Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick - or - Treat!!

This pic was taken near the end of our round. The kids were tired and Ronni was already trying to get into a goody bag she had gotten at someone's house. hehe! Don't worry... I checked all the candy before they got a taste. ;)

This is the result of a hard night's work. The kids were pleased. Most of it is going in the freezer so they don't go crazy on it. I'm going to use some of it for cookies and cakes and things. What does everyone do w/ all the candy you get in your home? I read once of a woman who freezes it all and gives it out to trick or treaters the next year. That almost seemed like trick or treating was a waste to me but... hey! Saves her some money... candy's getting expensive!

These two pictures were taking near the beginning of our adventure -- it wasn't quite dark yet. I kept trying to get a picture of them and the picture below is what they all looked like. They wouldn't look at me and all I could get of Ronni was the duck bill. Collin heard me complaining to Mi-Mi so he pulled Ronni's hood back (above pic) and I at least got one of them smiling. =)

I finally convinced the kids to come home when Collin was staggering around. After a while he refused to ride in the wagon but then he was so tired and falling and tripping over everything I convinced him to get back in and we'd hit a couple more houses on our way home. He agreed but boy was he tired. I think Ronni was tired too b/c their trick or treat bags lit up and she was just dazed out staring at the light. lol!! I think we all had fun! Now I just have to find a good hiding spot for the candy. ;)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Coooooold Autumn Day

Well, our heater wasn't working today. It was a bit chilli in here. We wore coats all day long, had hot cocoa and built a fire in the fireplace (so glad we have one). But the heater repair guy just left and we have heat and no matter how fun it was all snuggled under a blanket in front of the fire I am so happy to have heat again!! YAY!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

CM Running Moms!

This is for the CM Running Moms. To those of you who don't know what I'm talking about then ignore this... =D

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Singing Time Hat

As most of you know I am now the second counselor in the primary presidency. We're still working on finding teachers (hopefully by next week). We didn't have a primary chorister today so I subbed for singing time. It was actually really fun. I searched online for some ideas to make it interesting and found this one w/ the hat. I made a "beautiful" hat and told the kids that if they sang really well then their teacher (most of them subs too) would have the honor or wearing my "beatiful" hat. The kids loved it... the teachers -- not so much. =D It was tons of fun though! If all the kids sang well then the primary president got to wear it.

What do you think? Is the hat completely hideous? There are grapes at the base of the flowers and there are frogs I sewed to the hat (that's what the green and blue spots are that you may not be able to make out). hehe! And the kids kept asking me if that was real fruit --- nope! all fake -- just in case you thought I was completely loco and put real fruit on there. haha!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The county fair....

Monday for FHE we went to the fair. So... there wasn't much of a spiritual thought there but it was fun. We even had refreshments... funnel cake!! Yummmmm.... I haven't had one in forever and I think it was Collin and Ronni's first one. They both LOVED it. All four of us shared one.

Collin and me on the carousel (I had to pay tickets for me to stand up there and hold him on.... bleh!
The goat was really cute with Ronni at first but then he tried to eat her zipper on her jacket. Needless to say... we quickly moved her back and she just watched after that. hehe!
This was the kangaroo. Yeah... this was all he did. We couldn't figure out if he was a heavy sleeper or if they sedated him. He was breathing though.
I know you can't see it very well but this is the monster truck Collin and Paul rode in.
This is the monster truck Collin wanted to ride in. It was called Monster Patrol.
Collin is the fourth head on there. You can't really see much of his head though. He was looking at Paul on the other side. He loved this ride and had to get on "all by myself". That seems to be a popular phrase lately.
This was Collin getting in the helicopter... again, "all by myself." He liked it at first....
After a couple of turns up there we saw his little arms reaching out and his face all scrunched up crying. It was heart breaking b/c we couldn't do anything for him until they got him down. Later he told me he cried b/c he was "stuck very very high."
After our experience with the helicopter he didn't ride anymore rides by himself. Collin and I went on the ferris wheel together. =)

Paul took this video with the camera while he and Collin were riding in the back of the monster truck. It's really kind of funny watching Collin's face. It's pretty much the same thing over and over so don't expect anything dramatic at the end. Collin said it was really fun and he wanted to do it again but the look on his face sure made us think otherwise. hehe!

