Four years ago today, we almost lost our "little" Christopher! Many people ask me what happened or how did we know, so I am going to tell our story. Please forgive me for the length of this post, but it is a long story! :)
It began on Friday afternoon when Christopher came home from school (December 16, 2005). He told me that he wasn't feeling very good. He didn't have a fever and he couldn't exactly tell me what was wrong. He just said that he didn't feel right. So, I told him that he could just go lay down and rest. We went through the rest of the evening with no incident.
Saturday morning Rich and I were redoing our bathroom floor. When Christopher got up he said he wasn't feeling well. Soon the vomiting started. He was not running a fever, though. I asked him if he was achy all over and he said no. As the morning progressed so did the vomiting. We tried crackers, ginger ale, popsicles, and water. He could keep nothing down. It got progressively worse throughout the afternoon. Then, Rich had to leave for work.
After Rich left, we went about our evening and I tucked the kids in bed. Christopher was vomiting multiple times an hour at this point. I really thought he just had a really bad case of the flu. I gave him the option of staying downstairs or going to his bed. He said he just wanted to go get in his bed. I stayed downstairs and cleaned up from the night. I checked on Christopher a couple of times too. However, a short time after I had checked on him last, he came downstairs because he had vomited everywhere (he missed the bucket) BUT here is where it got SCARY!! His breathing was crazy. He sounded like he had just finished running a marathon. He was breathing so hard and loud and fast. He was a pale/ashy color. He looked so sick...and his mouth was bone dry. His tongue felt like sand paper and he could barely open it. It really scared me so I called my wonderful brother-in-law (he is a PA-Physician's assistant) and asked him what could be wrong and what to do. He asked me a couple of questions and one of those was does his breath smell fruity? I smelled Christopher's breath and to my amazement there was no "sick smell". You know the smell...when people are sick there is just a "sick smell" to their breath. He told me I needed to get him to the ER right away. He even offered to come and pick us up. I told him that wasn't necessary that I could call my mom to come help me get him there. She only lived 5 minutes away. He was very firm that I needed to get him there right away and that he could come get us if I needed him too. But, I called my mom and she was here pronto. I called Rich and told him what was going on and that we were headed to the ER and he said he would meet me there. Christopher could barely walk at this point so I needed help getting him into the hospital. Luckily, we literally live less than 5 minutes from the hospital. I woke up Brittaney and told her what was going on and that I needed her to stay with the kids. We left with Christopher and rushed to the ER!!
When we got to the ER we had to wait in triage...STUPID people!! I asked them if he could ahve some water because he was sooooooo dry! They said NO! However, I went into a little room right there that had a sink in it and scooped water into my hands and went out and poured it into his mouth. I felt like a momma bird feeding her little baby bird! :) I felt like my son might be dying while I was waiting for the triage nurse so I got a "little upset"!! Needless to say they got us right in and they called the Dr. in immediately once they saw him. Considering we had to carry my son into the room, I think they finally got it! The Dr. took us right into an exam room. I think Bill had called ahead and told them we were coming (he works in this ER so he has connections)!! :) Anyway, the Dr. took his blood sugar immediately and it registered HI which means his blood sugar was over 600. He drew some blood and told us we would have to wait for the blood work to find out exactly how high it was. Now mind you...his blood sugars are suppose to range between 80-120 so this was EXTREMELY high!! The Dr. told us immediately that Christopher had TYPE 1 DIABETES. I still remember that exact moment. My heart stopped and the tears started to flow...but then immediately I thought...STOP, you have to be strong for Christopher!! I wanted to make sure that I heard and understood EVERYTHING the Dr. was saying.
The Dr. got the bloodwork back and his Blood sugars were almost 800! He had large ketones and the Dr. told us he was in DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) which is life-threatening!! He told us that they needed to get his blood sugars down, but that they had to do it carefully and slowly. He also told us that Christopher was too sick to stay at this hospital so they were going to transfer him by ambulance to Riley Hospital for Children (downtown)!! I am so thankful that we live here and had this facility available to us! They told us that he would be in the hospital for 3 days because we (Rich, and I) would have to go through a 3-day course on how to take care of him and give shots and everything.
The Dr. asked me how much Christopher weighed and I told him and he said ok, but let's check just to make sure. They weighed him and they told me his weight...he had lost 20 lbs in less than 2 weeks. I told him that was wrong and that they needed to weigh him again. They did and got the same result. I thought to myself...how did I miss him losing 20 lbs. so quickly? But, he is a 9 yr old boy (during winter) wearing big sweatshirts and I don't watch my son get dressed so I didn't notice. I felt soooo bad!! They had asked me if he had been going to the bathroom alot or drinking alot. I thought to myself...I don't pay attention to every time he has gotten a drink or when he goes to the bathroom. However, Rich and I had noticed that he was getting up a lot in the middle of the night to pee, but we didn't think anything of it! I just thought maybe he was drinking a lot before bed. The weight loss, the excessive thirst and drinking and the excessive peeing are all signs of diabetes. How could I not have known???? Maybe because there is NO family history of type 1 diabetes on either side of our families.
