Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Brotherly Love

Aaron was telling me about something that happened Friday night on the way back from their bike ride. I wanted to post it here so that I won't forget either.

Jacob had stung his finger on a Nettle while he was pushing his bike up the hill. He was crying and saying that he couldn't push his bike the rest of the way but Aaron couldn't really help him at that moment because he had Lauren and was pushing Ben's bike up the hill plus his own. So he continued up the hill and told Jacob he was just going to have to be tough and push his bike up anyway. When he got to the top and brought Lauren into the house he saw Joseph (who had already pushed his own bike up the hill) walk back down the hill toward Jacob and started pushing his big brother's bike up the hill for him. Jacob's bike is much bigger than Joseph's and he could see that he was really struggling to get it up the hill. Aaron was looking out at them from the front porch and snapped this picture because he said he didn't want to forget to tell me (later that night) what Joseph had done for his brother.

For me, one of the greatest blessings of being a mother is to see my children getting along and loving each other. It fills my heart with a special kind of joy to observe them showing compassion or comforting their brother (or sister) when they are in need. I remember the first few times that I started noticing them doing little things like this for each other and it really melted my heart. It also taught me an important lesson about myself and helped me understand better the scripture from Mosiah that says "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." How happy it must make our Father in Heaven to see us helping our brothers and sisters here below. I know that when we sincerely and unselfishly help others and do what we can to lift their burdens and help those in need we are not only giving service to them but I believe are bringing joy to the heart of our Heavenly Father.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend at Ocean Shores

Aaron and I celebrated our 9th anniversary this past Monday. Starting 4 years ago we stopped getting each other gifts for our anniversary and decided instead to put our money into a getaway just for the two of us. Every other year we take turns on who gets to plan it. We usually keep the location a secret from the other one because it makes it more fun. This year we went to Ocean Shores and we had a great time in spite of the frigid weather. We left on Friday and came home Sunday afternoon and as always it was WONDERFUL.

When we got to Aaron's parents house on Sunday (they watched the kids for us) they got out some old photo albums and started looking through them. I guess I shouldn't be surprised because it has been 10 years but when I looked at some of the pictures of Aaron and I from before we were married I couldn't believe how YOUNG we looked! I am SO serious when I say we looked like a couple of kids! I think it's funny too because I specifically remember thinking (back then) that I was "older" when I got married because I waited until the ripe age of 21. (My older sisters were 18 & 19). It sure is funny how your perspective changes isn't it?

Driving home from our weekend made me realize that one day we'll be celebrating our anniversary and coming home to an empty house after all of our children have grown. Sure, it seems like it's a lifetime away but as I look back on how fast these past 9 years have gone I realize that it will most likely be here sooner than we think it will. I'm so grateful that I have these years to enjoy and that even after they're gone I can look forward to many more happy years sharing my life with such a wonderful man. In the words of my once favorite artist he's "still the one I run to, the one that I belong to....still the one I want for life. Still the one that I love, the only one I dream of, he's still the one I kiss goodnight." He's still the one. I love you Aaron.

Sorry about posting a "kissy" picture, (I'm sure you're all throwing up right now), but I like it so it's getting posted. (:

Why I love my guy......

JoJo's Pictures

ll of my boys love to draw. I have a 3 ring binder for each of them that I keep all their "best art" in. Jacob usually draws race cars or rocket ships. But Joseph's drawings are usually of people with hearts and happy faces. Tonight when I got home from enrichment Aaron told me that Joseph had drawn a picture for me and he left it on the island. I'm posting the picture here along with another one that he drew earlier in the week. I have them both posted on my bulletin board in the office. If you click on the picture you can see that it is a picture of he and I holding hands. I love this sweet little guy. He melts my heart all the time. The way that he draws people is just so precious. Look at the little circles for the feet and the fingers on the hands and the rectangular bodies. He is such a little angel that loves his mommy so much. I am so blessed!

Lauren and Shoes

For the past few weeks Lauren has been really into shoes. She'll find a pair (usually mine) and put them on and clomp around the house for everyone to see. Every time she does this it reminds me of the time when I was a little girl sneaking into my mother's closet and trying on her fancy black high heels. I felt so cool when I wore them and imagined the day when I could have shoes like that for myself. I've taken several pictures of her wearing different pairs of my shoes but I thought this one was the cutest. I also love how she will grab my purse and put it on her shoulder and walk around the house too. It makes me wonder what is running through her little mind when she does this. Is she trying to be a little mommy too? I love having a little girl, she does the cutest little things.