This video was taken w/ Paul's phone so it actually has sound. The first little bit of it is pretty boring but just wait. It's the wheelie contest and the only one that Paul recorded was the winner and it was pretty cool. I held my breath for it though. I decided I could never be the mother or wife of a monster truck driver. It's too scary. lol! You can hear me in the background right before the wheelie saying, "Hurry up and take the picture!" I thought he was taking a pic and didn't realize he was doing a video. I needed help with the kids... lol!! So... ignore me.... =D That's probably why he didn't take anymore video. My bad!!!

dragon & duck

Collin wanted to be a dragon this year for Halloween. On ebay I found a dragon costume (size 2-4T) for $4.99... yay!! It looks a little small though. Is my child really that tall??

Ronni didn't really give me a preference but I found this really cute duck outfit on ebay for $.99. Heck yeah!!! I thought it would be perfect b/c when she walks she sort of waddles. hehe. I have a pic of them sitting on the couch for a front view then I had them turn around so we could get a shot of their wings and Collin's spikes. hehe! They really seem to like their costumes!

new calling....

So... to add to Paul's new calling I was given a new one this week too. I am now the second counselor in the primary (3-11 year old kids). That means I'll be in there with Collin when he starts primary in January... yay!! At the same time I am really going to miss my young women... =( There has been so much excitement w/ this ward split. It will all settle down soon, I think...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bouncy Bratz

We went to Bouncy Bratz today. Who knew there was something so cool in our little town?? I sure didn't. Here are the pics! It only cost $5/kid and there was even a little toddler area for Ronni. The kids loved it!!

Collin going down the slide. It was really steep so he went really fast!!
Ronni in the toddler area. This was her standing in the door.
She's playin'. She's such a big girl!!
Collin joined Ronni in the toddler area for a while.
Collin was proud of himself after going down the slide his.... fifth time?? There's a blow-up maze you have to get through before you can get to whatever it is he climbed to get to the top of the slide. I couldn't even see it unless I got in and I didn't want to pay for me to jump too. =D

Sunday, October 12, 2008

the "shake-up" in our ward today

On Thursday Paul and I had to go meet with stake president. A little bit scary -- we had no idea what was going on. He spoke to me first and told me what was happening on Sunday (today) and that Paul had a new calling. He then called Paul in there and spoke to him then he met with both of us. He informed us together they are splitting the ward and that Paul is called as the executive secretary of the Aiken Ward. The other ward is the Coker Springs Ward but I'm not quite sure how the division is done b/c Collin, Ronni and I had to leave in the middle of sacrament.

Poor Collin didn't feel well. He vomited all over himself and me in the middle of sacrament meeting... right after the sacrament was passed. YUK! We went to the bathroom and while I was cleaning us up he fell asleep on the floor next to the toilet. We went home, he took a nap and then woke up and asked to go back to church. We decided to do that b/c we wanted to be there for Paul getting set apart. Paul works full time, goes to school full time and now has a very demanding calling at church. It will work out though. We know that it will. =D

Just in case any of you who used to be in our ward are wondering... Bishop Welker is still bishop of the Aiken ward. Brother Raines is one of his counselors and I'm not sure about anyone else. Like I said, we missed a lot and I only got to see some of the people who were set apart b/c of my sick child. We now have Bishop Neal Askew of the Coker Springs Ward.
After Paul was set apart, he and Pres Taylor gave Collin a blessing which was pretty cool. Collin is already walking around and eating a... cupcake?? Why in the world I gave him a cupcake I have no idea. He just looked so pitiful I couldn't tell him no.

That was our eventful day and it's only 2pm. Paul is still at church receiving training.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Conference -- what did you think?

(To those of you not LDS I am referring to General Conference. Our church is a world wide organization and broadcasts a meeting bi-annually. It is a total of 10 hours split up into 5 two hour meetings that spans over two days. It is very awesome!)

Did you guys enjoy conference? What was your favorite talk?? Did you see that there are going to be new temples (Calgary, Argentina, Kansas City, Rome and Philadelphia)? Exciting! Did I miss any?

Here are the highlights of some of my faves. I have two children in the home though so I missed a couple of the talks that I really wanted to hear.

