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Saturday, March 26, 2016


This brave boy handled surgery like a champ.
For the past several months, I have been worrying about Luke's ears.  He has had several ear infections including one that was bad enough that his ear drum burst before we realized how sick he was and took him to the doctor.  The infections were concerning, but the bigger worry to me was the fact that he didn't appear to be hearing well.  He would often claim to not hear us, and I noticed that he needed the TV volume up much higher than normal.  Several times he would tell us that it sounded like he had water in his ears, or he would ask about other sounds that he said he could hear in his ears.  I resisted making an appointment for him because I thought that I was just being a little over protective.  But when Ruby needed to go in to the ENT for a blocked tube, I decided to make an appointment for Luke as well.

When we got to the ENT's office, I explained everything that was concerning and then they put the camera in his ear to see the eardrum.  Luke was pretty fascinated with the camera and everything he could see on the screen.  Because of what he saw when he looked into his ears, the PA also took him in to the audiologist to have an additional pressure test.  Once all of the testing had been done, the doctor came in and explained that both of his ears had significant amounts of fluid behind the eardrum and that it had probably been like that for a long time.  He said that Luke's explanation of hearing water is exactly what it sounds like and said it is a very irritating sound.  Most concerning, he said that he was not hearing very well at all, and that if it wasn't fixed, it could lead to permanent hearing loss, and affect his ability to speak.  Well that was enough for us to make the immediate decision to get the tubes done.  He also recommended removing the adenoids to further help him. We talked to his assistant, and after finding out he had an opening the next Tuesday (this was on a Friday), we decided to get it scheduled as soon as possible.

In the days leading up to the surgery, we explained everything to Luke and talked a lot about what the doctor was going to do to make his ears all better. Luke really likes to know what is going on and seems to handle scary things best with a lot of information.  The night before the surgery Tim gave him a blessing and I think we all went to bed feeling pretty peaceful.  We had to wake Luke up early to get to the surgical center, and I think the combination of being sleepy, and a little scared, made him extremely quiet and shy.  It was strange to be back at the surgical center a month after my surgery (the fourth time total in the last year), but because of our prior experiences, I knew he was in good hands.  All through the check in and pre-op procedures, Luke was so brave, but it broke my heart to know how scary it must have been for him.  Once we talked with the doctor and anesthesiologist, the nurse came to get him and we had to send our baby away.  I have such a new level of empathy for parents of children who are seriously ill.  It was really tough to hand him over to strangers and watch him head out for a tough experience.  

As we waited together for the surgery to be over, it was all Tim and I could do to not get up and pace. This one took a lot longer than when Ruby had her surgery, and required full anesthesia and a breathing tube.   I had brought a book to read, but couldn't settle down enough to read.  They finally came to get us and as soon as they opened the door to the recovery area, I could hear him screaming. He was lying on a bed and still pretty sedated, but was thrashing and crying.  Tim picked him up and I sat and rocked and tried to comfort him.  It was seriously so heartbreaking to be unable to quiet him. While he was still so upset, the doctor came to talk to us and told us how full of sludge his ears had been.  He reaffirmed that his ears really needed the tubes which made it a little easier to bear the pain of watching my boy cry.  As we sat, he kept trying to pull out his IV and cried that he hurt.  The only thing that really seemed to calm him was when I sang You Are My Sunshine.  The nurses were great in trying to help us - especially Jill, our unofficial nurse.  Once he became a little more aware, we were able to convince him to drink some root beer and they were able to remove his IV.  He continued to cry and complain of pain and even when we left he was pretty upset.  I was so grateful that both Tim and I could be there together so that we both had someone to provide comfort.  

When we got home, Ruby and Grandma were excited to see Luke and help snuggle him until he felt better.  Within about an hour or two, he was almost back to acting normal.  I think it was the combination of getting the anesthesia worked out, and the Tylenol helping his pain.  He was happy to take a nap and slept for most of the afternoon.  

Over the past few days, Luke hasn't really seemed to suffer from any effects of the surgery other than some mild pain.  He has, however, noticed a dramatic difference in his hearing.  He repeatedly tells us excitedly "I heard that mama", or "That is so loud, I can hear that now".  It is pretty clear as we watch him that he is hearing so much better.  It makes me so sad to think of him hurting and not hearing well for such a long time.  We are just glad that we figured out the problem when we did so that he will not have any long term problems with his ears.  Let's hear it for good doctors and modern medicine!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Finally the Weekend

We all had a pretty long/busy week and by the time Friday rolled around, it was nice to be able to take a deep breath and make some plans for family time.  Tim ended up not having any showings this weekend, which is rare, and the sun was shining, so we definitely took full advantage.  We had so much fun, the kids are getting old enough that it's fun to take them to see and explore.  Tonight after I tucked Luke into bed he called out, "mama, you are my best mama".  Pretty much perfect way to end the weekend.

