About Me

My photo
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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First Bath

Mason's first bath

Mason's belly button is finally healed. No more stump hanging off his belly and icky oozing, so it was time to head to the little blue tub that fits in the sink. Mason had been a little ornery all day and I thought a nice warm bath to end the day would hopefully get both of us some good intervals of sleep. Well Mason loved the idea as well. Grant's and Norah's first baths were filled with crying (maybe one would call it screaming) from start to finish. Not Mason, he soaked it all in falling asleep within the first minute. I was caught off gaurd. I was prepared to get his first bath picture, wash him and have him out with a couple minutes. Instead I let him enjoy the soak. He only began to make a sound when I drained his warm bath water, as to say "I'm not done yet, let me stay in longer."

Mason is happy to be clean, & I love that clean baby smell

Peaceful Slumber

Mason, I can't help but try and capture some of these sweet moments of peaceful slumber. For I can already tell you are growing fast and won't be my snuggly little infant for long. Your sleep is often interrupted by your siblings who adore you and want to give you hugs and kisses, and letting you know that you are loved.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Salsa Pizza

It's been awhile since I posted a recipe, I blame my pregnancy. I had little desire to cook while I was pregnant, many smells made me nauseous. The thought of handling raw meat, no thank you. Now that Mason has been here a couple weeks I been picking up the pace with wanting to cook and try new things again.

This is a quick meal to make and I love that Grant helped me makes these this time. I have been trying to find more easy recipes that he can help me out.  To me, this is also more of summer meal. I believe it turns out best if you use the Boboli pizza crust.

The recipe -

1 Boboli Pizza Crust
Salsa (I like you fruit salsa, like pineapple)
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Grilled Chicken, cubed

Use as much or little as you like for your toppings, bake it in the oven, and then enjoy!!

**Please notice the flowers in the first picture. My wonderful husband gave those to me for our 8th Wedding Anniversary that we celebrated the day after Mason came home from the hospital. We had experienced a couple crazy days, so he thought it was appropriate to celebrate with crazy daisies. They brought me nearly three weeks of brightness and joy to my kitchen.This picture was taken as we were nearing the end of week two. Jason and I kept joking the lasted so long because of all the preservatives that must have been in the flower dye. Thank you Jason for being the love of my life and taking this amazing journey with me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Norah Uses the Potty

This last week Norah started telling us she wanted to go potty. We pulled out the toilet we had used with Grant and cleaned it up for Norah. We set in next to the fridge so it could be out in the open reminding her to use it.

I have to admit I though it would be a novelty, she would play with it and no potty action would be taking place for awhile. Norah like to prove me wrong. The next morning while I was making waffles for breakfast, she sat down on the chair with her pajamas on and saying "poop" and I was saying yup that's where you need to poop, not understanding she wanted to poop. A minute later, my yummy waffle smell was interrupted and Norah gave me a dirty look that screamed Yes Mom I wanted to poop on the potty.  Whoops! A missed opportunity. A couple hours later, back next to the toilet was Norah asking to go potty. Success immediately, is it really going to be this easy with Norah??? That day with filled with five successful trip to on the potty, with only a wet diaper after her nap.

Norah has continued using the potty, we have a few trips a day with a wet diaper after naps and occasionally during the day. I know that it will be awhile before we are fully trained, we have a few things to hurdle. Potty training with a new baby isn't ideal, we have had a couple moments when I was in the middle of nursing Mason and Norah wanted to use the potty. I also haven't been able to find any underwear small enough to fit Norah so she continues to wear a diaper. At 23 months, Norah weighs in at 19 pounds, wearing size 12 month clothing. Norah is not able to stand independently or pull up her pants, so she needs someone with her every time she wants to go to the bathroom. All things we are working out, but will hinder our progress.

I am so proud of Norah's desire to want to be a big girl and use her potty chair, I hope she doesn't give up or get discouraged.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rummage Sale Fun

This morning all five of us piled into the minivan and headed out to find some deals. We had no set list just looking for a hidden treasure or fun things for the kids.  I quickly learned how educational going to rummage sales can be with a three year old that asks what everything is or does, even if it looks exactly like the previous item. Example - we were at a church rummage and all the items were divided up by rooms, men's clothes, toys, electronics, holiday, etc. Grant learned about cassette tapes, TVs aren't always flat, that there are many types of candle holders, how to work a jack in the box toy, and so much more. I also have to give Grant kudos for his radar skills, I think he was able to spot every single flashlight for sale today. Norah was able to work on her color and counting skills today. She has been into bracelets lately, possibly because I wear bracelets when I nurse to remind me what side to start on. We found a box of bracelets, we talked about what color they were and she picked out five bracelets to bring home with her.

Norah sporting her new bracelets.

