Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Little Miracle

Its been over a week now. I debated for a while whether to write about it or not. I decided to write. I have had it rolling in my head for the last few days, and I think I need to get it all out on to speak. I almost lost my son.
It was the worst time of my life. I truly did not know if he was going to be ok. So what happened? I am going to try to relive it in all of the details I can remember.
We had just arrived at my husbands grandparents house in BC. We had not been there more than a couple of hours. We sat out in the back yard, having finished dinner. We were watching Jaxen throw around a ball, and commenting on how nice it would be to have a fenced in backyard for him to play. Aubrey came up to me and told me she had a secret. She needed to go to the bathroom, I laughed at her secret then I got up and walked her in the house. She finished her business, then I sent her out and I went to the bathroom too. I was probably in the house for at least 5 minutes. Maybe a little longer. I can't remember. I came back out and scanned the back yard. I am always counting my children. 1 2 3. I didn't see Jaxen. I asked Mike where he was. He said he didn't know. He had gone in the house to take a few dishes in. I hadn't told him that I was going in. So neither of us had been watching. I started looking around, so did Mike and his grandpa.
Then I saw him. And I remember screaming. I think I was yelling... no no no!!! I heard Mason let out a scream as he saw what I saw. Jaxen was floating face up in the fish pond. There was a loose netting over top to keep the birds out, I remember ripping it back and pulling his limp body from the water. I kept screaming make him breath, make him breath. Mike put him on the ground and told me to call 911. It was around 6:30.
I was hysterical. I was having an out of body experience as I listened to myself panicking, sobbing and screaming, and I  thought... it sounds like something you would see on a movie, not in my life.
The lady on the phone kept telling me to calm down, Mike was trying to do CPR on his tiny lifeless body. His lips were blue. He started to let out a low wheezing noise as Mike would breath in, it was hard to tell whether he was breathing or not.
I gave our location, and told her what happened, she said an ambulance was on its way, she asked if he was breathing. I didn't know the answer. Everything happened so fast. At some point in the conversation, we could tell that Jaxen was breathing....barely. She said to stop doing CPR. She asked me to tip his head back and check his mouth. He hadn't woken up.
The ambulance arrived very fast and first responders took over. They put an oxygen mask on and cut off his shirt. They started checking his vitals, his breathing, his heart rate. Then he vomited. They said that was good. He still didn't wake up. They carried him from the backyard to the ambulance.
Mike and I both went,  Mikes grandparents said they would watch Mason and Aubrey so we could go. Mike sat in the front, I sat in the back.
They asked what happened, how long he had been in the water. I didn't know. I couldn't tell them and it was killing me. I don't know how long my baby was floating in that water for. He was crying now, mad cries. They said that was good too. They didn't sound like his cries though, they sounded painful.  They tried checking his pupils, but he wouldn't open his eyes. Mike was riding in the front. I felt helpless watching my baby. At some point during the ride, they upped the urgency and we started going faster. I later found out they thought he might have had a seizure.
We arrived at the hospital and a dozen nurses and doctors were taking over. They put in IV lines, and took blood, they hooked him up to monitors, and machines. He looked so tiny on the table. They sent us out while they did x-rays of his chest.
I called our friends. I asked them to come. I need my son to have a blessing. They didn't hesitate. I called my mom. She didn't answer, I got ahold of my dad, I told him what had happened. I asked everyone to pray. Please pray that he would be ok. They said they would let everyone know, and send his name to the temple.
Mike was sitting on the bed with Jaxen when I came in.  He was still crying, but not awake. We waited. The chest x-rays looked good. They kept telling me things were looking good. That he was crying and breathing on his own, those were good signs. But I still didn't feel reassured.
