Monday, November 25, 2013

Who Needs Parents???

My sister is my only close friend since we have moved. Our ward is very difficult to make friends in and I haven't had the energy since I've been so sick to work very hard at it. Heidi lives super close and it is just easy. We get out kids together so we can cook/bake/clean/gossip. We eat meals together when our husbands are working. Aiden thought for the longest time the baby in my belly was his cousin, Heidi's daughter, Baby Claire. We flow together well with how we parent and I back her and she backs me. We have similar tastes for decor and clothes and organization. Things that I have avoided, like organizing my pantry, are easy and fast when she is around. She has been a life saver so I haven't shriveled up and died from being lonely and bored.

As much as I love my sister, she is the only one that I talk to in my family. And you know what, I don't miss my parents. Obviously, I have no control over a relationship with my Dad since he died 18 months ago. However, right after Thanksgiving of last year, I told my mom I needed her to leave me and my family alone. I've seconded guessed that decision a lot in the last year, but I am so happy and I don't miss her. You know why?

I have Evan's family.

I have called my in-laws "mom" and "dad" for years. We drop by whenever we are missing them and many many dinners have been eaten at their house. They are patient with our loud, LOUDER,  LOUDEST, in your personal space, interrupting children.

Any time we are struggling or need support--we go see Mom and Dad. I always miss chatting with her when we haven't been over in at least a week. When we had no car the first few months we were married they would pick us up to go grocery shopping, go to the hospital, have dinner and do laundry at their house. We wouldn't have survived this summer without them being willing to come across town and stay at the apartment in the middle of the night so Evan could take me to the ER----6 or more times in 4 weeks.

And since I was the first one married in, I feel like I've been there for so much growth in the family. When Zoie was 12 and would tell me how much she liked a girlfriend of Evan's and wished they would date. Now she is 18, in college, and we proudly hang several pieces of her art on our walls. Avery graduated college and is close to graduating vet school. I saw Nolan go on his mission and come home to internet court Zaida...and now they have an almost 3 year old. I feel privileged to be the one who has/will hear the details of their first date with their spouse/how they met, followed every pregnancy, seen them all eventually graduate college and pursue life goals. It's been a ride...my first Thanksgiving Mom didn't ask me to bring anything and no one ate the pies I made. This year...Mom asked me to bring multiple dishes, although she probably still won't eat them :)

It's just nice to have a comfortable place to fit. I have more of a deep lasting relationship with Evan's family than I did with my own parents and brothers. I've seen the trailer park in Colorado that Mom and Dad met in, I've seen their house in Oklahoma. I know most of the stories when they reminisce, although I still don't track with Evan's grandparents stories involving second and third cousins of theirs. However, I'm okay with that.

I love my place in their family and I wouldn't change it for anything. I love Evan's parents and being in their family has made it so I do not miss my own parents. As I'm about to have my 6th Thanksgiving as part of this family, I'm happy. I'm happy to be there, I'm happy to be a part, I'm happy with my family. I look forward to this time of year with them.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Boo @ The Zoo

We went to Boo at the Zoo today. We had never been before and we probably won't go again. We got there for the 8am opening for Zoo Booster members. Even getting there early it was already quite crowded and we had to wait in a line that wrapped around the parking lot to get into the zoo. The whole trick-or-treating things was really waiting in lines throughout the whole zoo to be given candy at different corporate sponsored booths. We left after an hour, having been to the lines that were manageable and seeing the few animals that were out or in warmed buildings. By the time we left at 9, which is when it opened to general members and the public, the zoo was one long line from booth to booth. If you didn't stay in that line there was almost no way to get back in. 


 


We rode the carousel before we left and that was the only opportunity I had to get pictures. While I think the boys would have stayed longer, my body was beyond done and I paid for that excursion for the rest of the day. It was quite chilly. I thought I was fairly prepared and I just wasn't. I forgot how much longer it takes for the sun to come up over the mountains when you are in the shadow there, and there was enough breeze. Aiden was in a full body costume, with gloves and a hat and he was still cold. But they braved on. Aiden hates to ride an actual animal on the carousel so he is crying in these pictures--unfortunately, the benches had already been taken.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Week of Fall







   

On Tuesday, we were able to go to Tracy Aviary on our pass of all passes. It was an amazing fall morning and we saw lots of birds including the owl hollow, fed ducks, fed swans, fed pelicans, and finally fed the sun conures. It was a lot of fun. I made it through fairly well with only needing to sit down a couple times and since it is fall break for Evan, we were able to go because he could help me with the kids.

