Thursday, January 30, 2014

basic phone pics 4

I'm sensing a pattern in all of these "a day in the life of..." pictures.  I'm perceiving more and more the things that I love the most.  Obviously, my kids.  But more specifically; being outside with them, watching them in their baths (no surprise there, naked baby behinds have always been my favorite!), rainy days, sleeping babies, and riding bikes.  So here we go with the pictures.  They may seem irrelevant because they are so similar to the ones that always seem to come up on my phone, but that's why I love them.

Camille is all over the place, so I thought the days of letting her lay around on a blanket outside were over.  But just recently she discovered how much she actually hates having grass in her mouth.  And I recently discovered she stays on the blanket a lot better when she is in a onesie, as she also doesn't care for the feel of grass on her bare legs.

I had a non-negotiable neighbor-gift delivery set in stone on my calendar the Saturday before Christmas.  Instead, I brought Marty home from the hospital and frantically tied up all the loose ends there and with Brynn's birthday.  So instead, our neighbors got "Happy New Year" gifts in the form of muffin mixes.  C'est la vie.

Rain.  And subsequent smiles.  Not much else to say about it.

Sleeping babies.  Again, what more can I say?

If the bubbles strategically place themselves, it's a sign.  You've gotta take a picture.

Water fight on a warm day in the middle of December, anyone?  Don't mind if I do!

I'm racking my brain, but I don't know where or why I took this.  Well, I do know why.  Do you see that smile?

I actually kind of hate this picture of clam chowder.  My mom makes the best clam chowder and it's so comforting to me.  I was making clam chowder the night Marty called me on the way home from work to tell me how sick he was.  He even considered having me pick him up from work.  And then the next morning we took him to the hospital.  The clam chowder was way more work and mess than it was worth, especially considering the fact that not a person in my family ate it that night (including me).  But this picture proves  that at least I made it.  (My mom's is so much better.)

Sleeping peacefully at the hospital after spending a fair amount of time walking the halls.  She wasn't a fan of the hospital room.  Mostly she's a fan of our house.

More sleeping babies.  See what I mean about recurring themes in my phone pics?  I brought her home from church, made a bottle, and found this about 30 seconds later.

The second week of our Christmas break, my parents were gone and Marty went back to work, even though he was still recovering.  I was feeling disappointed that we hadn't gone out to do anything fun that week with all the kids at home, so on the spur of the moment we all took off for the Arizona Museum of Natural History.  It is so kid friendly, and there is a big "flash flood" that happens at the dinosaur exhibit every half hour-ish.  I couldn't believe how afraid the boys were at that display!
I don't think I've been to this place since Brynn was a baby, and I have no idea why!  Next time I will not wait so long.  It was one of those rare days where we got the best parking spot, the kids were so well-behaved, no diaper blow-outs or fussy babies, beautiful weather.  And In-N-Out for lunch!  That day was just what we all needed!
These two love each other so much.  They really are best friends.

I have no words.

Here is Camille having lots of fun with her reflection in the glass.

We keep this big brown table behind the couch in the loft and pull it out often for stuff like this.  Hours of fun.

Bryce's swim goggles almost fit him.

Bryce is such a deep sleeper.  Sometimes the babies can get him to wake up from his naps, but not this day.
They snuggled/mauled/clawed/bounced/climbed on him for such a long time, and no luck.

January in Arizona is so divine.

There has to be a reason I took this picture.  Hm.  Looks like there is some sort of scuffle on the left, and on the right it appears Camille has strewn diapers around and is ready to chew on that dirty one.  Just a day in the life, I guess.

Kicking my feet up, snuggling Camille before her nap.  What am I going to do when we are done with babies?  (Stop panicking, Johnson.)

So there are a few bugs to be worked out here, but freezing our green smoothies in advance totally worked!

