Monthly Archives: October 2008

Blankets

Last Friday I recieved an email that was sent out to all the ladies in our ward (that have email) that Emmanual Children’s Hospital needed baby blankets.  Apparantly they only had one or two left.   I was especially excited for the oportunity to make some blankets to send to the hospital.  As I read the email a thrill of excitement went through me. They were going to be delivered on Halloween – and I had James’ post-op appt on the same day.  When the lady that was going to the the blankets up to the hospital had her baby, I was asked (since I was going anyway) to go. 

It was so wonderful to watch the mound of blankets grow  and to deliver them to the community laison at the hospital.  She was so grateful. They hadn’t recieved a blanket donation in two months.  Usually they get donations all the time, but they are particularly low right now.  I’m hoping to get some other wards to start blanket projects and maybe we can inundate them. 🙂  It was wonderful to help and give back something that had meant so much to us when Jacob had heart surgery.

For those who are new to my blog and want to know the history behind this post check out these links:

Jacob’s Story (short version)

Jacob’s Sotry (long Version)

Not Just a Blanket

James’ appointment also went very well. There are no problems whatsoever.  He just has to have his ped check his testical once a year and once he gets to teen years he learns how to do a self exam and has to do it once a month.  Actually, and I didn’t know this, just like women are supposed to give themselves a self exam monthly, men are supposed to as well.  Anyway, I just mention it in case others are clueless like I, and my husband, are. 🙂  It will be especially important for James because his risk will be higher.

On the sickies front:

Elizabeth’s temp is normal, except for those moments when it is not.  I was an irresponsible parent and sent her to school today, even though her temp last night (after being normal for the ENTIRE day) jumped to 100.5.  It was 99 this morning, so I didn’t feel too bad. She was in tears of devestation last night when she learned she might not be able to go to school today.  She loves school so much, and today is Halloween, I couldn’t be THAT mean to her when she was feeling so good.  It was normal when she got home from school today – and then 99.3 a couple hours after that. So who knows what it is doing.  Her glands still feel swollen.  I figure we’ll get through the weekend and then see what things look like on Monday.

James has a bad cold and is very congested, but at least he isn’t croupy any more.

And, I caught it.  The cold that is. But at least we are headed into the weekend, which means I’ll have a hubby around to watch kids so I can NAP.  WOOHOO! 🙂

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Filed under CHD, Children, Heart, TGA

Progress

We are making progress – little by little.  Emily and Dorothy were back to school today.  Jacob though threw up at three this morning – no episodes since, so I think he is over it now.  I ended up taking James in to see the doc yesterday as he was wheezing pretty good.  True to baby form he quit wheezing the moment we walked into the doctor’s office. 

He did give a couple of great barky coughs for him though and a wheeze or two.  Nothing was in his lungs, which was great news, and the doctor declared that it was croup.  He wrote us out a perscription for steroids and walked us through everything we needed to do if he got really bad in the middle of the night to avoid a trip to the ER.  The perscription was for today incase he had a rough night and we felt he needed it.  James had a decent night – a few pretty wheezy moments but the stridors weren’t too bad and with the humidfier running all night long he made it through okay.

Elizabeth’s fever was down to 100-101 today without motrin. Hallelujah! Granted, it is still a fever – and her glands are swollen, but at least it was down.  The rest of the tests were all negative too – no cat scratch fever, mumps, strep, or TB – so, yay for that.  We started the new antibiotic yesterday so it is hard to tell if it is helping, or if she has a virus that is finally winding down. Here’s hoping it continues to wind down and doesn’t spike back up again.

I think I’m getting a bit of a cold – after a couple nights of rough sleep and days of sick kids, I’m not surprised.  More vitamin C and stuff down the hatch!

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Filed under Children, health, Parenting

Wading Through the Mire

I have discovered that having 5 sick children is way more exhausting than having 5 healthy children.

Dorothy was fever free all day Sunday and her cold had dwindled to nothing so we sent off to school yesterday.  This morning she said she wasn’t feeling so good. She threw-up.  No school for Dorothy today.

On Sunday Emily started with a mild fever at 100 and a slight cough. She bounces between normal and 100, still coughing off and on, at least she hasn’t thrown up.  yet.

Jacob also started in on a slight cold on Sunday with a very slight fever, though it has been sitting right around normal to 99 – he’s got a pretty good cough though.

Last night James was suddenly congested – not nose congested either.  He sounded like he had lost his voice and was breathing through some pretty heavy gunk. No fever though, which is good.  We are keeping a close I on him – needless to say I didn’t sleep all the well.

