Sunday, January 31, 2010


They're a ROWDY (but cute) BUNCH!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I'm back.  I have limited capabilities here on these pediatric computers so I haven't been able to do much as far as communication goes.  Thank you to Jenny for being my temporary mouthpiece.  This is our third day here at Mass General Hospital and we have felt very fortunate to be in such great and capable hands.  The staff is amazing and so kind.  Besides missing home and our PICU family we have been very well taken care of.  It's comforting to know that they are here for us if we ever need to come here again.  The DHART transport team will be here in a couple of hours.  They opened up a bed for Benny.  It will feel good to be back on familiar grounds.  The events from the last couple of nights have been a prolonged apnea episode.  Ben stopped breathing, not sure why?  The vent kicked in a back-up rate and then he proceeded to "ride" the vent for about 10 minutes before spontaneously breathing on his own.  Last night his heart stopped for about 8 seconds.  I woke up this morning and saw the EKG leads all over his chest.  There was no intervention needed, it started back up on its own.  Slightly alarming considering this has never happened before - atleast not documented.  They also took bloodwork to make sure things looked good and they did.  Now we wait for the DHART team to come.  I'll post more later.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

(guest post by Jenny) This is how I found him...

...resting comfortably at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston today.
(don't you want to kiss those cheeks?)

It was a L-O-N-G night, and there was no room at the Inn--the Dartmouth Inn, so the next best thing was Mass General.  Becky accompanied him on the ambulance ride, and they arrived in bean town at 2:30 am this morning.  They even remember Ben here--he spent his birthday weekend here in 2006.  His fever is down, he's on the vent and they were inserting a pic line when we left, just after noon time.  I'll let Becky fill you in on the nitty gritty when she's back in front of a computer.  She was tired, but in good spirits, and hopeful about a transfer back to the land north when a bed opens up at Ben's home-away-from-home.
Ben:please get better soon.  We're looking forward to happier times, when you can sport the movie star look for us again.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


Yesterday morning after having a few moments of forgetfulness...I started wondering just how early dementia can really set in.  I thought forgetting about the new puppy that I had let out to pee was bad.  Thankfully she reminded me 90 minutes later when I heard her scratching and whimpering outside my door.  The poor pug had a confused look on her face and icicles hanging off her nose.  I really didn't mean to forget about her, it just slipped my brain as I was busy getting Ben ready for the day.  As I was preparing to leave for the afternoon my thought was, "what if I had left after letting her out?  WHAT would have happened to her?"  Then I packed my car with Ben and headed out the door to a luncheon with some Dartmouth nurses, an event that was planned a month ago.  I was excited.  The destination was over an hour away and so I had lots of time to think during my car ride.  One of the thoughts that ran through my head on the way up there was "I wonder if my lunch group is getting together today?"  You see, I have a group of friends that get together every week for lunch, most of the time it happens to be on a Wednesday.  I hadn't heard from this group all week, and even if I had...I would have told them that I couldn't get together with them today because I already made plans a month ago to get together with these nurses.  They would totally understand.  And then my thoughts went elsewhere and before I knew it...I had arrived.  The luncheon was GREAT!  Ben and I had a fantastic time.  We stayed for about 3 hours and then started driving home.  10 minutes or so into my drive I noticed that I had a voicemail.  It was one of my lunch friends.  She was calling to let me know that she was thinking of me.  It made me smile.  She's a really sweet lady and is always so considerate.  I had a fleeting thought about our lunch group again and how it was Wednesday and that she called around noon time.  BUT, she never mentioned lunch, so I figured she really WAS just thinking of me.  How nice.  I got home around 5pm, got my van stuck in the snowbank, ripped the elephant apart and hurt my back getting Ben into the house.  When things were finally settled and people were where they were supposed to be, I sat down for a minute to check my email.  One of my lunch friends that I'm friends with on Facebook wrote on my wall..."It's Wednesday...where are you?"  Again I was thinking how thoughtful all my friends were to be thinking about ME on our typical lunch day.  So I wrote back to her.  I told her I had been up in Sunapee for the day, having lunch with some of my favorite nurses from Dartmouth, and how much fun it was.  Then I logged off and started making dinner.  Steve called knowing that we were short on groceries and asked me what I needed from the store.  I gave him a quick list and hung up.  About 20 mintues later he calls back.  He was calling me because he happened to run into the same lunch friend that had written "Where are you?  It's Wednesday!" on my wall.  SHE informed Steve that I offered to host lunch this week at MY house...and so at noon, all of my friends were standing on MY doorstep, wondering where I was.  GULP!  It all came rushing back to me.  As we were leaving LAST week's lunch, I told everyone that the next Wednesday we would have lunch at my house.  SHOOT!  How did I forget THAT???  I started replaying all of the events that took place that day over in my mind.  NOW it made sense why Judy called me at noon to let me know that she was thinking of me...she was on my DOORSTEP, and it made sense why Trish was writing on my wall...subtlety reminding me that I had stood everyone up.  Meanwhile, I'm totally TWO-TIMING my group, blissfully ignorant in Sunapee, eating yummy food and visiting with great people.  I'm only 36.  I'm feeling the dementia coming on.  Somebody HELP me!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I love snow.  Don't let me persuade you otherwise.  I just don't love snow when I'm driving THIS van.  It stinks in this weather.  I was surprised I could even get out of my driveway and UP our giant hill this morning when I ventured out.  Oh...and while I was out?  It snowed.  But not where I was at.  Just at my house.  Figures.  Because when I came home, I practically slid...all the way down my street and into my driveway.  Putting my van in neutral didn't even help me in this situation.

