Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Molly Rose

I have been needing to blog about the recent events that took place in our amazing family.




They are so significant that I don't want to forget about them. Back in the fall we found out that the baby Annalee was carrying had a significant heart defect called an interrupted arch. Annalee learned all she could about the defect and found out that it was associated with DiGeoerge Syndrome. It was hard for Annalee to think that her baby could face life threatening trials. The whole family began to pray and fast for her. Annalee found out she was having a girl and decided pretty early on that she would name her Molly Rose. We prayed for Molly by name. Annalee got a priesthood blessing the night she found out the extent of Molly's heart defect. All of the siblings spouses and cousins were there and we heard Molly's name in that blessing for the first time. It was very very spiritual. All of our hearts were softened and our love poured out to Annalee and James and their little family.
Baby shower for Annalee at Cafe Rio. Al set up Molly's tiny crib in the restaurant!

As time went on in Annalee's pregnancy, things went so smoothly. In utero, Molly was thriving. She was growing well and had a strong kick and a great heartbeat. The doctors told Annalee that once Molly took her first breath, things could change. She would not survive without immediate surgery. Doctors have a way of telling you the worst case scenarios and somehow, that it is the main thing you think about! In my mind, Molly would be lucky to survive birth. Annalee chose the date of Molly's induction opting to wait till the very last available day to keep Molly safe in her belly as long as possible. In case Molly didn't survive the birth, Annalee asked me to be there to take as many photos as I could. Molly was scheduled to be born on Monday, February 24th. That weekend we had a lot of family time to keep Annalee and James' minds occupied. I thought about wanting to watch Annalee's belly, just to see a kick or some movement so that I could witness little Molly in her element. Annalee told Denise that through her prayers, she could feel Heavenly Father giver her the strength to take on this challenge. It was like a "come what may" moment.

 Sunday night Annalee and James each got a preisthood blessing. The blessings talked about giving comfort and being strong. I explained to my kids why we were doing all of this. I told them the severity of Molly's condition and that they needed to keep her in their prayers. Every single one of the cousins seemed to have a strong faith that everything was going to be okay. Noah was sure Heavenly Father intended for Molly to pull through this. I would get weepy thinking of all of this and worrying about Molly and James and Annalee. I found myself relying on the faith of the kids to get me through. Noah told Annalee that he talked about Molly a few times at school. Once with his teacher and once with some friends. The friends decided they would all say a prayer right then and there for Molly. Annalee was very touched. TK is taking a class at BYU from a distinguished professor of religion named Dr. Parry. The day Annalee was giving birth, TK was supposed to be in his class but was excused to attend the birth. Dr. Parry had the whole class kneel down and pray for Annalee and Molly. We chuckle, "only at BYU, ha ha!" but it really was special. It felt powerful to have so many minds and hearts on Molly. We fasted and prayed so sincerely as a family for her. The kids would ask why we were crying in the prayer and I told them that when you are pleading with Heavenly Father, you feel the spirit so strong that it makes you cry. You have this humility that you are begging him for help.




As Monday came, Annalee got to the hospital early because she had actually been having contractions all night. She labored comfortably after her epidural. She was amazed that the contractions weren't painful but she could still feel her feet. When it came time to push, Annalee could actually feel that urge too. She knew it was time. I had never had that with my epidurals. As Annalee pushed through  the contractions it was a tense time. Annalee was in a lot of pain and she could feel a lot with the birth.We were all cheering her on. The nurse got right in Annalee's face to help her focus. I was sobbing, It was hard to see someone I care about int that pain. Then as Molly's head started coming into view I yelled, "she's here!!" in hopes that would alleviate Annalee's pain! Molly came out a great color and was "screaming, crying, and fighting" as the nurse said. That alone was the answer to many many prayers. Molly looked amazing! As was planned, Molly was passed through the special window from the delivery room to the ICU where she was examined and put on an IV of meds to help her heart.
Molly immediately after birth: kicking, screaming and fighting!:)

 Perfect little angel




In the days following, Molly was at Primary Children's while Annalee recovered at the adjoining University Hospital. Molly had an IV and was given tests and being monitored. She was able to nurse and was doing well. As test results came back, Molly's heart still had not grown in certain spots to ease the surgery. She also tested positive for DiGeorge Syndrome. Molly was scheduled for heart surgery to fix the hole in her hear and repair the interrupted arch. Annalee said that it somehow made her feel btter that the doctor said surgery was her only chance of survival. it made Annalee feel less bad about putting Molly through all this. Annalee also mentioned the pain she felt in delivery was meant to be. I need to ask her why, but I'm thinking she meant so that her and Molly could fight together for her precious life.

