Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday Emma!

Today is Emma's 10th birthday, which means she no longer belongs to the single digit club. I think she's had a good day. She has been very excited about her birthday, partially because she also had her party today. 

Everyone seemed to have a good time at her party, especially with the amount of candy that came out of the pinata once it finally broke apart.  Emma had told me she wanted a cake with a puppy jumping out of a present but we compromised and I did puppies with cupcakes.  Made the one for her the biggest and made smaller ones to easily fit on the cupcakes.  Didn't take my time to make them look very good, but Emma loved them.  First thing she wanted to do when anyone showed up for her party was show them the cupcakes.  She invited six girls and one called right away to tell her she would be out of town so couldn't make it.  All but one other came.  But the best part?  It's over and I don't have to worry about it anymore. :)

Here's a picture of the cupcakes.

Happy birthday, Emma!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dylan's (non-heart) Surgery

Wednesday Dylan had his surgery that I had written about in an earlier post.  I was almost surprised that he was actually well enough to have it.  He had been sick the week before and had a hard time getting better.  At one point in the car he had even sighed and said, "It's hard to get well."  Where I'm sure Dylan wouldn't have complained to have the surgery postponed, I really didn't want to have to wait even longer for it.

While it isn't nearly as scary as open heart surgery, I found myself getting a little nervous for his surgery.  I really think more because I was afraid he would wake up that morning sick.  But once we were on our way, I was fine.  Dylan was surprisingly good before his surgery.  He was happy and even answered the nurses when they would ask him a few questions.  I think it helped that they planned on waiting until they had him asleep to start an IV.  They also gave him some medicine to help him feel calm and a little sleepy.

They brought out a wagon for him and let him take along a toy he had been playing with and wheeled him off to surgery.  About an hour and a half later, his doctor found me in the waiting room and told me he did well.  Said the hydrocele repair went just as planned.  Said the other part didn't quite go as planned.  There wasn't as much flexibility as there should have been plus there was an interesting growth that he nor the two associates he pulled in had ever seen (making a combination of about 60 year's experience).  But it's nothing harmful and should be fine (they did send it off to pathology to make sure).  Of course, his telling me that brought back memories of meeting with Dr. Hawkins the night before Dylan's open heart surgery and being told that in all his years as a heart surgeon, he had only seen truncus with a coarctation one other time.  I'm not sure I like Dylan being quite so unique.  Ah well.

Dylan woke up from surgery really unhappy.  He didn't like the pulse/ox or the IV.  He cried that he wanted them out and he wanted to go home.  After a while I got him to take two sips of apple juice and the nurse took everything off and I got him dressed to go home.  He cried the whole time.  Only stopped when we were heading out the door of the recovery room.

He has done pretty well.  Walks a little funny, but that's expected.  This morning he woke up showing more pain than he has since having the surgery.  It has been the only time that I haven't had to fight him to take pain medicine.  But it worked nicely and he's back to running around and playing like nothing is wrong. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Molly's Baptism

Saturday Molly was baptized.  She was very excited about it and had a hard time waiting for the day to come.  She was baptized with her cousin, Rebecca.  And two days later I realized we never took a picture of the two of them together.  (Dang it!)  I thought it turned out really nice (even with several people trying to help Russ when he asked a simple question and telling him wrong so made for some lovely entertainment). 

We tried to get a new family picture right after the baptism since we were all dressed up.  The two pictures taken with my camera weren't great so unless the ones my dad got were better, I still need to get a new family picture.  The one on my wall was taken two years ago at Emma's baptism.  Really need to get a new one up there.

Anyway, here's a picture of Russ and Molly just before she was baptized in the baptism clothes.
Here's Molly in her dress she got for her baptism.  She felt very beautiful in it and for good reason, if you ask me.
I wasn't going to but decided to go ahead and post one of the two family pictures from Saturday.  Not the greatest, but hey, it has everyone in it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Doctors and Illness

I realize that I never posted about Dylan's urology appointment he had last week. But that was largely due to Rachel being very sick with strep throat. She was sick for his appointment and luckily my mom was able to watch her while I took him in.

Dylan was surprisingly good for his doctor appointment. I explained to him what they would do and that he definitely would not get an iv poke. He was very happy and had a good time going. At least playing with all of the toys they have there.

The doctor came in and examined him and said he does need surgery to correct his hydrocele and his undescended testicle. He will have that surgery done in the first part of November. The tricky part will be to keep him well during that time. Especially with how much we have all been sick so far, which brings me back to Rachel.

She got a high fever the Sunday night before Dylan's appointment, which was about the time I was expecting her to get a fever from getting her mmr immunization. She was miserable. My happy girl who tries to be happy even when not feeling well wasn't happy at all. She cried when she wasn't asleep. And she slept as long as she was held.

