...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wrestle, cry...repeat

The kids love to wrestle with their dad.
It is one of their favorite activities...EvEr!!

Somehow, Sunday afternoons have sort of become our regularly scheduled wresting bouts.  All six kids (in varying degrees of participation) like to gang up on their dad and try to come off conquerer.

This is how the whole thing usually starts...

...and this is how is usually ends.

It seems that children always end up wounded and sad and crying, no matter how careful Josh tries to be during these matches.  I guess it is just part of the charm of the activity (charm??).  Thankfully, no one has yet died in one of these encounters, so our record is pretty clear.

Even though they often end up hurt and forlorn, the kids still come rushing from all four quarters of the house when they hear and faint sounds of dad wrestling.  I guess that is a good thing.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Crohn's vs Humira...the battle begins!

Last week it occurred to me that struggles (in life) are a little bit like underwear.  Everyone has some but most of us wouldn't really want to wear someone else's.  Ew.  That would be gross!

So, on that note...

The other day I got a package at my house.  Generally I am thrilled when a package shows up here because the contents are unexpected or fun or exciting.

This time not so much.

Inside this box was a boatload of stuff relating to my newest Crohn's treatment.  Just over a week ago I had my first injections of Humira and this treatment will likely continue for a very very long time...possibly the rest of my life. (Read about Humira and Crohn's disease here.)

I told you before about TNF blockers and that is what Humira is, but I have since learned these meds are also called "biologics" and that sounds so much nicer to me that I think I'll stick with that.  Some biologics are made from pig or mouse bits, but Humira is more humanized so it is often better tolerated than others.  I'm remaining hopeful.

Well, last Friday I took my first four injector pens into my GI's office so that I could learn how to use them.  This is what they look like.

Two cute medical assistants took me into a back room and had me expose my belly (which I am not prone to do since it has housed six children and that fact shows in every fold and stretch mark...it isn't pretty so I usually keep it tucked in).   The MA that was in training reached over, grabbed a chuck of stomach and pinched it into a mound then she pressed the injector pen into the mass and hit the button.

The actual needle prick doesn't hurt much, but it takes about 5 seconds for the pen to fully eject all the medication into your body and dog gone it, those suckers sting!  It feels a bit like being stung by a bee.
Four times. 
 In the stomach. 
(In the future I can do them in my thigh if I would rather, but this visit was all about tummy time.)

This first time I had four injections; the MA did two of them and I did the other two (if anyone is going to be stabbing me with needles every couple of weeks for the rest of my life it is going to be ME whether I hate needles or not).  In two weeks I'll have two more injections and then I will be down to the maintenance dose of one shot every two weeks for the foreseeable future.  Thankfully I can do the rest of the stabbing in the privacy of my own home.

My intestines are pretty grumpy lately so I am very hopeful that this will help.  I have read lots of good things about Humira (oh, there's lots of rotten stuff out there too, but I try to skip those parts for now). 

I am also now on an immunosupressant called Imuran which will hopefully help my already cnfused immune system not attack the Humira so that it can better do its job.  I'm still taking a low dose of Entocort as well, but I am really looking forward to being off that one; we do NOT get along well.

It would be really great if Humira could put my Crohn's disease in a headlock and keep it in submission for a very very long time.  That's what I'm aiming for, but we'll see.  I do get tired of piercing abdominal pain, not being able to eat, extreme fatigue, constant copper mouth flavor, aching joints, flaming bone pain and all the rest.  I would love to send this disease for a good long time out so that is could adjust its nasty attitude.  But no dice, we'll be playmates for a while  yet.

Anyway, I feel immensely lucky that there are treatments available to me so that I can get through my gut struggles.  It may not be what I would choose (what I would choose would be no Crohn's and a million dollars, thank you) but it is manageable.  And, like I said, as I lay out my trials and compare them to what many other people have to go through, I will happily stick with what I have. 

I am grateful for the things I am learning and for the "training" my Heavenly Father is giving me through my problems.  If it was left up to me I wouldn't have problems, but if it was up to my children they would never have to do chores and they would only eat ice cream, so I get it. 

