Wednesday, September 26, 2012

4 Years Ago Today...The World Got a Little Bit Brighter

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I can't believe how fast time has flown these past 4 yrs.  

One minute we are expecting a sweet pink bouncing baby girl.....
The next she's turning 4 and makes us giggle on a daily basis!

Lily-isms...

me:  "Lily what kind of chips do  you want with your sandwich?"
lily:  "Chocolate Chips"

You are a perfect blend of your daddy and me!  If I had to guess how incredible the past 4 years would have been I wouldn't have believed you! .....I'm amazed each day at you...

From your naked phase....to your never sleeping phase....to the never letting us sit down phase....to your sweet momma nurturing phase....

I can't wait for another 4 times 40 years of phases with you!

Let the party begin!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A HOT Party in My Mouth

Last night I made this recipe from the Cuisine at Home....

image


2 cups fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, packed
4 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 lime, juice of
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch salt

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon canned chipotle chile chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Cheese your choice
Cibatta bread

Directions:

Process cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice and salt in food processor till minced. Slowly drizzle in oil while machine is running, forming a paste.
Mix mayonnaise, chopped chipotle and sugar in a small bowl.

We put one spread  on one side and one on another ...then layered some chicken and cheese and then pressed on our panini press...for the bread...we used cibatta!  

I can't say enough about the cilantro and chipotle spreads....THESE MADE THE MEAL...

 

 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Miscellany Monday...Sweet Baby Cole

been ages since i linked up with carissa....

one.  sweetness

1

i bet you were wondering where your photos are of this sweet boy have gone to?!

i've been so busy i haven't had a chance to update about him.

his rash is a 100% better!!

he's a dream baby...i couldn't have asked for anything better....(esp with being #6 and possibly last angel baby in our house)

i've refrained from all forms of nuts and it has seemed to have worked....he did get his horribly ugly dry patch of skin between his eyes on his nose and part forehead....(see pic)  but he's still the cutest baby ever!

Eats like a dream  (is a puker like his sibs)

and sleeps like a dream...

usually crashes by 9ish every evening...and so does mommy!  i told hubs one day I will be up with him until 10:30...just give me until december to catch up on sleep....that and hopefully C will sleep longer at night.

still waking about 2-3 times a night...but goes right back down.

is happy and smiles at just about everyone.

i'm in total ♥

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two.  arrrr thar she blows

lily's 4th birthday is this wednesday.....WHERE HAS TIME GONE?
she changed her mind a million times on the party...we settled on a Princess Pirate.  (sadly i didn't do the whole pink and black theme colors...it was easier to find the red/black/white stuff.....just don't tell her)

i am in the process of busting out cleaning the house and painting some walls the kids have nicked with toys.

that's the great thing about parties at your house...you have to fix stuff that you had been meaning to get around to but didn't.  i love the look of clean.

i've been making a list of ideas for this party for about a month now....been searching Pinterest for more ideas....time to put them all together...

i went with the message in a bottle invites from oriental trading company...i know ...too lazy to make my own...i'm into this "order and it comes to the house" kind of life.

now off to make decorations...stay tuned for pics....i love love love party planning....just a bit harder when i have a newbie on my hip


three.  meaningful beauty...am i?

remember i told you i was suckered in?  well i got my stuff...and loved it the first week....by the 2nd week i noticed i had a some red patches...almost like i got some sun on my face.  now i don't consider myself the type to have sensitive skin but i had some pink...didn't hurt...or itch..i just looked pink on my cheeks and forehead....
also the eye cream to prevent puffiness and dark circles?  i think it lighten up that area...looked almost white...i didn't really have dark circles (not that i noticed) but if i did i don't now.  that stuff worked.
 
i called and cancelled my future orders...i read they didn't actually cancel them and ppl had issues....but so far on my order page it says cancelled...hubs said to continue using the rest of my products and see what happens...if nothing then i should reorder my stuff....i really did like it.  (still use my oil of olay foaming face wash...i will never give that stuff up)

i did use again and no red patches....i really like the way my skin was looking....fresh washed almost.

i don't wear make up on a daily basis....never really have...unless walking out the door...and then it's powder...blush and i curl my lashes...i save the mascara for meeting the mom's or dates with hubs...(laughs)  anywho...i try to keep the young fresh thing going....(laughs again)  i like the motto...less is best..