The fever didn't go away when I thought it should. I gave her an extra day (mostly because I didn't feel like taking her to the pediatrician the day I took Dylan to the urologist. So on Wednesday I called and took her in. The doctor looked at her and saw that her throat looked very sore. He explained that it is really rare for kids as young as she is to get strep, but decided to do a throat culture anyway. They called on Thursday and said it was negative but would check again the next day. They called back on Friday and said it was positive. They called in a prescription for her. I was actually very glad they found something because she just wasn't feeling well.

I called them back yesterday though because she still isn't feeling well, even after almost a week on antibiotics. But today I've decided that's just because she's lucky enough to have managed to catch a cold. Makes me tempted to have Dylan go visit his grandparents for a while. If he would. Which he wouldn't do. I'll just have to make sure he washes his hands a lot and uses hand sanitizer and it seems kind of pointless to put a sign on the door asking people to please not come in if they are sick or have been around anyone who is sick at all when people here are sick.

I have a feeling it's going to be a long winter.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rachel and Dylan Well Checks

Earlier this week I took Rachel and Dylan for their yearly well checks.  Decided that they are close enough in age that I might as well save a trip and take them together. 

Rachel is growing well.  She kept saying "hi" to the doctor and stole his stethoscope.  She didn't like the 4 shots she got (one of which was the flu shot...a must in a household with a heart kid), but who does?  She has stayed at the high end of the percentile scale for height but is going down a little in weight, which is normal.  She was a little sick before going to the doctor and hurled in the car on the way there.  Which was the one time I was glad to have a broken washing machine.  I happened to have laundry in my car to do after the doctor so was able to change her quickly.

Dylan is understandably nervous about going to the doctor lately.  I told him as we were going that as long as he doesn't get sick, he won't have to go to the doctor again for at least 6 months after this one.  Which apparently I shouldn't have told him.  He's doing really well.  He even went up in the percentile range, which is great for a heart kid.  He even went up so he's in the above average range.  His problem is that he has a hydrocele and likely an undescended testicle.  Which means that he needs to see a urologist.  He goes next week.  He's not going to be happy about it because it's at PCMC, which is where he goes for his cardiology appointments.  And it will likely mean some more surgery for him.  Poor kid is really going to hate doctor appointments after this.  He also failed the hearing test in his right ear, but that was likely due to large amounts of wax in his ear and the fact that Rachel chose that time to yell loudly. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Rachel!

Today is Rachel's first birthday.  So far she has no cake.  I really should make her a cake.  I would have made one by now but I was sick the first part of the week (still have a lingering cough and occasional ick feeling but for the most part am better).  And now Rachel is sick.  But man, she's a good baby.  She is about as smiley and happy as ever even when she isn't feeling well.  She does have her moments of crying and not being happy, but those are few.

In case you're wondering, the picture was taken at a ward party/luau.  Emma took part in a dance and the shells on Rachel were included in the packet with her grass skirt.  Russ had a good time putting them on Rachel.  Rachel just had a good time sitting on the stage for a bit.

Now if we can only get her walking.  Hm.  Maybe I don't want her walking yet.  She already gets into everything.  Even climbed up on my bed by herself last night. And grins and says, Hi!" as soon as we say her name to stop her from getting into something.  She knows exactly what she's doing.  I have a feeling this next year is going to be a busy one with her.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Yes, I say that thinking of Dug in the Disney/Pixar movie, "Up."

A few Sundays ago I was sitting in my living room and heard a strange chirping noise. Wondered what kind of bird that could be so opened the front door and looked out. I saw two of my neighbors from across the street trying to get our cat out of our tree. Then I saw why. The cat had managed to tree a squirrel. And it was not happy about it at all and was letting everyone know quite vocally. We rarely see squirrels around here, so it surprised me to see and hear it in the tree.

The cat didn't seem too happy when we took her in the house so she would stop tormenting the squirrel.

Back to School

Back on the 22nd of August, the kids started back to school. Jimmy started his first year of Jr. High as a 7th grader (can I say that still seems strange to me that he's old enough for Jr. High?). He seems to really like it so far. Especially the lunches. Emma started the 4th grade. She has the same teacher she had for 2nd grade and is very happy about that. Molly started the 2nd grade and has the same teacher Jimmy had. She really likes it so far. Alyssa started the 1st grade and has a teacher none of my kids have had, but seems to really like her teacher and class. She's not so sure about going all day, but is doing fine with it. I think Dylan gets a little bored with his older sisters and brother at school all day, but he also seems to have fun having just him and Rachel at home. The house is definitely quieter with them in school.

Anyway, here are their first day of school pictures. I didn't get one with all four since Jimmy left before the girls even got up for the day.

Summer Events

Yes, I realize it has been a while since I have posted. I did try to post at one point. But my computer froze when trying to upload some pictures so I put it off. And kept putting it off. So I'm making one big post to describe the summer. There aren't as many pictures as there could have been. I brought my camera to several things we did, but failed to get it out and take many pictures.

