Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mustard Seed Christmas Performance

The day after I got my gall bladder out was Max's preschool's Christmas performance. One of the huge things I was hoping for was that I would feel well and mobile enough to go. I was super slow but I made it. My mom was nice enough to watch Davis while us four went to see Max in action.

At first he didn't want to go but I took him to where all the kids were getting together and found his best bud Caden and he was good to go.
I cannot express how cute it all was. Someone was video taping it professionally (I think it was a parent of one of the kids) and I am definitely buying a dvd. They did the 5 days of Christmas but changed the words to 'my mommy gave to me'. Max was 3 silver bells. Then they did Feliz Navidad and a number of other songs. I was very impressed with Max and the fact that he sang pretty much all the words. Didn't miss a beat.

My little crazy angel.

Family Night, Levi Style

I can't resist taking pictures of either of the boys reading, it makes me incredibally happy to see them enjoying a good book. More often I will find Levi doing it but everyone once and a while Max will be caught in the act.

We kept a long table set out from our Polar Express party so we would have them for when we would have guests over for Christmas. The boys didn't mind spreading out their craft stuff one bit. Levi did his craft all on his own. He saw it in a book and got to work. Also while you see Max with a paint brush painting what I didn't get was a picture showing he had painted all over the table along with all over his face. He's in this phase where he wants to write all over everything, including himself. I did my best to clean him up but there were still streaks of paint I didn't get to when I dropped him off at preschool. Oh well, pick your battles I suppose.

Then for the FHE for the week it was Levi's turn. Origionally he wanted to make the gingerbread house we had been saving (Max was going to do it for his the week before but Wunderland was too awesome not to go check out.)

But Levi decided we would work on his friend Christmas presents. We saw these catapults on pinterest a while back and so I got the stuff to make a bunch. So for the night we worked on making them up as presents for his buddies as well as some extras that I will keep for friends gifts later in the year.

And of course we had to practice shooting marshmallows and pom poms around.

Monday, December 30, 2013


While I was recovering my mom took the rest of the week off to help take care of the boys. We watched a lot of Christmas movies. The boys loved every minute of it and didn't complain one bit about mom being out of commission again.

The day after I got home was the boys last day of school and for my mom's sake I was kind of glad school was cancelled due to weather. Oregonians are such wimps when it comes to snow by the way, but I was happy about it this time because we all just snuggled in, watched the Little Drummer Boy and drank hot chocolate.
My mom gave Davis his first bath at home. It's weird how you do things so differently with each child. With the first one we would bathe him in his own special tub but as we have had more kids we've done things differently and usually chosen whatever is easiest and gets it done without the fuss. So now Davis takes showers with me. It's a lot easier than filling up a little tub or a sink but it gets the job done and he gets nice and clean. That and he loves his showers. Once he sits up on his own we'll probably do baths with his big bro.

My mom wanted to give him a 'proper' bath so she filled up the sink and did just that. It's kind of touching because I, along with my siblings, were bathed in that sink. We'll not that actual sink because it is only a few years old but in that same spot looking out the window to the back yard.

He loved it and grandmas are just awesome. My boys are lucky they have 4. Talk about spoiled.

One thing I was finally able to get to was working on Jason's Christmas present from me and the boys. I came up with this idea months and months ago. I knew I wanted to somehow do something that would mesh Nike (where he works) up with Legos, a favorite around here. So I came up with this for him to put on his desk at work. A Nike swoosh with as many lego minifigs representing the sports Nike sponsors. I've been slowly collecting minifigs for a couple of months, some were kind of rare. Also I got two big lots of black and orange legos off ebay to work with. I didn't know exactly what I would need but figured we could use what we needed then the boys could keep the rest. They were more than happy with that idea. So we made it up and put some Nike gift cards in with it because that guy wears a lot of Nike. I'm pretty sure he's spent 5x the amount on cloths this year than I have. Boy likes to shop. Nike that is.

Lastly Mr. Cutie Patootie himself. He was, as usual, mellow and just hung out with us while I was recovering. We are lucky to have this little guy in our family.

