Sunday, November 29, 2009

On The Road Again

Ah Utah. Land of bland food, bad drivers, and hard nasty water. Add in the fact that the only way to get there from here is through Nevada, and you've got a place that I don't really ever feel the need to visit. If it weren't for the fact that people I love live there, I would never go back. (Maybe one day they will get with it and move out here to California.) About two weeks ago, one of Jon's best friends from high school, Heber Beddes, was getting married, and so we loaded up the car and headed across the desert to be there.

We drove out on a Wednesday and stayed until Sunday and were going going going pretty much every minute. We stayed with Jon's sister Jen in Layton. Thursday we did some light shopping, had a free lunch at the Noodles & Company in Layton (Jon works at the one here as a manager in training, and wanted to check out what another one looked like, and they fed us for free,) visited Uncle Jared at hair school and had the girl's hair cut, and then later I went and had hot chocolate and some great conversation with my sister-in-law Lindsey.

Friday was the sealing in the Jordan River Temple. It was beautiful and we were so glad that we were able to be there to witness this momentous occasion in Heber's life. Afterwards, we had a really good lunch with the Beddes family and friends before heading back to Layton to have dinner at Famous Dave's with Jared and Lindsey.
Saturday morning we went down to Lindon to visit with Jon's Aunt Terri and cousins Ashley and Mitchell. We went to lunch at Los Hermanos and had a great time talking and laughing.
This is my Ashley - I LOVE her. Someday we will live closer together and I will be very happy.
This is Jon and Mitchell, who were feeling left out of the love-fest.
Saturday night we were all the way in Ogden for the wedding reception, after which we went back to Layton and stayed up talking with Lindsey some more (it was a good time.) Sunday morning, Jon's cousin Kyle had his missionary farewell, so we went to that in Lehi and then to Uncle Brent's house to visit with that part of the family before driving back home. We has a hard time leaving since we hadn't had much time to sit with them and talk, and so by the time we left to start our drive back to California, it was 3:30 in the afternoon. That made for a VERY long and late drive, but it was worth it.
Jared, Uncle Brent, and Jon

On the drive home, Anna spent some time in the passenger seat so that Jon and I could take turns sleeping in the back. It made me look forward to the days when she can help with the driving too. She also practiced her photography skills while she was there. I think that the highlight of the drive home was having to help Hailey pee on the side of the road in the dark and freezing night because we were nowhere near a bathroom, and of course she couldn't hold it. Thankfully for all of you, there are no pictures of that adventure in the sage brush.
Overall, it was a nice weekend, but very fast and low on sleep. It was great to see everyone and have some great conversations, but as I told Jon, someone will have to die before I go back again, and then it will depend on who it is.

Monster Mash Redux

This year for Halloween, things were pretty low-key. I didn't have the time to focus on what everyone was going to be, or to make their costumes like I do some years, so we ended up with a lack of creativity in the outfits. However, the end result was the same: candy candy candy. Jon helped the kids carve pumpkins, and they did a great job. In case you can't tell, the pumpkin with one eye is B.O.B. from Monster's vs. Aliens - Hailey carved him.
Anna wanted to be the bride of Frankenstein, and the main challenge there was how to get her hair to stand up. In the end, I used a Gatorade bottle, Aqua Net hairspray, some bobby pins, and a headband to do the job. Then I did her makeup and put her in a dress/sheath I made from an old sheet, and she was good to go.

Hailey wanted to be a cat for Halloween, which was really easy. I got her some black leggings, a black shirt, some cat ears, made a tail, and drew on some whiskers and voila. With her black Chuck Taylor's, she was one cool cat.

Adam borrowed an outfit from his cousin and went as Mr. Incredible.

I really wanted Jonathan to be a vampire, because I thought he would be so stinkin' cute with the pointed hairdo and a cape and bow tie, but couldn't find a cape for him. Instead, I found an elephant costume for $6 at Goodwill. He loved it when we bought it, but then on Halloween didn't want to wear it, until Aby showed him the elephant scene from The Jungle Book, one of his favoritre movies. (When you ask him what the elephant says, he answers "Hup two three four.")

At the last minute, Jon decided he wanted to dress up. With 5 minutes to go before we left the house, he found an old orange jumpsuit in Jake's closet, we printed out the Dharma Initiative symbol and sewed it on, and he had an awesome costume. Not everyone knew what he was, but it was worth it when we ran into someone who does watch Lost, because they thought it was totally awesome.

Next year, I hope to be back into the Halloween spirit in time to get together some great costumes for the whole family.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sugar, Sugar

Just about everyday I have a minute where I think "I should go and blog," and then life keeps going and things are just too busy. I looked at the date of my last entry, and realized why it was my last. It was dated September 8. September 14, Anna was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Our lives were thrown completely off kilter, and we still haven't quite gotten them back on track.

