Saturday, January 1, 2011

Merry Christmas/ Happy New Year/ Season's Greetings!

Real life at our home:
Happy New Year!
Lolly is doing G-R-E-A-T!!!
I took a looooong break from blogging, but I'm making a comeback in 2011.
Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

(That's Alan, my father-in-law)

I'm so grateful that we were able to celebrate today with this pretty little face:
She was a good little girl today (even though she missed her nap!).
We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her!!!
I was talking to my mom several days ago, and told her about all the crazy things Lolly has done lately- she is such a WILD child!!!  Every day for the past several weeks, during nap time, she loved to get out EVERYTHING in her room that wasn't bolted to the floor- diapers, clothes, her purses, tights and socks, books, blankets, etc. (I've since gotten smart and put everything in her closet and put her in the top bunk bed- without a ladder to get down).  I recently painted a few pieces of furniture white, and within a few hours, she'd drawn all sorts of pretty things on them with marker (thankfully, I only keep washable markers...but the boys never wrote on furniture or walls, so I hadn't thought to keep the markers out of reach).  She also found some nail polish one day and painted her nails (and the bathroom counter) herself.  She rubs Desitin all over her baby doll, rips the velcro tabs off of new, unused diapers, and thinks of about 1,000 things a day to do to keep our life interesting.  She is definitely our most crazy child yet.  

In some ways, it was a big blessing to have her so very sick- every time she does something naughty or crazy, I do take a minute to pause and remember how grateful I am to have her here.  I remember years ago, when we lived in our apartment in Tremonton, Tyler was three and Trey was one.  They found my spices, took the lids off, and ran through the house, shaking spices all over, giggling with delight.  My mind flashed back to Trey, a newborn baby, lying in the hospital, being prepped for his first heart surgery- at that moment, I would have done ANYTHING to be able to raise him up to a child, old enough to make messes with his big brother.  Now, I have FIVE huge mess makers, and I'm so very grateful for each one of them.  

Life has been so very crazy since returning from the hospital in October.  A friend asked me the other day how I was doing now that we're finally home.  I told her that things had just been nuts- I was still trying to play catch-up in every area of my life.  I told her that I was behind on paperwork, housework, laundry, and stressed because the holidays were coming so quickly.  My friend is a little bit older and a whole lot wiser, and she reminded me to JUST ENJOY IT.  Rather than be stressed and frustrated, I am trying to just enjoy it.  Life was crazy before Lolly got sick, and since we got home, it seems to be so much more crazy.  We've added in a lot of doctor's appointments, frequent blood draws, daily medications, and are having to find a lot of patience as we get everyone back to our normal routine, but I really am trying to just enjoy it and to be grateful for every little thing. 

For those who have asked, Lolly is doing amazingly well!  Her latest blood draw showed almost perfect numbers!  She still takes anti-seizure medication (which we hope she'll come off of after her check-up with neurology in January), and is such a good girl about taking her meds (she's always been a little jealous of all the meds Trey gets to take every day).  She is actually really good about getting her blood drawn, and is a gem (most of the time) when she has her blood pressure checked (this news will be shocking to any nurse who had the pleasure to taking her blood pressure while we were at Primary's).  Her kidneys are working well(!) and she's showing some interest in potty training again (possibly due to the jar of M&M's we have for "potty treats").  She is the most spunky, opinionated, funny little girl I have ever met.  We love her so, so much!!!

P.S. Hi from Sammi!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Lolly on Friday, October 29, 2010

We've been home for THREE WEEKS now...and I can finally say that Lolly is pretty much back to how she was before she got sick.  She has done amazingly well since we got home.  She is talking a ton (we could hardly get her to say a word when she was in the hospital).  Her strength has improved so much- after four weeks in bed, she had a very difficult time walking at first.  When we first got home, she wobbled a lot when she walked, and fell down several times because she just didn't have much strength in her legs.  She could not stand up from a squat or climb the stairs.  Now, she runs all over the place, climbs the bunkbed and treehouse ladders, and is a ball of energy.   

It seems like the ages that are the most difficult also bring the most cuteness- that's exactly how I would describe Lolly- she can be 100% difficult and 100% adorable.  We're trying to wean her from our previous [hospital life] parenting skills- the "You-can-have-anything-you-want-as-long-as-you-keep-living" parenting philosophy had to end at some point, but Lolly wasn't particularly thrilled with it ending when she came home.  In the hospital, when she was finally allowed to eat and drink, she was given endless options.  "You don't feel like drinking water?"  "That's okay- how about some juice/pop/gatorade, etc..."  Now that we're back at home, she's not very impressed that I'm not playing the part of short-order cook, but slowly and surely, she is getting better and less spoiled. 

