Monday, December 31, 2012

Crustless Herbed Quiche with Tomato Basil Salad

Go here for the recipe from
Look how much hair she`s growing!!

When faced with a list of seven possible options, the logical thing is to start at the top ask your preschooler which one they`d like to have. So, we started the list off with Crustless Herbed Quiche with a side of Tomato Basil Salad.

All the ingredients, ready to go

These are our local, organic, free range eggs! Love them

Parsley from the counter pot!

So easy.

Yellow = local, orange = store bought, Omega3 eggs.





Om nom nom...
Verdict: make again!
6 large eggs, beaten
2 T chopped chives
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1 t chopped fresh thyme
(1 t kosher salt)
(½ t black pepper)
½ c crumbled goat cheese (optional)
¼ c heavy cream (optional)
(1 t olive oil)
4 tomatoes, sliced
(2 T extra virgin olive oil)
(2 T red wine vinegar)
2 T sliced basil
(Salt and pepper to taste)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine eggs, chives, parsley,
thyme, salt, pepper, cheese, and cream, if using, in a large
bowl; stir with a whisk. Rub oil over the bottom of a 9-inch pie
dish. Pour egg mixture into dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until
lightly browned and set. Remove from oven; cool slightly
before slicing.
Arrange tomato slices on a platter. Combine olive oil,
vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl; stir with a
whisk. Pour dressing over sliced tomatoes; serve

We're back!

I recently (before Christmas) upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy S3. While I love the phone, and all its capabilities, it's a royal PITA trying to post actual blog entries, because I just don't like writing on it! I get more spelling errors that should be humanly possible, and it takes too long. So, I've become reacquainted today, with my laptop. Don't think that because I haven't been posting, that we haven't been really busy!

We celebrated a lot over the holidays, with three back-to-back feasts (Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day). It was lovely, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. We hosted Christmas Day dinner at our house. Fourteen people, a turkey, cranberry-apple sauce, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes and parsnips, red cabbage, roasted brussel sprouts and yams. It was deeeeelicious, if I do say so myself.

My lovely husband helped, A LOT, this time round, so I found the day to be much more enjoyable.

The children were quite spoiled, and very pleased with what they received. Santa brought Jakob a new fort building kit, and Ellie a cabbage patch doll.

They received a ton of other toys, clothes and books, and I was very glad that Jakob agreed to give the majority of his birthday presents to the hospital! Where on earth are we to find room for everything?

The tree's location this year was great. I think in years future, we will likely continue with a table top tree approach. Less likely that little fingers will destroy our precious ornaments, and we don't need quite as big a tree, dropping needles all over our carpet!

I was giddy with excitement, when I unwrapped the gift from my parents: a new Nikon D3100 camera. I'm in love with it.

Ellie had a sleep study on the 28th, which went well... at least, I think it went well. I know there were more apnea episodes than the last time, but she self-recovered quickly, every time, so that's a good sign.

As 2013 rolls in, I'm excited to welcome a new year. We don't normally do resolutions, but this year, DH and I have decided to try Paleo eating for a month. I've been having ongoing issues with joint pain, and skin issues, and girl issues, so I'm willing to try just about anything before resorting to medications. I really care about what I put into my body, and I've noticed the more baked goods I eat, the worse I feel. Hopefully I'll feel better! I've read a lot about the Paleo diet, and I'm a bit skeptical, but going to try it for a month to see if I notice any change. If not, then we'll just go back to plain "clean eating". I figure if I cut out all grains, it will be faster than trying to go gluten-free for a month, and wondering if that was enough.

I stumbled across a company, called emeals, that has weekly meal plans, complete with shopping list! They have so many options, like clean eating, gf, paleo, gourmet, vegetarian, etc... and the cost is relatively insignificant ($5/mo for a month's worth of recipes). They're doing a free week of Paleo meals, so I'm trying it out! Check it out here:
I`m going to do separate posts for each meal, to give my opinion of whether it`s worth buying into! Will keep you posted!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holidays

My friends,

What a a year we've had. It's been a year full of tremendous ups and downs, but I am happy to report that things are going very well.

As you will maybe recall, we spent much of the first four months of the year in hospital with our little Ellie. She spent fourteen weeks in the Transitional Care Unit of the ICU at BC Children's Hospital. When she was admitted, she was so small. She slept all the time, had very little voluntary movement, had difficulty breathing, and we were honestly worried for her.

The staff at the hospital were incredible, almost like a second family. They doted on her, loved her, made us feel like we were doing the right thing by leaving her in their care. While she was there, they sorted out her bipap ventilator, which she initially started using almost 20 hours a day. Then, when they established that she was doing well, and her airway was secure, they started her on what we now call her Miracle drug, growth hormone injections.

We started late in January, and saw almost immediate results. Our little girl, who was barely 10lbs, and 21" started to grow! In April, she came home (went back for a week, and came home again) in time for her first birthday. All I wanted was for her to be home, for us to be home together as a family. I got my wish.

Ellie had a huge hospital send off, and we were thrilled to have her home. Some adjusting was necessary, Jakob had to get used to having the four of us at home again, and was rather sad to lose his special "volunteer time". At the hospital, the Child Life program had incredible volunteers who would take him most afternoons to play. He loved the attention!

