Sunday, October 23, 2016

This is (Almost) Halloween!!

All Together!!
When we lived in Logan we had three fun Halloween activities we'd do every year: 
1. We'd go to a pumpkin patch and pick our own pumpkins. 
2. We'd go through a corn maze, during the day to be more Heidi Anne friendly.
3. We'd go to the Logan Pumpkin Walk. 
4. We'd paint our pumpkins. Because Me+Knives= Bad News

Well, we haven't done any of those things since we moved from Logan. Mainly, Char was back in school, then we had a 9 month old baby and I was having a rough pregnancy. I decided we'd try to bring back the traditions since Heidi Anne misses them and I want to continue them for the babies. 
Sadly, there are no corn mazes or pumpkin walks here in this part of Wyoming. I did find a pick your pumpkin that had a hay maze. While not a corn maze, it's a start. I'm easing back into adventures now that Anastasia can participate, with in reason. (We promised Heidi Anne and the babies that next year we'll go to a real corn maze). 
Regardless of what grain the maze was constructed from the kids were excited. We went at around 1 PM, after naps had been taken and the kids were feed. The weather was beautiful, sunny and in the low 60's. I pushed Anastasia in 1 stroller while Char pushed Rory in the other. Heidi Anne would walk between the strollers. Thus, making a family caravan through the hay maze. 
We decided to take our time, get lost, and get pictures of the different "scares". The babies seemed to enjoy the walk/ They were content, if nothing else, through the maze.We completed the maze in like 10/15 minutes even with meandering. 
Since the maze wasn't busy (only one other group of people were there at the same time as us). The maze people let Heidi Anne go through it again. She started out by herself but quickly turned back around to us. So Char watched the babies while I took her through the maze for some 1 on 1 time. After we finished, she promptly went through it again, but alone this time. My brave girl.
While Heidi Anne and I were in the maze Char played with Rory in the pumpkin patch. Char also saved some pumpkins on a display table. You see, Rory has this viewpoint that NOTHING should be on a table or table like surface. He will knock everything down until the table is cleared. 
After Rory "cleared" the display table of their pumpkins he found 2 toy dump trucks. They promptly became his new favorite thing. Yeap, more fun then clearing a pumpkin display. (Note to self: Dump Trucks = Christmas idea?) 
Once Heidi Anne completed the maze on her own we picked out our pumpkin. In Logan we'd go to a field and pull the pumpkin right from the vine. Today they were just in a little area for you to grab. I even got into the spirit and had my picture taken in the patch.
Then we ran to the store because Heidi wanted window clings to decorate our house for Halloween and I wanted a pumpkin pie for some unknown reason. Char put on a "Jason" / hockey mask at the store. Rory freaked out poor guy. It took some time to console him. 

Later that night Heidi Anne had hives up and down her legs. We believe she's developed and allergy to hay. Poor girl, to say she was uncomfortable barely describes it. 
Here is Heidi Anne's pumpkin painting creation:
Side 1
Side 2 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Star Valley Temple Adventure

Side Note - I know this post is a bit delayed, I honestly thought I had already posted it. Ooopps. 

On Tuesday, September 27th we went to the Star Valley Temple in Afton, Wyoming with Grandma and Grandpa. We took Heidi Anne out of school early for this special occasion. 

The goal was to be there by 4:00 pm. It took us 2 hours to drive to Afton. Once we were there the babies needed changing and feed. We ended up with the 4:30 group. The tour started at a church, I think it was the stake center. We went into a room that gave an overview of what temples are and what they mean to us Mormons. 

Then we got onto a bus to tour the temple. You can only do this during an "Open House". We arrived at the temple only to be told no strollers were allowed. We meet at least 20 people (ushers and tour guides during our 30 minute wait) and no one said a thing about strollers not being allowed in the temple. 

Anyways, the tour started at the entrance, with a lovely stain glass piece of Christ. Then to the baptism fount, the sealing room, the instructional room, and the celestial room. It's a rather small temple. 
The Baptism Fount 
The Sealing Room
The Instructional Room
The Celestial Room
In a hallway of the temple Grandma caught a glimpse of a painting. Apparently, her grandfather had painted it. Which is nice to know many people will enjoy the artwork. Now we have a personal connection to the Star Valley Temple. 

Anastasia and Rory were miraculously quite and well behaved for the whole tour, which was about 40 minutes. As soon as we got outside, they became fussy. I planned on getting a nice family photo but the little ones wouldn't have it. (We really need to get a family photo sometime with all of us). 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Anastasia's Helmet Head

On Monday Anastasia finally received her new helmet. Char calls it a hat because it sounds more lady like. She'll be wearing it 23 hours a day, every day, for 3-4 months. (Until her asymmetry changes from 19.5 degrees down to at least 3 degrees.) That'll take some time. 

