Thursday, October 4, 2012

Nick Ivie

"Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

There has been a lot of talk about Nick Ivie, the boarder patrol agent who was killed a few days ago.  
For the press conference, click here.  

This has surprised all of us.  As the media has pointed out, he was a good man, a family man.  He has served as my home teacher for the past two years or so, up until we moved.  I can attest to the fact that he was a humble, quietly good man.  

I only bring this up because there has been a fund set up for his wife, Christy, to cover funeral expenses, and any other way she finds a need.  She is a stay at home mom to two beautiful girls, and her life was just shaken.  There has been a fund set up to donate to her.  Please, if you are at all able, donate.  It is certainly a time of need for this little family.  

Click there and donate what you can.  I know it will be appreciated.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Logan's Owie

It's amazing how quickly life changes!

On Friday (Sept 21st - for my records), we were having an extra fun afternoon.  John got to pick up the new truck we bought, and our friend Matt, who is staying with us, took us out for a yummy Mexican dinner. When we got home we all were outside.  Kids playing with neighbor friends and John, Matt, and I checking out John's new truck.  

Bryson was riding his new bike down our driveway.  He said later that he wanted to see if Logan could run faster than his bike.  So, he ran him over.  (Grumpy mom)  Us adults didn't actually see it happen, but Cory did.  Cory said Logan's head hit the ground and then the bike bumped up on Logan's leg, and then rolled back down, like Logan was a speed bump that the bike couldn't quite get over.  :-(

Logan's head was bleeding, and he was screaming, so I rushed him inside.  It wasn't bleeding THAT bad, but he kept screaming like there was something REALLY wrong.  I sat down with him and got him calmed down, but every time we'd move him, even a little, he'd just scream bloody murder.  We asked him where the owie was and he pointed to his knee.  

Matt has some medical experience from being in the army, so he checked out his leg.  He could tell it wasn't broken under the knee, but when he checked out the knee, he could feel a pop.  (I'm feeling lightheaded just typing!)  He was able to move his toes, and we didn't see TOO awfully much swelling, so we weren't sure what to do.  His shorts were on, so he said he wasn't able to tell what was going on above the knee, but I was convinced it was the knee itself because that's where Logan kept pointing.  

We don't have medical insurance, (long story, but we don't qualify for insurance through my husband's work until November), and so we REALLY didn't want to take him in unless we needed to.  John gave Logan a blessing and I was eventually able to lay him down on his bed, but he just screamed to badly every time the bed was even bumped.  

It was obvious something was wrong.  

John and I decided if he still couldn't walk by the morning, we would take him in.  I went to get him ready for bed, gritting my teeth through his screams as I pulled his pants off to change his diaper.  When I got to his left leg I felt like four pops, the last was the biggest pop.  (Shudder) John was there, I freaked out, and we decided he needed to go in.  

After a few hours we finally got into radiology.  They wanted me to straighten his leg.  I told him he couldn't straighten it, but they wanted me to try.  So I did my best, but I felt POP POP POP.  I totally freaked out yelling that I couldn't do it.  I just couldn't do it.    So they x-rayed it with his leg bent.

After a couple hours we got the x-rays, and sure enough he had a broken leg.  The femur had snapped and instead of being straight, it was overlapping and looked more like an X.  

My poor baby!

They waited more than 6 hours after the accident before they gave him pain meds!!!  Gahh!  (Mad mama!)  They kept having to check out his leg and stretch it to see how far he could straighten it, and move him from his bed to another bed for testing.  If Logan was feeling persecuted, it was perfectly justified.  

Here his leg is, all swollen and shorter than his other thigh.  

He also had a bandage on his head for that cut.  

He was so well behaved, unless they were trying to move him or poke at him, that they actually were convinced he had a head injury.  I told him that the cut wasn't that bad, and he was usually a calm little guy, but they wouldn't give him any kind of anesthesia without first confirming his little brain was ok.  Fine, just add it to the bill.  So, they did it, and x-rayed his neck while they were at it, but it was all ok.  He's just a trooper.  

Here he is just after finally getting some morphine.  Ahhh, much better.  

Here's the temporary stabilizing cast they put on.  He felt so much better once that bone wasn't wabbling everywhere.  

They put a couple staples in his head, put the temporary cast on, and decided to transfer him to a children's hospital because of the nature of the break.  I'm really glad because at the first hospital they weren't going to put him completely under to set the bone.  They said I could be in there with him, and to be prepared to hear crunching from the bone, but that it was ok, it was supposed to do that.  I almost fainted hearing the description of it, I really really didn't want to be there to hear the bones themselves!!

At the children's hospital, they had a children's orthopedist look at the x-rays, and they decided to take him into the OR and put him completely under.  