She is the most funny/spunky/crazy little girl, and she loves to make us laugh.  She loves dancing (Party in the USA is still her favorite) and being silly.  She loves playing with "the brothers" and helping baby Sammi.  She loves having her nails painted, but would much rather do it herself (like she got to do in the hospital).  Her favorite thing to do in the hospital was color, and when she was there, everyone applauded her artwork, no matter the canvas (remember this?).  She's still very creative with her canvas choice, but can't figure out why I'm not as excited as I used to be about her artwork on walls/books/toys, etc. 

She has turned into a very sweet, very happy girl, and I think, in a lot of ways, her hospital experience has made her more patient and more submissive and even more cheerful.  She wakes up so happy!  On the very rare occasion that she wakes up before me, she'll walk down the hall, knock on my door, and call out, "Mom!"  I love it. 
Because of her pancreatitis, Lolly was sent home on a low-fat diet.  Good thing that her favorite food is CHEESE!!!  When we first got home, she asked for cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner (probably to make up for her month-long cheese deprivation).  Being dairy farmers, we're happy that she loves cheese, but cheese for every meal doesn't fit well with a low-fat diet. 

Lolly has weekly blood draws at the local hospital to check her kidney function, pancratitis, and red blood cell count, and everything is improving.  We love the "blood draw ladies" at the hospital here.  We've been going to visit them on a regular basis for years and years.  Trey used to have weekly blood draws for months and months, and we see our "blood draw ladies" every time we go to the ER or when I go to the hospital to deliver a baby (both scenarios are quite frequent, seems like).  So these ladies know our family well, and remember all the kids and their names.  We never leave without a fistful of suckers, stickers, and juice for everyone.  The kids think it's the greatest place on earth (especially those who get to go without getting poked).  Even Lolly doesn't mind too much.
Sammi (seven months now!)

Lolly loves to be with Luke, and he can make her laugh more than anyone else.  Whenever I hear her giggling during the day, I pause and express a silent "thank you" to my Heavenly Father for letting me hear that sweet sound again.  I know that it truly is a miracle that Lolly is alive today.  Not only that- but it's a miracle that she is alive and is eating/drinking/peeing/walking/thinking, etc. on her own.  I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us, and I am so grateful that he allowed Lolly to live.  I know that it could have just as easily gone the other way, and several medical professionals told me that medically speaking, Lolly shouldn't be alive today.  Words can't express how grateful we are that she is alive.  We are so thankful to have our girl.

I am so happy to be back to being a mom again to ALL my kids.  It has been so crazy though!  I think I'd forgotten how wild and loud life with five kids really is.  Every day when I look around at the dishes/laundry/messes I remind myself how grateful I am to have five little people to cook for and do dishes, wash and fold piles of laundry, and clean up after. 

For anyone reading this blog, please know how grateful we have been for your support and encouragement.  I can't tell you how much it meant to me to have so many people, far and near, tell me that they were following Lolly's blog and praying for her and our family.  We truly could not have made it through without the love and support from so many family members, friends, and even strangers who offered help and support in so many ways.  It was so humbling and uplifting.  There were so many days at the hospital when we had nothing but bad news and sad things to think about.  On those days, I lived for the moments where I took a few minutes to read all the encouraging comments and emails and texts from so many wonderful people.  They literally kept me going and made me think I could keep going for Lolly's sake.  It might take me months or years, but I hope, at some point, to personally thank all of you for what you did for me.  But for now, I hope a big blogged thank-you will do. 

((THANK YOU!!!))

I hope to download this blog into a book for Lolly as a keepsake- all the pictures, post and comments.  Because of that, I still have many pictures I'd like to post...sooner, rather than later, I hope!  Be back soon (but don't hold your breath).

Monday, October 18, 2010

What's been going on (Hint: all good things!)

Pictures from last night, Sunday, October 17, 2010

Was it really five days ago that I said, "maybe I'll have time to post later tonight?"  It's been nearly impossible to find time to blog, so I'm sorry for those of you who have mentioned you've been waiting for an update. 

