Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Christmas Symphony

Last year we went to the symphony with our girls and their cousins and grandparents. We had such a good time we decided to do it again this year. It is really fun taking the light rail train up town and seeing Santa Claus with the symphony and hearing beautiful Christmas songs. We had a great time. Then we love to go take the train back the the Little America hotel and eat in their restaurant. I was so happy they even had a gluten-free menu. The food was very good and my girls ate every bit of it. After wards we went and took pictures in front of the beautiful trees in the lobby.

Emily and Lindsey with their cousins, Kara at the top, Sienna at the bottom and our Alex on the right.

Waiting for the train in the cold.

Crazy Emily and Kara on the train.

Christmas pictures. They all matched perfectly and we did not plan it.

Beautiful girls!

They are so cute looking at the gingerbread house and Sienna in the corner picking her nose is priceless.

Before Bed

I love that Emily and Lindsey are so good about going to bed now. Emily gets her own pjs on and we help Lindsey get hers. They bring us their toothbrushes and we help them brush it before they have their turn. They get their books for their stories, we sing, pray and then they go get in their own beds. Its pretty awesome.

I remember being the kid who tried to weasel my way out of going to bed. "Can I have a glass of water?" Of course my kids try this too. They wouldn't be kids if they didn't. But they still go to bed pretty easy and I am so thankful for that. I hear them in there laughing and giggling and sometimes I allow reading time. In general though, they are great.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas, the Girls and Green Walls

I was so happy when I got my Christmas present early in the mail. A new digital camera. I really needed one. I was getting so sick of blurry pictures and a mediocre camera that I was hardly taking any pictures. There was a great deal and I found an awesome Fugifilm FinePix camera. So far I am loving the look and quality of the photos. I also need to show off my green walls. The living room walls are a very light green. So light you don't notice until you see it offset by the white trim and the dark green accent wall.

You can only see part of the light green wall off to the side. The girls have been excited to pose for the camera and be my objects to test it on.

I really like how the dark green wall makes the white railing and light fixture stand out. I think it is much cooler in real life and the pictures doesn't do it justice. This very tall ceiling was HARD to paint, but I did it. This is the only thing I have painted so far, but it will NOT be the last.

Looking at their Daddy and not at the camera, but they are both so cute.

Grumpy contest. I don't know who wins, they both do a good job at it.

It is very fun this year to have a fireplace to decorate around. I found a really good deal on the Fisher Price little people nativity this year and it has been very played with.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I have had so many reflections since being home. While I was in the hospital my good friends lost a child who lived only 11 hours from severe heart defects. They knew he wouldn't live long, but nothing prepares you for something like that. They were in the hospital next to mine that was connected by a long hall way. We visited each other back and forth, unable to do much except try to comfort and fill the long hospital hours. I attended their little son's funeral and someone gave a wonderful talk about a father and son. For medical reasons the son was in pain and the father held him during a very hard procedure. He prayed to God that he could take the pain from his hurting son and give it to him to bare. He felt the Lord say "You can't. But My Son can." I have thought about that when Emily was in pain in the hospital, how I had wished it was me hurting instead of her. Crying on the phone to Robert that I would loose all I had to take care of Emily. And how helpless I felt when I couldn't take it away, but I could pray that Jesus would.

Before Emily went to the hospital we had a Family Home Evening about the 2,000 stripling warriors in the book of Alma. We talked about how brave they were going to battle even though they knew it would be hard. They had faith that God would be with them. That we can do hard things with Christ there to help us. We also talked about how they didn't doubt that their "mother's knew it". That they knew the gospel and taught it to their sons. Emily was given a blessing before surgery and in the hospital she said to me "Mommy, I really hope there is a Heavenly Father." I told her that I DO know there is and that just like those sons, she needs to know that her mother KNOWS it. The Lord strengthened me during my trials, just as I watched Him strengthen my friends during theirs.

One could say October was a hard month, but as my mother-in-law and I said today, it was a blessed month. Emily is well, my sister-in-law got clean, no cancer scan for the first time in 2 years and my sister and other sister-in-law went through the temple.

