Monday, February 27, 2012

Washington Bound!

In January, we made a trip to the Tri-Cities to celebrate the return of my cousin Chris from his 2 year mission to Brazil! We loaded up the van with our things and my parents' things and headed out. I was able to fit all three kids in the back, my dad and I sat in the middle, and Ron and my mom sat in the front. We had food lined down the middle of the seats and the DVD player was set! We had quite the system while on the trip for when the kids needed snacks or a potty break! Since Michael was gone from school for 7 days, he got a study packet to work on. I just assumed it was going to be like his regular homework packet, but I was wrong! It was more! (I can't wait for future trips in higher grades!) Before the trip, I let the kids pick out movies they wanted to watch during the drive. I would let Michael pick a movie to watch, and when that was over, Emma got to pick and watch a movie and Michael did some homework. When he was done, then he picked the next movie and so on. We drove to Medford, OR that Monday, checked into the hotel, got some dinner, and headed to bed. We got 2 rooms that were adjoining and had one kid sleep in my parents room so that they would go to sleep faster. We got up the next morning and headed out. We got in around dinner time and had a yummy homemade meal! (a nice change from all the fast food!) My uncle (who had flown to Brazil the week before) and cousin weren't coming in until the next day, so we were able to relax a little before all the fun began! We left for the airport and waited! Finally we saw them come around the corner! It was awesome! He looked the same, just more grown up! The above picture is the morning after we got there. My aunt and uncle were kind enough to give up the master bedroom for our family, and Emma (who moves in her sleep....A LOT!) was barely in her sleeping area! Below is Chris with Michael and Brock! (Emma didn't want her picture taken!)
Emma and Brock playing in the doll house!
My uncle took Michael on a motorcycle ride. His first ever! He was excited to go, but the look on his face says otherwise....
My mom went next!
That Saturday afternoon, we did sealings at the Temple! It was nice to be able to attend the temple with my husband! Especially to do sealings! It doesn't happen very often, unfortunately, so I try to soak up as much of it as I can.
Sunday, Chris spoke in church and my Uncle Bob, Uncle David and my dad sang a trio. Brock was pretty sleepy, so I ended up sitting in the mother's lounge for all of Sacrament. I'm not complaining, though! It was SOOOO relaxing! the room was dark, I was the only one in there for a little while, but it stayed quite. Brock fell asleep and I dozed a little myself. Of course, it didn't help that the lady who spoke before Chris took FOREVER and left him with only 5 minutes to speak!! We were pretty bummed, but I secretly enjoyed not wrestling with children to be quite! :o) We left the next day to head to Medford and stayed at the same hotel. We made a pit stop at the mall in Portland to pick up some shoes that they had for Ron. We ended up staying there for like 3 hours just letting the kids play while the grown ups took turns shopping! After a good nights sleep, we were back on the road again. It seemed like we would never get home! I knew it was going to be a long trip, but it seemed to take longer than it should have! We had a great trip with our family! I'm glad we were able to make it to celebrate this occasion with Chris! We are so proud of him and the success he had during his mission. We are grateful for his saftey and his return home! The below picture is of Brock's make-shift crib. We didn't pack a crib for the sake of packing light (we borrowed one when we got to WA), so when we stopped at the hotel, I put pillows down on the ground, put towels on top of that, and then blankets on top of that. He slept great, and so did we!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Love This Boy!

Just like a kid to love the box more than the contents!

At church. Look how handsome he is!
Love those big eyes!
Brock is VERY mobile now and is getting into everything. I usually bring him in our room in the morning for a bottle and when he's done he wants to check everything out. Even daddy's ear! :o)
Gotta love a "sleeping in the high chair" baby! :o)
After bath one day, I was putting lotion on him and gave him a mini mohawk! (It's barely visible, but it's there!)

Knotts Merry Farm 2011

We made our annual trip to Knotts again this year, but this year my parents treated the whole family as our Christmas present. We had a good time. We stayed 2 nights in a decent motel and went to the park one day. The kids had fun up until the Wild West Stunt show. My kids are terrified of loud noises! Michael has a fear of popping balloons, so the gun shots made it unbearable for him. and since he was scared and crying, Emma started in so we ended up leaving. They have seen the show before, but they just couldn't take it this year, I guess. Other than that, we had a blast!


Michael came home with a paper saying when his class was going to Santa's Secret shop. I didn't know how much money to send him with and I probably sent too much, but I wanted to make sure he had enough. He has so many cousins, so I just made a list of all his cousins he would be seeing for Christmas and just had him buy for them. He had 9 people to buy for so I sent him with $30 (I know, I know! It was a lot! It's my first time!) He did buy for everyone on his list and also came home with 3 extra presents all labeled "To: Michael From: Michael". I laughed!!

Cute Kids, Christmas Jammies and Rice Crispies Treats

I love this picture! ^
Here are the kiddos in their traditional Christmas jammies. I like to get Christmas themed jammies for the kids to open Christmas Eve so they will have them the next morning, but I was VERY disappointed this year and could NOT find anything for Michael! If there was anything, I didnt like it (like the skulls with Christmas lights, or the bull dogs with antlers!). I finally just broke down and bought him Mario pajama pants!
I'm not much of a "baker" so the kids made rice crispy treats for santa this year with fun shapes. SOOO much faster than decorating cookies! Although, I bought green and red colored marshmallows, but that didn't turn out as well as I thought, so I probably wont do that again, or I will just use one color. The colors just blended together and almost looked grey.

