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.