April 9th ......Joseph's First T-Ball Game

Joseph's first t-ball game was today and all I can say is that he is such a sweet and timid little athlete. All day he was so excited to "play his first game." He's been practicing out in the yard hitting the ball off the tee and is really gaining a lot of confidence. When we got to the game that evening he ran out onto to field to warm up with his team and then when it was his turn up to bat (he was the first one on his team to hit) he became very timid. It was so precious! He would just look down at the ground so shyly. We were cheering for him when he came up to bat and without lifting his head he raised his eyes to wave back and the cutest and most bashful smile crossed his little face. He hit all of his balls really well but the first couple of times up to bat he had to be reminded to "run" to first base. He was so cute.

Jacob had to sit out and won't be playing on the team until he's off his crutches and walking normally. It's been really hard for him to not be able to play too. I think it's been good for Joseph though. Sometimes I feel like he's always in his brothers shadow and this has given him the opportunity to take center stage. It is so interesting for me to see the differences in Jacob and Joseph. Last year when Jacob was his age and out there playing his first t-ball game he was so confident (and dare I say a bit cocky). Joseph gets every bit as excited to play but he is just so much more cautious and timid. I love them both for their unique ways, they are such cute little athletes.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A week ago toady.....

A week ago today I was on my way to urgent care for a "sore ankle." It seems crazy to me how much has happened in just one week.

First of all an update on Jacob:

After being in the hospital for 4 days Jacob was discharged Monday evening. The cultures from the lab did not come back with anything that could tell us exactly what type of infection it was. The doctor said that this is probably because they took the sample of the infection during his surgery which was more than 24 hours after he had already been on the antibiotic. They are treating it as a Group A systemic Strep infection. Which requires an antibiotic for the next 3 weeks.

Monday evening we had a home nurse come over to the house to get us set up with what we need to take care of him at home. He has to be given an antibiotic through his pick line (an infusion) every 6 hours. There is a process to doing this that at first seemed a little tedious and nerve racking (I won't bore you with the details) but I think I finally feel confident in doing it. The first few times I was pretty nervous because if you don't do it correctly or forget something, there is serious risk to harming him. For example, last night after giving him his 1 AM dose I was laying in bed and thinking about how scary it would be if I accidentally forgot to give him the Heparin flush after the antibiotic and saline flush. The heparin is so that the artery (that the pick line is inserted in) will not develop a clot. It really scared me to think that my son could be in the other room having a stroke if I don't do this right. It really scares me sometimes.

So this is going to be my life for the next 3 weeks. I have to admit I feel a bit home bound because Jacob still can't walk (he's on crutches) and I have to be able to give him his medicine every 6 hours which also means I'll be a bit sleep deprived from waking up at 1 AM every morning. The whole process takes about 40 minutes because there are things you have to do before and after the infusion and then it takes 30 minutes for the antibiotic to dispense. Aaron has been taking the 7AM dosing so that I can sleep in a bit, that's a big help.

Okay, I just read over what I wrote and I think I sound like a big whiner. I'm sorry about that. One thing this whole experience has taught me is how LITTLE I have to whine about and that I need to be tougher when it comes to trials and adversity. During this time I have really reflected on how hard it would be to have a child that has to be hospitalized for an extended or indefinite period of time. My heart aches for all the parents out there that have to watch their child suffer under these circumstances. I get choked up thinking about what it would be like if my child had cancer or some other life changing illness or disease.

I've also learned that I would be a terrible mother if something ever happened to Aaron. While Aaron was in the hospital with Jacob I had a really hard time adjusting to being at home alone. The first day I was so emotional and short with the kids. I fed them on hot pockets and cold cereal for 2 days and didn't feel like doing anything. I felt so depressed and frustrated I ate junk (including chocolate) and didn't exercise. We didn't have family scripture study and the first two nights we didn't even say family prayer at night. I would just let the boys sleep in my bed and put a movie on for them to watch so they would just fall asleep on their own and I wouldn't have to deal with anything. Anyway, it was a couple days before I felt like I got back into gear but even then, not having everyone at home really affected me in a negative way. Okay, now I'm just rambling.....

