Tuesday, May 28, 2013


i'm trying to get back into the swing of things after being on vacation for a week, but i'm just not feeling the motivation to do anything responsible. so instead of unpacking, doing laundry, cleaning or making my grocery list while the kids nap, i'm blogging. but not about my trip, because there's too many pictures to deal with right now! 

it's been a rough morning with the kids. i think they are still tired from our fun vacation (filled with non-stop playing, late nights and not good enough naps) and they're having a hard time getting back into the swing of things too. and on these rough days, where the whining seems constant and my patience wears thin, it is so easy for me to doubt how i'm doing with this whole motherhood thing. it really is such an amazing responsibility and trust that is placed in us to nurture, love and teach these precious little people. and there is so much to teach! a little while ago i was talking with my friend mindy. it was while emma was in the midst of all her crazy medical issues and yet i wasn't really worried. neither mindy or i are big worriers, but we both agreed that the thing we worry most about (regarding our kids) is their spiritual well-being. i worry and wonder how i can best teach them the gospel, help them develop their own testimonies and relationship with the savior, help them recognize the joy that comes from living the gospel, how to instill in them a desire to be obedient and follow the counsel from our prophet. i want them to love the gospel like i do and feel the true joy and real peace that comes from living it like i have. and really, of all the things that i can teach my kids, these are the most important. these are the things that will bless them in their day to day life and eternally. so no pressure, right?! luckily conversion is a process (and a lifelong one at that), and i know that our efforts, made consistently and prayerfully, will bless them in learning and loving the gospel and the lord for themselves as they grow. and it's exciting and encouraging to see that some things are actually sinking in! 
i love to hear the scripture stories that logan comes home from church and tells us (some of his favorites: daniel and the lion's den, baby moses, joseph smith's first vision, the israelites being fed manna in the wilderness, david and goliath, samuel the lamanite prophesying of christ's birth). i'm so grateful for his wonderful primary teachers. just a couple of days ago, out of nowhere, logan began quoting a scripture (amos 3:7) and i couldn't believe it (he also pulled it out this morning, right after he was being super whiny and i was about to lose it. good move logan! it softened the moment and made me smile). i love to hear emma request "jesus" ("i'm trying to be like jesus") every night for her bedtime song and listen to her sing along. i love that she recognizes pictures of the temple. and while these are such simple things, it's a reminder to me that the little things we do matter and that kids are never too young to start learning (i was reminded of this when elder l. tom perry, an apostle, encouraged us to begin teaching our children the gospel "at cradle side"). 
i wanted to write down one last experience so i wouldn't forget. we tried to teach logan why we celebrate easter, but it was a little challenging. resurrection seems a bit abstract, when trying to teach a 3 year old (teaching the true meaning of christmas was a lot easier :) but a couple weeks after easter we had a sweet experience. a lady in our ward, who is like the kids' "church grandma," had been gone for a couple of months taking care of her sick sister. her sister passed away and i told the kids that gerri was coming back and that they'd get to see her on sunday. i told logan she was feeling really sad though because her sister had died. he sweetly and innocently said, "it's ok, because she'll be resurrected!" on a separate occasion, while driving past gerri's apartment building logan said to dave, "there's gerri's building. she's sad because her sister died, but she'll be resurrected." 
it's no wonder we're commanded to become like a little child! i'm grateful for these sweet moments and the reminder that heavenly father will help us in our efforts to teach them about him. after all, they are his!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

slice of life: ordinary days

we all love when daddy comes home!
i think making forts or "tents" is one of the kids favorite things to do
my little acrobats! 
photography by logan
dave rocks! we need to have another girl because he is so good at pampering them. he does hair and nails!
 "hiding" from daddy when he got home from work
these two love to help in the kitchen
donut break on our mommy/son bike date
(btw, donut breaks are totally better than water breaks)
getting tested for a peanut allergy is exhausting!
 enjoying a new bath toy from great grandma lorrie

 this picture kills me! i think there is a little something going on with these two!
 and to prove dave and i exist ;)
dave was shaving off his beard and decided to make the process disgusting exciting!

emma's surgery (and the story behind it)

