Friday, January 28, 2011


The other day I came upstairs to find Ephraim like this:
He had buckled himself in Selah's seat, gotten the brownies off the counter and was digging them out with his finger. When I asked him what he was doing, he smiled and said "Me like chocolate."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Taking Things to the Extreme

The past two and a half weeks have been filled with sickness at our house. Starting with Selah's stomach bug and ending with colds. For some reason my children have decided to take common viruses and make them extreme. On Sunday the 16th, I noticed that Ephraim could not move his neck. He could look right, left and down, but could not look up at all. He would stare forward and then roll his eyes up as high as he could. He also started to come down with a cough, runny nose and low fever. By Tuesday morning he was also complaining of his throat hurting. In to the Dr's office we went. Dr. LeClair sent us down to get an xray of Ephraim's neck. He did great laying still and thought the lead apron I wore was neat. While we were getting xrays, Dr. LeClair was consulting with other doctors at Mary Bridge about the possibility of Ephraim having meningitis. They decided we should give E a dose of motrin and wait an hour to see if that helped him move his neck. Ten minutes after that dose and E was able to move his neck without any problems. Dr. LeClair and I just laughed. The little dude had made us worried for 2 hours, Dr. L had several consultations and all of a sudden he was fine. Dr. L sent us home with instructions about what to look for (high fever and stiff neck) and when to go to the ER.

Fast forward several hours and Ephraim woke up from his nap screaming. He could not move his neck at all - up, down, to the side, anything. He still had a low fever (99.5) but this was the one scenario we didn't cover. I called back, and by the time I talked to the nurse, and Dr. Leclair had consulted again with the doctors at Mary Bridge, had all decided to send us to the ER (I was wearing the exact same outfit and hairstyle that I wore when we took Selah in - talk about deja vu), Ephraim could move his neck again. ER avoided. Again. In the middle of the night Ephraim spiked a high fever (103.5), but could move his neck. Getting a very sleepy 2 year old to comply with your instructions at 3 in the morning isn't fun, but we were so glad he never had the two symptoms they were concerned about at the same time.

This week we got to visit the doctor's office again for Selah. The silly girl WILL NOT take her antibiotics so we went back in. I was mixing the stuff with blueberry syrup and she still spit it out. Selah turned her cold into bronchiolitis and her ear infection is still raging.

We also got to visit an Ear, Nose, Throat specialist for Ephraim. On his neck xray our doctor noticed that he has very large adenoids. He asked us to see an ENT specialist in Tacoma. Nothing urgent, just needed to get done. Yesterday we drove to T-town. They did a hearing test on Ephraim - with little toy dogs that played music and barked. If he looked at them, they knew he could hear them. A woman also spoke to him through some speakers. Ephraim always looked at the dogs, but stopped looking at the speakers as she got quieter. He has fluid in both ears and is not hearing as well as he should be due to the fluid. The doctor believes ear tubes will help him. Ephraim's adenoids are enlarged and "weeping fluid" as though they have been continuously infected for quite a while. He needs those removed. Surgery is scheduled for February 7th. It is being done at Mary Bridge's day surgery center in Tacoma. I am very thankful that our pediatrician recommended this ENT. If I have to put my child under general anesthesia, I want it done in a place that specializes in kids.

Needless to say, this momma is tired of sickness. I have come down with a bad cold, probably from all of the holding and snuggling I have been doing. I am ready for January to be over and for my kids to feel better. I am actually looking forward to being able to really clean my house - it has become more of a disaster than normal as my priorities have been elsewhere. I am also looking forward to doing our weekly activities that we haven't participated in for 3 weeks. Poor Ephraim keeps asking to play with friends. Soon buddy, I promise.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First Trip to the ER

From January 11th,

This morning I went to MOPS, like I do every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. Ephraim went to his class and Selah came with me. Selah played at my feet, nursed and played some more. As MOPS was ending and people around me started to get up, Selah began vomiting. A lot. We went home, she took a nap and I tried nursing her again. As soon as she was done she threw up again. I called our doctor's office and they told me to try giving her small amounts of pedialyte every 5 minutes to keep her hydrated. She would immediately throw up the teaspoon I gave her. Selah took another nap and I tried the pedialyte again. Same result. I called our doctor's office around 4:30 and they instructed me to take her to the ER since she had not kept down any fluids since her morning feeding and had not had a wet diaper since 12. I waited until Forrest could get home (around 5:30) so we could go together. I tried the pedialyte again and she was able to keep down 2 attempts. This might sound silly - but as I was attempting to give her the third teaspoon - I prayed that God would make it obvious if we should take her in or not. I do not want to take my children to the ER unless it is necessary, and when she kept those 2 teaspoons down I was doubting the need to go in. Selah threw up immediately after swallowing. Prayer answered.

