Friday, March 31, 2017

March 2017

Spring is finally here!  Hallelujah!  We are loving the warm, sunny days so much and can't wait for all the fun outdoor activities that await us!  March flew by and was great to us!

Anytime the weather was even a little bit warm, we spent time outside enjoying the escape from the house.  I took this picture just seconds before Austin found a bunch of mud and was covered.
It's hard to see Austin in this picture because he's so far away but I thought it was so cute watching him climb up on that swing and hanging out for a good few minutes by himself.
I have to include this picture because it was the first time Austin had discovered the camera on my phone all on his own.  I was cleaning up when I heard him say: "Cheese!" and he was taking selfies haha.
Austin has always been a great sleeper (8-8 without a peep) but he discovered earlier this month that he can crawl out of his toddler bed whenever he wants.  We went through a really rough few weeks where he wouldn't stay in bed right when we put him down, he'd wake up all hours of the night wanting to play, and he was up WAY too early in the morning.  We tried hard sticking with our routine but we definitely caved a few times after several hours in the middle of the night.  Finally, just last week, we cracked down and decided that we truly needed to stick to his routine and make him cry it out if that's what it took.  He's not able to open his door yet so when we put him down we shut the door tight and let him do his thing until he goes to bed.  The first few nights he cried hard when he couldn't come out but just like sleep training an infant, he quickly learned that he wasn't going to win.  For the last few nights he has gone to bed right away and stayed in his room all night until about 7.  We'll take it!
He couldn't even handle 9am church when he was waking up so much at night because he was exhausted by that time already!
We get to spend every other Sunday dinner with these cute second cousins and Austin loves trying to be big like them!
Logan was able to get some last minute tickets to the Jazz game earlier this month through school and our go-to babysitters were busy so we decided to bring Austin with us for the first half.  He actually did really well!  During the first quarter he watched and clapped and during the second quarter he ran up and down the hall by our seats.  Logan took him home at halftime so he could get to bed but I was really impressed with how well he did!
He was completely mesmerized by the fireworks during the introductions!
I know I include pictures of Austin and his buddy Beck a lot but I can't help it when they play together and happen to be wearing the same PJs.  They're already so much alike that they looked even more like twins this time!

Austin and I try to go on walks with neighbor friends a couple times a week (hopefully even more when it warms up!) and as I was shutting our door one morning I didn't realize the stroller had started moving and took on the stairs all on its own!  I realized just one second too late and wasn't able to catch it in time and I was TERRIFIED during that 1.5 seconds that it would flip forward and Austin's face would take the hit!  Thankfully our stroller is awesome and handled the stairs like it was no big deal and Tinny thought it was hilarious!  As soon as I realized everything was fine I couldn't stop laughing but my heart sure was racing!  I called Logan and told him about it and a few minutes later he sent me the video of it that our doorbell was able to capture.  I wish I knew how to upload videos because it's hilarious but this picture can give you an idea :)
Because we have so many ultra sounds during our pregnancies the sonographers will occasionally snap a few 3-D pictures for us and it's always so fun to see.  I think they can often look creepy but we actually got a decent one earlier this month.  It's so weird to think that real-looking baby is right in your tummy!  We got an almost identical one of Austin at this point so I put them side by side and it's easy to see that Austin had Logan's long, thin nose and poor Victoria seems to have my chunky nose :)
We had transfusion number three on March 10th and it was such a dream!  Compared to the first two, the difference was night and day.  You might recall that our first two transfusions were quite challenging and took over an hour.  I was nervous for number three but hopeful that things would go better since I was further along.  Thankfully they were in and out within five minutes and before we knew it we were up in recovery!  It was amazing!  Almost as amazing as this food tasted after not being able to eat for so long ;)
Logan, Tinny and I went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse earlier this month and had a great time.  Austin loved opening the peanuts or just eating through the shell!
I think otter pops are going to be our friend this summer!  And hopefully we spend a lot of time with our cousins because Austin sure loves these ones!  We love being able to play outside after Sunday dinners now that it's warming up!
We went on our first trip to the zoo this month and had lots of fun!  It's so fun this year because Austin recognizes so many of the animals and is way more interested than he was last year.  Another plus: He's no longer terrified of the carousel!

