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.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thankful for "Mums"

Grant and I had a great date night last night hosted by his school. Grant's class began by singing songs for all the moms. Then Grant brought me a mum.

Then we sat down together and painted a tile trivet together, painting his hand like a turkey.

We finished the night be eating some pumpkin pie and doing the hokey pokey.

What a lovely and perfect evening for me to enjoy my growing young man, who usually prefers to hang with his dad. We truly enjoyed our evening together.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Florida/Caribean Cruise Vacation

Jason's parents are celebrating their 40th Wedding Anniversary this year, and asked our family and Jason's brother, Joel and his family to join them on a Caribbean cruise. So much fun to get to have all your family traveling and exploring together, all of us were very excited.

We arrived in Florida a few days before our cruise left to check out Jason's parents new house. They are in the process of relocation from Wisconsin to Florida and wanted to have us see they beautiful new house. It was beautiful. Unfortunately Hurricane Sandy was moving by Florida while we were there so beaches were closed and there was limited time spent outside in the pool because the the dreary rainy and windy weather. We made the best of it and found a great indoor play place to hang out.

After a couple days we were off on our cruise adventure. Grant loved being outside the ship and was truly amazed at how large the ship really is. We spent our first day figuring out the large ship, really a small city on the water, and getting our sea legs. I struggled with motion sickness the first couple days. Norah struggled with her balance, something I didn't think about until we were on the ship. Norah has ataxia and then to put her on a rocking ship, poor girl. She was a trooper, taking everything in stride and working hard to stay on her feet.

Our first stop was Key West. We walked off the ship and walked around the shopping area. We explored what was nearby, found some parrots, and had some ice cream.

The next day we were at sea. We found the small kids pool hidden up high in a corner of the ship and enjoyed it to ourselves most of the afternoon. Grant and Jason went mini golfing, quite the experience while the ship was moving and the winds were blowing.

Arriving in Grand Cayman, the ship had to park on the opposite side of the island because of the recent hurricane so getting off and on the ship to some time and parts of our excursion was cancelled. We still loved seeing all of the island and Jason and I both agree, Grand Cayman is a place we want to return to and explore a bit more.

One of stops was at a turtle farm, where we watch the turtles eat, and then held some baby sea turtles. We also got to see baby turtle hatching and climbing out of the sand, amazing.

The next day we arrived at Jamaica. It was a rainy day. Mason woke with a bit of a fever, so Jason and I decided to stay on the ship. We had planned on spending the day at the beach, but we were able to get our money refunded. Norah and I went off to the spa and had a manicure and pedicure. Norah was absolutely spoiled, as the manager of the spa adored her and fed her ice cream as she had her nails done.

I spent some time taking pictures of the Jamaican port in the afternoon before we headed back out to sea.

While on the ship we celebrated Halloween. The ship did a great job having activities for the kids, even having trick or treating and a dance. Our family won a prize for best group costumes, we were all pirates and Mason was our pirate parrot.

After eating dinner each night we would take in a show on the boat or enjoy the walking on the deck.
The kids loved going to our room at the end of the day to find their beds turned down waiting for them with chocolates and a towel animal.

After disembarking the ship for the final time, we found ourselves with 10 hours to waste in the airport. We are very excited to be on the plane going home at the end of that day.

Happy Anniversary Bill & Trish! Thank you for taking us such a fun family trip.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

FALL 2012

Fall has come and is quickly fleeting, we have already saw our first snowflakes this week.

I enjoyed decorating the front door and entry to our new house.

I even was feeling crafty and made the wreaths for the front door. That and I couldn't find a wreath I like for under $60.

We spent some time cleaning the neglected garden. We been told by neighbors that the garden hasn't been used in about 4 years, but there are still wonderful herbs, asparagus and blackberries growing in there.

We pulled out what seemed to be a mile of old rotting soaker hose. I actully couldn't pull out the asparagus, it had taken hold. So that's when we started cutting it up.

Then there was a day of cleaning up leaves, or maybe lots of playing in the leaves.

Norah hiding in Jason's shirt to warm up.
Hope you are having a fantastic fall as well.

Pop! Pop!

Let see if I can get this blog back on track and update all our family and friends with the happenings in our life.

One day after picking Grant and Norah up from school, we stopped by the grocery store. Grant asked to buy a bag of popcorn for a snack and I said I have a better idea. So we went off to find popcorn kernels. I loved Grant expression as I told him we were going to pop the corn ourselves. He laughed and said that's silly. That's he go to line when we are doing something new and fun.

