Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Beauty, Football, and Harvest

My kids love a good rainbow, but a double rainbow required a picture.  This is not all that rare of a beauty around here.  We may have some not so awesome cold weather around here, but we do have some breathtaking sights that help to even out the score.  So grateful for where we live!

Cole's flag football season finished up.  He had a great time and we had fun watching him.  He really learned a lot and had a great coach! Thank you Greg Packer! He did have one rather humorous play.  They passed the ball to him which he caught nicely.  He started to run only to realize that two very large boys were coming after him.  Although it is flag football, getting the flag usually ends up in a tackle.  Seeing these two boys coming toward him, Cole turned around and ran the other way! The wrong way! We all got a good laugh out of that!

The kids were thrilled about being out of school for harvest break.  Two weeks of no school and nonstop fun with cousins.  Grandma makes harvest a party I tell you! She had the kids out to ride in the truck with her right off.  They loved it of course and begged to go out every day.  Grandma has activities each day of harvest for the kids who aren't old enough to work yet.  She insists on "making memories"! I wish I was better about taking pictures of all this hoopla.  Those kids made doughnuts, suckers, and cookies.  They cleaned out the garden one day and rode four wheelers to their hearts content.  They love Harvest, I on the other hand remember it as dreadfully long days with extreme heat and fierce cold. I remember dirt boogers, working late nights and being up early in the morning.  I also remember being so sick of eating cold sandwiches that I would rather go hungry.  My kids are going to have a rude awakening to what "spud harvest" really is once they are old enough. 
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Monday, October 28, 2013

Homecoming Parade

I love to watch my kids interact with their peers.  I always try to sign up to help in their classes and go on field trips and things like that.  I love to see the person that they are around other kids and teachers.  I took Hagen up to the Homecoming parade to watch the kids and support the Cougars.  Hagen loved it of course and so did I.  Kallie and all her cute little friends sat patiently waiting for the parade to arrive while.....
Cole and his friends wrestled, threw rocks, stomped on bugs and all other things boy!

This sight made my patriotic heart happy as well! Two cute boys who know just how to salute the flag!

Funny Hagen side note: Every time we hear sirens at home we say, "someone must have gotten into an accident at the sand dunes" Well during the parade the firetruck and police cars came through first with their sirens on.  Hagen perks up hears ears and says, "Sand dunes mom!" Not this time buddy!
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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bringing out Idaho's Finest

There are a few things about my husband that make no sense at all.  Like for example; he hates onions, tomatoes and green peppers but loves salsa??? I have serious doubts as to whether or not he has even tried any of the three items on their own, but he assures me he hates them.  He is also not a big fan of crowds.  He enjoys small gatherings and vacationing in the woods but one of his all time favorite days of the year is the state fair.  Go figure.  It is a total mystery to me, the fair is packed with some of Idaho's finest specimens of people.  You can hardly walk around because there are so many people.  He loves it though.  We haven't missed a year yet.  I was hoping this would be the year we could skip out on.  With me being large with child and the fact that it was 90 degrees that whole week, I was sure he would take pity on my state and decide not to go.  No doing we were goind.  We always have fun and the kids love the fact that they get to eat all kinds of junk. 

The boys loved milking the fake cow and Cole was in shock when I told him my dad used to have a whole herd of milk cows.  He couldn't believe that he would want to sell them.  My dad got a good laugh out of Cole thinking that would be the funnest job ever.

Being the kind gracious parents we are we let the kids ride one ride each, and actually softened on our rule and let the big kids ride the carasoul with Hagen after they rode their roller coaster,  Aren't we kind?

There wasn't much of a line for the carasoul and so the Carnie let that thing go around a thousand times.  I was getting sick just watching and poor Weston was beside himself once they finally let them off.

After stuffing ourselves with all the junk we could handle, we were ready to head out and call it  a night.  The fair wasn't so bad, maybe even a little funish. 
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Friday, October 25, 2013

D- Day

I entered the NICU on the morning of October 16th feeling anxious and excited to get to take my baby home.  I was anxious to take myself home, sleep in my own bed and have my family back together again. I was also miserably sick. I had woke up in the night in pain and immediately knew I had mastitis.  I have never had it before, but there really was not much guessing.  I had to wait until 8:30 to get ahold of the doctor and start an antibiotic.  I was pretty miserable by 10:00 when I showed up at the hospital to get the baby ready to go. 

