Friday, May 27, 2011

Dynamic Duo Blog Hop!

Yay!!! I'm so excited, it's my first blog hop with Punky Sprouts! I'm so happy that I was able to complete my album with all that's been going on. My team has been so supportive and I just adore them!

Well, on to the hop! We're hopping with the awesome girls at TaDa Studios and they got Punky Sprouts goodies and we got TaDa paper lines! I got the super cute Goody Two Shoes line and I just knew it would be awesome with Aud's dress up themed birthday party pictures! I used a Steampunk'd album and some Lil' Stems and a Lil' Bloom.

The first thing I did was take it all apart and spray paint the coils pink. Spray painting is fun and one of the sure signs of spring here in the Hettwer household!

I misted some tulle leftover from Aud's birthday tu-tu as well as a Lil' Stem & Lil' Blooom to create a cute little flower belt for the dress form page. I took off the large gear to use on another layout (I'll share it in June!) and rounded the edges of the little gear page to get a more feminine look.

I love that pic on the right of Miss Thing opening a present from my mom. :)

The back of the dress form page has pictures showing Audrey's three wardrobe changes during the party! Every time she got clothes, she wanted to put them on!

I had so much fun with the acrylic page! I went all old school...

and busted out the foam stamps and paint, baby! :D

The canvas page has another of my favorite pictures, Audrey "reading" one of her birthday cards. I've got a quick little step-by-step on how I made this page at the end of the post.

I sprayed the backside of the canvas page pink and sprayed another Lil' Stem green and ruffled it and then used Fabric Tac to adhere that to the page. The two chipboard pages on the right have pics of Aud with some of her presents and having fun running around in her tutu.
I also made two little candles for this page about her birthday cupcake. (When I hand sewed my ruffles I used a matching DMC floss but you can use white and spray it to match when you spray your canvas.)

The backside of the two chipboard pages are title pages of sorts. I made matching pages out of 4x6 photos adhered back to back and trimmed to mimic the cute edge on the chipboard pages.

I kept the last page fairly simple because I wanted to journal about her day on it. This striped paper was perfect for journaling on with my favorite white pen.

I did, however, bust out some cute For The Love of Art stamps and make this sweet little row of dresses.

And finally, the back cover. I was really bad and forgot to have someone take a picture of me with Audrey. Fortunately, my mom snapped a few with her camera. Thanks, Mom!

Here's a quick step-by-step on the front side of the canvas page. First, I gathered up a bunch of heart punches, some black vinyl and my mist. I punched out a bunch hearts and adhered them in lines across the page. I was inspired by the whole subway art trend I've seen all over the internet. (Oh and yeah, the teeny, tiny hearts were a bear, LOL!) Then, I sprayed over top of them.

I let it dry and then peeled them all off. (With a little help from the subject of the album.) I then used Fabric Tac to glue down the pic of Audrey and a heart I punched out of one of the papers and then adhered over one of the spots where the same shaped heart was.

And, that's it! I hope you've enjoyed the blog hop, thanks for stoppin' by! :)

Rules for a chance to win free product!

Post a comment on each DT's blog to show your participation. Then go to the following blogs:

Check back each day for new inspiration on TaDa's & Punky Sprouts blogs. At the end of the 12 day hop, please go to each manufacturer's blog and post a comment telling them your favorite album style and favorite paper collection used in the samples shown in the hop. Your name will be entered in a drawing to win both! Three winners will be picked!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What This Has Taught Me (And a Mickey Update!)

This has been the worst experience of my life. The hardest, the scariest and the most potentially devastating experience. It has also had it's upside. I know, it's hard to find good in something like this but there are good parts.

The biggest of course, is that I have my son back, whole. We were at his follow up with pediatric neurosurgery and there was a couple with their 9 or 10 year old boy there with serious mental problems and he was wheel chair bound. At first I thought about how if things had turned out differently that could have been Andrew, Mickey and I. Before this I would have felt bad for the parents and I still do but I also understand now that having any part of your child is better than not having your child at all.

