Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Recent Outings

We've gone out as a family recently a couple of times.  We don't go out a lot.  Probably largely due to inertia and pure laziness on my part.  Just easier to stay home most of the time.  That's not saying we don't have fun when we stay home.  We do. 

Anyway, last night we decided to take the kids on the train and head down to Salt Lake to see the lights at Temple Square.  I think the part the kids liked the most was the train ride.  They probably would have enjoyed looking at the lights more if we had eaten before looking at the lights.  We planned on finding a place to eat while we were out and decided to look at the lights first.  Certain children of mine get somewhat grumpy when they haven't eaten.  Funny how happy a little food can make him. 

It was nice going last night because it wasn't as cold as usual.  Which could be one reason it seemed a little more crowded than usual.  The train was full both going down and coming home. 

Saturday night we took the kids to Yogo Togo, a self-serve frozen yogurt place.  They had fun choosing which flavor they wanted and the toppings.  Almost seemed to have the most fun moving from chair to chair in the lounge-style seating area.  Anyway, here are a few pictures from both nights.

Emma in front of the Christus.
Molly in front of the Christus.  The others wouldn't turn around for a picture.
Dylan and Lys on the train.
Emma and Molly (and Lys in the background) at Yogo Togo.
Dylan.  His eyes are closed because that's how he poses for pictures lately.  Says "Cheese!" and closes his eyes.
Russ and Jimmy.  I don't think either were thrilled that I was taking their picture.
In case you are wondering, this is how Rachel was both nights.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Emma!

Emma turned 9 years old today.  I'd say that's crazy that she's 9, but I have a tendency to think she's older than she is.  So I've been thinking she's 9 for a few months now.  A few weeks ago I even said something about Emma being 9 and she corrected me. 

Anyway, happy birthday Emma!  Pretty soon I'm sure I'll start thinking you're 10 and you'll have to correct me again.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rachel's 2 Month Check-up

I took Rachel in for her 2 month check-up this morning.  Before I left to go to her appointment, I had to wake up Dylan.  Told him we were going to take her to the doctor.  He immediately said, "I don't like the doctor."  I told him it wasn't for him, it was for Rachel.  That made him much happier.  Although he did keep checking to make sure it really was for Rachel.  Even told the nurse it was for Rachel when we went back to the exam room.

Rachel is now 24 inches long and weighs 11 pounds, 11 ounces.  She started out as our biggest and is staying that way so far.  Twenty-four inches puts her at the very top of the growth charts and her weight is around the 75%.  Her head size is just above the 50%.  So she's tall and skinny (skinny for her height, anyway) and has a little head.  Wonder how big she will be in 2 months at her next appointment.

She got three shots and one oral immunization today.  Didn't cry very long from the shots.  I didn't think she would stop crying before I could pick her up to comfort her, but she did.  She did start crying a little again, but seemed more hungry than sad.

Rachel is a very good baby.  Rarely gets upset and is smiling more and more.  She coos more and more as well.  Just the other day I had her laying on my bed and Emma was laying next to her and talking to her.  She cooed at Emma about as much as Emma was talking to her (yes, Emma was talking).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

SEP Conferences

I attended SEP Conferences for my kids today. All went well. Jimmy's and Lyssa's were what I expected. Doing well, keep reading more, etc. I always worry a little bit going to Emma's because of her lack of doing work in kindergarten and in 1st grade. But hers was good. The AR reading has Emma reading a whole grade above where she is and her math is into the grade above as well. She just needs to get a little faster. Molly's also went about like I figured from the papers she's been bringing home. She gets 100% on almost everything and is very good at art. Her teacher wants her to have a goal of reading 2o minutes every day instead of the 5-10 that she suggests for the 1st grade.

When SEP Conferences are being held, the school holds a book fair. My kids love getting new books so we went to the book fair in between conferences. I broke down and let the kids get a little toy thing as well. Jimmy got a rubber fly. Walking out, he let Dylan hold it. Dylan happily held it to his chest. Then looked down at it. At that moment Jimmy really wishes we had been filming. Dylan started to scream and cry, "It's going to get me!" Jimmy had to take it from Dylan before he would stop.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A New Adventure

Last month our family attended IHH's 3rd birthday party/Halloween party. At that party they went over some business matters with the group. One item they discussed was the upcoming board elections. All of those currently serving in board positions have done so for the entire three years the group has existed. With the end of 2010 approaching, so does their tenure. Because of this, they announced that from then until midnight on October 31 they would be accepting nominations for board positions (essentially saying if you want to help by serving in one of the positions, send in an email stating so and which position you would be willing to hold). As they were listing the board positions, Russ kept nudging me. Later, as we were leaving, Carolyn Quigley, the current president, asked me if I'm thinking about one of the positions because they need good people.

I thought about it for a couple of days and decided to go ahead and submit my nomination. I stated that I was thinking of secretary or if more wanted that position, vice-chair. A few days ago I received a phone call asking me if I really was fine with vice-chair. They had one other person who had stated they would be interested in the secretary position. Including my nomination, they had 5 nominations. Five nominations for 5 positions. Technically there were 6 positions but 5 works.

The announcement that went out to everyone in the group after the party stated that the elections would take place for the week of November 7 until November 13 with the final results posted the first week of December after background checks have been completed. Sure enough, when I looked at the forum tonight there was a post with the voting polls up and my name on the list.

I will admit, I am a bit nervous (also a little excited) about this position I will have, assuming it's confirmed by the other members. The current board, like I've said, has done an excellent job. I've said before that I'd hate to follow them because of how well they've done. Yet here I am. Hopefully I won't mess things up too badly.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reality Check

I subscribe to the newspaper. Which makes me think of the Mark Twain saying, "If you don't read the newspaper you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper you're misinformed." But I digress. In this morning's paper there was an obituary of a man who is the same age as Russ. The obituary stated that this man was the oldest survivor of Truncus Arteriosus type IV. I will admit that I had just kind of skimmed over the obituaries this morning until after my mom mentioned it by asking what type Dylan has. (He has type II.) I think Russ would have been happier had I not mentioned the obituary to him.

As a parent of a child with Truncus Arteriosus, reading an obit of a young man who had it isn't always a pleasant thing to read. Dylan is doing well enough that it's easy to forget that problems can (and do) arise in children and adults with CHD's. When I was changing my calendar over to November, I thought how had Dylan's cardiologist wanted him back in 6 months from his last echo instead of 9 that he would be going back this month. And how nice it is to not have to go back for another three more months. Mostly because it's nice to go longer without having that worry that this time the doctor will say that it looks like he'll need more surgery. It was a nice relief after his MRI to be told that everything looked good and he wouldn't need the cath like they thought he did.

I have read about a few babies with Truncus recently where things haven't gone so well. Makes me realize more how things could have gone wrong with Dylan's surgery and recovery. I think of his surgeon telling us that with his Coarctation of the Aorta in addition to his Truncus that the chances of him surviving that initial surgery was between 70 and 80%. What I mostly heard there was the 20-30% chance of not surviving it. I feel very blessed and lucky with how smoothly things went. I sometimes think of how one nurse said to us, "You will soon realize that you will be out of here a lot sooner than some of the others in here." And it was true.

I guess in the end, all I can really do is hope and pray and have faith that Dylan will continue to do well and that his next surgery (hopefully long in the future) will go even more smoothly than the first. And also pray for other children and adults going through the same things, as I hope others do the same for us.

