Thursday, August 29, 2013



The best 2 words I've heard in a while. Liam's mass hasn't changed size or characteristics.  It's what we've been hoping for.

That's it.  It speaks for itself really.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

10 hours.

In 10 hours we are scheduled to have the follow up test that may be life altering.  Hopefully, it's nothing. Hopefully, it's the least exciting denouement possible. NO CHANGE! (or better- NOTHING IS THERE!) That's what I have prayed for every.single.night. for the past 3 months.

To say that I am anxious would be down playing it.  I've never been more nervous about something in the entirety of my life but I am looking forward to getting this over with almost as much as I want to just ignore everything and cancel the appointment.  It's a difficult conglomeration of feelings.

It occurred to me tonight that my son will have gone under anesthesia 3 times in his one short year of life and I've gone under anesthesia once in my 30(+) years.

6:00 AM will come too soon tomorrow morning. Tomorrow will incorporate the longest few hours of my life.

Please, please, please, keep up in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Here we go

It's been a while since I "blogged".  

We've been living life.  We've been basically ignoring the elephant in the room and I think that's what we need to do.  If we spent every day dwelling on the "what if's" we'd never have a happy moment.

Liam has been great.  Super, wonderful, awesome, and any other adjective you can think of that means good.  His eye have been perfect since the surgery.  He has been hitting all his milestones, he's walking, he's laughing, he's loving life, and as far as I can tell, the mass has not affected him in the least bit.

So why am I back?  Well, this is an outlet for me.  And the count down is starting.  We're only a few days away from the MRI.  I've got so much anxiety and worry.  I look at my perfect son and can't believe that there is anything that makes him not perfect.  I don't know what I will do if the MRI shows anything other than no growth.

I don't want to come off as woe is me- that's the last thing I want.  I don't want pity from people. Liam doesn't need pity.

All he needs is a miracle.

And on Thursday we will see if we get one.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Little Updates

I didn't really think many people actually read this but I've had a few requests for updates so I guess some people actually do read this!  LOL

Ok- So we had a follow up for Liam's eye surgery.  Everything went well.  The doctor said it appears as though Liam is using both eyes equally and the eyes line up perfectly so no need for a surgical revision.  YAY!  We will follow up again in 3 months, then, if all is clear at that time, we will be discharged from the eye doctor's care.   We will just need routine eye exams to see if Liam will need glasses or whatnot.
Now, years down the road, the strabismus may resurface and we will need another surgery, but that may be never.  So here's to hoping.

Liam's MRI is on August 29th.  19 days away.  I'm actually starting to get a little nervous already.  I still pray every single night- I sing the prayers when I rock Liam before bed.  Two birds with one stone.

Liam turned one on the 26th~ we had a nice party and he did awesome.  He didn't cry.  He was happy and actually engaged with a lot of people.  He even helped open his presents!  I will post pictures of the party on here soon.  But here's his one year pictures.  He's getting so big!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Liam had his surgery Thursday.  Yes- It's Sunday and I'm just now getting around to writing this.  He is doing fine.  He rebounded just like the doctor said he would.  He was drugged the day of but did just fine a few hours later.  We finished surgery mid-afternoon and took Liam home.  By that evening he was up and "walking" (using his push walker) around and laughing.  He slept GREAT that night.

By "GREAT" I mean he slept 13 hours straight. I'm guessing the pain meds were still in his system.

The next day he acted fine but slept horribly.  He wouldn't nap and he was up a few times (aka every 3 hours).  The next night was even worse.  I don't know why exactly but the "deep" sleep anesthesia places Liam under screws him up with his nighttime rest for a while.

 I think he has nightmares because basically me just picking him up calms him down enough to get him back to sleep after he wakes up SCREAMING.

His eyes are blood shot.  He has bilateral subconjunctival hemorrhages.  We've had only one person, a waiter, actually brave enough to ask "What's wrong with his eyes" but for the most part people just comment how cute he is.  I want to tell them "He just had surgery" but since no one says anything, I don't either.  I know they notice and they're just being nice.

