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...

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Lunch Outting

Nana called us up and asked if we wanted to meet for lunch today. We had an immediate "yes."

I took a poll and it went something like this:

Me: Where do you want to eat? You each get to submit one restaurant to put up for a vote.
Ben: Hibachi...or Osaka...or Chipotle
Me: You only get to submit ONE.
Ben: Okay....ummmm....Hibachi because I can eat like a million shrimp there.
Cora: Chick-Fil-A, Chick-Fil-A, Chick-Fil-A!!!
Lily: Khan's
Ben: Yeah! I vote for that!
Ella: Me too!!
Hattie: Meeee tooooo! (Although she had no idea what she was agreeing to)
Cora: Yeah! Khan's!

So, we met at noon and enjoyed a delicious lunch together!

**I realize now that I didn't get any of Hattie...she was sitting on my lap as I was snapping the pics.

**Heeheee, notice the animated guy in the background behind Nana and Ella? Just struck me as funny.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Project: Finish Basement

The fireplace is almost done.

The veneer is up and the tiling is finished.

The only thing left is the mantel.

Project: Finish Basement

The doors arrived and have been installed.

We were coming down to the wire for when the carpet was going to be installed, but we had come across a snag. The doors I really wanted were going to be a special order which meant a 4 week lead time. Sigh. In order to get the doors I had dreamed of, I would need to push out the carpet installation by a month. OR I could select a different (all-be-it plain) door that Lowe's had in stock.

Jason and I went to Lowe's and the sales clerk was so helpful. She could tell I was going to settle on practicality instead of getting the ones I really wanted so she threw me a curve ball. She told me that in her opinion, since I would be having these doors for a long time, I should go with my heart. And to prove she really meant it, she threw in a 10% discount for the inconvenience of having to wait.

After a lot of hemming and hawing, I decided she was right.

But after only 10 days the doors arrived!!!

They have been installed and are looking beautiful. They make my heart sing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Lily is an extremely creative child. She truly has a gift and I'm amazed at the things she can draw or create at such a young age.

Even simple things like playdough turn into cute creations.

They almost look yummy enough to eat, don't they?!?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Our New Dishwasher

Don't you just hate it when you put something dirty in the dishwasher and when you go to unload it, there are still some dishes that just didn't come clean?

Me too.

I've fixed that little dilemma. Call me a genius.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Snapshot #5

Snapshot #5
Outside my window: bright, bright sunshine and piles of melting snow...love hearing the dripping water coming off the roof. There's talk of 50+ degree weather coming our way next week! Crazy to think that at the beginning of this week we have -13 below windchills. Hoping that kind of craziness is gone until next winter.

I am thinking: about my sweet girlies. Cora and Lily both woke in the middle of the night not feeling well. Upon further inspection this morning, they are both rocking 102 degree fevers. Their room has been set up with mattresses on the floor and a laptop playing movies. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that quarantining them might keep this from the rest of us.

I am thankful for: baths, pedicures, walking, ability to carry Hattie again, etc. - all things I could not do while healing from surgery. But not that I am almost 11 weeks post op (woot, woot) things are starting to return to normal around here. Full recovery is expected to take a year, but I am so thankful for where I am at now.

Future plans I'm looking forward to: Jason and I are taking a trip to Orlando! We are excited to have some time alone to rejuvenate and I'm thrilled to breathe in warm air and lounge poolside. We are also planning a day trip to Cocoa Beach...the ocean is calling my name.

Last 3 purchases: Veneer for the face of the fireplace downstairs, doors for the basement, and a new swimsuit for Orlando. I made my life easy on that last one. I bought 4 swimsuits from Kohl's online and got free shipping. Low and behold, one of them became a quick favorite...and I didn't even have to leave my house! Now just to return the others that didn't make the cut.

I am reading: The Happiness of Pursuit and Hands Free Mama is queued up next. The Happiness of Pursuit is giving me some ideas for a quest. Well, to be honest, I've got a few in mind. One for the family and one for me personally. Once I nail it down, I'll share more. :)

In the kitchen: Leftovers...gotta love not having to make another meal!

Biggest Achievement for the Week: Transitioning Hattie to her toddler bed. She's been sleeping on a mattress on the floor next to Ella since my surgery. I finally took the leap and dismantled her crib. I was a bit melancholy. I've had to use that crib in one capacity or another for over 10 years now. To take it down is closing a chapter in my life. I have truly loved having a baby in the house.

Watching: We saw The Drop Box on Thursday night and it was worth the 9:30pm showing. It was thought provoking, inspiring, heart wrenching, and convicting all at the same time. It has really challenged me to think about what I am doing for kids who don't have a family to call their own. It's so easy to get stuck in our own little bubbles where everything seems fine and dandy. To avert our eyes to the troubles of the world because it's just easier to pretend they don't exist and we can go about our daily lives.  But the fact is that there are children out there hurting and alone...and what am I going to do about it? My answer can't be "nothing."
Rest-of-the-day plans: nursing sick kiddos back to health, painting stair skirt boards for the basement, and hopefully sitting down to do a little vacation planning.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Massage, Anyone?

I'm thinking someone's got quite the life.

After a hard day of playing, napping, and having someone cook meals for you there's nothing like laying back and getting your feet massaged...am I right?

I think someone still has her daddy wrapped around her little finger...
Does it make me a bad mom that I'm a little, sort-of, a lot-a-bit jealous? Don't answer that.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Project: Finish Basement

Each day brings change...it's amazing how things are shaping up.

We ordered carpet and it was going to be delivered this week, but we had a hang-up with the doors. They won't be here for another two weeks and we need to get those installed before we do the carpet....sooooo carpet will wait. They said that even though out order has come in, they can hold it for us for a bit and to just call when the doors are done to set up the installation date. Easy peasy.

The painting is finished...100% of it done by my parents. Seriously, these two are work horses! They don't quit...kind of like the energizer bunny! I can't even begin to thank them for all their hard work. Well, we may be able to repay them if they end up building by helping them finish off their basement. I'm also thinking that the carrot I'm dangling in front of their nose is helping to spur them on. They get this level to live in once it's finished until they move out. I'm thinking they will love having their own space.

I picked out the cabinetry for the snack bar, the sink, and the backsplash tile. I'm super excited about the way this is all looking and my vision is starting to come together.

 Here are some updated pics:

Snack Bar, waiting to be grouted.
 Painting is done and the inset is a shade darker than the rest of the walls. Loving that. (you can see the entrance to the hobbit hole on the right)

 Bathroom is so close to being done...just needs a door and the trimwork.
Oh...and the grouting on the backsplash and towel bars need to be put up yet.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Project: Finish Basement

Just a quick update:

Jason laid the floor in the bathroom and it looks fabulous! So excited to see the rest of it!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Project: Finish Basement - Update

Things they are a changin' in the basement! It is so exciting to see things moving forward.

We have been wanting to get this basement done for the past year and a half...but life was just a tad too busy with 5 little ones in the house. And frankly, when Daddy works all day, we all just want to see him when he gets home from work and we just weren't too willing to lose out on our time with him. Not only that, but I didn't want Jason to miss Hattie's babyhood. Those days are just to precious and they go by way too fast.

Now that the kids are a little older and a little more independent, we have been able to get more done on the basement and it has been "full steam ahead" since Dad and Mom moved in with us.

Here are some updated pics:

The bathroom...all sheetrocked. 

The bedroom/school room closet...makes such a difference when the framing gets covered all up. Things are really taking shape.

Wall separating bedroom from family room.

The Hobbit Hole.

The fireplace all installed. Jason is super happy with how it turned out.