I've also become a better parent. I used to have a really hard time with getting mad when my kids misbehaved. It was a struggle for me to discipline them and stay calm. This whole thing has brought me the perspective I needed to realize that whatever trouble my kids cause, it's not worth getting angry about. Belongings are replaceable and bad attitudes are normal and often caused by my lack of attention. I'm grateful for that. I wish I could have learned it another way but sometimes lessons that come hard are learned best.

Another good thing is that I'm now a huge proponent of CPR/First Aid. I tell everyone I know to go get certified or recertified. I'm checking our area for local classes so I can get mine redone as well. Currently, the most recent one I can find is late July and I'd like to get it done sooner than that. The last time I had mine recertified was in high school when I was a life guard and that was a long time ago!

I've learned a lot about faith and mine in particular. I've realized that praying for strength is just as important as praying for help. I've learned that asking for help is not weak or greedy.

I've learned that people care, and care deeply. From the stuffy doctor who saw Mickey on the first and the last day in the hospital and had to leave quickly after I hugged him to the Clackamas County 911 dispatch team that has kept him in their thoughts, people from all over the world have cared about my son.

I've also reaffirmed some things about me and my life. I hate suspense. I don't like not knowing how things are going to turn out. My body does not respond well to stress. My coping mechanism is planning and trying to fix things. Andrew is my rock. He is who I've always turned to whenever something major goes wrong. I love my children more than I can properly express it.

Finally, it's also made me glad for some of the things that I already do. I already hug and kiss my kids every time I get them in or out of their car seats. Drive-by hugs and kisses are the norm in our house. I have thousands of pictures of my kids and quite a few of me with them. (Not enough of those though, must do better!) And, I tell them I love them multiple times each day.

Well, that's enough of that. :) We had Mickey's first check up yesterday. He got the okay to take his neck brace off! He had a quick x-ray to check him out and he's all cleared! They don't even want any follow up appointments. Well, unless he starts having pain or something. He's so excited and can't wait to ride his bike again. I was a little hesitant as the collar was a kind of safety blanket for me but now I'm okay with it and so glad he's healing so quickly.

So, thanks everyone for sticking with me through all of this and I am so glad to have you all and your support. It means the world to me!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mickey's Miracle-5/9/11

Our last day at Doernbecher's!


Finally, we found out Monday morning that we were being discharged. We had a bunch of people who needed to see us first so it was a very busy morning indeed. Doctors for Mickey, a family therapist for all of us, and nurses to teach us how to care for Mickey’s c-collar. When they had done his MRI, they found some swelling in between the bones and muscles of his uppermost vertebra. So, he would have to wear a collar home and probably for anywhere from 2 to 6-8 weeks.

Mickey got to go to the patient play room when we spoke to the family therapist and he loved it! There were trucks and craft stuff and he did a puzzle all by himself and he made me a picture frame. He was all wound up when we got back and playing on the floor while we were getting ready to leave. We were very rushed but honestly, considering the alternative, we didn’t care.


Well, that's it. Mickey's accident and his miraculous recovery. I truly believe that it was the amazing staff at Doernbecher's, the quick responses from Canby Fire and Life Flight, and the prayers from friends and family all over the world that should be credited with it. They were all amazing!

Mickey's Miracle-5/8/11-Mother's Day!

Sunday was the best Mother's Day that I had ever had! :) A few days before I'd thought that I'd hate Mother's Day for the rest of my life. I'm so glad that I don't have a reason to dread Mother's Day anymore.

Sunday was Mother’s Day and it was glorious! Mickey had his pancakes with chocolate glitter and I got the best Mother’s Day card ever. Mickey colored me a picture and he drew the letter “A” on it. I took it around and showed all the doctors and nurses. They loved it!

Every time he did something “normal”, something that he’d done before the accident, my insides would unclench a little. I was still afraid of some residual damage so I didn't ask him to write his name or anything like that. They had been talking about whether or not to do any brain imaging when he got his throat MRI and they decided against it. It takes a few days for cell death to show up and they said they didn't want to give us false hopes. The doctor said that his behavior would be the best indicator for us anyways.

