Saturday, March 29, 2008

Turbulent Week

Happy Easter--a week late. It has been a very busy week and among everything going on I really haven't had time to sit and even think about everything that has transpired. Actually, Easter Sunday was great, We had the entire family over for a classic steak dinner. The family is bigger than it was with the addition of Jax who was great all day.

Jax is doing great--he went to the cardiologist and the report was excellent. We are on the road to treating our little miracle baby as a little boy--who still is a miracle.

In amongst all of that, I played in a racquetball tournament a couple weeks ago and was eliminated in the semi-finals. I actually feel pretty good about that because I had moved up to the A division after winning the B division last fall. Racquetball has been one means to keep the stress away from everything going on.

And baseball season begins for me on Monday with Opening Day for the O's. Go O's. Spring begins with hope anew. I'm happy that Brian Roberts remains with the team--he is my favorite O. I know he'll probably be gone by mid-season, but I will still wear my Brian Roberts jersey to the games.
Let's go O's!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jax - Weekly Update

I can't believe he's been home a week already and that he is blending into the family. Jax truly is a miracle boy--and I continue to thank God for all of you and your prayers and support as Nicole, Mike, Ethan, Jax and our entire family have been going through this trying time.

But in some great news--yesterday Nicole had a professional photographer come to the her house to take some pictures. You can see them at pictures. They are great and for the not too squeamish, there is even a picture of little Jax's chest and you can see how quickly he is healing. It was only two weeks ago today that they performed surgery on that small miracle boy.

Everyone in the family was over to the house to celebrate Easter and it was good to have our larger family all under one roof--and not a hospital roof. It was a great day with great food and a strong, close family celebrating together the miracles of our Lord. We did an Easter Egg hunt with Ethan (maybe more than one) and he enjoyed having all of the falmily together. Ethan is all about family and he is growing so fast.

I continue to be amazed at all that has happened and been compressed into the short span of the last three weeks. The miracle of birth, a miracle surgery and recovery, support fomr family and friends, and the continuing presence of our Lord through it all. Wow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jax at home

Jax had a great first day at home adjusting to life as a "little" brother and being cared for in a quieter environment. His mom is thrilled to have him home and life is rapidly turning into the new normal of having a new infant and a three year old in the same house. Jax us very alert and you can see in his eyes a desire to explore and be part of the life going on around him.

Ethan loves Jax and very matter-of-factly responds to questions about Jax. He did want Mommy, Jax, and Gamma to rescue him from daycare yesterday--which they did.

Jax is recovering nicely. We thank all of you for your prayers and support. Keep Jax in your prayers as he continues to recover and grow.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jax goes home!

I'm sorry I don't have a picture of Jax's triumphal entry into his home for the first time yesterday, but you know it was a celebration. At 12 days old, weighing in at a little less than when he was born, Jackson Gray arrived home. I'm not sure how he felt--he is only 12 days old--but I know that his parents, grandparents, extended family of uncles, aunts, cousins, great-grandparents and a host of friends and prayer warriors were excited and clearly saw an answer to prayer.

I am still amazed at the little guy. Major surgery just a week ago today and home yesterday! Wow. His eyes are so bright and I just marvel at the world he is chomping at the bit to become part of and which he is already part of. I thank God for the miracles He worked through and in Jackson. The response to prayer, the healing, and the bringing together of a community of friends and believers around on little boy. Thank you all and keep praying for this little guy--he is really special and I hope he gets to thank each one of you for how you supported him.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hey Gamma--it's me, Jackson

What a great day yesterday was for little Jax. Mid-day he had his nasal cannula removed and when we left the hospital last night about 10:30 pm he was still doing great. They actually took the tubes off him last evening while Chris and I were on hospital duty and so this is one of the first pictures little Jax as he begins to explore his world and be welcomed into the family unencumbered by breathing tubes and contraptions. He is still being monitored for heart rate and such, but those are much less invasive. He was alert for a long time last evening and he ate like a trooper--twice and he impressed his nurse with the amount he ate.

