Wednesday, September 21, 2016

One Hundred Seventy Two point Eight

Well, I gained weight this summer. I knew it was happening- I was in a land full of candy- I love that land- it's called Mom and Dad's house :) and even though I was running, I wasn't watching what I was eating and I wasn't cross training. I weighed myself this week and I was not pleased. But I also didn't want to feel like I was bad somehow, I didn't want to go on a diet, I don't want to feel powerless against that number- That number is not who I am, I am so much more than that- I don't want to feel like I'm constantly in a battle against my body- I don't think that is healthy at all.

At Stake Conference this weekend, someone brought up the choices we make each day between Good, Better and Best and I thought "I want to be My Best, whatever that may be" and so I sat down and I made myself a little daily checklist- on it I put things that I felt would help me be my best. Time for Spiritual things- scriptures, gospel study etc; Time for my body- exercise; Time for helping others- Volunteering and service; Time for Singing; Time for Learning- anything, something new, anything I'm interested in; Time for Housework- because yeah, I can improve; AND Time for Healthy, Mindful Eating. The past few days I have been using my time for learning to learn about Mindful Eating/Intuitive Eating. And in true mother fashion, while I rode the exercise bike today, I watched this video. It's pretty interesting.

She speaks about how our bodies have weight set points, It's something our brains just do, and though we can train our body/brain to have a higher set point, it's rare that our set points ever go down. This is why after dieting the majority of us gain the weight back. At first when I heard this I thought "WAHT?!?!?! How am I ever going to be able to maintain a healthy weight!" But then I remembered something I have spoken about before, and this memory gives me hope that I may be able to convince my body to reset. Don't worry, if I can't I'll still be happy, because I will be my best no matter what.

So here is what I remembered. 8+ years ago my body had a set point of 202 pounds. If I wasn't constantly on guard, that's where I would find myself. Through hard work I was able to get down to the 160/170 range and I was amazed! But as always seems to happen with dieting, you eventually stop watching yourself, and when that would happen I would find myself at 183. Yep. That was my new set point! I reset! My current set point is 172.8. 30 pounds less than my original 202. YAY! But about 20-30 pounds more than the range I'm hoping to be able to reset it to, my personal Anti-Type 2 Diabetes range.

At the beginning of her TED Talk Sandra Aamodt told about how 3 years previous she had started to make changes in her eating habits, to be more mindful and intuitive. This lead to a 10 pound weight loss, which is awesome, but the more awesome part is that she moved from the "Controlled" group of eaters- those who use self control when it comes to food and tend to diet, lose then gain- to the "Intuitive" group. Those who eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full- and who tend not to obsess about food. She said she doesn't even THINK about the chocolate that is in house! Imagine that- I know where the chocolate is, it calls to me. Currently I'm a Controlled Eater. But I hope that I will be able to change to an Intuitive Eater. Near the end of her talk she says that becoming an Intuitive eater won't necessarily lead to weight loss, unless you tend to eat a lot when you are not hungry. EMOTIONAL EATER RIGHT HERE!

So this is my goal. Be the Best Me. Retrain my brain, become an Intuitive Eater. Find a better outlet for my emotions than eating them, that's where I hope to find the weight loss and my final RESET. I'll let you know how I'm doing.

Monday, August 1, 2016


What a Summer we've been having. The weekend before Memorial Day we moved out of our house in Lehi. We put it on the market the next week and it was under-contract the very next day, the sale was final at the beginning of July. We currently own no home. But we are lucky to be able to have a nice, safe and happy place to live while we wait. Grandma and Grandpa Turner have been so amazingly welcoming. 

As I said, we CURRENTLY own no home, but in a couple of weeks we'll have a home again. We found a Home in South Jordan that we are excited to be able to purchase. It's been an interesting process, but things have actually gone really well, we feel like this is exactly where we need to be. The elementary school that serves our new neighborhood is a Year Round School, and since we were under-contract on the new house, we were able to register the boys and they started school last week. 