They began his IV immediately and started the insulin and IV fluids. Finally, the ambulance team arrived. Christopher was a little more coherant by this time. He said he needed to go to the bathroom but they didn't want him getting out of bed so they gave him a jug and I left the room while Rich helped him. I was gone all of 2 minutes, but when I went back in the room, Christopher grabbed his head and said that his head was really hurting. I went and got the Dr. and he came in and checked him out. Then, they sent us on our way.
I rode in the ambulance with Christopher and Rich drove our car behind us. The paramedic checked him as we were leaving. It was a VERY long ride (or so it seemed)! The paramedic and I were talking and then he told Christopher that he needed to check his blood sugar. Christopher didn't respond...he was asleep (or so I thought). The paramedic shook his shoulder and tried to wake him up, but nothing. He started shaking harder, touched his face and then started pinching his chest....I started to PANIC!! Christopher was not moving...what was wrong with my baby?? He kept trying to wake him up and talk to him, but NOTHING! He yelled something up to the driver and that's when we picked up speed! Luckily, we were only a couple minutes away from Riley. When we got there, they rushed him in and stuff started being yelled throughout the ER. A whole bunch of Dr's and nurses came running and before we knew what had happened, Rich and I were in a corner of a big room watching all of these people work on our baby! I have never been so scared in all of my life! Finally, a nurse came over and told us what was going on. Christopher had slipped into a coma, his brain was swelling, and they were giving him manitol and they were doing everything that they could! They told us we could stay in the room as long as we stayed out of the way...so we did! There were so many people around him working on him, that I couldn't see him except for a piece here and there. I just wanted to scoop him up in my arms and hold him, but I couldn't! Rich and I both just stood there, Rich put his arm around me and just held me! I don't know how long all of that lasted...it seemed like an eternity!
Eventually, the Dr. came over and talked to us! Most everything at this point is just a blur to me now. Most of the Dr.'s and nurses left the room. My first instinct was...he needs a blessing. So, Rich called a good friend of ours, Bryan Roach. He was a member of our bishopric and is also a cop. At the time, he was also doing security for the Indianapolis Colts...he was Peyton Manning's security (cool, I know)! :) Luckily, when Rich called he was downtown with the Colts and so he came right over. We asked the nurse if we could have a moment and she said sure and closed the door and curtain to the room. (she said she had to stay because someone had to be in the room at all times). We were fine with that and she was VERY respectful. Rich and Bryan gave him a blessing and I felt the spirit so strongly! I wish I could remember what was said, but I don't. I just remember the feelings that I had! How thankful I am for friends that dropped everything to come to our aid!
We were waiting to be moved up to the critical care ICU!! Richard looked at me and said, "Why don't you go home and get a shower and get changed." I thought..."Are you CRAZY?" What I then realized was Rich didn't get the seriousness of this. He looked over at the nurse and said, "He's ok now, right? She can go home and shower and get changed?" I will never forget the nurses face when she looked at me, and then she turned to Rich and said he is stable but he is still in critical condition!" That is when it seemed to hit Rich! The blood drained out of his face and he became white as a ghost! It registered...! Needless to say, I didn't go home that day for a shower! My best friend, Angie and her 2 boys (Christopher's best friends) came up to the ER to see us! Christopher was still unconscious, but he did wake up for the first time while they were there. It didn't last very long, but that was great that he had woken up! I don't think Angie will ever know how much that meant to me that she was there for me during all of that! She is the BEST friend I have ever had! I love her to pieces and she will forever be my BEST FRIEND!! (whether she likes it or not...haha)
Anyway, we waited a long time in the ER before being transferred upstairs. It is Sunday afternoon now. We finally got upstairs and it was nice because we were right in front of the nurse's station. It was soooo quiet! Luckily we have some wonderful friends. One of those being Marc Duerden. He is a Dr. and our old Bishop. He came up to the hospital to sit with Rich and I. Also, my mom talked to Jodi Smith (a woman in our ward) who is one of the best pediatric neurosurgeons in the country. She called me and then she came up to the hospital. She is the head pediatric neurosurgeon at Riley! Also, our old stake president (who is now Elder Chipman) came up to the hospital. He was the head of something that had to do with diabetes before he retired. Needless to say, we were surrounded with wonderful people who had medical backgrounds and were there to see that Christopher received the BEST treatment and were there to explain things to us. We felt soooo blessed! A BIG thank you to everyone who was there for us!
My mom and dad came up to the hospital after church (my parents had our kids) and they brought them with them. They were allowed to go in and see Christopher for a brief period. It was good for them to see him, especially Brittaney, because she saw the condition he was in when we left for the hospital the night before and she was very scared. Everyone stayed for a little while and then everyone left and went home. Rich took the kids home because only one of us could stay in the room with Christopher overnight.