With two operations in only 6 1/2 weeks I have again realized how lucky I am to have all the help and support around me. Not only do I have a husband willing to do what is needed to get the job done but I have a half a dozen family members who would drop anything to help and numerous close friends who would be there in a second if I asked. I know without a dbout if there was some sort of emergency and I needed help I have at the very least a dozen people who I would completely trust the care my kids to, which is no small thing and makes this mama feel very happy. While both operations went smoothly and all went to plan, I am very comforted in the fact that I could have called on countless people to help and am so thankful for all the help I did received.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gall Bladder Good Bye

Oh me and my surgeries. Well this story began long ago....

The first time I heard about a gall bladder I was 17 and on a trip to Ashland to see some plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival with my mom and sibs. In the middle of the night my mom woke me up and tells me she needed me to drive her to the hospital. An emergency operation and a long hospital stay were in store for my mom while I drove myself and siblings home while my grandpa came to take care of my mom. It was not a fond memory and kind of scary because I think it burst which is not good and life threatening.

Fast forward to two years ago when I first started getting attacks. They were pretty few and far between but enough to completely confine me to my bed during them. I am not exaggerating when I say it is the absolute worst pain I have ever felt and I would never wish it on my worst enemy. It would knock me out for around an hour then leave me exhausted the rest of the day. The weird thing about gall stones is that after the attack you feel perfectly fine, like there was no pain at all which gave me the false sense of security that it was over and done with. And often the time in between them made me think it was just a fluke. These attacks, which happened every month or so lasted 7-8 months then they stopped for almost an entire year. I of course made sure to not eat foods that triggered it (normally it is fatty foods but for me I could eat almost anything but a high in fat dairy would do me in, like full fat yogurt or cheese)

After a year of nothing I got pregnant and it all started again and it was terrible. I was lucky though because no attacks happened while I was out and about and so I would just have the boys go watch a movie while I felt like I was dying on my bed. I still was in denial about the whole thing but toward month 7 I knew something had to be done soon because I couldn't do this with a baby along with everything else.

I went to the Dr. who said we couldn't do much until after baby because I was so far along so when I was up to it after Davis I got the ultrasound and surprise surprise, gall stones! Duh. I met with a surgeon to talk about getting it taken care of. Luckily my body gave me a break for 3 weeks before baby and after. I still had them but my attacks were much smaller, like a 5 on the pain scale instead of a 10 so I could actually function to some degree. I knew that I would probably be fine if I waited  a while to get it taken care of but decided to get it out as soon as possible for various reasons. 1), with a big surgery under my belt for the year our insurance deductible capped, 2) there wouldn't be school for 3 weeks for the holidays so I wouldn't have to worry about recovering while trying to orchestrate getting two kids to school and all that that entails, 3) I could get family help with my kiddos.

It all kind of happened fast from the day I scheduled it to 5 days later but it all worked out in the end. I of course was the most nervous about the IV because with my C-section it took almost an hour, 5 stabs and a lot of tears to get it in. I told this to my nurse but she was very reassuring and told me she'd been doing this 20 years and to give her try. I'm not going to lie, I was totally saying 'yeah right' in my head and bracing myself for the worst but she did it quickly and with only one try. I was duly impressed and relaxed after that.
My eyes closed and the next thing I know I was back in my room. I felt awesome! I mean as far as I could considering I'd just had an organ removed. And I finally got to have some water after a 12 fast. Ice chips never tasted so good.
Now this was the little guy I was worried about just because he was only a month and a half old and had never been babysat by anyone. He had also never taken a bottle before and I knew I was going to be gone the whole day so he would have to at some point. So true to myself I wrote up a full sheet of how we have been doing things and what seems to work with the little guy for my mom while I was gone along with what was going on with the boys and school.

Of course I fretted too much about the whole thing and it ended out working well, he's a pretty mellow little man which makes things easy.
A picture of us a couple days after. He has such a handsome smile.
Update: It has been over a week and a half since the surgery and I am doing well. It was a bigger recovery than I thought actually and I was sorer than I thought I would be. Also I had gas pains, if that's what you call it. When they cut you open they use gas to help open things up and in the course of things some can get trapped after they patch you all up. This is normal and happens a lot when someone gets any surgery, the body will eventually absorb it. But while it's doing that it can be very painful and for me I had a lot of shoulder pain and side pain so it hurt really bad when I took a full  breath. A lot of the time I was taking pain meds not for the incision sites but for the gas pain. But now it is all gone and good riddance! And after recovering from a nasty cold I got a few days after the surgery I am now at about a 80-90%. Yeah for feeling normal!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Polar Express Party 2013

This year we had our Polar Express party again. The boys had been looking forward to it for months, they love that movie and of course having their friends over. 