Another reflection comes from Nienie's blog. I have become a reader. I love her faith and spirit and she inspires me to be a better mom. What impresses me so much is what a loving mother and wife she was before her accident and how strong she continues to be. It humbles me when I had a not so patient day with my kids today. A day that I wish I could have rewound and done a little better, especially when I am so grateful to have them. The little things they do are so sweet. Like Lindsey telling me that the wind was blowing her bangs away and now they won't be cute. I love my girls. I also need to be a better picture taker- which inspires me to search for a new camera. The reflections of a mom late at night, too late at night, can bring her to tears of gratitude and repentance to be a better mom overall.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Emily and the Ruptured Appendix

We are home now, released Friday the 23 of October. Since then I have been recovering and cleaning the house I missed SO much. We have lots of sad and good pictures to remember this not so fun experience, but we are so very grateful for the outcome of our sweet little girl being well.

Emily got sick on a Sunday and threw up all morning. The next day began with fevers of 103 and pain in her stomach. I figured it was just the flu and hunkered down to wait it out. However, the next day the fevers were gone, but the pain had intensified. I thought it was a bladder infection like the one she had had 9 months before so I took her into the doctor. They tested her urine and found that wasn't the problem and then the light bulb went on that it could be her appendix. We got an ultra sound that showed what we thought. I had to call Robert from work and also call grandma to come get Lindsey and off to the ER at Primary Children's hospital. After some tests and talks with the surgeon- who is amazing by the way!- they said they were pretty sure it had already ruptured by her symptoms. They took her up to surgery right away and our poor little girl was already asleep from all of the pain. Surgery went well, but they told us they have 5 levels of rupture and she was level 5.

Her pre-surgery kitty from the hospital that she named Lucy. And her post surgery animal she named Cassie. She asked us to help her with a name for her kitty and we suggested lovely names like "Dumpling" or "Sprinkles" to which she replied "Those aren't names those are food." So Lucy it is. These are post-surgery pictures. She did really well after surgery.

Sitting up to watch a movie with her smiley face bandage for her IV that pumped fluids and antibiotics into her. Then things took a bad turn. They gave her a day of fluids only and then upgraded her to foods. That was when she started vomiting really bad smelling bile. Dark green nasty stuff. Unfortunately the first time it happened the nurse didn't record it. When it happened again that night they told me they would need to put an NG tube in her nose and to her stomach to pump out the fluid- doing this with NO sedation. I was terrified! It was late, I was alone and had to be outside of the room hearing the nurses hold her down while the shoved a tube down her nose and throat. I cried for a long time and called Robert on the phone sobbing. It was heart breaking. At 3:00 in the morning she told me she had ripped it out during her sleep and they had to come do it again. She didn't take it out a second time.

Emily spent a week looking like this. She couldn't eat or drink, didn't have the energy to play and was very miserable. She spent a good part of the day with a bucket to her face so she could throw up if she needed to. Even though she had this horrible tube down her throat it was still important that she get up and walk 4 times a day and do her breathing exercises every hour. She hated doing it, but she did it. She kept herself from getting pneumonia because of her efforts. We would have to unhook her drain and take a bucket on our walks so she could puke. Until one of our favorite nurses decided to put the end of it in a baby diaper to drain so she wouldn't be sick to her stomach. It worked wonders.

After a week of misery she was able to play some. She got a CT scan which she said was very scary and they gave her a glass doll because she was so brave. The scan was to check for abscess infections. It showed none. Here she is coloring her hospital doll.

Primary Children's is an AMAZING hospital! Every day they have an activity for the kids to do, they have a playroom with closets of toys, movies, therapy dogs and cats to visit sick kids, books to borrow and some to take home, volunteers to come and read to them, etc. etc. We were so amazed by them and are so grateful to all those that helped. We are wanting to donate to The Festival of Trees this year that helps the many kids that need it. So many children there stay for months at a time for various problems including cancer.

This is the wonderfully horrible pull out bed that I slept on 5 days a week and Robert slept on for the weekends. It was terrible!!

