Archive for March, 2011

I remember sitting there as the doctor told us all of this trying not to cry so I could listen. I knew if I cried I wouldn’t be able to stop. He even told me it was okay to cry, it was a lot to take in. He told us that she would have to have open heart surgery around 6 months of age. We would have to watch her carefully and she would have to come in for monthly check ups until her surgery. We were told that she could have blue spells due to the lack of blood flow. They were more likely to happen when she was upset. Her weight would be carefully monitored so she wouldn’t lose to much and that she might lose her appetite, all  signs of her defect.

For three months we watched her. Every time I feed her I cried and when she was done I sat and snuggled with her. She never showed any signs that she was sick. The only things that ever turned blue were her hands and feet when they got cold like any other baby. She ate and ate and ATE. There were times that I had trouble keeping up with her. I pumped to make my supply more and to have for bottles. She refused to use a bottle. She kept gaining weight. She gained so much in fact that her cardiologist decided she needed to have surgery early than previously thought. He was afraid that if she gained much more her heart would not be able to the strain.

So on February 17th, 2009, four months and 7 days after she was born Little Miss went in for surgery. I had been crying and praying for all that time but when I handed her over to the nurse that day I did it without tears. J was more upset than I was. When I kissed her and said goodbye I felt a wave of peace go over me. I knew that there was nothing else I could do but have faith she would come back to me. It seemed to take forever before I saw her again. Surgery went perfectly. In fact my mother-in-law overheard a nurse say that her surgeon said it was one of the best Tet surgeries he had even done.

I hated seeing her hooked to all those machines. I hated not being able to hold her. I hated seeing her in pain and miserable. I refused to leave her. J made me leave to get clean and sleep in a real bed the second night. We planned on being in the hospital for 5-7 days. (We are still grateful that we have an amazing Children’s Hospital where we live.) The first day out she was already doing better than planned. She was doing so good that we hated being so full of joy when we knew at least one little one had lost their battle in the room next to us.

 

I have a child with a heart defect. It is so hard for me to say this. The reason, no one would ever know it to look at her. I see sick children and I know how their parents feel. The fear of what will happen and knowing that you have to trust others to do for your child what you can’t. Knowing that you just have to trust that God knows what he is doing.

Little Miss has been full of surprises since her conception. We found out I was pregnant with her about the same time as we were going to start trying for #2.  My pregnancy with her wasn’t much different than with Boo, I was sick, a lot. When we went for our mid-term ultra-sound we planned on finding out the sex so we could call the baby by his/her name as we had done with Boo. No such luck, she refused to show us anything! Then a month before I was due we had another ultra-sound since the doctor didn’t want her to be as big as her sister had been. That time she gave us what J calls a “porno” shot. Everything else was fine, no sign of anything being wrong and she was just a little bigger than the doctor wanted her to be so the plan was to take her a few days early. A week later I started taking insulin and having her heart monitored since my blood sugar was a little high. Still, no signs of any problems.

I went in for my induction on a Thursday evening. At first it seem to be about the same as when I went in for Boo. It didn’t take long for that to change, unlike her sister, when Little Miss decided to get here she was in a hurry. J and the tiniest nurse we had help my legs together for 10 minutes while our doctor drove from the office. When she finally arrived, she was perfect little chunk even if she was smaller than her sister. I was in love.

We heard some muttering about a heart murmur but nobody really said anything until we before we left. The on call doctor told she had a slight murmur but they weren’t worried since they are very common. She would be checked at her one week appt and if it was still there our doctor would decide what to do. A week later it was still there but even though our doctor didn’t think it was much of anything she wanted us to go to a cardiologist.

So at two weeks old Little Miss had her first echocardiogram.  It seemed to take forever for the tech to take all the pictures she needed. Then it seemed to take forever for the doctor to look at them all. When he came in he said that there are times when a heart murmur is nothing but in her case it meant something. He went on to tell us that she has a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot.

Not only was there something wrong with her heart, there were FOUR things wrong with it. First, there was a hole in her heart. Then her Pulmonary artery was too small (after surgery we found out it was HALF the size of what it should have been). These two things cause blood to flow the wrong way and make the heart work harder, this in turn causes the muscle on the right side to swell making the right ventricle smaller.

I have a lot going trough my mind tonight so I’m going to let it out…

1.It’s been a long week. First my parents were here from Sunday night to Friday morning. Mom had her Spring Break a week before we did. We spent the week shopping, eating, bowling and having a good time. Then on Friday afternoon, my in-laws came to town. Pa was promised golf clubs for his birthday and wanted to come pick some out. He and J went golfing on Saturday to try them out. All in all a long but wonderful week.