It is really a miracle how quickly Jax is recovering and every day is bringing more excitement about how well he is progressing. We thank God for his recovery and the prayers and support of everyone. Thanks. Today there is even a possibility that he may get to go home.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jax--Recovering and Getting Stronger

This is the tough little guy a day after surgery. He has his eyes open and is becoming aware of how much love and how many prayers have been sent his way. God is truly smiling in Jax and the whole family. In this picture he has the nasal cannula still in place and the great news of today is that it was removed and he is doing good without it.

He is eating better and he continues to get stronger. His kidneys continue to function with assistance of diuretics, and it appears he will be going home on diuretics.

We continue to thank God for all of you and your prayers. We continue to see the miracles that God is working in and through little Jax and we thank God for them. BTW, Jax is really cute and I got to hold him yesterday, for the first time since his surgery . He really is one tough little guy!

Please continue to pray for Jax's continued recovery and for strength for Nicole and Mike as they as shuttle between home and the hospital.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jackson - Better by the Day

This is Jax with Mike before surgery. He is so cute. And his recovery continues to be simply a miracle thanks to God's mercy and all of the prayers of the faithful who continue to lift him up. There is a good chance he will leave the ICU tomorrow for a normal ward bed. Mike and Nicole got to hold him today after he was unhooked from all of the wires and leads and drains that he had been hooked to.

I am amazed at the outpouring of love and support from everyone. Thank you and please keep praying for a speedy recovery and a normal, healthy childhood. This is one special little boy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jax - 12 March 2008

Jax continues to improve after his surgery yesterday. He was stable overnight and is doing pretty well. There were concerns about his kidneys during the day, but within hours of putting the request for prayer over his kidneys out on the prayer chains, God performed a miracle and the kidneys turned on. Now there is concern about circulation in his extremities--and we are requesting specific prayer for improved circulation and warm toes. Nicole continues to be strong and is finally getting some rest that she needs.

The care at Hopkins continues to be awesome. Everyone is so caring and forthcoming with information. A true example of transparency in medicine.

And this just in--the kidneys continue to function and are doing great. He is expected to be weaned from the ventilator tonight and everything is looking good. So keep Jackson in your prayers for a speedy and complete recovery. We're going to start calling him our little miracle baby.

Jackson's Surgery - 11 March

The team assembled yesterday for an early morning surgery to correct Jackson's heart condition. His mom and dad arrived at the hospital about 0515 followed by Chris and I at about 0530. His other grandmother and one uncle arrived about 0545 and we all wished the young, brave child well and prayed over him as he was prepared for surgery. He finally departed for surgery between 0630 and 0700. Johns Hopkins is really an interesting hospital in that they wheeled him down the hall near where we were waiting for his ride to the surgical unit.

The hospital was great in providing periodic updates. By the time surgery ended, some five or so hours later and he was returned to his room, "Team Haslup" had fully assembled with, counting his parents, 14 persons in attendance with countless others connected by phone and email. It was an awesome outpouring of love and support for our six-day old "trooper." The operating room waiting room control person would not allow the entire assembly to park in the waiting room, so we split up between the waiting room and some chairs at the end of a hall. Patrick suggested T-shirts with "Team Haslup" on the front and "You Don't Know Jax" on the back.

The surgery went great by all accounts. There were no complications and Jax was wheeled by the Team and back to his room shortly before 1PM. His parents and everyone there was amazed by how strong he looked coming out of surgery and we praised God for the surgery and the doctors and asked for a speedy recovery for Jax so he can finally get started on learning how to live and grow and be a happy little boy.

I got to see Jax a couple times before we departed for the day about 4PM. He looked better and stronger every time I saw him. His color was good and even despite the bevy of wires and tube connected to him, he seemed comfortable and I know he is surrounded with the love and support of many, many people and his family.

