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. 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 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 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.