Sunday, May 12, 2013

Horses, or all about me

    I've decided to be a little self indulgent and write about something that is a huge part of me. Anyone that even knows me a little knows that I am horse crazy. I try to keep it subdued but it is there. Chops friends nicknamed me the Horse Whisperer, and while I'm no Monty Roberts, I do love horses. My friends in high school patiently watched me disappear during the summer because I was riding and showing pretty steadily. I think Chops figured I would grow out of it, but I think it is here to stay. There is a saying about how a girl would rather clean a stall than her room...they just amend that saying to the grown woman that prefers stalls to maintaining the house. Whoops! I have tried to be better about that.
    I will admit, I am incredibly lucky. I get to teach riding lessons, so basically play with horses and watch other horse crazy kids learn and progress. It isn't always easy but it really is an awesome job. But, there is always the part of me that wants to ride for me. With two little kids I definitely have not been riding like I used to and I have lost my desire to ride anything as long as I'm riding. I think both the decreased frequency of riding and the fact that I have two beings that look to me to care for them has made me more of a wimp.
     Anyways, I don't remember how it came about but I reconnected with someone that I took a few English lessons from back in the day and started lessons again. It is kind of hit and miss and some months I may only squeeze in one or two, but I am having so much fun. I've been riding with Carly, my sister, and it reminds me of the good ol' days where we pretty much rode all day, every day. She has not lost her nerve and is constantly razzing me about being such a wimp. It has been so fun to get pushed past what I feel like I can do, sometimes I fall short but those moments that I rise up to the challenge and succeed have been so refreshing. I finish just about every lesson smiling like an idiot and looking forward to the next one.
     I figured I better push myself a bit more and sign up for a show that was just around the corner. It has been so busy the last couple of weeks that I hadn't been riding as much as I wanted to, so I was tempted to withdraw and just wait until I was more "ready." But I decided I better suck it up and do it. I have been having a hard time keeping the nerves at bay and Shadow, the horse I ride, really picks up on that, so I tried my best not to psych myself out. Which is very easy for me to do.
      The competition was yesterday, and I feel like I accomplished my goal. We placed last in the first class, I was the only one in my second class but the judge still had me work and then gave me pointers after, which was great. The third class I was in I felt like we really settled down and did our best and we won! (granted, there were only two of us and the other was a girl I teach thats like 12 :) but I feel like it was a personal win for being calm and doing our best) We also won the jumping class, again against competition that wasn't too fierce but for me it was the fact that I conquered some demons, went out and did my best. And I walked out of the ring with that dorky smile on my face.
     Showing is a lot of work, and it really isn't easy to balance my sweet, patient kids (and husband, who does not understand the appeal) with twelve hour days so I probably won't be doing too much while my kids are still young but it was really fun to polish up the boots and show. Addie also showed with me and I look forward to having some of the same fun, long, hard days with her that I had growing up with my sister.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Family Pics

So I was feeling like we need some new family pictures since Wyatt was a new baby when we had our last ones. My sweet friend visiting from Boston offered to take some for us and I jumped at the chance. I love how they turned out. I may be a bit biased but I think my kids are adorable.
 I rest my case. It does not get any cuter than this!

 I love this one of Chops, and Addie is totally pulling a face

 I was so excited I could get Addie's hair into a cute 'do...and she left it in for longer than a minute!


