Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Our Road to Four

We are so happy to announce that we are expecting...our 4th boy!  He'll be the 4th son of the 4th son(Nathan) of the 4th son(well child at least, Alan)...and it stops there. And yes, he'll probably have a "J" name.  I had wanted something different, but Nathan pointed out that he'd feel left out, which is a good point.  His name will be announced when it is officially his when he's born :)  He's due August 15th (same day as two of his cousins which would be cool!), however, Jack and James were due in August (8th and 5th) and they both came July 21st.  By those calculations, and that Jonathan also came early...there is a good chance of another July baby.  I told Nathan it was a boy by giving him a note that rhymes when we attended the temple last month.  Then I told our boys by giving them a gift and inside were five matching for daddy and one for each of them including their new baby BROTHER!

The following is my story regarding the little bit of infertility that we have experienced.  It is not even close to being as long and hard as other people we know, but we have had to have medicinal help to get pregnant 3 out of four times.  I was lucky to find the doctor and women's clinic that I did.
Now, don't get me wrong, we haven't had it terribly bad trying to conceive because we are having our 4th.  However, I am one of the unlucky few that my first pregnancy was probably the cause to mess up my thyroid a bit.  My thyroid was off enough that after James was one year I became tired, REALLY tired.  I went to the doctor for some blood work thinking it was just anemia or the like, and was told I had a hypothyroid, and that I'd need to take Synthroid(levothyroxine) for the rest of my life.  Also, this makes some women not ovulate.  That made sense because the ovulation prediction tests I was using  (we were trying to have a second) never were positive.  I was lucky to find a very aggressive doctor who didn't make me wait a year of trying to conceive before giving me clomid to ovulate.  After 4 months of the single dose we were expecting Jack.  Yeah!  Then after awhile we wanted another, and I waited 6 months without the clomid then went to Dr. Housel again, and he prescribed it.  After 4 months of not working, he had suggested a double dose (which I thought yikes!), so I got the double the pills but only took one, and after another 2 months of that, we were expecting Jonathan!  A little bit more time and okay, we'll try again.  I even had gotten a positive on an ovulation test WITHOUT clomid, so we wanted to try to have a baby drug free.  Clomid can have some nasty side effects, for example it made me very moody.  Well, even though I was ovulating, it wasn't early enough in my cycle to make a difference.  After 5 months of tracking, I took the data to the doctor, who said that by these results, we'd never get pregnant without some help.  That was hard to hear.  Would it really be never?  Maybe.  But I didn't want to wait around to see.  So back on the clomid...for 6 months this time.  No baby.  Also even though I was ovulating, it still wasn't getting any earlier in my cycle. On to the double clomid.  Holy. Cow.  I understand people who commit a crime of passion.  I lost it on this drug.  What a single dose did to me was I lost that filter that people have of what you should say vs. what you shouldn't.  I just said it all most of the time.  What is worse is that I don't think I ever regained that filter back entirely.  It was a bit liberating really.  Well, double clomid made me angry.  Very, very angry.  I got so mad at Nathan the first month I was on it.  He was good and just took it, probably that was best.  He would come home and wonder "where is the girl I married because this isn't her".   Second month I was on it I literally attacked my little sister, pinned her against a wall and was winding up to punch her.  Turns out with Crossfit I'm pretty strong...Nathan heard all the yelling and screaming, and rescued her by putting me in a full nelson headlock to get me away (I am pretty strong).  I was able to see outside of myself on that one and was so sorry and ashamed, and luckily she forgave me.  This double dose wasn't going to work. I was also afraid of the side effects of it thinning my uterine wall, which then also makes it impossible to conceive.  At this time Nathan and I talked that maybe we were very blessed with 3 boys and this was as big as our family would be.  How far were we willing to go?  Maybe Nathan should be tested next? After all he had been biking a lot, and maybe that was effecting our chances as well.  I talked with the doctor and decided to try a different drug, femera, for a few months then we'd go off everything and take a break.  Well that month(November) I could tell that femera was different, because I could feel my ovaries getting ready to ovluate, and they hurt.  The ovulation prediction test came back very positive 4 days sooner than all those months on clomid.  That was significant.  And Nathan had taken a month off prior from cycling as it was after LOTOJA and he was a little burned out.  It all worked out at that time and now we are over halfway with expecting our next little one.  I must say though I thought I was having a girl because this pregnancy has been so different, most notably that I was sick all through the first trimester, and I wasn't with the other three.  It took some getting used to, but I am so excited and blessed to be able to be a mommy to four amazing boys.  It was when I was gluing together Jack's muskrat skull, very late at night, and glued my fingers to the skull, that the thought solidified in me that I really am a great mom to boys.  So let the adventure continue!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Allergies :(

