Sunday, December 29, 2013

Update

Dear Family and Friends!

I promise to post more possible next week. I just have a funeral I've been helping with and a lesson to prepare for next Sunday. But here's what we've been up to recently:

-Halloween: it was great!  We had two princess and an adorable giraffe.  Pics soon.
- My mom visited. She couldn't come for the holidays because of work so she came and spent time with us before.
-Pictures of our newly painted house!
-Thanksgiving, we spent with family.  We did have terrible colds the days before and day of but made it through!
- Dan gave a presentation for the neighborhood on behalf of the HOA board. We also decorated the entrance to our neighborhood for the holidays.  This will probably be his year on the board.
- Hannah had her tonsils and adenoids removed.  I will tell about that whole experience in a post.
- The ultrasound.  It's a GIRL!!!  My placenta was pretty low, but I do not have placenta previa.  I do have to go in for another ultrasound at 28 weeks to make sure the placenta has moved up.  If it's still where it was at the 18 week ultrasound, it could complicate the birth.  But I am sure everything will be just fine.
-Christmas- lots of pictures!  We built a doll house for the girl's.
-Charlie started nursery a month early.  There are some perks to my calling after all ;)
-New Years.

I am sorry have been neglecting the blog.  This calling has kept me very busy, especially this month.  The last 5 months have flown by.  I hit 20 weeks this week! I know if the last 20 weeks go as fast as the first 20............this baby girl will be here before we know it!  And then life will be thrown into a whole new chaos.  But we are all happy and doing just great!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hannah Turns 5!!

Hannah turned 5 last week! It's so hard to believe how big she has gotten.  She missed the cut off for school by about 6 weeks.  Me, I was happy to have one more year with her.  Hannah was not as thrilled. I know she would love to be in school right now.   Some things about Hannah:

- She is always asking me how to spell things and what things say.
-She has mastered how to write her first name, Bella's first name,  mom and dad,  and grandma.
- She has a contagious laugh!
- She is my biggest helper.  I can almost always ask to help Bella or Charlie with something and she'll do it.
- She puts the dishes away. This has been the biggest deal around here!
- She is a very happy little girl who changes her clothes at least 3 times a day :)

A few days before her birthday she got a package from my mom in the mail! On her birthday we had a special dinner of blueberry muffins, eggs, sausage, bacon and orange julius.   Daddy brought her home a balloon as well.  We had the family birthday party just this last Sunday.  It was tons of fun seeing everyone and I know Hannah loved having everyone here to share it with her.  Her and Grandma Clayton went out to lunch and to dollar store for a fun afternoon together Monday.

Here is a picture of our big girl:




Saturday, October 12, 2013

4 is the lucky number

If you've been reading our blog for the last several years then you know that in Oct 2011 (2 years ago actually :)  we found out I had an amazing low egg count.  We were told having more kids would most likely be a challenge for us. That same month, we got pregnant with Charlie!  After that experience we had no idea how many more kids we would have and if Charlie would be our last.  It helped me to treasure the experience of that pregnancy a little more.
When I received my current calling (Ward RS President) we had been talking about when we should try for another baby.  We knew time was against us.  We decided to go ahead with our plan of trying as soon as Charlie turned 1.  It took us an extra month but sure enough the pregnancy test came back positive.  We were very happy.  But I am also a little ashamed to admit, I was a little panicked and worried.  I was just barely getting my new responsibilities to the point where I didn't feel as though I was constantly running.  It was hard.  I was wondering why the Lord has chosen me for the enormous task that seemed impossible. I felt inadequate.  And to top all of that, I have never been this sick with a pregnancy before.  I have been so sick some days that I know I have asked Heavenly Father why this couldn't have been my easiest pregnancy to date ;) Oh silly me.  Seeing things so humanly and not with the faith I should have been.
Last week was General Conference. I was SO sick the 3 days prior to conference.........to the point I was carrying a bowl or a bottle of ginger ale around with me. Hearing conference was exactly what I needed. When I went in for my ultrasound that following week and saw my little bean's heartbeat I realized how HAPPY  and excited I was and that everything is going to be just fine :)  The Lord's hand is in my life and I just needed a little extra faith.  Now don't get me wrong..........I have still been very very sick but when I need to get something done for my calling, I find the strength to do it.  When my kids need me, somehow I manage to do it! Anyways, that's our announcement if you haven't heard yet......baby #4 is on it's way!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Journey with Lasik and PRK