Random, Catching up and Pictures

I realize I haven't posted a lot lately. I blame Facebook. Not that I really post much there, but it makes me realize how little I have to say. Even when I may have things to say if I were to blog more often. Like how Russ was recently called as 1st Counselor in the Elder's Quorum in our ward. (Which I found to be hilarious because he was serving before as the 11 year old scout leader and the first time he was in the Elder's Quorum presidency he had been serving as the 11 year old scout leader. Let me know if you don't follow that and I'll try to explain more clearly.)

People have asked me what it's like having 6 kids now. I always respond, "Not much different than having five." And having six kids really doesn't seem like a lot when they're yours. Except for those moments of temporary insanity when you decide to go to the store with all six. Funny part is the looks people give you as you parade through the store. Which, honestly are not quite as funny as going to the store pregnant with your sixth and taking the other five plus the youngest four of a sister.

Anyway, before I ramble even more, here are the promised pictures:

This was taken tonight of Lys and Rachel. Rachel is 7 weeks old today. Crazy.
Dylan told me to take his picture here. Then covered his face.
This is what I got after trying again and telling him to keep his hand down.
Emma, Molly, Lys and Russ carving pumpkins. Dylan decided he was done and went to find Jimmy.
Dylan and Rachel.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stitches for Dylan

A few weeks ago Jimmy took Dylan in the kitchen to help him make some cookies. They were just the store bought kind that you put the dough on the cookie sheet and bake. Well, the cookies didn't get made that day. Dylan slipped and hit the back of his head on a chair. After I picked him up, Jimmy noticed that he was bleeding. A lot. At which point Jimmy panicked. I kept telling him that head wounds bleed a lot, but can understand why it would scare him.

Russ ended up taking Dylan in to the doctor where they put in three stitches. Dylan had to be held down for it. When Russ called me to say they were on their way home, I could hear Dylan crying that he wanted his mom. Poor kid.

While Russ was gone with him, I got a call from his parents. Jimmy had called and left a message telling them about Dylan. Which they couldn't understand because he was so upset. All they understood was, "sob...sob...sob...Dylan...sob sob...It's all my fault." So they imagined the worst. I'm sure I would have too. Still find it somewhat funny though.

When it was time for the stitches to come out, we waited for him to fall asleep and took them out ourselves so he wouldn't have to get upset about it again. He refused to let anyone look at his cut and stitches so figured it would also be easier. I was surprised that they only put in three stitches when I saw it. It was sore for a while after. I'm sure it was bruised. Here's a picture right after we took out the stitches.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Russ!

Happy birthday to Russ today! He's getting his wish that he stressed to me quite often of no gifts today. Mostly because of Rachel's birth. Haven't been able to get him any gifts. Although I would guess just having had her before his birthday was a gift for him. He was starting to get worried she was going to be born on his birthday.

I chose this picture of Russ with Rachel (taken with my cell phone camera shortly after she was born) partially because it was the most recent picture I have of him and partially because it reminds me of what a good father he is.

Hope you have a great birthday today, Russ! The kids and I love you very much!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Welcome Home Rachel!

Early Wednesday morning our newest daughter, Rachel, was born. She weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long. Wednesday was actually her due date. I had never gone to the due date before so this was new for us. The closest I had gone to the due date before Rachel was 5 days before the due date.

I don't know if it would have been as hard as it was going to the due date if I hadn't been having lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions the entire week leading up to the due date. Had them fairly regularly every day but they would eventually stop. None of them were strong enough so I knew they would stop and knew they weren't likely to develop into active labor. I did find it interesting though that the two days before the due date the Braxton-Hicks contractions slowed down and never really got as regular as they had been.

I pretty much knew right away when actual labor started. Those contractions hurt. The Braxton-Hicks ones were uncomfortable but not really painful. They quickly got close and regular so we didn't wait long before heading to the hospital. Labor with Rachel was probably my shortest labor at about 4 1/2 hours. When we got to the hospital the contractions were quite regular at 2 minutes apart. Yes, I opted for the epidural. Yes, it was very very nice to have.

We came home from the hospital Thursday evening. The kids were all very excited to have her home. Even a couple of neighbor kids greeted us when we got home. I was worried how Dylan would be with a baby since he's such a mama's boy. He hasn't seemed jealous at all and even tonight when I asked Russ to take the baby so I could cuddle with Dylan for a minute Dylan got upset and said he wanted me to hold the baby and cuddle with both of them. He sometimes gets upset that I'm not holding the baby. Wonder how long it will last.

We are all glad to have Rachel as part of our family. She is a good baby and seems pretty laid-back most of the time. The only exception so far has been when the chocolate I decided to eat caused her to have some gas and such. Guess that means no more chocolate for me for a while. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for such a sweet and beautiful baby.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Molly's Birthday

Today is Molly's 7th birthday. Funny how quickly children grow up. We celebrated her birthday last night, partially to make things easier for getting stuff done that we need to today and partially because it's possible that I could go into labor at any time and we didn't want her to have to miss celebrating her birthday. I was actually due with Molly two days earlier in the month than I am due with this baby. Molly has kind of been hoping the baby would be born on her birthday, but at this point in the day, I don't think that's going to happen.

Anyway, I had talked to Molly earlier about what to do for her birthday since we didn't know what would happen and with my doctor giving me a 50/50 chance of making it to my next doctor appointment. We decided that we would just invite a few friends and have cake, a pinata (since we almost always do a pinata) and then go see Toy Story 3 since we hadn't seen it yet and it was one that the kids have been wanting to see. I asked Molly if she wanted me to buy a cake or make one (really hoping she would say buy one because this much pregnant I wasn't really feeling like making anything). She said she wanted a cat cake and wanted me to buy it if they had one. Make it if they didn't. Luckily, when I stopped by the store to look at their cakes one of the workers asked me if I needed to order a cake. I told her how Molly wanted a cat cake. She thought for a minute then showed me a picture of a small cake they make to look like a cat. I thought it was perfect. She said it would only feed about 4 so I also ordered a quarter sheet cake to go along with it. Molly loved her cake.

Two of the four girls Molly invited made it for the party. They all seemed to have fun. We had to kind of rush through the cake and pinata in order to get to the movie in time. I chuckled at the way the girls basically danced to the car on the way out.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures from the night. I took a picture of just Molly with her cake but apparently it didn't turn out. I'm thinking I'm going to need to break down and get a new camera one of these days. The first is of all of the kids just before singing to Molly for her birthday (which reminds me that I laughed to myself watching Toy Story 3 when they had a short segment of celebrating Andy's sister's birthday and said, "Happy birthday Molly!"). The next is a picture of the cakes for Molly.

In addition to it being Molly's birthday, we are dog-sitting my sister's poodle, Maygun for the long weekend. I think Dylan and Alyssa are going to drive me nuts with the dog by the end of the weekend. They won't leave the poor thing alone. Which is funny considering how Dylan is typically afraid of dogs. He was scared for a few minutes but quickly got over it when he realized that this dog wasn't going to jump up on him or really pay any attention to him. Alyssa keeps trying to carry Maygun around. Let's just say the dog pretty much stays right next to me. Can't really say as I blame her.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School!

