Saturday, November 29, 2008

Responding to a "tag"...

Well, Rilla tagged me to post pictures that aren't "all that" and wouldn't make it in my blog otherwise...I have a ton, I'm sure. But, I'll just post a few! I will also tag Kristen, Becky, and Norma to do the same, if you dare!

Poor Alyssa got a bit of a butt shot here!

Zach looks a little bit drunk! He was really sick last Christmas and had a high fever - this is our only pic of him smiling - it looks like it hurts to even smile, doesn't it?

Alyssa fell asleep in her Bumbo, wedged against her activity tray. OUCH!
Zach clocked Emma in the head and gave her a bad bruise - we recorded it for posterity!
Reagan just didn't want to have his pic taken that day!
My hair was too short in this one, sideways stripes are just wrong, and I hadn't lost all my baby weight yet...Nuff said!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

So Thankful...

I am so thankful for so many things in my life.

1. The opportunity to be a mother. It took so many years for this wish to be fulfilled. I have been blessed with four great kids, all different personalities, each very special in their own way.

2. Zach is my thinker. He is clever and mischievous, can make some little doodad out of any little bit of garbage that he finds. He is very artistic and can have a sweet, thoughtful disposition at times.

3. Reagan is my charmer. He is also very clever, can remember movie scenes and act them out for us. A little stubborn, but very loving. He is my kids that still gives spontaneous hugs and kisses when I need them the most.

4. Emma is my sweet girl. She loves to do things with me and be like me. She is quick to give hugs and likes to cuddle still. Going through a bit of an attitude right now, but the sweet girl still shines through. Emma is learning so many things and loves to draw, practice writing, and play with playdoh. She is very happy when she can do things independently.

5. Alyssa is my sassy girl. She is really developing a cute personality at a fast pace! She climbs everything, gets into everything else, and is so darn smart! She points at things and says "What's Dat?", looks for me when I am gone and comes running when she sees M&M's!

6. Clay is a wonderful husband and father. He supports me, even when I am wrong at times. He loves our kids and treats them so well. He honestly enjoys being with his kids and caring for them (most of the time). He is my quiet voice in a constant storm. His calm personality compliments my fiery temper, most of the time. I am very lucky to have him as my eternal mate.

7. We are living in a nice home that is ours! We were so excited to be able to buy this home this year.

8. We are blessed to live in a time with medical advances. Many of us in our family would not be here right now if it wasn't for advanced medical science and for doctors who are educated to know how to heal and help us.

9. I am thankful for a supportive family. We might not always get along, but when the chips are down, we have each other's backs.

10. I am glad that I have hobbies and interests that keep me busy and my mind sharp.

11. I am thankful for the abilities that we have been given to help each other and ourselves to better our communities and families.

12. I am blessed to be a member of a strong church with leadership that is wise and loving.

13. I am grateful that the God I know is not a vengeful God, but a merciful and loving God.

14. I am so happy that my kids love to attend church and learn about our Savior.

15. I am very blessed to have my parents who have been married for 34 years and have shown me that it is possible to stay married and raise kids for a really long time - and still love each other.

16. I am thankful for good friends who lift me up when I need lifting, listen to me when I need to vent, and still answer their phones! Thank you, Stacy.

17. I am thankful for Christmas, not for the presents, but for the wonderful time of year that it is and the renewal of my faith that occurs each Christmas season.

18. I am thankful that my husband is not a complete sports fanatic and still talks to me during football season (even if he does watch a game here and there).

19. I am thankful for a ton of nephews that make me smile when I see them, or laugh when I hear about their crazy antics!

20. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to get to know my fellow RS sisters better.

21. I am thankful for chocolate - sometimes I wouldn't get through the day without a couple of M&M's to keep my equilibrium up! I heart chocolate!

22. I am so glad that we were given the capacity in our hearts to love more and more, each new person that leaves a footprint doesn't make the space grow smaller, it just grows bigger (like the Grinch).

23. I am thankful for General Tso's chicken...because it tastes so darn good sometimes - even if you can't taste anything afterward!

