Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Little Gratitude

So the story starts when our AC stopped working a few weeks back, and this is going to sound so stupid (because it is), but it made me so ridiculously cranky.  I want to write all this down and remember it because I am sure I will need it again sometime in the future, or maybe it will help my kids one day.  This seems to be the only real record I have ever kept of my life, and besides no one really seems to keep up on blogs anymore, so I feel like this is a safe place to be honest and not be judged because no one (besides maybe my brother) will see it.

Anyways, our AC was broken, and that was like a breaking point for me, I guess.  I became very negative and really just turned into a first class bitch.  Very unhappy.  The highlight reel of social media really got to me.  I was upset about not having a lot of money, not having a nice house, not having expensive shoes or clothes.  Not having...not having...not having... A lot of first world whiny crap.

After about two weeks of this, it occurred to me that I could CHANGE it.  Not sure where the thought came from.  I guess this is why we sing hymns and learn songs, but I knew I could make the CHOICE to stop murmuring and take a step back to count my blessings.

My husband has a decent job that he is good at.
I am able to stay home and personally raise my kids because I want that more than I want things.
Heavenly Father has blessed me with the stamina to care for four kids day in and day out without any family nearby and with a husband who is very rarely home.
I am healthy.
My kids are healthy.
I have a husband who genuinely loves me and our children.
I've been blessed (not because of anything I could have possibly done or earned) to have a husband who honors his priesthood and fulfills his calling.  He also supports me in mine without any complaints...even on the Sunday mornings when he has to get the kids ready for church without me, and he always gets them all there on time.  I feel very lucky to be sealed to someone who is dedicated to the Savior on his own and not because I have to enforce such a lifestyle.
My kids are surrounded by only good people on both sides of their family.  Every grandparent, aunt, and uncle is active in the gospel and a great example.  That is very rare.
We live in a safe community with a great school system.
My kids like each other. 
My relationship with my husband is legit.  I am just as guilty of posting only the "good things" on social media as anyone else, but Tyler and I are the real deal.
We have health insurance.
We eat well.
My prayers are always heard.
I have actually made some good friends here.  That's a big deal for me.

Really the list could go on forever, and here I was all upset because our AC wasn't working and in the evenings our upstairs could sometimes get up to 83°.  Oh, no!  It's embarrassing that that is apparently all it takes to make me hate everything and be mean to everyone.  After all I've been given.  A testament to how truly sheltered and easy my life has been, I guess.  Trials have come and gone.  Trials will come and go again.  And then again some more. But right now?  Right now I have everything I need, and most of the things I want.  Right now I am good.

Fortunately, I was able to pull myself out of the funk, and I attribute it to daily prayer and scripture study.  My testimony has ebbed and flowed over the years, but I NEVER miss a prayer or reading my scriptures.  Not ever.  I've been in dark places (worse than not having AC, if you can believe it), and I truly believe that prayer and reading my scriptures is what has brought me back every single time.  My prayers aren't always sincere.  My scripture study can be very short and unfocused, yet it seems that my Heavenly Father will take any excuse to pour out blessings on me, and by "blessings" I mean the ones that really count, not just the artificial ones like fancy homes or clothes (even though I like those, too).

Oh, and we have AC again! :o)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Brock's Story

