Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hi y'all!

Obviously it has been awhile since my last post.  You'll know why once you get to the end.  It is going to be quite lengthy because there is a lot to share.

I am going to start with the less serious stuff - the kids:

Alec is doing well! He got braces in February, did amazing on his STARRS test and has grown a couple of inches so now he is starting to catch up with Brooke and Avery.

Here's a pic of Alec with his braces, notice that Brooke has them too! I love it! Twins! Ha!

Brooke is great! She is doing pretty well in school and next year she will start taking sign language which, I think, is so cool!  I taught Noah how to sign 'done' when he is done eating so, I am hoping that since she will be learning to sign that she can teach him a little too!

Avery is good!  He has all "A's" right now! He made a friend in our neighborhood, so on days when he has to walk home, he has a buddy. I am thankful for that.  He also did well on his STARRS test.  He is currently reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Noah is growing and growing!  He is walking all around the house now getting into EVERYTHING!  Driving me crazy! He is talking more and more, repeating words and phrases back at us the best he can. He dances and sings when he hears music, which is so cute to watch. Here's a little secret: Noah has a tiny addiction to chocolate chips.  If Noah hears the crinkle of the bag he rushes over to me saying "mmm."  I take absolutely no responsibility for his chocolate chip addiction. It's not my fault. Not a bit.  ;)  Anyway, while Noah, Avery and I were spending spring break with my parents, his papa bought him a 72 ounce bag of chocolate chips. The bag was literally the size of him sitting down! 

Here he is so happy, happy, happy about the chocolate chips

Here are a few more pics of the kids.  None of Avery, because now he won't look at the camera, he looks away. He thinks he is too cool, I guess. 

Now on to the serious stuff.  The stuff that has kept me from posting sooner.  

Sometime in the middle of February, my mom found out that she had breast cancer. To be honest, I was incredibly at ease (for me) after my mom told me she had it.  I cried a little and my heart broke for her. Mostly because anyone and everyone knows that cancer is its own demon and can cause suffering and I do not want anyone to suffer. Not my mom, not anyone.  I had faith, strong faith, that everything was going to be okay with my mom. The Dr suggested a mastectomy but my mom asked if she could try chemo therapy first, an effort to hopefully - not lose a boob. I am happy to share that she is doing remarkably well.  Her tumor has continued to shrink throughout her treatment.  She is able to do a lot like sewing and cooking and has felt pretty good most of the time.  That is not to say, that she hasn't felt bad at all, but so far, she has managed to not be as sick as some people get.  Her biggest complaint has been that she is tired. We learned that more than likely her cancer is genetic (her sister had it too) and so after a few months we will know exactly which kind it is so that Nell and I can be tested for it, and go from there.  

The same week I found out about my mom's breast cancer, the mother of a girl I was really close to for quite some time emailed me and told me that her daughter, my friend, had breast cancer too.  She is 28.  That news disgusted me. I instantly felt the weight of the world, and all of its nastiness, bare down on my heart.  I cried.  I shared the email with my parents, who were visiting, and they cried. It was and is just sad news.  She is also doing chemo therapy and because the first drug they gave her didn't work they have moved on to a stronger drug.  I am wishing and hoping and praying this one does.  I would love, if you are reading this, for you to do the same for her.  

The last of the serious stuff I have to share is about Scott.  Last year after his gallbladder removal, he was fine for a few months and then all of a sudden he started getting sick and sicker and sicker.  His GI, kept assuring him that he was fine, kept prescribing him medications that would help him for a little while but would not ultimately keep him well.  While I was pregnant with Noah, he was in the hospital every month.  I am not kidding.  So far, 2013 had started out the same.  This year he has been in the hospital somewhere between 8-10 times.  I don't even know how many, its been so much. It really could be more.  In March, he had to go to the hospital while we were down visiting my parents.  He was well enough to drive home to only have to go to another hospital as soon as we got here.  That is what began our 2 month journey to where we are now.  We heard everything, from it could be this cancer or that one, to Scott was just a drug addict addicted to the pain medication they give at the hospital, to its stress, its diet, its what-ever-you-would-like-to-throw-in-there as a reason as to why he was getting sick again. Words like maddening to frustrating don't even begin to cover the emotional toll him being so sick AGAIN had on both of us.  He was getting to the point where he was convinced he was going to die and he was trying to get everything in order just in case he did.  Last weekend he was in pretty bad shape.  I had not seen him so bad since before his gallbladder had been removed.  He kept telling me "something is really wrong, I know it."  He was hesitant to go the hospital. Again. Because well, who wants to be told the same thing. Again?!?  He tried to tough it out but on Sunday morning I was like you need to go, you have to.  I took him in and the Dr told me before I left to bring Noah home, that he would find out and fix whatever was wrong with Scott.  This Dr was so nice, so compassionate and genuinely cared about what was wrong with Scott and wanting to fix it. I actually left believing that, that would happen, he would help Scott. On Monday they ran tests - all kinds of tests, they prepared Scott for the worst.  The whole this cancer, that cancer, this thing or that story he had become used to. Scott was just emotionally and physically worn out. This time, Scott's test results came back showing that the artery that runs near his intestines, was choking off his intestines and basically, killing him. His liver was failing, his kidneys were too. He was hooked up to all kinds of things to help get the two healthier, healthy enough for surgery.  The surgery, the Dr originally proposed, was separating the artery from the intestine, but after another MRI they decided that doing that surgery would be too risky. What Scott has is called Wilkie's Syndrome. It is VERY rare.  Only 500 people have ever been documented as having it and most of those were/are usually diagnosed with it after they have died.  During an autopsy. Pretty scary. Scott saw a new GI while in the hospital, who IS HIS NEW GI by the way, and together they decided that it would be best that Scott be on a feeding tube for at least the next month to "fatten him up" and see if that will help loosen his artery from his intestine. You see, most people have a layer of fat that protects their intestines, Scott does not.  He doesn't because he has been so sick that his body ate it away.  Kind of like an anorexic. His Dr is also talking about putting a stint in to keep his intestines open.  Scott has a follow up appointment in two weeks so good news should come then.  As of right now, he is doing fine, annoyed with his feeding tube, but he feels so much better and he is home. He is happy to be home.  He is also happy that he knows now what is/was wrong with him and now he has a plan. He is also very thankful.

