My day to day life

Trading Harmful Chemicals for Nature November 18, 2015

Every since I had my son I try to reduce his exposure to harmful chemicals. This is easier said than done. I tried my best to feed him locally grown foods and super filtered water to drink. I have decided to rid my house of plastics and replaced everything with glass. I put away all my non-stick pans and only cook all my food in cast iron, but I still used a ton of harmful chemicals to clean my house.

I was introduced to Young Living essential oils a few months ago. I decided to purchase a starter kit and give them a try. I am very science based when it comes to phrase “natural.” I believe many things we think are “good” for us are a marketing scheme. I went into the essential oils with this same mind set. Thus, the reason for this post. I am trying out all the different products and will give my honest unbiased review of them.

I am 3 months in and I have had a chance to try many of their products and have come to LOVE most of them.

My FAVORITE product I have purchased from them is the Thieves Cleaner. Note: the cleaner doesn’t come in the starter kit but you do get a small bottle of the Thieves oil in the starter kit. The story of this oil is inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals they used while robbing the dead and dying and they did not get sick. Kind of  a creepy story but it is awesome oil to use to protect yourself this winter.

First off, I purchased this cleaner not knowing it is super concentrated. You use a couple of caps full of the cleaner and mix it with water for an all-purpose cleaner. With help from Pinterest, I learned I could use a empty Perrier water glass bottle and a spray top for any old cleaner to make my mixture. I no longer buy any cleaners from the store. This has replaced them all. It also made a ton of run under my sink where I had tons of different cleaners from bathtub to oven. Now I have one bottle now and it honestly doesn’t even go under the sink. I leave it on the counter because I use it all day long! I give this product an A+


If you want to purchase this cleaner I can purchase it for you at my cost, $22, or if you want to learn more about getting your starter kit check out this link

Or go to to learn more about essential oil


Little O’s Update October 6, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 9:03 pm
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I haven’t written in the blog lately due to a number of reasons, main one being a mom to a crazy busy toddler. I wanted to update everyone on Little O’s progress. I try to keep everyone up-to-date on his Facebook page but it is only a sentence or 2. We have begun therapy. Tennessee Early Intervention System,TEIS, comes once a week, in house, to work on his developmental issues. They mainly focus on his speech. At 1 year old he was 40% delayed in speech, I am sure that percentage is higher now, thus causes other issues. He maybe all smiles one minute and complete melt down the next. He can not tell you want he wants, I am not sure he knows. I can say he is getting better but words are limited. His current vocabulary is: more, car, bye bye, see ya, go and yeah. No mommy or daddy, I get called by crying to come meet his needs. I am sure this will get better, I hope.

Medical wise, he is doing awesome. His heart is working great for him. He does have high blood pressure and it is controlled by meds. He is still skinny and short per the doctors percentile charts and is prescribed pediasure to help with weight gain. He has low iron and has to a supplement to help raise it but so far it continues to drop. He is due a check up next month for more blood work and his 2 year old visit. We also have a Vanderbilt appointment in November to see how he is doing. Just a small medical update on Little O.


We made it! Oryon will soon be 1 November 14, 2014

Filed under: Baby Z — Sheena @ 9:35 pm
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It is so hard to believe that we will be celebrating Oryon’s first birthday tomorrow (3 days early) Looking back at the past 2 years, pregnancy and birth, it was the hardest time of our lives. We never knew what the universe had in store for our little guy and honestly we did not know if we would ever have a first birthday to celebrate. “They” say, if heart babies make it to their first birthday then they should do just fine. I hope this holds true for us.


Here is me this time last year. The memories flood my head; I was so nervous. I was temperately living in Nashville, in case I went into labor before 39 weeks, we had to be close to Vanderbilt. I was told Oryon would not survive anywhere else, he had to be born there. My husband could not stay with me the whole time due to work and only came to visit on the weekends. I remember feeling numb, numb to everything and to everyone. I did not want to feel mainly because I did not know how to feel. How could I be happy but I was. I was so happy I would see my son soon but that also meant I may loose my son too.

