Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

This year Cameron was a vampire, and Jake was a dragon. At our ward Halloween party Jake won in the baby boy category, he won a big box of M&Ms. Cameron got scared at the spook alley, and has vowed that he won't do that again.
Trick or Treating was fun. We tried to get out when it was fairly light, and all went well until we got around the corner, by then Jake was DONE! I took both boys back, and my FABULOUS cousins took Cameron out again for me. He got QUITE the haul, that I had to go through and pull out the sticky, gummy candies...but he's still got a lot. All in all, a VERY fun, nice weather, holiday!
Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Unknown Prayers Answered

I've been pretty humbled lately. I feel very grateful at the same time.
First off, I have THE best visiting teacher. Seriously, I LOVE this woman. Don't be jealous, but don't ask for her can't have her...she's MINE!!
She called me yesterday morning wondering if she could stop in and visit. Not a problem, I'd just be in my messy house, still in pajamas....She promised a quick visit.
When she showed up she came with a big bucket full of goodies. She talked with me, and we laughed and giggled. talking with her just makes me SO happy!! She is who she is and she doesn't change for anyone. I've decided that when I grow up I want to be like her.
Then today, was a busy, LONG day. I was going to see if I could start donating plasma so that I could add some extra money to our Christmas budget, but after a VERY frustrating day, I found out that I don't qualify, YET. I can't donate until I'm finished nursing Jake and once I get a paper signed by my doctor saying that he's monitoring my insulin resistance. I *might* be able to try again in December.
So I was feeling bad for myself, wiped out, tired....and I got a fun call from another lady in my ward. She wanted to know what apartment I was in because she was in front of my building and she had something for me. (I had just woken up from a short nap and wasn't really *aware* of what she'd said, or the fact that she "had something" for me.)
She rang the doorbell and I opened it to find a SWEET woman, (I know, most women are sweet, right...) handing me an exercise ball. Last month, we'd had a fun service auction for our middle of the week Relief Society meeting, and I had bid on her service of getting the winner an exercise ball and teaching them how to use it. I didn't win it, but she's so sweet, she got me AND another woman the same thing. She asked me when I could exercise, and I was so out of it (hello, I JUST woke up...*giggle*) I kinda said I'd talk to her later.
How kind and SWEET are the women of my ward? Honestly. I am SO humbled that I have these women thinking of me and helping me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Experiment in Baking Bread

Anyone who knows me could tell you that I do NOT bake. If forced to, I may, on occasion, bake cookies or cakes, but they have to be THE easiest recipes. I am not good at it, nor do I particularly LOVE it. I only put up with it because I love to EAT.
Lately, I've been inspired by some friends who have been making their own food (bread, chili, cakes, suckers, treats of all kinds). I've felt like if I had lived in pioneer times my poor family would have starved, just because I dislike baking and cooking SO much. But, because of these friends, I've decided to try doing just a little bit more. I mean, making my home and family happy is my job as a stay at home mom, right?
So today I got up the guts to make my own bread. I have NEVER made my own bread before (except in a bread maker, but that doesn't really count, does it?) I've tried rolls and cinnamon rolls, but they never seem to taste as good as they do when other people make them. NO more leaning on other people's successes for me; I'm going to be a *real* woman.
After a quick call to my mom (who ended up talking to me for a while, putting me off of the schedule I had biggie, I love my mom and we can talk about nothing for a LONG time...) I got some courage and decided to try.
Instead of following a big elaborate recipe, which would NOT be me....I decided to take a recipe I've already used in the past (for cinnamon rolls) and try to turn it into a bread recipe. It's actually a roll recipe, but how different can rolls and bread be?
I followed the simple instructions (and ended up with dough clear up to my elbows....) I put the dough in my two bread pans, let it raise and right now they're in the oven.
Oh, it smells delightful.
The tops aren't pretty, but I'm hoping the end result will be a happy, and filled tummy.
Results to follow shortly....If it tastes as good as it smells, I will share the recipe....then you too can feel domestic! ;)(Recipe....)
After Dinner Rolls
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar (it was a LITTLE much, next time I'm only using 1/4 cup)
3 Tbs. yeast (Saf Instant is BEST!)
2 eggs, beaten
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
1/8 tsp. salt
5-6 cups flour
1 cup boiling water
Mix together. Form into balls and place on baking sheet and let raise. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
To make bread, follow the directions for rolls, except place half the dough (formed in a ball) into two bread pans (one batch makes two loaves). Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Just SO Easy... tease Cameron.
Today school pictures were sent home. I had Jake's sent to Cameron's class so I wouldn't have to make a special trip to pick them up (even though I was AT the school). I was waiting at the office for Cameron to meet me (Tuesdays are therapy days...I pick him up early EVERY Tuesday, I've become quite adept at checking the kid out of school, I know the secretaries pretty well...) One of the aides in his class recognized me and let the teacher know I was there. Another aide, who I LOVE dearly...a kindred spirit....brought Cameron to me. She was carrying the picture packets in her hands, proudly showing off the pictures and saying VERY loudly to anyone passing by, "This is my little brother, Jacob. Isn't he just CUTE!?"
Cameron kept saying, "NO, he's MY brother..."
Eventually he figured out she was teasing him, but the pictures turned out WAY cute!! <3