This is when it all physically hit me. I was sitting in this tiny room staring at my son in a bed hooked up to all sorts of stuff and he was sleeping. It was just me and my thoughts in this room. How was I going to do this? What if I didn't know how to take care of him or what to do? He is my kid who hates shots, so what now? How do I give my kid 5-6 shots a day or even ask him to do it to himself? What if I calculate wrong and give him too much or too little insulin? Mostly...how did I miss the signs? I could have lost him! About that time, I started to feel sick to my stomach and very nauceous. Unfortunately, the bathroom was at the other end of the hall. I felt like I was going to be sick, but I didn't want to leave the room. What if he woke up and I wasn't there? What if he got scared and didn't know where he was? Note: the first couple of times he woke up he was combative and didn't know where he was or what was happening. Needless to say, I wound up running to the bathroom a couple of times that night! The nurses felt so bad and were so nice to me. If they saw me running they went straight into his room to sit with him. They told me this happens all the time, especially in the evenings once friends and family leave. That is when a lot of it tends to hit people...in the quiet of the evening hours when you are alone. Luckily, it didn't last very long and Christopher didn't wake up while I was gone. I didn't sleep at all that night (or Saturday night either). I was too afraid that he would wake up and I would miss him. I wanted to tell him that I loved him and that I was right there if he needed me! I couldn't do that if I fell asleep. I think I sang every primary song and hymn I knew that night. I paced the floor when I started to doze off. I think I probably spent half of the night praying too! I wished so badly that Rich could have been there with me, but I knew that our other kids needed someone with them too! Thanks Rich for being there for them!
The next morning he woke up and stayed awake! :) YAY!! They were able to move him down to another ward. All of the kids with diabetes were on this ward. This is where all of the classes began. Rich got sick at home and so he couldn't come up to the hospital. I was going to have to do this alone. However, my wonderful mom came up and went through the classes with me that day. To say that all of the information was overwhelming is an understatement. There was so much information...hours of classes over the next 3 days! We had to practice drawing up saline into syringes and then administering the shots. Christopher got to practice giving injections on us! I think he liked it! :) Rich got better and then was able to come up to the hospital! :) So, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were mainly spent in classes. Thursday, I had to completely take care of Christopher and administer all of his shots myself. You have to be able to properly care for your child (on your own) for 24 hours before they let you leave the hospital. We got the good news Thursday night that they were going to try and get us home by Friday evening (the day before Christmas)!! It happened and that was the BEST Christmas present EVER!! :) We got to go home and have Christmas Eve dinner with everyone!
There were so many special moments that happened to me during that week, but there is one that I would like to share!
Once Christopher woke up and we were transferred down to the other ward on Monday, we went to the play room and he picked out a book. Every night when he went to bed I read to him from this book until he fell asleep. The first night, I started to read and he looked over at me and said, "Mom, will come sleep with me?" Yes, you can imagine...the tears started welling up in my eyes. How many 9 yr old boys ask their moms to come get in bed with them? Needless to say, I gladly moved the chair and climbed into bed with him and held him in my arms while I read him to sleep. This special time happened every night we were there. I slept in the bed with him and got to hold my baby all night! What a special blessing! :) One night his nurse came in and with tears in her eyes said, "I have never seen anything so sweet! I love that you sleep with your little boy every night AND that he wants you to!" I LOVED it too!
Now I sit here 4 years later...much more educated about diabetes. I'm no longer afraid on a regular basis. I would love to say that I have had this great epiphany and that I am so thankful for this trial in our lives, but I can't do that! I would be lying if I didn't tell you that this absolutely stinks or that I HATE diabetes!! Diabetes does not only affect the person with the disease, it affects the whole family! I wish that I could take this trial from my son, but I know that I can't. However, I do know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves each of us and is mindful of our situations. I also know that he doesn't give us anything we can't handle. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us and that through trials, such as these, we are strengthened and he is able to teach us lessons and to help bring us closer to Him!
This Christmas, I am again reminded how thankful I am for my family and to have my WHOLE family here with me this Christmas! I hope that we can each remember not to take our family members/loved ones for granted! Our lives can change in an instant and I know that I don't want to have any regrets!
Christopher has always had a special relationship with Rich's mom (Oma)! She was heartbroken when she got the phone call. She talked with Christopher on the phone and asked him what he wanted. He told her that he wanted some Heeley's (sp?). You know...the shoes with the wheels in the bottom. Needless to say, Oma arranged with Aunt Marci to get those for them (and they were NOT cheap)! How blessed I feel to have such wonderful family! Oma, thank you for lifting his spirits so much during this hard time! That meant so much to him...and to me! It's not even about the shoes, it's about the fact that you did whatever you could (from Idaho) to make my little boy happy and to feel loved during this horrible experience! I love you so much and will be forever thankful to you for that! :0) This was another one of those special things that happened!
