Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Season Finale


This is one of the few seasons that I don't have a strong opinion as to who I want to win. I think the last time I felt this way was back in season 4 with Bo vs. Carrie.

But because last night was the final night and I wanted to place some sort of vote I decided to put in a few calls for Lee. But really, either way, I'll be happy.

One last American Idol comment for the year:

Have you noticed how Kara refers to Randy and Ellen as 'the guys'? Do you think that's weird too?

Head over to my husband Donald's blog to read a humorous A.I post.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Review of Resolutions


An update on my
New Years Resolutions 2010:

1. Whiten my teeth.

Check, check, check.

There were many, many good things about my makeover last week. So many that I could never choose my absolute favorite part. But....coming out of it with sparkly white teeth is definitely up there at the top! And I love that I can now cross that off my list for 2010.

2. Eat more oatmeal.

Okay, I started out strong. Real strong. Something like 4 or 5 bowls a week strong. But admittedly, I have slowed down my pace. Lately I have been craving Cream of Wheat. There is something about the taste and texture of Cream of Wheat that is pure goodness to me. Mmmm....

So if you wanted to know why my sidebar count-up has been inching rather than soaring, that's why.

3. Try one new recipe a week.

Help. Life in the last month or so has been busy. My mind has been far from the kitchen and I have fallen a little [a lot] behind.

So I was trying to decide if I should just forget about those missed weeks or try to play catch up.

Final decision: Play catch up.

So please, please help me out. If you have a favorite recipe, leave it in my comment section. I promise that I will try every recipe that is recommended [as long as they are reasonable and don't have bizarre ingredients that I would have to travel to Timbuktu to purchase]. Oh yes, one more thing: no seafood. Seafood and I don't get along.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Just as I Expected...


It's been a little over a week since we've been home and on our own with the pump. Just as I expected, it now seems like second nature. Both Donald and I have become very familiar with the g-tube and now wonder how we ever got along without it. One thing we are looking forward to though: graduating from a 24-hour-continuous-drip to bolus feeds throughout the day. That will be lovely.

But for now we pack her pump with us everywhere we go:

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I find this Elisabeth-sized backpack to be adorable. I only wish they offered a color choice.

Oh well, black will do :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Final Reveal!


Go Look!

Sneak Peek

A Sneak Peek of yesterday's photo shoot!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Makeover Complete!

You wouldn't believe the day I just had....fabulous!!!

The big reveal will be tomorrow,
but for now you can take a sneak peak over at

Thanks Chelsea!
This experience was simply amazing!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Good vs. Not So Good


Good: School's out in a little over 3 weeks. Vacation is in 4 weeks. Oh, the anticipation!

Not so good: Elisabeth has an ear infection :(

Good: My Mother's Day Makeover began yesterday and it was absolutely amazing. I, for one, had never done the whole spa day thing before, and now I see that I was completely missing out. Hop on over to Make You Over to get the full report (and see a few pictures).

Not so good: Donald and I own a second home that we rent out. Unfortunately the entire air conditioning system has gone kaput. And I mean completely, 100% kaput. Kaput as in it's going to be something like $8000.00 to replace it all. I can think of a million and two things that I would rather do with $8000.00......but you get what you get and you don't throw a fit, right?

Good: It's been one week today since Elisabeth got her g-tube and she has gained 2 pounds!!!!! How wonderful to see the scale going up, up, up again!!

Have a good day!

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Full Tummy

Good news: we're home.

Home, home, home.

More good news: Elisabeth has a full tummy again.

Full, full, full.

Full as in a 24-hour-continuous-feed-full.

[Elisabeth's feeding tube and pump. The alarm goes off when it runs empty, and so when I took this photo I was on my way to change it out.]

I am so happy with the decision we made to go with the g-tube. It's so exciting to know that your child is actually getting all the nourishment they need; especially after struggling with it for several months. One day while I was at the hospital I was on the phone with my mom and I said,

"It is amazing! Every baby should have something like this". And then she said, "They do, it's called their mouth."

Oh ya....I get so used to Elisabeth that I forget that the mouth is usually a pretty good option when it comes to feeding! lol!

So yes, I love the g-tube. I must admit though, when we first got home from the hospital I was overwhelmed. It was that feeling that you get when you're a first time mom and you bring your new baby home. I was staring at Elisabeth and all of these new supplies and I panicked a bit; there was no nurse call button, no doctors doing rounds at 6am, just me. And suddenly I couldn't remember a thing they had taught me and I may have freaked out just a little. Fortunately, they set me up with a home care agency for Elisabeth and their 24 hour help line talked me through everything and assured me that she would survive (and so would I).

