Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy New Year to me!!!!

After 25 days of living in a hotel because of the Adams family's latest drama, we are finally home!  And to celebrate our arrival, I've decided to declare this day the Adams family New Years Day!  Who cares that almost 5 months have gone by since the rest of the world celebrated the beginning of the year 2016.

Every new year seems to bring a fresh start so it's time to put the last few months behind us and move on!  Move over a million and 2 sicknesses, cysts, medical tests, surgery, sleepless nights, anxiety, depression, mold, and a child being diagnosed with ADD.  You have not destroyed me.  You have opened my eyes, however.  And for that, I am truly grateful.

So here's to a brand new year.  I look forward to you, 2016!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Colorado and Rob, Day 3 & 4

On Saturday, we decided to spend the day in Durango.  Our cabin was about 30 minutes outside of Durango so we hadn't spent a whole lot of time there.  We started off at the local fish hatchery.
 The kids were, of course, excited to feed the fish.
 From there we walked on a little paved trail that lead to a children's science museum.  A memorable experience happened while on the way there.

We were all walking on this trail when we came up on a gazebo.  We saw a group of people there spray painting large pieces of fabric and cardboard to protest the police.  We were not impressed and quickly moved on.  While we were on our walk it started to rain so once the women and children got to the museum, the men walked back on that trail to pick up our vehicles.   David later told me that when he, Stephen, and Rob walked up on that gazebo Stephen said that they should yell, "Go home you crack smoking hippies!" and then run off.

Ok, that is hilarious for 2 reasons.  One, you just have to know Stephen.  He is a rock in the Adams' family and when he speaks it usually is something wise and memorable...not usually humorous.  So even though I wasn't there, I will remember that for a while.  The second reason that is funny to me is because that was when I realized that it wasn't just David and I that were noticing the very different people of Durango.  From the first night that we got there and ate at the pizza place, David and I noticed the students who were clearly high.  They pretty much all looked the same too.  They looked like they could use a shower, the men had long hair and scraggly facial hair, lots of people wearing sandles and bicycle riders.  And lots of smiles!  We came across more than a few glazed over eyes with smiles!  But David and I kept it to ourselves.  One, because I didn't want to point it out to the kids.  Two, I have to admit that I didn't want to make fun because even though I think it is a waste of money, time, and brain cells to be using on marijuana; I admire there ability to just not care about certain things.  They clearly didn't care about appearances.  They didn't have to have the nice cars or clothes.  In fact, I'm sure they were more aware of taking care of our planet.  All things I should be better at.

But still, it was humorous as we were very well aware that we were in a college town in a state that had legalized marijuana use.
On Sunday it was time to start heading home.
While the adults were cleaning up and packing up vehicles, the kids played in the snow.
I'm not sure when we will all be able to do this again, but I sure do appreciate Erin putting this all together so that the cousins could all play, Helen could be with all of her boys at once, and so that my little family could get away from all that was happening at home.
As we were leaving the cabin we stopped at Pinkerton Hot Springs.
It was just a quick stop but it was fun to learn a few facts.  My favorite being that in the 1800's the people believed that the water cured diseases so they bottled it up and brought it into Durango.
 Once we got outside of Moab, we stopped at Wilson Arch.  It was a nice but scary little hike up to the arch.
Not so much because it was a dangerous hike, it really wasn't...its just that the boys always make me nervous when they climb.
 Plus, it doesn't help that I am very much afraid of heights.
But believe it or not, I actually went up there with them!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Colorado and Rob, Day 1 & 2

Rob turned 40 on the 16th of April.  So for a few months his wife, Erin, has been planning a surprise get together with his brothers and their families as well as his Mom, Helen.  I have to admit, as it came closer and closer to time for this get together to occur, I was wondering if it would actually happy for us.  But just 2 days before we left, Levi got the ok from his doctor that the infection was gone.

On Thursday the 7th, we picked up Helen in Provo and then headed down to Spanish Fork to meet Stephen, Holly, and their family.  We followed each other on our way to Colorado.
And it's a really good thing that we did because at one of our stops, David and I locked ourselves out of the van! 
We had stopped at Moab's Sand Hill to let the kids out to play a little.  I always lock the van and I knew David wouldn't so I did it for him.  But he purposely didn't take the keys (which I didn't know) because he didn't want to get sand in them (its one of those new keys).  But thankfully Stephen's phone was available and Helen has a membership to AAA so we were able to call for help.

