Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The destroyer- 17 Months

For the record, I would like to start by saying that I know I am incredibly bias, but I think I have the sweetest most adorable little boy in the world. He is the most energetic, happy, goofy, loving little boy ever. I can honestly say that not a day goes by that I don't look at him and think of what a lucky mom I am to have such a sweetheart. That doesn't mean that he isn't a complete handful that keeps me on my feet every minute of everyday, but at least he keeps me on my feet and is a sweetheart too ;)
Vander is 17 months now, and he is an absolute BLAST. I love this stage, as I have loved every other stage, but gosh is he a riot. He has been nicknamed the destroyer. He runs from room to room literally destroying everything in his path. He pulls things down, get things out, tears things up, drops anything glass he can get his hands on, bangs on anything he can bang on- he is 100% boy. It is more clear than ever that Vander is Joel's son ;) Like father like son.. Joel often finds his patience wearing thin with Vanders destroyer demeanor. Then he reflects back to his childhood and realizes that his son is just like him. Which means we are going to have our hands full :)

Heres a few things Van is up to these days...
-Nicknames (a laundry list of them)... Boo, Boozers, Van, Duder, Dute Scoot, Scooter, Scoots...
-Favorite Foods; Mac and Cheese, Tacos/Burritos, Strawberries, Pancakes, Chicken Fingers
-Loves movies- ANY movie really, but the supreme favorite is Lion King
-Gets excited about absolutely anything and makes his excited open mouth smile
-LOVES when people visit our house
-Loves to slam his head down onto anything in sight
-Must have his blankee to sleep still
-A true lover of books. He loves reading stories and bringing us books randomly throughout the day to read
-Loves the wiggles! Thank goodness for YouTube
-Uses the doggie door as his main portal to the backyard and could spend hours out there each day
-Loves to climb on things
-Runs everywhere and loves to be chased and/or tickled by daddy
-Runs from you when he knows he has something hes not supposed to
-He is his own biggest fan. He loves watching videos of himself, looking at pictures of himself, and listening to himself jabber
-He loves helping mommy and daddy do anything- He thinks just sitting there watching or pretending to help in anyway is helping and I love it!!!
-He hates when anything spills.
-He loves to scream at the top of his lungs in resturants, the car, the shower- just about anywhere. The HIGHEST pitch scream you have ever heard
-His current obsession is animals- ANY animal really. He loves making animal sounds and carrying around his animal figurines everywhere
-He has started saying many words and will repeat almost any individual word you ask him to. His clearest words however are "Ball" and "Owie"

I could go on and on because he is up to SO much, but I will leave it at that. We ADORE him and his zest for life is infectous. We are so lucky to have him :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Why you hire a professional....

After the absolute insanity of the last 2 weeks, it suddenly hit me yesterday that I need to get Presley's new born pictures taken! She's already 2 weeks old and I haven't so much as asked a single person to schedule a little photo shoot with her... In my desperation and panic I decided to take matters into my own hands and make an attempt at taking her photos myself. Then I figured, if all else fails, I will beg someone to take her pictures asap... The begging may begin soon. I am many things, but a photographer I am not...
Presley was NOT a happy camper when we took of her onesie, so it made for very limited windows of opportunity to take photos. We did our best with what we had. Now we'll hire someone who actually knows what they're doing.. ;)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Phoenix Zoo

Our little man's current obsession is animals. Elephants, Giraffes, Lions... Basically any animal that shows up in The Lion King movie.
We thought it would be fun to take him to the Zoo to see the animals he LOVES. We also wanted to go before its a cool 115 degrees here :) So we decided to knock out a Spring Zoo trip. It was 80 degrees and somehow we were still all dying of heat- but it was worth every second!
Vander LOVED seeing the animals. Seriously- Vander heaven...
It was hard to capture his extreme excitement as one of us was tending to Miss Presley at all times and it was usually the same person who was handling the photo taking. We had our hands full and people were looking at us like we were nuts for having a 16 month old and a new born at the Zoo.. Maybe we are nuts, but we had a blast!

 and.... queue nap time melt down... trip over... :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

That just happened...

Easter Sunday my dear sweet son was playing in the backyard and found what is now considered to be a deadly weapon... Otherwise known as a "Furminator" or dog de-shedder...
Like he has done with many things before, he started slamming it on our sliding glass door... Over and over and over... Apparently the sharp needles and a 1 year olds strong swing can do a number on a sliding glass door.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Its amazing how once you have kids holidays seem to get so much better. Of course there has always been the church and Christ aspect of Easter which has always been important and celebrated- but for years the eggs went un-dyed and baskets haven't been made.
This is the first year Vander actually understood getting a basket of goodies and the first year he has been big enough to go on an Easter Egg Hunt. It was an absolute blast dying eggs with him- he would get so excited just to  drop the egg in the die. Overall I would say this was probably my favorite Easter to date!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