We got to say goodbye to the PICU around lunch time and that was the best Mother’s Day present I could have asked for. Little Man got his very own wheel chair. Even though it was a smaller one, it was still a little big for him.

They moved us to a normal floor and he had all his lines and stuff completely removed!

My dad came by and helped us move and then my mom and step-dad came by with Audrey. She was doing okay and didn't fuss too much when she had to leave.

I didn’t even think to get a pic with both kids but when Andrew playfully took my picture coming out of the bathroom I did ask him to take a picture of Mickey and I together.

At midnight one of our doctors from the PICU came down to check on him. He hadn’t seen him for a few days and was so happy for us. I told him we weren’t sure if we were getting out tomorrow but that I had a list of questions. He volunteered to answer them for me and so we spent an hour out in the hall talking.

I loved Doernbecher’s so much. Everyone showed that level of caring. Even the mother of the patient next door (an 18 month old girl on her 3rd brain surgery) was worried about me and wanted to give me a hug.


It's getting so much easier to write these. Happy words, fun pictures, and talk of leaving the hospital all together. :)

Mickey's Miracle-5/7/11

This was the first day that Mickey was awake and himself the whole day. He was still asking to go home and only cried about it once. I was so happy because he still didn't have a voice and seeing your child cry and not make a sound is just awful. He was such a trooper!


Andrew and Mickey, just before we switched places.

Saturday, he was asking for chocolate pancakes with chocolate glitter. I eventually figured out that he wanted whipped cream in a can and chocolate sprinkles on his pancakes. Unfortunately by the time he was cleared to eat, it was past breakfast time. He also kept asking to go home. To keep him occupied, I created a racetrack on his tray table with the tape they use to mark the IV lines. He also got to watch TV which was great because it helped to distract him from wanting to get out of bed.
Putting his oxygen back on all by himself.

Andrew headed out in the early evening to get some "man food" and I charged him with getting Mickey some crayons, a coloring book, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles! It took him a few hours because the local place he knew about was under construction but he did it!

Playing with his monster trucks & cars from the Child Love group at Doernbecher's.
I slept with Mickey that night because Andrew’s back just couldn't handle it. Mickey said, “Let’s just talk for a little while, okay Mom?”. I instantly agreed and he told me how much he loved space and the stars and sky. Then he said that he loved home and his backyard and his play ground and his slide. I was so happy that he couldn't remember but a little freaked out and didn’t sleep well at all.


Here's my Facebook note from that morning.

Mickey's breathing tube was removed last night and he's slowly being weaned off some of the drugs he's on. He is back! He's asking to go home and he's doing so well! He had a fever last night but it broke this morning. They did a chest x-ray a little while ago just to check. He's had some injury to his neck and the doctor said that he'd have to wear a collar when we take him home. I told her I was just so thrilled that we get to take him home. We'd prefer no visitors for him (please come see us if you want!) because he gets upset when people leave when he's perfectly healthy. We love you all so much and are so very grateful for the massive love and thousands of prayers that have been sent to help heal our child and bring him back to us. There are no words to convey how thankful I am for this. Thank you from the very depth of my soul! Thank you!

Two more days left to blog and then a quick wrap up. Thanks so much for sticking with me, getting this all out is helping so much! <3

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mickey's Miracle-5/6/11

Here's what happened on Friday. There are some more pics of Mickey hooked up to lines and tubes. He's sedated in the first one but mainly just asleep in the second one and you can really see the difference in his face. He just looks so much more normal. Oh, and I decided to change the post title to Mickey's Miracle instead of Mickey's Accident. It just seems more fitting. :)


Friday, at four in the morning, they started to rewarm him and take him off some of the drugs. He woke up a few times during that process and he looked around then he looked right at me and mouthed "Ma-ma"! I was so happy to see that recognition in his eyes. He was still pretty out of it and would thrash around and kept trying to take his tube out and pull on all his lines. Andrew and I took turns calming him down.
He had an MRI scheduled for that afternoon and I got a shower! It took quite a while and they ended up having to sedate him again. Once that was done they said he could be extubated (remove the tube that was helping him breath) but we had to wait for the results of the MRI because they wanted to know if they could remove his neck collar safely. There was some concern about possibly needing to re-intubate him as the tube used was a bit too big for him and they were afraid that if there was swelling once the larger tube was removed, he'd had trouble breathing.