But I still hope Humira will be my intestinal knight in shining armor.  I'd love to have it work wonders on my gut.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Turning 12

This past week my oldest son turned 12.

Despite the fact that that makes me feel old, it was a great day for him.

Bryce with his monkey bread breakfast cake and candles that didn't want to stay upright.

As part of having lived a full dozen years, Bryce had the opportunity to meet with our bishop and be interviewed to see if he is worthy and ready to receive the Aaronic priesthood.  His father was able to confer that priesthood on our little boy and now I am the mother of a priesthood holder.

I don't really know how to descrive how I feel about that.  I am popping with pride that my little boy has lived the kind of life thus far that makes it possible for him to bear the priesthood of God.  I can hardly wait to watch him pass the sacrament for the first time (there may be tears involved).  I am thrilled to see him out with his father collecting fast offering to bless the lives of ward members.  This young man is such a blessing in my life that I don't know how to thank my Father in Heaven enough for sending him to me. 

Twelve years ago this little sprite turned me into a mom, and I have never wanted another career.  He is thoughtful and happy and quick to obey.  I know God has a plan because He didn't send this child to our home first by accident, what a great example Bryce is (ok, most of the time) to his younger siblings.  I just adore that kid and I am excited to see what the next twelve years bring (but they could slow down a bit, somehow it seems to go by much too fast).

I will forever be grateful for a Heavenly Father who allows these young boys to clasp a piece of His power so that they have the chance to serve others and feel the spirit as they grow into righteous men.  What a beautiful chance to witness the power of God by working hand in hand with Him to be part of His plan and to touch other's lives for good, especially mine.  What a joy.

I really love this guy, and I feel very blessed that I have had the opportunity to watch him learn and grow and in turn learn from him as we've walked these years together.  I think we'll keep him around.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Our little X-Man

You may or may not know that Wolverine (from X-Men) is really named "Logan."

We almost never forget that around here.

(Can you see the resembelance?)

Sometimes things get a little scary, but we handle it. 

Fear the Logan!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Something to be scared of

Yesterday I scrambled into Ellie's room because she was screaming like a banshee.  I was sure that she had hurt herself or had gotten stuck somewhere or something like that. 

As I came in she was pressed tightly against the wall and she pointed at the floor.  She looked terrified.  So I went into protective mommy mode and eagle eyed in the direction she was pointing only to find this...

Yup, it was a little piece of fluff that had floated in from somewhere, and my daughter was scared of it.

She didn't think it was as funny as I did.  This was her "Why are you laughing at me, you obviously don't understand the terror of fluff" face.  Funny little girl. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Talent Show

Last week was our elementary school talent show.  My three oldest kids tried out to be in the show and all three of them made it into the program.  They had worked hard to prepare their performance pieces.

Parker played a piano piece called "Bill Grogan's Goat" and was very bothered that they announced it as "Billy Goats Gruff."  It made me chuckle that the name mattered so much to him.

Aubrey wanted to be different so she and I arranged a shorter version of the "Bubble Gum" song that we have sung as a family for years. 

And, finally, Bryce.  He had practiced his piano piece for a couple of months and he had it down.  Unfortunately, he got a bit tripped up when it was time to perform and he sort of stumbled through the song.  However, he stuck with it and didn't quit and that made me REALLY proud.

I love these kids and I think they did great.

Also, I couldn't help but post the performance by our teachers...a synchronized swimming routine.  I loved it.  So much fun.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I'm fairly certain Idaho hates us.

This past weekend we loaded up the crew for a quick trip to Blackfoot, Idaho for my cousin's wedding. 

This should have been a quick and pretty painless excursion, but that's just not how things go for us.  Especially when Idaho is involved. Somehow wandering into the fertile valleys of Idaho has a way of making everything more troublesome.

(My theory is that over the years as Josh has moved on with his life outside his state of birth the state has gotten bitter. We never call or write and only very rarely visit. Hence, when we do enter Idaho the state tries to force us to stay as long as possible just out of spite. Read about our last Idaho adventure here.)