Our journey started about 8 months ago.  Dan and I had always talked about getting Lasik done but after Dan's last eye appointment we began to seriously consider Lasik. Dan had to change his contact brand to one that had to be changed everyday; while he still was  having lots of eye irritation. So we started in February, we made an appointment with Travers Lasik and went in for our first consultation.  We were surprised when the price per eye was $1799!  We looked at each other and said it would be a while. 
My eyes have two very different prescriptions.  My left is -1.75 and my right is -4.50.  We were happy to find out that my left eye qualified for their promotion for PRK.  If your eye was less than -2.00 you qualified for PRK at $999.  The biggest problem was I was still breastfeeding!  And you can not get  Lasik or PRK if you are breastfeeding or pregnant because of how the hormones affect your vision.
After some discussion we decided to put things on hold and get more quotes.  Come July after I had stopped breastfeeding for 6 weeks and close to Charlie's birthday so that I could still get pregnant before too much longer after the procedure.

I stopped breastfeeding at the end of May and then in June we went and had two more consultations and quotes.  The 2nd  doctor we saw was suppose to give us a discount with our insurance; the quote they gave us was $1798 per eye and recommended PRK for Dan because he supposedly had thinned corneas. The PRK with that doctor was the same price as the Lasik. This doctors office and his equipment were a bit older, and although he was very friendly, we were not super impressed .

The 3rd doctor was the high end of Lasik, he had all the updated equipment and knowledge.  We would have loved to have gone with him but his price was $2150 per eye.  He said if I wanted to do PRK with him the cost was $1690.  Again, this guy knew his stuff and was the most up to date and I felt every confidence in him.

So on the way home we decided to go a head with the first doctor we had seen because they had the best prices as well as they seemed up to date and we did like them originally.  After sleeping on it, we called and set it up so I would finish my eye examine (they did not finish the first time because I was nursing) and have the procedure the same day, which was July 18th.

I was out of my contacts for 5 days, and then went in at 8 am (they wanted my eyes to have plenty of time to adjust and relax between the exam and the procedure.)  They dilated my eyes and  did other exams.  I then was given 4 prescriptions to fill before coming back in at 5pm that evening.  I was given a prescription for 2 Valium (to take right before the procedure), antibiotic drops (for both eyes), anti-inflammatory drops (for the PRK eye, these drops were the most expensive and REALLY hard to find (called 6 pharmacies, and drove to Raleigh), and 800 mg Motrin (for inflammation for the PRK eye).

When we arrived at 5pm we had to wait our turn in the waiting room.  It was a little bit unnerving to see other patients zombie walk out of the clinic with both eyes patched over and pained looks on their faces after completing their procedures.  When they took us back (Dan and I) we then had to wait 30 min in a TV suite.  They had put a blue cotton cap on my head and cotton fabric on the sides of my head to catch the eye drops they would place in my eyes during the procedures.  Just before I went back I took 1 Valium.  I'm not going to lie, I was feeling pretty darn nervous by this point and just wanted to be done!

Once I was in the procedural room I met with Dr. Travers and she looked at my eyes and told me what to expect.  They had me take off my glasses and lay on the a table below the lasers. They covered my left eye with a cotton patch. The Dr. had me look down and taped my upper eye lid up and then taped my lower lids down so I could not blink during the procedure.  I was told to focus on a green light (the doctor was very specific--do NOT look away from the green light) and I was given  moisturizing and numbing eye drops. After the eye drop and refocusing on the green dot I was told not to move and the green light began to blur as I felt LOTS of pressure on my right eye (this is the Lasik eye by the way) and this round thing pushed into my eye.  All then went black and then the pressure went away and I was told to continue to focus on the green light.  I felt Dr. Travers pull back the cornea flap and then saw a red laser.  I then felt the pressure and could smell a disticnt smell as the laser corrected my vision which took 30 seconds to a min max.  Dr. Travers then placed more moisturizing eye drops and took the cotton patch from my left eye and placed one on my right eye.

