June 30, 2008

What's That?

So I don't look like this when I bend over...

nor might I add do I want too...
When I bend over there is some appreciation on Ben's least if he is in the room.
The other night as I reached down to grab a dish out of the dishwasher. Ben happened to be in the line of sight of my ummm ...
He sweetly mentioned" Hmmmm What's that?" Using that very telling tone of voice that husbands use when they want you to know they appreciate their wife and can't wait to show her that appreciation later when the kids are in bed.
I of course just smile at the banter and before I can even turn around I hear Nika's sweet little voice say " THATS A BOOTY!"
Ahhh the benefits of little people! They will help you when you're in need of an answer!
Duh Dad that is a booty....

June 25, 2008

Chocolate... everyone's friend


June 22, 2008


The next post is huge and somewhat boring but I wanted to put every little detail into it for our own records.

Nika's Hospital Stay

So I haven't posted in a while because of the chaos in our life lately. With it being summer I find I am never really home. I am always trying to find things to do with the kids like swimming, or going to free movies sponsored at our local movie theater. But it is Sunday now and I feel like I can catch up on our latest happenings.
So those of you who know us well know that our 3 year old Nika has Asthma, and we have known about it since she was two. We deal with twice a day treatments through her nebulizer.

She usually falls asleep during her night treatment.
She also takes a daily allergy pill to hold off possible asthma triggers.
However even with all the preventatives there are days where she suffers an attack. We have albuterol on hand to deal with these situations.
Tuesday night the 10th, Nika was sounding a little squeaky. She literally will sound like a bird has taken up roost in her throat. We noticed and gave her a treatment before she went to bed.
She has lived with this long enough to know when she needs what she calls her "breathing medicine." So around 4 in the morning she came and woke me up sounding worse and asking for another treatment.
We have her machine hooked up in the living room so most times this occurs she will just grab her pillow and end up sleeping on the couch once her treatment is done. This time was no different. She also tends to strip off her pj's ( I think because in her mind this allows for easier breathing) When Ben got up in the morning of the 11th for work she was agitated and wanting another breathing treatment. We both could see that even with the albuterol she was still struggling.
I have never had to take her to the ER before for an attack. We have an overnight urgent pediatric care facility that I usually use but they are not open during the day and her doctors wouldn't open for another hour. She was retracting pretty badly. (meaning: when you look at her you can see her skin sucking in between and under her ribs, and using her auxiliary muscles, like her belly to breathe.)
We have dealt with this before but this time she was very anxious and upset. I drove her to the ER and they let us in immediately. Her O Sat. (oxygen saturation) wasn't to bad at that point because she had just had a treatment. It was around 90%. She received a one hour continuous zopinex treatment. (Zopinex is like albuterol with less of the side effects, like increased heart rate.) A bright side to going to this ER was that a member of our ward was her nurse and he made me feel a little more calm than I normally would have been I think.
She seemed OK during the treatment and for a short time after. They took chest X-rays and after an hour had gone by she was agitated and uncomfortable again. When respiratory got in they took one look at her and knew she was in need of another treatment. This time they gave her a mixture of albuterol and atrovent. She had been so wound up and breathing so hard that this treatment and the relief it brought, sent her right to sleep. She slept for another half hour or so and when the nurse came in to check her O sats they were hovering between 77 and 80% which is hypoxic (that's a big word for deficient in oxygen).
At this point since she had had two treatments and was worsening they decided she needed to be put on oxygen and admitted. The hospital I was at (while wonderful) does not have a pediatric unit so we got to have one more breathing treatment and then had a lovely ride in the ambulance to a nearby hospital. Usually we go to Phoenix Children's Hospital (the hospital where 1 month old Liam had a two day stay)but they had no beds so we went to Banner Thunderbird.
Nika was very tired and cranky at this point and even though Daddy came with our friend Brandon to give her a blessing, she still wasn't very happy. Even a visit from a therapy dog named Molly didn't cheer her up. That afternoon they decided that instead of an oxygen mask (which makes it hard to eat and drink) they would give her a oxygen nasal tube. It was quite disturbing for me because even though the tube barely goes into her nose she absolutely did not want it on.

Myself and another nurse pulled the bed sheet up to her neck and held her down while a 2nd nurse placed the nasal tube on and then taped to her cheeks. She was furious (especially with me) and thrashed and tried to kick. It was like she was possessed!
For the next little bit I had to make sure she didn't reach up and rip off the tube. She eventually calmed down but every five or ten minutes she would scream "take it off of me!"
That night was a hard one for both of us.
Even looking at this picture now makes me start tearing up. All I wanted to do was help her and it was hard that she was so angry with me.
A little bit happier
Because of a higher O sat... and also a lower heart rate..
By the next morning she had pretty much forgotten the nasal tube was in. She was still breathing rapidly (even with breathing treatments every two hours and a liquid steroid - prednisolone)but was feeling better.
Surprisingly that morning the hospital was opening a new child's outdoor area for the pediatric patients. So Nika was one of three patients to be the first kids to use the facility. They had balloons, bubbles, a lot of hospital higher up ands a bunch of therapy dogs on hand.
With her portable oxygen tank and a fast male orderly she managed to play on everything!And another car...

