Who did you Help today

Thursday, February 27, 2014

This is got to be one of the sweetest acts of kindness I have seen in a long time.


Why just stop at one sock?!?

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The Best Green Smoothie

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to get all the required fruits and veggies eaten in a day. So that is why I am going to share the most delicious green smoothie with you. Scott and I try to drink one  daily. I wish I could say my kiddo's would drink it, but they do an all fruit smoothie without the greens. I pick my battles, and call it a success when they drink their fruit smoothie;). It doesn't require a lot, and you will notice a difference in your hair, skin, energy level, and it will even make your colon whistle, if you do it daily:).  Here we go!

Ingredients 

1 Cup spinach

4 Cubes avocado

1/2 Cup green grapes (sweeter if frozen)

1 apple, or pear, cored and cut up ( you can leave the skin on if you have a vitamix)

1 Tablespoon flax oil (This is the part that helps the hair and skin)

1/2 Cup orange juice

1/2 Cup ice

Mix it all in a blender, vitamix, magic bullet, or whatever you use to blend things.



Doesn't this look yummy!

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A Blanket That Gives Back

Monday, February 24, 2014






It was really hard to watch our son Cruz endure all the testing and procedures he went through his first
year of life. It was even harder to find out the very invasive treatment he had to endure twice daily,
since birth up until he was 10 mos. old was the wrong treatment. We didn't know the extent of Cruz
birth defect until he was 12 mos. old. Scott and I decided to take Cruz to what is known to be the best
place for a pediatric patient with an anal rectal malformation. We live just south of Seattle, and the
hospital we would be taking him to was in Cincinnati Ohio. This means Scott and I would be away
from our 4 yr. old son Julian and 2 yr. old son Cole for the first time. It was a really tough decision but after a lot of praying it seemed like the right decision. We were suppose to be out in Cincinnati for 5 days max. Cruz was going to go into surgery to have the mass removed from his rectum, have a colostomy bag placed, and sent home. We would have to return to Cincinnati in a few months to remove the colostomy bag, but we would cross that bridge when we came to it. The day arrived for us to leave, and anyone that is a mother and has never left there children for more than a few hours understands the gut wrenching feeling you have walking out the door.


   

So we said our goodbye's and headed to Cincinnati. It was a beautiful hospital, the nurses were nice, and we were very anxious to meet the Dr. that would be performing Cruz surgery. Our first day we checked into the hospital Cruz would have to get an MRI. This is the MRI that should of been done at birth, it is a simple procedure that would of saved Cruz the daily procedures he had gone through for months. After the MRI we were taken to Cruz room where he would be the next 5 days.







That was a rough first night because he had to have a tube placed down his nose that would administer medicine into his tummy. Cruz pulled the tube out 5 times, and that meant it had to be reinserted 5 times;(.  This would allow his bowels to be cleaned out before surgery the next morning.



Surgery day had finally arrived! What a bitter-sweet moment. I was sending our baby off to be fixed, this meant no more twice a day probing, and we would finally get an accurate diagnosis for his birth defect:).



Half way through what was suppose to be a 4 hour surgery we are called into a conference room by the surgeon. He explains that they removed a 8cm long duplicated rectum. That is what was causing Cruz to have limited bowel movements. He also gave Scott and I the option of NOT doing a colostomy bag. That means we would NOT have to leave Julian and Cole again and come back to Cincinnati for a second surgery to take down the colostomy from this surgery, but it also meant that we would be in the hospital for an additional 5 day's. The additional 5 day's was needed because Cruz would not be able to eat for 10 days, so his bowel would be on rest, and the surgery could heal. Cruz would be fed through a picc line that would be inserted in his arm.  That would be 10 day's total away from my babes back home, instead of 5. So Scott and I decided to stay the 10 days. Scott would fly home and be with the boy's over the weekend and fly back, and I would stay in Cincinnati with Cruz. 


The first night after surgery was no fun. Cruz had a 102.9 temp, which is very uncommon after a surgery. You could expect to see a slight fever, but this was too high. (Did I mention I am a pediatric RN). 
Cruz is still fighting a temperature on/off, and he doesn't seem to be getting any better. I kept asking questions, but I didn't want to seem like an overbearing mom, a Pediatric RN know it all
mom at that. 


