November 27, 2011

A Birthday and A Baptism

  Janessa turned 8! 

Showing off her new birthday outfit from Grandma--and being a little silly.
Can't believe my baby girl is 8!

She was baptized on Thanksgiving weekend.  

With Grandma and Grandpa Berkley who came down from Utah.
Grandma made her dress.

She was baptized by her oldest brother Dustin and confirmed by her dad.

With Grandma and Grandpa Waite

Brennen, Andy, Dustin, Cameron, Janessa

Cousins from New Mexico, Idaho, Arizona

November 20, 2011

A Tough Laser Treatment

Yes, it has already been two months since Cameron's last laser treatment, so we went back to Albuquerque again on Nov 9th.  I have been striving to be positive in all these posts about his laser treatments.  But honestly, I am getting tired of them and they are hard for me.  He is a trooper and seems to know it is just part of his life and what he does every few months.  And never he complains or says much about them.  In fact, after his first laser treatment right after he turned 4, when we came home from the hospital, the only thing he had to say to his Dad about it was that we stayed in a hotel and the room number was "one zero one".

He had a harder time with this treatment, and so I did too.

All went well at the hospital.  On schedule so we didn’t have to wait.  No emergence delirium when waking up from anesthesia. Hooray.  However, the treatment area looked different this time.  Instead of the usual purple, his skin was gray on his cheek and chin.  I didn't see the doctor again before we left the hospital so I didn't get to ask her about it.  (I saw her after surgery but that was before I saw Cameron post-op).   He woke up, ate his orange popsicle and we were on our way.

But sadly, for the first time he got sick from the anesthesia--twice.  But he is my 5th child (and we have been frequent travelers over the years between Utah and New Mexico) so I am a bit experienced in noticing symptoms of a child who is going to be sick in the car.  I pulled over in time.  But we still had to change his clothes in the cold by the side of the road.  Poor guy.

And this time, he hurt.  He has never let me put an ice pack on before and I have rarely even given him Tylenol. But this time he needed both.  We were up in the night in the Lazyboy with an ice pack for a few hours. I finally gave him a second dose of Children’s Motrin (don’t tell) after the first dose didn’t seem to help much, and then he slept.  Until about 4:30 a.m. when I got him another ice pack.  Still though, he didn’t complain or cry. In fact, I heard someone up in the bathroom around 10:00 and found him trying to put a wet washrag on his face, but dripping water down the front of him.  He didn’t even come and get me!  I gave him pain reliever the next few nights before bed and he did fine. It was only that second night he had a hard time.  I suppose the first night he still had some anesthesia in his system.

The doctor told me that they did notice more gray this time and if it still a little gray, make sure to keep the Vaseline on it.  I said it is still a LOT gray.  She said send me a picture.  So I emailed her one.  Yes, she said, it is quite gray.  Perhaps we got more of a response than we might have wanted she said.  She said she may have pushed up the power too much this time since he has been tolerating it so well up to now.  Keep it well lubed to prevent blistering and peeling.  And she would call us in a stronger pain med if he needed one.  (I really like Cam’s doctor, but isn’t it interesting how she sort of dances around with the “mays and mights” not quite admitting a mistake).  So basically, he got “lasered” a little too much.  

And I know doctors make mistakes just like everyone else, but it is hard when is happens to your kid.

I sent her another picture 6 days after.  He still had gray but not as much—it had turned purple. She said it was doing what it was supposed to do, just slowly.  Keep it well lubed and out of the sun. 

After a week and a half he is still pretty purple, with barely noticeable gray. His neck and chest have faded quickly as usual.  But I am thinking that this time the usual 2 week bruising after a treatment is going to last a bit longer.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes to clear up.  And I am rethinking our January treatment appointment.  Because I need a break, and I am sure Cameron could use one too.

And as you read this maybe it doesn’t sound like a big deal and I handled it.  But really it shook me up.  Sheesh, I have enough problems with my anxiety when things are going well.  I went through a lot of emotions last week.  Feeling bad that my baby has to hurt.  Feeling guilty for putting him through this. Second guessing myself wondering if we are really doing the right thing with these treatments. Just a bunch of stuff that maybe isn’t logical, but nonetheless, feeling it anyway.  And feeling a little upset at the doctor, I do have to say. Plus nervous about the gray--and if it blisters and peels, then what? All the while still having to be a mom and get kids to school and dinner on the table and laundry done etc etc.  Feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all.  But I am ‘back on my feet now’ -- I think.