Pausing off the car long enough for a pet with Suzie...this is a scan of a Polaroid (sorry for the quality)
All the therapy dogs had these baseball like cards with stats on the back. If a child petted the dog then they got to keep a card. Very cute!
A close and personal visit from Allie
Some more playing
Getting a hand painting (since her cheeks were occupied) by Pinkie the clown. Want to guess what her favorite color is?
Our favorite therapy dog Dakota
Playing with the bubble machine...
The orderly did an awesome job keeping up with a running, jumping 3 year old with a nasal tube! She has fun and makes due even with low oxygen...that is my trooper! She is determined to have fun, the stubborn little dutch girl!
We found a fun room on the pediatric floor that was a toy room for the kids. Full of donated toys, books, and crafts the room was open during the day and kids could take toys back to their rooms or play there. It was a nice escape for Nika and she seemed to be one of the only kids well enough to play in the toy room. We spent most of Thursday there. I should mention that they had a full children's movie list as well and you could ask your nurse to check out movies. So that was also helpful.
One of the hard parts of our ER visit was that Nika was totally bored. They had a TV but no remotes so I couldn't even turn on PBS for her. (Apparently they had all been stolen and the TV was no longer being built so the manufacturer did not have the ability to send new remotes.)
Also the hospital has a program called Andrea's closet (named after a little girl who died of Leukemia.) Pediatric patients are offered a choice of a toy from the closet as a reward for their bravery. We got a little stuffed Mickey Mouse. I joked that we could tell people that we went to Disneyland instead of the hospital
Anyhow we ended up staying until Friday at which point I let everyone who came into the room know that we were ready to go home. Nika was at a point where I felt comfortable treating her at home and though her oxygen was still in the low 90's I pointed out the fact that her baseline was bound to be lower than a normal healthy child. At this point she was bouncing all over her room, the hallways and the toy room. In other words back to her normal little self.
Considering everything it was a great hospital, we had a private comfortable room and I found that I actually could sleep at night there. But still I was ready to go home.
So Friday afternoon after one last dog visit. This time from Ashley we managed to get away with prescriptions in hand to fill and a happy family waiting for me.
I should note that Ben, Jed and the kids had cleaned the house big time for us! If not for our ward family and Jed we would have been a lot worse off as far as taking care of the other three kiddo's so I am grateful to them!
Thanks everyone for your love and support. We are home and hopefully we won't have any more hospitalizations!
Next step is a blood allergy test for Nika.

Book Club

Our ward has a book club that meets once a month. I love to read and it gives me a chance to talk about books that I love and form friendships at the same time.
Plus reading alone, is like going to the movies alone. Sure you are entertained but sharing your take on the film with someone else makes it better. That is why I like the book club... anyhow I just thought I would share what we read this past month. We met on June 4th and besides talking about the book, "In Search of Heaven" by Anita Stansfield. We had a yummy lunch of Pasta Salad, rolls, and lemonade.
A good read and good feed!

As Promsied...

Here are some at bat pictures of Trison taken at his last game on June 7th 2008. His team ended up only loosing twice the whole season which put them in first! Way to go Diamondbacks!
Here Triston hits a base hit! He loves to hit that ball!
These pictures were taken after closing day ceremonies June 20th. He got his trophy and baseball is now officially over. We also had a little team party at Peter Piper Pizza, all the boys got a Diamond Back pennant to hang on their wall, a blue first place ribbon and a baseball with all the boys signatures on it. The coach kept one also and said, that way when the boys make it to the majors she will have the first signed baseball.
Yes we will be playing again next year. Triston wants to play in the minors but we will see. (Minors have the boys pitching the ball, this year it was coach pitch) His coach liked him at the catchers postion but thinks he will make a good pitcher because he apparently has a good arm for his age. I am just happy that he enjoys the sport so much.
Now comes the fall sports and the decision between football and soccer.I will let you all know what he decides!

June 9, 2008

hair day info...

Apparently I do need to say more! *laugh*

This was for school and awesome mom that I am... forgot about it until oh midnight the night before... didn't have time to run out and buy the essentials so I googled a couple of things and found out that I could color Triston's hair and make it stick up by mixing glue water and food coloring! Yeah his hair is a mohawk all the time so not to crazy for him but this is what he wanted and wouldn't take any of my suggestions. (He has gotten to that age!) Last year I put a blond girls wig on him and it was hilarious! But apparently he didn't like the kids calling him a girl so all he wanted was a green do.

With Anja's hair I stuck some skewer sticks in and broke off the pointy part. With some bobby pins and that ribbon I made it stand up. (Originally I wanted to do the pippy longstocking hair but it wasn't working...