Logan went snowmobiling with the elders quorum a couple weeks ago so Austin and I had a backyard picnic date with Wendy's.  One of this kid's first words was "shen shy" (french fry) so he was in heaven!  Every time we pass a McDonalds while we're driving he immediately shouts "shen shy?!" I promise we don't eat there that often but the kid is clearly obsessed!  Haha.
Austin made a little friend at the park one day but when he shared his car and she wouldn't give it back he ripped it away from her and held it up to his chest the rest of the time.  The best part was the glare he gave her anytime she got close!
On March 21st we finally got Austin circumcised after nearly two years and he was not happy with us for awhile!  I was really nervous about how the morning leading up to the surgery would go since he wasn't able to eat anything but thankfully we got an early start time--6am--so he was too tired to even think about food.  He was really happy as they checked him in and got him all prepped to go and even did quite well when they took him from us and walked away.  I was so proud of him!  The nightmare came right when he was trying to come out of anesthesia.  He had a really hard time waking up and nothing would calm him down at all.  After an hour or so in recovery he finally calmed down and we were able to get out of there which made him a lot happier too.  The first day wasn't awful as far as pain goes but the next day was HORRIBLE!  We were giving him all the pain meds he could have and he was still screaming in pain most of the day.  I felt SO bad!  Thankfully each day got a lot better and by day 6ish he was almost back to normal.  He still has moments of discomfort and probably will for a couple more more weeks but for the most part I think we're in the clear.  It's so nice having that out of the way!
He watched lots of shows those first few days after surgery!
And he wasn't allowed to bathe for a few days after so that first one was pure heaven for him!
Because of all the meds, he was super constipated and needed to poop so bad but every time he pushed it hurt his little circumcision so much.  This is him feeling so sad that he couldn't just do his duty and it broke my heart! :(
Austin hasn't ever used a pillow but about a week ago he started refusing to go to bed without one.  I was happy to buy him one but the problem is he loves MY pillow!  Unfortunately my pillow is the comfiest thing in the world and I have no idea where I got it but Austin definitely wins that battle so he gets it now and he always looks so comfy when he sleeps!
March 25th was Eli's fourth BMT birthday!  It's so hard to believe all of that was four years ago.  In some ways it seems like a lifetime ago and in others it seems like just yesterday.  I remember March 25, 2013 so vividly and I hope I never forget the details!  In case I do, I better write them down.  Unless you've experienced the BMT world, it's hard to describe how highly anticipated this day is.  Whether you're receiving the BMT for cancer treatment or something else, like SCID, it means a new chance at life--a brand new start that wouldn't be possible were it not for a bone marrow transplant.  The most common misunderstanding about a BMT is that it's a big, scary surgery when in fact it's extremely anticlimactic.  The bone marrow cells, which look just like blood, are hung on an IV pole in the patient's room and given through a central line.  Eli slept through his entire transplant!  We woke up the morning of transplant with the greatest feeling of anticipation I had ever felt in my life!  Most BMT families celebrate the day just like a birthday so we had gotten Eli a few toys that he could grow into, I dressed him in one of my favorite outfits he had, and we had gotten delicious desserts for the whole staff as a thank you.  The doctors and nurses all came in and sang "Happy BMT Birthday" and we all cheered and then the infusion began!  It didn't take long, maybe 45 minutes if I remember correctly, and the rest of the day was pretty low-key for Eli.  He was pre-medicated with Benadryl so he slept most of the day which was great.  One detail I had forgotten until I just started writing was that right after the excitement died down, I suddenly got the most awful stomach pains I had ever felt in my life!  I like to think I have a high pain tolerance and I hate attention if I'm uncomfortable at all but no matter what I did, I couldn't hide the fact that I truly felt like I was going to die.  My first thought was that my appendix was rupturing and I started having nightmares that I would be in another hospital recovering from that while Eli was recovering from his transplant and I couldn't be there.  His nurses easily noticed something was wrong and did a quick assessment but didn't know what was going on.  **Here comes the embarrassing part with a little TMI, FYI**  Just as I was getting ready to tell Logan that I had to go to the hospital, Eli's nurse came in and said: "I just had a thought.  Have you gone to the bathroom recently?  If not, that might be just what it is."  I felt SO, SO dumb but that's exactly what it was!  In all the excitement of the previous several days leading up the Eli's big day, I had totally forgotten to go to the bathroom.  I don't know how long it was but it must have been awhile because that took care of the problem right away.  I was filled with embarrassment but also so relieved that it wasn't something serious.  Oh the joys!  Once my drama moment passed, we enjoyed a quiet day as a family and felt so hopeful when that day ended that we were on the road to complete recovery.  Sometimes in life we wish we knew the end from the beginning but if we had known Eli wouldn't make it, we clearly wouldn't have enjoyed that special BMT day and I love having those happy memories!  Happy fourth BMT birthday, kiddo!
When I was at Women's Conference last week with my fam, I got this picture from Logan and it made me so happy :) Seeing Logan and Austin do fun things together, even a simple walk, make my heart happy.
We've had a lot of rain lately but anytime it's nice, we go on lots of walks and try to go to the park every day because Austin loves it.  Rather than playing on the playground this day, he preferred running down the portable ramps and was not happy when I finally pulled him away.  
Austin loves our neighbor's dog and thinks it's so funny when we can see him under the fence :)
Here we are enjoying another fun park day!
A couple days ago it was cold and rainy again but neither of us wanted to stay cooped up inside so we went to Discovery Gateway and had a great time!  Austin loves everything about that place.
He loves making new friends anytime we're out :)
 