The doctor warned me that he may be "wall eyed" but really he seems pretty good.  I never realized how bad his "lazy eye" was until we "fixed" it.  All and all, he's doing great.  You'd never know he just had surgery a few days ago.  I don't regret a thing.  He seems oblivious that anything recently happened.

Hopefully, he sleeps better tonight.

To quickly recap what's going on with Liam.  Lazy eye+ big head  = MRI.  MRI shows mass unrelated to big head and lazy eye.  Lazy eye?  Fixed!  Mass.... to be determined August 29th.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers!  I know it's a lot to ask and I know it's not quite the denoeument that people hope for since we really have no "update" and I hate to keep asking, but please.... keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tomorrow is strabismus surgery

Well, the day is finally upon us.  After being scheduled, and rescheduled, and scheduled again, tomorrow is (one of)the big day.  I had no idea what time we had to be there until the surgery center finally called me at 11:30 today.  What did they say?


Crap.  REALLY?! 11 freaking o'clock?  That means we probably won't even get back to surgery until noon at the earliest.  Liam will be starving!  And he'll be acting like a maniac!  You see, Liam can't have any solids past 5:30 am and clear liquids have to be stopped by 9:30 am.  He's used to getting breast fed at 6:30, a bottle at 9:30 and breakfast at 10.  He's gonna go nuts.  He's going to cry, then I'm going to cry, then everyone will cry.  UGH.

It's nearly 9:00 and I still haven't decided if I'm setting an alarm to get up at 5:00 and feed him some huge meal.  - He probably won't even want to eat at that time.

And, I really don't know why I've fixated on this whole "not eating thing" either.  I'm sure that's the last thing most parents would care about.  There is the SURGERY part of tomorrow.

 Perhaps I'm in denial and don't really want to think about that?  Maybe I really am ok with it since I'm in the medical field?  I don't know.  And I really thought I was fine and had no concerns until I had my first little panic attack this morning on the way to work.  That was fun.  I was driving along singing to music when, BAM, my heart was racing, I was crying, and I was....... scared.  That lasted about 2 minutes then I was better but maybe I'm not handling this as well as I thought I was?

Maybe I'm just going crazy.  Maybe I should stop rambling.  Ok.  I'm off to decide if I should wake a sleeping baby to force feed it.... decisions decisions

Friday, July 5, 2013


The point of this post is not to make anyone feel bad.  It's not to make people feel sorry for me either.  It's just to kinda get it out.  It's a bit rambling and for that I apologize.  It may be a little whiny too.  Sorry.

I hate that I see kids- ages 5, 7, 15, etc. and think "I wonder if I will ever get to see Liam at that age".  Do you know how much that sucks?!   It's not a "I wonder what Liam will look like" and "I wonder if he'll be as big of a brat".  No, not that normal.  It's a: "I wonder if he'll be alive."

I hate that I live under a constant cloud of uncertainty.  I hate that other parents get to take day to day for granted. I wonder if my thinking will ever change, if the intrusive thoughts will ever go away.  I wonder if I will ever get to take for granted that I have Liam and I will see him tomorrow.  I wonder if he'll be the most spoiled kid ever because of this.

I put him to sleep every night and wonder if he will be ok in the morning.  I wonder if I get pregnant again if people will judge me because they think I'm trying to replace my "sick" kid.

I wonder if I had never asked about Liam's big head how different life would be. I wonder if there is such things as miracles.  I wonder if God will grant me one if there is. I wonder why me, but then wonder would I want to have this happen to a different family?  No.  I wonder why it has to happen to anyone at all.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


So, since we got the news about Liam people started sending me bible verses.  I appreciated every one of them.  However, there was one in particular that still sits with me weeks later.  It was sent to me via a facebook message and I hope the person who sent it doesn't mind my sharing her interpretation as well as the verse.

Exodus 14:14 "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."        It sounds like there will be a lot of waiting to see what happens, a lot of being patient. I know that can be a hard thing to do when all you wish you could do is take action. I thought that verse was a good reminder of how even though we may be still The Lord is moving, working and fighting. 

I've got to believe, that even though I'm not "doing anything" - things are still getting done.  I like this.  I like it a lot.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Roller coaster

UGH.  This stupid eye surgery that was supposed to be nothing has been causing so much trouble!  When the doctor's office called to reschedule I okay'd the August 15th date I was given.  I think I was just willing to accept whatever to get the stupid thing scheduled.