It's a lovely helmet covered in little pink, green, and purple hearts with a light yellow background, I think it shows off her sweet nature. It's certainly an improvement from the utilitarian clear helmet Heidi Anne had as a baby. 
Heidi Anne's Helmet as a Baby
The day started out with a physical therapy appointment where she is showing some improvement. We just need to go down to Ogden every other week now. We could really use the good news, things have been a bit gloomy lately. 

Later in the afternoon, she had her helmet appointment, which took over an hour to fit her helmet! That's a lifetime with a cranky eight month old. 

The helmet was molded based off what her perfect skull shape would be. (We got a copy of the 3-D mold which is cool and a perfect place to keep her helmet when not in use.) 
The doctor placed the helmet on her head, which she didn't like, and began making marks along the top of her head. When he was finished he went and cut a huge hole in the top of the helmet to provide air flow.  

We put it back on her again, making new markings along the sides and bottom of the helmet. Then proceeded to cut and buffer along the markings to provide comfort, expand her field of vision, and more space for her little ears so they don't rub the helmet all the time. 

We put it on her a 3rd time. He thought he could give her more space for her ears and raised the back of the helmet to help with her torticollis. The doctor was finally happy with the look and fit of the helmet after fitting number 4!

We started the helmet therapy with 2 hours on 1 hour off. Just to get her used to the feeling of it. It'll increase to 23 hours on 1 hour off in a few days. In that 1 hour I have to change her clothes, bathe her, and do her physical therapy. So it'll be a spaced out 60 minutes.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Heidi's ADHD Battle

Some weeks are good, some are bad. Last week was a rough week.

First off, everyone seemed to have a cold. Which made everybody cranky and miserable. Complete with fevers (Rory hit 102.5!), stuffy noses to the point of nose bleeds, congestion, sore throats. I mean the works! 

Secondly, Heidi Anne decided to cut her hair the day before school picture day. So we had to get that fixed ASAP. Her hair is now in an "A" Line Bob style. 
Translation: Super short!

I don't talk about this a lot but Heidi Anne suffers from ADHD. Which isn't news, after all she's been diagnosed since she was 5. It's just gotten worse over this past year. 

She gets easily distracted (I used to joke she was Dug the dog from Up). She requires constant reminding of what she's supposed to be doing. She's very active, always moving or frigidity. She can be very talkative in class. She lacks impulse control. She has issues testing, she does good on tests but she could do better if she could focus longer.

Heidi gets frustrated and angry with herself due to everything listed above and as a mom that's hard to watch. I guess I don't bring up the ADHD because I don't want her to be treated differently. Or to use the ADHD as an excuse. I don't want her to be "Oh, I have no impulse control so that's why I ate all the cookies - it's the ADHD's fault."

On the other hand, we do try to understand the fine line between what part the ADHD plays in her behavior and what she actually has control over. We just adjusted her medications and waiting to see if that improves things for Heidi Anne. 

She is fairly good about following the rules at school. We figured out that one big reason is that the rules are written everywhere she goes. In the lunchroom, lunch rules. In class - classroom rules. In PE, the gym rules. In the hallways - general school rules. Everywhere she goes the rules are plainly written for her. So we're placing different rules in different parts of the house. It maybe silly but if it helps, I'll try anything to make life easier for her.

I wish I could take the ADHD away from her. But I can't. All I can do is give her tools and coping skills to manage it within herself. Which will take time. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Stacy Update and Rory Stories

Today, I spent most of it in Ogden with Anastasia. It was exhausting. We drove down, had a physical therapy appointment, where she isn't making much progress despite all the work we've been doing. She gets measured for a plagiocephaly helmet on Tuesday. 
Then we had a dietitian appointment to see how she's doing weight-wise. She's now 11 pounds 15 ounces and 24.5 inches tall. She's come a long way from that tiny 2 pounds 5 ounce, 13.3 inch long preemie. However, she's still small even by preemie standards, as in the 7th percentile for both length and weight. So we're going to increase her calories even more. Then wait and see if that helps. 

I wanted to talk about little Rowan. He's growing up so much so quickly. When I found out I was having a boy I thought "I can't be a mom to a boy, I won't be good at it! I'm better with girls." Well, I think I'm getting the hang of it, and it was just recently I realized that. 
Sometime between getting Heidi Anne out the door for school and Anastasia's physical therapy and naps I have time with just Rory. He's started to play with cars, for the longest time he'd only play with them if I played too and made the "Vroomm" "Vroomm" sounds. Tonight (after this long day) he handed me a car and grabbed one and started going "Vmm, Vmm" then smiled up at me like "See Mom, I'm paying attention. You're not just talking to yourself when we play."
He's also a ham, He has some toys that play music and he'll dance like an old man. One step then another exaggerated step with arms swinging at the elbows. (Char says it looks more like a Maori Hakka dance). I sing "Dance, dance, dance!" to the tune of whatever song plays if I space out on the real words (or let's be honest if I don't want Bingo stuck in my head all day, again).  Rory has started to yell "Dee, Dee! Dee!" which I think is his way of saying "dance" right now. 

