Thursday, March 27, 2014

8:30 Tip Off on a School Night

A dear friend of our family has season tickets to the Utah Jazz.  She is the ultimate fan and its darling.  The problem with season tickets is that there are a LOT of games.  In the past she used to give my dad the tickets she couldn't use because she had a conflict that night.  He in turn would give them to my brothers in law since he couldn't walk up the stairs or sit in those seats for so long. 

After Pops died she asked my sister if he had ever used those tickets and she told her that he had given them to whoever could go.  So K said that we still needed to get her extra tickets.  This year on top of her tickets she had gotten promotional tickets for quite a few of the games that she gave us.  Back in January, Keegan and I had gone to a game which happened to be the one where they retired Jerry Sloan's jersey.  I loved that game because I was Jazz fan in the 90's when it was Stockton and Malone. They were both at the game along with a lot of former players.  We had a blast and Keegan found out he really liked going to basketball games.  I told him we had another set of tickets and he was so excited.

I put the date of the game on my calendar but didn't pay much attention to the time.  Then I looked the other day and gasped when I saw that tip off was at 8:30 PM.  The previous game had the same time but it was a Friday night so no biggie.  This game was on a Wednesday!  And a Wednesday after a very long day at work. And a day where Keegan had woken up at 4:30 AM with a nightmare and not gone back to sleep.

So yes, I dragged my kid out on a school night to see a basketball game.  Judge away but I would do it again. 

Walking from the parking lot to the stadium he chatted non-stop.  His eyes were glowing and he couldn't wait to get in there.  He was really hoping the Jazz would win (they lost the last game).

As promised we got him some treats- I was hoping for a beer but ran out of hands- and found our seats.  K has really nice seats for upper bowl. 

For a kid who has sensory issues, it is amazing to watch him get into all the chaos of a stadium game.  He loves when they play the defense music and show the pictures on the jumbo tron.  He watches for cues to yell louder and goes right along with it.  He is a much better date for a basketball game than his dad ever was (my husband is not into sports at all).

Originally I had thought that if the game isn't too close we might be "those people" and leave early.  At the beginning of the 4th the Jazz were up 15.  That would have been a good time to leave but we were having too much fun.  But then they lost the lead and eventually lost the game.  A friend of mine reminded me they are a young team and so that is how you can lose a 15 pt lead in 10 minutes. 

I did manage to get a beer at half time.  Draft Shock Top baby!  I let Keegan get a basketball (I'm a sucker).  As we were leaving I said "that was a good game even if they lost."  Keegan made me so proud when he said "It doesn't matter who wins as long as everyone plays fair and its a good game."  Seriously where did this kid come from?  He has grown so much the past 4 months.

So we might have gotten home at midnight and then he was so excited he had a hard time falling asleep.  I might be exhausted beyond belief today.  And I might rip someone a new one because when I am this tired I am grouchy.  But it was totally worth it.  Thanks K!




In other news:  1.Keegan has gotten above 90% on his last two spelling tests (really a big accomplishment.  I loved spelling, none of my kids do).  I told him if he did well he could have a treat.  He picked a frozen burrito.  OK then.  2. Brian doesn't have a job yet but has picked up some contract work.  I vacillate between feeling like it will all work out and having panic attacks. 3. Daniel is almost finished with high school.  He's been accepted to the U and will start in the fall- ugh two kids out of the house.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Little Get Away
















When I was entering the days off from school back in the fall I found that there was a rare Friday in which both the boys had the day off. I decided that instead of just just having an extra day off that we would actually do something. I decided to look at booking a hotel in St. George because its close enough (4 hours) but a lot warmer. Since Daniel had been accepted to SUU in Cedar City, I kind of made the excuse that we would use the trip as a chance to check out the campus. I really intended to have him do that but then he got accepted to the U the week before and that was his first choice. Back in January something made me think I should just get a room and pay ahead even though our plans weren't set. I'm glad I did because B got laid off in February and I would have decided to not go if the room hadn't been paid for already.