i always feel like a painted clown when i wear too much makeup... hopefully my daughter's will see my example and not want to be clowns either. 

four.  atkins is my new friend (soon)

saw a pic of myself.  wasn't pleased....got on the scales...realized i've got a long road ahead.
figure i will make a plan....and get back on the atkins ...it worked summer before last and i lost 12 lbs on it in a 12 day period....now i've got 30 to lose.

you will be beaten down by my 'lifestyle' food change when it happens.....

i've been researching meals and snacks for hubs and myself....yes...he is going on it with me...
my lil sis is getting married in december....we both need to look our party in a barn wedding best!

(not starting until after lily's party...b/c you know i'll be eating my cookies and cupcakes)

five. pinterst projects

i am painting walls....pantry doors and finishing my 'PB ruler'...i've got all 3 going at once and party decorations....hubs said i need to pick one project and finish it....he said i'm like that chick on the Hallmark Movie "The Elevator Girl"  (did you see that?  soooo cute)  her friend accused her of never finishing anything....(raises hand)  i start stuff and then don't finish...i mean sometimes i do (like months later)

i wanted to paint the pantry door an accent color before the party...i picked BLACK.  now if you know my hubs he won't let me paint stuff (unless it's the original wall color and i'm doing touch ups)
he actually said yes.....i'm going to run with that YES while i can...it's rare.

my inspiration was this....







I love the color she chose....but i'm going black....hubs might die if he saw that color in our kitchen

So there you go...that's what i've been up to lately...

i've been so busy i haven't had a chance to breathe.....6 kids is taking me a bit to adjust!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bad Parenting Award Again Goes To....

Me.

Yep I had another mommy fail again.  

You would think by the 6th kid I would learn?

Cole and his Allergic Reaction....

Ok in all fairness....baby #4 and #5 had baby acne from 3-6 weeks of age.  So when Cole turned 3 weeks and started to get a rash on his face..I ignored it. 

Enter last week.....Wednesday dinner with the inlaws....

After dinner hubs busted out our Costco Jug of cashews...YUM...So what do I do?  I reach in and grab me a handful...or 2...

That evening when changing little man I noticed his bumps had spread down his chest and then his arms and legs had a few.   Oh man....I thought...he's got a bad case of the baby acne

The next morning I noticed the rash was now all over...not angry red...but all over...

Thurs evening instead of going to bed like normal around 9ish...Cole screamed from 8-1am. And there wasn't a thing I could do to make him happy.
 Ok for starters my baby rarely cries.  Just when his booby isn't getting to his mouth fast enough or riding in car.  Even when he wakes he squeaks not really cries ....so this was freaking me out with worry...

He finally settled after 1am (and I'm exhausted by this point) and he slept 2 hrs  and then woke for food...no crying (deep sigh) and back asleep.  I thought the worst was over.

By morning one look at him and I freaked.....and he was back to being fussy.  

What does any parent do?  Gets on Google and reads all the worst case scenarios.

I ran to call the dr and got him an appt that afternoon....(why do babies always need to see the Dr on Fridays?)

The minute the dr saw Cole she asked what I ate...haha...SEE IT WAS SOMETHING OTHER THAN BABY ACNE....

It hit me.....THE CASHEWS....Lily is allergic to cashews...all other nuts she's fine..
And it dawned on me that after I ate them on Wednesday was about the time I notice the rash moving over his whole body...

I FELT LIKE A HORRIBLE MOTHER...

She even called in other dr's in the office to look at him...(freak show) 

They told me to give him a 1/4 tsp of Benadryl  every 6 hrs and to call them over the weekend to tell them how it looked...

I rushed home with guilt and gave him his first dose...and then another before bed...He wasn't fussy Friday night....and I thought he would sleep for hrs and hrs b/c of the Benadryl....but nope up his usual 2 hrs...but went right back down and not fussy....

By morning He was his happy self...his skin looked tons better....and by Sunday He looked normal...even the baby face acne was gone...which made me wonder about all nuts...So on Saturday I quit ALL AND ANYTHING WITH NUTS...

Wanna see some pics? 

