Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Broken Bones and Broken Streaks

We've had a pretty eventful week.  

Lillian was concert master with the Utah Valley Symphony last night and the concert was amazing.  The conductor of the Philharmonia group (the more advanced group) was the most flamboyant conductor I'd ever watched.  He jumped up and down, moved through space like a dancer, and energized the entire concert.  He must work out a lot to be able to keep up that energy as long as he did.  

Michael went on his first Klondike campout in the cold and came home excited and happy. He's not a huge camping or outdoors guy, so the fact that he enjoyed camping in below-freezing temperatures? Huge.

Oh, and then there was this . . .

Yeah, so not fun.  Allison and her roller blades had a little argument with the sidewalk on Saturday. From the above, you can probably tell the sidewalk won.

After sixteen years of parenting and nine kids, would you believe this is our first broken bone?

She was in a lot of pain and pretty distressed.  Sarah was with her and called us from a nearby house, then DH took her over to Urgent Care, where they said they couldn't do anything for her and sent her on to the ER (DH's comment?  "What good is Urgent Care if they can't even take care of a broken bone?").

After they'd been there about a half hour, Sarah called to ask me to come over, saying Allison really wanted me there.  Sarah was as upset as Allison.  So I went over and DH took Sarah home. I rubbed Allison's feet to take her mind off her throbbing wrist, then after a bit, they came and gave her an IV before taking her in to get X-rays. The IV went right in her elbow and she hated that and complained more about it than the broken wrist, which by then wasn't hurting as much. Her arm was a wavy line at the wrist rather than a straight one, and the X-rays showed both bones broken clear through. After more time waiting, they gave her zofran and morphine, then put her to sleep and I watched, cringing, as the doctor pushed and pulled her arm to set the bones back in place. They were in a large room with four or five people assisting. They had an X-ray machine they used to check to see their progress along the way and when it was close enough, they splinted the whole thing. I waited another hour as she groggily came out of the anesthesia and then anxiously wanted to go home. I applied a bit of pressure to get them to remove the IV as soon as possible, and she ate a cracker and drank some Sprite before we headed home. She was super hungry, so Sarah and DH had driven to Dairy Queen and got her a burger, fries, and a pecan cluster Blizzard. She devoured them last.  We had her sleep in the guest bedroom last night and Sarah wanted to sleep right next to her and help.  DH slept on the couch so he could help her. She had a really hard time sleeping, even though her pain was managed pretty well. She finally fell asleep around 2 a.m. on the couch, where she could lean her arm up without feeling so strange.

She's been doing great since then.  We see a doctor tomorrow and probably will get a cast at that point.  In the meantime, she's had such a great attitude.  She's been cleaning up her room and helping with laundry, all one-handed.  She seems determined not to claim helplessness, though she did ask her teacher if she could get out of assignments.

* * *
Speaking of broken streaks, I'm almost 15 weeks pregnant, which in past pregnancies has marked the gradual dividing line between horrible, awful, no-good, very bad days, and feeling great.  Usually, my first trimester is an endurance game, where I force myself off the couch through sheer willpower, get the basics done, and feel rotten through at least every afternoon and evening and often mornings too.

The first trimester has never been my friend.  I've usually endured it by counting down the days and weeks and just doing the best I can.

But not this time.

This time, I have felt awesome.  I'm a little more tired than usual, but otherwise, I've felt great.

My secret?  A new anti-nausea drug called Diclegis that is actually working.  I was skeptical because I've tried Zofran in the past with disappointing results.  But this stuff is amazing, I tell you.  I know because there have been days when I forget to take my second dose and around 3 p.m. I am suddenly overcome by overwhelming nausea.  The kind where you want to lie down in a dark room and not emerge for a few days.  But I take the medicine and within an hour, I feel great again.  Magic.

The drug itself is a slow-release combination of Unisom and B6.  I've had friends who have told me they've used Unisom in the past with good anti-nausea effects but it made them tired.  The nice thing about this stuff is that it doesn't make you sleepy.

It's been pretty awesome to feel great, especially when my first trimester encompassed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the rest.

