Wednesday, January 16, 2013


After such an awful week, we were more than ready for Thanksgiving break. I have always loved Thanksgiving, as mentioned before I am sure, and I think it is because it kicks off the Holiday season. I love watching the parade with my kids, especially the Broadway numbers, getting the Christmas decorations out, prepping for the big meal, and just spending time with my family without worrying about presents!
We were planning on Thanksgiving being with just the Curtis family, but it ended up being a Head family event with my mom's family coming. We even had my cousins in-laws joining us at the last minute. The more the merrier I guess!
My mom and I did most of the food, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, the delicious! We were so busy cooking and cleaning, however, we didn't get much of a chance to visit with everyone. I think we may need to stick to a smaller group from here on out simply because our family alone is getting so big!
I wish I had taken pictures of the setup-with 40 people, we had it planned perfectly with name place cards, beautiful center pieces, and lots of tables and chairs! Unfortunately, I was so busy I didn't take any pictures...lame, I know. We did get a family shot that I am pretty happy with...
And an attempt at a shot of the little boys...
The that we have one more joining the group!
We have started a tradition to do a talent show after dinner. I absolutely loved seeing my brother play a duet with his son. All of his boys play now and they have quite the shoes to fill!
Karoline and London did their Wiggles dance and I should have gotten it on cute to see them perform for everyone!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

When it rains, it pours...

They say disasters come in threes. After the week we had back in November, I would have to agree. It started with quite a scare Sunday morning. We were hurrying to get ready for church when I noticed I had started to bleed. I was 14 weeks along which seemed too far for the standard spotting when first pregnant. Still, I shrugged it off as I was more focused on getting Capri's hair ready for the Primary Program. Unfortunately, I soon realized I wasn't just spotting and so I told Tucker. With how much blood I had lost in just 15 minutes, he thought I needed to go to the hospital and he was in a bit of a panic. I wasn't so nervous but I thought I better call the doctor to make sure. Things quickly escalated once my mom arrived to take the kids to church. Both her and Tucker wanted me in the ER immediately so off we went. Just after we left, the on-call doctor returned my call and let me know there was no use in going to the hospital. It sounded like I was miscarrying and there wasn't anything they could do to stop the miscarriage from occurring. The best thing I could do was to go home, lay down, and wait until the next morning to see my doctor.
Really? I was losing this baby? I had just had an ultrasound a couple of weeks before and everything was progressing perfectly. The fact that I was pregnant with a baby had just come real to me and now it looked like I was going to lose it all. I was trying desperately to stay positive, but the internet wasn't exactly helping and I was kind of expecting the worst at that point. I knew that if this was all part of His plan for me, it was something I could handle. Knowing that my Heavenly Father would never give me more than I could take gave me great comfort and it really got me through the next 24 hours. Don't get me wrong, I started to cry multiple times throughout the day and night. I was so grateful to have Tucker as my rock and my comforter. Too, I cannot tell you how many friends and ward members called and texted to let me know they were praying for me. I couldn't believe how much love these people had for me and my family and I was humbled to know I had so much support. Of course my family was more than wonderful as well. Our living arrangement may seem strange to most, but having my parents and sister right close is such a blessing, especially in such circumstances. I love them so much!
By the next morning, my bleeding had almost stopped. I still didn't know what that meant, but I was much more hopeful going into the doctor that morning than the day before. Tucker went with me and they took us back right away. The nurse came in first to find a heartbeat. When she couldn't find it, Tucker and I both thought we had received our answer. She quickly mentioned that sometimes it was hard to find a heartbeat this early, however, and went to get the doctor. Dr. Smith came in and was concerned to hear I was bleeding this late so he started with an ultrasound.
Our baby was doing well! Moving around with a strong heartbeat!! I was so happy to see our little peanut on that screen and I couldn't stop smiling!! It turns out that I have a subchorionic hemorrhage, but it isn't a concern at this point. They are somewhat common and are usually reabsorbed before the baby is at full term. Phew! I was put on light bedrest (just know exercise or major activity) for two weeks and I haven't had any new bleeding since.
Monday was a very happy day for us all. That Wednesday was not. I was over at my mom's house chatting with her and my brothers. We were in the office and Karoline was just down the hall playing. After a minute of her being too quiet, I decided I better check on her. I was horrified to find her 15 feet away with multiple pill boxes in her hands, some of them open. My grandma had been moved out of my parent's house and into hospice care. My mom had been organizing all of her medications and had put them at the top of the stairs to be taken down. Unfortunately it meant that they were well within reach of my Koko. So many pills, there must have been 10 different bottles as well as the daily pill boxes full! We were particularly worried about the blood pressure medication and diabetes medication. I immediately call the doctor who put me straight through to poison control. As I read each medication to the operator, I grew more and more nervous. How could this have happened?! I was right there!! He told me that she would need to be hospitalized and to take her right away to the nearest ER.
I called Tucker and told him to meet me at the Riverton Hospital. I was so glad I was able to do so without breaking down. Karoline was already nervous as we had been asking her over and over whether or not she had taken any of the pills. I told her we were going to see the doctor and Grandma was going to come with us. She was very hesitant, but was such a trooper as we took her in.
They took her back for the start of numerous tests. She had an EKG done, urine sample taken, and then came the blood draw. They wanted to put an IV in just in case she had to have more tests done or needed fluids or medication later. I thought I was doing so well, being so strong for my little girl, but they were really pushing it! The nurse struggled to get the IV in and had to make a second attempt before getting it in. What was absolutely killing me was the fact that Karoline was trying to be so brave. She didn't shed a single tear. She seemed so nervous and afraid, but was acting like she was ok. Why did she feel she needed to be so brave? It just about put me over the edge.

