Wednesday, November 19, 2008


These are just some recent pics of my favorite men...


I am finally going to write about halloween and some other events. With all that has been going on I don't know if I will even remember any details!! Mom has been in town a lot the last couple of months. Mostly for good things and recently for something not so great, I will expound later. She came up conference weekend, I can't remember what for, but we had so much fun! We watched some of conference together and Ethan enjoyed wearing grandma's glasses. Then on Halloween weekend for my uncle Carl's wedding. We had fun seeing all of the fam at the wedding. On both of the weekends we got to spend the day at Candice's on the Mondays before mom went home. It is so nice to spend time with mom and I can't wait till she can move up here to Utah for good! On the monday after halloween the kids made Playdough cookies. We got this bright colored cookie dough from a school fund raiser and they all split it up and made lots of cute cookies :) Thanks to grandma for helping them out! Laura was sick and Candice and I are just really pregnant and tired, so it was left to grandma and rachel to do most of the dirty work!
Jay's mom always makes halloween special. We had a crazy day, as you can tell from our last post. After the test we went to grandma Esme's party at cyprus and had pizza. Jayden played with Diego and Ethan stayed with grandma most of the time. Then we went to Jana's work to trick or treat. She works for Zions bank in these two big corporate offices. Jayden charmed the ladies. We had him saying thank you to the people who gave him candy and at this one area we tried to prompt him to thank a group of ladies by asking "what do you say?". He said "yummy". We all had a good laugh. This is the first year he has really seemed to understand what is going on. He REALLY enjoyed picking out candy. He seemed giddy with excitement, it was so cute. He would also stop for the longest time to look at all of the decorations people put up in their cubicles. I enjoyed watching him have a good time.

We went home and rested for just a little while and then went to the trunk or treat for our ward. We didn't stay long, because the boys weren't interested anymore. They had probably already had too much candy. In fact, Jayden was so hyperactive, I couldn't get him to focus long enough to say trick or treat. He had plenty of candy anyway, so we just left.
We finally made it to Grandma's party at crystal's house. She made special mummy pigs in blankets. Jayden loved being bumblebee for halloween. We were afraid that he would not be willing to wear the mask, but he had it on almost all day. In fact, if people asked him to "transform" he had to go get the mask and put it on before he would do it. Ethan wore his mane for most of the day too. He is so cute, he will do this little quiet roar (when he feels like it) He is more reserved and shy than Jayden at his age. If he doesn't want to tell us his name or "perform" he just says no over and over to our requests. He is patient too. He doesn't get all frustrated as we keep asking, he just smiles and says no again :). David put on Carl's Chewbacca costume and scared the trick or treaters and then he played with Sadee and Jayden the rest of the night. He got sleeping bags for them and let them attack him and roll him all over the place. They had lots of fun with him!

Jay was a little disappointed in Halloween this year because with all of the craziness, he didn't get to dress up. This is the first year in a LONG time that he didn't. Then, they didn't have any of his favorite horror flicks on tv. Not to mention, we were worn out after our crazy week. I guess he'll have to settle for watching Jayden and Ethan have fun for this year :)... We'll make up for the rest next year.

One other recent event for us was Ethan's Birthday party. He likes cars and hats best, so we made him a big race track cake.
Thanks again to Laura for helping make it cute!! He loved all of the fun toys and games from everyone. He got fun cars jammies, a shape sorter, books, dinosaurs, a bunch of trucks and tractors that light up and make noise, and some transformer fighters (jayden took the dinosaurs and transformers off his hands :) What a nice brother!) I think the hit of the party were the Hats from grandma milligan. If you have seen how often he has that orange hard hat on in his pictures, you have an idea how much he LOVES hats. Grandma milligan found tons of different hats for him and all of the kids enjoyed trying them on. Since that day, Ethan has played with them a lot! My favorite, is the knight hat, because of the way that ethan likes to wear it. (see pics below :) We are very grateful to everyone for coming and making it such a fun evening for us.

