"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hailey's Party

On January 22nd we loaded up and went to Kangaroo Zoo for Hailey's party. Ethan got to do his big 5 at that place, and Hailey wanted to also. Only seemed fair. Now Lauren is talking about her fifth at KZ, so I'm sure this will be a tradition.

Doing a party at a place where everything is done for you is magical. We had an amazing hostess who took care of everything, and even played with the little kids on the toys so their parents could visit. She got a good tip! Hailey's favorite part was when Cocoa the kangaroo showed up to wish her a happy birthday. Thanks to everyone who came and made Hailey's big day great. We have a lot of good friends!

Aunt Leighann and Uncle Skylar came up for the afternoon, which I really appreciated especially since Leighann wasn't feeling well. And they saved the day by running back to our house to get the bag with candles and party favors that I left behind. Thanks guys!
I have to add that this little guy is a stinker. While I was in the party room gathering up gifts, I could not keep him from running up and down the tables grabbing scraps of cake that had not yet been cleaned off and stuffing them into his mouth. He had a great time too! I'm sure that if we still live around here, he'll want to have his fifth here as well!

Enough Already!

Is anyone else ready for cold and flu season to end??
It's been a very long day at our house.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Real Man

I married a great man...the kind of man that doesn't exist in most parts of the universe.

Devin had not been feeling well today. I went to run a few errands in the late afternoon and when I came home I found this. Cody was resting on the couch with Devin asleep on his chest. Not long after this while I was getting dinner on the table, Devin threw up all over Cody. And not just a little, but a lot. Like everything he had eaten in two days came back up. It kept coming and coming and Devin cried through it all. And during the ordeal, Cody didn't miss a beat as Devin covered him and his clothes in vomit. I grabbed a towel for him and he lovingly held his baby and talked sweetly to him, telling him it was okay.

Then what does he do next? Without a second thought he goes into the bathroom and starts a bath for Devin. He bathed him, cleaned up all the mess (and there was a lot of mess) and started the messy clothes and towels in the wash. Then he spent the rest of the night letting Devin cling to him, even though I'm sure he had things he needed to do.

Guys like Cody are few and far between.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lauren's Finger

The last thing a parent wants is for something to be "not right" with their child. I know that what we are dealing with is peanuts compared to most health issues out there, but even the tiniest thing can cause a mother worry and grief. When Lauren was twenty months old Cody noticed that her left middle finger looked crooked, like it had been smashed in a door or something. Obviously such an injury could not have missed the Mommy radar, so I had no idea what had happened to it. It didn't seem to hurt her, but it looked strange enough that we thought we should get it checked out.

A few days later we headed to see Dr. Allred, our kindred spirit of a prediatrician. He was completely and utterly perplexed by the condition of her finger. He sent us downstairs for x-rays, and upon review, he could find no mishapening of the actual bone, only of the tissue surrounding the bone. The finger looked crooked from the outside, yet the bone was growing in straight. He took very detailed measurments of the finger, and even called his partner (Dr. Bently) in to look at it. He too was baffled. Never seen anything like it! You know it must be a mystery when two very seasoned physicians don't know what to make of it. Since it didn't seem to cause Lauren any discomfort, Dr. Allred conluded that it was just "one of those things" and that we'd keep an eye on it during her furture check ups.

At her two year physical, he re-evaluated it but still could find no diagnoses. It had grown a little, but so had all of her other fingers. Again, he decided to watch it.

Two weeks ago Lauren started nursing that hand. I noticed she had not been using it as much and I examined the finger closely. It's sudden rise in growth was alarming, so Cody and I decided it was time for Dr. Allred to look at it again, and hopefully refer us to a specialist. Even the nail bed was larger and the pads on the finger looked significantly swollen. Two days later we were in Allred's office for x-rays, and the next afternoon we were up at Primary Children's Hospital for a consult with a renound pediatric orthopedist who specialized in hands.

Lauren sat in Cody's lap and was in and out of sleep for most of the appointment. We'd later find out that she was coming down with strep throat. Her lethargy actually made the consult easier because she wasn't scared and never tried to get up and play. As she snoozed, Dr. Hutchinson was able to fully examine her hand. We were relieved to hear that he had in fact seen this condition before, but frustrated to hear that no two cases were ever the same. He diagnosed her with a condition called macrodactyly. The big finger is growing at an exponential rate, and will grow even bigger in the upcomming years. What's odd though, is that it is very large on one side and that's what's causing the curveture of the finger.