 There was fun to be had while waiting.

As we drove to Colorado, Ruger seemed to do real well.  This was our first trip traveling with him in a vehicle for so long.  Later that night we made it to Durango Colorado and met at a pizza place to surprise Rob.  After that we went up to the cabin that Erin had rented for us.
It was beautiful and spacious.
(I don't know why, but this picture cracks me up.  This was taken at one of the lookout locations while we were driving into Mesa Verde.)
The next day there was a chance of snow and rain everyday but Friday was our best bet of being able to have the best weather for Mesa Verde.  Mine and David's family, as well as Helen, decided to go to Mesa Verde while the rest went to a hot spring pool. 
I can't put into works how excited I was to see this.  Cultures fascinate me.  I don't care if they are dead or still going strong; they just fascinate me.  And every since I learned, at a younger age, that years and years ago people used to live on the side of mountains....and that the "ruins" still existed, well, I've wanted to see it in person every since.
Just before seeing Cliff Palace, we were walking up and in the distance (in another direction) Brigham was the first to notice some dwellings.  They were across the valley/canyon and were much smaller than the Cliff Palace.  I was so surprised that he found them all by himself.

Then we walked on the overlook and saw this huge canyon.  I looked to my left and there it was.  If it wasn't raining and cold I'm sure David, Helen, and I could have stayed there much longer. 

House of Many Windows

Fire Temple

We were close to the end of our visit when we stopped at one of the many valley/canyon overlooks.  There was so much to see.  But from a distance, you had to really look because it blended in so well (which I am sure was a great defense for the Puebloan people).  But there were telescopes here and there to help you out.
David was the one who found this.  You have to look hard but you can see what looks like holes for stepping from one level to the next.

There were so many times that David and I would look at each other and say, "How in the world did they get there?  How did they survive?" Helen wondered how many children fell over and into these huge canyons.

I'm so grateful I was born into today's world with all its modern conveniences.  But I'm also so grateful that places like these have been preserved so that I can not only learn about them, but to have these experiences that teach me to realized just how very blessed we are as a people today.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Easter Weekend

Easter was an eventful weekend for us.  Good and Bad.

 Steve, Barbara, and Uncle Aaron came up to visit us for a few hours.  I thought it would be good to hide and hunt for Easter eggs while they were here.  It was also Ruger's first time being able to actually "hunt" for the Easter eggs. 
 Later we had pizza and ice cream floats.
 As always, my babies always love Uncle Aaron.  He is always so happy and I think babies can sense that about him.
The following day, David started to work on a tile in our bathroom that had come loose.  As he took it off, he found mold.  So he started pulling more and more off as the mold just kept showing up.  He ended up calling our insurance who sent out a disaster crew to check on it.  They took one look at it and told us to get out of the house!  This Saturday will be 3 weeks that we have been in a hotel.  Every few days they take air samples to see how high the mold is and unfortunately we keep failing.  In fact, the last time they took the sample it was the highest it has been!  That is very frustrating since they have been "scrubbing" the air as well as taking out parts of our walls to get to the mold and yet it is just getting worse.  But I also know that mold spores can easily go crazy when exposed.
 On Easter morning we were in a hotel.  Later that day we decided to go to Antelope Island to get us out.
 With as many times as I have lived in Utah, I have never been this close to the Great Salt Lake.  I see it from a distance a lot; especially living where we do.  But on Antelope Island, you can walk right up to it.  And if it wasn't so cold and windy out, we would have.
 But the boys got to climb.

We saw lots of Bison, Antelope, and Jack Rabbits.  We kinda came a little to late to spend a lot of time there but we also got to see the sun set there and it was beautiful.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

1st Hair Cut

 Ruger had his hair cut for the first time earlier this month.
David refinished a door, that belonged to a gentleman from our church, a while back.  Brother Knoll paid David but I guess he didn't feel that he had paid David enough because about a month or so later he gave me a gift certificate to his granddaughter's hair salon.  He told David that he knew that refinishing the door took a lot of time and that it took David away from his family.  He expressed how he knew that can be hard on the wife with young children.  What a very thoughtful man!

So we used this gift certificate for family haircuts.  I'm sure he was thinking of just me using it all but trust me it was such a nice break to not cut their hair themselves.  Plus, lately I have been taking them to places (most of the time) to get their hair cut anyway.  So, it saved us money.  

