Friday, December 6, 2013

Blake's Freak Accident

The injury happened on Thursday night, November 14th, around 5 pm. Blake and I were in the kitchen and he had a little, soft plastic, almost soccer ball sized ball, he was playing with and kicking around. I turned my back to turn on the oven and start dinner, and he somehow stepped on the ball and fell. I didn't see what happened, but based on the research I've done and how the ball was placed, I believe he went to kick it (or move it out from under the dishwasher edge with his foot), ended up stepping on it, and then his foot slid off. While his foot stayed stationary on the ground, his knee to his hip kept moving and the tension snapped the bone.

When he fell and cried, and I saw him, my first thought was "oh my gosh, he just broke his leg!" But then I quickly shot that thought down, thinking it was ridiculous and probably just dislocated. Little did I know that I was wrong.     I moved his leg around, trying to get a feel for the injury, and I quickly realized that something was disconnected. I still thought maybe it was dislocated at the hip. I even tried to have him stand up, but he wouldn't put any weight on it at all. His leg was totally floppy and when he laid down with his legs tucked near his tummy, the injured side went a weird direction. I could also feel something moving around abnormally.
Waiting to be admitted to the E.R.
Waiting to be admitted to the E.R.
My husband, Scott was gone at work, so I called our friend down the street who is in his class at Chiropractic school. They are both graduating in a couple weeks. I told his wife to send him over immediately to check and see if I should take Blake to the doctor. When he got here, he moved Blake's leg around for a second and said something was weird with his knee and that I ought to take him to the ER. Since Scott was thirty minutes away, he met us at the hospital. It's truly amazing how calm Blake was for the injury he sustained!! He calmed down a bit in the car and then snuggled up in Scott's lap while we were waiting at the ER. He didn't like being poked and moved, for obvious reasons, when they checked vitals, but then he changed into a new person after getting some Motrin. He became totally happy, cheerful, and was waving at and talking to all the nurses walking by (we were on a bed in the hall of the ER since there were no rooms open). I told Scott I felt silly and probably should have just given him pain meds and put him to bed.
Snuggling with his bears the next morning.
Snuggling with his bears the next morning.

After waiting for an hour or two, they finally took some X-rays and read the results. When the doctor came by with the results, she said "I have something to show you" and the nurse passing by gave a terrible face. I told her it was a bad face and she said "I'm so sorry, we're getting a room ready for you guys." The second the image popped on the screen, 5 or 6 feet away from us, both Scott and I gasped and were instantly in shock. I was literally speechless and couldn't pick my jaw up off the ground. The break in his femur was that clear. The pediatric orthopedic surgeon was called in immediately and came to talk to us. She asked some tough questions and was pretty cold with us. They said they had to cast it immediately and it would be from his tummy to ankle on the affected side, and tummy to knee on the unaffected side. For 5 weeks.
A wagon ride to find some toys in the hospital.
A wagon ride to find some toys in the hospital.

Since Blake hadn't eaten since lunch, they decided to hurry him to Surgery to do the procedure. He could tell something was wrong because he started freaking out and crying, and because we made him lay down on the bed and it was probably very painful. Once we were in a room, they had to put an IV in his hand. The casting process is considered surgery because they had to put him under General Anesthesia, though they did not make any incisions. Getting an IV in his hand was particularly difficult for me and I did my best to snuggle him, hold him down, and sing primary songs while they did it. It was all I could do to not cry too. He didn't calm down at all from the time they laid him down on the bed (just after giving us the news) until he was under drugs (an hour later), aside from the brief moments that Scott had his hands on his head, giving him a Priesthood blessing. During the blessing he was completely still and quiet. Then when the blessing was over, he started crying again.
The first smile we got out of him, just before lunch time at the hospital.
The first smile we got out of him, just before lunch time at the hospital.
Wheeling him to the O.R. was like walking in a doctor show. All the hallways, all the big signs saying "only surgery scrubs past this point", and then a team of doctors waiting in the hall just in front of the double swinging doors. The doctors were really nice and instantly made me feel at ease. They talked us through what would happen and gave Blake some drugs that calmed him down and made him really drowsy. Then they took him in. The procedure was non invasive with no incisions. However, to set the bone they had to pull the hip and knee in the opposite direction to set it correctly and then cast it. He was under anesthesia and they had to give him heavy pain medicine. A little over an hour later we were able to see him in the recovery room.

