Monday, February 29, 2016

Poor Baby!

Caution, This post has Very Yucky Pictures of Emmalee's mouth, tumor {aka-Molar Baby}, and surgery!!

I mentioned before that we found a tumor in Emmalee's mouth 4 days before Christmas, right?  Well, now you get to hear the whole story.

I was on the computer Monday morning, December 21st, 2015, trying to make a template for the Death Star Nerd Shelf while Madison and Emmalee were in the middle of some sort of sisterly tickle torture.  I was getting totally annoyed with the loud belts of screamy laughter and nearly said something a couple of times.  Luckily I didn't or I think I would have felt even worse when Madison gasped from the other room.  She called me over right away.  

Madison caught sight of the molar baby when Emmalee had her mouth wide open for one of the gut-clenching laughs.  The minute I saw it, my stomach dropped to my knees and a flood of anxiety washed over my heart.  There was no mistaking that bumpy mass in her mouth for any sort of normal canker sore or even swollen gums.  It was thick, red, and looked like a wad of raw hamburger in the back of her mouth.  I had to send her off to play and compose myself for a few minutes.  I was literally frozen in terror.  And only a few moments earlier I was crabby about the noise coming from 2 happy girls.  What a stupid thing to be crabby about. 

I called a local pediatric dentist as soon as I could pull my wits together.  Trying to describe it over the phone was pointless.  The receptionist and the dentist both said they figured it had to be a canker sore, until they saw it.  Even in the office I tried to warn them, "Just be prepared.  It is really wicked looking.  It is a mass, not just a canker."

I didn't think my stomach could fall any further, that is until I saw the horror on the dentist's face.  She poked.  Emmalee had no feeling in the mass.  After a few minutes of the both of them just staring terrified at the lump the dentist apologized, but she didn't know what it was.  We were given a referral form and a phone number for a local oral surgeon and sent on our way.  

Here we were, 3 days before Christmas, I had finally shut my Etsy shop down after 3 months of no sleep and barely functioning as a human being.  We had a list 5 pages long of things to get ready for Christmas and suddenly none of it mattered.  

I begged and pleaded for the Oral Surgeon's office to get us in before January.  After much pleading we were given an appointment the next day.  Luckily, the Oral Surgeon looked at it and was pretty confident he knew what it was.  He grabbed his dental hook and told me if we were lucky, this was a mushrooming type of tumor, meaning, it comes from a small area and kind of pops up, covering a large area like an umbrella, but that area of attachment is very small.  He poked at the mass with his hook and his face lit up.  He said, "Look!  See, when I pull it, it separates from the gums."  He sent us away confident this tumor could be cut out cleanly.  

I was more than a little upset to find out they could not get my Emmers in for surgery before New Years.  We were finally able to get an appointment on New Years Eve, but it just made me sick to think of that "thing" in her mouth, possibly harming my baby girl.  Somehow we had to make it a week before we could get that thing out.  Emmalee was fine.  She was a little shaken up emotionally, but she wasn't in pain or physically affected by the tumor at all.  Me....I was another story.  I bawled the rest of the day out in the garage as I worked on the Nerd Shelf.  I imagined what my life would be like without my baby girl I fought so many years to get pregnant with.  I imagined what it would be like to bury my baby.  I imagined my sweet, so-missed grandma who passed away 5 years ago coming and taking Emmalee by the hand and walking off with her.  It just made me bawl harder.  

I know it sounds crazy, but I guess that is how I deal with hard things.  I immediately think of every possible scenario, what the outcomes could be, how I would feel, how my family would feel, how I might react, and how I know I do not want to react.  I am not a sudden reactor.  You can ask my little sister Kallie.  She makes fun of me all the time because she can't get a reaction out of me no mater how shocking her remarks.  I think it has something to do with growing up in a house where temperaments exploded so unexpectedly.  Reacting only made things worse.  I just wait to see if what I perceive is really how things are before any emotion surfaces.  Inside I am a whirling vortex of anxiety, thought, and panic.  The shell on the outside is staring off as if lost in thought.  

The next week was spent trying to put on a happy face.  We usually LOVE our break between Christmas and New Years.  I bawled alone.  I bawled with Madison.  We just kept consoling Emmalee, promising her the doctor could take that molar baby out and she would be just fine.  Every day of that long week I fought off that sick feeling in my stomach hoping that everything would be OK.  New Years Eve finally came.  Emmalee was nervous, but so excited to get that thing cut out. 