Now on to our less fun times. About a week ago, Grandpa Jensen went in for a surgery. He has had bladder cancer for years now, and finally several months ago was told that it had progressed and there were no more treatments they could do for him. The surgery was supposed to make him more comfortable for the rest of his life. We were all really worried at first while he was still in the ICU. They finally moved him into a regular room and everyone reported that he seemed to be slowly getting better. We have had so much sickness in our house that I didn't dare go to see him. Sunday, Jana and Rachel went to see him and he had been suffering from terrible heartburn. His kidney stopped working and they put him in a wheelchair to take him for an ultrasound to see what was wrong. In the elevator, he suffered a massive heart attack. Uncle Glen was there with him and said that when they called code blue fifteen doctors and medical personal immediately showed up and did all they could for him... He could tell grandpa was gone at that first moment. They did rescuscitate him and put him on life support, but he never regained consciousness. We all gathered at the hospital as quickly as we could, they were going to keep him on life support, but didn't know if he would even make it till my mom arrived from Nevada. When we got there, I went in for a minute to say goodbye. It was so nice to be able to at least hold his hand. There were so many of us there, crowded into our waiting room, we took turns going in to see grandpa. We waited for seemingly forever and finally mom arrived. They took all of his children into a room to finalize paperwork to let him go. While they were gone all of the cousins there stood around grandpa reminiscing about our childhoods with this wonderful man. All of our funny memories of him threatening to pull out his yardstick, car trips, camping, sleepovers at grandpa's house, and remembering "whose we are." Those were precious moments. Then they slowly cut down the things that were supporting his life, and he slipped away from us. It's weird, we are all so sad to see him go, but those are some of the best memories I have had with the family in a long time. Life has kept us all so busy that we slowly drift apart from those we love. In those moments, I felt swelling within me all of the love we shared as children, and I felt close to all of them as ever. I think we all felt the strength of our family bonds in our moment of grief.

We were really close to the Jensen's and I have millions of memories of our times as children. Tons of holidays and everydays at grandpa's playing in the back yard on the swing set, baseball and other games. Christmas eves with caroling and acting out the nativity story, and putting on our new jammies to show them off. Crowding in every room of the house for christmas and thanksgiving dinner. It was so fun to be a "big kid" and get to eat in the den or the basement away from all of the grown ups :). LOTS of delicious food. The best turkey, potatoes and rolls at thanksgiving, stuffed cabbage for christmas eve, and bbq'd sanpete turkey for mother's day. Grandma and grandpa always knew how to make everything the best!

Of course, I cannot forget the cabin. Spending days going up and down the mountain to the big rock and floating "boats" down the stream. The smell of coffee and bacon in the morning. Throwing rocks off the road. Riding in the back of glen's big green truck in the rain to get down to the cabin. Staring out over the valley at the beauty of the mountains. Camp fires and sleeping outside, hikes with grandma and the aunts, and poker games, all kinds of games. Barbecues and leaf raking days. I LOVED jumping in those piles of leaves and stomping on them to pack them into the trash can. Watching grandma bounce the babies on her knee and sing songs to them. Those were such carefree times, and we all felt loved by our grandparents.
Then, in my rocky teenage years, he was forced to allow me to live with him for 18 months. He attempted to give me direction. Though I often hated him for different things at that time, we somehow developed a strong bond and affection. I learned how much he loved my grandma and some other things about life.

I got one more opportunity to live with him in the year before my mission. It was so awesome to watch how well he took care of my grandma and how much he cherished her. Those were golden times for me as well. The last I would spend in this life with my dear grandma. Though I didn't know she would die, I cherished those months because I knew somehow, that I would never have a chance like that again. I enjoyed so much just sitting around talking to them. I can't even remember what we talked about, just the good feelings I felt.