Christopher, I want to take this chance to tell you how much I love you! I want you to know that although I do not have diabetes myself, I do realize that this trial is very hard for you! I know that it isn't easy, especially having Dad and I hound you about it, but we do it because we LOVE you more than life itself and we don't want anything to happen to you. I know that is probably hard to remember sometimes, but please try to! We want you to live a LONG, healthy life! I can't imagine my life without you! Please try to keep your chin up and remember how thankful we should be for the technology that you have such as your pump and your CGM!! I pray every day that there will be a cure VERY soon! Until then, let's keep on fighting and kickin' this stupid diseases butt! :) Remember that Heavenly Father is always there for you. When things get tough and you don't want to talk to us...you can go to Him! He knows what you are going through. Your Savior suffered in Gethsemane for all of the pain you will endure in this lifetime too, not only for your sins. Turn your pain and heartache over to the Lord and he will take it from you! :) Your dad and I are here for you whenever you need us too!
I love you Christopher...more than you could ever imagine!
We celebrated Katleyn's and Tayler's birthdays this weekend! I was crazy and decided to bake 2 cakes in one day...did I mention I was CRAZY!! Eight hours later I was done with both and had two happy little girls! That's all that matters!!
I have been nominated for bad mom of the year award!
Katelyn's birthday was August 12th (yes, last month)! That was also Rich's last night of school and if you read this blog, you will know that we were at school surprising him that night. Well, she did get to open her presents that night when we got home...BUT, I told her she would get her cake and ice cream later. She was fine with that, but she informed me that she would have to stay 5 1/2 years old until she had her cake! Now comes the bad mom part...she had to wait until September 13th (a whole month) to officially turn 6!! I know...so sad! Needless to say, Katelyn is finally 6...YAY!!
Here are a few pictures to enjoy...
Katelyn July 2009
Katelyn's Cake - she wanted a butterfly cake
She's 2 now!!
I couldn't decide what kind of cake to make her, so... I decided to do a basket with her favorite things in it... (her pink blanket, shoes, jewelry, baby dolls, rubber duckies, school buses)
Her cake with her name on the blocks... (notice the finger marks in the fondant blanket)
Have I told you she LOVES jewelry, shoes, and babies?
Could it be...she is 2 already? Where has the time gone? September 11, 2007 ...one of the most important days of my life!
Tayler Brielle Mickelsen
My little baby girl Tayler came into our lives! This sweet little angel has been a miracle and blessing to our family!
TAYLER: hazel eyes
brown hair tiny, petite build loves to smile gives tight hugs
lots of kisses talks up a storm
LOVES: Mommy, Daddy, and all of her brothers and sisters, her blanket, her thumb, her baby dolls, shoes (of any kind), jewelry, dresses and skirts, school busses, and dogs
Other facts: hates her hands being dirty loves nursery loves to be outside loves to have her picture taken loves to sing loves getting into mommy's make-up
Favorite songs: I sing her these songs every night at bedtime (yep, every one...and sometimes more than once!)
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Popcorn Popping Wheels On The Bus You Are My Sunshine You Are So Beautiful To ME ABC's I Am A Child Of God I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus (imagine that-haha) her Tayler song: I changed a few words to a primary song
(to the tune of Mother, I Love You)
Tayler, I LOVE you! Tayler, I do! Father in heaven has sent you to me! When I am near you, I love to feel you... squeezing so tightly that you love me too! Tayler, I LOVE you! I LOVE YOU...I DO!!!!
I sit here this morning thinking back and remembering the horrific events that occurred on this very morning 8 years ago. Has it really been 8 years? I only had 3 children when those planes hit the towers, the pentagon and flight 93 went down...now I have 6.
I can still vividly remember everything that happened that morning. I got a phone call from Rich to turn on the tv because a plane had just crashed into the world trade center. I was glued to the tv...was this a terrorist attack on our country? How could people do that? What were those on the planes going through and thinking? What about the thousands of people in the towers and the pentagon. How many phone calls home became their last words to their loved ones? What must those people in the towers have been going through that they felt their better option was to jump out of the windows...unimaginable terror! Those poor families wondering if their loved ones were ok or not.
As I got ready this morning I thought about how many people were doing this exact thing eight years ago, not knowing that their lives were about to be changed forever and in such an unfathomable way.
I remember the days after, there were no planes in the skies. It was so wierd to look up , only to see nothing. I can also remember the very first plane I did see in the sky after planes were allowed to fly again.
Most of all, I just remember the immense sadness and state of shock that I felt! My heart still aches for those lives lost and their loved ones and friends!
I think of the heroes that emerged on that day! I recall the many images I have seen of firefighters climbing the stairs as thousands are making their way down. The heavy equipment on their back, the screams, the panic, the smells...they must have been terrified! Would I have been willing to do what they did? I hope that I would have. How many heroes emerged in those stairwells as strangers came together and comforted each other, maybe carried someone, maybe held someone's hand, put their own fears aside to comfort someone else. I hope everyone had someone.
How thankful I am every day for the men and women who risk their lives to serve our country and fight for our freedoms...freedoms that many of us take for granted! I'm thankful to their families for their sacrifice also.
I'm so thankful to be an American and to live in this beautiful country and for my freedom!