It's NOT So Easy.... cuddle a stubborn, angry, tired, in-pain baby.
Jake had dental surgery today. It went well, until he was taken back to the room (cried LOUDLY for "mama!!" Apparently, it made the nurses and other doctors smile.) and again when he was waking up from anesthesia. Thankfully, the nurse who was caring for him post-surgery was a wonderful woman who used to be in my ward. We chatted a bit, then she left me to snuggle and try to give my whiny boy a drink.
He would have NONE of it.
He would begin to nurse (wouldn't YOU love to have something familiar when YOU'RE in pain?) and get frustrated because he couldn't use his mouth the way he wanted. He would get very little accomplished before he was in full-blown tantrum mode. He pinched my arm, hit me in the face, screamed, tried falling OFF my lap, name it.
Eventually we had to give the boy some painkillers, and a few minutes later he was a happier camper, nowhere near where he USUALLY is, but happier.
Tonight he whined for mama, but has finally settled down. For all that crying and pain he has 4 beautiful caps on his front teeth. (His top 4 teeth were SO decayed, that the enamel was flaking off, the dentist told me...I SWEAR, his teeth came out of his head that way, you could ALWAYS see the line of decay.) Now he eats cold and hot foods without making faces. YAY for good dental work. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

VIP Soccer

For a while I've seen papers come home from Cam's school advertising that there is a division of YMCA that is called VIP. Unfortunately, I'm nowhere NEAR coordinated enough to teach this kind of thing, so I could NEVER be a coach, even if I DID have time. VIP is a special league that is set up specifically for kids with special needs. About a month ago, we got a flyer that said they were actually PUTTING IT TOGETHER IN OUR AREA!!! (Can you hear the choirs of angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus?)
Tonight was their first "game." Instead of doing hard-core practicing, they teach these kids the basics at a "game." (A glorified practice, maybe...) Tonight they kicked the balls around, dribbled them a bit, passed them with a more experienced soccer player, and then "played" with the goals. Cameron did pretty well. He has a LOT of power behind his kicks, and had to chase after the ball a lot. BUT at the end, he was the goalie and did a GREAT job with saves.
He was SO proud of himself, and rightfully so. I think they're working their way up to an actual game, but if all they do is practice, I'm okay with it, because Cameron is SO happy and excited for it.
The most amazing part of the practice for me was the help. The coaches and their assistants had SUCH patience. The assistants were the ones that REALLY amazed me, mainly because they were 11 or 12. They weren't much older than the kids playing, but they were so attentive and patient with these kids. They encouraged them, and made them feel like they were each a super star! How wonderful for these kids, both the ones in need and the ones helping.
Here's a few pictures, it was a fun night.
The group practicing...Cameron is blue #5.
Watching the game, we made up our own cheering section.
Dribble, dribble...
Save that GOAL!!!
Proud soccer player!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Hearing about the "swine flu" (aka H1N1....but I still like saying swine flu) I've worried a little about my kids getting it. Not so much if I get it, but if THEY get it. I pray constantly that we'll be spared until we can get the flu shot. I haven't gotten to the point where I make them wash their hands at every turn...but I might. Our turn for the vaccination is coming soon. YAY!
BUT, this past week, we had sick kids. As soon as we got home from Cameron's doctors visits, Jake threw up. I hoped it was a one-time thing, but I soon learned otherwise. The next day he puked and puked and puked until he was pale in the face. I tried getting him to drink so he wouldn't dehydrate, but the drinks didn't always stay down. After a miserable day, he seemed fine. Even in his sick-state, he was happy and playful.
Thursday was a whole new day, and both boys were happy and playful.
Friday, Jake was back to being sick. My living room did NOT smell pleasant at all. I cleaned up that child over and over. He had more baths this last week than there are days in the week. Poor boy.
Saturday looked promising until Cameron decided to join in the fun. I could tell it was bad, and declared that we'd stay home yet again. I heard a lot of whining, but tried to ignore it. Thankfully, Cam's sick stomach was just a one-time thing.
It's too hard to keep a clean house with kids awake and playing...that's my theory anyway. BUT add sickness to the mix, and you're not going to see a decent clean house for a LONG time. I've been waiting until the boys are in bed before cleaning, and finally, last night found the floor beneath my dining room table.
Yes, I'm obsessing over a clean downstairs (the upstairs is COMPLETELY trashed, but I'm working on getting that cleaned....eventually.) Why? Well, I've got the missionaries coming over for dinner this week on the same day that Jake is having dental surgery. Yeah, I don't have TIME to do the last minute cleaning that I usually do, so I'm trying to keep on top of it. Trying, but not always succeeding. Thanks boys.
Overall, I'm pretty calm...we're sick, but not THAT sick. We're clean, but not THAT clean....and we're doing just fine! :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Annual Genetics Appointment