Scott is hesitant to leave because of the ongoing unexplainable fever, but he knows someone needs to go home with our other 2 boy's. He say's good bye!



There were some long hard day's without Scott there and no family in the area. Cruz not only had this unexplainable fever that would come and go, but now since the surgery Cruz was not going potty on his own. This had never been an issue before, and again they really had no explanation for this. They said maybe his bladder would have to be retrained. I asked if there was a possibility of infection, and could we do a CT Scan. My nurse assured me that he didn't need a CT Scan because the team of Surgeon's that did Cruz's surgery didn't get infections. They ran several test but a CT Scan would not be one of them. 


Aunty Tasha and Uncle Darryl come to my rescue. Scott and I have always been blessed with amazing friend's. His best friend from college found out that I was in Cincinnati by myself with this sweet baby that wasn't getting better. They live in Alabama, a 2 day drive away from me. When they heard everything that was going on they put there 2 kids in the car and drove out to Cincinnati to be with me. Talk about a service of love. 



Yay, Scott has returned, but Cruz is not going potty on his own, and still has an unexplained temp. They tell us we are going to have to help Cruz go potty by inserting a catheter every 4 hrs. around the clock. We are shocked!! We want to take our baby and go home. We have been here for 12 day's, and I want to get back to my other boy's that I so desperately miss. 




Day 15, Cruz has a low grade temp, we have the insert a catheter every 4 hours so he can potty, but they are going to let us go home. 




We are home for a few day's, Cruz is on antibiotics so his fever is a low grade fever, but my gut is telling me that something is not right. We take him up to the Emergency room at Seattle Children's hospital. My gut was correct, Cruz is really sick, the surgery that was done in Cincinnati had come apart and he has a major infection. Cruz was admitted to Seattle Children's to have yet another surgery. 


Cruz comes out of surgery with a colostomy bag, and incision in his belly so the infection can drain, he has to have a picc line reinserted because he has osteomyelitis (bone infection) due to the infection being in his body for so long. So he will need powerful antibiotics for 6 weeks to be given through the picc line. The good news is our baby didn't die although, he came close, and within less than 24 hours Cruz can go potty on his own;). Which indicates the infection started in Cincinnati, and if a CT Scan was performed the abscess would have been caught sooner.


And look at him now just weeks after having that surgery redone at Seattle Children's Hospital. A beautiful healthy boy! We still have lots of challenges ahead, but with God, family, and friend's we are doing just that, moving ahead. So I share our story because God is good, God is faithful, and I don't want to hold onto resentment, or bitterness. I want to rejoice in the fact that Cruz is still with us. I want
to give back. So I decided to make blankets to donate to the hospital in Cincinnati, and Seattle Children's hospital. I will also be selling these blankets in my etsy store. So for every blanket I sale I will be donating $2.00 to the Anal Rectal Malformation program at Seattle Children's Hospital. Why blankets? If you look back at all the pictures of Cruz in the hospital he has a white blanket, he calls it his Snug'Mo. That blanket comforted Cruz when I had to leave him for short periods of time, and if we can help comfort another child we are doing are part to give back. I'm being Cruz voice by making these blankets, the mom that did not want to be the know it all RN now has a voice for Cruz:).

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Make Someone Smile Today

Friday, February 21, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness go along way, and it can be as simple as a smile;).

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Power Breakfast

Thursday, February 20, 2014

This is so easy do, and the best part is that they will stay good in the refrigerator for 4 days, and they are packed full of protein. Are you ready for the recipe?

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground pork sausage

12 beaten eggs

1/2 Cup cheese

Small green onion chopped (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Lightly grease a 12 muffin tin

Cook sausage over medium to high heat, drain and set aside

In a large bowl mix the eggs, cheese, salt/pepper  and add sausage

Spoon 1/4 cup of the sausage mix into the prepared muffin tins

Bake in preheat oven for 15-20 mins, until the egg has set




My boy's and I have had them the last 3 day's for breakfast, and the best part is my mom came over and made these for us;). There is nothing like a good mom.