I've kept up my 6-day exercise habit through the pregnancy, running three days a week, doing weights one day, and then doing the elliptical, hiking, or yoga the other days.  It's been a while since I've done yoga and I'm happily adding it back to my life.  I've missed it.

Despite the exercise, I've gained a little more weight than usual in my first trimester (it's hard to gain a lot of weight when the smell of food makes you gag).  But on the bright side, I'm finally looking pregnant instead of just fat!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

One a Day, Week Three


Packing snacks for California Daddy Trip

Katie with her (3rd cousin once removed?) Tennyson

New playdough!


Helping Mom clean up after the studio painting project

All finished with the painting

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Split Vacations

I showed up on Sunday with just three kids -- Katie, Cami, and Joey.  A couple of new friends of ours, knowing that our daughter had talked about a California trip, seemed concerned, "Wait, how come you didn't go on the trip?"

Friends that have known us for a long time hardly noticed.  Splitting up the family for shorter trips is kind of how we roll around here.  We've been doing Daddy Trips for almost a decade, and it's one of my favorite traditions.  For a few days to a week, my husband takes most of the older kids on an adventure, while I get time at home to enjoy a quieter pace of life.  I usually catch up on projects, both the fun kind and the onerous.

We usually do one big Daddy trip each summer, and it's a doozy of a trip.  DH will carefully map out a route through several states, with stops for tent-trailer camping and attraction-visiting along the way.  Last summer, they hopped their way up the California coastline (I don't think I ever blogged the photos of that trip -- sorry!).  In 2013, they headed to San Francisco.  In 2011, they went through Nevada, California, and Oregon.   Typically, DH takes all the kids older than three.  The last few years, one of the older kids has often stayed home, either by preference or because they had another commitment that they wanted to hit.  It's been a wonderful combination -- I get all the rest of having just a few littles around, but with the bonus of having an older one around to watch them while I run, do errands, or work on projects.  And I enjoy spending one-on-one time with the older one as well. And they don't complain about a week of Subways and pizza ('cause it's hardly worth cooking for a just a few kids)

We still do trips with the whole family.  It's part of our family culture to travel a lot, though with kids in middle school and high school, it's getting hard to get away with everyone -- we have no problem with elementary school kids missing a few days here and there, but the older ones, especially Lillian, have tougher classes and a harder time catching back up.  So we do what works.  At least once a year, we take the whole family somewhere for a week.  But other times, such as when we can only get away for a weekend, one of us will take a group of kids and enjoy the time and memories.

It's a good way to balance the many ages and stages of all of our children.  It's really easy to travel with the 6-and-older crowd, not so fun with the toddlers and babies.  So we do more camping, longer hikes, and more location-hopping with the older ones, while saving our family trips for times when we can go and stay put for a week.  To me, it's just not worth driving nine or more hours with the littlest ones just to turn around and do the drive again a few days later.

But back to this weekend.  DH joined another family and brought six of our kids to California.  They used the boogie boards Santa brought us this year, hung out on the beach, swam, and had a great time.

Meanwhile, I did two photoshoots (a newborn and an extended family), and tackled a painting and caulking project.
This "little" guy was over 9 lbs at birth!

When we finished our upstairs last year, the painters only finished the rooms with carpet, leaving us to do the baseboards in the rooms with hardwood.  We'd traded for the work, and that was the amount of hours they had to give us.  So while our hard floors looked awesome, all the nail holes and the gaps between the baseboards and the walls looked pretty cruddy, including in my studio area.  So I filled in all the nail holes and caulked just about everywhere, only stopping when I ran out of caulk.

I also painted two sections of my studio, increasing the flexibility I have in there for backgrounds. I chose a beautiful deep navy for one area, and a chocolate brown for the other.  I'm loving them both.

Katie enjoyed helping me clean up afterwards.  The new blue is on the left, the brown on the right.

I grabbed a couple of handy models to test out the colors in use.

Yep, I'm loving it!  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sledding (Wordless Wednesday)

We got our first big snowstorm of the season 2 a.m. Christmas Morning.  The day after Christmas, we took advantage of the snow to enjoy some sledding.  


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