Today was the first day of school for my kids. Strange to think that I will have 4 kids in school this year. Jimmy is starting the 6th grade, Emma the 3rd grade, Molly the 1st grade and Alyssa kindergarten. So technically Alyssa doesn't start until next Monday, but she did have Kindergarten Orientation today and will do her individual test tomorrow.

When I went to take the traditional first day of school pictures, I discovered my camera isn't working. Not quite sure what is wrong with it. Acts like it just doesn't want to open right. I'll have to play around with it and see if I can figure it out later. At least I have a camera on my cell phone so was able to take a few with that. I couldn't get Jimmy to smile for the picture of just him. So he gets to have this one posted.

Here's Molly.
And Alyssa.
And Emma.
Kind of funny that in both of the pictures with all four Molly has her eyes closed. At least Jimmy smiled for those ones though.
Kindergarten Orientation went well. Alyssa got her homework book to start working on and has since done 6 pages out of it. Well, 6 1/2. She would have done more but I told her that was probably enough for now. Her teacher has always had the kids draw a picture of themselves at the orientation while she goes over some information for the parents. For some reason Alyssa doesn't think she draws well and didn't really want to do it but eventually did. She seemed a bit nervous going there.
I helped Emma find her classroom before going to orientation for Alyssa and helped Molly line up with her class. Jimmy basically took off and didn't want any help from me.
Being an early out day, the kids just got home from school. Molly came in and gave me a big hug and exclaimed that the first day was fun. Emma smiled and said she liked it and likes her teacher. I asked Jimmy how he liked it and his response was a shrug and, "It was okay. My teacher seems nice." Funny how they aren't quite so excited as they get older.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dylan's 2 Year Checkup

Dylan had his 2 year well-baby check this afternoon. I think he's getting really tired of going to the doctor. Usually he's pretty good at his well-checks. Not today. He cried the entire time. Did not want them to touch him or even look at him. I guess crying the whole time is an exaggeration. He had a rather good time playing with the toys in the waiting room.

Anyway, Dylan now weighs 27.6 pounds and is 34 1/2 inches tall. That puts him right on the average for height and just under the average for weight. Luckily he didn't need any shots today because he is all caught up on his immunizations. And it's nice that he won't need to go back to the doctor for a while (except for any illnesses over the winter that I'm sure he'll get).

His doctor asked if he's putting a couple of words together in talking. I chuckled and told him he will say things like, "Alyssa downstairs watching tv." So yeah, I would say he's putting words together. The doctor's response to that was that he's ahead of the curve then. All of my kids have been good talkers though so he seems about right on for me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Dylan!

Today is Dylan's 2nd birthday. Which I had actually finished posting about and then had a problem and it lost my entire post. This time it will probably be shorter. Should count yourself lucky. I probably rambled about more things than I should have.

It's hard to believe that two years have gone by since Dylan was born. At times the days were full of stress and worry for Dylan with his heart defect, but it has been a good two years. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Dylan is a joy in our lives and we are all glad he's part of our family. Jimmy often says that Dylan (whom he calls "Gus" most of the time) is the "most awesome ever."

We celebrated Dylan's birthday with cake immediately after eating dinner tonight. Even before taking our dishes off the table from dinner, actually. I actually remembered to take a few pictures too.

Dylan is blowing out his candles in this first picture. For the third or fourth time. He loved blowing out the candles so Russ kept relighting them for him.
Here's Dylan with his cake just after I finished frosting it. I hadn't planned what I was going to do for his cake before it was made. (He was eating a soda cracker with frosting on it at the time.) Dylan's sisters and brother kept saying he needed a Yo Gabba Gabba! cake since he loves the show and since I really didn't have any other ideas went ahead and decorated it as such.
Here's his cake. Not the best cake I've ever done, but not as terrible as it could have been considering how quickly I did it and the fact that it was freehand. Didn't get some of the colors quite the right shade I wanted, but that's okay. The kids were impressed. That's all that really matters, right?
I have tried to upload a video of when we sang to Dylan and his blowing out the candles the first time. Dylan grinned and sang along. Unfortunately, it keeps having problems. Which is probably why it lost my first post about his birthday. I don't think I'll try again. Really don't want to have to write the post a third time.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dylan's Dental Appointment

If you remember a while back when I took the kids to the dentist that I mentioned that Dylan had one cavity and would need to get it filled but the dentist wanted me to wait to schedule that appointment until after I his echo so I could talk to his cardiologist and make sure he was fine with them doing the sedation in office. I did ask and after a quick roll of the eyes said he had no problem with it and also said (after I asked) that he doesn't need to take any antibiotics before dental work. Which is actually a nice thing considering it wasn't very long ago that they wanted people to take antibiotics before dental work even when they hadn't needed surgery to repair a chd.

Anyway, I have been putting off scheduling Dylan's dental work because of his needing to be sedated for both the echo and then a couple of weeks later the MRI. Just didn't think he needed to be sedated a third time so quickly. I finally broke down and called the dentist to schedule it when Dylan started putting his hands in his mouth like his teeth were bothering him. I looked closely at his teeth and noticed that he had a couple of other cavities on his front teeth and the one cavity was looking worse.

With kids like Dylan who do have health "issues" they use an anesthesiologist to administer the sedation instead of their usual quick sedation with a pulse/ox monitor. That meant that the times they had available were fewer so I was surprised when I called and they could schedule him within about a week. Unfortunately, the appointment was a later appointment. Which meant that Dylan was going to need to go half of the day without eating and a good portion without drinking anything either.

I worried about what I would do when I needed to get the other kids lunch and try to keep him from wanting food and drinks. Luckily I have a very nice mother who offered to let me take the kids there and leave with Dylan before lunch so that he wouldn't be bothered with it. She was tending four of my sister's children so I thought it was very nice of her to offer to watch four more.

Fixing the cavities took a little longer than they expected even after they knew all they would need to do. He ended up with caps on his front two teeth and they had to grind them down to make them look okay. Said the size that fit looked too big and would have just looked bad. Because of the grinding his mouth would be sore. And from how cranky he was the rest of the day, I would say they hurt. Even after getting some Tylenol in him.

I am very glad to have it done. He was very cranky again all morning and I thought it would be a very long day. When he gets cranky like that he thinks I'm the only one who can do anything for him or with him. And gets upset when his siblings even touch me. He did get happy (about the time I took the kids back down to my parent's to let them play with their cousins and so Jimmy could mow their lawn) and has stayed pretty happy the rest of the day. The one exception being when Lys decided it would be a good idea to grab his sore front teeth. No idea why she thought that was a good idea.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Independence Day Stuff

I seem to keep forgetting that I actually know where my camera is. At least that's what it seems like with how few pictures I've been taking lately. I keep thinking I should be taking more but rarely pull out the camera to do so. So in a way I'm amazed I got what pictures I did from the Independence Day celebrations. Well, at least from the local parade. Didn't get a single picture taken when we did fireworks with the kids. Or from the barbecue we had. Or even from eating lunch after the parade with some wonderful neighbors. Didn't even get any pictures of the water fights that went on with the parade this year. And since that's mostly what Jimmy did, I somehow managed to miss getting a single picture of him from those days. I keep telling myself that was a case of self-preservation and to save the camera from the water. Not quite sure I believe it though.