He could be a cantankerous old man, and sometimes I was upset by the bold way he said things. But I did always know that he loved me. I am thankful for the times we had. I am thankful for the joy I am sure he feels now being reunited with grandma and uncle Jerry. I am thankful that he didn't have to suffer a slow and painful death with his cancer. I am sad for us, but I know that everything in our lives is part of an elaborate plan to help all of us return to Heavenly Father. He stuck around long enough to help Janet after the tragic and untimely death of uncle Jerry. She mentioned how much it had meant to her that grandpa was there to support to her. Her parents were on a mission and she still had several young boys who suddenly were without their father. It has been three years since then, and recently Janet was blessed to meet a wonderful man. He can share the rest of her earthly existence and help her to teach her boys how to be great men like Jerry was. Grandpa has missed grandma and Jerry so terribly, but he stayed and fulfilled his responsibilities. Now, he is free from the limitations and discomfort of old age and I can just imagine him with his huge boyish smile, leaping for joy and running to see all of his cherished family and friends. With that happy picture, I feel some relief from my sadness. We are blessed to know that this life is just a blink compared to the joy that stretches out over eternity. And that we will all be reunited with our love ones who we miss so much.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I cannot believe how fast the months pass! I'm going to start with just some random stuff and then talk about our last couple of weeks and HALLOWEEN! The boys had so much fun with their play dough that grandpa bought them. Last month I played with them, and this month daddy got a chance to. He was much better at making realistic looking robots. He made Jayden an optimus prime that looked pretty convincing and even got it to transform for him. I wish I had taken still pics of it. I just got it on our camcorder.
My favorite Jayden quote for the month is this. He and daddy were talking about Jesus and he said: "Jesus is nice, he not bite me." He has also used this statement to describe daddy. (He is sometimes scared of animals, and I assume he got it from us telling him that our friends and family's dogs are nice. Who knows?) Ethan continues to string longer and longer sentences. His record that I know of is eight words. He said: "I don wan go nigh nigh, I wan car!" He got a little tikes car for his early birthday present. (We wanted him to be able to use it before the weather got too cold.) He is obsessed with it! He spends a lot of time in it and doesn't like it too much when other kids want to share it :) My favorite thing Ethan says it "okay" "I don wan to, okay?" It is so cute! :)
Speaking of Ethan, we have had a pretty busy couple of weeks with him. He has sure had a lot of struggles in his little life. He was born prematurely, and spent a couple of weeks in the hospital after birth. Then was again at primaries three months later with the flu and struggled with lots of ear infections and minor things like that throughout his first year. He seemed to continually fall behind in physical things and eventually seemed to almost stop moving around at all. We were concerned and found out it was just an iron deficiency problem that was easily fixed. Early this year he had a surgery on his eyes to help strengthen the muscles so they wouldn't drift and cross. After the surgery, we had hopes that he would leap forward developmentally and would have no more difficulties. The surgery did cause some miraculous changes and Ethan seemed to see better. This caused such an improvement in him, he seemed like he was seeing the world for the first time! However, in the months since then, he hasn't had some of the physical improvements we had hoped for. My doctor was concerned and advised that we have him checked again by a state program that helps special needs children. He met with a physical therapist and a pediatric neurospecialist of some kind. We had met with them the year before, and at that time they seemed less concerned. We had discovered his iron deficiency problem around the same time, and assumed that maybe that was linked to all of his delays. I left feeling incredibly relieved that there was nothing serious wrong.
My second meeting with them was a couple of weeks ago. They basically play with him to assess his gross and fine motor skills and look for possible problems. They called him globally delayed meaning he is delayed in many areas of both gross and fine motor skills. And worse, in the course of their assessment, they think he might have had a minor seizure. The physical therapist was AWESOME, and she had him laughing and totally at ease with her. All of the sudden in the middle of engaging with her, he just blanked out for like ten seconds. I probably wouldn't have noticed it, but they both got very attentive. And admittedly it was strange just because he was in the middle of playing and having fun. They were also concerned with the fact that he shakes a lot and some other things, so they advised that we have him take a couple of tests and see a neurologist. It was pretty troubling to hear that. I went expecting just to ease mine and my doctor's worries about him.
I have to say that I am grateful for these two people. They spent nearly two hours with him and seemed to care so much about his well being. In fact, the physical therapist said that he needed a walker to strengthen his legs. She called around and found me a used one so that I didn't have to pay for it through my insurance. And she had it to me in only two days! There are just so many great people in this world! The man who gave me the walker runs a foundation to provide equipment to special needs kids. He does it in memory of his son who died 5 years ago. He had to make his son's equipment when he was alive, because they couldn't afford to buy it. So he helps other children in his same situation. What a great guy huh?
The night after the MRI, Ethan wasn't very happy...:(
Jayden liked that we went and bought Shakes!