Aside from being in pain it was a great day.  The nurses were so happy for me and affectionately called this D-Day. I was confused since I know that D-Day was on June 6, and it also marks the day when Allied troops invaded Normandy during WWII. I also think it is a rather sacred day in military terms so I was suprised by their usage of it. With a blank stare on my face, I racked my brain for a good thirty seconds trying to make some sort of connection.  All I could come up with was that they were joking that Hayes would join the allied troops (the other kids) and the invasion of them against me would begin. I chuckled at their joke and then they told me that D-Day was their term for Discharge Day.  Wow, I overanalyzed that one.  It was definately time for some pain meds, antibiotics and sleep. 

We let the kids get out of school and join us as we brought Hayes home.  They were so excited! It had been a long two weeks for them.  I seriously didn't even feel good enough to get off that chair.  I even let Debi dress the baby and Weston buckled him in his seat.

Hayes was so cute and tiny in that big old chair.  His jammies didn't even come close to fitting him, and his hat kept falling over his eyes. 

I managed to stand up for a family picture but didn't have to fake a smile. Even though I was getting sicker by the minute, I can't express the happiness and gratitude I felt that we were taking this baby home!

The kids couldn't wait to get their hands on Hayes when we got home.  They were all so good with him and passed him around between the three of them all day long. 
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

NICU Week 2

Weston's sister Mindy lives less than a mile from the hospital.  She was kind enough to let me stay at her house for the eight days between my hosptial discharge to the baby's.  What a huge blessing that was to me.  She was a wonderful host, and provided me with a nice room that included it's own private bathroom right by the back door, not to mention a bay in their garage so I didn't have to park outside in the cold.  Mindy pampered me with laundry service, three meals a day, all the snacks and junk food I could handle, and a shoulder to cry on when the need arose.  She also let my kids come and stay with me over the weekend and babysat them while I was at the hospital.  I would never have been able to make it to all the feedings and spend so much time with the baby without her. 

Every few hours when I would make the one mile drive to the hospital. I found myself spending that three minutes counting all the many blessings and tender mercies that we had been experiencing.  I was tired, sore, and overwhelmed with our situation but grateful to have it.  I was grateful that our hospital stay was short in comparison to so many others.  (There were three sets of twins in the NICU at the same time as us, they were going to be there awhile) We had an outpouring of love and concern from friends, family, ward members and other members of our community. I always knew that my kids were being well taken care of and I really didn't worry much about them.  I remember thinking how nice it was to see houses with their lights on at 4 a.m, at least I wasn't the only person in the world getting no sleep! On one rather trying day, I had contracted a urinary tract infection, that was lovely and I was miserable.  On the verge of tears I remember thinking that at least the weather was nice and i wasn't freezing to death walking in and out of the hospital. 

The list goes on and on of all the blessings in my life, and I really felt like I spent twelve days being very grateful for all of them.  One big blessing I recieved was actually more an answer to a prayer.    While laying on the couch at Mindy's I read an article in the Ensign about sarcasm and how it is the destroyer of relationships and one of Satan's greatest tools.  I was instantly repentant, and knew that that article was for me.  I am the most sarcastic person there is and I have a hard time knowing the time and place for it.  I know I have hurt many feelings and that has never been my intentions.  For a few weeks I had been praying to be a better friend, make new friends, and acknowledge my true friends.  While at the hospital my eyes were opened to the meaning of friendship.  It isn't really having someone to go to lunch with or someone that sends me funny texts throughout the day, it is someone who really cares.  I had visits in the hospital from two ladies at different times that have always been true friends to me, they were great examples to me in the fact that we only see each other every other month or so but they took time out of their very busy schedules to pay me a visit.  I was also priviledged me make friends with the many nurses in the NICU.  They provided me with many laughs and fun conversations to pass the time.  One of the nurses was a gal a couple years older than me in school.  I never knew her well in school, but I sure wish I would have.  We had a great time together! I was blessed to learn that friendship is more about giving than recieving and I know I am more capable of being a good friend now than I ever was before.  (And I know that sarcasm is bad!)

Off my soapbox and back to our week....
Mindy is nice, like super nice.  Libbie's grandma gave her a HUGE makeup kit.  Mindy let the kids dump it all out and give her makeovers.  I had major anxiety just watching the mess unfold.  The kids loved it though, and were spoiled rotten the whole time we were there.  Brett provided multiple treats and movies and the best Neilson's custard ever.

Kallie went to the hospital with me multiple times over the weekend and was thrilled to get to help bath the baby.  She was the photographer and did the best that her 49 inch tall frame would allow. 

Hayes didn't progress much over the weekend, and I was frustrated by his lack of will.  I kept joking that he was scared to go home to all the craziness at our house and was so content to stay where he was. 

