Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Urgent need for Stellan prayers

UPDATE 9:48AM Tuesday, July 28th
Stellan is stable, praise the Lord! He has finally had some significant breaks in his SVT because of massive amounts of heart medication in his system. He just had a blood transfusion and his kidney function isn't so great but he is not in immediate danger. There are still plans to fly him on a medical transport, along with his parents, to Boston for another ablation. It is likely that this surgery will help his current heart trouble but cause others that may require open heart surgery. Please pray for his bodies continued endurance and that the Boston plans would be finalized soon. While we're at it I think we might just pray for a miraculous ability to repair Stellan's electrical pathway without damaging his AV node. God's name is known through our response to time's such as these.

Prayers for Stellan

Stellan has now been in SVT for 3 days and his body, particularly heart, function is deteriorating. His core temp is low, his extremity pulse is thready, and his heart is no longer supporting his kidneys sufficiently to function. They were recently able to get his blood pressure up a bit but he still needs intervention. Right now they are not even sure if they are able to get Stellan to Boston for another surgery or not. Please pray for IMMEDIATE wisdom for Stellan's doctors. That they would come up with a solution for the time being for his condition. Pray for endurance for Stellan's heart and body, that they would have the ability to stand up to the beating this SVT is having on him. Pray for his family that is now traveling to be with him that they would safely and quickly arrive. Pray for his parents in particular that they would be his best earthly advocates with clear minds. Pray that the Kangaroo care they are now engaged in would help keep Stellan warm and his body enduring.

God has certainly brought me to my knees this morning. Please pray. If you would like to keep updated you can do so through MckMama's blog or her Twitter page. I'm not a Twitter user but I am following her tweets continuously this morning. There are also MckMama supporters that have started a Prayer Chain ala blog to see more prayer posts.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Thankfully, we don't get sick very often in our household. Colds occasionally, sure, but fevers are quite rare. But today, and last night, Joel has been sick. He is currently running a temperature of 100.5.

In Butler women temperatures that is nearly your deathbed;) since my normal temperature is more like 97.2!

He even relented to a bath last night. You have to understand that I have been trying to sell him on the wonders of baths for the entirety of our marriage. I was quick to break out the peppermint oil and such. And of course, he kept Ethan's tugboat in there to keep things manly (name that TV show)! I was pretty excited.
But anyway, he is currently out of his covers feeling stifled but I'm sure we will be covering him back up with blankets and quilts soon enough.

Ethan is thus far separate from the sickness and is crawling all over the house oblivious to Joel's feelings of crudiness. Let's hope it stays that way!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Turkey Spinach Ravioli

About 2 years ago, after slowly but surely cutting out more and more foods from my diet, I cut out all cow's dairy. It was hard but it made a world of difference. Towards the end of my pregnancy until now I have been back on dairy although still in moderation. It makes life A LOT easier:).

But while I was living non-cow's dairy, I had to get creative in my cooking. For anyone that has ever had to cut dairy out of their lives, Ashley I'm talking to you:), any amount of prepared foods that you were accustomed to buying are in all likelihood outside of your diet. You see pretty much everything has some milk product in it. Whey is particularly popular as a commercial thickener. So even filled pastas from the grocery store were off the grocery list because of their contents.

Thankfully, I love goat cheese.
If you don't I'm so sorry for you because it is creamy and delicious!

Whether you have dairy issues or not, you will love these raviolis!

1 Onion
6 cloves Garlic, minced
1 lbs Ground Turkey and/or Hot Italian Turkey Sausage
1 package Frozen Chopped Spinach (defrost and press out water with paper towels)
6 oz Goat Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
I package Wonton Wrappers (preferably round)
I glass of water for assembly

Add onion to a saute pan and saute over medium-high heat until the onions begin to sweat (If you are using a nonstick pan there is no need for oil but otherwise you will need a tablespoon of oil in the pan before begin to saute). Add the meat and de-cased sausage to the pan and begin to brown. Now add in the minced garlic begin careful to keep it on top of the meat so it does not burn. Continue to cook the meat until all the pink has disappeared. Drain any fat out of the pan and then allow the meat to cool for a few minutes. In the meantime, add the spinach, goat cheese and salt and pepper to the food processor bowl. Now add the meat and pulse until a thick paste is formed. You want the filling to be able to hold it's shape but it should not be dry.

