Wednesday, June 01, 2011

What does CPR have to do with it?

My child choked on a piece of candy, and I was the person that gave it to him.

Headlines read, "Peppermint Attempts to Take Down Tough Guy"

As most of you know, I am a volunteer for the American Heart Association and a HUGE advocate for women's heart health.  This month (June), the AHA is taking even more steps to educate adults about "Hands-Only CPR" with a 1 minute video at  I am asking you as my friends, family, fellow bloggers . . . Please take a minute to watch the video.  You never know when the life you are going to save is going to be for your own loved one.

I just wanted to briefly share my personal story regarding taking a CPR course about a year ago . . .

I decided to go for a "refresher" CPR course a little over a year ago, because I was working in the church nursery a lot, and I thought that I should set a good example.  Did I think I needed it?  No.  The baby gates had baby gates at my house.  Gary and I were Wardens in the Napolitano baby jail (no danger allowed), and I was sure that I had removed everything out of harms way for my children.  Beside that, I had worked with children and in hospitals for years.  I would know what to do if I needed to perform CPR or first aid. 

70% of Americans do not know how to administer CPR.  80% of cardiac arrests occur at home or work. 

I took the CPR/First Aid course on a Saturday morning, and I was anticipating a great afternoon with Wendy, Joey, and Merrin.  As I was cooking in the kitchen, it was fun to hear the kids playing together in the back with Wendy and Joey.  And then I heard, "Jamie!  He's choking!"

Brady had been playing with a peppermint in his mouth, and it was quickly sucked down into his windpipe with one of his infamous laughs.

I immediately had Gary call 911 and assessed the situation.  He was not talking, coughing, or responding.  The peppermint did not come out with some swats to his back.  I had to perform the heimlich maneuver, and it took several attempts before the candy was propelled across the room and his airway was freed.

Surely we have a loving and merciful God to lead my reluctant heart to a CPR class THAT morning, guide me through the steps of the heimlich maneuver without panic, and to remind me that my children and family are not immune to emergencies just because I take precautions in my home.  My child choked on a piece of candy, and I was the person that gave it to him.  This was a very humbling experience that I am extremely grateful for.

It was not CPR.  I did not have to do chest compressions, and I am glad that it did not come to that.  We were in a household of adults that were able to respond to the circumstance, and Brady is a healthy, happy boy.  I know when all of you look at your loved ones, there is nothing you wouldn't do to prevent harm, protect, or save their lives.

Visit now.  There is a 60 second video that instructs you how to perform "Hands-Only" CPR for adults in the case of a cardiac arrest.  Pass the website on to your family and friends.  I don't care how busy you are, everyone has one minute to invest in their family and friends.

I love you all! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cabbages, Carrots, and Classic Quotes . . .

We finally made it back to the St. Patrick's Day Parade this year!  It is definitely our favorite parade to attend, and we have such a gracious invitation to a beautiful home of friends that live right on the parade route.  Not only has it been a welcoming environment for our family, but they are so generous in the food they have for their guests!  I cannot imagine how much preparation takes place before the event, but we are grateful for these opportunities to make memories with family and friends!
Brady and Reese are at the age where they are "prime" targets for many of the coveted parade throws.  After the first hour of floats, Brady and Reese had accumulated enough stuff to fill our small house. 

This is only one of the bags.

The first priceless quote of the day came from my observant and vocal son.  He has an amazing ability to watch people in these environments, take in and process all the information, and he told Gary,

"These people are crazy." 

We only had one injury, but I am pretty sure the whole parade heard it.  Reese got slammed with some heavy beads on the head and face.  I guess that the person throwing the beads at her could not tell that she is about 3 feet tall, less than 30 lbs, and full of drama.  She wailed for about 5 minutes while we tried to console her.  The other riders on that float felt really bad, so the "gifts" came pouring in.  Cabbage anyone?

She got over it.  "THROW ME SUUUUMMMMPIN!"

I didn't go to these kinds of parades as a child, so I am just now learning the intensity that they can arouse in those tiny bodies.  I noticed that Brady was trying to shove a ball/bat into one of his goody bags, and it was obviously not going to fit.  I asked him, "Buddy?  Do you want to go put that back by our stuff closer to the house?"  He responded by frantically waving his arms up and down and screaming,


Although I don't appreciate being reprimanded by my children, I couldn't help but laugh.  His reality was that if he left that spot for even a second, he might miss an invaluable treasure.  I graciously packed away his junk, and we moved on.

I wasn't able to take many pictures of our friends and the surrounding parade goers, but here are a few more shots . . .

  And here is the next toy I will have to confiscate.

Get that nasty thing out of your mouth! 

Reese retires for the day.

Gary and Vince
Brady just plugged his ears when it got too loud.  When his "catching" hands weren't available anymore, that is when he decided it was ok to leave.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Middendorf's vs. Metairie Parades


Ahhhhhhhhh . . . The first Sunday in a long time that we could actually choose to do nothing.  We usually don't choose that valid option, but it was very nice to know that the prospect of laziness existed.