I am SO HAPPY now! I wish I could have known everything would work out for us back then.


Heart Walk 5K -Knoxville September 8, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 10:01 pm

Please join Team Oryon to help raise awareness for CHD. Did you know that 1 in 100 babies born have some form of CHD! 1 in 1000 babies will need life saving surgery to order to survive and that 1 baby was mine. What if it was yours? Let walk to support Team Oryon and help fund research to stop heart disease.


Research saves lives

The information for the walk is below. Please sign up on our page if you plan on walking.

Registration and Pre-Walk Activities Begin
9/28/2014 1:30 pm
Walk Begins 9/28/2014 3:00 pm


Free: No Fees
Walkers are eligible for a Heart Walk t-shirt once they have raised a minimum of $100.


World’s Fair Park’s Festival Lawn
934 World’s Fair Park Drive
Knoxville, Tennessee 37916

General Inquiries &
Event Sponsorship Inquiries

Danica Clark
(865) 212-6509

Donation Mailing Address
American Heart Association
ATTN: Greater Knoxville Heart Walk
4708 Papermill Dr
Knoxville, TN 37909


First Video Blog June 23, 2014

Filed under: Baby Z — Sheena @ 12:40 pm
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Baby Z: Step Down Unit April 22, 2014

Filed under: Baby Z — Sheena @ 2:01 pm
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November 24, 2013: We moved to our new room on the 7th floor, Room 7303. We were so happy that Baby Z was getting better and we were hoping to go home soon. We now had some privacy because this room had a door vs just a curtain like before. We unpacked our things and met all the new nursing staff. The goal of the Step Down Unit is to teach you how to take care of your “special needs” baby while at home. The nurses there had many patients, 7-1, so they were there just in case you needed them. They would come in every few hours and take his vitals and asked if we needed anything but we were in charge of diapers and feedings. We were super nervous about taking care of this little guy. This was our first baby thus we were still learning how to do the normal baby things and on top of that, how to care for a heart baby. We had to weigh each diaper and record the weights on a dry ease board along with how much he was eating each feeding. We loved being able to do the normal parenting stuff. The sleep schedule: Daddy stayed up until 3:00 am with Baby Z then Mommy’s shift would start while Daddy got some sleep. We both ended up with about 3 hours of sleep a night. The first night Baby Z was sleeping so Dad thought he would sneak in a quick relaxing shower, wrong. I was awoken by the sounds of alarms going off and a room full of doctors and nurses. I was so sleep deprived I honestly could not comprehend something was wrong at first. Dad came out of the bathroom and had no clue what was going on either. A nurse came over to us an explain that Baby Z was having what called tachycardia. His heart rate was in the 250’s and if it did not stop they could give him a medication that may help but they wanted to wait to to see if it would go down on its own. After ten minutes, which felt like 5 hours, he was able to get down to normal range. I was so relived but the relief was short lived because once all the doctors and nurses left his room they had to come rushing back because it had started again. Alarms were screaming, his heart rate very high, and little Baby Z just sat there staring at us like he had no clue what was going on. He was able to fix it every time and did not need to medication. We had about 10 episodes that night. Super scary night for Mom and Dad. 999300_718259472248_1677302672_n November 25 2013: The doctors say tachycardia can be common after surgery. They started a drip of  magnesium, his blood work showed it was low, and the cardiologist are put him on a medication for rhythm issues . Unfortunately, all this meant that we would be staying a few extra nights. He still had his chest tube in and so he was on Tylenol because they can be painful. That day, they started to wean him off the Oxygen and he seemed to be doing well with that. The new heart medicine was horrible. He hates it. One of the nurses said that some of the bigger kids says it can make their mouth numb. It took us forever to get it down him. Then once he had taken the medicine, he screamed for hours. It was a 2 hour ordeal and we had to give it every 8 hours. I was sleeping and Dad was on duty when I was awoken by the familiar loud dinging. The room filled up with doctors and nurses again. There was a new doctor on night shift and he wanted to try somethings that may help him come out of tachycardia faster. They put ice on his face. He was not happy about this. He screamed and it did not seem to be helping. After a few minutes they put in a rectal thermometer. They were trying to get him to bear down, not working. He was able to come out of it on his own after a few minutes. Just like the night before the alarms continued to go on and off all night. He had 5 episodes that night. 