Monday, February 28, 2011

Almost funny...

... but not quite.

Toward the end of January, I was lamenting the fact that we already had over ten doctor appointments scheduled for February. I thought it sounded like a lot. And surely with all of the medical issues and special needs that are part of our daily lives, it couldn't get much more drama-filled, right?

Ha, ha.

As it turns out, February offered double the original appointments. Some routine, yes, and others completely unexpected. For instance, our sweet Taylor had an appointment with a pulmonologist to check up on his asthma. They did an ECHO and an X-ray while he was there. When the doctor called a couple of days later to discuss the findings, I almost tuned him out. I was in the middle of folding laundry and answering various questions from my kids (questions that always come up the second they see me on the phone.) I thought surely that everything would be normal. After all, Taylor is one of our TWO that we deem healthy. So I was taken off guard when the doctor started out by saying, "Well, we have a few things to discuss..."

Those "things" led us to a cardiologist and further tests. Without being too specific, it turns out that Parker stands alone as perfectly healthy.

Jessica has been going through something even more unexpected, which I won't discuss here for now.

And then, as if to put the icing on the cake, we believe Lexi had a seizure last night. We've been told if it happens again to go straight to the ER. We are now adding "neurologist" to our family doctors. Actually, now that I think about it, we aren't "adding" it-- Graci already sees one.

In fact, we have a neurologist, pediatrician, dentist, optometrist, orthodontist, opthalmologist, cardiologist (several), pulmonologist, ENT specialist, gastrointologist, orthopedist, vascular surgeon, geneticist-- those are just off the top of my head.

I am not complaining. I don't want to sound ungrateful. February has been full of blessings for our family. Two of our children, Xander and Sophi, are being treated at Shriner's Hospital, meaning we are not charged for their care. We have such good doctors and therapists who genuinely love our children. And I honestly feel like every time something hard happens, someone calls with an offer to bring dinner or something shows up on our front porch or someone offers to help with housework. These acts of service always come at just the right time, and without people even knowing what we are going through. We have been served to a humbling degree. We are very blessed in so many ways.

Still... as far as medical issues go, by the time we got to the seizure thing with Lexi, I'll admit I was left wondering, "Um... isn't it someone else's turn?"


Oh, and may I add that I had my purse stolen? Money, credit cards, drivers license, pictures, sunglasses, jewelry, my new watch, receipts, stuff from China-- all GONE. That's ok, because I have just tons of time to replace it all. The funny thing is, my purse was a fake Coach purse. Jeremy bought it for me in China for under $20 and I LOVED it. I had hardly even heard of a Coach purse, and was shocked to find out how much the real things cost. I never pay more than $20 for a purse. I googled how to tell if a Coach purse is real, and mine passed all of the tests except for one. So whoever stole my purse (we know it was stolen because the credit cards were used the following day) likely thought it was the real thing. I almost feel bad for them. In fact, I think I do.

Anyway... today is the LAST day of February. May March be easier on us... (:


Oh, and I haven't forgotten that I promised a Sophi post. It's coming. We've been so, so busy. And so tired at the end of the night. However, Jer and I had a discussion last night about how important it is to journal the sweet blessings in our lives and made a commitment to post every day in March. Whether we'll follow through is the million dollar question, but it's a good goal! (:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Our Little Princess!

The other day I look over the railing by the stairs and see this:

Xander had created a Hansel and Gretel type trail of soda crackers for Sophi to follow. And she was following it!!!

Sophi is quite flexible:)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thoughts on Dad

I was talking with Taylor and Parker about my brother Tyler. It came up that Tyler was 24. Taylor's response was, "He's that old??? He doesn't seem that old! He's in great shape, has a nice tan and has awesome hair."

Hmm. So that's the description of a handsome young man.

"So Taylor, how would you describe your dear old dad?"

At this point, Parker, ever one to look our for those he loves, quickly jumped in with, "Awesome personality, great coach, fun to play with." Thanks, Park! Taylor (after some coercion) finally described me: "greyish hair...a bit chubby...and kinda' pale."

Later that day Graci came up to me, touched a spot of my face, and asked, "How do you get rid of the bumps?" Me: "Bumps?" Graci: "You know, the bumps." Me (catching on to what she meant): "Just say it, Grace." "You know...(then in a whispered voice) pimples." "Why are you whispering, Grace?" "Because it's embarrasing!" Thinking about how she had touched my face to start the conversation, I asked, "Do I have a pimple?" Grace: "You have lots!"

They know how to keep you humble:)


Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Long, Long Weekend:)

At the end of January I had a business meeting in Orlando. I left on Monday morning and returned Thursday night. Prior to my leaving, Christi was somewhat overwhelmed with the prospect of taking care of the kids alone for several days. To help cheer her up, I suggested that she plan a girls only weekend sometime after I returned. She decided to go up to Rexburg, ID and surprise her sister Becky for Becky's birthday. Since it was such a long drive, she would stay two nights. Of course it would be even better if their other sister, Leslie, could go to. Leslie's husband is a firefighter, and wasn't able to be home the weekend they were going. So I volunteered to watch her three boys as well. So, yes. You have added that up correctly. Last weekend, I stayed home and single-handedly took care of eleven children for 48 hours...and they were all alive when Christi came home! The ages were: 12,11,10,7,6,6,5,5,4,3,2. And believe it or not, I actually had a lot of fun.