  • I loved that Neil L Anderson said "faith is a decision -- you have to choose faith."
  • Joseph Wirthlin's talk was awesome too! His mom said, "Come what may and love it." and he added his own quote, "If you're tempted to groan, laugh instead."
  • Todd Christofferson's talk about us trying to make our homes a Zion. It has to start there. That was an "aha!" moment for me. =)
  • I loved David A Bednar's talk on more meaningful prayers and his suggestion to occasionally say prayers where you ask for nothing and just "give thanks in all things."
  • Henry B Eyring's on unity!
  • Robert D Hales speaking about "Christian Courage."
  • Elaine S Dalton -- stand for what's right even if you stand alone. Great advice! I hope my yw were listening. =)
  • Pres Monson's talk on living life. Don't let it pass you by. I liked the story of the circus. The dad turned down something at work so he could take his kids to the circus. His wife told him the circus will come back and his response was, "I know, but childhood doesn't."

During conference Collin and Paul entertained themselves. See the picture below. LOL!!

Below is the destruction of their "masterpiece!"

Saturday, October 4, 2008

wagons, blocks n smiles

Collin and Ronni playing with the wagon. This seems to be one of their favorite things to do lately.
Collin was very proud of his "castle".
They were both trying to fold my basket of laundry and somehow it turned into a cute picture.
Daddy!!! She is such a daddy's girl and gets so excited when he walks in. In this pic he was gone just to take a shower. What you can't see in this still pic is that she's squealing and her arms are flapping. LOL

Friday, October 3, 2008

PAIL Awareness

I just wanted to remind everyone that along with it being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is very important... I had two great aunts die from it, it is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I feel that it is left out so often. I don't know if people don't want to spread the word b/c the thought of a dying baby or miscarriage is just too painful or what but I am doing my best. I thought I would share my story.
Our son, David was born in July 6, 2003 at 23 weeks gestation. It was a normal pregnancy until I woke up one Sunday morning cramping. I called the doctor and explained some symptoms and was told to go directly to labor and delivery. It was my first pregnancy so I had no idea what was going on. When I arrived at the hospital there was a lot of blood; I continued to smile b/c I was so scared I didn't know what else to do. Dh was cracking jokes for the same reason. I'm sure the nurses must have thought we were incredibly heartless but that's the only way we know how to deal with stress.
The doctor checked me with the ultrasound and saw that I was 6cm dilated and David's head was already in the birth canal. There was no stopping this little guy, he was coming.... NOW!! I pushed him out still in his amniotic fluid sac to help protect him at 7 cm. Their was a NICU ambulance team already there to take him to a hospital equipped with handling such a small baby. The doctor thought he was 24 weeks and that's the only reason they accepted him. Babies aren't normally accepted to the NICU before 24 weeks.
I remember that night was horrible. I was no longer pregnant but I had no baby in my arms as proof that I ever was. Just a jelly belly, swollen breasts, and pain. The next day they released me from the hospital and we sped for the 20 miles to the hospital David was in. We were hoping a cop would stop us and escort us but no cop was available when we really wanted one to stop us ;).
We arrived and were told they didn't think he'd make it through the night. He'd already had 6 cardiac arrests and a grade 4 brain bleed. He only weighed 1lb 4oz and was 13" long. He was so tiny and so unstable that I wasn't allowed to hold him.
On July 10 he had heart surgery to close his PDA (it's a duct that runs from the heart to the lungs and naturally closes on full term babies).
July 14: another ultrasound of his head... somehow his brain bleed was reduced to a grade 2 and the doctors didn't understand.
Aug 3: He was moved from a heat bed to an isollette (this was a good sign). His head was swelling though. They decided his brain now had a grade 3 brain bleed and PVL (pockets of fluid on the brain). He also had hydrocephalus. This is caused because a blockage is formed from the brain bleed preventing his ventricular fluid from draining down the spinal column.
August 14: First brain surgery. A temporary shunt was placed in his head.
August 18: We were finally able to hold David for the first time!!
September 10: Taken off the ventilator and put on CPAP (a breathing tube that goes under the nose but pushes the air with enough force to keep the lungs open but the breathing David was doing on his own).
September 22: Shunt stopped working -- he was placed back on the ventilator and had to have another brain surgery to replace shunt.
Sum up of October: Every baby in the nursery developed MRSA (methicillan resistant stapholococus aureaus), which is a really bad staph infection once it enters the body. Lots of people have it on their skin and never know b/c it only affects you when your immune system is low. It is spread by touch. He also had ROP (retinopathy of prematurity), the retina was tearing away from his eye so he had to have laser surgery on both eyes to repair that.
November: Home?? He may get to come home?? Wait... he won't b/c he gained enough weight for a permanent shunt (VP shunt). He had the surgery then we had to wait for the recovery. Then there was an infection in his ventricular fluid so they had to replace it with an EVD shunt (it is another temporary one that drains the fluid outside of his body) Okay... another try with the VP Shunt. Yay!! no infection this time. Now he was having issues with food.
November 20: Another infection in his ventricular fluid -- another emergency brain surgery. Another EVD shunt placed.
November 23: We recieved a phone call from the hospital at 3am asking us to get up there immediately. This had happened before so while we were scared we weren't as scared as we should have been. We arrived and as we were putting on the gown, gloves and masked we were looking into the darkened NICU. The only lights were the glow of the lamps at the nurses station and the lights around one bed -- David's. There were doctors, repiratory therapists and nurses gathered too. I felt my heart sink and knew something was wrong.His infection had spread to his intestines, which caused his food to backup into his stomach, which caused him to asparate. His body was so week they said there was no way to help him. His organs were slowly shutting down and his sats wouldn't go any higher than 30% (they are supposed to be around 95%) -- he wasn't getting the oxygen he needed. The RT was having to constantly bag him to prevent him turning to purple.The doctor knelt down beside me after a few hours of this and said they were running out of options. He said they had called the other doctors and nurses for ideas but nothing seemed to work. They even did a blood transfusion hoping it would help spread oxygen through his body. It was time for us to make a decision. So many prayers had been offered in David's behalf but now was the most excruciating one of all. What to do? Would some miracle happen and he would pull out of this or was it really his time? We made the decision that it was time to pull the tubes and this feeling of peace came on us. We knew what we had to do but it was one of the hardest things I ever had to agree to.After speaking to the doctor I agreed to hold David. Dh and I said our farewells as tears streamed down our faces. Several doctors and nurses who were off came up to say goodbye (David was well known b/c he had been there so long). There were tears everywhere.I wrapped my arms tight around David whispering, "I love you." I felt dh's embrace around us as the tubes were removed. We held that position for a while even after David's form became lifeless. I couldn't let go -- I didn't want to admit my son was dead.
It has been almost 5 years since that day. It is so important to these families who have lost babies, whether through miscarriage, stillborn, or die a few months after birth from SIDS or some other cause that these babies are remembered. People shouldn't live in ignorance -- I had no idea something like this would happen. "It won't happen to me." That was what I thought. If I had known the signs of things like this then maybe we could have prevented David's birth -- maybe not.
Please remember our babies. Know that I am a mom of 3 kids, not just 2. Know that I am still in mourning over the memories I was never able to make with my son and that I long to hold him again someday. I hope and pray that all moms who have lost a baby will find comfort this month in knowing that their babies are remembered by so many people. On October 15 (Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day) you are supposed to light a candle. Remember with us. =)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

