Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sofia, Speaking on Babies and Motherhood...

"When I'm a Mami, I can put babies in my tummy, but not right now because I'm a kid, not a Mami!"
Yesterday as Sofia and I were leaving the hospital after a visit with my Mom, she informed me of the above fact. Silly Sofia. Sofia is definitely ready to be a big sister! She's always talking about her baby sister, Sydnei, and how she's going to teach her everything she play hide and seek, play with dolls and toys, dance, and even rock her to sleep. The sweet thing about her little quote is that it goes right along with a big part of her personality. You see, she's always been a natural-mami-nurturing kind of little girl. When she was just a baby, we nicknamed her "Mamita" (Spanish for little Mommy) and that nickname has not only stuck but has always fit. I love you, Mamita!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Our Very Own Easter Miracle

My precious Momma, Thanksgiving 2007

Two days before Easter we had a family conference with the team of doctors caring for my Mom. I prefer to call said conference a "Come to Jesus Talk." Basically, it was a meeting about the next steps necessary to care for my mom and none of them were the slightest bit encouraging. Most of the opening statements uttered by the doctors were, "if she pulls through this...," and "if she makes it..." In summary, we were told that my Mom was digressing in every way possible. Her infections were out of control, her breathing-on-her-own ability continued to decline, and she wasn't waking up. We discussed the risk and possibility of stroke as well. Finally, we agreed to a "Tracheostomy" to move the breathing tube out of her mouth and place the "Trach" in her neck--still connected to life support. The pulmonary doc would give her through the weekend to wake up and make progress but he didn't expect much. Needless to say, we went home extremely discouraged and worried.

That evening we finished having dinner and I decided to go back to the hospital and spend some time talking to my Mom. I figured if she's going to recognize anyone's voices it would be that of her kids and not the strange doctors and nurses. Ryan gave me an Ensign magazine to take with me and encouraged me to read it to her and off I went.

I arrived at the hospital shortly after 8pm and stayed until nearly midnight. I talked to my mom, told her stories and jokes, read to her, and said a prayer with her. I wanted nothing more than for her to wake up! While I was sitting at her bedside I felt the need to ask for her to receive another blessing of health. I decided to go and call someone to see if they could come to the hospital and when I returned to my Mom's room, her Bishop was standing there! He felt the need to visit my Mom and give her a blessing as well. After the blessing she started to slowly respond. She blinked her eyes a few times and we even caught a smile. It was a really special moment for us to see her trying to connect with us.

The following day, Saturday, the pulmonary doctor examined her and said, "she's doing better than she has ever done!" He was so excited that she had progressed so much that he thought she may even be able to get off of the respirator. Unfortunately, her lungs weren't quite ready and he chose to wait another day. So we prayed and prayed and we spent time there talking to her. It was so incredible to see her become coherent and do things like nod her head yes and no.

Sunday morning when we were at church I struggled to focus. I decided I couldn't wait any longer and stepped out to call the hospital to see if any progress had been made. I was informed that the doctor was able to successfully excavate her and that she was doing fine--breathing on her own!!! I immediately started to cry and was so thankful that my mom had made the biggest turnaround of her life.

I couldn't help but to think of the symbolism of her recovery and coming out of this on Easter day while I reflected on why we celebrate Easter. In the Christian world, we celebrate Christ's resurrection which was the historical moment where He triumphantly overcame death. This was a great miracle and blessing to all of mankind. This Easter, we also celebrated my Mom's liberation from life support and her ability to breathe on her own, once again--truly, an Easter miracle. I'm so happy and so grateful. Easter is my Mom's favorite holiday and now her very own special day. We couldn't have hoped or asked for anything more.

While she has a very long road of recovery from major surgery and her infections, I know she will be able to do so with a lot of time, prayers, love, and of course, her wonderful doctors. Thanks to each of you for all of your kind thoughts and prayers, they have been comforting to me and my family and have truly helped my Mom.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Momma

Some of you know that my mom had to have emergency surgery last week on a perforated colon and were she not to have had the surgery she would have passed away. She's been out of surgery for a week. The surgery part was successful but she has yet to wake up. We're hoping and praying that she will very soon. A ventilator has been assisting her lungs to work in the meantime. She's been off of sedation medication for over 10 hours now and nothing. She's ridden with infection and that is truly a huge obstacle.

We are praying our little hearts out that she will be able to wake up. It must happen in order for her to progress and begin recovering. She has the longest recovery imaginable ahead of her but until she wakes up and can get off of the ventilator, we are all standing by, biting our nails, hoping only for the best.

I can't even begin to express the emotions and feelings I have been through along with my family. I'm not ready to lose my mom. She is one of the greatest inspirations to my life and I need her. I've already lost my dad and couldn't handle losing my Mom too. My heart is broken over this experience and I pray every day she'll come out of it and we'll all have the strength to continue weathering this storm.

Thanks to each of you for your many warm thoughts and prayers. We know they are heard and we along with you pray she will pull through this.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Places to Visit in Oregon!

Portland, Oregon Waterfront View

During a recent conversation with my friend, Lindy, we discussed the different sights and "things to do" when traveling to different cities. I thought it would be very appropriate to post a list of places to visit in Oregon. The list with the corresponding links can be found on the right in the sidebar of the blog.

