Our lives this past year
Is the newest addition to our family, and is already 13 months old! I don't know where the time went! Joseph has been our little miracle baby and has been a huge blessing to our family! Both Joe and I felt during my pregnancy that this baby was going to be ok. We weren't sure that he wouldn't have CF but we both had a feeling of peace that whatever happened, everything would work out according to God's plan. Thankfully our sweet baby boy has been blessed with exceptional good health. He is incredibly intelligent!! I like to think that part of that is because of the natural birth I was blessed to be able to have with him as well as the nursing that finally worked out this time. He was walking everywhere at 10 months and lets us know in fun little ways that he knows what we are talking about.
I know he is meant to be here now, every aspect of his life has been one miracle after another. His sisters adore him, especially Hannah. Joyli gets a little irritated by him sometimes and definitely has some jealousy issues but I know she really loves him too. His daddy loves having another boy around and that there isn't as much pink around the house now. :) Mommy can't get enough of her baby boy and I thank God every day for the sweet little miracle that he is!
Joyli is still her sweet spunky self. She loves Hannah and wants to do almost everything Hannah is doing, but every once in a while is determined to do things when, how she wants to do them. Her health is another miracle that we have had. She hasn't had a hospital stay in almost a year now! I have several friends who have children with CF. They do their medications and breathing treatments several times a day, every day, faithfully and their children have not been so lucky. I look at what they have to go through and the serious health issues their little children face and I am reminded at how blessed our little Joyli has been! Joyli was going to a pre-school at the elementary school but then she caught mono. At first I didn't send her to pre-school because I was worried that her immune system was down. But I've decided to keep her home for a while longer because winters and sickness are always hard for her. The sickness last so much longer for her when she does get sick. She does however still get to see her friends at church and in Joy School twice a week. I also do pre-school with her on the days she doesn't have Joy school.
Every time we have a clinic visit at the hospital they do a throat swab and about twice a year she has to get her vitamin levels and other things checked which means doing a blood draw. The blood draw is her least favorite thing but following close behind is the throat swab part of the visit and every time she ends up in tears. While we were driving up there this last time she kept saying "but I not sick!" It made me a little sad because she knows that if she's going up to the hospital she's going to be poked prodded and at the very least have a throat swab. Every time I am just sure that Joyli has been around something bad and that she is going to need a hospital stay. And every time, miraculously, her throat swab results come out beautifully. The last three visits they have said that her weight is ok but they need her to gain some more weight. I'm even supposed to count all her calories every day. This last time we went to clinic they were not happy with her weight at all. Between several tummy bugs, mono, colds, and aversion to almost all solid food she not only didn't gain weight but actually lost weight. They said we needed to do something quickly. The suggested getting her back to a speech therapist to try to help her want to eat more solid food or we needed to increase the calories of her night feeds.
It kind of drives me crazy when people look at Joyli and say something like "what do the doctors know, she definitely has plenty of weight!" The doctors know, as well as do I, that Joyli really needs to have some extra weight. First, because when she gets sick (even with a silly cold) the weight comes off incredibly fast! Second, research has shown that those with CF who are able to keep their weight at 50% BMI or higher live longer than those who don't. The extra weight protects their lungs somehow.
Hannah is still my little angel. She is such a sweetheart and I don't know what I would do without her. As much as I didn't want her to have to be a little mommy she definitely is one. She cares so much about her baby brother and jumps at the chance to do anything she can for him. She loves Joyli and is so understanding when mommy and daddy are giving Joyli attention for one of her many needs. Hannah isn't the type to yell and scream if she isn't getting enough attention. She lets us know in other ways like having accidents or telling us her tummy hurts. It's hard to tell with the latter because I know that some of the time she honestly is feeling stomach pain. We've taken Hannah to Joyli's GI doctor and he has prescribed Miralax and omeprozole every day and that has seemed to help a lot.
For about 1 1/2 years I've researched "common core" curriculum. I approached it with an open mind and sincerely searched to know the good and bad of it. The more I learned the more I disliked it. In fact the more I researched the more I realized how dangerous is and how much irreversible damage it does, even in Pre-school and Kindergarten. I have an amazingly talented sister-in-law who homeschools. I looked at her and thought “there’s no way I could do that!” I felt like I needed to ask God what He thought. But the thought of homeschooling was so overwhelming that I approached Him with the attitude of “do I have to?” Hannah started school and brought home homework every night. There was a couple of math assignments that I didn’t understand so I showed it to my mathematician husband, surely he could understand this Kindergarten math. He had no idea what they were asking for either! I went to talk to the teacher the next day (who I think is an amazing teacher by the way). I asked her “do they want this or this or that? She gave me this look sympathetic look of “who knows?!” She told me she would accept any of the solutions we had come up with. Which I thought was really nice of her, but it’s sad that even the poor, very intelligent, teacher doesn’t know what the confusing common core math book wants! There was a couple of other things that seemed a little over controlling that I also didn’t like, like the presidential fitness program. It almost seemed like a threat that if my child didn’t participate bad things would happen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for exercise! And at the time the kids and I walked everywhere we went every day. To the school and back, to the park and back. Hannah is not an overweight little girl, and I didn’t appreciate what I felt like was a “she participates or else” kind of presentation. I kept researching common core, and my sister in law kept talking to me about all the fun things her kids were doing in homeschool. She made it sound so easy and so fun! She sent me a video that talked about CCC (common core curriculum) and then I found a video of a child psychologist talking about the way it destroyed kids in Kindergarten. I knew CCC did terrible things in the older grades but I had no idea about how much damage it did just in Kindergarten. Between those 2 video’s, all the other research I had done, and my sister in law being so encouraging and inspiring, I decided I wanted to homeschool. The only thing left to do was to talk to Joe about it and then pray and ask if it’s what God wanted. Joe was very on board with me homeschooling, we both prayed about it and got very specific answers. Which I won’t share here because it was so special to me. God felt strongly on the subject. So Joe and I knew that homeschooling was right for our family.