The week after school let out, I drove up to Idaho with my mom and kids to visit my sister and her family. It was kind of a spur of the moment trip. We had a good time there and the kids loved swimming in the hotel swimming pool. They were all really good travelers, which was nice. Most of the pictures from that trip are ones Jimmy took on the day we went to the zoo.

This first one is of Ben, one of my nephews.
Here are Emma, Molly, Lys, Alex, and Chris getting in a big nest (along with some other kids).
I'm posting this one of Rachel that was taken in the hotel room just because I think it's a silly picture. :)
Jimmy, Chris, and Ben at the zoo.
Later in June, my brother and his family came out to visit from Georgia.  We some fun things with them while they were here.  We went to the zoo (the word "fun" here is questionable.  It was very hot.  I think the kids had fun though) and Lagoon and things like that.  Unfortunately, I only really got one picture the whole time (okay, I got a few with my cell phone but haven't been able to transfer those to the computer).

This is of my kids on a big dinosaur at the zoo.  Well, minus Rachel.  She was sitting happily in the stroller.
We also had Dylan's heart cath in the summer, but I did post about that.  At least a little.  In July we went camping with Russ' family.  Russ wasn't able to get off work so I went up a day before he did.  That was interesting since a bear had been seen in the area the day before we got there.  But we had fun.  Got covered with dirt from head to toe, but it was fun.

In August we had the Family Heart Camp with IHH.  Being on the governing board, I helped out a lot with things there so Russ spent most of the time with the kids.  Unfortunately, Jimmy was sick so he spent the weekend with my parents.  I thought the camp turned out great.  The camp is held every year at Camp Wapiti, a campground run by the Elk's Club specifically for groups involved with kids with various health issues.  In July there is Camp Hawkins, a camp just for heart kids and their siblings.  There are also camps for kids with cancer, diabetes and other things.

The kids had a lot of fun at camp and especially liked the time spent swimming.  There was a symposium for the adults where a few from the cardiology areas of PCMC came and spoke.  One talked about some of the studies that PCMC is part of, including a pulmonary conduit study that Dylan is in.  Dr. Gray from the cath lab came and spoke on what is new with the cath lab and what they hope to be able to do in the future.  Meanwhile, we had various activities for the kids, including a reptile show (which was a hit).  The rest of the pictures are from the family camp.

School started about a week after the family camp.  Our summer seemed to be busier at times than other summers, but it was a good summer.  

Happy birthday Molly!

Today is Molly's 8th birthday.  While it seems strange she's already 8, it has also felt like it's been a long time coming (mostly because of the whole booster seat law).  She keeps telling me it's her best day ever.  She got to pick what we had for dinner (out of just a couple of choices though since I totally spaced asking her what she wanted before Russ went to the store yesterday), and I made some cupcakes which I quickly drew cat heads out of frosting on (haven't taken any pictures yet).  I did let her decorate some of the cupcakes, which she loved.

So happy birthday, Molly!  I hope your day continues to be the best ever!  I'm so glad you are part of our family!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy birthday Dylan!

Today is Dylan's 3rd birthday. I know people say it all the time, but man, it has gone by fast. I keep wondering how long it's going to take me to get used to telling people he's three and not two.

We celebrated his birthday last night since Jimmy has scout camp all week and left early this morning.  I had plans for his cake but ended up changing them.  I knew he wanted a Wow! Wow! Wubbzy cake and thought I would make a cake that looked just like Wubbzy.  Figured it would be easy enough to do.  Then Dylan kept saying how he wanted the other characters too.  So I baked the cake and quickly sketched out an idea for decorating (which looked better on paper than in frosting) and then frosted the cake.  I did a rush job on decorating it since I didn't decorate it until after dinner and it was getting close to bedtime.  But for a rush job, I don't think it turned out horribly.  And he was happy with it, so that's all that matters.

Here's a picture of his cake and a picture of him just before blowing out the candles.

So happy birthday Dylan!  I hope you have a great one and many more to come!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Successful Cath

Dylan had his heart cath yesterday.  He did well with it and acts like nothing even happened yesterday.  Only thing I notice that shows that he had it is the two tiny cuts from where they went in with the catheter and what part of the adhesive from the tape hasn't come off his skin yet. 

We weren't supposed to have him to the hospital until noon.  I knew as soon as they said noon that he would be there overnight.  When we walked into the hospital, Dylan knew where we were and wasn't really happy. Kept saying that he wanted to go home or go to Grandma's.  He did get happy for a bit playing with toys in the waiting room but really wasn't happy when we went back to a room to change him into the hospital clothes.  He kept pointing at the exam table and said he didn't want to lay on that.  A nurse found a box of dinosaur toys for him that cheered him right up though.