little did we know when emma was born and had some medical issues right away, that it would be a foreshadowing for the first 2 years of her life (and hopefully that's all). luckily all of her "medical issues" have played out much like that first one after she was born...seemingly a big deal initially that in the end has turned out just fine (although with a lot of doctors appointments mixed in and medical expenses we weren't planning on). thank goodness she has proven to be a fantastic patient (the doctors and nurses often comment on what a good patient she is). 
just a recap of some of her "more serious" medical issues/scares (which have included 3 ER visits, although i swear there was a 4th that i can't remember):
1st ER visit: when she was only 2.5 days old
2nd ER visit: just shy of her 1st birthday when we discovered she was allergic to peanuts. 
we were hoping she would be one of the lucky few to outgrow her peanut allergy (only a 20% chance), but no such luck. she was retested last week and is still allergic :(
3rd ER visit: after getting into a bottle of my father-in-law's prescription medicine. this was our first time calling poison control. although she seemed fine, at about 5am she woke up wide-eyed and shaking and dave took her to the er. luckily they were home a couple of hours later since it just seemed to be her reaction to some residual amounts of the medicine making its way out of her system.   
then there was the "asthma scare" 
now for the latest and greatest (which really wasn't so great):
in february dave noticed a lump on the left side of emma's neck, right below her jaw. we weren't too worried because she wasn't acting any differently. but we called the pediatrician  and while they thought it was probably a swollen gland or lymph node, they had us bring her in to be checked. they prescribed an antibiotic and did a tb test (i later found out they did the tb test because tb usually manifests itself in children as a lump in the neck area). 2 days later we were back at the pediatrician's office to have the tb test checked. neither the doctor nor i were worried she actually had tb and so i showed up just a few minutes before the office closed, sure they would quickly be sending us on our way. but instead the nurse who came out to check brought us back to meet with a PA. her tb test was right on the border of being positive, so after a PA and 2 doctors looked at it, they decided we should go get a check x-ray (which would show the tb if she had it). the chest x-ray came back clear, but because of the positive tb test our pediatrician's office had to report it to the division of infectious disease. we ended up meeting with both an ENT and a doctor that specializes in pediatric infectious disease. they determined it was most likely atypical tuberculosis, which is not tb, but part of the same micro bacterial family. i was so happy to find a doctor that recommended just monitoring the bump and seeing if it would go away on its own, rather than jumping immediately to a harsh round of medications or surgery. despite all of the uncertainty, i was never really worried about emma. maybe it was my defense mechanism (assuming she was fine and it was nothing too serious), but she was still her happy, energetic little self and was still eating and sleeping great, so to me the whole thing was just one big (and slightly expensive) hassle (seriously, 6 different doctors appointments in 10 days is no fun...especially with 2 toddlers). dave and i are a good balance in that way. he is the worrier (i joke he has the wessler worrying gene) and thinks of every worst-case scenario and i barely worry at all and assume everything is fine! our follow-up appointment wasn't for about 6 weeks and we happily watched as the lump got smaller and smaller. but then it started turning purple and as soon as the doctor saw it at our follow-up appointment he said she would need surgery because the lump was about to start draining   within the next 10 days and that it would be very messy (yuck!) and letting it drain on its own would only prolong the resolution of the problem. so the ent quickly squeezed up in for surgery and on april 23 at 6 am we arrived at rocky mountain hospital for children. we had to wake up this poor little girl at 5:30 am, which just seemed cruel, not to mention we were taking her to get her neck cut open! but she was super cute and did great during all the check-in/pre-op stuff. and i have to say, she looked dang cute in her little hospital gown! 
goodbye little lump!
dave got to wear the "bunny suit" and went in with her while they put her under. he said the thing that seemed to scare her the most was seeing all of the people in the OR with their masks on! but she held the mask on herself (maybe those worthless nebulizer treatments were good for something. she wasn't scared of the mask) and the anesthesiologist said she did as well as they could hope for going under. and then came the waiting...
the surgery ended up taking about twice as long as expected (nearly 3 hours) because there were a lot more "masses" than anticipated once the surgeon got inside. and they went a lot deeper than expected. she also had some masses connected to arteries (like the carotid artery) that had to be carefully removed. having surgery take longer than expected never seems to be a good thing and of course only added to our anxiety, but we couldn't be more pleased with our experience at this hospital. about 15 minutes before we expected surgery to end, the head of the OR came out to let us know that while everything was going great, it was going to take longer than expected. then the nurse who did all emma's pre-op stuff came out to check on us and then we got 2 phone calls from a nurse in the OR letting us know it was going to take a little longer and when they were wrapping up. it sure helped ease our anxiety to be kept so well informed. because the surgery was more extensive than expected, they had to put a drain in emma's neck and we had to stay the night in the hospital. 
as soon as she started waking up after surgery we were allowed back to see her. she  was definitely disoriented, although the nurses said as she was waking up and saw them she sweetly said, "hi." the poor thing was starving since she hadn't had anything since dinner the night before. so she got to enjoy a slushy that she insisted eating on her own. we enjoyed some good cuddle time as she continued to come out of the anesthesia and they monitored her. 
emma was an all-star patient! she relaxed a little (although would not take a nap), watched tv, had snacks, played cars, read books and danced around her room! no joke! we were a little concerned she was going to fall down because she still seemed a little unsteady on her feet. but she did not want to be held. without the huge bandage on her neck, you would never have guessed she had just had surgery. she seemed much too happy! she charmed all of the nurses, who i don't think were used to having such a healthy, happy patient (the nurses were awesome)! 
the gauze started coming out from under her bandage and i had to take a picture of how bloody it was. sorry if that's disgusting ;)
logan had been at my parent's house since the night before and came to visit emma later in the afternoon. after a little while in the hospital room he was ready to get out and so he and dave went for an adventure. they explored the hospital and logan let dave know what he should take pictures of :) 
it didn't take her long to get dressed up when we got home. she also enjoyed the stethoscope we got to bring home from the hospital. she really has been a rockstar! we've noticed some little personality changes since she's gotten home, like crying for no reason, getting really upset quite easily and crying when we put her down to bed, but little by little she's getting back to normal. we're so grateful for how resilient little people are! and no doubt for the power of the priesthood and the prayers of many!
the surgeon did an amazing job of where she made the incision. you can hardly see it when she has her head down! this is about a week and a half after the surgery and it is healing so well!
hey emma, could we take a break from medical issues for awhile?!