Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Adventure

The holiday season has roared down upon us again, and we spent a wonderful day-after Thanksgiving putting up our Christmas tree and decorations (I practically just supervised while the girlies put up all the ornaments and decorations). They LOVED making the house “look SO pretty!” as K-Bug said over and over.

I spent some early morning hours shopping with my Mom (we were insane enough to venture out to Wal-Mart), and the rest of my day was spent cleaning the house. I even squeaked in a nap…..ahhh!!

So, now, here I am, sitting at the end of my day – tired and unbelievably thankful for all that I am blessed with.

God gave our family an extra special reminder about how blessed we are and how HE is always in control this past week. Last Sunday morning, as we were getting ready to go to church, K-Bug started to complain of a scratchy throat. I didn’t think much about until I felt her head and she was burning up with fever.

Poor girl! Later that day, Miss Lorelin started in with her own fever, and we all spent a very long night nursing fevers and not getting much sleep.

On Monday afternoon, my dear hubby took both girls into our pediatrician where it was discovered that K-Bug had a sinus infection and ear infection BOTH (how do these things come on so suddenly?!), while Miss Lorelin was deemed a viral infection.
We started K-Bug on her antibiotics and spent ANOTHER long night of being awake, this time largely due to K-Bug’s nasal passages being virtually swollen shut and her not being able to breathe. We gave her Vick’s vapor rub, put the Vaporizer right in front of her bed, and finally ended up with both her and I on the couch, with me holding her upright most of the night.

By Tuesday, although the fevers were all gone (and Miss Lorelin was acting like she felt significantly better), Miss K-Bug was wiped out from the complete lack of good rest and sleep.

On Tuesday night, we all braced ourselves for another looong night, and sure enough, K-Bug began to sound very much like a eighteen wheeler on steroids as she nodded off, only to wake up crying as her body tried to catch a good breathe. Around 11:00 p.m. my dear hubby and I finally nodded off as K-Bug headed off to bed. At midnight, I woke up and went to check on K-Bug.

I found her with the same VERY noisy breathing, but she also seemed to be tossing, turning, and even thrashing on her bed. I picked her up and moved her to the couch, where I noticed that drool was coming profusely from her mouth and bubbles of spit were popping up. I tried to wake K-Bug to get her to breathe from her mouth, but I COULD NOT WAKE HER UP. No matter what I tried, either. No response.

I went and woke up my dear hubby, and after he had tried unsuccessfully to rouse K-Bug for a few minutes, he asked me to call 911. She had a complete lack of muscle response - she felt completely limp like a noodle in our arms.

Dialing 911 for what was the first time in my life (and I’d be fine if it was my last) will go down as one of the scariest moments of my life to date. I sounded much calmer on the phone than I felt, as I relayed the situation to the dispatcher and gave him all of the necessary information.

With MUCH relief, my hubby was finally able to successfully rouse a very congested and scared K-Bug by putting some water on her face, and we all waited the final few minutes out front as the paramedics pulled up.

Coming inside the house, the paramedics took a blood pressure (it was fine) and a blood oxygen level (it was also fine – 98%) on K-Bug, who by this time was shaking with fright, while seeming very dazed at the same time.

The paramedics gave us the recommendation that we take K-Bug directly on to an Urgent Care to be checked out, but also gave us their full OK for us to drive her ourselves. My brave and amazing hubby took K-Bug on to the pediatric urgent care (called Good Night Pediatrics)

Once there, however, the doctors sent him and K-Bug on to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, stating that our description indicated that there could have been a possible seizure.

According to my dear hubby, the nurses and doctors at Phoenix Children's all treated K-Bug like a little princess, and the attending ER doc was very calm and reassuring that K-Bug’s current seemed normal and healthy, despite the fact that she also felt that a seizure might have occurred.

The ER doctor gave K-Bug an oral steroid to open up her nose, and K-Bug and my dear hubby arrived home around 5:30 a.m., where K-Bug proceeded to sleep straight (and breathing easy, thanks to the steroid…thank you Lord!!) through for five hours.
My dear hubby slept for an hour and then got up to work his morning shift of work.