See how excited J was for the 1st day of school!
 B has adjusted to 1st grade and going to school ALL DAY really well. 
 And E has been thoroughly enjoying being my BABY- In fact she has decided she is a baby again and can often be heard saying "Goo-goo, Ga-ga" and asking to be swaddled. She is also enjoying hanging out with Cousin E who comes to Grandma's house twice a week.
I'm starting to get really excited about the new house! My Mom and I were at the DI last week and we saw this Settee Bench. It was $15. It needs some more fluff in it's cushion but that's a project I'm willing to take on. This will go in our Front Room :) possibly right in our bay window. The kids love it- they've told me they each want one of their own- because yeah- they're prefect for lounging :)  

Saturday, February 27, 2016


About a week ago, my neighbor commented that I had the most delicate ankles she had ever seen.  Well, on Thursday my right ankle decided to say "Hey! Hey You! I'm delicate! Pay attention to me."

Yep, I was walking out to the van, taking my Kindergartner to school and going to the school to volunteer myself. I stepped off the curb.......and OUCH I was falling/rolling my ankle. My purse landed in a puddle, I landed on wet asphalt. I was able to scramble my way off the asphalt and sit on the curb while I tried to breath deeply and prayed that he pain would go away. My two youngest kids were in the van, they watched me fall, they told me I would be okay, then they asked "Mommy? Are you hurt?" Sadly, I had to say that yes, yes I was hurt. I eventually got myself and both kids back into the house and I decided that I wasn't going anywhere.  These first two pictures were taken pretty soon after I got back inside. My delicate ankle- was swollen, from my point of view it kind of looked dislocated, it wasn't, but it was most definitely sprained. 

 I let the teachers know that I wasn't going to make it to school that day. My wonderful neighbor took B to school and picked him back up from the bus stop when he got home. E tried her best not to take advantage of the fact that Mommy wasn't getting out of bed, but she wasn't able to stop herself from throwing popcorn around the front room, that just HAD to be done.

I stayed off my foot as much as I possibly could. J made dinner (his first attempt at frozen burritos) while Ken did his running for the day. I was given a blessing by Ken and our Home Teacher. I felt comforted, this sprain will heal more quickly than my last sprain. I've set some big goals this year, running a race per month- In fact my next race is in just 2 1/2 weeks. I am really excited about that race because it's the Rex Lee Run and one of my neighbors sponsored me and I'll be wearing the name of her friend who recently lost her fight with cancer. I don't feel like I need to worry about not being able to meet my goals.

In the past, with the approval of my doctor, I've run a 10k about 3 weeks after spraining an ankle. As I went to bed on Thursday night I had the thought that maybe I could switch from the 10k to the 5k. Friday morning I looked it up and I have about a week to decide if I want to do the 5k or even just the 1k. Being able to switch races is a big blessing to me- because I still get to run in honor of my friend's friend, but I also get to take care of myself and not push myself harder than I should.

Another Blessing- My 7 year old, J, made breakfast on Friday, he fried eggs for everyone. My boys were both able to get dressed and off to school without me having to get out of bed! I was able to Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate.

Another Blessing- I watch a little boy who is about E's age every Friday. I was a little worried about how I was going to handle two very adventurous 2 year old kids all day long while I was trying to rest. He didn't arrive at the regular time and so I sent his mother a text, she had the day off of school!

More blessings came- another neighbor invited E over to her house for a few hours, she also picked B up from the bus stop (if an adult isn't there to pick up the kindergartner they have to stay on the bus and are taken back to the school) I was able to stay on my bed, Rest, Ice, use a Compression bandage and Elevate my leg. I was also able to use my boot from last year to get to the freezer for ice packs AND for lunch- yep, for lunch we ate a baked from frozen baguette and tater-tots. Easy to make while laying on a bed :) Also delicious.

So, now we are on day 3, the last day, of R.I.C.E. I tried to convince the kids to help clean the house- Money was involved. It didn't work. Sad. BUT I've still got high hopes that giving my ankle this time to heal will be of worth and that I will only be losing 1 or 1.5 weeks of running compared to the 8 weeks last summer. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Oh, What do we do in the Summertime?

We have exchange students! 
This year we had two boys, Oscar and Chuck.

We get EXTREMELY cute Pig-tails!
And we test our flexibility.

We learn to accessorize. 

 One of us has a Birthday in the Summertime.
 We go to the dentist.......
......and we go back to get our cavities filled.
 We help Daddy figure out where that leak is coming from-
 (the dishwasher, then we help him replace it)
-we're really good helpers.

