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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Chambray is to easy…

When I studied for the SATs in high school, I LOVED analogies.

I know…nerd alert.

So, here’s an analogy for you.

Chambray Shirt : Easy :: Calculus : Difficult

Okay, not my best effort, but you get the idea. Webster defines chambray as “a fine lightweight fabric woven with white threads across a colored warp”. I would define it as a “very soft, lighter denim”.

A chambray shirt is/should be a key staple in your wardrobe. It is incredibly versatile. In other words, it’s the new white button-up shirt.

Here’s why:

It looks great with jeans. Consider it a “classy Canadian tuxedo”. 😉

It can be worn over a maxi dress and tied at the waist. Perfect for taking those summer dresses into fall.

It looks amazing with corduroy.

It can also be worn with metallics.

It can be worn long and belted over a strapless dress or skirt.

It dresses down a fancy, sequin skirt.

It can be worn with any color skinny jeans.

So, did I convince you how awesome the chambray shirt is and how much you need one?

If you don’t have one yet, now’s the perfect time to ask for one for Christmas.

My chambray shirt is from Target, but I found some other options for you here, here, here and here. Or you can always scour your local Plato’s Closet or Goodwill.

Happy Friday!



Today’s Coast to Coast Challenge was “Borrowed From The Boys”. Now menswear is not my style and a little bit out of my comfort zone, but I’m happy with how it turned out and didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.

As long as I have my trusty pearl earrings on at all times. 😉

Simon’s Story: Part Four

If you missed Part One to the story, you can read it here.

The next day, we waited for the PICC nurse to arrive. The line was finally put in  in the afternoon and while they were doing it, they had to move his intubation tube to the other side. This made Simon incredibly angry and he moved both arms and legs. It was nice to see him angry and expressing emotion, which made us hopeful he was still “in there”. Soon after, they removed his tube and his pretty, perfect lips were a glorious sight to behold.

I slept with Liam across the street again that night and Jesse told me in the morning that Simon woke up calling for me. I was so sad to miss hearing his sweet little voice and couldn’t wait to hear him talk again. In retrospect, I feel like this day is the day that we finally relaxed and life moved back to a normal pace again, instead of a slow, tortuous crawl. They moved Simon to a crib-like bed and took two more tubes out, so we were finally able to hold him!

Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapy also assessed him and were amazed at how well he was doing. His neurosurgeon came in and called Simon “his hero”, which I thought was funny because at this point, Dr. Meltzer was my hero for saving him. Simon’s left eye was still really swollen from the pressure of the blood in his brain and it was hard for him to open. His breathing continued to be labored, but when he was awake, he tried to move around a lot, which everyone was happy to see.

Because he wasn’t medicated as much anymore and able to move around, they moved him to a new bed, that is similar to a crib with both sides that raise up, so that he couldn’t fall out. My amazing friend, Cheryl, made Simon a flag bunting to brighten up his room.

The OT (occupational therapist), Missy, handed Simon a sippy cup with water in it and he brought the cup to his mouth independently with his left hand and downed it in less than a minute, which completely floored her. Because of my background in speech therapy, I worried a lot about his speech returning, as he was already ahead of his age-group before the accident. That day he was able to repeat “mama”, “da” (dada), “truck”, “more” and “nana” (banana). This made my heart soar!

The doctors talked to us about moving Simon to less critical care because of his miraculous improvement. We were blown away at the prayers and outpouring of support from Facebook. People in other countries were praying for us and posting encouragement to our Facebook page “Praying for Simon Frey”. At one point I was worried about Simon’s personality not returning because he hadn’t smiled yet and Jesse reminded me to post a status update with a specific prayer request for that since there were so many people praying diligently for Simon. We were incredibly uplifted from believers near and far.

The next morning I rushed over to Simon’s room and he woke up and called for me. When I set my phone down next to him, he immediately grabbed it and held it up to push the buttons. I asked for it back from him and he said “no” as well as smiling at me! I was truly encouraged that God listens to our prayers, even the tiniest concerns. Jesse and I started thinking that Simon was bored just lying in his bed, so we turned Elmo on and he was stoked. That day, January 5th, marked Simon’s 17-month mark as well as one week since the accident. It was hard to believe that it had only been a week and I felt like I had aged five years in that week.

The doctors came by and told us that the next day they planned on moving us to rehab, depending on how he was doing, which meant that moving us to rehab, depending on how Simon’s therapy went, we could potentially go home in two weeks. Two weeks?!? That is crazy to believe since right after the accident I figured we would be in the hospital for MONTHS. The rehab doctor also told us that he believed that we would be going home with no equipment, meaning Simon would be walking. PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!