In talking our pediatrician the next day, she felt that several things could have happened:

1.K-Bug could have had a reaction to the medicine that she was taking, as it was a brand-new antibiotic for her.
2.K-Bug could have been made drowsy by the prescribed Claritan she was taking, and that made it very difficult for us to rouse her OR
3.Her nose could have been blocked to the point that she didn’t receive air for a short time, causing her body to react with a seizure.

So, long story made shorter, her pediatrician
1.Switched her to an antibiotic that she has had before (with no side effects!) and took her off of the Claritin.
2.Will be scheduling K-Bug to get an EEG just so that we know whether or not she had a seizure or was simply in a state of very deep sleep brought about by her complete exhaustion

K-Bug has slept in our bed for the last two nights, as we have wanted to keep her a little closer than normal. Kaelyn is doing MUCH better – sleeping through the night, doing well on her new antibiotics, and being her sweet, cheerful self.

Tonight she is back in her own room and own bed, and I am thankful beyond words for the sparkling eyes of my little girl.

We spent Thanksgiving largely at home, sleeping and recovering. (we spent about two hours at my parents eating lunch too).

I have cherished every sound of her sweet voice, laughed at all of her silly jokes, and soaked in every song that she has showered us with in the last day or two.

My children are so precious, so incredibly precious to me.

I am thankful… incredibly thankful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Catching Up..Pt 4 - The Women's Retreat

Every year, one of my very best friends, Christy, and myself head up to the North Phoenix Women's Retreat. We both attended North Phoenix Baptist Church in our high school and college days, and Christy's Mom and Dad are still active members there. When her Mom invited us to the very first Women's Retreat FIVE YEARS AGO :), we were both new Mommies in need of a break from our babies (her son was seven months and K-Bug was just five months old).

It was at that first retreat that we laughed, cried, and experienced God in new ways together.

Now, five retreats later, I've got my three kiddos and Christy is expecting her third baby next March.Awwww....I think she looks so beautiful with her baby belly! :)

We tease each other because there has only been one year that at least one of us wasn't pregant at the retreat. (we've both decided we're done with pregnancy and babies:)

Truly, this retreat is a special and sacred time for me and my friend. There are SO many highlights at the retreat. One of our favorites is the Saturday night party! Each year, the retreat team for North Phoenix Baptist puts together a HUGE theme party for the second night of the retreat. There are ALWAYS outrageous costumes, games, music, and more.

It's a blast! :) They have done fun themes like a Fifties Party, A Western Hoedown, and last year, a Princess Party!

This year they decided to do something a little bit different and put together a talent show. The theme of the retreat was "God's Precious Jewels" - so they decided to do a Saturday Night "Sparkle Show"

When they first announced the talent show, my friend Christy called me and said, "I KNOW what we are doing for the talent show! Have you seen Evolution of Dance on You Tube??"

Yes, people, WE did the entire evolution of dance. And yes, my friend Christy was almost six months pregnant while we did it. We rehearsed pretty hard for about a week, and when the time came we were ready.....

We ended up being the last act of the night, and yes, WE-ROCKED-THE-HOUSE! (and had a BLAST doing it!!!)

Who said that Baptists don't dance???

I have some video of us doing the dance, so maybe I'll get brave and post it on my blog so everyone can see...

Here is Christy and I posing with the lady who was the Emcee for the night's talent show events.

And here is Christy and I just posing for the camera with all of our "sparkly bling" on...I am pointing to her preg-o belly!
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Catching Up..Pt 3 - The Chili Party

Every year, on Halloween Day, our family has had the privelage of attending a Chili Party hosted by one of my best friend's mother. :) She is so generous to include us in this family event (thanks Jan!) Fred and Jan have a BIG backyard, and lots of toys for the kiddos to play with. After a big dinner of homemade chili and other fixins', the kids decorate their own treat bags and walk through the neighborhood collecting candy from all of Fred and Jan's neighbors.
The entire block participates in their own family/friend party events at their houses, and most of the neighbors wait out in front of their houses with big bowls of candy. This year we took
ONE PINK PIG, ONE FANCY-NANCY BUTTERFLY, AND ONE EYEORE....:) Our camera was really, really low on batteries, so these are the few pictures that we got before our camera completely died..