Once he was awake and functioning well, holding down liquid, and good vitals, he was transferred to his main room for the night. He was a trooper and the nurses thought he was the coolest kid ever. They loved him. Thankfully, I had remembered to grab the blanket his Grandma had made him and his bear before leaving the house so he had those when he woke up. He was pretty sad and scared during the night and woke up several times. Nobody got much sleep. The next morning he was doing a little better. We had to wait all day at the hospital to get a special car seat for him before we could leave.
Trying to play with trains before lunch at the hospital.
Trying to play with trains before lunch at the hospital.

We finally made it home late that afternoon. I felt completely overwhelmed and emotionally on edge. Once the boys were asleep for the night, I cried and cried. I wasn't sure how I was going to manage everything with Blake in a cast, packing up to move, and taking care of normal life things as well. The first week was really rough. Blake has always been an amazing sleeper and has always gone to bed so easily. But after the traumatic events, he digressed in sleep. Lots. He woke up every night almost every half hour for over a week. He also didn't take good naps, if he even got a nap. I think he was scared, anxious, in pain, and had some bad dreams.
One of his best friend's, Julianna, right before they moved away.
One of his best friend's, Julianna, right before they moved away.

Now we are almost 3 weeks in, and things are much better! He is finally sleeping the entire night, taking good naps, and is mobile. We had to have his leg re-cast after about 10 days because the swelling went down, the cast loosened up, and the bone shifted slightly. Now he is doing great. He crawls all over the place, is starting to climb a little, and is much happier. I think he can feel that his leg is more stable and doesn't hurt anymore. We had it x-rayed again on December 3, and the doctor was very pleased with the healing. She had us schedule an appointment to remove the cast on December 20! We are thrilled and excited for many reasons, but especially since we will be moving on the 23rd and Scott's graduation is the 21st. I anticipate many more hard days ahead, especially after the cast is off, with rehabbing, learning to walk again, and building up his muscles. We can get through it though!

The prayers, support, and outpouring of love and service has truly overwhelmed me. I am so grateful for many wonderful friends who have stopped by to bring toys, coloring books, movies, treats, visits, and dinners. It has made all the difference in the world! I am so grateful to be a member of a church congregation that is so service oriented and willing to take care of each other.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Graduation Party

Today is the start of the last week of classes for Scott. 
On Thursday he is done. Complete. Fini. No more school!!!!
He still has to go to clinic until December though. But that's okay.

A couple weeks ago, Logan University had a fun little graduation party for his class. I was pretty excited to get all dressed up and have a night out. The party turned out being really cool! It was downtown at this neat reception building. There was a huge open floor, tables, dance floor, huge bar, and an industrial type feel with exposed piping and pillars. There were also a couple lounges with windows open that were off of the main floor. If we were to have a wedding reception again, that'd most definitely be a cool place to have it!

They served us a really nice meal and the food was actually surprisingly good. Especially the apple pie for dessert. I'm not really a straight up apple pie girl, I like struesel topping, but this one was yummy. They also served it with butter pecan ice cream. Hello, duh, what a genius idea.

Of course they had an open bar and of course we participated....with our diet cokes, non-alcoholic. The bartender looked at us weird and said "coke, diet, and sprite" when we asked for non-alch. Lotta choices, not. 

I didn't get a picture of the people at our table, but we had some fun couples. Us, the Banks, Abby and Aaron, and Vince and his wife. We had a great time chatting during the meal! Afterwards we grabbed a couple pictures with some good friends.

Kris and Jenna lived about 100 yards away from us in a different building at our apartment complex before they bought a house. We really enjoyed having neighbors close by! They're pretty much awesome.

Jaron and Meagan are some of our other favorite people. We shared a table with them at dinner. They were some of the first people we met here because they're Mormon. Jaron introduced himself on the first day of class, since Scott was wearing a BYU shirt, and they came over for Scott's birthday party a few weeks later. We sure love them!