Well, when I let my mother in law know about the date change she reminded me that my sister in law is getting married that weekend!  How the heck did I forget about that?!  Liam is the ring bearer and I've been so excited about it.

I called the doctor's office this morning to reschedule and they said they'd be right back with me.  Well, 3 hours later they call to give me a new appointment.... sometime in September.   Normally, I'm pretty much a push over.  I hate to stir the waters, but I was just frustrated!  I said that I'd already had a second opinion done by another doctor so I would just take Liam there instead.

Apparently, that's all it takes.  The lady on the phone spoke with the doctor and low and behold, Liam's surgery is back to July 11th, the original date.  They said they had to "squeeze" us in.  Now tell me, how do we have to be "squeezed in" on a date that we already were scheduled for?

I'm typically on the other end of the doctor (PA)/ patient roll, but I can now see where people get so frustrated!   So hopefully that's the end of this hiccup and we can move forward to the looming MRI follow up.

And- If anything, this experience is helping me do my job with more understanding and patience.  There's always a silver lining.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Go figure...

Just when I had adjusted to the idea of Liam getting his surgery and I was getting excited about getting one thing ticked off our list to do before the next MRI, they call to reschedule.  They called at 5:30 tonight on my way home from work.  I guess I jinxed myself.  UGH.

Anway, they wanted to reschedule the surgery the day before Liam's birthday.  I said no.  He's supposed to be calm and quiet and we've got a party planned!  Blah.  So now I'm having to wait until they can figure out another date.  Hopefully it will be before July 11th but I'm sure it'll be put off for another month.  gah.  

I'm so freaking frustrated.  For reading this- here's your reward!  Christmas in June.  He actually picked out the hat and put it on so, I let him wear it.

The countdown begins...eye surgery

Liam's eye surgery is just a few weeks away.  July 11th.  It's funny to me now that this eye surgery was such a source of angst when it was first decided it was needed.

Oh, I cried.  I relived my pregnancy trying to decide if I could have done anything to cause his eye problems.  I got a second opinion as to whether the surgery was really needed.  I was so scared.

Now?  Pssh.  It's a 40 minute long "simple" procedure.  Liam will be fine. Don't get me wrong, I still hate the thought of causing him pain, but his eyes will be better in a matter of a few days and we will go on.  There's so much more to do than worry constantly about something like this.

He will be one in one month (plus a day). I can't believe how big he's getting. We've been swimming and going to the park.  We've been living life and being us.   He's still just a "normal" little boy; he just gets a little extra prayer time.

Friday, June 14, 2013


I'm having a bad day today.  I talked with a lady yesterday for nearly an hour who'd lost her son tragically.  I could see the hurt in her eyes.  I could see and feel the emptiness that was there.  I did my best to listen to her story and not cry.  I did my best to be empathetic/sympathetic.
And I hate to say this, and I feel so bad even that I thought this-  but while she was talking I couldn't help but think I didn't want to be her.  I didn't want to feel that pain.  I don't want to lose my child like she lost hers.  I was glad it was her at that moment and not me.  Terrible, I know.  I feel horrible about those thoughts.

Then she said "It's not like my son had cancer and I could see it coming.  He was healthy."-- ouch.  I did my best not to react to her statement,  but it got me thinking--- Does it matter that you know your kid is sick?  Losing a child is losing a child.  I don't think it hurts any less if you "can see it coming".  Right?

Anyway, I'd been doing pretty well since getting back from Houston.  I hadn't cried myself to sleep in a few days but last night I back slid a little. I cried for a while.  I'm getting pretty good at silently crying so I don't disturb my husband.  I had to go to the bathroom and cry this morning at work.

My mood is low. I am sad.  Sorry to be such a bummer.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ophthalmology follow up

I'm a little late with this follow up but we went to see the ophthalmologist again because people kept telling me Liam's eyes have seemingly improved.  (I thought so too!)
 Buuuuuut- apparently we're all wrong.  The doc remeasured and came up with the same thing.

