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.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Yes we are still here...post have been hard to accomplish lately. I must say with I feel life with 3 kids has kept me busy lately. I feel that as soon as I have 2 kids set with an activity there 3 needs some extra attention. Mason had hit a new stage, one that wants to be in Mommy's arms ALL.THE.TIME.  I will post all the fun things we have been doing next week (I'm working 3 out the next 4 days).

Christmas this year has been beautiful. My goal was to teach the kids the Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. So today when I asked Grant whose birthday do we celebrate this weekend, he quickly answered "Jesus'" It made my day. Now if only I could find the baby Jesus for our Nativity. He went missing into Grant's room last week, I hope we can get him back into the nativity scene for his birthday. Grant is by far the most excited about Christmas. Today he was asking if we could go buy more presents to give to family and friends.

Christmas Eve, I will spend the day working in the ER. While I love being a nurse, being a staff nurse in a unit leaves you to work on holidays. While I would love to be sitting in Christmas Eve services, singing The First Noel (a favorite since my middle name is Noelle), I will be spending 12 hours caring for patients whom I believe would most likely not want to be in the ER as well.

Tonight I was blessed with a greatest gift, watching Norah take more steps closer to walking independently. She was able to raise a foot up high enough to step over a toy in her way. Tears of joy came as I thought back to last Christmas, she has come so far this year. Jason put it best - she is not normal, she's exceptional.

I hope that every one's Christmas wishes come true, and may it be happy, safe and healthy (if not you can come find me in the ER, I'll be happy to take care of you).

Our 2011 Family Christmas Verse-

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Silly Missy Muffin

Norah is a bit of a goof ball, easily making me smile and laugh.

Norah says she was taking a picture of me when I snapped this picture of her looking more like Mason.

Last week, as I was cleaning the kitchen she pushed a chair over to the sink. As she was about to crawl onto it, Grant quickly jumped up on it. I have a firm only one kid on a chair at a time policy. So she looks up at him and tells him to get off. He ignores her, she continues requesting nicely to have her chair. Then, "Grant get off the chair you stinker." Yup she's persistent.

While playing in her room the other day I checked in see what she was up to. I found her nursing her baby doll. Yes she sees her mommy nursing her little brother often and has begun to nurse her own dolls now. Yes, she burps them too.

Then came time to change her diaper today. As we finished and she was sitting up on the changing table, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "Mommy I need to have a conversation with you." I inquired about what, her response, "Your pimple." Yes mommy's skin does seem to be breaking out these days, thanks Norah for noticing. I glad the conversation wasn't anything more serious.

Norah tantrums are increasing in frequency these days. While we try to ignore them, I do get a good laugh when we tell her to stop it, and from the mist of tears, she'll immediately stops and says OK with a chipper voice then moves on. 

So much love I have for this little girl.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Grant is nearing the end of daily naps, I see it coming.Grant has always been a good napper.  I noticed that the days where he just doesn't want to take a nap are increasing. I always insist upon quiet time, and try to make that happen in his room. Often quiet time has turned into nap time once sitting in bed reading books.  This week Grant kept insisting he didn't need a nap and he was quietly watching Caillou on TV, so I was happy to let him continue on. Well I went about me afternoon activities, cleaning up, starting dinner, checking out the world of Facebook when I noticed quiet time was even more quiet. The TV was silent, Caillou was done.  I looked towards Grant to see him sound asleep. He looked like a big boy yet at the same time still my baby all snuggled into the new couch.

It was fun to see Norah climb up on the couch and try to wake him up when she woke up not to long after I took these pictures. Grant was asleep, she even tried to pry his eyes upon. So cute listening to her say "Grant William wake up." He opened his eyes turned away and went back to napping. I told Norah to snuggle in, which she did for about a minute before she was off to see if Mason would let her play with him. She did successfully wake him up.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Next Steps

A month ago Norah got her new walker, a Nurmi Neo. It took nearly six months to get this walker for her, but after a lot of research I felt like this was the walker that was a right fit for Norah. Norah took off running with this walker as soon as we let her go. This walker rolled over the cracks in the sidewalk not slowing her down at all. It was much lighter than the previous walker she had. The way the walker is designed she has to stand up in the walker, she also can't rest along the back of it like she use to do. We were able to get a different set of hand grips that can be turned in so her hand alingment is closer to her body. Norah has such a small frame she previously walked with her arms out, away from a natural position. The antireverse brakes on the walker can easily be turned off making Norah work a little harder to maintain her balance. Oh so many things about this walker I love.