Anyway, enough said…

Still some gray showing on his cheek after 6 days
(his neck is clearing up and the light is skin color, not gray)

And I threw in this photo because it is too dang cute!
It was taken in October by Lydia Jane Images
(the PWS doesn't really show up in this photo but is does look darker most of the time)

November 19, 2011

50 Years Together

My parents
Mike and Frances Waite
Married for Time and Eternity
on November 17, 1961
in the Mesa Arizona Temple

November 15, 2011

How Clean Are Your Towels?

Today when I wanted to shower, Scott was in ours and I didn't want to wait so I went to the kids' bathroom to shower in there.  When I grabbed a towel to dry myself off I found a sucker stick stuck to it.

I don't know about your house but mostly at my house after the kids use a towel it ends up on their bedroom floors until I hound them enough to hang them up.  and apparently this towel picked up something from one of their floors.  (we still have a bit of Halloween candy and wrappers floating around)

I do wash towels, really I do.  but maybe not regularly enough.  I guess next time I shower in that bathroom I will grab a towel from the cupboard and not the rack.

November 8, 2011

Beautiful Snow

We woke up to beautiful snow on the ground mixed with fall colors.  And the storm was over so it really is a beautiful sight looking out my window across the park.  However, it made for a challenging morning.

Because snow makes kids excited.  And then Andy decided he needed gloves.  and in the process of finding gloves and he discovered hats and so the others joined him and instead of getting ready for school (combing hair, brushing teeth, backpacks, etc.) they were looking for gloves and hats.

And do you think that this is a harmless activity? Of course not! because that means getting out every hat, gloves, wool socks, all winter things and dumping them all over the laundry room floor.  (thank goodness they didn't think of boots).  And is it easy to get them to clean it up without arguments?  maybe some kids but not mine.  sheesh.

I had decided to drive them to school because I thought I would drop them off and head to the grocery store.  That I would actually be ready to do that.  Yeah right.  but I tried.  Anyway,  running late after cleaning up the mess in the laundry room and finally getting outside (some kids without their lunches and backpacks because snow is so distracting) I realized that I should have been out 10 minutes earlier to warm up the car and clean the snow off the car.  Because it was actually frozen to the windshield so it wouldn't brush off.  and I am short and drive an SUV so it was a bit challenging and frustrating trying to scrape it off.  But finally the defroster kicked in and I was able to drive.

The kids were about 5 minutes late to school.  I don't think they are ever late when Scott walks them to school (or drives them).  And I didn't make it to the grocery store yet.

But the sun is shining and the snow is beautiful!

November 2, 2011

First Field Trip and Halloween Photos

After Cameron started kindergarten he began asking quite often "Do I have a field trip today?"  I am not sure what put the idea of field trips in his head but he was pretty persistant.  Finally, the week before Halloween he got to go on a field trip to the Pumpin Patch at Sutherland Farms.

The kids got to go on a hay ride, a train ride, play in the corn pit, go through the corn maze, milk a pretend wooden cow with rubber udders, look at some animals, and pick out their very own pumpkin to take home.  I got to go to!  As he was waiting in line to get back on the bus Cameron told me "This was so fun!  My field trip was funner than Lego Star Wars!"

So there you have it--life on the farm is funner than a video game.

making a 'corn angel'.  I have never seen anything like this--very fun to play in.

burying a classmate

the corn maze

the train ride


  I wore this costume (the dress) when I played one of Tiger Lily's Indians in the musical Peter Pan in high school.  good memories!  (the dress was a lot shorter on me and it is pinned in the back to fit her) My mom worked hard on that for me! there are beads on all those fringes...

October 27, 2011

Silly Halloween Costume

I got off easy on Halloween costumes this year.  Grandma made Cameron's and Janessa is using one we already have.  I only have to worry about Andy's.  (because the big boys are, well big enough to worry about theirs).  I bought a pair of red sweats and a pair blue sweats to make a Jester costume.  Cut both pair of pants in half along the center front/back.  Then sew opposites together and you have a pair of two-toned pants.  Red leg, blue leg.  Simple.