The anesthesiologist came in and talked to us and talked about some of the risks involved with going into the pulmonary arteries (they can sometimes bleed which scares them and causes extra problems).  He watched as the IV team attempted to put one in Dylan and failed.  He said watching him gave him confidence in how Dylan would do with the procedure.  (They put in an IV later, after they had him asleep for the procedure.)  They gave Dylan a little bit of medicine to help calm him and make him a little sleepy and then we walked down to the cath lab where we talked to the doctor who would be doing the procedure.  He told us that he would also attempt to fix his leaky conduit (the artificial vein) while he was in there and try to get him back to us in the best shape possible.  We were given a pager and told they would page us when he was done and to go back to the cath lab where the doctor would tell us how it went.

After we walked away I remembered that I had wanted to take his picture before the procedure.  Too late.  Never did get any pictures in the hospital.  Wish I had.  Ah well.

When they paged us and we talked with the doctor, he showed us video and pictures of the procedure.  He showed us how they had used a stent to widen the narrow artery.  He also told us in going in to check the conduit, he found it wasn't narrow at all, but that he found that the valve is basically gone.  For now it's fine but will need to be fixed at some point.  Hopefully later rather than sooner. 

After he was awake and seemed pretty stable I went back home with the kids and Russ stayed with him for the night.  They were discharged around 8:30 this morning, after doing an x-ray to make sure things still looked good.

Dylan is supposed to take it easy for a couple of days.  He keeps saying that he "got shots" at the doctor but like I said acts totally normal.  For which I'm glad.

I will add though that going to a church activity the night before and finding out there that the theme was basically how to prepare for funerals isn't the most fun thing to do.  But pretty funny at the same time.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dylan's Upcoming Heart Cath

I just realized that I haven't updated my blog since scheduling Dylan's heart cath.  He will have that done this coming Friday, the 17th.  I don't know the time yet since they don't finalize the schedule until the day before.  I will find out sometime Thursday afternoon what time we will take him in on Friday.  A letter (along with a pamphlet about the procedure) we received yesterday stated to call them if we have not heard by 5:00 the day before the scheduled procedure.  Hopefully I won't have to call.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cupcakes and Cat

Yes, I could easily make this two separate posts but thought I'd save myself a little time by combining them into two posts.  Just because.

For Lyssa's birthday I made butterfly cupcakes instead of making a regular cake.  They were actually really easy to make and Lys loved them.  I even let her help a little.  Just a little though.  I run out of patience when it's something like the cupcakes when they don't do them quite like I think they should.  You can find the directions here on the Family Fun magazine's website.  If I were to make them again, I would make sure I did the white chocolate part of the wings a little thicker than I did.  They broke easily.  But they were kind of fun to make.

They didn't leave much space for putting candles, but I found a way.  Used the same candles I used on Jimmy's cake.  A few with the flame the color of the candle and a couple of the kind that relight. 
Yesterday as kind of a birthday gift for all of the girls (and Dylan since he says he wants it for him as well) for their birthdays this year, Russ came home with a cat.  He went to the animal shelter and picked her out from there.  The staff there named her Roxie and the kids all love the name so it will likely stay even though Russ doesn't really like the name.  She's a Domestic Shorthair/Siamese mix with the lynx point markings.  Whatever lynx point markings means.  I think she's just a pretty cat.  She hid most of the time she was here yesterday until the kids were all asleep.  Today she's warming up a bit more.  Still hides at times, but not nearly as much.  Wonder how long it's going to take us to get used to having a pet again.  Although it was pretty funny to have Russ get startled when she darted through the kitchen last night.  At first glance he thought she was a very large rat. I'd say he screeched a little, but it wasn't really a screech.

The kids were are very excited.  Dylan almost more than the rest.  So as she was hiding yesterday, they were gathered around following her to try to see her even as she was trying to hide from them.  Which was funny in and of itself.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Alyssa!

For some reason blogger isn't letting me upload photos right now or else I'd start this post off with a picture of Lys.  She turned 6 today!  Really doesn't seem like 6 years have gone by since I sat on the porch steps timing contractions while I waited for it to be time to go pick up Jimmy from his last day of kindergarten and then head to Mom's to go to lunch with her and some relatives.  (Just so you know, it really panics the waitresses when you inform them that you are in labor but think you'll go ahead and get something to eat.)  I knew it would be a while because the contractions were far enough apart and not strong enough.  She was born just after 1:00 in the morning.  And no, I have no idea why I decided to share that story.

Lys was so excited to be able to take a treat to her class for her birthday that she was ready to go over a half hour before she needed to be.  Just kind of fun for her to be able to have her birthday on the last day of school, especially the last day of kindergarten.  I think it made it more exciting for her. 