I suppose there has been adequate time lapsed for an update :) Wyatt had a few more tests done that all came up negative. We took him off gluten for a month and while he has gained weight (it's so fun to see him chunky again) he still has rashes on his arms, back of his knees and back. Other than the rash, he has been doing pretty well. I have actually been taking him to a lady that, Ok, I don't really know how to explain it. She has these little vials with certain things you can be sensitive/allergic/bothered by. She tests you to see which ones you are sensitive to and then treats you for it. Yes, it sounds bogus, yes my husband thinks I'm taking our child to a witch doctor and yes, I may sometimes feel the same way. But, our specialist didn't think that allergy testing would necessarily be conclusive and I was ready to have a break from doctors as well. She works out of her home and it is very non invasive.
Even though I feel like we have jumped through several hoops, somewhat for naught, this experience has been good for me. Each time I was up at the hospital, I realized that I am so blessed. I have two healthy children, one may be itchy but he is in good health. I have awesome health care coverage, even though I was bemoaning my high deductible that is better than many peoples regular coverage. We were worried that our health bills would eat a huge chunk of savings but it ended up that our tax return just about covered it all. I am amazed at how well the Lord takes care of me and my family. I feel like I need to do my part to help others, pay it forward so to speak. Visit those sick in the hospital, donate every time I'm asked, take time to make sure that those around me are getting taken care of. Spending time with my itchy but solid little boy. And now, a gamish of pictures.

Monday, February 11, 2013


So Wyatt has not been growing. Which didn't really have me concerned since we are kind of a small family. But then it was months and months without any growth and the kid shovels the food in. I think for the first little while the pediatrician was just like, feed the kid more, easy fix.  But he really eats quite a bit. There are many meals that he eats more than Addie and then finishes off her plate. And he poops all the time and he can be so happy and then so crabby. And his skin itches a lot. So we decided to see a specialist. They gave me a couple of numbers to try and wanted him to get in as soon as possible. I called around and some places had like a three month wait and one place we were able to get in the next week.
When we went to the first appointment, the nurse practitioner walked in and immediately said, "that is a celiac baby." It kind of threw me off. She asked us if thats what we were expecting but it really wasn't. He had already had a blood test that had come back negative so it wasn't even in my mind.  But as she talked with us, there were so many things that rang familiar. Apparently, because he is so young, a blood test can come back with a false negative and we do have multiple cases of it in my family.  She mentioned getting a biopsy done to verify it but we kind of felt like just taking him off gluten would be the best way to go. I was still kind of in shock about the whole thing. The dr was super animated and sent us home with probiotics and a couple of fact sheets.
So after we get home and have lots of friends and family and internet input, we discover that if we take him off gluten before getting a biopsy done it will most likely be worthless to ever get one done. (Which is the main beef I have with the first dr- I wish she had mentioned that to us at the very beginning. I think we made it clear that we would eventually like to get it done but wanted to try taking him off gluten first. Otherwise, I felt she was very caring and helpful)
So now we have to keep him on gluten until we can get a second opinion and schedule a biopsy (after some great advice on how its not quite as scary as I first felt it was-but still scary!). He was only off of gluten for one day but it felt like he was already feeling better and when we put him back on it, I felt like he grumped up again. So it was really hard, wondering if the food I was feeding him was hurting him. We scheduled another appointment with Primary Childrens this time. It was just a couple of days after Chops surgery and during one of the raging snowstorms. And since Chops was still taking his meds...I got to drive :)
The second dr had a peon(can't think of the right word so I'm leaving it at that) do most of the intake information and then he came in towards the end. The difference between him and the first doctor was large. She was bubbly and talked the whole time and was SO sure he had celiac and he kind of sat back and didn't say much. We were really hoping for a big confirmation, yes! You need to get this done ASAP! But it was more, I suppose, if thats what you feel you need to to, we can schedule it. So weird. So we set it up for a Monday, in the afternoon...I asked if we could be put on a list if anyone cancels to do it sooner. We decided to have a different dr perform the procedure so we could do it earlier and in the morning. Which was a huge relief for the heck am I supposed to fast an 18 month old into the afternoon?!
So we had a little over a week before the procedure, and it was such a fun filled week! Wyatt got progressively more sick to where I ended up taking him in on Friday...and then again on Monday. I was pretty worried that he wasn't going to be able to get the procedure done if he was as sick as he had been, and lo and behold he wakes up on Wednesday feeling much better. They told us that if the anesthesiologist didn't feel comfortable with him doing it they wouldn't go through with it but that was fine by me. I felt like he would probably be able to, as he had gotten so much better.
Thursday morning we wake up at 4:30 so we can be to PCMC by 6. He slept the whole way up and was pretty happy for getting woken up early and being at a new place. We waited for a while but the nurse checked him out and he got gowned up and moved to another waiting area. There were so many babies and kids there waiting for surgery. I was so grateful that Wyatt hasn't had to do anything else, and his procedure was pretty mild. There was a nine month old getting eye surgery and a cute little girl getting some kind of organ surgery. She got a little doll that she could draw on and Wyatt eyed it so they brought him out one. Later that day we went home, Addie saw it and said, "you're not supposed to draw on babies, you're supposed to draw on paper!" I explained to her what it was for and she immediately claimes, "I'm really sick, I need to go to the hospital!" Oh, I love her.
So, the nurses informed us that the doctor would be taking him and giving him gas and then the IV once he was out and asked if we wanted to give him a sedative before they took him so he wouldn't cry as much. It was here that I burst out in tears. I wished that I could hold him as he fell asleep so he wouldn't cry. I knew that he would because he is kind of a momma's boy anyways, so I can imagine how he felt in a scary place with the nurses already bugging him. I wanted him to be calm, but I also wanted him to be able to come out of the anesthesia without too much else in his system, so we didn't give him anything extra. The anesthesiologist checked him out and gave him the green light so it was time to walk him down. I got to snuggle him a couple of times and then just walked away.
We went to the waiting room, and didn't have to wait too long. The procedure was only about 20 minutes so not bad. While we were waiting, there was a family that came in for an emergency surgery and were expecting it to take several hours. I just kept counting my blessings.
 Getting suited up-those hospital jammies are scratchy!
 Coming home
They let me go in first when he was waking up and I was suprised at how alert he was already. He was pretty mad that he had the IV and the pulse ox and the blood pressure cuff. I could tell his throat was sore, but it was also still kind of sore from his sickness too. We snuggled for a while after we got him to  calm down a bit and forget about his IV. The nurse that was checking in on us kept laughing at how opinionated he was about everything. He would stare her down whenever she had to do something. He had to drink something before we could go (his oxygen was really good the whole time, I joked with Chops that he had to stay in recovery longer than Wyatt did, but I'm sure he got a bigger dose of everything). We finally convinced Wyatt to eat some popsicle as I drank his slushie and once he started he was like, "hey, this isn't too bad. I get to watch PBS kids, mom's snuggling me and I get treats." He did end up throwing a fit and spilling his second slush all over me, but we were able to head home pretty early and he was really pretty happy throughout the day. After it was over, I realized it really wasn't as big of a deal as I felt it was but I was really glad for it to be over. We are still waiting to hear back the results but we have taken him off gluten in case we need to anyways. Sometimes it is really hard and some days it hasn't been too bad. I do think it will be easier to just feed everyone the same because Wyatt will see someone has something different and he wants it too! Apparently we share a lot in our family.