Emily finally got that horrible NG tube out. She was so happy to be rid of it she told them she would pull it out herself and she did! Here she is playing with playdough and a toy pretzel.

The many toys she got from the hospital. This is a small portion. There was so much more.

Emily and the only therapy cat named Bullet. This cat is insured for 1 million dollars.

Robert had his 30th birthday on the 21 of October while Emily was still in the hospital. Emily wanted so much to celebrate his birthday still. She loves birthdays no matter who is having it. So we spent the day making a card for her Daddy. She did a great job too.

Before his birthday she started spiking a fever of 104 so off to the CT she went. She has decided that tubes are no good by this time. She had the tube in her nose, the tube in her bottom for the last CT and she has a tube in her arm for her antibiotics. They put a PICC line to her heart so they could give her more food sustaining IVs so she wouldn't loose weight. The second CT showed and abscess on one side so she went down to radiology to get it drained under sedation. Turns out the radiologist was an old Bishop at the University of Utah. Emily was hilarious under the sedation. Laughing and giggling and asking people if they had any glasses for her. Then they kicked me out to put the tube in to drain the abscess. So another lovely tube.

Sleepy Emily.

Emily had 3 Aunts come and stay with her for a couple hours so Robert and I could do something for his birthday and actually see each other since we hadn't done that in so many days. We just traded off hospital stays and going to spend time with Lindsey who was with her grandma all this time. We were so grateful she loves and knows her grandma so well so that she was okay to be with her. We don't know what we would have done without her grandparents help.

Emily is the nurse putting an IV in for her hospital doll with the child life therapist at the hospital. I called them up to give her some attention because for the first week when she was so sick Emily hardly talked at all.

Cute nurse Emily!

Painting her birdhouse. They decided to pull Emily from her antibiotics and IV fluids to see what would happen. We were being trained to have her go home with a PICC line and a home care nurse to give her daily antibiotics. Well after pulling her off of them a fever began. It got to 101 and then was gone for 2 days. They pulled out her drain and took her PICC line out. She was eating and keeping it down so they sent us home.

After 17 days in the hospital we felt like we missed out on beautiful fall. We went to Robert's parents house to pick up Lindsey and Emily was so happy to be outside she wanted to play in a pile of grandma's leaves.

Lindsey missed being home, her own bed and her family.

It has been a hard few weeks and makes us appreciate being in our own home so much. Emily has lost about 8-10 lbs and we are working to build her strength back up. We aren't going out much in the hopes to avoid any other illnesses. I don't think our little Emily could handle it right now. We are grateful to God that she is okay.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Come Join As A Mom!

Come join the movement. More information is here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Emily in the Hospital

Our sweet Emily's appendix burst last Tuesday and she has been in the hospital since. She was sick on Sunday, fever on Monday and in agony on Tuesday so I got her into the doctor in the morning. I thought it was a bladder infection. Turns out that was not the problem. We took her up to Primary Children's hospital and they got her into surgery. It went well, but she is a level 5 on a scale of rupture. There are lots of complications right now and we don't know how long she will be there. I will update more when I have time. Please pray for our sweet Emily to get better quickly.

Monday, October 5, 2009

General Conference Weekend

It was another amazing Conference. Emily has been sick since Sunday and we are going to take her to the doctor for what we believe is another bladder infection. Poor thing! Lindsey has been so bored without her friend to play with. She doesn't quite know how to play with toys alone like Emily who had a lot of practice her first few years of life. But we had a quite Sunday listening to the hymns and wonderful talks.

I loved Elder Oaks talk about the love of God. That God doesn't need our love and us not loving Him doesn't diminish His power, but WE need His love. And that some suppose that because He loves us that means we have no need to obey Him. That He will understand, beat us with a few stripes and that will be enough. But even though His love doesn't change, He still requires us to obey Him.