    


If you ever go, feed the sun conures. One of the rules is that you have to stay still because the birds will land on the ground and you don't want to step on them. It was hard for Aiden to stay still and when the birds would fly towards him he would get squirrely.  So I held his arms and he had a ton of birds. Kyle was a perfect statue, but the staff still had to bring birds to him, and after a few minutes, Kyle got scared and wanted to be done. Overall though, it was my favorite outing of the week. 

On Wednesday, I took the boys to Gardner Village, which is a quaint little shopping village made out of old polygamist houses and historic houses right around the corner from our new apartment. September and October is a big time of year for them and they go all out on witch decorations. For the past several years, since Aiden and Addison were born, my sister and I have taken our kids there in their costumes for some awesome photo ops.

 

   


Unfortunately, it was a hard day for my breathing, I couldn't stay long. We got some pictures together---but I am too lazy to try to get them on here. You can see Addison in the corner on the last picture. If you could see Claire (who does not like to smile for pictures), she is the cutest little one year old watermelon around!!! 

On Saturday night, we made the annual pilgrimage to Cornbelly's at Thanksgiving Point. Last year, we did more of an afternoon adventure--this year with the boys in love with Halloween and Aiden loving to be scared---I wanted to go in the evening/night. 


 

   

 


It was fun. We did the hay ride, see all of us above. We did lots of cutout pictures, we did some activities, and we tromped through the corn maze under the full moon. By the end of a few hours, my body began to protest loudly, Aiden was melting down, but Kyle was still unsatisfied. Next year, I'd like to do our favorites and try to get in more activities (They have so many there). I think we need an afternoon & an evening & a night to get it all done. But it was not disappointing in the least. They got free baby punkin's on the way out and Aiden even slept with his once home.

It was such a nice fall week. It is my favorite week of the year. It was the first we have been able to get out and do some seasonal activities. It was such a good week, and lived up to adding to why I love this time of year so much!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Summer of Pregnancy Recap


It has been a year. It has been a serious year. A year that started of with a move, an impermanent move to a friend's house. If that wasn't hard enough living temporarily with all your things in storage, I found out I was pregnant in the middle of May. It was exciting news. Something Evan and I had been praying and working on for two and a half years.

I know that my pregnancy with Kyle was rough; however, I had no one else to take care of and although my house wasn't unpacked until the day that I left to give birth to Kyle (8 months, in case you were wondering how long we lived unpacked), I could lay in bed all day and vomit to my hearts content. Aiden was a dream pregnancy with only one episode of vomiting. I had him at home and I thought, my other pregnancies would be like that. I thought Kyle was a fluke with my gallbladder.

Then we moved into this new apartment, and it was all down hill from there.

I found out sometime after Aiden was born that although I did not have a gallbladder anymore, I could still produce gallstones in my common bile duct.

I had several attacks that would take Evan and I to the ER for pain medication and anti-nausea drugs. The first time I had one, a few weeks after I had Aiden, I remember crawling down the hallway when we lived in our apartment in Taylorsville and wondering what it could possibly be. I had already had my gallbladder out, was it my appendix. These attacks came about 9-12 months apart for the next several years. I thought there was nothing to do but live with them.

Then after I got pregnant with this baby, I knew that it was turning out to be a lot like with Kyle. I was sick. Everything I ate came up, the thought of food turned me off and eating was becoming increasingly painful. I talked to my OB about it, he referred me to a GI doctor that they use frequently. In the meantime, waiting for that doctor's appointment, the ER visits started. I was taking in 300 calories a day, but not all of it stayed down, and a few ounces of liquid a day. I began to lose weight. 

It turns out the doctor they referred me to is the doctor that before I was pregnant with Kyle never referred me to have my gallbladder out, cost me thousands of dollars of tests that never showed any issues with my gallbladder, the doctor who had me have exploratory pelvic surgery, and who finally said I needed a psychiatrist because the pain was in my head. Awesome! Such my luck. The tests he ordered, showed nothing, he was unwilling to admit me to the hospital when my OB wanted to. He wouldn't prescribe me any medication. He finally said, I am done, nothing is wrong.