We went to the Mall of America the weekend before Thanksgiving where Norah shopped with me for three hours using her walker the whole time, running in the open areas of the mall and enjoying the freedom the her walker allows.

The this last week came, Jason and I noticed, as well as Norah's PT. Something is clicking in Norah's brain and her ability to walk and maintain balance. Today I can tell you is the first time I have seen Norah make an attempt to walk places within the house instead of crawling. If I saw her start crawling, all it took was a little prompt, saying Norah why don't you walk? This would have her immediately standing upright and off to her destination. Just looking at her, you can easily see how proud she is that she is able to accomplish this task. I, too, am very proud to be her mom and share this moment.

Norah is still using her walker while we are out and about running our errands, but I am so happy she is able to walk about the house independently.

Mason ~ 6 months

Where has the time gone, my precious baby boy. It seems like yesterday we came home from the hospital. You were a snugly bundle of joy. So content and peaceful, willing to go with the flow. So much of the is still true, but you have had some big changes as well.

You are 19 pounds already, just a pound and half shy of weighing the same as you sister. You have the most magnificent smile, light up the room and melting my heart. We went through a rough patch the last couple of months, you decided to no longer sleep though the night. This was tough on Mommy who needs her sleep to keep up with your brother and sister during the day. This last week things have been better now that you have recovered from Roseola and a cold, so let's just keep that up. 

We have been working on eating food for a few weeks. It has been a rough start, cereal isn't your thing, carrot and squash get 2 thumbs up while you can't find anything sweet about sweet peas.

Tummy time has become tolerated, you are becoming better at propping yourself up on your arms. We have seen you roll over a few times, but nothing consistent so far. You are also getting closer to becoming an independent sitter, while you do great with supportive sitting.

Toys are becoming more entertaining, right now you prefer your taggie blanket best. You will sit and chew on it until it is covered with drool. You love to watch your brother and sister play, but your are not as tolerant as you used to be when they kiss you extra hard or try to touch repeatedly.

So much love you have given us and that we have for you. Happy 1/2 Birthday, Mason Randall!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Is Coming!

The Christmas season is upon us, and I love the Spirit of Christmas. No Scrooge's are allow in my house. So. . . . . . Let the decorating for Christmas begin!

Step 1: the spiral trees in the front of the house (We need snow to cover the planters or I will be sending Jason to the store for another strand of lights for the tree on the right).


Step 2: plant the deer in the front yard (Thank you Jason!)

This weekend decking the halls continues inside!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mason's First Food

Next week Mason will be 6 months old....a 1/2 of a year gone by so quickly. It is the time to start eating cereal and baby food. I have been patiently waiting for signs that he is ready. The last couple of weeks Mason appetite has increased, and he has been nursing so often, he has made my supply noticeably increase. He is also beginning to put things in his mouth. Both signs that he is ready, or is he? For the last week we have been giving baby rice cereal and oatmeal, both were major fails, lots of spitting out of foods, swift turning of his head, oh and that the look of betrayal. Its that look that breaks my heart, I am doing this to help you grow little one, not to make you miserable, I promise.

Yep, this looks like some who is not found of baby cereal. So instead of continuing on with cereal which he definitely not a fan of we will move onto squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes. I hope he likes those a bit more. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tea Party

The other morning I heard Norah playing in her room, it sounded like she was having a tea party. When I walked into the room and saw this.....

....what kind tea party is this spunky little 2 year old having?

She gave me a look, older than her years, saying "Mom, leave me alone!"

She continued on talking to her friends on her phone. With all that money on the table, I wonder if she placing some bets, like Wisconsin will return to the Rose Bowl and the Packers will be making another Superbowl appearance :)

She poured herself some tea, then decide to have a bit more.

