Friday, June 24, 2016

Totally Tubular Anniversary

Today was Peter's big day to have tubes put into both ears!  Here he is at 22 months standing outside of Primary Children's Hospital in Riverton. 
Oh, glorious, happy, long-awaited day!
Too much enthusiasm?  I don't think so.  I am convinced his ear troubles have been wreaking havoc on this poor little guy for many, many months, if not for most of his life.  I think it has affected his eating habits, tummy troubles, his lack of speech, his sleep, his mood, his frustrations.  It's likely, and probable, that my expectations of this "miracle cure" of tubes in his ears are too high, but today I am feeling elated and relieved.
He has been at this hospital before when we did some allergy testing, so he was happy to be back to see the fish on the wall.
He was even happy to get on his special hospital pajamas.
How very gender neutral of the hospital!
He even had a smile for us.  
Actually, he was in a very good mood this morning and gratefully we had to be to the hospital by 7:00 AM, so the fasting thing wasn't a problem.  
Speaking of gender neutral...
He was having a great time with all the toys in the surgery waiting area.  He especially like this light-up bubble tower.
Watching a movie with Daddy required a lot of concentration.  
And speaking of Abe, happy 19th wedding anniversary to my sweetheart and very best friend!  There is no one whose company I enjoy more.  No one I'd rather have by my side for life's ups and downs.  We will find another way to celebrate soon, but for today, we were both very happy to be with Peter getting this taken care of.

The nurses and doctors all said the procedure would be very quick, and they meant it.  We barely had time to get back out to the waiting room and get situated before they came to get us.  The Dr. told us the surgery went perfectly and that there was a lot of drainage from his right ear.  Which was interesting because as of his last check, it was his left ear that was blocked up.  But like we've suspected, he's been having drainage problems with both ears for a long time and it changes-- which one (or both) that aren't hearing well.  
Fortunately my sister warned me that some kids tend to be very disoriented and irritable when they wake up from the anesthesia.  I figured if most kids were irritable, I should expect Peter to be irate.  
He didn't disappoint.  
Here he was mad that Abe was taking his picture.  The nurses were very reassuring that this was normal and we shouldn't worry.  I tried to explain that although this was a bit more intense that usual, we were not phased by Peter's crying.  He was mad at the beach ball they gave him, mad at the jello, mad at Daddy's story, mad at my singing, mad at the bubbles, mad at the blanket, mad at the nurses,  mad at Disney Jr. channel on TV.
He kept it up for a good hour after he woke up.  When we left the hospital he was still raging and was not to be distracted.  We took him for a little ride in the car, hoping it would calm him down as it usually does.  Nope, he wasn't buying it.
Finally, he calmed down when we got home and has been in a very good mood ever since.  Although, I though that after such an exertion, he would go down early for a nap.  No such luck yet.

And as a side note, we are now less than a month away from a planned induction date for the new baby!  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Pregnancy Thing

Let me begin by expressing my sincere and undying appreciation of air-conditioning.  It is a beautiful thing.   Moving air is good-- in the form of a fan or a nice breeze.  But the unnatural cold air of air-conditioning in the summer is... well... it'd hard for me to find the words.  No joking, it almost moves me to tears.
I did swear off any more summer babies after Peter, but I find myself again, quite great with child in the nearing 100 degree heat of summer in Utah.  Tomorrow Clark is headed off camping in the Uinta Mountains, where he heard there might still be traces of snow.  I begged him to take me with him and pack me in snow.  I cannot get cool enough!  I feel like I am in a constant state of sweat.  It's disgusting, I know.  I blame my hair.  This is why I chopped it off again right before I had Peter last summer.  I'm trying to hold out until after the baby is born, but Ladies, I'm telling you-- the men have the right idea with short hair in the summer.  Way back when I went short for the first time, I was amazed and in love with feeling air on my head for the first time in my life.

As I mentioned earlier, I've been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which stinks.  And even though the nice lady teaching the diabetes class at the hospital tried to make the other pregnant moms and me feel better by saying it wasn't our fault, let's be honest.  It's totally my fault.  One cannot simply eat all the gummy bears and slurpees one wants in life without some repercussions.  So, the rule of my food life is now "never eat carbs without a good amount of protein to go with it".   That keeps the blood sugar in check.  I've pretty much completely cut out the sweets, including my precious Otter Pops.  I test my blood sugar four times a day-- as soon as I wake up and then two hours after each meal.  Thus far, my numbers are perfect and it's completely under control with diet.  I suppose that is good news.
Want to hear something else that's pretty good about it?  I've actually lost weight over the last month.  Well, what do you expect when you can't eat anything fun?