When he was waiting to be extubated, he mouthed, "Hi, Mom" to me. I was so excited to see that as Mama is something that either a scared, drugged four year old would say or something that a damaged child might say. He also was mouthing "I want to go home" and once I thought he said "I'm scared". The doctors told us that they were cautiously optimistic that we'd be taking home a little boy who was the same as the one we had before. They did say that he'd probably go home with a neck brace and I told them that I was just happy they were talking about us taking him home.

My mom and step-dad came up and so I got to see Audrey and Mom came in to see Mickey. He woke up enough to recognize her and then went right back to sleep.
He was extubated very late that night and that was a little rough as we were waiting on the MRI results and they kept getting pushed back. It was about ten or eleven at night and we hadn't slept and we were exhausted. He also had a fever and they were a little concerned about pneumonia. We took turns sleeping with Mickey as he was pretty distraught and hooked up to quite a few things even without the breathing tube. Andrew was wonderful with Mickey and it was so good to see him relax with his Daddy. His breathing was very labored and he had to have oxygen that night. He could talk but only in a whisper. They weren't (and still aren't) sure if that was due to the overlarge tube or to the original incident. But, it wasn't worrying enough that they had to re-intubate him.

So, that was Friday. All in all a good day. A day where I started to get less scared and more hopeful. I was still afraid that something bad was going to happen and all his progress would slip away though. Every time that started to happen and it started to overwhelm me, I'd slip out to the computers where on Facebook I could see all the people who were praying for him and I'd cry and feel so much better.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mickey's Accident 5/5/11

Here's the account of our first full day at Doernbecher's PICU. There are some pictures of Little Man hooked up to all the machines and IV's and such. So, please don't feel you have to read it if that sort of thing will upset you.

It took a while to get Mickey's body temperature down to where they wanted it. It was actually about four in the morning before he reached the proper temperature. They started out with sedatives and then because his shivers kept his temp up they added muscle blockers. This period of time was so hard for us. We couldn't do much for him and we didn't know anything. We didn't know if he was still in there or how the accident had affected him. They wanted him as calm and quiet as possible during the cooling so while we could hold his hand, we weren't to stroke him or talk to him too much.

Later on Thursday, they hooked him up to an EEG. I was really upset when I learned that an EEG would be done so soon. I had thought it would be done after the cooling was complete and that we would have more time not knowing how he was. At that point, not knowing, though terrible and so very hard was better than knowing the worst. I was truly afraid that they would hook him up and all that we would see would be flat lines. I was so happy to see lines that I cried and finally admitted my fears of the EEG to Andrew. A few hours after they hooked up the EEG, Andrew left with a co-worker, Jim, to go get some things from home. I wanted my camera. I kept telling myself that as a scrapbooker and photo happy mom, I had thousands of pictures of Mickey. And every time I told myself that, I thought, "It's not enough". I told a nurse that I was having Andrew bring my camera and she asked if I was sure I wanted to remember this. I told her that I wanted to get the picture of the actual accident out of my head and I'd much rather remember this than that.

Mickey's neurologist came by to give us the results of the the EEG. Andrew was still gone so I stepped outside Mickey's room to talk to him alone. He told me the first really good news we had heard. He said that there was more there than he had expected there to be. He said that Mickey showed no sign of seizures (something they had been concerned about during the cooling down process), that his brain was showing normal sleep/wake patterns and that his cortex (the part of the brain that is most affected by lack of oxygen injuries) was responding to all the drugs in his system the way a normal, healthy cortex would. I was so happy that I flung myself on the neurologist and gave him a hug! I'm thinking neurologist's don't get hugged often as he looked startled and then a little pleased.

After that things just started getting better. Andrew came back and I told him the good news. I grabbed that camera and took pictures of our little guy and of the EEG readout. Then they took off the EEG stuff because they felt that he didn't need monitoring anymore.