The last few weeks have been a whirl wind so I better catch up again. Two weeks ago, Chops was feeling kind of blah on Sunday afternoon. Which then became excruciating pain as the night progressed. He woke me up around 1 am to let me know that he was hurting pretty bad. So of course we googled symptoms before deciding it would be prudent to head to the hospital. The drive kind of made me think of having a baby. Chops kept telling me to watch the bumps and we were the only ones on the road, rushing to the hospital. Since both of my kids have come by induction, I told Chops this may be the closest we ever get. We made it to the ER, which was pretty empty so we got a room pretty quick. The doctor came in and asked the questions, they hooked Chops up to an IV and started the pain meds flowing and arranged to have a CT scan done. The dr said he would come and let us know the results of the scan and we hunkered down to share a super comfy hospital bed. The nurse ended up coming in to give him antibiotics, which we then found out that he did have appendicitis and would be getting surgery in the am. We killed a couple of hours by trying to sleep, there was a sad, sad little baby that was crying in the room next to us, so it was hard. The next thing we know, the surgeon comes in and drills the questions again to make sure Chops isn't a hypochondriac and then its time to whisk him away to surgery. Once the surgeon came it went pretty quickly. Apparently, he had to make it to a dentist appointment. It kind of didn't sink in that he was getting surgery until they wheeled him down the hallways on the gurney and I had to sign all the forms and say good bye. Luckily, the surgery didn't last too long so I didn't have too long to worry. I didn't call his mom until after he was headed into surgery, I knew she would worry. The dr came out and said everything went well, they were able to take it all out and there was no infection or complications. I had to wait for him to come out of recovery before I could see him. Right a way he was cracking jokes. I can't remember what he said but it was pretty funny and nice to see him semi lucid. I think that because he had hardly slept the night before (maybe the fact that he had also just come out of anesthesia...) he was super tired so most of the recovery time was spent sleeping. Its probably what I should have been doing too. I ran home to check on the kids, my sweet brother was watching them after my mom had to leave for work. We were out of the hospital around 12:30 and then picked up his drugs and headed home. Poor Chops kind of got the shaft during the first week of his recovery because Wyatt ended up sick with a fever and wanted lots and lots of mom attention. It was also the week of his second gastroenterology visit. Its been a crazy couple of weeks! But I'm glad that Chops is feeling better and is now itching to get out and play in the snow!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