Then offered an invitation to sit down and have some tea with her. I was honored and couldn't refuse.

I had to sit down with my little lady and find out all the current gossip, after all I had just worked all weekend. I hope years from now we are still having our fun little tea parties. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One Size Fits All

It's official Mason is in Size 3 diapers, which happens to be the same size Norah wears. Now that we only have to buy one size I feel like we are saving money, but I know that is not the case. It just means that Norah is safe from being put in a size 2 diaper. I found myself often putting a size 2 diaper on Norah, sometimes not realizing that I had done it until the next diaper change.

Now the race is on to see who hits size 4 first.....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Long Shorts

As the first snowflakes of the fall came down, Grant came into the living room carrying his corduroy pants.

"Mommy I'm going to wear these long shorts today." ~Grant

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Return of the Paci

A month ago while we were in St. Louis, Norah threw her pacifier in the garbage. We had been working with her, encouraging her that when she was ready to get rid of her paci and be a big girl.She could give them to Mason or throw them away. She was aware of the decision she made, she told us she was a big girl and didn't want to share her paci with Mason. She's a smart one.

Well we went with it. No paci led to screaming and tears with naps and bedtime. It also took away full nights of sleep, with Norah waking up in the middle of the night, yelling out "all done sleeping." She would look at Mason's paci longingly, often stealing it and caught throwing his paci away a few times.  Jason and I stood firm, we were not going to cave.

Here we are a month later, sleep deprived and watching Norah developing terrible sleeping habits. What we decided the weekend when Norah was put to bed at 8pm, awake from 10:30pm to midnight and then up at 4am, was that it's just a pacifier. If this is what she needs for know to help her cope she can have it.

It was like reuniting her with her best friend, she was happy, oh so happy to have her paci back and sleep has returned, Thank Goodness!

The new paci rules are that Norah only gets her paci in her bed with naps and bedtime. She can't steal Mason's paci during the day otherwise she gets a time out. Let's hope sleeping through the night has returned.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Grant was a Rocketship! He would BlastOff (count down and sound effects included) and run to the next house.

Our little Norah Bug! She used her walker to get to the end of the block and then preferred to be carried after that and had the cutest Thank you as people would drop candy into her pumpkin.
Mason was our little Fireman! A few weeks ago, a friend gave us the perfect accessory for his costume, just checkout his pacifier.

Jason joined in the fun wearing his fun new hat and beard. The kids love getting "mustache kisses" from their daddy when he's wearing this hat.

We walked down to the end of the block and back up the other side of the street, but the kids just wanted to go home and pass out the candy. So we turned on the porch light and sat on the front stairs passing out lots of treats, by far Grant's favorite part of the evening.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Photos

As promised, I have some fall photos to share. There's a whole lot of cuteness coming your way right now.

Now off to go get ready for our Halloween Fun tonight!

Monday, October 24, 2011


A new hat for Grant, made with love by his mommy!

Yes, I straightened the curtain after I took the first picture and realized that it was all wonky (We were busy watching the street sweeper pick up leaves this morning). Then Grant being a spunky 3 year old is really into sitting still for pictures these days, so these two pictures is what he gave me. He does love his hat already, he told me so. :)

Norah Picks Her Outfit

This morning as I was nursing Mason, I sent Grant to his room to get dressed, then I asked Norah to go pick out some clothes for the day. I didn't fully expect her to do it, but it was worth a shot to see what happened, right? So off she crawls to her room smiling and saying "all right mommy." I smile listening to her, she moved the step stool to her dresser. I hear the drawer open, I can imagine her peering into her drawer from the side. A couple minutes pass, I am now making smiley face with Mason, he's happy now, a full tummy will do that. Norah emerges from her room, this time scooting forward on her "bootie" and carrying a skirt and a cardigan. I smile in the success of this and praise her. Then I tell her she needs to find a shirt to wear under her cardigan. She leaves the clothes on the floor and quickly turns and crawls back into her bedroom. I begin to wonder what shirt she'll bring, knowing that the shirt that goes with her skirt is in the hamper. Again I listen to the sounds of her hunt for a shirt. I remind her she needs to find a shirt, the I hear "Probably, probably. . . . . . .this one!" Out from her room she comes quickly, I smile she did find a shirt. I helped Norah get dressed and told her she really needed to find a pair of tights to finish her look. We walked back into the bedroom one last time and opened her drawer, she immediately grabbed her purple tights. Perfect, don't you agree.

