April 29, 2014

Quick Pics

Here are some random pics of Eva. I seriously don’t neglect my other kids, it just seems like Eva is always doing something new and cute these days!

Posting pics of the older kids eating probably wouldn’t be as adorable. She’s doing so good eating her sweet potatoes!

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Arabella made Eva a fortSmile

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Arabella made sure Eva had a bear to snuggle with and that she was tucked in.

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Watching me run on the treadmill.

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Working with her therapist, Mike, today who is absolutely amazing, by the way!

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What does daddy do when he comes home for lunch? Dress bears, of course!

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Maya locked herself in the pantry by getting under the bottom shelf and pulling the door closed by the bottom. I was feeding Eva in the living room and didn’t know what she had done and just heard her knocking over and over again. I finally said, “Maya, stop!” She did. She just sat in there for about 5-7 minutes while I finished feeding Eva. I noticed she wasn’t around and called for her. She said, “I’m in here.” I could not stop laughing!

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Always an adventure around here, that’s for sure!

The BIG Date!

Finally, FINALLY, Rich and I got to go on a date! Somehow, the stars aligned and I was able to get a nurse and a sitter on Friday night. We hadn’t been on a date since Eva was born for obvious reasons. Well, on Thursday morning our nurse, Erica, texted me and asked how I would like it if she came in at 5:30 on Friday so that Rich and I could go on a date? …….Um, YES!!! Their normal shift is from 11pm-7am so she really was adjusting her schedule to make this date possible. I decided right then and there that I was going to make this a huge surprise for Rich.


I called Rich to see if he had anywhere he had to be after work on Friday because I needed to “run some errands” after he got home. He said he didn’t so the planning of the date was on! I texted my friend, Jeni,, and got her daughter, Aileen, confirmed to babysit. During Rich’s lunch break on Friday, I told him we should try going out to eat at a nice restaurant as a family since Eva was doing so well, and asked him where he would like to go. He said Olive Garden. Then I told him that maybe we should go all out and try going to a movie and asked him which movie he would like to go to and he said he really wanted to watch Captain America. By the way, going to a sit down restaurant and then a movie with Eva and the older kids would not be enjoyable in the least! I would end up out in the hallway suctioning during the whole movie. I don’t know why he thought I was serious but I’ll give my incredible lying skills the credit for that one. So, I told him I would think about the restaurant and movie and let him know if I felt up to it. After he went back to work I immediately made our reservations at Olive Garden and bought tickets to the showing of Captain America at the awesome new theater close to our house. Everything was falling into place!


At 5:00 I texted Rich and told him that Eva was not feeling well so going to dinner and a movie was out. He was fine with that. At 5:30 Aileen got here, just a few seconds before Rich. I explained to him that she was just hanging out while my friend ran an errand with her son. P.S. I was all dressed up which would have been a dead giveaway because, let’s be honest, I’m usually in my pj’s. So, I put a sweatshirt on over my clothes and it was a warm day. Rich didn’t notice. We were just waiting on Erica. She walked in the door and Rich just looked at her like, what in the heck are you doing here so early? I played dumb and said, “Hey! What are you doing here?” Rich was SO confused! Then I jumped up and said to Rich, “Go change because we are going on a date!!!” It took him a second to get what I was saying but once he did he was so excited! Ahhh, that was the best I’ve ever gotten him with a surprise. We drove away, in shock that we were all alone and we were both beaming! We were laughing so hard about what a good liar I was and how I managed to trick him and how exciting it was that we were going on a date!


We got to Olive Garden just in time for our 6:00 reservation. We got a salad and breadsticks, the cheese fondue appetizer and we each order an entrée which were both delicious.

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We were about done eating and starting to feel so full when Rich spotted A HAIR in his food! Ewwww! We called over our server and she got the manager. They apologized and told us that his meal would be taken care of. They offered to bring him another but since he was just about finished eating anyway he didn’t take them up on it. Instead, he asked me if I would dish some of mine up on a plate for him. I scooped up a piece of chicken and then some noodles and when I put the noodles on the plate what do you think I found??? ANOTHER HAIR!!! We could NOT believe that we had both found a hair in our food! I was actually embarrassed and didn’t want to tell our server because I thought she would think that we were planting it. We told her anyways and she was beyond embarrassed! She told the manager and they ended up covering our bill. What were the chances of both of us finding hair in our food? So gross!