I was again given moisturizing and numbing drops in my left eye this time (this is the PRK eye).  As the numbing drops began to take effect and I was asked to look down and up as she taped my eye lid open, so I, once again, would not blink during the procedure.  Once my eye was numb, Dr. Travers scrapped away the surface of my eye's lens.  I then saw the red laser and felt the same pressure with the unique smell as my eye's lens was burned into shape. After the laser was done, a contact was placed over the eye to allow the lens surface to grow back.

They placed a a clear patch over my right eye that I was suppose to wear over night (no sleepy eye rubbing for me!) and then I was sent home. I was told to take the second Valium on the way home.  By the time we picked up the kids and arrived home, I could hardly walk and Dan had to pretty much carry me to bed.  I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.  I would definitely recommend getting the procedure later in the day so you can just go home and sleep until the next day.  It really helped!

When I woke up the next day, I could see 20/15 in my Lasik eye where as my PRK eye was still fairly blurry.  I was surprised because my Lasik eye was in more pain and more uncomfortable than my PRK eye.  When I went in that morning my Lasik eye was 20/15 and my PRK eye was 20/30, which I was told would get much worse and then would continue to get better every week. 

I went in for a one week check up to have my contact removed from my eye and my PRK was at about 20/50.  I couldn't really see anything out of it.  I also had really bad halos at night with both eyes and driving at night was a difficulty.

At my one month check up both eyes were at 20/15.  But it really did take a full month for my PRK eye to reach that.  There's something to be said with saving money but it's also nice to have instant results.  Either way, I am very pleased and life without contacts and glasses is becoming a dream.

I would definitely not suggest getting PRK done on both eyes at the same time, unless your willing to go almost a whole month with out being able to see movies, drive or really just see anything.  As for Lasik, AWESOME!  Minor pain the next day but you have perfect vision right off the bat, it's awesome.  I also didn't have as many drops with the Lasik eye.  After the first week all I had to take was the re-wetting drops 6-4 times a day (1st week re-wetting drops and antibiotic drops). Where as the PRK eye,  I had to take 500 mg of Vitamin C a day for 2 months after, 800 mg of Motrin 30 days after, first week re-wetting, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic drops.  After the first week I was done with the anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drops but I still had to do the re-wetting drops as well as the start special lubricating drops at bed time so that my cornea as it was growing back would not stick tome eyelid and be wiped away when I blinked or opened my eyes in the morning.

Again, I am SO happy!  The funny part was I had my procedure the day after the Bishop called Dan and I in to extend the calling of Relief Society President.  So I spent my first Sunday with pretty fresh eyes!  I started a new era of life in many ways.  It made for a great birthday present.  So happy 25th, right?!

And this concludes my journey thus far.

Bella turns 3

Our sweet, stubborn Bella turned 3 last month! Bella is such a sweet little girl.  I'll be honest though this little girl has a stubborn streak in her which has me a little worried for the teenage years ;)  With Bella having turned 3, she was transitioned out of NC Early Intervention and starts speech therapy twice a week at a local Elementary school!  We will miss her Speech Therapist, Amanda and the fact that she came to us.  Bella still is very hard to understand and not where she should be but she is definitely getting there.  It was hard to get many pictures of her because she doesn't really like standing still for pics but here are a few:









Thursday, August 15, 2013

1 Year Picture Recap

Couple of weeks before he was born.

2 hours old.


6 weeks
2 months.


3months

5 months

7 Months

10 months
12 months.