Emmers was so brave.  She took the needle stick with grace and the surgeon was able to work on her without using gas.

I watched as he cut and nipped at the mass.  My stomach flopped when I saw her blood trickle from the first few slashes.  The point I had to look away was when he started scraping at the bone trying to get every last piece.  The area of attachment was about 1/3 the area that the tumor covered.  It was great that the wound didn't cover as much mouth as the mass, but it was still a large area so they wheeled in the laser.  Emmalee LOVES to tell people that she had lasers in her mouth.  They used the laser like a pen, drawing over the wound to cauterize or seal the area.  

About 5 minutes later, we were done.  The molar baby was out.

It was packaged up and sent off to pathology.  2 weeks would be our wait.

Emmalee thought it was her birthday when they brought her her very own carton of ice cream.  She was so excited and the assistant to the surgeon thought she was so brave, Emmers got a second carton to take home.  

It was during this 2 week wait that I finally got into the doctor for my own issues.  I had been bleeding for weeks, passing clots every couple days.  That week of vacation I started passing clots every day.  In August I had a DNC for the same thing, the doctor hoping it would help.  At that point my doctor was convinced I had uterine cancer.  I had my own biopsy sent off, so for about a week the SewCakeMaker family was waiting for 2 oncology reports.

As for Emmalee, her lump came back benign.  It was such a relief, I can't even express it.  Her diagnosis was pyogenic granuloma.  So apparently these tumors are common for children, but on their neck or arms.  The only time they are ever found in the mouth is in pregnant women.  The sources I found said that pyogenic granulomas are always benign, unless they are misdiagnosed and are actually a very rare form of cancer.  So, that week between Christmas and New Years we knew it was benign, unless it was misdiagnosed.  Luckily, thank the Good Lord in Heaven, the molar baby was benign and Emmalee hasn't had to think about it again.  

A week after getting Emmalee's results, I went in to have my unplanned hysterectomy and tried to find the least bit of excitement for this new, off to a terrible start, New Year.

2016, I was full of terror as I watched the ball drop on New Years Eve.  I know now, just as I knew then, that you are not going to be an easy year or very nice to me and my family.  Luckily, on New Years Day I saw this posted on my FB friend's wall and found direction in it's message...

After the encouraging words from this man whom I love with my whole heart, I resolve to find the bright side, to REMEMBER there IS a bright side.  I re-plant my feet on faith-formed sod.  

2015 was hard.  It taxed me in ways I never would have volunteered for, but if I focus on the negative things, I would totally miss the miracles that happened.  We were SO BLESSED last year.  When I thought about this quote, all at once I was FLOODED with remembrance of the miracles and tender mercies of my Father in Heaven that accompanied every single day.  This molar baby thing was just one more moment that ended up being a blessing dressed as despair.  Even if Emmalee's tumor had not ended up benign, I feel like this experience would have been a blessing.  I was able to take a few days, after months of being a terrible mom, working like a dog just to keep my head above water, but unable to be alive and interactive with my kids.  I had those days to examine my life, my role as a mother, my child, how life would be with one less baby to hold at night.  I had just a glimpse of what so many mothers are facing right now, their baby with a terminal illness.  How would it be to find out your baby had, not a benign tumor, but a real, cancerous, parasitic mass slowly consuming the life of their little one.  I am thankful for that glimpse.  I don't think I could have gained the compassion for those struggling families without having gone through this experience.

So, forward we will trod, through this year that is sure to bring heaps of more troubles dripping with unimaginable blessings and insight into God's plan for all of us.  I will take it.  I will do my best to find the good.  I will Act, and not be acted upon.  After all, I am the only one who controls how I react to situations I find myself in.  I am the only one who can open my eyes to see the sunrise after the long, cold night.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Meet my new nephew Harrison!
This little guy got a fast pass to life last week.  He was born 5 weeks early, while I was in Las Vegas, and he will never be able to make it up to me ;0}

It's ok, cause I sew*ed up a storm of blankets, pacifier rings, and more just knowing he would be born before I got home.  Harrison's family stopped by my house for a few pictures before going home 3 days later.  This little darling was a miracle, born so healthy he didn't need time in the NICU!

He was 6 lbs 14oz.  They say babies gain one pound a week, so if he would have waited until his due date Harrison would have been just under 12 pounds!!!  Maybe the boy was supposed to be born 5 weeks early after all.

So, I should probably mention that my sister is obsessed with Harry Potter.  Yes, Harrison is already called Harry.  Of course we had to add a little magic to his muggle-captured photos.