Surgery is still scheduled for July 11th.  Not sure how I feel about this.  I do kinda wish this was my top priority and my top worry. However, a 40 minute eye surgery really doesn't seem like much now.

That's all for tonight.

Monday, June 10, 2013

MD Anderson and Texas Children's Appointments

I'm writing this half paying attention/ half with a melted brain so please forgive grammar/spelling mistakes.

LONG STORY:  (scroll down if you want to just read about the results)
What a day.  We were told we had an appointment at 9:50 at Texas Children's.  We were also told we had our first MD Anderson appointment at 11:00.  I thought we may be pushing it a LITTLE, but boy was I wrong.

The day prior I had received an email saying we needed to "register" at MD Anderson at 9:30.  We arrived in the hospital district around 8:30 and figured we'd be proactive.  We thought we could "register" early (thinking this was just paperwork) but, apparently when you start the registration process it means you're ready to be seen.
So we screwed that up right off the bat and had to leave and left the poor lady in registration with the troubling of calling and canceling our status.
Off walking to Children's for our first appointment. (We were told it was "right across the street" but it was a good 10 minute super fast walk).  We got there at 9:20 for our "9:50" appointment since I always am a little early.  Well apparently- it's a 9:50 CHECK IN with a 10:10 appointment.  UGH.  And.... Cue panic.  How are we supposed to get from Children's to MD Anderson by 11:00??

We weren't even called back until 10:40. I was freaking out but  we were sure we kept the patient relations lady at MD Anderson updated and the AMAZING MD Anderson neuro-oncologist told us just to show up when we were done!  What specialist does that!?

We made it to MD Anderson around 11:50 and sat until 1:00.  We saw the neurosurgeon at 1:03 (we had a 1:00 appointment).  MD Anderson ROCKS at punctuality.  The neuro-oncologist came in shortly after and we were done around 2:00.

We are all exhausted but pretty happy with the second opinions.  The doctors were all wonderful and kind and ?thankfully all shared the same view on what to do-- wait and see.


So what did they say??  Basically- at Children's the neuro-oncologist was a little more hesitant to actually label what Liam has as a "glioma".  He just said 'whatever it is, it's there'.  He basically said he can't be sure of anything unless it grows or goes away.  (GOES AWAY!?  It can do that?!)  He feels as though we may benefit from having a blood test to check for neurofibromatosis (NF) and he would check with the guys in that department to see if they agreed.  At MD Anderson the neurosurgeon (who was the NICEST surgeon I've ever met) explained in depth how a surgery could possibly be done IF the tumor grows a lot- but he'd recommend doing nothing but serial MRIs for now.  The MD Anderson neuro-onc said he'd do the genetic test for NF but basically do the serial MRIs for now.

Interestingly- the all commented that Liam's strabismus was barely noticeable.  On the car ride home I made an appointment for a "re-measure" of his eyes because now I'm worried they will be over-correcting his strabismus.  Magically- they had an opening tomorrow at 8 AM.

Another doctor's appointment.  It seems never-ending.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Wish us luck!  Tomorrow we start our whirlwind tour of Houston cancer hospitals.  Prayers/ thoughts appreciated that everything said is positive for Liam's future.

I'm super nervous. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Appointment update

 I guess it really does help to know someone who knows someone, who knows someone.

We have our appointment Monday at Children's Hospital in Houston to get a second opinion from a pedi-neuro-oncologist.  It's at 9:50.  This is the appointment that my Ft. Worth specialist set up.

However---- I'd also talked with a friend who works at M.D. Anderson cancer hospital- which is across the street from Children's.  She spoke with a few people and got me the name of the patient coordinator for pedi- oncology.   I sent my friend Liam's MRI and she dropped it off with the head of pedi-neuro-oncology.   When I called to speak with the patient coordinator, she was basically waiting on my phone call.  She knew all about Liam and our situation already.  It was impressive to say the least.  Then, they truly bent over backwards to accommodate the fact that we were traveling in from out of town.  They gave Liam an appointment later than they typically ever schedule appointments. (Usually the last one scheduled is at 10:30- which we obviously couldn't make, so Liam got an 11:30 time slot and the request to "please be there as soon as possible". )
How awesome is that? I know know that pediatric oncologists are the nicest doctors that exist- but I'm so sad I had to find out this way.

