Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Daddy-O

Happy 61st birthday to my Dad! Last year we gave him the surprise of a lifetime (at least so far) by going down to San Diego to celebrate with him.

I really wish we could make that a yearly tradition.

Happy birthday Dad!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How does your garden grow?

Ours grows sad and neglected... all but forgotten these last few weeks... I finally went out this week to see what awaited and found some humorous things...

(As you look at photos, keep in mind that I had just finished listening to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver at the beginning of the planting season... I was determined to grow more of our own food this year. I bought a variety pack of vegetable plants at Costco... some of the squash varieties were only labeled as "Winter Squash" so we weren't sure what we would get. We've been blessed with a plethora of "white zucchini" (per Olivia) or butternut squash and until this week I gave it all away because I didn't know how to make it. We grew eggplants that we have not yet prepared (any good recipes?) and some cute little red chiles that would probably be great in some fresh salsa. As many projects of mine... the garden was of great interest in the beginning and after weeks of constant attention and weeding and watering, I let it do it's own thing.)

Squash growing up the tomato cages...

A hive of wasps (or yellow jackets?) making a home on our cute little chile peppers...

...and a big huge vine of butternut squash growing in and through our air conditioner.

When it was all said and done, we had so many squashes and I was able to salvage a few delicious tomatoes... the zucchinis for the most part had gotten too big... but early in the season I harvested and used many zucchinis and froze some grated zucchinis for later use so I felt okay about giving it to a friend with chickens. (He said his chickens would love to eat it... maybe I'll get some fresh eggs some day in return? Maybe not.)

I decided it was time to learn to cook butternut squash since we had so many of them and they apparently last a really long time, hence the name "winter squash." My friend told me how she loves to prepare and eat them and I gave it a shot... turns out we don't like butternut squash so much. Perhaps I didn't use enough brown sugar?

I guess if we want to eat what we grow... I should plant what we like :). Brilliant, no?

**Ever find anything strange going on in your garden?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ready or not...

Do these kids look ready for their Primary Program, or what? (Don't you love that suit? He looks like a little missionary man... thanks to CB and Brandon for passing it along to us!)

They did such a good job today... and of course I couldn't keep my eyes dry for more than two seconds during the meeting. The theme was "My Eternal Family" and the children shared personal experiences and shared their sweet, simple testimonies through beautiful music.

Our primary had a summer challenge to learn the Articles of Faith found in the Pearl of Great Price and they selected a few children to recite them, but the entire Primary said, "We believe" together at the beginning of each one (except number 11 of course, which was "We claim"). It was so incredible to hear this united body of little children stating their beliefs with such conviction.

Several of my friends are in the Primary Presidency and are the music leaders... they all did such a wonderful job writing the program and helping the children get ready for it. Thanks for a wonderful Sacrament Meeting Jill, Hannah, Sara, Rebecca, Miriam, Mya, and Jodi!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Colelam is SIX!

Six years ago we welcomed our sweet Coleman into our family. From the start he was a pretty laid back kid.

I love this photo of Ryan gazing at him.... and don't you love the temple outside my hospital room window?

I think Olivia's expression in this picture is a crack up... she has this "Hmm, I'm not really sure I want to keep him and I'm pretty sure I don't want to take him home" look on her face. They have grown to be great friends and usually get along really well together.

I love how babies like to sleep with their arms up.

Six years later he's still a happy, laid back kid who loves life and everyone around him. I am amazed at his abilities (he calls them "skills") in building things, solving problems, playing games, thinking creatively (just don't get him started on the "would you rather game"), and he's recently shown a strong interest and affinity for math and numbers.

He said he wanted an Indiana Jones birthday (he only knows Indiana Jones from the Lego Indiana Jones Wii game)... even though it was a non-birthday party year, we found an Indiana Jones hat and whip for him. I overheard him say to Olivia today, "Did you know that Indiana Jones whips girls to bring them to him and then he KISSES them? Ew, yuck!" (What exactly do they show on those Wii video games?!?

We had some of his cousins over for a little cake and ice cream and a pinata....