My poor little guy has some allergies that are very significant.  One is to peanuts.  That one we found out about when he was 1 and Nathan gave him peanut butter.  Now I know what to look for, but since neither of the other two have a food allergy, I didn't realize what I was looking at when he was all puffy and itching.  After a skin allergy test we found it was just peanuts and not all nuts, aka tree nuts (I didn't even realize what tree nuts meant, but it's nuts that grow on trees ie. walnuts, pecans, actual nuts.  Duh now that I know.  Peanuts are a legume and not a nut).  Also if something "may contain traces of peanut"  we have learned he has a reaction to.  But if it says "made in a factory that also processes peanuts"  he's been fine.  Well, a few weeks ago Jonathan had his worst reaction yet...

...but this wasn't to peanuts...
His whole body became one giant hive.  He itched everywhere.  When I thought we had given him Benadryl it was actually generic Zyrtec, which helped 0%.  After the Benadryl he was getting better, but I have never been so close to giving him an epi pen (yes we have those for the peanut allergy, it is that bad).   He was having a little wheezing, but giving an epi pen means a trip to the hospital and I wanted to be sure he really, really needed it.
5 hours after the reaction.  
He still has the red spots but they aren't raised hives anymore.

Well, I had some ideas of what it could be.  I thought a new spice I had tried on the fish that he had eaten (he's eaten lots of fish so I didn't think it was that). At Christmas time he also had a reaction to peppermint so had to add that to the list.  And a reaction to coloring Easter eggs (still don't know what that one was about). It was about time for our annual appointment, so I got to bring in my grocery sack of things test.
Positive test results coming up, and running out of room on his back to test other things!

Poor kid, allergy tests are hard!  
This test came back very positive for ALL WHITE FISH!  Yep, fish!  
That I think is worse in our house than peanuts. 
However, at least his allergies aren't so bad that he can't even be on an airplane with peanuts and such.  He just can't eat it or touch it. 
So on life goes and now we know...

...also, candycane, mint oreos, and mint leaves were all tested and came back negative.  At home that day he had a mint oreo, and no reaction!  That was good!  That also means that whatever he had at Christmas time somehow had a cross-contamination with some sort of peanut something...

...picnics at parks with friends are very hard right now, constantly looking out for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that a little part has been left out and he'll pick up...  I don't wish for him to grow up, but I can't wait until he can recognize the dangers for himself and he knows not to touch or eat it, and to read food labels! least he's not allergic to animals(yeah!!) and outdoor plants and pollen and stuff...yet...

Tie-Dye Shirts

Jack goes to two preschools this year, and it has been so good for this social butterfly of mine.  One that he goes to he calls Toddler-Time Preschool.  This last year Ms. Sara would hold a toddler time (for 3 year olds) two days a week, and they were filled with the coolest activities!!  This year she decided to do a preschool, and this is just one of the neat activities that they get to do!

Ms. Sara helping tell Jack where the dye should go

I love how hands on the kids are!

The twins Lincoln and Drew, and Ty going home with Jack for the day!

This is the finished product!!  It is his new favorite shirt, and he wore it for a week straight that first week :)

Conference Weekend

General Conference is a special time of year every six months where we can get the opportunity to listen to the general authorities and the prophet speak to us.  It is also usually around this time that former missions have reunions and old friends reconnect.  Nathan, Tyler, and Greg all got together in Salt Lake this year for dinner and caught up like the old buddies that they are.  There weren't many in their Chinese speaking district in the Melbourne West mission, only 6 missionaries at a time, so they got to know each other pretty well. While they were together I texted Nathan and reminded him to please take a picture together!

Tyler, Nathan, and Greg

  That same night James took me out for a fun date to Dartside where we played with nerf guns on teams, for an hour, with black lights!  What was awesome was he has been saving his money to be able to go!  So when he had earned enough this same week I got a babysitter for Jack and Jonathan (you have to be 5 to be able to go), and this is what this awesome kid wanted to do with his money!  What a sweetie.  I loved that activity!
James and Mommy

Conference is broadcast on TV in Utah (or if you get cable which we did not growing up so I did not know that), on the radio, and is broadcast to our church buildings.  Growing up we would go to Sunday morning session and sit for the 2 hours to listen.  I didn't know about the Saturday sessions until I went to college.  Well, it is important for us to listen to all the sessions.  Saturday morning I stayed with the boys at home and streamed in on the internet.  Nathan listened as he rode his bike with two of his team mates up to Causey Reservoir Saturday morning conference.

