Monday, June 26, 2006

fear and thankfulness

This morning has been an emotional rollercoaster ride. The day started with Ethan's 8 year old well check. We decided to make it a family affair since the boys both like going to the doctor and both Kyle and I like to be there for appointments.

Nancy asked us if we had any concerns and I noted that E seems to tire easily while doing active things. For instance, if we walk to Cub (only a couple of blocks away), he can barely make it home! It really started to concern me on our recent trip to the North Shore where we did a small hike at Gooseberry Falls, drove to Tettegouche State Park, and we were going to hike to a waterfall in that park. Well, Ethan was so tired that he decided to stay back at the picnic area with Grandma and Grandpa. I told this story to Nancy and asked if it could be thyroid or something like that. She said that thyroid was highly unlikely. So, then she started the physical. When it came time to listen to his heart, she listened, and listened, and listened, asked Alexander to quiet down, and listened some more. She finally stopped and said that she wanted to get a second opinion about something that she was hearing. She asked Ming to come in and she heard the same thing. They were hearing a murmur in his aorta, but only when he was lying down. They asked if we could take him today to a pediatric cardiologist if they could get us in. Both Kyle and I had plenty of obligations at work, but it was amazing at how trivial they seemed in comparison to a possible health issue with our child.

The drive to the cardiologist was a difficult one. We were trying to suppress our utter fear about what the doctor would find and Ethan was complaining about missing play time with his friends. We just let him rant about it because we figured that it was misplaced emotion and he was actually expressing the fear that he was feeling about being sent from one doctor to another.

We arrived at Children's and Ethan's mood changed from angry to excited. It is extremely helpful that the colors and designs at Children's is actually geared toward children. Ethan couldn't wait to see what was around each corner and to see where his doctor's office was located.

After a short detour through the hospital and across the street to one of the medical buildings, We got to meet the pediatric cardiologist. He was wonderful and had a great bedside manner. Ethan was also amazing. Where do children get their strength? Some might say that ignorance is bliss, but I think that it is something deeper than that. They are able to stand up to unknown situations and just shine - often better than adults. Ethan had a chest x-ray and then we had to wait a short time for the doctor. The doctor listened and listened to Ethan's chest. He then asked Ethan if it would be okay for the resident to listen to his heart. E agreed that it would be fine, so the doctor left the room to get the x-rays. Everything looked clear on the x-ray. The only thing that the doctor saw was a big air bubble in E's tummy. He told him to eat more! The doctor told us that everything looked fine and that the murmur is what they call an "innocent murmur". Thank goodness! I could have wept when I heard those words. My body just melted and relief waved over me.

Thank you to the small group of people who touched us along the way who made the experience bearable: Nancy C for the hugs and words of understanding; Rosie for making the appointment and then sitting with me and patting my arm while I cried; Barb at daycare for hugging me and praying for Ethan; the wonderful nurses at all of the offices who made E comfortable; and my Mom for her prayers of thankfulness when she heard the news after the event. I am thankful to all of you and I am thankful that everything turned out okay.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Cooking with the Girls

Had an excellent time last night with Rose, Nancy, Chef Ampy, and Audrey. Yes, that's right, Ampy prefix is Chef. Where were we? We were having a blast at Sociale Gourmet in Eagan.

Sociale Gourmet is a Make & Take entree assembly place. Each month, Sociale has a list of entrees from which you pick what you want to make. We are a family of 4 with 2 young boys, so we choose the 4-6 serving size; whereas, Rose chose the 2-3 serving size since it is just Jim and her at home.

This is my third month that I have gone to Sociale and I have already signed up for July. I have to tell you that I have tried other meal preparation locations and Sociale is my favorite because it takes me the least amount of time to do the prep work and the food is fantastic. I highly recommend Sociale - sign up for a session today at! I will be there at the morning session on Saturday, July 8th if you want to join me!

Wow! I was listening to Kare11 Saturday while I was writing this and Chef Ampy and Lisa, the owner, were on the show! You guys did a great job!

Friday, June 23, 2006

New Utility Appliance and Excellent New Warning

AAAAhhhhh.....the comforts of a new water heater.
new water heater

And even better.... a cool new label warning.

try not to get engulfed in flames

more sharing

TWO days in a row! Can you believe it? Will I make Minda's list of bloggers again? I felt the need to post after I learned that I was bumped from Minda's list,, once Sue T from Scrapbooks Too started a blog,! What a way to get re-inspired.

I wanted to share some of my funky, nature photos from our recent trip to Duluth, Two Harbors, Gooseberry, and Tettegouche State Park.
Cool fungus on fallen tree

Lichen, lichen everywhere

Tettegouche State Park

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Egyptian Onion Fun

Last year, Karin (from Twin Cities Scrappers) gave me an Egyptian Onion bulb. I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I left it in the fridge for a while and then finally decided to put it in the garden. During the fall, it was beat up by my two young boys who love to dig in the garden once we have harvested everything. I thought for sure that the onion was a gonner until one day in early spring, I spot GREEN. Not just a normal green, but a blue green - distinctive to chives and onions. I was THRILLED. The onion had survived. I decided to transplant it (since we needed to prep the garden) and have enjoyed watching it change daily. Check it out:

I found a gardener's chat about it, too.

1) The entire onion is edible. We mostly use the green hollow leaves in late winter & spring in salads and as a substitute for green onions and chives. You can also eat the bulb part, but of course that destroys the plant. We find that if you cut off the 'flowering' stems and leaves down to soil level in mid-summer, new leaves will sprout. Otherwise, there's not much to eat after about July.2) I don't think it has much of a flower. Little bulblets form on the top of the stem where the flower should be. These grow until the weight of them cause the stem to bend or snap. When the cluster of bulblets touches the soil roots start to grow, forming a new clump away from the mother plant. In this way the onion can move around your garden, which leads to its other name: walking onion.

Another article noted that if eating the stems, the ones that are young and without bulblets on them are the best.