It's not really fair to say I did it single-handedly. Grace, Taylor and Parker were absolutely incredible. They helped make meals and get kids to bed and change diapers and clean up. They even let me sleep in Saturday morning until after 9am! They are truly amazing kids. And in spite of all of the work we had to do to keep the 12 of us going, we still managed to have a good time. Taylor and Parker both came up to me independently and commented on how impressed they were that we were able to do everything we needed to do, without mom to help us, and still have fun. Leslie's three boys played a LOT of Wii. We were blessed with temperatures in the low 60's (record highs for this time of year) and so we were able to get outside and ride bikes and throw the football a few times. Sophi was the hit of the neighborhood in her walker. (The walker is another post for another day, but she is SO CUTE in it:)

Prior to the trip, Christi asked me what I was planning to do for church. I told her I would try to go. She thought I was crazy. In fact, she mentioned it to her mom, and her mom thought I was crazy, too, and should just stay home. (How often do you get permission from your mother-in-law to skip church?) But I really was going to try to go. HOWEVER...Friday morning dawned and Christi and I were both quite sick. I was really worried. I was barely convinced I could take care of all those kids if I was perfectly healthy. What was I going to do if I was under the weather??? But she left me anyway. By Saturday, Lexi, Elli and Sophi all had runny noses as well. That evening I told the three oldest kids that I would not be going to church, but that if any of them would like to, I would be happy to drop them off.

Sunday dawned, and there are few mornings that could be better characterized by Dicken's famous line: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times!"
Best: I was awakened by Taylor saying, "Dad, can you take me to church?" I cracked one sleepy eye and saw the Taylor had woken up on his own and gotten completely ready to go. Handsome as could be in his suit and tie, he wanted to go and worship. I was so proud. I jumped up and off we went.
Worst: I returned home and decided to say a prayer before I faced the day. I was on my knees and just starting to pray when Graci opened my bedroom door. She looked at me kneeling and said, "Oh, sorry. But it is kind of emergency!" I looked up at her and she said, "Elli took off her diaper and pooped on the bed. And she's eating it." OK. I can handle this. I am a grown man. I have had 38 years of life and 12 years of parenting to develop patience and unconditional love. I will not leave this for Christi to take care of when she gets home. I am a man. I want my mommy!!!

I went downstairs, and sure enough, there was Elli. The one small bright spot in all of this was that she had remained on the bed, which meant the mess was mostly confined to the bed. Elli had grabbed handfuls of the stuff and had basically made a foul snow angel on the sheets. She had indeed tried a mouthful. She had combined said mouthful with enough saliva to make a thin paste out of it, which she had then managed to spread over her face and throat. She looked like she had a mud mask on, minus the cucumbers. She had chunks of it in her hair. She had tried the "spaghetti test" with some of it. You know, where you throw spaghetti against the wall to see if it sticks? It stuck. I found it on three of the four walls.

Somehow, I managed to stay calm. In fact, my overriding emotion was sorrow and empathy for my little girl, that she would have to deal with things like this. I showered her off, washed the sheets and walls. I even gave her some ponytails when I was done. Ah, the joys of parenthood.

Really, though, overall we had a great time. And I have great kids!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Xander's future plans

This morning Xander came up to me and said in all solemnity, "Mommy, when I grow up, I'm going to have two babies-- one boy, and one girl." "Oh, that sounds perfect!" I replied. "And," he continued, "I'm going to have two girls." "Sounds good, honey!" "MOM, I'm not done yet... And... I'm going to have 41 boys adopted from China."

He wasn't being funny-- rather, he was very serious and earnest about the whole thing. I loved it. But I loved what he ended with the best of all... "And, I'm going to live right next door to you so you can see me every day and my two babies and two girls and 41 boys from China!"

Love that boy!


I came home from basketball practice with the boys. Christi sat me down and told me about the significant phone call we received from a specialist about one of our children's health. We discussed the fact that we have at least two more Dr.'s appointments we need to schedule on top of the 16 or so we already have scheduled for February. I told her, "Sorry hon, I need to leave in about 30 minutes for a baseball meeting and I'll be gone for three and a half hours. She responded:

"That's fine. I have this great homemade dinner all prepared for my head. It just never got out onto the table."



Monday, February 7, 2011

We did it!

The Christmas decorations got put away this weekend:) Pathetic little achievement, I know, but I'm still proud of us. Sophi woke the next morning and couldn't figure out what we had done with the tree. She's never seen home sans Christmas.

Sunday, February 6, 2011