Rich came home from work one day and Tayler immediately wanted to go for a walk. She was in a onsie t-shirt and striped pants with her high heel shoes on, but Daddy didn't care. He immediately handed his stuff over and grabbed her hand and took her on a walk! He sure loves his baby girl and she LOVES her daddy! This is a picture I will treasure forever!
Wednesday: Christopher Soccer: 6-7 Christopher Mutual: 7-8:30 Kehli Activity Days: 7-8 Brittaney Showchoir practice: 6-9
Thursday: Cheri teaches piano Brenden Gymnastics: 7-8 Brittaney Mutual: 7-8:30
Friday:Cheri teaches piano Brenden Private Gymnastics: 5:30-6 Saturday: Soccer Games
In addition to all of these activities we have homework, chores, dinner, showers and play time! Thankfully, I have a great husband who is definitely a team player and helps make this all possible. Believe me, it takes the both of us! We love watching the kids having fun doing these activities. I will post about each of them and their activities later. I am so proud of my kids and their passion for life. They are all doing great in school and they are thoroughly enjoying their activities. They definitely help to keep me feeling young! I love these 6 little people more than life itself! I live to make them happy, but I also try to make sure they are great human beings at the same time! Trust me...they are fabulous! :)
August 12 was Rich's last night of school! I can't believe it is finally over! It all started 4 years ago in June 2005 when Rich decided to go back to school. We knew it would add another level of "craziness" to our lives, but we also knew how important this was for him to do this! I know there are a lot of adult men who go back to school, but I don't know how many of them have a wife and 6 kids at home too!! AND...with working full time and a crazy family he will be graduating Magna Cum Laude!! Way to go Rich!!
Rich, Tayler and I at Tim's house!
We wanted to do something for Rich, so we went to the school around 8:30 and we decorated daddy's car! We filled (and I mean FILLED) the inside of his car with black and yellow (Steeler colors, of course) balloons. We hung a congratulations banner on the back of his car. Brittaney and Katelyn wrote Congrats Dad on his back window with yellow window chalk and c/o '09 on a side window and we love you on the other side window. We had a congrats helium balloon to hang on his antennae, but that balloon went to heaven...haha (Katelyn felt so bad)!
This is one of Rich's best friends, Tim. They met the first night in school and have been friends ever since. They went through the whole 4 years together!
Rich, I want you to know how incredibly amazed I am by you! You worked a full time job, went to school full time, served in your callings at church (exec. secretary, and 1st counselor in the EQ), you are a fabulous daddy to 6 awesome kids, and you are a wonderful husband to me...and you did ALL of this at the SAME time!! AMAZING!! You made this commitment and you have now accomplished this goal! What a wonderful example you are for our children! I know that the last four years have not been easy...the homework, the studying, giving speeches (I know you hate that), the late nights, the added stress, but know this...you DID it and we are soooooproudof you!! I am so happy for you that this part of your life can now be checked off your/our to-do list! ( haha) Way to go Babe!! You are simply awe-inspiring!!
Katelyn's "button" on her Crocs broke the other day at school. It attaches the strap to the shoe. Anyway, she came home from school yesterday and showed me this. She wrote her teacher this note telling her she needed her to go to the mall and get her a new button for her Crocs. Her teacher sent her home with a new button. Needless to say, a follow up (from Mom) with Mrs. Ceglio will be happening today! I guess I don't have to worry about whether Katelyn feels comfortable enough with her teacher to ask her for help when she needs it! haha Her teacher is absolutely fabulous and we adore her. I'm curious what she thought when she saw this note from Katelyn...I will have to ask her! Embarrassing, but funny! :) As you can tell, Katelyn is definitely not my introverted, shy child!
Here is a picture of Kehli's leg after she scratched it on the grill. This is the affect of the ITP. She bruises so badly, especially when she bumps something. These bruises are on the side of her thigh (if you can't tell that already), so you can tell how big they are. The bruises are actually starting to look better now...I should have taken a picture after it first happened. Her poor leg looked aweful! Although the bruises look better in this picture, I still think it looks horrible! Poor Kehli! And for a quick update...her numbers have been staying up a little more, so they said we can wait 1 month to have her blood tested again! HOORAY!!
For any of you who hate when mom's talk "potty talk"...I suggest you skip reading this post! For everyone else, here is the scoop! I decided that I would like to try and potty train Tayler this summer. She is only 1 (she'll be 2 on September 11), but I thought I would still try. The sooner we get rid of diapers, the better! Anyway---I have been sitting her on the potty periodically trying to get her used to sitting on it so she won't be scared when it is time to actually potty-train. It's actually kind of cute...here is this tiny little girl sitting on this big potty. In case you are wondering, I HATE potty chairs. They totally gross me out. I have always potty-trained my kids to go on the big potty. Well, yesterday was Tayler's 20 month birthday and she gave mommy a great present. After her nap, I put her on the potty and told her to go "poopie" in the potty. Guess what...she DID!! It was almost too easy. Now, by NO means am I trying to tell you she is potty-trained. I am no dummy! In fact, it was probably just an "accident", but I will take what I can get! The funniest part of all of it was probably my reaction. I started clapping and jumping around and shouting "yay Tayler". She was just giggling and was so proud of herself! Mommy was very proud of her too!
