Alec has Surgery…AGAIN

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In November Alec had his 6 month post ear tubes check-up. They checked his ears and tubes and everything looked good and tubes were working.

Not too long after, in December, Alec woke up screaming and crying in the night. We comforted him back to sleep but the next morning he was saying “ow” and touching his ear.20151210_083146I called and made an appointment for him to be seen. Turned out not only did he have an ear infection, but one of his tubes was also starting to come out. They prescribed antibiotics and told us we would need surgery to replace the ear tube after the new year.

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We started the antibiotics, but he continued to complain of pain off and on. They wanted him to finish the entire 10 days, so we headed out to Vegas for Christmas Vacation. Alec was generally happy and had a good holiday, but it was obvious he was often in pain and uncomfortable. As soon as we got back to Utah we got him right back in to his doctor.

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Both tubes were trying to pop out but were stuck in his ear. He had a massive infection and needed double surgery ASAP. He needed the ear tubes replaced and also his adenoids removed. His audiologist said an adult in his condition would be totally out of commission due to pain. He had many symptoms pointing to enlarged adenoids which can cause ear and speech problems.

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It might be hard to see, but this picture is of the inside of Alec’s ear. The ear tube is stuck in place and the inner ear is all red and built up with a massive infection.

We scheduled the surgery for the very next week (January 5th.) It was Alec’s 5th and 6th procedure and 4th time being put under general anesthesia. We were super hopeful that this would be the fix we finally needed to help with speech and ear problems.

The surgery was first thing in the morning which was nice since Alec couldn’t eat before hand. They allowed me to bring Charlotte with us which was a huge blessing since she would need to nurse AND Adam had work. Adam was able to take Megan to school and Jane went to a neighbor. Everything went so smooth…a million times smoother than last time.

Alec did well waiting beforehand. We watched TV and just hung out. They came in with a liquid sedative about 30 minutes before they took him back. He drank the entire thing for the first time. He wavered between super silly and super checked out, and he didn’t complain at all when they took him away from me.

Charlotte and I waited for him for about an hour. They came in and told me everything went well. He was SUPER GRUMPY coming out of anesthesia and it was a little difficult to comfort him while attending to Charlotte. The nurses were as helpful as possible and we were out of there pretty quick. I brought him a couple new toys which he held onto tight. I was trying to carry both him and Charlotte as I made my way out to the car and it was really hard. Alec refused a wheelchair. A sweet older woman offered to carry Charlotte to the car for me. I am grateful for her kindness.

We stopped by 7-11 on the way home and grabbed Alec a Slurpee which he refused. I got him home and laid him on the couch and he was out in seconds. When he woke up he was feeling SO MUCH BETTER. He chugged his Slurpee, was his old self again, and never looked back.

 

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Since his surgery he has been so much better! He hasn’t complained of ear pain and his speech is FINALLY taking off! This was a long road to hoe but I think we made it! The surgeon said his adenoids were HUGE. Size 4+ which is as big as they get. I am so happy that we figured things out and I hope my sweet boy is so much happier from here on out.

New Years 2016

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In March we found out that Adam wasn’t getting the job we really really *really* wanted. That moment definitely ranks up there as one of the most devastating moments of my life. Pretty much the rest of 2015 was spent with me worrying and wondering what our future held while also trying really hard to trust that things would work out for our family. 2016 is now upon us and we’ve got a number of irons in the fire, but our future is still unclear. I know big changes are upon us and I’m confident that there are good things to come. I know some scoff at new year’s resolutions. But I see the new year as an opportunity for me to brush myself off and clean myself up and to try harder to do the things I need to be doing to be worthy of the blessings I’m seeking for my family. I’m anxious for many of my dreams to come true this new year. From Sweet Charlotte (who is definitely the best thing to happen to the entire world in 2015) and me, Happy New Year to all my friends and family..

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Jane Turns 5!

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Our wonderful little Jane is now five years old!

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Jane is an absolute sweetheart. She is a little people pleaser and wants to make everyone happy. She LOVES each member of her family. She has deep and strong bonds for the people closest to her.