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The Super Food

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Roman can not get enough avocado. He slurps it down as fast as it goes in. It was a no brainer for me to serve avocado to him as his first food. It is packed with protein, and is  rich in saturated fats. I usually cube it, and than  puree it in the blender with my breast milk. I freeze the left overs in my ice cube tray for the next day.




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Cruz Gives Back

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Story of the Rainbow Fish


In Marcus Pfister’s children’s book, "The Rainbow Fish," the main character is a fish whose scales incorporate all of the colors of the rainbow. He is bright and beautiful, and admired by all of the other fish in the ocean whose scales have no color at all. One day, the rainbow fish is approached by one of these fish and asked if he might have one of the rainbow fish’s colored scales. Willingly, the rainbow fish gives one of his colors away. Word spreads among the other fish in the ocean, and they each begin approaching the rainbow fish about receiving one of his colors. The rainbow fish obliges. Eventually, the rainbow fish gives away all of his colors and the ocean is full of beautiful fish of all shades.
It has been suggested that Cruz is like the rainbow fish. Cruz is friendly and outgoing, he is committed to giving to others, and even is an encouragement to anyone he comes into contact with. There was a time when Cruz almost didn't make it, so to see him, and watch him bless others is truly a miracle from God. 
Cruz is like the color spectrum, he gives his colors away willing. His teacher just told me that "Cruz is always looking to help someone out, wether it be the new child in class, or simply his best friend". God created a special boy in Cruz, and  I can't wait to watch him grow up and share his kind spirit. These are the reasons why the rainbow fish is an ideal symbol for our son Cruz.



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Saved by the Grace of God, Friend's and Family

Monday, February 17, 2014

You never know how your going to make it another day when you have a special needs baby. Cruz was our 3rd son, his brother's were 2 and 4 when he arrived. I could not have made it with out God, the prayer's of our family, and the support of our friend's. My best friend Jill lived in the neighborhood when we were going through all this, and I cherish our friendship more today because she was there for me on those never ending day's that I did not know how I could keep going. Cruz never had a specific diagnosis for along time. They did not know why there was a narrowing in rectum, but they didn't know why. After 5 mos. of trying to help Cruz pass stool by inserting an instrument into his bottom we finally had to get a second  opinion. We took Cruz up to Seattle Children's hospital. We met the nicest Surgeon, Dr. Waldhausen, he listened to us, he was kind, and most important he reached out to a colleague to ask some very specific questions because he was unsure on what was the next step. I appreciated that we would not be undergoing another round of test, and to play a guessing game with this sweet baby that had already been through so much. Dr. Waldhausen called his colleague that was practicing at Cincinnati Children's hospital. He instructed Dr. Waldhausen to get a simple MRI and see if there was a mass. We brought Cruz in for his MRI, and yes, there was a mass. What did all this mean? It meant that Cruz would need surgery to remove the mass, and see if it was cancerous. The big decision for Scott and I was were we going to have the surgery here in Seattle, or were we going to travel to Cincinnati to have the surgery done. Dr. Waldhausen was know to be an exceptional surgeon, with his expertise being in removing conjoined twins. The group in Cincinnati was known for anal rectal malformations, and after all he knew we needed that MRI. So after many conversations we decided to leave Julian 4, and Cole 2 for my very first time and take Cruz to Cincinnati. After all, it was only suppose to be 5 days.



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Definition of Cruz's Birth Defect


Imperforate anus- Imperforate anus is a defect that is present from birth (congenital). The opening to the anus is missing or blocked. The anus is the opening to the rectum through which stools leave the body.


Causes, incidence, and risk factors Imperforate anus may occur in several forms.

  • The rectum may end in a pouch that does not connect with the colon.
  • The rectum may have openings to other structures. These may include the urethra, bladder, base of the penis or scrotum in boys, or vagina in girls.
  • There may be narrowing (stenosis) of the anus or no anus.
The problem rare. It is caused by abnormal development of the fetus. Many forms of imperforate anus occur with other birth defects.

