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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holiday chaos

Dear Jessa ~

So, I thought I was pretty insane when I volunteered to do Thanksgiving.  More insane when I offered to host my dad's surprise 70th bday party (which I haven't mentioned up till now for the obvious reason that it was a surprise).  All while 1st trimester pregnant.  I've been feeling remarkably better since baptisms last month, but because of it I haven't been taking naps lately, and I think I've just traded that for more nausea.  And a continued lack of energy.  But turns out, life was even more chaotic than I had anticipated! Fun times in the Lehi Homer home!

So Monday I worked really hard and got the upstairs pretty darn clean.  Kessa was a great helper.  All that Joy School stuff about service and sharing ourselves seems to have paid off.  All week she has been asking me, "What can I do to help?"  Tonight she got mad at us because we weren't letting her serve.  (I don't remember the context, but we had legit reasons for not letting her help with what she wanted.)  It's adorable.  There are still things she doesn't want to do, like clean up stuff.  But she really likes to help with cooking, and she'll even help with cleaning up the non-normal rooms or doing laundry sometimes.  It's not perfect, but totally unexpected and I'm loving it.  Abby loves to sing the "Clean up, clean up" song while picking up Legos or any toy that she knows how to put away.  I have the most awesome kids ever!

Tuesday I had planned on cleaning up the main floor, but ended up spending most of the day running errands (I had to go both to Riverton and Santaquin).  And by the time I got back I was exhausted and not feeling well.  I started to wonder if I had overdone it on Monday.

Wednesday I expected my mom here early enough for us to spend the day cooking.  But they didn't get here until probably 4:30 or 5.  And all I could convince myself to do was sweep the kitchen floor and pull out rolls to defrost.  The rest of the day I just laid on the couch.  By the time my mom got here I told her she had to figure out dinner.  We ended up running to the store and came back to make baked potatoes with chili on top.  But it took us so long that we didn't even start eating until 7 or so, when Jalin showed up (also late).  And then Jalin's family (mostly sons and husband) made pies.  Needless to say, it was a very late night.  Especially for kids.

Thursday I continued to be completely lame face and pretty much directed the cooking from the couch.  I had to keep convincing myself that planning the menu, doing most of the grocery shopping, hosting the thing, etc. was worth something.  I wasn't being completely useless.  Although I sure felt like it at times.  I did help some.  But not much.  BJ was the real hero.  He took all 8 kids here upstairs and kept them entertained for the majority of Thursday and Friday.  Largely that consisted of playing Super Smash Brothers and Mario Kart on the Wii.  But he kept a rotation going that kept them mostly happy.  But still.  That much time as the only adult with 8 kids aged 22 months - 14 and coming out sane in the end?  Total super hero.
Massive Wii party. Note the 3-yr-old playing MarioKart.

BJ also took the kids on a walk to the park.
Spencer decided to bury his head in the sand.
Dinner was yummy.  We made a maple orange bacon turkey at Jalin's request.  It was good, but I don't think I'd do it again.  The bacon was delicious.  I hear the veggies the sauce dripped on were delicious too.  The bacon was fantastic.  But the turkey just tasted like turkey to me.  And the drippings made the gravy really sweet.  And I didn't love it.  It's Sunday and I still feel like that's the only taste in my mouth, no matter what I eat.  I don't like it.  Overall, Thanksgiving was good.

The maple orange bacon turkey

We also played some games Thanksgiving night.
7 Wonders is fun!
Friday, though.  Oh the stress of Friday.  First, we'd planned on holding my dad's 70th bday party at our clubhouse.  Just my siblings.  Nothing big.  We'd spent the last month getting people to write my dad postcards/cards/letters and sending them to my house.  He ended up with almost 90.  He's one popular guy!  We were doing dinner.  BJ and I had made the chicken and marinade for fajitas and froze it on Monday.  It wasn't even at my house.  So it was supposed to be really simple.

But Abby cried all night.  Though, I think it must have been more whimpered all night, because neither BJ nor I heard it.  Only my mom who shared a wall with her heard it.  But poor Abby was just acting sick and miserable all morning.  And she looked miserable.  It wasn't until almost noon that we realized that her big toe was really infected.  It looked gross.  And she screamed if you touched it.  (Problem with footie pajamas and being lazy and staying in pajamas all morning.)  And she had a low-grade fever.  We figured it was probably an ingrown toenail.  So I called the pediatrician, but they were counting it as a holiday, so they were doing after-hours, which means one doctor is on call for all of Utah Valley.  And when I called that doctor, their message said that they were on lunch from 12-1:30.  Of course it was 12:04 when I started calling.  [sigh]  I finally got through to them at 1:30 and was in to see the doctor by 3.