 Thursday night after Brian's phone interview and Keegan's play practice we jumped in the car for our 4 hour turned into 5 hour drive. We unfortunately hit torrential rain from Salt Lake to Beaver (yes we do indeed have a city named Beaver which is bad enough on its own but you have to go through Fillmore to get to Beaver. Fire away with the jokes we've heard them all). The rest of the drive was great. We didn't really have plans and spent Friday reading, swimming and letting Keegan watch Cartoon Network. Sometimes its really nice to just have a day with no plans. We did find out via FB that Brian's relatives were also in St. George doing the Red Rock Relay (similar to Ragnar but only 65 miles instead of 200). So we made tentative plans to meet up for dinner. Saturday we had plans to go to Zion National Park. Its about 35 miles away so an easy drive. I had wanted to get an early start but I know my crew; they don't do anything fast so getting breakfast and out the door took all morning. Additionally we ended up stopping at the pool for a quick swim before heading out.






My little fish.  He took my snorkel for the whole weekend.

 He is doing a "thumbs down" because I had taught him the diving signals we learned when we went to Cozumel.  He's not saying its bad he's saying hes going under.
 

 After we got Keegan out of the pool. And he did a quick organization of the room (he has this thing with organizing that is really funny but sometimes annoying)  We headed out to Zion. Unfortunately Daniel fell asleep in the car.  When he takes naps he wakes up grouchy with a headache.  The first bit of our adventure was wrought with teenage grumpiness to the max.  We ended up doing a hike that neither Brian nor I had done before.


 






 This is an example of what a grumpy 18 year old looks like.  Lucky for us some Tylenol fixed the headache and the hike out was much more pleasant.
 
 



The contrast from red rock to blue sky is amazing but even more so when the trees have leaves and add the contrast of the green.



 



Don't let this little guy fool you.  He scared the bajeebers out of Keegan when he ran across the path






















 I would have liked to do one more hike but the boys were done so we headed back to the motel where Keegan decided that another trip to the pool was in order.  I was thinking maybe an hour but the outdoor pool was really warm so we ended up out there for two.  Then Brian came down and told us that his cousins were back and they wanted to meet at the pizza place across the street.  We had a great time.  Too much sun, too much swimming or the Wendy's we picked up in Springville?  Who knows but Keegan woke me up at about 10:30 to tell me he felt sick.  Then proceeded to vomit all over the white duvet.  Wonderful mom moment.  Whatever it was it was quick and over.  He felt great once he evacuated his belly.  

I was bummed that we were losing an hour to daylight savings time.  But in the end it didn't matter.  They gave us a two hour late check out so we slept a bit late, got breakfast and still got in another hour and half of swimming before we had to leave.  We made the drive home much quicker since it wasn't raining.  And now two days later, we woke up to SNOW!  Its been a warmer winter so its fine.  But really I'm done with snow for this year.  












 





Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Little Things

The past few months I have seen a huge improvement with Keegan.  Sometimes you don't know how hard things are until they get better.

Because as mom's we judge each other (even though we shouldn't) many people think that what I am seeing as improvement should be considered bad behavior and poor parenting.  Lucky for them they have never had the opportunity to parent a child who has disabilities/deficits/delays whatever you want to call them.  I wish that wasn't my life but then I would be wishing away a little person who I love more than anything.

We are now to the point that a transition from an activity can be done in about 15 minutes (as long as there had been warning) and it is generally with little difficulty.  At 9 yes, a child should be able to transition and comply that has been a very hard thing for my little guy.  So hard that I used to have to give myself 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to get him to get in the car or go upstairs for bed or whatever needed to happen.  Then even with that much time it usually ended with him throwing a 2 year old fit.  I think the combo of age, maturity, behavioral therapy and a better medication for his ADHD we are getting somewhere.