In this case, our family was driving in tandem with my parents who were using our second car because theirs broke just before the trip (that was Utah trying to warn us to just stay home).  Also the day before the trip our Suburban had a dashboard warning light come on.  We took it into Big-O (we love them) and they ordered the expensive part to repair the problem but said we should be OK to journey to potato land as long as we weren't crazy with our driving.

We started our journey after lunch on Saturday and did fine when we were in the Beehive state.  However, ten miles outside Pocatello (because Idaho is vindictive and would never give us problems until it was incredibly inconvenient) our Buick, the car my parents and my aging grandparents were driving, had a tire blow out.

No problem, right.  Pull out the spare, lift the car up on the jack and we're good.

Only not, because the lug nuts holding the wheel in place were weird and required a special adapter inside the wrench to take them off and the wrench literally split in two as we tried to remove them. 

We could hear Idaho chuckling in the background.

OK, still no big deal.  Josh and I hustled into the Suburban and headed to the next exit to try to find a new lug wrench or something that would work to do the job.  My mom handed me the Garmin to look up automotive places nearby.

We zipped into Pocatello, 9 miles ahead and the only exit between where the car sat and an possible help, and headed to the first shop on the list...which was closed.  It was 4:00 on a Friday.  Awesome.

At the next shop, Josh went inside.  He explained our predicament to the little bit off beat guy behind the register who promptly told Josh that he should just replace the weird lug nuts with more normal ones (that guy talking about being normal was proof that this was a Twilight Zone sort of place).  Josh reiterated that the odd lug nuts were still on the car and would need to be removed before we could take on any more tire projects so we needed a part to get them off first.

The guy, now bothered that Josh isn't listening to him, repeats himself and tries to get Josh to buy new lug nuts to fix the problem.  Thankfully a sane lady from the back overhears the conversation and -- laughing loudly -- comes to Josh's rescue, calling Weird Cash Register Guy an idiot and telling him we can maybe change the lug nuts another day, but first we need to get them OFF the car.

That's when (after more than 10 minutes) the guy tells Josh they don't even sell the part we need. I'm pretty sure Idaho put him up to that.

On to store number three -- our trusty Big-O Tires.  They were technically closed by now (they close at 4:00) but they let us in and when Josh explained our issues and told them we are loyal Big-O Utah customers they found the part we needed even though they don't usually sell them to people and let us take it for $10.  Perfect!  See why I love these guys, even in Idaho they are awesome!

So, now we are headed (finally) back to the old people in our group who are trapped on the side of a freeway in the baking afternoon heat.  Especially it is hot for them because as we aimed our Suburban toward rescue we got a call from my dad that the Buick's battery had died while the doors had been open too long.  Stupid car.  Stupid Idaho.

We plummeted onto the highway and got to where my family was stationed...on the other side of the freeway...with no available exits anywhere close.  We might have just driven through the median or pulled over and run across the busy road, but just at that moment an Idaho state trooper pulled up to my parents and we know Idaho well enough to know we would have gotten an expensive ticket for sure so we schlepped past and looked for the next exit to turn around...which was more than 10 miles in the opposite direction.

Finally, more than an hour and a half after we left to go nine miles to get a simple part to return and fix a blown tire, we actually got back to the car.  It took a whopping five minutes to actually change the tire.

But by now we were running very late. There was no way we would make the wedding, so we called my cousin who said he really wanted us all to be there so they would wait for us.  We felt AWFUL!  We scrambled to Blackfoot as fast as we could and sprinted into the church dressed in our raggy t-shirts and jeans with "I've been in the car" all day hairdo's on the kids. 

But the wedding was beautiful.  I am very convinced Taylor and Brittney will live happily ever after and I am very happy for them.

I will spare you the story about our ordeal with finding a tire place that opened on Sunday or about how when we did finally take the tire in the guy at the desk didn't believe that there was such a vehicle as a Buick Rendezvous (look, guy, that's what it says on the back of the car!).  What a nightmare.

Idaho must have been tired on Sunday because it let us escape with our lives.  We made it home without further incident, but what a journey!  I think we will just stay away from our nemesis of the contiguous 48 for a while, it's probably safer that way.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Stay Cation, all I ever wanted...