We talked with the doctor for a long time and I was very impressed with the amount of time he spent with us. We weighed pros and cons and pros and cons. Listening to worst case scenarios was causing me a headache and it was hard to make heads or tails of what he was telling us. Because no two cases or causes are the same, it's nearly impossible to know exactly what is causing the overgrowth. Surgery is likely the only way to know for sure, and even then it's completely exploritory and may not give any definite answers. Worst case scenario is that a nerve is causing the problem and that he may have to partially cut off the sensor in that finger. That could or could not cause partial paralysis in that hand. Best case scenario...is there really a best case scenario? No matter what, we are likely looking at more than one surgery in the next few years; possibly several surgeries depending on what they find in the initial one.

Cody and I have been struggling with the decision of what to do. Is this condition life threatening? No. Will it likely affect her quality of life as she gets older? Possibly. It will certainly affect how it makes her feel from a superficial standpoint. Looking ahead to when she is an already self concious teenager, does she really need a deformed hand adding to her woes? This is the kind of thing we wish she could decide for herself. Yeah, we could wait until she is twelve years old or so and let her make the decision then. But doing surgery sooner than later is probably better because she is very young and her body is much more resiliant and forgiving than it will be in a decade from now.

As it stands, we have a surgery date set for April 20th. We will continue to think and pray about it and let the Master Architect guide us to know what is best for our baby girl. Hopefully we make the right decision!

Siblings= Lifelong Friends

On Tuesday Ethan was at a friend's house after school. While he was gone, Hailey came to me in the kitchen holding my wallet. I asked her what she was doing with it and she said "Mom, can I have some quarters to put in Ethan's piggy bank?"

A little confused, I asked her why.

"Because he's so nice to me and I love him so much. I miss him when he's gone."

My heart melted right there. I say it a lot, but I truly cherish my childrens' friendships with one another. I hope and pray that Cody and I can foster that love between them. I want them to always be close and to consider eachother "friends".

When Ethan came home from his friend's house that afternoon, I found him and Hailey sitting on the couch watching their favorite TV show. He had his arm around her and it was such a sweet picture.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hailey Turns Five!

This baby girl is five years old! Where has the time gone? Hailey Jane turned five at exactly 2:05 p.m. on January 19th. Like I always am on my kids' birthdays, I was choked up all day long. Watching them grow up is very bittersweet for me.

I think I can safely say that Hailey had a fantastic day. The first thing out of her mouth that morning was "Am I FIVE???" She had been looking forward to this day for a long time. She came out into the living room and saw everything decoarted with balloons ans streamers for her special day. She and I went to her school and celebrated with her school friends, then we came home and Hailey, Lauren, and I finished making her cupcakes (she wanted chocolate and pink again this year). The birthday kid always gets to pick what's for dinner that night, and Hailey chose grilled ham and cheese snadwiches, tomato soup, and grape Koolaid. She is such a low maintnance child!

After dinner we had her little family party and she made out like a bandit. Having a birthday not even a month after Christmas is rough, but we always try to make sure she does NOT get jipped...either on special attention or gifts. She got new outfits from Granana and Gov, a beautiful heart pendant from Great Grandmother Gilbreth, nail polish and a cat Fur Real pet from Aunt Kara (which she labeled her "favorite" of the night), a porcelain tea set and $10 in quarters from Grandma and Grandpa. The tea set is just perfect for use with the
new table I am currently working on for the girls!

From Mom and Dad, Hailey got a squirel Fur Real pet, Easy Bake Oven mixes, a Littlest Pet Shop set, a Barbie ballet movie, a purple Caboodle filled with all kinds of make up, perfume, and nail stuff (which she has carried around the house every second since she opened it) and five dollar bills. Her siblings gave her a cat doctor Barbie and she adores it.

It was such a fun night and we were so lucky to celebrate another year of this sweet girl's life! Hailey Jane, we love having you in our family!