It was a very wonderful and even relaxing night. ALl the children that have come to this even the last few years are growing up, and this year they played mostly among themselves, giving us adults a chance to sit and visit with each other.
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Catching Up..Pt 2 - The Farm

Every year since our K-Bug was just a baby, our family has traveled to the "farm in the city" - Tolmachoff Farms - for their annual Pumpkin Days. K-Bug is now old enough to ask to go the farm, and so she asked, and asked, and asked again...
It's always a lot of fun!!

Here is our little pumpkin, sitting with the pumpkins (and trying to eat the grass on the gound!)

They have a BIG corn pit for the kiddos to play in at the farm. It's filled with a ton of dried corn kernels....can you imagine how much pop corn that would be?? :)

It was SUPER hard to get all three kids to pose together, but we did get this adorable shot of our two sweet girlies posing with the pumpkins (it was a little less wiggly then their baby brother).

A new addition to the farm this year was a hand-built duck run. It was a row of long wooden tracks that received water from old-fashioned pumps. Tiny plastic ducks were placed inside the track, and you could "race" your duck against others beside you. We all spent a lot of time racing our ducks up and down the tracks.

My dear hubby's duck beat everyone else's every time...but that hardly seems fair, huh?? :)
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Catching Up..Pt 1 - The Zoo

Part of enjoying the super nice weather here in Arizona right now is getting outdoors to those venues that are really too hot to be at during the summer. We had a few months left on our membership card at The Phoenix Zoo, so we made an effort to go as often as possible in the last two months (our membership JUST expired...bummer! :( And although it was a good deal, we've decided to not renew given the very real possiblity that we might move before we could fully use it. are some pictures from one of our trips.

This is as close as I EVER, EVER want to be to an alligator!

(alligators are one of my biggest monster-fears. When I have nightmares, they usually involve giant alligators eating people)

Here are the girls riding some exotic animals..on the merry-go-round, of course!

The zoo has a big farm (yup, we city folks have to go the zoo to see a real farm!) and the girls were perfecting their riding skills on these wooden horses!

Here is proof that Daddy was there, taking pictures most of the day. He snapped this shot of himself and K-Bug being silly!
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It's ONLY been a month...:)

I mean, in the grand scheme of things...what's a month?

Thirty days, seven hundred twenty hours, and um.... a LOT of minutes.... :)

AND... a lot of the Smith family that I haven't been able to share with all of you!

Have you ever fallen so behind on balancing your finances?? AND….. because you are so tired that particular night, you decide that “catching up” is going to be a lot of work and decide to go have a bowl of ice cream and read a good book instead??

Yup, I really, really don’t like having to play the “catch-up” game. It’s so much nicer, I think, when I’ve just been nice and consistent all along.

And, although I could throw out a lot of really good and very valid excuses about why I haven’t blogged lately….such as…

1. The weather is SO nice in Arizona right now (although still a little too warm for my tastes). Still, we are outside every chance we get. We still do not have a backyard put in at our home, so getting outside sometimes requires packing up the ol’ family and traveling to our nearest park or biking trail. I’ll have some pictures of our outdoor adventures coming soon! 
2. If my son is awake, he is pretty much my full-time employer. My job, you ask?? It would be to watch him EVERY SINGLE SECOND to make sure that he is not trying to destroy something in the house or trying to hurt himself by playing with things that are NOT toys (cords that plug into the wall, brushes, cat food, etc). He is a speed crawler, and LOVES to explore!!
3. I have SOO tired in the evenings, and my time during the day that is truly and really my own is SUPER limited (for example, my son just started crying…he is supposed to be sleeping)
4. My schedule is full and blessed.

STILL………….I LOVE my friend’s blogs…they give me a window into their hearts and minds even though they might be far away or not in a place where I can directly connect with them

And so, although I’ll be honest and say sometimes I’m un-sure that my little ol’ blog matters so much to anyone, I think in a way it does matter to me. So, I’m back….and like so many other things in my life that are truly important, I’ll be striving for some more consistency.