The bikes have been the perfect solution to my "broken" feet.  I find going on walks with the kids tedious and painful, and it's hard to get much done after I get home and need to give the old sesamoids a break.  Plus I like being able to cover more ground on the bikes.  I wish I was the type of person (my SIL is like this) that can find beauty anywhere.  But forgive me when I say our complex and much of the AZ landscape in general is ugly.  It makes me feel better to at least get out of the community and out around the fields, and that would never happen in a stroller.  Lately we like to go to the "end of the road" in our community. The kids find that place mysterious and it's a good, concrete goal for them.  See Camille nestled up against Gabe?  She always does that!!!  

The text for this picture that was sent to my mom was something about selling Gabe on Craig's List (and even including ear-plugs and 20 bucks).  He screamed non-stop all day.  We later found out he had a double ear-infection, so I took down the listing (commence guilt-trip).
The pink on the walls is shaving cream I had drawn in the shape of footballs and the like, and not even that could quiet him.

And this text was something like, "You want the younger baby, you say?  Not a chance."  (Commence bigger guilt trip.)

She is now often standing when I go in to get her from her crib.  Stop getting older, Millie!

Bryce was outside chipping away at his dinosaur excavation kit and didn't want to get his nice sweater dirty, of course.  But my favorite part was Gabe stealing the show when I asked Bryce to say cheese!

One of the most severe smoothie mustaches to date.  It deserved a picture.  You can't coach a smoothie-mustache like that.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Here's a new thought:

The thought to follow my "thoughts on record-keeping" thought is this:  if I ever want to complain about not having enough time for myself to just "sit and think" or "sit and write," I will not express that complaint out loud. I should have anticipated this, knowing that Heaven has a sense of humor.  So, here is the story of our week before Christmas.

On Tuesday (the 17th), Marty was feeling sick.  I assumed he'd gotten sick with a stomach bug that had slowly made it's way through our family over the past two weeks.  It was just a little 24 hour bug and not that big of a deal.  As sick as he was feeling, he spent the entire two hours between work and his young men's activity trying to work out who could actually go.  That close to Christmas, seemingly no one was going to be around and they were desperate for drivers, so he went anyway.  To Jump Street.  He has later acknowledged that it wasn't a great idea.

Wednesday, he still wasn't feeling good but thought he'd be ok to go in to work.  He called me on his way home from work sounding not at all like himself.  Rather, the version of himself that was just hit by a bus.  He went strait upstairs to bed and like a nice, nurturing wife I kept my distance, not wanting to be infected.  The kids and I got a cheesy Christmas movie from Redbox and watched that while listening to Marty (on the other side of the house, my friends) throw up vital body organs.  I thought he must have gotten a much worse version of the stomach bug.  That night he was in so much pain that he called our brother-in-law who is a pediatrician and warned him of some things to watch for.  I took my phone with me and went downstairs to sleep in the guest bed.  I tossed and turned, got up and down, and generally spent the night feeling very "unsettled."

At 4:00 in the morning he texted me to let me know he needed me.  I went upstairs and he was curled up in a ball on his right side, researching appendicitis.  He said he thought it was about time to go to the emergency room.  Being the nice, nurturing wife and not knowing what to do with four kids at 4:00 in the morning, I told him we should just wait it out a little longer.  He suggested I pack a hospital bag, just in case.  I suggested we still wait it out.  I couldn't go back to sleep and spent the morning tidying the downstairs (or rather, cleaning like a meth addict).  The kids were up at six and I got them breakfast and before taking Brynn to school, I asked Marty if he still thought we should go in, which he did.

At 7:10ish I was back home with the younger three and we called our VERY nice friends across the street to give Marty a blessing and take the kids while we went to the emergency room.  The first tender mercy here is that both of them had the day off of work (although I still feel bad that D was supposed to be recovering from a chest cold and he spent it chasing after our kids).  The second tender mercy is that we have a beautiful new Banner hospital just down the road.  It was not only convenient to go back and forth from there to our house, but by that point Marty could barely move and was cringing at every minor bump in the road.