Sadness.  I had to tell my dear walking friend that I'm out of walking commission for the duration of the pregnancy.  Basically, I have NO muscles left in my pelvic floor.  I hear nine babies will do that to some women.  Probably the same women who gorge themselves on gummy bears.  I can walk and it feels pretty good to do so, but the rest of the day (or two) is shot to pieces and I can hardly get around.  So, I'll keep trying to do short little walks with my very patient dear husband who hates to walk slow, but will do it for me. 
Hallelujah!  This is one area I do not struggle.  What can I say, I have a gift. 

Because I have had a previous stillborn, and now that I have gestational diabetes, I am considered "high-risk".  This means I have non-stress tests every week from 32 weeks on.  It also means they don't mess around with my induction dates.  Without question they will induce me at 39 weeks.  In a non-stress test they hook you up to monitors and watch the baby's heart rate for 20 or 30 minutes.  They also measure amniotic fluid by ultrasound.  I find them to be surprisingly stressful, even though they reassure me that all is well.  Dr. appointments get rather time consuming during the last few weeks.

Nesting is in full swing in this house.  Unfortunately, for the children, that nesting frequently takes the form of me demanding people clean up every little thing they get out.  Which is a rough gig in the summer when we're all doing a lot of hanging out in the air-conditioned house.  It's not like they are all occupied with school work or busy with normal activities.  Lots of playing equals lots of mess equals crazy pregnant mom.  I'm starting to think about strollers and baby clothes and sleeping arrangements.  Lots to do in the last month.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fathers and Sons Camp Out 2016

And now for one of my favorite posts of the year... Fathers and Sons Camp Out.  I love that the boys are off having a wonderful time together out in nature where they are happiest.  And I love the time at home with my girls (plus Peter).
Abe takes such great pictures, that I love to see what's on the camera when he comes home.  LOVE this one.
The biggest excitement from this particular outing is that one of Clark's life long dreams came true.  He captured a live rattlesnake out in the wild. 
Yes, you read that correctly.  He caught a totally venomous, life-threatening Great Basin Rattlesnake.  I understand he was scrounging around in the brush and his hand came within about six inches of it.  He realized what it was and went to ask Abe to assist him in the capture. 
Should Abe have said no?  Well, obviously.
But I suppose that's why moms are not invited on the fathers and sons camp out.  Clark has been singing Abe's praises ever since and will always remember that his dad helped him catch a rattlesnake. 
How did he know how to safely catch it?  Years of observation and study.  Steve Irwin, may you rest in peace.
I'm grateful this happened when he was almost 17 instead of 12 years old at his first scout camp.
Cannon was just honored that his shirt was used in the initial capture.  Talk about a little brother admiring his older brother.
Lizard catching was, as usual, a favorite activity.  Clark teaching the younger generation the ways of the Reptile Whisperer.
It was successful training.
This is an ADORABLE group of boys.  Cannon is so fortunate to have such an awesome gang to hang with in the neighborhood.  I envision this picture being used for an Eagle Scout slide show.
He may not appreciate me sharing this picture, but I think it's funny.  Apparently, a lizard crawled up his pant leg and he was trying to remove it.  Ha, ha, ha!
George is pretty tough stuff and had no trouble keeping up with his big brothers.
And he's just so darn cute!
They went up quite early in the day for adventuring and reptile hunting because they weren't able to stay the night with Abe's work schedule on Saturday.
I love to see big guys mentoring the little guys.
Happy Father's Day to one of the best there is.

Summer Speed Demon

Friday night was the kid's first summer track meet.  It was originally scheduled for last Monday evening, but due to weather it was rescheduled.  Cannon and George were gone to Fathers and Sons camp out, so they missed it, but Faith and I had a lovely time.  And she ROCKED it!
She ran the 1600 meter (nine meters short of a mile) and I was so proud of her.   She just kept going!  I knew she was tired and her lungs were burning, but she didn't quit and she did very well.
She was pretty wiped out afterwards, but she recovered enough to get 2nd place in her 100 meter heat.  She also got 2nd place in her age division for shot put.  She was on cloud nine.  
Here's the video.
This is from one of their practices last week.  This is a little detail, but Faith (in purple shorts) is holding a water bottle that she loves.  She treasures this water bottle and paid for half of it so she could get the nice metal one.  It's the little things.
Kind of a funny picture of Cannon in the big green ball at the pool.
George got a turn as well.
I guess it's harder than it looks to walk on water.
Caught in mid-air going off the diving board.
Abe took the little boys and a friend on a bike ride to the closest grocery store last week.  Its a tradition once the kids get good enough on their bikes that they ride and get a treat.  George has arrived!
Stopping to play at a park on the way home.
I'm feeling so thankful to Abe for not only taking the kids on fun summer outings, but remembering to take pictures as well.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Spring Recital Mania

Want to hear some good news?
Peter is getting tubes put in his ears on June 24th!  Some might not think this is good news, but I am convinced that much of his frustrations and complete lack of speech are due to his extremely compromised hearing.  He's been tested several times over the last four months and has never passed in both ears at the same time.  Even the ear that has passed has been boarder line at best.  I am hoping and praying that putting tubes in will drastically help him with his speech development and life frustrations.
Last week was our piano recital with a theme of songs from movies.  The kids had the option to dress up as a character or something from their movie.  It was fun to see how creative many of them were.  They played well and I know it is a relief for all of us to be done!
Elinor played the theme from Pride and Prejudice.  She did great and I loved seeing her dressed up in my regency gown.  Bethany slaved away on her beautiful up-do hair-do.
I absolutely adore hearing her play this piece.

