Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This is not a professional picture but it is how we will remember Christmas!

It has been so fun getting Christmas cards in the mail but I have just not had the energy to return the favor so I thought I would send an electronic version.

This year has been unique. We usually have lot of fun vacations and adventures as a family throughout the year. This year we have nothing fun to talk about. It has been one year since Nathan or I left the Boise area to go on a vacation. This year has brought an unexpected new bundle of joy to our family. After a long eight months of laying in bed and my gall bladder coming out, Riggins was born on August 19 at 36 weeks. He spent a short time in the NICU. Most people would never guess he was a NICU baby as he was 16 pounds 7 ounces (7lbs 8 oz at birth) and is 26 inches long (19 1/4 in at birth) at his four month old checkup on Tuesday. He is healthy and thriving.

So our adventures include: Our family watching TV and living through the shows (not something we normally used to do). Biggest Loser, Pawn Shop, Cake Boss, Cosby Show, game shows, and other random TV shows have brought many learning moments. For a long while, we also enjoy a night card or board game which was the highlight of my day.

Nathan still enjoys working at BSU. He has managed to continue to excel at work even though emotions were high this year. He recently finished a huge project the day before Christmas and will able to relax for the next week and half. And since I am writing this, I can say that he is the best husband and dad ever. We are all truly blessed to have him in our lives.

I was so close to be done with my Master's in Accounting and should have graduated last week (yes, I took a moment to shed a tear). I have nine credits left and have yet to be brave enough to enroll for even three credits. I still struggle daily from muscle atrophy and do not know how I could sit through class. Monday marks four months and the day that my good friend has committed me to get back in shape. I am going to take it slow but know that I have to start somewhere. I am thankful that I am able to stay home with my children and watch them grow. If Riggins would not have been born, I would have probably been looking for a full-time teaching job.

Avalee is loving 3rd grade. She is doing well in all her classes. She is enjoying dance were she learns ballet, tap, and jazz. She has become a master on her violin and will probably finish the first Suzuki book this year. She is my best Riggins' helper and I could not survive without her.

Lincoln enjoys 1st grade. He currently has 122% in math. I think the teacher might need to make his extra credit harder :) He is learning to play the piano and played Scooby Doo and Jolly Old St. Nicholas for his first piano recital. He also enjoys playing baseball and flag football. He really understands what is going on in these games but sometimes forgets to join in the play because he is analyzing. He is my best Riggins' entertainer as he enjoys playing imaginary "games" where Riggins can watch.

Riggins is four months. He enjoys eating (never had a kid that takes eating so seriously), enjoys spitting (but not as bad as Lincoln), smiling at himself in the mirror, talking to us, and loves attention for Avalee and Lincoln. His head is so big that he is not rolling yet but he is starting to move by pushing with his feet.

I feel blessed for all this year has brought to our family. It was a rough year and many people had to help us get through it but I cannot be more thankful for where I am in life and the happiness I feel.

Merry Christmas,

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chubby Cheeks

Riggins in glasses!

Chubby cheeks! Yes, he weighs a lot and is heavy to hold. We will get the four month stats on Wednesday. He might have started out as our smallest but I think he will end up as our biggest.
I love the pictures I find on my camera :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011


This picture was taken on Wednesday. If you look hard, our garden is still growing in the background which is not normal for Idaho. The kids got home from school, saw the leaves had fallen, and found the rakes. I wasn't even paying attention and soon saw them outside.

Then they buried Avalee.

Then they buried Lincoln.

If you have leaves, they will hire out for free because they love to play in them. They think our leaves piles are huge but they really have no idea what they are missing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A First!

I finally have a child who's head is on the charts for their age. Riggins' head is in the 99.7 percentile for his age. Yes, it is only on the charts by .3% but it is on the charts. In other news, he weighs 12 lbs 10 ounces and is in the 53% for his height and weight. He is definitely healthy.

I also found out today when he gets really mad he holds his breathe.

Friday, October 14, 2011


We are trying to do some fun activities in October to make up for the fact that we did nothing all spring or summer. Here is our bowling adventure.

Avalee was pretty good.
Lincoln needed some help to remember not to throw the bowl.

Riggins slept.

Fun Pictures

I am going through the camera and just found these fun pictures. What a cute family I have.

Saturday, October 01, 2011


Our doctor no longer calls Riggins by his name instead she calls him "trouble." Riggins was born three and half week early. He spent his time in the NICU and came home perfectly healthy but he has all these small random things wrong. I am going to list them so I remember this someday.

