Monday, April 28, 2014

Jogging for Jack 2014

As many of you know, we are big supporters of GiGi's Playhouse.

(Meeting Drew's family for the first time in person at Gigi's Playhouse.  We LOVE them and so grateful for their friendship!)

We are participating in their annual 5K event on June 7th, and I'm inviting you to become a member of our team! Jogging for Jack!  Last year we found out about the 5k two weeks before the event...and had a BLAST!  We would LOVE for you to join us this year!!

Whether you're planning to run, walk, or just enjoy the day: you can help us start raising funds for a very important cause.

The race is at Burnes Park and the address is:

                                                                    Burnes Park
                                         301 2nd Street N.
Hopkins, MN 55343

Just click the link below!  You can read about all the great programs at GiGi's Playhouse. When you're ready, please click the Join this Team button to sign-up. If you can't attend the event, please consider supporting our team with a donation on our page.

Team Name: Jogging for Jack

The homepage for Jogging for Jack is:

On behalf of the thousands of children and families served by GiGi's Playhouse: thank you so much for your support.

Also, we are making shirts for Jack's team and if you are interested in buying one you can email  They are American Apparel shirts tri-blend track shirts (click on the sizes to see the website).  

Sizes available:
baby onesies: 3m-24m
infant: 3m-24m 
kids: 2 year, 4 year, 6 year
youth: 8 year, 10 year, 12 year
adult: small-2XL

They are $15 and the money can be sent to our home address.  Here is the logo that will be on the shirts:

We love you all and hope we can see you all there!  
Chris, Carissa, Luke, and Jack


PS...Guess who's getting geared up to cross the finish line first again?


Sunday, April 6, 2014


So I was hoping to post pictures of Luke & Jack's birthday parties but it looks like Jack partied too hard and we landed a recovery vacation at Children's hospital.

On Sunday evening, Jack woke up with an extremely high temperature.  We gave him some tylenol and this was the last night he slept in his crib.  He was starting to cough and every time he would, he would vomit.  On Monday he seemed to be very lethargic and tired.  He wouldn't really sleep unless I was holding him.  Later that afternoon I took him to the doctor and they tested him for the flu which came back negative.  He threw up again and his temp continually was around 103 throughout the day, peaking at 104.  His doctor was not working that day and the doctor we saw said he had an ear infection and potentially RSV.  She sent us home with a plan that included two neb treatments, twice a day, and an antibiotic.

On Tuesday, he seemed to be doing better until about 4:30 and then significantly declined.  His doctor asked that we go down to the ER to check his oxygen levels and if he was having signs of dehydration.  The Xray showed that he had pneumonia.  The doctor also came back saying he tested positive for RSV also.  That would explain why his temps were consistently high.  It is said that RSV runs it's course and it can be up to a week before the temperature comes down.  This has made him completely uncomfortable and he has refused to sleep unless we are holding him.

They released him from the ER because his oxygen levels were 97 which was an excellent number (100 is perfect).  We were told to follow up each day with our doctor which I did on Wednesday.  At that appointment he was at 95 and we went over his symptoms.  He ordered a test of his oxygen on Thursday morning and follow up x-ray.

Each evening was very long, slept in a chair or with him laying on my chest, elevated in bed.  We all are so tired.  We rolled out of bed and headed to the doctor where his oxygen levels were anywhere from low 90s down to 79.  He said that if we don't give him a neb treatment he would be sent via ambulance to the ER.  So off Jack and I went to downtown St. Paul, to Children's hospital.

In the ER the readings were very similar and they admitted him immediately.  His temp soared to 105 and it took the nurses 8 pokes before finding an vein that would work for his IV. That was not a highlight for Jack's mama.  Ugh.

Our hospital stay has been pretty good, a few frustrations, but most importantly our focus is on Jack's improvement.  He works much harder at what most of us take for granted...example: coughing.  When we have a cold, it's very easy for us to cough up mucus and clear our airway and it takes everything in Jack to clear all the 'junk' out which is effecting his ability to inhale oxygen.  His lungs are working diligently and with also having pneumonia along with RSV, this kid is a fighter.

He has decreased his dependence on oxygen support, occasionally going to room air (which is what we breathe at...which is 21%) and then sometimes needs to go back up to 25 or 30%.  I have realized I can't control when or what the next few days look like, which reminds me that all I need to do is pray for his strength and health and give him a little extra love!

I am very grateful to Chris' parents for taking care of Luke.  We have alternated going home for a few hours to spend some one on one time with him.  I can't tell you how much I love Luke and his  personality.  He is hilarious.  He lifted his binoculars and told me yesterday we were going on an adventure.  I cried when I had to leave and go back to the hospital.  I can't wait for us all to be home.

Jack has the hardest time at night.  They were waking him up to give him neb treatments that had a medicine in it that makes the him cough...which is not fun to any person that has been sleeping for a few hours.  He then is so irritated, he tries to rip out his oxygen, and has taken hours to get back to sleep.  I had a meltdown last night and just cried while I tried to calm him down.  The nurses we have had have been awesome and last night I would declare as an angel.  She rocked Jack to sleep and we got 7 hours of sleep!

What do our days look like in the hospital?  Well, Jack's radius is about a two foot cord, so he hasn't seen much of the hospital. ;)  The rooms are so nice, they just remodeled last winter and it really kind of feels like we are in a hotel.  Jack sits on his bed and plays with toys and we sing songs, play patty cake, and read books.  His appetite came back a little bit today and he was eating his favorite food, avocados!  It was such a beautiful day today and I had the pleasure of sharing a devotional at a soon-to-be mama of a precious girl, who also happens to have an extra special chromosome.  Jack can not wait to meet this baby girl.

Along with getting out today, I went for a run.  Children's is near one of the steepest hills in the cities, Grand Ave hill.  (Katie-it's nothing like what we did at the Nike Women's Marathon though ;))  I knew I was up for a challenge and since running is my free therapy, I thought, what the heck?  I'm lacking in sleep and exhausted but no hill's going to stop me!

As my lungs were burning after conquering that hill, all I could think about is the fact that my sweet precious boy was working that hard simply just to breathe.  How many times do I take for granted the simple tasks that many others work so hard to do?  

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About Me

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The name of this blog was inspired by Kristin Armstrong's devotional book, Strength for the Climb. I am a midwest girl married to a handsome, hardworking, God-fearing man and the mother of two boys. My eldest son, a social butterfly that has enough energy and excitement to make anyone tired and a personality that will make you giggle with laughter. My youngest son, can cuddle like no other, and his eyes will speak right to your soul. Both of my sons have taught me more about God's grace and goodness. We are blessed to have an extra chromosome in our family as our sweet Jack was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome. With that, I am reminded daily to trust and rely on God's perfect plan on this journey called life. I am a child of God and grateful to my Heavenly Father for His continued blessings, guidance, wisdom, and most importantly for saving my soul.