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Jane is as social as they come. She always wants to be around others, and doesn’t enjoy time spent alone. She makes friends easily and is a very kind and giving companion. In the past little while she and her little brother have become WONDERFUL playmates. It is so fun to watch them play and imagine together.

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While Jane is not the best eater, fruits and veggies are at the top of her favorite foods. She is tall and thin but strong and healthy. She is active. She doesn’t like to sit around and watch movies or tv. She likes to be playing and moving and running about.

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Jane has been doing the UPSTART preschool program this fall. At first it was a challenge to motivate her to do her work, but lately she has been really been enjoying it. She is reading more and more and will point out words she recognizes when we are out and about. She loves to write letters more than anything else. She loves to draw pictures and label what she has drawn. She is very smart and is learning more and more each day.

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Jane has a tender little heart and she can get down on herself quite easily. I hope with time she sees how absolutely wonderful she is in every way.

We had a little party for Jane in Las Vegas. We had cake and ice cream and pizza and presents. Jane had a wonderful time surrounded by those she loves most.

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Every day with Jane is a joy. She is so fun and spunky and sweet and sassy. She makes my mama heart so happy and I love her so much. Happy birthday to my sweet rainbow baby.

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Christmas 2015

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We had a wonderful Christmas Vacation in Las Vegas. Sarah was our Holiday Planner and she did a great job.

We…

Hit Quiver Point to see the amazing Christmas lights and Displays:

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Visited the beautifully decorated gardens at the Bellagio:

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Did a nativity dress up:

Had a sweet Christmas Eve program followed by Christmas Eve PJs:

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Woke up Christmas morning to stockings and gifts under the tree:

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Had a wonderful morning opening gifts:

 

Decorated gingerbread houses:

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Played Minute to Win it games at the church:

And attended Christmas Sunday in my mom’s ward:

 

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We really had so much fun this Christmas. It was wonderful celebrating the real reason for the season with our growing children as well as incorporating fun Christmas activities.

Holiday Happenings

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This post should probably be separated in to multiple posts, but I am trying so hard to get caught up on my blog and it’s just not going to happen any time soon if I don’t throw down a few big posts. So here are just some of our fun Christmas season activities.

The first Monday in December we put up the tree and put out our Christmas décor. I have so many lovely Christmas treasures but my home is just too small to put it all out. So I pick just a handful of items each year. One day I will have a home with enough space to showcase all my Christmas prizes. One day…

The children love decorating the tree. As per our tradition, our main Christmas tree only has star and angel ornaments (in memory of our sweet Jack.) The children had a “kid’s tree” downstairs that they decorated however they wanted.

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We put out a couple advent calendars this year with candy. We will be changing this next year as the candy didn’t last more than a week. Little Alec snuck candy every chance he got.

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Jass, our shelf elf, returned on December 1st. In our family Jass is very beloved. She symbolizes Santa’s love for our family and Santa symbolizes Christ’s love for all of us. Jass was pretty silly this year. She had a cold and was captured by villians and made snow angels in flour and many other fun things. But each Sunday morning she could be found kneeling at the Savior’s manger.

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We sent out Christmas cards. I love sending out cards. My rule is usually to only send a card to those who send a card to me, and then most family gets a card as well. But I do send out a few to some friends who don’t send them to me. FYI, we love getting Christmas Cards.

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The children helped me with a big Christmas present project. We made cousin memory games for all of Adam’s siblings and their families. It took a lot of time and was a lot of work but the children loved the project and it turned out great.

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Adam’s cousin got married early December. December weddings are so sweet and it was fun to dress the children up in Christmas-y outfits for the reception. Adam’s parents are serving a mission in Salt Lake right now so we see them fairly often.

We discovered that Alec really, really, REALLY likes Nutcrackers. He loves holidays so much. But he really LOVES Nutcrackers.

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Of course there has been lots of snow play this winter. We got ZERO snow last year. I mean I think it snowed like twice. This year had more than made up for it!

Megan even went skiing for her first time. She went with her school so I didn’t get any pictures of her in action but she had a BLAST!!!