Rory is an adoring little brother. He'll follow Heidi Anne though out the house. When she leaves for school he goes all around asking "Heidi? Heidi?". Which is so sweet and sad at how much he misses her already. He worships her and I don't think she knows what a big fan he is of hers. 
He is also getting used to being a big brother. Sometimes he'll steal Anastasia's toys but I do make that toy look super fun trying to engage with Stacy. He likes to get in the bumbo after she's been in it, too. Other times, he gives her his toys, babbles, waits for her to take it, looks intently at her, plays with the toy a little, then give it to her. The whole process is like him saying "Here, play with this. Oh, you don't know how? Let me show you. Now you try."  I also love it when he treats the baby doll nicely. He'll cradle it in his arms, pat its back. while walking around. Guess he sees Mommy do that a lot with baby sister. 

Just last week he followed Daddy into the bathroom before daddy could close the door. Rory lighted up and said "A Bath!!" Ran to the bathtub waiting for his bath. Daddy was like "Sorry, not bath time right now."

One more cute thing he's been doing. (Come on, he's the middle child, let him enjoy the limelight.) He'll pretend Daddy is leaving by going to the front door and saying "Bye Bye Daddy!" Then giggles at me, a few minutes later he did it again and again. Every time followed by a giggle as if to say "I'm so funny, he's not leaving yet!" 
Oh, how I love his smiles. He has so many smiles! While he lacks the words / won't always say them on que, he's still so expressive that you can guess at what he wants (or hates). 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Plastic Surgeon and Prosthetic Doctor Visit

A few weeks ago we had scheduled an appointment to see a plastic surgeon regarding Anastasia's head shape, she suffers from plagiocephaly in addition to her torticollis. Around the same time Rory tried to give Anastasia a hug but ended up busting her lip. Yeah, that's going to leave a mark.

We had to leave early in the morning to got there for our 10:00 am appointment. The office was running behind and I got a chance to talk with another mom. She had an adorable baby boy who was 4 months old and 15 pounds 6 ounces. She admired Anastasia and didn't believe that she was 7 months old and just barely over 12 pounds. Eventually, the nurse came to take Anastasia back to see the doctor. 

The doctor walked in and stated "Are you here about her lip? Because that baby has a very flat head!" Which made me feel a little self aware for her lip. I told him we were here about her head shape. He was very concerned and said we needed to get an appointment with the orthopedic / prosthetic doctor right away. He was very serious and asked if I had a cell phone, puzzled I gave him my phone.

He called the other doctor from my phone! He said "I have a patient who needs to see you right away. She'll be there (looked at his watch) oh about 15 minutes." Then he handed me the phone to give them patient details and to get the address down. The receptionist informed me "We're booked for the day but were working me in and we might have a bit of a wait. But it sounds like she desperately needs to be seen." I told her I was okay with waiting. 

I was in shock with how fast things were progressing as I drove to Midvale to see this new doctor. We arrive at the doctors' office just as a patient cancelled an 11:15 appointment. Meaning we could slide in and take that slot. The word serendipity came to my mind. 

We had to take a 3-D scan of her head. You basically lay the baby down on a huge printer and it takes a 3-D scan of her head. The tricky part is to have them hold still long enough to get a picture. It took 2 tries but the doctor said she was an easy baby to work with. He gave me a copy to see how bad her head is, the eye bone is starting to flatten which can cause issues down the road if it were to be left uncorrected. 
He gave me the copy, Diag 1 is her left eye and Diag 2 is her right eye, as you can see they aren't even and the right side of her head is very flat. It's supposed to be a close to a perfect circle as possible. 

*** Side Note - I do wish people would believe me when I say I don't have any questions. ***

The doctor then asked if I had any questions. I told him no, I had a good idea on the process, this wasn't my first rodeo, I informed him that my oldest had to use a helmet as well. I feel like he didn't pay attention to that part because the following conversation (with internal dialog) took place. 

Doctor: You do understand that this helmet must stay on at least 23 hours a day. Right? 

