most adorable thing... why is it always the cute ones that endure the most? 

To explain just how sweet this little peanut is I will document our experience during our time in the echo room.  Mia is a champ during her echo's.  Sometimes she gets chatty with the person doing the echo, and sometimes she just watches the show playing.  After her echo was finished it was momma's turn to get an echo.  As soon as I was lying down waiting for the Belva to come back in Mia immediately started consoling me. "Mommies turn ok?"  "Mommy have a turn... ok?" "gotta look at da hart." "ok? ok? ok mom? ok?"  

Toward the middle of my echo she kept stating, "almost done.  almost done ok?"  "ready to go?"  I couldn't get over the fact that she kept telling me, "almost done" as if to encourage me to just hold on.  She is such a darlin. 

When we were finally finished (mine take a lot longer) she said, "mom, you deed it!"  "deed it mom" "all done mom!"

I could not love her more. 

"Hot Mommas" in black and white

ok, ok and a little color. 

The thing about heart moms is.... 

They are all incredible women!  I have personally changed the identity from 
"heart momma" to "hot momma" I mean, look at these women!  Such beauty! The gal taking pictures had to get a little creative, because there were so many of us.  So nice to have so many women to rely on... but so devastating that so many kiddos are diagnosed each year.

All of the heart mom's that came to the IHH dinner crammed in this staircase.  This is a lot of women, but it doesn't even scratch the surface of how many mom's have kids with heart defects.  

The week I found out about Mia, it was as if someone had placed a grenade in my lap and walked away wishing me well.  I was a basket case.  Through the lovely world of blogging I quickly made some heart mom friends that were gracious enough to answer even the most ridiculous of questions.  Shauntelle, Kim, Crystal, and Hilary were my lifeline to the transplant world.  I was scared out of my mind reading what would soon be my reality.  I read all of their kiddos stories cover to cover... or whatever the equivalent on a computer is.  None of it looked easy!  Email after email... question after question... I gathered advice from these wonderful women and attribute a lot to them.  I emailed them post transplant as well, just to make sure I was doing everything right.  Motherhood is difficult enough without throwing a transplant kiddo in the mix... now we are all members of a happy online community that shares stories, triumphs, frustrations, questions etc.  I finally got to meet one of my original heat mommies.  I made some great heart mommy friends in WA as well...don't get me wrong, but most of the heart mom's that were with me from the start lived in Utah... and one in Iowa.  The girl in the picture is my friend Shauntelle... her baby girl is waiting for a second transplant.  She is the heart mom of all heart moms.  Please pray for her sweet little K... and her hot momma!  

Becca was another blogging buddy/ heart mom.  We "met" for the first time on a campout.  Our kids had a blast while we got to chat.  She is the heart mom that we had our Valentines Day double date with.  We went to dinner and then to the Paul Cardall concert.  She is great- I wish we lived closer because we were instant friends!  I'm looking a little sketch in this photo... like I just rolled out of bed, or out from underneath a cardboard box... you decide. 

Old and New heart mom friends.   I have yet to meet a heart mom that I didn't appreciate, and I loved finally putting faces with names... or people with faces... or mommies to their heart kiddo- you get the idea.   There is just an understanding across the board with these women.  Often times no explanation is needed, just being a heart mom is explanation enough. Two girls down from me is a girl I went to college with.  How crazy is that?  I totally recognized her and now we both have transplant kiddos.  It would be interesting to go back in time and give each other a pep-talk.  College seems like five lifetimes ago, but she looks exactly the same... so it wasn't that long ago. 

I attended a heart mom dinner previous to this grandiose event and fell in love with these two heart moms.  They are hysterical!  We drove up to the dinner together and the dinner might as well have been in Idaho because they are so fun to be around... I could have driven for hours with these girls.  Jill, Mauri- you two make me proud to be a heart mom!  I can't wait for our next adventure.  The Target parking lot is waiting... if you know what I'm sayin!

I can't forget to mention the fabulous woman who made it all happen.  Andee (cute brunette, second row, dead center) reminds me of a little heart momma engine that could.  This girl spoiled us with gifts bags loaded with cute things, shirts, a lovely dinner, and many of the mommas won super fancy heart themed gifts.  She did a fabulous job and I'm amazed she did it all on such short notice!  Great job Andee- and thanks for the pillow pet! Mia LOVES it!  :-) :-) 

Girl Friends

I got to see some of my favorite people from high school a few months back.  Whit and Shelley, it was great catching up! I can't wait to do it again.  

