Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chips and Salsa

For some reason, last night I was craving chips and salsa so bad!
So, I asked my husband to go to the store to get some (we also needed milk for Isaiah so it wasn't a trip just for me lol).

This is what Heath brought home. . .

In his defense, I was supposed to text him a brand of chip and salsa. I got caught up with the kids and forgot to text.
Too funny :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blankets for Christmas

I just have to share beause I am pretty proud of myself :)

First off, I am not very good with a sewing machine. I was looking all over for a way to make blankets without having to sew. Thanks to pinterest, I found a way!

I have made no-sew fleece blankets before by using two pieces of fleece, cutting the edges into strips, and tying the pieces together. These are nice but a little bulky to use for a preemie baby. I was so excited to find this new way of making a fleece blanket!
You only use one piece of fleece and the edges are so simple to make! I have made 16 baby girl blankets in 2 nights! After the boys go to sleep I work on them. So, in about 6 hours I was able to make 16 blankets!
Here are some pics . . .

Which design do you like better? My mom and I are debating it. I like one and she likes the other lol.
 I have enough fabric to make a total of 32 blankets (16 girl and 16 boy) so I only need 68 more blankets!
I have someone that will be donating enough fleece for 24 more blankets! so excited!

Monday, November 28, 2011

All Smiles

On Thanksgiving our family stayed home. The boys were still sick and we didn't think it would be a good idea to go anywhere.
We were excited to spend the day together. Heath had a day off! Which is few and far between these days. It was great to just relax and enjoy eachother.
We had pancakes for breakfast, lots of play time including tackling mommy and daddy, a big Thanksgiving lunch and down time.
Our kids were all smiles to be able to play with mommy and daddy all day!
I didn't take many pictures of the day but here are my babies smiles :)

The day ended with a little cuddle time with daddy

Memory Monday - All Smiles

Our smooth sailing days
Our first 3 weeks in Oakland were scary, shocking, crazy, sad, and a bit of a blur
All of the sudden, Owen started to turn around.
His kidneys began to work and he peed out the liquid he had been holding in for so long. He was recovering nicely from surgery and things were looking up.
For about a week, his roller coaster was slowing down. We were able to stay accross the street in a house for families that live more than 100miles from the hospital. We were blessed to get a room there the day after Owen's emergent surgery. We were there for our baby all day and all night. I think we barely slept. We were so excited to have a place to relax that was close to our boy. And, Owen was looking so good! They had him back in an iscolette. He was still intubated but they were planning to wean him slowly.
We were all smiles - even Owen was :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

When you think about what you are thankful for, you can't help but look at the road you have traveled.
Our road has been a difficult one but one I wouldn't trade.
I'm not sure this is going to make any sense and may not even be aloud, but I am thankful for that difficult road we have traveled.
I am thankful for the perspective I have.
I am thankful that my family has become closer, stronger through our difficult road.
I am a better mother, wife, daughter, and sister because of that difficult road.
I appreciate life and the little, but wonderful things.

We have two beautiful little boys that are happy and loved.
Children really do show you how to live.

I am thankful for Owen.
He has taught me so much in his young life.
He is full of love and life and happiness.
Owen is a lover. He loves to hug, cuddle, and kiss you.
I love rocking him to sleep and cuddling with him before he goes to bed.
I am thankful for Isaiah
He shows us the excitement in life.
He is always keeping us on our toes.
He is a reminder of how lucky we are to be blessed with a healthy child.
He loves his brother!
Isaiah is always very concerned for Owen when Owen is hurting
(even though he pushes Owen in the first place hehe)

I am thankful for my wonderful husband Heath.
I love you!
I am thankful that we have/are traveling this road together.
He helps me to walk slowly through this journey and take one step at a time
He is my strength and joy
Thank you for all you do for our family

Our first Thankgiving
Family Shot
 Our Second Thanksgiving
Family Shot

Please go check out the posts "In Gratitude" at to read some amazing stories and what we should all be thankful for this year!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Love You Stinky Face

Owen loves books! He loves turning the pages and pretending to read it.
However, until yesterday, he had no interrest in sitting on my lap and reading a whole book.
I love that he is learning!

Last night, before bed, Owen brought this book to me, he climbed onto my lap, and let me read the whole thing!
I was so excited! He was really listening to the story. He was involved, pointing to parts in the pictures, and even trying to say some of the words I was saying.

I am so proud of Owen!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Memory Monday - Medi-Flight

September 19th, 2009
A day that changed our lives forever
Owen was air lifted to Oakland Children's Hospital.

