Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Man Trip: Monster Truck Show

Lance spontaneously took Kimball on a man trip for the afternoon to the monster truck show. I would've liked to go as a family but the noise would've been too much for Cora and it would've been an expensive afternoon so I'm glad it was just the boys. They had such a great time!! Kimball is now obsessed with monster trucks and watching You Tube videos of them. His favorite truck was the Halloween truck (Grave Digger) and after the show they topped off the day with ice cream. Because you know, the snacks at the show were ridiculously priced, I mean who's going to pay $10 for cotton candy?! I'm so glad Lance takes opportunities for one-on-one quality time with the kids, they'll remember that forever.

Little Every MOMents

Can you say cabin fever?

The Best Daddy

I was asked by Cora's sunbeam teacher for a picture of her and Lance together and as I was looking for one I realized the only picture I have of just the two of them is from her blessing day. I guess it's time for one!

And this guy is seriously the BEST. DAD. EVER. I cannot wait for the baby to meet him!

Getting Ready For Baby

My project for all of January has been de-cluttering the house and making room for the baby. We switched rooms with the kids so they're now downstairs by the kitchen and Lance and I are upstairs. The baby will go in that other little bedroom upstairs so I think it'll work out perfectly. I do love having the kids on the main floor since that's where we spend the majority of the time and now they actually play in their room which is nice! Since they have an actual closet all the toys can be put away behind closed doors - it's really quite a nice feeling. 

I went through every closet, nook, and cranny and gave about 6 bags of stuff to Goodwill. Lance went through all the office stuff and we got rid of 5 boxes from there. As I brought in boxes of baby stuff I got all the infant boy clothes, blankets, and burp rags washed up and put in the baby's room. Since this is our last baby and we now know that it's a boy I was able to get rid of the girl clothes so there went another 6 boxes from the garage; a friend of a gal in our ward is having her first baby girl and she's a single mother so I gave all of the girl stuff to her, hopefully she can get some good use out of it. Besides having the crib set up I am all ready for the baby, I've even bought a few packages of diapers to start stocking up.

I also made this rag blanket for the baby - monsters with bow ties. It was a quick project and I had it done in two days.
This little man is cooking nicely, we had another ultrasound since the first anatomy scan he didn't want to show his face or stomach. Everything looked good with no soft markers or congenital or genetic abnormalities - such a relief! My doctor discussed the pros and cons of doing another cesarean section verses a VBAC so Lance and I have a big decision to make there. I'm really terrified of labor but on the other hand, Cora's recovery was awful and I don't want to do that again either. I'm not really sure what to do at this point.

January Happenings

This winter has been one for the books that's for sure! We got lots of snow in December which I was ok with because it got me into the holiday spirit and we had a nice white Christmas. Then we continued to get more snow all through January and I've come to dislike the month of January, what a LONG month it was! When it wasn't snowing the temperatures would plummet into the single digits and below zero so it was frigidly cold. It is now February 1st and we haven't seen the ground for two months, we still have gobs and gobs of snow and ice. It's really starting to get old!

January was filled with illnesses, lots of snow and cold, and Lance had a record-breaking month as far as call volume so having him gone a lot didn't help with the cabin fever. December and January are always the busiest months of the year for him and January he did 206 calls for the month which is about 7 a day. But I guess that's good for business. Next week he has a meeting in Seattle - he's planned for the last several months to expand his removal services to the Seattle area and he's hoping to get it all set up and ready to go by May. He'll only contract with SCI to begin with and they have 11 locations so that will keep the staff busy. His current #2 guy is wanting to move to Seattle and will act as the manager for the area so he'll receive and dispatch all the calls. We'll have to get more vans, removal equipment, and 4-5 full time guys. The timing is just horrible with me having a baby at that time, Lance will be in Seattle quite a bit for the first few months but once it's up and running it should prove to be a good revenue booster and if things continue to go well then he can always offer his services to other funeral homes in the area. So we are praying that in the meantime this is a step in the right direction as far as business expansion, we definitely don't want to move to Seattle (especially me) so having a good manager and staff will be key.