Symptoms

  • Anal opening very near the vagina opening in girls
  • Baby does not pass first stool within 24 - 48 hours after birth
  • Missing or moved opening to the anus
  • Stool passes out of the vagina, base of penis, scrotum, or urethra
  • Swollen belly area

Signs and tests

A doctor can diagnose this condition during a physical exam. Imaging tests may be recommended.

Treatment

The infant should be checked for other problems, such as abnormalities of the genitals, urinary tract, and spine.
Surgery to correct the defect is needed. If the rectum connects with other organs, these organs will also need to be repaired. A temporary colostomy (connecting the end of the large intestine to the abdomen wall so that stool can be collected in a bag) is often needed.

Expectations (prognosis)

Most defects can successfully be corrected with surgery. Most children with mild defects do very well. However, constipation can be a problem.
Children who have more complex surgeries still have control over their bowel movements most of the time. However, they often need to follow a bowel program. This includes eating high-fiber foods, taking stool softeners, and sometimes using enemas.
Some children may need more surgery.

Prevention

There is no known prevention.

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Secrets to a Happy Life

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Knowing who you are, and having God in your life will allow you to do all this. 





                   
                     This will also allow you to give to those around you;).

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A Must Have for Teething Babies

This is super easy to make, and a must have if you have a teething baby in the house.



There are a ton of tutorials on pinterest on how to make this beauty. I looked at some, but put my own spin on it when it came to adding the ribbon. What do you think? O, and yes, I will be making one for one of my favorite babies. Our neighbor Emma, who is 3 weeks behind Roman in age;).

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Valentines Day Treat

Friday, February 14, 2014

Don't these look yummy..........


Rice Krispy treats is an easy and fun way to spend time with the kiddo's. 


INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

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We love the Snow

Thursday, February 13, 2014

It was a fun-filled weekend because we finally got some snow. The boy's were up and out of the house by 7:15 am. By the time 9:00 am rolled around we had half the neighbor kids in our yard. Here are some pictures of the boy's playing in the snow, and Julian's snowman. 








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DIY Valentine

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Super easy and cute for the kid's to take to school.




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Random Acts of Kindness Week, What are you going to do??

Monday, February 10, 2014

I'm going to.........

                      

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Walk in Someone else's shoes...

Sunday, February 9, 2014




It's hard to know what someone else is feeling if we can't visualize walking in there shoes. (I did it literally at the SeaHawks parade). It was 27 degrees out and my oldest son Julian was almost in tears because his feet were so cold. So I took off my cozy boots and switched shoes with him.


Yes his shoes were 4 times smaller than what I needed, but I couldn't truly know how he was feeling, unless I walked in his shoes. It was not comfortable for me, but it made Julian feel better, and you know what I was able to show him a random act of kindness, and I bet he will never forget what I did, and hopefully pass some kindness of his own on someday:)
Isn't that what life is about helping other's out??

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The 12th Man

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

We are the 12th man.
We are so proud of our SeaHawks!!!

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A Must try Salsa

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

                                           Balsamic Black Bean & Corn Salsa

1-15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed well

1-15oz. can whole kernel corn, drained well

1/2 medium onion finely chopped (about 1/3 cup) I used a red onion

1-7oz. can salsa verde ( I used Herdez brand and found it at Winco) juice of lime

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Salt & Pepper to taste

Cilantro (optional)


Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let salsa marinade for a few hours, or overnight before serving. Drain most of the liquid from the salsa before serving. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.  ENJOY!!!

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Humility

Monday, February 3, 2014

That was such a great Super Bowl game. I couldn't help but feel a little sympathy for Peyton Manning, and the Bronco's. I think Peyton Manning showed a lot of grace and humility by tracking down Richard Sherman after the game to make sure his injury was ok. When you take your eyes off yourself it gives you a chance to be available for someone else. What great growth and happiness that will bring you;).




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Hawk Fever

Sunday, February 2, 2014

We are ready for the big game.


 Cruz has been anxiously waiting all week for today to arrive. 


                           
                                 Cole and Julian are in beast mode


                                                               GO HAWKS!!!!


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