I told you the other day that our family recently headed to exciting Park City, Utah for a little vacation the first week of June.

We had to stay nearby because:
1. We just don't have the funds for a big trip this year.
2. I had some Dr visits in Salt Lake that week so I needed to be able to yo yo back and forth between vacation and real life.

Anyway, so we loaded up the Suburban with all the odds and ends that make a great trip, then we piled the kids into their chairs and headed off for some fun.

Six little sprites all ready for adventure in their new,
happy vacation sun glasses (thank you All-a-Dollar).
 I have to admit that a 45 minute drive to our destination was much more pleasant than the 7-12 hour drives of our last couple of trips.  Maybe there is something to this stay cation business.

We arrived at our condo at the Sweetwater Lift Lodge near the Park City Mountain Resort.  We were pleasantly surprised with the size of the condo and the accommodations.  Now, this is no five star place, but for our family it was just what we needed.  The four boys were stationed in their own room with two sets of bunk beds.  Aubrey and Ellie very happily climbed the spiral staircase to their room which boasted a queen bed for them to share.  Josh and I had a room with no children (in the past we've often had Ellie in a playpen in our room) and it was a great set up.

I had a little bit harder time planning things to do than I usually do.  Park City just isn't full of cheap or free activities for kids.  I even had a hard time locating playgrounds (be careful, there is a Park City strip joint called "The Playground" just so you know). 

Still, after a bit of finagling we managed to pull together fun things to do for the week.

Before we left I made up a photo chart of "birds of northern Utah" (with the help of a couple of websites...also, sorry, I can't get it to load in its columns so it spills onto several pages in this link).  Saturday morning of our trip we went to the Swaner Nature Preserve

It wasn't quite what we expected, but we still had a great time.  The lady that ran things was amazing.  She even lead the kids to a spot where they could see a nest full of baby robins up very close.  That was was pretty cool.  She outfitted us with binoculars and a couple of field guides and we headed onto the preserve.

We checked birds off of our charts and explored the area.  It was a pretty good morning.  We also meandered through the Swaner facility and had some fun photo opportunities. 

The next day, Sunday, we went to Sacrament meeting at the local ward and then hiked (OK, walked) a nearby path.  It was only a couple of miles long, but there was a lot to see and we had fun.

When we were heading back to the condo Logan was sad because we wouldn't let him take a big stick that he had found back with us (it was peeling and gross and really big).  When we got back to our room he drew a picture of him and "Sticky" (the name he gave his stick, he gets is creativity from his mother).  What a cutie.

Monday we had to go to Salt Lake for my Dr visit.  I had to get a bunch of shots and do a TB test (happy day, I turned out to be tuberculosis free).  Since we were already in Salt Lake we decided to make a day of it.  We went to the zoo to check out the animals and especially the new Rocky Shores exhibit.  It was great to see fish and seals and a sea lion and a polar bear. 

We have a year pass to the zoo so we have been several times already this year (although this was our first time seeing the new water animals) so to make it more exciting I put together a zoo scavenger hunt.  I know there are lots of them out there on the web, but most of them have animals that our zoo doesn't have or are missing animals that are my kids favorites so I just made my own.  It actually turned out to be a great for the kids, it really helped them stay focused and gave them something new to do.

After the zoo we took the kids to Litza's Pizza for lunch (eating out is a gigantic treat at our house...paying to feed eight people never comes with a small price tag).  They were thrilled to each be able to order their own small pizza.  I haven't seen them so excited about food in a long time.  I loved that.

Ellie, Aubrey and Logan dressing up in the kids room.
When everyone had eaten his/her fill we finished off our day with a stop at the LDS Church History Museum.  That was one of my favorite stops of our trip.  It was great to see the kids scramble wide eyed from exhibit to exhibit in awe of every thing they saw.  We must have heard, "Mom, Dad, come look at this!"  thousands of time that day and I smiled at every one of them.  Bryce was all grown up and chatted it up with several of the cute missionary ladies that worked there.  It was fun to see him share the things he has learned and ask intelligent questions about what he was seeing.