She is a very sweet and happy girl.  And man, does she love to tease her little brother.  We love having her a part of our family.  Happy birthday Lys! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dylan's Echo

Dylan had his Echo this afternoon.  It was hopefully his last sedated Echo.  I went into it wondering if they tried doing the Echo with him not sedated if it would work.  Then the nurse laid him on the exam table to get a quick measurement and he cried.  I decided then that it was good they were sedating him. 

He took longer than usual today to calm down after getting the IV for the sedation.  I think it must have bothered him where they had it more this time.  He even complained when they were giving him the medicine.  The nurse did check the site and it was in correctly, so it was just bothering him. 

After the Echo and time in recovery, we met with his cardiologist, who came in carrying a toy car to give Dylan (he hit the jackpot this time...came home with 3 cars, a ball, a new sippy cup and a blanket).  His doctor commented on how happy Dylan was after he went over the results of the Echo and listened to Dylan's heart(he really is getting better about interacting with adults.  He will actually talk to adults now and not cry if they touch him). 

The doctor told us that his pulmonary arteries are getting a little more narrow and so will need to go sometime next month to the cath lab and get that fixed.  Said the main problem with the narrowing is that if it isn't fixed, the vein has a tendency to not grow.  Getting it fixed in the cath lab is relatively simple.  They will take a catheter and go up through a vein in his leg to the narrow veins where they will balloon them open and, if necessary, use a stent to hold them open.  He said that generally it's an overnight stay.  (Not always, but best to plan on it being overnight.)  He obviously still has the leakiness, but his heart is still handling it well.  Russ asked him when we should plan on that needing to be fixed.  He said, "That's the million dollar question."  Went on to say that he would say that the average for it to be fixed would be early teens.  Some earlier, some later. 

After the cath we will talk with his doctor again to see when we need to take Dylan back for his next Echo.  The way he talked today, I assume he will have us come back in about a year. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Heart World

Dylan has an appointment coming up at the end of the month for an Echo cardiogram.  I'm sure those who have heart kids understand how even though things appear great from our end, there's always the worry that lingers in the background that this time will be the time they say that it looks like it's time for the next surgery, or that things aren't looking as good as they have in the past.  It's not a constant conscious worry, but as the time gets closer it creeps more and more to the forefront and in the quiet moments I find myself thinking about the appointment and wondering how it will go.  Mostly I think of how Dylan's cardiologist said at one appointment that he hopes to get him to 3 before he needs his next surgery and how he will be 3 this summer.  Then I will think of his last echo and how Dylan had the MRI after it because his pulmonary arteries looked like they were getting pretty narrow and his cardiologist said he wouldn't worry about it if he thought he would need the surgery any time soon and would just fix it with the surgery if he did. 

As I think about these things, I think of my ignorance of this whole heart world before Dylan was born.  I was aware that such a world existed.  I have family and friends who are part of the heart world.  I saw their worry and heartbreak and hope but it wasn't until I found myself living it that I realized that I really only saw a small part of it. 

I read on a blog (I wish I could remember whose at this point so I could give the proper credit) recently where the author wrote that her husband said that we live with fear and not in fear with our heart kids.  I totally get that.  I find that when my heart healthy kids are sick that I don't worry about them quite the same as I worry about Dylan when he gets sick.  I'm sure it's easy for others to "forget" that Dylan even has a problem with his heart because he is doing so well and seems so normal.  I think of it every time I help Dylan get dressed for the day and for bed and every time he gets in the bath.  I think of it every time he's sad or hurt and won't let anyone besides me help him and think of how eventually he will need to have more surgery and how hard it is going to be on him (and on me) when he will be in the hospital recovering and in pain.

I think of these things and then I think of how this heart world has really opened my eyes and my heart.  I think of all the women who were at the luncheon and how strong they all are.  I think of Intermountain Healing Hearts and what a great service the group provides in bringing together people who are going through the same life journey.  I know I've said it before, but as much as I wish Dylan didn't have a CHD, I am grateful for the blessings that have come into my life because of it.  A whole world of hope and strength and compassion mixed in with the worry and heartache.  I hope that I have become a better person because of it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Heart Mom Luncheon

A little over a week ago Intermountain Healing Hearts held its second Heart Mom Luncheon.  Being on the governing board, I had some small part in helping with it this year.  The one last year was so good we knew we didn't want to even try to compete with it so we kept it simple.  Knowing that the biggest part of having the luncheon is to get together with women going through a similar life journey, we made sure to have part of it introductions where everyone could stand up and say who they are, where they live, and which type of CHD their child(ren) has.  We also had a video from pictures everyone sent in of their heart kids and glitter toes for those who wanted it.  Lunch was catered by Cafe Rio (thanks to a member of the group who works for their corporate offices we got a nice discount on the food). 

Each "Heart Mom" was allowed to bring one guest.  I brought my mom.  I know she couldn't hear most of what everyone said, but I'm glad she was there with me anyway.  I hope she enjoyed it as well as I did. 