Me: Yes. We had to do the same with my oldest. (I just told him so). 
Doctor: This helmet is only effective if you use it. Her head is in serious condition, it [her head] is off by 20 degrees. A 6 is concerning, 10 is bad, and she is double that! I can't stress enough how needed this treatment is and why the surgeon sent you over right away. 
Me: Have you ever see a square pumpkin or watermelon? (Maybe if I explain how it works, we can head out). 
Doctor: Yes, (he replies with a puzzled look on his face.)
Me: You don't smash a pumpkin into a square. You take a little pumpkin, place it in a square mold and it grows into the same of a square. That's how the helmet works, the head grows into the shape we want it to.
Doctor: You're exactly right. I'll have to use the example in the future. (I must say I was please with my analogy). Do you have any questions? 
Me: (Looking at the sample helmet which had rocket ships and a space theme). Does it come it pretty girl colors or just plain plastic? Are there foam pads?
Doctor: (With perplexed look on his face again). Yes, there is foam padding and here is a sheet options to choose from for the helmet patterns. Now, do you understand how it will work and that it's only effective if you use it properly. 
Me: (Internal sigh. Honestly doctor, I think I have this under control).  Nope, no questions.
Doctor: Is she on any medications?
Me: Yes, Prolseic, 1.5 mg, BID (twice per day).
Doctor: No one answers that question that way.
Me: Well, my husband is a nurse. (And I read his text books while he was in school.)

Finally, I think I got through to him that I understood the process once he stopped asking 
"Do you understand the process?" 

Now we are in insurance limbo. Waiting to get the helmet approved. If it's not done in 5 days then we have to take another 3-D image because babies' heads change that rapidly. Without insurance it would cost nearly 3 grand! 

Meanwhile, back at home Rory and Daddy were having some bonding time. Here's a picture I received while in a waiting room.

Monday, September 5, 2016

First Day of School and 10th Anniversary

On Monday Heidi Anne has her first day of Third Grade. She has been looking forward to school all summer. To say she was excited was an understatement. Heidi Anne was up and ready by 6:30 am, (school doesn't start until 8:50 am). That's my girl.

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on Wednesday. Technically, it was on Thursday but Char had work. Thus, we had our special dinner a day early. Grilled salmon for me, a nice juicy stake for Char, and beef hamburgers for the kids. We normally have turkey meat but we decided to let the kiddos in on the celebration. 

Last February, (keep in mind I was pregnant with Rory at the time) I thought our 10 year anniversary was coming up. Therefore, I thought we should really celebrate it by going away for the weekend. After all, I figured we could use a little brake from our 2 children. It wasn't until we were on our trip did I figure out that it was our 9th anniversary

How did I figure it out? 

Well, I was nauseous. Nothing but sushi sounded good. Char was teasing me saying I was pregnant (again) just 18 weeks after Rory was born. Going on about how we'll have Irish twins. I decided to prove him wrong. 

I made him drive about an hour away to Park City to get a pregnancy test (on our first vacation without kids since we had kids). I got the type that digitally reads "not pregnant" or "pregnant". That way he couldn't say anything doubtful like "I don't know, it looks like a faint line to me..." Or "It could just be too early...". 

Well, the test read "Pregnant" in nice bold, digital print. From the bathroom he hears "You're kidding me!" Which I am sure he thought was just me getting back at him. I was very serious. I was in disbelief. I told him something along the lines of "That is why you never take a pregnancy test while on vacation! Well, it's a unique 10th anniversary present." 

It was finally that it clicked, (as I was trying to calculate how far along I was), that it was our 9th anniversary. The whole time he never corrected me, because I was pregnant, then a mom with a new baby, quickly followed by pregnant (again). Smart man. He follows sage advice once given to him, "Even if your wife is wrong, she's still right!" 

Labor Day Weekend 2016

Our weekend started on Friday with an early morning physical therapy appointment for Anastasia. What is a physical therapy appointment like with an almost 7 month old? You basically pay for someone to make your baby cry. Okay, a little dramatic but true.

The therapist is super sweet and Anastasia likes her. We start out by stretching and messaging  Stacy's neck muscles because they are so tight. Which she is fine with. (Honestly, who would pass up a message)? Next, we try to find some toys to engage her with, today was a light up wand. We've tried musical toys, rattles, light up toys, but the thing she likes the most is just plain talking. She is such a talkative baby since her hernias were repaired. 

Once we have some toys, I show the therapist how I've been doing her exercises at home and she gives me some critics. We take some measurements to see how many degrees Anastasia can turn her neck, if there is any improvement in her skull shape (there wasn't), if she's cheating (which she does that sneaky little girl), Then the therapist does the same exercises I did, only the proper way. 
Some Exercises 
Today, the therapist added some new exercises. Anastasia just isn't making the headway she would like to see. It's around this time in the session Anastasia is getting pushed to her breaking point. It's hard because I know it's good for her in the long run but you can't explain "It's okay, we just need to do this 5 more times and we can take a break." I still tell her those things even though she doesn't understand me. I think it's more for my benefit and to remind myself that her pain is temporary. Especially when Anastasia pulls the big pouty lip complete with welling up tears. 