Monday night was our fancy and expensive trip to the ER with Logan.  You can read about that here.

Tuesday we shook things up a bit and left Park City in favor of Provo Canyon.  We drove to Aspen Grove and then hiked the nearly four miles round trip to Stewart Falls. 

There are not many activities that I like to do more than to hike.  This path was perfect for a family with small kids.  There were some challenging bits (for the kids) but they were very few and far between.  The day was cloudy so it wasn't too hot and the scenery was green and gorgeous.  There were squirrels and caterpillars everywhere so there was always something to look at. 

The waterfall was really beautiful and I can't think of a better thing to have done that day. 

Our family at Stewart Falls (only the falls is hiding behind the boys for the picture).

Bryce drinking in the beauty of nature.

My girls are amazing!

Wednesday we decided to take the kids to the Park City History Museum on main street.  They got to experience the quaint feel of downtown Park City and learn something about the town we were staying in. 

I learned a lot too.  Did you know that once upon a time people who lived in Park City were seen as scumbags, low life's and drunks because most of the people from that city worked in the mines?  There were so many interesting tidbits to read about. 
"Hey, guys, please hold still for a second so I can take your picture."
Sadly, I didn't get to read very many of the display plaques because our kids were WILD at this place.  To tell you the truth I was pretty embarrassed.  My sprites sprinted from display to display without even stopping to breathe and since there are six of them I was constantly clamoring in different directions to keep up with them.  They set off the "hey, don't touch that" alarm several times and I seriously felt like shackling them in the basement jail and leaving them there.

OK, not really, but I think you know what I mean.

Once we got to the basement we sat them all in a coal car and scolded them but good.  The old Park City jail in the basement was really the jewel of the museum for us so we did get to salvage the trip while we were down there. 

The kids got to work the explosive box which set off a loud boom and then thunderous rumbling throughout the "mine."  Ellie was terrified of the sound, but everyone else thought it was great.  They also had an old drill set up that the kids could use to drill into rock (it was noisy too, but that was fine with us).

One of the favorite things in the basement was this video book.  As you turn each page a mini movie plays describing one of the fugitives who spent time in the Park City jail many years ago.  Parker was especially thrilled to find someone with his name in there.

Our last full day of vacation was Thursday and I had planned to explore another museum, this time the BYU natural sciences museum in Provo.  To be honest I was a little bit nervous about it since we didn't have a great experience the day before.  We laid down the law with the kidlets before we left the condo and held a valued prize over their heads.  IF they behaved we would take them for lunch and ice-cream at the BYU creamery (if you haven't had their ice-cream you should try it next time you're in Provo).

The museum was great, so many amazing things to see.  It is also FREE so that makes it even better.  (Unfortunately I think I read that it is closing in July for a year so that they can redo some things or something...but if you need a family activity before July I strongly recommend this place.)

And I have to say that five out of six of the DeMoux crew were absolute angels.  Ellie had some trouble, but she is two so we give her a little more leeway than most of the others.

Aubrey making "friends" with the locals.

Bryce.  Pondering.

Tough Logan.

Aaaah!  Parker, don't fall in with the hippo!  They are adorable yet vicious creatures!

We did manage to earn a trip to the creamery and the kids had a wonderful day!

All in all I'd say the vacation was a success.  We spent lots of our down time in the pool and watching movies and I even brought along a couple of simple crafts to put together to keep everyone occupied.  I'm grateful that we could get away as a family and I'm grateful that our kids still enjoy spending time together, I hope that lasts for a very long time. 

One of the projects that I brought for the kiddos.  We displayed
them on the table as a centerpiece while we were there.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Shake it up baby now

As part of our family excursion in early June we went to the LDS Church History Museum.  We had a great afternoon there, but for me, the highlight was my two girls who were completely taken with a dress-up, video dance activity in the children's room.  It was so cute to watch them change from costume to costume and trying to match the movements of the lady on the video.  Take a peek, it still makes me smile. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Teacher's get to lazily lounge around all summer because they have it off...NOT!!!