Even though we didn't try to compete with last year's, I think it turned out every bit as good.  From what I could tell, everyone had a good time.  The introductions part was full of emotion as people described the issues for each child (I was the only one there whose child has truncus), especially for those whose children have passed away.  The parts of the video showing the pictures of those heart angels was also heart-wrenching.

For some reason my computer doesn't want to upload all of the pictures that I took at the luncheon, but I did manage to get these two.  They are mostly of the decorations for the event before people started to arrive.  I'm grateful that we have this group and glad that I was able to help out with the event this year. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rachel's 6 Month Check-up

I took Rachel this week for her 6 month check-up. She had been sick with RSV and a double ear infection earlier so it was kind of nice that her check-up was later in the month instead of closer to her birthday. Just nice to know that she was over it.

I had decided to keep Lys home from school that day because I also had a hair appointment and with gas prices being what they are, I really didn't feel like driving back and forth all day. Plus there was always the chance that the appointment would run late and I wouldn't be able to pick her up on time anyway. When I told the girls that Lys would be staying home because of Rachel's appointment they weren't thrilled. I didn't really expect them to be. But in talking with them, I happened to mention how Dylan is thrilled whenever someone else had a doctor appointment. They grinned and said that they know. When he has something they want, they often say, "If you don't give that to me you'll have to go to the doctor." I think it's funny that they would come up with saying something like that. Mean, but funny.

Anyway, Rachel's appointment went well. She's over her RSV (which I knew only because she wasn't coughing any more. She was always happy even being sick) and is a "picture of health." She didn't much like the nurses. Cried with them and getting weighed tried to hold onto me for dear life. Smiled and smiled at the doctor though.

She now weighs 17 pounds, 4 ounces and is 27 inches long. That puts her about the 75% for weight and 90% for height.  So far she's staying my biggest.   And she is a very happy baby. 

Her siblings all love her and almost fight over whose turn it is to hold her.  She will go to them and be happy but doesn't usually take long before she's reaching back to me.  She just really likes her mom. 

Thought I'd throw in two more pictures.  The first one is of Emma holding Rachel. The second is just showing her sitting up.

Friday, March 25, 2011


This month Jimmy performed in the 6th grade play. They did "Into the Woods."  Jimmy was one of two boys who played the role of the prince's steward in the performance.  Here he is in costume:
The kids worked hard to learn ttheir parts and did a pretty good job.  As usual, we were later in getting to the school than I hoped (same story with Emma's 3rd grade program, but I'll get to that) so had to sit in the back.  So the pictures we got weren't the best.  But sitting in the back has its advantages when one has to take a 2 year old to the bathroom in the middle of the show.  Jimmy was excited and nervous about the performance and only forgot one line, but I think that was more out of confusion on whose turn it was to speak.

Here's a picture of Jimmy on stage:

The next week it was Emma's turn.  The third grade put on a program about how people can make a difference.  Emma had been excited about the program and was often talking about for weeks before the program.  She quickly and easily memorized her line for it.  Unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries so I wasn't able to take any good pictures.  This one I have posted is the best one I was able to get.  Emma is standing in the front row.  They all wore dark clothes because they used black lights for one song. 

As I said about Jimmy's play, sitting in the back sometimes has its advantages.  I had to take Dylan out a couple of times and Lys out once.  This time though I was right by the doors.  Made it that much easier to take them out.
After the program, my mom took the kids to get ice cream.  Since getting a new car, we were all able to go together.  Which was nice.  After going almost 6 months with not being able to fit the whole family in one car, it's still almost strange to think that we can all fit now.  Anyway, the kids had fun getting the ice cream.  Probably went a little overboard since it was a serve yourself kind of ice cream place where they charge by weight.  Amazingly, they ate almost all of it.

Happy (Belated) Birthday Jimmy!

Last week was Jimmy's 12th birthday.  Usually birthday parties bring a little bit of stress into my life.  Mostly in the part of figuring out what we are going to do for the parties.  This year Jimmy's party was a breeze on my side.  Jimmy did all the planning and made the invitations and passed them out.  He asked me if I could make a cake to look like an Xbox console.  I figured it sounded easy enough, but Rachel had been sick with RSV and wasn't often happy when I wasn't the one holding her.  Made for a kind of rushed job on the cake, so it wasn't as clean as I could have made it otherwise.  But all in all, I was happy how it turned out.  Jimmy said it wasn't as good as the turkey cake I made several years ago, but he was happy with it too.  I think this one probably tasted better than that turkey cake.  Just because I used a from scratch recipe instead of a boxed cake mix.

Jimmy had his party the day before his birthday and that night went to his grandparent's for a birthday sleepover.  He had told his friends that all he wanted was cash.  Even told my mom that instead of the usual candy box for birthdays that he wanted money instead.  With the money he got from his friends, his grandparents and us, he bought himself a digital camera and a small video camera and a tripod.  Not surprisingly, he informed me yesterday that he is now the historian in his scout troop.

