May 25, 2015

Stuff from my phone

Ever since she got sick a couple of weeks ago, Eva has been waking up in the middle of the night crying. All she wants is a snuggle with mom. This night Rich and I thought her expression was so funny! It was like she was in shock or something.

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I also forgot to write about something she did the day she came home after getting her trach out. I was sitting on the couch and noticed a trach cap between the cushions. This is a trach cap.


It went on the end of her trach. So, I found the trach cap and put it on the arm of the couch. She was watching me and crawled over and grabbed the cap. She immediately tried to put it where her trach used to be. When she realized there was nowhere for it to go she crawled over to the trash can and threw it away. I just laughed and couldn’t believe how well she understood that her trach was gone! She had never thrown any of her trach stuff away before but it was like she completely grasped the fact that she wouldn’t be needing it anymore. Smart little cookie!

I also had a moment on the Sunday after she got her trach out. I had picked out her dress and started deciding what color cap I was going to put on her trach to match her dress. Then it dawned on me that that was something I wouldn’t have to coordinate anymore, haha!

She still loves having her back scratched.

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This is every day. She has to have a tutu, necklace and bow. Rich and I love her little sense of style.

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Then there’s this diva.

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After having lunch with daddy at the BX.

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That day that we had lunch with daddy was a rough day. Aidan had an early morning appt. at the clinic that we were running late for, I spilled my smoothie all over the car, forgot my ID and then drove off base to take Aidan to school and forgot that I didn’t have my ID. That was all before 10am.

I took this picture to show Rich how bad of a morning I was having.

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She’s just cute!

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I love the nerdiness of my man! I asked him if it rained a lot in Okinawa because I wanted to buy a cute pair of rainboots. He made a graph comparing the rainfall in Okinawa and Florida. I love him!

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We all had our dental appts. We were shocked to find out that Maya had 2 cavities, Aidan had 1 and Arabella had none! Maya is the most diligent at brushing her teeth and Arabella is the worst at it. Just luck I guess. Aidan and Maya were so stressed about getting fillings but it was a breeze.

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The best part was at the very end as the dentist was taking off his gloves after finishing with Aidan, Aidan asked, “When are you going to drill?”

I was so grateful that they have working with kids down to an art. Made my day much less stressful!

Those are some of our happenings in a nutshell!

May 17, 2015

Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day was a tear jerker! Of course there were several factors to my emotional imbalance but still(shaking my head).

Rich has always been the best gift giver. He never forgets and never disappoints. This year he upgraded my favorite necklace from this…


to this…

I love it so much! He showed me the one that had the mom and the dad and it looked like a two headed person so I’m glad he got me this oneSmile

Our attempt at a Mother’s Day picture.


So, back to my uncontrollable emotions. This Sunday was my favorite Sunday in Primary since I was called even though I had every reason for it to be the worst. Saturday night Rich and I went on our last date for a while. Since Eva got her trach out our nursing has been cut off and Saturday night was our last night with a nurse. Anyway, so like I normally do on our date nights after we get home I stay up and talk to my friend/nurse Erica, until midnight when her shift ends. I was finally crawling into bed at around 12:15am and I started to think about Primary the next morning. Oh. My. Gosh. I am in charge of sharing time!!!!! Shoot! The crazy busy week completely got away from me and I forgot to plan sharing time! I stayed up planning until 2:30am. Needless to say I was beyond exhausted the next morning. Of course, church starts at 9am and Rich and I were asked to say the opening/closing prayer so getting there at our usual arrival time was not an option(hehe).

Sacrament meeting was great. A family that had lost their mother a few years ago, spoke. It was very touching. Off to Primary where I was conducting and was just a flustered mess. Jr. Primary went well and they really responded to my lesson on repentance. I was so happy that I had stayed up preparing because I could feel that they were getting it and feeling the spirit testify to them. Next, was Sr. Primary. I love seeing my kids in Primary! I never thought I would be able to say that because being called to Primary always seemed like my worst nightmare. It really has been such a huge blessing to me.

