Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Buddy Funny!

Buddy hops off the couch fully clothed and holding his butt. He says, "Mom, my butt thinks it needs to poop outside!"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mom's Birthday!

This is my mom with my girls.

This is my grandmother and her sister with my mom and her sisters! Love it! These are some incredible women! They probably don't know it, but they have all taught and given me so many gifts over the years.

This is my baby brother, Zac, and I! I was sorry my sisters weren't there, but it was great to have a minute with Z!

Aunt Vickie (my dad's sister) had a little birthday party for my mom tonight. It was a sweet and simple affair. I was taking pictures with both my mom's camera and my own, and somehow I didn't get one on my camera of Aunt Vickie or my dad. Sorry, but I did get some pictures.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Beefy Taco Soup!

This is the perfect hearty, winter soup. It's a meal in itself. I top it with a little sour cream and shredded cheese. Tortilla chips are a nice accessory, too. My sister, Katie, and I first made this soup a couple of winters ago, and we just love it! It's not my recipe, but I have made some changes. The original recipe is from a Gooseberry Patch book. If you like to cook these books are essential.

1 lb. ground beef
14 1/2 oz. can stewed tomatoes
15 oz. can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 1/4 oz packet of taco seasoning mix
8 oz. can of tomato sauce

Brown your beef and throw it in the crock pot or in a big pot on the stove. Let it simmer on the stove or leave it on low in the crock all day (6-8 hours). Check on your brew every hour or two. Give it a stir and add water if you don't like the consistency. I end up adding a couple cups of water by the end. This serves 4-6 healthy servings. I always double it. If there is extra take it to a friend...Unless your friend hates beans and/or beef (Kimmy). Here is a tip to go along with the recipe: Before you throw in your stewed tomatoes you might want to cut them up a bit. I have one daughter that doesn't want huge bites of tomato in her bowl. Also, if you are on Weight Watchers you might be interested in this tip...I use the leanest ground beef I can buy, and that makes this meal fairly low in points. I haven't done the exact math, but you know tomatoes and beans are practically nothing!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


My boys received haircuts by Shami last week. The pictures tell it all!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Seemingly healthy, bouncing baby boy!

The actual ECMO machine. This machine gets its own team of nurses, and Strider had his own nurse at all times!

This is his room at UMC.

My son! I wondered if he would ever look like he once did, but I really didn't care.

I guess because I call Strider "Tiny" people have assumed he was a premie. That is not the case. Then when I tell them he is an ECMO survivor the questions come flooding, so I thought I would clarify things through this post. I use this as my journal, and I didn't have a blog during his battle, so I have decided it a good idea to document what I can remember!

Strider was born via c-section like all four of my other children on January 15th, 2007. He was 9 pounds and 2 ounces. Mind you, this is two weeks early! He would have been enormous had we left him in there any longer! Later, we would be told if he would have been in utero any longer he probably wouldn't have lived because of the unknown bacterial infection he was fighting, and then he would have also been too big to fight the PPH.

Shortly after being born (within 24 hours) Strider was diagnosed with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH). PPH is basically when your lungs don't oxygenate your blood. It's sort of like the baby was still in utero. Premies often have this, but they are so tiny it's a little easier to fix. He was also fighting some sort of bacterial infection that was never cultured out, so we aren't sure what it was. YRMC tried to take care of him for two days, and then he and I were flown out to UMC in Tucson. Quite a flight! I wish I had pictures of that. Bobby hit the road to Tucson as soon as we were certain we were going. He made it there almost as fast as we did! After several days of trying different vents and other magic tricks the doctors told us ECMO was out "last ditch effort." The success rate of this machine was not in our favor, and in fact, the last baby they had put on ECMO did not make it.

ECMO is also known as a lung/heart bypass machine...Life support. It takes donated blood, oxygenates it, and pumps it through the baby's body while his lungs rest and heal. We are huge advocates of blood donation, by the way! We were told he could be on this machine for up to twelve days, and if it didn't do the trick we would have to talk about "our options with the doctors."

After three days they did a trial run without it, and Strider responded well. Well enough they decided to take him off. The longer a baby is on the machine the higher the chances for clotting and other things. We could not believe he was coming off this soon! It was truly a miracle.

Once he came off he was a little better every day. They would take him off of a few more meds, wires, narcotics, and steroids. They had promised us that if the ECMO worked his recovery would be quick. We just had to get through the ECMO alive. They were right. Each day he was a little better. There were no setbacks from that point on! Our baby was alive, and after two and a half weeks of being in Tucson we were flown back to YRMC. At YRMC he was able to fully recover, learn to eat, and get off the drugs!

Strider Zane is a very special baby. He's a miracle in both the scientific and the spiritual sense. He is a blessing and a reminder of greater things than ourselves. He is not Tiny because he was small. He is Tiny because he is our tiny miracle. We didn't part the Red Sea or feed the masses, but our millions of prayers were answered.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Three Weeks!

I've been off the radar for a few weeks, I know. I just didn't feel like I had anything blogworthy to report. Here are some pictures of what I've been up to.

I bought Syd a babysitting bag and filled it with junk for the kids. She had her first, second, and third babysitting job over the last few weeks, and this is truly a dream come true for her. A little young, I know, but I was just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the homes. I'm so proud of her.

I babysat my niece, Maggie! Wonderful baby. Girls are so sweet.

I dipped berries. They were great! Too great. I ate quite a few.