Thursday, December 31, 2009

Unhappy Babies!

I was looking at some newly downloaded pitcs and came across this one. I thought I 'd use it to head this post. Doesn't he look happy! It has now been 10 days since Brayden's surgery. Brayden did very well the 1st 4 days. Starting Christmas night Brayden's behavior started to change. He cried constantly and only wanted mom. Come Sunday Kory started to mention the change in behavior and thought maybe something else was wrong. I know it's bad when Daddy says,"maybe you should take him to the doctor." Being he had had 2 ear infections the month before surgery I thought maybe he had come down with another one. There are no words to describe how cranky and miserable he seemed to be. He would't nurse or eat. On Sunday he went 9 hours before I could get him to eat again. He was pulling on both ears and had a temp off and on. He had dark circles under his eyes due to not sleeping more then 20min. at a time including through the night and his mouth was so dry that his lips were cracking and bleedy. Monday morning I called and made an appt. with his pediatrician. I love his doctor. She didn't find any ear infections, nothing seemed wrong but she too was concerned at his behavior that she was witnessing from him. She sent us home knowing the next day was his post op in Phoenix but to call anyways and discuss his behavior with the surgeon. When I got home from the peadiatrian's I called down to his doctor and had to leave a message for a nurse to call back. Of course she never did.

Tuesday we piled the family in the van and drove the 2 1/2 hours to the post op appt. After having to wait 2 hours before we were finally seen by the doctor he told us Brayden's behavior is typicall. The tylenol with codeine is known to dry a person out and luckily we don't need to give it to him every 4 hours anymore, just as needed. The doctor removed all the dressing and the cathetor so Brayden doesn't need any of his meds anymore. YEAH!!!

It's been 2 days since his post op now. Brayden is still very cranky and insists on being held constantly. At least he'll let his dad hold him now when he's home. The doctor told us with previous patients this kind of behavior can last up to 3 weeks after surgery but usually after the 2 week mark things improve quickly. Here's to 4 more days. Until then the house will continue to stay cluttered, laundry will be done one batch a day and I will do the days worth of dishes after the other kids are in bed and Kory is doing the baby dance with Brayden. It's sad but true that I actually look forward to the 20 minutes of doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Dinner will be cold cereal or pizza just one more night. Tommorrow Kory will be home and will be a great help with Brayden. I plan to make a few freezer meals that will hopefully last over the next week or two. I hate it when my kids are sick. I would much rather be sick then them. As a mom I think it's the worse to know your child is sick or in pain. You do everything you can to make them feel more comfortable but sometimes that's just not enough. It reall sucks that there's not much I can do for him.

We plan to have a few friends come over tonight and ring in the new year with us. Hopefully a few more people in the house will be a good distraction for Brayden. This year we're going to go out with a bang. Happy New Year's!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Morning

This was our 4th Christmas staying at home. The 1st question I get asked when talking to loved ones on Christmas Day is, "how early did the kids wake up?" Usually my reply is sometime between 5-6am. This year was a little different. The kids were so so so excited that we didn't get them to bed until 9:00pm. By 10:00 the kids were asleep and by 10:30 mom and dad were also snoozing away. I am still unsure as to what woke me up at 12:15am but something did. I laid in bed listening and sure enough I heard very quiet chit chatter. Then out of the dark a light switch flipped on. I ran out to the family room to discover both Hunter and Madelyn getting more excited by the second. "Look mom look Santa already came. Can we go wake up Emily?" Uh..... NO! I sent them both back to bed in a hurry with strict instructions as not to get out of bed until 7:00am (what we usually say). Knowing that both kids would probably have a hard time going back to sleep and going to bed almost 2 hours later then usuall I was really hoping it would be 7. Once again I was awoken with the sound of a light switch. I rolled over to discover it was 5:45am. Quickly I ran to the family room to discover Hunter, who quickly said "I'm just looking mom!" at what Santa had left behind. Once again I sent him back to his bed until the girls woke up. By now I too couldn't go back to sleep so when I discovered Hunter at 6:45 "Just looking" again we woke everyone else up. We had the kiddo's line up in the hall so daddy could inspect what Santa left. Ignore my son's pose. Where do kids learn these things???? Hunter was thrilled with a Pokemon movie and puzzle. The past 2 years Santa hasn't necesarily goofed, Hunter has just changed his mind a few days before Christmas and has been a little dissapointed that Santa too didn't make the change on the want list. He was so excited and kept saying, "I can't believe Santa brought me what I really really wanted."