And so it continues.... + the arrival of baby P


So what I didn't mention in my previous post is that during the night immediately following Joels surgery, when Joel was a mere 7 hours post op, I started having contractions. From 3am to 5am they were at perfect 5 minute intervals, but with my husband still unable to hardly walk from his surgery, I tried to mentally overlook the contractions and go back to sleep. To my amazement they magically stopped dead at 5am, only after I woke Joel to tell him of the contractions and his only response was "You've got to be kidding me".
Well, by about 11am the next morning (while writing my previous post) the contractions started up again and continued getting stronger and stronger. We sent in the troops, ie; Aunt and Future Uncle Eric and Jessica and called Grammy Ingram to drive us to the hospital (since Joel was on pain meds and I was having contractions).
By the time I got to the hospital around 5pm my contractions were about 4 minutes apart. We sat in triage for 30 minutes before a nurse acknowledged our presence. With Joel is misrable pain, and myself obviously in misrable pain, we were both LESS than thrilled with the lack of urgency on the triages behalf. However, after 30 minutes we were finally seen and I was told I was dialated to a 2.5. I was then told to walk the halls which I'm sure every laboring woman does not want to hear. I walked the halls for about 45 minutes before the contractions became unbearable. My husband, bless his soul, walked along side me for 45 minutes and did not obey his surgeons orders to "not walk around for 1-2 weeks". Instead, he spent my labor standing by my side. THAT is a good husband, but a kind of stupid husband at the same time ;)
By the time I was dialated to a 4 the nurses finally let me get my epidural and my contractions almost immediately came to a hault. Joels was mildly upset that I got my epidural "so early" and said I should have waited... Easy for him to say. We later found out that little Presley was sunny side up, or facing the sky and wasn't coming down like she was supposed to. After flipping from side to side to side finally she flipped and contractions continued strong. By about 4am I was dialated to a 7 and by 6 am I was ready to push. 3 pushes later, enter baby Presley into the world :) A tiny 6lbs 9oz and 19inches. A full pound less than her big brother and 2.5 inches shorter! She is nowly lovingly referred to as our little peanut.
She was just as alert as her big brother was when he was born, lots of brown hair and to our excitement, cute little dimples!
We spent only 1.5 days total in the hospital until we were sent home on Saturday the 31st.
When arriving home Vander was instantly in love with his little sister. He is so gentle with her and loves to give her kisses, binkies and bottles. He also loves to "give" her toys, by "give" I mean shove into her head.
FAST FORWARD to Tuesday April 3rd, a mere 3 days after leaving the hospital....
I wake up to take Presley to her first follow up appointment with her pediatrician. I am scrambling to get Vander ready to go to Aunt Dojo's house so Joel can rest, get work done since I took Friday off work to have a baby, feed everyone with the exception of myself and get out the door to Presleys appt. I end up not having Vander ready in time to make the appointment, and I'm having a HORRIBLE pain in my left oblique on my back. This pain has been there since Sunday and I mentioned it to Joel and also called my OB office and was told it was probably fine and to just let them know if it gets worse. Joel's thought was that it was probably a pulled muscle, but it had seemed to be getting worse since Sunday. I called the nurse on the way to Presleys appointment while at the same time in tears from the pain and the fact that I had not been able to get Vander ready and had to leave him at home with Joel. (and Hormones ;) )... After practically crying to the nurse, I was told to go to my OB office immediately to be checked out. Queue MORE tears as I thought about the fact that all I wanted was to spend time with my family AND I have work literally piling up in my inbox. But after Presleys appt I dropped Presley off at home with Joel and headed straight to my OB's office as I was told.
After sitting in the waiting room for an hour at my OB's office and growing even more frustrated, I was told that I likely had a Kidney infection and that they were sending me out of the office to have an ultrasound and blood work done. I made calls to get both scheduled, but both could not get me in for over 24 hours and I was NOT going to sit around for 48 hours to wait for the results while I was in so much pain. I made the decision to forego those appointments and head straight to the ER where all tests could be done at once.
After I arrived at the ER, they immediatey started blood work, urine samples and had an ultrasound done on my abdomen. After about 3 hours all results came back and everything looked completely fine. With a little embarassment, I figured Joel was right and it was probably a pulled muscle and I have wasted my entire day. The ER Dr then said "if you want to rule absolutely EVERYTHING out, we can do a CT scan, but you don't have to". My initial instinct was to forego the CT scan and get my butt home to salvage what I had left of the day- Instead, I thought "what the heck!" I was already there, might as well clear my mind and rule everything out. 1 hour later the results came back and everything was fine, but I did have alot of inflamation in my back right where I was having the pains. The ER doctor suggested one final test which would be a contrast CT scan just to rule out any blood clots. We did the CT scan, and the results came back- By this time its about 6pm and I am SO ready to go home. Instead, the ER doctor comes in with about 5 other people. Half of them holding bags of fluid, a few of them rambling about heavens knows what. The Dr proceeds to tell me that I have a very large blood clot running through one of the main arterys that runs from my ovary to my kidney. I was immediately being hooked up to machines and IV fluids of medications I've never heard of. I was also told that I am being admitted to the hospital. With my phone dying from being on it replying to work emails all afternoon, I made a very quick call to my husband who was as shocked as I was by the news. A very quick text was sent to my entire family and my phone immediately died.