So that Thursday morning, Marty checked into Banner Ironwood hospital and didn't come home until Saturday.  It was appendicitis, just as he had expected.  Probably because of the blessing, I felt calm about Marty and had a very strong feeling that he was in good hands and was going to be ok.  Although I couldn't stand watching the pain he was going through.  The morphine was a very welcome relief once he got it.  Comic relief as well.  However, I will have to ask Marty for permission to tell the very embarrassing story about him repeatedly telling me we were are a date and asking me if I wanted to kiss.  Oh, whoops. ;)  It took a while to get the tests done, and then there was a lot of waiting around for test results, but as soon as they confirmed what it was, he was being prepped for surgery within minutes.  The surgeon was the nicest guy, as was the team of anesthesiologists.  But as soon as he was wheeled away and I was shown to the waiting room, I became a bit of a basket-case.  The surgeon had told me he'd be in the hospital until Saturday or Sunday.  At that point, it was about 11:00.  Brynn needed to be picked up in an hour.  I have a seven-month-old who screams bloody-murder when Mommy leaves, and is still nursing.  Basically, I had a gaggle of four that I had no idea what to do with for the next three days.  My mom had been texting me and looking at airfare, but there were literally no seats left that day or the next (apparently SLC airport was having major blizzard issues).  Plus I didn't want to ask her to jump on a flight that day anyway.  I knew soon the babies would be getting tired and fussy and needing to be home with me, but of course I couldn't leave Marty alone in the middle of an emergency surgery.  Those thoughts exploded in about a minute of sitting in a waiting room chair.  I sheepishly called my Relief Society President to let her know the situation.  She was out of town but suggested I ask her counselor (who just happened to be my bestie already watching the kids) to send out an e-mail to the ward.  Long story short, within the hour we had more offers for help from people then we could possibly ever take them up on, and the offers continued to pour in for days.  It was inspiring, and awkward, and humbling all rolled up into one.  My friend spent that day scheduling day care, meals, and carpools from that Thursday clear up until Sunday.

The surgery went perfectly, although they certainly took their sweet time afterwards with whatever it was before I was actually able to see him.  I exchanged funny texts between Marty's family wherein I was able to send them four graphic pictures of Marty's nasty, dark, infected organs.  Greg promptly invited everyone for a sausage feast (ew, ew, ew) and they teased me about Marty's drugged flirting.  When I finally met him up in his room he was still too tired to interact much.  The blow of seeing him attached to that many machines was softened by the on-going humor of drugged Marty.  For instance, he once woke up just long enough to grumble, "Where's.  My.  Jell-o," before he passed out again on his pillow.  And the nurses confirmed with him that he knew how to use his breathing contraption ten times every hour, but then as soon as they all left he asked me what he was supposed to do with it.

By then it was 3:30 and I was only able to spend about an hour with Marty before I felt like I really did need to leave him and check-in with the kids, not to mention relieve my poor friends.  They are really such good kids, but they are a huge job.  So I tried to make sure Marty had everything he needed, but still felt really guilty leaving him.  Looking back I'm not sure why, since he couldn't keep his eyes open anyway.  When I left, I had the worst feeling of being torn and wishing I could be in four different places at once.  Namely, at the grocery store to pick up everything I had signed up to send Brynn with for her school party, running through a drive through as I'd now been up for 13 hours and still hadn't eaten, picking up my very limp babies, and wishing I was still at the hospital helping Marty wake up.  The feeling of being torn in a million directions continued for days because even when I felt like I was in the most important place at the time, I was always feeling anxiety about where I wasn't.  Every minute was a mad dash of going from one place to the next, and sleep was a joke.  That's why I say I will try to refrain from complaining about "me time!"

Back to Marty. :)  He has always had a super-human power of speedy healing, and that held true.  But Friday morning we had to make the disappointing decision to call off the Christmas trip to Utah.  He wasn't even supposed to be headed back to work until Monday (ten days later), and then just for paperwork (luckily he only had to have a substitute for two days before the holiday break).  We were supposed to be leaving in six days and it just didn't seem wise, not to mention going against doc's orders.  On top of which Marty knew he would have a mountain of stuff waiting for him if he got back to work the same day his students came back.  I was sad, but my parents ended up being able to fly out on Christmas Eve.  Marty was just so disappointed, poor guy.