Our doctor sent us to Tacoma - Mary Bridge Children's Hospital ER. If you ever have the option of taking your child to an ER that has a pediatric unit - do it. They just know what they are doing with little ones. So worth the extra driving for us. The waiting room had touch screen computers kids could play games on. I had brought some cars for Ephraim to play with and he had a lot of fun in the open space.

Forrest and Ephraim in the triage room.
Selah and I. They took her temperature and were amazing at how quickly they did it (rectally) and she hardly even noticed. They gave her a dose of zofran and had us wait in the waiting room. Within 20 minutes you could tell Selah was feeling better. The rumbling that you could hear in her tummy before was quiet. The poor thing wanted to nurse, but I was under strict instructions to not feed her until a doctor saw us.
In the exam room waiting to see the doctor. You can tell in her face, she is not happy and wants to eat.
This cool magnetic board had different face parts that you could move around with little wands.
Ephraim and Selah. The staff also brought Ephraim some crayons and coloring pages. This was not just a 8 crayon set. It was a 48 crayon set. Ephraim thought that was really cool.
They sent us home with some zofran tablets and antibiotics for a nasty ear infection. We got home around 10:30. 4 hours in the ER - not bad. I came down with Selah's stomach bug in the middle of the night. She threw up again in the morning, we gave her a tablet and she and I were both pretty out of it for the rest of the day and watched a lot of tv and slept. She then was fine except for throwing up at exactly 11:30 at night for 3 nights in a row. Weird.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Christmas 2010

We spent the week between Christmas and New Years in Oregon/Vancouver. We had a lot of fun and these pictures are the extent of what I have. (What can I say - I'm a slacker).
Frank and Lona's Christmas palm tree. The majority of these gifts were for my children. It is a good thing we brought the suburban.
Selah and Grandpa
The kiddos
Selah loves to help unload the dishwasher. She is quite the climber.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gingerbread Trains

From December 21, 2010

I had some friends over to make gingerbread houses with our kids. We had a 5 year old, 3 year old, Ephraim, 3 one year olds and Selah. It was a crazy house. My friends were much more talented than I and designed trains for their boys. This is Eli's.
This is Thad's
Ephraim's. This is what you get when the non-engineer of the family starts building things. Good thing Ephraim doesn't care.

A weekend trip

From December 12, 2010

We took a weekend trip to Leavenworth, WA with my cousins Dennis, Mindy and their two kids Jacob and Joelle. Michelle traveled up to Yakima and we met up with all them Saturday afternoon. I don't have any pictures from our time in Leavenworth, but we can't wait to go back. We were there for 5 hours and there was over a foot of snow on top of our car. Ephraim loved the snow and kept asking to go sledding. The lighting ceremony was awesome. We are planning to go back next winter and spend the night so we have some place to dry off. We then traveled to Dennis and Mindy's and spent the night.
Ephraim had a blast. He got to ride a tractor, a snowmobile and build a snowman.
Dennis and Ephraim riding the snow mobile.
Ephraim and Daddy.
Jacob and Joelle and Forrest and Ephraim.
Michelle and Ephraim building a snow man.
Ephraim and Joelle attacking Michelle.
Ephraim and a snow ball.
Ephraim and Murphy (their dog) watching from inside.

Finding a Tree

From December 5th

This year Forrest and I went with a group of his friends to the National Forest to get our Christmas tree. I will admit that we were not very organized and it wasn't quite what I was expecting. I had envisioned us having a base camp, getting our trees and then having hot chocolate and hot dogs at base camp and playing in the snow. That didn't happen. Some of the people there were expecting there to be a bunch of Christmas tree farm trees at the top of a mountain and not wild, unpruned and unshaped trees. We did a lot of driving up and down the mountain, never set up base camp and it was super windy when we got our tree so we didn't spend a lot of time playing in the snow.