Monday, January 9, 2017

2016 Summed Up

  • Dad was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy; Joseph broke his neck
  • Cora's tear duct tubes were removed but surgery wasn't successful; Cora's food allergies were negative for wheat, egg, and beef; Cora no longer needs her orthotics
  • Made a surprise trip to Twin Falls to visit mom, dad, and Christine; Lance and I went to Las Vegas without kids for four days
  • One year anniversary of self employment and the lights are still on
  • Lance and Kimball went on a man trip to Twin Falls
  • Attended Marty Meyers' funeral
  • Went to the Watson reunion and spent a few extra days with Mom and Christine in Boise
  • Lots of swimming and fun in the sun
  • My first year making homemade jam with my own raspberries
  • First camping trip with the kids - Kimball was attacked and bitten by a dog and Cora nearly strangled herself with floss 
  • Cora decided to talk
  • Christine, Mom, and Dad came to visit us in Spokane 
  • Baby #3 is on HIS way
  • Kimball started preschool
  • Kimball graduated from speech therapy
  • Cora graduated from the Guild School

My Rays of Sunshine

Oh these two cubs! They drive me up a wall sometimes. My patience while being pregnant is slim to none and the littlest things will really get me frustrated quick. I'm mom enough to admit it and ashamed as well, I just hope it passes quickly because I feel guilty a lot for being so short tempered sometimes. I blame it on the hormones. But aren't they just the cutest?! Cora's new little dress was so bright and cheery on this dreary Sunday morning and this is Kimball's first suit. A hand me down of course but he was so excited to look just like Daddy. Oh melt my heart!

Happy As A Clam

This winter has been brutal, today is January 9th and I haven't seen the ground in over six weeks! When it snows it snows a lot followed by several days of very frigid temperatures so the snow never melts, it just accumulates on top of old snow/ice. This particular morning with the wind chill it was -20 degrees at 8am while Cora and I were waiting for her bus. We waited for 30 minutes out there in the freezing air but she was just as happy as could be to go to school.

Little Everyday MOMents

I can't get this picture to turn, oh well. This was my view last week as Daddy was doing FHE on Sunday. The kids adore him and so do I!

Christmas Festivities

 The kids and I made jingle bell sticks.
Mom sent down this plastic makeup container - it was mine as a little girl and I can't believe mom kept it all these years. Needless to say, Cora loves it and all of her play makeup.
 Making gingerbread cookies with Dad.
 We've had a lot of snow!

 I even took the kids on the sleigh as I ran up and down the street pulling them.

 The Christmas Eve sing along, and the kids had their jingle bell sticks going in rhythm with Dad's ukulele.

These are the kid's new pajamas and their super hero mask and cape I made for them.
This is probably my favorite keepsake - Cora's class did homemade snow globes for all the parents, aren't they cute?!
We had a lovely Christmas together and it was so fitting that Christmas was on sunday, I loved going to church. We are so thankful for our families and miss them terribly especially during the holidays but I love my little family and all the memories we make!!

It's A Boy!!!

Around 15 weeks the hyperemesis started to ease up a bit which was right around Thanksgiving. Thank goodness!! With the other two pregnancies it was like a light switch - the nausea and vomiting was gone all of a sudden and I instantly had energy and strength back. This one was different, it was definitely a gradual process. I'd have a few good days here and there and then be back to being bedridden. It was frustrating. I waited a few more weeks for the nausea to subside altogether before I talked to my doctor about getting the PICC line removed. I was certainly anxious to have it out; it's extremely itchy under the dressing and trying to shower with my arm saran wrapped is obnoxious! But it was by far a huge life saver and I would never go through another pregnancy without a PICC line, it was bittersweet getting rid of it. That happened at 17 weeks.

We had our anatomy ultrasound at 20 weeks and found out that it's a boy!! I'm so thrilled and I didn't care what it was either way but I'm thrilled it's a boy and Kimball is very excited. Good news is that all the measuring and pictures they were able to get of each organ and limb looked good, no abnormalities or soft markers. The placenta is anterior so the baby's face was squished right up against it, they weren't able to get good measurements of the face or abdomen so I'll have another ultrasound in two weeks to check that. But so far everything is looking really good and normal.

I've gained back all the weight I've lost which was super fast compared to the last two times, he told me to watch what I eat so I'm not gaining too much weight. I can't help it though, if it sounds good and it stays down, I'm going to eat it! I do still throw up once or twice a week but it's definitely livable and nothing compared to the hyperemesis sickness. I'm so happy and relieved to be feeling better!!!