Watch it, I'm venting.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people come to Josh or me and arrogantly tell us how lucky we are that Josh gets to stay home all summer and still gets to be paid for it. 

Yeah.  Right.

(Let me amend that a little by saying that people who are teasing us or who aren't implying laziness or backward behavior etc on our part are in no way bothersome...please don't be afraid to harass us or anything...we definitely dish out teasing and we can take it too.)

Josh has taught high school for four full years now and I have yet to see a summer in which he has the time to idly recline in a lounge chair while sunning himself outside sipping a Margarita (OK the Margarita may be laying it on too thick, we are LDS after all and don't drink).

Basically during the summer Josh spends the bulk of his time on school related issues and I don't have him available to me that much more than I do during the school year (although I LOOOVE having him at home so at least I can run errands or just look at him if I'm lonely or sad).  I think any teacher that is interested in being their best would agree that summer is the time when you revamp your lessons and tests and projects and that is no small task. 

Josh teaches four different classes: Psychology 1, Psychology 2, Sports Psychology and Financial literacy.  That means four sets of tests, four sets of lessons, four sets of assignments, four sets of everything.  He keeps meticulous notes during the year about what worked well and what needed a bit of modifying.  Every summer he spends loads of hours going over every presentation tweaking and adjusting and completely re doing lessons, adding new learning activities, creating new worksheets and much more.

In Josh's case he is also a girls soccer coach and summer conditioning started June 4 and will continue every single weekday until tryouts the first days of August (all you Murray girls out there be sure to keep practicing and drilling so you will be your best come fall).

Plus, in case you were wondering, teachers are required to re certify every couple of years (which is a good thing) and as part of that they are required to continue their training and education.  Josh has a couple of week long sessions to attend this summer that will boost his idea base and help him be the best educator there is (at least if you ask me).  No one pays him to attend these seminars, in fact most of the time we pay to be part of them.

On top of that, Josh is working on his master's degree in education and administration in large part so that he can further our family's opportunities by expanding our income (with eight of us living on his salary we surely need that).  Because of this, Josh also needs to spend bunches of time working in the administrative offices of the school while students are out.  His internship hours will be many.

As an added bonus, for those of you who chastise us for "being paid for 12 months of work when you only work 9" just be aware that we aren't.  We are paid for 9 months and the district kindly stretches those payments out over 12 months so that we don't become destitute every summer.  That's why Josh works an extra job to help us pull the ends closer together, which, by the way, means more time away from home and addition summer obligations as well.

So we pinch our pennies and cut corners and scape by all year, and we are honestly glad to do it.  Josh loves teaching and I love that he loves teaching so we are willing to do whatever we need to do to make it work.  

I mean seriously, this man ADORES his students.  I wish you could see the anguish in his eyes when one of them is struggling.  I wish you could see his exultant smile when one of them succeeds.  I wish you could hear him tout their strengths and ponder how to help them in their weaknesses.  I wish you could see him pore over his tests and assignments question by question every summer to be sure they are worded in just the right way.  I wish you could see him search books and videos and teacher sites and every other resource to find teaching activities that will better help his students understand the material he needs to present them.

So don't assume that he is constantly available to attend scout camp and youth conference and everything else just because it is summer and act annoyed when he says he doesn't have time (no one has done this recently, I'm not pointing fingers, but it does happen).  Please do ask him, he might be able to and he is glad to help when he can...but just like anyone else, his job may not make that possible, even if he is not currently in school.

The point is, next time you run into a school teacher and you are tempted to tell them how lucky they are because they get to be lazy and do nothing for 1/4 of the calendar year just stop yourself.  Instead shake their hand, give them a hug or something like that and just thank them for the time and dedication they give to your children.  Let them know that you appreciate the hours outside of school that they spend worrying for and counseling with the youth they teach. 

Tell them you are grateful that they attend sporting events and dance competitions and chorus concerts because they don't have to, but they do it because their students are important to them and encouraging coming generations to be their best and know they are of value is what these teachers live for.

And that is something we should ALL be thankful for.