On Friday the surgeon said his white blood count was still really high so he'd for sure be there another day.  We played with Camille, went on a little stroll around the hospital and looked through windows trying to spot our house, and watched the new Superman movie (lame).  I hung Bryce's wreath he made in preschool on Marty's IV pole.  We crossed our fingers he'd be home by Sunday, which was Brynn's birthday (which I was totally unprepared for, sorry Brynn).

The whirlwind continued and he was home by Saturday!  He has since forgiven me for making him "wait it out" so long.  I think all the sports channels and fairly good room service (after he was off the liquid diet, of course) helped soften him up a little.  I'm not sure how the big kids felt about the whole thing.  They seemed nervous about what was going on at first, but mostly I think they had a lot of fun at all of their friends' houses and thought the hospital was akin to a fun hotel room.  The babies, however, were a complete and total WRECK by Saturday night and it took them a day or two to recover from the lack of Mommy and routine.

I love this big guy and I'm grateful he's ok and back at home being the sweet, gooey, center that holds our family together.  Because when Mommy is at it alone, she is more like razor-sharp shards of peanut brittle that no one really cares for. :)

Here are some pictures from the craziness:

That first day at the hospital Marty said he wanted the kids to come over for a visit.  I told him he was crazy and he should just rest and we'd all come the next day.  But because of a million crazy things that had come up for him with work, young men's, and I don't even remember what else, he hadn't seen them in days and was sincerely missing them.  So I ran home, got them all in a quick bath and we headed over in our jammies with the Little Caeser's pizza a friend was so nice to give us during all the chaos of that first day.

 Marty's room was a perfect location because it faced the helicopter pad outside.  And I know little boys love those things.  But this little Gabe is obsessed with them and makes the funniest sounds trying to communicate about them.  He tries to say "Whirler-whirler-whirler" about the propeller like Bryce does, but it's mainly a bunch of funny sounds coming out of a stressed-out, intense, and very contorted mouth.  For the first little while he wouldn't step away from the window.  Then, sadly, he realized just how many buttons, plugs, and wires were all just waiting to be "fixed" by him.  I think having my hands full became a bit of an understatement that night.

I tried to talk Daddy out of it, but he insisted!   It's so easy to get lonesome for a little baby.

Javier, Marty's very fantastic nurse was nice enough to come to the rescue with some pudding and crackers.

Friday, I left the older three with a sitter for a while and took Camille to check on Marty.  Then that afternoon I left the babies with another sitter and just took the older two to go watch a movie with Daddy.


And they left him with a nicely decorated door to cheer him up.

Saturday, we came to take him home!!  Here is some more helicopter-watching.

 And Daddy sharing his drinks.
What a crazy week!  Obviously the craziness didn't end there, but luckily, neither did the help (I think I wrote out about 20 thank you cards for that week!).  Brynn's birthday was the next day.  We brought him home Saturday, and I got him settled at home, and then off to yet another sitter so I could buy a cake, a present, get all of Marty's meds and needs, and fill our house with a little food.  But the dinners kept coming and I was so very grateful.  Sunday was also the ward Christmas program, which is kind of my big day as choir director and I was so stressed about that as well.  We had missed our last big practice we were supposed to have that weekend, but I simply couldn't work it out.  I knew I had lots of kids to distribute to people at church so I could just direct, but I worried a lot of the time about if they were doing ok.  I've found I'm less able to shake off distractions and focus and use the adrenaline to my advantage than I used to be since I've been a mom.  I'm simple unable to put the kids out of my mind if I'm worried about them!  A funny side-affect of parenting. :)  Anyway, Sacrament meeting turned out just fine and I think Brynn had a nice birthday (more on that later).

Now it's January and Marty has recovered exactly as I expected him to - like a super-hero.  Except I'm not really kidding about his super-hero recovering powers.  His pain was minor (so he says), and he tired out really quickly for a while, but I think he's having a good recovery. I'm just grateful he's mine, and that I've still got him around.  I really never expected the worst out of the whole thing, but, you know.  It all just makes me grateful for him, for our health, and I know that we are so lucky that this is our first such experience for our family (excluding labor and deliveries, which are super easy and no big deal).
Love you, Marty.