Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kid Funnies

Kid Funnies brought to you by Grammie:
When discussing upcoming birthdays in our family, Hattie realized her birthday had already passed. So she declared matter-of-factly that her birthday was "last night ago".
While driving home from the school, Cora exclaimed that she had made a paper game during free choice time. Grammie asked a couple questions about it to which Cora gave a couple of short answers and then there was silence. Grammie broke the silence with another question to which Cora queried "Do you want me to explain it or do you want to just let it be?"
Lily looked lovingly at Grammie and said "I could stay at your house and have quiet time all day!" Thinking that sounded like a great way to babysit, Grammie brightened and told her that she is welcome to do that anytime she wants to. ;)
After spending part of a day at Grammies, Mommy said it was time to go home for quiet time. Cora asked if she could stay at Grammie's for quiet time, to which mom said that she had to get permission from Grammie for that. So Cora promptly asked if she could stay and Grammie replied with " I suppose so". Cora looked a little concerned so she asked "is that a definite yes, or a definite no?"
Hattie was exploring Grammie's bathroom and opened one of the vanity doors. She looked inside and exclaimed "we have garbage too!" Then wrinkling up her nose she asked in a very questioning tone "we don't play with garbage??" Grammie said "no, garbage is kind of dirty." She then exclaimed that her garbage is not dirty at her house.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Epi pens and Bee Stings

If someone told me years ago that I would have a child who needed an epi-pen, I would have been surprised. Now, if they had told me that I was going to have two children who would need these things, that would have been even more shocking.

Lily needs hers because of her peanut allergy. She gets peanuts on accident and it's massive, migrating hives for 72+ hours. Which is why is has only occurred once, by accident, and we keep vigilant about watching what she eats.

Hattie on the other hand...turns out her body doesn't like bee stings so much. Which is really of no major surprise since I don't do well with them either.

Rewind to August 27, 2015.

Let's set up the back story: I had taken Ben to BMX and left Jason at home with all the girls. It was a lovely summer evening and Ben had biked well. I had gotten a nice break just sitting in the stands cheering him on.

Upon returning home, I hear Jason say: Hattie, go show mommy your lip.

Oh great. What happened? I'm bracing for a scraped lip or please don't let it be another chipped tooth. (Another story all on it's own, but a quick recap: I went to Vegas for a long weekend with a friend. Upon returning I find that Hattie has a chipped front tooth. Apparently, Ben was helping her brush her teeth and lifted her up to spit into the sink. She slipped out of his arms and hit her front tooth on the sink base and the rest is history.)

I scooped up my baby girl and was met with a very swollen top lip. She had gotten stung by a wasp while I was gone. I was alarmed to say the least. This lip was huge and I really wasn't very comfortable going into the night hours with a reaction like this. Jason assured me that it was actually looking better. It wasn't nearly as red as it had been at the beginning. (Somehow, this was doing very little to alleviate the stress that was building in my gut.) I went to bed that night with Hattie by my side. There was no way I was going to leave her in her own room with this level of a reaction going on. I barely slept that night, watching the rise and fall of her chest and listening to her breathing.

I woke up to this the next morning:

Her lip was enormous and I was freaking out.

Notice how insanely large her top lip is compared to her bottom lip?!?

I immediately got out the benedryl and administered her some. We waited and after and hour plus it hadn't reduced the swelling at all. Not. At. All.

I quickly dialed the pediatrician only to find out that she was booked solid for the day. I politely mentioned that this was sort of urgent and that I was worried about a potential anaphylactic type of reaction to a bee sting. They got me in right away.

When Dr. Spandl came into the room, she was taken aback at how large her lip had become. I told her I was pretty sure I wasn't dreaming, that it had actually become even more swollen since I had called in.

Dr. Spandl looked everything over, including listening really well to Hattie's breathing. Hattie's lip was starting to split on the inside from all the pressure and swelling. Since it had only been about 18 hours since the actual sting and the swelling usually peaks around 48 hours, it was obvious that intervention was needed and that Hattie's lip couldn't handle any more swelling.

The Pediatric Allergist was called and instructions given that Hattie needed steroids, and she needed them quickly. We got a prescription called in and were told to head directly across the street to get them. Dr. Spandl gave me strict instructions not to even leave the pharmacy parking lot without giving her the steroids first. We ended up having to give her 3 days of steroids along with benedryl round the clock for that same time period.

We now have an epi-pen for Hattie and bees have taken on a new meaning in our family. This fall has been more stressful with the crazy amount of hornets and wasps flying around. The pediatric allergist concluded that since this was Hattie's first sting of her life and that she reacted so, so poorly that the next one could very easily end up putting us in an anaphylactic situation.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sweet Memories

I have such a pathetic memory, so this blog is sort of my gateway to the past...and so I write.