Her fever kept rising and when my mom and I got to the pediatrician's office, Abby had a full-body rash.  Dr. Conner thought she might have strep when she looked at her throat (it was red with white patches) so she swabbed it.  Which is NOT FUN.  Poor Abby.  (She doesn't have strep.  Thank goodness.)  Then she came in and lanced Abby's toe and pushed all the puss out.  Which was a lot.  Much more than she expected there to be.  That combined with the fever growing and the sudden rash, she worried it might be a staph infection in the blood.  So she immediately sent us to the hospital for a blood test.

Abby's old enough now that they draw blood like they do an adult's.  Tourniquet around the arm, needle in the forearm.  Only difference was that she was in my lap, I had to hold her arms and forehead while two nurses held down her forearm and drew blood.  She hated it at first, but once it got going was rather fascinated by it.

Then it was back to the pediatrician's for an antibiotic shot. Just in case it was bacterial.  She was that worried.  Then they gave the shot, telling us, "I'm sorry, but this shot is a doozy.  It's just so thick, so it hurts.  So much that we add Litocain (a pain killer) to the shot, too."  Yipes.  Abby hated it.  But calmed down when we got out and showed her the fish in the waiting room.  They told us they'd call us that evening when they got the results of the tests.  If it showed a bacterial infection, they'd have us come back in the next morning for another shot.  If not, they'd call it viral and there's nothing we can do except keep an eye on it.

We got home a half hour before the surprise party.  Everyone else was frantically trying to do everything in our absence.  During that time, the doctor's office called.  "We got your results back from the hospital.  She has two broken wrists."  ...  Wait, what?  "Umm... I think you called the wrong mom.  Because I'm pretty sure you can't tell that from a blood draw.  Which are the results I'm waiting for."  She was so embarrassed.  But honestly, I needed a good laugh.  At this point my emotions were very raw.  My daughter was so sick the doctor was worried.  She was highly contagious, so we couldn't take her to the party that I'd been planning for a month.  So I figured I'd have to stay home.  (BJ, the champ, stayed home in my stead so I could go.)  Nothing was going smoothly to prep for the dinner.  So the laugh was good.  While she had me on the phone, though, she checked to see if her blood tests were in yet.  All but one.  They all looked good, except her white blood count was a little higher than normal.  But not enough to worry them.  They'd call after they got the last test result.

We finally got everything ready and surprised my dad.  It was fun to have almost everyone together.  (Damian's family couldn't come because his youngest got croup.  And, of course, BJ and Abby weren't there.)  But everyone else came.  We ate dinner (and my cumin tastes/looks eerily similar to curry.  So those were interesting fajitas) and opened presents, then ate pie.  Then they put on home videos from when I was just a few months of shy.  It occurred to me that I was just a couple months older than Kessa is now.  Weird.  After the first video was over, I was getting antsy.  I had already had a couple good cries and really just wanted to go home.  Which made me feel guilty because it was my dad's special night.  So during the second movie, which showed more cousins than any of us, I just couldn't take it.  So I went into the kitchen and started cleaning up so we could leave sooner.

The three oldest boy cousins. Would you believe it's
oldest-to-youngest, from left to right?

Saturday morning I realized the doctor had never called back.  So I called them.  They took a message and said they'd have a nurse call me.  Which he did at 10 am.  "We have the test results back, but before we talk about them, Dr. Conner wants to know how Abby is doing."  So I told him that she was a little happier, though still decently miserable, didn't have a fever, or at most a low-grade fever.  The rash maybe looked a little better?  And her toe was purple instead of dark red.  "Ok, I'll let Dr. Conner know, then give you call back."  Wait, what?  You know the test results but aren't going to tell me?  You had no problem telling me the night before.  Lameface.

Dr. Conner went off call at 11 am.  At 11:10 I was freaking out a little and trying to call them, but as they're after hours, I can't call directly.  It's a mess.  I hated it.  Still hate it.  So then I started to call the answering service for the next on-call doctor when Dr. Conner's office called me back.  I was so flustered that I didn't really think straight.  "If the fever stays under 101┬║ then she doesn't need to come back in for a shot.  We're just going to prescribe an oral antibiotic.  We'll call that in right now." The end.  It wasn't until after I hung up that I realized I still had no idea what the last test said.  I didn't know if it was staph or not.  I assumed it was bacterial, not viral, as they were prescribing an antibiotic.  Nor do I know how long she's contagious.  Nor can I google anything because I don't have a diagnosis!  I'm rather annoyed at this point.  To top it off, I can't call back because they're on after-hours!  ARGH.  Well, whatever, I'll call back Monday.

