Friday, December 31, 2010

What I'm really thinking

When people talk to me these days I am often told, "I have ALWAYS wanted twins."

May I just point something out. This is like telling the kid with crooked teeth, "you're so lucky, I've always wanted braces and headgear." For the record I did tell a kid that once. He didn't like it.

I love my children. I'm grateful for them. But I also would have loved them one at a time....spaced 5 years apart. Just saying. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010


One year ago Chuck and I were driving home from visiting family in Utah. We had a double stroller in the back of our car that my sister gave us. We knew I was pregnant but had not yet been to an ob. "That thing is going to jinx us," Chuck said. During that Christmas break I had also had a dream that I had twins. It terrified me. I wish I remembered it detail. When I was pregnant with Jack I told Chuck that if we ever had twin girls I wanted to name them Blair and McKay after our dads. On January 9th of last year, we went to dinner with a friend of ours. It was the night before we had our first ultrasound. We made jokes about there being twins. An hour before my doctor's appointment the next day I called my mom. I told her I'd be glad when this appointment was over so I'd know there was only one. She laughed and told me, "If you had twins I'll hire you a nanny." When I was probably about 12 I remember a conversation with my mother and my two older sisters. We were talking about my brother who had died of hypo-plastic left heart syndrome. My mom said something about how one of us could have a child with a heart defect. I remember thinking then that it would be me. A few months before I got pregnant I knew something big was about to happen in our lives.
This past year has been the most pivotal year of my life. I think Chuck's as well. It has been the hardest year on our marriage but I know we are more committed to each other than ever. I love him and all my family for the sacrifices they have made for us. I feel a closer bond to my husband, my parents, my siblings, my in-laws and my extended family than I ever have before. I have felt people's prayers in a way that is beyond explanation. I can feel when they are strongest because I experience strength that is not my own. I would hope everyone could experience the power of prayer in this way. My testimony has been tried and tested. Some of beliefs have been shattered and rebuilt. I see myself and my life differently. This year I've learned to look for the Lord's hand in our life and I've realized my faith isn't as strong as it needs to be.
The Lord has done so much to prepare us for the trials we've had this year. When there seemed to be no hope at times, a way was provided. Sometimes we are kept in the dark for a reason. I know there is purpose to the events in my life.

2010 in photo recap: no particular order because I have no idea what I'm doing

Chuck, Lucy and Jack...Hazel never made it into her costume. We only lasted about 7 minutes at our ward Halloween party before we had to leave.
After the babies were born.
My little bro came home from his mission. A highlight of the year. I was so sad I couldn't be there.
Blessing day. Babies with their namesakes.
Hazel's surgery.
Lulu's surgery.
Gammy and Hazel.
Jack spent a lot of this year naked. He loves his "saur" more than anything.
One year ago.
38 weeks pregnant. Happy Birthday girls!
We have so many pictures of Chuck asleep with babies.
Welcome to the world Hazel.
Deathly white. I know.
Here we come 2011. I hope you are ready for us!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Nakie Babies

Hey sis, give me your hand.
I want to eat your hand.
Get way from me crazy!
Geez, what's the big deal?

Everyone is always asking me if the babies love sleeping by each other. If they entertain each other and if they talk in their own little language to each other. The answer would be, "no." They mostly just like to bug the other. They are way more interested in everyone else than each other.

I don't want to go back to Missouri yet but being away from her doctors has been stressful. We have an appointment on Jan. 7. We think she's been gaining good weight but we aren't sure what the expectation for her is. We're really hoping to avoid a feeding tube.

I'll be honest. I wish I could skip next year and jump ahead to 2012. It's going to be really rough for our family. I'm lucky to have such a great support system. I know I couldn't do any of this without them. When Lucy came home at 6 days old she was almost completely asymptomatic. Their was very little difference between the way we treated Lucy and Hazel. As Hazel has gotten older the easier she seems to get but the opposite seems true of Lucy. She's difficult to console, difficult to put to sleep and when we're just too worn out, we still can't let her fuss. I'm definitely not looking forward to her next surgery but I really want it done so we can all just move on with life. I know it's not that simple but some days that's all I can hope for

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Only in Utah could it snow this much and pretty much be gone the next day. I'm glad Jack was able to get out and play in it a little. He mostly just wanted to eat it.

Hazel's New Helmet

She's actually had this new helmet for a couple weeks now. She'll get her next helmet in a few months.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Update from Utah

I'm just sitting here in Utah with Lucy on my lap. We're staying at my parent's house while they are in Mexico with some of my family. Jack's been having a blast playing in the snow and hanging out with cousins. The girls both have colds but are doing okay. We're glad to be able to spread out in a bigger house but even here we're getting cabin fever. I would really just like to take all of my kids out somewhere.

Before we left Hazel got a new helmet. We bling-ed it out for christmas. Lucy also met with the cardiologist before we left. He said that she's fallen off the growth chart for weight. If she doesn't chunk up before Jan. 7 they might put her on a feeding tube. She's now on a high calorie formula so we hope that helps pack on the pounds. In better news her oxygen saturation looked great. This is really important for those numbers to stay high.

