Monday, December 29, 2008

Helmet Woes

Here are the thoughts I have been having in my head lately, almost non-stop:

"I can't let my son grow up with a misshapen head his whole life when I am able to do something about it!"
"But I don't want to make him have one more piece of medical equipment to bug him."
"Maybe it's not that bad, maybe we can fix it ourselves."
"Even if I always lay him on his side, he will roll on his back and the pressure will never be put on the areas that need it."
"How will he feel when he looks at his baby pictures and sees a helmet?"
"How will he feel when he looks at his baby pictures and sees a head that needs a helmet?
"So-and-so thinks it's a good idea."
"So-and-so thinks it's a bad idea."
"So-and-so says helmets always work."
"So-and-so says helmets often do not work."
"So-and-so's baby got a helmet and they are SO glad they got it!"
"So-and-so's baby was recommended to get a helmet, but they chose not to and they are SO glad!"
"Kids grow out of flat heads. Flat heads are very common now, since babies are supposed to sleep on their backs, but you never see adults walking around with flat heads (never mind that when we adults were babies, our parents put us to sleep on our tummies!)"
"There is only a small window of time, age 7-8 months, when a helmet can be effective, because that is when babies have their head growth spurt." (I would love it if someone could PLEASE tell me how old Boo is...8 months technically, 6 months gestationally, and 5 months developmentally...). If a baby needs his head fixed after that time, the skull bones must be broken through a series of four laser surgeries and the helmet process is much more drawn out and significant."
"If insurance pays for it, it will come out of our medical equipment funds, which we will max out very quickly with all the medical equipment we have and we will end up having to pay a TON."
"If insurance does not pay for it, we have to pay $1800, $900 on the first appointment."
"If we wait another few weeks, we can see if we can make any progress on our own, without a helmet. Then we will be better informed as to whether we need it."
"If we wait another few weeks, he may already be hitting his head growth spurt."
"If we get a helmet, a lot of stress will be relieved in that we won't have to constantly be moving him to be on his side...he could sleep on his back again and spend however much time in his bouncy seat. The helmet would fix all of our problems."
"A helmet is the easy way out for those who are unwilling to be diligent and patient and long-suffering, and have all other attributes needed to be a good parent."
"Now is a great time for a is winter and he has to stay in anyway!"
"Who wants to have a helmet?"

OK, so what did I choose? I still didn't have my mind made up as I was driving to our appointment with the helmet people this morning, but by the time I got there, I gave the woman my card and paid the $900. It's over, and remarkably, my stress is considerably diminished concerning the matter. In ten business days, Boo will have a helmet, which he will likely wear for the next 2-3 months. No big deal. I am not sure if this is the "right" thing to do, or if there is even a "right" thing, but I definitely feel OK about it now, and any decision at this point is a step in the right direction. I hope all our decisions are not this difficult!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love S

1. He is totally good and honest and easy to talk to and get along with.
2. He can successfully place an NG tube in Boo's nose, among the many other things that he has learned to do with Boo (things that lots of dads never even have to think about!)
3. He trusts in God and helps me to do the same. His faith is amazing and he always has been able to get me out of my doubts and fears.
4. He trusts me and encourages me to "follow my heart"
5. He knows what kinds of things I like and he makes the effort to give them to me (ie. a hot bath with a good book, time to go running after he gets home from work, Milky Ways, etc). Basically, he encourages me to take time for myself and do things that I like to do and he watches Boo while I do my thing!
6. He loves Boo and he gives him rides on his Boppy (which Boo LOVES)
7. He does 4am feedings and changes poopy diapers willingly, without any complaints ever!
8. In spite of the fact that I sometimes get after him about things, he NEVER gets after me about anything. And he takes all my issues in stride, never taking offence and always trying to make me feel good.
9. He likes my made-up songs and silliness, even in the middle of the night when I am totally ridiculous in my sleep!
10. Although he is definitely smarter than me in many ways, he takes time to explain things to me, talks to me about things that are sometimes over my head, and even listens to and values my thoughts and opinions!
11. He will drop anything to help me out when I need it (and I have needed it sometimes, LET me tell you!...) He would also drop anything to help anyone else in need...I have seen him do it time and again.
12. He leads with love in our home, NEVER with harshness.
13. He has incredible taste in movies and other forms of entertainment! (ie. "Happiest Millionaire", "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," etc...never seen anything like this stuff!)