I think I kept it as pretty low key and stress free as I could considering I had only had a baby less than a month before, though I'm sure Jason would disagree. He dislikes any and all party stuff and thinks I freak out too much but I while I do admit to getting everything together and doing the last minute cleaning done I am always happy I do it because I get to see my boys have so much fun with their friends and it is a fun thing for them to look forward to and help me plan. 

This year before we did the movie the boys and I decided to do Christmas bingo where they would make their own cards

Then we decorated 'Christmas trees' which they all got very into and very sticky.

Then it was movie time along with a table full of goodies and hot chocolate which they were free to eat as much as they wanted (then of course I send them all back to their parents =)

Davis was his awesome chill self and I only had to feed him once after the movie got started while my mom kept an eye on all those little hooligans.

I really wish we had a bigger place if just to invite more kids. They were all from Levi and Max's school and church classes and a couple other friends. We had a ton of others we wanted to invite but again we could only invite so many. Guess that just means we need to do a summer movie night this year in the backyard.

The boys were so happy and excited about the whole night (along with all their buddies) which is why I do it. And these boys love the Polar Express movie, they even watched it dozens of times during the summer.
Almost all the parents came at the same time for pick up and it went from tons of laughing sugar high kids to quiet mess. Ahh. This tradition is totally worth it.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dimples and Snuggles

A month or so ago, I believe around when I had the baby, Levi's class had a section on bugs where they studied them for several weeks, Levi loved it and I would hear about all the new bugs all the time. These are a couple of pictures I got from his teachers from when they had some 'bug girls' come in who brought in real bugs. Lucky guys!

 Every year I love picking out gifts for my boys for Christmas because it is one of the few times of year we really buy much toys. That being said I always have to restrain myself because while there are usually probaly a dozen or so more toys and things I know they would love, I have to say no in trying to keep things simplier along with just keeping a handle on the number of toys we have becuase we always seem to be overflowing. 

I found these shoes that I thought the boys would LOVE. Lego shoes? Every boys dream but even though I really wanted to get them I had to say no. They both have a number of shoes and Jason just got them new ones for their next sizes. Is it horrible I'm writing about what I didn't get them? Maybe. But I am proud I said no even though I really really wanted to say yes. Maybe for their birthdays. 
I just got a new visiting teacher who puts on an annual Christmas brunch for all the people she visits. It was quite fancy I loved not having to make myself breakfast or lunch for the day. I could get used to this.
Both Max and Davis were amazing. Davis chilled in his car seat the whole time while we ate then afterwards I fed him and he was good to go. He's such a chill little guy. Also I got my first picture of that cute dimple of his.
Max explored the house with a new friend then he realized he forgot his workout
so he thought he would get a quick one in.

It was a few days before my gallbladder surgery so I wanted to stock up on groceries even though it had been a busy day running around picking up kids and going to doctors appointments. I ended up with just Davis while the other boys were off at wrestling practice so we had a nice feeding session in the parking lot at Winco. He is such a portable guy and didn't mind a bit.

Just before bedtime....one last plea to stay up. 
 This year we have been planning our polar express party. It's been a little tricky with the guest list because our house is only so big and the boys list of people they want to invite just get longer and longer. So this year we decided to take our party to our friends house where we watched the movie in our pjs, drank hot chocolate and had cookies. It was fun and very relaxing, just my kind of Friday.

Landon wanted to rock Davis who didn't mind it one bit.

Within minutes of leaving their house Max was out. Levi always loves to point out that it would be the perfect time to take a picture of his picture hating brother. So I did.
For weeks Levi has been asking about when he was going to do a Christmas craft in his class because Max had been bringing them home starting the first week in December. He finally got to do one!

Levi is still quite the snuggler. This happened when I went up to feed Mr. Davis.