1453466_718582430038_1800495715_n November 26, 2013: Today was our hearing test just one more thing to check off our list before going home and thankfully he passed with flying colors. The day consisted of the normal: EKG’s at 4:00 am, Chest X-ray at 5:00 am, Meet new doctor at 6:00 am, Meet new nurses at 7:00 am, wait for the doctors to make rounds all morning to see what the plan for the day would be. Not much changed this day. I dreaded to see the sun set because when night fall came I did not what it would bring. I may or may not be awoken by alarms going off and my sweet little baby’s heart racing. I would sit and watch the monitors all day and all night long. It would drive me crazy just wondering if it would alarm. When Baby Z would move about it would make the sensors misread and it would ding. You never knew if it was a misread or a real issue until you ran and looked at the monitor. I was driving myself nuts. Dad had finished his shift for the night and now it was my turn. It was 4:30 am and I had just got finished feeding him and was rocking him to sleep in the rocking chair. It started, the alarms were going off. My stomach fell to the floor, not again. Dad awoke, in came the staff and they swept him out of my arms onto the hospital bed. I felt so helpless. After 6 minutes they decided to try the ice and try to get him to bear down, did not work. As always, he came right out of it on his own and acted like nothing happened. Unlike the previous nights this was the only time the doctors came in the room, no more attacks all night 1012485_719118855038_1359960595_n November 27, 2013: After the normal day of EKG, X-rays, etc the head doctor made his rounds. He was not happy that the new doctor placed the ice on his face that early. He said his orders were to only do this after 15 minutes of SVT. He told us to not let them do it if they try. We called him Dr. House. He got the job done and he wasn’t worried about hurting someones feelings. The plan for the day was to change his heat medicine to another in hopes it worked better for him and that he would like the new one better. Chest tubes came out this day and so did the Oxygen! I was so happy we were making some progress in the right direction. Night came and we were able to sleep because we had a normal heart rate all night! I was so relieved. 1422621_719422271988_1352274636_n November 28, 2013:  Happy Thanksgiving! I was so thankful for everything! Many people felt bad that we spent the holiday in the hospital. We were just thankful that we had our sweet little family all together. Today we got our first bath! It was not a tube bath just a sponge but still it was relaxing for him and he passed out afterwards. Mom and Dad had to take a CPR classes and we had no SVT all night! This would make 2 nights in a row and if we go SVT free tonight we get to go home! unnamed (2)1464663_719784790498_1337985623_n November 29, 2013: Things were finally winding down and we were checking things off the list before we could go home. We still needed to do the car seat test. This is were they sit the baby in their car seat and they have to stay in there as long as your ride home would be. The nurses watch their vitals to make sure they stay within normal limits. Since we lived 3 hours away, they decided to just do 1.5 hours because we would stop half way and get him out. I have no clue why but I was so nervous about this silly test. We put him in the seat and started the clock. It was not 3 minutes later the nurse comes in says “why are you felling.” His O2 stats were in the 70’s, not good, We made some adjustments to the seat, the newborn headrest was removed and we put in a booster pad, and that seemed to help. After 1.5 hours he passed! I was so happy and finally could quit stressing over it. If he did fell he would just have to have a bed like car seat that he lays flat in. Not the end of the world but something I did not want to have. We did not have SVT again so we get to go home tomorrow! 1462858_720113701358_836164451_n November 30, 2013:  Going home today and now the real adventure begins! unnamed (3)1466241_720232238808_1655239426_n


Baby Z: Post Surgery PCCU February 26, 2014

Day 4 (November 21, 2013)