Hannah seems to love homeschool and I LOVE it! I am having so much fun! When I imagined myself being a parent, this is what I imagined. Spending quality time with my kids learning and doing fun things together! Hannah misses her friends at school L. But we invite them over to play often and we are going to a homeschool group every week. The homeschooling group at first didn’t go well. The first time we went I found Hannah hiding under a table hugging her knees. She said the other girls wouldn’t play with her. The second time didn’t go well either. Hannah really did try to make friends but one little girl wouldn’t talk to her at all. However, the third time we went we had a break through!! Hannah I think was done trying to make friends and she went and hid in a tree. Then some sweet little girls went and talked to her! Hannah shot them down unfortunately and they went away. A few minutes later, I saw the two little girls again come back with bouquets of red, orange, yellow, and green leaves. They gave them to Hannah, I’m not sure what Hannah said to them but they went away again and Hannah was still pouting in the tree. Then these beautiful little girls came back a third time!!! Finally, Hannah stopped pouting, got out of the tree, and started playing with them. She was all smiles that day.
This picture is of our "Homeschooling room" in November. The big tree is our "thanksgiving tree". We got to put what we were thankful for on our hands/leaves. :)
Joe: Joe is doing great and working hard in school. He was invited by his professor to be in the national honors society Chi Epsilon. They are having the national conclave in SLC this year and Joe is chairman of the field trip committee. He has to prepare 6 different tours and find transportation for 300 people. I’m very proud of him! He currently has the opportunity to work helping his older brother who is handicapped. I think it’s his most favorite job that he’s ever had. I love listening to them laugh together! Joe’s church calling is working with the 12 and 13 year old boys. 99% of the time he loves it! The other 1% he is a little frustrated with their… high activity levels… ;) But every time he comes home from an activity he has a huge smile on his face.
Joe is an amazing father and husband!! Sometimes I am so depressed and overwhelmed and then he comes home from school and my sunshine is back. He bends over backwards and loses sleep trying to help me with my “to do” list and with his task list. He always makes time for all of us and the kids and I love and adore him!
|Baby in one hand and a mop in the other, that's my man!! :)|
When I found out I was pregnant I was both happily ecstatic and terrified. Something that has been important to me but has never worked out for one reason or another is breastfeeding. I tried for months and months with the girls and then gave up and pumped. I HATE pumping. I knew I couldn’t do that again. Breastfeeding was either going to have to work out with Joseph or he was getting formula. Joe and I agreed I would try for 1 month and then that was it. I got the book “The womanly art of breastfeeding” by the La Leche League. I love that book because it put everything together for me so that it all finally made sense. The book was talking about how epidurals can make the baby very sleepy. That was a HUGE problem with my girls. I tried EVERYTHING to keep them away while nursing and nothing was very effective. My girls were also 3 weeks early and now I know that even though the Dr.s consider that full term those 3 weeks are very important in a babies development. The book suggested natural childbirth. I just about threw the book away when I read that. Natural childbirth NO WAY! I’m not stupid! Why be in pain when I don’t have to be?! But I kept reading and the more I read, I knew it made sense. The suggested different ways like Lamaze, and Hypnobirthing, and others, but the one I chose was “The Bradley Method of Husband-Coached Childbirth”. I loved having the idea of Joe being my coach. I decided to go to the classes and if they could talk me into going through with a natural childbirth then I would. I loved my teacher and I loved the information that I learned! If anybody is interested in the birth story let me know and I’ll send it to you. But right now I’ll just say it was one of the best experiences I have ever had!!! Joseph is 13 months old and we are both still loving nursing!
I loved it so much I decided that I wanted to teach too! My teacher had so many couples in her classes and I know she had to turn some of them away. Becoming a teacher was a pretty large monetary investment because there wasn’t any training classes in Utah. We both prayed about it and felt like this was a good thing for me to do. After I came back from the training I felt a little overwhelmed by how to get started. But I’m determined to finally get started. Feb 20 will be my first class and hopefully I’ll have some couples to teach! J
My church calling right now is Primary secretary. I never knew how busy secretaries were! I am overwhelmed sometimes but I think the kids are adorable and I love being around them!
I've been feeling like a mean mommy lately. So I asked for help from "Families First" again. The lady who came a few years ago helped all of us immensely!! Basically, they come in and just watch, then they give help where ever they can. They help me learn how to parent and discipline/teach effectively without hurting my children's self esteems. My girls are already happier and more obedient with them being here. I told them that trying to keep things organized is a big stress for me. Joyli's medical supplies were not very organized. This is what those beautiful ladies helped me do!