Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Family Pics

We finally had official family pictures taken.  I haven't done that since 2009 and my kids have grown a bit since then!!  I absolutely love how they turned out!  My brother did them and he is so talented.  You can see his work at

I updated the pictures on the blog, so I thought I'd post those I am replacing.  My little family has changed a little, eh?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Our Year in Pictures

Since I'm not so great at keeping up on blogging, I thought I'd share the first half of our year via pictures.  They share a thousand words anyway, right?...although I won't be able to resist commenting on a few.  I wasn't that great at narrowing it down, so here's part 1 (through March).  We'll see if I ever get around to Part II :)...

We took the kids to the gateway for Valentine's Day and they talked us into letting them make Build-A-Bears.  We sure are suckers for those littles!  It turned out to be a great time.

Our Valentine's Day tradition is always a night at home with chocolate fondue by candlelight.  This year Ty threw on a little Frank Sinatra and now I'm sure I will be keeping that tradition as well!

Hailee discovered she can make cereal all by herself!  One morning she got up and made breakfast for us and included name place holders.  If you look closely, you'll notice something about her name.  Every once-in-awhile, she writes the mirror image of a word, so she did it with her name here.  Strange, but I love it.  :) 

Hailee lost her first tooth at In-N-Out Burger!  Also, the kids have been loving sidewalk painting this year (gotta love Pinterest).

Jake got to meet Waldo at a Weber State game, my mom went down in history with the best cupcakes ever for the superbowl (rootbeer float cupcakes complete with a rootbeer candy and a straw for decoration, so cute), Jake discovers micro-machines at Grandma's (how cute is that face?!) and Jake in the sink as he likes to do quite frequently (hey, give a mom a break, this entertains the kid for hours!).

Hailee worked so hard to catch a leprechaun this year to no avail, darnit!  I thought her trap was awesome, I'm surprised she didn't catch any with it!  She also made some leprechaun puppets to send to Grandma for her birthday.

Disney on Ice with my cute little family.  You know, Ty's usually around too, but he's the man behind the camara!   

A great start to the year!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Flood

I've been saving this post forever thinking that I'd eventually finish the floor and take after pictures, but I've come to accept that's not going to happen anytime soon.  So, here's the story of our floor with an anti-climactic result!

As if it were some kind of sick joke, we woke up to THIS in our house on Wednesday, November 9th, just TWO days after Hailee had broken her arm (see last post) and the day before her birthday.  You have GOT to be kidding me.  This is our kitchen...We busted out the ol' shop vac and loads of towels thinking we could take care of this on our own.  

I wondered if some of it may have gone into the basement and sure enough...the water had leaked down into the ceiling and onto the carpet.
At that point, we realized we'd better call the insurance company.  Within hours, our house looked like it was the one in ET.  They put plastic up covering doorways and we had about 15 fans blowing through our house.  I came home from work with the kids and as soon as we walked in the door, Jake burst into tears (he's pretty sensitive)..."Our house is broooken!"  Ty was working late since he stayed while the insurance company came, so I did what any normal person would do...turned around and walked right back out the door.  We had a lot of meals out over the next week or so.  The house was completely unlivable, especially since it was in both of our main areas (upstairs and down).  The bedrooms were the only places not in complete disarray.  
The fan thing lasted about 2 weeks.  They kept coming back to take measurements on the moisture levels.  They tore up my kitchen floor and the carpet in the basement and poked all kinds of holes through my sheetrock, it was unbelievable.  After the house was officially "dry", the insurance company came back and did a full assessment of the damage.  It did a lot more damage then I ever thought it would be.  Well, I felt like at that point, I didn't even have time to think about it.  The holidays were just beginning and Hailee had her whole arm thing going on.  We just had to put it on the back burner until January.  