Hattie and I were snuggling at bedtime last night, like we always do. This girl is 2 1/2 years old and I still lay with her while she falls asleep each night. I know, I know...she's old enough to fall asleep on her own. And there are days that I really feel like that. Then there are those nights where we snuggle. She nuzzles her neck into mine and curls her legs up in a ball burrowing herself into me as close as she can get. She loves close contact and somehow, when she's that close to her mama, all is right in her little world. It's a quite the feeling to know you hold so much for one little person. That your simple presence holds so much.

Some nights we lay and talk. She tells stories from her day and I quietly listen. I breathe in the sweet smell of her hair. I stroke her face gently. Knowing that all too soon she won't need me in this same way. That all too soon I will hear the words "I can do it by myself, mom." And I will no longer be needed in that capacity for her. I sigh and try to take her in, I try to cement the memories so they won't be forgotten.

Last night was one of those nights. One of those "I don't ever want to forget this night" kind of night.

As we were snuggling and talking about our day, Hattie turned her face towards mine. I could feel her little breath on my cheek as she spoke.

"Mama, I like you..."

"I like you too, Hattie."

"I like your voice"

"I like your voice too, honey"

She then gave me one of her sweet little butterfly kisses on my cheek and hugged me tight.

And that, folks, is when you know you are truly loved by such a little creature.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Kid Funnies

There is never a shortage of funny quotes from the peanut gallery around here....

Hattie: Does Lily only get medicine?
Mom: Yes, Lily is the only one sick, so she's the only one who gets medicine. She has an infection.
Hattie: I want a inflection! (infection)
Dad: What time was mom born? (meaning what time of day)
Lily: A LONG time ago! That's true, right?!?
I was quizzing Cora on her Spanish colors and she answered so many of them correct.
Mom: How do you say blue in Spanish?
Cora: Azul
Mom: How do you say red in Spanish?
Cora: rojo
Mom: How do you say yellow in Spanish?
Cora sat there deep in thought, trying to remember, she spoke up finally and said: awkward?
(it's amarillo, but close honey)
Lily: (pointed to her foot and asked): Are these knuckle buns?
Mom: No, they are your ankle bones. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

"Show Me The Love, Mama"

That's literally what she said: "Show me the love, mama."

This girl is so full of spunk. Cora comes up with the funniest things to say. I just love her and can't get enough of her. She has such an infectious personality and a smile that absolutely melts this mama's heart.

Her giggle is contagious and I can't help but laugh along with her. She can take my bad mood and make it disappear in mere seconds when I hear her belly laugh. Cora is endearing and tenderhearted. I love the way she can be so gentle and soft. Her sweet spirit draws me to her. I connect with her, I enjoy her, I love her deeply.

I can't wait to see how God uses her. I just know she is going to do big things in this life. I am so incredibly grateful to God for brining her into my life and allowing me to be her mother.

Cora has taken to saying "I love you more than you love me, mama!" (which by the way can't possibly be true!) She has opened up her heart to me in such a profound way, letting me see her at her most vulnerable. This girl just amazes me and I am in awe of her.

I love you, Cora Jihee.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Do you ever have one of those days when you just can't win?

No? Well, then we live on totally different planets. Cause my day included this:

"Error: Too many suds" ...thanks Mr. Washer for that message. I couldn't have problem shot this one on my own. I'm sure I would have been sitting in front of the machine for hours scratching my head trying to pin-point the issue.

Sigh...after buckets full of suds being removed and washed down the sink, my machine seems to be happy again.

Seriously! Who put so much soap in the machine?!? Children? Who?


Oh, it was me. Sheesh.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Blueberry Smoothie Anyone?

Ever wonder what blueberry smoothie would look like on your wall?

No? Yeah, me neither.

But that doesn't matter when your two year old accidentally knocks the glass off the table, and with bated breath, you see it fall through the air in slow motion, hitting the floor...watching the drops take flight and hit with a loud splat.

And just in case you think that if you wash it off fast enough, it might not stain, let me assure you that that's not how life works. Just trust me on this one.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Japanese Lantern Festival

Since Lily, Ben, and Ella are off on the Grand Adventure 2015 with Grammie and Papa, we decided we needed a little fun in our lives too. So we loaded up Hattie and Cora and drove down to St. Paul. Como Park...specifically the Conservatory.

I had heard of this festival and thought it might be interesting to go check out. Demonstrations, booths with japanese wares to buy, and japanese food to try. They light 300 lanterns at dusk and float them in the pond. What could be more beautiful, serene, and peaceful?