(I got this fortune cookie with my dinner that night and it made me smile.)

On Friday, January 6th, Simon’s breathing was still labored with a lot of gunk still in his lungs. He also seemed uncomfortable and almost frustrated at himself because it looked like he wanted to say something, but didn’t know how.

We talked to an intensivist and he said that with brain injuries like Simon’s, it was possible to have vocal fold paralysis, so they looked into that, as well as the possibility of whooping cough. Every day there seemed to be new questions or scary possibilities, but we waited and trusted in our God. An ENT came to check out Simon’s vocal folds and they were fine and we waited to hear results of the whooping cough test (which were later proven negative). We prayed fervently that Simon would sleep well through the night and breathe perfectly in the morning so we could move to rehab and get started on some hard-core therapy.

It was incredible to see Simon regain so much more of himself every hour and equally frustrating that little things (like waiting for test results) were holding us back, but we trusted God’s timing and tried our hardest to be patient.

Simon’s breathing improved the next day and even though we hadn’t found out the results of the whooping cough, we were pretty sure he didn’t have it. He did seem to be grumpy and uncomfortable, so we prayed that he was able to get rest and not be in too much pain. They told us that they planned to move us to rehab the next day, so we were really thankful.

He was also able to get his feeding tube out. We had to make sure that he ate enough by himself, so he didn’t have to get the tube put back in. This task, in itself, was challenging because Simon has always been the kind of kid that ate when he wanted to and refused to eat when he didn’t feel like it. It would take a whole day of us offering him a glass of milk every chance we got to get him to drink the whole thing. It also didn’t help that they had him on a soft foods diet and Simon is not a fan of “mushy” texture. We tried to order him as much as possible (mac ‘n cheese, mashed potatoes, apple sauce, pudding, oatmeal) to give him as many options as possible.

Simon started doing a weird rolling/blinking with his eyes that concerned us and also seemed to be bugging him. The doctors suspected that it was a dry eye problem.

Thanks for reading. Part five will be continued next Monday.

Smokey Eyes and Belts

Today’s Coast to Coast Challenge is Smokey Eyes and Belts.

Now, I’ve got belts down (the biggest problem was choosing which one to wear), but I have always struggled with a good smoky eye.

Because I had to be at work today, I downplayed the smoky eye a little and added some green shadow.

Simon’s Story: Part Three

If you missed the beginning of the story, you can find Part One here.

Simon slept through the night and in the morning started to move and struggle against his intubation. This was a really good sign of brain function, but they needed to medicate him more to keep him still. We prayed for his temperature to stay low because it was rising a bit, as this would allow his metabolism to move slowly giving his brain a chance to rest and heal.

We sat and waited throughout the day (which felt like a year) and watched Simon increase in twitchiness. Watching him move more made us happy and lightened our hearts a bit. Later in the day, they took another CT scan just to be safe.

As it was Jesse’s turn to sleep in the room and the waiting room was packed with people, I decided to go home that night. My parents drove me and we stopped at my best friend, Katie’s house on the way. It was her 30th birthday and New Year’s Eve and I had a cupcake I wanted to deliver to her. Being an extrovert, it was refreshing to be surrounded by my close friends and to get away from the stress and waiting at the hospital.

It was comforting to sleep in my own bed, but also incredibly anxiety-inducing. I tried not to think about Simon and the events of the past two days. I also tried to not think about being away from him; instead, I tried to focus my attention on Liam.

We rushed back to the hospital early that morning, where we learned that the CT results were the same, which was good. His temperature was normal. They attempted to extubate him, but he panicked a little when they turned off the ventilation and breathed too quickly, so they turned the ventilation back on. This was discouraging because they wouldn’t be able to decrease his coma-inducing drugs until he was able to breath on his own. We wanted so badly to be able to see him wake up and know his mental state. The waiting combined with not knowing was incredibly stressful.