We did have a lot of fun for the holiday weekend. The only downfall being the motor going out on our air conditioner the afternoon we had the barbecue at our house. Luckily it was a cooler day than it had been. Another good neighbor and friend came over and helped Russ get it working the next day after work. Which was another time I thought I should pull out my camera and didn't. He brought along his three daughters and they had a good time playing with my kids. His youngest is about 6 months older than Dylan and they played really cute together. Dylan would kind of give her a hug and look at me and say, "Gracie nice."

The parade seems to get longer every year. For our town not being all that big, the parade is large. It was scheduled to start at 11:00. Always at the end of the parade is a giant water fight along the parade route. That part was actually shorter than it has been in the past. And even then the parade didn't end until quarter after 1. Of course, that meant more candy that the kids were able to get at the parade. Knowing full well that the parade ended with a big water fight didn't stop Russ and Jimmy from being drenched before the parade even started. I think they almost wished it had been a hotter day than it was after that.

One nice thing about being the main photo taker in the family is that means I am in very few pictures. Russ did get the camera at one point and made sure he took a couple of me. I'll get one of those here first to get it quickly out of the way.
Here are the girls at the parade with their sacks ready to grab more candy thrown their way. Jimmy didn't watch a whole lot of the parade but still managed to get a bit of candy.
You can kind of tell how wet Russ got in this picture. I was actually surprised Dylan didn't mind being held with how wet he was.
Going back to being the main photo taker, sometimes Jimmy gets a hold of the camera. Sadly on my part, some of the best pictures we have are ones he has taken. This is one Jimmy took in the car as we were headed to my parent's house recently. Totally unedited, I should note. Decided to throw it in this post because I think it's cute. Not sure how he got Dylan to stick his tongue out at him for it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Catching Up Post

I've slacked on posting about a few things. Mostly because I hadn't uploaded any pictures onto the computer for a while. Actually haven't taken many pictures at all lately. Not really sure why. Just haven't. Probably just utter laziness kicking in.

Anyway, I can't remember if I mentioned before (and again with the lazy trend, I don't feel like looking) that we got the kids one of the butterfly kits where caterpillars arrive in the mail and you get to watch them grow and make cocoons and hatch into butterflies. The kids really loved it. They would often check on the caterpillars to see how much they had grown and were excited when they finally made their cocoons. They were even more excited when they hatched. Lys, Dylan and I got to watch one of them emerge from its cocoon. That was kind of fun. Although I will say that butterflies are kind of gross when they first come out with their drippings of red meconium. And kind of stinky. A few days after they hatched, the kids decided to try to release them. I got a video of it, but will spare you from listening to Dylan cry and Jimmy boss his sisters. The butterflies didn't seem ready to be released then. They didn't try to fly at all and basically fluttered to the ground when Russ gently tossed any into the air to see if they would fly. So back into the netting thing they went for a few more days. They flew away nicely when they tried again. Well, one seemed happy to sick around and let the kids hold it for a bit. Unfortunately I didn't have the camera with me that time.

Here are a couple of pictures just before the first attempt to release them. One with the kids getting ready. The other just of Dylan to show that he was actually there and part of it.

This next picture is of Lys with her preschool teacher at preschool graduation. Again I have a few videos of songs and things from her graduation but will spare you having to listen to them. My camera was very low on batteries so I didn't actually record all I wanted. Wished I had recorded them singing Tony Chestnuts. They sang a lot more to it than I know and it was cute. Lys loved preschool and was excited about her graduation program. Didn't seem all that sad about not having preschool anymore. She just knows she gets to start kindergarten in the fall and is excited about that.
Yesterday I cut Dylan's and Emma's hair. Dylan's because, well, it needed it. It was getting a bit long and even though it was cute on him we decided to try giving him a really short cut. Not the easiest thing in the world to do to a kid who wiggles because he's not happy about getting a hair cut. I just think his hair is kind of funny. Has a couple of spots where his hair is more blond than other parts so it makes it look like he has bald spots. Granted, Russ did decide he needed it a little shorter on the sides and around the ears and did make a couple of little bald spots in his attempt to trim it.

Emma asked me to cut her hair for her. Ended up being slightly shorter than I intended because she moved as I was cutting some and had to fix it after that. She likes it though. Likes having it shorter for the heat of the summer.

This is a picture of Emma and Dylan together shortly after their hair cuts. Not the best picture but it gives you a general idea. Jimmy says Dylan says he has "Jimmy hair." The girls say he has "Daddy hair." Emma says she and Molly have the same hair now.

If you notice, I don't have any pictures from Lyssa's birthday party. When I finally got the pictures onto the computer I discovered that the only picture we have is a short video of the blowing out of the candle. She had a good time with her party though. Even if Dylan thinks the presents she got are all his.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

MRI Results

Dylan's doctor called me a few minutes ago to go over the results of yesterday's MRI. He said that everything looks good and there wasn't the narrowing in his pulmonary arteries. Which means that he won't need the cath. Which is very good news.

He also talked about when he needs to come in next. The last few visits have been every 6 months. He decided to go 9 months this time. I didn't think we'd see going every 9 months for a while yet. So all in all it was a good phone call.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dylan's MRI

I was surprised last week to get a call from Primary's to schedule the MRI for Dylan. Didn't expect it to happen that quickly. Nor did I expect to be able to get in this week. Although I will say it's nice to have it done.

I took Dylan in this morning for the MRI. Obviously it was sedated. And even then he fought them a little with it. They give a stronger medicine for sedation for the MRI than they do for an echo since it's more important that the person not really move during it. The nurse told me that they wanted him to sleep for 2 hours with the medicine. Said that those who don't sleep for the 2 hours tend to wake up rather cranky and it's just all around better for them to sleep for the 2 hours. Anyway, after giving Dylan the medicine, it appeared that he was quite out so they took him into the MRI room and started getting the monitors on him and getting everything set to go. They have a little camera inside the machine so they can watch the patient. I looked at the monitor and noticed that Dylan's head wasn't where it had been so glanced through the window into the room. He was moving around and fighting them. They gave him a little bit of a different kind of sedation medicine just to help him "get over the hump" to fall asleep.

Once they got him settled back down and got the monitors hooked up and everything ready to go, they had me go wait in the MRI recovery room. I was glad that I brought a book at that point.

About an hour later they brought Dylan in and laid him on a bed. He really tried to wake up then and started moving around and kind of fighting them. I ended up holding him and he would settle down and sleep for a couple of minutes then start shifting around again for a bit before settling down. The nurse finally asked if he would like a drink. He heard her say "sippy cup" and without even opening his eyes said, "Okay." A little bit later when it was obvious he was keeping it down the nurse asked if we wanted to go home. Again he immediately said, "Okay." Although I think he said "Bye" the loudest.

Not long after getting in the car, Dylan fell back to sleep. And stayed asleep for quite a while. Woke up pretty happy but pretty wobbly. Couldn't really even stand without tipping for a while. Even going to bed tonight he was still slightly wobbly but was a lot better than he had been.