George played "Heigh-Ho" from Snow White.  This was the best we could do that day for a dwarf costume.  Here is the video of George.  I quite enjoy working with George.

Faith played "When Will My Life Begin" from Tangled.  Here's her video

A few of a the little ladies.  It's so fun to see these kids growing up and progressing together.  The songs here were "When Will My Life Begin, A Whole New World, Jurassic Park, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and Let it Go"
Some of the boys.  The songs here were "Everything is Awesome, Raiders March, and May the Force Be With You".  Here is Cannon's video.  He plays "Oh Susanna" first, then "Raiders March

It was a pretty fun evening, but I think I need to find a way to relax so I can enjoy it more.  My nerves get pretty frayed leading up to the recital.  7 1/2 years--- that's probably 14 recitals--- and I still get so worked up. 
The prospect of teaching Peter piano seems a little daunting to me, but I suppose if he could hear that would help.
Cannon had his dance recital this past week as well.  Here is in his tap costume.  I appreciate that when boys are in the dance numbers, they tend to be more masculine themed.  The girls might now appreciate it, but we sure do.
 He really likes his boys hip hop class.  In this picture he is second in on the left.   Here's the video (He starts on the far left)

Here is his tap number "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"

Getting ready for one of his hip hop poses.
This was a two or three weeks ago, but here is Faith's spring gymnastics recital.  It was just one short year ago that Peter projectile vomited into the hair of a couple of preteen girls sitting in front of us.  I am still traumatized.  I'm sure they are too.
Faith is second to last to run in on the video and she has a high bun.

I believe recital season is now over for a while.  It is good to see all the hard work pay off.  And it's also good to take a little breather!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cannon's Baptism Weekend

Saturday, June 4th, 2016 was a day I have looked forward to for about eight and half years.  Cannon was baptized by his older brother Clark.  
When I was pregnant with Cannon and we found out he was a boy, you can imagine how happy Clark was.  Clark had FOUR sisters in a row-- Bethany, Elinor, Tessa, and Faith.  He was beyond thrilled!  Abe quickly realized that Clark would be old enough (16) to baptize Cannon.  It is something we have prayed and hoped for.  And it was, indeed, a beautiful day.
Fox cousin, James, also came down from Portland, Oregon to do a double cousin baptism.  James had a baby sister blessed the same day, as well.  
Grandpa James Fox baptized grandson James Fox. 
This picture makes me feel very grateful to the blessings of the gospel.  In particular, the path of ordinances that Heavenly Father has given us to guide us back to live with him again.  I am so thankful for wonderful days like this where the blessings are so obvious and abundant. 
James' parents, Stuart and Tiffany, have a large family.  We have a large family.  So it was exciting getting everyone where they needed to be and everything set up for the lunch afterwards, but it worked!
We enjoyed a really nice lunch at our church building afterwards.  Here we have Grandpa and Grandma Cannon, Eli, Laura, Chip, and Chloe.
Grandpa Fox, Daniel, Katie, Simon, Edra, Marjorie, and Phil.
Cannon, Anders, Steve, McKinley, Adrianne, Tanner, Zach, Dave, Jennilyn, and Bella.  
Hallie, Delaney, Lauryn, Bethany, Lindsey, and Kyli.
Calvin, Simon, Jake, Ryan, Mason, Jadan, Parker.
Peter, George, Enoch, Ben, Michelle, Rachel, Kara, Jenn, and Katelyn.
Emma, Faith, and Jacob.
Tiffany found these adorable CTR cookies that I hear were quite yummy.
There was plenty of food and treats to go around.  
Love.  Love.  Love.
The next day Stuart and Tiffany came to church with us and afterwards we enjoyed a lunch of leftovers.  The kids played games and generally kept the peace.  It was quite lovely.  
You know what else was lovely that day?  I got released from my 2 1/2 year calling as Relief Society president.  With a new baby coming in July, it was a good thing.
Cannon and James were feeling very clever switching their suit jackets.
Later that evening, Grandpa Fox and Marjorie came over to for a little musical exhibition time.  The kids played their recital songs and Marjorie sang one of her beautiful belting Broadway tunes.  She is amazing! 
We are now over the half way point of children getting baptized!  Time flies.