1 Year Old

Charlie turned 1 on July 29th (the day after our 6 year anniversary.) He also had his 1 year check up on that day.  Charlie is a small little guy!  He had gained exactly 12 lbs. since birth! He has an enormous head though. So small body, big head :)  Here are some fun pictures I took of him (Warning TONS of Pics):





Feel so blessed to have this awesome little guy as part of our family.  I have enjoyed this last year so much!  It was the hardest year I've had in a lot of ways but oh how I love his happy, gleeful face. Cutest little boyfriend a girl could ask for!

I love this photo because he is laughing his belly laugh.




He LOVES his sisters.


He was fascinated by the grass.  This was his reaction when I first put him on the grass.






This picture sums up how he his a lot of the time.  He if very meticulous.


The foot pop!


So many kisses!
I LOVE photography.  I can't wait until I have my own camera someday.  Thank you Ben and Shalyse for letting me borrow yours!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Busy Busy Bee!

Life has been extremely busy this last month!  For those who have not heard on July 14th I was called to be the Relief Society President for our ward here in Fuquay.  If there are friends or family who do not know what that means, please feel free to e-mail or message me with questions!  I would love to answer them.  It has been such a wonderful experience.  I can't even begin to describe the happiness it has brought........not to mention the stress :)  If you want to know more on that, then we can talk.  But I just wanted to put some updates on here. I'm not sure how much time I'll have in the future to update on here but I'll try. Here are some recent events:

-My 25th birthday!
-Getting Lasik and PRK
-Our 6 year anniversary!
-Charlie's 1st birthday!
-Bella's 3rd birthday!

I have some pictures I took of Charlie for his 1 year that I will try and post soon!  Love you all!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Garden Harvest June 2013

One of our larger cucumber harvests.  We harvest about 1-2 daily, though it is slowing down.

One of our MANY harvests of potatoes.

More harvest, we used all of this for the family Father's Day dinner. We brought steamed green beans, steamed carrots, and 2 kinds of mashed potatoes.  I made a batch that had sour cream and chives (from the garden) and then garlic (from the garden) and rosemary potatoes.

Towards the end of June our potato plants we're not looking so great. We ended up doing a final harvest.  We gave lots to family and friends but still have several we need to finish soon!

So what we thought were melons actually turned out to be pumpkins! 

We harvested the sunflower just a week ago and processed the seeds and now have yummy sunflower seeds to snack on.

Our watermelons. We now have I think 7 or 8 of them growing on their vines.

Our 1 peach, it was surprisingly tasty though technically I don't think we were suppose to get any peaches yet. It's like our blueberry bushes.  We thought it would be at least a year or two until we got any harvest but we've had blueberry muffins TWICE already (If you want I found an AMAZING blueberry recipe). And have harvested a total of 3- 3 1/2 cups of blueberries and still have plenty ripening still.

Our one blackberry.  We've actually been able to collect a bunch from a park that's near us and have been able to enjoy banana bread with blackberries and a blackberry cobbler. We've had them for out treat for FHE the last few Mondays.
We also canned some pickles.  Here I am filling the sliced cucumbers in mason jars with brine.


We did two varieties.  The taller mason jars are your regular dill and the small one in the middle has jalapenos added to make spicy dill pickles.  We haven't tried them yet, you have to wait at least 3 weeks.  I'll let you know if they are any good.


Sanitizing and heating the lids.

Placing the jars in the boiling water.

All in!

Our finished product.  We're excited to see how they taste!

Our garden how it was.

Beautiful pumpkin.

We had to harvest our pumpkins early because vine borers and squash bugs had taken over.  Luckily, pumpkins can ripen off the vine.  We let them sit out in the sun for a little over a week.  I processed them all and ended up with close to 20 cups of pureed pumpkin. I ended up freezing close to 8 cups of it. We didn't have room to freeze it all. So I used some of it to make 6 pumpkin pies and 2 pumpkin rolls. It's been so fun to use things from our garden!  It has been an great hobby we as a family have come to enjoy.