In the mean time, James had been doing all that he could to help JJ and Madi feel loved and secure. He was taking them to the zoo, bringing them to the playroom, and keeping their lives full of fun and happiness. We tried to get them together with their cousins as much as possible. Jason and Jennie kept them over for two nights in a row. It felt so good to see everyone pitch in to help JJ and Madi. I had all sorts of memories come back to me of times friends and family members would take denise and I out to get our minds off our mom when she was sick. You never forget that kindness and those tender mercies.



JJ asked Noah to tie his shoe

Fun with Madi and JJ at Classic Skating

hanging out at the hospital



                
family text for blessing

The day of the surgery was super intense. I decided I would go to help with the kids, run errands, or just sit and support. I thought that if things didn't go well, I could take the kids and Al, TK, and Karen could help James and Annalee. When Annalee said that surgery on a heart was like cutting into soft butter, it just made me so freaked out at how fragile life is.

We all gathered in the waiting room as Annalee got almost hourly updates. TK would text the whole family as all updates came. The hardest two updates were 1) when they made the first incision and 2) when the doctor said they were wrapping up and wouldn't answer Annalee about details. She was worried they were unable to repair the long space of the arch and that they just finished quickly. These updates were given on a phone from the surgical room to the waiting room. The doctor came to the waiting room after over another hour or so and told Annalee that the surgery was a success!! He told her that it was everything they had expected and that they were able to patch up all places they needed to patch up. The blood flow was good and Molly did well! It was THE MOST AMAZING NEWS. You could almost see the weight being lifted off Annalee and James' shoulders.
post surgery family text
Molly right after surgery. Tiny girl with all those big gadgets.

A week now has passed since the surgery. Molly is two weeks old. She is off all machines and just has a feeding tube. She just got moved out of the cardiac ICU. She is doing fantastic. My prayers prior to Molly's birth were me begging Heavenly Father to help her "survive and thrive." We visited her two days ago and that was just what I saw. Molly's swelling had gone down, she had great color to her and she was sucking away on a pacifier. That little mouth working on that pacifier was the eptiomy of thriving at that moment. Our prayers now are just full of thank yous. Molly is a little miracle.
Annalee's latest Instagram post.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

6 MOS

Our little Mabeloo is 6 months now. I am late posting this, but we are still under 7 months atleast! 

  • Mabes weighed over 18 pounds at her check up.
  • She has two bottom teeth
  • she can sit up pretty well and roll with ease.
  • Mabel hates putting her hands in sleeves to get dressed
  • Mabel keeps experimenting with new sounds: she says "geee" a lot lately less of "dada" and is figuring out sounds of scratching her nails of upholstery and banging things on her highchair.
  • Mabel is eating solids 1-2 times a day, we are working up to 3. Her faves are sweet potatoes and peaches at the moment.
  • Mabel is a pleasant baby and is mainly a morning person. We take her to the gym with us from 6-7 am where she sleeps in her carseat the whole time.
On our minds lately is the upcoming birth of a buddy, cousin for Mabes. Molly Rose is going to come this Monday the 24th and Annalee is prepping for the big day. Molly's heart developed incorrectly so the moments after her birth will be critical. The whole family has been fasting praying, and going to the temple with Molly in mind.Molly has brought us all closer. We are praying that she survives and thrives. When Mabel and I make wishes on loose eyelashes, we wish for Molly to be Mabel's best friend someday. We know it is in the Lord's hands.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rollin' With My Homie

I am so excited that Mabel rolls with such ease now. Tummy time is a sore subject for Plant babies.My theory is that is the reason I have late crawlers. I think it has something to do with their build as well. Who knows! 
I had to share some photos of the AMAZING quilt Denise made for Mabel. It matches her room perfectly and is so so awesome. I love it! Piecing the triangles must have taken forever. I love how the back is all grey with a triangle strip and the binding is such a cool black and white stripe. D nailed it. I think Mabel likes it too. Thank you so so so much Sis!




Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Christmas 2013

We had a great Christmas this year! It came and went pretty fast it seemed like. Utah got a ton of snow right after Thanksgiving and people (including us) didn't get a chance to put Christmas lights up. Josh also traveled for work quite a bit in the beginning of December. We did have a chance to make sugar cookies, make gingerbread houses, add to our small decoration collection, and wrap presents before Christmas Eve. Which for me was a lot of fun. Waiting till last minute makes me too tired to enjoy Christmas. I have a photo of the presents at day AND night:).


