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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Getting Christmas on...

I sold our 12 ft tree and used the money to buy a smaller, prelit, tree. Much easier.
I stuck it on top of a box of blocks to make it appear a little bit taller than it's height of 7.5' 
Silver and Gold this year.

I also took some pictures of the new Santa shelves. New because we inherited a lot of Santa's when Ryan's parents moved out of their house a few months ago. 


We started our Christmas advents, which this year included a lego advent calendar which the boys have really enjoyed.

We're also continuing with the adorable bags. So far we've gotten the candle, made a Christmas count down chain, and had a Christmas movie night with a bag of edible jingle bells and the movie I finally bought, Elf. 
And we're reading one Christmas book a day as our candle burns down the days to Christmas. Usually I have 1 to 2 kids paying attention to that :-/

Our Elf, Zat made his appearance, and the kids are finally behaving like angels (well, except Aliya... I don't think she quite understands the concept yet)

On Monday this last week we had our first blizzard. I think it dropped about 9 inches. Jayden was so excited. He's worn his snowpants every single day since. This is a picture of the kids waking up to all the white stuff. 
Aliya also started level 2 swim lessons on Monday. I didn't want to take her, because apparently I have severe anxiety about driving in the snow. Although, you might too if you lived up a steep hill and had a mini van!! :-D Too many times of pushing the gas to go forwards only to find myself sliding sideways or backwards. 

The most exciting thing that happened this week (to Ryan and I anyway) is that we finally got tile laid in our master bathroom. It looks AMAZING!!! I'm so excited it's finally done. 3 more days and we should have our bathroom! Woohoo!

Look how clean it is!!!!!!
This tile wood stuff is my favorite. It would probably be over our whole house if I could afford it.

Ryan and Kason getting a whole lot out of stake conference :-D They both have grumpy faces when they sleep. 



 I took the boys  (J and A) to see Alice and Wonderland at the children's theater to see if Jayden does indeed want to act. And it did validate his desire to do so. He'll be auditioning for the next show next month. 

Aliya is actually sticking her head under the water now which she was nowhere close to before we started swim lessons. I'm thinking it was related to her near drowning experience last summer. But I'm so excited to see progress..
I'm still in the process of de-cluttering and organizing our basement. I've actually been getting sick a lot. Some sort of "stomach attack" I call it where I throw up and am bent over in pain for about 4-24 hours. It was happening every two weeks to the day, now it's about every 15-20 days. I actually made it 21 days once. I'd see a doctor about it, but all of our care providers are changing next month to a new network. Anyway- this week the symptoms lasted 48 hours. Not the clenched over in pain, but just the general unwellness followed by about 8 hours of clenched over in pain. I wish I knew what was causing it- so I could stop it. It started my last two weeks of pregnancy.

Our whole family is still adjusting to Ryan working so much. I know a lot of women are used to their husbands being gone 60 hours a week, but I am not. Nor is he ;-) Anyway- it's certainly teaching me some patience. And who can't use a little more of that?
















Sunday, November 27, 2016

November


What a busy month. Everything has been incredibly busy this whole year. I keep waiting for things to calm down, but I think this just may be life with four kids. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

I want to make it a Sunday activity to update on the happenings of the kids.  Hopefully if I do it weekly I'll remember the funny, hard, and happy things I want to document about my kids, for now I'll stick to major events.

Kason-
He's two months old!! He has been dealing with a bit of reflux, poor guy, so walking him around and bouncing are his preferred activities. He is a quiet sleeper so he's still in the bedroom with me, and he nurses in under 10 minutes and goes right back to bed. I'm actually feeling pretty good. Going to bed early, I actually make it through a day without HUGE loads of Dr. Pepper :-/ . I was eating out with my mom and I told her that I have never gone to a public place since having him, and haven't had someone stop me to tell me how adorable/cute/precious he is. I think all my kids are beautiful!!! But something about this tiny little baby, with a tiny little head and big eyes... well it just melts hearts. And sure enough, half way through our meal, a couple stopped at our table to say how adorable Kason is. My mom and I laughed. He is the perfect little caboose for our family. 
 
At his two month appt he was 11 lbs. He was in the 60% for height, 25% for weight, and 15% for head circumference (See!? Small head.)