OK, that was 13...but that is not even all!! I can think of lots more reasons that I love my sweet husband, some of which I would not write on a public blog. Suffice it to say that I think I have one of the very most amazing men in the world as a spouse and I am SO glad that we got married, even after all we have been through in this short year-and-three-months...ESPECIALLY after all we have been through! I have the sweetest little son too, and I couldn't ask for anything more than the wonderful family that I have been blessed with.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Best Mother's Day Present Ever!!!

This is the first time that I got to hold Boo. It was his Mother's Day present to me. It will probably be awhile before this is able to happen again.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Welcome, Boo!

Announcing the arrival of a brand new baby: Boo! He just arrived on May 1st at 2:37am. He weighed 1 pound 13 ounces, and was 14 inches long. For those unacquainted with normal baby weights, he is about 1/7 of the size of a full term baby. Boo came as a HUGE surprise to us...he was supposed to be born in late July! We feel extremely blessed to have this miracle baby. Pregnancy is supposed to last 40 weeks and Boo was supposed to be 29 weeks into it, but when he was born, the doctors pronounced him a "25 weeker." He is perfect, with every body part in perfect form (a blessing due to not having an emergency C-section, thus bypassing the trauma of the birth canal). He does have a heart defect. In fact, he did have two, but one of them was resolved in his first week of life. We are told that he is "fiesty," and at times a "wild child."

For those who are interested in the story, here goes. On Wed, April 30th, A didn't feel Boo move except in the morning. She also hadn't been feeling very well since
Monday, but she was not concerned since everyone told her she would be tired in the third trimester. When I got home that Wednesday night (early, believe it or not), I had already worked a full 40 hour work week. A and I were ready to spend a fun night together. I asked how the baby was doing, which was when A realized that she hadn't felt him all day. While I took a nap, A surfed the internet to find out about how often she should be feeling the baby. 9 out of 10 websites talked about how babies sometimes have quiet days, and not feeling him is totally normal. 1 out of 10 talked about a stillbirth. That, of course, was enough to send A into great nervousness, and she woke me up to talk about it and decide what to do.

After praying and discussing the issue and the websites, we decided to call the doctor. The doctor on call (it was about 9:30pm) told us to go to Labor and Delivery and have a "non-stress test." She said it was no big deal and that it wouldn't take very long. Once in the car, both of us felt much more calm, and we began laughing and joking like always, thinking that this would be a fun date for us.

In Labor and Delivery, it seemed that everything was normal. The baby had a normal heart rate, and it seemed that they would be sending us home soon. But, they later asked for a urine sample (after they said A didn't need one). Then, the resident came in and said that he wasn't sure if the baby was getting off the monitor and the monitor was picking up A's heart rate, or if the baby's heart rate was decreasing significantly. Then, the nurse came in with an oxygen mask for A, with 10 liters running per minute (that is a LOT of oxygen). Shortly after that, the doctor who we had talked to on the phone came in (the resident had called her), and said that things looked "crummy" and that they would need to deliver tonight. A needed to be transferred by ambulance to the University Hospital.

Once there, the entire resident team evaluated A, informed her of her extremely high blood pressures and proteins in her urine (both definite symptoms of a condition called "preclampsia"), and that they wanted to wait 48 hours to deliver so they could administer a steroid to help the baby's lungs develop. Then, the chief resident came in and said that there was no reason to give the steroid, because they needed to deliver tonight! I gave A a blessing, and they proceeded to the OR for A to get the local anesthetic and prepare for the emergency C-section. A was awake and holding my hand during the whole thing, and we shared our love story with the anesthesiologist during the surgery. A didn't feel a thing.

