Thursday, January 31, 2013

Zebra Photoshoot

I love how Brad and I often end up looking at pictures of Avery once she is in bed. It doesn't take long to start missing this face! (Thanks for the outfit Ama!)

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Man this stuff itches. I didn't realize I had it until I saw patches on Avery's skin.  Once I realized Avery had eczema, it dawned on me that I have had it too. I break out in itchiness and random bumps on my thighs every winter. It has gotten a ton worse since I started wearing garments. It is amazing that it took me this long to realize it! You'd think that I would know that there was a name for whatever was making me freak out every night because my legs were itching so bad and there was a way to treat it.

So now we are a cotton-wearing, Cetaphil and mild-laundry-detergent-using, humidifier-running household. And the good news is all of it is helping.  If any of my readers have unexplained itching hopefully this will help you.  And for you moms or moms-to-be, just know that a lot of people in the eczema world think that you can prevent your baby from ever experiencing eczema by using thick non-fragrant creams like Cetaphil or Aquafor instead of lotion on them from day one. It is not quite as fun as using the traditional baby lotion that gives them that awesome baby smell, but it is probably a lot better for them since like 20% of all babies get eczema. And as an additional fyi, the National Eczema Association's website definitely has the best information on what to do about eczema.

Monday, January 21, 2013

70+ Date Ideas

Maggie & Taralynn, here are the date ideas that we chose from! Also here is a link that I saw on pinterest of ideas (there is a little overlap). The first 35 below are the stay-at-home dates. And sorry that some of these are specific to Salt Lake. Miss you guys!
Take a virtual tour of a museum
Make a music video
Make dessert together
Play indoor tag
Make a fort and tell scary stories in it
Order in and have a candlelight dinner somewhere in your house where you wouldn't normally eat
Play a game of indoor basketball horse but up with creative and romantic things you can do each time you miss a shot and get a letter
Plan your dream vacation together
Decide on a political issue to write to your local representatives about
Do a service project date for each other
Watch old home videos
Plan an indoor herb garden
Bubble bath for two with candles and music

Do a home improvement project together
Play video games together
Write favorite memories in a journal together
Have a themed night: fondue, French movie, and French-kissing!
Write and illustrate a children’s book together for our kids
Rent a dramatic movie, watch on mute, and narrate what they are saying
Sculpt some ice cream
Play Twister in lingerie 

Roast marshmallows over a candle in the living room
Work on our bucket lists
Research companies and invest in one
Make a collaborative painting
Play a board game
Have an indoor beach party
Research parenting techniques
Pick a family scripture
Make family rules for our kids in the future
Play with silly string in the backyard
Go see a live band at a local bar or coffee shop
Go clubbing
Go to the dollar store and buy each other gifts
Go to an arcade
Go to a play
Visit a nursing home and hand out flowers to everyone
Take a walk
Go to a festival
Try a new type of cuisine
Go to a farmer’s market
Attend a class together – pottery, painting, etc.
Go antiquing
Go ice-skating
Go hiking
Ride go-carts at the speedway
Go to an art gallery
Attend a soccer game (Rio Tinto!)
Volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen
Mountain biking
Walk through the Red Butte Gardens
The Tracy Aviary
Clark planetarium
Go to a fun convention
Go to the antique auto museum
Hill Airforce base
Go out to dinner
Drive to a secluded spot to make-out
Go to Lagoon and hold hands in line and kiss on the Ferris wheel
See some improve or stand-up
Be a secret helper to a neighbor
Doorbell ditch someone with treats
Go ice blocking
Have a bonfire with friends
Race toy boats down a river
Go shooting
Play red-neck/white-trash bingo at Walmart

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Weekly Date

Last night Brad and I planned out what we were doing for date night for every week of this year. I am so excited! Half of the dates are stay-at-home dates so we don't have to get a baby-sitter as often, but at least on those nights we will be doing something fun that was planned in advance that is more interactive than just watching a movie. I know that since these dates are on the calendar we are at least 70% more likely to go on a date every week. Feel free to check up on us later to see if we are following the plan. When you are trying to accomplish a goal it helps when tons of people know what you are trying to do so you feel like even more of a fool when you don't do it :)

Another great thing about these dates is that these plans don't even include all the fun activities we are going to do as a family during the year. And we haven't even mentioned vacations yet! That is the next thing I want to plan out. Making fun plans is the best!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Avery's Stomach Flu

This week has been rough.  Avery has had the stomach flu which led to her having to stay the night at Primary Children's hospital because she was so dehydrated.

She started having the weirdest poos of all time 3-4 times a day on Monday or so and stopped wanting to eat solids. This continued for a couple days until she started vomiting.  She threw up 8 or 9 times in 24 hours and her diarrhea increased to 5 times a day. Every time I would get her to nurse she would puke it up. Then she just stopped being willing to nurse. Maybe I am writing about this too soon after the fact. Simply remembering these details makes me start sweating with anxiety. But everything is fine now. But still my heart rate is literally elevated just thinking about this whole experience.

