Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Are there hidden blessings in sickness - YES!  The laundry may not get folded & the dishes won't get washed, but there is plenty of extra cuddle time!

Poor Carrie has been battling bugs all winter: colds, ear infection, sinus infection, thrush, yeast infection, and croup.  Please let spring come soon!

Here is Carrie-anne and her new friend Macie!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Reviving this blog!

It is time to bring this blog back to life.  I started this blog a few years ago as a way to journal our family and I have seriously been neglecting it.  I would like to change direction a little, I still want to journal our family but I would like to focus on the small things that many people don't see as blessings, but actually are.  Sometimes you need to search hard for these hidden blessings because God doesn't always put them in pain sight. 

Todays hidden blessing: Scraps of paper.  The day before Valentines day I walked into our kitchen to find our Buyers Guide all cut up, with little scraps of paper everywhere.  My first though was "who's going to clean this up?" But before I could say anything Tristyn handed me a sheet of paper.  It said "Happy Valentines Day, Mom I love you"  and she had all these cute little scraps pasted on the card, pictures of puppies, hearts, colorful fish, etc.  I am so blessed!

Now for the journal part:  Carrie-anne is doing great, she's 7 1/2 months now, I can't believe it.  She's just getting over a nasty ear/sinus infection, thrush & a bad yeast diaper rash!  She's rolling from back to front now, and she's almost figured out how to get back to her back.  She as finally started to put some weight on her legs & likes playing in her jumper.  7 1/2 months may sound late for these milestones, but that's because of her muscle Hypotonia, since all 3 of my kids have had this I have learned not to panic! We may get her enrolled in the Birth-3 program, we'll see at her next doctors appt.   Tristyn still has some minor trouble with Hypotonia such as poor balance and slow reflexes, but it does't affect her too much, and Maddy has pretty much out grown it totally.

As for Maddy & Tristyn, Maddy is in 4K, and she loves it!  She is so out going and makes friends easily.  Tristyn is in 2nd grade and has a small group of friends that are very sweet, amazingly most of them are in 4th grade!

Have a great day & look for the hidden blessings!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Madilyn's Heart Journey

I am re-publishing this post to be a part of the Every Heart has a Story blog event.

Click the picture below to read more heart stories.

Madilyn's Heart Journey

Maddy's 1st baby picture.

Madilyn Ann was born at 10:40pm on Thursday, May 1st, 2008. Within a few minutes we knew something was wrong. She was very blue and her breathing & cries were very shallow. I remember the nurse asking my husband to stop taking pictures. I watched the nurses working on her, and over heard one say “Come on baby, stay with us”, it was like watching a bad movie. She was taken to the nursery to have a bunch of tests and we were given the preliminary diagnosis of a congenital heart defect. She would need further tests to find out the extent of her heart defect. At this point we were very scared and all we could do was pray. I had an ultrasound around the 20th week of pregnancy and was told everything looked fine, so all of this came as a sudden shock to us.

Maddy was taken by the Spirit of Marshfield ambulance to St. Joseph’s in Marshfield, she arrived here around 4:00am. Tony left and met Maddy in Marshfield, I wasn’t able to leave the hospital yet, so I had wait. Before she left, the nurses gave us some Polaroid pictures they had taken. I later learned that these are called “just in-case pictures”. In Marshfield she saw Dr. Dyke, he did several tests, ultrasound, echo, etc. and she was officially diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA).

In a normal heart, oxygen-depleted "blue" blood is pumped from the right side of the heart, through the pulmonary artery, to the lungs where it is oxygenated. The oxygen-rich "red" blood then returns to the left heart, via the pulmonary veins, and is pumped through the aorta to the rest of the body. With TGA, blue blood from the right heart is pumped immediately through the aorta and circulated to the body and the heart itself, bypassing the lungs altogether, while the left heart pumps red blood continuously back into the lungs through the pulmonary artery. In effect, two separate circulatory systems are created. Maddy was born with "Simple" TGA, meaning TGA was the only heart defect. Although it may seem illogical, babies born with "Complex" TGA have a better chance of survival. This is because with they have other defects such as a ASD, VSD (holes in the heart) which allow for mixing of the blood. Maddy did not have this advantage, she had no mixing of the blood and her PDA was very small. Therefore she needed an emergency stent (hole) put in her heart, just to survive long enough to have the surgery to correct her TGA.