During the evening, the DJ kept turning the music up louder and louder in an attempt to get people on the dance floor. Eventually a small group of people kinda got out and started moving a little bit. Apparently people in Scott's class know he danced, and they kept telling us to get out there. Finally we caved and whipped out a cha-cha to some techno-rap song. It was so much fun! I'm sure everyone was gawking at us, but within a minute or two, the dance floor was filled! 

Some people partnered up and tried to sort of dance ballroom-y, but most of them just moved and grooved. We were pretty excited that we got the dancing started. The DJ played a couple good songs to dance to at first, but then once people were out there, he changed the music to bumping and grinding junk. I was pretty bummed. A little while later he started playing more classics stuff, so it wasn't completely bad. 

We had such a blast dancing together. We don't get to do that very often anymore, and we've certainly lost tons of skill and talent, but we still enjoy it. Even though my feet were killing me (yes, I was ballrooming in 4.5 inch heels), I didn't want to stop. We also had a fun time giggling at with a married couple that was seriously enjoying each other on the dance floor. The husband was very handsy. I think they were also a little tipsy.

They also had a photo booth set up, so we took a couple reels. It was my first time in a photo booth! I didn't really know what to do, but the pictures we got turned out super cute. We had such a fun night, though we really missed some of our other friends in Scott's class that couldn't be there.

I can't believe this journey is almost over. When I think about leaving I start getting a little choked up. I have loved every second of this adventure, especially the amazing people we have met. I'm excited to move on to the next chapter, but I will always have a big piece of my heart in St. Louis.

...especially if the Cards win the World Series again this year....

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gluten free update, Labor Day, and NEWS!

We've made it over a week without gluten!

It's been tough, but also easier than I expected. I've realized that far more foods than I thought don't have wheat. It's pretty exciting. Now if only I would not overcompensate by eating the entire XXL bag of peanut m&m's or the whole carton of chocolate ice cream, I might lose those 15 pounds that lady talked about...

The hardest day was Saturday. I made these amazing S'mores bars for a BBQ with some friends. I did not eat one. single. bite. Not one lick of dough. Not one corner on a spoon (that's my way of "tasting"...with the biggest spoon possible). Not even a taste test to make sure they turned out alright. Proud of myself is a bit of an understatement...

Then on Labor Day our ward did a 5k fun run and breakfast. Of course we have connections to St. Louis Bread Co. and they brought in 200 fresh bagels. Cinnamon sugar bagel? My favorite. Did I have one? No. Instead, I filled my plate with fresh fruit and a gogurt after I killed it in the race. I ran with my running bud Leia and we finished in 28:06! Woot woot.

Speaking of Leia, I wanted to announce that I'm joining her food blog! We are so excited about this new endeavor and have lots of delicious posts planned. Jump over to: to see what's up! I'll be posting all my favorite recipes, new and old, there, and keep this blog as more of a family update and ramble blog.

Happy Wednesday, friends! Eat some chocolate chip cookies for me!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wheat free for 2 weeks!

Last week my hubby came home from school and dropped a bombshell:

"I think we should try eating a wheat-free diet for two weeks."

Say, what!? After further conversation and investigation, I found that his nutrition teacher at school shared some interesting information about wheat and gluten in general. She commented that when people came to her with problems and issues, one of the first things she would do was recommend was a wheat-free diet for two weeks. Typically, if the people followed the diet, they saw a weight loss of around 15 pounds and came back happier, healthier, and with more energy. Not too mention every person said how great they felt.

Both Scott and I agreed those perks sounded pretty good and that two weeks really isn't very long, so we should try it. What do we have to lose?

I knew that in order for this to be successful, I would have to make a meal plan far in advance that included breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, in addition to the normal dinner meal plan I usually make.

Today, August 26, is day 1 of two weeks. I'm hoping everything goes successfully and that we are able to really stick to this! Once I started thinking and meal planning, I realized there are tons of things I can make that are not weird, foreign, or difficult, but are wheat-free. If I focus on the things I CAN have, versus what I cannot, I'll be much better off.

One of the hardest things will be to include Blake on this. It's so easy for me to give him a piece of toast or cook a tortilla if he isn't happy with what we're eating. But, he can benefit just as much as us, and it will be good for him to have to try new things. He does love nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, and several veggies, so I'm hoping he won't be too difficult!