After Joel and my dad arrived to raise my spirits, I was soon after transported via ambulance (my first ambulance ride EVER) to another hospital where my OB doctors practice.
I stayed in that hospital from Tuesday the 3rd to Friday the 6th. During that time I was pumped full of Heparin and had my blood drawn what seemed like every 3 hours. I left the hospital with 19 holes in my arm from difference shots and IV's. I have been given a perscription of Coumatin, and 5 days of Lovenox injections. I will be on Coumatin (a blood thinner) for 3 months while the blood clot desolves/breaks up. I will also have weekly labs which are monitored by a doctor. The hospital stay was simply to prevent my clot from growing larger, the next 3 months treatment is devoted to breaking up the clot entirely.
Now, as if that is not enough, and why I said VERY long post warning....
A week after Joels surgery (Thursday) while I am currently in the hospital with this massive blood clot, Joel has his follow up appointment with his Urologist. This is the appointment where they review the results of his biopsy and determine whether the mass they removed was cancerous or not. Joel left me in the hospital to go to his doctors appointment alone. This is VERY hard for me as I have always gone to all of his back surgery appointments, his intial urologist appt etc. I'm kinda overbearing like that ;) I sit thinking about our insane week and think that SURELY the results will come back just fine, we have been through enough already....
Instead, I receive a call an hour later from Joel, who very calmly explains that the mass was in fact cancerous and had spread. He also would likely need radiation in the coming weeks once he has a CT scan to determine if the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes. The summery of the appointment from Joel was something like this.... The mass was cancerous, it had spread to his Epididymis. The form of testicular cancer which he has is Seminomas, which is the more treatable kind of cancer. It spreads MUCH slower than non-Seminomas and is very easily treated with radiation. The urologist, (who is very blunt and lacks much personality) was extremely optimistic and positive about the treatment and left Joel feeling like everything is going to be just fine.
Joel will likely have his CT scan sometime this week and we will know shortly thereafter whether or not radiation is required and if so, to what extent.
It is very safe to say that this has been the MOST insane 2 weeks of our entire life. Amidst it all, we received an absolutely beautiful little girl who has been the light of this entire situation. We have said time and time again during this last week that it was no mistake that our heavenly father sent us this sweet little girl in the middle of a dark week. She has brought us so much joy and has given us a positive outlook on each and every situation. While this week has been far from glamourous, we have never felt closer to our savior than we do now.
To our surprise we feel SO blessed, we have seriously the MOST amazing friends and family. We have been offered so much help, so many dinners and so much support. I must have received at least 30 texts while in the hospital with uplifting and loving support and offers of prayer and fasting. I literally cried with almost ever text I received. The love has been overwhelming.
We caught Joels cancer, and not only that, it has turned out to be the most treatable kind. He was treated so quickly by his doctor and surgeon so as to get everything taken care of before the arrival of baby.
I listened to my body and felt prompted to go to the ER and also to have the additional tests done after everything was thought to be fine. The clot was caught when it was far advanced and I was told that had we waited much longer, the clot could have dislodged and caused kidney failure.
We were given an absolutely beautiful little girl who is an angel baby. She brings a light to this home at this trying time and her arrival could not have been better timed.
Before this last 2 weeks, life was so simple. Everything in our life was like a picture book and things couldn't be more perfect. 2 weeks later, we have a whole different perspective on life. Our friends and family mean more to us than ever. Our kids bring us more joy than they already did. Our love and appreciation for eachother has grown more than I would have thought possible. And more than anything, and I will speak for myself, but I'm sure Joel would agree, my testimony of the church and the gospel is more concrete than ever.
I cannot express enough how appreciative both Joel and I are for the love and support we have received in the past 2 weeks. We are so blessed and that has never been so clear as it is now. Thank you so much to everyone around us. We cannot thank anyone enough.
Now, for some HAPPY pictures of the past 2 weeks ;)

Joel showin off his new battle wound

 Getting ready to head to the hospital...

 Pushing my disabled husband around- You should have seen the nasty glares he was getting from the people in the waiting room.

 Both limping around the hospital ;)

 Our last picture as parents of 1!

 Getting ready to push

 3 pushes later...

 Our little angel

 Daddy holding her for the first time

 Vander first meeting his baby sister. He immediately gave her a hug

 He's a happy big brother!

 Still my favorite little guy

 Proud papa!

 1 day old

 Baby sisters arrival home.

 First bath... It never goes very well ;)

 Happy as a little clam

 I just LOVE this picture because I think its hilarious.. Had to post it

 Helping feed baby sister

 Poking her... in the nose... eye... ear...


Baby P- 3 days old :) More pictures to come now that the craziness has settled.

We love you all!