If we lived in Utah, or even just a bigger city, someone would be coming in twice a week to do this process for nearly an hour each time (in addition to what I do on a daily basis with her). Anastasia would be able to tolerate it more because she would be in a familiar home environment. Since we're in Wyoming we drive 2 hours once a week for a 30-45 minute appointment. I really wish we could do the in home therapy. 
On Saturday we went to Swiss Days as a family. I'm trying to do as much before winter (by default RSV season) rolls in. Heidi Anne wanted everyone to wear blue for some reason and I just went with it. 

We drove down and parked in a big field, which was packed. There was a LONG line just for the shuttle to take us to the actual location for Swiss Days. Heidi was excited to ride the bus because it's like the one that took her to Disneyland. Rory's face was to die for once we took off, he looked around as if to say "No carseat? This ride is fun!!" I sang The Wheels on the Bus to him. 

Once we get there everyone was hungry. We decided to go get scones. Which meant waiting in another line. Heidi Anne once again said "This is just like Disneyland! There are long lines for everything!" I guess that means we can check Disneyland off the things to do, we've got the wait in lines experience down.

It took 26 minutes, but we finally got those scones (which were HUGE). I only know how long it took because the man behind us kept stating loudly how many minutes he'd been waiting. As if by stating this fun fact would somehow it would make the line move faster. 

It was Rory's first scone. He was skeptical when we first gave him a piece. He took a little nibble, his eyes got wide, then he promptly shoved the rest of the bite in his mouth. He ate nearly half of a scone by himself. 

Once everyone had their fill of delicious scones we walked around the booths. I just love going to craft fairs, it's fun to see how creative people are. I saw an adorable rag doll that I thought Anastasia might like for Christmas. But this little rag doll was over $30!! There was a surprising amount of doll related booths this year. Heidi Anne loved looking at the pretty doll clothes. 

We spent nearly 2 hours browsing around admiring the different works of art. We found a lovely metal art work that fit our time in Wyoming perfectly. I love how the hooks are made from old horse shoes. It'll be by our front door for everyone's bags. 

After we got our craft it was time to head home. We then waited in line (again) for the bus to take us back to the parking lot. Then we headed back home. 

Char had work on Labor Day but we still had some fun. We had a barbecue (problem the last one of the season). Then spent family time watching a movie. 

All in all, it was a nice vacation. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

August Catch Up

August. August, got away from me. It got busy, fast. Anastasia had several doctor appointments, we went to Grandma's, we went to a wedding, Heidi went to a play, and we just had back to school night. 

So I'll start where I left off. Anastasia's surgery for her 3 hernias. Well, you know what happened at the hospital with me but more things were going on at Grandma's. 
Daddy took Heidi Anne to get her ears pierced since she's 8 and a big girl. After that, Rory got his very first hair cut. Heidi got a new haircut for the start of a new school year. They both look so adorable. 

The following week Anastasia had a well child check where the doctor agreed with us that something is up with her head and neck. An appointment was set up for the following week with a physical therapist. Anastasia also got her 6 month old shots. 
That Friday we drove down to be in Salt Lake for Aunt Millie's wedding. 
Heidi was one of her flower girls in a lovely yellow dress. 
Rory was in a handsome four piece suit as a ring barer. 
(Anastasia was an honorary flower girl). 
After the ceremony and family photos we had some time to kill before brunch, so we walked around Temple Square and City Creek Center (which we were way over dressed for). The family brunch was at the Porcupine Grill. Which was a lot of fun. We had to leave a little early because Anastasia decided she was done and wanted to be cuddled in a nice, quite place. 

We went to Grandma's to give Anastasia her much needed quite time and help out setting up for the reception. It was around this time Anastasia spit up all over my nice wedding pictures dress. Luckily, I had a backup outfit. Anyways, the reception was lovely and held in Grandma's garden.  Since there was a photographer I didn't think to get pictures. 

Side note - I think you take less pictures the more kids you have because you're wrangling more kids! I totally spaced getting pictures to share. Sigh.

Well the following week Anastasia had her eye appointment where she was declared clear of ROP!! Yeah! On the other hand she is still tiny even by preemie standards. To help her gain weight she was put on pure fat called MiroLipids. Each ounce of formula now contains 30-31 calories (compared to regular formula / breast-milk which has 19 calories). You can  only get MicroLipids from Primary Children's Hospital. 
Next was her "first" physical therapy session. I was very upset when I found out the physical therapist was actually a pediatrician. The referral service sent us to just another regular doctor. To be fair this office got her an appointment for the following week with a real therapist. 