 We get curious about what's outside at the Museum of Natural Curiosity. 
Look! it's Fennel! AND they have a fun, fun, fun place to climb!

We discover that we have a twin!

We find our friends dress up box and then........

Seriously- can you get any cuter?!?!?!?!?
Those are some of the highlights from the last half of our summer.


Back in July- while we were at the Wheeler Family Reunion in Island Park and Yellowstone- I stumbled on some steps and sprained my ankle. It hurt lots and lots and lots. 

How did it happen, well, I was walking down the outside steps of a cabin, while carrying a book, a kindle and a couple of boxes of snack the dark. I don't know how exactly it happened, but I found myself falling, then hitting my head as I finally came to rest on the ground. It didn't really hurt immediately, in fact I tried to stand up and quickly discovered that I couldn't. So there I was, in the dark at the bottom of the stairs outside of one of the two cabins our families had rented for the reunion. The shoe I had been wearing on the foot of my hurt ankle had flown 5 or more feet away from where I had been. I used my arms to boost myself from step to step until I got to the porch of the cabin and eventually I was able to signal to one of my Brothers in law that I was in need of help.

This is what my ankle looked like the next morning. I wasn't able to bear weight on it at all. The swelling seemed high to me, and I wondered if it was broken.
While our boys went with their Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins to see Old Faithful, Ken drove me about 100 miles to the nearest (open) medical clinic. (There was a clinic about 5 minutes away from our cabin, but it was closed 1 weekday per happened to be the day I needed them) My ankle was examined and X-rays were taken and we were told it was sprained and to keep resting and icing it. 

This is what my bruising looked like the second day.
 By the time the reunion was over, I could bear weight, enough to get from the couch to the kitchen or bathroom. But it was still quite swollen and the bruise was pretty awesome. This picture doesn't do it justice. From about 2 inches above my ankle to the top of my foot, there was a large purple bruise, then from the middle of my foot down to my toes my food was a beautiful purplish-green.
 When we arrived home, about 3 or 4 days after my fall, it started to feel worse, I could no longer bear weight and it was painful almost all the time. I decided to go have it checked out again. The doctor that saw me here at home was VERY impressed with my bruises, I bruise really well. He told me that what I had was a "High Grade Sprain" these are the kinds of sprains that people will sometimes say are "worse than a break" I'm guessing it's because you can do something for a break......but all they can really do for this kind of sprain is put you in a boot and tell you to take pain medications.
The boot was pretty much a miracle. I went from not being able to get around without using crutches to walking with not much pain at all! I wore it for about 4 weeks. The sole boot is between 1 and 2 inches thick, so I had to wear a shoe that was close that that tall on my other foot- I only had I wore the same shoe (my Black Doc Marten Mary Janes- with an extra sole insert) for 4 weeks. This was hard for me. I really like shoes.

 Even though I WAS able to walk I was not supposed to walk for long periods of time, SO whenever I had the chance, I took advantage of "carts"! I think the kids loved it almost as much as I did. I am a pretty good cart driver, if I do say so myself.

After 4 weeks in the book I was downgraded to this beautiful brace. which allowed me to move more easily AND wear any shoes I wanted!!!!! (well almost any, some shoes just didn't work). AND I could wear PANTS again! not just shorts and capris pants (good thing this injury happened during the summer) I also started physical therapy. I told my doctor that I needed to be able to run again BECAUSE I had missed it, and missing it was making me sad and when I am sad I self medicate with cookies and chocolate......I blame this injury on me not making my goal of maintaining most of my weight loss from last year (all is not lost, I had hoped to maintain a weight between 145 and 150, I'm currently maintaining between 153 and 158 which isn't horrible)
 At physical therapy I learned 7 exercises and stretches that helped to strengthen those tiny little muscles in my ankle. After 2 weeks of PT I was given the go ahead to start running again, with the brace on.

 I had not run in 8+ weeks. I learned the hard way a few years ago that you should take twice as long to return to running the distances that you were accustomed to running regularly as you were unable to run. SO I planned for a slow, 16 week recovery. I've taken it really slow, as I've had a few colds and other illnesses that slowed my progress, BUT by the end of the year I'll feel like I've fully recovered AND hopefully I won't have to deal with the "runner's knee" that I had back in 2012. That was a sad sad lesson, but I think I've learned it well.