Not so simple.  (keep in mind that I have a cold so I am high on Dayquil, but that probably really has nothing to do with it).  First I have a hard time getting the 'right'sides of the fabric together so they are all lined up to sew.  The easy way is to put one pant leg inside the other, but it took a bit fumbling around before I  remembered that and got it all squared away.  I finally got it all lined up and realized the right sides weren't together--I had blue on the wrong side.  So I redid it, (you have to have one pant leg turned inside out) and started sewing.  However, I soon realized I was sewing the same sides of pants together.  Like, I didn't get opposite sides of the pants that I cut up--I had a "left" blue and a "left" red.  So there would be half a front and half a back on what should be the front of the pants.  got it?

ok.  I took out the little bit of sewing I did and found two opposite sides and started again.  (and i did make sure I was sewing a blue and a red)  All was going fine.  Then the bobbin ran out, of course.  Then I got to the waist band.  Too thick.  My needle got stuck and bent.  ahhh!  My machine was not cooperating on that waistband, though it did the other side just fine.  I finally had to manually turn the wheel on the side of the machine for a quite a few stitches and it worked.

I now have a pair of red and blue jester pants.  It took sooo much longer than the 10 minutes is should have taken. (And of course I was trying to squeeze it in on the day I had a relief society meeting, a field trip, piano lessons, and my parents over for dinner).

October 7, 2011

New Kitchen


missing pieces...a hole in the counter where a cook top stove had been.  we covered it with a board and taped it on.  the other hole is where a trash compactor had been we think.

broken drawers...(our silverware was in a basket on the counter since it was too heavy for the broken drawers)
missing drawers...


pantry size cupboard!  yay! we will now store less food in the office

new microwave and cupboards above range (which previously had no cupboards above it, or to the side of it)

This was a solid wall (with a doorway) between the dining room and kitchen.  We cut a hole and added a bar and desk area.

September 26, 2011

Laser #6

We are moving right along with Cameron's laser treatments.  He has #6 on Sept 14.  And the end is in sight!  at least the end for this phase.   Dr. says 3 or 4 more and then by summer he will be done.  With 'touch-ups' once a year or every other year.  His next one is scheduled for November and then his doctor is going on maternity leave (what? you can't be a mom! you are our doctor! you don't have another life do you?) and won't be back until March so maybe he will have a laser by her colleague why she is gone or we will wait until March.

What I want to tell you about is the anesthesia.   He has been waking up crazy and crying the last three times. Emergence delirium they call it. Common in children, especially with short surgeries, and repeated procedures.  He is inconsolable, crying and thrashing until they give him a sedative so he will fall back asleep   Then he sleeps it off and wakes up fine. The first time it happened the nurses came and got me right away and I held him while he cried and kicked for ½ hour until the drugs took effect and he fell back asleep.  They say the kids don't remember it and they are in half-awake half-asleep state and don't know what is going on.  But it is hard on Mom.  The next two times they did not come to get me until he was sleeping again.  I noticed the last time the delirium must have been worse because all the vaseline the doctor goops him up with was all rubbed off his face.  I was in the waiting room longer and it took longer for him to wake up.  It was our longest hospital visit of almost 5 hours.

So this time I spoke up.  If we know he is going to wake up with emergence delirium that seems to get worse every time, than can't something be done about it?  When the hospital called the day before the procedure to give us a time to come in, I requested an anesthesiologist.  I gave them two different names actually.  When I got there neither were working but I got the second in command.  She listened well and had all his records in front of her. Of course she told me this is common.  And I am thinking "I don't care how common it is. Do something about it."  I told her I wanted to be there when he woke up, isntead of the waiting room.

The anesthesiologist came out into the waiting room and got me.  I wasn't just paged at the front desk by the nurses. She was letting him wake up on his own. Usually they reverse the med to wake him up. And she gave him anesthesia through IV instead of a gas. a different med I guess. Usually I don't see the anesthesiologist after surgery, except sometimes to discharge him, so I guess I got special treatment. And he woke up just fine. It pays to speak up.