We were still upset and worried about Mickey and his future but at least we had some good news. I asked our doctor if the worst option, that of not taking him home was off the table and she said that barring some unforseen incident it was!

I was also able to get on Facebook and let our friends and family know what was going on. Here's the note I posted.

For those of you who don't know, our son Mickey was involved in a freak accident that cut off oxygen to his brain. I revived him and he was Life Flighted to Dornbecher's. He is being chilled now to allow his brain time to heal and to prevent swelling. They will start to warm him and take him off some of the meds that are preventing him from moving at around four this morning.
We have had some encouraging news from the neurologist regarding his EEG and I believe that it was prayers and the amazing staff at Dornbecher's that are helping so much with that.
If you and everyone you know could pray for our Mickey, our son, we would be forever indebted. He is our light, he is my soul and we love him desperately.

The response from Facebook was amazing and beautiful. People from all over the world were now on our side, praying for our little guy. Whenever I felt like it was all too much to take and wanted to cry I would head out to the computers bring up Facebook and cry happy tears instead of sad.


So that's it for Thursday. I'll be posting the rest of the stay over a few days. This is a really important event in our lives and I'm glad I'm able to record it here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mickey's Accident-5/4/11

Hey everyone, I've got the story of Mickey's accident written up below. The pictures are ones I took yesterday. I'll post about his hospital stay over the course of a few more posts. Writing this up and taking the pictures are a kind of therapy for me but I still think I'll need to see someone. I'm okay until night time when I'm trying to fall asleep. Then, all the worst pictures pop up in my mind. :( So, here's the story and if you don't want to read it, no worries. I'll have some fun scrappy stuff and kid stuff in a few days.


It was the evening of Wednesday the 4th and Andrew and I had decided to take the kids to get ice cream. I grabbed a couple coupons and told Andrew that I needed to put some make up on. When I was done I stepped out our master slider to get the kids.

I saw Mickey on the slide and in an instant I realised what had happened. He had attached the dog leash to the play structure at the top of the slide and then put it around his own neck and either fell or tried to go down the slide on his own. He was on his belly, feet down. I screamed his name repeatedly and ran out to him. I pushed him back up the slide and then ran around to the steps to get up to him. When I took the leash off his neck I saw that his chin was purple and he wasn't breathing and I was so afraid that he was dead.

I lifted him up and carried him off the play structure and laid him on the grass. I was now screaming for Andrew. Mickey still wasn't breathing and I couldn't find a pulse. Andrew ran towards me and I screamed for him to call 911. He ran back into the house and I began chest compressions. I didn't have to do them for very long, maybe 30 seconds when he started breathing again. It wasn't normal breathing however, it was a kind of gasping, sporadic breathing.

By this time, Andrew was back with 911 on the phone and he started relaying questions to me. I grabbed the phone from him so I could answer them directly. I looked up and noticed that two people were walking across our lawn. It was our neighbors, Chris and Cindy. I hadn't known it before but Cindy is a nurse. She helped me answer the 911 dispatchers questions and we told them about his weird breathing and that he wasn't responsive and his eyes were rolled up in the back of his head.

Waiting for the paramedics was awful. We live a bit south of town and because of the way the wind was blowing, we could hear them long before they arrived. I was so afraid that he would stop breathing before they got to us. When they arrived, I told them what happened and they started to cut off his clothes and get him ready to transport. They told me that he was going to be taken by Life Flight to OHSU and that I couldn't ride with him.

My neighbor, Cindy, drove me out to the air strip across the street from us where Life Flight would be landing as the paramedics said that the Life Flight crew might have some questions for me. After they landed the crew didn't get Mickey from the ambulance right away and I found out later that it was because they were intubating him so they could help him breath.

My mom had arrived to take Audrey and Andrew and I went back to the house with Cindy. She told us to pack some clothes and toiletries and she would drive us to OHSU. When we got there I ran straight to the ER admitting and was told that a social worker would be coming for us. She took us into the Pediatric ICU's waiting room and the on call doctor came to talk to us. He was very straight forward and told us that at this moment every outcome for Mickey was still on the table. He told us that Mickey was posturing which is movements that are a sign of a major brain injury. He wanted to chill Mickey to help prevent any more damage to Mickey's brain. I had actually read about this before and was so glad he had suggested it.