Anyway, on Thursday morning I was on the verge of taking her to the emergency room because she hadn't had a wet diaper in over 8 hours but I got in to see the doctor right away and the office is attached to the hospital so I took her to the pediatrician. Unfortunately her normal doctor was out but we saw someone else in the group. She pretty much said that Avery still looked pretty alert and that I could just to watch her really closely for a couple more hours and see if I could get her to drink any Pedialyte or anything else and hope she would pee soon. Avery was able to eat a Pedialyte popsicle and didn't throw it up immediately.  So I was encouraged.  But that afternoon she threw up again and we called the doctor and she told us took take Avery to the ER.

By this time the huge snow storm had blown in and the roads were covered in snow so we decided to go to Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful since it was closer. We slid all the way to the hospital and I totally thought we might not make it. Good thing we have 4-wheel drive. We were admitted really quickly and the ER doctor gave us the option of choosing between giving Avery some Zofran to stop the vomiting and help with her nausea to see if she would drink then, or to put an IV in her to give her fluids that way. We decided to start with the Zofran because we knew that getting the IV in would be really hard and she would cry a ton. 

The Zofran seemed to help, we got her to drink approximately 7 oz of fluids and so then they tried to do a catheter on her to get a urine sample to check levels of dehydration and for infection (which can sometimes cause vomiting). The nurse doing it however, was way incompetent. He didn't even know which hole to go in even though he was poking around and making her scream while we held her down.  He stopped trying pretty quickly but I kind of wanted to kill him. We got a urine sample with a U-bag in her diaper instead.  Literally like one drop came out.

The results of the urine sample showed no infection but she was a 4+ on a scale of 1 to 4+ of dehydration. So we decided to do an IV. None of the nurses could even see a vein to go into though. At least 6 nurses checked. One nurse tried to find one in her arm and dug around in there with a needle for awhile. It didn't work. So a nurse from the nursery part of the hospital came in and tried to find a vein in her head for a long long time.  At least 20 mins of looking for veins visually and 10 mins with an actual needle in her head. Avery was screaming while they were even just looking for veins not to mention when they were digging around in her arm and head with needles. I had to take a break from helping to restrain her through all of this.  I couldn't do it anymore. But I came back and was mostly able to keep from crying. 

Anyway, they failed.  So they sent us home at 11 pm with an absolutely exhausted and traumatized baby and some Zofran in hopes that it would keep helping her to drink. Brad gave Avery a blessing of healing with our neighbor and his sweet wife brought us dinner. Then they shoveled our walkway and driveway at that hour on top of that. They are the sweetest.

Avery slept through the night and the next morning wouldn't eat again and there were still no wet diapers. I called her doctor practically hysterical.  He told us to take her to Primary Children's and to leave immediately. He called ahead to tell them we were coming but still it took forever for them to call our name and take us back.  Once we were in our little room, it took forever again for a doctor or even a nurse to even come talk to us. They were busy. We kept seeing stretchers with car-seats or little people on them being wheeled in. It put dehydration in perspective a little. Anyway. 

Once it was our turn they were pretty quick. They reassured us that if the nurses in the ER were unsuccessful at placing an IV they a special team whose only job is to put IV's in babies, and they would for sure be able to do it.  So the nurses worked on here while we again had to be the ones holding her down. This time it went a lot better. They had a special light that they shone through the bottom of her hand so they could see the veins inside.  They got it in pretty much on the first try. But she screamed through everything of course. Brad was the one that cried this time.  I was just so relieved that the IV was in that my happiness overrode the sadness. Avery fell asleep in my arms more quickly this time than the time at Lakeview. Crying that hard is exhausting but you could tell that this time was less traumatic.  They gave her a teddy bear when it was over. It was a really nice gesture. It makes me grateful for whoever donated it to Primary Children's.

We waited for several hours while the fluids went into her and her blood was tested. We totally thought we were going to be able to go home soon after that. We were really surprised when the doctors recommended that we stay the night based on her blood work. Her blood sugar was low and there was acid in her blood indicating that her body has started using its reserves awhile ago to fuel itself so they wanted to get her out of that pattern and give her glucose in the IV through the night.

Lauren came to visit and bring us some Wendy's which was really nice.  The hospital provided some toothbrushes and some white sweatpants and tan t-shirts for us to sleep in. We didn't want to drive through the continuing snow storm to get stuff for the night from home. We had a gangham style dance party to lighten the mood in our super stylish pj's.  Avery smiled at us but looked like she didn't get the joke when when we were laughing at ourselves. The night went pretty well. Avery got some pretty good sleep despite nurses coming in all the time to do things. I slept in a recliner that opened up almost flat and Brad slept on this little couch thing.

In the morning Avery looked really puffy but she had a really good nursing session so they released her.  She has continued to have a good appetite and hasn't thrown up since.  Just one case of diarrhea, but overall she is getting back to normal today.

I am so grateful for modern medicine.  And so grateful to God for his help in all of this. It was pretty awful.  I am just so glad that it seems to be over!