Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Brighton 2009

We babysit Josh's cousins on Saturday and figured that it would be a good idea to take a trip to Brighton with them, to keep them occupied. We got a lot of looks (and a few questions) given the amount of kids we had with us!
They had a lot of fun having a picnic and then walking around the lake. We had superhero power treats (gummy treats), we walked through a cave (actually just an area with lots of tree cover), a magical forest (another area with lots of trees) and were on the look out for dragons (never did see one, though...).
The kids all did really well and got along great. I love fall time!

Luke - 3, Avery - 4, Caleb - 4, Ryleigh - 6
(holding Presley - 10 months),
Bailey - 8 (holding Gavin - 10 months) and Trevor - 2
See why we got so many looks? :)

A bunch of silly kids!
Roller coaster ride, anyone?

Sadly, with the rain and snow that came today, it looks like we got this trip in, just in time. Fall is rapidly disappearing...even though it just started. So, until next year...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Keeping My Head High

It happened tonight.
We were told that it wouldn't and that we were okay.
We were told not to worry.
We were lied to.
Josh is getting laid off on Tuesday. Apparently over four years with one company, means nothing.
When he called to tell me, I went through a range of emotions. Anger. Panic. I cried. I yelled. And then I realized...what am I doing? (Other than scaring the hell out of my kids.)
Tears will fix nothing. Yelling will fix nothing. Anger will fix nothing.
I will find a solution. We will be okay.
Years from now, my children will never remember this.
But, they will remember how mommy reacted to it.
I will keep my head held high.
And a smile on my face.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Presley - Ten Months

You bring so much joy into my life, baby girl. Not a day goes by, that I don't thank God for giving you to me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

When It Rains...It Pours

Avery, Avery, Avery. I wish this was a funny story about some crazy antic that she cooked up…but it’s not.
The kids have all had the flu this past week and so things have been a little crazy in our household. Each kid had it for a day or two and then quickly got over it. With Avery, it just seemed to linger a little bit longer. Then, on Tuesday night, things got really different - she woke up screaming in pain and holding her stomach.
Avery has always been our high pain tolerance child. She just doesn’t feel pain like the rest of them and it has caused issues in the past: ear infections that get severe, before we even know what’s going on, cuts on the bottom of her feet that turn into an infection and require antibiotic shots, because she never let us know she was hurt…that kind of thing. So, when this girl says she is in pain, we listen.
I assumed it was constipation, following all the vomiting she had done over the weekend. So, we tried a heating pad, rubbing her tummy and giving her some children’s laxative. After a horrible night, she finally slept some and woke up fine. Wednesday went pretty good, but then come afternoon, she did it again - started screaming in pain, holding her stomach. We used the same routine and calmed her down again. Wednesday night…same thing. By yesterday afternoon, we knew something had to be up, because nothing we were doing, was working. She had refused to eat all day and had another screaming fit.
I had school last night and I just couldn’t miss it since I had a quiz in one class and a test in the other. I called Gail and she was able to take Bailey and Ryleigh, while Josh took the rest of them up to an urgent care. Right before my class with my quiz was about to start, Josh called and said that urgent care did a strep test (because at this point she also developed a strange little rash) and a urinalysis. They both came back clean, but with her recent vomiting and the location of the pain (right at her navel), they couldn’t rule out appendicitis and sent her directly over to the emergency room.
I was just going to take my quiz and then meet him at the hospital (because we had been told previously that even death was not a good reason for missing quizzes/tests), but my classmates told the professor what was going on and he told me to leave. He didn’t have an issue with me making up the quiz later. I knew that the professor I had the test with would be okay with me rescheduling, so I left and got to the hospital within a few minutes.
After a 30 minute wait in the waiting room, they took us back. They also weren’t sure about appendicitis, so they decided to start with x-rays and some blood work. Avery is not a needle-loving kid (find me one that is!) so I knew that the blood work would be an issue.
She did great with the x-rays and when the nurse showed up for the blood work, I warned him how strong Avery was. I don’t think that he believed me at first…but he quickly called for “back up”. Between the two of them, me and two needle pokes, they got their blood sample and put in an IV. She was rewarded with a cute teddy bear, which she named, “Mr. Cutie Pants.” By this point, she was exhausted. Days of not sleeping well, mixed with fighting off the needle, had worn her out. She took a little nap, while I sat there fighting off a panic attack.
I called Josh and suggested that he bring Luke to Gail’s house too (he had taken him to McDonald’s to let him get some energy out) and then come back to the hospital because it looked like it was going to be a while longer.
Thankfully, Gail was willing to take him and Josh made it back right as they gave us the test results. Her white blood cell count and electrolytes looked good, indicating that she most likely didn’t have an infection anywhere, or issues with her pancreas. However, when the doctor palpitated her abdomen again, he just didn’t like how she was reacting. He just felt that, “something wasn’t right” and so he decided to call Primary Children’s Hospital and talk to them, since they were obviously more prepared for pediatric issues. He was thinking it could be a bowel obstruction and surgery may be necessary.
After speaking with them, they agreed that they wanted her there, so we grabbed her (hospital gown and IV still in place) and drove her right there. When we arrived, we advised them that our hospital had referred us, and we were sent to the waiting room.
About THREE HOURS later, I was worried about her IV, since they still hadn’t seen us and I was sure that it needed to be flushed. I had already had to hold her down once…I sure as hell didn’t want to do it again if that IV went bad. We talked to the nurse and she agreed that it needed to be done. After causing her more pain, they were finally able to flush it. Then…we were sent back to the waiting room.
At this point, it was now 1:00 am and we were all exhausted and frustrated. It actually got to the point that as they were calling other people back, they were refusing their room, until Avery got one. Anyone could see that this little girl was in pain, in a hospital gown, with an IV and she needed to be seen!
Three and a half hours after we arrived…we finally got a room and were able to see the doctor. After additional x-rays and tests they determined that it was not a bowel obstruction, or her small intestine slipping into her large intestine. I honestly can’t remember what her diagnosis ended up being (something to do with how her bowel was shaped, due to all her recent vomiting…but it wasn’t serious and should fix itself in the coming week) because by this point it was almost 4:00 am and Presley was screaming from exhaustion.
They made Avery drink a little Gatorade and told me that if the screaming episodes happen again, or she develops a fever or has more vomiting, to bring her back in.
We finally slipped into bed around 5:30 am and collapsed from exhaustion.
Thankful…that our little girl was okay.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Angel Gets Her Wings