Because the diabetes medication wouldn't show any effect for another 20 hours, they insisted on keeping her for a full 24 hours for close monitoring. None of us were happy about this, but knew it was absolutely necessary. They moved us to the Primary Children's Unit and I can't tell you how grateful I am to have such a facility so close. If your kids are sick or injured-Utah is the place to be, no doubt about it!

So we started the long haul of hospital stay, getting poked every 1-2 hours to get her blood tested. This girl is smart and as soon as the nurse or tech came in, she knew exactly what they were going to do. Not fun. And yet, this angel of a girl took it in such stride, never crying, not a tear. Some of her fingers wouldn't draw blood so they had to use the same 5 fingers over and over-they were hamburger by the end.
Throughout her stay, she became famous to the entire staff. No one could believe she was so good...and cute to boot! When I told the nurse I was interested to see how she would react to her first poke (after getting all of the other tests done), she responded with a smile and a bit of a laugh and said, "Oh, she will cry, they all do!" I told her that I was expecting that, but that she had surprised me by not crying so far. The nurse about died! She couldn't believe it! And sure enough, she gave her the poke and Karoline just grimaced and then smiled to get her bandaid. She had tech after tech, nurse after nurse, doctor after doctor, come in and be astounded by her good behavior. With that, Karoline was flooded with gifts. Coloring books, stuffed animals, and small toys were given to such a sweet girl.
By the last draw she had had it, however, and started to cry...finally. It lasted just a second and then we were done. Out of there. Finished with hospital food, hospital tv, hospital beds, pokes, prods, and everything in between. Hooray! And guess what the kicker is...there was no effect of any medication so she probably didn't take anything at all...what are you going to do??? Oh well!
As though we hadn't had enough (did I mention that we had kids with the stomach flu a few days prior, the twins had ALPS testing for three days, or that Tucker went out of town that weekend...awesome added details), my sweet, kind Grandma passed away at the end of the week. As I mentioned, my Grandma had been placed with hospice care after suffering a stroke three weeks before. She never regained her speech and was in poor health ever since. She was such an incredible woman and I have always looked up to her. She was brilliant, a hard worker, an amazing mother, independent, and was always up on her politics. I am sure she was thrilled to see that Obama was reelected! Maybe she is the reason why I am a registered Democrat! She loved my kids and many will tell you that I was one of her favorites. Terrible, I know, but I did feel special. I think about the fabulous memories she gave me teaching me how to crochet, sewing an Easter dress and other jumper outfit with/for me, dancing to "Sweatin' to the Oldies" in her room, having her live with us, her delicious taco soup served with Doritos, swimming at her house in Phoenix at night...the list goes on. Such an amazing Grandma and I am so luck to have had her play such a big role in my life as well as my kids. Love you Grandma and so happy to know of your sweet reunion with Dave and your sisters.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

This is Halloween, this is Halloween...

Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! That was the song Karoline would sing all through the month of October. Her hands up by her face, trying to be scary, but looking too cute! We had so much fun this year with Karoline that much older to really appreciate the holiday. The twins started the countdown in September so it was a good thing we had plenty of activities to keep them busy until the big day...


 Gardner Village:
Picking Pumpkins:
I love our traditional trip to Peterson Farms to pick our pumpkins. It's a fabulous little farm just down the street from us and the kids know it well. They have animals to pet, wagon rides, and plenty of haystacks for the kids to climb. Our search for the perfect pumpkins was easy (and unseasonably warm!) and we sure got some beauties this year...
My little pumpkin with her pick:
 On the tractor she goes (with a steering wheel bigger than she is!)...
 Roman chucking the hay from the top of the haystack-this kid is always going!
 A few days later, we carved or pumpkins with my family. The kids really got into it this year and weren't so afraid of the pumpkin guts...
A cat for Capri, a monster for Roman, and a plain pumpkin (with a towel over it to make it look like a ghost-thank you my creative daughter!) for Karoline!

Friends Halloween Party:
Our friends decided we needed to have a Halloween Party. Our kids love being together, really can't get enough of each other, and neither can us adults! So why not plan a fun party complete with comforting soups, crispy salads, rolls and breadsticks. We ate and ate, played and played, talked and talked. Once we got dinner cleared up, the kids went to town decorating cookies. Sprinkles, candy corn, pumpkins, and loads of frosting-it was everywhere, but the kids loved creating their masterpieces. Capri didn't even want to eat hers, she just wanted to make it as beautiful as possible...and full of candy! I was so busy playing Hostess (I had 6 families to my house including 15 kids ages 7 and under!) that I didn't get any great pictures, but here are a few I took with my phone...
Capri and her two besties, Kallie Guymon and Erika Bond. FYI, the kids were supposed to come in costume, but Capri was done wearing her cat costume (too many Halloween festivities!) so she put this thing on...turning tomboy??
Roman didn't even try to dress up! Here he is with Sam Ross and Bolton Dickman-love these boys!

Karoline wearing her own ensemble found in the dress-ups. Love it. She was as happy as can be playing with her "cousins," or so she calls them, Zoey Phillips and Sara Ross.

Running Scared 5k:
Cheri and Cody's racing company put on a Halloween running race fit for the whole family. Tucker, Jon and I ran the 5k and had a great time. We helped with chip stripping and medals after we finished and it was fun being apart of the event. Richard and Elizabeth helped out even more with Richard running the time machine and Elizabeth acting as the event photographer. She got this pic of us three runners right before the race...
And here we are right after we finished!
Halloween at Ballet:
Karoline got to wear her costume to ballet a few days before the big day. There really isn't anything cuter than a bunch of 2 year-olds dancing in their costumes. Nothing! It was hard to capture a shot where she wasn't moving around, so this was the best I got!
She was having so much fun!

School Parade:
When I think back to my elementary years, the Halloween parties and parades were at the top of my favorites list. Thank goodness they are still around for my kids to enjoy!
Here is Capri rounding the corner so excited to show off her costume!
Roman was in full character already, totally pulling out the ninja moves as he paraded around!
And here are the three amigos. I can't believe I am so lucky to have the cutest kids on the block!

Halloween Night:
Every year I have my family and Tuckers parents over for dinner and trick-or-treating. We fill up on yummy soup or chili and rolls before heading out for all the sugar. It could not be better for my kids than to have such a fan group following them around collecting candy!
Ready to go!
Karoline was a hoot this year! She didn't hold back when going in for the candy, but she always said thank you or Happy Halloween out loud for all to hear. She loved seeing all of our friends along the way too. That's the great thing about our neighborhood-everyone sees everyone throughout the night and it becomes quite the social event!
Capri's favorite part of the night is passing out candy once we get home. She sits at the front door or on the porch, we wrap her up in blankets once it gets cold, and she passes out candy to the trick-or-treaters. She was especially cute this year and telling the kids how much she loved their costumes. Love her!
Whew! And that wraps up our fabulous Halloween month of parties, traditions, and other festivities-our best year yet!