Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Concussion and a Padded Room

His biggest bump is under his bangs.  I just thought you'd like to see that he is ok
before you read about what happened.
This morning Derek was woken up by the sound of Dan being rather loud in the family room.  It was before 6 in the morning.  Dan being loud in the morning isn't completely unheard of.  He likes company when he is up.  But when Derek finally came back in our room he said "Dan is loopy".  I just thought, "Like usual?".  I didn't know what he meant and was surprised when Derek got his phone and headed back out instead of getting back in bed.

Soon he was back to ask when Instacare opens and I was up to see the big bump on Dan's head and to hear the story of blood on Dan and on Dan's garbage can, and Jake's blanket, and the bathroom, and the door jams.  Besides the bump Dan has a slightly swollen eye, a sore nose, dilated eyes, and is shaky and confused.  It is really unsettling.  Dan doesn't know when or how or where he fell.  We speculate that he got a bloody nose and passed out onto a hard floor (maybe the hall or bathroom).  We took him to the emergency room since that is what was open.    He has a concussion. They did a CT scan, which showed no cracks in his skull.  He should get better with rest and time.  Hooray for good news!

We came home and Jake has been taking good care of him.  Jake is a really good brother and has spent his morning sitting by Dan, and gently bringing him back to the couch when he decides he's going to "go swing" or "get his legs back" by staggering around.  Jake has carried Dan around from one room to another and he helped Dan get into Minecraft when Dan was too confused to remember how. When Jake was sitting by him Dan said, "I wish Jake were here."  Jake reported other odd things too, like Dan asking about someone he could see when nobody was there, and asking Jake if he was going to wear blue and green all day when Jake was wearing gray.  Thankfully, sometimes he says normal things too.

Dan will be fine, but it is not really fun to watch our bright little boy be so confused.    At the hospital he couldn't wait to go home to do back flips on the trampoline.  I suggested that today wasn't a good day to do that.  The Dr. said that the important thing is that he doesn't get another concussion.  I think we just need to create a padded room to keep him in for a year.  Unfortunately, he'd only be happy in it if the padded walls were like trampolines so he could bounce from one to another!  Let's hope Dan's year starts looking up a bit!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Beautiful Spring!

My favorite climbing rose bush has been making me smile extra big this spring!
These are my hanging pots on Memorial Day.  They actually look better now!

My pots aren't in great shape, but these flowers are beautiful, and will likely look better as the Summer goes on (as long as I water them!)
This Spring has been absolutely beautiful.  The mountains and fields are green, and at the beginning of Spring there were beautiful flowering trees everywhere. I am thankful for the beautiful world I get to enjoy every day!  Happy Spring!

The Abominable Belly Ache

Dan started having stomach aches off and on in March (I think).  They had gotten bad enough by the end of April that he had missed two weeks of school in a row and had a scheduled doctor's visit.  I kept waiting for him to just get better because, most of the time, he didn't seem too sick.  Some days he sat around miserable all day.  Sometimes during the middle of the day he seemed quite normal.  Some days he felt so well at the end of the day he was sure he'd be well and headed to school in the morning.  He would cry with disappointment when he got up and his stomach was hurting again.

Dan at a bad stomach hurting moment.
 Since his stomach hurt but he wasn't nauseous we started insisting he eat in the morning.  That would make it slightly worse for a bit, but he'd feel better sooner (for a while).  The day I took him to the Dr. he felt pretty well.  They poked at his stomach and he said it hurt everywhere, but he was feeling ticklish and was able to be distracted from the pain.  They didn't know what was wrong.  They sent him for a blood test which was normal (except one number which was slightly off).  They sent him for an ultrasound.  They found gallstones and we thought we had our answer -- but no -- the pain was wrong and the gallstones weren't stuck or blocking anything.  Later they sent him for a stool test.  That was fine too.  No H.Pylori, no signs of infection.  We tried a couple of medicines and he is still taking one his pediatrician prescribed that helps some.

Finally, I followed my friend's example and took Dan to an allergist.  My friend's daughter had been having the same symptoms and her Mom took her directly to the allergist where her daughter was found to be allergic to five new things.  She was already allergic to the same things as Dan (milk, eggs, and peanuts).
Dan's Allergy Testing -- Waiting to see how bad his reactions would be.
When the itchy waiting was over, Dan was still really allergic to those foods listed above and tree nuts (which he has been allergic to for a long time). This time he also tested allergic to five things that he wasn't allergic to before: wheat, corn, barley, soy, and beef.  He did suffer through an anaphylactic response after his testing with a resulting epinephrine shot (at the Dr.'s office thankfully) which was no fun, but we did get an idea what is wrong, and a plan to deal with it.  We are now in the midst of a month of not eating any of the foods he's allergic to.  He is feeling better.  After a month we can add one food back in at a time and see which thing is causing the stomach pain.