That day they worked hard to clear his airways. This included giving him some asthma medication to help treat the congestion he had, to hopefully speed up his progress towards extubation. It was at this time that he opened one eye really quickly. We were so excited to see this, which made us want to hold him so badly. We understood that he needed to rest to let his lungs heal, but our arms ached to hold our baby. The doctors told us that they needed to hear a “leak”, which would show them that his vocal area had decreased in swelling. I posted this prayer request on Facebook and only fifteen minutes later a nurse came in a heard a “leak” and another nurse told me that his lungs (while she listened through a stethoscope) sounded “really good”. We were blown away with the power of prayer and the power of our God. How good He was to us to listen to our specific needs and graciously give us tiny bits of hope for our son. We prayed that we would be a good witness to the doctors and nurses that surrounded us as we were practically roommates 24/7. We were incredibly thankful for the constant and continual care that Rady’s Chilren’s PICU gave us.

The next day, January 2nd, after we had rested (or as much as you can in a hospital room with loud beeping monitors), we met with our neurosurgeon. He read the latest CT scan and told us that there is a possibility of damage on the left side of his brain possibly caused by a stroke. This made sense as he was moving his right side a lot less than his left side (because each side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body). Some tests also came back that day which showed he had some sort of bacterial infection, which was possibly from a cold he had before the accident. They put him on antibiotics and he continued to cough up a lot of gunk, which showed that it was loosening in his lungs.

The doctors made the decision to put a PICC line in to give Simon more movement once he woke up. A PICC line is a “peripherally inserted central catheter”. A nurse is specially trained to use ultrasound to insert the thin tube/catheter in the periphery (usually an arm) that goes directly to the heart. It can deliver treatments directly to the bloodstream and is much more user friendly than an IV. Because they need a specific nurse to do the procedure, we had to wait for this nurse to come and she had a long list of patients ahead of us. We were informed that Simon wasn’t going to be able to get the PICC line in until the next day and so the extubation would have to be put off another day.

Simon opened his eye for a bit and looked at me worriedly, which is understandable as he was hooked up to five or more loud, beeping machines, in a room he didn’t recognize with people he didn’t know. I was able to lean down and hug him to comfort him, but I wanted more than anything in the world at that moment to scoop him up, run out of that hospital, and return to normal life. Hearing that the extubation was delayed yet again made me want to scream in frustration, but I tried to focus on the good things around us. I was thankful that 1-Simon was alive, 2-my husband was incredibly supportive and praying at this stressful time, 3-every nurse we had was incredibly friendly and hopeful for Simon’s future condition, 4-my family and friends who were amazingly helpful with Liam, our house, our dog, food, prayers, hugs, etc. and 5-Simon’s strong, spunky personality that made him such a fighter. This was unmistakably the longest week of my entire life.

It was brilliant timing that we were able to get a room at Ronald MacDonald that day, which allowed us to sleep in a bed in a quiet room, along with Liam and be within walking distance of Simon’s room. I am thankful for my family being so close and having a daily relationship with my kids already, so them staying at our house with Liam wasn’t too strange or different. But, you could tell that the stress of the past days’ events were getting to him. He acted out in anger towards everyone, had hysterical breakdowns and we took big steps backward with potty training. His poor belly was rejecting him and he had many accidents, most of them that were probably uncontrollable. The exhaustion and stress also caught up with me. I felt incredibly shaky and fatigued. I had been taking 1 or 2 Advil PMs every night since the accident to help me sleep and I believe that this, plus the constant stress, were breaking me down. Jesse was also having to keep up with his classwork (he is attending Ashford University and thankfully all his classes are online).

Thanks for reading! Read Part 4 on Wednesday.

4 Outfits For Your Viewing Pleasure

Here are four of the outfits I wore this week.

My favorite is the last.

I really wanted to do an outfit with tights and shorts. I think I pulled it off.

What do you think?

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Fashion “Black” Friday

I had the pleasure of hanging out with my gorgeous friend, Cara, this week.

We made up some outfits to show how to layer and transition a dress or outfit from spring/summer to fall/winter.

Keep in mind that we live in Southern California, so we don’t bundle up as much as some states, but some of the concepts of layering can still be used.

1. A long sleeve shirt and leggings/tights can make a dress last all year long.

2. A great pair of boots is a valuable thing to have.

3. Cardigans are your best friend for the fall transition. Buy them in a lot of colors.

4. Always layer shirts over top of each other. You’ll never know what will and won’t work until you try. Plus, scarves add warmth and a pop of color.

5. A blazer or jacket can pull any dress or outfit together to look more professional, no matter what time of year.

6. Flannel shirts can be tied at the waist to act as outerwear or you could button and belt one like a cardigan.

What do you think? Are there any outfits that you wear in warmer weather that you think you could transition to fall?

Since this is such a picture dense post, I’ll be posting MY outfits from the week tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Happy Black Friday! 🙂