I made this outfit.  I sew*ed the tie to a onesie, made a super quick sleeper gown to look like the vests they wore, and then popped out the dress robes.  I don't like to toot my own horn, but I am still a little shocked I could make this outfit without a pattern in a little over an hour.  We didn't have much notice before Harry got to our house, lol!

Now, we had to include the sorting hat!  I made the hat too, but I will let you in on a little secret...I added the face to the hat with photoshop.  Waha!  It looks pretty good though, I think anyway.

Here is a photo of it before the face was added.

I love photoshop!

So, little Harry, sweet dreams and I hope many magical muggle-loving moments are yours.
And hurry back cause Auntie Nessa's arms are very empty since you left ;0}

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Vegas Baby!

Look at this!  Doesn't it look terrible!?!  Frozen wastelands of the Midwest....We are leaving thee!

Madison and I have been pushing for a Sister's Weekend with the cousins in Las Vegas for probably 2 years now.  Do you like how we are not their sister's but we squeeze ourselves into their party?

My cousins are the BEST!  And that is why we put just so much on hold and left for Vegas.

More than a little excited.

Yep.  That is the Midwest I know.  Long stretches of farmland with little clumps of trees surrounding each little farm site.  It amazes me to look down and think, "There is a family living in each and every little patch of darkness down there.  They have lives, joys and sorrows.  There are people in some of those patches that are doing great, and people in other patches that are in total despair."  That is all probably too deep for this blog post, but it still amazes me.

Beautiful sunset....are we there yet?

NO?  Fine, I will read the Skymall magazine AGAIN!

Dang it!  I am already married.  "Hey Madison!  You should do this!" 

 I am a terrible mother.

Mountains!!!!!!!!!  We don't see mountains in Minnesota!

We are getting closer.

Arrival!  We, um, actually carried-on our sewing machine.  Yep.  We went to Vegas, flew in for the weekend....with our sewing machine.  What else do you do in Vegas....when you don't drink anything stronger than Mountain Dew and you don't gamble...unless you count the airplane ride as taking a gamble.  I will tell you what you do, YOU SEW!

Auntie Patti picked us up from the airport.  We were whisked away to North Las Vegas and taken, first stop, to a food truck selling the largest fried wieners I have EVER SEEN!  Talk about a corn- dog.  That was a full meal on a stick.  I am going to go out on a limb here and say they use Costco hot dogs to make these corn dogs.  You know how huge those hot dogs are, right?  OK, dip that sucker in cornmeal batter and fry it up.  There you go.  My first food truck meal.  Yum.  Where's the mustard?

First project of the night was pillowcases for my Madison and my Eli.  Those were followed up by a unicorn skirt for my Emmers.  She was more than a little disgruntled that she did not get to come to the Sister's Weekend, so I thought maybe this would smooth things over for her a bit.

Next up, replacement bubble guppies blanket for nephew who is 2.

Madison put me to shame by making the most adorable quilt blocks EVER!  More on those in another post.

Do you like this picture?  Yes, thank you oldest cousin Candice, ye who leadth people astray.  Candice is all, "Hey, we should all make funny faces."  Insert the only person apparently that listens to Candice.  Yep.  Vanessa is the ONLY one making a funny face.  Thank you cousin.  Yes, please post that on Facebook.

The cousins did not disappoint this weekend though.  We worked and sewed and unpicked to our hearts content, then crashed hard in the guest room.

Thanks to my inability to sleep at other people's houses, I had the privilege of this room all to myself every morning.  What a beautiful sight!  Rows of tables and sewing machines and stacks of gorgeous fabric.  If it can't be my fabric, we should at least have a few hours alone together.  Is that bright yellow shiny thing coming through the window...what's the word...sunlight?  We don't have that in February in Minnesota.  p.s. this is the closest I got to enjoying the warm weather.  I was fine with it too.  

We were alone...Me and Valentine.  He did not like Madison and I when we got in the first night, but by morning we were basically BFF's.  

You see, the way Valentine works is he sits there with longing in his eyes and just stares at you.  Eventually you lose your resistance and end up making eye contact with him.  Once that happens, he starts the slow climb up your body.  He climbs on the very tip of your knees....then next thing you know he is in your lap....then just bum in your lap, face and front paws working up your chest.  I think he was headed to my neck or something.  Me and Valentine.  We sew*ed together.  Thread is thicker than blood, you know.