Christmas Program and Gingerbread Houses

Michael had his first Christmas program at school. They sang a couple of songs and played the bells. It was so fun to watch! I was also able to go help them make gingerbread houses in his class. I love it when he gets excited that we come help out in the classroom! I pretty much let him decorate his house all by himself and it was a mess, but it was HIS. I noticed other kids who's parents were there had some pretty amazing houses.....just sayin'.....

Monday, February 20, 2012

Brock Had Surgery

When Brock was born, the doctor told me that he had an enlarged scrotum and that he may have a hernia and I would need to have the pediatrician take a look at it. The nurses were awesome and had a nurse from the NICU come over to look at it before the pediatrician had a chance to come over and they found that it was just fluid. When the pediatrician came, he just confirmed that it was fluid and that we would just need to keep an eye on it. Since then, every appointment we've had, they make sure it's just fluid. We also have had to have his weight checked because he's been underweight. He spits up often, but is developing fine. While in the process of trying to get that under control and finally having to be referred to a GI specialist, they checked his fluid and found that it had turned solid, which meant hernia surgery. So, we were referred to yet another specialist at the Children's Hospital in Madera. We went to see the GI specialist first and had to put him on special formula to add to his food. At that point, my milk started to dry up anyway, so we put him solely on the Nutrimigen (which is super expensive times everything we have to put it in!). But they have been so good about giving us free samples whenever we are in the area. We then took him to see the surgeon for the hernia consult where we found out that there was definately something on the left side, but he wasn't sure about the right side (our pediatrician in town thought there was a hernia on both sides). After hearing all the risks and options involved with surgery, we decided to take care of the left side and make an incision on the right side to make sure there wasn't anything on that side and to repair anything if there were. We scheduled surgery for December 13 and he was one of the first to go in, which means we had to be there by 5:30 am, and had to leave by 3:30 am! I didn't sleep much that night (mainly because I didn't want to oversleep). As you can see, Ron was pretty tired!
This was Brock before going back. The gown was so cute! They even gave him those little blue hospital socks, but they were huge and didn't stay on! It was pretty sad when I had to give my baby to the nurse and go to the waiting room. I had complete confidence in the doctors, staff and my Heavely Father, but it's still scary not knowing what will happen. They took him back around 8:00 am and by 9:30 am, the doctor was in letting us know that everything went great and he was in recovery!
This was just after they wheeled him in to the room so we could see him. It was pretty crazy because he was just laying on a hospital bed. Not a crib or anything. Just a regular bed! He had had a lot of fluid from the IV in him, so he was swollen and looked like a normal baby! He wasn't able to eat food yet, so we just gave him a TON of pedialyte! We were out of there by noon, but stopped at Chili's for lunch because we were starving! He slept most of the day.
He has been doing great after the surgery and only has 2 little insisions on his groin area. For an update on his weight, he is still going to see the GI specialist, but has been putting on weight, which is great! He is FINALLY on the growth chart! He still spits up, but as long as he's putting on weight, I'm happy. He does have to take a medication every morning. They haven't specifically said what he has, but think maybe it's acid reflux (which is what Ron has). I hope he wont have to do this for much longer, but we will see. The doctor wants to see him when he turns 1 and run some more tests. I just love that little boy! <3
Feeding my baby! :o)

School Lunch!

Michaels school does Santa's Secret Shop to help the kids buy inexpensive gifts for their loved ones at Christmas. I remember doing it as a kid, so I decided to volunteer. Michael's class had already gone, but I still had fun. I worked 2 days. It was pretty sad, though, when you see kids come in wanting to get stuff, but they didn't have any or enough money. I did pretty good, though, and was only out $1.40! On one day I left for a little bit and had lunch with my boy! It was fun! He showed me where to stand and he and his friends put the items on my tray for me. And the food was actually pretty good. (Even though I had to pay twice as much than he does, but I got the same portions!)
This is Michael's friend. I don't remember his name, but while I was holding Michael's hand in line, he snuck his hand in there, too. They love it when parents come to visit!

Emma's First Dance Recital

Emma had her first dance recital on December 3rd at the Kern County Museum for the Lamplight Tours. I'd never been before, so it was pretty fun. She had a good time and it was fun for me to be on the "mom" end of the recitals! It brought back a lot of memories just watching the dancers backstage. She did great! Ron got video on his phone, but it was too long to try to email. She was "Susie Snowflake".
Here's some of the girls in her class. Compared to most of the other girls, she STILL has no hair! They just said to do the girls' hair as if it were a special occasion. Yeah.....okay! "Pigtails" it is!
We have since changed her class to a different day, so she isn't dancing with these girls anymore. I think the new class is working out better for her and she's enjoying it. Her next recital should be in June! This one will be the BIG recital!! I'm pretty excited! :o)

Christmas Came and Went

We had a great Christmas, as usual! We had a first for us this year. I am normally very adament about not decorating for Christmas until December, but with Ron's work schedule, he started getting the stuff down and we decorated early. We waited on the tree, though, since we don't have an artificial. The kids had fun decorating. It seems every year by the time we get home with the tree, it's too late for the kids to decorate the whole thing, so I take a couple of pictures of them putting an ornament on the tree and then we finish decorating it after they go to bed! :o)
The tree Christmas morning.
I learned that the grandparents will spoil the kiddos on Christmas, so we usually don't do anything big for them. The extent from us were Christmas Eve pj's for all the kids, Michael got a Bull's jersey and Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii, Emma got a LaLa Loopsey doll and princess castle with princesses, and Brock got an activity walker. Of course, we stuffed their stockings with various things. I always feel bad because I don't get them much, but then we visit the grandparents houses and we come back with tons of things and I'm reminded why I don't do a whole lot! We are so blessed with lots of family who love us!!
Group shot before church!