This could be the start of a beautiful friendship! :)
Why does my husband love me you ask? Keep reading---
I love you...
Salary.com has just released its annual take on what stay-at-home moms would be paid for their work in the business world. The symbolic figure: a whopping $138,646. Funny---I haven't received a check in the mail and I haven't seen any money deposited into my account anywhere near that figure! Who do I need to speak with about a raise? Maybe I should just start by asking for a check first! haha Let's see, considering that I am worth a whopping $138,646 and I babysit full-time and I've done cakes, taught piano and held a few part-time jobs, my conclusion is this...
Of course he loves my money...oops, I meant me!
If only we (stay-at-home-moms) really got those kind of paychecks... I guess it's a good thing daddy works so hard and get's a REAL paycheck! :)
Rich always jokes about all of the things I do/have done to earn money, and so he says that he is going to have "ANYTHING FOR A BUCK" engraved on my tombstone! Please don't let him...
They keep me wanting to be better...for them and for myself, they keep me on my toes, they keep me laughing constantly, they keep me up at night with worry, they keep me very busy with chores (especially laundry), they keep me filled with pride and joy, they keep me real, they keep me humble (they know how to put me in my place when needed), they keep me feeling young, they keep me up on a pedestal... which I do not deserve.
I hear so many women say that they NEED to work and get away from their kids...it makes them a better mom. That may be true for them, but not for me! I'm not saying it is easy for me, or that I don't ever need a break, and yes...there are plenty of nights I can't wait for bedtime! BUT...all I have ever wanted to be is a wife and mommy! This is ALL I will ever NEED! I have a shirt that has a pair of baby shoes on it that says...
The toughest job you will ever love!
I totally believe that statement to be true! Being a wife and a mom is the toughest thing I have ever done, but it is also the MOST rewarding! I have 7 gorgeous reasons to get out of bed in the morning and 7 reasons to laugh instead of cry when everything seems bleak, and 7 reasons to be ecstatic when things are going fantastic.
Count Your Blessings, Name them one by one...
Richard, Brittaney, Christopher, Kehli, Brenden, Katelyn and Tayler!
Sunday evening we decided to give Brittaney her 16th Birthday present early (her birthday isn't until July 3rd). She eats, sleeps, and breathes music and has wanted to go see the Broadway show Wicked. Thanks to some very good friends, they helped me get some cheap tickets so I can take her. Rich and I decided part of the fun is the anticipation and being able to tell your friends. So-we decided to give it to her Sunday. I came up with six words/clues that began with each letter of wicked. We gave a clue to her every 30 minutes. Then once she had all of the clues, she laid them out on the floor and tried to figure it out. Then, the lightbulb clicked on and she figured it out. Excitement is an understatement. She started to cry! I know this means a lot to her! Here are some pictures we captured of the clues and her reaction! (p.s.-ironically Marci and Bill will be at the same show...YAY!!)
Happy Birthday, Brittaney! We love you!
The Clues: (I didn't have the letter on her clues, only the words)
Friday...I was making a cake for a bridal shower! My very good friend's daughter is getting married in May! I get to do her wedding cake too! :) That took awhile! Random thought: I don't think people (who don't decorate cakes) realize how much time goes into them!
(This is the bridal shower cake)
Saturday... 9am: My friend and her daughter came and picked up the cake. Then I went to my mom's house to clean. 12pm: Bridal shower 3pm: Baptism - The little boy that I watch full-time, his mom got baptized yesterday (his dad is a member)! YAY!! It was a beautiful baptism! I got to hold Adam and he was so good the entire time! 4:30pm: Met Rich and the kids at my Mom's for Easter dinner and an Easter egg hunt! We had a little excitement during that. Brenden busted his forehead open. He fell and his forehead smacked the metal gas meter...OUCH!! I am still amazed at how much head wounds bleed. I heard him scream and I ran over to him and blood was just GUSHING down his face. I tried to find where he was bleeding from and once I did, I pushed my hand against it, but blood was still pouring down his face under my hand. The poor boy, blood was all over his Easter egg bag! Here is a funny thing though: My brother's little boy, Jackson, was over there with Brenden. When George and I got over there, Jackson said: We were both going for it (the egg) and then Brenden busted his head...and I got the egg...but I will give it to him! It was so funny (it's funnier if you would have heard him say it! He did give that egg to Brenden. Thanks Jackson! We took Brenden up to Uncle Bill's (aka Dr. Bill) and he fixed him up for us! Thanks Bill! :) Another funny thing Jackson said: My parents had given them a few little toys for Easter. The boys were given these little boxes of trucks. Jackson got fire engines and Brenden got construction trucks. Anyway, Jackson has a lot of firetrucks so he tried to trade Brenden. However, Brenden wanted to keep his. Long story short, my mom went inside and got Jackson a new box with army trucks. After my mom left, Jackson leans over to Brenden and tries to hand him his bos of firetruck cars, and says: "Here Brenden, you can take these home with you and sell them at your garage sale!" hahahaha I thought it was so funny! Sunday... We got up and did Easter baskets and got ready for church. 