Thank you to everyone who has been and who continue to pray for Jax: his surgery and recovery. Praise to God for showing His awesome mercy and love in this little miracle of life: Jax.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jackson Gray and TAPVR

Well, it was a crazy weekend for my newest grandson. He did not get to come home Saturday or for that matter Sunday. He did not get to come home at all and in fact was transferred to another hospital last evening and is scheduled for open heart surgery tomorrow. Five days old and already going into surgery to save his life because his heart is not "plumbed" right. I don't even think he realizes how brave he is. I'm just amazed that God provided this little life into the hands of a bunch of novices and is expecting us to do the right thing for him. Thanks goodness we have a lot of help.

The doctors in their usual way are very reassuring, but still, its open heart surgery. Nothing is routine when you start talking open heart surgery. Nothing is simple and nothing is easy. Yet, God is bringing this clan into which Jackson Gray was born together and we are all rallying around him and each other. We are rallying around especially his mother and father. And our friends have been fantastic supporting us through their prayers, and thoughts, and even food! You realize how much good there is in the world and people when a crisis is at hand. Thanks to everyone! As one of my sons says: "That's how we roll!"

So what is TAPVR anyway? Check out the link and you will know more than you ever wanted to know.

Keep the prayers coming for the surgeons and the nurses that they will be instrumental in healing Jax and being instruments in making him strong and healthy. Pray for strength for his mom and dad and for all of us peace that God is in the driver seat. Pray for discernment. AND most of all--pray for Jax that God will heal him and help him fully recover so that he will have a healthy happy childhood and grow into a strong man of God!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Jackson Gray Haslup Arrives

Jackson, or Jax for short, arrived at 6:44 AM on March 5th. It was a joyous occasion which was soon followed by some concern for his lungs which caused him to enter the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the early afternoon of his birthday and where he remains right now. He was diagnosed with TTN or Wet Lung. But, he is doing great and there is a possibility he may be able to be "sprung" from the hospital as early as today--March 8th. This is truly and answer to prayer.

Nicole and Mike are doing great and the entire family is rallying around the newest member of the clan and his parents. His big brother Ethan has been able to see his and is fascinated by him. Ethan is spending time with his grandparents--Chris and I as well as Mike's Mom.

Oh yeah ,the details: 7lbs 14 ox (although a bit lighter now) and 19.5 inches tall.

Thanks for all the love and support that everyone has been giving to us and to Mike and Nicole. We are looking forward to Jax becoming another active member of the clan!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Luna Di Luna Chardonnay-Sauvignon

So we were given this wine over the holidays and have kept it chilled. I love the jaguar green bottle. We served it the other night. I had felt it would be a good wine for cheese and light snacks. It had a nice light refreshing bouquet and the initial flavor, just before hitting the palate, was very crisp and fruity. And then the full flavor of the wine hit. That is where this wine fell apart. The flavors and tastes just didn't go together and it felt as if this wine were at war with itself in my mouth. This is definitely not a wine I would buy for myself or a gift. There was no balance.

The official tasting notes say: Pale straw yellow with greenish highlights. Very aromatic with hints of melon, green apple and tropical fruit. Pleasingly crisp with an abundance of fruit flavors.

Recommendation: Must miss, it just didn't do it for me

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Smoking Loon Merlot 2006

We tried a bottle of this wine last evening. It is a great bottle of wine for under $10 and i highly recommend it if you like a Merlot with a good, fruity bouquet and a nice finish. The wine slips off the tongue very nicely. It is very drinkable and enjoyable. We were drinking it with a nice mild French cheese and it complimented the cheese very nicely.

The review on this wine from is as follows: "This Merlot has a dark ruby color and the aromas are reminiscent of raspberry jam with hints of lightly toasted oak and caramel. This wine is made in a fruit forward style exhibiting mouth filling Bing cherry, white chocolate, and just a touch of cranberry finishing soft with ripe plum and delicate vanilla oak flavors."

And I agree with everything--it is all right there to enjoy.

Recommendation: Good house wine for all occasion
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