I saw another GI. He was so nice. But had no room to take me on as a patient and told me the problem was the pregnancy. He would have done a simple scoping procedure to cut open my bile duct and flush it out. Unfortunately, the complication is a 10% risk of pancreatitis. If the pancreatitis occurred late enough in my pregnancy--the baby could die. I had this confirmed this with several doctors who had actually seen this happen to some very unfortunate women. Plus, to top it off, of course, none of the tests ordered confirmed anything. He said come back after I am not pregnant and he would take care of it. 

So I was stuck. And seriously sick. Evan wasn't going to work. I wasn't able to shower. I wasn't getting out of bed. Aiden was learning to bring me his sippy and the soy milk tetra to my bed. I had moved snacks to a shelf they could reach. If the kids were dressed by dinner, it was a good day. Every week, we lived out of the clean laundry basket without it ever being folded or put away. I didn't cook dinner for my family between June and well.....now. I am up to cooking once a week. 

The change came when my OB ordered me home IV fluids and anti-nausea drugs (zofran). This allowed me to take my pain and stronger anti-nausea meds by mouth and keep them down. As I kept blowing IV lines in my arm and under advice from my home health nurse, I asked for a PICC line....


It is a line that goes up my arm, across my shoulder and terminates right close to my heart. They are designed to last up to 12 months. They are used for all kind of conditions such as cystic fibrosis and cancer. I immediately started having some other complications. They landed on a nerve, it took several days to move the line enough to get the pain to stop, I have an adhesive allergy and had to use an adhesive to keep my site sterile--itchy, then through advice from the PICC placement nurse and my home health nurse I was flushing my line with saline. It clotted off, that Saturday I spent 6 hours in the ER unclotting it. Several weeks went by. 

I was getting out of bed. I was folding and putting away laundry. I vacuumed. I cleaned the tubs. I went four weeks without vomitting. I gained the few pounds I lost and 4 more (at 25 weeks I have still only gained 4 pounds total). Then one of my lumens (the orange and white lines coming out of my PICC) started to leak. 

I had to go back in and have it replaced. Luckily, they did not have to totally pull it and replace it, just run a wire up it, pull the line, and thread a new one. It was uncomfortable and took a few more days to get the line to move off that pesky nerve. However, it could have been worse. 

Then on Saturday, I couldn't get a full breath. It lasted for an hour. I called the OB. He said I had to go into the ER because with the pregnancy and PICC line, I could have a blood clot. Evan dropped me off, after an ultrasound and chest X-ray, it was confirmed. I did have a blood clot in my arm adjacent to my PICC line. They kept me overnight and started me on blood thinner shots.


Sunday morning, before I left the hospital. I told my nurse that my left arm had gone painfully numb. She said that was normal. I went home. The pain stayed. My mother-in-law thought my forearm was looking swollen. I called the OB. I had to go back to the ER and he wanted my PICC line pulled this time. I went, they pulled the line, they said the clots weren't there anymore, but I still had to keep up the twice daily shots. The pain in my arm did not get better and my other arm started being painfully numb too. 

My doctor the next morning confirmed the baby is fine. However, even without the PICC line I have to continue the shots twice daily. See the above shot. Twice a day. I still can't do it, luckily Evan is great at it. The needle going in is fine, but the medicine burns for thirty minutes and you can't rub it--plus they bruise like crazy. So now, with a pregnant belly that bumps into everything, it hurts because it is bruised all over. 

Not only that, but with the shots, I have to get frequent ultrasounds to check the babies growth. I also have to have a scheduled induction and continue the shots 6 weeks after birth. I also have to see the high risk OB to decide whether to do another PICC line and to make sure things are okay with the blood thinner shots. So that is what I know and don't know.