I've set a new goal for next year- 12 races in 12 months! It's going to be awesome!!!!!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Life's an Adrenaline Rush!

And sometimes it includes a shot of Epinephrine.

Soooooooooo, Have you missed us since July? Sorry. I have no good reasons, other than life has been different around here, and I'm still kind of finding my way through it. I'll start with what happened this weekend and then I'll do some updates of how life has changed around here over the past few months.

Five year old B and I got to sleep overnight at the Hospital! We went to our city "Santa Parade" where we enjoyed free cookies and cocoa, and watched a short parade that ended with Santa and Mrs. Clause riding past in a carriage. After waving at Santa and then waving at the policeman at the end of the parade we headed back to our car. Our B boy showed me his lip, it was puffy and bleeding a little. I questioned him about how it got that way, did someone hit him? (someone being his brother I supposed) No. Did he fall and hit his lip on something? No. Did a bug bite him? No. Hmmmmm, That's weird. I didn't really think it was an issue, about 30 seconds later B slipped and fell and although he said he was okay (all 3 kids will say that while they are still on the ground, or even in the process of falling "I'm Okay!") by the time we got to the car B was crying. Ken did his best to comfort him. We made it home. I got some food for the kids, the cookie and cocoa at the parade were really just the first course of dinner. We discovered that B had climbed into our bed. Ken and I laid down on either side of our quiet little boy and tried to figure out what was wrong. He really wouldn't say much. I noticed that his lip was still puffy and pointed it out to Ken. B didn't want to put ice on it, but he was willing to eat an otter pop (I figured otter pops are ice and he'd be sucking on it- thus the ice would be on his fat lip :) sometimes I'm awesome at doctoring!) and he got out of our bed and followed Ken into the kitchen.

This is where things got weird. (or weirder, since a quiet B with a fat lip is already weird) Before Ken could get the otter pop ready, B threw up on the kitchen floor. Chaos ensued for a few minutes. Was that the problem, did B have a stomach bug? Our oldest son J walked around proclaiming loudly that he didn't want to get sick. Our daughter just wants to be part of the action and she was none too pleased that she had to sit with me (far away from the vomit) for 5 minutes while Ken cleaned up and got B situated on the couch.

Once on the couch B seemed to be okay, he'd cough, but he never threw up again. After 20 or so minutes he started complaining that his tummy hurt. He said the pain was in his belly button. I got him a warm rice bag to see if that would help. He didn't like it but when I offered the chance to get in a warm bath to see if that might help sooth the pain he was feeling, he jumped at the chance.

Once in the tub things got weirder. I noticed a hive on the back of his shoulder as I was helping him take his clothes off. Soon he was scratching- hard enough to draw blood- and there were hives just about everywhere, his back, neck, arms and thighs. Oddly, to me, the hives were only where the water had touched him. Later I told Ken that I wondered if the hives had something to do with something in the water- he told me he wondered the same thing.

Hives? We've dealt with hives. "Benadryl!" Ken said. I ran and got the boy some Benadryl. I was still uneasy. This just didn't make sense too me. All of these symptoms seemed so disjointed, nothing really fit together for me, nothing screamed "We're all part of the stomach flu" and so I told Ken that I thought we needed to take B to see a doctor.

Soon B and I were making the trek (15 or 20 minutes) to the closest urgent care facility offered by our healthcare provider that was still open. (The closest to our house- 5-10 minutes away- closed at 8 PM on Saturdays- which is right about the time we would have arrived). I got to the Insta-Care and realized that there at that location they had a child specific urgent care. I had asked Ken to call ahead to get us on the waiting list (because sometimes you have to wait hours) and I decided to check at the Kids-Care to see if he had spoken to them. He had! "Oh, the boy with the hives" said the receptionist, she got us checked in quickly and it wasn't too long before a nurse took us back and started weighing and measuring my boy.

While she collected his vital information she also was collecting information from me. The timeline of what had happened. When all the different symptoms presented. I find, and I hope I'm not alone in this, that I have a hard time expressing myself well in these types of situations. I'm watching my little boy deal with some sort of Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde illness and I know WHAT happened but they want to know the TIMES, how long inbetween this and that. I did my best, I figure nurses and doctors see a lot of parents like me, people doing their best to put into words what weird things are going on with their children.

