Sunday, November 2, 2008

Race for Amber

A couple of weeks ago another Anytime Fitness owner, Trent Lindstrom, told us of an event he was sponsoring up here in Perry (Trent owns the Brigham location). Amber Chase lives in Perry and has been fighting Inflammatory Breast Cancer for 18 months. You can check out her story here. The community came together and planned a "Race for Amber" 5k to help raise money for her family. Trent asked if we would donate the Running Man suit (we usually rent it out) and if Chris would wear it for the event. We of course agreed. Chris is a great Running Man. He works the crowd and everyone loves him. We got there just as the race was starting. He mingled through the crowd before the 5k started and then we decided to walk the 1 mile they were also doing. He was then in charge of high-fiving the kids as they were finishing the various races. Even though we didn't do much, it was nice to be able to participate is such a great cause!
"On your mark, get set, go!"
Running with the crowd
The kids loved him!
Giving one of the prizes for the most pink.
Captain Running Man, Amber Chase, & Trent Lindstrom


On Halloween we finally went to the Pumpkin Patch. I was just going to let it go, but the day before, Chaetun started to talk about it, so since Chris and my mom were supposed to have the day off, I figured we could go. We went to Black Island Farms in Syracuse and they have so much there! The boys had so much fun on the slides and playing on all that they have there. After they played for awhile we took our hayride to get our pumpkins. Our driver on the way to get pumpkins told us that the farm is small, as farms go, and so in order to make what they need, they've gone into the agritainment business. We thought that was funny and he said he was hoping they would put it in the dictionary next year (I will note, though, that when I type it, it doesn't come back as a misspelled word - maybe it is real). Being Halloween, the pumpkins were pretty picked through, but we were able to still find some good ones.

I didn't have my camera that night when we went trunk-or-treating so I'll update when I get those pictures off my mom's camera.)


About a month ago (yeah, I know I'm a little behind) we went to Wisconsin for the annual Anytime Fitness Conference. It was a good trip and we had a good time. Kevin and Emily Ford are our new partners in this adventure and were also there. It was fun to spend more time with them. We started out with a horrible hotel experience (think Twilight Zone/Bates Motel) we complained and were able to get in brand new building (though our condo hadn't been cleaned for over a month) and pay the same, actually less, than if we had stayed in the scary room.
Kilun, keeping with tradition, had his first plane ride early.
Kevin looking drunk drinking a "beer". It was actually root beer that Anytime had labeled as their own. We all looked like we were drinking all weekend long. Most people actually were.
Chris "drinking"
Trying out the new recumbent Expresso bike
Chris working out the abs
The four of us in the beautiful fall scenery.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Yesterday my mom and I decided to go and vote early. I told the kids to get their shoes and socks on and they, of course, wanted to know where we were going. This is the conversation:

Chaetun & Xadun: Where are we going?
Me: We're going voting.
Xadun: (excitedly) We're going bowling?!?!
Me: No, we're going to vote.
Chaetun: Ooohhh, we're going on a boat.
Me: No. V-Vote. I'm going to vote.
Chaetun: What's vote?
Me: It's like when I ask you what you want to eat, mac & cheese or sandwiches. Which ever more people want wins.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Photo Shoot

Here are the results of our recent family photo shoot. I think they turned out pretty cute considering I have four little boys who were very distractable. Katie found this cool place in Salt Lake, The Exchange Place. We weren't able to get any good pics that showed the coolness, but I hope to get down there again sometime when we have more time and light.

Chaetun, very GQ



Kilun in his blessing outfit

The Lights of my Life

Grandma and the boys

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

On a much more humorous note....

Yesterday, when Chaetun got home from school, he immediately headed from his room and told me I couldn't come in. Well, obviously I knew something was up. I asked him why. He lifted up his shirt and this is what I saw. Right away all I wanted to do was laugh and take a picture. I turned around to go to my room to get my phone to take a picture. Chaetun, started screaming in hysterics telling me not to tell. This just made it more funny. He said, "Are you going to make me call Grandma?" Apparently my MIL left this pair of women's underwear on her last visit here and Chaetun found them. Unbeknownst to me, he put these on BEFORE he went to school and had them on all day (it's only 3 hours, but that looks like a really uncomfortable 3 hours). I had no idea because he put his sweat shirt on overtop and I couldn't see anything. I asked if he showed anyone at school and he said no. I didn't receive a phone call from the school, so I'm pretty sure no adults saw. The funniest part was how mortified he was. Everytime I reached for my phone he thought I was going to tell. He DID NOT want me to tell. I so wanted to call Chris, but I figured I'd wait until we were in the car and he was hopefully distracted by the movie. I called Chris, and Chaetun heard me talking to him and the hysterics started all over again. He screamed and sobbed. I never got mad at him. I thought it was hilarious. I think his own personal embarassment was enough punishment. I had sent the picture to Chris and he couldn't figure out what it was. When I told him he laughed so hard. Later Chris showed my mom the pictures and Chaetun again broke down. So, no one tell him you saw it here, but I couldn't resist :)