Victoria had IUT number four today and it went extremely well!  Just like last time, they were in and out within just a few minutes and her blood levels looked better than they have in the past.  I can tell she loves the blood because her movements have been super strong so that makes me happy!  The plan is to transfuse one more time in three weeks and then we'll schedule an induction for three weeks after that!  It's finally feeling real!
It's hard to believe we're already into April but we sure are thrilled about it!  The weather should keep getting nicer and we're that much closer to sissy arriving!  We hope this next month goes by fast!



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 2017

What a month!  Despite being a short month that flew by, I feel like a ton happened and I can't wait to put a lot of it in the past.  We did many fun things and were able to see out-of-town family members but we also had some sad things happen to people close to us.  My sweet grandpa passed away this month at 92 and the day after his funeral we learned that two of our very dear friends experienced great losses.  One of those friends, who was pregnant with her first baby after several years of trying and a few miscarriages, inexplicably lost her baby and had a still born.  As we were all coming to terms with that heartbreaking news, we received a call a few hours later that our dear friend that grew up across the street from us unexpectedly lost her husband at only 34 years old.  It has been such a sad couple of weeks and I can't express how grateful I am for the gospel and hope it brings peace to everyone we know that is hurting right now.  Thankfully we also had some really fun things going on this month to distract us from the sad news!

One of Austin's favorite things to do at my parents' house is to play in the spice cabinets.  He'll rearrange them and talk to them for as long as we'll let him.  
It has been quite cold the last week or so of this month but we sure were spoiled with some warm days earlier on in the month!  You better believe we were outside at all times when the weather allowed.
Anytime we go out for a walk Austin loves stopping at Beck's house to check if he is home.  If not, we like to steal a swing or two in their front yard!  I am going to be sad when these boys no longer live next door to each other!
Austin's train table has been the greatest purchase ever.  I thought it would take awhile before he was old enough to really play with it but I was definitely wrong.  He doesn't keep the tracks set up for long but he pushes his cars and every other toy he has around this table all day long.
I have no idea why Mickey is up on top of the bookshelf...
On February 7th Victoria had her first transfusion at exactly 23 weeks gestation.  We were so grateful to hold off for a couple weeks after first noticing that she was becoming anemic.  Her opening hematocrit (blood level) was only 7.8 and I felt SO sad for her!  She must has felt terrible.  The transfusion was a struggle because the target they're aiming for is so small but after just over an hour they were able to get the needle in the right spot so she was able to get some blood.  Because her crit was so low, they couldn't give her the full amount of blood because her body wouldn't have been able to handle it but I could tell by her activity afterwards that she felt SO much better!  After being monitored in L&D for a couple hours we were free to go home and we felt so happy that everything went as well as it did!
Not the best picture but it's the best we got.
Austin still loves watching for his daddy to come home from work and runs out to the driveway as soon as he sees him!
Our pediatrician does things a little differently than most doctors so instead of doing an 18 and 24 month well check he does 21 and 30 month checks so Austin was due for his this month.  He's starting to remember that the doctor's office isn't the most fun place to be so it was harder keeping him happy this time around while we waited but everything checked out great and he survived his shots so we'll call it a win!  At his 15 month well-check six months ago he was 50% for weight and 10% for height and this time around he was still 50% for weight but had moved up to 30% for height so I was happy to see that his height is finally starting to catch up!  He weighed 25lb 11oz and was 33in long.  His speech and development are right on track with where they should be so that was great to hear as well!  I'm so proud of how far our little NICU babe has come!  
Keeping an eye out for those mean doctors!
Open, close, open close, repeat 500x.  This kid LOVES doors still.
Maybe he thought shutting the door might keep them away? ;)
Pre shots...
We played at the park for the first time this year on one of the warmer days and Austin was in heaven!  It was so fun to see how much more he could do this year on the playground compared to last year.
Austin is finally starting to do much better going to nursery and for the first time this past Sunday he didn't cry when we dropped him off!  I love peeking at him between classes and seeing him playing or (his favorite) eating :)
On February 13th my sweet grandpa, who we have lived with for the past three years, passed away at the age of 92.  Although he had loved a long life, his passing came quite suddenly and most of my family didn't even get to say goodbye.  Aside from having dementia, which caused some short-term memory loss, he was very healthy and had been doing really well.  The Friday before he passed away he started sleeping a lot more and eating less so we expected he might only have a couple months left but before we knew it he passed away just a few days later.  It is so sad to lose him but we couldn't be more thrilled to know that he is finally with my grandma again as well as two of his sons and our Eli.  I feel so grateful we were able to spend his final years with him and create so many fun memories!
Austin spent lots of time in the backyard with my grandpa.  I'm sure they had the best conversations!
Austin got his second professional haircut this month and it was just as traumatizing as the first one!