9am: Church. I am the primary chorister and I love it! I had a wonderful experience on Sunday. We sang the song I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus (my favorite) and we talked about how we should always try to be like Jesus. Then, I had the kids trace their hands on a piece of paper. We then talked about all of the things/miracles that Christ did/performed with his hands. Then I told the kids I needed them to be very reverent for me because I wanted them to listen to the words of this song I was about to play for them. I played His Hands on CD. They were are absolutely quiet. While, the song played, I showed pictures of Christ that went along with the words. It was very powerful. An amazing thing occured...2 older kids (1 girl, and 1 boy) were brought to tears during the song. The spirit was so strong. When the song ended, I bore my testimony and told the kids that their handprints were to remind them that their hands can become like "those from Galilee". 12pm: Church ended and we came home! We had a nice, relaxing afternoon & evening together! We also gave Brittaney her birthday present (through clues) too. I will do a post about that too...stay tuned! 8pm: Got the kids ready for bed and down they went...prayers, lullabies and good night! xoxo
Christopher...what a blessing you have been to me and this entire family! There are so many things that I love about you! I still remember the moment you were born and you were put into my arms! There aren't words to adequately describe how I felt! You were my first little boy! I was so happy (and so was your dad)! You were a very easy baby! You were the cutest little toddler! You were a very active kid! And now...you are an incredible young man! As I have watched you learn and grow up over the last 13 years, I am just in awe of you! You are such a kind and compassionate person. I can't begin to tell you how many times other parents have come to me and shared how wonderful they think you are. You really try to do what is right. You have faced struggles and challenges that most kids (or even adults for that matter) never have to deal with. I am so proud of how you deal with those things...especially your diabetes! I know it is a daily battle and some days are better than others, but you are doing it! I love to look up on Sunday and see you in your white shirt and tie passing the sacrament. What a wonderful blessing that is for you (and your Dad and I). What a wonderful example you are to your younger brother. There are so many things I love about you and am so proud of you for!
I love your...
sense of humor smile laugh caring nature compassion for others determination testimony athletic abilities musical talents sense of adventure silliness and so much more...
I love that at 13 years old, you will still give me a hug and kiss on the cheek in front of your friends! I am so thankful that Heavenly Father sent you to me! We may not always see eye-to-eye, but I will always love you...no matter what! However, let's make a pact right now that you won't ever try to test that...haha! :)
Most of all, I love that you continually forgive me when I fall short as your mom! I love you so much and want nothing more than for you to feel safe, secure, happy and loved beyond description!
Thank you for being my wonderful "little" boy!! And yes, you will always be MY "little" boy! :)
I love spring! I love the beautiful flowers, the warmth of the sun, the smell of rain, baby animals, and especially spring break with my kids home! HOWEVER...I am renaming spring break this year to:
There is NO break!
Monday: Cheri dentist appointment
Tuesday: Brittaney dentist appointment (this child has no cavities and never has...yea!!) Katelyn to the doctor. Diagnosis: strep throat :( Rich has month-end Wednesday: Cheriand Christopher to the foot doctor! (thanks Marci!) Rich school. Babysit 2 little boys all day. Thursday: Take Kehlifor her bloodwork. ChristopherandKehli (depending on her platelet level) dentist. Friday: Kehlito the eye doctor. Brittaneyto the orthodontist for a consult.
I love spring break! I love having my kids home. I wish there weren't so many appointments this week, but at least they won't miss school for them. I am still babysitting full time this week as well! I wanted to take the kids to the children's museum and zoo this week, but that may have to wait for Saturday! We have a fabulous children's museum and zoo here in Indy! The good thing about waiting for Saturday is Rich can come with us too! :) We are enjoying our spring break so far. We are having fun, being silly, and playing hard ( in between appts., of course)! I hope everyone else has a great spring break this year too!