...that pinata was industrial strength... it didn't want to break! The kids all had a couple of turns trying to bust it and it didn't budge. Uncle Scott finally broke it open.

A few years ago Coleman had a dinosaur birthday and we made a cool volcano cake (thanks for the help, Sara!). We decided to reprise it this year with Indy and the rolling rock... That's colored evaporated milk in the middle of the bundt cakes... when you're ready for some action, just drop in some dry ice and you have a pretty cool effect...

...no real eruptions (thank goodness!) just lots of smoky mist and some trickling lava.

It was a pretty low key birthday, but we were excited to celebrate with Coleman! He's such a great kid with so much enthusiasm for life. I love his easy-going attitude. He really knows how to roll with the punches (unless of course we are eating something he doesn't like--which is almost daily--or if he has to clean his room or brush his teeth.--well, you get the picture...). He's such a happy part of our family and we love him!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Little Trip to the ER and a Short Stay in the Hospital

So everything has been going pretty well with my pregnancy. I had easy pregnancies with Liv and Coleman aside from a little nausea the first trimester. I've felt a little more tired than usual (I am officially in the "old" category being 35) and okay, so maybe it's a LOT more tired, but that's to be expected. I've had a lot of nausea but no vomiting so things seemed to be going on just fine.

Early Thursday morning (around 1 am) I had some severe chest and shoulder pain that woke me up. I stayed in bed for awhile, hoping it would go away, but it got worse. Ryan woke up to the sound of my sobbing and knew that we had to go to the ER. I honestly thought I was dying. I figured I was either having a heart attack or that I had a blood clot in my lung.

He called our dear friend (and across the street neighbor) Sara to come and stay at our house while we went. I was much more worried about the state of our messy house than I should have been, I know Sara didn't care, I'm just grateful she was willing to come over immediately.

The hospital is pretty close to our house and we got into a room quickly (despite the lack of valet parking!). They checked my heart (all was normal) and confirmed that I hadn't had any trauma to my chest or shoulder and drew some blood to take a D-Dimer test. An elevated level says that something is going on, but isn't specific as to what. A normal level rules out any possibility that there is a blood clot. They wanted me to get a chest x-ray, but a ride in a wheelchair to radiology and a consult from the radiologist made us wary. The tech told us what a risk it was so early in pregnancy (since everything is still forming) and that it wouldn't show any clots, only if there was pneumonia, which I really didn't think was the problem (total lack of symptoms).

We went back to the room in the ER and we were waiting there when they came back with my D-Dimer results... normal is 0 to 500. Mine was 3378.... a little bit elevated!?!

The doctor insisted on a chest x-ray before doing a CT scan since the x-ray has a much lower risk of causing any problems. We actually left the x-ray room hoping that I had pneumonia (who hopes for pneumonia???).

The x-ray showed some small infiltrates in my lungs, and the radiologist interpreted it to mean that I was either in the very early stages of pneumonia or that I had a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in my lung).... so we had to do the CT scan to find it and confirm that that was the problem.

Shortly after the CT scan, the ER doctor came into our room and told us that it wasn't a death sentence, but that I definitely had a pulmonary embolism, a big one, in my left lung. He said it meant that my pregnancy was now very high risk and that I would be treating myself with blood thinner injections until the end of my pregnancy. The regular treatment for blood clots is oral Heparin or Coumadin, but since those are really well known teratogens they are not an option during pregnancy. It also meant that I'd either be induced or have a c-section after quitting the blood thinners for a couple of days or I could end up bleeding to death.

We are so grateful that they found it when they did, blood clots often go undiagnosed and end up being lethal. I hadn't shown any signs of blood clots in my legs or pelvis and my only risk factor was pregnancy. They weren't able to find the origin, but didn't seem to be too concerned about where it came from since the blood thinners would prevent any further clotting and our bodies naturally dissolve clots in the absence of clotting factors (which I don't have anymore).