The doctor was sitting at a desk about 15 feet away from where I was watching/talking to the nurse, and I'm sure she heard everything I said. When she came into the exam room she asked me to tell her the timeline again and asked some follow up questions and then she said that B was presenting with the signs of Anaphylaxis. Not Anaphylactic Shock- but anaphylaxis......I looked confused. She explained more, B had 1- Swelling (lips and ears, I hadn't noticed his ears, chances were good that he was having swelling in his mouth as well.) 2-Vomiting 3- Stomach Cramping/abdominal pain and 4- Hives. (I remember the nurse and doctor also discussing his blood pressure and his coloring- over the past few days I've noticed that those are also signs of anaphylaxis).

Here's where my world started spinning even more. The doctor told me that because he had multiple symptoms of Anaphylaxis, he needed an epinephrine immediately and then she would send us to a hospital nearby that had a pediatric unit where he could be observed for a few hours. Why did this start my world spinning? I've been the mother of a nut allergic child for a year now- why didn't I put together that vomiting and stomach pain were part of an allergic reaction, let alone, why did it take me until he had a body full of hives to figure out there was something wrong. It was the vomiting, the vomiting confused me. But I knew that I had read in all that paper work a year ago, that vomiting was indeed a sign of an allergic reaction. And, wait, what? Did that doctor just say he needed a shot of epinephrine? Immediately? But she just told me that he wasn't in shock. Had I been doing it wrong? Little E has come into contact with/reacted to an allergen twice since she was diagnosed. Both times, I recognized her symptoms- Screaming and hives- and I have given her the approriate dose of benadryl and then watched her for more symptoms, praying that she would breath easily and wouldn't go into shock. If she did go into shock I knew what I needed to do- EpiPen to the Rescue! But if that had ever been needed would it have turned out to be too late? Should I have used her epipens when I knew she was having a reaction rather waiting for a "bad" reaction?

B got his shot. He was very proud of himself because, in his words "I didn't even make ONE Tear!" within a few minutes he went from being the quiet little boy who we found curled up on our bed to jumping around in the exam room shouting about how big and strong he had been when he got the shot. He really perked up. We waited 20 minutes or so, the doctor came in a few times to check on him. His lip looked better, his hives were still there but there seemed to be less of them, his ears were still swollen. His demeanor had certainly changed. She spoke to a physician on the pediatric floor of a nearby hospital and he was waiting for us so that B could be observed and monitored for a few hours. I told Ken that I thought we'd be home before midnight.

So off we went to the hospital, my now happy boy and I. We eventually made it up to the right floor of the hospital. B got to put on "Hospital Pajamas" and the nurses got him all set up in his bed, they even found him a "Thomas the Tank Engine" video to watch. I got to tell the whole story again, this time the doctor said "Well, it's sure a good thing that you knew how to spot Anaphylasis"  at which point I told him that I didn't feel like I had spotted it- I took him to the doctor because there was just so many symptoms that I couldn't fit together, it didn't make sense to me. I also asked him about how I had always dealt with E's allergic reactions. He told me that I had done a good job and I shouldn't worry about B, he would be fine it wouldn't be too hard to keep him away from nuts (since that is what we think the allergen must be) because we are already taking precautions to keep E away from them. He then said that he wanted to observe B overnight and that he would be released sometime after 9 the next morning. I let Ken know that we wouldn't be home that night.

B really wasn't as perplexed as he looked in this picture- he's just really good at faces :)

And so there we were, spending the night at the hospital. We'd go home in the morning, everything was going to be fine, but everything was going to be different. Even though B was hooked up to monitors all night, he still slept pretty great. I on the other hand was sleeping on a couch made of mismatched pieces of plywood with a thin layer of vinyl on top of them....well not really, BUT you will never hear me say "oh, you need a guest bed? why don't you get one of those couches that they put in hospital rooms?". The fact that I was sleeping in my clothes didn't help much either. 