Here is a pic of him sleeping in the car on the way home.  He was more sleepy this time and fell asleep again as soon as I started driving, so we didn't eat lunch right after we left the hospital like usual, but instead drove about an hour and a half (half way home) before stopping to eat. (He may have slept the whole way home but I was hungry...)

not the best quality, but what do you expect?  I was driving at the time.  he looked so cute cuddled up with his blanket and pj's.  He wanted to wear his pajamas to the hospital.  and he is a 'tough guy' handling everything so well.

September 24, 2011

In the Band

Marching Band is not for wimps.  At least at Farmington High School.  I have two boys in the band--percussionists.  Brennen is in the drumline this year and Dustin is (drum roll please!) the Drum Major!  the leader of the band.  I am a little proud, or probably a lot.

These band kids put in tons of hours.  They go to school an hour early to practice and then have band as their 1st hour class.  That equals 2 hours of marching/playing in the morning.

There are sectionals for an hour or two after school once or twice a week.

On Tuesday nights of a home football game there is practice from 6-8.  For home football games they are at the school at 4:00 until after the game, around 10:00.

And there are several band competitions coming up.  And fundraisers like car washes.
amazingly Dustin somehow balanced band and soccer last year

Pictures from the homecoming game:

getting ready for half-time performance


Brennen chillin in the stands 

Marching off the field (hubby having fun with the camera)

September 22, 2011

Construction Zone

"And this mess is so big
And so deep and so tall,
We can not pick it up!
There is no way at all!"
(Dr. Suess--The Cat in the Hat)  

We are well underway with our kitchen remodel.  And I am trying to be a good sport.  Because I know the result will be FABULOUS!

but there is so much dust! but that part--the drywall sanding--is over so I can actually get down to business and dust and clean the floors (instead of blogging about it).  I know there will be more but not so much.

and the disorganization of the stuff that came out of the kitchen.  My husband actually did a great job of pre-planinng and cleared his computers and such out of the office that is next to the kitchen, made his office downstairs, and then we put the kitchen stuff in the office.  but it is still challenging finding things, like the box of oatmeal I wanted to cook today.

And then there is the 'pile stuff' that has no counter to 'pile on', like school papers and mail, and whatever else.  so it gets piled on the table with other things that don't have a home and trying to sit down and use the table to eat at is, well, frustrating!  I just feel like screaming sometimes "AAAHHHH".  And did I mention the dust?

I realize next week it will all end and I will have brand new cupboards to put all the 'stuff' in.  but right now this mess seems so big, and so deep and so tall...

pictures coming soon...maybe next Thursday!

And thank you to my husband for all your hard work making a new kitchen a reality!

August 31, 2011

An Expensive Summer for Andy...

Another Andy post, so soon. 

He had a rather expensive summer.  And I am not trying to complain, just sayin'.

In June we went on a family campout/vacation with Scott's side in Moab.  It is hot in Moab in June.  So we went to their new aquatic center, which is very impressive.  There is a "lazy river" thing, where the current pushes you around.  Andy got in it at just the right--or rather wrong--spot and the current pushed him into the wall.  This was the result:

A chipped front tooth
So we spent just over $200 to get it fixed in Brigham City--the second leg of our vacation. 

About a month later we were camping in Colorado when he was wading in the river and almost sliced the bottom off of his big toe.  (I took a picture but I won't post it since it is pretty gross and not everyone likes to look at stuff like that).  Ten stitches outside and a few disolveable ones on the inside.  The bill--a little more than $60 a stich.  (And yes we have insurance, but we haven't met the deductible yet, which means we have been healthy and mostly accident free this year--unlike last year).  

Though his toe healed nicely with no infection, that $200 tooth job didn't hold up very long as he chipped it off again at school today.  Hmm.  But it isn't a painful thing because it is below the nerve, just cosmetic.  I mean I guess it bothers him a little bit when he bites stuff off.  I got him another dentist appointment in a week so we will see what our options are then.

We have one more camping trip Labor Day weekend and then a quick trip to Utah again for a family photo.  Maybe we should keep Andy in bubble wrap, as my neighbor suggested, just in case...

August 30, 2011

Uh-oh. Andy is cooking...