Logan got to choose the color of his cast before he went in.  He of course chose bright pink.  ha ha.  The nurse asked me as she was leaving if I wanted him to have a pink cast, and I told her red.  He was flying high on morphine, I didn't think he would remember choosing pink.  And I was right.  

He was only in the OR a short time, probably less than an hour.  He took a long time waking up because he hadn't gotten more than a couple blinks of sleep the night before.  Here he is still asleep after they set the bone and casted his leg.  

This is what's called a spica cast.  The femur has to be completely stabilized, so it's got to be a big ol' honkin' cast.  They have a little hole for little Logan to do his business.  I stuff a newborn size diaper inside the cast, and then put a large diaper on the outside.  And then I pray that nothing backs up into the cast.  He's already gotten some urine inside the cast.  I'm not sure what they'll want to do about that, but it's smelling pretty bad, and we're only a few days into this whole thing.

He can't fit into a normal car seat.  He has to be put in a harness, laid flat on the back seat of the car, and the seat belts are hooked into the harness.  

When we were about to go home, Logan ended up throwing up his first dose of pain meds.  It delayed us getting home, but they did eventually release us, and we were able to get home by Saturday night.  The older boys were really happy to have Logan home.  Cory was especially concerned for his little brother.  Logan wasn't sure he was excited to see his brothers.  We have realized that Logan is pretty cranky on his pain meds, so maybe that is what was going on...but either way, we were all happy to have him home!

Although he can't fit in a car seat, he can fit in a stroller!  Yay!  Can't leave him in it for very long because his foot still needs to be elevated, but at least we know he fits!

When he's off his pain meds, he stays pretty happy.  Obviously he gets frustrated from time to time.  It's a big lifestyle change for him, but he likes to laugh and play and be included by his brothers just like before.  He really enjoys being upright! 

We've had some issues with muscle spasms since he has come home.  They told us they would come, and boy did they ever!  It appears to hurt worse than the break itself.  He shrieks and shakes through them.  And I don't mean tremble.  It's a full on convulsion-like shake out of pain.  It's terrible.  They gave us valium for it, but we're still trying to figure out if he's having a reaction to that as well.  The poor little guy.  Last night he had like 5 terrible spasms in a row, and then a couple as they tapered off.  So sad.

But all in all we are doing well.  I am increasingly grateful for my sister in law being here.  She has been so wonderful.  I don't know what I would have done if she weren't here!

Monday, August 27, 2012

New haircut

After some massively bad haircuts I've had in the past, I was so happy to find an amazing hair stylist in Sierra Vista.  But...I moved.  I have been exceedingly terrified to get my hair cut since I've been out here, but my rag-a-muffin top was getting bad, so I bit the bullet (did a bunch of research) and got it done.  And....

...I like it.  Yay!

I am one loved mama!!

The other night we were all ready for bed a little early.  (And on a school night, no less!)  So, I sat on the couch cuddling with my darling Bryson. 

Out of the blue he asked me to lay on the floor.  At first I was reluctant, who knows what the boy is scheming, right?  But after him insisting, and not looking too awfully mischievous, I gave in and laid on the ground.  He then proceeded to give me a back massage!  Sweet boy!!!

Then his brothers joined in.  All of them.  I had one kid rubbing my back, one kid doing one leg, another doing the other leg, and little Logan patting my head.  I just laid there, being totally adored by my four sons.  

Now, if that wasn't sweet enough in and of itself, the boys started bringing out pillows for me.  Then came the blankets.  And then came the stuffed animals for me to cuddle with.  Then came the bowl of water for me to soak my fingers in.  Then Cory said he wished he had some music for me to listen to, so I showed him how to get Enya playing on my phone.  

I don't know if I have ever felt so loved in my life.  

Have I not mentioned how much I love having four sons? I mean, LOVE it!!!

When it was time for bed, Cory told me, "You know, Mom, any time you want a massage, you can just ask us, ok?"  


These are the moments moms live for.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Day of School

Well, I have learned that people here in GA are crazy.  Straight up nuts.  

They start school, not just the first part of August, but the first DAY of August.  That's right.  One day it's July, and the next, oh, yeah, it's school.  

Additionally, the bus gets to our bus stop at 7:04 each morning.  What, do these Georgia residents just not need sleep?  Crazy, I tell ya!

There was a mad rush to get the kids registered for school, and actually I'm still trying to get some of their medical forms transferred from being on AZ forms to being on GA forms (which of course, only a doctor can do - rolling my eyes), but we did it!

My darling little Dallin started Kindergarten this year.  I have had so much fun the last few years with him home with me, I really had a hard time letting him go on the bus and off to school.  But I knew he was ready, so off he went.  *Tear*

Bryson went into 3rd grade this year.  He's just such a sweet heart!  I'm excited for him to get to experience learning and making friends at school. I know he'll do fantastic!