I spent a good portion of the night watching my little boy's heart beat, pulse/blood oxygen, and breathing as they were drawn in line form on a computer monitor next to his bed. Was it normal for his heart rate to be 120? It eventually went down to 108, was that better or worse. His blood oxygen levels were 94 to 95, but sometimes, when he was snoring or sleeping on his belly they went down into the 80's, but no alarm went I assume that it wasn't too low for too long. His breathing was the most interesting to watch, he had pretty steady breaths for a while 16 to 17 breaths per minute, they looked like little flat topped mountains separated by valleys. Then he started to snore, and the flat top mountains turned into a row of cursive lower case r's. I wonder if the doctors cared that my 5 year old was snoring. His brother, who sleeps on the top bunk of their bunk beds, had told us that he snored, but it never really meant anything to me until I heard it myself, and watched it on the screen. No one ever came in to investigate and he was sleeping VERY WELL, so I guess all of those things fall into the norm for a 5 year old boy. 

Every two hours or so the nurse and her assistant would come in and check on B, take his temperature and blood pressure and then check several of the worst hive covered areas. Every 4 hours or so they would bring in some benadryl and we'd have to figure out how to wake him up. I realized that I really haven't ever needed to wake him up, and I'm grateful because he is a really deep sleeper. At about 6:45 B sat straight up in bed and said "Mom! I've got to go potty!" I jumped up, unplugged all his monitors (as his nurses had taught me to do) and helped him to do what he needed to do. Since he had stayed up 3 hours past bedtime I figured he'd go back to sleep, but I was wrong. It was WAKE UP TIME! We got him hooked back up the the monitor and then we listened to some pretty music, eventually B talked me into letting him watch PBS- Wild Krats was on. The nurses brought him lots of fun activities- a Chuggington sticker book, a box full of Thomas trains and tracks AND a wooden truck that he could color and keep and a nice lady brought him breakfast. Our little B probably would have wondered if he was in heaven had he not been hooked up to the annoying pulse ox monitor. The time we thought we would go home, 9 AM, came and went. Eventually we did talk to the Morning Pediatrician, he told me that in his opinion parents rely too much upon benadryl and should use the epi-pens more quickly when their kids experience allergic reactions. The Nurse let B pick out a new, donated blanket to take home with him and we finally walked out of the hospital at 11:05. We had instructions, we had medications to pick up and follow up appointments to make. 

This whole experience has got me thinking, I've always felt that by giving the benadryl, when I noticed the first signs of an allergic reaction, I was erring on the side of caution- not jumping to quickly to medications that my child might not actually need- especially since after using the epinephrine you have to head to the ER to be observed- and possibly end up having a very similar uncomfortable night in the hospital. But maybe I have been walking on a wobbly tightrope between luck (that E's allergic reactions haven't caused as many symptoms as B's did) and disaster (that the benadryl just masked symptoms that would have had me jumping to use the EpiPen and by the time we do it might be a little too late) so I can see this doctors point. I still hope that I never have to use them- but I guess I feel a little more comfortable making the call at home rather than taking the kids into the doctor only to have them say- This kid need Epinephrine!