He didn't realize you shouldn't put popcorn shrimp on a plastic plate and then put it in the toaster oven.  However, he did figure that out while it was only melting and not yet on the way, the plate used to be square.

August 29, 2011

A New School Year

Last year I had kids in 4 diffferent schools, counting Cameron's preschool.  This year, I am down to 2--high school and elementary.  My youngest is in kindergarten and my oldest is a senior.  In some ways it seems a long time coming (having all my kids in school) and in others it has gone by fast.

It was harder than I thought it would be to send Cameron to school.  I was more emotional than I anticipated. I was ready for him to go.  After all I have been a stay at home mom with kids at home for 17 years now.  And he was ready both socially and academically (he is reading).  Yet I still had nagging doubts because he is barely 5 and he still has speech issues, and he is small in size.   But I have to admit it was hardest because of his birthmark.  And he doesn't even care.  But it is like now I am sending him out into the cruel world by himself, where as before he was with me in the 'world' and only at preschool with small people his age, not big kids.  I worry more about the few weeks after the laser treatments than just the everyday.  And I keep thinking we should just stop them for a while, but when will it be easier for him than in kindergarten?

And my first baby a senior in high school.  Hard to believe that the little boy who loved dressing up and playing pretend, and was such a Pokemon fan, turned into a teenager who loves his music and drums (and sleeping) has started his last year of school .

First Day of School Pics 
Janessa, 2nd grade    Andy, 4th grade  
Cameron K (actually his 2nd day cuz kinder started a day early)


 Brennen, first day of high school 9th grade

 and for Dustin, well, he didn't pose for a picture. 

August 15, 2011

Update on Cameron's port wine stain

Cameron turned 5 last month, which means he is starting kindergarten!  He has had 5 laser treatments for his port wine stain in the last year.  He does fine with the treatments and doesn't seem to mind too much, or at least he doesn't say much about it.  It is harder on mom than him. It was kind of interesting last time because we got to the hospital about 20 minutes early, so I drove over to a pond nearby with turtles and ducks.  I asked if he wanted to go to see the ducks and he said "No. I just want to go to my laser surgery."  Not sure how to take that except maybe that he just wanted to go and get it over with.

These pictures are on his birthday, 2 weeks after his last treatment.  Though it isn't recommended to do a treatment in the summer because he needs to avoid sun exposure before and after, we went ahead and did it anyway for insurance reasons.  He faithfully wore a hat and sunscreen--even while playing soccer!

Which brings me to my next point.  Cameron has been on NM Medicaid the past two years.  I know I complained about government healthcare before, but I have to eat crow and say I have loved Medicaid.  It has paid 100% of everything.   It is a little harder to find a doctor and dentist at first, but it has been good for us.  Cameron was on Mediciad because when my husband started his business three years ago and we had to buy private health insurance, we couldn't find a company that would cover Cameron because of his birthmark. We didn't qualify for Medicaid in Utah, but when we moved to  New Mexico, we did.  But the business is doing well and so we are over income limits and no longer qualify. His coverage ended on July 31.

I was a little panicky because I found out that NM doesn't have a health insurance pool for kids who are uninsurable.  And if you do not have health insurance for 63 days or more, the pre-existing conditions apply.  So I needed to find insurance fast, and from previous experience it isn't a fast process.  However, I found out that the healthcare reform has changed things a little bit for kids in the last three years--apparently now a child cannot be denied on a family plan.  And I also found a company in NM that had a child coverage guarantee.  And it only took a few weeks for it all to go through.  Though we may add him to our family plan later, for now he is covered through the child coverage guarantee with Presbyterian Health.  However, the premiums for him are more than double the base premium, but we are happy to have him insured again.  Of course the question remains whether they will cover his laser...but we will fight so they will.

Here are some pictures a year before he started laser

and today--his first day of school! (gulp! my baby...)

March 9, 2011

Andy's Socks

I just couldn't resist the picture.  There are socks with holes and then there are Andy's socks.
How can he keep wearing it and it doesn't bug him!  You can't see it in the photo but part of the sock (a thread or two) is still around his big toe. 