To really illustrate the way we plan to eat, here is a lovely shot of my meal plan for this week!

Next week I'm going to try making zucchini lasagna and I'm including some brown rice spaghetti as well. Ever had those noodles from Trader Joe's? So good!

I also want to decrease my sugar and chocolate intake as much as possible, so I'm trying to do that as well. However, we are definitely not to the point of eliminating cheese, dairy, grains, etc etc and going all out Paleo. We like to keep it simple here and try one thing at a time. 

If you have a favorite wheat/gluten-free recipe you love, feel free to share!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dog Attack and Sideways Blessings

First of all, I cannot get over this weather we are having. In AUGUST! I have lived in the Midwest most of my life and I don't ever, ever, ever, remember a summer that was too COLD to go swimming, in the middle of August. Not too mention sleeping with windows open? It is truly bizarre to me. But nevertheless, I am loving it!!!

So recently, our sweet little shihapoo dog, Kaiya, was attacked at a school playground. Fortunately, no kids were involved. Unfortunately she sustained at least three wounds. Basically it went down like this:

Van pulls up. Lady and four huge dogs get out. I ask my friend "will your son be able to hold Kaiya back from trying to bolt for the dogs?" we agreed that he could. We shouldn't have worried about that scenario. As soon as the big dogs heard and saw my little one, they bolted across the parking lot and attacked her. Biting, tackling, claws, etc. There was lots of yipping, screeching, barking, and growling.

Luckily, my friend and I were not too far away. We bolted over to the dogs as fast as possible. However, I felt very much in slow motion despite the fact I was running full speed. We were able to pull the dogs apart very quickly and I held them back until their owner made it over to us.

In that moment, all I could think about was "get my dog off the ground and to safety!" I didn't even think about the possibility of myself or my friend getting bit. When it was over, the owner asked if Kaiya was alright. Of course I had absolutely no idea, so I sort of nodded and said I thought so. She said her leash had broken and she was sorry. Then she left and we left.

My poor dog did not want to walk so I set her in the stroller. It took awhile for both my friend and I to stop shaking and calm down. We replayed the experience over several times as we walked around the track. Then we watched as the van left. Shortly later we realized we had not bothered to ask her name, phone number, license plate or anything. Dumb.

When I got home, I bathed my dog and checked her over the best I could. I found a small puncture wound on her chest and thought that was it. The rest of the day she barely moved and acted completely scared of everything. I kept thinking there was something else wrong, but we couldn't see anything. After our date that night, we found a small matted bit of hair on her back. When we cut it off and brushed through it, we realized there was a sizable gash wound that looked pretty yucky. I called the vet at 10:30 pm and was able to get a 6 am appointment the next morning. Luckily they just washed the wounds, gave her a shot for pain, and prescribed some medicine. Unluckily it cost over $100.

Then a small miracle occurred.

On Monday morning, my friend and I went back to the location to walk again. Despite my anger, frustration, and annoyance, I had decided to let the incident go and come to terms with the fact that we had to shell out some cash to help our pup. Just as we finished our walk, the van drove up. I was shocked. I knew I needed to talk to the lady, but I wasn't sure what to say. I ran up and mumble jumbled for a minute before I asked the backgrounds of her dogs and if they'd been vaccinated. She then asked how my dog was and I told her the injuries sustained and the trip to the vet. She asked how much it cost and then immediately offered to pay the bill. In fact, she was very direct in saying "here is my address, mail me the bill and I'll mail you a check." 

In our conversation she expressed her gratitude that my friend and I were able to pull the dogs apart so quickly. She had a knee replacement and was unable to run, much less walk quickly. She couldn't believe her dog had attacked as she had never shown that aggression before. She told me some more information about her dog and expressed her sadness that nobody would ever adopt her because she was difficult and had too much energy. She was very kind and very apologetic. Completely different than the person I had created in my mind for her to be.

As I drove home I became completely absorbed in the lessons I had just learned:

-I had harshly judged this lady for doing "nothing" when I had no idea she couldn't move because of her knee. Boy, was I humbled.
-There is a God watching over us who is very keenly aware of our needs.
-When approaching a confrontation calmly and without hostility, good things typically happen
-Sometimes God gives us what my mom calls "sideways blessings", or events that transpire to teach important lessons and lead to decisions that need to be adapted.

