Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I don't have much to share today. Just some random little bits.

-Charlotte has two teeth now, and loves to chew on my finger with them.
-She is also quite the roller, but she still forgets that she knows how to roll back after she lands on her tummy, resulting in angry cries for deliverance.
-Owen filled up his Potty Sticker Chart and took his earned quarters to the store to buy a prize. We even counted out the money together. He proudly told the cashier that he "pooped in the potty."
-He's a big fan of the phrase "chill out," though he doesn't know how to use it contextually and often says instead, "Chill up, Mom."
-We watched Ice Age together a few weeks ago. He cried at the end when they gave the baby back to its dad. So did I.

My kids make me smile.

Monday, July 27, 2009


We have a slight problem. Owen is going through the Oedipal stage. "I want Mommy to make my breakfast. I want Mommy to read my books. I want Mommy, not Daddy!!!" Please make it go away. I tried to look up advice online, but searching for "parenting" and "Oedipal" produces mostly psychoanalysis websites that have absolutely no practical advice. I don't need to know in-depth analysis of Freudian behaviors. I just want to help Owen get through this phase as quickly as possible. Anybody out there have any advice?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Deceptive Recipes

I've been on an on-again/off-again cooking hiatus for around five months. I'm sure you understand. Sometimes life just forces you into "Let's look into the fridge and eat whatever we find" mode, but I've been in the kitchen a bit lately and couldn't resist complaining about a few things. Namely, recipe writers. Who are these people? Which evil genius wrote the "Low Fat Brownie" recipe I made earlier this week? Because I must say, I didn't see it coming. It had a beautiful name. It had beautiful ingredients. I was excited. And then I poured the batter into my 8 x 8 pan and discovered why it was "Low Fat"...I could barely convince the batter to slide into all four corners. When they came out of the oven they were a centimeter tall. And they suggested you cut them into TWELVE portions. If I had mashed the brownie into a measuring device, I think it would have been about a tablespoon. Who the heck eats a tablespoon sized brownie?? Ridiculous.

My second complaint is in regards to the kitchen ninja who wrote my recipe tonight. I suspect he has also participated in writing MANY other recipes. At the top my recipe declares that I only need 20 minutes to prep and 31 to cook. In 20 minutes I'm supposed to shred an entire chicken, finely dice an onion, and measure out 10 other ingredients. My 31 minute time-frame is fine as long as my stove will heat oil to a shimmer and bring cold liquids to a boil instantly. No problem. I believe that they search out the world's fastest prep cooks and ask them to compete in chicken shredding and vegetable chopping. Whoever has the fastest time gets to write that at the top of the recipe.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Be Still

I got a call yesterday from the Cardiologist office. They wanted me to bring Charlotte in for an echo. They had been discussing her case at their weekly conference and thought it best to make sure that her aorta looked okay. When it was ballooned, there was a spot in her aorta that pooched out a little bit. We had been warned that this might happen, and that it could be insignificant. But it's still something they like to keep a close eye on. So we went in today for the echo. Charlotte was NOT excited about the ultrasound. I ended up breastfeeding her WHILE they scanned her, because that was the only way to keep her calm enough. After they spent lots of time looking at the images, they came in to tell me this...we want a CT. Apparently the echo was making it appear that her little "pooch" was much worse, and the only way to tell for sure would be a cath or a CT with contrast. They explained that normally CTs for infants are done under sedation, but that we would give it a try right now. If she would be still enough, they would be able to get the pictures they needed, otherwise we would have to be admitted so they could do it first thing in the morning under sedation. I had just breastfed my baby so that she would be calm for an ultrasound, and now they think this same five month old is going to "be still" in a giant CT machine? I mentally prepared myself for spending another night in the hospital. She got an i.v. We took her to Radiology. A tech, two doctors and a PA all hovered over her, attempting to keep her calm and still. Owen and I went to a waiting room where I continued my repeated prayer, "Please keep her still, God." And He did. They got the images and realized that the echo was distorting the look of her aorta. Praise God.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Now that life is back to normal, I feel like I can post trivial things vacation pictures. We spent a week in Breckenridge with my family. This was the view from our front door. If only all front door views were this breathtaking.

