Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dance Fest Fifth Grade

We love Dance Festival.

 Every year, each class learns and practices a dance. Then sometime during the last week of school One Billion Parents show up an hour early (to get a good view), set up their lawn chairs and then either burn in the sun or freeze in the rain while the children are in the school getting organized to come out and perform. Then they come out with their chairs and set them up along the sides of the dance stage performance area. Then they start dancing.

It is fun... And funny... And the best part about it is that the kids love it! Well, most of the kids love it and the ones that don't show it. And they are distracting. And I wonder why they don't understand that they look more ridiculous and draw more attention to themselves when they show their displeasure than they would if they just let go, embraced the situation and danced with all their might.

That is something we have never had to worry about where Sam is concerned.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Much better than yesterday!

 But, just five minutes later...
 She pulled it all out. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Today I found a trail of ... something... on a couch pillow...

I turned around and THIS was standing behind me, "HI MOM!"
"Why are you looking at me in that disgusted way, mom?"
"What? I have dirty face and yucky nose?"
"Oh, no. That makes me sad."
"Get it off, PLEASE!"
"Wait, what do you mean, 'We need to use a wash cloth?' "

"Nope! I'm hiding, you can't see me."

"Um, I'm just practicing my singing. I don't know what you are talking about."

"Okay, let's do this."

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Gallbladder is Gone!

Towards the end of my pregnancy with Lola, I started to have these strange episodes where my stomach would hurt really bad and pressure would build up to my shoulders. It was impossible to get comfortable and eventually I would make myself throw up and the pain would go away. It's not hard to make myself throw up. My gag reflex has a hairline trigger, so I just have to lean over the toilet and BAM!
I thought I had figured it out. Every time it happened was when I had ate or drank something red. ( I can't conjugate those verbs together in this sentence... Is that right? ate or drank? eaten or drinken? eated or drinked? Help me out!) So I diagnosed myself with an allergy to red food dye. I started to avoid red food.  I had about four episodes, Lola was born, I didn't eat anything red but one red vine in all of 2011 and I didn't have anymore problems.
I got pregnant in January 2012 and in February I had two episodes, a few in March and on the first Monday in April I had an episode and I clued in and said to myself, "This has nothing to do with red food dye or your pregnancy." And it always hit me between three and four hours after eating. Later that day I had diagnosed myself with a gallbladder problem. I started asking around to family members who had had their gallbladders removed. Every story was different but had similarities. I decided that the next time it happened I would go to the doctor.
I lost the baby, delivered on April 20th, had an episode on the 21st, threw up, it stopped. Had another episode on the 22nd, threw up, it did not stop. This was the first time puking didn't solve the problem. This was also the first time it had happened two days in a row.  We called my mom, who came over to stay with the kids, who were asleep because it was like midnight. Then we went to the Emergency Room. I gave the ER doctor the history of this strange pain, but I didn't tell him I had already diagnosed myself. I have gone in to my doctor and told them I am having a heart attack, have Lyme disease, a broken foot, strep throat, and many others and I'm usually wrong. I was sick of being the idiot self diagnosis lady, so I kept my thoughts of gallbladder problems to myself. The first thing he said was that he thought it was my gallbladder. Some blood was drawn and the labs came back with nothing indicating a gallbladder problem. The doctor said he was more inclined to believe my history than the labs so he sent us home with an order for an ultrasound for my gallbladder. I got the ultrasound done a few days later and sure enough I had gallstones.
I consulted with my doctor who sent me to consult with a surgeon. Meanwhile I had five more attacks. We all agreed that it should come out. I scheduled it for June 1st, the day after school got out. I've been watching my niece everyday and she wouldn't be coming once school got out. Also, if I wasn't going to be able to lift Lola I would have Sam with me once school was out to do the lifting I needed. Then I had five really bad days where I was attacked three or four times and on the last one Matt said, "What are you waiting for? Just get it out."  I told him I was waiting for it to be convenient. He said, "DOES THIS FEEL CONVENIENT TO YOU?"
So, I called the next day which was Wednesday and scheduled it for Thursday, which was yesterday. Matt took Thursday and today off to take care of me. Lola went to Grandma Johnson's for the day and Sam went to school and our cousin Jessie was nice enough to pick up Kelsey when she got out of school. I went to same day surgery at 7am, surgery at 8, and they kicked me out around 12:45. I was having a really hard time coming out of the anesthesia. I couldn't wake up, I was so tired. The nurse kept waking me up and asking if I wanted pain meds. I would say yes and then she would shove a little cup towards me with a pill in it and I couldn't do anything with it because I was asleep. Then she would bump my mouth with a straw. Again, asleep.  Then she would go away. Then she would come back and try again. I could not wake up. I still had an IV, so I couldn't understand why she didn't just put the meds in through the IV. Then she got me up to go to the bathroom and saw her chance. While I was sitting on the toilet she got my  bag of clothes and asked if I wanted my husband to help me get dressed. I just looked at her, because I was still asleep. The whole time she was being really nice and I was being kind of difficult but I really didn't feel awake. But I got dressed and she lured me into the wheel chair and pushed me out to the car. I did not feel ready to go home.
When we got home, Matt told me that the doctor said I had to sit up all day. I wasn't allowed to lay down until bed time. What? Aren't you supposed to lay down for a few days after surgery? When I asked Matt why he said, "I don't know, I didn't ask." This bugged me all day. Why didn't he ask? I think Lortab makes me bitter. Bitter at Matt and bitter at the nurse. And sad, because we were watching King of Queens (which is supposed to be funny) and I got really sad about the wife working at her husbands work and he didn't want her there. It was sad. Then we watched a scene of the Kardashians and that made me sad. Then we watched The Vow and that was just plain sad. And I was sad because I wanted smores, but we didn't have the ingredients.
Then at last, bed time. And after wanting to lay down all day, it hurt so bad to lay down. Then I remembered some advice a friend who had her gallbladder out gave me a few days before. She said to lay on a pillow where my gallbladder had been. IT TOTALLY WORKED! I slept  great and I used the pillow on both sides and just moved it every time I rolled.
This morning I woke up feeling great and got more and more tired as the day wore on and I realized it's the lortab that was making me so tired. I'm thinking about just taking Advil tomorrow.
Anyway, I'm so glad it's out and I'm glad I didn't wait. I can't feel the incisions, there are four. And when I stand up, sit down or lay down  and sit up it feels like I did 100 crunches. When a laparoscope is used in surgery they put air in the abdomen to kind of lift the skin so they have more room and can see better. So far this air moving around waiting to be absorbed has caused the most discomfort. It was also the part I was dreading  the most, but it hasn't really been too bad.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Remembrance Walk at Thanksgiving Point