Sometime during February Brock started complaining every time I washed his hair.  Whenever I touched a certain spot on his head he would flinch in pain.  I noticed a bump, but just thought he had bumped his head on something and that it would go away.  Well, it definitely didn't go away.  I had his 5 year check-up scheduled for April 10th and figured I would just have them check it out then, but the bump started getting bigger and more painful.
March 8th - Started out totally normal.  I finally decided that waiting until April 10th to get this thing checked out was maybe not the best idea.  I took Brock in to show Tyler and have him feel the bump.  Tyler told me I should definitely take him in to see the doctor.  I got him in that day.  We saw Dr. Lynch, who is not our regular pediatrician.  Dr. Lynch felt the bump and immediately got up and brought one of his partners in to feel the bump as well.  Then they left to talk about it in the hall.  When Dr. Lynch came back in he told me they didn't know what it was, but that they thought I should go to Primary Children's Hospital as soon as possible to have it X-rayed.  I asked him if they thought it was a cyst, and they said not really.  Cysts usually have a definite border to them, and this lump did not.  It felt kind of spongy.  I still was not worried at this point, in hindsight maybe I should've caught on more quickly.
I had my mom come with me to the hospital because Brecken also needed a blood test to see if he was allergic to milk or soy (he's not allergic to either of them FYI).  I thought we could just kill two birds with one stone and it would be a lot easier if she was there.  Having her there turned out to be a small miracle.  Not sure if I could've held it together for what was about to happen without her there.
The X-rays were taken easy enough and we were waiting back in the waiting room when the office staff told me there was a call for me from Dr. Lynch.  Dr. Lynch said the X-rays showed some "bony abnormality".  I asked if he meant like a crack in the bone or something like that.  He didn't really rule that out, but I felt like he was trying to gently steer me towards other possibilities without totally freaking me out.  Anyways, he said a CT scan would be needed with and without contrast.  That was done pretty much immediately.  Brock handled the IV very well.  While still in the CT room the radiologist came to tell me that the abnormality had a blood supply and that it was most likely a disease call Langerhan's Cell Histiocytosis, but the chance still existed that it was a more aggressive form of Cancer.  We waited around while they decided whether or not Brock should be admitted to the hospital that night.  As soon as the radiologist mentioned "blood supply" my world shattered.  I don't know a lot, but I knew that was bad.  I held it together pretty well until I was back in the waiting room with my mom.  I left Brock with my mom and went into the bathroom and completely fell apart.  Eventually I collected myself and went back out into the waiting room.  I definitely didn't want Brock to see how upset I was.  Back in the waiting room, I received another call from Dr. Lynch.  He wanted to make sure I understood what the CT scan showed.  He also wanted to tell me a neurosurgeon would be down to talk to me.  While I was on the phone the surgeon had already arrived and was talking to Brock and checking his head.  The neurosurgeon confirmed that he and his colleagues also felt that the most likely scenario was LCH, but no one would be sure until after a biopsy and the other scenarios were pretty scary.  Surgery was scheduled for March 19th.  The neurosurgeon did ask Brock if his stomach had been hurting, and that's when it hit me that Brock had been complaining about his stomach hurting a lot lately.  From that point on, I was positive that whatever this was had already spread to other places in his body.

First X-rays
March 11th - Got a call from Oncology saying they wanted to see Brock the next morning.  My first thought was "they must know something that no one is telling me".  Later that day Dr. Lynch called me and apologized that oncology had got ahold of me before he did.  He is the one who had gotten in contact with them and wanted to make sure we were as prepared as we possibly could be.  Other possibilities were some kind of bone cancer or a lymphoma.  They needed me to take Brock back to the hospital to have labs done that day, so oncology would have the results before our visit the next day. Dr. Lynch called me a few hours later to tell me Brock's blood work looked great.  That went a long ways to put my mind at ease.  I was also comforted by the fact that Brock wasn't sick.  Dr. Lynch said usually with a more aggressive cancer kids have other symptoms and are visibly sick.  Brock seemed totally healthy aside from random complaints of stomach pain.
March 12 - Met with oncology.  They talked a little more about treatments for after the surgery and biopsy were performed.  We already knew that even with LCH the treatments were likely to include chemo or radiation.  They agreed that LCH was probably the most likely possibility, but again no way to be certain and if it was something else it was likely to be much more aggressive.  However, they were encouraged by his energy level and overall wellness.  After seeing him they said they felt better about the timing of his surgery.  We left that appointment with the understanding that our best case scenario would be a year of chemo after surgery.

March 18th - More labs and we met with the Neurosurgeon, Dr. Riva-Cambrin.  He explained more about the actual procedure.  He would take out the entire section of skull.  He was certain the tumor had not made its way into Brock's brain, but there was still some question as to whether or not it had invaded the derma.  He was pretty sure it hadn't, but he wouldn't know for sure until he got in there.  Also, a plastic surgeon, Dr. Siddiqi, would come in to patch Brock's skull and close it up.  Dr. Siddiqi patched his skull with a plate (that will dissolve in a year) and Norian bone cement to fill the defect.  Dr. Riva-Cambrin also was encouraged that the lump was painful to the touch.  He said that usually more aggressive cancerous tumors are not painful in that way.