Beautiful. Serene. Peaceful.

Those were 3 things that were not exactly part of the evening.

We arrived at Como Park to find that there wasn't a parking spot to be had in what seemed like a 5 mile radius of the festival. Apparently, I had not done my due diligence and done some homework. There were shuttle busses everywhere and the place was crawling with people. After some very slow moving traffic, we settled on parking around the lake and walking. The gps said it was a 17 minute walk just to get there.

We hoofed it with Hattie in the stroller and Cora piggybacking on Jason. We had to do a little off-roading so poor Hattie probably felt like a can of paint in the paint mixer machine at Menards by the time we got there. Much to our surprise, there were about 30,000 more people there than we anticipated. And clearly, we weren't the only ones. Even the organizers hadn't anticipated such a crowd. They had 1 line for cash and 1 line for credit. When I tell you that these lines wound around every sidewalk, tree, and building around this place...uff-da. It was just ridiculous. We really should have cut our losses at that point, but we had driven all the way there so we thought we should at least try and get it.

Once in, our first order of business was to find some food!! We were all starving and Japanese food sounded pretty tasty! We wound our way around the crowds and throngs of people and had to cut through this huge line that people were in waiting for ice cream. Ice cream?! Yeah, ice cream. Why is that so crazy, you ask? Because the weather was cold. Unseasonably cold for August. I was dressed in 3 layers and jeans, Hattie had a long sleeve shirt and two sweatshirts on, Cora the same. And Jason...well, he was in shorts...cause that's what he wears year round. Anyway...it was windy and cold...and here stood over 200 people in line for ice cream. Crazy.

As we rounded the bend to the row of food tents, it suddenly became very clear why everyone was waiting for ice cream. There were only two tents that hadn't sold out of food yet. One was mini donuts and brats/cheeseburgers. Whaaaaaat? Sigh.

To top that, the brats/cheeseburgers were closed for 30 minutes while they prepped more food. You see, that wasn't their original menu. They had *ahem* SOLD OUT of everything already and had someone make a run to get more food. What they got? Brats and cheeseburgers with waffle fries. Jason and Cora promptly got in line knowing that was our only food option. $33 later and freezing, we sat down to eat on the grass. Our sad "Japanese meal" consisted of overpriced cheeseburgers, coke, and fries. Not exactly what we had hoped for.

After our meal was finished, we thought we better take the girls to the bathroom before we searched out a spot around the pond to watch the lanterns. Upon investigation of said porta-pottys, we noticed a rather long line winding up the hill and around and around and around and...you get the picture. No lie, it was the line to use the "facilities". All 6 of the porta-pottys. 6 of them. For 30,000+ people. I was ready to scream.

We decided we were just going to have to chance it, because there was no way Hattie was going to wait in that long of a line and not pee herself even if we stayed there. We regrouped and walked towards the pond where the lantern lighting would be taking place. To say there wasn't a spot on the grass is an understatement. There wouldn't have been a spot for a bird....even a really tiny bird. We stood. On the path. For 55 minutes. All while listening to Cora say over and over:

I'm so bored.
I'm so sick of standing here.
When can we go home?
This is so boring, Mom. Isn't there something else we can do?!?
I don't like this.
This is no fun.
I'm hungry again.
and then..from Hattie:
I have to go potty.
Shoot me. Just shoot me.
Jason scooped up Hattie and left the festival all together in search of a toilet. I didn't see him for the next 30 minutes.
The time finally arrived for the lighting of the lanterns. Each one was very slowly (*very* slowly) placed on top of the water. And after about 15 minutes, we sighed, admitted defeat, and started our walk back to the van.
I got up this morning, Cora came downstairs and said:
Mom...I had soooo much fun at the lantern festival yesterday!



Friday, August 21, 2015

They Don't Stay Little for Long

Can someone please tell me how this happens?

I don't understand the crazy phenomenon where you blink or look away for only a minute...and when you turn back around, they have grown up a little bit more.

So many times I stop and look at this girl, wondering where the time has gone. At times I choke up and wonder how she has "gotten so big". Tonight I tucked her into bed and gently crawled under the covers with her. I'm so glad I took the time to snuggle with her, listen to her thoughts from the day, and listen to her breathe. That 10 year old who no longer fits in my arms, but instead stands as tall as my chin and wears the same size shoes as me.  These snuggling days are fleeting too. And I know that. This girl...she makes me marvel at motherhood all over again.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Throw Back Thursday

I came across this pic and couldn't believe that Hattie was this tiny once...

And look how little Lily looks! How the time flies...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

When You Think You Own The Place

This dog-gone mutt...she thinks she owns the joint.