Another favorite person came into to town with her cute cute kids.  We tried to play at the park but it was just too cold- and no one had a coat.  We ended up playing at the house.  We swapped "Ellies" for this picture.  Mia looks so happy- I love that expression!

We both named our girls Ellie.  My Ellie talks about her Ellie from time to time asking when she can play with the "other Ellie."  Sadly, they do not live here, but hopefully will visit enough so we can get these girls together.  I think Erin's Ellie looks exactly like her momma.  Ellie happened to have a little friendship necklace she had been saving.  She gave the other half to Ellie.  Everyone wanted to eat them so they didn't last long, but it was super sweet. 

It feels like yesterday that we were running around causing all sorts of trouble in high school.  So much time has passed and now we all have children.  Lots and lots of children. :-)

Mar 20, 2012

Before the Steroids

Mia's steroids have pretty much kicked her energy into hyper-drive.  She runs around, acts crazy, and has an extra dose of goofiness.  It is all pretty entertaining really.  There have been a few moments of needing to blame her behavior on the steroids, but she has been fun fun fun for the most part. 

I took these pictures of her and Ellie probably a month before her biopsy.  Mia had a ton of energy then too.  She ran around the entire night with more energy than usual. 

I really could not get the girl to calm down.  She just wanted to go go go.  I loved all of her enthusiasm, so I just watched... and took pictures of course! :-)

After the Waspettes performed at half time, the cheerleaders also did a dance.  As soon as she saw them out there with the pom-pom's she was determined to try them out. 

I had to ask one of the cheerleaders if Mia could give it a go.  She was adorable.  I taught her how to say and do the actions to "go fight win."  I wish I had a video camera.  She just steals my heart.  She was so happy with that pom-pom in her hand.  I'm holding out for her to be a Waspette, but after seeing the look on her face waving that pom-pom around, I'll be happy with whatever she picks.

My chiquita's having a blast at "Waspettes." 

Ellie is on cloud nine with these girls.  I think I made all of her dreams come true when I signed up to help coach these girls. She counts down the days when she gets to see them, and asks if I can wake her up in the morning when i go... so she can come along. 

When it was time to leave Mia chose the ground to do a stand-off.

At first I thought she had fallen, but when i got closer I just saw the faraway look in her eyes.  She was sad... she didn't want to leave... and this was her way of letting me know.

I was half shocked that she was silently mourning our departure.  The other half of me just wanted to stay there... for as long as she wanted.  Mia is just the sweetest kid.  You could call it a tantrum if you must, but she just rested her face on her hands with a sad look on her face.  I couldn't get enough of her protest.  All of this emotion... even without any steroids. 

After letting her be the sweetest little sad girl for a few minutes I bribed her with a treat in the car.  Nothing like good 'ol fashioned bribery.  It seems to work wonders with her.  She quickly jumped up and marched off to the car.  

We are on her last taper of steroids and will find out on Thursday how long we have to keep her on them.  I am hoping not for very much longer.  I want to go back to the silent protesting girl. :-)

Wedding Bells

A friend of mine was married a few weeks back.  It was a beautiful wedding.  It was a fun little getaway for me and I got to spend some time with the ladies from Washington.  Monica was a Washington girl, but now lives in Utah.  I'm thrilled I was part of her big day.  

I took John's truck and thought it necessary to document how Carrie and Anna had to ride with everything on top of them because John's second home is his truck.  There was so much stuff in there, that the girls had to get creative... and it looks like Anna has the wedding dress on her lap.  I know it is not the wedding dress because it was on Monica, but these girls were buried.  I felt bad, but definitely got a good laugh.

Speaking of a good laugh.  Rebecca and I did an interview with Trevor (groom) the day before the wedding and I don't think I have laughed that hard in probably... I don't know... a long time.  It was painful laughter.  He was and still is HILARIOUS.  Aside from John he might be the funniest husband yet.  We asked him random questions and then asked him another question that would produce a completely ridiculous answer to the first question.  We spliced together to original question with the second answer and let me just say... it doesn't get any better than this.  We showed the video at the bachelorette party... and laughed and laughed some more. He even did the chicken dance for us... ya know, because it is "their song."  I highly recommend doing this if you are having a friend getting married.  We might of had more fun than "the law allows." 