The hard part was over, now what. Baby Z had gone through open heart surgery and survived. Now we wait. Wait to heal and wait to hear if we would be home for Thanksgiving, wait on everything. We got a sleep room our first night in the PCCU, pediatric cardiac critical care unit. These are slim pickin’ and hard to get but we were so thankful for one. It had a queen size bed with a foam mattress and not much else. You had to check in at 9:00 pm and be out by 10:00 am. That room was meant for sleeping only and that is what we did. We awoke at 6:00 am and Mr. Z ran down the hall to check on Baby Z. He wanted to get there before to nurse change to get an update on how he did in the night and to also meet the day nurse.

Baby Z was still much sedated and did not move or open his eyes until late that night. He was still on all the medicines but he was very swollen due to all the fluids he received to increase his blood pressure from the night before. They added Lasix to get some of the fluid out of his little body but he still was not peeing enough, so they upped it more. This seemed to help and we were producing lots of urine by the afternoon. The scariest part as this time was the ventilator. I hated watching a machine breath for my baby. The night nurse advised me that they were going to start trying to wean him off of the vent and run some tests during the night. They would take him off for an hour and back on for 3 hours and continue until they thought he was able to come completely off. They draw blood at these times to see how our blood gases were doing and if he passed 3 blood draws he could come off. I was super excited to hear this news. By the time we went to bed we got the news he had passes his first test.


Day 5 (November 22, 2013)

Thankfully we were once again able to get a sleep room for the night. We awoke at 6:00 am and rushed down the hall to the PCCU. We walk into his room and see our baby with no breathing tube. He was extubated right before we arrived, we missed it :( He now had a nasal cannula that was giving him small amounts of oxygen.20131122_115626-MIX20131122_102752

We had big changes this day. They decided today they would let him try to eat for the first time ever. He had a speech therapist come to evaluate him and she thought he would be able to give it a try. We started with 5 mls of breast milk and he loved it! They also removed some of his IV medicines. It was such a nice feeling to start seeing things less stuff on him. That night we did not get a sleep room. We stayed in his room which had a fold out bed big enough for one person to sleep and a rocking chair. He did get one of the newer rooms that had its own private bathroom, that was nice plus. It was not comfortable by any means but we both were able to snuggle tightly on that bed and slept okay during the night.

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I loved seeing less of theses. We are down to only 2 rows! There were 4.

Day 6 (November 23, 2013)

Not much happened this day. Mostly just waiting to see how he did without most of his IV medicines. They were able to stop all the medicines, even his heart meds, and waited to see how he would do. They also removed his Art line (a thin catheter inserted into an artery) this had to be done while a heart surgeon was on duty in case some happened since this line ran straight to his heart.  He was now on oral calcium, Pepcid, and Lasix and doing great! They were happy with his urine output and was able to get his urinary catheter removed and got to wear a diaper.

We once again slept in his room with him but we liked it much better because we did not worry as much as before when we were in the sleep rooms. It was not comfortable but we did not care. He had a flat screen TV and Mr Z, being an engineer, rigged it so we could control it via cellphone, so we had some entertainment. We still had our family coming and going the whole time so there was not time to get bored. Once everyone left, visiting hours were 9:00 -9:00, we relaxed and tried to sleep. Nurses came and went all night long but they really tried not to disturb you. We LOVED the nurses in the PCCU! 20131120_190155

This is his room in the PCCU

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This is the view from the back were we stayed.


Day 7 (November 24, 2013)

Big day today! We were moving up to the 7th floor and mommy finally got to hold Baby Z for the first time since his surgery! What a relief! Baby Z would be moving to his own room. There we were excepted to do most of his care,unlike the PCCU, there was 1 nurse to 4 babies on the 7th floor. In the PCCU he had his own nurse, just for him. They rolled his big boy crib in the room were getting ready for the big move. We were so happy. Everything was happening so fast. The doctors did their rounds, they released him, we packed all our stuff, held Baby Z, the nurse packed Baby Z things and off we went. We were in his room before lunch time.

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