Here is our monkey! I have had a lot of questions about how Kehli is doing so I thought I would give an update on here. I have also put a sidebar on here with her platelet level updates so you can check up on her there too. So, here's the story: In January, I noticed Kehli had a "rash" all over her. A few days later I noticed she was covered in bruises too. She was also having severe migraines and horrible leg pain. I got on the internet (what did we do before the internet?) and found what her rash was. It was petechiae. I called the doctors office and told them what her symptoms were and they got her in right away that day. I was really nervous going to the doctor, but I wound up feeling worse when I left. The doctor was very worried. They were testing Kehli for Leukemia. The doctor ran the tests STAT and so luckily we got the results in about 3 hours. It was NOT leukemia....YEA!! However, I have to confess that those were some of the longest 3 hours of my life....very scary! The bloodwork did show that her blood platelets were 86,000. The normal range is 155,000-400,000. So, they set up an appt. for Kehli with a Dr. down at Riley Hospital for Children with a hematologist/oncologist. We have had to have her blood tested 1-2 times a week since then. Her levels went down to 14,000 at one point. For anyone who might be wondering, your platelets are what helps your blood clot. So, when your platelets are low you are at an increased risk of bleeding out. Under 20,000 is considered a medical emergency. She can't really do anything when she gets low because if she gets hurt, she can have internal bleeding that we don't see. According to the dr's if she's under 10,000 she is at a much greater risk of spontaneous internal bleeding....not a good thing! :) Her platelets eventually started going back up and got back up into normal range. However, her last blood test showed her platelets were back down to 59,000. Her next test is tomorrow so we will see what that shows. Hopefully, she is going back up! They diagnosed her with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). It is an auto-immune blood disorder. We are hoping it is just an accute case and not chronic. The only way they can diagnose it being a chronic case for sure is if she is still having problems after 6 months. I guess only time will tell. There isn't really anything they can do for her unless she actually has bleeding issues. Then the treatments are blood product and/or long-term steroids and they both have serious side affects. Kehli has been having serious bone pain in her legs, so the Dr. said if she needs blood product, they would most likely have to do a bone marrow biopsy first. I pray it never comes to that. Kehli has been a trooper. She gets very tired when her platelets are down, but she is still our monkey! Thank you to everyone who put her name on the prayer rolls and who have offered prayers on her behalf! They are working, so please don't stop! I keep telling myself it could be so much worse....thankfully she doesn't have leukemia! I feel so blessed that we live here with wonderful hospitals and doctors. Riley is where Christopher was transferred when he was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and was so sick. It is a wonderful hospital. I'm thankful for the internet where I can have information at my fingertips in a matter of seconds. I'm thankful Kehli's teacher has been so kind about the time she has missed from school. She offered to come to our home and help Kehli with anything she missed! How many teachers do that? I'm thankful to know that Heavenly Father is watching over her and knows what is best! :) One last thing...a funny story. When we took Kehli down to Riley hospital, we had to take her to the hematology, oncology unit. The sad part, was there were very sick kids there. Some were bald, some had a little hair, some were wearing masks and some looked like they were on death's doorstep. There was this litle 2 yr. old girl who played with little Tayler in the waiting area. She had very little hair and was wearing a mask. After we got back into the room with the dr., they ran some mre tests on Kehli and Tayler got restless so I walked around the hall with her. Down at the nurses station was this little girl and her dad. The nurses post butcher paper all along the fron of the desk and have buckets of crayons so the kids can color all over it. So, Tayler and this little girl were coloring. The next thing I know, Tayler is trying to color on this little girl's bald head. I took her hand and told her we don't color on our friends, only on paper. Then this little girl's dad said," That's a good idea....let's color on some hair for her." It was pretty funny and I appreciated the dad making the nice, funny comment! What strength these families have to endure those horrible illnesses and the courage and strength of those little kids....beyond words. I hope that this helped to update everyone and answer questions. Please continue to keep Kehli in your prayers! I will continue to update the sidebar with her test results. We love you all!
Rich's family came here to visit last week. Nicki and Addison came on Thursday, March 12, and then his parents came on Tuesday March 17. Unfortunately, they all left Saturday morning (March 21). Nicki, Oma, and Opa stayed up at Marci's (Rich's sister) house. Marci only lives about 10-15 minutes away so that is super nice! Addison stayed down here at our house. It was so good to see them. Brittaney and Christopher had a blast with Addison. They hung out, there was a trip to the mall and the movies, a day at the golf course, watching comediens on youtube (very funny), and of course, the Twilight party the night before they left. They all went to the party with Marci and Nicki and then spent the night at Marci's house. Kehli stayed home with Oma and Opa during the party. She was getting a little tired. How fun for her to have that alone time with Oma and Opa. The girls did some shopping, the boys played golf, we spent time visiting, and we ate lots of yummy food! Nicki brought some fabulous recipes and made some incredibly yummy food for us. Rich made his yummy roast and also his lemon-herb chicken too! He is a fabulous cook! I felt bad because I had a really easy week with everyone else cooking all of the time! I had to babysit all week, so I wasn't able to do much with everyone unless they were down here visiting. We went up to Marci's one day with the little boy that I babysit. We all spent every evening together, though! I really wish that they could have stayed longer, but I know they have to get back to their lives. I am so thankful that I married into such a wonderful family!! I love that they care so much about us that they sacrifice to come and visit us so often. When they are here, they are so helpful and they really play with and spend time with the kiddos. I hope they all know how much that means to me/us!! Thank you so much for coming!! We miss you so much already! I love them all so much and feel so blessed to be a part of this wonderful family!
I am married to my teenage sweetheart and my best friend, Richard! We have been married for 20 years and have 6 awesome kids. Brittaney - 19, Christopher - 16, Kehli - 13, Brenden - 10, Katelyn - 9, and Tayler - 5. We love spending time together. Love is a fabulous thing!!