So now, we not only have the Children's appointment on Monday, but I have an M.D Anderson appointment with both a neuro-oncologist and neuro-surgeon.  Wow.  Hopefully we get some positive views on Liam's case in Houston!  Wish us luck and keep us in your prayers please.

- Jamie

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pedi Neurology

Another specialist.

We've now seen ophthalmology, pediatric neuro-oncology, pediatric neurosurgery, and now- just plain ole' pediatric neurology.  Liam has seen more specialists in his 10 little months of life than I've seen in my 32 years!

So here's what we found out today-- Liam is normal.  Nice and normal.  No neuro deficits. No signs of any problems.  YAY!  We will have to follow up again in 3 months to make sure we stay nice and normal.  But normal is good.  I like normal.

On a funny note- apparently I have a big head too!  The neurologist measured my head and said it's above the 90%.  Guess I can't just blame Chase for Liam's big-headedness.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

To my "Who" army--

Wow! We really got such and outpouring of love and support from everyone.

Liam is such a special little guy and to have so many people thinking of him and praying for him really means a lot.  I got cards in the mail, emails, facebook messages, text messages, and phone calls; all saying how people were with us in thought and prayer.  All hoping and believing that Liam would end up ok.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. And....... I really believe that he will be ok.  I still find myself praying every moment I have of silence- "please God don't let it grow" seems to be my mantra lately.

I also have a lot of people telling me how strong I am.  I don't feel strong.  I feel helpless and small.  I haven't cried myself to sleep since our follow-up so there's an improvement at least.   I try to keep day to day exactly the same so Liam doesn't know anything has changed.  He's back to sleeping well which is so much better than the waking up 6 times at night that he was doing right after the diagnosis.  I think he could sense our stress and that really disrupted him.

We have a neurology appointment tomorrow- this is to look for any signs of neurological involvement with the tumor.  The theory is we monitor for tiny changes- if any are noted we do another MRI right away.  Hopefully, tomorrow's appointment will be totally uneventful as will be all the follow-ups we will have in the future.

Well that's it for today.  Nothing really big.  Nothing really important.  Just wanted to say thank you for all your support.  Thanks for helping God hear us down here on our little clover flower.

-- Jamie

and if you got this far:

Isn't he the sweetest thing ever??  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

An update, without an update.

Today was our follow up with neuro-oncology.

As we sat in the waiting room I saw 3 other little babies about Liam's age.  One obviously was pretty sick he had the "cancer kid" look.  He was pale, had no hair, and was thin- but he was smiling and playing.  I felt bad for praying that my kid wasn't going to be a "cancer kid".  The other 2 babies looked "normal"- I wondered why they were there.  Were they waiting on their prognosis too?  Were they wondering why we were there?

After what seemed like forever, the doctor finally came in.
It's a tumor. It's in his brain stem.  It's inoperable. (yes yes yes- this I know).  And here comes the frustrating part.  That's STILL all we KNOW.  (WHAT!?)

The "tumor board" met and discussed Liam's case.  They all seemed to agree.  The diagnosis is likely a "low grade glioma".  Here's why they think it's "low grade"-- He's NORMAL.  
The MRI showed the tumor to be "intrinsic" meaning growing in the brain tissue, not on it.  If it were "extrinsic" they could basically shave it off like a wart.  Most low grade gliomas are extrinsic, the bad ones are intrinsic, but the bad ones cause symptoms.  Liam is NORMAL.  He has no neurologic symptoms.

Best case scenario:  Liam was born with this tumor, it doesn't grow, EVER. He gets to be an old guy- just an old guy with a brain tumor.

Worst case scenario: Whoops- It's not a low grade glioma, it's a high grade glioma.  Liam has 6-12 months to live.
Let's hope for best case scenario.

We were given option to start chemotherapy- but of course that comes with side effects- and- if the best case scenario were to happen, we don't need it.  The doctor recommended a "wait and see" approach.  Basically we will repeat the MRI in 3 months to see if it has grown.  If it doesn't grow, we repeat an MRI in 3 months, every 3 months for a year. Then every 6 months, then annually.  If it grows a little, we will start chemo.  If it grows a LOT, we will start chemo and radiation (and that means it's a high grade glioma and the worst case scenario).

