I don't know how many of you who read this know my dad, but I will write this anyway. So, back on Mother's Day my dad had a sore throat, was feeling really sleepy and tired all day and had sore swollen lymph nodes. Basically the beginnings of a cold. By the middle of last week this had developed into pnuemonia type symptoms: difficulty breathing and stuff like that. My mom took him to the dr. last Wednesday(I think) to get a chest x-ray to check for viral pnuemonia. The dr. took a look at his color and checked his breathing and then called an ambulance. She didn't want my mom driving him to the hospital in case she had to pull over to give him CPR. Yeah, so very scary, especially for my mom. They get to the hospital and run some tests. They noticed that his white blood cell count was very high. He was later diagnosed with Leukemia. They think he has had it for about 6 months or so. So, they got his white blood cell count down and started him on the chemo. Friday night he had so much trouble breathing (they think he had pnuemonia after all) that he had to be intibated. He is under heavy sedation and is still on a ventilator. The type of Leukemia he has is fast moving, usually attacks men 50 and over. The good thing is that they hope to cure him of it and if it hasn't come back in two years, then he is basically cured. So, pray for him. This has been hard on my whole family, especially my mom, who is trying to pull off my brother's wedding by tomorrow(Friday). She was already a busy woman before all this, still having two children at home, being Relief Society President of her ward and just having her life filled up with caring for others(as she has always done). There have been some very sweet people from the ward that have been helpful. Their home teachers came and finished up some of the yard work that Mark had been working on while we were out there. I think my dad will be touched by how many people care about him and love him when he hears and sees what they have done when he wakes up.
Our first day in Colorado we went to the Colorado Mills Mall. We went to go to the Super Target that I used to work at with my dearest friend, Val. I only went there because I really miss retail and being paid poorly and acting like red and khaki are totally awesome colors to wear every blasted day of the week. Plus, I really miss working with all those super fun smokers. I can't forget my bosses, who, shockingly, still work there! Mayo, I know you're out there! I love you girl!! We went to the mall to go to the Carter's store and to go to Motherhood Maternity for some sexy maternity nylons, which are hot!! Mark bought me a birthday present from one of the stores, which rocks my socks. The boys enjoyed those over priced rides. Once in a lifetime opportunity there.
The following day was spent at the Denver Zoo. We made sure we saw the zebras, Duncan is an avid fan. He even wants to be a zebra again for Halloween this year. Fine by me, I don't need to buy another costume. Then we went to Tropical Discoveries to make sure Liam got plenty of time to look at the "ribbits" which are also known as frogs. We had to see the hippos and elephants. The hippo pooed for us, we thoroughly enjoyed the stank from that one. All in all, the boys, even Goo, enjoyed the whole experience. Remind me to not carry a baby throughout Tropical Discoveries while pregnant and with a bad back again. Thanks. On Saturday Mark had his graduation from Arapahoe Community College. He received his degree in Mortuary Science. I assume most of you all know what that is for. If you don't, then you haven't been paying attention!! That was full of excitement(for Mark) and stress for me. The kids had to get up extra early after having a long tiring day the day before. So they were not happy campers. Duncan was very well behaved. Liam had difficultly being without me and not dumping various things onto the floor. Gwendolyn, well, she was just a grouch the whole time. We almost didn't make it to the graduation. It was originally supposed to be at the school, but due to the rain the night before they changed the location to some church that was very out of the way. But we got there and Mark graduated, yay!! Mother's day was spent at my mom's with just Mom, Dad, Chris, Walker, Papa and us. It was quite a calm Sunday. Dad and Mark made dinner, which was very tasty. Mom and I chilled playing a movie trivia game. I came to learn that I am not good at that game. Mark gave me a really pretty fairy figurine for Mother's Day. I love those, so it was good of him to do that, haha. Then we had cheesecake for dessert. Thank you, Papa, for letting us all know how much saturated fat was in the cheesecake(18g). I won't even get started on the calories, haha. Then the last few days were spent chilling at mom's while Mark worked on her yard...in the rain. It was hard to go back to the USSR, but hopefully we will be able to visit again soon. Love you guys!!