Kilun's Blessing

I want to get this on here before I forget about this wonderful day. It WAS a great day for Kilun's blessing! We a had a lot of support from our wonderful friends and family, as we always do. Unfortunately, I didn't get the camera out, so I don't have any pictures of everyone here :( So, for my own record...

Kilun was blessed by his dad, and with him in the circle was Great Grandpa, Uncle Boyd, Uncle Mark, Uncle Floyd, Uncle John, Austin, Kevin Ford, Kevin Varble, Trevor Zezula, Mike Crouch, and Bishop Nelson. Also in attendance at the meeting were Ryan & Shawnee Hoffmann, Jake and Suzi Baxter, and Melanie Slater and her girls (Nate was working). Chris did a great job in the blessing, as he always does.

As we were sitting in Fast & Testimony Meeting, we, in the back row, had a very spiritual experience. I wouldn't normally post it here, but I want to remember it, and right now, this is the place I put those things. As I sat there with Kilun, he was so smiley; more smiley than is had ever been. He just kept looking up and smiling, not at me, but something, or someone else. At the time, I felt strongly that his Grandpa Gene was there and that's who he was smiling at. As I later thought about this, it occured to me that this shouldn't be so surprising to me. He knows his Grandpa very well. I'm sure that's who he was with before he came to this earth. The veil is still very thin for Brekan and I am convinced that he sees his Grandpa all the time. It is a comfort to Kilun to see his Grandpa who he just recently left. That, by itself, was a great thing for me to realize during that meeting. But, a few minutes later, I looked down the row and saw that my mom was crying. I didn't know why. Chris then told me that my uncle, who was also sitting on our row, had looked over and saw my dad next to me. He was there. I already knew he was there, but to have someone else know he was there was a great thing for me. I have also wondered if my dad is around me, if he watches me, and mostly I just don't know. But that day, I knew he was with my son, and he was with me too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

No Words

It's times like these that make me so grateful for the relationships my boys are formig with their Great-Grandma and Grandpa. (I'm also playing with photoshop so you get two different versions)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kilun's Blessing

We are blessing Kilun this Sunday. I wanted to invite all our friends and family that are local (or distant if you want) to come. Our church is at 9am with Sacrament Meeting first. Give me a call or email me if you need directions. We'd love to see everyone!

Happy Birthday Brekan!

Brekan had birthday September 11th. He's 2. Wow, do we ever know it. The "2s" have come on pretty strong and I have my work cut out for me for the next year or two. We had a pretty low key birthday party, as we do much of the time. Chris cut out of work a little early and we met for dinner at Javier's. They were really nice and brought out some fried ice cream and sang happy birthday in Spanish. He thought that was pretty cool. When we got home Brekan got to talk to Grandma Nancy on Skype since she was in Khasakstan. Then he got to open presents. Chaetun was so excited to help him open his presents. lol I think it was a good day for him.

First Day of School

This year both Chaetun and Xadun started new schools.

Chaetun started kindergarten, which he was so excited for. Everything had been based around the baby, so the kids knew
that after the baby was born, they would go to school. Chaetun has loved school from day one.

I was going to get him on the bus the first day (he loves the bus), but after waiting for it to come for 10 minutes, I got worried and wondered if we had missed it. I didn't want him to be late for the first day of school, so we came home and I drove him to school. I was going to meet him at the school anyway, so it worked out ok. (Turns out the bus was just REALLY late and was just picking the kids up at the time I was getting home
from taking Chaetun to school.) He goes to Willard Elementary. The school is a little different as it is only Kindergarten and 1st grade. I like that. No big kids to worry about. The next school is 2nd-5th grade. It's odd, but for kindergarten, I kind of like it. Chaetun's teacher this year is Mrs. Kimber. I've heard she's one of the best in the school. So far I have no complaints. She has a good discipline and reward system that I would even like to adopt for home. The kids learned her rules daily and now Chaetun can recite them word for word. That doesn't mean he follows them, though :S Chaetun is a great kid, just a little social. So there's been a few times that he's had to "pull a yellow card" because he was talking or didn't listen the first time he was asked. He is getting better, though. Luckily, he's very honest boy, so when that happens, it's always the first thing he tells me.

