Monday, September 03, 2007

Canadian Scrapbooking Crop for Kids

This October (the 12th-14th to be exact), I will be teaching at the London location of the Canadian Scrapbooking Crop for Kids. All proceeds from this event will go to the Children's Hospital in the city that the event is held. The Crop will be held in 5 cities across Canada and I can't even tell you how dear this cause is to my heart.

My son Simon, although healthy today, had two stays at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto immediately following his birth. Had it not been for the amazing doctors, surgeons and nurses that work in the Neonatal ICU there I wouldn't have my son here with me today.

Let me see if I can find some old journaling I did on a layout about the events surrounding my son's birth and hospitalization. One sec...

Okay I found it!! Here we go...feel free to skip this part if you aren't at all's a bit long.

Simon’s Story

March 31, 2003. The day you were born, the height of the SARS crisis in Toronto. Daddy and I were the only people allowed in the hospital with you when you came into this world. No one would be able to see you until we brought you home from the hospital. You were born by c-section at 36 weeks because I had no amniotic fluid left to sustain you in the womb. Your birth was very exciting and you came into the world surprising us all that you were a little boy. You were beautiful and 6lbs1oz, a good size for being born at 36 weeks.

Shortly after birth you developed breathing problems and had to stay in the nursery on oxygen so that they could keep an eye on you. I went to see you a short time later and you looked comfortable lying there in the incubator. I wasn’t able to hold you yet because of the oxygen.

Through the night your breathing became more laboured and the doctors put you on a CPAP machine which would help you breath easier. Because of the CPAP, the pressure in your lungs built up like it sometimes does and you developed a collapsed lung. In the morning the nurse informed me of this and I immediately went down to the nursery to see you with tears streaming down my face. Your father was on his way.

They told me that you would need a chest tube and would need to be intubated. Since this was what you needed you would be transferred to Sick Kids in Toronto. Because of SARS it took them hours to arrange the transfer since they had to get special clearance. The nurses that transferred you were wonderful and took some Polaroid’s of you without any tubes so that I could keep a picture of you by my bed since I wasn’t able to go with you. It was less than 24 hours since your birth.

That night was one of the hardest nights I have ever experienced. Daddy wasn’t allowed to come back to the hospital because he had now been to another hospital that may have had a suspected SARS case. The next morning I signed myself out of the hospital so that I could be at your bedside with you. I sat by your side for hours on end. Your little body hooked up to so many machines. Daddy and I had to take turns because only one parent was allowed in the hospital at a time. This was extremely hard on us to not have each others support at your bedside.

You did very well and 3 days later the chest tube was pulled and you were extubated. This is when I was finally able to hold you for the first time. I was sobbing as I held you in my arms, so tiny and through so much already. Later that day you were transferred back to Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington.

In Burlington you were still being tube fed as you wouldn’t take a bottle well. We were having difficulties with your feedings as you were vomiting them all up. The nurses told us to be patient and that everything was fine. We just knew that something was wrong. When you were 7 days old you began vomiting green bile and then the doctor’s knew something was wrong. They told us you had what was called Malrotation.

It occurred when you were developing inside me. The intestines didn’t attach to the abdominal wall like they were supposed to and now you had developed a rotation in them that caused an obstruction. This required surgery.

Again they started the process of transferring you back to Sick Kids. Hours later we were on the road again. At 1 am and 8 days old you had surgery to fix the obstruction and take out your appendix as it would now be in a different than usual spot. Daddy and I were allowed in the hospital together just while your surgery was taking place and then it was back to one at a time. We waited anxiously and after what seemed like an eternity, the doctor came out and told us that the surgery went well and that there was no further damage done. What a relief!

The next 11 days were long and tiring to say the least. We spent hours on end at your bedside. The nurses and the team at Sick Kids were wonderful and always took the time to talk to us and update us on your progress. You were kept asleep for a few days while you recovered so that you could receive pain medication.

After they took your breathing tube out for the second time, the work of getting you to drink from a bottle started. It was frustrating to say the least. The one wonderful thing about it was that we could now hold you as much as we wanted! We would sit in the rocking chair at your bedside and hold and rock you for hours.

Finally on Easter Sunday and almost 3 weeks later we were allowed to take you home! What a wonderful present for Easter! We brought you home at 5lbs1oz. One whole pound less than you were born at. You were so tiny! Finally the rest of the family could meet you! It was wonderful to see Grace’s face when she met you for the first time. She just kept saying, “baby” and would so tenderly touch your face.

A month or two later we got a call from Sick Kids. They wanted to send a photographer out to take pictures of Simon so that he could be in their annual report. The photographer came and took tons of pictures (I wish I had copies). Later we found out that you were going to be on the cover of the report! The picture turned out fabulous and you looked so cute on the cover held in daddy’s arms.

I’m so thankful that everything worked out okay and that you are a healthy toddler today. I love you buddy.


Well that was four years ago now and I am now able to give a little back. I hope you will help me if you are a scrapbooker and come out that weekend, take some classes, and crop for a while. Classes are only $20 each and are taught by some amazing teachers (humbly leaving myself out of that group).

Here is a peek at my classes. My layout class, sponsored by Cosmo Cricket, will be taught at all the sites and my layout in a tin class, sponsored by Gel-a-tins, will be taught at a few of the locations.

Gel-a-tins Coaster Album in a Tin

We will bind this album together making a board book of sorts from coasters. When completed it will fit inside the altered tin. We will use brand new release stamp sets from Gel-a-tins and explore some stamping techniques like heat embossing, masking, layering, and shadow stamping. We will also be breaking out the alcohol inks for this one!

Gel-a-tins Altered Coaster Christmas Wall Decor

We will use coasters to make this altered Christmas wall hanging. We will use a new font set from Gel-a-tins along with the amazing Fancy Flakes set and a tried and true alphabet. Techniques include heat embossing, layering, and a unique use for heat embossing as well. I can't wait to put this up on my wall this season...who am I's already up!

Cosmo Cricket Use Your Diecuts Layout
We all have them and sometimes don't know how to use them. In this class I will get you to think outside the typical diecut to use them in new ways. Using the brand new Gretel Line we will rip, sand, paint, and ink our way to a beautiful aged layout with hidden journaling!

Cosmo Cricket Dates to Remember

In this class we will alter a Plain Jane Cigar Box from Cosmo Cricket with the brand new Gretel line and "to die for" Ready Set Chipboard Letters. Inside you will find a perpetual calendar where you can store all your important birthdays and anniversary's of loved ones. We will even make a couple of cards to get you started!


tina werner said...

oooh i'm loving the album in a tin! i may need to sign up for that class!

Heather said...

Oh some awesome classes you got lined up Jenn. I so wished I could be there too but I will be in Toronto for most of the weekend for Sick Kids.

Sarah said...

Rockin' classes, lady! Hope to see everyone out for Jen's classes!
Thank you, Jen, for all your support and encouragement...right from the VERY start!

Anonymous said...

hi jen,

i took both your glimpse class and your dates to remember box! love love love both projects! amazing creative was shared over the weekend at the crop for kids! and such a fabulous cause. we are trying to think of a way to keep it going and have something like it next year but of course not as involved! working at the hospital i hear the most amazing stories day after day..or should i say night after night haha since i am a night operator!

loved your class and your projects! thanks for your pine cone ink too..i went out and got my own! yeahhhh

donna in london ontario

Leisha said...

Love your work! Cosmo Cricket is so yummy!