Madelyn wanted a My Little Pet Shop. Can you tell she's pleased?

Emily of course was another baby doll.

The girls and their Barbie House.

Mommy, Emily and Brayden. Brayden wasn't quite ready to wake up yet.

Hunter was proud of himself to lay all his gifts out for a picture that mom insits on taking every year.

Maddie who is usually so photogenic complained that the flash on the camera was hurting her eyes. When mom turned the flash off it was too late. All I get is a bunch of squinty eye picts of her.
Emily loves her baby and the new playdough. Mom can now throw out all the dried up, mixed color, old yucky playdough away. It will be great to start fresh.

Brayden's 1st Christmas was a success. Santa brought him a choo choo train that shoots out balls and chugs away by itself. Unfortunately Santa forgot to leave batteries. A few days after Christmas we now have the batteries and he is enjoying chasing after his choo choo train. What a great smile he has on his face.

What I miss most about not going home for Christmas is the visiting. The kids are off playing with cousins and the adults are sitting around socializing. So since we've decided not to travel any more for Christmas 4 years ago we started a new tradition. We invite a few friends over for Christmas that would other wise also be alone for Christmas. We split up the good food and everyone brings something to contribute. We stick to the traditional Christmas dinner of turkey/ham, mashed potatoes, salads, rolls and pies. Nobody leaves hungry. We had 2 families over this year which gave us 6 adults and 12 kids. We had so much fun that my camera sat on the counter the entire afternoon taking a nap. It wasn't until the next morning that I thought about all the pictures I wanted to take that didn't get taken. Oh well. Maybe next year. I hope you all had a great Christmas too.

Santa's Dollhouse

I've been told many times now that the bestest part of Christmas was the surprise Dollhouse. Madelyn said, "WOW! Mom, Santa is really really smart. I didn't even ask for a Barbie house but he sure new I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. This was our big project over the past few weeks. I have been working on the furniture for quite some time now. I couldn't sew at night because Hunter would wake up and come out to tell me I was being too loud. So I would pull out the sewing machine as soon as I dropped Maddie off to school and put Emily down for a nap. I would then have about 1-2 hours before I had to start cleaning up before I had to pick her and Hunter up from school. I found many, many ideas on the internet for bedroom furniture but not too many durable ideas for the kitchen and bathroom. I was still planning on making these until I discovered the kitchen on ebay for $8 and the bath for $5. With shipping it cost me about $20.

The beds are made from shoe boxes donated by Big 5. All of the fabric are scraps from my sewing drawers or from a friends. The batting I took out of an old pillow that has seen better days. The 2 dressers I bought for less then $3 each thanks to our new Hobby Lobby store that was constantly offering 60% off unfinished wood items. The couches were made with Mac n' Cheese boxes and more batting. The lamp post also came from Hobby Lobby and the shade is a piece of scrapbook paper. Santa made the house with scraps from the shop so overall we spent less than $35.00. Not too bad I think.

Bedroom #1
Bedroom #2

Kitchen with a broom that I bought from D.I for $.25. The kitchen came with pots and pans and lots of little food that fit in the refrigerator.

Flower pot also came from D.I I love the way the big screen TV turned out. Both of my girls have spent the majority of the past few days sitting in front of their Barbie House. They love it and I had fun making it. Not wanting Santa to get all the credit we told them that Santa and mommy have been in cahoots. That Santa told mommy he was going to be bringing a Barbie house with the kitchen and bathroom but mommy would need to make everything else. I absolutlely love it.