March 19th - Surgery day.  We were scheduled to check in at the hospital at 11:00 am and were told surgery would begin about an hour and a half later. 
Well, he didn't go in for surgery until 3:30 pm.  Keep in mind he had been fasting since the night before, not easy or fun for anyone especially a little boy. In the meantime, he played lots of videogames and made a superhero cape.  A little while before surgery, Brock clung to me and screamed and begged me to take him home.  That was the first time that I 100% lost it in front of him. I think it was just weeks of anxiety all built up, and I couldn't hold it in anymore.  I had to step out and let Tyler take over for a while.  The nurse got a little upset with me, and she was totally right.  Of course, I knew it was not ok for anyone if I couldn't pull myself together.  It only lasted a minute, but it is something I really regret.  I have never been one of those moms who cries when my baby scrapes a knee or gets their booster shots, so the whole thing really caught me off guard.  Brock pulled himself together as well (with the help of some anti-anxiety medication).

Surgery was scheduled to last about 3.5 hours.  I expected it to be the longest 3.5 hours of my life, but it seemed to go by super fast.  Dr. Riva-Cambrin came and told us that the surgery went great.  He was able to get the whole tumor out and confirmed that the tumor had not invaded his brain or even the derma, which was really good news.  He also said that he and the pathologists still thought it was LCH and not cancer, but we would still have to wait a week or more for the final pathology report. More waiting.  More nerves and uncertainty, but still it was the very best news we could have gotten at that moment.  He also said Brock had woken up "piping mad" and they may call us down to recovery on the double to try and settle him down.  Just a minute later Dr. Siddiqi said his part of the surgery went perfectly as well.  Good news all around.
Brock in recovery.
The surgeon had told us what to expect when we saw Brock after surgery, but I am not gonna lie, Tyler and I were both surprised the incision was as big as it was.  Brock was not feeling good after surgery (go figure).  He wanted to throw up, but held it in for hours because he refused to throw up in anything besides the toilet.  He also refused to use the urinal to go to the bathroom.  We had to carry him to the toilet until he was strong enough to walk on his own.
The incision.
March 20th - Brock had another CT scan.  The neurosurgeon looked at it and said it looked great.  Brock couldn't be discharged until he started eating and he showed no interest in it at all.  I thought for sure we would be staying in the hospital another night.  He woke up from a nap around 1:30 and out of nowhere started eating.  He started with some oranges and then demanded some French fries.  Before we knew it he was yelling at nurses walking by in the hall to bring him some more French fries.  They wanted to see him walk, which he did effortlessly.  I had to keep him from running and jumping.  We were discharged about 3:30 pm, just 24 hours after he went in for surgery.
On our way home.
March 27th - After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, we final got the biopsy results.  LCH, not cancer.  Such good news.  I think that was the first night I actually slept without shaking in bed all night since the bomb dropped on March 8th.  Now that we knew what it was we just had to find out where it was, but it is funny how one's perspective changes.  You would think that the surgery, a diagnosis of LCH, a year of chemo treatment and owing thousands of dollars in medical bills would have devastated me, but compared with the alternative, I felt like the most blessed and luckiest girl in the whole world.
April 2nd - More labs, a skeletal survey and an appointment with oncology.  The x-rays from the skeletal survey did not show any LCH on any of his bones.  Also, his labs all came back totally normal!  Oh my gosh...such a relief!  Single site LCH which was totally removed during surgery.  No chemo or other treatments at this time!  We will do labs and a skeletal survey every three months for the first year to make sure it doesn't come back, but the doctors think it is very unlikely.  I can't even explain how thankful and relieved I am.  Such an answer to so many prayers!
Affected portion of skull removed from Brock's head during surgery.