The day before we left for Colorado we had to run to Sam's to get some things for the trip. The wee ones were being especially cute, and luckily I had my camera in my purse! I always have my camera in my purse when I go to Sam's for special things like this. Hahaha! I just thought I would share.
Sidewalk chalk is a beautiful thing. It adds so much color to the face.
After some chalk play, it was time for some water fun. We have a little sprinkler mat that we set up for the wee ones. I thought doing the whole pool thing before we went to Colorado was a bit over the top. I already had too much to do that day anyway.
Daddy bought a hammock and set it up, which was fun for all. Even Duncan's crack enjoyed it.
I haven't posted in a while due to all of the stuff that has been going on. I will start with what we learned before we went on our trip to Colorado. When we had our first ultrasound at 20 weeks, the technician wanted us to see a specialist at the hospital because of a possible birth defect she thought she saw. A few weeks later we went to Maternal Fetal Medicine at the Utah Valley hospital. We had two ultrasounds which confirmed the birth defect. The birth defect they found was Bilateral Clubfeet. That was hard in itself to deal with. Then they took us to another room to discuss it with us and all to discuss some tests that they would like to do to see what the possible cause for the clubfeet may be. They already ruled out SpinaBifida because the spine and all that looked perfectly healthy and normal. They had also ruled out genetics because of our family medical backgrounds. The thing they wanted to test for was a chromosomal defect known as Trisomy 18 or Edward's Syndrome. This is when there are extra chromosomes throughout all of the cells. What this would mean for the baby we found was basically that the baby would not survive in utero, not survive labor and delivery or not live longer than two months. I was given the choice of having an amniocentesis or a blood test through my blood. I had a bad feeling about having the amniocentesis, and we felt there was too much risk to the baby. We decided to do the blood test. After much stress and tears and waiting, we finally got the results back. Even though the test is not 100% accurate or as accurate as the amnio would have been, the tests came back normal. They still want to continue to check the baby's growth throughout the course of the pregnancy to be totally sure. That is enough relief for me. I can handle the clubfeet situation, especially since they don't do surgery on it anymore. They do casts for the first 4-6 weeks and then foot braces after that until she is about 3 or 4. I can deal with that. It is hard to realize she won't be like my other children, in that she will have struggles that they never have nor ever will deal with, but I am grateful that she will be here and will live a long life.
We used to have a park right across the street from our townhomes, but they decided to get rid of that to make way for some stores. I am hearing that Target and Home Depot or Lowe's will be put there, with a Chili's right next to our church building. That will make for a quick and easy way to break the fast on Fast Sundays. Just walk on over to Chili's after church and you won't even have to worry about finding parking at Chili's. Very convenient. Because of all this construction going on and the lack of park, my children have not been to the park since last June. We decided to take a trip over to the park at the library.
We have a teeter totter and a slide in our backyard, but we don't have a swing. As soon as the kids exited the car they went straight for the swings. Gwendolyn had her first official experience in a playground swing. She was very excited and said "wee" the whole time.
After swinging for a long time and me trying to push three different children all at once, I suggested we take a break and try other playground equipment and ingesting food.
But, as you can see, all good things must come to and end, haha. Luckily, Daddy was willing to do some pushing this time. This proved to be much more entertaining for them.
Gwendolyn was very excited one moment and outcold the next. Daddy thought this was incredibly adorable and couldn't resist holding. Especially since she normally will only fall asleep on her own in her own bed.
After our trip to the park, we decided to go for a little drive up Diamond Fork. The kids all fell asleep, so it was a nice time for Mark and I to have a nice little talk. Eventually Duncan woke up followed by Liam. Mark took the two boys out of the car to get a closer look at some deer. This proved to be the most exciting part of the day for Liam. He even decided to let Heavenly Father know about the deer he saw when he was saying his prayers.
I am a Colorado girl who met and married a Utah man in July 2003. We live in Utah with our 7 beautiful children: Duncan(12), Liam(11), Gwendolyn(9), Rosaline(8), Alastair(6), and Briony (3), Felicity(3 m). I am sure there are more babies coming for us in the future. I guess you'll just have to read along and find out!