Can someone please tell her she's just a "dog"...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Aqua Chucks

We were out shopping the other day at JCPenny and we happened upon the shoe section. I squealed when I saw these shoes...they were the exact ones I had fallen in love with for myself...just a much tinier version. A mini-me version, if you will!

I just knew that I was not going to leave the store without them...

And now you know why...they are so stinkin' cute!! Hattie loves them. :)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Florida Part 3


In Part 2 ...I hopped on the last flight back to MN and went straight to the ER and after a two night stay, as I was preparing to leave...

The doctor came into the room and introduced himself saying he was here for the surgery consult...


So there I sat, on the bed next to Hattie, looking at this doctor with his 2 assistants close by his side. I shrugged it off and sort of smirked. I guess that's one way for a doc to come in and break the ice...start it all off with a joke. So I decided to play along.

Me: Surgery, huh? Ummmm....okay.
Doctor: Yes, so I was asked to come down and speak with you today about her gallbladder. Now, I don't think there is a high likely hood of her actually having stones, but I have been...
Me: What?! Oh, are you serious? I'm so sorry, I thought you were just joking. Ummm...I'm sorry to tell you that you have the wrong room. We are just in here for a virus and I thought you were the pediatrician on call for the day coming to let us know when to expect getting discharged.
Doctor: OH! I am soooo sorry maam. I...ummm....I'm really sorry, my apologies.
Me: No problem, just glad it's a mistake. Have a good day. :)
And the doctor and his team took their exit. I looked at Hattie with wide eyes thinking to myself "Well good grief! This is why you hear of stories where people come in for heart surgery and end up getting a foot amputated or something!" They really really need to be more careful! Seriously!!
And as I sat there bewildered and dumbfounded that this had just occurred, the doctor re-entered the room. He looked at me and we had another conversation:
Doctor: This is Hattie Hubler, right?
Me: Yes (in a very tiny voice)
Doctor: And she had an abdominal ultrasound yesterday, right?
Me: Yes (in an even smaller voice)
Doctor: Then...I have the right room, maam. I do need to discuss your daughter's gallbladder with you.
And my eyes started to fill with tears. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut and I couldn't seem to find my voice at all anymore. My brain was whirling and my eyes were darting back and forth at all three of these people standing before me, trying to make sense out of what was taking place. I swallowed hard and felt a lump in the back of my throat and told him I needed just a minute to call my mom who was most likely just down the hallway searching out a snack. I knew that my brain was just not going to absorb all of this information since it was still traveling at the speed of confusion.
I quickly dialed best I could as my hands shook. It rang and went to voice mail. I frantically hit redial and once again it went to voicemail. I knew that I was going to have to calm down and focus. I took a deep breath and reluctantly looked up at him and told him that I was listening.
Dr. Rustad went on to say that the ultrasound showed that Hattie had some density in her gallbladder. He wasn't terribly concerned about it, but the pediatrician had ordered a surgical consult because of this abnormality. It seemed most logical that since it is so rare for a child of her age to develop gallstones, it was most likely just sludge.
**Rabbit trail: Here's a little medical information in case you (like I) didn't exactly know what the gallbladder is for. The gallbladder is a smaller, pear shaped organ that lives right underneath the liver. It's job is to store bile. Once you eat food, especially fatty foods, it releases bile to help your body digest your meal. It's a digestion-aid helper. :) How's that for medical jargon?!**
So Hattie's ultrasound showed sludge, but Dr. Rustad wasn't too worried. Why? Because he figured that the odds were so much more in her favor that she had a virus and this wasn't a gallbladder attack at all. And because it was most likely a virus which had caused her to thrown-up 19 times, she obviously hadn't eaten in a few days. Hence the gallbladder had not needed to spit out any bile to help digest anything, it had gotten a little sluggish and the bile itself had gotten a little thick just sitting around.
Not to worry, he told me...it is so rare for a 2 year old to develop gallstones...this most likely isn't anything to worry about. BUT...just to be on the safe side, come back in 3 months for a repeat ultrasound and we can rule it out 100%. And he left the room for the second time.
There Hattie and I sat, me stunned, shaking, and processing and Hattie playing games on the ipad.
My mom returned shortly after and I poured out all of the information I had been given. I didn't know what to make of this new information: should I be worried...or not. Is something more serious going on here...or not. Is there a possibility we will be back in this same hospital for surgery...or not.
My head spun and my heart ached.
Within an hour, the on-call pediatrician showed up, apologized like crazy for not giving me the heads-up for the surgery consult being ordered, told me not to worry...that it would be so rare for her to have gallstones, and told us we could get the IV out and head on home.
Hattie was such a trooper, she endured that IV so well and was so brave when they had to take rolls and rolls of tape off her arm in order to pull the thing out.