Shield your eyes...(bad mother alert)

310359_10151219567497079_446254090_n

Now we know....and now we know the joys of Benadryl too

I hate being scared as a mother...that helpless ...what can I do to make you better feeling...

I'm just thankful it was something easy to fix...sorry little man!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pinterest Stuff: The Good and The Ugly...(foodie dept)

Hello Fellow Pinterest Addicts....

(don't look around....I'm talking to you)

I tried these out for the kids lunch ....



They inhaled them....and funny thing?  They hate grilled cheese sandwiches.  But for some reason in this shape they loved them!  I didn't have any square cheese but had some Velveeta and used that...I put a thin slice on one side and then rolled it up and smushed it shut!!


Did you see a pin for these yet?



Well keep on walking....THEY WERE GROSS.  What are they supposed to be?  Toddler banana pancake cup thingy's

Now I like to read reviews first...(ok when I have time)
and the reviews were mixed.  I don't even know if 50% liked them or not....
I'm in the group that is a NO.
They came out gooey....like smashed baby food....the kids wouldn't touch them.  I did....I took a bite and wasn't impressed...basically I wasted 2/3 cup of syrup and 1 cup of pancake mix.  

My oldest was watching me and asked why I didn't just make Banana Pancakes instead?  I should have listened to him.  (did you read that Gray?)

(note to the person that 'invented' these....they just didn't work for us...glad they worked for you...I was hopeful)

Seen the Pioneer Woman's show yet?  She made these...

Tequila Lime Chicken w/rice and beans




So did I yesterday ....with the rice and the beans...

My review?  

Well I didn't taste any lime in the chicken.....and the beans...well how on earth did she get them to taste good?  I thought the chicken just tasted like grilled chicken...and the beans were bland....and didn't mash well....I was too busy to get out an immersion blender and just mashed em with my hand...(ok that and I didn't want to wash another object...the kitchen was already piling up)

Hubs said we should marinade them overnight or maybe even 2 days....we shall see.  Rice casserole made a ton....I would suggest cutting that sucker in half.  I should have when I saw the 4 cups of rice...but we had company....we didn't even make a dent in it....

I've already got a list going for next weeks meals....I have good intentions and then the day comes and with newbie still new...makes it hard to be in the kitchen for hrs like I normally do.  I've been trying hard to prep all during the day....but then with that...and the cooking it that night...I'm still in the kitchen all day...and that doesn't leave room for the other kids and ohhh SOMETHING LIKE GETTING A SHOWER IN FOR MYSELF.

What was I saying?

Oh meal planning...

I got a sample magazine in the mail....(b/c I don't have enough subscriptions....)
for Cuisine at Home 

The cover grabbed my attention b/c it said 
Easy to Prepare Midweek Meals in just minutes...

Hello?  Minutes?

Inside I found a handful I'd like to try.

So for next week I have planned

French Onion Steaks w/Cheese Toasts
Greek Chicken Roulades
Chicken Piccata
Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad (wish my mom was here for that)
Southwestern Chicken Panini

Yes a lot of chicken...we love chicken....and those are just a few I want to try...
The recipes look really simple....and simple is what I need right now....
They may or may not have just landed themselves a new subscriber!  

Did I mention Mr Cole is 5 weeks now?  I know shocking really!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday....

As if I can remain wordless

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
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Brainstorming for a Pirate Princess Party
2


Baby acne on a face only a mother could love
(staring at his toy smiling)


How we get ready for bed
IMG_6897


Preschool Nature Walk Collecting Colors
IMG_4936 

How cool guys wear shades
IMG_4628

Cole...chilling with Kenneth (giraffe)
IMG_2163

Monday, September 10, 2012

50 Things You May or May Not Know About Me....



I did this post back in 08 when I had about 2 followers....I thought I would repost (with a few amendments)

50 THINGS YOU MAY OR MAY NOT CARE TO KNOW ABOUT ME


1. I have a freaky freckle on the palm of my ring finger of my left hand, but it was removed.

2. Another freckle grew back on the palm of my right hand.

3. I can't drive a standard.

4. I eloped and don't regret one second of it

5. I've been nursing for 4 yrs straight this month

6. Used a midwife for babies 4 5 and 6

7. People think I'm Chinese or of some Asian decent, but I'm not.

8. Been pulled over for speeding 8 times and given 2 tickets

9. Was a summer events coordinator/and driver for a private school and didn't check the van's gas light and ran out of gas with a van full of kids.....in the middle of no where!