Quick Trip Home

The second weekend in December Lance let me fly home for a few days without the kids! I was so looking forward to it, I was losing sleep because I was so anxious for a break and excited to see family. One of the young women in our ward babysat the kids and stayed at the house overnight taking care of them since Lance had to work and had a ton of barbershop singing gigs going on. The kids had so much fun with Kendra and I'll admit, it was nice being missed.

My flight into SLC was awful, the worst flying experience ever! First off, it was at 6am and everything was going ok until halfway through the flight. I needed to throw up and I had a middle seat. I finally got into the aisle clutching my purse and a barf bag and made my way to the bathroom only to have the stewardess with the drink cart blocking the aisle. I had to run to the other end of the plane only to find it was occupied. So I threw up right there in front of everybody in first class. Yep.

Man, I couldn't get off that plane fast enough, I was so hot and sweaty and felt like I was about to pass out. After discovering hat my connecting flight was a few terminals away, I started to slowly make my way to the next gate. I walked about 50 feet and needed to throw up again. Ugh, why didn't I check my duffel bag?! It would've been so nice not to carry it around because after throwing up I had zero energy, zero strength, and zero motivation. I just found a chair to sit in and had to wait for an airport employee to walk by so they could help me get a wheelchair - there was no way I was going to make it through three terminals to my connecting flight.

Fast forward...I made it to Twin Falls and had to take a lengthy nap and be super cautious with my eating and activities for the rest of the day. I was so nauseous! But I was able to visit Adam and Lynnette that night for her birthday.

The next day I threw up some more but I got my strength and energy back which was nice to have on vacation! The rest of the time was spent with family at craft day, I invited myself to the Kinetico christmas party so I could see the rest of the family, dinner with Donna and Stephanie, and visiting with Christine. Christine let out her secret - she's pregnant too!!!!!!! I'm so excited to have someone share in my misery for the remaining months that I have but I'm so excited that we're pregnant together again!! I'm due mid May and she's due the end of July.

It was nice to be home for a visit but I would never fly again while pregnant, that was so awful. My flight home was delayed and I didn't get back until 1:30am but it was SO LOVELY to be greeted by the kids the next morning. I missed them so much and couldn't get enough of them!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tender Mercies From My Five Year Old

Let me preface this journal entry by saying that Kimball is my sensitive child. He's not a risk taker or a dare devil, he likes things to be planned and prepared. Some might call him a pansy or a wimp but he's not, he's just my sensitive child who's always concerned for others.

Today was not one of my better days. I was tired, weak, and nauseous all day and when I feel yucky then my patience is next to nothing. I wasn't a good mom today. I sighed a lot in the annoyed are-you-kidding-me-why- is-this-happening-right-now tone, I yelled and was super grumpy, and was not a nice mom. I finally just lost it as the kids were fighting me trying to get them to bed. I had a meltdown and just couldn't stop crying.

Kimball came in the living room and saw me fall to pieces. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. Kimball began apologizing for not eating his dinner (a very sore spot an hour previous) and said from now on he'd always eat whatever I fixed for him. He apologized for making me cry and I felt that I owed him an explanation. I tried explaining that even though we are happy to have another baby that the baby makes me very sick and sometimes when I'm not feeling very good I have hard days and lose my patience. I apologized to him for not being very nice, for not being the fun mom anymore, for yelling and losing my patience. I told him how much I loved him and that he would always be my best buddy.

Somehow in that moment Kimball grew into a wise 30 year old man who was filled with nothing but compassion for me. He started using a lot of hand gestures as he spoke and very matter-of-factly said he was sorry the baby makes me sick but not to worry because one day the baby will come out and I'll feel better. He said not to worry about Cora, that he'd take care of her and help her and I wouldn't have to worry about her. He said he loves the baby. He thanked me for letting a baby grow inside of me even though I get very sick. He told me again how much he loved me and all I could do was sob and hold him in a tight hug as long as he'd let me. He even rubbed my back to get me to stop crying.