To assemble your raviolis layout wonton wrappers on a baking sheet and spoon a generous teaspoon of filling onto each wrapper. Now set aside a stack of wonton wrappers, and wet your finger in the glass of water. Wet the edge of the wonton wrappers and then place another wrapper on top and press with your fingers to seal the edges. It may be necessary to press down the filling some to make the shape easier to close.

After all of your raviolis are made, allow them to set out to dry for 20-30 minutes to dry slightly. This will help them to hold their shape and not stick to each other too much when they are cooking. If you needed to, you could complete this process ahead of time and refrigerate them or freeze them in their current state and just cook them before serving.

When you are ready to serve, prepare a stockpot of boiling salted water. Cook raviolis in batches, making sure that there is sufficient surface area with each batch. The cooking process will likely only take 1-2 minutes for each batch. Remove to a platter as they cook, and cover each layer with marinara sauce to prevent sticking. Once all of the raviolis are cooked, pour the remaining marinara over top, or reserve to serve on the side. Enjoy!

My Pathfinder

This morning Joel graduated from Pathfinder school! I am so proud of him and man, am I thankful that God knows all there is to know about sling loads and landing zones! Each time Joel has one of these important Army schools to complete, we are afforded another opportunity to remember that it is not by Joel's ability but God's that he will get through it:). We are so glad that it is over and I know that his company is happy to have so many soldiers graduate.

This isn't a particularly informative picture. But it is a familiar sight for the family members of military personnel. You've got to love how hard they work to rid themselves of their neck?! You should have seen the way Joel had to screw up his face for the Fish "mean face" his freshmen year in the Corps...I did my best to keep him from making it in front of me...seriously.
Yay for diplomas!

Ok, also not very informative. I actually have no idea where Joel was in this formation:). This was after the graduation ceremony. Joel's company, Pathfinder company, sent 20 people through the school and 12 made it! The school previously had about a 15% pass rate?! So the Battalion commander was happy with their preformance, and letting them know it.

Congratulations Joel, I'm so proud of you!

Pray for Stellan

Prayers for Stellan

Sweet Stellan is having bouts of SVT again. Not only that, he is experiencing drug toxicity, and other electrocardio issues. Currently the plan is not surgery but an experimental drug combination that is currently understood by his doctors to be exclusive to Stellan. The long and short is that Stellan and his family need to be blanketed in prayer! Please visit MckMama and keep up with Stellan's progress. It has been amazing over the last several months how God has stretched my heart through the blog world! Blogs can afford exciting opportunities to reach out in the body of Christ and far beyond.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunburn...this white girl should know better

"See what had happened was..." It all started with a Mommy & Me swim class. I was thrilled to read about it on the MWR Aquatics website! I convinced my neighbor to go with me and we were all decked in our swimwear with babies in toe. We decided to be extra healthy and walk through our neighborhood to the indoor pool where the lesson was to be held. We thought we really had it all figured out...Joel would have been proud of our planned early arrival:). The lesson started at 11am, so we decided to meet at 10:15 to begin our walk. The thinking being that we could get there at least 20 minutes before the class started to pay and generally get ourselves and the babies settled, brilliant no? We got there 30 minutes before the class starts and find out that the class has been moved to another pool! Apparently we weren't the only ones that didn't know about the location change since 2 other moms showed up right after us:). Anyway, I have now dreamed about this class and planned a great deal for it so I'm bound and determined to attend! My neighbor, not so much. But poor thing, she still had to put up with our walk back to our house. A walk which I took in true Butler woman fashion, at break-neck speed! I made the walk that took us probably 10-15 minutes on the way there in about 5 minutes on the way back. I quickly got Ethan into his carseat and threw our bags in the back and headed down the road to the other pool. As I was driving I realized that I had switched the sunscreen, which I liberally cover all organic beings with when more than 5 minutes will be spent outside, out of Ethan's bag...Thankfully, Ethan had an SPF 50 rashguard shirt on and a hat, so he was covered. I decided not to turn back, knowing I would get a little burned but it's only a 30 minute class right?!...