I was super busy the whole time Lolly was in the hospital.  It seemed like I only had a few minutes each day to post an update.  But all that time, I had two full-time nannies (my mother-in-law and my mom), a full-time nurse for Lolly, laundry service (my mom), housekeeping (to clean our room and change Lolly's sheets), and a personal chef (the Rainbow Cafe at the hospital), and I still barely had enough time to blog. 
These days, I'm the full-time nanny, nurse, laundry service, housekeeper, and personal chef to seven hungry mouths, not to mention, secretary, bookkeeper (I've got a stack of papers a mile high), and chauffeur.  And I'm loving it!!!  I am so grateful to be back, doing what I love to do, but have found it very difficult to find time to blog.
It's kind of like our family took a month-long vacation- to four different locations (boys at Grandma's, Ben at home, me and Sammi to my grandparents' SLC apartment, and Lolly to Primary Childrens Hospital)- a vacation we hadn't done any preparation for.  Our house and yard looked great when we walked in (thanks to some amazing friends!), but the moment we moved back in, we brought a tornado with us.  It's still going to take a while to get things under control.
We've now been home for one week, and Lolly is doing so well.  It truly is amazing.  She has regained much of her strength, and is walking well now (after 3 1/2 weeks in bed, her legs were very stiff and weak).  She's still a little shaky, and falls down occasionally, but is getting stronger every day.  She still gets stuck when she squats, and needs help up occasionally, and she doesn't even attempt to climb up the stairs (although she does slide down). 
We could hardly get Lolly to say a word at the hospital, and her manners were nonexistent (if she wanted something, she'd usually scream), but I've been amazed at how quickly she started talking again at home, and how many new words she's picked up since she's been home (she started talking a lot right around her 2nd birthday in July).  She even says please and thank-you most of the time now.
All her life, Lolly has taken a long time to warm up to people.  In the past, she'd refuse to let people carry her sometimes, even if she knew them.  During her hospitalization, she developed major trust issues.  She really didn't know who she could trust, often cried when people came into her room, and was smart enough to not make eye contact with any doctors.  Since returning home, though, she has become very cuddly, and wants to be held (we love it!).  She lets almost anyone pick her up, and has become quite pleasant to be around!  On Friday, we were at my in-laws' house with a bunch of relatives.  I have a lot of nieces that love babies, and have always been so nice to Lolly, but she usually won't let them carry her or play with her.  On Friday, the came up and announced that Lolly had actually let them carry her!!!

Lolly's sleep schedule was so messed up in the hospital- I was really worried about how she'd transition at home.  She has done great!  She was thrilled to be back in her own bed, with Luke as a roommate, and takes long naps in the afternoon and sleeps all night. 

I took Lolly to our family doctor last Tuesday, and he said that after reviewing her chart, it's a miracle that she's here.  The last patient he saw with HUS that wouldn't wake up (like she did the first four days)- was about 2-years-old, and did not survive.  I've seen many medical miracles in my life, but I rarely hear medical professionals label them as such.  It truly is a miracle that she's here today.
Our experience with Lolly has, of course, caused me to take time to reflect on and appreciate all my blessings.  All this week since we've been home, there have been so many moments during our days where I'll just stop and think, "I'm so grateful to have this moment with her."  Listening to her giggle, getting her out of bed in the morning, and watching her get excited about little things like going outside to play or making cupcakes have been small things that have brought me great joy.  One of the many blessings I've gained from this trial has been my improved ability to appreciate the small things. 
Like these fabulous legs:
They are the cutest thing ever- skinny two-year-old legs in stretch pants.  Love them.

And the other cutest thing ever:

The kids have all transitioned really well.  I had been especially concerned about Luke while we were in the hospital.  His life (next to Lolly's) was changed the most- he was without his home, his mom, his best friend and roommate...and although he really loved his time at Grandma and Grandpa's, he was a bit stressed out from the whole situation, and more than anyone, told me how much he really wanted us all back together at home.
But as you can see...
So we're happy.

The big boys love having Lolly back:

And Sam loves having her daddy back:
And the cows love having us all back.  Here they are, staring at everyone on the trampoline:
It's so good to be back!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


We are all so happy to be home, and we're all very busy, adjusting to life again as a family. Lolly is doing SO WELL!!!
I've got lots of fun pictures to post...hopefully later tonight!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Today is 10/10/10
TEN is my new lucky number
TODAY!!!!! (hopefully leaving just after noon!!!)
One MONTH ago today, Lolly got really sick from E. coli.
After 29 days in the hospital, we're FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY going home!
We feel so blessed!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The "H" Word

We think it might be TOMORROW (Sunday)!!!!
{holding our breath, crossing our fingers, trying not to jinx ourselves}
Everything will be dependent on Lolly's lab results (from her blood draw) tomorrow morning- the doctor will come in early to let us know the plan.
It's hard to believe that this might REALLY be happening!!!