Last thursday, the 30th we starved him so he could be sedated and took him in for his MRI. It was a little scary, but everything went well. They told us to expect him to be grouchy when he woke up, but he was actually just acting very silly. He was totally cracking us up! He would try to hold himself in a sitting position with his head bobbing up and down. We would lean him back against his bed and he'd shake his head back and forth and laugh a groggy little laugh. Then he would slide sideways because he couldn't even sit up leaned against the bed for support. He tried to hold his graham cracker and eat it himself. He dropped it and didn't notice, then tried to take another bite with nothing in his hand. Hitting his mouth to take a bite was another hilarious difficulty for him. And when he talked to us he'd use this silly voice, all high pitched and excited. He seemed to think everything was very funny. I hate to use this comparison, but he almost seemed like a very happy drunk. :) Unfortunately, later in the day he wasn't so happy, but it was fun while it lasted. He was still VERY GROGGY all day because it takes 24 hours for the drugs to completely wear off. The one big problem with this was that he had an EEG the next day. We had to keep him up two hours late and wake him up two hours early so he would be sleep deprived. Jay took late night duty which was pretty difficult toward the end. I had the easier early wake up, but the worst part was keeping him awake during the car ride to the hospital! That test was fast and easy and we got some pictures of him with all of the wires stuck to his head. He basically just slept during that test too. After that we let him nap for a couple of hours before doing all of our Halloween activities.(I'll do a separate blog about halloween) It was a REALLY LONG day, but we were glad the tests were over with.
Here he is getting all ready for his EEG!

Today we finally got the results. The eeg came back showing nothing which was really good. And it doesn't look like he is having seizures either. But the MRI showed a problem. We will be seeing the neurologist tomorrow, but this is what my pediatrician told me. He has something called periventricular leukomalatia? He is basically missing some of the white matter in his brain. This is usually caused by bleeding in the brain at birth, and usually only happens to premature infants. Luckily, in ethan's case there was only a little bit of bleeding, which means there is less damage than there could have been. So after all of that medical stuff, it basically means he has a mild case of cerebral palsy. The good thing is that though it will never go away, it will also not get worse. With therapy, she said they can train his brain to compensate for his weaknesses.
I was a little overwhelmed when she told me, even though I had been trying to prepare myself for it. My mother in law knew that is what they were testing for, so I at least knew that was a possibility. I am not trying to complain. I am very happy that it is not anything life threatening or degenerative. And I would feel silly complaining because I know that this trial is NOTHING compared to what millions of other kids and their families go through. Also, I have faith that the Lord only gives us the trials that we need and that will help us to reach our eternal destiny.
In fact, one of my favorite quotes is one my mom shared with me from a talk Elder James E Faust gave. It says: "President Brigham Young offered this profound insight that at least some of our suffering has a purpose when he said: "Every calamity that can come upon mortal beings will be suffered to come upon the few, to prepare them to enjoy the presence of the Lord... Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation." Knowing about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the plan of Happiness, brings endless comfort and peace into my life. In addition, I am thankful to be in this country where he can get the help that he needs. In spite of all of the craziness in our government, I still think we live in the greatest country in the world. We are very blessed.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Our busy Month.