I wanted to ask, but didn't know how....would my son ever be the same again? Will there be any damage. I couldn't get the words past my lips.
Andrew arrived and him and Mike and him gave him a priesthood blessing. Jaxen had calmed down, and was able to fall asleep.  I didn't know if I liked it or not. I wanted him to wake up.  The doctors were waiting for some purposeful movement. Other than clenching his eyes shut every time they tried to check them, he hadn't done much. He still looked lifeless.
We found out we were going to be moved to the children's hospital. I went to talk to our friends to make a plan. I was wet from pulling Jaxen out of the water.  I had minor scrapes on my knees and toes, that I didn't remember getting. I needed to change. We decided that Mike would stay, and I would go grab a few things and meet them at the other hospital. Mike didn't have his phone so I left mine. Our friends drove us around and offered to help in any way needed.
It was so hard being away. I kept getting flashbacks of seeing him in the water. The more time I had to think about it the harder it was. I asked for distractions. Talk about anything else.
Mike told me while I was gone that Jaxen had reached up and started rubbing his hair. It is something he does when he is trying to sleep. He also put his soother back in at one point. These were really good signs. But he still had not woken up or made eye contact.
At the children's hospital they decided to send him for a CT scan. It was after 11:00. I went down with him for the scan and breathed my first sigh of relief when they told me the first glance was looking really good. We wouldn't know about brain damage without an MRI, but there was no swelling or bleeding around his brain. We sat waiting in a room in emergency until they could determine whether to send him to intensive care or not. The doctor came in to check on him and he opened his eyes and looked around a bit, I kept calling his name, hoping he would look at me and recognize me. He turned for a brief second, then went back to sleep.
We asked for prayers on Facebook, and decided to fast as well. Around 2:30 we finally were moved upstairs. He didn't need to be in intensive care, but they would still be monitoring him every hour. Mike and I shared a little cot from 3:00 am until 6:00am with hourly check ins from the nurses. We didn't get much sleep. I would get up every hour and wait for signs from Jaxen. At every check he would get more mad at being poked and prodded. He would look around a little more, and even made some eye contact.
Then at 6:00 am he woke up and turned to me and wrapped his arms around my neck. It was the best feeling in the world. Twelve long hours after I pulled him out of the water, he finally woke up.
Mike went and got him some milk, which he drank happily. He sort of snacked on his breakfast. Then he started playing with toys and getting mad at all the tubes and wires attached to him. That morning they told us we would likely be in another night, unless there was a huge improvement through the day. Mason and Aubrey came with grandma and grandpa to see him. I think they were very relieved to see him up and moving around.
They did and ECG on his heart, and when things looked good there we were finally able to start losing some wires. They moved his foot IV up to the one on his arm and wanted to see if he would walk. The doctor told me to get her when we were ready. As soon as we opened the door he took off at a run. He was quite mad that his arm was still attached to an IV stand that kept slowing him down. The doctor saw this and was very impressed. He went and played in the playroom and seemed almost back to his normal self. Almost exactly 24 hrs after the accident, we were discharged from the hospital with a happy baby boy. In that 24 hour period every possibly outcome had gone through my mind. I was so relieved that we had the outcome we did. It really is a miracle. I am fully aware of the power of prayer and the love and support from others. We had people all over the world praying for Jaxen. All across Canada, the United States, Albania, and Australia. I felt the love and support from my family and friends. It was by far the scariest thing I have ever gone through, and I would never wish it upon anyone. My one friend said that many people might underestimate the seriousness of the situation because of his fast recovery. But it truly was a miracle. We are so blessed to have him in our life still. Mason and Aubrey now call him the boy who lived. I sure love my kids, each and everyone!