10. Threw up underwater while scuba diving

11. Had skin cancer and a nice 4 inch scar on my shin to prove it

12. If one hand gets wet I have to wet the other one or it feels weird.

13. I collect crosses

14. Have vertigo the bad kind...driving over speed bumps is a bad thing...

15. Ate so many chocolate covered strawberries that I puked. I had a 4 and 2 yr old at the time and they toilet papered the living room and me.

16. Finally learned to 2 step by my hubby at age 31

17. Have 6 kids

18. Took 3 years of Spanish and can't speak a lick

19. Always wait until the gas light comes on in the car before I fill up the tank.

20. I've never run out of gas, but that once...but that didn't count b/c I didn't notice the light was on!

21. I dream in Black & White and it's always nighttime.

22. I can shape my tongue into a flower shape...

23. I crave Water

24. I could sit and read books for hours and hours.

25. Prefer only reading books with sequels...I hate when they end...but will read anything.

26. Scream, "WHAT TIME IS IT?" when I see a giant clocks.

27. I love to sing song lyrics...only to find out that I don't truly know the words.

28. Took 3 years of drafting to be an architect.

29. I got carded for buying spray paint...I was 30 yrs old with my kids

30. Love being a SAHM

31. Cry at every episode of Little House on the Prairie....even though I've seen them a million times

32. Talk too much.

33. Walk too fast.

34. I have issues with being late....actually panic if I'm on time.

35. I show up 45 mins early for a movie.

36. I've worn the same earrings every single day for the past 9 years.

37. I have a bad habit of starting things and not finishing them.

38. I can't sleep in complete silence.

39. I love horror movies...more scary...not slasher

40. I have too many magazine subscriptions.

41. Back in the day I had a total of 7 piercings at once...

42. Wishes I was a wife and mother in the 50's.

43. I have naturally curly hair and straighten it everyday.

44. I'm naturally a shy person..I force myself to talk to ppl. My husband would beg to differ..

45. I always think of witty comebacks....way after the situation has happened and I did nothing at the time.

46. I believe in natural childbirth....baby self-weaning...not vax'n ...and baby wearing!

47. Think global warming is a crock and I used cloth diapers b/c they were cute ...not to save the earth 1 diaper at a time

48. Can't stand feminist women...blah blah blah

49. I am the clumsiest girl in the world....just ask hubby my nickname. (well one of them)

50. I let the kids eat cake for breakfast on their birthdays! woohoo

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What Happens When You're Sleep Deprived

Baby Newbie has been doing great until mommy messed him up...

He usually fills his belly from 7pm on and then passes out around 8:30ish-9pm for the first night sleep.  I usually jump straight into bed behind him and get my 3 hrs sleep too.....

But the other night he pooped and pee pee'd and even though he was totally asleep at 8:30 I decided to change him....I  mean he won't wake up much right?

WRONG

He woke and wouldn't go back down until after 10pm ...

woke up at 1:30am (woohoo)

but was up until 4am...

ENTER LACK OF SLEEP FOR MOMMY

He was up again at 6am....and from lack of sleep I turned on the telly to keep me awake....

and there was Cindy Crawford telling me I needed to be beautiful like her....

Yes, I ordered Meaningful Beauty.  I did ....I got my credit card and ordered the starter kit.

7piece_new

Cindy told me that I needed to have fresh glowing skin....and all those other women told me that after a few weeks they noticed a difference in fine lines and wrinkles.

Cole even told me I had some laugh lines going on and said "Mommy you're worth the starter set" 

I want to be able to throw my head and hair around while putting on my beauty creams like the girls on the MB infomercial were doing. 
I want to have fresh dewy like skin that seems to shine.

When hubs woke up he logs on and checks our bank accounts...to make sure no fishy stuff has gone one....

da da doooom

He noticed the charge

I told him that I wanted to look like Cindy...