(Anastasia has a small strawberry hematoma, that's the red dot on her chest.) 

I was also in extreme pain, causing me to go to the InstaCare. I was very, very close to going to the ER. But figured InstaCare was cheaper and if they couldn't handle it they'd give the ER a heads up that I would be coming. Turns out I had a kidney infection. We spent the night at Grandma's, I couldn't make the drive home. (We stayed at grandma's a lot this month.) Thanks Grandma!

That Saturday, Heidi got to spend the night with Cousin A. The next morning they went to see the Beauty and the Beast musical. Heidi LOVED it. All the girls wore their flower girl dresses to the play. Afterwards there was a little birthday part for both Cousin A and little Cousin H. 

Today, we had her first REAL physical therapy appointment today. Where it was determined she's suffering from toricollis (short neck muscles) and needs a helmet due to misshapen head. I just summed up a 2 hour appointment in 2 sentences. Sad.

We just got back from Heidi Anne's back to school night. I can't believe she'll be in 3rd Grade!  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Weekend at Grandmas

We spent nearly 4 days at Grandma's house this weekend. We came down Saturday evening for a family reunion, spent the night, had plans to go home Sunday. But Anastasia's surgery was set up for Tuesday and the hospital couldn't tell me until the night before what time she'd have to go in. My mother in law thought it made more sense to stay Sunday instead of leaving and coming back up the very next day. Plus, I'd have some additional help (and A/C). 

I didn't get any pictures of the family reunion, it seemed like everyone was taking pictures and I thought for sure I could get a few from someone or at least on Facebook. My mistake. It was for Grandpa's siblings and any of their children and grandchildren who were able to come. For the first time in 12 years all 8 siblings were at the same place at the same time. It was a rather big event. It was also Anastasia's first experience to the world (beyond immediate family and doctor appointments). 

Rory and I don't do well in crowds. He just wanted to be help by either me or by Grandma. He would just nuzzle into her arms. Heidi Anne was having a blast playing with all the new kids. Anastasia was on her play mat where she either slept or played as cute as could be. I had fun showing my miracle baby off to anyone who wanted to see her. I figured everyone was getting to see Rory with Grandma and Heidi could hold her own. I really wish I got more pictures. 

After everyone had eaten Grandma and Grandpa read a story in an old newspaper about Great Grandpa (Grandpa's Dad). I knew he had served as a Navy Medic during World War II but I didn't know he was at the battle for Iwo Jima. The paper was about his service at Iwo Jima. It was very interesting to listen to. 

It was really hot on Sunday and Grandma thought the kids would like to play with some water. We got dish soap, measuring cups, the yellow bucket, and a hose. Rory loved it! Plus it was on the patio, which is grass free. 
Rory had a field day splashing around. He thought it would be funny to pretend to drink the bubbles or he wasn't pretending...either way they didn't taste to good to him. But he knew he was being silly and kept scooping up some water, spilling almost all of it as it got to his face, jerked it up to his lips (throwing what little water was left onto his face), then stop and laugh.
Heidi Anne tired to see if she could sit all the way down in the cold water (she couldn't make it). Rory would watch Heidi Anne closely and follow her led. 
Funny story about the bucket. At the family reunion it was used as a drink cooler, thus it was filled with ice and soda cans. Well, Rory and his cousin G (who is only 6 weeks younger then Rory) didn't like that their water toy was being used. They would take out a single ice cube, chuck it to the ground, and pick up another piece, (repeat). Finally, after we had cleaned up all the little ice chips, we had to play keep away the bucket from the baby boys. Totally should've had my phone with me that day.  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Anastasia's Surgery

Here she is ready to go!
I only found out the day before the surgery when her time would be. We were lucky we had to be there at 6:15 am and would be the first one of the day. The down side, we had to be there by 6:15 am. 

The night before her surgery Anastasia could only eat until 12:00 am and nothing after that. Which was going to make for a long night. We went to bed around 10:00 pm, set an alarm to wake me up to feed her at 11:30 pm. I told her to drink as much as she could because that's all she's getting for a long time. I don't think she listened to me. 

Well, 4:30 am rolls around and off goes our alarms again. But we didn't need them, we were awake from trouble sleeping. We finished up packing what we weren't able to the night before. Loaded up Anastasia who was in a happy mood until she realized she was hungry. Then she screamed and kept it up until we were driving in the car. She fell asleep shortly after that. 