Last week at the psychologist's appointment he told her he likes therapy now, he participated and we had a good time.  She told me as he was leaving that she could see improvement and that he was getting it.  This is the psychologist who I think felt like she couldn't help him.  She had called me after a very bad appointment and said that I might want to consider a different type of therapy.  I'm glad we stuck it out because I think we all learned from patience.

Yesterday the psychiatrist had him in for a med check and she too said he was soooooo much more grounded.  He thought she said he was grounded and couldn't figure out why he was in trouble.  I love this psychiatrist because she really likes to stay minimal on medications and try other things to compliment the drugs.

When we got home he decided that he was going to make dinner.  There was a slight set back when I cut the bread the wrong way and it made him very angry but he recovered fairly quickly and went back to his plan.  He made broth, salad, tea and I made banana bread.  Not exactly your most filling meal but it was great.  We wrote down the recipes for everything he made and are going to put them in a cookbook for him.

He made sure our dinner was enjoyable by setting the table using my good china and my grandma's tea cups.

He is a challenge but such a delight. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

That's Respectful, Right?

Oh my sweet Keegan.  He used to love Legos.  We would go to the store and he would ask for a new Lego; "not a spensive one"  I used to lament that the problem with Legos is that they come out with a new series constantly.  The past 5-6 months he has gotten away from the lego which makes me sad.  As much as I hate how many pieces they have and I really hate them on the floor in the dark; I love the creativity they inspire.

With two boys who went through a Lego phase we have a lot of Legos around the house.  I've tried many way to corral them but still make them available for play.  I've always felt that they take time to create and so there should be a place where they lego in progress can be left out when play time is over.  I never wanted my kids to spend hours creating a masterpiece only to have me come in and say, "sorry you spent hours working on that but now you have to disassemble it so the room is clean." Last weekend I invested in an IKEA storage system with pull out bins.  I got ever single Lego into the bins and the only other thing I would like is to get the sorter thingy so they are in bins by size but who knows if that will happen.

When Keegan got home from school I asked him if he liked the new organizer.  He said "well, I don't really play with legos as much anymore like I used to when I was younger.  I think it looks good but I won't use it very much anymore.  But don't worry, I won't make you take it down because you worked hard putting it together and it looks nice."  Then he looked up and said "That is being respectful, right?"   Oh sweetie, yes, that was respectful to recognize that I put time effort and money into that thing.  I'm happy he is learning respect and sad he is getting big and not as interested in Legos.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Living in Utah

As I was driving in to work I got to thinking that I've only worn a coat maybe 10 times since October.  I'm pretty sure it's been a warmer than average winter and I'm a Utah Girl which means that coats are generally reserved for days that are less than about 20 degrees.  Gloves and hats get brought out when its below 15.  If it goes above 35 short sleeves and shorts are commonly seen.  I draw the line there because these white and frequently unshaven legs don't need to be seen this time of year.

I grew up here and I planned to leave for college but it didn't work out for me.  I got accepted to a school in Oakland CA and they gave me a financial aid package.  I turned it down.  My dad was sick, my parents had no extra money, I was dating someone, it was for a music major and I wasn't 100% sure of that path, I was scared and the college was so small that it looked like Girl Scout Camp.  So I did a late admission to the University of Utah and stayed.  Do I regret it?  Most of the time no.  It would be nice to see what its like to live somewhere else but in general I like it here.  I love the dry air; humidity kills me.  I can handle heat and cold because its not intensified by humidity.  We have mountains and can be somewhere to ski in 15-20 minutes.  There is plenty to do every season.  And we have all four although I frequently hear people say that we don't really have Spring.  Its Spring enough in my humble opinion.

