Saturday, December 19, 2009

Visions of sugar plums

Last night we took the three older boys on a special outing. We ate dinner at the Garden Restaurant at the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for dinner and then headed over to the Capitol Theater to see the Nutcracker.

I am so glad we had a table next to the window or else we would have been bothering all of the other patrons because the boys would have been running over to the window anyway to see the lights at Temple Square. We were able to see them turn on and it is an amazing view from up top!

I wasn't sure how the boys would like the ballet but they loved it. They started getting a bit bored around the pas de deux, but luckily that is pretty much the end. My favorite thing about the whole night was sitting next to Luke during the performance. He was so excited and had a ton to say. Here are some of my favorites:

  • During the applause that occurred after the little orchestral introductory prelude before the curtains open: "That's it?"

  • "When are they going to talk?"

  • After the fight scene between the mice and the Nutcracker, kindof out of the blue:
"It's a small nutcracker."
Me: "Hmmm?"
Luke: "How did the prince fit in there?"

  • During the scene of the Snow Queen (that I mistakenly told  him was the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy):
"Is it raining sugar?"
Me: "No, it's snow."
Luke: "Oh, I thought it would be sugar since it is the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."

  • The huge sigh during the REAL dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

  • "It's over?!?"

When we were walking back to the car, Luke also let me in on a little secret. He told me that he had been scared to see the Nutcracker. When I asked him why, he told me he thought it would be wooden puppets dancing around on strings. I am glad the actual performance exceeded his expectations.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Luckily for Liam, Santa checks his list twice

As I was walking into my room yesterday, I noticed something on the floor next to the bed. I walked closer and realized what it was.

I wondered to myself how a dog could have gotten into my house and deposited something on the floor and then left unnoticed. I then decided to ask the only other logical culprit in the house what had happened.

Me: "Liam, what is this."
Liam: "Poop."
Me: "Where do we poop?"
Liam: "In the toilet."
Me: "Then why did you poop on the floor?"
Liam: " I was busy playing Playhouse Disney."

This was before preschool. After school he poured his entire full glass of apple juice inside a container that had a hole in it. Obviously, the container didn't hold the juice very well.

Luckily for him, I found his emergency backpack that he had packed himself hanging on the front door. In it was an entire loaf of bread, my tub of butter, a jar of peanut butter, a pair of sweatpants, a half gallon jug of water about half way full, a Thomas train, a small Nerf basketball, a capri sun, and a blanket. I had to smile at what his little mind wanted in an emergency. Justin had him put the backpack on and asked him if he could run with it if there was an emergency. Liam tried but since it was super heavy he said: "I'll just leave my backpack on the ground and then I can run really fast."

This boy is always thinking.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh, Hansel and Gretel have a huge decision

We decorated gingerbread houses the other night. I did it easy with graham crackers but they were fun nonetheless. My friend told me about a super easy way to keep the crackers together--just melt sugar and dip the edges of the cracker in the syrup and voila! It is like glue. The frosting was super easy too--just 3 egg whites to a pound of powdered sugar. I put a bit of cream of tartar in for good measure. These are the results:
Santa's mansion by Andrew:

He told me that it was a mansion because he has a big "S" in his yard just like rich people.

M&M and gumdrop mountain by Luke:

This picture makes me think that his name was just a misnomer for "Gingerbread House of Terror". Have YOU ever seen a snowman with daggers coming out of its eyes?

Santa's Wonderland: by Nick

Hansel and Gretel, beware! (or the house that U built): by Me

There is a U on the back :)

Liam just liked the candy and would eat it off his house just as quickly as he put it on.

Justin's is also unnamed but it looks like his house is in a bad part of town or Santa just had a heart attack. Either way, better warn the kiddies that Santa probably won't be around this year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Santa Claus came to town!

Santa visited my in-laws house on Saturday the 5th. He didn't visit yours? Well, I don't want to judge or anything but maybe your kids aren't as good as mine. Or my nieces and nephews. I am just saying...

We had an awesome time for their annual Santa party. We had delicious food and all the grandkids decorated the "kid's" Christmas tree with Grandpa handing out the ornaments.

I think they did a great job!

And of course, the big man himself came to distribute darling Christmas jammies and cute elf hats for the cold weather ahead.

Liam going to give Santa a hug

This is Liam's first year of really "getting" Christmas.This is Liam's face before the present. So excited.
That quickly deteriorated when he
realized that there was not a toy wrapped up in a neat little package. I guess I should have
prepped him first.

Seneka wasn't so sure

Every year there is a story that the kids can act out. Andrew, Nick, and Halle were the characters this year. Andrew was Bob ("I don't know"), Nick was Dingle ("ding a ling a ling"), and Halle was the witch ("hee hee hee").

Singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

All the kids (except for grumpy Liam still upset that all he received was jammies) in their cute hats.

I also came home to some wonderful news! My sister who lives in New Hampshire went into labor and was eight centimeters when I called her at ten o'clock our time.  She delivered baby Olive at 1:02 a.m. (so just about an hour after I talked to her on the East coast!) on December 6th. Yay! Both mom and baby are doing well. Congrats Beckstroms and we love you!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Zoo-tastic lights

Seriously, if you have never been to Zoo Lights at Hogle Zoo, you should put it on the top of your to do list. It is enchanting and super empty (at times that can be a bit creepy ) and the animals that you never really get to see awake are putting on their show. Our favorites that we saw were the rattlesnake that was violently shaking his rattle, the porcupines that were walking around and would put their quills up when they got nervous, the mother tiger giving her three cubs a good cleaning, and the cool owls with their big, yellow eyes.

The walk down the big hill was my favorite-the trees
looked amazing

Erika and Liam

He had the elephant all to himself!