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Next stop, the movie theater! It was newly renovated and I don’t think we will go anywhere else after sitting in that theater!

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The movie was awesome. Our time together was awesome. Even though our food was hairy, it was such a memorable date! The exciting news is that both our nurse and the sitter have offered to watch the kiddos bi-weekly! A date every other week for us it is!!!

My 32nd Birthday

This was my birthday month! I turned 32 and as usual I was made to feel incredibly special. I woke up that morning filled with gratitude with what felt like a magnifier glass on all of my blessings. I was so grateful for my kids, Rich and for the blessing that it is to be able to stay at home with them. I was smiling from ear to ear all day. The kids were more excited that it was my birthday than I was and Arabella would randomly come up to me throughout the day and say, “Mom, I have a surprise for you! Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…” and she would sing the whole birthday song to me. She did this 5 times that day! Rich had to work so it was a normal day at home for me except that all of my amazing friends made it an extraordinary day! First, my friend Vania came over with a bag full of goodies from Kneaders! She stayed and chatted for a while and then my friends, Jessica and Jeni came by with a bag of some of the most delicious chips ever wrapped in a doily. Then, some beautiful flowers and a box of chocolates were delivered to me! I was not expecting flowers at all and I especially wasn’t expecting who they were from! Big brothers are the best!

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The birthday goods.

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In the days following my birthday I received in the mail a cute little mexican dress from my sister and a necklace from my Florida bestie, Lucy!

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Both sides of my amazing family called me. It was a memorable birthday which was topped off with a massage at my favorite spa. Rich came home with our favorite Indian food and then sent me on my way. It was a day where I was able to see all of my blessings and all of the people that I’ve been blessed with in my life. 32…you are looking pretty dang good so far!

Eva’s Progress And G-Tube Emergency!

The night before last we didn’t have a nurse and Eva was sick. I was up most of the night suctioning her. The next morning I was so exhausted and felt a lot like I did 2 months ago BN(Before Nurses) ha! We weren’t scheduled to have a nurse last night either but I immediately called our scheduler and asked her to please get us one! She did and I got a good 7 hours of sleep.


Today I feel like a normal human being. Not having a nurse while Eva was sick took me back to the “dark days”. Those 6 months were SO HARD and I honestly can not fathom how I survived them. I literally lived off of about 3 hours of broken up sleep a night for 6 months! With each trach baby there has been a period of extreme struggle that I’ve had to get through and knowing that there was a light at the end of the tunnel was the only thing that got me through it. I can officially say I have reached the light at the end of the tunnel! Well, I guess it’s all a matter of perspective…having a baby with a trach is never easy but we’ve gotten past the first hurdle. There will be other “tunnels” during the next year with Eva and the process of getting the trach and g-tube out but the hardest part is over and I SURVIVED!


I feel so happy and grateful for where she is and how much she is progressing. She has gone from being on a continuous feed at a rate of 36mls an hour 24 hours a day, just 2 short months ago, to working up to a bolus feed and making great progress at a rate of 120mls an hour for an hour and a half 4 times a day! She eats about an ounce and a half of sweet potatoes 3 times a day! She is making such great progress and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

This was her with her constant companion, the feeding pole, 2 months ago. Now the suction is her only constant companion.


There are always going to be bumps along the road. Little experiences to keep things interesting. This past weekend I got to spend most of the day on Saturday in the ER with Eva. Let me explain…Friday night I was able to make arrangements for Rich and I to go on a date! So exciting and that is a whole separate post. Our nurse, Erica, came early to watch Eva and I got a sitter for the kids. In our rush to get out the door and make it in time for our reservations I didn’t explain to Erica that I no longer wanted the feeding tube to be taped on to Eva but instead I wanted it to just be taken off after her feeding. She taped it on and told me that she had done so when we got home which was fine and not a big deal at all. It was late and I didn’t bother to check how it was taped on, I just went to bed. The next morning Rich let me sleep in and he got up with Eva and the kids. I slept until 10! When I finally got up and went into the living room the kids were surrounding Eva on the floor tickling her tummy. Out of habit I leaned down and felt over her pj’s for her g-tube just to make sure it was closed. This is the shocker…I felt NOTHING! I looked over next to her and on the floor was her feeding tube with the g-tube attached! Rich and I both freaked out and had no idea how long it had been out. They can start to close up pretty quickly so I grabbed the emergency kit and tried to put it back in. When it wouldn’t go in I grabbed a 12 french catheter from the emergency kit and that wouldn’t go in either! Rich called our friend who has a ton of g-tube experience with her two 8 year old boys that have g-tubes and she was here within a couple of minutes. She tried the g-tube, 12 french catheter and a 10 french catheter which thankfully she was able to get in but we still needed to take her in to Primary Children’s to have the g-tube put back in. She was so sweet and drove me and Eva so that Rich could stay with the kids.