Here are some pictures of Scott's intestines so you can see what I am talking about

Here is a normal free flowing part of his intestines:

Here is the obstructed one. If you look at the black, sliver-like thing under the 1974/2013 area that runs from the top of the photo to the bottom that is ALL the room he had open in his lower intestine.  All the bulge to the right, that is his choked off, swollen intestine. It looks like SO much fun, right!?

Before I end this I have to say, that my little Noah turned the BIG ONE! I am freaking out about this. He is not a baby anymore. He's a toddler. EEEEKK! We ended up celebrating Noah's first birthday at the hospital with Scott.  I took all the kids and brought ice cream because Scott could have some too. It was really sweet. Noah had a blast. We will probably have a very late party when things are more back to normal for us.

Alright friends that's what we've been up to.

Lots of love to you!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

crawling is just the beginning

Hi All,

We are all doing well!  Noah started crawling (I'm posting a video), he started feeding himself, and he has started to pull himself up on to his feet. He is obviously determined to get up and go! To be honest, we were not surprised that as soon as he started crawling that he'd try to be up on his feet as much as he could since he has had the desire to be on his feet for months!  I expect him to be walking very soon!

Here is the video I posted on facebook of him crawling! Once again, I do not know if it will work on idevices.

The older kids are all well! One of Brooke's best friends moved into the house next door - which is so cool and she is super super excited about that!  Alec is doing great!  He drew Scott a picture and it looked so realistic!  He is such a talented artist! Avery is good too!  He made the honor roll and Tuesday night he and I tentatively planned out his HIGH SCHOOL schedule.  I want to cry re-reading that sentence. Ah! 

Scott and I are well, he is busy trying to meet some deadlines for March and I am busy with Noah. I am attempting to teach him sign language because he has a little bit of a temper. Sometimes a little bit of a big one. The idea behind teaching him to sign is that, I would like to help him communicate his wants and needs better and avoid the fits altogether. But I haven't had much luck yet mostly because he would rather look at me like I am crazy than copy the signs. 

Here are some pictures of our past few weeks:

Feeding himself peas and carrots

Playing in his new toy from Aunt Audrey and Uncle Nick! 

Just being cute! 

Getting into his books in his bedroom

I will from now on try to get more pictures of the older kids on here, but it can be harder sometimes as they are not too willing to have pictures taken! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a great Christmas, as for us, here goes! 

Christmas was SO fun! We actually had a white Christmas!  It was awesome! Noah was totally interested in the snow (which was great!) and we went outside a few times so he could look at it and touch it. Scott even let him taste a tiny bit.  He loved it, but he likes ice, so how could he not?!

Here is Noah in the snow, my happy little bee

And here is the view from our back door, so white, so peaceful, I love the way outside smells and how quiet it gets when there is snow/when it is snowing.  Scott got the kids and I hot chocolate from Starbucks which made the day perfect! 

Brooke noticed that Avery is now as tall as her and we got a picture of the exact moment when she realized it - hilarious! 

All four kids are all well, enjoyed their break from school and got tons of gifts that they loved! Such lucky kids! 

Noah, Avery and I stayed with my parents for about a week and a half and we had a blast!  Old friends and family visited and we spent some much needed time with Papa and Mamoo! 

Here's Noah playing with Zoe and Kalista, they are the daughters of a girl I have known since 8th grade! 

LOVING on Julia, but in all honesty, who doesn't love her?!

Snuggling with cousin Hope

Playing with GG

Practicing crawling with Papa

The deer my mom and I started feeding which lead to more deer showing up to be fed, and now there are somewhere between 15-20 that now sit and wait to be fed, peering through the gate. Starving. With their babies. Making us feel like total jerks because there was only so much deer appropriate food in the house  we could give them. And believe me they stared.

Avery and his baby kitty!  She had to go back to my parent's house because Noah is allergic, actually, we all are.  But I am such a cat person, I'll suffer through it for the sake of having one.  However, it isn't an option right now until Noah gets bigger.  Bella (the cat) followed Avery around for 2 days after we got there and the first night did not move from the pillow next to him.

Noah with his uncle Al, holding a Mexican Coke with a big smile, because, Mexican Coke is the BEST Coke, duh. 

Playing under the Christmas tree.  Too cute! 

Visiting Papa at work pretending to be the boss 

That was pretty much the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 for us!  Here is hoping and praying that this year is awesome!  We have a lot to look forward to! 

OH! Noah got his first tooth New Year's day.  Then he got his second tooth, the next day. Um, yeah.  Big things are surely in store for us this year!  He is also, crawling in a one two pattern then stopping.  I think he is scared a little about going further. I don't think it'll be long until he's off getting into things.  

Scott and I are well too!  Other than trying to be better about staying in touch with our family (my goal), we both are going to try to live out the wisdom of 1 Corinthians 13 4-7.  Its a few verses that I am sure everyone knows but living them, that's the tricky part. Wish us luck! 

Well friends and family that's it for now!  Lots of love to you!