Monday, October 27, 2008

Bail out...

Yesterday was one of those Sundays when the kids are all wrestling and fighting and begging us to take them somewhere (usually grandpa's house). I had already spent the morning wrestling with kids (not one of our stellar before-church mornings...) and then wrestling the kids through Sacrament meeting (hoping they wouldn't break anything while I was up leading the choir in a musical number) and then I finished off the three hour block wrestling a class of 7 sunbeams including six rowdy boys. When I say wrestling I mean that quite literally.

Rustin had been at meetings and home teaching since 6 am so he was ready to stay home too. This is one thing that makes him great. Rustin spent an hour and a half playing with the and cold, alligator, hide and seek, Simon says and anything else they wanted. I can't say how much I appreciate him. He doesn't just show them what to play he completely plays with them which makes all the difference.

On a really great note--we have an oven! We have been eating every baked good we can think of. Cookies, muffins, potatoes, German pancakes... The kids all requested pot pie for dinner tonight. I think we might eat only things baked in the oven for the next few weeks!

This week I didn't get the office organized, but I did get everything cleaned and painted and organized and put away in the kitchen. Rustin also cut some shelves for the bathroom closet which is really helping to organize that room. I think the rest of this week will mostly be filled with Halloween stuff. Which is fun. I have been sticking to my resolution to have the kitchen, front room, hallway and kids rooms cleaned and vacuumed by 10 every day. It feels good. I'll have to add laundry to the list one of these days...

All right, Benson is begging me to play 'monster' so I will better get going. By the way--this boy will never be potty trained. He does rinse out his own underwear and climb into the tub by himself. Does that count? I am completely drained of ideas and I feel like a total failure. But I keep reminding myself that there some things I can't control and a four year-old's sphincter muscles fit into that category. Right? On a positive note, he does seem to be finally able to tell the twins apart. Up until now he has been calling them "the guy with the broken leg" or "broken arm" or on a bad day just "that brother". We find that weird and rather baffling. We've never even had to tell the other kids who their brothers are. Someday we'll figure this little one out...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ahhh Fall...

We finally got that Fall weather that we have been hoping for. We had a beautiful 60-70's day today. We cleaned up all the flower beds and garden and planted some tulips and crocus.

Landon had his final game today. His team ended up third. It was nice to watch in sunglasses instead of gloves and snow boots like last week! The teams that got first and second place were the only teams that scored on them all season. The games that they played against the two teams that beat them were both really close and hard fought. It was fun to watch.

Benson is healing well. He really doesn't tell me when his throat hurts but he occasionally melts down and has to be rocked in the "rock-a-bye." A little Tylenol does the trick. He's still scared to eat crackers because he tried it once when his throat was sore and now he thinks it will always hurt.

Dallin is trying really hard not to walk with a limp but his right leg is still very weak. He's hoping to recover in time for basketball.

Landon still has his cast on. We (mostly me) are tired of doing fifth grade homework. He usually has figured out all the answers so we just have to write them down for him. He will be really glad to get the cast off so all the raw blisters can heal.

Rustin has been assigned to a different ward for high council which means we don't see him at all on Sundays. We are trying to adjust to that. I think it will be much easier when I have both of my big helpers available in the morning again. Dallin's getting better but we still miss Landon's help.

As for me--I still don't have an oven. We are tired of eating uncooked cookie dough. Maybe in the next week... I have big plans for organizing my desk/office space. Hopefully I'll get to that this week too. And I definately plan to enjoy the beautiful Fall weather.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sister's sister's sister...

This morning has been one of those slightly grumpy feel-sorry-for-myself mornings. I thought it would do me some good to count my blessings and look to those who inspire me.

One of the first to come to mind is my sister's sister's sister Stephanie Nielsen (Nie Nie) You should REALLY check out this blog!). She is Becki's sis-in-law's (Courtney) sister. She and her husband were in a terrible plane crash about two months ago. They are both in the hospital and Stephanie was burned over 80% of her body and is fighting for her life. They have four small children who are living with Courtney and Chris.

I have been a long time reader of Courtney's (cJane) blog so I have been following this experience for their family. For some reason I feel like this experience is for me. Not literally, but the outpouring of peace and encouragement I feel through reading Courtney's accounts are my own personal life raft. It makes me want to be a little better prepared and to make sure I am really sucking the life out of every single moment. It's made me a little better person. I continue to pray for them all.

***A little side note here--if any of you have read cJane's blog you will know that Nie Nie's family found her house perfectly organized and prepared down to the fresh fruits and veggies in the fridge. Juli and I both signed a pact with each other saying that if anything every happens to either one of us, we will clean each others house spotless and tell everyone that our sister had perfectly prepared her family.***

The second inspiration I'm going to think of this morning is my sister. All of my sisters really do great things that are inspiring but today I'm thinking of Juli. A couple of weeks ago she ran a marathon. This came after months and months of preparation. She beat medical odds to get her body healthy and she accomplished a really hard task by working on it a little at a time.

She ran with last few miles with her husband Shon by her side which I think is terribly sweet. After listening to the accounts I don't think there is such a thing as a half marathon. The reason a marathon is such an accomplishment is because of the last human-limitation-defying miles. From about 22 miles on I hear is really past what a normal body can endure. Juli did it and I am really inspired by her accomplishments. One of the most inspiring posts for me from Juli is HERE.