 On Christmas Eve we went to Ken and Lyn's for a fun family Christmas party. Aaron has his famous homemade egg nog that we love and we seem to always have Wingers chicken wings there. It is also way fun to see all of Josh's cousins, their kids and spouses. We love chatting and letting the kids play. Our kids got anxious to get home and open their Christmas PJ's.
 Charlie and Presley slept in the same bed and woke up multiple times during the night. once at 3 and once at 5. Josh started to get up at 3 then we realized how early it was! Presents for the boys included lots of guns and weapon type toys! Presley asked for lots of bling! She got diamond rings and earrings and a jewelry box that she could paint. Josh got luggage and a shaving kit and I got some cute kitchen things (butter dish, cake stands, dish towels) from Anthropologie.
Mabel was sooo tired. It was a shame to peel her out of bed so early!! After presents we went to Al and TK's for more family fun. Josh and the boys went out with Noah's new bb gun and Pres disappeared to the upstairs and basement with the girl cousins. After Christmas we all passed around a brutal stomach bug. It was nice to get a lot of rest over the break. We are now excited and ready for 2014.

Mabel is 5 months old!



 It is so so fun to have Mabel around!! Mabel is a good little shopper which came in handy over the holidays. I can nurse her anywhere and she does pretty well nestled into the umbrella stroller. Mabes has taken a bigger interest in the dogs that she's surrounded by. She reaches to touch Boston's face any time he comes near. Boss will let Mabel hook her little fingers into his eye lids and everything. He just wants to lick her like crazy. Mabel is very wiggly and getting to be grabbing for things when I am holding her. If she is sitting with me at the computer, she pulls on all the cords and gets them tangled in her arms. Mabel took a pacifier a few times this week and it was so sweet to watch her fall asleep with it in Josh's arms. We tried rice cereal on Christmas morning. Mabel thought it was fun to have this new experience then decided it didn't taste very good. Now she gags when I feed it to her!! We are excited to try some veggies next. Mabel is getting a reputation for being a sweet girl and is definitely a morning person. She actually prefers to sleep in as long as possible, but when she wakes up, she is so chipper. We just adore her so much!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mabel is 4 months old!

 My baby is getting big! She just went to the doctor last week and weighs 16 pounds. She is very healthy and doing great.She can now roll from her back to her belly. She pulls her toes toward her face and tips to the side. She loves to raise her legs then let them drop making a flopping sound. Mae is a drooler which makes me wonder if teeth are on the way. She has started to get a little birth mark on her head above her right ear. When taking a bath, she reaches for the blue tiki cup and holds it with both hands AND feet like a little monkey.
Anora and Presley are good at getting smiles out of you. You love getting attention from the big kids. A friend commented on how dark your eyebrows are and I realized they have darkened quite a bit since birth. I haven't really left you with a babysitter yet. I have left you so I could visit teach, but you aren't fond of my hour-long visits! You area champ at the movies and do so well wherever I take you.



 It is so wonderful to have Mabel. We just feel like the luckiest family in the world.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Family Portrait Outtakes 2013

I always have a new found sympathy for my photo clients after we get our family pictures done. Just twenty minutes prior to this shot, Mabel was crying uncontrollably from being stuffed into long skinny tights that are the complete opposite of her body type (hee hee) and layer upon layer of clothes, Charlie was putting up a major fight about the brand new jeans that he wore one day to school and decided he hated, and we all piled into two cars with no clue of where to go to take these photos! Mabel cried her little self to sleep when we reached this PERFECT field by our house in West Provo.

 We decided to forgo a professional photog this year and have Denise snap some shots for us. Can you tell by my face that I just got done telling her exactly what I wanted her to do? all in all, I am excited about how our photos turned out. I can't wait to get my cards printed. Just waiting for Josh to read through it when he returns from the land down under! Thanks a million, Sis!! (She not only took the photos, but she helped dress kids and negotiate for smiles!!)--We squeezed at least a smirk out of Char char :/


Love this boy (and his dog). Noah has been doing double the school work as he tests to get into a special program at school. He doesn't complain a bit. Noah has such great life goals. He is saving for a mission and college. He is tender hearted and a tremendous leader.
We got some bad news about a family member yesterday. I told the kids on the way home from school that we will be going over to that family members house to cheer them up and be there for a blessing. When we got home Noah said, "we should all pray for them right now, Mom." So Noah, Charlie, Presley and I knelt down in our front room and took turns saying our most heart felt prayers. I was so humbled to hear my babies' pleas to their Father in Heaven. I am so grateful to have such special spirits in my life.