Thanks to all of you for your love and support through this little ordeal. I literally have been inundated with phone calls and messages from many of you that I haven't even been able to return yet. Heather stopped by to watch the kids this week so that I could go for a run and then made me a delicious gourmet lunch. Sherri brought home Jacob's homework and things from class, Jen watched the boys on Sunday during conference so I could go spend some time with Jacob at the hospital, and many other friends stopped by with balloons and flowers and get well wishes for Jacob. It has been so touching to have friends who really care.....thank you again so much. I love you all.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Infection from the Surgery

So I thought everything went well from Jacob's oral surgery on Monday but apparently he contracted an infection and has been at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma since Thursday. Here's an overview of what happened.

Wednesday morning Jacob woke up with a sore ankle and was having trouble walking on it. As the day progressed so did the pain in his ankle. He wasn't even walking on it all day and in the evening he came down with a fever and continued to complain about the pain (even while on Motrin). The next morning I called his dentist and asked them if the pain in his ankle could be a reaction to the oral surgery and she didn't seem to know so I called his doctor and was able to set up a same-day appointment for that afternoon. I barely got off the phone from making the appt. when Jacob was nearly bawling with pain so I packed up the kids and took him in to the urgent care clinic. After taking x-rays and examining him they didn't know what was causing it (it wasn't swollen or discolored) but they told me that they wanted me to go straight to the ER at the children's hospital in Tacoma. I was a little surprised and kind of doubted that we needed to go that far. I asked if we could just wait a couple days to see if it went away on its own and the doctor looked me in the eye and said, "If it was my little boy, I'd take him in right away." That was all I needed to hear.

So after arranging childcare I drove to the ER expecting to be sitting in a waiting room for several hours but was surprised to be escorted immediately into a room where Jacob was examined by 2 doctors. They left the room to "consult" each other and returned to tell me that he had a bone or joint infection and that they needed to admit him right away and start him on an antibiotic. They told me that they would need to keep him at the hospital for a few days. I was so confused and feeling a whirlwind of emotion in that moment. I called Aaron (who I hadn't been able to get a hold of all day because
both our cell phones weren't working) and told him what was going on. I felt like crying I was in so much shock.

That was Thursday, it is now Saturday. I just got back from the hospital where last night Jacob had surgery on his ankle joint and has a tube to drain out the infection and is hooked up to an IV in his arm to give him the antibiotics to fight the infection. He'll be on the antibiotic for the next 3 weeks. Hopefully he will be leaving the hospital on Monday. We are waiting from the lab to find out what the specific infection is. It takes 24 to 48 hours for the bacteria to develop. Then they will hopefully be able to identify what kind of bacteria it is. It is possible that it could be MRSA (which I know little about but I guess it's been on the news lately) so we will just wait to see if it's that or some other form of bacteria. This is all so crazy, I don't know what to think.

Aaron called me on my way home to tell me that they just put the pick line in his arm. I guess that was a pretty horrible experience for both of them. I guess a pick line is a small flexible tube that they insert into the artery so that long term antibiotics can be given without damaging a vein. I'm glad I wasn't there for that, Aaron said it was absolutely terrible.

I'll keep you updated on any new developments as I receive them.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Jacob's Surgery

Jacob went in yesterday for oral surgery to have an extra tooth removed. For the past few years his dental x-rays have shown 2 permanent teeth sharing the same spot under his top front tooth. They wanted to pull one of them so that the other one would have time to grow into its proper place before he lost his baby teeth. Things went really well and he did so good. We decided to go the less expensive route and give him a Valium an hour before the surgery then just have local anesthesia for the procedure. Of all of our children he's probably the only one that we would be able to do this with. Joseph and Ben would have freaked out if they weren't knocked out. Jacob is so down to earth and completely understood what was going on. His only concern was about the blood getting on his shirt and I told him they'd have the suction hose to suck it up.

I took this picture of him tonight because I thought he looked so sweet. He fell asleep on the couch while I was making dinner and kept on sleeping until bedtime. He'll be on pain medication around the clock for the next couple of days. I didn't realize how drowsy it made him until tonight. He has NEVER missed dinner. I have a feeling he's going to wake up really hungry sometime in the middle of the night.