So, in summary I am going to spend my day enjoying the things I can do. I will sit and rock my sore-throat-ed four year old and enjoy the moment. I will not allow myself to get overwhelmed with the vast number of unpleasant tasks awaiting me today. Much thanks to my sisters.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Surgery day--Again.

Silly Benson before the surgery

Benson had his tonsils and adenoids removed yesterday. Because he was one of the youngest, he went early--about 8 o'clock. It only took about 45 minutes total. When he came back he really didn't cry much at all. He wanted me to hold him the whole time and he whined a little because of the numb feeling in his throat but he really was easy to handle. The doctor said his tonsils were huge and gross but his adenoids weren't as bad as they expected.

The surgery center was great. They waited until he was asleep to but in the IV and then they put it in his foot so it wouldn't bug him. They let him wear his superman jammies in the surgery. We were able to wait in his room the whole time and they brought him right back to us. It was really nice.

When we first got home I thought we had totally gotten off easy. He was happy and smiley and wanted to eat ramen noodles. It wasn't until about 2:30 that the numbness wore off and then he was one sad and sore little boy. So I pretty much held him the rest of the day. He would doze off to sleep and accidentally swallow and then cry. Poor kid. We had given him some Motrin earlier in the morning and I finally figured out that it only lasts 6 hours at the most. We'll do better on that in the next few days. Our really great friends brought us dinner which was really nice. We're totally spoiled!

Last night I got up and gave him some medicine at about 5 1/2 hours so he could sleep and so that he could swallow the medicine before the pain relief wore off. He did really well. He wouldn't sleep in my room and I knew Austin wouldn't wake up if he was crying so Landon switched with Austin and slept with Ben. Dallin is going to sleep with him tonight.

He still has his signature horrible thick green runny nose. We have started some antibiotics but he woke up with a raging fever today. His throat doesn't seem to hurt too badly unless the Motrin wears off. We'll keep giving the antibiotics and then see how he's doing with the fever tomorrow. I need to get a new thermometer. And I think I could use some sleep.

A great class!

Dallin's fifth grade class made him this awesome poster. His teacher came to the house to deliver it. What a great group!

His ankle is feeling good and he is starting to walk on it a little more. It's tough after two full months! We'll check in with the doctor latter this week to make sure all is well.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Surgery Day

Dallin had his surgery on his ankle today. Our first doctor sent us to an orthopedic specialist for a secondary opinion. The ortho guy said that he had never seen an injury like Dallin's that didn't have the cartilage broken (If there's enough force to break the bone then...) He said that they would need to scope the ankle and remove the bone fragments and drill into the bone so it could form scar tissue to support the cartilage.

After six weeks of crutches we were hopeful that things would go well. They did. When they got into his ankle today they found that the cartilage was completely firmly attached to the bone! There is still a 1 mm difference between the injury site and the surrounding cartilage but they said that an 11 year old has a good chance to have that smooth out. The doctor wasn't sure how the healing took place (maybe the crutches for six weeks?). We know we had some blessings from above!

So, no bone drilling and Dallin can work on walking on his foot. They did have to free up a tendon that was trapped out of place (or something like that) so it wouldn't rub on the bone. Other than that things went well.

The worst part was probably for me. They sent us to the wrong recovery room so we sat waiting and worrying for Dallin for 20-30 minutes. He was next door. AHH. He was in tears when we found him. That was torture. I wasn't there when he needed me.

I think I may be one of those really pushy moms when Benson has his surgery on Monday. I was a nurse long enough to know that things like this just happen and no harm was done but I certainly don't want my four-year-old waking up alone.

We are looking forward to a couple days off school for teacher work days the next couple of days. Hopefully the kitchen will get done as well!

Benson's day

Yesterday was Benson's fourth birthday. We had a great day. He wanted doughnuts at preschool and a cake with star wars guys on top. I didn't get pictures of that because my camera battery died. My mom made that cake at her house (we still don't have an oven--thanks mom) and Benson loved it. Dad (and fam) came over and helped Rustin give Dallin a blessing for his surgery the next day. That was really nice and comforting.

I also made Benson a cute blanket (again at my mom's house because my sewing machine died!). It has very soft brown furry material on one side and it's slicky with his name on the other. I will have to finish tying it over conference.

Here are a few things that are unique about Benson:

*Benson has had a runny nose for at least a year and a half. Really yucky looking nose. We've had weeks (and weeks) of antibiotics (which work great but can't seem to hold off an infection for more than a week) and a couple of strep infections. Thus--Monday morning he is having tonsils and adenoids removed!

*He has never slept by himself. When the surgery center called to ask if he has a comfort item that he sleeps with I said "yes, his brother Austin".

*He has the most delightful laugh ever. Seriously. He and Jenna were playing the other day and he was giggling and I heard Jenna say to herself "I love it when he laughs."

*We think Benson was blessed with the gift of originality (survival for the youngest of five for sure!). He defies everything we know about parenting. None of the 'rules' apply to this little personality. We pray for inspiration constantly.

*Benson loves to rock-a-bye when he's sad but he also has times when he wants NO comforting whatsoever. We just have to give him his space. Of course I love it when he wants to rock with his little arms clasped behind my shoulders...

*He is currently the thinnest and speediest of the five hatch kids. Very cute.

*Even the big boys enjoy playing with Benson. He has a very fun little imagination.

Overall, our lives certainly wouldn't be the same without little Ben. We are so grateful we have him and although I hate seeing things change I know the future will get better and better.