Other Thoughts and Experiences
  • At about 2:00 am after Brock's surgery he was whimpering from the pain and not able to sleep at all.  As I was laying with him in his bed, he asked me to sing to him.  It makes me cry just thinking about it.  I sang Goodnight Sweetheart, The Lion Sleeps Tonight and made it part way through My Heavenly Father Loves Me before he fell fast asleep.  I will never forget being able to do that for him.  It felt so good as a mother to finally be able to actually do something for him that could make him feel better.
  • Special thanks to everyone who fasted and prayed for us. It is humbling to me that so many people would take the time to petition the Lord on our behalf.
  • Worst feeling in the world is to wake up every morning feeling like you just had a terrible nightmare only to realize it is real.
  • A part of me feels guilty.  I know that the Lord has blessed our family, and I am so grateful for that, but not everyone gets the same good news that we did, and I know that the Lord is just as mindful of them and their needs.  I remember the first time during this whole experience that I was actually able to pray for the Lord's will to be done and actually mean it.  I was so terrified to pray for that because all I really wanted was for Brock to have a long and healthy life.  It took a lot of faith to trust in the Lord's plan and his will no matter what that may be.
  • Tyler gave me a priesthood blessing the Monday after we found out Brock would need a biopsy.  I was literally a wreck.  I tried to hide it from the kids and be strong for them, but I usually couldn't keep it together for more than 30 minutes at a time.  The possibility of cancer was crippling, and I could not cope.  Tyler was so strong for us this whole time.  He had complete faith.  After that, I really settled down.  Fear really did leave me, and unless I purposely dwelt on all the negative possibilities, I was surprisingly peaceful.  People would send me text messages or make comments about how devastated or terrified I must be and it would shake me up a little like maybe I was in denial or completely out of touch with what all this could mean, but really I was very calm under the circumstances.
  • Tyler, my dad, Tyler's dad, Josh, Collin and Cory gave Brock a priesthood blessing on the Sunday before his surgery.  It was really amazing.  He was blessed that from that moment on his body would correct itself and start acting as it should.  Obviously, things have gone extremely well, but also of note is that Brock has not complained of stomach pains since that blessing, and all his blood tests show that all his organs are functioning just fine.
  • I was never nervous about the surgery itself.  I was always focused more on the results of the biopsy and what would come next.  Luckily all that turned out better than I had hoped for.
  • I have never been one of those people who thought doctors are overpaid.  I am so grateful for the sacrifices our doctors made to get their education and become so skilled at their trade. They were truly amazing and deserve everything penny they earn.  I can't imagine all the hours and stress they endure.  Truly remarkable.  Our pediatrician walked us through every step of the process and was in constant contact with us.  The surgeon called us himself after the surgery to talk about the biopsy and how Brock was recovering.  Oncology checked in with us several times and always returned phone calls within a matter of seconds.  Couldn't even believe it.
  • Tyler  was amazing.  He kept me pulled together which kept this whole family pulled together.  So grateful for him and our marriage.  Grateful that in moments of stress and trial we grow closer and are able pull together seamlessly. 
  • So grateful for my Savior and his atonement.  My testimony of him is stronger now than ever.  I have never felt his strength so strongly before.  My faith in him pushed all fear aside.  Any strength I had during this whole experience was definitely not my own but came from Him.  I know He lives!
  • The night when all this went down they kept the IV in Brock's arm until they were sure he was not going to be admitted that night.  When the nurse was taking it out she was crouched down at eye level with him, and their faces were just inches apart.  Brock says to the nurse, "You know what?  You got a big ol' face." I seriously almost died.
  • I should've never started praying to be a better mother ;)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Brock. Brock. Brock.

I think we may have a problem here...

Brock has always been very "particular" about pretty much everything.  I've mentioned before that he is pretty tidy.  His room is always clean.  His toys and clothes are always put away.  He always uses a place mat.  He always puts his dishes in the sink.  He always puts his dirty clothes in the hamper.  Never leaves the lights on.  He was easily potty trained in one day.  Cute, right?

But you should also know...

Never hand him a sippy cup with any water on the outside.  He hates that and will refuse to touch it.

He once cried for two hours after preschool because we couldn't wash the  finger paints off his hands.

He refuses to touch crayons.

If any water drips on his clothes, he cries like he is dying. 

At first I thought it was cute, sometimes annoying, but mostly cute that he is a little eccentric.


He is obsessed with brushing his teeth.  He always tells me they feel old and dirty.  He even wakes up in the middle of the night and tells me we need to brush his teeth.