We had some time to kill and did some pre-wedding shopping.
Seeing this picture makes me sad. I wish I could beam people to me... whenever I wanted.
There is definitely a void in my life without my friends.  

No wedding would be complete with out some pampering.  I am so glad to have these pictures because I left my small camera at this nail salon.  It was retrieved days later... still there.  Hooray for honest people.  I can't believe the amount of things I have lost/had stolen this year.  It's more than the last decade I'm sure. I just can't seem to keep track of really important things.  Why? why?

I love weddings.  It was such a long awaited, lovely, happy, joyous day.  There could not have been a more beautiful bride.  Monica is such a fabulous person.  She is fun, stylish, generous, lovely, and every other positive descriptive word... and ultra crafty.  I can't say enough about the girl... and Trevor is one lucky boy to have found such a beautiful woman.  He pretty much won the lottery... and I think he knows it.  He adores her, and it just makes me happy in my heart.
I just know they are going to have the best life together! 
congrats you two!

Igloo and Snow Fun

The kids and JB made an awesome igloo in the front yard.  I snapped a few pictures when they were getting started, and failed to get one after it was finished.  Woopsie.  There are some remains, but with the hot weather the last few weeks, it has all but vanished. 

Igloo making is a yearly tradition... if the weather cooperates.  Sam loved going inside and screaming... Mia was afraid to go inside, but did a couple times. I think next year they should make a giant igloo, one big enough for me to go inside. 

Mar 13, 2012

Ice Fisherman

The Catch of the Day!  
I am referring to my boy in case you thought I was implying the fishie. 

He is quite the looker!  Again, not the fish! :-) 

The snow doesn't stop Jense and his Pa from going fishin.  Jensen has gone Ice fishing with his grandpa a couple times this season.  The fist time he came back he said that he heard a big booming sound that sounded like a bomb going off.  I guess the ice was cracking so they called it a day.  That scares me... a lot.  This boy sure likes to fish though.  The fish is sooo good too.  I could eat it all day.  My dad made caught 8 fish yesterday, and I think I personally ate half of them.  So yummy, so good for you, and free!

  Never thought I'd be counting on my 8 year old to be providing dinner so much.  Way to go Jense!

Mar 12, 2012

Vote for your Fav

The Waspette Spectacular is coming up. It is going to be awesome!! If you are free on Friday night, you won't want to miss it. These girls are fabulous dancers! I am working on individual prints for each girl, and decided to upload the options here for them to choose.  Feel free to vote for your favorite print style, even if you're not a Waspette.








#8 (original)

As long as I am advertising.... 

Mar 9, 2012

Mia's fancy nancy clinic day

Mia's follow-up went well.  Aunt Nats bought her this adorable outfit, which she of course loves to pieces because it is "puulpuul."  We saw another little heart girl about her age wearing the exact same dress.  I didn't know who it was or I would have definitely taken a picture of the two of them.
Thanks Nats, for the fancy outfit!  

Now that we have her cute out fit covered... we can move on to the medical bit.

Jugular Vein Distension. That is the term I could not remember.  There is another name for it, but that is what it all boils down to.
Mia's high pressures along with JUGULAR VEIN DISTENTION were the determining factors for her rejection.  No thanks JVD... no thanks!

After Mia's echo and blood draw we had a surprise visitor- daddy! 
His classroom is two buildings away, so he can zip over between classes. On a completely different note, I never did update on if he got the job or not.  Remember THIS post?  Well, he did in fact get the job and has been working at PCMC since November.  He has since told them about this, and they said they didn't even notice his resume being off.  I forgot to update, and have had some people ask me.  So, yes... he still got the job... even after that! 

Mia was the perfect patient for her "owie pokes." I love the child life here... she blew bubbles, and was highly distracted during all of the owchies.  When we made it back to the clinic someone was playing an early April Fool's joke because all of the cords for the blood pressure machines were missing.  The nurse had to take her blood pressure manually.  I can't remember anyone ever taking her blood pressure manually.  There is a first time for everything! 


After Mia's appointment John and I headed over to a nearby college to talk to a group of nursing students.  We shared her story... I ended up talking most of the time because I'm chatty like that.  Mia was a total ham the entire time.  She ran back and forth in the front of an auditorium style classroom and acted pretty much like a toddler... on steroids. :-)  She was not shy at all, and waved to everyone proudly when we walked in the room.  It' safe to say that everyone loved her.   
She is just a little ball of personality and is so fun to watch. 
I jump at any chance I have to advocate for Organ Donation Awareness.  Having Mia run around so full of life and spend the 30 minutes flirting with the class is more more influential than anything I could possibly say!!