After a while in the waiting room, we were taken back to see Mickey. It was so distressing to see him. I've kind of blocked a lot of it from my mind. He was moving around because they were chilling him and a lot of it looked like posturing and a lot of it looked like he was trying to warm up and to get the tubes out of his mouth. We tried to calm him when he thrashed and to stay out of the way of the nurse and doctors as they tried to cool him.


So, that's it for Wednesday. All this took place from about 7:00 am to midnight. I'll be back soon with the rest of the hospital stay and then some thoughts on the whole experience. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers during this whole thing. They have helped so much and we love you all!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Checking In

Just wanted to let you guys know I am still here. We had a near tragedy in our little family and we are working on recovering. I'll share it with you when we get more settled in and promise to warn you ahead of time so you don't have to read it if you don't want to. It was very scary and I don't want to upset anyone.

We are all okay just shaken and tired out. I'll be back soon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My New Scrap System!

Sometimes I've had the problem where I sit down to scrap for a couple of hours or even just 30 minutes and I struggle to come up with something to scrap about. Or, I scrap a layout that I love and in order to finish in the time I have, I force the journaling. These wasted scrap sessions (nap times!) and layouts that didn't sound like me have always frustrated me.

So, the other day when I sat down to scrap and found myself aimlessly pushing photos around, I decided to do something about it! I've always loved the layouts that I've made that I've thought about for a bit ahead of time. Or the ones that I jot down a sketch or notes for in a burst of inspiration. But, spending a day or two thinking about a layout isn't a very good way to get lots done. ;) And, those notes get lost!

Here's what I came up with. I took one of the 12x12 Modern albums from American Crafts and filled it with a bunch of the divided page protectors that hold 4x6 albums. I left the full size 12x12 protectors in the back.

I also grabbed a 4x6 photo album that I'd picked up at the Dollar Store.

Nothing special just a one up album I'd grabbed to alter at some point.

Then, I made them pretty! So fun! The little words under the house say "lives here". The mini album says "scrap on the go". (I used my Dixie Pieces May kit because I adore the colors!)

Then came the work. I grabbed a stack of photos and sorted them into groups. Some of the groups consist of only one photo and others almost a dozen. These may get made into more than one layout. Then, each group goes into it's own section. I try to keep a photo that's really representative of the group both topic and color wise on top.

After that, I pulled out each group, one at a time, laid them out in front of me as if I were going to scrap them right away. But, instead of getting down to business, I grabbed a 3x5 card and wrote down a title or two, some journaling and any other info (like product lines I want to use) on the lined side. If I have any ideas about the design, they go on the back, unlined side. Then I just tucked them back in their slot with the info card at the back.

I just stashed the unused 3x5 cards in one of the slots, too. I may add a pocket for them and a pen to the inside front cover.

The full size 12x12 pages are for when I take this to crops with me, I can just stash the completed layouts in them until I get home! I'm also thinking of creating a section for just ideas sketched onto the 3x5 cards. I chose 3x5 cards because I can get them for soooooo cheap! I have a bunch in my scrap room, by the computer and in my night stand and they are where I scratch down all my ideas. (Seriously, don't zoom in on the cards. My handwriting is atrocious when I'm trying to get ideas down on paper!)

The little mini album is for the same sort of thing except it's alot more portable. I can grab it (with the blank 3x5's already in there), a pack of photos from Costco, a pen (I may have to attach one to the album) and I can "scrap" while I'm waiting to pick up Mickey from school or when Andrew, the kids and I take a road trip. I'm thinking this will get a ton of use in a few years once the kids get into sports and stuff.

Now, whenever I have some time to scrap, I can just grab my Inspiration binder and flip through until I find photos that make me want to scrap or ones that go with the products I'm trying to use. Pull them out and all the ideas are right there with the photos.

I'm so excited about my new system and I hope you all like it and it gives you some ideas, too!