The weather was a little chilly in the morning as we packed up to go to the early service.  We noticed clouds, rain drops, and as the kids say, "It was a little ominous."  - They got that from Martha Speaks.  I had to look it up.

Gary and I decided that it may be time to actually start taking them out to eat in public . . . at a restaurant . . . one that doesn't have filthy play areas and frazzled parents.  We chose to go to Middendorf's, which is about a 30 minute drive from our home.  We packed up their distractions, snacks, and crossed our fingers.  What would it be like to eat a meal in public with two well-behaved children?  We can't even manage to do it in our own home on most evenings, so what possessed us to think we could do it now?

As soon as we got there, I noticed we were at an advantage:
1.  It was already loud in there.
2.  We were at a corner table, and Brady could technically be "trapped" in by Gary's chair.
3.  We found some things they would eat on the menu.

Gluttony prevailed.  Gary and I had gumbo, Italian oysters, and he ate a fried catfish plate (their specialty), and I had a lot of broiled salmon.  Reese effortlessly tackled 1/2 lb. of shrimp, french fries, and ate all the shrimp out of our gumbo.  It was a little harder for Brady to focus on food, but he did eat a few french fries and sipped on some pink lemonade.  We escaped the building without tears, blood, screams, or ugly looks.  Victory was ours!  It had nothing to do with me and Gary and our parenting "expertise."  God just blessed us with enough grace to accept the age-appropriate things they did that was a little embarrassing and delighted us with sweet gestures like hugging the waitress when we left. 

That was all pleasant and worth the drive, but the real fun started outside.  It was like a mini beach on the lake!  There was a lot of sand, buckets, a hammock, precious beach decor, a dock . . . The sun came out, and we just enjoyed flipping each other over in the hammock and watching the kids immerse themselves in sand.  I felt a little bad for the other kids watching whose parents didn't want their car filled with sand.  It was worth every grain (that I still have not cleaned out yet)!

Middendorf's was definitely the right choice for us!

The Discovery
The View





Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tears at the Zoo

The zoo is usually just a place that Brady, Reese, and I spend time together during the week if we don't have school, play group, church, or any other errands to run.  We have been spoiled by having the zoo/aquarium membership, so it is very cheap entertainment.  However, it is a special day when Daddy gets to join us.  We show him all of our favorite spots, Brady and Reese squeal on me that we usually indulge in ice cream or a snow ball, and we introduce him to some of our favorite goats in the petting zoo. 

Many of the goats have become particularly fond of Reese.  She must be some sort of "goat whisperer."

Brady . . . well, the sign says it all . . .

And then, there is the infamous Monkey Hill.  In the summertime, it is filled with half naked children splashing around on dangerous rocks in water that has to be predominately urine.  (shudder)  They love it.  I try to avoid it by distracting them, but they are too old for that now. 

In the winter, it is a climbing spot.  Brady immediately tackled the "spider web" design, and Reese cautiously sized it up from the bottom. 

After quite a bit of coaxing, she slowly joined her brother up the ropes. 

 It didn't take long for me to hear a terrible cry from the top.  I guess she realized that she was going to have to get back down by herself, and she sounded terrified.  Panic filled my heart, because it was going to be difficult to navigate through all of those children to get to her before she had a complete meltdown.

I spotted Brady.  I asked him to hurry up and check on Reese, and he didn't hesitate.  He had a worried, but calm look on his face.  I was hoping that my voice didn't scare him to death, but he is familiar with his sister's timid personality.  In less than a minute, he was walking her down the ropes, hand-in-hand, until she could get to me.  When I lifted her off, she clung to me tightely. 

Tears were pouring down my face, but not because I was worried about her safety.  The way Brady helped her down the ropes and comforted her in his own way was touching.  He has never been known for his super-sensitive personality or tender nature.  Seeing him respond that way made me so proud and grateful. 

Maybe we are doing something right as parents.  When I have days that I feel like I have been the worst parent in the world, I think I will just try to remember that we are helping cultivate a relationship between the two of them that is not dependent on us.  What a relief.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


The kids lasted about 5 minutes (or less) as angels in our church's live nativity scene.  We couldn't find the white angel costumes, so we draped them with whatever material was left!  In their defense, they did do Las Posadas prior to the event, so we were all cold and tired.  It was a great experience!

Play Group Christmas Party

Daddy joined us at playgroup.  I think he went for the party.  Too bad the little sandwiches had mayo!  More for us!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Moments By Lene

 We have that fake smile down!

 Brady!  Don't kiss me!

 My little surprises!

 What's up, Santa?
Notice the brown teeth . . . They snacked on some chocolate chip cookies during the "photo shoot break."  I promise we do make them brush their teeth!

If anyone is looking for a photographer, Charlene is phenomenal!  My kids are hard to photograph, because they will refuse to smile, cooperate, sit next to each other, etc.  She is so patient, and we always love the photos!