It inspired a fall phote shoot in our back yard . . . . . . . . . . more pictures from that later this week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jason!

Monday we celebrated Jason's birthday.

Yes there was a cake.

Follow by a gift I found for Jason on Etsy, what do you think? I can't wait for the first snow fall and see Jason going down the sidewalk sporting this hat.

Then the kids gave there Daddy a gift they worked on all week. Grant loved helping paint the canvas' and Norah kept trying to peek at them. Look at the corner of Norah's you can see a faint hand print that Norah left after checking on them after finishing one of the layers of paint. Then there is Mason's hand print, let's just say I am redoing his again to see if we can get it to look like and actually hand.

Happy Birthday, Jason! I am so thankful to have you as my husband & love getting to celebrate you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Corn Maze

Last weekend we welcomed fall by visiting a corn maze. I love going through corn mazes, and could have spent all day getting lost. However, this time the practical mommy in me said that I must keep us on the route to finish because you never know when Grant will have to go to the bathroom or Mason will demand to eat.  So in order to navigate the maze the best, there were also "cornumdrums" to answer, it added some fun and learning to our outing.

It is always a hard decision to leave Norah's walker behind because she loves her independence with it. With the uneven terrain of the corn maze, we decided to leave it this time. She asked to walk and happily grabbed onto Jason's hand to walk with him down the path. My heart melted as the went down the path hand in hand.

We had so much fun navigating our way through the maze. Also, there was no shortage of painted plywood scenes to take you picture in.

Happy Fall!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

72 hours later!

This morning at 9:30 am Norah and I had a date to remove all that EEG stuff.

Let's just say it was easier to keep her happy when the electrodes were being placed than when I was taking them out. If I believed in karma I would say this is payback for all the patients I have left EKG patches on in the past. I dislike taking them off my patients, it causes them pain and I don't like to inflict pain on my patients.So while the pictures depict a happy little girl, let me tell you it was noisy in our house, because on top of Norah letting me know she dislikes the removing of the EEG, Mason was reminding me it was time for him to eat.

Norah did great with her EEG, there was just a couple times very she showed signs that she wanted to take it off. She liked to show off her backpack she had to wear (I might just have to go find her a cute little backpack now). While I think it's great she didn't have any of her episodes, if she is going to have them it would be nice to have one while wearing the get up. So here we are with everything packed up and ready to drop off on Monday to have it read.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Too Young For Facial Hair?

Jason recently added the GEICO BroStache App to his phone, let's just say the kids, especially Grant, love playing with it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Continuous EEG

For the next 72 hours, this is the look Norah is sporting.

A little fuzzy I know, but that smile melts my heart.

Norah is undergoing a continuous EEG to see if there is abnormal brain activity that may be causing some of her episodes (remember those ones that we started experiencing about 9 months ago with the tired days, head frequently on the ground, followed by vomiting, irritability and a sleepy girl). I am frustrated with the medical system that is so far behind. We had to find a new neurologist, because our old one left. The hospital was treating Norah as a new patient thus delaying her care. Had we been able to have this done back in April and May when Norah's symptoms were at their peak, it may have proved to be more helpful. Lately,  Norah's "off" days seem to be further apart between episodes and for that I am thankful.

Hiding under her scarf are 20 electrodes that are hookup to the recorder in her backpack.
Thankful we are able to do this from home instead of at the hospital.
If I had to go with my gut I think Norah either has slit ventricle syndrome (SVS) or is experiencing migraines. Getting a doctor to diagnosis SVS is difficult, and treatment for migraines is someone as young as Norah is giving her a daily medication to see if we see a change. There are two options for medications, the first is an antihistamine and the other a beta blocker. I vote for no medications at this point, or seeking out an alternative therapy. Hmm, lots of thoughts swimming around, so will stop there tonight. Hopefully, I will find Norah with all her electrodes still attached in the morning.