Monthly Archives: April 2015

Adam Graduates With His PhD

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Adam’s doctorate status became official when he passed his defense and his papers were signed, but graduation day made it feel even that much more official (and then when he received his diploma in the mail it felt super duper official.)

The day started bright and early with Adam’s graduation at 8am.
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Adam’s parents, a couple of aunts and nieces, and one of his sisters came to attend the graduation with us. We were sure happy to have them there.

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I can’t remember the number for sure, but there were only about 10 PhD graduates from both the department of Physical and Mathematical sciences. For each PhD graduate, they read a short write-up about their accomplishments and achievements. They read some technical stuff about Adam’s research and published papers while robing him and giving him his “diploma.” He was so cute and serious and I was so proud of him.

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That afternoon, Adam attended his niece’s graduation, also from BYU. She graduated with her undergraduate degree in English. That evening, Adam’s parents threw a joint party for the two graduates at the Peaks Ice Arena. It was fun to spend time with family, and Megan especially LOVED the ice skating (it was a first for her.) Jane and Alec didn’t care for the skating much, but the LOVED the cake and ice cream!

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I am so proud of Adam and all the hard work that got him where he is today. He is such a disciplined and hard working student. He really loves to learn and takes his education very seriously. Our future at this point is still a little unclear, but I know that Adam is very deserving of a wonderful career that will make him happy as well as provide a comfortable life for our family. I couldn’t have asked for a harder working husband and father for my children. We continue to be blessed with employment, and currently he has part-time work at both BYU and UVU. We are excited and anxious to see what route our Heavenly Father has for us next.

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We sure LOVE BYU and have enjoyed our time here! Go Cougars!!!

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Alec Has Surgery…Again.

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On April 3rd, Alec had an interview and screening for Early Intervention. Early intervention is a service to help children reach age-appropriate growth and development if there is a concern of a delay in any area. We had been concerned about Alec’s speech for quite a while, so his pediatrician referred us to Early Intervention. The initial interview on April 3rd was just a series of questions about our concerns as well as an explanation of what services they provided; if Alec qualified. They also performed a hearing screening. All this took place in our home. The interview and questioning went really well. Then they did the hearing screening. He did great in his left ear, but failed the hearing test in his right ear. I was super surprised as it never seemed like he had any sort of hearing problem. Early Intervention referred us to an ENT to get his ears checked.

Part of me was super relieved that there was a possible explanation for his speech delay other than autism. Another part of me was really worried about his hearing. A hearing problem could explain all our concerns, not just the speech delay. He was still tip-toe walking, waking all through the night crying (some times as many as 8 times), very sensitive to other children in close proximity, and had strong separation anxiety. All of this could be related to issues with the ear.

On April 7th we got him in with an audiologist. The audiologist performed a more thorough hearing test, and he passed the hearing test in both ears. However, the tests also showed that he had negative pressure in both his ears which was pulling his eardrums inward. He suggested we have him checked for an ear infection.

I was able to get him in to the pediatrician that day. The pediatrician said both of his ears looked pink but not super infected, and he believed that the pink ears, coupled with his delays and our concerns, probably indicated that he had chronic ear infections, and he wasn’t symptomatic because he had had them so long and was probably just used to the pain. I was so sad for my boy! The pediatrician said “if this was my boy, I would get him ear tubes ASAP.” In hindsight, it seems like every time I took Alec in for a well check, the pediatrician would ask if he had recently been sick because his ears were always a little pink. That confirmed the idea that he was always suffering from ear infections.

On April 9th, Alec had a second more intense Early Intervention evaluation. He was super uncooperative and wanted nothing to do with the woman who came to evaluate him. She seemed to get what she needed from him though, and a week or so later we found out that his scoring was too high in all areas to qualify him for early intervention. I wasn’t too disappointed about this because I still felt like his ear issue might be the root of his delays.

On April 13 I got him into an ENT who confirmed the pink ears and the negative pressure. We discussed ear tub surgery or the possibility of waiting and watching. I felt really good about the surgery and felt like it was the answer we had been looking for. So we went ahead and scheduled the surgery.