And the talk that stuck out to me so profoundly was that of Elder Holland's. It was an amazing testimony of the Book of Mormon. I have been touched by many words of prophets and apostles. This talk touched me very deeply. I can't put into words what he said because it needs to be heard directly from him. So if you missed it, DON'T miss it! Listen to it HERE

I am so grateful for Conference and for what I learned about charity, service, Christ's love, missionary work, etc. Every Conference I come back edified and driven to do better.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Propaganda In Schools

I am moving this post over to my political blog because it bugs to be on my main one. So enjoy it over there.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vacation 2009!

We haven't really had a family vacation in 6 years. Robert and I went to Disneyland for our 1 year Anniversary and we were both sick during the whole thing and raced home to the doctor. Turns out part of my sickness was because I was pregnant in Disneyland and didn't know it. We have always wanted to take a vacation, but work and school have kept us busy and finances have been tight. Things let up for us this year and we have been very blessed. It was time to re-do our Disney vacation and this time bring our 2 kiddos with us. We didn't want to go alone though so we invited Robert's parents and Grandma to come with us. We all had a BLAST!! We are sad it is over. But we have great memories and I took some pictures to help us remember it.

Emily hanging out at our fantastic hotel complete with free shuttle, complimentary breakfast (and not just stale bagels and juice, pancakes, eggs, bacon, cereal, fruit, etc.) and excellent service. We found an awesome deal online and on one morning all the shuttles were full so the assistant manager gave us a ride. They were GREAT!

Did I mention it came with a fridge to keep all our snacks and goodies?

The Disneyland shuttle drop off.

The main entrance!

In front of the castle. They are SO cute! I never knew Disneyland could be so fun until I had kids. It was so worth everything to see them get so excited and talk about what they saw and did.

Lindsey called this "Its a small world after all" and has been singing the song since the first day when we went on it. We only did it once, but she remembers it.

ToonTown is also a good climbing town.

Lindsey chillin' on the stairs of Mark Twain's boat.

Since we went during the "off" season there were only fireworks on the first night we were there. The girls loved them if you can't tell by the expressions on their faces, their eyes big as saucers and their mouths wide open.

We spent a day in Sea World and had a good time there.

The best part about Sea World was the Shamu show. That was incredible and we crazily sat in the "soak zone" and got pretty wet. Lindsey was NOT happy about that and told Shamu that by waving her angry fist in the air. But I convinced her to do the Shamu fin shout and then it was okay.

Robert's Grandma Betty and his mom Arlene and dad Jay. They were the ones who so kindly took us to Sea World. It was wonderful.

In one of the theaters they have some rooms that follow some of the Disney movies. This is Beast's library from Beauty and the Beast. It had interactive books and the fire would go out and the petals on the rose would fall. Then you could go into Ursula's lair and she would steal your voice when you sang some Disney songs. It was really fun! And the girls loved talking to Crush the turtle and Emily was so excited that he talked to her!

Riding in Flik's raisin hot air balloons.

Pixar had an awesome parade of the characters from the many movies. Lindsey loved Boo of course and that was one of the rides she really liked was Monster's Inc. She was afraid of many of the old Disney movie rides, but Winnie the Pooh and Monster's were great for her. Emily went on the Matterhorn and Splash Mountain and hated them both.

Lindsey hopping during the Pixar parade. We were all SO tired every night and my feet were throbbing they hurt so bad.

We saw our good friend's the Bytheway's who live about 20 minutes away in Disneyland on our last day. It was totally a miracle we found them in the crowds of people and neither one of us knew we were going to be there. And turns out they were in Sea World the same day we were there too. It was so weird we had to get a picture of it!

I promised Emily even with my motion sick tummy that I would go on the tea cups with her. I made it and it wasn't that bad.

Dancing with daddy the last night. It was so beautifully lit up it was SO sad to leave. I never realized I would love it so much, but I really did. It felt so magical and special and great to have my girls with me and Grandparents too.

The beach at California. We had such a good time collecting sea shells, wading in the ocean and playing in the sand. We got all disgusting, but didn't care.

We had such an amazing time and just hope to be able to do it again some day. Our girls won't remember it, but we will and it was so worth it. They are only small for so long and then its gone.