The prize find of the day.....

this play house for $15. We were driving down a street with a few rummage sales when we spotted it. I sent Jason to scope it out. It has been well loved over the years but all the pieces were there.  Jason paid for it and returned to the car without it, finding Grant in tears, the BIG crocodile tears, because he wanted the play house. We explained that we would get it but there wasn't room.  We are finding that with five people in the minivan there isn't a whole lot of extra space, especially with a stroller and walker in tow. Jason drove us home then went back for the play house. Grant planted himself by the from window waiting eagerly for his return. Once in the back yard, Jason then scrubbed it clean, and put it back together, thus making the day of two sweet kiddos.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Eeny, meenie, miny, moe

Norah continues to be having moments when she is not herself. We are seeing more episodes where she only wants to snuggle with us, rubbing her head, being sleepy and little appetite. We will be watching her crawl across the room and she'll just stop and lay flat on the floor and rub her head. Humph. Something's wrong.

Norah sound asleep on the couch this morning while waiting for neurosurgery to call us back

This morning Norah woke up and was able to drink most of her morning pediasure and a few strawberries. She slowly became more quiet, she was rubbing her head and eyes, then actually said her head hurt. She wanted to snuggle. We snuggled, and then I placed her on the couch next to me so I could nurse Mason. She fell asleep within minutes. She was still sleeping when Jason arrived back home from running errands. We talk about what was going on and we decided it would be best to call the neurosurgery office. We could at least talk to them on the phone about all the changes we have been seeing in Norah the last month or so since our last visit.

After speaking with the PA, we agreed that we could wait until Monday to be seen in the clinic, but if Norah had any episodes of vomiting over the weekend we would go to the ER right away. While when they clinic scheduler called back she said that we could get in right away since radiology had an opening right now for a quick MRI (a quick MRI, is more like a CT scan but without the radiation. The pictures aren't as great as a full MRI, but Norah doesn't need to be sedated for it). She remember that we live just a few miles away from the hospital. This phone call came just as we finished lunch and layed both Norah and Grant for a nap, and I was nursing Mason, again. I looked Jason and he quickly retrieved Norah from her crib and gathered her blanket, baby doll and book, as well as some diapers and they were off. I still taking pain medication trying to recuperate from my csection 2 weeks ago. This was my third csection and it is taking longer to recover, so for now still no driving. Life with three kids, we are doing more divide and conquer versus all of us going together to get things done.

Norah's MRI shows her head and ventricles continue to look stable. Norah shows signs of a siphoning problem with her shunt, over drainage and slit ventricle syndrome, or a combination of those. At this point, none of her symptoms are strong enough to suggest one over the other. There is also not enough information to do any revisions and adjustments to her shunt at this point. So the plan is to continue to watch Norah keep track of what's happening. We are also to call the neurosurgeon the next time Norah vomits with these symptoms and take her to the ER right away. I can't say I'm looking forward to an ER visit, but it's best for Norah then we'll go.

For now we'll pray that Norah's symptoms will go away and her shunt will stay happy. I feel so helpless when she's like this, and it's hard to watch and not be able to do anything to fix it. All I can do is give her the snuggles she asks for, and I will gladly do that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What super power do you want?

X-ray Vision - that is the super power I would love to have!! X-ray vision would help make life so much easier especially with what's going on with Norah these days.

Way back just after Christmas and about to head to Mexico, Norah had her first episode of vomiting. Grant was also vomiting at the same time so we chalked it up to a virus and rolled with it. Then while in Mexico, Norah had another episode of vomiting that we thought was related to the heat, she seemed to not like the hot sun in Mexico. Once home no more vomiting until about three weeks later, shopping in Bed, Bath and Beyond. Vomit everywhere, on Norah, on Mommy, all over the cart and the floor around us. This was becoming suspicious, we started to keep track.

These episodes always happen at the same time of day. Norah will have a change in appetite for the day, be cranky. she becomes very quiet, then starts to cry, a cry that is different than her 'normal' cry, then within a minute she's vomiting. She is patient with us as we clean her up, then about an hour after all this has happened she sleeps, and sleeps well until the next morning. She'll wake up at her typical time, usually not quite back to herself, but within a few hours it's like it never happened.

Fast forward to May, when Jason is out of town on a business trip. Norah had thrown up the last two weeks on a Wednesday night, and this week it was the same. It was too concerning to not bring this to the attention of her doctors, we had watched this pattern form and now it was time to see if something more serious is going on.

We were able to get in for a quick MRI the next morning and saw one of the PA's that work in neurosurgery. Norah's MRI had little change since the last and she was back to herself at this point. We discussed the possibilities of intermittent shunt blockage that usually will lead to a failure. He also thought it was worthwhile to do an EEG to check for any seizure activity, and then to followup with Norah's neurologist.