Such a tender mercy from my sweet and forgiving five year old boy who proved to be much wiser than I ever knew. Oh how I love my little buddy!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

An Emotional and Exciting Birthday Celebration

Yesterday Cora turned 3 years old!!! With that, she also graduated from the Guild School. It was a very emotional day for me, again, remembering everything we've been through the last 3 years together. And look at her! She's absolutely amazing and we've been so incredibly blessed!!!

She was able to bring cupcakes to share with her class and have a little party with her classmates.

This is her current team: Alyssa-speech therapist, Lois-teacher, Dan-occupational therapist, Rebekah-teacher, and Ginette-physical therapist. Ginette is the only one who has been working with Cora for all 3 years and I knew she understood better than anyone what a momentous occasion it was because she's seen first hand how far Cora has come. Ginette will always have a place in my heart.
Saying a final good bye to the fish.
And our own little birthday party! All Cora wanted was cake, she kept saying cake over and over all day long.

She got a baby from Grandma Cox and some dollhouse furniture from Grandma Pettingill. I made her some dress up skirts and no-mess make up and bracelets, and got some underwear (time to potty train now that she can say poo and pee), and piggy bank. She loves the dress up shoes and Kimball had a great time pretending with her!

This. This picture sums up pretty well the last three years I've had with this amazing girl. With 2 heart defects, 2 brain abnormalities, and 7 gastric problems, we were told she'd basically be a vegetable that won't walk or talk or eat on her own. She started therapies at the Guild School at 3 months old and today we said a very tearful goodbye as she graduated. I never thought the day would come and hoped we'd never have to leave behind these amazing teachers and therapists. After 3 years and 5 therapies later (2 of which she'll continue), she's our walking, talking, eating miracle who defied the odds and proved doctors wrong. 

I've learned patience and faith in a loving Heavenly Father. I've gained a deeper testimony of the resurrection. I've received unconditional love from a perfect spirit given a broken body, and although one might complain that her physical self isn't "normal" I'm just grateful that she was given a body, no matter how frail and broken and imperfect. Her love is certainly perfect for me.

I've gained a greater insight into the medical world (I should have an M.D. by now), both awed and at times quite let down. I've learned to talk tough and keep my guns up talking with doctors so that they actually listen to parents and when they do listen, that I'll have a friend for life. I'm humbled by what our bodies can do and know that nothing can create something so majestic as the Creator himself. (Even though I sit here and grow another little body inside me and complain 24/7 at how awful it is).

My darling Cora, what an emotional and joyful day it's been to celebrate this awesome milestone and simply that you're still here with us when during your first year, we guessed that every day. You're our ray of hope and a constant reminder of our eternal promises. Happy 3rd birthday my sweet, sweet girl!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Dust If You Must

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better
to paint a picture or write a letter,
bake a cake or plant a seed,
ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
with rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
music to hear and books to read,
friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there,
with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
a flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
this day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
old age will come and it's not kind,
and when you go - and go you must -
you, yourself, will make more dust.

- Rose Milligan

Mom's Visit

This past week Mom came to visit me! There's just something about being sick and needing your mom, Mom makes everything better!!! The downside is that Cora got a nasty cold the first day mom was here and by the second day Mom and I both caught it. She deep cleaned the house and made 14 freezer meals for us and played with the kids until she was worn out and got up with Cora every night and took the kids to school/therapy, and grocery shopped. She's superwoman alright. I'm just so thankful that she was willing to help me, I know that no matter what I need both Mom and Dad would drop what they were doing and help. That's just what she did and never even complained when Cora got her sick. I don't know how to put into words how grateful I am for her love and support. I just love her so much!!!

Practicing the One Eyebrow

Kimball Turns 5!!!

Kimball felt special just being able to take cupcakes to preschool to share with his classmates. He LOVED that and they even gave him a crown!

Lance was able to take most of the day off to make Kimball's day super special. First was Kimball's request for a man trip to Chuck E. Cheese, just the two of them, and then later he took both kids bowling per Kimball's request.

I was too sick to do anything no less make a birthday cake, so I ordered a cake from Albertson's, which just had to be dinosaurs. I think it turned out pretty cool! He sure received lots of love from both grandparents as they sent his birthday gifts but I think his favorite gift, oddly enough, was new spiderman underwear. Happy birthday, Buddy, we sure love you!!!