24. I am thankful for modern technology that helps us keep in touch with our loved ones and learn new things everyday. What would I do without the internet?

25. I am thankful for experiences that have been tough to get through but have given me insight and true empathy for other people in the same or similar situations. Thank you, Jackson.

Happy Thanksgiving to all...we had a great day, I hope you have too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A sort of diagnosis...

Emma came home from the hospital on Sunday afternoon. She is still feeling pretty puny, not eating much, etc. but doing okay. Today we went to her already scheduled GI specialist visit. The doctor thinks that she has a condition called "Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome". This is a condition where kids just get sick for no apparent reason several times a month. It can take hours or days to improve. She has prescribed some medication to help us hold it off when we see the first signs of it coming. We are also having an ultrasound on her abdomen on Monday, just to rule out any other abnormalities.

Hmmm...Another day, another challenge! Oh well, at least Alyssa is pretty healthy...One out of four!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sick little girl...

Emma has always been very sickly, but lately it has gotten worse. Every few weeks, she will get a fever or be vomiting for several days in a row. She is extremely lethargic and pale. We have been watching her closely, trying to see what triggers her "attacks" since it doesn't seem to be a flu bug or anything.

Last Sunday, she started out the same old pattern - lethargic, pale, throwing up by 10 pm. She has been like this for most of the week - with a fever here and there (for extra fun)...She was in the ER on Monday night (they didn't do anything), the doctor Tuesday morning, and has been out of school all but one day this week.

Sooo - this morning, I decided that I'd better get her into the on call doctor and try to get her some help (we suspected that she was dehydrated). They did bloodwork, urinalysis, and an x-ray - gave us sips of water that she had to keep down before leaving, then sent us on our way. An hour later, she was puking in the parking lot at Panera bread - all water that she had just had at the doctor's office. Called the on call nurse again...the worthless bag of rocks that she is - and tried to get the doctor to call us back (he said that he would admit her if she had thrown up at his office, gave her a phenergan, and told us that she was definitely dehydrated, so we thought he would go ahead and admit her). The nurse REFUSED to get the doctor for us - told us to go to the ER instead, that the doctor didn't need to call us back, that they were just on call, not actually available. ???????? WHAT? I am so confused as to why the heck they are even called "on call" if you can't reach them on the weekend?

Anyway, Emma looked like a walking cadaver by this point, so Dad and Adam gave her a blessing in the Sam's Club parking lot, and off I went - back to the ER. This time, we got a doctor who listened to me - tried to get in touch with the on call pediatrician for us - and put her on an IV because she was obviously dehydrated. Mom and Dad stopped by to give us some moral support (Thanks, Mom and Dad - and Happy 34th Anniversary! Sorry you had to spend several hours with us in the hospital, but glad you were there!).

They decided to admit her to hydrate her overnight, so I am now sitting on an Oh, so comfortable cot with my laptop (thank heavens for laptops). Emma is already looking so much better - her little face is filling out again, her eyes aren't all sunken in, and she is resting comfortably.

We will most likely be released tomorrow if all goes well - and then we will see a GI specialist next week, hopefully to find the cause of her frequent tummy maladies.

I am so tired - I could sleep for a week...and I miss my other kids - spent all of today doing the doctor thing...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday, Emma Elizabeth!

Same day, different birthday!!! That is the way it is with twins, everything all lumped together in one...I try to make it a bit individual for them, by making them their own cakes - no shared presents, etc. But, it can be an expensive undertaking for parents of multiples!!! We also have 4 birthdays within a month and a half of each other, so that doesn't help!

Emma Elizabeth has always been my little buddy...she loves girly things, to my great joy! She is a little princess, was the 1st grand-daughter, and is a little (okay, a lot) spoiled! She is also a sweet girl, most of the time!