  • He has had his belly button zinc oxided four times for a portion that is smaller than a pencil eraser that didn't fall off. Normally it goes away after one try, two at the most. Riggins is not so lucky. If it doesn't go away this time, they are going to have to surgically remove it next week.
  • He has developed acid reflux and is now on pepcid and a gas-reducing formula. This is not a surprise for me, and we are thankful that he is not as bad as Lincoln was.
  • He has had thrush in his mouth for two weeks. They finally painted him purple yesterday. I left the doctor's office with Riggins naked because I didn't want to stain his clothes. Good thing it was 91 degrees.
  • He has had a yeast infection in his diaper area. I finally got this go to away with a prescription ointment.
  • He has hydroseal. I am not going to explain this but it seems to be a Wood trait.
  • Since he was in the NICU, he had to have another PKU. Why I don't know but man it made him mad.
So as I said nothing major but I have been at the doctor's office every week since this child was born. Good thing the doctor and I know each other well and can joke about it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


After a long year, the silence is broken.

This weekend was filled with fun and family.

First our front tree was dead and had to come out. My brother made it look easy. We all enjoyed the wood later and made s'mores.

Then we watched Lincoln play some flag football.

On Sunday, my sister-in-law was nice enough to take some family and individual pictures. Here are just a few.

This is seriously the most fun and exhaustion I have had in months.

The Cheese Sandwich

It has taken me weeks to get the courage to write this post but I was inspired by an e-mail from my sister-in-law today. I will never forget the love my husband showed me by making me a cheese sandwich.

Our baby is now a healthy five-week old baby but the battle to get him here was hard. At the age of 34, I found out that I was unexpectedly pregnant. I had never had an easy pregnancy and was scared.

April 13 came, or 18 weeks, and I felt horrible. I would find out two weeks later that my gall bladder needed to come out. My husband and I went to the doctor to find out the gender of our baby. We were immediately told that we were having a boy and were excited. The ultrasound seemed to last forever and I remember thinking I just wanted to go back to bed. Pictures were taken of every part of the baby. We were soon handed a long line of about 25 ultrasound pictures and told the doctor would be in soon.

The next hour of my life is a blur. The high risk doctor came in the room and told us our baby had echogenic bowel, or bright bowel. We were immediately taken to the genetics counselor to learn what this meant. The genetic counselor explained that the baby had a 90% chance of nothing being wrong but had a 10% chance of down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, being stillborn, or a number of autoimmune diseases.

I had declined all blood test at the first of my pregnancy that would determine most of these diagnosis. My only option was an aminoscientis. The risks of a miscarriage after an aminoscientis are high. My uterus was already thin and I felt horrible so we declined the test. My husband and I both knew that we would keep and love the baby no matter how he was born. My husband guided me out of the office in tears that were so strong that I could not even see where I was walking.

I don't remember much after this point but I remember that my husband drove to his work, explained to his supervisor what was going on, and brought my home. He made me a cheese sandwich, which tasted amazing, and put me to bed. Since neither one of us could speak, we announced the gender of our baby on the family website and did not make any phone calls. It would be exactly one month later that we told our parents what was on the ultrasound.

I then became the "test patient" at my high-risk doctor's office. The office was trying to decide which piece of new ultrasound equipment to buy. Since they received all the echogenic bowel referrals, I was the perfect patient. I had an ultrasound at 22, 25, and 28 weeks. All of these ultrasounds came back the same "bright bowel". I begin to dread these words but knew that I loved the baby inside of me and would either provide the baby with receiving a body on earth or be a mother to whatever was given to me.

At 32 weeks, I had an ultrasound to measure the size of the baby because they did not know how much longer the body was going to allow the baby to stay inside of me. The same ultrasound tech had been with me the entire time. She looked at me and told me that if she didn't know my history that she would not diagnose the baby with bright bowel at all.

At 36 1/2 weeks our baby was born. At this point, only a handful of people knew anything about the diagnosis of "bright bowel". We all held our breath as the many tests came back negative. The stress of the situation was gone, and we had a health baby.

I write this not out of sympathy for myself but for sympathy of others desperately searching the internet looking for other people's experiences. Stay positive and know that odds are so low that your baby will most likely be born healthy and strong.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

NICU and Riggins

I am going through my camera today and found these pictures. I don't ever remember Riggins in this bed in the NICU. They must have moved him to a new bed after the kids came and before I went down for the first time to the NICU.

The NICU is a scary place but we were very blessed this time to have a baby that did not look sad with all his wires. The wires seem scary but I have learned after two NICU babies that they wires are a blessing and it is the oxygen that makes you feel sad. I think it also helps when your baby is the biggest baby in the room.

This is the bed I remember.

Riggins spent six days in the NICU and then was allowed to come home. Truly a blessing to spend such a short amount of time for being born three and a half weeks early.