About a week ago he woke up in the middle of the night SCREAMING because he had "wet" his pants.  He actually hadn't wet his pants at all, but was actually just a tiny bit sweaty.  However, I had to change his jammies, change his sheets and give him a bath before he would settle down.  He also wanted to watch me put everything in the washing machine.

He wanted to eat some chips the other day, so I gave him some at the table.  A couple minutes later I got concerned about the crumbs he might be making, so I went to check on him.  Turns out he had already gotten a plate out of the cupboard, and was eating his chips over the plate.  No crumbs.  I have to admit it made me smile and shake my head a little, but is that seriously normal for a four year old boy?

As of Sunday, no more Goldfish.  They apparently get stuck in his teeth and make them feel dirty. 

They made Fruit Loop necklaces in preschool a while ago.  Another mom asked Brock if he was going to eat his.  His reply, "NO!  There are germs on it."  Agreed, but I probably would have still let him eat it. 

As soon as he wakes up he immediately starts asking to take a bath.  If I don't respond immediately, he asks over and over and over again.  He takes a bath every single day, so I don't know why he gets so frantic about it.  Not like it isn't going to happen.

Sometimes I just want to get mad at him, but he is clearly not being a brat.  He is genuinely upset.  The whole thing seems to be getting worse not better.  The waking up in the middle of the night probably has me the most concerned.  To me that means "it", whatever "it" is, is really starting to effect how well he is able to function.  I am sure some of this is my fault,  I have really beat the whole clean thing into him, but he has taken it to a whole other level.  Not to mention, Bradlee was raised the same way, and homegirl doesn't have a tidy bone in her body.

So, my question is on a scale of 1 to 10, how worried should I be? (1 meaning absolutely nothing to worry about, 10 meaning I have the next American Psycho on my hands.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

8th Anniversary

Friday, September 21, 2012

Brecken Ty McLachlan

Introducing Brecken Ty McLachlan!!!
August 31 - Bradlee officially completed her first week of first grade, and I was able to drop her off and pick her up everyday.  After school I got the kids ready and took them to my mother and father in law who were taking them camping.  My mom went with me to drop the kids off, and then we went straight to City Creek because she said she was going to walk me until I went into labor.  Keep in mind, my due date wasn't until Monday, September 3rd, but Bradlee was 11 days early and Brock was 9 days early, so this was by far the most pregnant I had ever been.  That night I started having some mild contractions.  Nothing special, and I didn't really think much of it.  Tyler and I made plans to go see Bourne Legacy the next day, and Tyler joked about how we would for sure have the baby tomorrow just because we had made a plan to go do something together.
September 1st - My contractions started waking me up at about 3:00 am.  They weren't super consistent, so I wasn 't really worked up about them.  At about 5:00 am they were painful enough that there was no way I could sleep.  I laid in bed timing them and they were still not really consistent.  At about 5:45 am I decided to get up and take a shower thinking that they would probably just go away if I got up and started doing something.  To my surprise, once I started moving around they just came harder and faster.  While I was showering they were only about three minutes apart.  I decided I better wake Tyler up and give him a chance to get ready as well.  I am terrified of going to the hospital and having them send me home or having to be there for like a day and a half, so I decided to not really rush and finish getting completely ready.  In hindsight, that was probably a poor choice.  We left for the hospital at about 6:55 am with my contractions only about two minutes apart. 
We checked in to the hospital at about 7:20 am.  Shortly after we were told that there had been some kind of mix up and my doctor did not deliver at the Jordan Valley Hospital.  However, they were able to get one of her colleagues to come out, who just happened to be the same doctor who delivered Bradlee!  I am not the type to get attached to my doctor or anything, but it was nice to have a farmiliar face and someone who knew and remembered us.  When I was first checked I was dilated to a 7.  The nurses asked me if I wanted an epidural, and I said no.  I had Brock without an epidural, so I was pretty determined to do it again.  Tyler was against my decision, and kept asking me over and over again if I would change my mind.  I think that was the only time I ever got snippy.  I just said, "I need you to stop asking me that!"  The nurses checked me again, and said I would be ready to push as soon as my doctor got there.  I always test positive for Group B Strep, and at this point I had only been in the hospital for a little over an hour.  Clearly, I didn't get a full course of antibiotics before he was born.  Guess I should've come sooner! 
Brecken was born at 8:51 am.  He was 7 lbs. 9.9 oz.  He was 18.75 in, and his head was 35.5 cm.
 My mom and dad got to the hospital just in time to hear him cry.  Which, by the way, is not your ordinary quiet and cute newborn cry.  We all got to hold him and feed him for about 20 minutes before they took him to the nursery.  Meanwhile, Tyler had been trying to get ahold of his parents who were still camping with our kids and did not have cell service at their campsite.  Lisa was headed up there that day anyways, so that was helpful. 
 While in the nursery he started having some apnea, and the doctors moved him to the NICU.  I was pretty shook up, but glad to have Tyler and my dad there to give him a blessing.  All I can really remember about this stretch of time was that they were gone for forever, and I was getting worried.  Finally, my dad came back to my hospital room, and when I asked him what was going on, he just stood over my bed and cried for almost a solid minute before he pulled himself together.  In that minute, I really thought I might've lost my baby.  Finally he said it had just been a really special experience to be there and to hear his blessing.  I could've killed him!
The next time I saw Brecken, he looked like this...
A lot of family and friends came to the hospital to meet Brecken, but no one got to hold him.  Megan was there right when they were moving him to the NICU, and she didn't even get to see him.  Molly and Craig even happened to be in town.  At least they got to see him, but they couldn't hold him.  No kids are allowed in the NICU, so Bradlee and Brock didn't even get to see him the day he was born. 