I don't have the results yet for the MRI. Dylan's cardiologist wasn't at Primary's today. He was at a new outpatient clinic Primary's has at the south end of the valley but he should be calling me. I'm hoping to hear tomorrow. Waiting for the results of the MRI isn't fun. Waiting the week for the results of the echo didn't bother me at all. I guess that's because I figured it would show what it did. This time I'm waiting to find out if he will need a cath procedure. I'm hoping he won't but a lot of me expects that he will. Which is probably what is making the wait a little more anxious. Which is funny in a way since earlier today I was thinking how quickly going to the doctor for his heart becomes just a part of life.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dylan Echo and Cardiologist Visits

About Wednesday of last week I received an apologetic call from Primary's saying that they would not have any sedation techs there the day he was scheduled for his next sedated echo (that date was today) and they had one time open that Friday at 8 a.m. that they were saving for him if we could take it. I asked them when the next available time they had open after his original scheduled one. They checked the schedule that would work to also meet with his pediatric cardiologist and the soonest they could get him in if I didn't take the one open time wasn't until September. So knowing it would be challenging for us, I opted to take the time they suggested.

Mostly it was challenging because Russ had training stuff at work he couldn't miss and the kids had a big program followed by their annual picnic on the playground and flower planting at the school. But it got worked out with Russ just going in a little late to work to help get the kids off to school and my mom came up to get Molly over when she was supposed to go and watch Lys.

With the appointment at 8 and knowing I wouldn't be meeting with his PC until today, I figured I should be back in time to see the program. Unfortunately, the sedation left Dylan a little nauseated and he threw up a couple of times. They wanted to make sure he was okay before they let us go home. After the second time he threw up, they got him some anti-nausea medicine. After waiting some time to make sure that actually helped with his hurlings, I was finally able to leave. I got to the school after the program had ended and about the time they were starting to eat for the picnic.

Today I went back to meet with his PC and get the results of the echo. The timing with this appointment was actually pretty nice. I picked up Molly when she was done with kindergarten for the last time and headed down to his appointment. I got back in time for Jimmy and Emma to get out.

Dylan's cardiologist told me that his heart function looks about the same. Still has the leaking from the valve, but the heart can take leaking for quite a while. His problem is that the veins going into his lungs are narrow. He wants Dylan to get an MRI to see exactly how narrow. If they are too narrow, he will need to get a cath to get them expanded. He wouldn't worry about the veins being narrow if he thought that Dylan would need to get his conduit replaced soon, but since he thinks it will be a while before he needs that surgery he feels we need to get this taken care of. He did say one option would be to just go ahead and do the cath but really doesn't want to do it if it isn't necessary.

The plan now is that they will get the pre-authorization for the MRI from the insurance and then will give me a call to schedule it. I should hear from them within the next couple of weeks to get it scheduled and have the MRI done sometime within the next couple of months.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Alyssa!

Alyssa turned 5 years old today. How quickly the time has gone by. We had a birthday party for her last Saturday at the park. She invited kids from her preschool class and had a good time. I didn't get many pictures from her party unfortunately. Couldn't find where I had shoved the camera with all of the rest of the things we brought over to the park. Found it in time to get her being sung to for eating cake and ice cream and then put the camera away and had a hard time finding it again.

She is one of the happiest kids I know. Always has a smile on her face and an easy going attitude. She is excited to start kindergarten in the fall. She's hoping to get the same teacher that her sisters and brother had. Should be finding out tomorrow sometime.

Happy birthday, Alyssa! I hope you have a great one this year! Love you!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wedding, Dentist and More

It has been fairly busy for us lately, which isn't very typical. Just have had a lot of things going on close to other things. And we're not quite finished.

My sister-in-law, Linda, got married last Tuesday. I would say I made her wedding cake with the help of my sister Susan, but in reality it was more that Susan made her wedding cake and I helped a little. I made the figures for the top of the cake. We got it all put together the night before. I'm happy with the way it turned out. I only heard good comments about it, so everyone else must have been happy with it as well. Here's the cake right after we finished it:

Tuesday was quite rainy most of the day. Instead of taking the group picture outside the temple we went down to the atrium. Which was nicer than standing in the rain, even if we did get in the way of people trying to get in or out of the temple. My mom watched the kids while we were in the temple for the ceremony then was nice enough to bring them up after for pictures. They seemed to really enjoy looking at the flowers in the atrium. I tried to get a good picture of them in front of it, but this was the best I could do. Which actually turned out better than I thought it would.
If you look close you can see Emma looking at me through glass.
The girls, along with their cousin Rebecca, were excited once Linda came out and gathered around her.
The day after the wedding I took all of the kids to the dentist for cleanings. It was Dylan's first time going and we didn't expect much to come from his appointment being so young and not really liking adults other than Russ or me to touch him. Lys was quite nervous because of her experience in trying to get a tooth filled without sedation. She was afraid it would be like that. She was very happy when it was easy and when she learned she didn't have any cavities.

Dylan wasn't as lucky as Lys. He has one cavity that they saw doing a quick lap exam. Which means that when he goes for his next echo on the 4th, I talk with his cardiologist and make sure he's okay with them doing sedation in their offices for him. They do have an anesthesiologist they use for real small kids like Dylan. So it probably won't be an issue, but nice to make sure.

Emma didn't have any cavities but had a tooth that was starting to get infected and needed to be pulled. She had that done this morning. My friend Jodi watched Dylan, Lys and Molly (since Molly doesn't have kindergarten today) while I took Emma in. She wanted it sedated so it was scheduled as one. But then Jimmy didn't know he wasn't supposed to and gave Emma breakfast this morning, which meant they couldn't do it sedated. After some convincing and bribing and a slight freak out over the gas (which they ended up not using), they were able to pull her tooth. I walked out of the dentist almost exactly a half hour after I walked in. Much nicer to not do sedations. Cheaper, too.

Molly and Jimmy also had no cavities. Jimmy is going to need braces pretty soon though. I need to schedule an appointment for him to see an orthodontist soon. He's not thrilled about that. Keeps asking me when he will get them. I keep telling him sometime after I make him an appointment for a consultation with an orthodontist.

Thursday Lys had a field trip with preschool. Because this spring has been cold and wet the field trip had been postponed a few times. Luckily it was a nice day that day. A little cool, but nice. Really would have felt too hot had it been any warmer that day. Molly had kindergarten in the afternoon that day for practice for the kindergarten program so she came along on the field trip. I think Lys was excited that she was able to go along too.

The field trip was to a local park to go feed the ducks. All of the kids seemed to have fun. Almost think they liked playing on the playground for a while after feeding the ducks the most. Of course, Dylan saw some ducks as we were leaving and was mad that we didn't go over and see them again.

This is Lyssa's class (and a few others like Molly and Dylan in front). Lys is in there somewhere. Not sure where though.

Molly and Lys feeding a couple of geese.
Dylan loves swings. As you can see in this picture.
Molly saw this rock as we were leaving and wanted me to take a picture of the three of them on the rock. Obviously Lys and Dylan weren't as excited about it as she was.
Friday morning Molly had her kindergarten program. This is the third one I've been to. It was just like the other two, only Molly had a short speaking part where Jimmy and Emma didn't. I mostly took video of it. I may add one with my next post, which should be coming sometime fairly soon with more upcoming events.

Saturday we went to the annual family picnic with IHH. In the past it's been held at the hospital. This year it was at a park (that I impressed myself with being able to find without getting lost at all when it had been a long time since I've been to that park). I made sugar cookies for the heart shaped dessert contest this time instead of an elaborate cake like last time. I had leftover cake last time. No leftover cookies this time. It was fun being at the park. Luckily it was another nice day.