A few hours later she was then taken to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. The doctors really wanted to air lift her there, but the weather was just too foggy. She arrived in Milwaukee around 9:30am on May 2nd. She immediately had a Balloon Atrial Septostomy, and Dr. Berger put a stent in her heart, she was about 11 hours old at this point. A stent is a man-made hole between the chambers, this allowed her blood to mix. This stabilized her and we were able to wait a few days and let her gain some strength before surgery. This is where I was finally able to catch up with her again. I was discharged from the hospital and we made the 3.5 hr. drive to Milwaukee, not very comfortable only 10 hrs after giving birth! We arrived shortly after her stent was put in. We were later told that the ambulance ride was very tough on her, she coded twice and the attendants were afraid she wasn’t going to make it. The stent made a world of difference, the next time we saw her she was nice and pink. The day after the stent was put in she had an episode of apnea, where she stopped breathing. I have never heard so many alarms and seen so many nurses come running. They determined that this was a side effect of one of the drugs she was on. To keep this from happening again she needed to be put on a CPAP machine. This stands for continuous positive airway pressure. This is a small device that fits over her nose & was held in place by a fabric, helmet like, harness.

Maddy with the CPAP on, after the balloon aterial septostomy, her color is much better.

On Monday May 5th Dr. Tweddell preformed the Arterial Switch Surgery (Jatene procedure) and put the arteries back where they should be, she was 4 days old. It was a long surgery, almost 7 hours, but she came through with flying colors. She recovered very quickly and on May 13, at 12 days old, Maddy was able to come home.

A few hours after surgery

Maddy is now a happy and healthy 2 year old. She has so much energy that she is hard to keep up with, and loves learning new things. She will need life long cardiac care to watch for leaky valves, narrowing arteries at the re-connection sites, and irregular heart beats, but her outlook is great thanks to the wonderful care she received. Tristyn is 6 years old & loves her little sister, the first thing she said was “Mad-o-lin is shiny and new”. Poor Tristyn was a trooper during all of this. She had no idea why she was suddenly abandoned at her grandparents house for almost 2 weeks. She was able to come & visit us once and that was wonderful, because I really missed her. Maddy and her sister Tristyn are both precious blessings from our Lord Jesus. Our family has been blessed with two beautiful daughters and we treasure each day.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Tristyn!!

Yep, Tristyn will turn 6 at 3:01pm on July 22. Happy Birthday Tris, we love you!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Check Up

Maddy had her 2 year old checkup yesterday, everything went great! She is 25 pounds, 33.25 inches tall, which puts her around the 25% percentile. This makes her 5 pounds lighter & 2.5 inches shorter than Tristyn was at age 2. Her doctor is very happy that she has caught up with her gross motor development, and her social development and speech are right on track! Her heart and lungs sound great! Way to go Maddy!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy 10th!!!!!!

We Celebrated 10 happy years of Marriage on June 3rd, and we're still going strong!!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hummers & garages don’t mix!

I’m not talking about the Hummer vehicle, I’m talking about humming birds. They are beautiful & fun to watch, but not too smart when they get stuck in the garage. The problem is that when they panic they fly straight up and smack right into the rafters, either hurting themselves, or after 2-3 hours they just become exhausted from not being able to feed. On Monday Tony had to rescue 2 hummger, a male & female Ruby Throated. The male was pretty easy to catch, but the female was a challenge. By the time we caught her she was wrapped up in insulation & exhausted. Tony pick her up and she literally just laid in his hand, so he set her down on the perch of one of our feeders, and she just sat there & drank the nectar for almost 15 minutes, before gaining enough strength to fly away. So, last night we had to rescue another female, this one was easier to catch. We have always had a pretty good hummer population so, I’m not sure why so many are getting stuck in our garage this year, but I guess we’ll be keeping the door closed this summer.

Part of the problem is that they are very curious, and don’t have much fear. They quickly become accustomed to people, If I wear anything red (they love this color) it’s not uncommon for them to swoop down and hover just inches from me to check it out. They are also impatient, when I am changing the feeder they usually are perched just a few feet away waiting. I have heard that some hummers will get so used to people that if they pour some nectar in the palm of their hand the birds will sit and drink it off your hand. I haven’t tried that yet, but I might someday, they are a beautiful bird to see up-close.


Sunday, May 23, 2010


Two weeks ago on Saturday May 8th, we woke up to 4-5 inches of snow, now this weekend and the rest of the week will have temperatures in the 90’s! I’m so confused!


1 in every 125 babies is born with a heart defect?
What if that one was yours?

1 in every 166 children is diagnosed with some form of Autism? Help us put the puzzle back together!