weird dog....

Arwen found herself a new hangout spot while she's outside. When she's inside she always wants to hang out with the cats but they won't have anything to do with her. However, when she's sitting on this she's right next to Paul and my bedroom window (which is open right now) and the cats will sit in the window while she's there. I guess she thinks this is the closest she'll get to them... hehe! Poor girl. I took these pics from the dining room window b/c everytime I've tried to get a pic of her in the past she hops down so I just did it from inside this time. LOL!!

Just playin'

Collin on his tractor
Collin and Ronni rough-housing.
Collin and Ronni driving. Ronni figured out how to go backwards by herself. When she wants me to push her she just props her feet up on the front of it and waits for me to get the hint... hehe! Collin just races "really really really fast" the whole time.

Tickle fight!!!
I just thought this was a cute pic so I had to include it.


I wanted to share what Collin did on Sunday during the primary program. As I mentioned earlier, the primary program was Sunday. For those of you who don't know what that means, it was a program done at church by the 3-11 year old kids. Collin won't be 3 until December so he won't be in it until next year but one of his friends was up there, Nicholas. When Nicholas got up there and said his two-word part Collin was standing in my lap, he started clapping and yelling "YAY!!!" (In our church everyone stays very quiet... they don't clap... hehe). Then he turned to me, still very loudly and said "Nicholas Wins!!" as Collin through his fists into the air. Crazy kid!

Below is a pic of the kids on Sunday. I thought they looked really cute. Ronni is wearing clothes she got from the showers -- a dress from Candace, tights from Roxanne, and a bow from Kiara (it was on the side of her head against Paul's shoulder). Thanks guys!