After the family picnic we went to the hospital for a very short and quick visit to see our newest nephew, Nathan. Then went home and worked in the yard. I have learned that with this pregnancy I get tired easier than I have with the other ones. So I was pretty tired by the end of the day. And end of the week, actually. I failed to mention earlier that on Mother's Day we attended a baby blessing for another new nephew, Aaron. That was nice as well. I didn't get any pictures taken that evening though. One of these days I'll find the paper where I wrote down what I could of the blessing and get it sent to you, Sara.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Surgery Musings and Ramblings

Last night as I was lying in bed to go to sleep I kept thinking of things I could write in a post here. I also thought of Jimmy talking about when an author came to the school recently he told the kids that if they want to be writers they should keep a notebook with them to write down the ideas they get. I kind of wished I had a notebook last night to jot down the thoughts that were running through my mind. Mostly because I do that a lot. I will think of things and ways to write them on my blog but by the time I actually sit down to write it I can't quite remember how I thought of it and it's never as good as it was in my mind. Basically this is a little disclaimer to let you know that what I'm writing in this post isn't as good as it was when it ran through my mind last night. Apparently it doesn't stop me from writing it though.

I have a friend on facebook whose oldest daughter has Tetralogy of Fallot, a chd. She is scheduled for surgery to replace a valve (I believe) in a little less than a month and is quite nervous and scared about it. As I have been reading about this family and their experiences in preparing for the surgery, I can't help but wonder what it will be like further down the road when Dylan is old enough to know what is going on and will need surgery. I would imagine it will be much the same. I can honestly say it's not something I'm looking forward to experiencing.

I think of the age of this girl. She's 10. I remember how when I was 9 I had an appendectomy at Primary Children's. Yes, I know an appendectomy is nothing compared to heart surgery. I'm not even trying to compare the two. I'm just remembering how I felt going into it and realize that there are good things about going into surgery that quickly. None of us really had the time to really think about what was happening. We didn't know weeks ahead of time that this would happen. Of course my dad had recently had an appendectomy and I remembered his. I think that scared me more than anything. Granted, his was worse than mine.

I remember waking up right after the surgery. I was curious and wanted to see the area where they had done the incision. Just wanted to see how it was bandaged and such, but I think I scared the nurse who was close by. She saw me kind of sit up and start to move things to look and stopped me. I think she was afraid I would try to pull everything off. I wouldn't have. I just wanted to look. I must have still been quite groggy from the anesthesia because really the next thing I remember is being wheeled through the halls to my room and my family in the hall with smiles greeting me. And especially the big grocery bag with candy for me.

That grocery bag of candy actually ended up almost tormenting me in the hospital. It was kept by the side of my bed where I could easily look and see into it and look at the different kinds of candy bars and things. At the time I was on a liquid diet. Which was not fun for someone who really does not like tomato soup.

My mom will tell me how she felt bad for me. I would complain that I was hurting but after the first time I told the nurse that yes, I was hurting, I refused to admit it to her again. I expected pills or medicine to drink. Didn't expect the shot she gave me in my thigh. I don't remember the pain. Really only remember hurting that first time when I got the shot for the pain. And even then I only remember that I had been hurting but don't remember feeling pain.

I'm sure Dylan and this girl will remember that they felt pain after their surgeries as they get older. But I wonder if they will be like I was and have no memory of the pain. I'd like to think so.

One thing I always think of when I think of the short time I spent in the hospital following my appendectomy is of my roommate there. I believe her name was Matilda. Or something close to that. She was friendly and always seemed very positive to me. She was also paralyzed. I remember her parents chatting with mine and saying that the doctors told them she would never walk again, but how they knew that some day she would. Sometimes I think of her. I wonder how she is doing now and if her parents were right in their faith that she would walk again. At the heart mom luncheon I mentioned in my last post, Paul Cardall said to never stop fighting or believing for your children. Even if the doctors say something is impossible. Because the things that are possible today were impossible yesterday.

Funny how thinking of someone having surgery soon will lead to thoughts of someone I knew for just a couple of days.

As a parent who has had two children have surgery (one minor, one major), I can understand what my parents went through when I had my surgery. I'm hoping that having been through surgery as a child, I will be able to understand at least in some small way what my children go through when they have theirs.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Heart Mom Luncheon

I have always been glad that I joined the local CHD support group, IHH (Intermountain Healing Hearts). Today has been no exception to that. I am not the most social person in the world, but despite that I attended a luncheon they had for heart moms. I know that any description I give won't really do the event justice, but that won't stop me from trying.

In addition to lunch, Margaret Cardall, mother of award winning-composer Paul Cardall (if you remember I've mentioned him before and had a link to a video on youtube that he did where he included a couple of pictures of Dylan) spoke to us about some of her experiences with raising a child with a CHD. She said many things that were touching and many that were humorous. She talked about how there were times where she thought she needed to sleep for just two hours and have some time and she would be fine. She spoke of losing a son this past summer and how his death made Paul's heart transplant and recovery that much more of a miracle. She talked about how it's okay to live now even when we worry about our children and do the things we would like to do.

After she spoke Paul played a few songs. For one he asked for a volunteer to come up and pick three notes on the piano and said from those notes he would compose a song. The song he played from those three notes was very beautiful. Amazing to me that people have the talent to do that. He mentioned being an adult and being a patient in a children's hospital. Said it was humbling to be around all the children who had so many problems but were so strong. Said he thinks of Primary Children's as being a sacred place.

I actually thought the brief words of the emcee for the event, Rebecca Cressman, a dj for a local radio station were as good as the rest of the day. She mentioned having a son who had chronic illness as a child and as a senior in high school and in track trying to make it to an event and just missing his event. Said he told her he knew she missed it (and was glad) because out of all of the voices in the stands, the only one he can ever hear is hers and how he would know that if he failed, she would feel worse than he did. She mentioned then the power a mother has. That out of all the voices in the world, our children hear ours louder than the others.

All in all it was a very nice event. One that has left me feeling grateful and blessed for having been able to be there.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Today I had my "20 week" ultrasound appointment. (In case you're wondering, I have the 20 week in quotes because apparently that's what they call this ultrasound appointment even if you aren't quite 20 weeks yet.) One thing I've always liked about my doctor is that there is rarely a long wait at the appointments. Unfortunately, such is not always the case when it comes to the ultrasound appointments. Today was one of those long wait days. The ultrasound tech even commented that his schedule was getting further and further off. When Russ and I got there a lady ahead of us went back. I knew it would be at least 20 minutes before we would go back. It was a bit longer though. By the time we finally went back, two other couples were waiting for their appointments.

Instead of taking the day off, Russ just took a longer lunch. The longer we were sitting there, the more I decided it was a good thing I didn't pick him up and we just met there. That way he was able to leave to go back to work right after the ultrasound and didn't need to wait with me to meet with the doctor.

The ultrasound went really well. He got a really good look of the heart and said that as far as he could tell, everything looked great. This was the same ultrasound tech I've had for all of my kids. He was the one who found Dylan's heart defect, so I trust his results.

I really didn't care one way or the other if the baby were a boy or a girl. I just wanted the baby to be healthy. Russ and Jimmy kind of wanted a boy. The girls wanted a girl. I had always kind of figured it would be a girl but I'm usually wrong. This time he got the ultrasound picture where it should be and then asked us what it is, since we've gone through this a few times before. I said, "Sure looks like a girl to me." So yes, we are having another girl! Now if we can come up with names...