And Elizabeth, well Elizabeth is throwing curve balls right and left.  Yesterday, when her fever was sitting at 104, I hauled her into the Doctor’s office.  Her swollen lymph node was slightly more swollen, and the one on the other side of her neck was swollen too.  Motrin will knock her fever down for a while, giving her at least some relief, but then it pops right back up again.  The doc gave us another perscription for a different antibiotic to fill if her fever wasn’t gone by this morning. He also ordered a mumps test and a strep test (from the blood work they took on Friday) and did a TB test too. I get the feeling he doesn’t think it is any of those, but wants to rule everything out that he possibly can.  We haven’t heard anything back on the tests yet – but I figure no news is good news. 

Her fever broke last night. She was sweating up a storm as she slept and it hit 97 (wonderful Motrin).

This morning it was back up at 101.  A couple hours later it hit 103.

 I made a trip to the pharmacy (hauling all 5 kids along with me – thank goodness they have a drive up window, and all the kids could stay in the car) to get the new antibiotic.

On the up side, during nap time (mandatory when kids are sick), I sent inmy first three query letters. Woohoo! I’m really doing something.  I expect it will be a long journey, but at least I have put my feet on the path.

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Filed under Children, health, Lizy, Parenting, Writing

Mystery Illnesses – blech!

We walked in the door Thursday evening after soccer practice and were greeted by Dad. The kids were thrilled as he tickled each one as they entered and gave them a squeeze. As he gave Liz a squeeze he bumped her neck.

“Ow! That still hurts!”

Excuse me? But what still hurts? Turns out that the area where her lymph node is has been hurting (only noticible when pushed on – and then you have to push on it HARD for it to really hurt at all) since the beginning of September. Okay, so why wasn’t I notified of this issue? Apparantly she mentioned it to Paul at the time, but only as “my neck hurts a little” and was written off as a stiff neck. Nothing more was mentioned.

It wouldn’t have been that big a deal if, when we felt it, we hadn’t found a rather large lump. I know lymph nodes swell up from time to time. But she hadn’t had any fever, sore throat, nothing. She was eating normally, and had normal energy level. And, since we didn’t feel her neck back in September, we had no idea if it had appeared recently, or been there for two months. And had it grown? Who knows.

One thing we did know, was that I was getting her in to se the doctor at the next available moment. So, Friday I hauled her in. Dot was home sick with a sudden cold, but Liz was still as healthy as they come. The doc check it out and frowned. Then he checked her ears and throat, felt it again and frowned some more. “the size of a pea or a lima bean, doesn’t concern me,” he said. “The size of acorns and walnuts conerns me.” He gave another frown and looked at me. “This is a good sized acorn.” He grilled me on fevers, sore throats, and all those things I mentioned earlier. And frowned some more at my answers. He rattled off a number of possibilities, most of which include symptoms and sent us over to the hospital for blood tests.

I was a nervouse wreck waiting for those test results. I don’t do well with waiting. And one of the tests was too scary to think about. So I tried to occupy myself as much as possible. Meanwhile, Elizabeth went back to school and Dot and the boys hung out with me.

The doctor called just after his office closed, two of test results were in and, thank goodness both were negative – the one for mono, and the one looking for lymphocytes (double thank goodness). The white blood cell count was slightly elevated, indicating that she could be fighting an infection, so he called in a strong antibiotic that she gets to take two times a day.

Saturday morning she woke up and this time she did have a sore throat – and a fever. She’s been hanging out at 103 since then. The thing is, I have no idea if it is related to the swollen lymph node or not, because when it happened she was fine, and EVERYONE in the family is catching this nasty cold. Granted, the others have only had a fever as high as 100, and it only lasted a day or so. But, I would assume that it is related, you know the saying – “Don’t borrow trouble” – and believe me we don’t want to. Oh, and the other good thing is that the lump doesn’t seem to be getting bigger – though I don’t know that it is getting any smaller either – time will tell. After all, it has only been 2 days, and I have no idea how fast these things go, etc.

So, I have the whole family home from church today. Dot doesn’t have a fever anymore, but she still has a pretty bad cough and sore throat, Emily has a fever at 100 & cough sore throat, Jacob has the same as Emily. James isn’t sick yet (though he had a slight cough this morning) but I didn’t figure on his needing to attend church figuring he’s got the germs already, lets keep him home so as not to get others sick. Liz is – well the same as listed above.

I will check in the doctor about Elizabeth’s fever and stuff tomorrow and see what he says – until then we’ll just ride it out and assume the lymph node was swollen because she was getting a cold.

I am off now to seperate a batch of squabbling sick kids… 🙂

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Filed under Children, health, Lizy, Parenting

Our Saturdays in Pictures

Our Saturdays these last few weeks have been packed.  On September 19th we had our Stake Day of Service. Our ward joined our community, who also has a day of service the same day, and worked on different projects around town.  We helped out, with other ward members, at a group home. Scraping paint, raking, rearranging things, painting fences and the house, fixing the deck, and a bunch of other things.  All the kids pitched right in, and we had a blast working together as a family.