Aliya-
Oh this child. I feel like those are always the first words out of my mouth when talking about Aliya. I may only have one girl out of four children, but her personality makes it feel like I have at least 5. How can so much sass and love fit in such a small frame? Lately she enjoys screaming when she's mad. And not screaming "No" or "Stop" or expressing a thought. But if someone does something she doesn't like, she just stands there and lets out a blood curdling scream. It's like nails on a chalkboard. ::Sigh::
She just finished her first 6 week session of swim lessons. It was her favorite part of the week.
She took the class with her best buddy. my best friend's son, Sawyer. I was going to have her take a break for the holidays, buuuuuuuuut, she wears her swimsuit daily asking if she can go to "swim lessons" she practices her bubbles and arms in the pool. She started being terrified of sticking, even her ears under water, to going under. It was a HUGE thing for her, and I'm super proud. 
She got the stomach flu for the first time ever. That was heart breaking, and she doesn't throw up well. I'm pretty sure she watched The Sword and the Stone about 8 times over a two day period :-( I'm glad it's out of her system now. It was a bad one. 


Alex-
This guy has been one tough boy. He started an insulin pump. We insert a tiny catheter via needle into his bum and it continuously delivers insulin for 3-4 days until we have to change the site again. No more shots!!! No more tears in the morning after giving him a shot of Lantus (it really stings for him :-( ), such a HUGE blessing. And he's so proud of it. Which make me so happy. I don't know why he was called to be so tough and have so many trials at such a young age. But I admire his attitude about everything, I wish I could give him the world.  

He's been doing really well following a gluten free diet, and counting his carbs and inputting them into his pump. Unfortunately we have had a couple of site failures- and they've happened in the middle of the night, so we have had to change his injection side a few more times than normally would be needed. This guys is LOVING kindergarten. He is in a program called SEM which is an advanced class, and is reading very well. He'll also start some speech therapy next month as he's having trouble pronouncing some words that he should be able to pronounce by now. I think it's something he'll grow out of, but I'm glad he'll have some extra help with it. He gets very upset if he ever has to miss school. He has a good buddy who lives down the street from us and goes to his class. That makes my heart happy. I know we have a lot of struggles ahead, but to see him thriving right now brings joy to my soul, he also got the stomach flu and it literally knocked him out for 3 days. Thank goodness he was on the pump and I didn't have to worry about forcing food down his throat to treat low blood sugars. Here's a pic of him, after he fell asleep in the tub... slowly starting to go down. :-D


Jayden-
It has been so nice having Jayden around with Kason. He loves holding his brother. These last few weeks have been the week of sickness so he hasn't been able to hold Kason for a few days and it's breaking his heart. Jayden has such an amazing imagination. And he loves being in charge of all sorts of activities, which is a good and bad thing. One Sunday it was just me and the kids, and I was dreading having to hold
Kason allllll 3 hours. Well no worries there as Jayden had him the entire first meeting. Over an hour. He has been struggling with finding friends. He's a bit young for his grade, and I don't know if that plays a role in it. Sweet guy deals with anxiety at this young age of 8, I'm hoping to find some activities for him to do that will help build his confidence. Now that he's older our method of disciplining isn't effective, and just figuring what's going on with him in general is a whole new ball park. Our poor guinea pig oldest child. I love this guy though. His tender heart, and he tries to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, something we're going to have to figure out how to stop!!! :-O  I'm so proud of the growth I've seen in him. I have distinct memories from being 8, and it has been very interesting watching him figuring out life, and doing some of the things I loved to do when I was his age. He's growing TOO fast.

Me-
 I'm still thriving in the energy I now have. Being pregnant made me feel completely useless, so I've gone overboard in organizing our house and working on projects. Here's my latest:


And I've just started working on a dresser. Now, I've gotten everything out to organize and sort and I'm feeling quite overwhelmed. Ooops! 
I've been slowly working on getting Christmas up. I'll try and post pictures of that next week. The kids were so excited to decorate their tree. This is a blurry picture, but the only one with all 3 of them
 
I've been playing nurse to sick kids, and that has been exhausting. But I also feel grateful to be able to be there for them, and to be able to have a calming effect on them when they're spewing their guts out ;-) I love being a mom.. 
We did pictures with mine and my brother's kids. Each year my mom gives us money to buy them Christmas outfits and then we take pictures of all the cousins together. I got to play Santa for these last pictures. 
We also got family pictures done a month prior. I hate getting my picture taken lately, but for posterity... ;)
Anyway- I'm hoping when I finish purging my house and get organized I can start  getting more accomplished in terms of taking care of myself and helping the kids in their classes.
I can dream, right?