 The transfer from one hospital to the next.
 Waiting for the CT scan.
 It was so hard seeing him like this.
 Just waking up.
 It was so good to be able to hold him.
 Even better when he started playing with toys. He was
back to throwing them in no time!
 Finally unhooked from everything, but waiting to get 
the final word if we would be discharged or not.
 It took all week to get over picturing him in here again and again.
He didn't seem bothered by it at all and was back watching the fish the next day. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Challenge

Back in October of 2013, my dear friend MaryLou challenged me to a weight loss competition of sorts. We would each set out own weight loss goal, and if we both hit our mark we would go to Vegas together. We gave ourselves until May 1, seven months, to accomplish this. We knew that if we were going to do it right, it would take time. We had a plan to take before pictures, record and report to each other our weight and measurements, and email each other weekly with weigh-ins and progress reports. We would do our measurements once a month and share exercise routines and diet changes.
Weight is such a taboo topic in our day and age and everyone seems scared to disclose their weight. I am not going to let that bother me any more, because I know that my body is healthy and that I am in a good range for my height. Its just a number on a scale. So my plan....lose 15 pounds(realistic) in order to get to Vegas, but push to see if I could lose 20(a lofty goal).  You see my starting weight was 175.5 lbs. The lowest I had ever been in my adult life was 156...pre-baby, and working out at a gym regularly. To lose 20 lbs would be a stretch. But I was confident I could do 15.
And so I set out. For me I decided to start out slow, so I wouldn't get discouraged and wear myself out. I started watching my portion sizes, but not cutting anything out of my diet. If anyone knows me they know I love to bake....I can't give that up. But I can eat one cookie instead of three....or seven... and I can reduce the amount of food on my plate, because lets face it...I was still putting enough food on my plate for two, even though I wasn't pregnant or breastfeeding. I started exercising to an at-home work out DVD that was great for beginners, Amy Dixon Ultimate Fat Burn. I was sore the first few times I did it for sure, but I pushed through. I started out only doing it 2-3 times a week. And you know what....after the first month I probably only lost a pound. Maybe two. Sure it was a bit discouraging, but I kept going. I knew it wasn't going to be fast. Over the next few months I got a bit more disciplined about my food. I had my portion control down pat and I no longer wanted large meals. Exercising was getting easier.
Christmas came and went and even though I had lots of food and sweets, my body did not gain any weight back. It may have gone up for a few days, but came back down once I resumed my regular meals and exercise. In January I needed a change in my workout routine, so I started Jillian 30 day shred.  I think I did week one twice and week three twice, and by mid-February I decided to really push myself. I amped it up to Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30. It was HARD!!! This is when I really started to notice a big change in the scale. I was building muscle and burning fat like crazy. My body was becoming more lean and toned and I felt great. In late March/early April, I think I was really close to my goal of 15 pounds. But I still wanted to push.
 In order to give ourselves enough time to book our trip we bumped our goal date to April 17. I continued to work out doing Jillian 4-5 times a week.  My diet had not changed significantly. I still ate whatever I wanted. All in moderation and at smart times. I ate way more vegetables and fruits and less carbs and sweets. I tried to avoid eating late as much as possible. I began to crave nutrient rich food, and feel sick when I ate too much junk or ate too late. Two weeks before weigh in, I borrowed a friends juicer. I had heard a bit about juicing, but wasn't sure if I would like it so I wanted to try before I committed to buying one.

 I replaced only one meal a day, usually breakfast or lunch with juicing. I loved it! My final weigh in I was down 18 lbs. That was good enough for me!! I made it to 157 lbs.  Six pounds less than I was at my high school grad. Wahoo!!! I felt great. After I passed our cut off date, Mike told me I had to keep it off for Vegas. I gave my body a break from the intense workouts and started a 30 day challenge of  push ups, squats, lunges and sit ups. Week after week my weight stayed within 1-3 pounds of 157. I had lost the weight for good, and I wasn't rebounding back. That was the best feeling. It took SEVEN months to lose that weight, it wasn't a quick fix, but a long term fix. Of course if I start getting really lazy and eating a ton of junk I will put it back on but I don't plan on letting that happen. Mike and I liked juicing so much that he bought me a juicer for mothers day. We use it all the time, and my body craves it when I go too many days without it.

Because the weight came off so slowly I hadn't really noticed a huge difference when I looked in the mirror. I knew I had lost weight because the scale said so, and my clothes were baggy. Those jeans used to be tight on me! It wasn't until I put my before and afters side by side that I could really see the difference.
I debated a long time about putting my pictures up here on the blog. I mean...its my work out clothes....with skin showing... and the whole world could see it if they chose to But I am proud of the work that I did,  and hope that maybe it can help someone else feel motivated. This isn't a quick fix though took hard work over a seven month period.
I once heard that it takes 9 months to put on baby weight, expect that it will take nine months to lose it again. Don't get discouraged!
I have already had my trip to Vegas, and it was a BLAST!! So worth it too. I will tell you about it another time. Having a reward to work towards made working out easier. I highly recommend it. It doesn't have to be a huge trip, but something you really want, and you will push hard to get it!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Its Been A While.....

So I have pretty much fallen off the face of blog land. It has been way harder to find the time to blog lately. I guess having 3 kids will do that to you. I would like to make promises that I will be better, and have more to read all the time, but I just can't make that promise. I guess I will get to it when I get to it. I will say that I do have at least one more post coming soon. I can say that because it is already written up. I just need to add some pictures. I guess if your interested you will check back later!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A post with no pictures.