 Tyler and I were allowed to hold him, feed him, and change him.  We came to the NICU every three hours on the dot to make sure we never missed the chance to be with him.  Here we are with him in the middle of the night...
 Obviously, he was put on oxygen, but he was also put on two different kinds of antibiotics in case he did have an infection. 
 Just had to get a picture of his fuzzy head...

On Sunday, Brecken was taken off his oxygen, and the NICU nurse wheeled him down to the window for Bradlee and Brock to meet him for the first time.  This picture makes me smile and makes me a little sad all at the same time.
 Monday was a super crappy day.  First thing in the morning we were told his blood culture had come back positive for some kind of bacterial infection.  The doctor said it was possible that it was just a skin contaminate, so they were going to take another culture to be sure.  I was discharged from the hospital that day, and I can't even describe what that felt like.  I thought I would be fine, but I sooo wasn't prepared to leave the hospital without him.  Tyler had to go to work that day, so my dad came to the hospital to sit with me.  I thought I would be fine without him, but it was a good thing he was there because I totally melted down.  I didn't feel like I knew what was going on exactly.  It didn't seem like anyone was really giving me any real answers about why we were there.  Brecken's IV in his hand broke, and then the IV in his head broke and the nurses started talking about having to do a picc line.  T.C. finally laid the smack down and was able to get some real answers from the nurses.  Turns out we were looking at about 72 more hours in the NICU at least until we got final results from the second blood culture.  Oh yeah, and they put him under the bili lights.  I never did really get a straight answer as to how high his bili levels were.  I kinda got the feeling it was more of a well, he's here already, might as well put him under the lights type of deal.  Anyways, all of his other blood work and vital signs were looking perfect.  No more signs of apnea.
 So Monday, night after we left the hospital it was late, I was super tired and in a lot of pain.  I literally had a panic attack and hyperventilated.  I felt so guilty for leaving Brecken at the hospital alone, and so guilty for leaving Bradlee and Brock with my parents and not being there for them. Tyler took me to my parents house late at night and he and my dad gave me a blessing. The only thing I really remember him saying was to pray to my Heavenly Father and actually listen for guidance and comfort.  That night after I prayed I just sat there by my bed, and I had a perfect picture come to mind of my Grandma Bricco standing over Brecken's crib in the NICU.  It might sound silly, but it helped me a lot to think that she might be there when I wasn't.  I was much more calm after that.
 We never had to do the picc line, but they did have to put a new IV in four different times.  Two in the hand, two in the head. You're looking at the second one in the head in this picture...
 Thursday morning we got word that his second blood culture had come back negative and there was nothing else keeping him in the hospital.  The last thing to do was the car seat challenge.  They strapped him in his car seat still hooked up to his leads for two hours.  If everything stayed good for those two hours he would be cleared to go home.  Thank goodness he passed!
I had my mom pull Bradlee out of school early that day so she could come meet her brother!  Here are all three kids together for the very first time.
 And, finally, here he is at home safe in his own bed!
 Bradlee feeding her brother!
We had a lot of cool experiences while Brecken was in the hospital.  Just another example...Tuesday night, while we were sitting with Brecken, there was an announcement over the intercom for any LDS Elder to call the operator.  Long story, short..Tyler gave a blessing to a man on the operating table in the ER. 