I have pictures I need to post but I'll do that later.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lucy GaGa

We made a little dance video of Lucy before her surgery. She's not quite up to dancing yet but she's getting there.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jack Jack

I know my kids are the only thing I write about anymore, but the truth is, they are the most interesting thing about me. I think about my kids constantly. I'm sad that we had to move them so far away from family. So for those of you who don't get to see my kiddies often, here's an overview....

This kid is trouble. He hoards apples and pears. He ate his own feces last week but won't eat anything I make him. He calls Chuck honey because that's what I call him. He knows all his letters and what they say but barely talks. He's all drama all the time. He hates when a lot of people are around, just like his crazy momma. I love that he's never shown any resentment towards his sisters. He tries so hard to be good but is so bad at it. We call him Little Boy or LB for short.


I bonded with Hazel faster than I did with any of my children. She is my funniest child and will probably be my most obnoxious. It's probably fitting she was named after my dad. :) All her nurses always fall in love with her. We call her our little ski jumper because she is always stiff as a board. Even at this early age she totally fake cries. She sounds just like her sister when she cries most of the time but she had this screaming thing that only she can do. I'm a little obsessed with her. I hate that I always get whacked in the head with that helmet whenever I try to kiss those cheeks.


In utero Lucy was baby A. Because I had a C-section, Hazel was pulled out first and Lucy became baby B. I think she may be stepping aside for her sister a lot. She is my sweetest child. I adore her. If it weren't for her heart she'd be my easiest child. She is such a smiley baby which is such a blessing to us. She lights up the room. Of all my children she is the most like Chuck.

Lucy and Hazel have matching dimples on their right cheeks and the both have crazy hairlines. Their cries are really difficult to tell apart. They are more amused by their brother than they are with each other but they love holding hands. Having identical twins is nothing like I expected.

When I became a mother I went through a bit of a crisis. I didn't know who I was anymore. It was really difficult adjusting to life at home. I felt like being a mom wasn't enough. I felt unfulfilled. I am convinced that there is nothing I could be doing that is more important than what I'm doing right now. My children have shown me my weaknesses and shown me my strengths.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our little elves

Lucy's scar is healing up really well. She's almost 4 weeks post-op which means we'll be able to hold her normally again. It's taking her along time to gain her strength back but she's slowly doing better and better.

Hazel's scars are barely noticeable anymore. Our little girls are doing really good.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A note about Lu

Dad, this post is mostly for you because I know you'll ask. After much wailing and nashing of teeth we were able to see Lucy's cardiologist today. I went in there ready to fight to make sure my daughter's issues were listened to but there was no need. I always forget how much I like her doctor and how good he is. She had an echo done to make sure the shunt was working. Lucy has not been doing as well as we expected. She's not eating and her ox sats are dropping faster than they should be among other things. In my gut I feel like something just isn't right. According to the echo everything looked great. She had some leakage around her valves while we were in the hospital that has actually improved. The asked us to go get her blood work done. If her blood work comes back abnormal they may readmit her for a bit. I'm almost hoping for that because the alternative may be something more serious. The echo can't see narrowing of where the sutures were stitched on. If this is the case they may want to do another cardiac cath and balloon dilation to open them up. I asked the doctor to give me some idea of when we could expect her full repair. It wasn't the answer I wanted. He began rambling about all the things that might go wrong about extra surgeries she may need and I felt sick. They weren't just things that might go wrong, they were things that could likely go wrong. Back in May when we found out about Lucy's Tetralogy we were told she'd need two surgeries. It was still scary back then but at least it wasn't so complicated. We really have no idea what to expect from Lucy. I am so grateful for my babies. I am so grateful for my husband who does a far better job mothering than I'll ever do. Even though I have my days where all I can do is feel sorry for myself, I can't deny the miracles I've witnessed this year. The Lord always seems to give us even more than he takes away.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


A few things I'm grateful for....

That my son calls his sisters Woosin and Heyhole.
That Chuck's school didn't make us move to Detroit.
That I was able to see Harry Potter despite all the craziness going on here.
For two succsessful surgeries.
For all the kindness and support people have shown our family.
Magic erasers.
That we're totally awesome at propping bottles now.
That Hazel isn't going to look totally football-headed the rest of her life.
Cute baby socks.
That one day Lucy will be mostly "fixed."
My Mama(who I have to call Gammy, so that Jack doesn't call her Momma).
For ALL of our family.
Cheap rent.
Quiet neighbors.
That we are totally going to buy our pre-cooked turkey this year from Oklahoma Joes (the best BBQ place ever!)

Hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm pretty sure this has been the longest month of my life. I'm glad it is almost over. If I sound super grumpy, it is because I am. I'm just getting over the flu. Good thing we got our flu shots this year. Jack was sick on Wednesday with the flu. He was sick again on Friday after eating his own poo. Gross. I'm just praying the babies don't get sick. Lucy would need to be admitted if she did. Speaking of Lucy, that girl is turning my hair gray. That poor girl is just not herself. When we came home from the hospital she screamed for about a week straight. She still screams way more than is normal. Her chest is contracting and she also isn't eating very well. Today we (well my mom) began calling doctors to see if we could get someone to see her. I hate this process. So first we called the cardiac clinic. They told my mom to call the cardiac nurses hotline. They said this was an issue for our pediatrician. When we called the Pediatrician's office they told us to take her straight to the emergency room. Yeah right. If we were to go to the emergency room we'd have to wait hours with a bunch of sick kids just to be told, everything looks fine, follow up with your cardiologist in 2 weeks. Blurg!
The last day we were in the hospital I had a small meltdown when I realized Lucy's cardiologist wouldn't be coming by to talk to us before she left. I had been waiting all week to ask him questions and our follow up with him wasn't scheduled until Dec. 13. As of now we don't really know when to expect anything. We're not sure when she'll need her next cardiac cath or her next surgery. It's hard to see Hazel so bubbly and happy and know that Lucy won't be like that for awhile.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

We are home!

Lucy was able to come home yesterday afternoon. It was amazing how quickly things progressed towards the end of her stay. The day before we went home we were told she might need a total of 4-5 more days. They ultimately decided there was nothing they were doing at the hospital that we couldn't do for her at home.
Even though yesterday should have been such a good day, I had a really difficult time. I had been waiting for her cardiologist all week to come and talk to us. When the nurse told me that Lucy didn't have an appointment until the middle of next month I panicked. I lost it and began bawling. A nurse practitioner came in and said, "I am a wealth of knowledge. Anything you need to know I can answer." She was wrong. She didn't know anything. One of my biggest questions was about her next surgery. We were expecting her to have surgery the beginning of next year but no one had said anything to us about what we could expect now. The cardiologist that was on call was nearby and she came to talk to us which I really appreciated. She told us we could expect Lucy to go another year without needing surgery. This is good because it will allow time for her heart to grow. Before Lucy had surgery her ox sats were in the high 70s, the day we left they were in the low 90s. She told me that those numbers would continue to drop and as they dropped they would be one indicator of when Lucy needed to be operated on again. She said we were going to continue to see Hazel getting bigger and bigger than Lucy. In the spring Lucy will need another cardiac cath (she's had two already) to look at her heart.
There is something about knowing that my daughter is not "fixed" that is eating me up. I know it's good that we can push back the surgery but how do you put a toddler through something like that? We can't lift Lucy up from her armpits for a month. She seems so uncomfortable. How are you supposed to keep a toddler from moving around?
Jack is loving having his family back. He still gets really nervous whenever the front door opens thinking we're all going to leave him. Lucy looks good. Yesterday my mom kept saying how much she looked like Hazel. We realized it's because Lucy isn't so blue anymore. It struck me today that Lucy was in the hospital the same amount of time as her uncle was on earth. He was my little brother who died of a heart condition. We have a lot to be thankful for. I have my moments where I forget that.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

An end in sight

Lucy is now officially moved from the PICU. Yay!!!! I would have never guessed 24 hours ag0. Yesterday and the day before were really hard. Lucy was so alert but it wasn't Lucy. She didn't cry, she didn't smile. She was just vacant. Every time I got in the car those days I would break down. I'm at the hospital pretty much all day expect when I go home for a few hours to see Jack and Hazel. Being there with them and not Lucy has been really difficult. I can't look at Hazel without thinking about how close we were to losing Lucy. As I play with Hazel and Jack, all I think about is how different life would be without Lucy. I don't think I'd be so emotional about this except I know the worst may be yet to come. This surgery was only the "small" surgery to get us ready for the "big" one. They had to break a bone (her sternum) in order to get to the heart. It won't even have time to fully heal before they have to break it open again. It really is amazing how tough kids can be.
Today was a lot better. She started smiling and got off some more meds. She started eating on her own and is loving it. I saw Lucy again. We moved to the floor which has been wonderful. I feel like I'm able to be Mom again.

Don't you love the cards my little neiceys sent. I love them!

Before I go to bed I have to tell one last story. Lucy hasn't pooped in a few days so the nurse gave her a supository. Within 2 minutes Lucy had pooped. I got the nurse so she could take a sample and send to the lab. In walks the funniest lady ever. She says, "Oh I'll take care of that." She begins wiping Lucy up in the sloppiest way I've ever seen a diaper changed. She doesn't seem to mind. Poop is getting on her, on me, ALL over Lucy, on Lucy's socks, on Lucy's leads, ALL over the bedding, on the crib, on the floor, on the wall.......This woman actually starts using the bedding to wipe Lucy instead of the wipes. I was dying laughing. The whole time she acts like nothing is weird about the. She then says to me, "Does she look red to you? I'll go get some diaper cream." While she is gone Lucy pees(she still doesn't have a diaper on). When she gets back she squeezes a TON of diaper creme onto a blanket and starts using it to administer the creme. It took her 30 mins to clean up the mess. We had the funniest conversation about multiples while she did it. Appartently she knows someone who has quads (4 girls) . They really wanted a boy so they decided to try for one more. They ended up with quads again....yep 4 more girls. All under 3. That was her pep talk to me. When most people play the, "it could always be worse" card, I just get mad. But tonight, I think it worked. I still have no idea who she was.

Sorry I didn't include any pictures of that story.