Emma has grown up a lot in the past year - she is now going to pre-k and loves it! She is pretty social and it has been good for her to be at school, instead of stagnating at home with mom! There are many Emma-ism's that she hasn't quite grown out of, so she isn't quite as big as she thinks she is! The other day, she asked me if she could sit in the front seat...she probably won't be able to sit in the front seat in college if she continues with her current growth pattern...most five year olds weigh a lot more than 28 lbs.!

Emma loves princesses, purses, makeup, jewelry, name it - she loves it! She also has a tomboy side (with 2 brothers and a gazillion boy cousins, how could she not?) so she also doesn't mind getting a bit dirty.

Emma also has a good little heart, she is compassionate when someone is hurt - and she still calls Reagan "my best friend".

I made Emma's Tinkerbell cake (quite an undertaking - I had to create a garden swing for the fairy to sit on) and she got a Princess scooter, clothes, a book, fairies, and a Princess nightlight. She loves everything- and is itching to ride her scooter when she gets home from school!

Happy Birthday, sweet Emma! We love you so much and are enjoying watching you grow each day!

Happy 5th Birthday, Reagan Michael!

Today is Reagan's 5th birthday! I can't believe that my twins are already 5 years old! Where has the time gone?

Reagan is a special little boy...he has his "brat" moments, as all kids do (especially kids with autism), but he has a good little heart...He is my only "big" kid who still gives me spontaneous kisses, without wanting anything in return! I am his champion, have worked and pushed to get him to where he is through early intervention, speech studies, surgeries, etc. He calls me "Money" kind of with a little British inflection!

Reagan loves all boy things - spiderman, transformers, Indiana Jones, Star Wars...he also loves electronics and music. He has the best rhythm out of all of my kids - he gets the groove on!

We celebrated the twins birthday yesterday with a family party...I made the Indiana Jones cake - he went nuts over it! He loves all of his a Harley Davidson scooter, a game, Indiana Jones figures, a Spiderman nightlight, and a Batman book. Today, he has been very occupied playing with his new treasures. He slept with the book and the figures, and would have taken the scooter to bed if we had let him!

Happy Birthday, Reagan! We love you so much...and can't imagine our lives without the joy you have brought us!

Twins Birth Story...

Today is the twins birthday...I want to blog about their birth, then I will also blog about each of will hear from me a lot today!

Here is a brief birth summary, for posterity's sake...

On November 2, 2003, I was 36 weeks pregnant with twins and extremely high risk. My BP had been up, so I was having NST's 2-3 times per week. (A lot of fun with a 2 1/2 year old Zach by my side!) Mom had just flown to CA to be with me until the birth the day before...she was pretty worried about me - I was very, very swollen. My feet had grown an entire size they were so big. It was a Sunday, and I had had it. I wanted them out - was extremely scared that something was going to happen at this point, since we had a stillborn baby (at 18 weeks) in 2002. Felt like we were on borrowed time at this point. We called my visiting teacher's husband over for a priesthood blessing - was told that the doctors would do what needed to be done for the safety of me and the babies.

Fast forward to the next day...I went in for my NST - hooked up to monitors, etc. for an hour. My BP was really high and the babies weren't moving much. They sent me over to L&D to be evaluated. I was stressed out, because I had a doctor's appointment and he had promised to schedule the birth that day. They sent me to L&D instead. I was crying, because I figured they would just send me home again, and I would miss my appointment. A young doctor actually read my chart and saw how high risk I was. By this time, my BP had soared to 205/190. They decided to do an emergency c-section based on that and my past history.

At 4:41 pm, Reagan Michael was born. He was twin A, so the first to make his entrance. He was not crying. We thought that they would be so healthy, since I had made it to almost 37 weeks, considered full-term for twins. He only weighed 3 lbs, 6 oz. and was 15 inches long. So small and scary. We were in shock that he was so little. There was no way that we were off on the due date since these were fertility babies, so there were definite complications with the pregnancy because of my pregnancy induced hypertension.

At 4:43 pm, Emma Elizabeth was born. Twin B - my fiesty little girl! She was crying very weakly. We were asking why they weren't crying much, and all we heard was a flurry of medical personnel checking them over. Emma weighed 4 lbs, 7 oz and was 17 inches long, so she was a little bit bigger, but not much.