Here are a couple of pictures from the ultrasound. This first one is of a hand and of a foot.

This one is a profile picture.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Last Cub Scout Pack Meeting

This month at pack meeting for cub scouts, Jimmy received several awards. It was his last pack meeting as a cub scout too. And I very nearly forgot about it. Would have forgotten it completely had Russ not asked Jimmy why he didn't go to scouts that day. I started to say because he's an 11-year old scout now and not in cub scouts anymore so wouldn't be going to pack meeting when I remembered that he did need to go to it and looked at the clock to see that it was about to start. I told Jimmy to quickly grab his scout shirt and we drove over while Russ stayed home with the rest of the kids. I had been planning on having the whole family go since Jimmy would be getting lots of awards but by forgetting about it didn't have time to get everyone to go. Which might have been easier anyway.

I did find the camera and did take pictures. Which have been put on the other computer and not the one I'm using. I may go back and add pictures later.

Jimmy received the pins for his communicator, family member, traveller, fitness and handyman activity badges. He earned all but 4 of the activity badges for Webelos. He also earned his compass patch and two compass points. His biggest award was the Arrow of Light award. I took video of him receiving that and since it takes so long to put videos on blogger doubt that I will put it on. The ceremony for that lasted several minutes as all of his past leaders said something about him as he crossed a bridge thing they have into boy scouts. (That wasn't the original plan for the ceremony but the person who was going to do it was sick and couldn't be there so it was a last minute decision. But I thought it was kind of nice that way.)

Jimmy is excited to be in boy scouts now. Partially because they are going to go camping sometime this summer with their fathers. I think Russ is excited about that as well. I just wonder how long it will take me before I remember what day and time he goes for his boy scout meetings instead of thinking he needs to go when he would go for cub scouts. At least he remembers.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Jimmy's Party

I have really slacked off on writing on this blog. Not really sure why other than the fact that I haven't had much to say. Granted, I've had Jimmy's birthday party I could write about for a while now and just haven't done it. Been meaning to for a while though, if that counts for anything.

Jimmy invited a few friends to come over and then walk to the nearby dollar theater to go see Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 and pizza the day after his birthday. He was worried that no one would show up because another boy in his class was having his party at the same time. Russ and I kept telling him that if he was so worried about it we could easily change his party to the following week. We also said if he didn't want to change it and only one or two boys showed up that maybe we could go somewhere else a little more fun. The boy in his class ended up changing the time for his party, which was rather nice of him.

Somehow it went from Jimmy inviting 3 or 4 boys to inviting 6 or 7. (I say 6 or 7 because at this point I can't remember which it was and just don't feel like trying to figure it out.) I had planned all along that we would all walk over and as soon as the movie was over I would drive and pick up some pizza. Then Russ suggested that I stay home with Dylan and pick up the pizza while they were gone. Brilliant. So when it came time for them to walk to the theater, I distracted Dylan by pointing out the neighbor's dog as Russ walked off with a herd of boys and our three girls.

The movie started at 4:50 and was supposed to end around 6:30 so I drove over with Dylan to get pizza when I thought it would give me time to drive over, get the pizza and get home by the time they got out and walked back. Figuring this was a bunch of boys, I ordered a lot more pizza than I really needed. Next time I'll know that I don't need quite so much. Dylan was good and stayed right with me as I carried out the pizza to the car. He snagged a cheese stick before he would happily get in his carseat.

As I drove past the movie theater on my way home I saw people coming out like a movie had recently ended. So I figured I would have a few minutes before they got back. I was surprised when Molly came running out to greet me as I got out of the car. They had been home for just a minute or two so it really was good timing.

The kids all happily got pizza and drinks and then Jimmy opened his presents. He was thrilled with all of his presents. Then instead of a birthday cake, we ate birthday pie. Should have seen his eyes light up when I told him he could have pie instead of cake. The pie went over surprisingly well. At least no one complained about having pie instead of cake.

All in all he had a good birthday and party. Kept saying it was one of his best. Which is nice to hear.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Jimmy!

Today Jimmy turned 11. Crazy. Surely hasn't been that long since he was a tiny newborn. Still cracks me up, by the way, that Jimmy spent an entire week longer in the hospital than Dylan did and he didn't really have any problems even though he was 7 weeks early where Dylan had open heart surgery.

It's been fun watching Jimmy grow up over these past 11 years. Especially has been fun watching him interact with Dylan and see the bond they have. Give Dylan a picture of Jimmy and he will hold onto it for quite a while saying either "Immy!" or "Brother!"

Hope you have a great birthday this year, Jimmy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lys and the Dentist

My kids are not the bravest kids in the world. I realize this. So I was surprised when Lys said she wanted to get her cavity filled without being sedated when both Emma and Molly quite strongly said that they wanted to be asleep for their work back two dentist visits ago. She tried to be brave that first time. For all of about 30 seconds. They were able to fill her cavity, but she did not make it easy for them. So I'm sure you can imagine her distress a short while later when that filling came out and I told her I would have to take her back to the dentist. She again tried to be brave as they put in a new filling on that tooth. The dentist said that it really should be capped but she was having such a hard time that he did a quick filling repair and recommended that I eventually bring her back in to get a cap on the tooth and make sure it was a sedated appointment because he worried that her memories of the dentist would not be good ones with the experience with getting the filling filled twice. He said he didn't know how long that filling would last.

Time passed and I would occasionally think of calling the dentist but her tooth seemed to be okay. I finally did call the dentist and schedule the appointment though. I could see signs that the filling was not going to last much longer. And I was right. During preschool as she was eating candy, the filling came out along with a piece of her tooth.

With it being a sedated appointment and it being in the morning, Russ stayed home and was nice enough to take her while I stayed home and got the others off to school and took care of Dylan. I told Russ before he left that I was pretty sure that they wouldn't be able to cap the tooth and would end up just having to pull it. Part of me thought it was silly to have her sedated just for a quick tooth pull, but I knew how nervous she was and how nervous Emma was when they pulled her tooth.

I think I got the better end of the deal. My biggest worry was getting the garbage can out to the street when Dylan wanted me to sit and watch Blue's Clues with him. While Russ got the joys of helping a very groggy girl and cleaning up after her when she threw up three times before leaving the dentist. Luckily she didn't throw up at home.

I did laugh that as he carried her in and as she was obviously a bit on the loopy side, she had to make sure to show me the prize she got from the toy machine at the dentist. And chuckled as she asked me as she had me watch Go Diego! Go! with her which octopus was the real one and which one wasn't since she was seeing double still. Brought back memories of Molly being sedated and saying to me that when she first saw me I had two noses, "but I didn't laugh."

I will say that I am looking forward to this short break of going to the dentist before we take the kids back for their next cleaning. And next time we take Dylan for his first trip to the dentist. That should be interesting. Wonder if they'll even let them touch him.

Just A Reminder

Just thought I'd throw in a quick reminder that tomorrow is National Pancake Day. Which means that once again IHOP is giving away a free short stack of pancakes all day (well, from I believe 6 am until 10 pm) to every customer. Any donations they get that day will go to the Children's Miracle Network to support local children's hospitals. Which is always a good thing. If they do the same as last year, you can donate on their website if you don't want to fight the crowds that are sure to be there.