I think the worse thing is that I do not feel like myself. I feel like I am failing everyone with my limitations. I am costing us lots of money by being unable to cook most nights. I get lectures from ER nurses about how my pain meds cross the placental barrier and the baby gets them too. I feel like I am failing my boys. They should go out and do fun things--I lost all my opportunities to do fun things I planned this summer and fall is going by fast. Most days I don't have energy to take them out and play and Kyle desperately needs that. We have no friends in our new place after 4 months and our house still isn't unpacked. 

Every place that I turn points out how much I am failing. How far below expectations I am. Someone told me I was lucky that Kyle is 12 days too young for kindergarten, if he was in kindergarten he would be behind because he doesn't read yet. I frequently hear about how much house is not unpacked and totally put together. I make goals and plans, and they come and go without anything happening. And things keep changing, I had Aiden at home, this baby has to be born in a hospital, now she has to be induced too. It feels like it is out of control and there just isn't much joy to hold onto anymore. Not much to be excited about. Good meaning people tell me, "it will all be worth it." And while I am sure that I will love her and cherish her, she is only one of four other people in my family. The other three people have been ignored, disappointed, and affected by how hard this pregnancy has been--that might never be worthwhile. 

There is more to be said, but the meds are kicking in, which is why I certainly don't have many blog posts from this summer. I'll leave you with my arm without a PICC line, healing from the allergic reaction to betadine and adhesive. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

An Open Letter to Parents


An Open Letter to Parents:
       Parenting is hard. There are lots of demands on our time and attention, lots of expectations and judgement, and pressure to be perfect. I try not to judge too harshly because each day is not all of our best days. There is a constant need to teach and re-teach and remind and re-remind. And some times you have to pick your battles with your little guys.

       With that said, I went to the Children's Museum today, and have decided we might never return. It is not because the kids don't like it; they do. It is not because the staff isn't nice; they are. It is not because it is expensive; it is. It is because of you my fellow parents.

         Last visit, we left because it was crazy in the downstairs toddler area. Children we running, moving toys from one area to another area, there were parents standing around talking, but not supervising. It came to a head when I was hit by play food being thrown out of the birds nest by children about 9 who were in the 3 and under area. I told them in no uncertain terms, that was not acceptable to be throwing food, I had been hit, and they were not young enough to be in that area. They stopped and left, but there were no parents around.

         Today, we were in the beehive ball room. My kids were playing nicely. I had to immediately remind Kyle of his skills from therapy and skills class---don't touch others, give them space, and wait your turn. He did. Then I see a mother sitting on a bench next to me on Pinterest. She is not watching her toddler climbing the peg wall where you can sort balls. When her child ask her to see her accomplishment (getting to the top of the 6 foot wall), she looks up, acknowledges and goes back to her phone. When Kyle tries to climb it, I immediately stop him and explain (the mother can hear me) that it was not designed for that. When Kyle tries to instruct the other girl, I also explain she has a mother and it is not our job to tell her what to do.

          Shortly after, we move on. In the first area, construction, Aiden finds food from the marketplace and immediately wants to take it back to the proper place. We put the basket of peaches away in the marketplace--across the whole toddler area. After we are walking through the room, we find an abandoned loaded grocery cart, not in the right exhibit. It has mail, which Kyle has been looking for so he can deliver some around the toddler area. As he is looking to deliver it, an older child, runs up to him, and physically tries to rip the mail out of his hand. I let him know, that it was Kyle's turn. He backed off. Where is the parent????

           Aiden spends the next 20 minutes rounding up play food from the marketplace and farm area around the museum. He wants to sort it all and put it away. We do. In the car area, Kyle wants Aiden and I to get in the back of the truck. We can't. A child has filled it with play food from another area and left it.

          We moved upstairs to check out the helicopter. While the boys are in the front seats, 10-15 children with a parent come from the party room. They are running. A child comes up to Kyle and says, "I want to sit there." I remind him, while a parent is standing two feet away, that it is Kyle's turn. Parent says nothing. Another child about 9, pushes his way onto Kyle's seat. I asked him to back off and give Kyle his turn. Parent says nothing. Finally, as 4 children are pushing around Kyle and reaching in his space, I tell Kyle we should just go, it is a losing battle and not worth the fight. Parent says nothing.

            Later, a toddler empties a shopping cart full of play food into the water at the water table. Parent doesn't notice from her bench. Aiden starts to get really upset, and helps me pull it from the water and put it away in the right exhibit. Aiden spent the rest of the time at the museum helping the staff put away marketplace food they had rounded up from all around the museum. He got a prize for helping.