I am also starting to see this story as A Series of Tender Mercies, some people may say that this is just sleep deprivation can decide for yourself.
*This happened on a Saturday, when Ken and I were both home, it would have been a lot harder to handle if I had had to find a place for J and E to be while I rushed B to the Doctor and then to the hospital.
*Ken and I are often play good cop bad cop when it comes to the kids and what we should get checked out and what we can just wait and watch. (bad cop isn't necessarily budget friendly, since bad cop usually wants to take the kids to the doctor) As B's symptoms kept mounting I kept feeling more and more uncomfortable with just letting whatever this was play out. And so I said to Ken and B "I have to go to the bathroom, and then I'm going to pray about this". Something from my patriarchal blessing kept coming into my mind while we were at the hospital, basically I was promised that I as I raised my family I would recognize that I have the spirit of discernment in my life, and that I would be able to exercise wisdom in things pertaining to our mortal existence. I felt like this was a teaching moment for me- 1, that I had been prompted (by my feeling of unease) to take him to the doctor, and 2, that the things I was told, the things I learned through those 16 hours or so, would become the wisdom that would help us through other similar experiences that we are likely to have at some point over the rest of our lives.
*The Doctors and Nurses told me that I was dealing with the situation really well. One of the nurses told  me about a training she had been too about parents in this situation. The doctor had told them that they will find that most of the parents of children suffering anaphylaxis for the first time will be very scared and nervous and that the nurses should not forget to see to the parents comfort. He told them to explain what they needed to do for the child and then ask "How are you doing? Would you like a slushy? Always make sure to offer them a slushy!" (it seems like all the units of Primary Children's hospital have slushy machines. We were not at the main Primary Children's campus, but the pediatric floor of this hospital is part of Primary's, and soooooo, they have probably have a slushy machine.) I didn't get a slushy- the nurses kept offering me a Diet Coke- I didn't want one of those, LUCKILY they also stock chocolate milk! So- the tender mercy here is that I was somewhat prepared for this whole adventure- I wasn't expecting to have this experience with this child- but once I knew what was causing his symptoms I then kind of knew what would happen next  (other than the fact that I thought "a few hours" meant something like 3 hours.....not 13+ hours) 
*At the beginning of this school year I noticed a box on the counter in the nurses office of the school. It was a plastic pencil box, it had a label on it that listed a student's name, their teacher and that it contained their epi-pens. Because I knew that, in a few years, E would need to have that same medication at school, I asked the secretaries about the process. Elementary age kids aren't considered old enough to self carry/self administer epinephrine and because of this each student who needs it keeps their medication in the nurses office, if the medication needs to be administered, the teacher notifies the office and the medication is rushed to the child and administered as quickly as possible. So this morning I took B's Epi-Pen Jr's to the school and told them about the weekend he had had. There was more I needed to do, but the people who could help dot all the i's and cross all the t's of the district process were out of the office. I was given a form that our Pediatrician needed to fill out and sign and told that I could come back tomorrow to finish up the process. I figured I might as well drive over to the Pediatricians office. The doctor was able to quickly fill out the form and I was able to set up an appointment with the Allergist that treats E, her office happens to be in the same building- in fact its right next door to the pediatrician. Nice!
*The co-pay on epi-pens is $50. I know because I picked up a new one for E last month. Not too long after I picked up her prescription I saw something online about how you can get your co-pay waived. The "savings card" expired at the end of 2015, I felt good knowing that if for some reason we needed to get a re-fill on her prescription before the end of the year, we could use the savings card and I HOPED that next year, when it was time to fill the next prescription (because they are only good for a year) the drug company would be offering ANOTHER savings card. Well, Turns out B needs two sets of Epi-pens (one for school, one for mom to keep near B at all other times). It would have cost $100- luckily :) the savings card is good for up to 3 sets of pens AND it's still 2015!

I feel like there is more- but I'm tired and I'm still mentally and emotionally working through all of this. I'm still not used to it- yesterday night (just 7 hours after leaving the hospital) I told Ken that we couldn't let E have any of the birthday cake that was being served that night.......I then looked over at B and realized that yes- I had given him a slice of that cake and he had pretty much stuck his face right into it. oops. He was okay. Such is our life.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Family Vacation Day 1- July 4th

At the beginning of July we went to Idaho for a week to attend the Wheeler Family Reunion. All of Ken's Siblings and parents were able to attend as well as all but the 3 oldest grandchildren. If I remember correctly there were 48 people packed into two good sized cabins in Island Park. It was a very loud and very fun week. We packed up the back with everything we would need for a week and headed north.
About 90 minutes into our drive, a large chunk of someones blown tire was kicked up by the car in front of us. Ken did his best to swerve and avoid the tire but couldn't quite get out of the way- it got us right on the headlight, breaking the plastic casing and the bulb. Later in the day, as I read stories from my Grandfather, Wayne Chapman Dowdle's, personal history I laughed a little, because one of the stories was about going to Yellowstone (which we planned to do a few times during our trip) in a car that only had one working headlight.
We have learned to take full advantage of "rest stops" it's either that or deprive our children of any type of liquid for a few days before a trip. Since we are loving parents, we choose to avail ourselves of the well placed public restrooms. This one was located on an old Lava Flow and the boys enjoyed seeing and climbing on the volcanic rocks.
We left for the reunion a day early so that we would have time to locate the home that my Great Grandfather, Robert Hazen Dowdle built, where my Grandfather was born and spent the majority of his youth. I decided that I wanted to make this little trip- to Rigby, Idaho- last year when I read my Grandfather's personal history. We were visiting Ken's brothers family in Meridian Idaho and I realized that my Sister in Law was from Rigby. My Grandfather had not given his address, rather he said that he had grown up in a home that was just west of the cemetery on what is now called the Ririe Highway. I asked Tiffany if she knew where that was and she said that she most certainly did. It was decided that in some future year around the 4th of July (because Tiffany's father always puts on an amazing fireworks show) we would visit Rigby and try to locate the house.