And sure enough, slowly but surely, I'm figuring out all this new g-tube business; it still seems rather complicated with decompressing her stomach and meds and flushing and priming the tubing....but I am 100% sure that it will be second nature to me within the week. The biggest trouble I am having right now is keeping the tube plugged in. I can't tell you how many times I have been holding her to suddenly realize that I have PediaSure leaking all over me...that thing pops out way to easily. Any ideas?

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[Elisabeth's one month supply of food.]

If You're Looking For Me....'ll find me guest posting at

See you there!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Odds and Ends


>Still here.

>I love the g-tube. Love it, love it, love it. It is going to make our lives so much better.

>Donald has been on a business trip. His company allowed him $78/day for food. The hospital is giving me $12/day for food. Hmmm....

>I've been daydreaming about riding my Taga with Elisabeth. What a fun summer it's going to be.

>I am glad that Michael Lynche got out on American Idol this week.

>I hear the weather is nice out. It looks nice from my window. Perhaps later I will step outside for a bit.

>Next week is my big make-over! Can't wait to see what they do to me.

>That's all for now.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010



[To the left: the fundoplication incision. To the right: The g-tube.]

Sisters (and roommates) reunite!

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Out of Surgery


Surgery went well. Elisabeth is doing fine. She was seeming rather uncomfortable but is now resting peacefully thanks to the help of morphine.

No News is Bad News

Yesteraday's MRI showed no surprises, just lots of damaged brain tissue and periventricular leukomalacia (That's my new word of the day....try saying it 10 times). I won't go into details about PVL, but if you're interested just click the link and it will take you to a wonderful place where you can learn more than you ever wanted to about it :)

The big disappointment was that there was no Chiari Malformation. That was my last big hope to explain all the head banging. But no, nothing. So now I am left with a child who self inflicts serious pain and a mother (me) who knows an incredible amount about a skull malformation that her child does not have. Oh well, I figure that someday if I happen to be on Jeopardy and I happen to choose 'the brain for $500' and it happens to say 'a condition where the brain tissue protrudes into the spinal canal' I will be able to say, 'What is a Chiari Malformation?'. And then....I guess all my research will have paid off. (lol)

Well, I best go get ready for the day. I need to check Elisabeth into the hospital at 8:00 to get ready for 9:30 surgery (g-tube and fundo). I'll try my best to post an update later.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Isn't orange a lovely color?


[Donald, filling the tires.]

Isn't it gorgeous!?!?! I LOVE IT! We [Elisabeth and I] only got to hop on it for literally 3 or 4 minutes before I had to drive Donald to the airport, but that one little spin around the block was just heaven! Elisabeth had been having a very fussy morning and she stopped whimpering immediately as we started moving. This is going to be one of our best investments yet.

Today is the MRI of Elisabeth's brain. I am hoping, hoping, hoping that they find something wrong. Doesn't that sound terrible? But it's the truth; because if they find something...they can fix it. If there is nothing to fix it means that we are heading down a very dark road with her as I anticipate that her head banging and habits of self-inflicting pain will worsen (and that scares me).

So please keep your fingers crossed that they find something....anything.

Results on the morrow....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Miss Handicapped USA


We gave Elisabeth a bath before church yesterday and afterwards Donald held her while I styled her hair.

"Elisabeth, if there was a Miss Handicapped USA, you would win it," Donald told her.

And he's right, I mean, look at those curls. If only they weren't always hidden away under her helmet....


In other news, we Sorenson's have a big week ahead of us. Donald is flying to Alaska on a business trip for the week while the girls and I head to Spokane for Elisabeth's surgery.

I had made arrangements for Alexandra to stay at a classmate's house for the week so that she wouldn't miss school, but my mind was continually uneasy about it. Not about where she was staying, because they are a wonderful family, and I mean wonderful. I was simply uneasy about all of us being spread apart; Donald in Alaska, Alexandra home in Kennewick, Lorelai at Aunt Heidi's house, and Elisabeth and I at the hospital. I need my children near me this week, and so I made an executive decision to bring Lex along to Spokane.

I will rest easier, and that's good.

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So our bags are packed and we are ready to set the alarm on this dear home of ours and go our separate ways. But I can't leave until the FedEx truck makes a stop at our house, because do you know what it's bringing today? My Taga Bike!!

On one hand I am so excited to see it....and on the other hand I am a little bit [a lot bit] bummed out that I won't get to ride it for a week. Oh well, it's something to look forward to during the hospital stay; while Elisabeth heals I'll tell her about all the great times that await us as we set out on our biking adventures!

One more thing before I sign off:

A hospital stay means lots of reading time for me; a luxury that I don't always have during a routine day at home. Any good book recommendations?