My friend, Laura, with Eva.

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Our taping of the catheter, haha!

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We were quickly admitted and in record ER time the doctor was in the room and trying to get the g-tube back in.

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He was unsuccessful and Eva’s little stoma was getting very soreSad smile

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They had the surgeon come down as a last resort and this is where I lost it. I’m normally pretty strong when it comes to the crap my kids have had to endure but this time was just too drawn out for me to keep it together. She came in with this iron rod that was about 10 inches long and was rounded on both ends. One end was slightly thicker than the other. She sprayed Eva’s belly with a numbing spray and then immediately shoved the smaller end of the rod in. There was no gentle pressure to try to get it in, she just forced it in and Eva was in so much pain. I was holding her right hand, Laura was holding her left hand and a nurse was holding her legs. The first few minutes I just held her little hand and kissed her on the forehead 10 million times. The surgeon stretched and pulled and then she switched to the thicker end and did more of the same. This went on for about 5 minutes, the whole while Eva was crying and kicking. The surgeon finally stopped and tried to put the g-tube in. It wouldn’t go in. She went back to the rod and repeated the process. When she started up again I just started bawling. I tried so hard not to cry but watching Eva in that much pain for that long was more than I could handle. After a couple more minutes of stretching her stoma with the rod she tried the g-tube again. I’m pretty sure I was praying out loud. It did finally, after a few seconds of pushing and wiggling it, go in! That was a horrible experience for Eva…and me! She is so strong and resilient. After a couple minutes of snuggling, she was back to her happy self and didn’t even need the tylenol that they brought in!


All that was left to do was an x-ray with contrast to make sure that the tube was in the right place. When I put her down she started whimpering. She was scared.

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I made funny noises to get her to smile.

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They wrapped her up like a mermaid.

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The x-ray.

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Her tummy. It was in the right spot, yay!

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We went home and she was as good as new. I was so grateful that I had these two on hand. Grateful for a great hospital that sent me home prepared in case this should happen.

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Funny thing is, the day before this all happened, I pinned this to one of my boards on Pinterest.

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It’s meant for a trach which will undoubtedly happen at some point but I think it is also fitting for this situation. This will be printed and hung in Eva’s room for sure! Another funny thing…after I discovered her g-tube on the floor and tried to get it back in, I was sitting on the floor next to her, a nervous wreck, when all of a sudden she rolled over from her back to her belly! I couldn’t help but laugh that her first time rolling over was in a moment that I was to stressed to enjoy it! She’s a funny one, this girl!

April 24, 2014

Easter Fun!

This year we went to our ward easter egg hunt instead of the base one and that turned out to be an awesome decision. There was a ton of eggs and candy for the kids to collect as opposed to last year at the base egg hunt where Arabella was knocked over and then had all 3 of her eggs stolen. No fun! So yes, this year was tons of fun! The primary president brought her 3 bunnies for the kids to hold!




We made sure Eva was a partaker in the bunny fun…we stuck her in the bunny cage with the bunnies:D


Petting the bunnies




It was so cute! She very gently kept sticking her hand out to touch them. They actually gravitated towards her. At first there was only one by her then they all came and nuzzled in by her.


The kids hit the jackpot when it came to candy! There was sooooo much candy!

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My pretty Maya.



The kids were all split up by age so I didn’t make it to Aidan’s group. I did attempt to get a group shot of them…you know how that goes. Ever notice how painful it is for kids to smile for a picture? Excruciating!





Easter Sunday we went to church. We were late, as usual, so we decided we would go ahead and get their sunday pics before church.

This was last year’s Easter picture


Oh how they have grown and changed in just one year!


Not to mention we’ve added one to the gang!




It was a busy couple of days but we all had fun and more importantly, we talked about and celebrated our Savior’s resurrection. I was filled with so much love and gratitude when I had the opportunity to explain to the kids what Easter is really about. I love my not so little family SO MUCH and I’m grateful for Jesus Christ, who overcame all so that we could be together for eternity.

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