With the Wheeler Reunion/Yellowstone plans starting on July 5th we knew that tracking down Grandpa's old haunts was meant to be, and so we found a place to stay on the 4th of July and I went to work trying to figure out exactly where to go. As I said before, I didn't have an address, but I knew it was near a cemetery on a highway. Luckily for me, that location was pretty easy to find. Thanks Google Maps! From that point though I was a little lost for a while. I got online and tried to see if I could find an address. Census Records I thought, I was wrong. I found lots of census records for the family but they didn't list the street address. I looked at lots of pictures that people have posted on the Family Search website and one of them was of "the old family home" I wondered if that was the home I was looking for. I went back to my Grandfather's history. he said that the home was "just west of the Rigby Cemetery" and so I returned to google maps, at the cemetery I switched the map to street view, I then inched down the road looking at each home. Sure enough, not too far down the road I saw the home from the picture. It felt to me like a MIRACLE, like I had been led to the picture and then to the street view map that would help me feel very secure in the fact that I knew where we needed to go.

We dropped off our luggage at the home of a friends brother and then headed out to find the old family home. It was easy! There were people sitting on the front porch- it was the 4th of July after all and apparently the family who lives there was having a BBQ. I approached and told them that I didn't want to bother them but that I am the Great Granddaughter of the man who built the home and I was wondering if we could wander around the property. I was directed to the owner of the house and she told us YES! She told me that she and her husband purchased the home 30 years ago and that we were not the first group of Dowdles who had visited. This made me very happy.

The current family owns the home and 2 acres of land. According to my grandfathers history, his father owned 14 acres. Grandpa grew up in this home and the home next door was owned by his Aunt and Uncle. His Aunt happened to be his Father's Sister and his Uncle was his Mother's Brother- which made his Cousins, Double Cousins, about as closely related as cousins could be- considering that they shared BOTH sets of Grandparents (the Dowdles and the Chapmans, descendants of these double cousins still get together every year for a reunion). 

The stories my Grandpa told about his childhood were awesome, he spoke about an irrigation canal that ran right behind their houses- AND LOOK! Here it is!!!!!
There were several large trees on the edge of the irrigation canal, you could tell that many children had played in and on those trees. I am sure those trees are old enough that my grandfather would have also played on them, and now my children have too! 

There was an old bridge across the canal, we dipped our feet, it was VERY cold!
See that thistle? I wanted a picture of the Thistle because grandpa told a story about how he would rid the field of involved firecrackers! When I saw the thistle I couldn't help but smile.
This is the view from the end of the current property, and my grandfather told lots of stories about building tree houses and playing near the "swale" which was part of a nearby river that was also the boundary line between their property and the property/home of my grandfathers childhood friend. Those trees are near the river. My grandpa might have played in those trees!

One of the stories that the boys LOVED was of "Treasure Island" apparently while my grandfather was growing up there was an island in the river and he, his brother Harold and their friend Seymour (who lived on the other side of the river) collected lots of treasures and buried them on the island- thus the name "Treasure Island" we were able to get to the river and walk down the bank a bit but I don't think the island exists anymore. this was a very, very sad thing for my boys. If J could, he would have spent as long as it took, and walked as far as he could down that river in order to find that island. This made me happy, because it means that a story from his families history had excited him!

We then went and found some dinner and a park to play at for a while. Then we made our way over to the Snowder's house. Sadly our Sister in Law's father passed away recently, the family decided to continue on with his tradition of an awesomely large fireworks show. All the kids were very excited about  the fireworks.

Did I mention that the traditional fireworks are paired with lots and lots of home made Ice Cream? This is what Ken was most excited about. (Thus, the picture) It was very, very, VERY Good!

J with a giant Sparkler
Me with my sweet baby who was up WAY PAST BEDTIME. Don't let the picture fool you, she was not one bit scared of the booms, in fact, she slept through 75% of the show.
One of the larger aerials was lit upside made for a very "different" explosion AND created a large crater.
Our family got to bed at about 11pm on the 4th of July, that's the latest our little kiddies have ever stayed up. The boys loved it and no one was really worse for wear the next day. All in all it was a wonderful day.