If you're thinking of vacationing in the Pacific Northwest you won't ever worry about what you can do. There is something for everyone--families and individuals alike. Of course, I'm biased; however, the list of attractions speaks for itself!

Keep in mind this list is not all-inclusive. There are many more great attractions and things to do. As we find them, I'll add them to the list!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Two words...

Sofia looked up at her Papi tonight while watching TV on his lap and said: "Rock on, Papi." He looked back at her and said: "Rock on, Sof."

I love my two little Rock Stars!

Amiguitos goes to the Children's Museum

Recently, Sofia's entire school went on a field trip to the Children's Museum. Ryan and I both were able to go and it was quite the excursion. There were a bazillion little kiddos running around from area to area exploring all of the super fun stuff to do and see. Some of the cool areas included shape creation, dig pit, construction zone, water works, grocery store, clay studio, do-it-yourself face-painting and more! Sofia had a blast along with her friend, Lorenzo, they didn't leave each others' side the whole time. It was tons 'o fun!

Included in the selection of pics is a video of Sofia singing her little heart out on the play stage. She found some articles to throw on in the dress-up clothes bins and immediately went for the microphone. Sofia is such a little performer, it's hilarious!

Amiguitos group gets geared up for their time at the musuem

Lorenzo y Sofia--silly friends

Creating with shapes

Shopping at the "Grasshopper, Grocery & Butterfly Bistro"

Sofia on stage, LIVE in concert!

Face Painting Fun

The following pics were all from the Water Works Exhibit, no doubt this was Sofia's FAVORITE!

All done playing and waiting for snacks...sillygooses

Menu Plan Monday 3/10

So last week's menu changed a bit as the week went on. I tried to remember to update it to reflect what actually happened. I prefer to do that so in the future when I'm planning I don't repeat meals too quickly and can have ideas from previous weeks.

My preggo taste buds were doing funny things this week so we ended up having a killer whole grain pancake night and even a cereal buffet free-for-all night. It worked, we didn't eat out, and everyone was happy. :)

Here goes this week:

SUN: Chicken Alfredo, Veggies
MON: Salmon, Roasted Red Potatoes, Steamed Green Beans (Bump)
TUE: BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Green Salad
WED: Left-overs
THU: Baked Ziti, Steamed Bell Peppers
FRI: Baked Chicken, Rice, Steamed Green Beans
SAT: FFY-Fend for yourself night

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Quote that Says it Perfectly

"I am not a perfect mother and I will never be. You are not a perfect daughter and you will never be. But put us together and we will be the best mother and daughter we would ever be."

-Zoraida Pesante

I just read this quote on my friend Amy's blog. It absolutely rang true to me and I just had to post it here for all of you to read. I think so many times as a mom (or dad) one feels inadequate, wonders if they're doing or have done a good job, and worries incessantly about their children. I'm no stranger to such feelings.

This quote reminded me of reality, that no one is perfect but with the children we are blessed with we can become and accomplish something amazing. I love being a mom. It's the most fulfilling--life defining--and nerve-racking role I've ever had. It's filled with love, ups and downs, life lessons, and crazy moments.

In fact, we experienced one of those crazy moments today as we were on our way to school. Sofia suddenly become nauseated from motion sickness and vomited everywhere. I quickly found a road to pull over and began to clean up the mess. Gratefully, I had just enough stuff in the car to rectify the situation: towels, babydoll blankets, extra set of clothes, and a plastic bag. I got my little Missy Moo all cleaned up, moved her seat to the other end of the car, and off we went to school. We arrived very late but needless to say, we made it. Sofia felt fine the rest of the day.

As I thought about what had happened on the way home this afternoon, I arrived at the conclusion that despite the gross nature of the clean up process, I particularly loved being Sofia's mom today because I could do everything possible to make things better for her.
I realize I can't always make everything better (i.e., much to her dismay, I didn't have a spare dress or skirt for her to put on--so she had to settle for pants) but I can at least help improve or better an icky situation. Most of all I can provide the comfort and love my children need. As we go through life together we truly can be and accomplish something great. That knowledge gives me hope and optimism.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 3/3

This week's menu features multiple BBQ grilled entrees...we're taking advantage of the forecasted weather--4+ days of near 60 degrees and sunshine!

SUN: FFY-Fend for yourself night
MON: Homemade Sloppy Joes, Steamed Green Beans, Orange Wedges
TUE: Grilled Cheese, Vegetable Beef Soup
WED: Left-overs + Watermelon
THU: Whole grain blueberry pancakes, fruit
FRI: Carne Asada, Bell Peppers, Mexican Rice + Tortillas
SAT: Saucy Barbecued Burgers, Green Salad, Chips

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Rainbow Brite Rules

Tonight we had some new friends over, the Espino Family. We made pizza, the girls played, and visited. It was so much fun! As the Espino's were leaving, their daughter, Natalie, found a birthday card that belongs to Sofia with a beautiful unicorn and rainbow on it. She wanted so badly to take it with her. We promised to make one just for her and so I did a google image search.

In the midst of my search, I found this image of Rainbow Brite with her sidekick on her horse, Starlite. Oh, the warm feelings that quickly returned and the smile that landed on my face. I loved Rainbow Brite in 4th grade and even still have my Rainbow Brite lunch box and thermos from that year. Oh the memories. :) Anyone else out there Rainbow Brite fans?!?!?