I felt a lot of pressure at this point and remember asking if there was another one! Thank heavens, the answer was "no"!

They weighed and measured them, whisked them over for me to see - then took them to the special care nursery. I was sewn up and put in a hospital room on Mag sulfate (nasty stuff) until my BP went down a few days later. I was not allowed to see them except for when a sweet nurse took pity on me and brought them to me on the sly.

I felt bad that they were so small, but the doctor that delivered them said that she knew we had made the right decision because their weights were so different, it was obvious that they were in trouble. We are so thankful that our doctors made the decision to take them that day.

I was released from the hospital 5 days later, Emma came home at 10 days old and Reagan joined us at 3 weeks old. On to the joys of having twins!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The last yard sale...

For the past year and a half, my sisters and mom and I have been purging our houses of things that we don't need. From what I can remember, we have had 4 yard sales (we call them Moving sales, because someone is always moving)...maybe 5 - it is all fuzzy right now!

Anyway, with Kristen moving this week, we decided to give it another go - and get rid of more things. I dug up a bunch of things that I am sick of dealing with (toys, clothes, baby furniture, etc.), Mom found some things, and Kristen got rid of as much as she could so that she doesn't have to move/pack it.

We began at 5 am, with Kristen and I setting things up at her house...she lives on a very busy street - great for sale traffic. She also has a gigantic driveway, so there is plenty of room. We are so good at setting things up now, it didn't take very long. We now know where the electronic section, clothes section, large item section, etc. goes in order to have the best layout.

This is a bittersweet sale, because it will be Kristen's last time with - I commemorated the event with pictures! (I normally don't give a darn about pics at garage sales, but was feeling nostalgic, I guess!) My best pictures were of little Kade. While he was sitting in his stroller, I gave him several toys that I was selling. Someone let him out and he went and got his little red wagon. He put his new treasures into the wagon, then pulled it behind him as he shopped for more items in the boxes! It was the cutest thing! I am really going to miss this little guy...

We made over 300.00 total at this sale - so, not too shabby, considering we just had another sale a few months ago. I think that I am finally to the point that I won't have to purge anymore - we fit into our house now! More importantly, my van finally fits into our garage! Clay was motivated and organized the garage (with my expert supervision) this weekend. While we still have things to put away, it is all organized now - so it shouldn't be too difficult. Quite a productive weekend!

Halloween is over...

It is amazing to me how fast the rest of the year goes once Halloween is gone. We chose to be more low-key this year, didn't do the church Trunk-or-Treat (just didn't feel like dealing with a crowd of people - and Reagan's autism at the same time). Zach was an army guy, Reagan was the Incredible Hulk, Emma was a witch at school, and a Southern Belle, and Alyssa was Minnie Mouse...they were pretty cute!

We went to Bar-B-Cutie for dinner because they had free meals for the kids, if they dressed up, with the purchase of adult dinners. This was a most excellent choice (in the spirit of Bill and Ted)...Yummy, Yummy food! We met Kristen and Chad and Chad's dad and grandpa there - got a huge table and filled up!

Next, we decided to go to Mom and Dad's house, so they could see the kids in costume - we also went TOT at their next door neighbor's house.We got a family pic, but it was impossible to get everyone looking at the camera! We finally gave up and went with this one - because we actually look good in it! There is also a picture here with my sweet little nephew, Campbell - my sister Karen's baby (3 months old). He was a tiger for cute!

Finally, we headed to Kristen's neighborhood and the kids went to 10 houses or so...plenty of candy and they walked a few blocks in the chilly night air, so they were done!

We went home and as they were getting out of the car, Zach tripped over Emma (poor little Emma was asleep in her seat and he fell on her face) he gave her a bloody nose - blood everywhere! It was a little bit grisly all over her Southern Belle costume. We cleaned her up, then put them all to bed - Halloween was over!

The rest of the night, Clay and I loaded up my van with stuff for our garage sale that we were going to have on Saturday.