Well...45 minutes is all it takes folks. Especially when you're a white girl like me, and I'm talking color not ethnic generalization, that should know better. Also keep in mind, as I mentioned earlier, that this class was at 11am. For those of my readers that are tan and unaccustomed to sunburns, let me enlighten you as to the significance of that particular time of day. between 10am and 2pm the sun is at it's highest point and that is also when the UV levels are at their highest. Hence why I make it a point to wait until after 2pm, especially in Houston:), to spend extended time out in the sun. No matter how much sunscreen I have on, I tend to burn during that time period.

So the moral of the story, enjoy Mommy & Me swim class, but know that you'll pay for it later! Also, keep Vitamin E capsules on hand to slather on burns, that is why I'm so shiny! The burn wasn't awful but it was bad enough and the Vitamin E really helped my body to heal. Also, interesting to note, I may or may not be slightly allergic to the sun. I know, it sounds sad and hermit like...I tend to be rather sickly after extended sun exposure. The morning after this I woke up all stuffed up and sluggish. I'm just sayin'!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

There's a monkey an Ethan on your back!

Our next door neighbor was kind enough to let us try out her Sleepy Wrap last week. Ethan LOVES being cuddled up in a wrap and I have enjoyed the opportunity to get more done around the house! Yesterday I was catching up on much-needed vacuuming. You see, Ethan used to sleep through the sound of the vacuum-awesome right? Then he grew out of that, so I adjusted. I would clean while he played in the jumperoo or on a quilt. Then separation anxiety set in and things got complicated. Then the sound of one of the vacuums began to terrify him...So it had been too long since I had vacuumed:).
Ok, so back to the wrap. We had slowly been working our way through different wrap positions. It took some doing on my part, but we worked out the back carry wrap. Ethan giggled, babbled, nuzzled and generally amused himself. While I vacuumed the rug, and all of the floors. Instead of having a full-on panic when the vacuum scared him, this time he just nuzzled in between my shoulder blades:). So sweet. Needy. But oh so sweet!
It looks like I teased my hair and hairsprayed my bangs from this angle...ahh the wonders of being big-haired;)!

Wow, I started this post last week but I needed to go to bed so I saved it...and here we are...

Since I started this post I picked up a Navy cotton interlock remnant of 4 yards for $5 so now Ethan has at least one wrap all his own and maybe 2! Otherwise, I'm using the rest of the fabric to make a nice cotton dress. I don't have any pictures of the new wrap yet but we did try it out and he fit beautifully. If any of you out there are interested in a baby wrap don't spend $40-60 buying a Moby or a Sleepy Wrap! Just buy 4-5 yards of cotton interlock (if you want a fabric with stretch) or a thin, non-stretch fabric. All you have to do is cut down the middle to make the wrap between 25-30 inches wide! I am not currently planning on hemming or finishing my fabric since the how-to's I have read suggest that it was unnecessary for them. I may make a slight modification to the tails so it's easy to tie, we shall see. And if I do chose to make that modification, then I will likely need to finish the edges I taper. Either way, make your own wrap and enjoy! It has certainly made my "cuddly" baby easier to handle and my arms and back aren't quite so exhausted:). In other baby wrap news, I used Joel as my guinea pig for trying other back carry methods I found on You Tube and well...just watch...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A very amusing laundry basket

Yesterday I was working on a whole bunch of clothing and household laundry so I was in and out of the room. But thankfully Ethan was completely self-amused. I didn't know what I owed the pleasure to, as I worked, but I certainly appreciated hearing sweet babble rather than ear-piercing screaming and crying:). When I got back into the living room Ethan had tipped the laundry basket and filled it with his stacking cups (basically his favorite toys-ever) and then swung the whole basket around, one-handed, like a pro:).

Tangential question alert. Are, palming a Fisher-Price train while propped up on the other arm, or swinging around a laundry basket when seated, normal developmental abilities? Or is my child gifted with superhuman strength?!?! Superhuman strength you say? I thought so.