I did take him to a gastroenterologist this week.  He was tested for celiac, which he doesn't have, and his blood tests were redone, with the same results.  The gastroenterologist thinks the problem is the food allergies.  He says he doesn't know why some people are allergic to so many things, but that Dan is one of those super allergic people.  So we will stick to the plan the allergist came up with.  At least there is an explanation for his long time stomach pain!
This is an old blurry picture, but Dan is back to playing with his buddy Jake again and that is a happy thing!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Connor Graduates

The graduation walk around the track.  I don't really know who that is behind Connor.
Kayli, Connor, and Trisa (Tia was working and Jake and Dan were at school)

I added this picture because it's kind of funny how hard it is to get a picture where
Derek isn't talking.  I had more of these than the ones where he was just smiling.
Me and Connor and Derek
Grandpa F., Connor, Grandma F.
My parents drove from St. George for the graduation and then drove
home the same day.  They are very supportive grandparents and they love Connor.
Grandpa C., Connor, Grandma C.
Naturally his Christensen grandparents love him just as much and they came too.  They don't live very far from us though, so hours of traveling wasn't necessary this time.
Connor the High School Graduate
Connor is a great.  Even though I've tried to tell him, he never does seem to realize how talented and smart he is.  He's naturally athletic, artistic, musical, and a good writer too!  He has a great sense of humor, has awesome moves (which I only get to see if he doesn't know I am looking) and is a favorite with his sisters.  His brothers are pretty fond of him too.  Jake and Connor have some great ping pong matches, and Dan is pretty sure there is no better artist than Connor.  I am sure he will be great at whatever he puts his mind to doing.  Derek and I are happy to have such a good son!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Dan: Future President

Dan the Man
Future President

Dan was blessed this year to have Mrs. White as a teacher.  She is really good at what she does, and really helpful to those who end up missing lots of school. She loves her students like they are her own children, and cried over them as the school year ended because she hates to say goodbye.  One of the things she did on the last day of school was to make sure every student heard something good about themselves.  She also gave them each their own unique award.  Dan got the "Future President" award.  He was really pleased with that.  He told me, "I did not see that coming."

On the way out to the car, He was telling me a story about a bomb, and an airport.  I can't remember the story clearly, but I don't think it ended well.  His point?  "What this country needs is better security".  He was already working on planning what he would do as President.  He was very pleased to show his certificate to all of the family.  He can hardly believe that some of his classmates thought he should get that award.

I liked watching him as he came back to his seat.  He went around giving people five and looking rather pleased and like he didn't quite know how to handle such good fortune.

4th grade program.
The fourth grade program was fun to watch.  Dan generally enjoys performing, and after they sang the songs at the beginning, he is the only one who took a bow.  It made me smile.  I love my Dan.  He is smart, and fun, and extremely wiggly.  I doubt he would hold long meetings as President.  He wouldn't want to sit down that long!  It is a daunting task to raise the future president.  Derek and I will do our best.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


I wrote this song for my friend's son.  He turned 16 on the 16th and has been bravely battling cancer for years.  He likes super heroes (I haven't met too many boys that don't).  Most people love to occasionally escape into their imagination. You can go anywhere, and do anything in your imagination! This song is a mixture of both.  You can listen to me singing the finger picking version if you click here.  For the fun version where Tia and Kayli sing with me, and Connor does the video work click birthday video.  The words are below.

(Q's Song)

The sun is shining in the sky
And lots of friends are walking by
Music's floating in the air
But I am far away
Flying through the sky today

Lightning flashes when I land
Wearing armor I take off again
Rockets that I shoot make rain
They will not cause you pain
They'll bring earth alive again.

I love flying
When the sun is shining
And when the night comes
I will fly
Way up to the moon

The colors are now bright and fun
From a tree I see everyone
Arrows arc into the sky
And rainbows they appear
Chasing out all doubt and fear

Running so fast no one can see
But good things follow after me
Bad things get pushed far away
As I go on my way
Running right through walls today

I love flying
When the sun is shining
And when the night comes
I will fly
Way up to the moon

I hear a sound that brings me home
I stop flying around alone
I lower the shield I hold
And all is safe and sound
Landing back on solid ground

But someday I'll take off again
Perhaps next time I'll take a friend
We'll take off into the air
And fly up toward the sun
To do good for everyone

I love flying
When the sun is shining
And when the night comes
I will fly
Way up to the moon

I love flying
When the sun is shining
And when the night comes
I will fly
Way up to the moon

Friday, May 13, 2016

Derek Turns 50

Derek's happy birthday was on May 5th.  Derek is thoughtful and fun.  I love him.

Derek and Dan and Jake.  I believe Derek had been teasing Dan about using the face clamp Dan is holding to clamp his face.  Derek wasn't really surprised by these presents that he bought himself, but they were just what he wanted.  He wanted a fancy sports car more, but we can't always have everything we want.

Derek and his presents and Dan and Jake

I think Kayli was extra proud of this picture.  Derek and I have matching weird facial expressions going on.  There are 5 candles.  One candle to represent each of the ten years since Derek was born.

Happy Birthday to Derek
Derek asked for kebabs for his birthday, but we both forgot and so he asked for chicken enchiladas.  I remembered the kebabs too late for Monday's celebration  so we had enchiladas that day, and kebabs the next.  It never hurts to have an extra day of birthday celebration!