His response...  "Do you really think she uses that stuff"

Me   "yessssssssss why else would she be selling it"

Him (insert slap on forehead)   "because she gets suckers like you to buy it"

Me  "well call me a sucker b/c I think she uses it"

We'll see who's laughing (prob me) after my skin starts to look 10 times fresher in a month!  I'll have that new momma glow back and instead of looking 38...I'll look 21 (sucker)

See I am not going to age either....(sucker)

cindyBeforeAfter

BUT
Of all the infomercials I watch the one I really want is the...


bowflex_treadclimber

Now that's the one that sucks me in.....I keep waiting for them to call me to do a review of the product for them....but no one has contacted me yet.  If you can.... tell them I am willing and able...I'll even do before and after photos!   

I don't have the luxury of leaving the house with all the little kids around....and no nannies to speak of....so this would be the best way for this momma to get in some sweat....(besides chasing them...points)

Sweet Newbie is rocking the baby acne like Lily and Reid....the first 3 kids didn't seem to get blessed with this horrible stage.  Makes for picture taking mighty u g l y

But never you fear...you will be graced with his gorgeous self soon...He turns 1  month old on the 8th!  

I can't believe how fast time flies when you're sleep deprived.  

So ....what have you bought off the telly?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Skool Time....with Mommy

On Labor Day ...holiday for the big kids...
I thought it would be great to take the kids... ALL THE KIDS...yes all 6 to Sonic for Happy Hour Drinks.

I mean after all it is a holiday...and heck fire Sonic is only like 4 mins down the road...
So I fed Cole ...and off we all went.  He made it there w/o screaming.  Only once there and after ordering our half price drinks ...did Cole start to holler.

And Holler

And Holler....and it sounded like he was about to bust his head off....

Oldest child was stuck in the seat next to Cole....

His response....

"wow...that looks like it hurts.....is he gonna quit?.....it sounds like he's on a loop..."

Thankfully once the car got moving again Cole quit....whew...

Felt weird to have us all together in the car....That Vanilla Coke was soooo worth the chaos to get all the little kids strapped in and go..

Back to SKOOL.....

Lily started Preschool yesterday....

Homeschool that is....

We are taking it slow and easy....

Yesterday was Reviewing colors and shapes 

and

Lacing and Tracing...working with fine motor skills....

3

We even tried with some Fruit Loops....to make necklaces

We also worked on Big A little a What begins with A?

I realized I didn't have many A words around the house....

We drew and traced the A's and then drew pictures of things that started with it....

Next we had a snack...

Ants on a Log

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I didn't use raisins...(hate those little buggers)...we used Mini Chocolate Chips instead....(good using fine motor skills again to pick up and place them on the log)

Of course only my Lily would tell me

"Mommy....that's not a log....and those aren't ants.  That's celery and mini choc chips"

(giggles).....

Today is the Letter B 

So we'll do a little 

Kids in the Kitchen w/the Letter B


What better way to learn 

Science
Homemaking Skills
Touch/Taste/Smell
and have a little fun with momma?
 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Could It Happen to You? Brooke's Story....

We all think it can never happen to us....

I went to high school with Laurie and her husband.....years later I reconnected with them on facebook and saw Laurie was selling these gorgeous necklaces  with a story behind them....when I read her story my heart stopped.....

Take a moment to read.....

Brooke’s story, in Laurie’s words:
Not a single day goes by that I don’t think about our daughter’s accident. She’s ok and safe and beautiful, but I still think about how lucky we are that she came out on the other side….perfect. She could have died due to infection, had major brain damage, been blind, deaf or deformed. And she is so absolutely perfect. She has a tendency to fall down a lot, but we can deal with that. She is our little princess that should be wrapped in a bubble. It started at 9 months when she chipped a front tooth. I thought that was the end of the world. I remember calling my mother just balling. Then it happened…the day that would forever change my life and the way that I lived it.

It happened 3 days after Thanksgiving. It was a Saturday. Brooke and I had just taken a nap in our bedroom. We both woke up and crawled out of bed. She walked across the living room floor (my husband was in the recliner watching a football game) and continued into her brother’s room. I was following right behind her, but I stopped at the computer desk in between the living room and our son Bradley’s room and began to log in to the computer. As I was doing that I said, “Don’t go into your brother’s room.” He was playing at his friends, and he did not like his little sister to play with his toys. Before I could even type my password, I heard the crash.

