Saturday, August 29, 2015

Growing Grandparents

     G is for growing gardens and grandparents. This past week has been filled with both. We had the pleasure of my mom, Barry and cousin Riley visiting last week with a night of cousin Tanner squished in there on his way back to BYU. They left on Wednesday, I changed the bed sheets, and Zach's folks flew in Thursday. Ben and Joy will be coming for a quick overnight on Sunday to see Zach's parents and for Josh to receive his patriarchal blessing. A full house and a full heart here in Fort Collins.

David sticking his head out of the green beans

Little Kenny reading to Big Kenny

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Last of Summer

Just a little last minute summer fun before school starts. Under the pretext of washing Betty (our van), this crew got out their squirt guns and some soapy water and had at it.  Some how Gabe ended up in the water bucket. We are enjoying summer till the last minute. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ruthie's Broken Arm

Zach already did a thorough job telling this story so I'll just copy and paste it in case you didn't catch it in the family letter:

Let’s be clear up front: Ruth Anne is doing just fine. Yes, her arm is broken, but she’s recovering nicely and in great spirits. In fact, thanks to the sedative she was given during our hospital trip, she remembers almost nothing from the experience other than being given a stuffed animal and lots of princess stickers. I think she regards the whole experience as a long date with Dad. That being said, the sedative that has bequeathed Ruthie happy hospital memories made it something of a horror show for Dad. But I get ahead of myself: let’s back up.

Ruth broke her arm on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 PM while climbing down from the trampoline. She wasn’t jumping crazily; she wasn’t jostled by her bigger brothers. She just slipped and put out her arm to brace herself for the fall. Alana was gone, shopping at Walmart. I was in the front yard at the time, getting ready to do some painting. I heard her cry out, but she wasn’t particularly loud, and she didn’t come running around the house, so I kept moving. When she kept moaning/softly crying (WAY softer than when she’s offended, for instance), I put down the can of paint I’d been preparing to open and walked to the back yard. When I saw her lying on the ground, I knew something was wrong. Once I got close enough to see her arm, I knew what was wrong. Between her left elbow and left wrist, the arm dipped in an U-shape; it was obviously and traumatically broken. I called the older three boys inside, assigned Gabe to read a book, left David in charge of Lincoln until Alana returned, locked all the house doors, and put Ruth in the van. I couldn’t buckle her into a car seat for fear of jarring her arm, so I drove very slowly to the emergency room.

Other than her time in that car seat, she was in my arms more or less continuously from 3:30 to 10 PM. And while she cried a bit and asked for Mom, she really never shrieked or screamed or threw a fit; at times it wasn’t even clear that she was feeling any pain. She fell asleep on several occasions in my arms (she gets quite tired in the afternoons anyways, and I’m sure the shock left her more drained than usual). After we arrived at the ER, she let the nurse stick her hand with an IV without so much as a whimper; as all of the nurses commented at some point, “She’s better than most of my adult patients!”

Once the orthopedist showed up to set Ruth’s arm, the doctor administered a sedative through that IV: ketamine. Unfortunately, Ruth experienced a relatively rare side effect of that drug; her vocal chords began to spasm, she couldn’t swallow the copious amounts of saliva stimulated by the ketamine, and because of those two reactions, she briefly stopped breathing. The doctor “bagged” her (pumping oxygen into her lungs via a facemask) and periodically suctioned the saliva from her mouth; a cardiac resuscitation unit was called, and there was a real possibility that they would intubate her. I could see in the faces of those working to raise her oxygen levels that there was palpable fear that she could die or (through lack of oxygen) experience permanent damage. At one point in this sequence of events a nurse placed her hand on my shoulder and asked, “Is there anyone you want me to call?” That question was the most troubling and fear-inducing moment of the entire experience.

Notwithstanding the urgency of the situation, I was quite calm throughout; once the moment of crisis had passed, it seemed like my lack of angst was about all the nurses could talk about. I asked: “Would you have been comforted or worked more effectively if I was screaming at you?” This is the second time that I’ve been the responsible party present when a member of my nuclear family was in real, life-threatening medical danger (the first was when Alana delivered Gabe; she picked up an infection that had us all worried).

Because Ruth reacted poorly to the ketamine the doctor wanted to admit her for the night, but I insisted that—as Ruth eventually woke up—she be given the benefit of the doubt and discharged. What she really needed was a good night’s sleep in her own bed (which she would NOT have received in the hospital) and to see her mother, who she asked for CONSTANTLY during those six hours (to the point that I began to feel a little unwanted). And when Ruth woke up Sunday morning chipper and cheerful, I felt completely vindicated in my push for discharge (3.5 hours after her reaction). She’s her normal happy self and, as I said, seems in retrospect to regard her hospital visit as a daddy-daughter date. All is well; happy day. Well, until I get the ER bill. Eesh.

This picture was especially pitiful


Finally, the bright pink cast. Can't dampen her spirits, she is even back to jumping on the trampoline. Should be off in about a month.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Husband of my heart at the Piano

Zach wanted some shots for academic purposes so we had a mini session in our front room. He's a lot easier to photograph than children, let me tell you. I think my two favorites are him looking at the music on the piano and the serious black and white profile. You can  leave a comment on which you think he should use on his web page and to send to his editor. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Texas Twins

        Ruth and I (and little lady #2) took a girls trip down to Texas to visit the Schenewarks last month in the great state of Texas. True to fashion, it was hotter than blazes, the high temperatures never dipping below 100 during our visit. (Thank goodness for indoor climate control!) The girls didn't let it dampen their spirits though and had a great time catching toads, dressing up, playing at the beach and doing general little girl things. Among other activities we enjoyed a trip down to the old sock yards, stake pioneer day and staying up past our bed time. I enjoyed some good reading time since I rarely saw my child till it was time to fly back home. I also enjoyed some late night walks with Amy Jo.  Toss in a few board games with the nephews and it was a great trip. Perhaps next time we'll be hosting Amy Jo and Bryer here in Fort Collins.

It's like I stepped into a Harry Potter novel for a moment.

Perfect depth for these little sprites to play in

I guess she likes to make that face for the camera

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Moving on Up

      It happens before every new baby arrives. We move the current occupant of the crib up to the toddler bed, and the one in a toddler bed gets upgraded to a twin. Zach and I like to two it well in advance so no one feels like we are steeling their crib when the baby comes home. Lincoln has been sleeping in a big-boy bed for the past few weeks and doing a fine job with only the occasional get up or roll out. Ruth is loving her new big bed too, since it meant she could finally use her hello kitty covers. Mac was roommates with Ruth but since Lincoln moved into her room he moved downstairs, back to the barracks with the older two boys. Everyone seems to like the new arrangement. I've even changed the bedding in the baby's room back to pink instead of blue. Change is fun, especially when it is in anticipation of a new arrival.  

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Summer time

 Aren't I lucky to live here?

This is what summer is all about.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Murder Mystery Dinner

      In a classic who-dun-it night of food and fun we entertained three other couples at our house for the Italian version of a murder mystery dinner. I had purchased this game and given it to Zach as a Valentine's present but we only recently got around to hosting the dinner. Everyone comes in costume and as the dinner progresses we read from a script and revel additional clues as to who could have done it. Roles included Pepi Roni, Tara Misu, Bo Jalis, Angel Roni, Marco Roni, Clair Voyant, Mama Rosa, and Father Alfredo. (I was the mourning widow of the deceased and Zach was the resident priest). A long day of cooking to make the meal and dessert from scratch but it was a fun evening. We have since shipped it off to the highest family bidder (hope you enjoy Jen!) so I won't spoil the fun by saying who it was that turned out to be the murderer.