In this email I am going to write about random stuff we did last month. Again, let me warn you, I will probably be long winded and boring. While I love to keep people posted, my principle reason for this blog is for my own benefit and for my kids... It is a much easier and more fun way for me to keep a journal. With that said, here goes...
The thing I am most thankful for in this last month is Jay. The beginning of this pregnancy was very difficult for me. I felt sick ALL OF THE TIME and barely wanted to get off the couch! Needless to say, my house looked pretty much unlivable by the end of those months. I have tried to get on top of things since then, but with little result. I get tired so easily and felt that it took me all day to do one project on top of all of the care my children need. So in the end, I never got on top of it all. Jay was my knight in shining armor once again! We bought several things to help us get organized once and for all. Then, he spent a weekend going through our entire house with me. He did all of the dirty work, like mopping and the bathroom stuff, not to mention LOTS of picking up and vacuuming. He helped me go through everything and get rid of a lot of it! I love going through things with Jay. I am more of a pack rat, and am prone to keep a lot more without his help. He helps me to prioritize and REALLY think about if we need things. And 99.9% of the time, I am not sorry later that I didn't keep something "just in case". So after a car load of DI stuff and a couple cans full of trash were hauled out of here it was looking AMAZING! We set up a routine and have been able to stick with it. So every night (almost :) I have the dishes done when I go to bed and Jay sweeps the kitchen and helps the boys pick up their toys and books. It feels so good to have order in our house! It is so much easier to keep up than to catch up. I feel so free to do things for myself and the boys without guilt of what I should be doing around the house. It is the best gift I have gotten possibly ever! It has improved my life so much. Thanks Jay, for always being there for me, and going the extra mile to take care of us.
As a result of this great change in our house, the boys and I had such a fun month! We played outside A Lot, because the weather was so pleasant. During the hotter months, I would always make them wait till evening, when our tree was shading the yard, and I would tell them it was too hot during the day. Every time we went outside this month, Jayden excitedly exclaimed "It's not too hot!" They LOVE to play in the dirt and get covered in it! We have "garden" areas in our front yard. They are mostly empty, so I let them dig in them, and this year they got a sandbox that they love as well. They also like to ride their bikes, run around the lawn and throw the ball at mommy. Jayden loves to jump off our front step too. It is so cute! He loves to discover new things he knows how to do and his only frustration seems to come when he can't do something himself yet. He is very independent. He wants to be able to do everything!(without help of course) Yesterday, on one of the tv shows he was watching, they were hopping on one foot. He was so upset that he couldn't do it too and kept trying until he felt he had done it.(he held on to the couch :)
Some other fun activities we have done a lot this month were painting, coloring with sidewalk chalk, and bubbles. And thanks to grandpa Turpin, they got their first experience with play dough too! Jayden loves to color with crayons, but Ethan has an easier time with paints so we do that more often. When he gets tired of his brush he can just use his fingers, and he really likes that. They didn't know what to do with the play dough at first, but after I showed them that they could make snakes and roll it into a ball, they started getting into it. Jayden broke one of his "snakes" and was very upset about it, but I showed him how he could mush it all together and start over, then his creativity took off. He made these three "robots" all by himself! (I called them monsters and he corrected me) I made the eyes and mouths for him, but he put them on too. Then, we made an optimus prime truck (I made the truck, Jayden made the trailer), and many other creations, we played for hours. Of course, Ethan had to have a hat, we'll go more into that later...
Jayden's red letter moment was that he conquered his thumb habit! We went to the dentist last month and he said that he could already see the effects of his thumb and suggested we give him a roll of quarters and make him give us one every time he sucked his thumb. I don't know about your kids, but Jayden hasn't any interest in money yet... So we decided to try toys instead. We made a little sticker chart, he could earn a certain number of stickers based on how well he did each day. Then he got toys at certain intervals. This worked for about a week, but he had a hard time sticking with it and eventually decided he wanted his thumb more than the toys. Everything I read said you need to wait till they are ready and then help them set a goal. Most of them said to wait till they are five and explain why it is important and they will want to stop. I was a thumb sucker and my mom told me all of the reasons to stop. I didn't decide to till I was 9 or so. All of her predictions came true, but as a child I didn't care enough to stop. Because of my own experience, I decided to take things into my own hands. I researched on the internet to find the best reviewed "yucky stuff" to put on his thumb.