Ruger did amazingly well and Stephanie was very patient with him when he would start to squirm a little.  With all our moving, I rarely go to the same hair stylist.  But I think I have found someone I would like to keep going back to.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Trying" to recover

 After being home for a few days, after the surgery, we started to notice that Levi's jaw area was swollen.  While his drain site was healing and looked great, the actual surgery site looked as if it was swelling up.

 We took him in to see Dr. Grimmer and he was concerned but was afraid to do much because if what we were seeing was a new cyst then he didn't want to aggravate it by sticking a needle in it.  But at the same time, sticking a needle in it and looking at what came out might tell us if it was infected.  In the end, the doctor decided not to do anything and wanted us to come back in a month.
 Um, yeah.  That didn't happen.

  Because it just kept getting bigger and bigger with each passing day.
 It got so big that the incision site actually opened up.
 We took him back to the doctor's office but Dr. Grimmer was in surgery so we worked with a resident and I'm truly grateful.  I like Dr. Grimmer very much and I'm confident of his knowledge in his field of work but he is busy.  This ENT resident took his time and was so very patient with Levi as he freaked out over the possibility of using a needle to aspirate it.  His name is Dr. Cox and I am excited for his future patients and the care I know he'll provide.
 (You see this happy face?  That is one happy face because Dr. Cox was able to drain all that gunk in there without using a needle!)

The nurse, Dr. Cox, and I were trying to calm Levi down.  Trying to get him to understand that if we didn't drain this now with a needle then we would have to go back in for surgery just to drain it!  He is so terrified of needles that he actually WANTED to go back into surgery over being in the office and quickly having it aspirated by needle.   

But something happened while we were trying to get him to understand that we were going to aspirate it there.  It just opened up and started to come out on its own!  These above pictures do not do justice to how huge this infection actually was.  When it started to come out the doctor and nurse immediately started to work on this area to get more and more to come out.  But honestly, they didn't have to do much because it wanted out!  I know this has got to sound so very gross but for me (and this is coming from someone who does get grossed out pretty easily when it comes to stuff like this) I was so relieved that Levi was calm, it was coming out, and that we actually had a solution after all this time, that I didn't care.  It wasn't until afterwards that I realized just how very gross it all was.  The nurse was grossed out by it (but she really did try to hide it) and even the doctor said that it wasn't anything like what he expected to be in there.  

Originally Dr. Grimmer had been ruling out an infection because it wasn't warm to the touch or red.  So when this honey like stuff came out with Dr. Cox, they took samples and had them sent off.
Unfortunately, just a few days later it was back to growing in size as it continued to fill up with this stuff.  But by this time, he had already had antibiotics in him for a few days so it took longer and turned out to be the last time that we had to go in to have it aspirated.  It got a little infected one more time but David was able to take care of it at home.

The bandage around Levi's head in one of the above pictures is called a jaw bra.  One of the purposes for it was to put pressure on this area.  Dr. Cox hoped that if enough pressure was put on it, and that if there was another cyst in there, it just might squish it enough to turn it to scar tissue.  

Today marks a week that Levi has not had this jaw bra on anymore and also a week of this finally being infection free.  When we went to see Dr. Grimmer last week, he decided to leave it alone for now and have an ultrasound done in about 6 months.  To some that may seem odd, but after all that Levi has been through and the chances that another surgery might just cause another cyst, I am very happy with this decision.  Levi needs a break.  He has been so cautious about doing everything that the doctor has suggested; even when it meant that he had to skip out of fun things.  He never complained.  He just did what he was suppose to do because he wanted this all to go away.  And having that jaw bra on was embarrassing for him.  It is a good thing that most of this occurred in cold weather because he would just try to cover it up in public by putting a hoodie on.  And I was not going to send him to school like that.  He had been through enough.     

 But now he has been in school for 3 days and even though he wouldn't admit it, I think he's glad to be back.  He has missed a LOT of school and even though at his age missing school is a fun thing, this whole experience has kept him away from a lot of activities and friend time.  You know thinking about it, I wonder what the Lord has in store for my Levi.  I can't imagine this happening to a better kid.  And he did so well.  I got depressed way more than he did and it wasn't even happening to me!  On the few occasions that he expressed it being hard, he still was so good about it and he only said something because he was asked.  I truly love this boy of mine so very much.