Christmas Fun

My parents came to visit us for a few days during Brayden's surgery to help with the other kiddo's. My mom brought the fixings of the BEST easy, little goodie EVER!! You take a square pretzel and put a wrapperless rolo on top. Microwave for 21 seconds and top with a pecan. YUMMY! Madelyn, Hanna, Gabby (foreign exchange sister), and Emily
Another night we made Gingerbread Houses.
Good Job Emily!
The above is Hanna's finished progect.
The above is Gabby's finished project. My OWN kids picts turned out very blurry and dark but they too did a great job.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Brayden's Surgery

Brayden and I had to check in at Banner-Thunderbird Hospital this past monday morning at 7:30am, surgery was scheduled for 9 am. Due to a lot of construction I knew we would be going through I left a little earlier than I normally would have. We arrived at 7:00 am, signed in and waited for someone to call us back to begin registration. At 7:15 I was informed that Brayden was not on the hospital's schedule to have surgery that day but not to panick sometimes the hospitals computer is slow at updating. At 8:00am the hospital still didn't have us on the schedule. Dr. Chang was is surgery and his office didn't open until 9am. Twice the nurse working registration told me "If I were you... I wouldn't want my babies surgery done this close to Christmas, he hasn't eaten sine 3 this morning, he's getting hungry and a little cranky just reschedule." I finally said as kind as I could, "This surgery has been scheduled for about 6 weeks now, I drove here from Prescott Valley this morning, my parents drove to my home yesterday from Utah so that they could care for my other 3 children at home while we are here today. I'm not going to reschedule for a later date if I don't have to!" After hearing that she left me alone about rescheduling. Finally at 9 am the hospital was able to get the info they needed to put us on the schedule for that morning. We were registered by 9:30 and taken to another waiting room to wait to be taken back to the surgery unit. Brayden's surgery had been tentatively re-scheduled for 10:30am.

I was told that Brayden couldn't have any thing to eat 4 hours before surgery. He woke up hungry that morning at 3 am. Of course I fed him as much as he would eat. I knew he would be getting hungry again about 8 am. Now I was told that surgery literally would begin at 9. Registration, the changing into hospital attire, anesthetic would all be done prior to that. At 9am Brayden would be in a surgery room on the table and his procedure would start. So I figured probably about 8 that morning we would be busy changing him and enough commotion going on to keep him preoccupied. Having his surgery tentatively rescheduled had me quite nervous about how he would be acting come another hour or so. Brayden and I played, we walked around doing the baby bounce, and then he'd fall asleep. During his little 10-15 minute cat naps I would silently pray for help to keep him content. He would then wake up fussing and we'd start all over again.

My Grandma Christensen will have passed away 10 years ago next month. I truly believe she was my Heavenly Help that morning. She was on my mind during our drive to the hospital and during our short stay. I could visualize her standing beside me offering suggestions to help keep my baby happy. At 10:30 we were taken back to the surgery unit. I had to sign more papers and speak to the Dr. and Anesthesiologist one last time. It was then that I was told that a "Swaddle" (similar to an epidural) was highly recommended. The swaddle would make Brayden more comfortable through the surgery and about 4-6 hours after. The swaddle would keep him more relaxed and probably help for a smooth trip home. Having had 4 epidurals myself I didn't want my baby to go through that. Once again I felt my Grandma standing beside me telling me that the swaddle would be best for Brayden, he would already be under general anesthetic and wouldn't feel a thing. He would be all right. I could almost feel her kissing my cheek and forehead a kazillion times like she used to in reassurance. A few minutes before Brayden was taken from me he became qute upset. He wouldn't take a toy, bouncing him wasn't doing anything, he kept pulling on my shirt and slamming his head against my chest. We both knew what he was after. He was crying and I too soon began to cry not knowing what else to do or how much longer we were to wait. I felt my Grandma beside me. I could hear her telling me to hang in there just a little longer that it would soon be over. She was telling Brayden that she knew he was hungry but he needed to calm down for his momma. I could picture her leaning over and covering his face in her famous kisses. Brayden soon fell asleep again. Grandma was right, about 10:50 Nurse Tina came and took my sleeping baby from my arms into hers and I was later told he never woke up until after everything was completed and he was suppose to wake up. The Dr. came out to tell me everything went well a long 2.5 hours later. I was soon taken back to recovery to hold and comfort and finally nurse my baby. I was told to plan on being in the recovery room for up to 2 hours. All of his stats were great, he ate and was able to hold it all down, the 2 hours ended up being an hour and then we were in the car heading home.
I know my Grandma was helping me that morning. I am so greatful for the Heavenly Help she offered me.