When Logan came home from work on Valentine's Day I sent Austin out the back door to find him in the garage and he came running back with these flowers.  Melt my heart!  It was the cutest thing ever!  Both of my boys are so good to me.  We went to dinner that night and had a babysitter lined up but as we were leaving I told Logan and I wanted both of my boys with me at dinner so we ended up keeping Tinny with us and had a great time.
On February 17th, 10 days after our first transfusion, Victoria received transfusion number two!  This one went better than the first one (thank goodness!) and only took about 30 minutes of poking compared to over an hour.  As I get further along in my pregnancy, the transfusions should get easier because the target gets bigger.  Victoria's crit was 17.6 this time so much better than the first time and they were able to give her the full amount of blood as well.  We expect to wait 2-3 weeks after the second transfusion before number three.
Trying to find the best angle to go in and "complaining" about the location of my belly button haha
Hopefully I found a good position cause I'm not allowed to move once the drapes are on and my stomach has been sterilized!  Of course every part of your body starts itching right on cue.
Saturday the 18th was my grandpa's funeral which was absolutely perfect.  He served in the Navy in WWII and was honored with a full military tribute at the cemetery which was super neat!  I am so proud of the way he lived his life and the number of people he touched!



And here are a few more Sunday shenanigans with Austin and Beck!  Thank goodness for our friends that sit in front of us and entertain the littles with candy and toys.
When my grandpa passed away my brother and his family from Seattle were able to come in town for just over a week and it was so fun to spend so much time with them!  I'll quickly recap the week with pictures and just a few words.

We celebrated two of my nephews' birthdays by going to the Train Shoppe in Salt Lake.  Logan and I had never been and we thought it was really cute!
McDonald's was a regular occurrence for us and Austin is finally old enough to play around without me getting too stressed out that he'll get lost or hurt in the slides.  It was SUPER crowded one of the times we went and my sister-in-law said: "Have you noticed that more and more kids keep going in the tubes but none of them come out?" Haha.  It was true!  I sent my older nephews up to check on Tinny every once in awhile but he did pretty well! 
Even though it was pretty windy and cold most days that week the cousins all lived outside pretty much.  I love seeing all 15 of them together! Yes, I'm counting Eli if you're wondering :) I'm sure he joins in on the fun when the kids are all playing!
Austin has a major crush on his older cousin, Lily, and it is the cutest thing in the world.  Lily is just about two months older than Eli so she's four but Austin doesn't mind the age difference one bit.  He is so sweet to her and is constantly trying to hug and lay by her and sweet Lil just let's him do his thing.
Lily's little brother, Keldin, is the smiliest little guy ever and was such a cheeser when I was taking pictures of him one day :)
Another night while the Seattle cousins were in town we all went bowling at Fat Cats and had lots of fun!  While we waited for our lanes to open up we let Austin play a few games and he thought it was great.
But everything can't be fun and games and Austin would not have classified his appointment with the Urologist as that.  We weren't able to get him circumcised as a baby because of his liver/bleeding issues and when those finally cleared up about a year ago they asked us to wait another year because he would have to go under general anesthesia and it's safer as kids get older.  We were finally given the green light at his last well-check and I want to get it done before Victoria comes so I didn't waste any time scheduling the appointment.  Austin was not pleased with the exam and it made me feel like he can sense what is coming haha.  
Having several warm days only to then be dumped with loads of snow has to  be the cruelest joke ever! I sure hope we're done with the snow real soon!  We are dying to spend our days outside!



It was absolutely freezing today but Austin was dying to go outside so I caved and we went for a quick walk.  How could I deny this face?!
That just about does it for this month!  I'm 26 weeks pregnant today and the pace of this pregnancy is slowly picking up since we've been able to have weekly appointments lately rather than bi-weekly!  We're expecting to transfuse next week around 27 or 27.5 and that's right on track with our original plan.  I'm feeling really hopeful that I'll be able to carry this little lady until close to 37 weeks!

In other news...now that my grandpa has passed away his house needs to be sold so we will be moving out within the next couple of months.  We were planning on buying but after looking at houses for the last few weeks we've realized that it is a great time to sell a home but an awful time to buy one.  Houses are super expensive and with our first-time home-buyer budget we just can't afford anything even close to what we'd feel comfortable with.  We will likely end up renting for a year or two until the market calms down and we have a little bit more money and then we'll try buying again.  I wasn't thrilled about the idea of renting originally but we know it's what is best for our family right now and that's what's important.  Hopefully we figure out where we're going soon so we can get moved before this baby comes!