We get to Primary Children's (where we got an awesome parking spot!) and my anxiety began to increase. I tried to calm myself down because if I freak out, then so will Anastasia. Charlie showed no signs of worry. He just kept reassuring me that everything would be fine. That this is one of the best children's hospitals nationwide. But I was still a bit nervous. It's like the logical part of me walked away and I was left with neurotic me. 
We check in at 6:15 am and we wait (for nearly an hour). Then we're called into the pre-operation room. There we were instructed to give her a good wipe bath with operation grade sanitizer. They also brought out her hospital pajamas and some cute little pink socks. We got her all ready to go. Finally, a sweet OR nurse came to collect her. We walked with her as far as possible. Then she took my miracle baby away for surgery. 

I almost lost it.

We went down to the cafeteria to help pass the time and to actually eat some breakfast. After all, we'd been up for over 3 hours and it was breakfast time anyways. To be completely honest, I didn't want to just sit in the waiting room with other anxious parents for nearly 2 hours. The whole time I was a bundle of nerves. I knew she'd be okay but I was plagued by all the "what ifs". 

Finally we headed to the dreaded waiting room. We check in with the receptionist and wait. I think we timed it pretty good because 30 minutes later the doctor came out to tell us how everything went. She had all 3 hernia's repaired. (She had a 10% chance of having the third hernia but they checked anyways. Which was good because, she suffered from it.). 
Another 20 minutes pass by and then we're called to the PACU. I got to see my sleepy, baby girl. Who was beet red! Which was a side effect from one of the medications they had given her. Anastasia was inconsiable. Just screaming and screaming. The nurse gave her some good pain meds and I swear 5 minutes later she fell back asleep. Pain free and calm. However, the pain medication had a side effect as well. Her O2 staturation decreased and she needed some O2 support. 

Once she was stable we were transferred to the Post Op unit. That is where Anastasia and I would be staying the night. I got a sweet picture of her peacefully sucking her thumb in her sleep while getting a bit of O2 support. Since everything was going good Char went to be with the other kiddos at Grandma's house. 
I decided to take a little nap while she slept. I'm glad I did, after a 90 minute nap she was wide awake. She just wanted to be cuddled and the pain to go away. The rest of the day was spent holding her and getting in some snacks. Time just seemed to drag on. (Ever notice time seems slower in a hospital? Or is that just me?)

I think the nurses did a great job on her pain management. But the baby was up ALL night.  Around 2:00 am the nurse offered to take her while I got a quick nap in. The chair was uncomfortable but apparently when you lack sleep, you can fall asleep anywhere. I remember thinking, "Geez, well this will be a short nap." Next thing I know I'm awake up and it's 5:00 am. I checked the hospital grade crib and Anastasia wasn't there. But I heard coos not to far away. At the nurses' station there are 3 nurses fawning over Anastasia and she is just cooing back to them. She didn't take a nap the whole time they had her, they said she was making up for being under and sleepy during the day. 

We got word since she was doing so good we could be discharged. I called Char at 6:00 am and cringed at having to wake him up so early. Little did I know he was almost to the hospital. He was there in no time. We loaded her up and the nurse walked us out. Anastasia finally fell asleep in the car. 

Now we're in recovery mode for the next 3 weeks. She can't do tummy time since it would put pressure on the incisions. She's just getting pain meds and unlimited cuddles. (To Rory's dismay).  

Monday, July 25, 2016

When Plans Go Belly Up

It started last night, we packed up to go to grandma's house and planned to head down to SLC first thing in the morning and spend the night there. We were geared up to go to Aunt Millie's Bridal Shower. Heidi even picked out her new blue "hippie" dress (which is cute) to wear to her first grown up party. She was so excited to be considered a big girl. Heidi also wanted to show the family her baby sister since most have only seen Anastasia in pictures. I was really looking forward to the visit.

Well, at 4:30 am this morning, Anastasia had a fever. Just like that our plans came to a grinding halt. Heidi Anne was devastated. She wanted to see Grandma and her Aunts. (She adores her Aunts). 

Normally, Rory is okay when I give Anastasia attention. He'll go off and just play with his toys knowing I'll spend time with him when she doesn't need me anymore, Well, it wasn't a normal day. Rory noticed Anastasia was getting even more attention than normal. Every time she got a bottle he HAD to have one at the exact same time. If she was being held, well he wanted up as well. To make things easier, I rocked in a chair with a baby on each side of me. Both the babies were getting the attention they wanted. 

Just when I thought I had this sick day figured out, I was given a curve ball in the late afternoon. Heidi Anne caught a stomach bug. (Naturally, she told me after I ordered pizza as a way to say thank you to her for being such a trooper about missing the party and having my time consumed by the babies). 