Thankfully the wheelchair lift of the van was on the other side of the snowbank.  Unfortuanately it wasn't much help since I couldn't back up to the door and unload Ben from the ramp right into the house.  Thankfully there were only two steps to get him up onto, unfortuanately two steps proved enough to hurt my back trying.  I guess I'm not strong enough to physically lift Ben AND his wheelchair up those stairs.  I was lucky Stevie was home to rescue me from further injury.  Together we got his chair into the house. 

Unfortuanately Ben's elephant fell victim to the rescue.  I've ruptured his spleen, spilling half his contents onto the floor of my van.  Thankfully a few stitches and some tender loving care is all it will take before he's back to being Ben's constant sidekick.  (although he'll be a few ounces lighter)

If only I could say the same about my back.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


He's my BROTHER!

Monday, January 18, 2010


The "unplugged" version.
(my favorite)

Friday, January 15, 2010


These onsies hang in my closet.  I bought them two years ago when I found out I was first pregnant.  Seven years it took us to get pregnant.  We waited a LONG time.  From the very minute I found out, I KNEW I was having a girl.  I was so excited. Then I got really, really sick.  I might have done some more shopping had I not been glued to my bed and vomit bowl.  Probably a good thing now.  Then it happened again.  The second pregnancy was a surprise.  A shock really.  We both came to the conclusion that I was just TOO sick to do it again.  Never mind the fact that I almost died.  I guess Heavenly Father had other plans.  I was afraid...for many reasons.  I was afraid to be so sick and I was afraid it might happen again.  And then it did.  I just didn't understand why, but I accepted it.  Sometimes I think about WHY.  Why did I have to be SO sick...twice...for months...only to end up losing both babies.  But mostly I choose not to dwell on it because I have faith that things worked out the way they were supposed to, as hard as it was.  This week was my due date...and these onsies are still hanging in my closet. 

Monday, January 11, 2010


Take my kids SHOPPING with me.

Kayla and Bubby knocked this display over with the shopping cart.  They were fooling around while I was in another aisle.  I heard this "CRASH", came running and found them scurrying in embarrassment to clean up the mess.  I was laughing so hard I almost pee'd my pants.