Monday, June 11, 2012

In which one child pops open but gets stuck back together

Our family spent last week on a trip to Park City here in Utah.  We try to go on some sort of vacation every summer so that we can spend time together away from other distractions and build (hopefully) a solid wall of good family memories that will bind us together.

The "here is all the fun we had on our trip" post is coming, but not today.

Anyway, while we were in Park City we had an unexpected adventure.  Last Monday we put the three youngest kids to bed just after 8:00 pm (their normal bedtime -- we don't want grumpy kids while we're supposed to be having fun).  We heard Gavin and Logan in their room tittering and whispering back and forth.  We sort of ignored it because we were on vacation and didn't want to be our regular ogre selves about bedtime, we knew they would fall asleep soon.

Only they didn't.

Instead the room exploded in screaming.

Josh and I scurried to the doorway to find our four year old desperately wailing while plugging a gushing head wound with both hands (head wounds tend to bleed pretty nastily so it wasn't quite as bad as it first seemed).

We took him to the bathroom and calmed him down and cleaned him up (while I can be squeamish about needles I am AWESOME in an emergency and Josh is not squeamish ever so he is even better).  We could get the bleeding to slow,but not stop and the gash in Logan's head was more than just a little cut. 

We debated back and forth whether to just tape up his head or to take him in and have it stitched.  It wasn't horribly deep, but we were on vacation and planning to do lot of hiking, playing, swimming and Logan (the 4-year-old) is not known for his quiet and relaxed composure.  We finally agreed to have Josh take him to the Instacare to have him checked out.  It was just after 8:30 when they left the condo.  Logan was terrified and tightly clutching a cool cloth to his little bit gaping wound.

(Poor baby all nervous and hurting...man that cut looks like
NOTHING in the picture.)
Soon after my two guys left Gavin came out of his room in tears.  He was agonizing about his little brother.  Turns out that Gavin and Logan were quietly wrestling on the bed when Gavin accidentally tipped Logan off and Logan smashed into the bed side table leaving him oozing blood and screaming.  Gavin was terrified that his actions had permanently damaged his baby brother and that Logan would die and never come home to us.

Oh, my sweetheart.  I scooped him up and did my best to reassure him that Logan would almost certainly not die from him injuries and he would be home soon.  Gavin begged me to wake him up when Logan got back so that he could be sure Logan was ok after all.  I promised I would and I did, but Gavin was so exhausted that even though I dragged him out of bed to see Logan he didn't remember it the next morning and gave me a Scotch blessing for not keeping my promise (which I quickly nipped because I did so keep my promise!).

About 11:30 pm Josh called to let me know they were on their way back.  Come to find out the only Instacare in Park City closes at 8:00 pm so we missed it which meant Josh and Logan ended up in the ER.  That was not quite what we had in mind ($200 copay vs $35 copay for a gash that we weren't sure needed to be stitched in the first place).

The fabulous ER nurse had worked at Primary Children's Medical Center for more than a dozen years before transferring to Park City so she was amazing with our little guy.  Josh also was also a sweet hero for our scared little man who was incredibly brave and made us both very proud. 

One bonus to the ER is that they could give him his awesome anesthetic administered through the nose that left him higher than a kite.  Have you ever seen a completely stoned four year old?  Well, I hadn't really before, but let me tell you it is definitely entertaining.  I think Josh has some video on his phone so I'll try to put that up sometime soon.

This kind lady reassured us that having his head stitched was absolutely the right thing to do because he is a 4-year-old boy and would most likely bang into something and split his head even more (and he did mash head first into a post the next day while we were hiking to Stewart Falls so we felt better that he was all sewn up).

Long story short, Logan ended up with a couple stitches in his forehead and a very drugged smile on his face.  Boy oh boy he slept well that night. 

We had another doctor visit a few days later to have the stitches removed and the pediatrician agreed with the fabulous ER nurse that it was the right choice to have him stitched up (nice of them both to soothe our $200 uncertainties). 