She was more than ready to have it gone.

She had to watch every little thing...

We changed her out of her little hospital gown, loaded our things into the wagon, and made our way to the van. The weather was cold, blustery, and white with snow. It's how I felt inside: cold and numb, thoughts whipping around in my head, and a blank canvas of not knowing what lied ahead.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Where Does The Time Go?

I am in utter disbelief that it has been so long since my last post. How does that happen?!?

In my defense, a lot has happened in our house that I will have to catch y'all up on. Things like lots of sickness, orthodontic appointments, moving my parents into their new home, a birthday for Hattie, and even a few broken bones for another member of the family.

I'm gonna make a strong push to get everything caught up...and to give you part 3 of the Florida/Hattie hospitalization saga. I see some blogging taking over parts of my weekend.

Really, it's no wonder I fall into bed half-dead each night...

Ta-ta for now...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Florida: Part 2

When I last left you in regards to our Florida trip, Jason and I had jetted off with all signs pointing towards Hattie being on the mend.

But life had a different idea in mind for us. Things took a turn for the worse on Friday with Hattie starting to begin the downward slope of dehydration yet again. Saturday proved to be very challenging and much time was spent on the phone with the ER back in Minnesota and the pediatrician as well as mom.

I caught a last minute flight out of Orlando getting the very last seat on the plane...and that's where the story had left off...

...As I sat in my seat of 30D, my eyes filled with tears while my heart was full of worry. I knew that in 3 short hours I would be touching down in Minneapolis where my brother would be waiting for me. I decided to call Jason to let him know that I had made it on the plane and we were going to be taking off momentarily. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: I'm on the plane...I made it...
Jason: Oh, good. Security wasn't too bad? Did you get find anything to eat? How's your seat? Oh...hold on, your mom is calling...
Me: ...waiting...
Jason: Hey Honey...Your mom wants to know if she should take Hattie to
Mercy's ER or to Children's ER...
Me: What?!? I thought they were just going to urgent care...they have to go to the ER!?!
Jason: Yeah, urgent care took one look at her and told your mom she needed to get her to
the ER.

Me (heart beating out of my chest): Children's ER, tell her to go to Children's ER.
Jason: Ok, I'll tell her. Love you, have a good flight.
And there I sat, with no other information other than that Hattie had to go to the ER right away. I felt trapped on a plane a million miles away from my baby. I tried so hard to hold it in, but I couldn't stop the flood of tears and emotion. I sat there in the plane with my head down, feeling my shoulders heave up and down as I watched the tears spill down onto my hands. I felt so helpless and sad and what I really needed was to simply hold my baby and tell her that she was so brave and that the doctors were going to make her better. To tell her that her mama was there and that everything was going to be all right.
God knew how I was struggling because He sent the sweetest lady to sit next to me. She handed me a packet of tissues and gently told me that if I needed to talk about anything, she was there. I never did get her name, but she was so kind and we talked for about 3/4 of the plane ride. It was a perfect distraction to help pass the time.
I hadn't eaten anything that day since breakfast and I was starving. God knew I was in need of something to eat as well. The flight was anything but smooth, in fact, the seatbelt sign was on for the entire flight. Turbulence was a constant companion...so much so that the flight attendants were having a hard time pouring the beverages and at one point looked like they were going to have to put everything away. I was so relieved when they made it to my row. I had my billfold out, ready to barter and spend a little cash just to get a bag of peanuts. The flight attendant asked me if I wanted peanuts, cookies, or pretzels. I asked her if I could get all three and I that was willing to pay for them. The kind woman next to me piped up and told her that my baby was in the ER and I was ending my vacation to make an emergency flight home. The flight attendant quickly gave me all 3 choices and told me it was on the house. She even checked on me during the flight to see how I was holding up. About 20 minutes before landing, she came by with a quart-sized bag full of snacks that she had put together telling me that "it might be awhile before you get a chance to eat". She was so generous and I could tell that God was providing for me through these women.

Once we landed, people started filing out. I made it all the way to the front of the plane before I realized that I had forgotten my carry-on in the overhead compartment! Whew...I was so stressed. I ran back and snatched it up and made my way quickly to baggage claim where Jamie would be picking me up. I left Florida in 92 degree weather and landed in Minnesota with 34 degree chilliness. My flip-flops and capris quickly proved to be the wrong choice of clothing.

We made the drive to the ER in good time. I walked through the door into Hattie's room and gently kissed her sweet head. I scooped her up and that is when my heart finally felt that it was where it was supposed to be.