We will be sent to see a pedi-neurologist so he can monitor Liam for any slight neurologic symptoms, like changes in reflexes or slight changes in strength that we as parents may miss since we are with him every day.

So now we wait.  We pray. And we continue living life.  Thank you all so very much for your prayers, well wishes, and positive vibes.  I truly feel as though Liam is destined for the best case scenario.

Love you all-
The HOGANS (Jamie, Chase, and Liam)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A who in whoville

Have you ever seen the movie- Horton Hears a Who?  You know the part at the end when all the Who's have to make as much noise as possible to get the "people" other than Horton to hear they exist on the clover flower- that's how I've been feeling lately.  I feel as though if I can just get one more person to pray maybe God will hear and grant me my miracle.

I'm a Who in Whoville, desperate to be heard.

Let me back up-
May 20th I took my son in for a routine MRI because he has strabismus and a big head.  It was supposed to be nothing.  It was supposed to be routine.  It was just to "be sure everything was fine".  Well, in the end, everything wasn't fine.

There was a spot- a likely mass.  A big spot- in his brain stem. IN HIS BRAIN STEM.  I was told this over the telephone at 6:05 pm by my pediatrician.  I was still sitting in the hospital in the radiology department.
Then I had to tell my husband

Exactly one hour later I was told I had an appointment with a pediatric neuro-oncologist and a pediatric neurosurgeon the following day.  I didn't even know there was such a thing as a pediatric neuro-oncologist.

The mass is likely a glioma. A brain tumor.  An INOPERABLE brain tumor..............

My world has been flipped upside down, inside out, and thrown in every which way you could imagine.  My heart has broken.  My mind has shut down.  I don't know what to think.  I don't know what to do.  So I pray.  I pray whenever I have a spare second to myself.  I pray before bed, I pray when I wake up.  I pray before meals, I pray after meals.  I pray constantly.

People keep asking me how I'm doing- I. DON'T. KNOW.

I am a Who in Whoville, please Lord hear me.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Superbowl Food- Buffalo Chicken Poppers

Yesterday was the Super Bowl and apparently it's the second largest day for food here in America, following just behind Thanksgiving.  Wow.

We didn't really do anything special for the Super Bowl but I did try some new recipes that turned out pretty good!  They were buffalo chicken dip, buffalo chicken poppers, and buffalo chicken stuffed jalapenos (this one I just made up because I had some left over chicken and some huge jalapenos.

First up: Buffalo Chicken Poppers (recipe off Iowa Girl Eats found from Pintrest originally).
Here's her recipe- I made a few changes.

Makes 16 poppers
4oz cream cheese, softened (can use regular, whipped, 1/3 less fat, etc.)
(I used regular)
3 teaspoons ranch dip mix, divided
1 large chicken breast, cut into small pieces
3-4 Tablespoons buffalo wing sauce (4, three just didn't seem like enough!)
1, 8-count tube reduced fat crescent rolls (If I was using regular cream cheese, why reduce fat crescent rolls? I just used regular and the cheapy Wal-Mart Brand)
Avocado Bleu Cheese Dip   ( I did not make this.  I felt the Poppers did not really NEED a dip- they were good without it for ME anyway.  I may try the bleu cheese next time. )
1 avocado
1/3 cup bleu cheese dressing
  1. Preheat oven according to crescent roll package directions. Mix together cream cheese and 2 teaspoons ranch dip mix in a small bowl. Season chicken with remaining teaspoon ranch dip mix, and cook in a non-stick sprayed skillet. Toss with buffalo wing sauce, and set aside to cool.
  2. Lay crescent rolls out flat, and cut each triangle in half with a pizza cutter. Gently flatten each triangle, and place 1 teaspoon cream cheese mix in the center ( I just eye balled approx. a teaspoon then made them all about equal.). Top with a spoonful of chicken. (I had to stretch out some of the crescent rolls to accomodate the chicken.  I then added a little more Franks to the mix) Bring all three sides of the crescent roll triangle to the top, then pinch all three seams to seal. Place on a baking sheet, and bake according to crescent roll package directions.