When we got home Mia zonked right out.  
Hospital days (even though we weren't there very long) are so tiring.
My babies never fall asleep in my lap after they turn like 9 months old.  I could sit for hours with one of my little crazies in my lap... sawing logs.  I loved it.  

So, no changes really... we're just going to stay the course with these steroids and keep praying!
The steroids have been interesting this time around.  They warn you about wild temper tantrums, and she has had a few, but what has really kicked into gear is her affection.  She wants to give kisses to everyone... all the time.  She randomly kisses me on the forehead at least 10 times a day.  She wants hugs all the time, and makes the cuddling/ cozy noises.  She gives Sammy kisses, and pretty much anyone who is interested.  This is good and bad.  I love her sudden interested in smooches, but I don't want her to get any germs from all of the besos.   For now I will just close my eyes and hope she stays healthy... I don't have the heart to say, "no kissing your baby brother!" :-)

Mar 7, 2012

Mia and Sam... and hair... and chockit

My twosies sitting at the bar for a little lunchie.  I still have no idea why my pictures come out partially corrupted.  Why?  why?  If you can tell me I just might have to give you a fancy reward.  It's driving me CRAZY!!!

Sammy's "stink face."  He makes this face often and breathes in and out heavily.  He is just a little toddler monster who likes to do little monster things.  He is noisy and loud and busy.  My mom keeps a vat of nutella at her house and so I spread on graham crackers for the kids.  Mia calls it "chockit" and likes to play in it before she takes a bite.
Sam just dives right in and leaves the evidence on his little mug.

Soooo proud of herself.  If we tell Mia to do something that she is not ready to do.. she will immediate respond, "because" in a very sweet and dainty voice.  It's so funny.
"Mia please eat your food and be all done playing in it."
Mia: "because."  I think it is her way of politely declining your request. 

I'm trying to keep the camera handy when Mia's hair is first done.  I have noticed a trend on this blog... she is always looking, or her hair rather, is looking like she's has no mother.  I enjoy doing her hair.  a lot.  It just doesn't last, so I am taking picture of it so I  have proof that I do did indeed make her look decent from time to time.

The mommy hair-do blogs are addicting.  Mia loves the hearts... I think it is pretty stinkin' cute myself.  I just wish her fancy do's would stay.  They last about half and hour then her thin hair just starts sneaking out and forming a feathered mess in front of her face.

Not much to report in the Sam Department.  
His obsessions are his "blantee" "dog" "beaw" and "Whimes"
Sam could watch starfall nursery rhymes for hours.  
They have like 48 nursery rhymes on a loop... he can sing some of them now which is worth all the screen time.  I love hearing him sing "this old man."  He sings... "dog a bowm."
They have a lot of other equally fabulous things on starfall - it is part of our daily routine around here. 

I always wanted an attachment baby.  I finally got one... on my last go around. 
He hauls his blanket everywhere... and will not sleep without it. 
Maybe someday I will not like it, but watching him so in love with his blanket is my mommy dream come true. 

Although she is wearing the same shirt, this is a totally different day... I swear!  Only a crazy person would un-do a hair do on a squirmy 3 year old, just to start another one.  

She liked the braid... I like how her hair is out or her face. 

Ok, now I feel better about her appearance on this here blog.  
Maybe I'll start a hair journal... na! That's NEVER gonna happen. 
Maybe I should start sprinkling flax seed meal on some of my children's meals... 
Maybe I should start rubbing oils on their feet every night...
Maybe I should teach them the music scale....

There are so many things I want to do... but they happen here and there, and never enough to seem like it's making any kind of difference. 

These two spend so much time together.  I love having another little brother/sister buddy repeat. 
They are not found apart... until nap time. 
Sammers calls Mia "Mah-na!"  Mia calls Sam, "Sammy"
When Mia does something to Sam that he doesn't like he will come over to me and say, "Mah-na mean...Mah-na mean!"  Then he will call her "Meana" for awhile.  I don't think he purposely knows that he created a handy nickname, but it sure is funny. 

One more hair do.  Another heart... but with a pony tail.  I was going to use this picture for a CHD awareness blog, but never got around to it.  I love the hearts.  Mia now requests them, and I willingly grant her the "hart in na haiw."