We're working on reading, and though he usually doesn't like it, he's getting better and it isn't such a fight. I've learned how to make it less stressful for him, so I hope that he will soon enjoy reading. He loves when the bookmobile comes to school and he can get a new book, and they go to the library every Friday. So, he loves the books, just not reading them. Hopefully we'll change that soon.

Xadun also started school this year - preschool.
I was a little worried that I wasn't going to be able to find one, but I HAD to because he knew he would start school after the baby came. I had tried to get him into a bigger preschool, but they were all full. I put my name on a waiting list, but didn't hear anything and school was getting ready to start. My mom went visiting teaching and found out a lady in our ward does a preschool. We talked to her on Sunday and she had an opening so I was able to get him in. I was a little weary of a home preschool, not sure it would really teach him like Chaetun's taught, but I have been very impressed. She has finished her basement with the preschool in mind, so they even have their own little classroom. She is so organized, so I know what's going on everyday he's there. They even go on field trips. The first one is tomorrow and Xadun is so excited. Chaetun's a little upset :) Xadun LOVES school and looks forward to every Tuesday & Thursday!

Behind in Blogging

As much as I want to keep up with my blogging, I'm not really good at it. There have been some big events in the last month that deserve some blogging, so stay tuned for a lot of blogging today.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Hopefully, since it's taken me a while to post, you've all figured out that Kilun DID come home. He came home Saturday, Aug 9, 10 days after being born. I don't know what it is about 10 days, but that's seems to be the right length of time for our boys to be in the NICU. All three of them have been there the same time. Anyway, he's home and all is well. The boys were all sick when he came home and despite our efforts to keep them away from Kilun, he did catch something and has been a little stuffed up, but nothing too bad. All the boys love Kilun and have been really good with him. Mom and dad love him too and we're happy to have another little one in our home.

Here are a few pictures my cousin, Katie, took of Kilun. They are so cute!

From Kilun

From Kilun

From Kilun

From Kilun2

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Great to even better!

Yesterday was a really good day here in the NICU. After getting that darn chest tube out, Kilun has been going up hill. His oxygen sats have been really good, so they took him off the high flow nasal canula and put him on just the normal one. He continued to do so well with that, that this morning they did a room air trial and he is now off oxygen completely.

Since the tube was out and then we got off the high-flow, we were able to start breast-feeding (not a dumb questions, Janna!). Kilun has done really well with that. I think a lot of it has to do with his age and he really IS ready to breast feed. He has to have everything by mouth (rather than the feeding tube) for 48 hours before we can go home. We hope that will be by Saturday.

Another benefit of being off the high-flow was that he could now be in a "big boy bed" and get dressed.

The one IV he had left went bad with 3 doses of antibiotic to go. I had asked the nurse about the possibility of giving it orally. She said these specific antibiotics don't have an oral version, but there was a possibility of a shot. I told her about the problems he's had with IVs and thought it might be a better idea with only 3 doses left to do it with a shot. When I came back after shift change the nurse was just trying to do another IV. I again told her about his history and asked about the possibility of the shots. She checked with the NNP and it was decided just to discontinue them all together. We'll take that!! Since there has really been no sign of infection from the beginning, there was no reason to have to stick him several more times just for 3 doses.

So, now all we're waiting for is the eating. I don't think it'll be a problem and we'll look forward to going home this weekend! We did have to go back on the bili-lights, but hey, better to get that taken care of here than home!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's gone!!

I came in this morning to find the nurse scrubbing the floor where the tape had been holding the water seal mechanism controlling the chest tube. Which means...the chest tube is gone!!!!! I am so excited! Last night before I left I had talked to the night NNP and told her my concerns. At the time Kilun had gone up on his oxygen and his breathing was a little fast. At that point the NNP said she wouldn't even talk to a doctor because he was still having some small concerns. It wasn't long after that, though, that he calmed right down, his oxygen needs went back down and he was breathing at a normal rate. They must have checked him earlier than they otherwise would have because they removed the tube at 1 this morning, not waiting until 4 to have another x-ray. His oxygen has been turned down again, and continues to do well, so I think it won't be long before he just goes to a regular canula instead of the high flow.