Growing up in Utah as a Catholic was maybe a bit of a challenge.  When I was in 1st grade my sister came home from school and said her teacher was talking about how "some people are bad and drink alcohol; like Catholics."  The very next year, my sister and brother were attending St. Vincent and I was on the waiting list to get in (I was on the list one year and then I was able to start in 3rd grade- that is pronounced terd grade BTW when you have Irish nuns for teachers).  I had a friend from my neighborhood tell me that I was a devil worshiper because I was Catholic.  Those are really the only two "damaging events" of my childhood.  We did have all the quirkiness of: coffee is evil, you may have polygamists in your class/neighborhood (we did), figuring out the difference between a ward and a stake when everyone else has parishes or synagogues.  Green jello is a food group.  Having tourists ask you if you are Mormon and then when you say no they ask if you can point out a Mormon (sure, but they don't have horns, very few are polygamists, they don't wear prairie dresses and yes, they are very nice normal people.)  I have way too many friends and family who are Mormons to make it an "us vs them" situation.  Yes I drink my wine, beer and hard alcohol.  As much as I would like to be able to get at least wine in the grocery/convenience store, I plan ahead and make sure I have a stock on hand.  I go to the liquor store about once a month and just get extra.  It's generally fine.  I just pass up the green jello.  I hate jello.  My father in law claims that he has the Jello gene.  He grew up Mormon in Central Utah so it was a staple for him.  Even though he left the church long ago he can't shake the Jello.  My husband has the gene too......  In their defense, my Irish Catholic grandmother used to make green Jello with carrots and raisins so its not just and isolated gene.  I just got lucky and it passed me up.

All in all I guess I have to say the even though it would be nice to have the experience of living elsewhere I am content with my life here in Utah.  I have friends, most of my family, and a supportive community.  Plus the scenery is amazing.

20 minute drive to the basin.  Because it is a "bowl" snow pack lasts longer and results in the most amazing wildflowers.
Greatest Snow on Earth


 It takes about three hours to get to the desert but it is well worth the drive.
The Salt Lake from the north.  Yes, it stinks from the brine shrimp and the South side doesn't have good beaches.  But if you make the trip to Antelope Island the scenery is amazing and it doesn't have the smell.


Lake Powell.  Probably my favorite place in Utah
 In contrast to the desert we have beautiful forests

Warm water lakes make for great places to hike, swim, ski and boat.

Friday, January 17, 2014

18

Eighteen years ago my second child and first son was born.  That was a rough time for everyone because my mother in law had committed suicide a mere 4 months before he was born.  We were all struggling with moving forward and the "new normal."

I had gestational diabetes just like I had with Kate but this time I was diet controlled.  I might have been allowed to go into labor on my own except for the fact that he decided to be a persistent transverse lie.  If position is good, you can negotiate a breech deliver but there is just no way that a baby can come out sideways.  At 39 weeks we made arrangements for Kate who was three at the time and headed up for an external version and induction.  The version was done with medication to relax the uterus, ultrasound for position and three doctors hand over hand rotating him into position.  It was hard but it worked and he was head down.

We were then admitted and pitocin was started.  But after about an hour my doctor came in and said that she had consulted with another doctor who thought it would be best if we went home for a few hours and then came back in the evening to start with a cervical ripener.  So they took out my IV but left me with a hep-lock (my doctor said she felt safe with me going out and about with a lock in since I hadn't been an IV drug user up until that point and it was pretty unlikely that I would start in those few hours).  We went up to anesthesiology to tell my father in law the new plan and he took one look at me and said "the baby moved back to sideways"  I didn't believe him.......

Since Kate was with my parents we went and got lunch then went to see a movie.  We decided on Clueless since we wanted a no brainer and funny.  I don't remember getting popcorn (and I wouldn't have had any due to the diabetes) but Brian says we did.  This becomes important so don't think that was a random "squirrel" sentence.

Around 5:00 PM we headed back up and started the process over.  But first my doctor did an ultrasound and sure enough he had moved back to a transverse position.  So we got a two for one special on the external version.  My doc had come back in with her new baby so she brought him in to do a baby voo doo turn head down dance. It was cute.