Ryan-
This guy has a lot on his plate right now. He's the process of finishing three bathrooms (only two of them being ours) he's been working 3 10 hour shifts and 2 8, and they're graveyards, so it's been tough on his body. We always joked he was being paid full time and work part-time... but now that he's working so many hours... well, it's been draining for us both. But it's our new reality so hopefully our body's will adjust. 
He's been a big help to me, and I'm hoping someday soon we'll be able to afford a nice vacation to be able to relax from it all. 

And just a couple of pics from the last month. 


Aliya checking out the first snowfall of the year. Way past her bed time.


My mom asked Jayden to be in charge of the nativity when we get together with my family for Christmas. Here are his notes. I just love this kid!!!
Ham!!!

 Still a snuggle bug when she wants to be.

Our master shower... since August :-( 


Friday, September 23, 2016

Mr. Kason

Trying to write a recap of a birth story 11 days post birth may make for a scattered story. But I can attest memories fade with time, so I'll do my best!

I had been feeling hopeful that this pregnancy I would be able to stay pregnant a little bit longer. In my past pregnancies my blood pressures started getting higher by 30ish weeks eventually turning into pre-ecclampsia which forced induction. At 33 weeks I was still having good blood pressures and was actually feeling pretty good even with those common 3rd trimester pains.
     I knew I needed to get ready for this guy... I'm not sure why, I just didn't have it in me. We didn't know what his name was going to be. I had bought some size 1 diapers since my babe's are nice and chunky. We had bought a car seat, but it sat in plastic with an un-assembled stroller in the corner of our kitchen. I couldn't get it to seem real.
     It was also happening during a kind of stressful period of life. Alex was starting school, which was great, but with his diabetes and recent diagnosis of celiac I found/find myself constantly worrying about what MIGHT happen should his diabetes not cooperate. I had to drive to the school everyday for the first week to test his blood sugars since they didn't have anyone assigned to him and THAT was fun. Meanwhile I was seeing doctors about 3x a week for preventive care. Medical bills were piling up. Our bathroom shower line exploded after slow leaking for who knows how long and got gutted because of mold.  Insurance issues happening left and right. September was turning into a joyous month ;-)

Anyway- at about 34.5 weeks my blood pressures started to get a little concerning. I felt a little defeated. I did my best to stay in bed hoping and praying they wouldn't diagnose me with pre-ecclampsia AGAIN.

Then came Sunday night. I was 35 weeks and 3 days. I'd been monitoring my BP's at home and they got to that dangerous level where I was supposed to go into the hospital. I thought since I was still so early that they would just give me some medication and monitor me overnight. I was delivering at a new (to me) hospital and didn't know any of the doctors.

So I packed an overnight bag. I had thought I wanted to go natural again, but was really worried this guy would be posterior like his sister. That makes for one painful delivery. Working on turning the baby was on my list of things to do that week. ;-) I drove to the hospital... leaving Ryan home with the kids, because I was sure they would just monitor me and send me home.

I got to the hospital.. they took my blood pressure and kind of freaked out. Labs were ordered, lights were lowered, IVs ordered... and they continued to monitor me. I let them know that in the past my BP's would go down, that I just needed medication and the Dr could send me home. BUT the on-call Dr. didn't agree and felt like it would be too dangerous to continue the pregnancy. My body was not ready at all. I wasn't dilated. No contractions.. not even braxton hicks. He wasn't in position :-( ... And I was sitting there thinking "Oh crap... we're not ready at all" I called my mom to come up to my kids so Ryan could come down to be with me. I think he got there around 7 p.m.  And that's when they started trying to induce me.

It took a while, and they used a few different methods. I finally started active labor Monday afternoon. It was a long night with no sleep. They broke my water around noon.  It had also been on my list to work on techniques for handling the pain of natural child birth... but never got around to that either! :-D

Around 3 p.m. the contractions were so unbearable that I was screaming and insisting I couldn't do it anymore. He finally started coming down around 4 I think. I was so exhausted that I stopped making noises. I just pushed and then passed out between contractions.  I just saying "water" to Ryan a few times and just pouring it all over my head cause I was so hot. I wanted to ask for a fan, but I was too tired to to form a complete sentence.