The helicopter left Modesto around 2:30pm that day. We left the hospital before Owen so that we could get there around the time that the helicopter arrived. Oakland is almost 3 hours from Modesto. We got there before the helicopter.
That day was a blur once we got to the hospital.
Owen was wheeled in . . .
. . . lots of nurses running around frantically

An anesthesiologist comes in . . .
This part is the one thing I remember perfectly in my mind.
The anesthesiologist actually says, "Yuck!" when she saw Owen.
She was so surprised by how horrible he looked.
She turned to us
"I'm sorry, I don't usually say this unless its absolutely neccessary. Owen probably won't make it. We will do everything we can but prepare for the worst."
Everything after that was moving in slow motion.

The doctor told us that intubation wasn't helping. They couldn't even bag him because there was no room for his lungs to expand. His intestines were taking over and there was no room for his lungs. His arms and legs were cold and white. They said it was because all the blood was going to his vital organs.
His body was shutting down.

My mom, who is a nurse, saw Owen for the first time that day. Modesto would only let parents into the NICU and Oakland allowed any visitors. My mom just cried. She wouldn't tell me anything, which meant that I should worry. When my mom can't give me any medical information and cries, I know the situation is bad.
Owen went into surgery at 10pm. While in the waiting room, my mom did not look up. She kept her head down in prayer, prayed with me, cried. That was the worst. I knew the situation was not good. I remember thinking, "Thank you Lord for giving us 3 wonderful weeks with our son". I thought that was the end.
The doctor came out and said, "he made it through, I don't know how but he did. The next 24hours are critical". He came out of surgery around 2:30am. It was the hardest 4hours I have ever gone through.

This was the last picture I took of Owen before he got so sick. notice his large belly? You can even see the loops of bowel. I see this picture and I want to go to his neonatologist at that NICU and shove it in his face. I so badly want to go and educate him on NEC in hopes of saving other babies from this horrible disease. Owen needed to see a surgeon. This picture was taken on Sept 16 - 3 whole days before Owen was transferred. I just wish I had known then, what I know now. But again, you can't change the past

This picture was taken on Sept 22nd. This is when Owen started getting better from surgery. Pictures were not important to me. The only important thing to me was never leaving his side. I wanted to be with him every minute for fear that minute could be his last. My mother-in-law took this picture. I am so thankful she did. It just reminds me of what a miracle he is. At this point his kidneys weren't working, his Co2 levels were through the roof, he was on the oscilator, morphine, lasix, among others.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Water Play

Today the kids were sick all day.
Thankfully, they did pretty well. No high fevers = no hospital stays :)

Yesterday they were playing in the water.
I had to give Isaiah a bath. I give him a bath every other day but I try to give him his bath while Owen is napping. Owen loves baths and loves water! Unfortunately he is only able to have a real bath once a week. Even then, he can't really play. I am always so worried his broviac site will get wet and then will get infected.

I gave Isaiah a bath yesterday in front of Owen. Owen was begging me to let him in. I compromised. I took off Owen's pants and socks to let him put his feet in. I put a couple dry wash cloths under his shirt on top of his broviac dressing to keep it safe from splashing. Then I let him play in the water with his brother. They both love the faucet! Check out the pictures, they speak for themselves :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Owen Plays

We have a bucket full of links. Owen loves to play with them!
He used to just like dumping the bucket and filling it up again.
It is exciting to watch how a few months can change the way they see the same toy.
Now he sorts them by color, he lines them up on the kitchen floor, and, of course, puts them together and pulls them apart!
Unfortunately these links are difficult for him to put together and pull apart.
He concentrates really hard . . .

. . . and eventually starts to get frustrated
Finally . . .
he asks for help. "mum, mum!" and he holds them out for me to help pull them apart :)

P.S. He was soooo angry with me because I was taking pictures instead of helping him . . . hehe

Prematurity Awareness Day

 Preemie Mother's Oath
There are women that become mothers without effort,
without thought,
without patience or loss and though they are good mothers and love their children,
I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics, or money or that I have read more books
but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.
I have sat in the NICU and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured.

Like most things in life,
the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover.
I will marvel at my surviving miracle every day for the rest of my life.
I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child,
knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to a nurse taking another temperature, an alarm going off, another round of meds or because I am crying tears for fear of the unknown. I will be happy because my baby is alive and crying out for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight,
this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.
Whether I parent a preemie with physical challleges or medical issues,
I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured.
 I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.
I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body.
I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.
I have prevailed.
I have succeeded. I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort.
 I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
I listen.
And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely.
I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine,
of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard.
I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.
 I have learned to appreciate life.
Yes I will be a wonderful mother

Author Unknown

Our Preemie Miracle

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The boys LOVE playing peek-a-boo! They play with eachother all the time!
Isaiah hides behind the TV and then they play together. I love that they play peek-a-boo with eachother. Usually one of them bursts out into laughter and then the other one does!
They are so cute!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Owen's Doc Appointment