In the end, A spent 4 days at the hospital recovering (and taking horrible medications that made her somewhat loopy), and Boo will spend at least until the end of July in the newborn intensive care unit. This time has not been has been and will continue to be a huge roller coaster with more ups and downs than we ever wanted, but Boo is so worth it and we love him so much. Pictures are on the way. We really appreciate all the phone calls and thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Conference Weekend

Conference Weekend this year was really fun for us. I was feeling good (the second trimester is the best! This is my most recent pregnant pictures...25 weeks!) and S was able to get away from work (mostly...see the picture of him with the Blackberry). =) Sometimes the most fun time we spend together is just that...time together. It seems to be a bit of a rarity at times, since we both work (he works until around 7pm Monday through Friday, and oftentimes on Saturday too, and she works Mondays and Thursdays from 3pm-11pm, which is long past his bedtime). We didn't go anywhere on conference weekend, or do anything other than watch conference on our laptop and spend time together at home. That was probably what made it special. Here are some of our highlights.The baby and I are eternally hungry, or so it seems. We decide that we want to eat something, and we have to eat it. Luckily, our appetites normally coincide with foods that we already have or that are easy and inexpensive to obtain. On Saturday night, the baby and I really wanted chocolate covered strawberries. Ordinarily, I would make these and take some to her visiting teach-ee's (a tradition that began in her college days), but seeing as I didn't have any visiting teach-ees at the time...the baby and I gobbled up all two packages of strawberries that I covered in chocolate! S was embarrassed for me, but the way I see it, it was a service to the baby! Recently, we have discovered that the baby is very particular about the water he and I consume. For awhile now, he and I have been intolerant of tap water, but now, the baby has decided that the only bottled water that will do is "Kroger." (Everything else makes me throw up). S's brother H suggested that we call him "Kroger," since we still haven't thought of a name. Hopefully we will think of something a little less conducive to teasing as time goes on! S did actually have a lot of work to do, but thankfully he has a Blackberry. One of our favorite pasttimes is checking the Blackberry for "Read Receipts" and getting rid of them as they come. He does his best to check the Blackberry for real emails at appropriate times and places. Here am I with the baby blanket I finished making on Sunday. I learned how to crochet from S's mom over Easter weekend (when we went on another vacation to Idaho Falls). It is for the baby to cover up with and snuggle and play peek-a-boo. S has finally warmed up to the idea of the baby having a crocheted blanket. At first, he thought it would be too small, and then he thought it would be cold and useless, since it has holes in it. Now, he is proud of his wife's newly-acquired talent and he thinks it is "cute."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mission Reunion

Today was the second reunion of the Uruguay Montevideo West Mission that I have been to. (I have now been home for two years). My mission president was called as an area seventy in the church last year, so now he gets to come to Salt Lake from Chile every year for April conference. It is really fun to see him. This year, he spoke to us at Elder B's house. We were are very large group, and since S and I got there late, we couldn't see him at all while he was speaking. He reminded us that we need to be studying our scriptures daily and doing our best with moving forward in our families. He also talked about how we need to pay attention to the needs of our fellow missionaries, and that if there is a need, make sure to include him, so he can write a letter or give a call to the missionary in need. He told us that we need to stay worthy of our converts. I always love to hear him speak. He speaks with such authority, even now that we are not technically under his stewardship anymore. It is the Spirit. Anyway, the mission reunion was fun. There were plenty of friends/companions around, and lots of people I did not recognize as well. These pictures are of all the hermanas in attendance, and again with Presidente. I am in the picture, freezing cold.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New House

On 23 Feb 2008, we moved into our new home! (Big thanks to the many family members who helped us!) It was quite the learning process, and also quite the stress, getting ourselves locked into thirty years of mortgage payments, but we are mainly settled now and we are happy here. (S is finally getting used to the freeway noise, which is fairly constant since we live seven houses from the freeway. He is quite excited for the freeway sound wall, which the Department of Transportation is in the process of building.) The house is 15 years old, and we bought it from the original owner, so it is in pretty good condition. However, the pictures will showcase some interesting events that have occurred in these past two months.On our first day here, S's brother D took us to buy a new washer and dryer, with which we have ultimately been very pleased. Here is a picture of the pure exhaustion S felt after he and D carried both appliances into the basement themselves. We were both excited to hook them up and watch the new front-loader washer spin around really fast. So, we got all the cords in line and started to plug things in. Unfortunately, I, knowing nothing about electricity, plugged the dryer cord into the wall before the dryer plugs were separated and plugged into the dryer themselves. Thus, we both saw one of the biggest sparks in history, and the entire house lost all signs of electrical activity.