            Parents, take responsibility for your children. You need to supervise them. You need to remind them to share, teach them about personal space, and make sure they are following common courtesy. If you are sitting next to a sign that says, "no food or drink in the museum," don't be feeding your toddler right there. If your child makes a mess in a common space with shared toys, clean it up. Set a good example. If your child is throwing toys, stop them. If they are splashing others at the water table, instruct them not to.

            I am mortified when Kyle chases other kids, yelling for their toys, grabs them out of their hands, does not respect boundaries, and is in general not a good citizen. I quickly call him over, correct him, have him apologize, or do it myself particularly if a parent is around. I work hard with Kyle, as he struggles socially. We practice at home. We role play. We go over expectations before entering a social situation. We leave if he can't use his skills. We talk about social interactions in therapy. We remind, remind, remind, remind, and remind some more. It is hard work. But I do not want to have child that struggles to make friends. I do not want a child unaware of good behavior.

        Do you as other parents, not want the same for your child? Can we not be united in our desire to raise good citizens? These skills, sharing, kind words, and respect are not intrinsic behaviors. You need to teach them and it takes years. You signed on when you had a child; now hold up your end of the bargain.


Thank you,

Concerned Parent Tying Her Best, and Startled By the Lack of Parenting Around Her When in Public      

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Car Payment



Sorry, if this is making you sick, but I just found it when I went to pick an Aiden picture. It's from his birthday in July. I have to admit, that this is my favorite stage of Aiden so far. He is sweet, funny, adventurous and he is just happy.

Conversation yesterday while walking through a parking lot to our van.

Aiden: That's not my car. That's not my car. Where's my car?
Me: Here's our car.
Aiden: My car!!! My car!!!
Me: Is this your car?
Aiden: Yes!!
Me: Are you going to pay for your car?
Aiden: Yes!!
Me: (while buckling him into his carseat) Are you sure you are going to pay the car payment?
Aiden: Yes!!
Evan: It is over $300 a month. Are you going to give us money to pay that?
Aiden: Yes!!
Me: Okay, Aiden I need your money to pay the car payment then.
Aiden: Daddy, can I have some money???

Today, while getting into the van after the zoo.

Me: Aiden are you going to pay for the van?
Aiden: Yes!!
Evan: Where is your money?
Aiden: In your pocket!!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

PICC



And that is what a PICC looks like

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pyramids, Car Rides, Length of Days, and Weather in Just a Few Short Minutes



This starts in the middle of a conversation about pyramids, if you can move them, make the disappear, are they hard or soft, what they look like inside, and how we live in the desert like the pyramids do, but it is different and not the whole world is a desert.

H: Remember it is a 2 day drive to Oklahoma.
K: Like it is a 2 day drive to California.
H: No, remember that was only 1 day.
K: It is a long day when you drive.
H: Yes, it makes for a long day.
K: Only Jesus can make the day shorter. He can make it longer too.
H: Yes, I guess.
K: It is because he has the power of God.
H: That is true.
K: Only God can change the weather.
H: True.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lego Zoo

We went to the zoo today, and some time between last Friday and today, they had installed Lego exhibits throughout the park. There were large signs explaining what we could do to help protect the animals represented by the Lego models, but we didn't read any of that :)

This is a tree frog, but with the protective glass and shade, I know it is hard to see, but you can see the boys' reflection in the bottom. 




These are Lego monkeys.


This was a full sized polar bear made of Legos on a Lego iceberg.


Kyle's best friend, Ben and his little sister and mom, joined us today. Ben showed Kyle how to climb on top of the log in the otter habitat area.


Lego turtles

 

These pictures are probably in the coolest part of the Lego exhibits, they have a picture of an orangoutang and a gorilla made out of Legos with places for the kid's head to pop through. I really like 2D art done in Legos. The way they do shading and everything is extraordinary and the boys came back to this part of the zoo before we left they liked it so much.





I just wish I knew when the exhibits are going to be gone. And a normal zoo picture of Aiden with our friends.


It was a gorgeous day and a ton of fun to go with our friends.