18 Months!

Wyatt is already 18 months. He has really blossomed in the past few months and is turning into such a little boy. It is so fun to watch him grow and develop but bittersweet to lose the baby in him. I love watching him play with Addie. He wants to do everything just like her. And she really is mostly sweet with him. They play with kitchen toys, baby dolls, dress ups and of course trucks and blocks. Wyatt is a willing partner in any shenanigans Addie pulls.  He hasn't spoken much but just in the last few weeks he is starting to jabber and repeat words. He says Addie and sis, mom, dad, Rich and some of the animal sounds and of course Rocky and Maggie. He actually learned those pretty early on, accompanied with NO! He just learned how to fold his arms and says amen during the prayer.
He wouldn't ever sit still for me to read to him until we pulled out "No, David!" I seriously have mixed feelings about that book but both of my kids love it. And it was the gateway to reading. He loves Quick as a Cricket, Curious George and When the Rooster Crowed. I love sitting with him and reading the same book three and four times.
He is still as tenderhearted as ever. You look at him wrong and he bursts into tears. He does this thing where he puts his head in his hand, it is so melodramatic and it usually makes me laugh despite the fact his heart is breaking into a million pieces. He typically has at least one really good meltdown per day where he cries, yells, sobs for a good five or ten minutes and then is fine. Sometimes I can figure out what set him off, like cutting his toast wrong or putting jam on it when he wanted it plain... but sometimes I just scratch my head. He is definitely lovable. If you ask for a kiss he will give you one and his hugs melt me. He is mostly sleeping through the night with an occasional need for a snuggle and he has been sleeping later which is nice for me. Of course Addie usually wakes up early on the days he sleeps really well.
He was sick on Christmas eve, but was so fun opening presents and playing with his sis on Christmas day. He got a toy drill and carted it with him most of the day.
We love our sweet, sassy and small Wyatt. He just got a haircut and looks even more like a little boy.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


I can't believe it-Addie has graduated from nursery and tomorrow is her very first day as a Sunbeam. I hope she loves Primary as much as she does nursery. She has had super awesome leaders and I know that they will miss her and will be missed. They had a little graduation and it was so fun, kind of like herding cats, really cute ones. Wyatt will be heading into nursery in a week. I can't believe how fast it goes.


Addie and Wyatt are lucky enough to have some cousins near the same age as they are, and they live close. I know that Addie and Taisyn are going to cause some serious trouble as teenagers and I used to think that Brooklynn would help keep Addie on the straight and narrow but now I can actually envision them living it up too. Uncles are pretty cool to. I love this pic of Addie and Uncle Dave