So, Valentine and my's first project Saturday was finishing up these dish towels.  I had like 10 of them.  One chick...

A whole bushel of carrots, and then a den of bunnies.  More photos coming on those.

I stitched together this Easter Egg table runner.

Frank was one of my Saturday projects.  He is supposed to be a pin cushion, but he is HUGE!  I also didn't bring any stuffing, so he was just mostly finished...Frank AND an orange pumpkin pin cushion.    
Must buy crushed walnut shells.

This is my terrible sister that went into the hospital on Saturday with flu like symptoms, nearly died, then delivered her baby 5 weeks early via emergency c-section.  Yes.  Saturday was not as relaxing as Friday night.  I was on the edge of my seat most of the day, constantly checking texts and messages to get updates on whether she was going to live or not.  

She is still in trouble for that...but home and very much alive.  Baby is the healthiest kid she ever had.

Party party!  I love these ladies!

Projects continued through Sunday night, late.  This was my very last project, my farm stand quilt top.  I bought the fabric last summer when we were all the way North in Bemidji, MN.  Since I don't have a speck of time for crafting October through January, I was very eager to get this guy put together finally.  

Sadly, I sewed the whole thing together, then realized I sewed all the orange blocks in basically a stripe.  I wanted a diagonal line.  

After we were home a day or two I unpicked every other row, flipped them upside down, and made the orange squares follow a path instead of working down the quilt in a stripe like the photo above.

I just bought grey minki dot to use for the back. so hopefully this quilt will be in use in a few more days.

Here is a pic of all of my projects.  How many were there???  I still don't know.  Lets see, I sew*ed
2 french seam pillow cases
2 skirts
2 baby blankets
1 toddler blanket
1 quilt topper
2 burp rags
1 nursing cover
10 dish towels
2 pin cushions
1 German dress
1 table runner
4 American Girl clothing items
2 pacifier ribbon clips
That's 31 projects.  Not bad for 3 days in Las Vegas.  And guess what!?!  I can remember everything I did in Vegas and none of it needs to stay in Vegas ;0}

I tell you, Sewing is the way to go for a Las Vegas vacation.

Bright and early Monday morning Madison and I got to carry our sewing machine and billion projects through hours of lines before getting on a plane and flying into the desolate Des Moines, Iowa where we drove a rental car...

To Krispy Kreme, then all the way back to Minneapolis to see that new baby.

He liked the donuts.

And, we're back.  Frozen wasteland, sweet frozen wasteland.

Home.  Thanks for the great weekend my Las Vegas Cousins!

OH!  Here are a couple of the cousin's projects....

Zannie made this cute baby blanket.  She used a glue stick and glued fabric squares to the black and white striped fabric, added batting and a backing, then machine quilted straight lines over the edges of the squares.  I was seriously going to do a quilt just like this, different colors, but I couldn't find one of my fabrics that went with the quilt so I picked the farm stand quilt instead.  Zannie says NEVER make one of these quilts ;0}  Looks great though Zan!

Robyns daughter Kennady made this cute quilt.  Each fabric square is something that she loves.  Totally a cute idea.

There was a long, dramatic battle over this carrot fabric...over who would donate it to Goodwill so Aunt Pat would not keep holding on to it.  

Ahem....I do not really want to admit this....but I actually texted Auntie about a week after the Sister's Weekend and offered to pay her to ship this to me.  I got home and was suddenly struck with the perfect project for this fabric.  Yep, I own it now.  Thanks Pat!  One more project added to the list.

So, I had to add these two pictures.  As everyone gets older, their kids do too.  The kids all wanted to be there sewing with their moms.  You see, we are all so passionate about the art of sewing that we have taught our kids.  I was so excited to see that 3 of our suffering children were able to take part in Sister's weekend after all.  Our plane left at 7am.  Just a few short hours later these guys were sewing away on quilts and stuffed bunnies.  It makes my heart glow.

Gracie wearing the skirt Grandma Pat made for her the very day before.

And last, Candice's quilt.  Isn't it cute!?!  I love the fabrics you chose Candice!!!

I would LOvE to snuggle that quilt!

Well, that is all for the picture taking.  I always swear I will get pictures and then am lucky to get half.  I hope you get your stash out and finish some of those unfinished projects!  It feels much more satisfying than looking at what everyone else accomplished on Pinterest ;0}

Get Crafting!

Novelty Print Quilt Pattern

I have had a hard time finding good quilt patterns for novelty prints the past couple times I purchased them.  I made up this pattern so tha...