Her poor, sick eyes had dark bags under them and she just looked like she had been put through a lot in the past 24 hours. When I commented on how "rough" she looked, my mom said that she had perked up a lot since the IV had been put in. I was just so thankful that we were somewhere that they could help her.
We were admitted to the hospital a few hours later and told that we should just plan on a two night stay minimum. They weren't about to let her go home until they were certain that she would not need to return.
Because there were two kids with chicken pox on the 8th floor (where we would normally have gone), we were put on the isolation wing. Which turned out to be an ok thing. Hattie was the only child there and so we had lots of great care. To top it off, the night nurse we had both nights was an incredibly compassionate woman and went out of her way to make us comfortable and allowed us to get as much rest as possible by being so quiet during the nighttime visits.  
The pediatrician wanted to get an abdominal ultrasound of Hattie's tummy on Sunday. Each time Hattie would eat, she would start writhing back and forth indicating that her stomach was hurting quite a bit. This could have been due to the fact that she had thrown-up a total of 19 times or it could have been from something else. And since they wanted to be thorough and not miss anything, we were wheeled down to ultrasound.

She did awesome with the ultrasound and was so still. Quite impressive for a 23 month old.
Sunday was spent trying to get Hattie to start eating and drinking on her own, but she wasn't interested. Instead we spent a good portion of the day watching tv. Nana and Paul came by for a visit which proved to be so wonderful. In true Nana-fashion, she came bearing presents which perked Hattie up and made her smile. That was the first smile I had seen from her since we got there. Nana and Paul played lots of things with Hattie and spent time doing activity books as well. Nana even got Hattie to eat some pudding. That visit was a huge success!
Monday morning showed signs of improvement. I gave her a sponge bath in hopes of getting her a little refreshed. She was starting to get bored in the hospital which was a very good sign that we were moving in the right direction. Grammie and I were running out of things to do to keep her entertained. The pediatrician ordered her iv fluids cut down by half  from 60ml to 30ml...and then again down to 10ml. I think it was hard for her body to want to drink on it's own when she clearly wasn't in need of any fluid and wasn't feeling the least bit thirsty.
Around late morning, I saw a doctor in the hallway. I figured it must be the pediatrician on duty for the day. Mom went for a walk to get some fresh air and I stayed with Hattie hoping to meet with the doctor and hear what the day's plan was...hoping we would get discharged and could go home.
The doctor came into the room and introduced himself saying he was here for the surgery consult...
***To be continued***

Monday, March 30, 2015


Some days you just gotta do what ever makes the baby happy.

And yes, that means using the potty seat for a steering wheel.

#vroom #gottaloveimagination

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Project: Finish Basement

What am I doing today?

Painting trimwork for the basement.

We cleared out the table from the dining room and spread out a giant sheet of plastic.

I have about 60+ different pieces to do...this day is beginning to feel a bit long.

But the thought of being done with this project is great motivation.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Jason and I had booked a long weekend trip to Florida about two months back. It was just for the two of us to get away and reconnect. A time for rest and rejuvenation. We were both so excited for it since it had been 8 years since we had taken a long weekend for just the two of us. I had spent the past 7 weeks researching hotels, flights, activities, and restaurants. I was so ready to get out of this cold Minnesota weather and enjoy some sunshine and see the ocean.

The problem: Our trip was to start on Thursday morning and Hattie had just been discharged from the hospital Wednesday afternoon. What should we do?

It was so hard. I felt so incredibly conflicted. If you know me at all, you know that I am a hand's-on-mama. I love being with my kids and I like being the one to be here at bedtime. I love taking care of them and I love being their mama. So for me to take a vacation was a rather big step. To take a vacation when my sweet Hattie had just gotten home from her hospital stay was...well....difficult. I spent a great deal of the evening crying. Crying because I didn't want to leave her, crying because I didn't want to miss out on something important for my marriage, and crying because I knew that our tickets were non-refundable and we would simply be out the money if we didn't go. After much convincing, I packed my bags and left the decision to leave based entirely on how Hattie fared during the night. If her fever broke, then we would go, feeling comfortable that things were moving in the right direction. If the fever remained, then we would stay home and I would continue to care for Hattie and see her through this nasty virus that she had picked up from who-knows-where.


The fever broke.


Since Hattie's fever had broken during the night and all signs pointed to her being on her way to recovery, reluctantly Jason and I set out on our trip. Jason and I arrived at the airport and boarded our plane.

It was a nice, smooth flight. We left at 7am and arrived in Orlando at 10:47am. The whole day lay ahead of us.