Monday morning Dr. Hymas was back on call and came to check things out.  He told the nurses to pull the oxygen off Hayes and see how he did.  He made it for three hours before they had to put it back on but I was thrilled to see some progress.  That was Monday morning and they pulled it back off at 1:00 a.m Tuesday morning and he kept it off for good.  After 24 hours of no oxygen Hayes was given his carseat challenge which he passed with flying colors.  We were finally given a time that he would be released.  We were told that at 10:30  Wednesday morning we would be able to take our boy home!

Once again, for the fourth baby in a row, Nurse Debi was there to send us home.  I am so grateful to have had her with me for those couple weeks.  Debi is a good friend of my mom's and a wonderful nurse.  She provided me with many laughs and got me through both a UTI and Mastitis in those two weeks.  Debi was also the one who removed the remaining tubes and wires, and handed me a healthy whole baby boy!
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

NICU Week 1

When I first woke up from surgery it was just a young nurse and I in the room.  I asked her right off how the baby was.  She told me he was in the NICU and would be there for a few hours and then they would bring him to me.  She told me what he weighed and that he was doing great. She obviously had no idea what she was talking about, and I knew better than to get my hopes up that he was really was just fine.  When Hagen was born they told me the same thing and every hour that passed that they didn't bring him to me was a new disappointment.  I was prepared for the worst this time. 

When I finally was able to drag myself out of bed (with the help of three nurses and Weston) at 3:00 a.m. I finally got to meet my boy.  I'm pretty happy that someone took this picture of me holding him for the first time with my face covered.  I was a dreadful sight for sure.  I only lasted about ten minutes in the nursery before I was ushered back to bed.  I was in a lot of pain and felt pretty horrible at that point, but was so happy to get to see my baby.  It was awful to have to leave Hayes down there without me but the options were slim since I was about to pass out. 

Poor Weston was probably so exhausted by the end of that night.  He made a hundred trips back and forth from the nursery to my room, making sure both of us were doing okay.  We are pretty lucky to have that guy in our lives. 

Hayes was the sweetest little thing.  He stayed all curled up in a ball with tubes and wires everywhere.  He had a feeding tube along with oxygen and I.V.'s going.  It is awful to see such a helpless little baby be sick. I kept going over and over the events of the day trying to think if I did something to cause his early arrival.  I felt so guilty for what he was going through.

By the next afternoon I was feeling much better and managed a shower and a clean pair of p.j.'s.  I went back and forth to the nursery as much as my body would allow, but I wasn't able to sit there for long.  Kallie came later that night to visit and was pretty happy to see her baby brother. 

Sunday morning Regg and Mini Regg (Cole) came up for a visit.  I was happy to see Cole, he had endured a pretty good scare after entering Grandma's bathroom that I had left quite a mess in.  All he knew was that I was rushed off to the hospital and that Grandma was pretty panicked.  He had been in tears a good chunk of the evening and still wasn't convinced that the baby was going to be okay.  After helping the kind nurse bath the baby and having  a good wheelchair ride with Regg he relaxed a bit and was okay. 

G&G Crapo came to visit after Conference and they let Grandma hold the baby for a minute.  He was hard to hold with all those wires and tubes and the nurses didn't encourage anyone but the mom and dad to hold the baby.

I was released from the hospital Monday October 7th. They also let me nurse the baby for the first time that day.  He did great and acted like a hungry seasoned pro. I was so releived because that was one huge hurtle that I was nervous about.  We were told that he would probably be in the NICU for another 5-6 days and that he had to learn to eat good and get off the oxygen during that time.  It was pretty much awful to leave the baby at the hospital but I just moved in with Mindy up the road so I could feed the baby every three hours.   

Luckily the kids were still out of school that whole week for Harvest Break.  They were bounced around between the Grandmas' houses and came to visit me too.  By the end of the week they were beginning to get homesick and crabby.  They stayed at Mindy's with me for the weekend which was good but nerve wracking for me because I didn't feel good enough to really take care of them. 

This was the first time Kallie got to hold the baby.  She was so scared she was going to get in trouble that she handed him right back to me.  Good to know she doesn't feel good about rule breaking!

These two crazies took turns going to the hospital with me to feed.  They would get bored and play with my phone which resulted in a bunch of selfies.

Hayes continued to improve, he nursed great and started to take a bottle a little bit.  His oxygen remained the same though and I was continuously anxious for it to be turned down.  Hagen loved the baby so much and was really good at the hospital the few times he came up.
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