And now Logan is all back together again.  Hooray!  But what an adventure we had. Logan did use his injury to his advantage whenever he could siting fake aches when he wanted more ice cream or when he wanted his siblings to let him win a game.  Yeah, he knows how to work it.  Silly kid, but we adore him.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The undead visit our home

Yup, our home is sometimes full of zombies (sometimes they hunt for treasure).  And here's proof that the zombie in our home isn't ALWAYS me (despite what my children may think).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The girl I was once upon a time

A couple of weeks ago, Aubrey asked me something about when I was a kid.  She wanted to know what I thought and how I felt about life when I was her age. 

So, I rummaged through the basement until I found a box filled with my old scrapbooks and journals.  Together we looked through the pictures and awards from my elementary and jr high life.  She laughed at my big early 90's hair and she just rolled her eyes when I showed her how to peg the bottoms of her jeans (which was all the rage during my jr high years).  She laughed at my autographed picture of Boys to Men who I saw in concert and met backstage in ninth grade (thanks to my brother, Josh, who won tickets and took me with him...what a sweetheart).  I told her about how Sting also performed at that concert (I still love him today, but watching him in Dune still makes me cringe).  I told her about how as we were standing in line to use the payphone to call our parents to come and get us the kid next to me threw up all over my leg.  The bathrooms were locked to I just had to manage the best I could without much help.

We found pictures from girls camp, passes from a ski trip, plane tickets from an excursion to Washington to see Phantom of the Opera with my Aunt Denise.

Me in elementary school.

She laughed and wanted to know more about my life way back when, so I handed her a couple of my journals from those years.  She has spent the last couple weeks reading them and it has been really fun.  She will come running upstairs yelling, "Mom, do you remember when you..." and telling me some obscure thing that I did or thought or said that I have completely forgotten about. 

My beautiful elementary aged daughter.
She's read about my arguments with my parents, my annoyances with my brother, my crushes on every single boy that ever crossed my path.  Mostly, she has just been able to see that she and I really aren't that different (or the I that I was at her age anyway).  It has been a lot of fun to watch.

And it has made me really grateful that I kept a journal all those years ago.  I need to be better about that now, but what an unexpected delight to have my daughter plunge into my past and come out feeling a kinship with the girl I used to be.   

Monday, June 4, 2012

OUT STUPID SPOT!! (because my kids would scold me if I was true to the Shakespeare quote)

Do you see that big red juice stain on my carpet?

It's still wet in the picture -- now that it is dry you can't see any
difference between the sections of carpet.

Neither do I.


For years I have had three nasty red juice stains on the carpet in my basement (my upstairs carpet is forty year old maroon so there is no way to tell if it is stained because it looks nasty no matter what  we just ignore it). 

Never mind that we have had a blanket "no eating/drinking in the basement" rule since pretty much the day we moved in, juice still manages to somehow mysteriously find its way into the basement and it also manages to escape its container and find a new home on my light tan, speckled carpet. Grrrrr.

These were huge (because no one spills only a half cup of juice at our house...go big or go home!), glaring eyesores that I eventually covered with an ugly rug so that I didn't have to stare at them all the time. 

Over the years I have tried -- no kidding -- dozens of different cleaning products and concoctions to try to remove the stains.  I have spent HOURS scrubbing and wiping and soaking and just trying to get the nasty monsters to leave.

Enter Pinterest (no I am not a Pinterest addict, I can quit any time).

Anyway, when a new solution showed up on Pinterest I was skeptical (that may be the understatement of the year).  I did not re pin it because I was sure it was a lie.  I did not bother to take "before" pictures because I was pretty much sure that this solution would not work. 

But I was wrong.

Sometimes I love it when I'm wrong.

So, for any of you who have carpets plagued by red juice stains, here's how I saw the death of mine.

1. Mix 1 cup ammonia and 1 cup water then saturate the stain with the mixture.
2. Cover the stain with a white towel (I am told colored towels will bleed color into your carpet).
3. Use a piping hot iron to go back and forth over the towel covered stain and watch as the juice seeps out of your carpet and into your towel.

I did have to reapply the ammonia mix and re steam with the towel/iron several times before the stains went away and I spent about an hour working on them...but they did actually go away.  I'm not talking about the kind of vanish where if you squint and dim the lights and blur your vision then you can't really see them anymore, I mean they are GONE.

I love it.

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