Today was our marathon genetics/doctor appointment day. It was CRAZY!
I wasn't too worried about Cameron, except the new growth on his cheek. Instead we found out that Cam has hyper/over-active reflexes. They were so over-reactive today that the doctor worried that the tumor on his spine might be causing the neurological side-effects. He thought it would be a good idea to see a neurologist. Unfortunately, neurology is usually booked for months in advance, and since we're from out of town, he didn't want to make things difficult on us coming back for another appointment. He called them for a quick consult to see exactly how concerned we should be. When he came back to the exam room he looked relieved. He told us that Cameron's reflexes WERE tense, but they weren't something to worry too much about...YET. He said, given the circumstances, we should be fine seeing the neurologist next year when we do our visits.
And about his cheek, tumors that grow on the outside, or close to the skin like the one on his cheek and on the bottom of his foot, they RARELY turn cancerous and if anything, they cause cosmetic problems, but no pain or BAD things.
NF1 Study:
Sometimes they have to take his blood, and he freaks out. They didn't have to do hardly ANYTHING with the kid, just x-rays. Thanks to this study we DO know he has a very VERY slight scoliosis (caused by the plexi-form neurofibromas on his spine) and we do need to keep an eye on it, but nothing big. *phew*
This was almost completely routine and relaxing. We knew what to expect (initial eye evaluation, doctor checking his vision, dilatation drops, wait, another check on the back of the eye, new prescription, outta there...) Those danged dilatation drops make him scream and squirm EVERY time. Punk. Instead of getting just ONE drop per eye, dealing with the burn, then letting it go, I and the nurse had to hold him down and PRY his eyes open, dropping sometimes 3 drops on the eyelid before it got IN his eye.
Overall, his eyes have made a VAST improvement. Maybe the fact that we make him wear croakies on his glasses so he HAS to look through the lenses instead of over the top has made the difference, ya think? The eye doctor was VERY impressed with his vision!
NF1 Study:
This one was a study on movement and general "clumsiness." This was in a completely different hospital from the ones we usually visit, and was a whole new experience. Cam thoroughly enjoyed doing THIS poking or prodding, and he got to exercise and PLAY! The guy who was helping him was SO patient (more so than I would have been, repeating instructions over and over...) and by the end of the study, the two were "buddies."
Watching this study, I learned how truly uncoordinated Cameron is. Not only that, but he just CAN'T do certain things. They just don't compute in his brain. He did the best he could, and had a ball!
The whole day was busy, and a blur....I'm glad it's over. Our only homework was to call our pediatrician and have HIM check on Cam's reflexes and the scoliosis. That way if anything major happens, he's up to date with the specialized doctors. That, and our usual admonition to take any pain that Cameron has, that keeps him awake at night and that lasts for DAYS, seriously; and to let the geneticist know; and take him in to the hospital immediately.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Family Pictures in the COLD!!