The cubs and their mom-not the best pic through the glass

A dark family pic chocolate. Thanks dad-we needed it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So thankful.

This is going to be an extremely long post. Have you ever had a weekend in which you were enlightened? I just had one and I don't think I will be able to put the words down correctly to give it justice, but it was an amazing journey.

Thanksgiving weekend just ended yesterday for me. I was scheduled to work on Thanksgiving right in the middle of both our families dinners and then worked everyday until yesterday-it sounds like a lot, I know, but I am so grateful for the hours that can be few and far between these days and I had two very memorable patients that made me very grateful for multiple aspects of my life. I will spare everyone all of the gory details so I will list the top five.

One patient arrived just as I was coming to work on Friday morning. She was contracting regularly and was dilating with her first baby only at 20 weeks gestation. I always get a little nauseous when this happens because there is nothing we can do for the sweet baby since it is too early. We just wrap the baby up in a homemade blanket that another family has thoughtfully made because of a loss that they have had and let the mom love him until he passes. With this patient, the doctors pulled out all the stops and we slowed the contractions down but unfortuneatly, she delivered the next day.

1. I am thankful for my children. I used to take pregnancy for granted. I rarely heard about pregnancy complications growing up, my mom never had problems with her five pregnancies, and I guess I never thought I had a reason to worry. My first three pregnancies were relatively easy--they did have their glitches but once I found out I was pregnant, I never once thought that I would not end up with a healthy, beautiful baby at the end. With Nick's first ultrasound, I just thought we were going to see what his gender was so I would have been absoluetly floored had they found anything wrong. Yes, I was very, very naive.

My fourth pregnancy was the one that made me realize how fleeting life can be. I was a little more sick with this particular pregnancy but other than that, I just expected to deliver near my due date, sometime in June of 2004. I would look at the baby all the time at work, moving and growing. We found out he was a boy two days before I didn't see his heartbeat. I felt so gross inside. My ears started closing off and I was shaking- I just remember the uncontrolable shaking because there was nothing I could do to fix it. I was induced and delivered a very small and delicate little boy the next day, our little Gabe. I had another miscarriage after that in October of 2004 and then we found out I was pregnant with Liam a year and 15 days after we had our loss. We definately have always cherished our children but after losing two and working so hard to get Liam here, it helped us realize that children are true miracles and made us that much more grateful for our darling boys.

On Sunday, I started out my day admitting a patient who was a drug addict and was completely out of control. I try not to judge people but people who admit using meth and marijuana daily for the last six weeks of their pregnancy make it hard to be a loving and supportive nurse while they are only one centimeter and hurting like crazy. She fired me after I missed her first IV but then I redeemed myself after only having to try one other time. After we got her the epidural, she was quite pleasant and I was becoming choked up as she relayed her life story to the midwife. She was born to a sixteen year old mother who abused her and couldn't take care of her so kicked her out at twelve years old. She was started on antidepressants at eleven. Her mom was put in jail and had another baby while incarcerated so my patient raised him when she was fifteen until he was 18 months old.

2. I am grateful for my wonderful, loving parents and that I was able to be a child when I was little.
I look back on my childhood and realize that I was spoiled. My family was middle class and my parents worked very hard for what we had but I never wanted for anything. I was fed, clothed, had hot baths, a warm house, and most importantly, love. I am grateful that I had a stable family and that I knew who my parents were and that my mom knew who the father of her children were. My dad worked and my mom stayed home to take care of us-I lived in a nice, secure bubble. I was never abused, was not a slave or a prosititute to feed my parent's drug habit, I was able to be a kid. I walked to the corner market with friends to buy candy, rode my bike all over the neighborhood, played all day and never had a care in the world.

The midwife probed further and asked about her drug habit and if she would like to quit. The patient started crying and stated that she and her boyfriend had been sober for a while and she just relapsed six weeks prior. She said she feels so much better when she is clean and when she gets high, it is not the same. It isn't fun, it is because her body thinks she needs it and so she complies. One thing in her favor, she said she only uses clean needles and luckily, all of her tests for HIV and HepC came back clean.

3. I am so grateful that I have never done drugs or tasted alcohol.  And going along with this, I am undeniably grateful for the gospel. I am not in any way trying to be offensive. I have many friends who drink. They are lovely. This should say it all but I am grateful that I am keeping my body that much healthier by keeping these things out. I don't have to worry about overdosing or getting any of the numerous diseases that come with IV drug use.
I love my Heavenly Father so much. He has helped me through good times and bad and I am grateful for the stability that my religion provides. I will not go much into it because I know my own testimony, but being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been an amazing blessing in my life.

The boyfriend she was with was super supportive and they have had an off and on relationship for nine years. He was one of the only men in her life who had not ever abused her. He is not the father of the baby and on her prenatal record she didn't state him as the current boyfriend she was with at the time of her appointment.

4. I am grateful for Justin. Not only am I grateful that I know who the father of my children is, I am just grateful for him. Our relationship has had mulitple bumps--some have been huge potholes--but we have been able to manuver around and through them and our relationship now is stronger than ever. He is always wanting to do what is best for me and the boys and is a great example to the boys of how a wonderful husband and father should be.

Her step father (one of them) and his wife offered to adopt the baby and would not let her see the baby unless she was clean, motivation to have a better life for her and her baby. Her boyfriend's mother seemed pretty grounded, my patient lived with her before she ran away two weeks prior and boy, did she get a talking to about running away.

5 I am grateful for my extended family and friends. Both sides of our family have loving parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins that would and do help out when the going gets rough. I have dear friends that are like my family. Thank you for all you do!

I hope my patient's story will have a happy ending but I do know that my life is pretty darn incredible and for that, I am so thankful.