After he came home from his birthday sleepover, I took him shopping and bought him a suit since he would be ordained a deacon the next day.  Still strange to think that I have a son in the Young Men's group now instead of Primary.

Anyway, here's a picture of his cake and one taken during his party.  Some of the candles on the cake were the kind where the flame is the same color as the candle, the rest were the trick candles.  Really was funny watching him with the trick candles.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dylan's Famous!

Well, sort of.  Before CHD week, I sent an email to the county newspaper suggesting a story of IHH as part of CHD week.  I was kind of surprised when I got an email back asking if the group has members who live in the county as they mostly focus on county issues and people.  I emailed back saying that we do have several members in the county and that I also live in the county.  I received another email asking for a phone number to reach me for a story.  Several days passed and last Monday while I was up at Primary's with the table IHH had, the lady who had been emailing me called. Unfortunately, my cell phone was beeping at me because the battery was basically empty.  I asked her if I could call her back.  When I was leaving the hospital I plugged my phone in the car charger and sat in the parking stall and called her back.  Which might not have been the best idea since I kept unplugging it accidentally and reception in the parking isn't the greatest.  After losing connection toward the end of our conversation, I decided to drive to a better location for reception before calling her back.  She asked a few questions and I told her a little about my own experience with IHH and with having a child with a heart defect.  I later emailed her a few pictures of Dylan for them to use with the article. 

This past weekend's edition had the article. I was surprised how big they had the pictures.  I thought the article turned out well.  Her opening wasn't quite what I had said (she wrote that I call IHH "the best group no one wants to join."  I had actually said it was the best group people wish they didn't have to be a part of, but I guess that's close enough), but I was just glad that I didn't sound like as big of a dork as I felt when I had talked to her.  When I looked at the article online, about 250 people had looked at it.  Not too bad.

And yes, I am keeping a copy of the article to put in Dylan's baby book.  Assuming I ever actually get around to making his baby book.  Surely one of these days I'll do it.  Surely.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chick-Fil-A Fundraiser

Last night the Chick-Fil-A in South Jordan held a fundraiser for IHH where they gave 10% of the money they made in sales between 5 and 7 p.m.  We also had a donation jar and sold "Heart Hero" bracelets and IHH logo car stickers. 

I was impressed with all of the people who came to support IHH.  The seating area was pretty full for the two hours.  After 7 it got pretty quiet in there.  Molly and Alyssa were very sad to leave because they were having fun on the playground.  Emma was happy that I got extra food for her since she was still hungry.  She only complained that I made her share some.

This is a picture of the table we had set up with the IHH banner on the wall and Marye, a member of IHH who volunteered to help with the event.
Here's our family.  Lys wouldn't move her head out of Dylan's way so he's harder to see.
Thanks to all who came and helped make it a success!

Monday, February 7, 2011

CHD Week

 As the banner reads in the above photo, today starts CHD Awareness week.  I took the picture of the banner today as I was leaving PCMC.  It hangs on the parking structure.  It is very nice of PCMC to allow IHH to put the banner up each year.  From what I understand, it took a bit of work to get approval the first year it was hung.  Since then it has been fairly easy.  This year I made a phone call and the lady I contacted did the work for me. 

I also helped with the table IHH sets up on the third floor at PCMC (next to the Spider-Man statue for those who know of it).  Below is a picture of the table.  The sign in the picture now looks a little different.  It now has a few hearts and the IHH logo on it, which I think makes it look better.  In the time we (those of us from the IHH governing board) spent there, we were able to talk to several people about CHD's. 

I am glad I have been able to have a small role in spreading CHD Awareness, albeit a very small role.  There are some who do a whole lot more. 

For those who live in the Salt Lake area, and who need to eat dinner anyway, head over to the Chick-Fil-A in South Jordan between 5 and 7 p.m.  They are donating a portion of their profits during that time to IHH.  I will be there.  Come join me!

Monday, January 31, 2011

4 Month Check-up and Registrations

I took Rachel to the doctor today for her 4 month check-up.  She smiled at the doctor the whole time.  Didn't like being weighed and measured and complained a little then though.  She's now 26 inches long and weighs 15 pounds, 3 ounces.  Her height is a little above the 95th percentile and her weight is a little above the 75th percentile, which is about what it was at 2 months.  Her head is just above the 50th percentile so she still has a little head compared to the rest of her. 

She received two shots and one oral immunization today.  Surprised me by not crying for very long with the shots.  She actually cried more on the way home because she was tired. 

This morning was Jimmy's Jr. High registration.  The councilors from the Jr. High came over to the elementary school so it was really fast for each student.  When I got over to the classroom for the registration, they asked me for my student's name to call him out of class.  Dylan saw Jimmy stand up and did a little happy dance.  When Jimmy came out of his class Dylan said, "Hi," and gave Jimmy a quick hug around his leg. 