Luckily, S is an electrical engineer. Oh wait, that's not the same as an electrician. He went over to the fuse box (excuse my use of incorrect terminology, if it is indeed incorrect), and found the fuse that goes to the washer and dryer. He jimmied it a few times, and nothing happened. He then tried to brainstorm what could be done to get electricity, all the time needing to comfort me, who thought I had broken the brand new dryer! :) Eventually, he thought to go outside and see if there were any kind of electrical things out there. Fortunately, there was an 100 amp breaker out there that had been flipped. Apparently pulling 100 amps is a big deal (although I wouldn't know)! The problem was very easily fixed by flipping the breaker, thus restoring power to the house, and replacing the washer/dryer fuse in the basement.

Then, a few weeks ago while I was at work, S managed to push the dead bolt too far into the front door (if that makes any sense). He confessed upon my return, and I accepted the fact that the dead blot was broken and would need to be replaced. Eventually, we went to Home Depot and found a dead bolt that we thought would fit. This past week, however, while S was on a business trip, I messed with the dead bolt for awhile and got it to lock again! When S returned, I announced the dead bolt to be "fixed." An easy win, I thought. Until Sunday, when some church members stopped by to deliver the stake newsletter and we discovered that we were locked in our house for good! After repeated tries to open the door, S finally went out by way of the garage. Then followed a comical scene, in which both of us exited the garage, and unwittingly closed the garage door, completely forgetting that we could not get in the front. Luckily, we have a garage door code. So now, once again, fixing the dead bolt is "on the list" of honey-do's for S.Lastly, apparently the previous owner was into some strange plants. It took us awhile to put our finger on it, but we discovered that the big ivy bush that was growing on and creeping all over our porch really bothered us. So, on the Saturday before Spring Cleanup (when they come once a year to pick up anything that you leave on the curb), S finally tore it down. We also pulled some other strange things out of our yard, and we are all the happier for it. (Yes, S did perform all these tasks while wearing "business casual").

The rest are some pictures of our house when we first moved in (thus there is nothing on the walls and the items on the floor are in disarray). We now have more furniture and a number of decorations, but we are still not done yet. Eventually, we would like to replace all the carpet (it is all light blue), and paint almost all the rooms (they are almost all light blue as well). But, these are things for later, and right now, we are really enjoying the house and doing our best to make it our home!From top to bottom, the pictures include: the kitchen, the front room, the family room, the guest bathroom, our future daughter C's room, the office, the baby's room, the Master bedroom, the Master closet, the Master bathroom, and another view of the front room. Not pictured are the unfinished basement, the dining room, and the rest of the closets and halls.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Choke Cherry Deer

These are pictures from our old house on Choke Cherry. We lived way up on the mountain, about as high as you can go and still have a house on the East Bench. It was a beautiful view, but we have both decided that we can do without the proverbial "house on the hill" for the rest of our lives. Besides the view, another perk of living way up there was the wildlife that was so frequently seen. Unfortunately, we did not get more pictures of the deer, but there were many that came around in the short period of time that we lived there. Here is one that was just sitting in the snow, before it noticed me and my camera.One morning, while we were mildly awake at 4am, we started hearing creepy noises from the house. That is saying something, because, although the house was built in the 1960's, it NEVER makes noises! So of course we stayed under the covers and discussed the possibility of purchasing a baseball bat, in case we needed to fight off any enemies. The next morning, however, we heard the same noises at around the same time. I suggested that we look outside to see if there were any deer around. S got up and looked out the glass door...and saw no less than FORTY deer, all in our backyard (which is a big deal, since the backyard was very little and had almost no grass)!! There were even a few 5 point bucks! We watched them in awe, and figured that their combined weight must have been making the foundation of the house creek. We didn't get any pictures, since it was dark and going outside would have caused a stampede, possibly at the expense of our lives. Needless to say, in spite of the fact that we have no desire to live on the side of a mountain again, we have some really cool memories.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Idaho Falls Vacation

I loves to go on vacation. To me, any trip that requires one or more hours in the car (or plane, etc) is a vacation. S does not consider going to Idaho Falls a "vacation," but it makes it all the more exciting for him that I do! So, I soak up every possible invitation to go on "vacation," and S, of course, goes along for the ride. These are pictures of our trip to Idaho Falls this January. We went so I could play my flute in Stake Conference in S's parents ward, thus helping out the stake choir. I don't seem to get very many performance opportunities these days, so I was thrilled to be invited, and of course, go on vacation.

Here is S. See what a helper he is!This was also a special chance for us to see Grandma and Grandpa T (S's maternal grandparents).