Josh's aunt, Shanna, passed away yesterday morning. It was and wasn't a big shock to our family. She has been sick for several years and the doctors were never able to exactly pinpoint what was going on.
Shanna was always so wonderful to our family. She was so caring and loved my children so much. She made each of them a special baby blanket and we always looked forward to her homemade cards on their birthdays.
Much like with Mom, we are so thankful that she is no longer in pain, but now the pain is ours. She will leave such a hole in all of our lives.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Little Catch Up

Wow. I can't believe that it's been so long since I've updated. I'm shocked that my grandparents didn't send me an email telling me an update was long overdue! ;)
My weeks seem to fly by, lately. I feel like I'm constantly running...but never actually getting anywhere.
My birthday was great. Patti and Dad threw me a little birthday party and we got to visit with some of the family. Josh's grandma must have heard me telling Brittenay (my sister-in-law) about how I would be without a lemon meringue pie this year, with mom gone. My Meme always made me one when I was younger and for the past decade mom always made sure I had one. I'm not a huge cake fan...I just want my pie! :)
So, Grandma and Grandpa showed up right before I left for school and she had a pie for me. I actually cried. Over a pie. It was such a sweet gesture.
Another year older...and I'm falling apart! My headaches have been insane lately, so I finally got an appointment with an optometrist. Wouldn't you know it...I need glasses. Those should come in next week and hopefully they will rid me of these headaches. I wake up with one, have one all day and fall asleep with one. It's getting rather old.
School has been crazy. I had my first test this week and it was by far the hardest test I've ever taken. I'm still waiting to see what I scored on it. Thankfully, the professor grades on a curve, because no one walked out of that room with a good feeling. We've also had a lot of fun in the lab and got to do blood typing on our own sample and have practiced staining bacteria. I'm definitely learning a lot...but it's also exhausting me.
The kids are all doing great. They've all gotten into the swing of school. Avery and Pres have been sick the last couple days, but hopefully they'll be over that soon.
I hope everyone else has had a great week!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm Still Learning

I'm having one of those days. You know the wake up, realize it's Monday and want to cry over the crazy schedule that you have laid out for the next five days.
I'm feeling overwhelmed. Between work, my school and homework, kids' school and homework, appointments and general life chaos...I'm wondering why I do this to myself. I don't have to go to school. It's a choice. I don't have to take on half the chaos that I do. It's a choice.
Sometimes it takes me teetering on a psychological breakdown, to remember why I do it.
I do it because I have goals for tomorrow, that can only be achieved by actions I take today. I can talk about all the dreams and goals that I have for myself and my family, but unless I am doing something to move toward those goals...I may as well be moving backwards.
There have been, and will continue to be, obstacles. I have to approach them with the attitude that I can overcome them. No matter what they goals are important enough to force me to find a solution.
This is something that I hope to instill in my children. I want them to know that nothing worth having in this world, is handed to you. Hard work, dedication and determination will put you in a position to achieve your personal happiness.
I just hope that they will learn this, sooner than I did.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blades Of Glory

Some of my bestest friends were able to join me last night for some dinner at Olive Garden and ice skating. I haven't been in years, but thought that it would be so much fun for all of us to do it...and boy...was I right!
I have never laughed so much in my life. As you'll see in the video (thank you so much Jen for putting that together!), we didn't all escape the ice unscathed. There was some slipping...some sliding...some falling...some bloodshed...some gay men straddling each other and a whole lot of smiles.
We are a diverse group of women, but that means that the conversation never stops and the stories that are told have us laughing till we cry. I am so lucky to have this group of women in my life. Thank you all SO much for coming out to celebrate with me! (And to those that couldn't come...I missed you and hope to have you with us next time!) I love you all!