We were invited by the Bereavement Specialist at the hospital to a Remembrance Walk at Thanksgiving Point Gardens. We go there at 8:30 am. As we walked out onto the patio there was a place for us to write down our baby's name. They had muffins and fruit and juice there for us. We ate and waited around and then they had a little program. Shared some thoughts and then someone read a ll the baby names.Then there was a moment of silence. There were a lot of people there. Then they set us free to roam the gardens. The weather was perfect and we had a great time. It was good for our family. 
 Here is Sam waiting for the program to start. He went up for a better view of the gardens.

Lola freaked out every time the sun got in her eyes, but she wouldn't keep her hat on, so Sam put it on and tried to show her how fun it is to wear. Still, she wouldn't wear it.

 The last peaceful moments before all heck broke loose and Lola became a total fiasco.

 About one minute after this picture was taken, Lola tried to walk right into the stream. Luckily her dad has long legs and reached her just before her foot hit the water. She was not happy with him.

 Here she is telling him all about how great it would have been to get wet. I'm sure she wanted to jump into this little pond too.

 Two seconds after I snapped this shot, Lola dove right into a rose bush.

Poor sad baby. The thorns got her good. 
 She wasn't very happy for the rest of the walk.
 Until I let her do this.... But then she was mad again when we stopped. So we strapped her back into her stroller where she should have been all along. She cried for about four minutes because she is an independent woman who doesn't like to be stifled or held back from her pursuits in any way.
 Then she passed out.

This is just one side of the damage. There is a serious scratch up the back of her arm. The rest of the walk was completely peaceful. Except for when Sam rolled down three different hills like the maniac that he is. I'll try to post videos but I haven't had any success posting videos from my new camera so far.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Sunday

On the weekend after my miscarriage I was tired and feeling weepy and didn't want to go to church because I felt awkward. But I knew I was teaching Relief Society the next week so I decided to bite the bullet and go just to get all my awkwardness out on the week I didn't have to teach.
The opening Hymn in Sacrament Meeting was Precious Savior. I have loved this hymn since I was a youth because we sang it in a youth choir for a large event once. I was fine through the song, until the third verse:

Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, Thou wilt bind the broken heart.
Let not sorrow overwhelm us; Dry the bitter tears that start.
Curb the winds and calm the billows; Bid the angry tempest cease. 
Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, Grant us everlasting peace.