Friday, May 7, 2010

"A Home or a House"


Last night Alexandra was having a major 'tude (that would be short for attitude). I'm not sure exactly what set off the 'tude, but when she chose to make a sarcastic comment about our home it put me over the edge. After dinner I had her write a one page essay listing all the reasons she loves our home. When she came downstairs a while later she was back to being the sweet Alexandra that we all know and love.

And in case you were wondering, this is why she loves her home:

Because it protects me from things that can damage it. Because I can sleep and that it's a place to feel safe. You can eat and sleep. And you can keep things at a house and you can get clean and not be stinky. And you can do fun experaments and progects in a home or house and you can right and you can like draw pictures and you can learn and you can do home work at a home or a house and you can get home on a rainy wet day and get warm and then read a book and you can wach and do things that have electrisety and can do chores and earn money at a home or a house and you can play at a home or a house and you can make things and then you can give it to someone and you can get dressed so you can be modest and you can keep secrets and you have your own property and don't need too worry.

***To protect the integrity of this essay, spelling and grammar have not been altered.

*** Elisabeth's dear little friend Cayman is in critical condition, please keep her in your prayers. And if you have a chance, hop on over to their blog and wish them well,
click here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Failure to Thrive


Elisabeth has been classified as 'Failure to Thrive'; doesn't that sound dramatic? I kept thinking it would make a great movie title, and then I realized that's because it reminds me of, 'Failure to Launch', a movie that I highly do not recommend (by the way, did you watch 7 Pounds yet?).

But back to Elisabeth; after being evaluated and tested and this and that, they decided that at this point she simply cannot take in enough calories to gain or even maintain weight. They have labeled her as a 'recreational eater'. I chuckled at that and told them that I'm a recreational eater too...but somehow I don't have a problem with weight!

The feeding and growth clinic made a recommendation for a g-tube with these goals in mind:

1. Appropriate growth and nutrition.
2. Safe swallow.
3. Viable means of providing medication and nutrition.

That sounds fine and dandy to me.

The next day we had an appointment with the surgeon who will be placing Elisabeth's g-tube. He made the same exact joke that I did about being a recreational eater; I laughed (but realized that my joke must not be all that original...ha!). We then discussed Elisabeth's past medical history and he questioned me about her frequent spit-up episodes. (***side note: a few months ago I announced that Elisabeth was no longer spitting up; well, it resumed shortly thereafter).

His concern is that if Elisabeth struggles with reflux, the pressure from food entering in through a g-tube might just make the reflux all that worse. So he sent us to radiology for an upper GI.

The upper GI showed that she has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In fact, in the 5 minutes of the test she refluxed 6 times. So in addition to the g-tube surgery she will also have nissen fundoplication surgery. This is where they take part of the stomach and wrap it around the esophagus to help strengthen the valve that stops fluids from backing back up into the esophagus, make sense? I went ahead and watched a video of the surgery and decided that I am so very glad that I am not a surgeon :)

Surgery will be one week from today and they estimate that she will stay in the hospital 4-5 days. Also on the calendar is Elisabeth's MRI (next Tues.) to see about the possible chiari malformation.
There's a lot coming up...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Gratitude and a Recommendation

Get ready for a whole new me because I won the Mother's Day Makeover!! Woohoohoo!!!
So a ginormous THANK YOU to each and everyone of you who took the time to go vote for me. I am super-dee-duper excited.


The makeover won't be taking place until the week of the 17th, which is good because 1) that gives me a little time to try and shed a few pounds, and 2) I'll be busy with Elisabeth and medical issues this week and next.

Today, Lorelai, Elisabeth and I are hopping in the car and driving to Spokane where we'll spend today and tomorrow at appointments. Donald and Alexandra will hold down the fort here at home, and I am sure they will be livin' it up while I am gone. Alexandra has this grand idea that Donald is going to pick her up from her friends house after he gets home from work and take her to a movie....we'll see....knowing Donald, he might just do that.

Speaking of movies, Donald and I watched a movie several nights ago titled 7 Pounds. Have you seen it? I have been thinking about it all weekend, it's just one of those movies that makes you think.

My mother-in-law, Susan, had strongly recommended it to us. The funny thing is, as we were watching it I wasn't really enjoying it all that much. I kept thinking, why did she think I would want to see this? It simply wasn't speaking to me. But then.....but then....I finished watching it. And it all came together. And it all made sense. And it was beautifully done. And then Donald and I watched it a second time on Saturday night, this time with a whole different perspective, and it was magnificent!!

So put that on your to-watch list, okay?

Well, I better hit the road. I probably won't have a chance to post anything tomorrow since I'll still be out of town, but I'll meet you back here on Wednesday.

Thanks again for your votes!!
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