Thanks for the crossed limbs and the extra prayers. We have have been truly blessed by them.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Days 4 & 5

I've been waiting for some big news to post about before I did another update, but it doesn't seem like it's coming. Things with Kilun are good. He's been improving the last couple of days. Yesterday they continued to up his feeds of my milk, thus decreasing the other fluids they have been giving him. He has tolerated it well and has been able to keep up the digestion with the amount they are giving him. Unfortunately, my milk is not keeping up. I'm trying hard to keep on the pumping schedule, but it's not bringing anything in. I know I should really just give it a few days...I AM only 5 days post baby and it takes a few for the milk to come in. It's just frustrating when the amount they want to give him is twice as much as I make. The fact that he is going down on his fluids, though, is good news because the poor kid can not keep an IV to save his soul. He has been getting 2 a day because they just keep going bad. At this point they could probably take them all out, but he has 2 more days of antibiotics so he needs an IV for those. Tonight I stood by his bedside while they poked him 7 times trying to get a good IV. 6 of them blew, one is still working. My guess is, though, by tomorrow evening, it will no longer be good.

Today he came off the bili lights. He was having a hard time getting rid of the bili because he wasn't pooping. The pain med he was getting for the chest tube was slowing his bowels, so he hadn't pooped for 4 days. They were able to slow down the pain meds and sedation yesterday, only giving it twice, so his bowels have been moving again. He's probably pooped 7 or 8 times today and we cheer every time he does. It seems every thing is looking good except one...

The biggest thing I've been waiting for his getting his chest tube out. I'm starting to get very frustrated, and I'm sure Kilun is too. We were hoping that the tube would come out yesterday morning, but when I got here they said they saw a little sliver of air on the chest x-ray again, so just to be safe, they were going to leave it all day and do another x-ray this morning. They did another x-ray this morning, I wasn't told what they saw on it, but during rounds they decided to turn off the suction and do another x-ray at 6 tonight. The x-ray was done and the NNP (neonatal nurse practitioner) said it looked good and to keep in on water seal, which means keep it off but we're not taking it out. I was very frustrated by this because the DR this morning said that if it was good we'd take it out tonight, but then the NNP said not to. Our nurse today was great and I let her know my frustration. I'm hoping to be able to talk more to the nurse tonight and maybe get another opinion from the night NNP and get it out. As long as he has the chest tube in he can't be held, so I haven't been able to hold my baby for 4 days now. That's forever!! Since he hasn't been on so much sedation the last couple of days, Kilun has started waking up more and the poor guy just wants to be held. He can't really be moved because of the tube and has pretty much been in the same position since Saturday. He been starting to root, but of course I can't nurse him, again, due to the tube.

Aside from the tube, everything looks great. So, everyone cross your fingers, toes, legs, and anything else that can be crossed, and pray, that we can get this tube out in hours, not days.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 3

We had a great surprise when we arrived at the hospital today. Kilun was off the respirator. Yay!! He now has a high flow cannula, I think. His numbers all look a lot better today than they did yesterday and he is holding his own. They just checked his blood gases and I think by the nurses talking, they didn't come back so well. He was working a little harder to breathe and was holding his breath a little. While they were all deciding what to do I tried to hold his little arms from flailing everywhere and tucked him back into to the little kangaroo thing they have in his bed. It seemed to help him calm down a little. We think, perhaps, his chest tube is bothering him and he could just use a little more pain meds. that's what the nurse is going to try first and hopefully that will make the difference.

I was reminded today how blessed we are that even thought Kilun is in the NICU, he in America and he's getting great care. My aunt and uncle, Anne & Roy, are on a humanitarian mission in Kazakhstan. The last couple of weeks they have been doing Newborn Resuscitation Training for several doctors and nurses over there. You can read their blog here. It's amazing for me to think about all the doctors and nurses in other countries who don't know how to do those things that we think are the simplest things, like intubating a baby. (obviously not us non-doctors, but you know what I mean) Kilun may not have lived had he been born in one of these countries because they don't have all the knowledge and technology that we do here. I am very grateful for that blessing today. At least we have a NICU to be treated in and I know we will go home in a few days.

I want to thank you for all the prayers and the fasting that has been offered in our behalf. I know there has been a lot. Heavenly Father is blessing Kilun to be strong and overcome his challenges and our family is being blessed as well.