So, Sr. Primary comes in and I can see that Aidan is grumpy. This group, which is usually really well behaved, were so hyper and difficult to maintain order, much less reverence. Singing time was pure chaos. Bro. Allen is the singing time leader and he was trying everything to get them to calm down. I don’t know how this was possible but even amidst the craziness I had a special moment while the kids were singing “My Heavenly Father loves me”. That song is special to me because it has always been my NICU song for my kids. It’s the song I would sing or hum to them when I had to sit by their incubator just stroking their hair and during the 10-12 hour days of sitting and rocking them while they were attached to wires and tubes. I hated needing to use the bathroom, eat, pump or go home. I hated anything that took me away from them. So, there I was, sitting in Primary, staring at my first born almost 8 years later. The first one that I ever sang that song to. Watching him with his grumpy little face mumbling the very song I sang to him when he was a newborn. Holy smokes, the sleep deprivation coupled with that moment made the tears flow! In that very moment I felt the power of the incredible gift I was given. That was my Mother’s Day moment. It was so special.

Then, I made a fool of myself. After struggling through singing time, Bro. Allen asked the kids to sing “I know that my Savior loves me” and to do so with reverence. That song is new to me and the words are beautiful. The kids were so reverent and the spirit was there. After the song was over Bro. Allen bore his testimony and I just started bawling…then it was sharing time. Great. I saw the Primary door crack open but I couldn’t tell who was peaking in as I was blubbering a double testimony of the things Bro. Allen had just said. Poor kids were probably wondering what the heck was up with Sis. Baker, haha! After church, Rich told me he saw me crying. Ugh, awesome. So anyways, that was my emotionally charged, sleep deprived Mother’s Day! I went home and slept. The end.

May 5, 2015

Japan it is!

As I mentioned in a previous post, we were waiting on news about Yokota. The guy that was supposed to go was appealing his medical clearance denial which left us in limbo. We were supposed to find out in a week if he was going or if we were going. A week later we had no news. About 9 days in to our wait Rich got a call from the lady that makes the assignments. She told him that she hadn’t heard anything about Yokota yet but something new and certain opened up. She gave him the option of waiting to find out about Yokota with the possibility of it not working out in our favor or he could take this new assignment that was a sure thing. He decided to take the guaranteed assignment and just like that we are moving to


Do I seem excited? Oh my gosh, we are all so excited! Now I’m going to embarrass myself and admit that I had no idea where Okinawa is. Can you blame me though? Do you see Okinawa anywhere on this bright beautiful image of Japan?

It’s so easy to miss because it’s the tiny little island that has been added to the lower right-hand corner. We will not be living on mainland Japan, we will be living on a tiny 70 mile long 7 mile wide island in the middle of the ocean! Had I known anything about Okinawa it would have been my dream place! The weather is similar to Florida and you are practically surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I still can’t believe that this is tentatively going to be our home for the next 3 years in just 3 months! Nothing is ever 100% until you have orders in hand so Rich is stressing out about every little thing and not letting himself believe we are going to Okinawa while I’m already clearing out clutter and researching the places that are going to be my new favorite places to shop! The kids are SO EXCITED and have told all of their friends and classmates. Aidan wants to learn Japanese and has asked Rich to print out a paper that teaches Japanese characters. What is this crazy life we are living where we are blessed with so many great experiences? From Florida to Utah to Japan…I love His plan much better than anything I’ve ever imagined for my family.

May 4, 2015


Decanulation has become one of my favorite words. For me it has meant the end of a year and a half long journey…3 times. Eva was actually ready to be decanulated about 4 months ago but it was the beginning of RSV season here in Utah. The risk just wasn’t worth it to us so we decided to hold off until spring.


Spring came and we called to schedule and appt with our ENT. He was on vacation for a few weeks, AGH! We finally got in to see him and he cleared her for decanulation but because he had been out of town for so long his schedule was packed and he couldn’t get her in for 6 weeks! We were put on a waiting list in case there were any cancellations and 2 hours after leaving the hospital we got a call moving us up 2 1/2 weeks. We took it. Almost 2 weeks went by and I got “the call”. It was Tuesday afternoon and they had an opening on Thursday! I was so excited I must have thanked the lady 20 times during our 1 minute conversation! I immediately called Rich and told him the good news.

The day the good news came in!


Night before surgery. I did her last trach tie and gauze change.

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We had one day to prepare and Rich couldn’t get off of work so I was going to have to be there alone which made me so sad. It was a 20 month build up to this moment and he wasn’t going to get to experience it with me.

Morning of decanulation! Headed out the door.

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So, check-in was at 10:30am.


From there everything moved so quickly. We went in to the pre-op room to change her and take her vitals. She seriously has a thing for older men.