To be fair it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows...Friday morning I went to physical therapy and then picked up the kids for an evaluation with the ENT.  The appointment was no fun (more on that later), but at least they have a great waiting room for my little monkeys.

After we finished with the doctor, we headed up to Thanksgiving Point to spend the afternoon.  We started out with lunch at the deli.  It's quickly become one of our favorite places to eat - and clearly Ruby liked the cookies. 

After lunch we headed over to the Dinosaur Museum.  We have been to Thanksgiving Point several times over the last six months and every time we are there, Luke asks if we can go to the Dinosaur Museum.  I think he is totally obsessed with the enormous dinosaur that appears to be coming out of the building.  When I told him that was where we were headed, he was beyond excited.  He's so easily pleased though, we could have just seen the robot movie that was advertised, or colored Easter eggs and he would have probably been equally happy. 

I'm not sure the last time we were at this museum, but it was amazing to see how differently the kids experienced it this time.  They were so interested and wanted to know the details of every exhibit. They constantly amaze me with all of their knowledge.  For the last two days they have been telling everyone who will listen about the dinosaurs, especially the dinosaur poop that they saw.

They designed some pretty amazing dinosaurs.  

No visit to the museum would be complete without 
Some pictures in front of the enormous shark. 

Saturday morning Tim and Taylor headed out to hike to the hot pots.  This was their first trip since the snow melted but they made it a quick trip because the trail was so crowded.  Apparently they were not the only ones inspired by the blue skies.

Saturday night Gradpa and Grandma Whitesides stopped by on their way home from Phoenix.  We were lucky to have them here for a few hours to visit and play with the kids.  Luke and Ruby were especially excited because they both had items that needed mending.  They have been telling me for awhile that they need grandma because she knows how to fix things.  By the time she left she had mended two princess dresses, Luke's blankie and at least one stuffed animal.  

Sunday afternoon the sun was shining and it seemed like a perfect time to go exploring at Bridal Veil Falls.  After an hour or two with my people in the sunshine, everything in life seemed pretty darn great.

Ruby told me she was taking pictures like Jami.

Some days it feels like there is barely any baby left,
But this little man equally melts my heart.

We spent about a half hour letting the kids throw rocks
I think they would have stayed all day.

Luke told me this was his dinosaur tooth. 

I'm pretty sure this is the only time we have every unintentionally matched.

The kids are fascinated with the story of the Billy Goats Gruff
Tim had them convinced that this was the troll's house

Since he wasn't at home, 
Luke was pretty sure they would find the troll under the bridge.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Disney On Ice

Growing up I loved to watch ice skating - I was amazed at the grace and beauty and like many little girls, secretly wanted to grow up to be an ice skater.  I've always thought that Disney on Ice sounded fun, and now that we have a little one that is obsessed with Disney and princesses, it seemed like a great time to go.  The fact that they were doing Frozen made it even better.  Friday morning came and Ruby had a new set of ear infections and the rest of us were still a little sick and cranky, but we packed everyone up and headed out with the hopes that the Disney magic would make everyone feel a little better.

Luke and Ruby were almost as excited to see Erika, Clark and Brycen as they were to see the Disney characters.  I love watching them together.

 I wish I would have caught better shots of the kids enjoying the show, but I have having too much fun watching and being part of the experience.  For most of the show they were mesmerized by everything that was going on.  They laughed and clapped and danced and generally had the exact reaction that I was hoping for.

Olaf was definitely the highlight of the show - even better that they had their own little Olaf toys to play with thanks to Erika and Clark. 

It seemed impossible to get out of there without some type of merchandise  Luke chose a Mickey sword and we chose a light up snow globe with Elsa and Ana for Ruby.  Both kids are completely in love with their toys.  It's pretty easy for me to get suckered into buying these things when I watch the fun that they have playing.  

Ruby was so sad to see it all end.  She stood and waved goodbye to the princesses and other characters until they completely skated off stage. 

We all had such a fun time together.  Dinner was complete chaos but I liked keeping with my dad's tradition of eating at Crown Burger - it must be a great tradition because it felt like everyone that saw the show joined us to eat. 

For weeks Ruby has been wearing her Snow White dress every day.  Well that has been tossed aside and she now wears her Ana dress all day, every day.  Sometimes she assigns me the roll of Elsa, but no matter my role, my most important job it seems is to dance with my princess.