Sunday, June 8, 2014


The plans were made, vacation time had been taken from work, and we were counting down the hours to when we would be leaving for Alabama for a mini family reunion.  We were driving down to visit Chad's brother and family.  His dad and another brother and family were flying out to be with us as well.  We were excited!  The day before we were supposed to leave I was just trying to get packed and tie up a few loose ends to be gone for a week.  That morning I was babysitting for a friend.  Porter usually loves having his little friends over.  That day, however, he complained of an ouchie tummy and didn't want to play.  I told him to lay on the couch until he felt better.  I later saw him laying there and tears just streaming out of his eyes.  Porter doesn't handle discomfort well, so I often go about my regular day when he "doesn't feel well."  By mid-afternoon I decided to give him some pain killer.  Still he was very whiny. I carried him up the stairs that evening. With every gentle step I took he winced.  We decided this was the real deal (it very hard to tell with him), and we couldn't risk a trip out of state without having him checked out.

At Chad's request I took him to Dayton Children's E.R late in the evening.  Porter had all of the classic symptoms, and after some tests it was confirmed.  He had appendicitis.  The  doctors where somewhat surprised.  Not many four year olds come in with appendicitis, and even fewer come in before it has ruptured.  Porter's low pain tolerance turned out to be a huge blessing.  With the diagnosis confirmed, we called our family and canceled the trip.  Luckily for the flyer's we let them know just in time for them to turn around at the airport and drive back home.

Porter and I spent the most of the night getting him ready for surgery the next morning.  Because he was hurting so much he didn't have the energy to fight the multiple attempts it took to start his IV.  They started pain meds and antibiotics.  By about 3 in the morning they finally took us to a room out of the ER to rest until morning, and let me borrow a breast pump so that I didn't explode.
Chad called our awesome neighbor to take the other kids bright and early the next morning so that he could be there before Porter was taken into surgery.  He also brought me some make-up so that I could feel somewhat normal. 

Everything went smoothly, as expected.  It did give Chad a chance to be on the other side of surgery.  We both felt like this would be a blessing as he interacts with patients and their families, and will help him be more empathetic.

 Over the next four days, we had the privilege of spending some one-on-one time with Porter, and getting to know Dayton Children's Hospital.  The staff there was so kind and sweet to the entire family as Porter recovered, Chad and I tag teamed the care of all of our children, and we witnessed the blessings of our Heavenly Father to our family.

The day after surgery, was Super Hero Day at the hospital.  Porter was treated to visits by several of them.  Also, several staff came bearing gifts.  Porter was given everything from lunch boxes, to action figures.  He got to make his own super hero cape, as well as one for Aimee, who was at school, and May, who was with Daddy.  Pratt got to tag along and make his own.

Porter received so many gifts, that it actually became a problem.  He was having a difficult time receiving his pain medication through his IV.  It wasn't in quite right, but they did feel they couldn't improve it.  Each time he received medicine, his smitten nurses would bring him a prize.  We had to ask them to stop because at one point, Porter began asking what they were going to give him each time they came to care for him.

-Dr. Meager called this Porter's "worm removal."  He did a fantastic job helping Porter see and understand what was happening.-While spending Chad's vacation at the hospital wasn't what we had planned, we can't imagine things having worked out better.  We felt so blessed that both of us were able to work together during this time, and that we were able to see such kindness to our family by friends and hospital staff.  Our Father in Heaven took such good care of our Porter, and our entire family, and we were grateful to so obviously see the hand of the Lord in our lives.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Porter and Aimee are best buds.  Pratt is rather independent.  Porter and Pratt...are not best friends.  When Aimee went to morning Kindergarten this year, I knew it would be a huge adjustment for my boys.  Well, it was.  In fact, there were many days that I found a reason to leave the house, just so I didn't have to be a referee between the two of them,

While my boys are about as alike as a rock and a tree, they have come leaps and bounds!  They have learned to enjoy their time together. They have found some common ground.  But at the end of the day (or rather the middle) 11:54 can't come soon enough.  For that is the time that the bus brings our Aimee back home to us, and the waiting can end. 

she is six!

It is hard to watch your kids grow up.  And, I think it is especially hard to watch your oldest. Even though your younger children hit new milestone for themselves, it is on that you have already been a part of with an older child, and one that you have felt more prepared for personally.  Aimee is six! It is awesome for her, and bitter for us.  And I would say especially for her daddy.  With each birthday he mourns the loss of his baby girl, and knows that the days are numbered he will be the big strong man in her life.  While that may seem silly, I think it is also wise. Every older person that I speak to, whether it is a family member or senior citizen at the grocery store will tell you, "they grow up so fast.  Cherish it!"  We are just taking that wise advice!
For Aimee's birthday this year you did our traditional date-with-mom-and-dad.  We went to the same place as last year, and even had the same waitress.  Before lunch, however, I took Aimee out for a "free make-over."  We hit up the make-up samples at Kohl's.  She picked out the kinds and colors of make-up, and I put them on.
For her birthday present we gave her a Cinderella dress-up.  As an after thought I gave her an apron and oven mit, but it stole the show!  She now likes to pretend she is a Chef.  I admit I sometimes use this to my advantage.     
We told her she could have a birthday party this year.  She invited her primary class, and out next door neighbor (and her bothers).  I'm not good at the whole "Pinterest theme party" thing, so we played some games, and she picked a cake that she liked.  It worked for her, and it worked for me!

 It was all spread out out over the course of a week, and in many ways felt like an eternal birthday celebration, but she loved it!