I feel like its time for another update about Owen's status currently.
We had a GI appointment yesterday that went great!
I was super nervous about the appointment because his regular doctor was on vacation and Dr. Gleghorn was stepping in for her. Now, if you know me, you know that Dr. Gleghorn scares me! lol
Don't get me wrong, she is an awesome doctor. However, we don't seem to agree a lot of the time and she is a little pushy about her opinion. She is ultimately probably right most of the time but she is just too pushy for
me. I like to take things slow and think and she is very aggressive.
Anyway - here is what's happening now.
1. Owen now weighs 25lbs 5oz! Wow! What a big boy! They calculated Owen's feeding rate and the amount of TPN he gets and found that he is ultimately absorbing 2/3 of the feeding he gets through his g-tube which is great! We would like it to be more obviously, but real progress for him!
2. They are consolidating his TPN! He will no longer get TPN for 12hours! He will now only get TPN for 10hours a day! This is GREAT for Owen! not so great for my schedule. I am still trying to figure out how it will work. Owen sleeps 8pm-8am usually which is perfect for 12hours. It gets a little tricky but I think I will just hope I don't wake him up when I hook him up at 10pm. so excited for this!
3. Owen will have an appointment with a GI doctor at Stanford to get a second opinion on the STEP procedure on December 13th. I am a little nervous about this appointment but excited to talk to a doctor that doesn't know every little thing about Owen.
4. We tentatively scheduled the STEP procedure for next summer. We will obviously be talking about it until then and re-evaluating Owen when the time gets closer.

 Owen is walking, running everywhere! He puts that backpack on and is on his own!
He is really trying to talk. He gets super frustrated when you don't know what he is saying. He knows many words in sign-language including more, all done, please, down, up, thank you, and I love you
Words he can say: Mum (mom), Dad, Ma (Grandma), Ba (Ball), doun (down), my (mine).

Overall, Owen is doing great!
We are so proud of our little miracle!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Memory Monday - The First Sign of NEC

Owen began showing signs of NEC on sept 7th. They stopped feedings. Owen wasn't able to breathe on his own.
This time in the NICU was extremely confusing for us. I wish I would have known then what I know now.
But, you can't change the past. It's all in God's hands.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Many Faces of Isaiah

He is such a funny kid!

p.s. Who wants to cut his hair?!? haha

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Owen's Miracle for the Holidays

We are a preemie family who know exactly what it feels like to have a baby in the NICU over the holidays.
It is so hard to have a Merry Christmas when you are watching your baby fight for your life.

Owen's Miracle donates to 3 NICUs. Two NICUs in California and one NICU in Oklahoma.

For the holidays we are doing a number of things.
1. We are hoping to donate 100 NICU gift bags between the three NICUs
(picture of items donated in NICU gift bags)
2. We are going to donate Christmas gifts to each family in these three NICUs.
The gifts will include a mini stocking, a disposable camera, and a Baby's First Christmas ornament. If funds allow, we will also include Keys for Santa found here.
3. We will be providing a meal for all families staying in the Family House. We are excited to provide this meal because we remember the many nights at the family house and the many meals we had while staying there as Owen was in the NICU.

To make these things happen we need your help!

 We will soon be announcing a Disposable Camera Drive so stay tuned!

To provide 100 NICU gift bags, here is a list of all the items we still need:

Baby blankets: 99

Stuffed Animals: 88

Handprint kits: 96

Baby Books: 91

Photo Albums: 94

Hair brush/comb: 75

Hand Sanitizer: 96

Toothpaste: 99

Toothbrush: 80

Shampoo: 95

Conditioner: 97

Soap/body wash: 30

Fabric and ribbon for baby eye masks

Disposable Cameras: 100

Puzzle Books: 100

Deoderant: 100

Journals: 45

We are also selling Owen's Miracle Sweatshirts!
Order Before December 10th
For only $30 you will receive a sweatshirt, free shipping, and all proceeds will go to our holiday deliveries!
Aren't they cute!
If you would like to make a monetary donation you may use our paypal donate button at If you do not have a paypal account and would not like to open one, you can email me at
Spread the Word!
Make this Christmas a little brighter!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Red Cups!

Red cups have arrived!
Red cups at starbucks are the beginning to my favorite time of year!
Thanksgiving starts it all - be thankful
Remember to be thankful for all that we have through this holiday season.
Going through the holidays in the hospital with our little boy changed the way I view the holidays. I will forever be thankful for what I have.

So, red cups symbolize a wonderful time of year.
A time to give
A time to be thankful
A time where we remember the birth of our savior Jesus Christ
Through him we Live

Our first Red Cups!

 Our little miracle got one too!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Memory Monday - Day 8

On day 8 they had to change Owen's bed again! So, Daddy got to hold him up while they changed it!
Such a proud Daddy!