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Ignore my horrible singing. She usually sings along but decided to leave me hanging this timeSad smile

She wasn’t scheduled for surgery until 12:00 but they were ahead of schedule and took her back at 11:30. Here she is with the anesthesiologist. All the nurses thought she was just the cutest thing and she sure knows how to melt hearts! She was rubbing the anesthesiologists facial hair and and being so cute and playful with him. The nurses warned me that he might decide to keep her, haha!

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He walked away with her and I was left to wait. I checked in to the waiting room and decided to hang out for a few minutes and update the family via text before heading down to grab a bite to eat. The procedure was supposed to last an hour. About 20 minutes in, the waiting room receptionist got a call for me from the OR, it was Dr. Muntz. He told me that when he went in to make sure everything looked good in her airway he noticed some tissue that was connecting her vocal cords. He couldn’t believe that he hadn’t noticed it before! He asked for permission to snip it which, of course, I gave. I was so glad I had stayed in the waiting room for a bit!

Picture of the tissue connecting the vocal cords.


Halfway through the surgery Rich got there. He had an hour and 1/2 to hang out before he had to go back to work. Dr. Muntz came out to let us know that everything went smoothly and that her airway looked great! He said that with the exception of the tissue between the vocal cords she had no granulation tissue. About 10 minutes later we were called back to the post-op room and my baby was angry! As soon as I snuggled her she was just fine.

Of all of my babies, Eva recovered from the anesthesia the fastest! It took her no more than 10 minutes before she was her normal, happy self again. All of my others took at least 30-45 minutes before they were semi-functional.

About 20 minutes post-op snuggling with mommy.

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Because she was doing so well they moved us straight to the room we would be staying in over night.

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I changed her into her comfy jammies and my girl was feeling awesome and was ready to eat! Her first pudding ever.

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She didn’t stop there though. One of her favorite things to eat is a bagel with cream cheese, ok maybe I should say cream cheese with a little bit of bagel. After eating all of the cream cheese off of her bagel she reached for the rest of the cream cheese.


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Fruit Loops

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Hanging out and keeping busy coloring.


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Sats were great, oxygen saturation was awesome and then she got upset…

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About an hour after daddy left she decided it was time for her to leave too. She pointed to the door and when I told her we couldn’t go she started to cry. I could immediately tell something was wrong. She started arching her back and twitching her whole body, her lips turned purple and then she went limp. I had her in my arms so I yanked the monitor cord off and ran out into the hallway screaming for help. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. A bunch of nurses came running towards me and I went back into the room and sat down with her on the bed. They held an oxygen mask up to her face and she slowly and quietly started to whimper. She was still limp and her face started to regain color as she started taking tiny little breaths of oxygen. After about a minute she was mostly back to normal, still whimpering softly but she wasn’t limp any more. I just started bawling because she had scared me so much! This happened two more times but the last time it happened was the next day and she was able to recover before passing out. The last time I actually made her cry on purpose because I wanted to be sure that she would be ok before we went home. I was so ready to stay another night if it continued. I spoke to Dr. Muntz before I was ok with being discharged and he assured me that she would be fine. He said that it happened because of the swelling in her throat from surgery. He didn’t act like it was that big of a deal but I’ll tell you what, it sure scared the heck out of me!

Hanging out, waiting to be discharged.

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We were discharged at 8:30am and nobody was more happy than Eva. We headed home and picked up the girls from Rich’s work on our way. They were so excited to see that her trach was gone! Then, after we got home Eva immediately pointed to the back yard. Her sisters took her out to play.

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No time to bathe or change, she just wanted to get out there!

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Somehow she managed to find a sucker and unwrap it…yep, she’s just fineSmile

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Eva has made incredible progress with her stoma healing. To ensure that it closed up, Dr. Muntz went ahead and cut out the track where the trach so it wasn’t pretty to look at at first. I’m used to seeing a hole in my kids neck but even this was hard to look at. The picture doesn’t do it justice at all.

Day of surgery.

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Day 2~Already so much better!

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She was hurting and needed extra snuggles this night. I’ll always take extra snuggles.

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Day 3~ Yesterday, it is looking so awesome!

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Yesterday I also decided it was time to clear out all of her trach supplies and equipment. That felt so good!

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She has a trach tie tan line, haha! #trachbabyprobs

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I can’t explain the feeling I have. Even though I’m “used” to trachs there is just nothing that compares to being rid of it. I’m so much more relaxed and I have this huge feeling of gratitude and pure joy that fills my heart. I’m so HAPPY! We all are.

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