Diabetes was not something I had ever considered with my kids. Type 1 doesn't run in our families, and when I think of diabetes I think of chunky kids, which everyone knows my girls are not. Once we were informed of the signs and symptoms, though, I could look back for months and see it. Hindsight is 20/20.

What led to the diagnosis was that Anna had been feeling pretty sick throughout the weekend, running a fever, listless, and really pale with sunken cheeks. Of course all this started Friday night, so we couldn't get to a doctor until Monday morning. When Jon told the doctor her symptoms, (which also included peeing A LOT) they pretty much knew what it was. (She had also lost 10 pounds in the past few months.) They did a urine sample and blood test, and immediately reserved a spot for her in the pediatric special care unit at Sutter Memorial in Sacramento. From there it was a blur.

Anna's blood sugar level upon arrival at the hospital was near 750, which, for those of you who don't know (as I didn't) is incredibly high. Normally it is in the 100's. She was admitted and hooked up to an IV and we spent four days there, learning everything we never wanted to know about Juvenile Diabetes and trying to bring her sugars down before they sent us home. We were admitted around 3:30 in the afternoon, and the next morning the nurse asked me "Are you ready to give a shot, Mom?" Before I could even blink, let alone say the "no" that would surely have been my response, she said "Yeah, you're ready," and handed me the vial and needle. Anna was very brave as I very hesitantly gave that first shot.

Those first couple of weeks at home were ROUGH. I was emotional, none of us were getting enough sleep, and everything was turned upside down. I can remember cutting chicken for dinner the second night we were home, and breaking down in tears, to which my husband kindly and sensitively replied "Oh, does chicken make you sad?" "Yes, it does." I told him.

Since then, things have improved. Anna gives herself almost all of her own shots, drawing the insulin into the syringe like a pro. She counts all her carbs and keeps track of her blood sugars. Not once has she complained about having the disease, or about what all it entails. She is an amazing kid, who amazes me more and more every day. If I had one one-hundredth of the resolve, patience, determination, and courage that she does, my life would already have righted itself.

Anna shortly after being admitted to the hospital. She tried to smile, but she just wasn't feeling well. She looks so much better now!

Pa (my dad) practicing giving shots to a roll of gauze.

Anna practicing

Aby (Jon's mom) practicing drawing liquid into a syringe

Pa giving his first shot. Anna is focusing on not paying attention to what he is doing - it was a defense mechanism of hers for the first week or so. Now, when she doesn't give the shot herself, she barely notices the needle.

Max the monkey, a gift from Aby

Visiting with Hazel and reading Tiger Beat - does it get any better? Hazel is one of three dogs at the hospital that go around visiting the pediatric patients. Grandma provided the magazine.

Watching Prince Caspian

Watching Anna. I have decided that seeing my child in the hospital is my new least favorite thing in the world.

Getting some much needed sleep.

Leaving - finally!!!

I have to give a huge thank you to all of my friends and family who expressed their love, concern, and support, not only while we were in the hospital, but since. I am so grateful to have such a great network of support and love.

Change of Season

Ah, Fall. A time when the air gets crisp and the leaves start to change...unless you live in California. It was well into September (maybe even the beginning of October?) before the 100 degree temperatures finally went away for good, and just the last couple of weeks the minimal amount of leaf change we get here has come about. But still it is officially Fall now, and I LOVE this time of year. We have been pretty busy lately.

The first weekend of October I went to Apple Hill with my step-mom Paula and sister Tara. I go every year, but this year we rented a house and stayed two nights with no husbands and no kids. It was quite nice. We spent Friday at Apple Hill, buying apples and gourds and home decorations (and spending too much money in my case) and the spent Saturday going to some thrift stores and laying around the house. I think I spent the majority of my time in the hot tub, which was fabulous.

Paula and I
Me with my feet in the hot tub, enjoying the incredible view

My sister and I getting ready to eat dinner and watch a movie

My dad took my sister and I to see Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt play an acoustic show at the Mondavi Center at UC Davis. I know, I know, sounds boring or maybe even painful, right? But it was actually a really great show. They are two very talented men, and Lyle Lovett is actually pretty funny. We had a good time.

Every year we go to Bishop's Pumpkin Farm, and this year was no exception, although the entire family didn't make it out. First, I went with Adam's kindergarten class. We had a lot of fun.

Then Jon and the boys and I went with his oldest sister Jen and her family. They were out here for my youngest brother-in-law Jake's wedding (more on that in the next blog post...)

Jon and the Nortons (and Jonathan on the end)
My boys in jail...let's hope this isn't foreshadowing
Attacking Daddy

Jon snapped this one
Adam and his cousins Wesley and Andrew

"Oh my gosh, I can't believe they are making me sit on a pumpkin."

So as you can see, our Fall has been busy so far, and I haven't even gotten to the wedding or Halloween yet. Hopefully I will blog about those before Christmas!