Special thanks to my parents for keeping Bradlee and Brock for so long.  I never would have made it if they hadn't been perfectly taken care of.  Thanks to Tyler's parents and Jordan and Josh for relieving my parents whenever they could.  I know they would have done more/everything if we had let them or if they lived closer.  Thanks to everyone who brought dinners and came and visited us!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bradlee's First Day of First Grade

Bradlee's first day of first grade was on August 27, 2012.  She was very excited to go back to school!  She has two teachers.  Mrs. Bryant teaches in Chinese for the first half of the day, and Mrs. Crestinger teaches in English the second half of the day.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Bradlee!

Bradlee turned six years old today!  I can hardly even believe it.  We only celebrated a little today because Tyler had to work, and we are having her actual party of Friday. 

She is quite a character!  She still loves Barbies, dance, running, jumping and tumbling.  Most recently she has told me that she wants to be an Olympic gymnast.  Unfortunately, I fear she will be much too tall for that. 

She also loves swimming, brushing her hair and getting her nails done.

She absolutely adores her grandmas!!!!  Most days I think she would prefer to live with either of them than Tyler and I.  However, when I dropped her off for a sleepover the other day she did say, "Be careful, Mom, and don't die.  I don't want to have to live with Grandma forever!"  It was funny, cute and it made me feel pretty good, too.

She understands and grasps more things than I give her credit for.  The other day one of the gates dropped on our car as we were coming out of a parking garage, and the first thing she says is, "Dad, do we have car insurance?".  She also has some interesting insights into the scriptures and things of a spiritual nature.  She often references Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.  For instance, I was talking to Brock the other day about wind and how it can't be seen, only felt, and  Bradlee says, "Right!  Just like the Holy Ghost."

She is creative and can play alone for hours.  Some days she will actually tell me to take Brock and go somewhere else because she just wants to be by herself for a while.

Bradlee takes after me in a lot of ways.  She plays with her hair CONSTANTLY.  She isn't super lovey, clingy or emotional. 

She doesn't offer up a lot of information about her day or what she is feeling, but I am slowly learning how to get her to open up to me.  It takes a lot of patience, if you push it too hard or come at her too directly she will shut down completely.  It definitely has to be on her terms.  I guess "on her terms" pretty much sums her up.  She is happy, funny, charming and helpful.....ON HER TERMS.  If I try and force anything, well, then we all lose.

Tyler, Brock and I love her to death!  She is very talented, smart, and scary pretty! 

Happy Birthday, Boogie!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Startalk Camp

Bradlee's Chinese Immersion program kicked off this week with Startalk camp.  All first grade kids enrolled in the Chinese program were able to get their feet wet before school actually starts on August 27th.  The camp lasted Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Bradlee found the camp to be pretty exhausting!  Some days when I picked her up she would be crying before we even made it to the car.  Supposedly, says the principal, it is not uncommon for kids to find the whole thing extremely overwhelming for the first month or so.  Today all parents had the opportunity to come see what our kids have already learned in such a short amount of time.  I was very impressed!

"I love my brother."

Singing in Chinese

Some kind of Chinese dance, it has a name, but I didn't catch it.

Besides what you see here, the kids also learned to count to 10 and write the characters, some body parts (head, shoulders, knees, toes) and the days of the week.

P.S. It isn't Bradlee's fault that she physically cannot stop playing with her hair.  It is hereditary.  I can guarantee she has no idea she is even doing it.  Next time she has something like this I will have to remember to pull it all back.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

January - July 2012

Needless to say, I am pretty far behind on my blogging with no real chance of catching up.  I made it a goal to at least get the major events covered before the new baby comes, so this is me doing the bare minimum at best. 

Well, 2012 came in like a lion, and I am hoping like crazy it goes out like a lamb! 

