About Me

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Hi I’m Jen- I'm one lucky lady to be married to the most wonderful man, Jason. I am a mother to three beautiful children, Grant, Norah, who was born with hydrocephalus, and Mason. I love spending my time with my family. I also like to challenge myself with new things. I'm on a constant quest to become more organized, it may never happen but it's a dream. I currently work part-time as a RN in an emergency department. I love this journey of life that I am on with God by my side, knowing that all things are possible when you Believe.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Being Inspired...to cook

It took nearly a year, but I have finally been inspired to start cooking for my family again. It's not that I haven't been cooking since Norah has arrived, but there definately hasn't been anything fun and new on the menu either. I've decided sharing some of these fun new recipes here will hopefully keep me inspired to try cooking up new good things. Stay tuned to find out what the Zehrung's have been eating!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Neurosurgeon Appointment for Norah

Norah went to visit Dr. Lew for her checkup. Everything looks great with her shunt. Her doctor is concerned that her head growth is not following the growth curve on the chart. When Norah was born, her head size was in the 90th percentile, she is currently in the 40th percentile. After her first shunt failed, it was replaced with a moderate pressure valve shunt, now that shunt may be taking too much fluid off not allowing for adequate growth of her head. The plan is to have a MRI on September 13th, and see him the next day. Until then keep track of Norah's head circumference and hope that it starts to follow a curve. About right now, I wish Norah had a programmable shunt, they could turn it down and voila! problem solved. If her head growth drops further on the chart, Norah's shunt will need to be replaced with the lower pressure shunt. The same pressure shunt that failed her her first week of life......

At the Lake

This last week I packed Grant and Norah into the minivan and we headed to my parent's lake home. I love the cabin. Growing up we lived in a funeral home (think My Girl, the movie) and go was a place where we were allowed to be noisy. Since the annual fishing trip for my dad is this week, and my brother and brother-in-law went with him, my sister and sister-in-law, along with their boys were also at the cabin.

Six little boys, one baby girl and their moms along with their granny having fun!

I wish I had more pictures to share but I seemed to have misplaced the battery charger for the camera. I keep misplacing things lately, it's driving me crazy!!

I'm glad I was brave enough to tackle the 8.5 hour drive with my two little ones in tow. I can't wait to go back for the 4th of July.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Results Are In

Back in January, Norah saw Dr. Dimmock, a genetics specialist at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. After meeting with him we began genetic testing to see if we could get any closer to the cause of Norah's aqueductal stenosis and hydrocephalus. Today I can tell you we are no closer to finding a cause. All the tests have come back negative. She had chromosomes mapping, macro and microarray testing, as well as some specific genes tested.

I love being able talk, read blogs about, and share stories with other people that have hydrocephalus to see if they have any similarities to Norah. I know others that also have a 13th set of ribs, and have seen pictures of kids that have birth marks like Norah. Maybe there is something else out there that just hasn't been discovered yet...but would it make a difference....would it change her outcomes....it wouldn't change how much I love her...

Now I lay me down to sleep...

We have ritual that we follow every night when we put Grant to bed, but it's what has to be in his bed that I makes me giggle.

Most important, Curly, Grant's Teddy Bear

Next, his music player.

Don't forget the water, to quench middle of the night thirst. Otherwise, Mommy or Daddy will have to get up.

In case of emergency, he needs his cell phone.

What kind of emergency may he have, possibly vampires???

And to make sure he looks good when he gets up, a comb.

The music and lights mirror will help.

And don't forget the night light, Twilight Turtle, on the blue light setting.

If you get these all in with his three favorite blankets, you may get lucky and he'll stay in bed.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Golden" Anniversary

Yesterday was our "Golden" Anniversary....no not the 50 years kind but as in 7 years of marriage on the 7th of June.

Jason and I have know each other for for 12 years and have been in love with each other for most of that time. I never forget the day we met in Stout's cafeteria, how he told me he wasn't interested in dating anyone until he was finished with school, yet we began dating a couple months later, and our first date, watching him help a little girl out in a toy store figure out how a toy worked. I knew I wanted to marry this amazing man early on in our relationship but had to patiently wait 5 years to get down the aisle, well worth the wait.

In the ups and downs of life, we both love our journey together through it. I can't wait until we celebrate our next Golden Anniversary!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Grant is finally starting to "use his words." Yesterday we taught him the word purple as we were building castles with his blocks. This morning as he pulled his blocks out again, he picked up a block and proudly announced it was purple.

Hip Hip Hooray as the Super Readers would say - Grant's favorite cartoon.

Getting Grant to talk has been a challenge. Jason and I have found it frustrating to say the least. Grant will proudly say a word, then tuck it back away never to be heard again. Such as toilet, Charlie, Lucy, paper, and so many others.

When Grant turned two in March we decided it was time to step it up. We began signing words to him, he quickly caught on, and more became his favorite sign and word. We bought baby sign language basics by Monta Z.Briant to help expand our signing vocabulary and it has worked well. It has also worked well in teaching him manners with please, thank you and sorry. When we came home from North Carolina, my mom asked what a particular sign was. I laughed because the sign was sorry, Grant must have gotten into some trouble with Granny.

He also started putting words together as well through signing. He'll sign apple while saying juice, or sign ore or please while saying a word.

Good work Peanut, I can't wait to hear what words will come next.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Blanket

A year ago, as I was fearful about the future for my precious baby girl, I decided she was going to have something special from her mommy.

At that time I was 30 weeks pregnant, not knowing if I would only ever know my daughter through her constant movements in my tummy, or get to spend a lifetime with her. After that first ultrasound where Norah's ventricles were known to be enlarged I had a inner peace that everything was going to be okay. God was with us, he already knew our baby girl and he was going to protect her. I knew. BUT, there is always DOUBT, the thing that the would slowly slips in after going to yet another doctors appointment and being told 50% chance you will take your baby home from the hospital and if you do 50% that she will need total cares provided to her. Most likely she'll have learning dissabilities and we just aren't sure what quality of life she will have. Well, I also needed to have something to help keep me preoccupied while I sat comtemplating my daughter's future, which lead to praying, and often pleading with God to take this away from my daughter.

While at a good old Walmart on Memorial Day weekend, I saw yarn and I thought I am going to make my daughter a blanket. I thought even if I have to bury her, it will be with this blanket that I made with LOVE. From that moment, I was determined to teach myself to crochet.

Over the next seven weeks I worked to complete this blanket for my baby girl. I taught myself one stich, that I repeated row after row, until it was big enough to wrap up my baby Norah. It was something that didn't require much thinking and it kept me going, when all I wanted to do is sit and cry. I could work on it while waiting at doctor's appointments, while riding in the car and at night while I would talk to Norah and plead with God to heal my baby, please just give her a mircle.

Norah's blanket now goes with us everytime we go to the hospital. And I have have moved on from one stich and am becoming pretty good at crocheting all sorts of fun things.