These were soooo good fresh from the oven! (They're not terrible warmed up either)
These are my TERRIBLE phone pictures.  She has much prettier ones on her website!

Next up:  Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Jalapenos

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Magic Hands-

I thought I'd share a funny story with you- it's typical of the weird way things happen in my life.

I went to the nail salon for the first time in many months- I wanted (nay, NEEDED) a pedicure and my eyebrows waxed.  I didn't even know my eyebrows would grow so bushy!  Anyway-

I walked in the door and told them what I wanted.  In typical fashion I was taken to a back room to get my eyebrows done first.  I lay on the table and the lady waxed my brows- then came the question they always ask- "You want me wax your lip?"  I politely declined.  She was insistent- "You have a lot of hair- it's blond but there's a lot. See?" (she hands me a mirror)  I tell her yes I am aware I have some hair on my lip, but no thank you to the wax because I've done it before and it makes me cry.  It HURTS!!

----On a side note- I've gone in after actually shaving my "mustache" just to see what they say and they still tell me I have hair on my lip and I need it waxed.  So I'm not insulted, I figured they just try to "upsell" you everything.

Then she proceeds to tell me she has "magic hands" and she has a "trick" and I should "trust her" because the way she does it there will be no pain.  After a few minutes of arguing back and forth I give in.

She puts the wax strip on the right side, rubs it down, then BAM!!!! whacks me in the forehead then pulls the strip off.  IT.STILL.HURT. And my forehead now hurt. And  I had tears in my eyes.

She said "oops, sorry I hit you too hard.  Did you still want me to do the other side?"
I told her of course, I couldn't walk around with half a "mustache" but there was no need to whack me in the forehead again!

No more lip waxing for me!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pintrest Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

So I love all things "buffalo chicken".  I love buffalo chicken sandwhiches, chicken wings, chicken poppers, whatever it is, if it's covered in Frank's Hot Sauce and butter I probably like it. I also love meatballs- on pasta in sandwiches, on their own in BBQ sauce, whatever.... So seeing peace love and low carb's Buffalo chicken meatballs, I thought, "best of both worlds!"  And I gave it a shot.

First off- I did not put them on a salad to make it 'low carb'.  I'm breast feeding and I don't really care about carbohydrates at this point so there's my disclaimer.  I put the 'low carb' recipe on, wait for it.... flour tortillas  <gasp!>  with some ranch, pickles, and lettuce to make a wrap.  And it was gooooooood.  The texture of the meatballs is a little off seeing as it's ground chicken (well I used ground turkey instead) instead of whole chicken or ground beef but it was over all something I would make again.  Maybe as a Superbowl appetizer?

Of course I wrote the recipe down then tossed it- then went back to their site and they have removed the original recipe because they are now selling it in a cookbook.  I google searched and found one that was VERY similar as far as I could remember.

It is from a different website called Shrinking Kitchen
Here it is:


1 pound lean ground chicken
1 egg
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 carrot ( **I did not put carrot in the meatballs I made**)
1 stalk celery
2 green onions
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ounce crumbled blue cheese ( I am NOT a blue cheese fan but I did use it in the recipe.  I couldn't even really tell it was there)
1/2 cup Frank's Hot Sauce (or your favorite), divided
1 tablespoon butter

Step by step
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil and coat with nonstick spray.
  3. Cut the celery, carrot and green onion into large chunks and throw into a food processor.  (** I did not use a food processor- I just finely diced everything)
  4. Pulse to chop into small bits.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the vegetable mixture, chicken (I used ground turkey because this is what I had), egg, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, 1/2 the hot sauce and the blue cheese.
  6. Gently fold together to combine, but don't overmix.
  7. Form the mixture into small meatballs - you should get about 28 small meatballs.
  8. Place the meatballs on the cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. While the meatballs are baking, put the rest of the hot sauce and the butter into a microwave safe dish.
  11. Microwave about 30 seconds, until butter melts.
  12. Stir well to combine.
  13. Remove the meatballs from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  14. Place the meatballs onto a serving dish and drizzle with butter/hot sauce mixture.
  15. Enjoy!
WW PP 4; Calories 157; Total Fat 8.7g; Saturated Fat 3.5g; Trans Fat 0.0g; Cholesterol 87mg; Sodium 741mg; Total Carbohydrates 5.8g; Dietary Fiber 0.6g; Sugars 0.8g; Protein 13.8g

Monday, January 28, 2013

baby Liam is 6 months old!

