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!