So back to the laundry basket musician. Ethan continued to enjoy the laundry basket music after I reentered the living room and I was able to catch a bit of it on video.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Do you think we look related;)

Ethan at 6 months old:
Me somewhere between 6-12 months old: So what do you think?

I think I definitely need to scan some pictures of Joel to compare as well.

Nut butter through the ages

I made a cryptic reference today, in my most recent Facebook album, about how much Ethan is like me in his nut butter messiness, as evidenced in the above picture. As I said there, anyone who is related to me, or has spent enough time around my family to hear stories of me as a toddler, knows exactly what that means.

Alright, prepare yourself, because this is going to be a Rachel story;).

I am the 4th of 5 children, which I love and wouldn't have any other way! However, one of the hilarious, and only sometimes annoying, parts of having my birth order is that EVERYONE was there to note and retell my silliest moments. Not only that, since my brother is 13 years older, and my sisters are 10 years and 5 years older respectively, they were more than likely participants in changing my diapers, feeding me, and helping out with me in various ways. So really there love for me is deep and wide (Did anyone just have VBS/Children's Choir flashbacks because I just did!)...and learned;).

One of the favorite family anecdotes about baby/toddler Rachel is how much I loved _____& Peanut Butter. I apparently liked peanut butter on pretty much anything. I had a healthy and adventurous appetite at first and I wasn't shy (I theorize that this anecdote caught due to my extreme picky eater-ways that set in years later). Apparently I really went gaga for buckwheat pancakes with peanut butter and syrup...I know...I will pause while you judge my palate;)...I also spend a lot of time eating cheerio and peanut butter "sandwiches". On our trip to Houston Ashley recounted fondly that it was her job to sit at the ready and assemble "sandwiches" with a deft 2-part swiping motion that she demonstrated for me.
The next part of the story, invariably includes the fact that no matter what I chose to pair with peanut butter that day, I always ended up with it all over me! Caked in my beautiful hair (I'm just telling it how I've always heard it:)) and all over everything else. Something, like this, or maybe this, note the JIF jar in the forefront:). So it should have come as no surprise, nay, my heart should have immediately swelled with pride, when my beautiful son slathered himself in cashew butter the first time I served it to him on some Wasa crackers. I know what you're thinking, what kind of hippy dippy trippy mother are you?! Let the boy have some good ol' American peanut butter on Ritz/saltines/graham crackers/bread?! I know, I know. I STILL love peanut butter and Nilla wafers as a meal. But, my nephew has a peanut allergy. And, as many of you know, peanut allergies are scary. And the risk is higher for Ethan since his cousin has it so...no peanut butter for him...until he's 3. As Ashley would jokingly say, at this point, "Poor Ethan!" And just because I've kept you for so long with my story, here are some additional photos from Ethan's cashew butter initiation:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ethan is 7 months old!

He was 7 months as of Friday:), close enough! Ethan is so much fun and we are thankful for the new and interesting ways he is developing. In the past month he has gotten more interested in crawling but he only goes backwards:). Ethan's is most definitely asserting his strong personality and a stubborn streak. The most recently he has decided he no longer wants to use his hands and feed himself, although he was fully capable 2 weeks ago. This has went to the point of him refusing to eat cheerios unless I was putting them in his mouth. Suffice is to say, we sat on the quilt for 10 minutes with him fussing and refusing to close his hand around cheerios or open his mouth to the cheerios in his hand...yeah:). He has also started flirting with strangers more and more and I can't get enough of his gap tooth smile! Ethan talks, and talks, and talks some more. He also can cluck with his tongue and he will try to get just about anyone to cluck back at him and praise his trick:).

He had such a wonderful time spending time with his cousins and he really took some developmental strides after watching all of them. It also made us wish that we lived closer to home and/or Ethan had siblings. Not anytime soon but nevertheless.
We bought Shepherding a Child's Heart thinking we were ahead of the parenting curve and now we REALLY need to bone up on Godly discipline and parental understanding. Thankfully, we also have a wealth of wise Godly parents to lean on.