At some point, my husband started complaining about his tooth hurting.  I was mad; this was my day to have unconditional support and attention and there he was in the corner moaning.  Later that evening my father in law came up with Kate and my brother in law who was about 13.  Brother in law turns on the TV and sits on the end of the bed (I nearly killed him) and then my daughter starts asking me about every machine in the room (She was in her unending "why" stage).  I was trying to concentrate and this is going on!   My father in law took one look at Brian and asked what the heck was going on.  He said he had popcorn stuck in his wisdom tooth and it was killing him.  His dad told him to let him see it.  Apparently he had an abscess in his wisdom tooth (I still question the popcorn and wonder if it was a fluke)  So my father in law asked one of the nurses to get an epidural kit and bring it in.  What?!  I'm trying to have an unmedicated birth here and he's calling for a kit.  He tell Brian to stand against the wall and open his mouth.  He then took the epidural needle and bent it in such a way then used it to puncture the abscess.  I just saw him use one hand to push Brian forehead against the wall so he couldn't move and then he was done.  Well that did the trick and with an ibuprofen Brian was better able to be a supportive husband again.  Everyone left and it was quiet and peaceful again.

It was a loooooong labor.  The drugs used for a version relax the uterus so if you do that twice and then give it pitocin to contract it rebels.  I ended up with what is called prodomal labor.  Ineffective contractions, lack of movement due to the monitor and a baby who hadn't really descended are all a bad combination.  See I know all that now but at the time I had just barely graduated with my BS and I was several years out from working in maternity education. I would have done so many things different if I only knew.

Not a lot happened over the next 20 hours.  I remember that 4 people in the room next door delivered babies.  I finally told my nurse I had a bum room and I wanted to move next door.  She didn't get my sense of humor and told me that all the other women were on their 4th or 5th baby and things progress faster.  I knew that but I was trying to make a joke.

Around 4:00 PM the next day my nurse told me that she was really concerned about the tracing and was thinking I may end up with a crash cesarean.  She didn't want me to have to get general anesthesia if that happened and suggested that I might want to think about an epidural.  This particular nurse went on to be a midwife, she went to our church and her brother had gone to school with my husband.  She had all our best interests at heart.  And really, I was done.  We were at 24 hours of induced labor with no progress and I had no medication on board.  So I agreed to the epidural and it was what I now call a good use of epidural for labor.  I progressed very quickly from a 4-10.  I asked to wear off the epidural to push and Greg (anesthesiologist) was not happy.  He thought I should leave it alone.  Now we have PCA pumps and it wouldn't have been an issue.  I began the lovely process of pushing feeling like we were close.  All the while the heart tracings were not good.  My doctor was doing PH sampling to decide if and when to call it.

I was getting close and we started to think that maybe we would have a baby soon when my doc raced in the room and said "I'm sorry but the PH is not good we are crashing."  They threw scrubs at Brian and as I was wheeled past the nurses desk they said "her dad is on the phone and wants to know what is going on."  Brian hadn't been very good at calling them and so they didn't really have any clue why things were taking so long.  That has always been a sore spot with my mom.  Brian doesn't do well in an emergency so he grabbed the phone and muttered something about the OR and he'd call back.  Greg was paged to come re-dose the epidural and he was not happy.  He was in the middle of a study with my future new mother in law and didn't want to have to leave (see what you find out when you have an in)  My doc said that they would try two pulls with forceps and that was it.  Lucky for me on the second pull D was born and given an APGAR of 2.  From my view there was a lot of commotion, someone banged on a window and then it looked like they threw him across the room to someone.  Brian saw a very purple (he says black), limb baby who didn't cry.  He did have the foresight to ask if it was a boy or girl.  They took the second to tell us he was a boy before they passed him through the window into the NICU.  It wasn't until I found out his other APGARS were 4 and 6.  They never do a third APGAR unless the second one isn't good.  He spent about an hour in the NICU and then he rebounded to a 9 APGAR and they brought him to me in recovery.  He breastfed right away and then we moved to post partum.

This was the period of time when they were doing 24 hr stay for vaginal deliveries.  My doctor fought the insurance to get us a 48 hour stay because she felt that with such a long labor and a baby with low scores we should stay.  I was so glad she did that for us.