It was really loud. I just remember looking into the doorway and seeing the bottom of the dresser, but not Brooke. I panicked when I realized she was underneath the dresser. I was only able to partially lift the dresser myself because I had just had a major back surgery. My effort had gotten the weight of the dresser off of her head, and I was hanging on with all my strength. I was screaming for my husband, Matt. He was there instantly and literally threw the dresser from her into the corner of Bradley’s room. I saw her reaction…she shuttered or jerked a little and then I saw the blood coming from her left ear.

I was afraid she was having a seizure of some sort. Around her eyes it was already puffing. Matt was shouting, “Brooke, baby, oh My God are you ok?” He had her in his arms…she was conscious. I was racing for the phone to call 911. I literally felt that I was viewing the accident from outside of my body. I could hear him saying, “No Brooke, no Brooke…you’re ok Brooke.”

I was trying to talk to the 911 operator. At first, she said I called the wrong number. Talk about panic. I said you have to help me this is major…she is hurt really bad. So, I guess she began connecting our call to the proper department. Meanwhile, she was telling me what to do and to not move her. Of course, your first reaction is to move your child into your arms…and Matt was already holding her. I was just frantic and so scared. I still to this day think did I do enough? I just watched as my husband was holding her…why did I not grab her into my arms? I would have never forgiven myself if we had lost her and I had not held her. She looked so fragile laying there in my husband’s arms. She was awake, but I knew she was not ok.

It seemed like no more than 2 minutes and the fire department was there. They began to work on her. Then the police arrived and then EMS. Matt was with her in the living room and the police were asking me what had happened in our son’s room. I was trying to tell them and breaking into tears. I wanted to just leave the bedroom and run to her and hold her. I felt like my heart was ripping from my chest. The police officer said, ”You need to focus and tell me what happened. You need to remain calm to help your child.” They said only one of us could ride in the ambulance. I don’t know how it was decided, but I did. I know had I drove, I would have wrecked on the way. The whole trip to Dell Children’s Hospital is a blur. I remember trying to call my Mom and my cell phone was dead. I just wanted to call my mom. I needed her at that very moment. The ambulance driver let me use his phone. I remember the ambulance driver saying, “I’m not going to lie to you, your child is very sick. This is really bad.”

When we got to the hospital there was a very nice, calm girl who intercepted me as they were taking Brooke in. I remember looking in the room and there must have been 20 different doctors. They cut her clothes off…I tried to say something and one of the doctors said, “ Mom, we will talk to you later.” I felt so hopeless and so scared. Each doctor was checking her for something. I wanted to just burst into the room…again, I felt like I was watching outside of my own body from outside the window.

Matt had arrived. I still don’t know how he made it so quickly; I just know I would have died trying to get myself there. Brooke had thrown up at that point. They were afraid her condition was getting worse, so they were going to get the cat scans done as quickly as possible. Matt was talking to the neurologist. I was trying to explain to family what had happened. Matt came into the room saying he had asked the doctor if we would get our baby girl back and the doctor had said he did not know….there was just no way to know. I remember him saying over and over again, “He does not know.”

I had to remove myself from the room. I was throwing up in the bathroom beside the family room. I felt like my life was draining out of me…it was such an intense fear. The thought of losing her just tore into my entire self….it was overwhelming. The guilt…why did we not have that dresser strapped to the wall? It was such a simple thing. We could lose our baby.

Brooke had tried to climb up her brother’s dresser to get a Barbie doll from the top. At least that was the explanation she had given us. We would not know that until much later when she was responding to our questions. We think the bottom drawer was already open. The dresser fell on top of mainly her head. Her body was actually not under the dresser. It was from the chest up that the dresser was covering. I don’t know if she tried jumping off in the process and somehow turned her body, but the entire force hit her in that one spot. Her head was turned to the side and we think the dresser knob crushed into the left ear area.