Hailey's School Party

Hailey's actual birthday fell on a school day, so it was fun getting to celebrate the REAL day with her school friends. I got to be the class mom and it was fun watching her be with her school buddies! I love working in my kids' classrooms and hearing "So and so's mom..." I was "Hailey's Mom" all day and I liked it a lot. I love being this girl's mom. They have been learning about the letter H this week and Wednesday was horrible hair day. I opted NOT to wear my hair badly, but Hailey and I had fun fixing her horrible hair that morning. Hailey requested pink cookies for her birthday treat, and I did my best to deliver! We had to do a little presentation all about Hailey and we found a lot of things to put in a bag. One by one we pulled them out and told what it had to do with Hailey. We brought her photo albmu from when she was a newborn and I loved hearing all of the "Ooooooh, look how cute!" comments from the kids, mainly from the girls and the teacher. That day was surely all about Miss Hailey Jane!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Hailey and Lauren
not just sisters
best friends

{Taken before church on 1-16-11}

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mom & Hailey Spa Day

Hailey is turning five on Wednesday, and as part of her week long celebration she and I hit the day spa today for manis and pedis. We had such a great time! The bad part is that Lauren was hysterically sad before we left the house, because didn't know why she couldn't go. I promised her a million times that she could go next time, but that today was HAILEY's specialy day...just like she will have her own special day around her next birthday. I bought her a pink bottle of nail polish from the spa to appease her a little, and it kind of worked.

Before the spa, we had lunch. I let Hailey pick whatever place she wanted, and of all places she picked Subway! Such an easy to please girl. It was fun sitting there talking the whole time. We talked about what she wants for her birthday and what she wants for dinner that night. Then on the way to the spa she wanted me to tell her all about the day she was born. I got a little choked up as I relayed the events and it hit me that she is FIVE YEARS OLD. Where has the time gone?

At the spa Hailey was a little nervous. I absolutely love the Garden Day Spa here in town and I've had my hair cut there for years now. And every once in a while my sweet husband surprises me with a gift certificate to that place, for no reason at all and I love to get a massage, facial, and a pedi . When we got down into the basement (which is the spa treatment area) it was a little dark and very quiet with strange music playing. Hailey was nervous and didn't know why it was so dark, so I explained to her about "relaxation". Once we got into the pedi room and she saw how light it was, she felt a lot better.

We sat in chairs side by side and we had the most amazing girls working on our nails! They were so sweet and so attentive. They couldn't stop saying how adorable and grown up Hailey was. She picked her color of polish, which was of course purple. EVERYTHING that this girl likes is purple. Hailey kept saying "Mom, next time we should bring Lauren. She'd love this place!" Such a sweet big sister. Yup, I decided that next time we come Lauren will surely be coming along. I think I might bring the girls back for another special day right before they have their ballet recital in March.

I love having girls!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Week With The Gov

The Gov came into town last week on Tuesday night. He and Mom are loaning Leighann and Skylar one of their cars and Dad drove it up for them, then flew back home. I had been looking forward to his trip for weeks! I always love it when my family comes for a visit, but this time I had a list a mile long of projects that I needed his help and know-how on. He is the most handy and mechanically minded person I know and his knowledge is invaluable. Ever since being released from my insanely busy church calling this fall, I feel like I am playing catch up to get things done that I didn't have time for during my year and a half of service.

Unfortunately, I came down with a terrible case of bronchitis and a nasty sinus infection for most of the week. I didn't have the health or energy to do most of things I'd been needing to while Dad was here. I finally turned a corner over the weekend and we spent three days busting our butts, getting things done that were on my list. And Gov did manage to squeeze in a little play time with the kiddos while here too. While he was here, we-

-Ate yummy brugers from In 'n Out
-Ran a whole slew of errands everyday
-Made four stackable sawhorses (so excited about these)
-Took a detailed tour of Home Depot where he gave me a crash course in tools
-Bought a miter saw
-Spent Sunday afternoon coloring with Hailey and Lauren (something I loved doing with him when I was little)
-Walked Ethan to school everyday in the freezing cold
-Watched The Office reruns every night
-Talked a LOT about family and life
-Built two framed in peg boards for the garage (I am in the process of finishing them)
-Went to church and enjoyed sitting in Gospel Doctrine together
-Took very precise measurements of our basement so he can draw up our plans to finish it in his nifty design software
-Cleaned and organized a lot in the basement and crawl space
-Made multiple trips to the hardware store
-Had a second Christmas of presents from him and Granana
-Took two van loads of stuff to DI
-Had deluxe BLT sandwiches
-Took our traditional Gov and PJed kids picture on the couch (that Chudda was very uncooperative to do)
-Said a hard goodbye on Monday, but looking forward to their visit again in April!