The first thing we did once we got the rental car, was find some lunch. We stepped out of the vehicle and were greeted with sunshine and 85 degree weather. It was absolutely beautiful. It's hard to be crabby or have a bad mood when you are surrounded with weather like that! I called home to get a quick check on Hattie and things seemed to be progressing towards getting back to normal.

We went to Downtown Disney and walked around, looking at the shops and people watching.

Whew...Minnesota snow-bird showing off her tan. ;)

By evening I called again to check on the kids and especially Hattie. I was trying so very hard to be in the moment and enjoy Florida, but my heart was still back in Minnesota wanting to be there to see first-hand how she was doing. To snuggle with her on my lap. Read her books. Tell her she was doing so great and that by tomorrow morning she would be as good as new.

Friday morning proved to be another beautiful day in sunny Florida. Forecast said we were going to get up to 90+ degrees. It seemed like the perfect day to head to Cocoa Beach and enjoy some ocean time!


We rented an umbrella and a beach chair. I was amazed at how strong the sun was. This fair-haired girl was a little worried about getting a sunburn, so I spent some of my time under the umbrella enjoying the shade. Here was my view:

While I was sitting and relaxing, I made a call home.

Mom said that Hattie had some yucky diapers and per our instructions from the hospital, if she started to show any signs of moving in a direction we didn't like, then I was to call the pediatrician on Friday to have her seen before the weekend. So...I sat at Cocoa Beach with tears in my eyes as I dialed the clinic office. I spoke with the pediatrician who said she didn't need to see her, but because of the diapers, I needed to push the fluids hard to try and avoid dehydration and watch for the signs...because if it came back, she would need to go to the ER again.

It was a surreal feeling...being surrounded by so much beauty but feeling so sad and heartbroken on the inside. It made for a rather difficult day.

(Jason did a lot of swimming...that's him in the center...way out there.)

We returned to the hotel, freshened up, and went to Disney's BoardWalk.

After that, we drove to Universal's CityWalk to grab some supper. We weren't sure how much longer we were going to have in Florida so we decided to try and fit in as many things as we could.

While at CityWalk, Mom called. Hattie had thrown up again right before bed. The tides were turning and I didn't like the direction they were choosing what-so-ever.

I went to bed that night with tears in my eyes. My baby was sick and here mama wasn't even there to hold her and comfort her. I felt utterly helpless.

We awoke the next morning and headed to the Orange/Grapefruit grove while we waited to hear how Hattie was doing. Would today be the turning point for her or was she going to continue to just get worse?

While in the grove, I called home yet again. Hattie wasn't doing well and my mom was getting concerned. I spent half my time at the grove parked under an orange tree talking with the ER at Children's Hospital, looking for advice on what we needed to do for Hattie. Once off the phone with them, I dialed the pediatrician and spoke with her. It was becoming increasingly apparent that there was going to need to be an early flight home. I called Mom and told her what they had told me and that I was going to try and catch a flight home. We got in the car and headed for the hotel.

Once back at the hotel, I started to fold my clothes and get things organized so in case I needed to leave, I could. I called Mom and while I was on the phone with her Hattie started throwing up again. I looked at Jason and I said "Get me a flight home, I' m leaving." We began hastily throwing things in the suitcase and hurried out of the hotel.

While on the way to the airport, I booked a flight home to Minnesota. God was watching out for me as I was able to get the last seat on the plane. I had less then an hour to get checked in, go through security, and make it to my gate. I hugged Jason good-bye and through tears he let me go. We knew that he was going to have to stay behind and take the originally planned flight home as this emergency ticket cost us a lot of money and we just couldn't afford two of them.God made it all happen and as I stood at the gate waiting to board, I knew that in only 3 short hours, I would be there with my little girl.

***To be continued***

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

And More Sick...

Unfortunately, things did not get better for Hattie. Mere hours ago we were at this. And our day took a drastic turn for the worse.

By 1:30pm, Hattie had thrown up seven times and it didn't seem like things were improving what-so-ever. I placed a call into the nurse to get some advice, and after a 15 minute phone conversation knew that I needed to get her to the ER. She was becoming incredibly listless, very lethargic, and when you would move her even a tiny bit, it would cause her to throw up again. There was nothing left in her tummy and I couldn't even get 1/4 of a teaspoon of water to stay down. I knew I needed to move and I needed to move fast.

With my pajamas still on, I slipped my feet into my shoes and took her out to the van. I enlisted my mom to ride with us knowing that if Hattie threw up on the way, she would be back in her seat all by herself and I couldn't stand the thought of that happening. Not to mention the safety, or lack-there-of, of a baby throwing up while be strapped into her carseat.