Last year I decided not to fight crowds and just made pancakes at home. May do the same thing again. Especially since Dylan has developed quite the runny nose.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Best-Laid Schemes

As is written and often quoted (albeit often misquoted I discovered recently) poem by Robert Burns, things in life don't always go the way we plan for them. Like having a child with a CHD. But we make the best of what ever comes are way and are hopefully the better for it.

Once again Russ and I find ourselves heading down a path we didn't plan. And that path starts with a 9 month journey. Yep, that's right. Russ and I are expecting our 6th child. Before you start asking if we know there are things that can prevent that, yes we do and yes we used it. It just didn't work as it sometimes doesn't. And for the most part I'm fine with it. I do worry about little things like where on earth will we fit another body in our car that is full and what are we going to do with a baby when it's time for Dylan's next surgery. But I know that things will all work out, as I know that this child was meant to be a part of our family. Just not quite what we expected at this point. (Granted, I'm sure my older sister who is also expecting but who will be 41 close to when she delivers feels much the same way.)

I will be 10 weeks tomorrow, which puts the due date as September 15. We told the kids last night and they are thrilled. Russ and I aren't quite as excited as they are, but we're getting there.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dylan's 18 Month Checkup

Dylan had his 18 month checkup today. I laughed because the nurse at first asked if he were in for his year checkup. Apparently time has gone by just as fast for her. She commented about remembering when he first went there.

Dylan was surprisingly good this time. At his 15 month appointment he cried nearly the whole time he was being examined. This time he was nervous but just watched the doctor very carefully. Even smiled at him. Briefly.

Dylan is just below, but very close to the average for height at 32 inches. He now weighs 24 pounds, 1 ounce, which is only a very slight gain from last time. But after a week of not eating much because of a sore throat and then a recent bout of diarrhea, it's not surprising. His doctor wasn't concerned at all as it is still a gain and he's above the 25th percentile. Added that with the statistics of so many teenagers being overweight, it's not a bad thing to keep him on the lean side.

I did chuckle when after listening to his heart the doctor said, "Yep, sounds like a Maytag." I've read where other people with truncus kids have had doctors tell them their hearts sound like a washing machine. Of course, Dylan's doctor doesn't know I've read that, but I still thought it was funny.

Dylan had his last shot until his kindergarten checkup today. I was smart. I let him pick out a sucker from the sucker drawer and so when the nurse came back in to give him his shot, he had that happily in hand (with the wrapper still on). He started to cry when she gave him the shot but I quickly pulled off the wrapper and he happily stuck it in his mouth, stopping any thoughts of the shot. He was just happy to be going, as anyone who was near could tell by his happily heading out the door saying, "Go! Go!"

The next checkup he should have will be his next echo sometime in May. Which reminds me. I suppose I could call and schedule that appointment soon. They did say they would send me a reminder card to schedule the appointment, but I may not wait for the card to do that. Hopefully he won't need to go to the doctor for any reason before then. That would be nice.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

National CHD Awareness Week

Today marks the start of National Congenital Heart Disease/defect Awareness week. There are a few things associated with this and with the local support group that I belong to (Intermountain Healing Hearts) that I am aware of.

Up at Primary Children's they have a banner on the parking structure stating that it is National CHD Awareness Week and have a table with cookies. Also this week on the 15th, Paul Cardall is having a concert with a silent auction to benefit some who have been affected by chd's. I believe tickets are still available. Later this month, on the 20th at the Kearns Olympic Oval from 1-4 is an event sponsored by IHH to raise funds for research and awareness for chd's including prize drawings and a silent auction (not to mention ice skating, music and food). Admission for that is $10 per person or $50 for a family of 5 or more, including an entry in the drawing for each family member.

Me? I'm not sure yet on if we will be going to the ice skating thing (although I'm sure my kids would love it, especially since every time we drive past the frozen ponds where we saw a family playing hockey one day they ask when we will take them ice skating). But I have put the Valentine's hearts on my car again this year and plan on leaving them up for as long as I can stand this month. And seeing as my polka dots have all faded, I may just keep them up all month. Much to Jimmy's chagrin.

I saw this poem on the blog of one of my second cousins who lost a daughter to a chd. Thought I would repost it here and add, as she did, that I hope the author doesn't mind. I believe it was written for CHD Awareness Week.

Somewhere...someplace... today...
A family is waiting to hear...
Is something wrong with their baby?
The answers aren't quite clear...
This family has entered an unwanted world...
And they just don't know what to expect...
Somewhere...someplace... today
They first heard the words: heart defect.
And how they hoped this was not true...
And thought... this cannot be...
I too... know just how this feels...
For one day...this was me.
A man and a woman embrace...
Their baby is in surgery...
They long to see her face...
They haven't got to hold her yet...
Without...a cord or line...
They pace the room awaiting news...
And hope she'll be just fine.
Prayers fill this busy waiting room...
And mom and dad are scared...
The tiniest hearts are repaired.
A child's growing fast...
His mom thinks...can this last?
It's almost easy...to forget...
That anything is wrong...
Her child seems so strong.
Somewhere...someplace... today...
A little boy fights...just to live
A father holds his tiny hand...
His love...all he can give...
The doctor's are all baffled...
They fear that he might die...
A family says goodbye...
Somewhere...someplace...each year..
More than 40,000 families will see...
What it means...when something's wrong...
They'll face a CHD.
Today...for just a moment...
Make time to tell someone you know...
"I've been changed by a heart defect"
Author - Stephanie Husted

Monday, January 25, 2010

Words, Words, Words

You'd think that with my 5th child I wouldn't be amazed at how well and how many words he says. Especially when all of my children have been good talkers. Sure, I've had more than one amaze people in nursery when we've gone to pick them up and they start chatting because they don't say a single word while we're gone, but they really have all been good talkers. Back in November when Dylan had his last echo, his cardiologist asked how many words he says. We made a quick guess because we hadn't counted at that point. Russ guessed between 20 and 30 words. I thought it was closer to about 15. And you know what? I still couldn't tell you exactly how many words he says. He does sometimes say a complete sentence though. Lately he likes to say, "I wanna go!" No, he doesn't care where, he just wants to go for a ride or go outside and play.

I couldn't help yesterday but smile when we were at our special Stake Conference with Elder Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. Russ had given Dylan a piece of paper and a couple of crayons and he happily sang (for a good part of the meeting, I might add), "Color, color, color!" Yes, I know that we have said we are keeping Dylan home from church and things during the winter to try to keep him from getting sick. Besides the fact that he still catches everything, neither of us wanted to miss this meeting so we decided to take him yesterday. A bit selfish of us, I know.

In fact, Dylan is getting to be a toad when it comes to coloring. He will find a crayon and color on whatever surface is nearby. Including the tablecloth, the dishwasher, the fridge and the cabinets. One time I found him crouched under the bench for our organ coloring the underside. He got mad when I didn't let him color on the computer screen. But he's the happiest toad as he's doing it. And happily singing like he did yesterday. He makes me laugh though. If he gets a piece of paper, he will take it and lay down on the floor to color on it. Here's a picture of him doing it. No, I still haven't found my camera so this was taken with my cell phone, hence the poor quality.