I was admitted to stay in the hospital for a couple of days where they managed my pain (saying "eight" has it's privileges) and continued treating me with medicine to prevent any further clotting. I had an ultrasound there that showed that so far everything looks good with the pregnancy and in the future they will monitor things closely. They told me I can resume normal activities, except I have to make sure I don't fall and hit my head or cut myself and absolutely NO CONTACT SPORTS. (Darn, I'll have to see if I can get my money back from that ice hockey team I signed up for.)

I am home now and feeling a lot better, although still extremely tired and a bit sore. Ryan and the kids have been great and although it goes against everything I believe in, I've been sitting and resting a lot. I'm not sure I'll get used to "taking it easy" but I'll do it.

I am so grateful for our friends and family who went overboard taking care of us while I was gone and since I've been home. We've had flowers and dinners and fruit and cards and treats and laundry fairies and we even walked in on a few dear friends cleaning my house while I was gone. (Mortifying and heart warming at the same time.) Some generous and kind souls brought an envelope of money to help us with medical bills. I am overwhelmed in so many ways at how charitable and kind people have been with us. I couldn't ask for better people to be around us in this time of need.

We are now facing the challenge of figuring out how to pay for my insanely expensive injections that our insurance company is saying they won't cover. We have several options that include getting the insurance company to make an exception for us, getting help from the drug company themselves, or road tripping it to Canada or Mexico. The latter sounds like the craziest option, I know, but at this point it is also seeming like the one that might be the most feasible.

Please know that I am okay and we believe the baby will be just fine. We would love and appreciate all of your prayers. I could use some extra ones to make sure I don't fall and trip and hit my head...

Unexpected Expecting News

So before I share the scariness of my ER trip, I must share the joyful news to all of blogland...

We are going to have a baby!

I have told some people around here, but we hadn't made any formal announcement on the blog because we wanted to wait until most of the risk of miscarriage had past. I'm due on March 22nd and we are thrilled. We had tried and tried (including some infertility treatments) for several years and I had finally gotten to the point that I was comfortable with the two children that we have. Ryan and I both felt like we were just done having kids. I was finished hoping and expecting and planning every month. I was done counting days and marking the calendar and taking tests a few days before they would even show anything. We were both shocked and so happy to find out on July 24th that I am pregnant! I took a test because I thought I might be a couple of weeks late and I was feeling a little nauseated... but fully expected it to be negative, but at least it would give me some peace of mind. It was a surprise to see the two lines show up (I'll spare you the photo) but it was a definite positive test. An ultrasound a couple of weeks later confirmed that there is just one baby (good thing... I had a dream that I was having triplets--girls--and I could only come up with names for two of them, so I kept trying to send one back) and that everything looked normal!

It's been hard not to shout it from the mountain tops because we are so excited and Olivia and Coleman are bursting with happiness. Coleman kisses 'the baby' every night and keeps telling me he can already see it (I think that's just my normal jelly belly, but that's okay!). Olivia hopes for a girl, Coleman hopes for a boy, and I am just grateful that another little spirit will join our family. We hope and pray that everything will go well with the rest of the pregnancy.

Stay tuned...

"Say Eight!"

So early Thursday morning Ryan had to take me to the emergency room. I'll share more details later, but I just wanted to give a little precursor laugh-fest to let you know my frame of mind despite the excruciating pain I was in. Brian Regan is hilarious, and his monologue on ER visits touch on all of the crazy things that go along with a trip to the ER.

Emergency Room Part 1

Emergency Room Part 2

I have to admit, I said eight, and the relief was well worth it.

I'm going to be okay but it looks like a long and expensive road ahead....

**Have you watched Brian Regan before?
**Any trips to the ER lately?
**Looking forward to more details of my ER visit?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Words to Live By

So I rarely read my horoscope, but during a short lull in my spur-of-the-moment PTA volunteering this afternoon (which interrupted my laundry day, my "free" day to sew a quilt and work on dinner for a friend, not to mention the only day this week that I was just glad to be home with nowhere to go) I opened up the local paper and came upon the horoscope section. Mine read:

"If you overload your agenda you
will end up feeling anxious."

Huh, I never would have guessed. How I wish I had read that say, 15 or 20 years ago? I could have saved myself a whole lot of anxiousness.

**Do you overload your agenda?