We arrived at Children's Hospital ER in Minneapolis and thankfully there wasn't a long wait to get called back and seen. They did a quick check of her and knew that they needed to get her rehydrated with fluids. Zofran, an anti-nausea med,was also on the list of things she needed.

Hattie was so listless and lethargic that I was having a hard time even keeping her awake at this point. The number of times she had thrown up was now up to 12. Literally, I would move her just to sit her up a bit and it would cause her to throw up again. She didn't even flinch when they put the IV in nor did she even bother to look at the doctor while he fiddled with things. She would just stare into space. I have to say, it was scary and one of the most heart-breaking things to watch. Hattie was just so incredibly sick. The docs got her IV up and running and put the Zofran into the line. And within about 15 minutes, color started to return to her face. I've never seen her lips so incredibly pale before.

While they had the IV in, they also drew blood in order to run some labs to try to figure out what was going on. Her glucose level came back at 58, which is quite low, not surprisingly since I couldn't get any drop of liquid to even stay in her stomach. They immediately pushed dextrose through her IV as well and that started to perk her up.

Her electrolyte panel also came back as abnormal. Again, not surprising. Her bi-carbonate level was low. We were told that anything under 15 usually calls for being admitted to the hospital and Hattie's was at 13. The ER doc said that he was on the fence for admitting her...she seemed to be going in the right direction now and her glucose had risen. He felt like he just wasn't quite sure if we needed to stay over or not...and he left the decision with me. While this whole conversation had been taking place, Hattie got super tired again, lethargic, and fell asleep in my arms. Or rather zonked out in my arms. My gut told me that it just didn't seem like a good idea to leave just yet and I asked if we could stay a few more hours, repeat the tests, and see what numbers we got back. He agreed that the idea seemed very reasonable. I just couldn't get Hattie to wake up and I just felt like something still wasn't right. 

After about 2.5 hours, blood was drawn and the labs were repeated. They came in to tell me that the electrolyte panel still showed the same numbers, and that if we were comfortable, we could go home.

And two minutes later, they came back in and said that her glucose had again dropped to the too low level of 62 and he was making the decision to admit us to the hospital overnight.

They pushed more dextrose through her IV and she started to wake up again.

We were admitted and brought up to our room around 11:30pm. We had just spent the last 8+ hours in the ER and this day was quickly becoming very, very long.

Hattie and I shared a twin bed and my mom, who so graciously stayed with us the entire time, slept on the fold-out couch.

Once we were in the room, the nurse did her once over of Hattie and realized that she was starting to get a fever. A check 45 minutes later showed that she was now at 101..and a check another 30 minutes after that showed a 102.5 fever. Tylenol was given and another check 45 minutes after that showed it had only gone down to 101.9. I then asked for motrin as well. Hattie was clearly uncomfortable and not feeling well and I really needed her to get some relief. Another check 45 minutes later (by the way, are you seeing a pattern of nurses coming into the room...that means there literally was no sleep by me until sometime around 5:30am) showed that her fever was finally coming down due to the meds and she was able to rest.

By morning, Hattie was showing signs of improvement and was even asking for some toast to eat. Along with water and pedialite, she was also taking in fluids on her own. By 2pm, the pediatrician was discharging us and her IV was taken out. We were on the right trajectory and things were really looking up.

We arrived home to a decorated house as her brother and sisters were so happy to see her. They had all been worried about her and missed her.

**For my own memory keeping...Ella's hand written message:
You're my snuggle bug,
You're my double dipper,
You're my glow worm,

I love you Hattie Cakes!

By evening, Hattie was walking around with a banana in one hand and a graham cracker in the other. I scooper her up and we went to bed snuggled up against each other.

During the middle of the night, her fever broke and her temp returned to normal. All signs pointed to one day of recovery and then everything would be back to normal.

...or so I thought.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I woke up to a sick baby this morning.  Which,  in case you were wondering,  is never a good way too start the day.

It's a bit after noon right now and poor Hattie has thrown up 5 times. No fever...but miserable.

To top it off, Jason and I are supposed to be leaving for Florida in less than 48 hours.  Prayers for a speedy recovery and that no one else gets sick would be appreciated.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Let It Go

Hattie loves to sing the song Let It Go from the movie Frozen.

I had to record her because her little voice is just too cute. And it won't be long until it changes from a little toddler voice to that of a big kid. The days just slip by so fast.

By the end of the movie, Let It Go took on a whole new meaning however...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Project: Finish Basement

Carpet is going in today!!! Hurray!

This is going to totally and completely transform the space.

And the bonus: after carpet is installed, only the moldings and mantel remain. Sooo close to the end!

PS...the red is the carpet pad...