Anyway- pushing him out... I almost had him out, but the contraction stopped and I didn't have the energy to push him out anymore. His head was half way out and Ryan kept yelling at me to push. I wanted to slug him... I wanted to yell at the nurse to just pull him out, but I literally was so exhausted I couldn't form words.  The next contraction came and I pushed him out, but it left him with the biggest bruise ever on his forehead. Seriously, the poor kid looked like an alien with his blue forehead. :-( Sorry Kase.  But he was posterior which is why it was so hard to get him out. Grrr. I had an amazing nurse who I think stood there for an hour applying counter pressure on my hips and encouraged me. Such a blessing!

They put him on top of me while they assessed and delivered everything else. What a rush... it was amazing to have this baby on me. I just rubbed him over and over again and called him my baby, because he didn't have a name yet! :) They took him over and noted that his breathing was a bit labored, I tried to feed him, but if memory serves correctly it wasn't super successful. Ryan went down to the special care nursery with him so they could treat his low blood sugar, and get him on some o2. ... He was gone for hours!

My kids all being taken away to go to the NICU had been really traumatic for me. I had nightmares about nurses taking them away throughout this pregnancy. I worked my butt off trying to make it so that it wouldn't happen this time around. However, I knew delivering at 35 weeks there was a slim chance that they wouldn't need to take him. I expected to be more traumatized by it... but I was actually okay with it. I definitely had added strength and I'm truly grateful for that. Also, the nursery was new to me, and it wasn't as high of a level as the one my babes had been in before, so things were a bit more lax, and there will less babies... AND Kason got his own room.

Anyway- they put him on o2, but discovered during the night that he had pulled it out, and had not set off any alarms so they kept him on room air. They treated him with antibiotics which was a little annoying to me because he wasn't sick with anything, but it's a precaution I guess. He was also on a glucose drip which was also a little annoying because it made his blood sugars pretty high for a newborn. I did like though that the pediatricians came to my room every morning to give me an update on him. And I liked all of the nurses that cared for him.  He fed really well which I know can be a problem for early babes, and I think it helped him a lot.
 

 


On the third? day he showed signs of jaundice and desatted, so they put him on a low flow of oxygen. That same day they discovered my blood pressure's were not going down, so they admitted me for another day and added a blood pressure medication. On the fourth night, I was discharged, but did a hotel stay in the hospital room. They put him in the room with me so I could do a "room stay" with him on oxygen. That's when I had a mini panic attack because it brought back some not so fond memories of this annoying oxygen stat machine. Anytime their o2 levels go down it does this shrill beeping alarrm. I was alone with him, I was scared about doing this all by myself... so I had a little meltdown. And I guess when they brought him to me, they forgot to turn on his oxygen... so he kept de-statting  and I was worried the he was regressing and that we wouldn't be able to go home.. until I had the brilliant idea to see if his oxygen was actually on... ding ding ding!
(picture of his first night with me... and the annoying monitor!)

His sweet nurse came in at 4 a.m. to get his daily blood tests :-( and I got a phone call that his bilirubin levels had increased substantially and they needed to order lights for him again. This bothered me a bit because earlier that day I had told another nurse, who told the NP? that I thought he was acting really off and needed to be put on lights again. I told her that all my kids had to be on more than one day of photo therapy. But my concern was dismissed and I was told they wouldn't check his levels till the next morning. I probably should have fought it, but I didn't... and in the end it's okay. He got put on lights that morning, and was on them all day while I did all the training and dvd watching to be able to take him home. 
Finally that afternoon they took another blood test which showed his levels had gone down since that morning, and they let us take him home!!!

(breaking out!!!!!)... I have four kids! :-O 


That pre-ecclampsia I was diagnosed with didn't go away with birth as it had before. I kept feeling a bit off and was advised to monitor my blood pressure after I was discharged. Well, I did and my blood pressures were 180's over 120's. With the dx of pre ecclampsia and those blood pressures I was at high risk for strokes, seizures, organ failur and cardiac arrest. I knew the risks... it was Saturday night, we had just got home the day before.. I REALLY did not want to leave my babes again.
I called my Dr and sobbed and sobbed on the phone telling her I couldn't get my blood pressure down, but that I couldn't leave my baby and come to the hospital. She instructed me to take more medication, but unfortunately it didn't work. She called the hospital to make sure I could bring my baby with me to the ER and to stay with me if they admitted me. (I could as long as another adult stayed with me at all times). My mom drove up, and we left for the hospital around 9 or 10 p.m. 
They did an EKG, and ran a ton of tests. I guess my numbers were still really high because they put up the seizure bars and anticipated some issues. Fortunately my labs came back normal as far as organ function. And sometime around 4 or 5 in the morning I was allowed to come back home with an increased dosage of medication and some other drug they gave me through the IV.