Stake Day of Service

The next Saturday Elizabeth had her boot off and was able to play in her first soccer game. The first week of October was General Conference, which we thoroughly enjoyed, Jacob and Em gave up soccer that day, though Elizabeth and Dorothy were lucky enough to only miss 10 minutes of their game. Then, the following week I was gone and missed these adorbale photos of James playing with Jacob’s favorite truck (I was amazed that Jacob even let him!). This last Saturday was Jacob’s last day of Little Big Kicks – he is #13.

Saturdays

“Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkeys!” After Jacob’s Little Big Kick’s and Emily’s soccer game in the morning, the girls and I had a bit of fun on our way back to the car.

The Monkeys

Elizabeth and Dorothy had their soccer game at 1:10 in the afternoon. Once they finished we piled in the car and took off to Heiser Farms for a fun filled afternoon of hay mazes, corn mazes, pumpkin lifting contest (between our kids), hay rides, and tractor riding/playing. It was a hoot.

Heiser Farms

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Filed under Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature, Sports

Sunday Funnies

I had my first oportunity to translate in Relief Society. While it has been my calling since around the start of the year, I had yet to have a Spanish speaking sister attend.  I think I need to take a water bottle next time – my mouth was cotton dry by the time I was done.  That afternoon while I was working on dinner, Paul was working on lunch and expressing the desire to learn Spanish.

“Decide on a room and I will print up cards and lable every thing. When we are in that room we will try to speak as much spanish as possible.”

He comes up beside me as I am furiously mixing a chicken/cream cheese mixture for chicken rolls, a huge smirk displayed on his face. “How about the bedroom. It’s all greek to me anyway.”

I think I swatted him with my wooden spoon.

*****

I was working at the counter, still making those chicken rolls, when Paul came up behind me and opened the oven. The oven is beside, and a little behind, me, so when the door is open you can’t back up or you’ll run into it.

“Watch out,” he said, “we don’t want hot crossed buns tonight.”

I think Paul must have either been in a corny mood, or just hoping that maybe I would kick him out of the kitchen. 

*****

We had a long weekend, there was no school on Thursday and Friday because of Parent Teacher conferences. So, on Thursday and Friday to help pass the time I built a barbie house out of cardboard boxes with the kids. We used four apple boxes and taped them together. We took wall paper from old wall paper sample books to decorate the walls, and I even picked up some carpet samples from the local carpet store, so their house would be authentic. 

The girls were playing with their barbies and house when Elizabeth and Dorothy came running in. 

“We were playing church with our barbies,” Dorothy said.

Elizabeth grinned. “Yeah, we had prayers and talks and everything.  It felt so real.”

The girls turned to run back to their barbies when Dorothy added the icing on the cake. “Because it was so long.”

Paul and I had tears running down our face – and there wasn’t an onion in sight.

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Filed under Dot, Humor, Lizy, Things Kids Say

There and Back Again

My morning began at 3:30 a.m. when the alarm began its screaching reminder to feed James since it was his last time to eat until after surgery.  I staggered to the kitchen, made his bottle, and enjoyed a snuggly moment while he drank. Luckily he slipped back into slumber very quickly and I got a couple more hours sleep before being jerked out of bed once again.

After we managed to get the girls ready for school, Jacob ready for his all-day playdate and James ready for surgery, I took off with James to the hospital, and Paul dropped the kids off at their destinations on his way to work.

I got James registered and checked in and the waiting began.  Just before we headed down to the OR, Paul arrived from work – James gave his first big smile that morning.  We have become a bit too familiar with Emanual Hospital – We could almost find our way to the OR and family waiting room blindfolded.  One of the funny things that I noticed right away was that the hospital changed the type of soap they used in their bathrooms.  The soap still left the skin on your hands feeling tight, dry, and sterile, but the pungeant smell that lingered for days was gone.  The soap was nearly odorless.  It was one of those odd things that stuck out from Jacob’s time in the hospital and subsequent visits. 

I was even able to read, though I had to laugh when I fished my book out of my bag.  I looked at Paul and said, “Maybe this isn’t the best book to read right now.”

“Why?” I held up the book causing him to chuckle.  “Yeah, great choice.”

I was reading “Chopping Spree” by Diane Mott Davidson (a friend loaned it to me – it’s okay, can’t say I love it.)

Despite my choice in books, the surgery went well – and although I knew the incisions would be nothing like Jacob’s I was pleasantly surprised by how small they really were.  The surgery only took an hour and a half and we were discharged from the hospital by 2:00 in the afternoon.  James has been sleeping the day and evening away.  I have been enjoying his snuggliness and am off to catch a few winks myself. I think the day has finally caught up to me.

Thank you all for your prayers, they were greatly appreciated. The day ended up being very peaceful and relaxing.  It is a relief to have it over and done.  Thanks again for the support – we really feel those prayers. We have been so blessed and lifted.  We are grateful for a wonderful family, caring friends, and a multitude of blessings.

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Filed under Children, health, James, Parenting