The dresser was from a reputable company–a really good brand–and no, it was not strapped to the wall. Something we have beat ourselves up for over and over. The night of the accident, I raced home to frantically grab us items and let the dogs out. I walked into the room. There was still blood on the floor. I walked up to that dresser and put my foot in the bottom of it. It tipped so easily…so easy. At that moment, in frustration I pushed at the dresser with all my might, as if I could transfer my pain to the source. I took my hands and hit it anger, until they were turning red and trembling with pain. I knew it was not the dresser’s fault but ours. That first night in intensive a doctor said to us, “You know, you could have strapped the dresser to the wall.” I remember looking at her and crumbling, “You know, you are so right. Why did we not do that?” Tears were freshly flowing and I think she realized we were human. She was right. A simple attachment of the dresser to the wall would have prevented what our family went through. We all know that we should attach dressers to the wall, but do we?

Brooke had air in her brain, but the initial prognosis was that the brain looked good. We were given a window of 72 hours. The air in her brain was due to 3 different skull fractures. With the skull fractures they were concerned about fluid leakage which could cause an infection of cerebral fluid….causing meningitis. She had shattered the orbital bones above her eyes and had broken a bone very close to the auditory nerve in her ear. Despite all of this, she seemed to be doing well according to the doctors. She looked so tiny lying on that table–how I just wanted to change places with her.

The window of 72 hours was simply to see if she would make it. To see if Brooke would live or die. Once all of the doctors had checked off on each major body part they began to leave. They had determined she did not need to have immediate surgery–there was air in her brain but not blood. They said her body could re-absorb the air, but again, no guarantee. So my husband and I sat there for 72 hours in her hospital room–every noise, every beep, every doctor opening the door, stirring a huge fear inside of us. A fear that was eating away at my heart. We could lose our sweet precious angel. She was not really responding to us, so of course in the back of our minds despite the fact she was alive and doing well we were scared of brain damage. They did have her sedated to try to let the swelling go down and keep her calm and we were warned that this could keep her from acting like herself.

On day two, we met with a neurosurgeon and a plastic surgeon. We found out if all went well with her brain, we would still have to have surgery to repair the tear in her dura (the membrane around her brain) and reconstruct the bones above her eyes. The only way to perform this surgery would be a craniotomy–an ear to ear incision to enter through the top of the skull. The neurosurgeon would protect her brain and repair the torn membrane and the plastic surgeon would repair her orbital bones. Without the surgery she could lose her eye sight or suffer from double vision and/or be facially deformed or even die from infection. We had no choice. They would actually remove a portion of her skull to get to her brain. They would re-attach the skull with dissolvable plates. I remember the level of confidence the doctors projected to be comforting, but I was terrified. I heard brain and skull, and I lost it.

My husband and I talked in between doctors, standing over the bed our little girl was laying in. Her eyes had started to turn purple and pink around them. She was so swollen around her eyes. We both talked about what we would do if we lost her. Even though we also had a son to care for, we both said we would just die. That is the frame of mind we had reached—no sleep and exhaustion was setting in. We had been listening to each beep, each breath, just waiting. That is when my husband said, “No…I will go to be with her and you would stay with our son.”

I know it sounds bad, but I think he meant it. I looked into his eyes and swallowed hard, knowing that simply could not be an option. On the other side of the equation, how could we live without her? I just kept saying she’s going to be ok. I knew in my heart we had to be strong for not only our son, but also our family. Being faced with the prospect of losing her, we both felt defeated, scared, empty and hopeless. Family was coming and going saying how it would be ok they thought (even though they would tear up and I could see the concern in their faces). I just kept saying to myself, “God don’t take her…take me instead. She’s innocent, this was our fault.”

On the third day of her recovery, there was a breakthrough. Since she was a little baby, my husband had always said to her, “Who is the prettiest girl ever?” She would respond with a huge grin and say, “ME!” When she would open her sleepy eyes, and find him standing above her, that is what he would ask her. Up until now, nothing….not even an answer. On the third day, he asked this question and she said, “ME!” Just like the Brooke we knew…just like our sweet angel. I remember looking at the tears in his eyes. He said to me at that moment, “I think she’s going to make it…I think she is going to be ok. She’s still with us.” This answer came from the little girl that we knew….she was back. Brookie was back!

That was the turning point for Brooke. She did so well that they sent us home on day four to let the swelling go down prior to surgery. Our only instructions were to not let her hit her head. We were so scared! We actually did not want to leave. How could they send us home without performing the surgery she needed? We really struggled with that. What if something happened at home? It was terrifying.