I teared up and felt the verse very applicable.

I quickly recovered and moved on through church. Then the opening hymn in Relief Society was Lead Kindly Light. Another hymn I love because I sang it in youth choir. And again, I was fine until the last verse:

So long thy pow'r Hath blest me, sure it still Will lead me on 
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till The night is gone.
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have love long since, and lost awhile.

Again, so applicable. Too applicable. Picture me sitting in front of the room, facing everyone (because I'm in the presidency and we sit in front) and I start to lose it. So, before it got too bad I just got up and walked out hoping no one had noticed. As soon as I left the room I stopped crying. So I was just standing in the hall waiting for my tears to dry, when a friend stepped out and said she didn't want me crying alone. So much for no one noticing. The tears probably started again at this point, they usually do when people are nice to me. My friend pointed out the door and said, "Go stand in the sun, it will feel so good." So I did, and the sun felt SO good. We chatted for a minute or two and then I declared myself ready to go back in. I pulled it together in less than 5 minutes.
I felt fine through the lesson. And then we arrived at the closing Hymn, Our Savior's Love:

Our Savior's love Shines like the sun with perfect light,
As from above It breaks thru clouds of strife.
Lighting our way, It leads us back into his sight,
Where we may stay to share eternal life.

I was supposed to be there that day. There was a message there for me and I'm so glad I was there to receive it.  The message was simple and I have heard it since my youth. I have friends who love me. Heavenly Father loves me. Our Savior, Jesus Christ is there for me, with his hand extended. I can lay my sorrows at his feet and he will bear me up, and bind my broken heart. And even though the weather has been mild here lately, living with an eleven year old sometimes feels like living with an angry tempest. And the morning after sorrow always comes. And would the morning be as sweet without the night?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tiny Hands

It happened much like the other six. I went in for my scheduled appointment, this one for 16 weeks. When the nurse couldn't find the heart beat with the Doppler they wheeled in the little ultra sound machine. He looked and looked for a heart beat, but the baby wasn't moving. At all. So, I knew.
But something was different from the last six babies we lost. This time I was further along. I had made it 16 weeks. Each of the others were lost between 8 and 12 weeks. And since my body didn't kick into gear and start to miscarry on its own (though it probably would have if I had been willing to wait for up to 6 weeks for that to happen) I went in for a D&C each time. It is amazing how much a baby grows in four short weeks. This time, since the baby was bigger, I would deliver.
We went into Labor and Delivery on Saturday, April 20th. It was a calm, quiet and peaceful experience. And very sad, of course. And yet, I was glad for this experience. With every other loss I was left feeling like something was missing. I would go in, be put to sleep pregnant, and wake up not pregnant. All those weeks of feeling sick and tired and miserable, with nothing to show for it.  No sign of a baby after. No gesture I could do to show my love. This time there was a baby. We held the baby. They were pretty sure the baby was a boy, but not 100% sure. I couldn't tell either. One more week and they could have been sure.  Sam had chosen names. Andrew for a boy and Cassie for a girl. We named him Andy. It was a name we could still honor Sam's choice with and also feel fine about if the baby was a girl after all.  He was wrapped in a bunting and a blanket. We saw his face and his tiny hands and feet. We took pictures. A very sweet person came in and made casts of his hands and feet.  We loved him and we were able to show it.
I feel like this time, I had some closure. I can't describe the peace I felt looking at those tiny, perfect hands, seeing that for all those miserable weeks of being pregnant my body was actually doing something.
We will show Andy our love again this Saturday at a remembrance walk through the gardens at Thanksgiving Point.
We are so blessed by the knowledge we have about the nature of our spirits, that they don't cease to exist. The restored gospel has given us the knowledge of life after death. We are grateful for a Savior to whom we can hand over our burdens and heartaches. And we are so grateful for the temple blessings allowed our family and so glad we can be an eternal family. We hold Sam and Lola a little bit closer and a little bit longer. We take these experiences as motivation to be sure we are living worthy to be an eternal family, so that one day we can hold all those tiny hands once again.