I spent the night singing lullabies, watching Cinderella (the new version with Lily James), and splitting my time between three little ones. I got up early at 4:30 am to tend to a sick baby, now I'm sitting on the sofa staying up late with a sick Heidi Anne. It's been a long day. Nowhere near the day I was planning on having. But that's life I guess. Let's hope Anastasia sleeps longer then 4:30 am tomorrow. 

It's odd but these are the days where I'm glad to be a stay at home mom and grateful that Char works hard to make sure we can afford for me to be here. They won't remember the day where everyone wanted and received cuddles. Or that I was up for nearly 20 hours straight to tend to everyone's needs. That my voice went horse from singing Itsy Bitsy Spider or Lavender's Blue (Dilly Dilly). I might not even remember it if I didn't write it down to be honest. But I need to be reminded that I'm doing my best at this mommy thing. (And why on Earth I would make Heidi Anne miss her first big girl party.) 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Wegener Family Reunion in Driggs

Every summer there is a Wegener family reunion up the Idaho Tetons. We're not able to go every year but we made it this time! Last time we went it was 2 years ago and all we had was Heidi Anne. This year we had 3 kids with 2 of them younger than 16 months old. A lot can happen in just 2 years!
The Teton valley is lovely and full of outdoor activities; close to Yellowstone, the Teton forest, and Jackson Hole. We tend to stay in the Diggs / Victor area. (My friend Valerie has a blog called 51 Cent Adventures and she would have a field day in the Tetons. Her blog is about how to travel and have adventures on a low budget.) 
People went; paddle boarding, kayaking, biking, hiking, (long and short ones), scenic drives, strolls around the cabin or just played outside. I couldn't participate in much of the outdoor things this year. Rory has a fear of walking on grass and hates wearing shoes. But he would sit / walk on a quilt on the grass. So there was some progress made. Anastasia has baby skin and we forgot baby sunblock. Therefore, I trended to the babies and read a bit.

Grandpa and Char took Heidi Anne fishing for the very first time. She's been wanting to go since she was 5. 
The fishing site was packed (all the sites where). Amazingly, she actually caught her very first fish.
 It may have been little but at least she got one. According to Char, she refused to touch it, the -hand in the picture is Char's not Heidi's. Needless to say, we didn't have any fish for dinner that night. 
On Friday night everyone, (except Char and I because we didn't arrive on time), went to Bar J Wranglers and explored Jackson Hole. We went on Sunday night, everyone helped to watch Anastasia, Heidi, and Rory, making it our first date night in over 18 months. We went despite Char not feeling 100% 

We started off our date by running to the store and getting some baby rice. (Fun times, right?). Then we went to Main Street, it was packed with people! We explored the little stores, admired the art work in the galleries, got a small piece of fudge, and looked through a bookstore. 
After our time on Main Street we went to the Bar J Wranglers. Which is a chuck wagon like dinner and this group of men crack jokes and sing Western music. Char got a stake and I got chicken. It was a good show but we had to leave early because Char kept feeling worse and worse. We took a lovely drive back up to the cabin.
On the Fourth of July everyone (but me, Rory, and Anastasia) went to the Victor Parade. The kids got LOTS of treats from the parade. 

While at the parade Heidi Anne and her cousins got their face painted. Heidi and her little cousin H both got their faces painted like tigers. 

Cousin A got an adorable butterfly on her face. The paint kept smearing so it was on just long enough for the kids to enjoy it and get fun pictures taken. 

Per tradition tried to get Huckleberry shakes. Again, everyone one went (except Char, Rory and Anastasia). Heidi and I tagged along with Grandma and Grandpa. Max never had a Huckleberry shake before and was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, the first place we went to was out of Huckleberries. So we went to good ol' reliable Victor Emporium.  
After dinner on the 4th of July, Cousin A and Heidi Anne (with Grandpa in tow) put on a little performance for us. They've started to do this at every gathering. The show came to an abrupt end when the sprinklers came on, getting them wet. Someone turned off the sprinklers and Aunt E turned on some music which prompted the girls to start dancing. Next thing you know Aunt M got her Bluetooth speaker and people joined in on the dancing. It was like a family flash mob. 

We were going to take Heidi Anne to see the firework show but Anastasia wouldn't go down. We found out the fireworks would be 5 miles away and we should be able to see them from the cabin. They wouldn't be as big or with the music but we could still watch them. The show didn't start until 10:20, as we're waiting outside in the dark Heidi declares she's tired, that was at 10:18 pm. We convinced her to wait a little longer. It was a real pretty performance, worth staying up for.

The very next morning we headed home based on the smiles from all the grandkids in the family, they all had fun. Even Anastasia smiled a little for the camera. 
Top: Anastasia, Cousin A, and Heidi Anne
Bottom: Rory, Cousin G, and Cousin H