I waited a few hours, then went to get the prescription.  The pharmacy didn't have it!  They never called it in!  At this point I just wanted to cry.  My baby has an infection and the doctor was worried and I can't call the doctor, so now I have to wait until Monday to get her any medicine for it?!  So I called the next on-call doctor, explained my plight to the receptionist, and she was like, "Well, we don't have any access to other doctor's prescriptions.  But this is important.  Let me see what I can do."  So she had her doctor call Abby's doctor who told him everything and he called in the prescription.  So I was finally able to pick it up Saturday evening.  [sigh]

And then we went and bought a practically perfect Christmas tree.  Which makes me so happy.  Though, it might take me all season to decorate it.  :D

In good news, she's now acting much better.  She's happier.  She looks better.  She doesn't scream when you bump her toe.  She will cry about it when she's tired or if it really gets bonked.  Though, there's a little more puss there, which makes me nervous.  So I'm trying to keep it bandaged and clean.  But I'm almost out of the purple bandage tape stuff (like when you give blood) so we'll see how creative I get.  And I'm planning on calling in the morning to say, "Hey!  What's the diagnosis!  And what do I do if there's more puss?!"  It's so, so, so good to see her smiling and running around and just happy and being adorable.

It's times like this that you really understand how big a momma's heart can get.  Unfortunately, that also means I'm still an overflowing emotional basket case.  Not as bad as I was Friday, thank goodness, but I'm still pretty pathetic.

Then today was the day of everything going wrong.  I found out from my bishop that our baptismal clothes from the baptism yesterday (which I got out of because there were two others in my presidency there and I didn't want to go, everything considered) were still in bags in the hall closet.  Wet.  [sigh]  So during Sunday School my dad and I took them home and started washing them. (My mom stayed home while Abby napped.)  Then I was feeling sick.  And my parents left me.  But then had to come back because they had my wallet in the car.  Then Kessa wouldn't obey and took forever to go potty so we could return some stuff to your parents that we borrowed.  Oh, and BJ was doing tithing settlement, so he didn't get home from church till 5.  Which is the main reason why I was taking the stuff back to your parents today.  So I had something to do.  And then I finally got everyone in the car and... it wouldn't start.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  And I had a low tire.  (But my car is fickle and if it's even 1 psi under the recommended amount, it yells at me.  And my car had been out in the cold, which often lowers the psi, so I wasn't too worried about that.)  So my parents came back again and jumped my car.

But after that the day was lovely.  :)

Seriously, though.  As much as I loved having my family here, I'm so glad this week is over.  I've finally gotten to the point in life that when things like this happen, instead of saying, "Why is this happening to me?!" I now say, "Ok, God.  This really had better help me empathize with someone in the future.  I'd better be able to help someone."  I think this change of attitude is a good thing.  It helps trials become a little easier.  But I'll be ok if I don't have any more empathy-building moments for, say, the next month or two at least.  :D

So... I think that's all of our major updates.  BJ and I are both ridiculously tired, so we're going to bed early.  So I'll save the rest of the cute kid updates until next week.  Except for the kiddisms, of course.  :)  There aren't many, but they're pretty classic.


  • Abby: Jesus!
    BJ: Umm… that's actually Mega Man. Not Jesus.
    Abby: Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!
  • BJ just said, “Guess we'd better get a cow.” I just wanted that to be noted.
    More full story:
    Kessa had just finished reading “Click-Clack Moo:  Cows that Type” to BJ and we were all talking a little.
    BJ: You know what mommy? I don't think we should get Kessa a typewriter.
    Kessa: Why not?!
    BJ: because then you'd start writing us notes and wanting electric blankets.
    Me: And diving boards.
    Kessa: No! Because we don't have a duck!
    [Much laughter]
    BJ: Kessa, I love you.
    Kessa: And we don't have a cow!
    BJ: Well, I guess we just need to get a cow, then.
  • Kessa, playing on the trampoline and pretending to eat breakfast: “Do you know what I'm having for breakfast? Cereal. And meatballs, because meatballs are really good.”
  • Abby, imitating BJ: “oh goodness. Oh goodness.”
  • Kessa: Daddy, what’s the first verse to tying my shoe? (Read: what’s the first step)

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