Daniel was a much moodier child than Kate.  He also ended up having a fine motor delay and inattentive Attention Deficit  and who knows if that is all genetic or due to birth trauma.  Either way its a non-issue.  He has had an IEP in school but he will graduate with a very good GPA in June and has been accepted to two Universities.  He plans to major in biology and epidemiology.  He has plans to work in bioengineering or genetics.  He is one smart cookie and will do well.

He is shy and introverted but has a great sense of humor.  He's still a bit moody and his little brother drives him crazy but he rebounds well.  Never an athletic kid, he excels in music; playing the guitar, clarinet, piano and has an amazing voice.


 ACT photo October 2013.  We had a hard time getting a photo that didn't look like a mug shot.
Sleeping with dad 3 months
Styling it with Uncle R at East Canyon







8 or 9 years old, man Keegan looks like you now


Great school pictures!









First trip to Hawaii- not sure why you look mad





Kate and Daniel 2003






 
All three kids 2004
















 Second trip to Hawaii for Alice's wedding.  Black sand beach.  This was after dad had the dreadful accident and broke three ribs and his collarbone.  You can barely see the sling













Some of my favorite voice recitals (I can't seem to pull them from FB today)

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=3057758799418&l=1358070355357651520
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2246062787525&l=345489454773282929
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2001782040659&l=1679929201396807288
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1780828316954&l=4023889354763650490
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1780723114324&l=1395924276753766768

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Oh Shit, The Elf Found Me!

Over the past few weeks I have shared pretty much every bad cartoon, meme, etc about Elf on a Shelf.  Honestly I have nothing against the guy except that he came out too late in my life to embrace the power.  No I am not an overachiever mom who would do a lot of the things that many moms pin about their elves.  I might however have managed to get him to move on a regular basis.  But alas he was not to be a part of my children's childhood memories.  Really I was just joking.

So on Christmas Eve, I was trying to get everything organized in the kitchen so that we could have dinner with my family when Kate says, "hey mom when did you get an Elf?"  I looked at her perplexed and then said, "oh that's not an elf, you mean the one on the garland above the fireplace?"  "Remember I got it when you were little its just a baby in a Santa hat and it looks cute up there."  "No mom you have an elf, its on the shelf in the living room."  I was in the middle of doing things so I didn't jump up and run into the living room  to see what my daughter was hallucinating about.  Finally my sister said "Liz, there is really and Elf in there."  So I begrudgingly walked into the other room only to find this:




Meet Freddie an Elf who showed up with a note basically calling me a hater.  He says that Elves are not creepy and that I shouldn't be projecting such hate out to the interwebs.  Seriously!  It only took me about 10 minutes to figure out that Freddie came from Kate.  Really it could have been anyone in my family; except my mom who refuses to be on "Spacepage"  yes, she really called it that and she really thought that was the correct word.  But Freddie had also brought some gifts for Daniel, Keegan and Brian.  Freddie actually saved the day because Christmas Eve is very hard on Keegan.  We all get one gift from my family's Christmas draw.  That one gift is like an appetizer, just enough to get him hungry for more.  Kate found the present from Freddie and gave it to him so that he had another gift to open and one that he was sure to love- an annoying orange pillow-GREAT!  This Freddie character is a problem.  First he calls me a hater, me!  I'm the one who tries to be open minded and love everyone.  Then he gets an annoying pillow for Keegan.  I don't think I saw what he brought for D and B...........

So all in all Christmas Eve was a great night.  We had our traditional family party, went to midnight mass and then had our traditional midnight margaritas.  Since Keegan figured out the secret he stayed up to help me put out presents.  He got to join in margaritas with his Shirley Temple and enjoy my favorite part of Christmas- after mass in the wee early hours enjoying the peace of the real meaning of Christmas- love, joy, hope, anticipation  and the birth of Jesus.  As we went to bed Keegan said it all, "being Santa is way funner than going to bed and just getting presents."