Good golly! I hadn't realized just how long it had been since I last made a post. I guess it's time for an update! Life has been going all too fast these last few weeks! I can't even believe October is halfway over. So what have we been up to?
Well we squeezed a lot into the last few weeks of summer and we had a blast. I had my birthday....big 27! lol, I feel like its way closer to 30 than 26 was. We had cake with some friends, then went boating the next day. We also hit up Edmonton that weekend and did some shopping.
We have had lots of our family come and visit us, and it has been so wonderful. I love living close to family again. When we lived in Toronto it was almost a year before we had anyone come visit us, and then we had my parents and Mikes parents each visit once. So we have loved being close to family again. Don't get me 8 hr drive in a car to Waterton, with three kids is no walk in the park, but it is much more affordable than trips to and from Toronto. We have made it down there 3 times in the last 6 months so we are doing pretty good. We have also loved having people over for visits, games, and food! We love food here....both making it and eating it!
We did a bit more boating, a few days at the spray park, and a few more days outside in shorts.....then fall hit. Don't get me wrong....I love fall.....but after fall comes winter...which I don't love. Therefore fall isn't my favourite season. But with fall, came Mason starting school (which he loves) and I love that it is an even closer walk to school than we had in Toronto. He loves going and coming home and telling me all that he has done and made.
October came and with it came the start of volleyball for me, thanksgiving and preparations for Halloween. A good friend of mine came up with a proposition for her and I. We both want to get back in shape, so we have given ourselves until May to lose our goals of 15-20 lbs. If we are successful....we get to go to Vegas together! So I am extra motivated to get in shape. I have loved playing volleyball again, and I may not be the star player on my team, but I am having a blast. I have also started working out at home again. We took before pictures, and hope to have some killer bods for our after pictures. If I get confident enough one day I might post them. For now I am way to embarrassed to show anybody!
Thanksgiving was awesome, we had two days of back to back delicious food! Hmmm....guess weight loss and eating lots of food don't go hand in hand, but I guess that means I have to work out extra hard these next few weeks! :) We still had a great time visiting with friends and family and remembering all we have to be thankful for.
The weather is getting colder now and Halloween is coming. Mason changes his mind daily about what he wants to be. I guess we need to narrow it down so we can figure out a costume in time.
Jaxen is now 7 months old and he is crawling all over the place. I can't believe how big he is getting some days. Aubrey enjoys her time at home with mom while Mason is in school. It's great being able to play dolls, paint our toe nails and bake together. I love having a little girl!
Overall we have been doing really well. I am thoroughly enjoying my life right now and I am excited for the future too. I still can't believe how fast time has been going. I promise I will have some more posts up soon....with pictures!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hanging Pictues

     So it's only taken us a month and a half, but we finally got some things hung up in our house to make it feel more like home. A few weeks ago we picked up our new table, and I love it. We had just gone to "window shop" for tables when we saw it, so I snapped a picture of the info and planned to keep it in mind for later. That's when the sale lady came up and told us she would check to see if it was on sale.....I am a sucker for sales, and it was like $300 off!! We couldn't turn it down so we made our purchase and it arrived a couple days later....I was even more in love with it once we had it set up and realized it came with a leaf that easily folds under the table.
      I love the chairs because there is no fabric on them....hello I have small kids...that would be a recipe for disaster. So I am really happy with everything about it!
      Now back to hanging pictures....I felt more inclined to do it now that we had a nicer looking table to finish the room. We picked up a mirror and a new frame for one of my paintings, and hung them up to finish the space. We have few other ideas down the road of things we would like to add....but little by little it will all come together.
I painted this about 10 years ago, and my mom had it for a while.. then we had it...then it was in it's out! We decided to get a new frame since the old one was broken.

This mirror is bigger than it looks....we couldn't even get it in our car! A nice stranger in the parking lot offered to bring it home for us!
I like the room and how it came together.

      Since we were in the process of hanging things anyways, we decided to hang up a bunch of our other pictures. My living room is the farthest room from completion, but it needed something in there to stop it from feeling soooo blah! We have a pretty good idea of the new couches we want in there, as well as an area rug and new entertainment centre. A small desk too eventually....and some I said it needs a lot of work. But I knew that with all our plans, the pictures we wanted to hang would still work. And if I need to change it...we can worry about that down the road.
     I decided to do a gallery style display this time around, and I came across this brilliant idea on Pinterest. Simply lay out your design on the floor, trace the frames and where the nail marks go....hang your tracing, nail the nails and hang your pictures. Excited to try it I dug through my drawers and assembled my things. The only difference was...I decided to use parchment paper instead of wax paper.
     Rookie mistake.
They aren't joking when they say non-stick paper....the tape wouldn't even stick to it. Too bad I only had about three feet of wax paper left. :(   So the project went on hold over the weekend so I could go buy some more and set to trying again on Monday night! Success!!!!
Sorry its dark....we did it late at night!
It worked like a charm and Mike was a big help!

 And I love my wall now with pictures of our family!

     We need to get a few updated photos, and print some of the ones we have and eventually hang some more pictures elsewhere in the house, but I am excited with how things are starting to come together! Once our living room looks more exciting I will add some pictures of the full room too.
      p.s. Still LOVE my kitchen!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Mmmmmm, summer!!!

So what happens when a big old pile of these......

collides with a big old pile of these???

You get this???....   lol (sometimes I think I am funny)

OOOORRRRR toss in a few more ingredients and you get this......