The first week in January, we were ready to dig in (I was pretty sick of my plywood kitchen floor by then).  We could either have our floor replaced with some new lovely linoleum or if we wanted to do our own labor, we could have beautiful tile in the kitchen.  Ty and I deliberated over that for some time, but in the end, I won:)  Honestly, if I had known then what I know now, I probably wouldn't have done it.  I had NO idea what we were getting into.  For one thing, my house looked like this for a WEEK (upstairs and downstairs).  In hindsight, I shouldn't have had them done at the same time because again, our only escape from the chaotic mess was our bedrooms.
Night 1 (5 hours).  We installed the backerboard.  Oh. My. Gosh.  This was definitely the worst part of it all.  Geez, and I just thought we had to put in tile???  The measuring and the cutting and the puzzle fitting, I got more than a few "told you so" looks from Ty that night.  We would NOT have been able to do any of this without my dad's help.  He was there every step of the way.  And in the interest of full disclosure, despite my promise to help, I was pretty worthless during this step.  This was a man's job, for sure.
 Night 2 (5 hours).  Cementing and nailing the backerboard down.  And somehow all the pieces didn't always fit back together again, so there was more cutting.  Oh, check it out...there's Ty's "look".  Even my dad was flipping me off in the picture I took just before this one, I thought I'd leave that one out:) 
 Day 3 (8 Hours).  The tiling.  Now this day, I was fairly helpful, I think.  We also were lucky enough to have a couple other volunteers to help us out (one of my colleagues and her husband).  We did a little service trade where Ty provided them some IT support.  So 5 people for 8 hours straight, are you kidding me??  40 hours of work.  Again, I had NO idea!
 Day 4 (3 hours).  Grouting.  This was oh so much easier.  We were coming into the home stretch.  I was liking the look and feeling (almost) like it was all worth it.  This time my dad and Ty's cousin came over to help.

And now...I really love the tile (and the new carpet downstairs) and maybe someday, I will post the official "after" picture.  I'm sure you will all be on the edge of your seat until then!  :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hailee's Broken Arm

We have had a pretty rough couple of months, especially this poor, sweet girl.  This all started on Monday, November 7th.  I got a call around 4:30 PM that Hailee had hurt her arm playing tag in the gym at school and we should come right away.  I called Ty and he left work at the same time.  I figured it must be bad if they wanted me to leave work and come right then, but on the way there I wondered if maybe it was just a sprain.  They called me again as I was driving there so I asked them if her skin was broken or if a bone was protruding.  They said "no, it looks...wavy".  Wavy?!  Well, that can't be good, but I certainly couldn't visualize it.  Ty got there first, so I met him at the Instacare.  When I saw Hailee's arm, I now knew what they meant by "wavy".  There's nothing worse than being unable to take your child's pain away.    

Obviously before she got the x-ray, we knew it was broken, but we didn't know how badly.  Well, this is what the doctor brought out.   

That meant straight to the ER to have it "set".  She cried a lot at the instacare, but after the x-ray, they put it in a splint and that perked her right up.  I had stepped out of the exam room for a minute and left Hailee in there with Ty while she was crying so hard and looked like she was in so much pain.  She'd been carried in and could barely move at all.  Not one minute later, she walked out of the room with a hint of a smile on her face because she was proud of that accomplishment.  The splint secured it enough that it took a lot of the pain away.  Here she is at the ER before the procedure being so brave.

She was not happy that she had to wear a black sling.  She wanted pink and she was so worried about what her friends would think if they thought she had actually selected a black one.  I told her that was silly, no one would care what color it was and if they did, she could tell them the doctor chose it and she only has to wear it for one week.  She went back to school on Wednesday and she had been right because when she came home from school, there were strings of colored yarn that her friends had tied onto the (boring) sling.  I decided I'd better help her bling it up a little bit.  The next day, Thursday, was her birthday.  I thought she looked so cute..and happy..and colorful with her "ribbony" sling.

She wore the splint and the sling for 1 week and then got to have the cool pink cast she wanted.  Here she is soliciting for signatures on Thanksgiving.

She wore that one for 3 weeks and the hope was that she could get a shorter cast on at this point (below the elbow).  Here she is at the doctors office waiting room and getting the cast removed.  When they took the cast off, I could clearly see that it was still "wavy".  I asked the MA..."doesn't that still look bent?"  Of course she said, "the doctor will answer all of your questions when he comes in".  I persisted, "but that looks bent, right?"  She agreed.  I asked, "What does that mean?!"  She told me that they still needed to take an x-ray, but it's possible that the issue could just be cosmetic and we could choose whether we wanted to correct the disfigurement or not.  I texted Ty, "it still looks wavy, I'm thinking surgery..."

Sure enough...I swear that looks worse than when she first broke it.  So the cast was basically 4 weeks of nothing.  Ya, there were no decisions to be made on this one, it was surgery first thing in the morning.  They put another splint on her arm for the night.