My fabulous cousin took our family pictures today. Steve wanted to re-create some of our engagement pictures, so we took the pictures in the same place we took our engagement ones. It was FREEZING!! My poor boys were just COLD! (I wanted family pictures too....those REALLY need updated...)
Here's some of my favorites.
Thanks again, Denee!!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Since I'm VERY cheap, this is all I got my sweet husband for our 10th wedding anniversary.

We've been through a LOT, seen lots of hard times, and lots of good ones too. It's been an amazing decade, and I hope that we still have lots more ahead of us.

The music is "our song," Tim McGraw's Don't Take the Girl.

Love you, Steve!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Birthday Pictures

Cameron got a cool scooter from grandma, and a video game from mom and dad. He LOVED the scooter, even riding it in the COLD weather. The snot was a'runnin'!
Here's his birthday cake. No, I didn't forget to put frosting in that corner. You want to hear the whole story?? SURE you do!! :)
Two weeks ago, I bought frosting to make his cake look like a big Spongebob. I was going to use chocolate frosting for his pants, and color the white frosting to make the rest of his body. A few days after buying the frosting I noticed it was opened and eaten. I KNOW that Steve didn't do it, and we KNOW Jake can't open the frosting cans by himself that leaves Cameron.
I told him that if he didn't leave the frosting alone that I wouldn't have any frosting for his cake. I INFORMED him that if he ate the frosting again, I wouldn't frost the cake.
This morning I woke up to find that Cam's face was COVERED with chocolate frosting. I was FURIOUS! I never thought I'd have to follow THROUGH on my threat!!
So, I frosted the rest of the cake for the rest of us (who says we have to suffer because HE'S a pig?) and left his piece a blank spot.
Everyone asked, so I got to tell this story over and over....
When I finally got around to dishing up the cake, and he noticed that I really wasn't going to give him a frosted piece, he threw a FIT!!
I think he won't be doing that again! At least, I HOPE he won't.

Happy Birthday, Cameron

Nine years ago, I was hooked up to a bunch of machinery in the hospital. I was *trying* to sleep, but lots of machines were making a lot of noise. I was given a shot of morphine to help me relax (BLESSED medication...) and I drifted.
After hours and hours of being on Cervadil, I was given Pitocin. The medicine was going full-blast, and there was nothing. Eventually, the doctor decided that if I relaxed, things would move along.
Oh, how wrong we were.
I was given the epidural and they lost Cameron's heartbeat, and my blood pressure dropped to DANGEROUS levels. The bed was flipped upside-down, and I was prepped for an emergency C-section. People were coming in and out of the room, except Steve, who was told to stay out.
The main thing I remember was lights. The lights on the ceiling, and how round and bright they were.
After rushing to the operating room, getting Cam's heart rate back, and calming down, I was draped and cut open.
My mom gave me a play-by-play of what was going on.
There was no squawk, no cries of protest, NOTHING. Not even the doctor saying, "It's a boy..." All I got was a quick blurb from my mom saying, "There's your little boy."
He was rushed to the NICU where he was hooked up to lots of machines, given x-rays, and tested for everything.
When I was finally able to hold him, I was told I couldn't nurse him because they weren't sure he had his kidneys. (Um, yeah, I was completely SHOCKED!)
It was a rough week in the NICU. I came to LOATHE the hospital, and the pitying looks I got from the nurses.
Eventually, after much prayer and blessings, Cameron was healthy enough to come home. I was so happy.
Nine years later, we have a lot that we've been through. Multiple tests, several diagnoses, and many tears, both happy and sad.
It's been quite a ride. I love you, baby boy, and yes, you will ALWAYS be my baby boy. You were my first, and I will love you forever!
Happy birthday, Cameron!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Free Entertainment

School has been out since yesterday, and Cam was beginning to get "bored." Thankfully, the city workers (who have been tearing up our alley where we have our garage) have been working with their big trucks and back-hoes. He's been in HEAVEN watching them all day. I don't think I've heard him say ONCE today that he was "bored."
He even got Jake to watch with him.
It was a VERY good day! :)