Cory started 4th grade this year.  Wowza!  He's now past my shoulders and up to my neck.  Heaven only knows how tall he'll be by the end of the school year.  I have been impressed with his teacher's patience and knowledge and desire to help Cory with his difficulties.  She's been extremely proactive, and Cory comes home happy, rather than his typical I-just-got-home-from-school-and-if-I-don't-get-a-nap-immediately-I-will-loose-it.  I am sure there are a lot of factors going into this marked change, but I am sure having a super teacher is one of them!  Yay!

Dallin getting on the bus.  Mama loosing it in the background.  

And then there was one.

At first I didn't know what to do with myself.  So I decided to clean the house.  

And you know what?  It stayed clean behind me.  Weird.  Apparently the three older boys really DO follow me around making messes right behind me.  I had always suspected, but now I have proof!

And then I went shopping.  And I was able to look at the things on the shelves rather than madly grabbing at anything in the basic shape or color of what I am looking for.  

I'm not going to lie.  It was nice.  And it's been nice ever since.

Poor Logan gets bored from time to time.  Well, most of the time.  He is so used to having the hurricane of boys blowing in the background.  

But he's learning to play by himself.  And I've had lots of time to play with him one on one, which I think we have both thoroughly enjoyed.  :)  Yay for being a mommy!!!

Just loving Georgia!

I am going to be completely unorganized with the sequence of some of these pictures.  Just trying to play catch-up.  There were threats against my life from a certain aunt if I didn't get some pics up soon of her here goes...

Logan, being a crazy maniac.  

Me, just before Reenie's baby shower.  Cory took the pic.  :)

I just love Logan's expression.  He is such a joy.  He carries that little toy dog around everywhere.  He feeds it and makes it take naps, the whole sha-bang.  So sweet.  

Bryson and I cleaning up once we got to the new house.  I just love being domestic again!  Love it, love it, love it!!!

We live at the end of a long cul de sac.  The kids spend endless hours playing in our quiet street.  Lots of balls and dart guns.  Life is good.

The boys love spending time with daddy.  I adore this group of guys.  They are my life.  

Working Woman

Me, all scrubbed up at 3:15.  Yes, that's a.m..  Not p.m.  The two, I have found, are quite different.  

As challenging as this job was, I was fortunate enough to work with patients that will forever leave a mark.  

I was quite touched to read this sweet woman's obituary (the last paragraph of the bottom photo)

To recognize our effort in an obituary was extremely touching.  So many patients I learned to love.  

Below are some pictures of what my job duties where:

First, each patient would come to the clinic with some kind of access point to their blood.  

Here's a central venous catheter (tubing that goes straight into their heart):  My responsibility would be to clean the catheter and change the bandaging, then hook the patient to the machine.  About 20% of our patients had this kind of access.  

The other 80% had a fistula, which is accessed through needles.  Mmmmm.  Needles.  Each fistula patient needs two needles placed, one for the blood to come out of, and the other for the blood to go back in after it has been cleaned.  

How cool is that?  It's incredible what modern medicine is capable of doing!

Here's is basically what things look like when they are hooked to the machine.  Most patients don't have their arm in a cast too.

Here's the machine that I was responsible for setting up, tearing down, cleaning, and setting up again.  Takes longer than one might think.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our first few weeks

Bryson turned 8 our first week in Georgia. A little sad for him because we had no friends or family to celebrate with him, but he appreciated calls from family! He's such a trooper, he just went with the flow, never complaining, but my mommy instinct could tell what was wrong. He's such a joy! Love my Bryson! He was able to start cub scouts this week, which is also totally cool for him, and he's already starting to make friends.

We are getting more settled every day. We are very happy here!! Although, I still don't think I've made it out of the house without getting lost! Ha ha!! It's an adventure every day, that's for sure! The kids are all registered for school, and will be starting aug 1st! They're nervous, but excited. Our ward is small, but friendly. I can tell they're already eying me for callings. I've heard they've been having difficulty filling callings. Gulp.

All in all, very happy to be here!! Excited for more of our adventure to unfold!

Home, sweet home

We love our new little house! We are still trying to sell our house back in Sierra vista, which makes the budget a little tight, but this house fits our needs perfectly!

The woods are behind our house. There is a rope tied to a high branch of a tree. The kids have spent endless hours swinging over a little ditch, easily catching 10-15 feet of air! About three minutes walking distance from the rope is a train track. It's a great path to hike, and so beautiful! Something about it reminds me of Ann of green gables.

I don't know if I've ever seen such a beautiful area. I am thrilled to call this home. For now anyways. :)