2. Have you been over to see Miss Jessica at How Sweet It Is? If not you should head over there right now. Okay, not right away but after you finish reading. She has a wonderful sense of humor and has some amazing recipes like this one that I made when my parents were here. SO GOOD. She has often inspired me to not be so afraid of experimenting in the kitchen.

3. I’m not a person who really does anything for lent. I always plan on it and then I forget. Partly, I’m not catholic and no longer have any close catholic friends nearby to keep me in check. I had planned to spend less time on my computer this year. So far, hasn’t happened so I decided to compromise and not set up anything web related on my new phone. Talk about geek glee.

4. Not only did I get a new phone, I got a new watch. The first one since, I don’t know, forever. I love it! It’s a make your own from Fossil. I love leather bands but am sooo hard on them so it works perfect for me. The face that I picked reminds me of steampunk. I love steampunk. I wish I was brave enough to try and design an outfit.

5. During Spring Break I plan to:

  • Sleep in
  • Post pictures on the girls blog
  • Post pictures here
  • Take the cat to the vet. (Yeah, fun)
  • Try to get a hair cut
  • Get Boo a hair cut
  • Think about getting Little Miss a hair cut
  • Cry at the thought of the hair cut causing her to lose her curls
  • Cry at the thought my baby is getting so big
  • Do work for school (It has to get done for the following week)
  • Sleep in some more

I think that is all for tonight.

~Mama

I would have had this up a lot sooner but in trying to keep the recipe safe, I hid it to well. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a pile person. Everything goes in a pile. The last time I had remembered seeing the recipe, it was on a pile of stuff that I had to do online, including my taxes. Guess where I found it, on the kitchen table. How novel.

The idea for these came to me when I went to make a Christmas treat for Boo’s class. I was going to make the ever popular Oreo balls but there was a problem with the Oreos : “May contain peanuts.” One of the little boys is allergic to peanuts and so I always make sure to check all the ingredients.  Graham crackers on the other hand are safe and his grandma had told me that the other ingredients were okay as well. So, I decided to experiment. I am so glad I did.

They are so simple and easy and have only five ingredients. The hardest things things is cutting up the marshmallows. I’ve also thought about using marshmallow creme.

I started by taking mini marshmallows, cutting them into fourths and dipping them in a corn starch/powdered sugar mix. After I had 1/3 cup I stuck it in the freezer to firm them up a bit.

Next you mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy.

Next, you mix in the graham cracker crumbs (I make my own) and chocolate.

Mix in the marshmallows. Put them in the freezer for a bit, it helps them from being gritty. Then pull them out and let them warm up otherwise they are near impossible to to roll.

I like to use a cookie scoop. If you want them a little smaller just take the ball and split it in half.

Dip in white chocolate. You can use chips with a little bit of Crisco or melting candy. I then decided to dress them up a bit by drizzling them with chocolate (see picture above).

I store these in the fridge. They are pretty good cold but if you can stand to wait to let them come back to room temp you will not be dissapointed.

S’more Truffles

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup mini marshmallows cut into fourths
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup cup chocolate chips, melted (to taste)
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • white chocolate for dipping

(Okay so that’s 6 ingredients!)

Cut up mini marshmallows and dip in powdered sugar/corn starch mix (found here).  Stick in freezer until you need them. Next beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy. Mix in graham cracker crumbs. Melt chocolate and add in until you like the flavor. Add marshmallows. Freeze for at least half and hour. Remove from freezer and let sit about five minutes. Roll into balls. Return to freezer or fridge so they can firm back up before dipping. Melt white chocolate and coat the truffles. Drizzle with chocolate if you so desire.

Try these today, I promise you, you will regret it if you don’t.

~Mama

Yup, that’s what I said.

Two of my favorite things in one.

A great way to spend an evening alone.

~Mama

“… a brown house. It sounds like singing. It smells like cookies. It feels sandy, and it taste like salty strawberries.” ~ The Dragon and the Turtle

Padraig is a dragon. One day while looking for some “crunchy, squishy, nutty” bugs he finds something else, a turtle. A turtle named Roger who has lost his house. Padraig decides to help Roger find his home and so begins their journey. As Padraig and Roger travel together they learn that just because you are different doesn’t mean you can’t get along.

When the Dragon and the Turtle showed up at our house, both of my girls were thrilled. They loved looking at the illustrations by Vincent Nguyen. My oldest started making up stories just by looking at the bright, colorful pages. When we sat down to read it, she was enthralled, her sister on the other hand was less than cooperative. Only after a few pages she was up and moving around.

The story is fun but a little long for younger kids, unless you have an attentive child I would wait until they are at least four to have them sit through the whole story. If they are really interested there are actives at the end of the book that help your child to understand what the story is about. There is even a recipe for Chocolate Chip Snappers.

This is a wonderful story about the power of being a friend, I highly recommend it.