I was surprised how quickly it went.  They pointed us to an open councilor and we sat at a desk with him.  Handed him the papers we had been sent, and he looked over them quickly and asked if we had any questions.  He handed us back the immunization record and we then took that over to another lady who looked at it and made sure everything was marked and that was it.  Jimmy will get his class schedule in the summer and they will have a kick-off day for the 7th graders to go and try out their lockers and such.

I definitely don't feel old enough to have a kid starting Jr. High.  I did realize today though that when Jimmy is a senior in high school that Rachel will just be starting with kindergarten.  That one made me feel tired.  Made it feel like it will be a really long time before I will have some real alone time.  I do know that it will come faster than I think.  I'd say that I'm sure I will miss having someone home all the time, but you know, right at this moment the thought of having all of the kids in school at least for a short time sounds kind of nice.  I'm blaming that one on the fact that the kids get out early all week and have been fighting over simple things.  Like food.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Rachel is a little over 4 months old now.  She's a very happy baby. Getting very grabby and reaching for everything.  She started out as my biggest and if my measurements are correct, she's staying my biggest (I'll find out for sure when I take her in for her well-baby checkup).  All of her siblings are great with her. 

Here are a couple of pictures of her.  Which is my main purpose of writing this particular post.  Wanted to show off my happy and very good baby.

McD's for FHE

For Christmas my parents gave everyone a $5 coupon book for McDonald's. We finally decided to use them last night.  Despite the looks on the girl's faces in the first picture, they were excited that we went.  More because they could play than anything else though.  Dylan is mostly potty-trained now and even stopped playing to have me take him to the bathroom.  So far he has been really easy to train.  Bribery works wonderfully for him.

The playland was next to empty but the girls managed to make a friend and Dylan even played with a boy about his age.  Jimmy had fun teasing Russ.

As a side note, going to McDonald's when there has been a stomach bug circulating through the family that keeps coming back isn't really the best idea in the world.

Leaving Comfort Zones

I don't ever remember being accused of being outgoing.  I do, however, remember a few times when people have told me I'm the quietest person they've ever met (at least when they first met me).  Look up the word "introvert" in the dictionary and you should find a picture of me.  Growing up I made my sister do most of the talking for me.  I've gotten better though.  Or at least I keep telling myself that.

This month I officially started my term as vice president of Intermountain Healing Hearts (or IHH for short).  I have been very impressed with this group and when the opportunity came decided to submit my name for this position so that I could have an opportunity to give back and do my part in making sure the group keeps moving forward.  As I learn my new role I'm sure I'll make a few mistakes but I'm working with a great bunch of ladies who are very capable and talented and will hopefully put up with my errors.

With National CHD Awareness week coming up (Feb 7-14), we have been discussing what we need to do.  Every year a table has been set up on the 3rd floor of Primary Children's Medical Center by the group with brochures and things to help spread awareness.  We discussed trying to contact various media outlets to try to get the word out about CHD week and about IHH.  Well, I decided to send a message to my county's local newspaper.  A lady who works at the paper has emailed me back a couple of times,this last time requesting my phone number so that she can contact me further.  While I think it's really great that she seems interested in the story, there's a part of me that quite enjoys sitting in the comfort zone of the background starting to get a bit nervous.  If I listen close I can hear that part of me cry, "Oh, no! What if she wants to take my picture?!"  Okay, maybe it's more that I really don't like pictures of myself.  Then there's the part of me that isn't nervous.  I have to listen harder to hear that one, but I hear it roll the eyes and respond, "Oh, just put on some make-up and you'll do fine."

Is it any wonder why my favorite t-shirt saying reads, "Even if the voices aren't real, they have some pretty good ideas"?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lend me Your Ears

Yes, I realize that this is a goofy picture.  Should have seen the other one.

For one of her Christmas presents, we gave Emma a "coupon" good for getting her ears pierced.  Well, yesterday I decided to take her to actually do it.  She was excited and a little bit nervous.  I was impressed how brave she was and that she really didn't flinch or make much noise with the piercings other than saying, "Ow."  For a kid who can be quite vocal about pain, that was quite amazing.  She picked out studs of her birthstone.  So far she's doing pretty well with them.

I asked Molly if she wanted to get her ears pierced then since she has been talking about wanting them too.  She surprised me by saying not then.  There was another girl there trying to decide if she wanted to get her ears pierced.  Emma told her it wasn't that bad to get them done.  As far as I could tell, the girl decided she wasn't brave enough to do it. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The other day I overheard two of my daughters talking.  My 5 year old said to her 7 year old sister, "Jimmy's lucky.  He has 4 sisters."  Yeah, for some reason I don't think he quite feels the same way.