I do tell him repeatedly to either put his shoes on or take his socks off when he goes outside...but if I am not around or not paying attention then this is what we get.

pick your battles, and this is not a battle worth fighting with him cuz we have plenty others.  However, I may make him buy his own socks next time with his hard earned money.  But he may just choose not to buy or wear socks.  Hooray that summer is on the way and he can wear sandals (or more likely go barefoot).

He may have a ruined sock but he is sitting still reading which is WONDERFUL!!!

February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines!

My little Valentines fashion girl...complete with side ponytail, cuz apparently that is cool in her first grade class.

Don't the tights and the red shoes (that were her brother's) just make the outfit?  

The kids were excited for their Valentine's parties at school today.  Well, the elementary and preschool kids.  

Cameron and I went to Albuquerque last Wednesday for another laser treatment.  He did so good.  While we were waiting to go into surgery he did ask if I had any food in my bag.  Poor kid.  But we went to McDonald's afterwards so it was all good.

 And, now that Valentines and Cameron's 3rd laser are over, bring on SPRING!!! we are ready!!

January 31, 2011

Goodbye January

It is almost February.  In fact, tomorrow is February.  But I want it to stay January.  'Cause in February I have to take Cameron back to the hospital for his third laser procedure on his face.  The laser is doing wonders as we can already see a difference after only two treatments.  Cameron doesn't seem to mind going to the hospital too much.  In fact he told me that he likes the hospital ok, and who wouldn't cuz everything is about him and he gets to wear funny pajamas, watch movies and eat popsicles, but he said he doesn't like waking up early and not eating. He can't eat because he goes under anesthesia.  And he is asleep before they put the IV in.  so it is not too hard on the kid, but it is hard on the mom.

I know I have been blessed not to have any serious medical issues with my family.  Sixteen years of parenting and up until last year we had one broken arm (not Andy), one set of stitches (not Andy), and one concussion (amazingly still not Andy).  And Janessa was born with a urinary tract problem which did require tests at the hospital every year and nightly antibiotics, but she outgrew it by age 2 1/2.

Then there was 2010.  Not only did we meet our insurance deductible, we also met our yearly out of pocket (none of it maternity).  In March my hubby pretty much shattered his elbow requiring 13 pins and a plate to put it back together and physical therapy to make it work again.  Everything went fine and he healed well.  Brennen got pneumonia in August and luckily didn't require hospitalization, but was a very sick kid for 2 1/2 weeks.  In September Cameron had his first laser procedure, Andy had his tonsils and adenoids out in October, and the day before Thanksgiving another laser for Cameron.  My anxiety level or something went way down after Thanksgiving knowing I was done with hospitals and doctors until February.  Yet, I didn't have too much time to relax because thrown into the usual holiday chaos was a family trip to the Dominican Republic.

I loved January.  And now January is over...

To all you moms out there who deal with medical issues and hospitals on a regular basis, including my sister, you are my heroes!

Cameron posing for some pictures before 2nd laser surgery, Nov 24, 2010

Super patient!
Eating a popsicle after surgery 

January 5, 2011

Republica Dominicana

Early on Christmas morning, we went to the airport to begin our journey to Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic to visit Grandma and Grandpa (Scott's parents) who are serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

After a long day--three airplanes--we finally got there.  It was so fun and exciting to see Grandma and Grandpa waiting for us at the airport.

While we were there we . . .
...hit the beach,

Andy is snorkeling in the background, Bren and Dustin making drip castles
notice the shells and snorkeling well as the cute kid
. . .visited an orphanage,

...saw the Temple,
The Santo Domingo LDS Temple is the 8th largest

...went to Christopher Columbus Square and saw the old city,
The cannons are part of the old fort protecting the harbor.  This was the first settlement in the new world
the walls of the old fort

the building in the background is the oldest catheral in the Americas--the inside is beautiful
 ...explored a BIG cavern,
an amazing hole in the ground right in the city

Though you can't see it, the bottom of the big 'hole' behind them is water with fish and turtles.  There were quite a few caverns that you walk down stairs to the water  

after you go down lots of stairs and see different caverns, then you walk through a darker part and all of the sudden it opens into this

...rode the Metro and saw the city.

the Metro track is on the above left

A 'recylced' wall outside of a school that is decorated with what would otherwise be trash.