We had already decided to give up our dog so we could move, but I never felt settled about it. The Sunday before this event happened, a family met her and offered to adopt her. I asked some tough questions to be sure they were the right fit. That Friday the attack happened. Both my husband and I agreed that she was part of our family and that despite how necessary it looks on paper for her to leave, we would do everything in our power to keep her.

I believe that oftentimes God wants us to make decisions and move forward with those decisions before He decides to intervene if what we've decided is incorrect. I believe everything happens for a reason and that nothing is coincidental. I have certainly seen a great presence of God's hand in our lives these past few weeks. We are in the middle of making life changing decisions and I know, without a doubt, that He is helping us along, even if we might not notice until we look back in hindsight.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

5 years ago...

5 years.

-Two bachelor degrees from BYU
-One bachelors from Logan Chiropratic
-One almost Doctorate from Logan Chiropratic
-Two states
-Two baby boys
-One crazy dog
-4 cars
-4 apartments
-2 states
-A roller coaster of trials and tribulations
-An abundance of the most incredible blessings we could ever have imagined
-A few arguments and a whole lot of LOVE

I can't believe we've been married for 5 years! It seems like just yesterday that we had our first kiss and were engaged a few months later. It has been the most incredible, beautiful, at times difficult, but most rewarding 5 years I've ever experienced. I love him more today than ever before. He is my best friend. My soul mate. My eternal companion. I couldn't be happier!!!

Happy Anniversary Babe!

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Running Quirks

I went on my first real run post-baby two days ago.
Despite being on a treadmill, it was glorious.
The day before that, I ran a 1/4 mile lap on a track outside. It restored my confidence in being able to run again.
When I stepped on the treadmill and punched the button up to 5.0 mph, a surge of joy bolted through my body. "Back in the saddle. Just like riding a bike." I thought. I was able to keep that pace for 5 straight minutes before taking a walking break. Then I ran again. Then walked. For 30 minutes. I loved every last second.

One reason I was on a treadmill was to test out my new kicks.
My current shoes are well broken in and very beloved, so it was a tough comparison to run with something foreign. I was very aware and cognizant of the 8 oz. of rubber and fabric attached to my feet while trying to maintain a 6.0 mph pace for 60 seconds. Not easy. I'll get there.

The second reason I was on a treadmill was the heat and humidity at 2 pm. I'm definitely a 70 degrees and below runner. 85, humid, and sunny is just not a good combination for me.

In celebration of completing my first official run, and after reading a fun article in Runner's World, I thought I'd share some of my personal running quirks. These stem from my training last summer for my first half marathon.

Before every run longer than 5 miles:
-Eat a piece of whole wheat toast covered in peanut butter, and a banana.
-Do 50 jumping jacks, 50 crunches, 10 push ups.
-Lightly stretch my hammies, quads, calfs
-Leg swings front and back, side to side
-Stash my key in my shorts pocket. Double check for key. Check again before running. Check again during workout. Check again during water break. (Can you tell I lost a key once on a run in very large city park?)

During the run:
-I always wear my hair in a pony tail with a rubber headband. If it's below 55 degrees, I cover my ears with a cotton headband.
-Wave, nod, smile or "good morning" when passing other runners
-Motivate myself by obsessively thinking about what I'm going to eat when I get home (waffles, pancakes, eggs, pizza, chocolate milk)
-When I'm tired I set goals to reach: "make it to that tree. Make it to that bench. Make it to that house. Make it to the stop light." After every landmark I reach, I make a new one.
-Uphills I run 100% on my toes. Downhill I try to just lightly hit my heels.

Post run:
-Gatorade if it's longer than 8 miles
-Lots and lots and lots of water.
-Stretch and roll my IT bands
-Eat. And eat. And eat some more (after long runs).
-Obsess over my lap times, overall time, average speed, and fastest mile on MapMyRun

I know I'm just a beginner runner. I still have yet to experience many of the real highs and lows of running. But I know I love it. It hurts so good and makes me feel like I accomplished something. I'm thrilled to start running consistently in the mornings and get into the nitty gritty of race training again!!

The best part? After 11 weeks post baby, I finally feel like myself again. Thank goodness!