First things first...
December 30, 2011 - We were extremely surprised to find out baby #3 would be joining our family.  I know I said we were never having anymore babies because I know my limits as a mother, and all of that is still true.  However, the Lord has other plans for our family.  I think everyone is a little nervous about how I will handle three children (I, for one, am terrified!).  Even though we didn't have this in the plans, I think we knew it was inevitable at some point, and this baby will be just as loved as the others, and that is saying something!  It'll be a wild ride for sure. 

January 2nd - We found out Tyler would no longer have a job as of the end of the month.  That day was devastating especially considering the previous news. 

January 8th - I was called as primary pianist, which is laughable at best! For those of you thinking, "I didn't know Tory played the piano"...Well, I don't!  Everyone is really nice about my skill level, or lack thereof, and I guess we get by just fine.  I have already had to play in sacrament meeting a couple of times, and no one has died.  I consider that a success and nothing short of a small miracle.

January 14th - JoJo got married!!!! All of my siblings were able to make it for the big day.  They were sealed in the Mt. Timpanogos temple, and Jo looked beyond beautiful!

January 16th - We moved into our own place. Interesting timing considering Tyler would be out of a job in just a couple weeks, but we still felt like it was the right thing to do. Same ward, same school district.
February and March
Tyler continued to look for a job.  I continued to get fatter. 

The Easter Bunny came, of course!!!
 Also, the day before Easter we were able to go through the temple with my eldest nephew.  Elder Bricco entered the MTC on May 16th and is currently serving in the Daejeon, South Korea mission.  The whole family is so proud of him and grateful for his service.

April 16th - It's a BOY!!!

April 20th - Tyler began working at Little America. Tyler received two job offers on the same day.  The first paid more money, but would have required us to move and wouldn't have allowed Tyler to finish his degree.  As we attended the temple, we felt his education was the most important thing at this time, so he chose the second offer at Little America in hopes of a speedy promotion.  This position will also fulfil his internship requirement.

May 22nd - Brock's 4th birthday!  We kept it low key with just family.  We took him to Chuck E. Cheese.  Brock refers to it as "Chunker Cheeses", which I think is more than suitable.  He had an Iron Man Cake, and I think he had a great time playing games and opening presents.

May 24th - Bradlee's Kindergarten graduation program.  The kids sang songs, received awards and said what they learned in Kindergarten.  Bradlee received the "Sweet Tart" award for being so sweet and lovable!  Mrs. Mills also talked about how smart she is and what a good listener she has turned out to be. As a side note, I played the piano for the was terrifying, but Bradlee really wanted me to do it, so I pulled through for her.
June 1st - Bradlee's official last day of kindergarten.

June 15th - I turned 28! Aunt Jeanne passed away.

June 19th - Bradlee's dance recital!  She had routines for tumbling, ballet, jazz, and of course the daddy-daughter dance!  She has improved so much even from just six months ago!  Most importantly, she LOVES it!  I can't wait to see how next year goes.

Also, at the end of June Thaiya came to visit Grandma Bricco.  I think she stayed for a little over a week.  Bradlee and Brock had a blast playing with her!

Jamie and Amy came to pick up Thaiya and spent the 4th of July with us!  So good to see them! 

July 12th - I think this is the day Tyler was promoted to Guest Services Manager.  Such a huge blessing! 

*  *  *
I like to keep my feelings pretty private for the most part, but for my kids reading this sometime in the future, they should know that the Lord has a plan for us!  I spent so much of the beginning of the year feeling angry and scared, but it is amazing to see the miracles that have been worked in our lives.  I am amazed at how perfectly Heavenly Father knows us and our needs. So grateful for his timing and that he is in charge and not me!  My kids should also know how amazing their dad is!  He works so hard for them and loves them so much!  He is an amazing priesthood holder, and even though him being unemployed those few months was super hard and ridiculously stressful, I sure do miss having him with me all day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Halloween 2011

This past Halloween was probably our best yet. Bradlee was a strawberry, and Brock was a "bad chicken". This year we stayed home and did all our trick-or-treating in our own ward and neighborhood. The kids LOVED having everyone know their names at every house we went to. It was perfect weather, and no one ever complained about walking or being tired. Very successful!

Tory's Tunes