First Day of Preschool

Avery and Luke enjoyed their first week in preschool. Luke has been a little bit of challenge - trying to get him used to a classroom setting. I'm not too worried. Miss Becky is a fabulous teacher with years of experience and I know that in the coming weeks she will put him in line. :)

These two are adorable. They make me crazy...but they are adorable.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"I've Been There..."

The other night after pictures, we stopped at Carl's Jr. for dinner and to allow the kids to run around and get some energy out. (Okay, I'll be honest...I bribed them with dinner out, if they behaved during pictures.)
There was another family in the play area, that I could tell was watching my kids out of the corner of their eyes. This family had 3 kids, but their youngest was about Bailey's age. After about an hour of play, I went into the play area to round up the kids and tell them it was time to go.
The mom and dad of the other family started asking me questions:
"You have five kids?" (Yep.)
"How old is the oldest? 8?" (Yeah and the youngest is 9 months.)
"Wow. So you had one like every 18 months?" (Umm...about every 2 years, but then a 15 month gap child snuck in there.)
"So you have 4 girls and 1 boy?" (Yup. Tried for a brother, got another sister...oh well!)
"I don't know how you do it! Is it really hard?" (Well, I don't know any different.)
Then they proceeded to tell me how cute they were and they liked watching them all play together. The dad told me that it's hard when they are young, but he promises that it will get easier.
It's people like them, that make my day. They were probably just making conversation and have no idea the impact they made on me. However, the fact that they acknowledged the hard work that I do and were friendly, left me with a wonderful feeling.
It's much like the older women that give me "that" smile in a store. "That" smile that says, "I've been there. I know what you're going through."
Sometimes, "that" smile is all that gets me through that shopping trip or sacrament meeting. It reminds me that I am trying my best...even if my kids aren't acting their best.
So, next time you are out and you see a mom struggling with her kids, don't just walk by her...make eye contact and give her "that" smile. Remind her that she's not alone and that you acknowledge that she is doing the best job that she can. Sometimes that's all a person needs. A smile to let them know, "I've been there. I know what you're going through."

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Smile Is Worth A Thousand Words

I've been wanting to get updated pictures of the kids for a few weeks now and finally found time today. I had so many that turned out absolutely wonderful, that I had a hard time picking just these few to share with you.

My Fantastic Five
BaileyI love feet pictures. :)
I've been dreaming of doing this picture since I was pregnant with Presley. Now that she can sit up so well, I knew that it was the perfect time!


They don't get cuter than this.

I love them more every day.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Presley's Treat

I LOVE her cute little voice!
She is "talking" so much lately and is getting around the house so quickly now...where is my baby going?

Trying New Things

I am LOVING watching my tiny peanut begin to try new foods. She loves to eat (regardless of what you may think because of her size) and never turns away a new food. If she sees us eating something that she wants, she will "ask" for it and it is so darn cute! She just makes motions and noises - but there is no doubt as to what she is wanting.
She tried out watermelon for the first time on Friday. She loved the juice and squishing it between her fingers.

Yesterday morning, she tried a waffle for the first time. I've fed her bits of pancake (without the syrup) before, but this was the first time I had given her bigger pieces and let her take bites of it, instead of just giving her bite-sized pieces. She LOVED it.
I think what she really likes, is being at the table with the rest of us. The other kids adore it and have so much fun encouraging her to eat "just like us". It's wonderful watching her grow and change.

Eye Love You!

My poor little man.
The other night while I was at school, I got a text from Josh telling me that Luke fell off a kitchen stool and his face had an up close encounter with the kitchen floor. He got the bleeding stopped, but couldn't butterfly the laceration closed, because of where it was (right in the crease of his eyelid).
So, I met him at urgent care and within 10 minutes they were done gluing it shut. I took these pictures the next day, but I should do some follow up ones. He's sporting quite a nice shiner now.

He loves walking around now and randomly saying, "The doctor put glue on my eye!"
It's alright, buddy...chicks dig scars! :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Giddy Up!

Today in the car:

Avery: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Me: "A nurse. That's why mommy goes to school. I'm learning to be a nurse."
Avery: "I don't want you to be that."
Me: (laughing) "Well, okay...what do you want me to be?"
Avery: "Umm...a cowgirl. With a pink hat."

That child is something else. I hate to tell her that the chances of me being a cowgirl are never to...well...never. I just rode my very first horse on Saturday...I think I'm lacking some skills.