Once at home everyone was excited to make popcorn so we set to work popping that corn. Everyone gathered around the pot. Grant helped me shake it up a few times. There were gleeful screams of delight from Norah when she heard the corn popping. Mason kept checking in to see what we were up to, but kept playing with ball. Once done everyone gathered around for the unveiling of our popcorn.

The were fascinated at how the kernels changed into popcorn. Grant still says that's silly.

Everyone dug in and enjoyed their popcorn.

I'm thinking we should make caramel corn next time.

Monday, October 1, 2012

ByeBye Paci, ByeBye!

Norah has finally said goodbye to her closest and dearest friend, her pacifier. Norah and her pacifier bonded a long time ago in the NICU. Her paci has always brought comfort to her in times of stress, sadness and illness.

A year ago we started to wear her from her bestie, but the tears and awful crying that accompanied this was too much for this mom to handle. At the time there a new baby brother and many doctors appointments coming up at the time, we thought it just wasn't worth it. We did however limit her paci to her crib, and when she had tests at the hospital.

The year continued on and we encourage Norah to let go her paci. She continued to say No. We let Norah know she was becoming a big girl that needed to let go. She continued to hold on. When we moved to our new house we thought we should try something new so we cut off the tip of her paci hoping this would break her tight relationship with her paci. This just showed us how tight her bond with her paci had become.

We were patient. We continued to encourage giving up the paci, occasionally getting an "OK" to give her paci away, but always ended in change of heart. Then the morning came were Norah woke up with a severely chapped lip. We put our foot down. We told Norah she had to let her paci go. It was no longer her friend if it was hurting her. We reinforced the idea throughout the day. I let her throw her paci away on her own. We dug up all the pacis we could find and kissed them goodbye.

Norah has been sad a few times since that day in the beginning of September, but we have continued to let her know how proud of her we are and what a big girl she is letting her paci go. I am happy to say we are paci free and with that we have seen big changes in our little girl.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

School Days

Hugs as they were getting ready to leave for school this morning.

Today both Grant and Norah had there first day of school.

Grant has been asking to go to school for a year and looking foward to this day. He walked right into his classroom this morning and didn't look back. He was excited, very ready, and can't wait to go back tomorrow.

Norah was a bit more timid and shy. She was happy to go in and play with the kitchen and play dressup. When it came to sitting in a group and listening to the teacher, she thought continuing to play would be a bit more fun. I stayed Norah today, watching from across the room and was able to help her with her art activity. At the end of the day I asked her if she was excited to come back on Monday, she answered with a simple "No, Mommy."

Happy new school year to everyone, we hope you are blessed with a great and safe year.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy 3 to Norah

Happy happy birthday to my sweet baby girl . . . err I guess you are not so much a baby anymore huh? Turning 3 is big. I guess I could say happy birthday to my Missy Muffin, but recently you told me that was not your name anymore. It's now Missy Muffin Chicken Nugget, well that a mouth full of silliness, but that is part of what makes you, you.

I spent some time remembering back to when you were just a baby. How so many doctors didn't think life with you could be so fulfilling and rewarding. I wish some of those doctors could see you now. So you have far exceeded any expectations they had for your life, you are truly a miracle and one of God's gifts. Life with hydrocephalus is not always easy, but you are working hard to kick it's butt. It is neat to see you meet new doctors, they review your medical file then meet you and are floored with how incredible you are. Your neurologist says Norah on paper versus in real life are two different people.

Your year being 2 was not terrible as so many people refer to the twos as being, but it was terrific and transforming. This year you went from leaning how to walk with a walker to being able to stand independently and being able to walk almost independently. We still keep that walker of your nearby but I hope and think that you'll be leaving completely behind before you know it. You my little girl are a talker, and this year I do believe you passed up Grant on talking. You amaze us daily with the big words you know and use. Today's word was astronaut. You also endured two more surgeries but didn't let either one slow you down.

Turning 3 is a big milestone for you, big changes are coming now that you are 3, oh yes. Until now we have spent our weeks with hanging out with our favorite PT, Emily and SLP, Amy, now we have to say goodbye. As the program is called Birth to 3 so it is time for to make new friends. So we will be off to new a place for therapy and making new friends.

I love you Lady Bug...

and when you say "take a picture of my face" then frame your face...

and when your can rock this look...

and when you say "take a picture of my booty" and assume this position...

and when you make this silly face...

and when I find you sleeping in the bed like this...

Or steal my camera leaving pictures like this...

Today is your day, to celebrate you. You are amazing, I can't wait to see what this year holds for you. I will continue to be your biggest fan, cheerleader and personal photographer.
Love, Mommy 

Happy Birthday Norah Cynthia!!