As we were leaving the office, another patient was cancelling their EEG for the next morning. We were happy to take the appointment versus waiting a month for the next available appointment. Isn't it nice when everything works out like that - one of those thank you Lord moments, knowing God is there helping me as I care for Norah, while making sure Grant's needs were being met and being 36 weeks pregnant myself.

Norah EEG went well, "nothing exciting" per the tech that performed the test. The results would be available in 7-10 days and we could review those with our neurologist. Ha! Easier said than done. Norah had been discharged from her neurologist back in December, and since then that neurologist had left the hospital. Now we had to become a new patient and wait for the next new patient appointment - August. Really? August? So now we wait. I would like to think if they saw something on Norah's EEG someone would call, but past experiences and working in healthcare I know that doesn't always happen.

We have requested all of Norah's medical records from the last series of visits to add to our collection and we will go on from there. Norah is back to vomiting about every 2 weeks, and we continue to watch for any other signs. This is where I wish I had x-ray vision, so I would be able to see what is going in her fancy little head when these episodes come.

Norah on one of her off days, she'll be crawling somewhere then just stop and lay down for awhile.

Love From The Big Brother

Grant has been a big brother for 22 months to his special sister, Norah. He has taken to his roll well, and now with a new baby in the house, he is happy to be a big brother again. He is quick to ask what's wrong if Mason cries. Grant loves when Mason is awake and entertains him by shaking rattles, making silly noises or singing to him. While Grant was watching Toy Story the other day, he also took good care of Mason...

Disclaimer: This post follows a trying day of tantrums and "I wants" and "no's" and not wanting to do eat what was given to him and a I don't love you Mommy.  Being the Mom to an independent, self motivated 3 year old has it's moments, good thing they're mostly good :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Pick Nose"

We have a situation, every time I get the camera out lately, Norah gets a big smile and simply says "pick nose" as she puts that little finger up to her nose and smiles.

Such a silly girl.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Our Newest Addition

Mason Randall Zehrung

Arrived Friday, June 3, 2011 @ 5:17pm.
He weighed in at 8lbs 10oz, & 21in long.

Friday at noon Jason and I left Grant and Norah with their Granny at our house and head down the street for our scheduled csection. I was one day shy of 39 weeks pregnant and ready to meet this little one.

We arrived at the hospital and walked back to our preop room. The room didn't have a bed so we were walked around the labor and delivery department looking for an empty room for us. Apparently it was busy, and the csection that was supposed to be happening then so I could go at 2 oclock was being postponed. But we reassured that everything should be caught up and we would be going for my csection by 2:30pm.

We got setup in our room, my IV was started and I was hooked to the monitor to see if the baby was happy. I think it was to remind me of all the contractions I was having.

Well we waited and waited. Then the updates started coming. My doctor was in the OR with another surgery (my doctor was also the in house doctor that day). The next update there is four women all about to deliver within the next hour, darn women who went into natural labor and don't have to have a csection (I was a bit jealous). Then the anestheaologist that I had met with the day previous to discuss my previous problems with epidurals and spinals wasn't going to be available for my csection, so let the discussion begin again...

Finally at 4:45pm it was my turn!! I hadn't ate anything since 9pm the night before, and nothing to drink since 7am, I was getting cranky and anxious to have my baby. Once settled in the OR they brought my husband back to me and things were finally started. 

I have to say have a csection is surreal. You are laying on a table wide awake, being cut open, feeling tugging and pushing, but not really pain. People are in and out of the room and conversation are being had all around you, some about you and some about the NBA finals. Even though this was my third csection, it was the first time I was lucid enough and not in an emergency situation to realize this. Anyway after all that tugging and pulling, the best part, watching my baby come out. He was born at 5:17pm and came out peeing everywhere. Soon after came his little cry. The neonatologist checked him oven and gave him apgar scores of 8 and 9, and he was healthy!!

Now for the hard part, what was this little boy's name going to be. Jason and I had a list with about twenty names we liked, but just coiuld narrow down until we meet this little one. Everyone put in a vote for the names they liked. It was hard to decide but once in recovery and spending sometime with our newest addition, we quickly knew his name. Mason is a name both Jason and I have liked and felt suited our little man. We have continue the tradion of giving our kids middle names of from our families. Randall, Mason's middle name, is my father's name.

Grant and Norah were able to meet their little brother the next morning and already love him and want to help take care of him.

We hung out in the hospital until Monday afternoon, and have been at home enjoying our little ones ever since. Mason is doing great, Grant is being a great big brother trying to help get anything we may need with the occasional tantrum, and Norah is having the toughest time adjusting sharing her mommy, but loves giving Mason lots of kisses.  Lots of the to Granny for taking care of Grant and Norah while we were in the hospital, we miss you.