Liam turned 6 months old on Saturday!  I can't believe how fast time has gone by.  He spent most of Saturday relaxing and Sunday we had a busy day at the Fort Worth Stock Yards.

Jessica, of  Jessica Cernat Photography, spent Sunday afternoon with us taking some 6 month photos of Liam (and Chase & I too!) in the stock yards.  Chase and I had never been there before and it was certainly an experience.  We had a lot of fun and Liam did a great job even though he was feeling a little under the weather.  You can't tell by the photos!  Jessica got him to smile and laugh and captured it all on camera!

Here is a link to our sneak peek of photos-  Liam is 6 months old.
Here's a few stolen off facebook  :)

Today Liam had his 6 month well baby check.  He was 50% for weight, 75% for height, and a whopping 100+% for head size!!!!  I knew he had a big head but goodness!  We have to go back for a nurse visit in 6 weeks to measure his head to see how it's doing.  If it's getting BIGGER we have to have an ultrasound and/or a skull series and CT scan to make sure there is nothing going on other than he just has a big head.  The pedi said she really wasn't worried so let's hope he just has a big head to house his big genius brain!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pintrest Recipes

So I promised my dear husband that I would start cooking more and start making recipes that were different than our "typical" fare.  I decided to do Pintrest Sundays.  I always look at the yummy food pictures and "pin" them but I had not necessarily been diligently trying them.  So- New Year's resolution time-

 Here's Pintrest New Year recipe #1.

Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta from Chaos in the Kitchen

  • 4-8 oz fettuccine or linguine- I used Linguine, about 6 ounces (1/2 the bag)
  • 10 tbsp butter, divided (I know, but I’ve tried it with less and it’s just not the same) 
  • 8 oz fresh, sliced mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced ( I mined one fresh clove but then used a heaping spoonful of store bought)
  • 3 oz cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (you can use dried herbs if that’s all you have)
  • 2/3 cup boiling water (from your noodle pot)
  • 1 lb cooked shrimp ( I used frozen- and saute'd them in more butter prior to adding them)
  1. Boil and salt a large pot of water and cook your pasta.  I usually only use about half of an 8 oz box, preferring fewer noodles. ( I waited until I was done cooking the shrimp before starting the water and pasta.)
  2. While your pasta is cooking, cook your shrimp if necessary and reserve.  If your shrimp are pre-cooked and frozen, quickly thaw them under running water.
  3. In a large skillet melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat and saute mushrooms until soft and brown.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Reserve cooked mushrooms and melt remaining butter in the skillet.  Add minced garlic, cream cheese, and herbs.  At this point, I generally feel like something has gone terribly wrong.  The cream cheese doesn’t really melt and starts to look almost curdled, don’t worry about it!  It will all smooth out and be wonderful when we add the water. I promise. ( Stirred this pretty constantly- it looked a little weird but no problems.
  5. Simmer cream cheese mixture until well blended. Get a scoop of boiling pasta water from your noodle pot and mix it in, stirring quickly to smooth out the sauce. (I wasn't sure exactly how much a "scoop" was here- I added 4 tbs of water and decided that was enough- the sauce was thick but not too thick and not runny)
  6. Keep sauce hot and add shrimp and mushrooms, mix well and simmer (stirring often) until everything is hot and thickened, about 10 minutes-you wont ruin this sauce by accidentally boiling it so don’t worry. (Basically I tossed the shrimp and mushrooms in and got everything nice and coated then removed from the heat.  I did not want to over cook the shrimp).
Toss sauce with cooked noodles and serve.                                                            

                YUM!- Chase wants me to make this again but due to the HUGE amount of butter (cholesterol) I may either tweak the recipe or not make often.  It was certainly tastey!  I think I may enjoy making new recipes!