Fourteen bucks and a couple of days later, and it came in the mail. I immediately put it on his thumb and spent the whole afternoon wondering if I had made a mistake. He came to me the first time with his mouth wide open going "ahhh, ahhh" I suppose that was meant to mean, "my mouth tastes yucky, get me a drink please". He took drinks of water and then spit them back out trying to get rid of the taste. That didn't seem so bad, but when it was repeated 10 or 15 times I started to worry a little. He drank a lot of water that first day, but by day 2 he only put it in his mouth a three or four times and after that he was cured! We have continued to use it, just to make sure the habit sticks, but I would recommend it to anyone!!! It is just a nail polish you put on every couple of days (Mavala stop). He was so excited when he earned all of his stickers each day. And he earned his toys in no time! Now he proudly tells everyone that he doesn't suck his thumb anymore and that he's a big boy.
Of course I have to include some of the funny things he said this month... Getting him to eat is probably our biggest current challenge with Jayden. That is why this one was funny to us. He is always telling us he is full or that he doesn't want to eat his dinner. We were going to eat Sunday dinner at a birthday party for Jay's brother Felipe. Laura and Dalton are staying with us and had made their dinner and were just sitting down to eat as we prepared to leave. Jayden must have been hungry for once because he totally threw a fit. We told him we were going to eat at Felipe's party. He screamed through his tears: "I don't want to go to Felipe's, I want to eat my DINNER!"
He sometimes likes to be tickled, but half of the time he doesn't like it. One day while waiting for Jay to leave work, I was playing with them in the car. I was just reaching back and tickling them. Of course, Ethan loved it, but Jayden said, in such a polite voice. "Babies like tickles, big boys don't", and then later as I continued to tickle Ethan "Ethan likes it, I don't." Another day I touched his back for some reason and he turned to me and said in a stern voice "tickle my back again, and you'll be in trouble". On another day when Jay was playing with him, he put his foot on his tummy to tickle him. Jayden said "Step on me again and you'll be in big trouble!" I never get tired of these sweet boys. Everything they do delights me and they bring endless joy into our lives.
Ethan's greatest enjoyment comes from Hats, glasses, and cars, and more recently "wobos"(robots). He has used any number of things for a hat: his bowl or apple sauce cup after eating everything out of them, cooking pots of all sizes from small to large (it's still a hat, even if it covers his whole body!), a pop up folding hamper, plates, blankets, sand pails, you name it. He of course likes his transformer baseball hats or any hat he can find (even if someone else is wearing it, like uncle Steve). In fact, he turned a basket at aunt crystal's into a hat and now she hates it because her little Coda uses it as a hat too and gets stuck in it. Ethan's favorite is probably his orange hard hat. He is talking so well now and I am amazed how much I understand of what he says. It seems like there is a stage where you can't understand any of their jabbering. Then all of the sudden you realize that you know exactly what they said and it makes your heart leap. There is nothing like that feeling! In fact, now I understand most of his conversation, if not the first time, then after he repeats it. And He is so patient with his mommy! He calmly says phrases over and over sometimes until I get it. Those are special moments too, because the look on his face when I understand is so triumphant and so precious. I have to include some of his funny quotes too. For a while when we would ask his what his name is he would say "I'm venom."(the spiderman character) He also surprises me with the colors he knows, he will say he has a blue or red car, and the other day he had a red transformer robot and he said "red bumblebee" actually it was more like "re bublbee". I guess they have no hope of being anything but transformer fans with their father. I don't mind, they have so much fun together.
Kids just do the cutest things! I just wish I could tape all of the things they say and do, you know like on a surveillance camera or something. Even just the way they say things, or the cute faces they make communicate so much more than the words. I hope I never forget. I guess I'll just enjoy the moments now, and take in all I can. Then, I'll and hope my memory is perfected in the hereafter because it sure isn't now!
This is just a little side note, check out the hands on this boy! He is only three! I am hoping to get a picture of his hand next to his friend Zack. Zach is six months older than him, but his hands look TINY in comparison. Does that mean he'll be tall? Jay hopes so, he'd love anything that increases his chances to be a good bball player :)