Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Few Firsts...

Today finally feels like we are getting back on track.  What kind of track, I'm really not sure, but back on some sort of track!

It was the first day that everyone went to sleep in their own beds, and woke up in their own beds.  And slept through the whole night.  What a nice thing to wake up to!

It was also the first day that Nate finally agreed to take his amoxicillin without us having to put him in a headlock (literally) and get it down with him kicking and spitting (again, literally!) since getting the prescription for his ear issue on Tuesday.  A very good thing!

And if you've been following my friend, Christine's blog or Facebook page of her son Tim, you'll know that Tim is enjoying many firsts with his NEW HEART!!!  So many prayers have already been answered!  And Tim would love for you to follow his Facebook page!  You can leave him a note, too!

Here are just two pics from our last week....

Monday, June 18, 2012

The past week...

Things with Nate started getting a bit unsettling a week ago.  He had been recovering well from his collar bone injury.  But suddenly his energy level and disposition sort of tanked. Tuesday and Wednesday I was noticing an increase in his heart rate and respirations.  I consulted with one of the great ped cardiology nurses, and concluded he was most likely fighting off a virus of some sort.  His heart rate, while high, wasn't an SVT (which he's never had, anyway).

He continued on having episodes of acting quite lethargic, then times when he would act more like himself.  However, his appetite was horrible.  I would estimate he was eating about 1/4 of his usual amount, and often simply refusing to eat.  He complained on and off about his tummy hurting, and on Saturday, said his ears were hurting.  We started on some Advil, and noticed improvement for several hours after each dose.  I had to work hard for every bite of food he got in him.  Tough to see him like that - just refusing food.

Today we had our follow up with  cardiology.  Turns out the gradient across the PA band is still showing the same pressure as last time, 6 weeks ago  (it had dropped from a 'getting better' reading of 65 to the same pre surgery reading of 35).  So, now the question to the surgical team is why and what to do next.  Cardiology conferences each week with the surgical team, so she will present Nate's case, hopefully next week Tuesday.  There, they can discuss some preliminary ideas (valve repair/replacement - uncertain with his transposed anatomy causing that valve to be irregular to begin with; or heart transplant), and take it from there.

They weren't equipped to check his ears at this clinic, but together we did attribute his weight loss and lethargic behavior to this (whatever it is that he's fighting), and not necessarily his heart. I was disappointed we couldn't check it while we were there, because I'd really like to know if his ears are indeed the problem, and whether or not it's a viral or bacterial issue.  We drove straight home, prepared to get him to the clinic or urgent care, but he fell asleep as soon as we got home, and slept for 2 hours - which he needed.  We'll see what the morning brings, and take it from there!

Thank you for your prayers.  I couldn't have been happier when he ate some food willingly on the drive in this morning.  And even though upon arrival at the clinic, it was loud and clear that he had arrived - and the receptionist actually called him Tantrum Nate (!) he did settle down VERY nicely, and was fabulous for his echo and exam!!!!  And who would have known that the steak knife I had in the van to cut the pear for him while driving in, would help out a mom in the parkade at the hospital, who had just arrived from the airport, and didn't have anything to cut the plastic straps off of the stroller from their flight!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top Secret (not really) Recipes Revealed!

Got your attention, hey??  :)  They are definitely not top secret (I found them, didn't I!?) but they are too good not to share!

A few weeks ago, a bunch of very cool ladies got together to celebrate the upcoming marriage of my niece.   We had a great time showering her with gifts and having some fun along the way!  And you know how those things go, it's not complete with out a fantastic spread!!

I thought I'd share two of the recipes.  I've been emailing them to a bunch of friends anyway, so figured might as well document them here!!  The cheese cakes were my sisters' specialty, so you'll have to sweet talk her into divulging them!

The first recipe is a great appetizer!  It's a pretty easy recipe, and has a ton of variations.  I've seen it called Texas Caviar...Cowboy Caviar....and I'm sure Menno Caviar would pass as well!! So take this recipe and do with it what you'd like!!  Add spicy peppers and jalapenos or chilis, garlic or other spices if you like, or omit some things that you don't want!  It's nice to make this at least a few hours before and put it in the fridge for the flavors to blend.  You can even do it the night before.  But then I would not add the avocado until closer to serving time.

Here is the basic recipe.

Texas Caviar

1 red and yellow pepper, finely diced
1 or 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 tin black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 tin black beans. drained and rinsed
1 tin corn
a couple of roma tomatoes
1 avocado diced (add closer to serving time)
cilantro (use as much as you like, the recipe called for 1 bunch, but I thought that would have been way too much, I used less than 1/4 bunch, chopped.
juice from one lime
1/4 cup Italian dressing
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all together.  We served it with blue corn chips which was an awesome flavor, but you could use any taco or corn chip, etc.

And a little something sweet!  These are SO delicious!!  I was curious about the addition of coffee, and was told that it helps bring out the flavor of the chocolate, which is exactly what it did!!  So good!

Rolo Cupcakes

1 Devils food cake mix
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream
1 cup oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup warm water or coffee
1 tsp vanilla

Frozen rolos

Beat all of the ingredients together (except the rolos!) for 3 minutes.  Scoop into cupcake liners.  Push one rolo down into each cupcake.  Bake for 18-22 minutes at 350.  Once cooled, frost with the following caramel buttercream.

Caramel Buttercream
2 cups unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup caramel (the ice cream topping variety)
1 1/2 lb icing sugar

Cream the butter.  Add vanilla, salt and caramel and mix well.  Add the icing sugar one cup at a time.  If desired, you can add more caramel as wanted for flavour.  Frost the cupcakes and top each one with another rolo!  And try not to devour them all!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Peace through His Word

This, too, Lord?

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God.
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. (Isaiah 43:2,3)

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour,
who daily bears our burdens.  (Psalm 68:19)

Strength and courage for the everyday.

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry,
whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do all everything through him who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:12,13)

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified;
do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be
with you wherever you go.  (Deuteronomy 31:6-8)

It is all part of YOUR plan.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth.,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:12-16)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me,
and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Fill me.

May the God of HOPE fill you will all JOY and PEACE
as you TRUST in Him, so that you may OVERFLOW with HOPE
by the POWER of the Holy Spirit.  (Romans 15:13)

I pray that out of His glorious riches he may strengthen you,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
And I pray you, being rooted and established in love, may have power to grasp
how wide and long and deep and high is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -
that you may be filled to the measure of all fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us,
to him be glory in the Church, and in Christ Jesus
through out all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.  (Ephesians 3:16-21)

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.  (Psalm 143:8)

I pray for healing.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."  (Psalm 147:3)

"For with God nothing will be impossible."  (Luke 1:37)

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."  (Hebrews 4:16)