With eight people in one house, we cooked and cleaned a lot. Amanda has the clean-the-kitchen-right-after-dinner gene. I certainly do not.
Charlotte spent a LOT of time in her carrier. She loved it. Thankfully, the straps are adjustable, so we all took turns hauling her around Colorado.
This was taken in Vail. Incredibly adorable little town. There are fountains everywhere for kids to splash in. We naively thought rolling up Owen's pants would suffice. Ha ha. He was soaked by the time we were ready to leave.
Group shot. Right after we paid to go kayaking in Lake Dillon. Right before Will went back in to get a refund due to big black clouds sneaking closer across the sky.
Nearly every night we got in the hottub on our deck. Owen loved it. He renamed it "the warm tub." He also liked to provide nightly entertainment in there. Our favorite was "Shamwow."
On our last day we finally worked up the energy for a big hike. If you are ever near Breckenridge, you have to do the McCullough Gulge trail. Amazing. For much of the trail, you hike near a waterfall.
Then you cross a snow field.

And end up at a glacial lake on top of the mountain. Worth every painstaking step.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Home Again

We're home. Charlotte is napping in her room, and I'm reclining on the couch. So nice. She still has the clot in her left femoral artery, but she is doing well--happy to no longer be attached to beeping computers and subjected to rectal temperature checks and ultrasound goo. She has plenty of blood flow to her leg. Her diagnostic cath is scheduled for next month and if the clot has not dissolved on its own, they will possibly balloon it then. So we're cool with that. It's just good to be home.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I've been contemplating my optimism today. I tend to look at the bright side of things. When my husband pointed out to the midwife that our daughter didn't have any thumbs, and she looked at me with shock and apologized, my response was, "That's okay. God must have a plan for our daughter that doesn't include thumbs." And that's just how I see things. When the cardiologist told us eight months ago that the ultrasound may show an A/P window, but probably not...I focused on the "probably not." When they saw some scar tissue at her follow-up cardiology appointment four months ago and said that it would probably go away on its own...I focused on the "would probably go away."

Today has shaken me a little. We're still in the hospital. Charlotte has a clot in her femoral artery that is requiring some attention. It's not causing her any problems. However, they need both of her femoral arteries in good condition because "she's going to be a frequent flier." I hadn't expected that phrase. I understood that they were going to need to take a look at her aorta soon to make sure all is well, but I had no idea that she would require lots of repeat caths. I found myself holding her, unable to stop myself from crying.

When she was in the NICU a few days after her birth, I asked one of her cardiologists if the A/P surgery would take care of everything. He gave me a slightly condescending look and told me that this would be "like catching a tiger by the tail." He went on to explain that you might think you've got the tiger by the tail, but then it jerks away from you. I developed an immediate dislike for him due to that analogy. But he was right. I've never tried to catch a tiger, but I imagine that this is what it feels like.

But I still hold to my optimism. Not because I believe that the outcome of every situation will be what I want. But because it's what God calls me to be. He wants me to know true joy. He wants me to trust Him. He wants me to live in today, in the now, not worrying about tomorrow. You can't do any of those things if you're busy measuring the emptiness of the cup.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Good Report

I'm sitting in the PICU now. Charlotte is beside me, sleeping peacefully. The cath went really well. She had a significant narrowing in her aorta, so they used the balloon. It isn't 100% open, but it's much, much better, and the cardiologist was very pleased. We will be staying overnight for monitoring, and then we'll have to come back in a month to take another look at the site of repair, making sure that the aorta is holding up well. But I'm feeling incredibly blessed. So many answered prayers today.

The Waiting Room

I'm sitting in the surgery waiting room. Charlotte went back about 45 minutes ago for her cardiac cath. She hadn't eaten since 2 a.m. but was happy, so that was a huge answer to prayer. They will keep us updated, but I can't imagine they've even started the cath yet, considering all of the pre-op work they have to do. Her doctor said they will only balloon open her aorta if she has a 50% blockage, otherwise they will just leave it alone. So I have no idea what to hope for...bigger blockage, get this thing taken care of, but more risk in the procedure? or less blockage and more watch and wait? So I'm just praying for God to take care of it. He's knows way better than I do.