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One day we busted out some gingerbread men. This was definitely a favorite activity.


Simple holiday pleasures are matching holiday jammies and getting dressed up for Christmas Sunday.

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We had a great experience visiting Santa this year. A dear friend directed me to the perfect location. There was no wait and no photographer selling pictures. We could take all the time we wanted and all the photos we wanted. Megan asked for “something beautiful and musical.” Jane asked for a Wii game, Super Mario Maker. Alec didn’t ask for anything, but he LOVED seeing and sitting with Santa. And Santa asked if he could keep Charlotte. Nice try big guy!

 

Our ward threw a great Christmas party. Megan and Jane were part of an angel choir and Megan was part of a hand bell performance. There was yummy food and fun activities and a great program.

Megan also had a school choir concert. She loves being a part of her school choir and this year she was in concert choir. We enjoyed going to listen to her perform as well as watching her feel the music through her dance moves…

 

We had a Christmas party and gift exchange with my sister and family. The children had a ton of fun with their cousins and loved dressing up for the nativity. The bigger kids also went ice skating which is a favorite of Megan’s.

Before we headed down to Vegas for Christmas, Adam took the older kids up to Salt Lake. He met up with his brother Josh and his family as well as his parents. They saw the lights at temple square and visited where Grandpa and Grandma are serving their mission.

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This was just a taste of all our pre Christmas vacation fun! We had a really wonderful holiday season.

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Thanksgiving 2015

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We had a great Thanksgiving in Vegas! There was…

football

capture the flag

a hike

lots and lots of yummy food

soccer

a museum

a cookie competition

games at the church

a birthday party

a visit to Jack

and lots and lots of fun with family.

I told the children that I wasn’t making extra food the entire trip and they had to eat what was available. It wasn’t easy for them (especially Megan) but she was SUCH A TROOPER and she even enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in her life. I love that girl and how hard she tries to overcome her challenges.

At the end of the vacation, we all watched a slideshow of the Thanksgiving fun that Tyler put together for us. All the children LOVED watching a video of all the fun we had together. We are already looking to next Thanksgiving ;)!

 

Jack’s 7th Birthday

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I didn’t even want to acknowledge Jack’s birthday this year. I just wanted to let it pass by without messages to heaven tied to balloons. Without “we miss him but know families are forever.” Because even though that is so so so true and even though most days aren’t so heavy with sorrow, this birthday fell on a time when I don’t feel so strong.

This year has been a difficult one for me emotionally. I have such a certain knowledge that Heavenly Father is mindful of my family and have a deep trust that he has a plan for us. But it seems like this year a lot of hopes and plans aren’t working out for us. And as much as I would happily move on to new hopes and plans, the future is so clouded that I don’t even know what to hope for. I keep telling myself, faith and fear can’t coexist. And so as the very faithful person that I am, I am finding myself also so fearful and am struggling to reconcile those two feelings. And it has me spread so thin. Like too little butter on a piece of toast. And so I just didn’t have it in me to “celebrate” the birthday of my deceased child.

But I have children who love their angel brother and who only know how to acknowledge his existence by sending balloons heavenward and grabbing dinner “somewhere he would have liked to go.” So like mothers do, I knew I had to put aside my sorrow and hurt and do what they needed to do. As much as I wanted to crawl into my bed and turn out the lights and lay there all dark and twisty, I knew it just couldn’t be done.

The children love their brother. Even Alec speaks of Jack. They had a great time sending him his balloons and I am grateful that they love him and have this connection with him. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who is mindful of me. I know He knew this day would be a difficult one for me so he sent angels to uplift and carry me through. My in-laws had the balloons delivered to us. I didn’t even have to make any effort to go buy them. I didn’t have to have a sales clerk ask, “so whose birthday is it today?!” I had other friends drop off treats and goodies so they knew I was remembered. I got texts and messages. Jack and I weren’t forgotten.

I love my children so much. I love and miss my Jack so much. We’ve made it another trip around the sun without our boy. “Happy Birthday” sweet Jack.

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