The biggest adjustment, was having night nurses come to our house, almost every night. Their presence allowed us to get the proper sleep to keep up with Ellie's day time appointments of physio therapy, occupational therapy, infant development, speech therapy, along with endocrine appointments, and breathing appointments. Let us not forget Jakob's preschool classes, which he loves! Busy, we were!

In the summer, we finally found the missing key, that would help Ellie the most. She was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which is easily treated. Prior to this, her weight had plateaued, but she was slowly progressing, learning to roll over, sit up, and near the end of summer to start scooting around on her bottom.

With the addition of the thyroid medication, we finally saw noticeable growth. At her 20 month appointment, just this past week, our little peanut weighed in at 17lbs6oz, and was 29" tall! Such drastic changes from just a year prior!

In early fall, her doctors felt that she was ready to start weaning off her bipap support at night, having had a successful overnight sleep study. It would take a few weeks of hospital "sleep overs" to make the switch to breathing on her own, but what a welcome change! I cannot begin to tell you how relieved we were to find that she had improved so much.

In late September, our family hosted the One Small Step walk in Ladner. We initially hoped to raise $10,000, which was our personal goal. Our friends, family, and incredible community came out to support us in ways we couldn't possibly have imagined. When all was said and done, we raised almost $22,000, more than DOUBLE our goal. We were incredibly humbled to know so many generous people. Even greater than our own accomplishments with the walk, were the results of the international campaign. For 2012, the goal was to raise $1 million. The goal was surpassed, reaching $1,071,703.12! AMAZING. We are filled with so much hope, that one day our sweet girl will be able to live a life where she isn't hungry.

Ellie has caught up to where she should be cognitively, which is truly incredible. We have less and less appointments, and fewer therapy sessions. She doesn't miss a thing, and she's simply a joy to be around. In January she will be fitted with hearing aids (we missed a December fitting due to the flu!). She is almost walking, not something we're trying to encourage too much, she is already fast enough at scooting! She loves to cruise around the furniture, and get into mischief. We positioned our Christmas tree this year on top of a side table, to keep her away from the ornaments! Her biggest love in life is her brother, Jakob. He can do no wrong in her eyes, and she would gladly shadow him every moment of the day!

Jakob is half way through his second year of preschool, and just celebrated his fourth birthday. He played the role of shepherd in the church Sunday school pageant, and in his preschool's Christmas performance. It was lovely to see him on stage! The big debate is where to send him to kindergarten next year. I can't believe we're already discussing it, it seems like yesterday he was my baby! I am constantly amazed at how well adjusted he is, considering the months we spent trekking back and forth to the hospital. If anything, it's made him more outgoing, and willing to talk to new people. He loves to have us all together, loves play dates with his friends, and talking about his Transformers.

Jason is still loving his job, and busy. We started an involuntary renovation on our master bathroom, following a leak into our laundry room, and along with the help from his grandfather, has almost completed the project. What a big job!! I'm very much looking forward to the final reveal.

I started work in May at the BC Government, progressively working more hours, and I couldn't be happier with my work/life balance. I am incredibly fortunate to have flexible work hours, so that we don't need to send the kids to daycare. We're lucky to have grandmother child care on the days where our schedules conflict, and also for the odd parents' night out!

The next week is going to be filled with lots of festivities, with family, with friends, with food and love. There's something so special about this time of year, when we gather inside, around the warmth of the fire, under the twinkling lights of the tree, to spend time with the ones we love, and to reflect on how grateful we are to be here, to be healthy, to have our beautiful children.

We are so blessed. 

And so, with warm hugs, I wish you the best of the holidays, and a happy New Year to come.
Susanne (and Jason, Jakob and Ellie, too)


Friday, December 7, 2012

One week to HEARING!

I talked to the audiologist today, and booked our appointment for NEXT FRIDAY!! I am over the moon excited. She talked to Dr. L, Ellie`s ENT, to get approval for Ellie to be fitted with temporary hearing aids. We have two options, air conductor hearing aids, which go over and into the ears, or bone conductive hearing aids, like this, which sit like a headband, and place the amplifliers, or whatever they are, directly above the inner ear. SO excited!

I`m sort of hoping that they go with this latter option, because, HELLO! How cute is that!

Monday, December 3, 2012

I've had a few days to process things, and I've calmed down a lot since my last post. It helps that I was sick, and Ellie was sick, so I couldn't do much phoning.

Today, I've been in touch with the ENT office, who confirmed for me that it would be 3-4 months, at least, until Ellie gets the surgery she needs. She said she would try to book something for us if the cancellation list coughs up an opening, but explained again that they're limited in the number of beds they can book in a day.

So, I decided to just leave that alone, seeing as they have something like 9000 patients a year, and I do understand they're busy. I am quite alright with delaying the surgery, because at least it gives her more time to grow and catch up. I don't fancy the idea of having her in hospital during cold and flu season anyway.

I've called her audiologist, and left a message, and I've also called the audiology department. My goal is to get Ellie hearing aids. She is on the At Home Program, that covers hearing aids. I want them for Christmas. Here's hoping I hear back today, or tomorrow from someone who can hopefully put this all in motion. I don't need loaners, I just need this to happen, so that my sweet belle can hear everything like she should.

I was a lot nicer on the phone today, and people seem to respond well to that.