The kids did great in the car for the amount of time they spent in their seats. Poor Ephraim was hungry and tired and did not get enough time in the snow and conked out on our way home.
Our tree. We got it up the next night, but never got it decorated. Forrest is doing the lights. When I tried to help I was asked "what are you doing." Apparently I put lights on the tree wrong. It's fine by me, I enjoy watching my husband figure it out.
The kids loved the tree and we had the lights on all the time. When we took the tree down it had a total of 5 ornaments on it. Maybe next year we will actually get to decorate it.

Playing in Snow

From November 21st

Right before Thanksgiving we were blessed with a bunch of snow. The night it came down Ephraim had a lot of fun throwing snowballs for Wallis. (It doesn't look like he is having fun in the picture - but trust me.)
Selah wanted to join in on the fun, but mean Mommy wouldn't let her.
The next morning Ephraim was appropriately dressed and we played outside.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sick Ephraim

From November 4th, 2010

I feel like I need to preface this story. Sick has taken a whole new meaning with what is going on with Claire - so I kind of feel silly posting this. However, I am sticking to my rule of it happened and I have pictures, therefore I blog about it. I also apologize for the small size and picture quality - they are from my phone which has been dropped in the water at least twice.

After Halloween Ephraim started having diarrhea. Multiple times a day. On the 2nd of November I took him to the doctor's office. We were on day three of diarrhea, but I was most concerned that he had an ear infection on top of his stomach virus (he had goopy eyes - which in my kids is usually the tell-tale sign of an ear infection.) No ear infection and I was told to keep pushing fluids.

By nighttime on the third Ephraim started having bright green diarrhea. Craziest thing I have ever seen. After calling Colleen she said it was probably bile from his stomach being empty. Ephraim had pretty much stopped eating and I was trying my hardest to get him to drink Gatorade and eat Pedialyte popsicles.

I called the doctor's office early on the 4th - which also happened to be Forrest's 32nd birthday. Ephraim started the morning by having diarrhea that leaked all over our bed. I am by no means an alarmist when it comes to my kids and being sick - but enough was enough. My kid was pooping bile and even though we had just been in we went in that afternoon. Ephraim had 8 bouts of neon green diarrhea before we arrived. Our pediatrician decided that although Ephraim wasn't technically dehydrated enough to need an iv - he was dehydrated and Dr. Leclair thought that an iv would help Ephraim get over this faster. He sent us downstairs to the Urgent Care and talked to the doctor in charge about what he wanted.

The physician's assistant that we first saw didn't think Ephraim really needed an IV, but after he spoke with the doctor in charge Ephraim got one.
It wasn't until they were trying to get an iv in Ephraim that I really wished Forrest would have been there. It took three of us to do it. If you look at the above picture he has a bandage on his right hand. He was dehydrated enough that the iv wouldn't go into his right hand - she tried twice. Thankfully she was able to get it in his left hand. The gauze was so he wouldn't pull the IV out. I felt so bad for him as he was crying so hard while she was trying to prick him. Sweet Selah played with the trains I had brought on the floor and didn't really care that her brother was upset.
Ephraim calmed down after the IV was in and they gave him a popsicle. In the hour it took to get 240 ml in him he ate 7 popsicles.
Selah goofing around. She did really well considering we spent a total of five and half hours at both the doctors and Urgent care.
They sent us home even though Ephraim still hadn't had a wet diaper (he hadn't had one all day) with the expectation that he would soon with all the popsicle and fluid in him. He did while we ate dinner (Mommy went and got take out). I am so thankful that our doctor "prescribed" an IV even when Ephraim wasn't technically dehydrated enough. He didn't have another episode of diarrhea and was back to himself the next day. It was so nice to have my boy back. Although trying to get rid of his addiction to tv and juice from that week is whole other blog post.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Cowardly Lion

From October 31 2010,

When I asked Ephraim what he wanted to be for Halloween this year - I was expecting him to say Lightning McQueen or Mater. Instead he said a "lion, like sister." I was more than happy to oblige. Unfortunately, the little miss was sick with an ear infection and refused to let me put her in her costume.
Ephraim liked running away and hiding from me.
We went to several neighbors houses. Ephraim never got enough courage to actually say "Trick or Treat" but he did say "thank you" and loved getting candy in his bucket.

Monday, January 03, 2011