Was it wrong of me to LAUGH?
(cuz I did)

Sunday, January 10, 2010


"Grace is a God-given virtue.  It is a disposition to be kind and to do good." 
President James E. Faust
I came across the virtue of "grace" today as I was reading a past conference talk.  My thoughts immediately turned to my Aunt Shirley.  I love her dearly.  I have a lot of extended family from both sides of my parents, but never developed the kind of relationship that I have with my her and my Uncle David.  She came into my life at the age of 9 when she married my dad's brother.  They have been ever present in my life since, whether by cards in the mail, family gatherings, phone calls, visits or being one of my greatest supporters in my blogging efforts.  You can always find her "doing" for others.  She has that inate disposition to do good.  I will forever remember the unconditional love and service that she rendered to my grandmother for many, many years before she passed away.  She always made sure her laundry was clean, her nails were buffed and polished and she would spend hours visiting with her when no one else did.  Recently her husband, the love of her life, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Yet through it all, she continues to serve.  To be kind and to do good.  I received this beautiful, hand knitted scarf from her in the mail just the other day.  I LOVE it.  Thank you Aunt Shirley. xoxo

Friday, January 8, 2010


That's my word for 2010.  Instead of making the long list of resolutions, I'm following some other blogging friends and choosing a word to represent how I would like for my 2010 year to be.Yes, wellness would be NICE.  It would be nice not to have to be a patient in a hospital, go through any more surgeries, be sick, or watch my child suffer through another illness. It would be nice not to find a lump on my throat, overdose my child or be overdosed by my doctor.  It would be nice to not have my lung collapse, or fly across the United States on another medical flight, or find out that my child's surgery for his hearing failed.  It would be nice not to have to chase anymore ambulances, worry about DNR's or injure myself while playing sports.  It would be nice NOT be a regular visitor to the ER, have a child's joints swell and be painful or have my husband lose any more teeth.  It would be nice to not have to witness any more seizures, add one more scar to my body or have a child that deals with chronic gut issues. It would be nice not to have to have any more IV's blow, call my child's neurologist in an emergency situation or sleep over 100 nights in the PICU up at Dartmouth.  Yes my friends...WELLNESS is my goal.  Not only in health, but in mind, body and most importantly spirit.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


(long and straight)

(side sweep bangs and layers)

Stevie got her hair cut during the Christmas break while we were down in Massachusetts.  She was SO excited to finally have a fashionable haircut, so much so that I think she fell in love with herself all over again.  She was especially excited to come home and surprise her dad who was stayed behind to babysit the pugs.  I was surprised that Steve wasn't more enthusiastic about her cut, afterall...he likes new and adventerous...something that I'm afraid to do when it comes to MY hair.  He kind of hummed and hawed over it for the first 24 hours, not really knowing why?  The next night at dinner I caught him staring and STARING at her hair.  It was at that moment that he realized why he did NOT like her new haircut.  He proceeded to tell Stevie about this high school kid that he deals with on a DAILY basis.  Basically he's a troublemaker.  He told her that THAT boy has the SAME haircut as she.  And THAT is why he doesn't like it.  "You look like THAT boy" he tells her.  "Could you please put your hair up?"  And so she did.  And there was peace again in the land....

Right after she gave him one of THESE!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


We lucked out this year. Kayla is on the 8th grade A basketball team and as a 7th grader, Kaleb happened to make the A team as well. The reason I lucked out is because the two teams travel together which means every game day is a double header. I also love that they both can watch each other play.
Kayla is #34

David and Goliath.
Kayla getting ready to "box out".
Wondering when Kaleb's body is going
to catch up with his almost size 12 feet.

I put together a little clip of Kaleb's game. The first two clips are of him playing great defense. The second two are of him going up for a shot, getting fouled and shooting his free throw shots.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Sometimes as a 10 year old,
you have to share clothes
with your 6 year old foster brother.
(like these awesome shorts I'm wearing)
The End.