We had to arrive bright and early at 6:30 AM.  We wanted her to understand what was going on, so we tried to explain to her that she was going to be put to sleep while the doctor fixed her arm.   He didn't know whether it would need pins or a rod and he wouldn't find out until the surgery started.  We didn't tell Hailee that part.  She didn't really care about any of that, her main concern was that she just wanted to ensure the cast would be pink when she woke up!  Also, she was very upset when they made her put on this BLUE gown with spaceships on it.  The poor nurse didn't have any pediatric gowns in the OR, so she went ALL the way up to the peds inpatient unit to get this for Hailee and Hailee asked if she could have a pink one instead!  I think this girl is "Pinkalicious"!  Well, instead of getting her a different gown, they brought in this awesome blanket for Hailee to KEEP!  That made her happy.  Here she is being so brave...and so...unknowing.  She cried when they let me walk her down the hall to a certain point and then I had to leave her to be wheeled into the OR with a bunch of strangers.  That was hard.   

Waiting for her to come out of the anesthesia was rough.  We were told she would cry a lot, but that it was just because of the anesthesia.  Well this girl screamed bloody murder for 30 minutes straight.  There was no consoling her.  She just kept saying she wanted to go home, but she wouldn't even stop long enough for us to explain to her that she wouldn't be allowed to go home until she calmed down.  She also had to eat and drink before she could go and it took us awhile to get her to do that.  It was frustrating because all she wanted to do was go home and she wouldn't do any of the things she needed to do to be able to leave.  It seriously took her about 2 hours to come back to normalcy and thanks to some distracting cartoons for that or it would've been longer.  Here is a bit of the progression.

As usual, she always has people taking care of her.  Her aunt Cami stopped by with some surprises and she even had some neighbor kids stop over to see how she was doing.  Her aunt Jenn sent her a special email all about when she was 6 and broke her arm and had to have surgery.

And...she's back to her regular silly self!

She had to wear this one for 4 weeks.  As you can see, it's really oddly shaped.  She had to have pins put in, which protruded from her skin so the doctor packed gauze around it and shaped the cast up over it.  This thing weighed a ton and was so big, she couldn't wear any long sleeve shirts or her coat for the entire 4 the dead of winter.  However, this ginormous thing on her arm did not slow her down one tiny bit.  She barely noticed it was there!   Here she is at the doctors office to have it removed.  I had asked her if she was scared and she made these silly fake scared faces.

She is laughing because the vibration of the machine cutting into her cast was tickling her.  By now she knew there were pins in there and she did NOT want to see them.  She covered her eyes and wouldn't even look at her arm after the pins were out.  I must say, that was pretty brutal to watch.  They just crank and yank and turn those things with a pair of pliers until they come out.  Hailee was SCREAMING.  They said it doesn't hurt, it just feels weird.  I hope that's true, but I'm not so sure.  It was coming out of her actual could that not hurt?  Well, you can see she was not as happy afterward. 

She got to keep them.

I was so sick of the disgusting, dirty cast, I tried to talk her into a darker color.  Apprehensively, she agreed to the purple.  Two more weeks in this cast.

And finally, the last cast removal!  The x-rays looked much better, but it wasn't completely healed, so she got this brace to wear for 4 weeks.  Luckily she could take this one off to bathe.  I don't even want to think about how dirty her arm must've been by now.

Yesterday, February 15th, she went in for her last x-ray.  It looked beautiful.  So 15 weeks and 6 casts later, we are done!  Holy canoli, who knew that one little phone call back in November would've led to all of this?!  Hailee was such a good sport about it, none of this really bothered her at all.  She became a pro at the doctors office visits.  She knows exactly what to do during an x-ray...I even caught her doing an x-ray for Jake at home one day and the whole procedure was hilariously accurate.

 I dare say I am actually somewhat sad for this to be all over.  Just passing through another milestone and the symbolism of Hailee getting older and bigger and moving forward.  As she has told me many times though, "Mom, that's the way it's supposed to be"!

Friday, December 30, 2011


Here's a little more progress on Hailee's dollhouse.  If you recall, it started like this:

Here it is after I pulled out all the wallpaper and painted it (like a little replica of our real house):

I still plan to add window treatments, a little more detail in each room, some vinyl wall art and use some goof-off in a few spots, but we presented it to Hailee like this.

I love that within an hour of receiving it, she put her imagination to work and filled it up with "furniture".  

It will be a fun project to continue working on with Hailee.  I'll post pics again when it's all done.