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Ya, you know those yummy lemon bars floating around everywhere with the shortbread crust and delicious lemon filling sprinkled with icing sugar? This is them, but with a kick of strawberries! And they are yummy. Enough said!!

Want the recipe? I found it off Pinterest, the link is HERE!!!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I can finally blog again!!

     I am so excited to be back to blogging....I have missed it! What a CRAZY couple of months it has been for our family! Lets do a little re-cap the end of Feb. I was busy getting ready for a baby, and planning a birthday party and packing a house/organizing a move across the country, and still walking(waddling) almost everywhere! At 38-40 weeks pregnant....this was all pretty exhausting. But I did it!
     Then came a baby.....but not at all how I planned! You can read that full story here if you wish! :) Needless to say I was not prepared to be recovering from a major surgery with only 5 weeks until our move! How was I supposed to pack up a whole house when I wasn't supposed to lift more than 10lbs? But with some help of friends, and an amazing husband, we did it! Packing up a house to move across the country with 3 small kids and an incision in my abdomen wasn't so fun, but getting to hang out with all my amazing friends before we left was. We were trying to cram so many things into that last week, we were crazy busy, but it was worth it! I made so many INCREDIBLE friends in Toronto, and I miss them all so much! Thank goodness for Facebook!
     Then there was the actual move. Things went soooo smoothly on the Toronto end, I was sure things were going to end well. Once our things were loaded into the truck we were told it would arrive in 7-10 days (ahem..cough..cough...try 50!!!). So here we were living in a basement suite in Edmonton with  a very few things. We had a dozen or so boxes of thing that had been kept in storage at my moms while we were in Toronto. But boxes of games, movies, photo albums and craft supplies don't do you a whole lot of good when you are trying to settle into a place.
You can see the pile of boxes we lived in for a month.
      We had about a weeks worth of clothes in suitcases, and our queen size bed(which was also in storage) our kids slept on a borrowed foam mattress, we bought a few dishes/utensils and made do for over a month! I literally could not have survived if it weren't for my sister! She lived upstairs and daily I was borrowing things! A pot or pan, a toaster, a strainer, bowls....really anything from the kitchen....also band aids, toilet paper, name it,   I am sure at some point we borrowed it. We would also come upstairs and borrow a table to eat our meals sometimes, or a couch to sit on. We did share a lot of meals (especially when both our husbands went off to Toronto for Mikes convocation) and our kids had a lot of fun playing/fighting with each other!! :)
 Mike and Jordie in Toronto at Mikes convocation.
      Once our stuff had arrived we decided there was no point in unpacking it, because we found out we would be making yet another move. Mike accepted a job out in Edson, two hours west of Edmonton. In a sense it was the easiest move because most of our things were still packed up, but it was also the hardest, because I was not planning on moving so soon, and especially not planning on moving to Edson. But we are here and we are adjusting!
     Finding a place was no easy task either. Rentals are REALLY hard to come by here, and we lucked out when friend of friends were moving out right as we needed to move in. They were hoping to sell the place but we weren't in a position to we came to agreements and we are renting for a few months and will be buying the place as soon as we are able. It a three bedroom townhouse/condo. I have an upstairs, main floor, and basement. And I have an AWESOME kitchen! I couldn't be happier, we have so much space! Now we just need to get a few more items of furniture to fill it and we will be set.
LOVE my kitchen!
     We also managed to celebrate Aubrey's 3rd birthday, bless Jaxen, visit my Mom and Dads several times, and take 2 trips down to Waterton. We banked a lot of time in the car!

YAY for road trips!!!! 
     The second trip we managed to hit a deer on the way down, or rather it hit us. Traveling 110km/hr we amazingly drove away with barely a tiny dent on the drivers side door. I'll spare you the picture of the deer! :) And to add to the crazy trip we were actually down in Waterton when the flooding of Southern Alberta happened. The water levels in the town site rose crazy high, but I don't think there was much flood damage to any of the buildings.
No sign of any beach here.

The docks were very flooded.
     It was very crazy driving back up north after and see all of the damage and water that was still around. We were glad we didn't get caught in it. It really has been a crazy last couple of months. It really has been a whirlwind, with a lot of emotionally straining things happening, but I survived. I am so grateful for such an amazing husband and family that kept me mostly sane through it. Mike can vouch for my crazy times I am sure. :) We are feeling blessed despite it all, Mike loves his new job, and I am excited to see what life will be like post grad school! Things will settle in and we will find our new groove and life will go on!

Mike did it! 6 years of school down, a lifetime of work ahead of him!! So proud of him!