By the way Triston's hair washed out the first time and Anja no longer looks like a maypole...

I was worried about my hand being forever green but after about 50 hand washes (in a row) I came out clean!

June 7, 2008

Crazy Hair Day - May 28th 2008

Really... need I say more....

June 5, 2008


So Anja graduated from Kindergarten on May 27th. We were excited that she did so well in Kindergarten. Out here in AZ the cutoff date for school is Sep. 1st. and Anja just missed that as her birthday is September 14th. I knew she was so ready and so I had her tested and put into Kindergarten. At first she had a hard time adjusting and told me she liked her old preschool better. (She missed the Playdoh I think)
But by the end of this school year her teacher told me she was ready for first grade. Not only that but she said she had never had a student make such a big turn around from the beginning of the school year, "GO ANJA!"
Ben thinks Kindergarten graduations are so lame and I have to admit to thinking that way a bit as well. However when you see all those cute little faces in their black paper graduation caps and they start marching down the aisle to "Pomp and Circumstance" you can't help get a little choked up. Your mind starts racing to the fact that your child is propelling into the future at a rate that seems way too fast. What happened to my little baby!
What a bendy arm shot...reminds me of Aunt Davianne.
Giving her advice to the incoming Kinders... "Walk in the Classroom and be gentle with the animals." Great advice indeed!
All the graduating Kinders from all three Faith North classrooms
Her teacher brought each child up and told everyone what special character quality they had. She said that Obedience was Anja's trait. She does what she is told whenever an adult asks her to do something. Ben turned to me at this point excited and said " We have one!"
All the kids got up and sang a song set to the tune of "New York, New York" it went a little something like this... "Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today... I want to be a part of it 1st grade 1st grade!" It had other cuter verses but I can't remember them all and since Anja is in bed I can't ask her... anyhow at the end they started doing the Rockette's kicky leg thing.
Here she is getting her official diploma.
Getting a congratulations hug from Oma
And mommy...
And the whole affair ended with ice cream! Awesome finale! Liam sure thinks so!
I love his ooooo face! Did I tell you or did I tell, he is a little monkey!
Ben was there too! Proud of his daughter and annoyed at me for taking his picture! Love you HusBEN!
One last shot before the summer... Anja and Mrs. Karklins

Brave woman! She had Triston, Anja and starting in August....(play jaws theme music in your head......) NIKA.

June 2, 2008

Chocolate Covered WHAT?

Ok I love chocolate as much as the next girl but this is seriously gross!

Yes that sign says chocolate covered bacon....

Anja my DAISY

So I think I remember blogging last year that Anja was starting girl scouts. She started last November and had her little end of the year celebration last Tuesday the 27th of May. Well she was a Daisy Scout and she loved it. It was only two days a month and some field trips but the troop is made up of a bunch of little girls from her class at church and so she had fun socializing. This past Tuesday was a busy day for us. It was Pajama day at school and this girl scout graduation was at 2pm. (Anja was the only one in her troop to still be in school as most districts got out the week earlier) So Ben picked Anja up early from school and brought her to her leaders house. We were invited to come an hour later for the presentation.
This is in front of her leaders house she has this huge sunflower growing and I had to take a picture!This is her whole troop holding up hand made pictures of the things they liked best about being a DAISY scout.Anja drew a picture of her and her friends and thought the best part of being a DAISY was earning the little petals to make a Daisy on her tunic.This is her getting her awards, pins and petals from her leader.
And this is the new way she smiles for me when I whip out my camera....

I am so glad for the ladies in my ward who decided to start this troop it has been so great for Anja. This has helped her become more confident and she has just blossomed this past year.

June 1, 2008

Triston new Career

So I realized that I don't have a whole lot of pictures of Triston playing baseball. This could be that as a family we all come watch the games and there isn't a whole lot of opportunities to take pictures while wrestling with children who think the bleachers is a new type of metal jungle gym. Or maybe because I only have one small lens that just doesn't zoom in as far as I would prefer. Whatever the reason. I finally took some pictures of Triston's game on May 21st so I thought I would share.
His coach usually has the kids switch positions to try different things out but she thought that he did awesome at Catcher (he is one of a few kids on his team that can throw accurately and far enough to get it back to the pitcher in order to keep the game moving along) so for four or five games now he has been catcher. This also helps keep his attention in the game (when he was in the outfield he would get really bored.)
Anyhow so here he is as catcher.

I was excited to bring my camera this time around for one other reason. After each game the coach gives out a game ball to the player who had the best play. Not neccesarily a hit but maybe an out or something good like that. Well Triston got his first game ball. She said it was because he did such a great job as Catcher and helped with so many plays and just for an all around good job. It was neat! We have a lot of fun at the games and I have been surprised at how much this sport has grown on me. The season will be up in a few games so I need to remember to get some shots of him swinging. I'll post them in the future...
For now here is a cute shot of Nika being bored and hot at her brothers game