In between the sessions Nathan took the boys who weren't napping to a little gully by our house to explore.  It was so cool that we had to go back again the next day.

Sunday morning we listened, and in between we went again to that gully, and Jack found a perfect little skull!  It has turned out to be that of a muskrat.  We have given it a three day hydrogen peroxide bath, and I glued together the bottom mandible(jaw), and it is awesome!

We called Grandma and Papa after the second session, and asked if we could come over to make smore's with them.  Their home is for sale, and we won't be able to take advantage of their great backyard once they sell it, so we are trying to get there as much as we can to enjoy it. 
James and one of his marshmallows that the middle just fell out of 

Family by the fire

Then there was an intense game of foosball of grandkids vs. grandparents.  The grandkids are getting better so the grandparents will have to start practicing!

Monday, April 25, 2016

March Madness

Not exactly football, but all the random little moments that make up life...and they are usually madness!

Let's start here....Jack and James are doing a great job of getting themselves ready in the morning and at night, and keeping their closet clean.  One night they came down and were being really silly.  Dancing with underpants on the outside and one as a spiderman mask. HA!

Sending Happy Birthday wishes to a cousin via phone photo

When some friends come over, I'm the mom who will be okay with them making cookies.

These lovely ladies at the park.  Krystal, Natalie and I. Usually we only get a picture of the kids, but here's who's behind the camera.

A good picture of James with no front teeth one morning before school

James lost his tooth a week before family pictures.  He was wiggling it while in bed and it came right out!
Front big teeth get $2 a tooth!

Stake conference and another of the toothless grin

This is how we stake conference.  We go to the young women's room, which has great audio.  To sit for 2 hours is hard, and really we'd be in and out of the hall most of the time.  This way we do get to listen, our kids also sit for awhile, but if they get up or get a little rowdy it's okay.  We can stand to help us stay awake better too.  Here's Jonathan lounging while Nathan is standing.  A perfect example.  

James drew an entire scene during conference.  Complete with sea monsters and rockets. 

Visiting Grandma Hiller on her road to recovery from breaking her hip. She is doing much, much better!  

I love this lady so much.  Ever since Nathan and I were engaged I have felt like one of her granddaughers, one of her very own.  It was one of the very best things that circumstances brought us to live with her after everything fell apart when we lived in Texas after being first married.  Amazing to get to know her by living with her for 5 months, and I am grateful for the relationship that I have with her now. 

A cute moment captured of reading together

Some of my girls at OAC Crossfit. I'm taking a little break right now, but I love doing Crossfit with them!  Heidi, Brenda (one of the best trainer's ever!), and Wendy

Happy McDonald's day, just because :)

Jack wanted me to take a picture of this.  Snowmen that his friend's family had made, and they lasted awhile from a snowstorm that we had in March!

Happy March!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Birthday Nathan!

Happy #32 Nathan! He took the day off and rode his bike with some teammates for 4+hours (sounds fun eh?), then had his favorite dinner of chicken enchiladas at home.  Turns out the kids don't like enchiladas, so we enjoyed them and quickly made some more chicken for the kiddos.  Happy Birthday Nathan to the best Daddy, Husband, Son, and Brother probably in the entire world. 
Taking a serious picture is hard with Jack!  And in the background is Daddy's birthday balloon.  
That's a new tradition. 

Now the surprised look

I married so above myself.  Here's to the most patient person I know!

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!!  How grateful I am to my Father in Heaven for my precious family!
First thing in the morning is we went to church.  The choir sang He is Risen, and they did such a great job, I love my calling as ward choir director.  I love helping to bring peace and the Spirit to meetings through music.
After church we came home and the kids got to see their baskets and then hunt for the dyed eggs that were hidden outside.
Three happy boys with their matching ties! 

 Daddy has one two as well as the new baby:)

Showing off their new rescue bot transformers from their baskets

And onto searching for eggs....

That afternoon Grandma and Papa came for Easter Dinner :)
It was nicer than it has been so we decided to go look around at the new building sites.  That gave me a deja-vu from when they lived here a few years ago!