Alec had the surgery on April 21st. The scheduled time was 9:15am. Alec wasn’t allowed to eat at all before the surgery and I felt bad that he had to skip breakfast that morning. I am sure he was a little hungry when we arrived at the hospital, but he was in good spirits. They got us back to our room and got him all prepped and then they told us that the surgeon was delayed and it would probably be an hour more. By this time Alec was super hungry and had no interest in staying in our little room. I decided not to cancel though and stuck it out. The delayed surgery time came and went and we were still waiting. At 11 they told us it would be another hour at least. Alec was so grumpy but I decided to not cancel because for all I knew this could just happen the next time we came in and I just wanted it over with. So we stuck it out. They did let us walk around the hospital though and told us they would call when they were ready. Adam brought Jane and Norine to come hang out with us for an hour and then finally they called and said they were ready.

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Waiting and waiting and waiting for surgery.

At about 12:30 they finally took him away for surgery. I waited in the waiting room, less concerned about the actual surgery then I was about getting Alec some food as soon as I could. The surgery only took about 20 minutes, and then the surgeon came out and talked to me. He said everything went great and that there was A LOT of fluid built up in his left ear so it was a good choice to do the surgery. His other ear also had fluid, but not as much. About 10 minutes later they called me back and I was with Alec again. He wasn’t crying or anything and was very calm. I gave him the car I had bought for him, and he watched Mickey Mouse clubhouse. They had juice for him and he downed all the the snacks I brought for him. We were all good and headed home before 2.

Taking him back and away from mama.

Taking him back and away from mama.

In the waiting room. I was more anxious about getting Alec some food than I was the actual surgery!

In the waiting room. I was more anxious about getting Alec some food than I was the actual surgery!

Alec loved the new car I brought him.

Alec loved the new car I brought him.

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Downing his post surgery food.

I had thought Alec would be exhausted that day, but he was his same old self; running and playing and happy as could be. At his next check up on May 5th, everything looked great and the ear tubes are doing their job.

It might be wishful thinking, but Adam and I both felt like his speech started to improve immediately. He had been saying so many more words. He still has a long way to go, but he is definitely saying more words than ever before. He is also a lot less sensitive and is so much happier around other children. He rarely wakes in the night, and when he does it’s only once each night. I am very hopeful that this is the answer to all our concerns with him.

Jane Finishes Another Season of Tumbling

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I gave Jane the choice between swimming lessons, soccer, and tumbling and she chose the later. I don’t know if it’s because she super loved her last tumbling class or because she was just familiar with it, but she had an even better time the second time around.110 112

Her instructors were the same as last time, and they loved having Jane again. It seemed like they had Jane set the example a lot of the time for the other children to follow. Jane didn’t mind that at all and did a great job.

It worked out that Adam could be with Alec most times, but I did have to bring him to class once. It was difficult having him there because he wanted to participate so badly. Luckily they let all the children have free range at the end. Alec LOVED doing the parachute.

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The program was 6 weeks long and was a lot of fun. Jane loved having an activity that was just for her and got her and mama out of the house together a couple times a week. I sure love this girl and I hope she knows that.

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Easter 2015

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The Saturday before Easter, our ward had an Easter Egg hunt and breakfast. They kids had so much fun hunting for Easter Eggs at the church!

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Easter Sunday landed on General Conference weekend this year. Which was wonderful and special, but also meant we had our little ones wear their Easter Sunday Best the week before Easter. The children were so cute in their fancy new get-ups.

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It’s always fun to do a yearly comparison of how the children have grown. Here are the children last Easter.

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We dyed Easter Eggs the day before Easter in between conference sessions. They had so much fun! I decided that Alec could wait another year before participating, so we did it during his naptime. 015

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Saturday night the Easter Bunny stopped by and left a trail for each child leading to their respective baskets. The children love this tradition. They were all so excited about the jelly beans and then their Easter treasures.

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Megan got a fish in her Easter Basket. She was so excited and surprised.
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In between General Conference sessions on Easter Sunday we had a little Easter Egg hunt in the house. The kids loved searching for eggs filled with little toys and candy. It was a hit!

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Alec got a bubble machine in his basket which has been a HUGE hit with the children. He LOVES bubbles and wants me to blow bubbles all.day.long. This machine is a life saver!

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As many of you know, we share a yard with our landlords. They bought their children a trampoline for Easter. The children have loved reaping the benefit of sharing a yard and being able to use the trampoline as well.

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It was a great Easter all around but the most important and wonderful aspect was celebrating the resurrection and life of our Savior. We are so grateful for our knowledge of the atonement and that our family is forever. We always miss our Jack, especially on special days like these, and wonder what it would be like to have our 6 year old boy here with us. We know that our Savior died and then lived again so that we could again be a forever family.

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