It has now been 2 days and Brayden is doing well. He wears 2 diapers with the catheter in between so the dressing stays as dry as possible. He is surprising me with how he is acting. There are moments that he his cranky and only wants his mom but for the most part he's my sweet energetic little boy. He keeps busy crawling after his older siblings all day and plays. He will have his post op next tuesday. Everything should be removed then and the healing process continued. We are so close to putting this behind us. Yeah! Thanyou for all your prayers offered in our behalf. I know they are being heard and answered. Have a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Where are we?

I have been asked several times this week where we have been? Why it's been 6 weeks since our last blog? The beginning of November I pulled out my sewing machine and started on numerous upcoming christmas presents. Now being Christmas hasn't quite reachd us I can not yet show you what I have made for my mom and in-laws. I don't want to ruin the surprise. Santa is bringing the girls a Barbie house. Kory is making the house and I am making the furniture. Pictures can be posted after the grand delivery on the 25th. I have also been making the kids school teachers christmas gifts.

During all the making of Christmas gifts I completed my semester of school. Yeah! for me I received an A in all my classes and on my final's. Going back to school, being a mom, running the books of our buisness and being in the Relief Society Presidency keeps me pretty busy. But I did it. I am feeling very thankful that school is giving me a break and doesn't start up again until Jan. 20th.

The past 6 weeks have also been full of Dr.'s appt's. On top of my 3 dental appointments, Brayden has also had 4 Dr. Appointments. Brayden's upcoming surgery will be this monday. A week from today, on the 21st. The surgery itself SHOULDN'T be more then 2 hours. Depending on the Anesthesiologist (sp?) the surgery should be same day and I can bring him home sometime that afternoon. He will have a cathader (sp?) in until his post op the following monday. I am hoping we can keep this little guy healthy for the next 7 days. It 's not going to be easy. He is now crawling all over the place and daddy calls him our little vaccumn cleaner. EVERYTHING he finds is fair game. Whether it's a dried up piece of food, a torn piec of paper or the bottom of Hunter's boots. If he gets a runny nose, a cough or any of the likes surgery will be postponed. He is currently on antibiotics due to 2 ear infections. Hopefully the antibiotics will help keep him healthy. Please keep us in your prayers.

Well it may be another week or two till I get back on the computer. So, I am wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and I can't wait to see your future posts of your families festivities. Merry Christmas!

Playing with cousins..

Over Thanksgiving my kids had fun playing with the babies. This is Maddie holding her cousing Elena.

Hunter playing with Jamie and trying not to smile about it.

And here they are. The three newest additions to the family.

Brayden 7 mo., Elena 3 mo. and Jamie 6 1/2 mo old. Aren't they cute!

Family Picts

We celebrated Thanksgiving this year in Hurrican, Utah. Four of the six siblings were present. One of my brothers chose to ditch us this year and drove his family 1200 miles to Omaha Nebraska. My other brother is serving a mission in PA. So for those of us that were present we decided to take a family picture. Look how many of us there are with 5 missing still! These are my parents. Gabby on the left is there foreign exchange student from Denmark. Hanna on the right is my youngest sister and the only one who still lives at home.

This is my sister Sheri, Jason and their son Jamie who is 13 days younger than my Brayden.

This is my brother Travis, Christina and there precious baby girl Elena. She is quite the cutie!
It was great seeing everyone over the holiday. We had good times sitting around talking, playing games and eating ice cream. Till next time.....