The next days, up until the surgery, would pass slowly, minute by minute. However, once we all got home–and after building a pillow tower around Brooke and each of us on either side with our son at the end of the bed his feet pointing toward me–we all slept. Sleep that each and every one of us needed.

After a good day of sleep, we began to function again. She was timid and she knew something major had happened, but her spirit was not broken. It would be a Friday that we returned to have her surgery. The morning of her surgery I prayed. Brooke and I went into the Chapel at Dell Children’s Hospital and prayed. She rubbed the holy water on the swelling and bruises around her eyes. Going into the surgery we knew that the hope was for things to go as planned but there could always be complications. I don’t think I have ever prayed so hard.

Brooke did really well in surgery. It turned out that she did have a complicated tear to the dura membrane around her brain and the surgery lasted much longer than expected, but they were able to repair everything. She did amazing. They had told me to expect not to be able recognize my child upon waking due to swelling, but Brooke looked just a beautiful as before she started surgery. Before the surgery the nurse asked us if they could shave her head to avoid the possibility of infection. I remember saying to Brooke, “Is it ok if they take your hair?” The nurse had brought a picture of another little girl who had a craniotomy scar with her little bare head. I remember gasping to see what the scar would look like for the first time. But it was actually as if Brooke was at peace before the surgery and she just calmly said to the nurse, “Ok.” I was so proud of her. When it was time for her to go back for surgery, we gave our hugs and kisses. I did not want to let go out of fear. I firmly believed she had been touched by God and had angels around her protecting her. She walked away unafraid, with a smile on her face. I wanted to run and grab her, but she turned around and waved goodbye. She looked so peaceful.




After the surgery her swelling was minimal, truly a miracle. Her bruising became her “pink and purple” eye shadow. She was quite the beauty queen among the most awesome staff at Dell Children’s, the only difference…she did not have her hair. She was such a sport about that. It was like it did not even phase her. I would almost say she was even more beautiful with her “princess crown.” That is what we called her zigzag, ear to ear incision….her princess crown. I told her how special and lucky she was to have a “princess crown” that other little girls did not have. She was such a trooper. Even when I knew she was not feeling her best, she would always smile. God, how lucky am I? I don’t know if luck is the word–how grateful am I? How eternally grateful am I that God let my angel stay on earth. I truly believe Brooke has been touched by God. It was not her time yet. I believe he held her hand and led her back to us. She was meant to be here for other things.

I pray to God each night to widen her halo, to protect her Princess Crown, to keep her safe, for we love her so much. I feel as though our family was given a second chance, one to have our angel stay. The purpose of her accident is still not fully known to me, but I know that it has touched our lives. I feel like if I can tell her story, I can possibly save another child’s life. I tell everyone I can to be sure to strap their dressers to the wall. It could save their child’s life or their grandchild’s life. I do not want any other family to have to go through what our family went through…ever.

Side-by-side, Laurie and Brooke (about to be 6 in a few days) make jewelry together, “Brooke’s Angel Wings.  Her goal is to help spread the word to other families about securing their  furniture so what happened to her family doesn't happen to others.  They were lucky...some other families haven't been.  I've read other sad stories like Laurie's ...only they don't have a little girl or boy to hug at the end of each day.

Laurie:  "At 5 years old, Brooke is a fan of fashion and loves bright, vibrant colors. The jewelry is not only an expression of a mother and daughter’s love but also serves as a reminder to the owner of our special message! It’s something Brooke and I do together, and each necklace we make is helping me to mend emotionally but spread this message that I know I have to spread – so that I do my part to try to prevent this from happening to other families."

Here is the necklace I had her make...WORDS CAN NOT DESCRIBE HOW GORGEOUS IT IS IN PERSON..


necklace


If you are interested in having a necklace designed by Laurie and Brooke, please visit their website at www.brookesangelwings.com.

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I'm writing this post to help Laurie get the message out to other parents how quick and simple it is to secure your furniture to the walls.....According to the studies, every 2 weeks a child dies from a piece of furniture falling on them.  Let's help Laurie spread the word and keep our children safe!!!

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