And then it happened again on Monday or Tuesday. I called the Dr. to see if I could just come in and get labs done, but was told with the numbers that I was having I had to go to the ER right away. This time Ryan's parents were in town, and a lady in my 'hood had my back with getting Jayden from school. I cried a lot again... but not as bad this time. Another 5 hours at the ER and a new concoction of medications I was sent home.

It was all really frustrating. But I am very grateful that I wasn't admitted. Kason behaved perfectly both times. And Ryan didn't complain that much! :-D As of right now I'm on a few BP medications until my body can bounce back to normal. We don't know when that will be.But I'm hoping SOON as the side effects are not the best for me... BUT better than the alternative! I'm following up with dr's over the phone every other day, and being seen 1-2 times a week.  It is also making me feel at peace with this little guy being our last pregnancy! 

So we're all at home. Adjusting. I'm not sleeping, but this cute little squish is alllll worth it. I'm savoring his littleness. He seriously melts my heart. He's got one obsessed mama.  






Sunday, August 28, 2016

2016

"The days go slow, but the years go fast"

Isn't that the truth. I can't believe there is only one more week until September!

Here's a recap of the year thus far:

In January I started teaching at Flip's Clubhouse. My dream job! :-D It was an amazing experience teaching preschool and gymnastics to the cutest 3-5 year old's ever.

In February... SUPRISE! as always ;-) We found out we were expecting baby #4... what? I thought you were only going to have 3 kids? Yup, me too. Due date: Oct. 13th 2016

The first trimester kind of stunk. It felt like another long winter. I was sooo sick and emotional I was sure this one was a girl. Luckily, I found out I could deliver at a smaller hospital, which I hope will give me a better experience.

Jayden continued to excel in 2nd grade. He absolutely loved his teacher. I'm so glad Jayden had him as a teacher, and how much Jayden grew in that class.

Alex was diagnosed with celiac disease. Poor guy can't catch a break. He was diagnosed initially by blood test and then it was confirmed with an endoscopy. It was a diagnosis that turned our life upside down. But he continued to do amazing in gymnastics and in preschool. He got to use a program called upstart which taught him to read, and was a student in the preschool class I taught.

We took quite a few trips down to St. George. I never thought I'd admit it, but I love having a mini van :-D Makes road trips so much nicer.

We found these gorgeous mahogany doors on clearance at our local hardware store. They were custom ordered for someone else, but were too big. SCORE!!!

Miss. Aliya had a rough time be left at home while mommy and Alex went to preschool and Jayden went to school. She got a lot of one on one (or TV) time with our daddy. I can't complain though, Ryan works nights, and did very good watching her after sleepless nights. But she and I got to do fun things once in a while!


Summer came which included camping and a couple more trips to St. George 
 


 


Alex graduated from preschool and upstart. Jayden finished 2nd grade, and Aliya came along for the ride. 
 Jayden turned 8!!!!! And chose to get baptized
The kids had an awesome time at my mom's company party at Lagoon. It was the first year Aliya really enjoyed it. I couldn't go on any rides because of the pregnancy. Speaking of pregnancy, we were so surprised to find out we were having another boy!!! He didn't cooperate at the 20 week ultrasound (I found out at 16 weeks with all my other kids, but since I went with a new doctor... I wasn't able to find out till 20 weeks.)... there was no way I was going to wait another month to find out what i was having. And so... I spent $50 bucks and got an elective ultrasound to determine what he was.



 Jayden started THIRD GRADE and Alex started half day kindergarten.
I'm really nervous about Alex's blood sugars being controlled or at least watched. Fortunately it's only 2.5 hours. And hopefully he'll be sensitive to how he's feeling. No preschool for Aliya this year. She gets to hang out with mom, and soon her baby brother.

She just turned 3!! :-O

This pregnancy has been going well. It actually is making me a bit nervous on how it's not exactly following suite of my other pregnancies. Blood pressures have been fairly consistent. And I never hit insulin resistance. I'm not sure what to think. I do know they're planning on inducing me at 37 weeks, but if things continue to go well, I may hold off and try to go a little longer. 
I'm 33.5 weeks now. I'll have an ultrasound to measure him in a couple of days. I was having pretty consistent contractions yesterday, but I'm pretty sure it was due to dehydration and the stomach flu. 

I'm not teaching preschool this year due to this baby. But hopefully next school year.