Sunday, May 31, 2009

More Catching Up

Okay, I know, it's been awhile...again! As always, I'm sorry, but at least this time it isn't because I have been sick. Well, actually, I was a little sick, but that's for later. Mostly, I was very busy getting ready for the kids' first trip to the BEACH!!! And then I was very busy being at the beach! But now we're home, and as I sort through the beach pictures, I'll do a little (or a lot) more catching up on all the blogging I didn't do before our big trip!

Well, now that I've looked at the catching up that needs to be done, it turns out there isn't that much to say, just a bunch of pictures! Which is what you really want anyway, right? So, first, Jim and I had some fun taking group shots of the kids, trying to get a good one. It's nearly impossible to get all four of the kiddos to all look at the camera at the same time while also smiling! The purpose of these group shots was admittedly a photo contest. The Multiples and More blog (see sidebar for link) was having a cutest multiples contest, and I knew I was a shoe-in to win if I could just get a shot of all four faces! So here are a few of the pics we took:

And here is the one that I actually sent in:

Sadly, not only did we not win, but we didn't even make the semifinals! Come on! Are the judges blind?

What? I'm not bitter!

The kids were nice enough to tolerate another photo shoot on Mother's day, although the smiles weren't as good! They were much happier later in the day when Jim and I took them to the park to play...

Reagan, Thomas, Zachary, and Jonathan

The last big thing we did before hitting the road for vacation was watch Daddy play bass in a mini concert with his friends. Here they are with their play guitars, watching from the sidelines.

Jim and his friends were the opening act for a rock band-themed Senior banquet at another band member's church. It was fun to see Jim play again. He hasn't played much since the babies came along. Actually, he hasn't played much since he found out they were coming! It was certainly a treat for the kids! They loved it, although I think they were a little overwhelmed by all the flashing lights and loud music. Still, it was terribly cute when Jonathan yelled out after the first song, "Good job, Daddy!"
And that pretty much brings us to the beach trip! So you can expect beach pics in the next post! And HOPEFULLY that post will come really soon!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Catching Up

As time permits, this may be a marathon post of snippets, pictures, and who knows what! I'm sitting here with no idea of what is going to end up in this post. Oh, well! Enjoy!

First, here's an update on me...I've felt basically fine for about a week now. Yea! I had the HIDA scan Tuesday morning which revealed that my gall bladder seems to be perfectly fine. So the best guess now is that I had/have an ulcer that is being healed by the Nexium, and that's why I feel better. If the pain returns, we'll schedule an endoscopy, but as long as I continue to feel okay, no more tests or dr visits.

The HIDA scan was an interesting test. You lay on your back for an hour and a half with what looks like a tire-sized bullseye pointed at your abdomen to take pictures of your insides and track the progress of radioactive dye through your gall bladder. I kept falling asleep because it was so boring, and I'm pretty sure my own snoring woke me up more than once. After the scan I was radioactive for 24 hours. That's right, radioactive! I wasn't allowed to hold the kids or use the same bathroom as them, and I glowed in the dark.

Okay, I didn't really glow in the dark.

Enough about you, Mom! Isn't this blog supposed to be about us!

Okay, okay! Enough about me! Here are a bunch of pictures of the kids and a few stories to go with them.
Jim's birthday happened to fall on a day that I was out of the house and the kids stayed home with some wonderful and very brave ladies from church. The fun activity of the day? Finger painting! The kids had never painted before, but they evidently loved it and were so proud of the beautiful piece of art they made their daddy for his birthday.

Note: Dramatic re-enactment for photographic purposes. No wet paint was used in the making of this picture.

Vader's a scruffy-looking nerf herder!
The kids are introduced to the Dark Side

Zachary's recent adorable/annoying saying: In answer to a request, such as, "Zachary, would you take your dump truck and put it back in the playroom, please?" Zachary now likes to say "No, no, no" very seriously while wagging his finger back and forth. We're not exactly sure where he got it from. It's really cute except for the not-doing-what-he's-asked part.

When I was sick, I was constantly having to tell the kids they couldn't climb on me because Mommy's tummy hurt. Thomas and Reagan started coming up to me daily to ask with looks of such high anticipation, "Now I can climb on you?" Now that I'm better, they still ask, and get so excited when I say yes!

Reagan is doing great with her potty training! We keep her little potty seat on top of the big potty, and if she's in the right mood, she can climb up and sit on the potty all by herself, pull down her own pants, get her own paper, wipe herself, pull up her pants, and flush the potty. She'd probably wash her own hands if she could reach the faucet handle! If she's not in the right mood, she's claims she's can't do those things because they are too hard, but then when you try to help her she screams that she wants to do it herself! Oh, well. We actually left the house and went to a friend's to play today without trading the undies for a Pull-up beforehand. No accidents! I'm so proud of her! She's so big! I teared up a little today thinking about how big the kids are getting! I just can't believe they'll be three next month. It won't be long before there will be no more diapers in our house. No diapers! It hardly seems possible!

Recently, we've also enjoyed a few get-togethers with our good friends Josh and Cris. It's always fun to spend time with them because their oldest is just 3 months older than JonZReaTom. On one of their visits, probably the only one when it didn't rain, the boys had a trike race...

On your mark, get set, GO!!!

And the winner is...Carter!
They were so adorable! And they had such fun! The boys are getting really good at riding their tricycles. Reagan isn't so much. She just doesn't seem interested. But I'd say this summer, there will be more times when we take them out front to let them ride in our little cul-de-sac, a much larger space than the back patio. I imagine she'll get jealous pretty quick of the boys taking off and leaving her, and that may be all the incentive she needs to figure that whole pedalling/steering thing out!
Well, it's getting late. I have more pictures to share and more stories to tell, but they'll have to wait for another post. I hope you enjoyed this one! Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just in Time for Mother's Day

As you may have noticed, there's been quite a break between this post and the last one. Some of you already know why, but some of you don't, so here's the story...

I've been sick. Very sick.

It started two weeks ago, when I woke up in pain in the very early Monday morning hours. I had felt fine all day Sunday, but suddenly there was mild to moderate pain in my upper abdomen, just below my rib cage, like a cramp that just didn't stop. It continued the rest of the night, lessening as the hours past until I was finally able to fall asleep around 6 or so.

When I woke up, I felt better. The pain was gone, but I was left with a feeling of tightness, like the muscles in my stomach were constantly contracted. This feeling continued for most of the day, but didn't keep me from taking care of the kids. We did, however, watch a lot more TV that day than normal! During the couple of hours before bedtime, I felt better than I had all day, but within an hour of going to bed, the pain was back, but worse this time. Sometime in the middle of the night, it spread to my back. I got very little sleep, but did doze off towards morning as the pain began to lessen.

Tuesday the tightness continued, with occasional pain, so Jim stayed home and I went to see my dr. Naturally, my symptoms did not sound classically like anything, but he suspected either my gall bladder or my stomach, an ulcer perhaps. He ran some blood tests, started me on Nexium in case it was a stomach issue, ordered an ultrasound of my gall bladder to check for stones, and sent me home with instructions to go to the ER if the pain got worse.

I had an "attack" (abdominal and back pain) in the evening, but took some Advil PM before bed, and managed to sleep fairly well that night.

I was at a point where I was afraid to eat almost anything because I didn't want to aggravate my insides. I also found that the tightness in my abdomen became worse if there was any pressure on my stomach, so I couldn't hold my kids in my lap or even really bend over. I had to have someone at the house all the time to watch the kids because I was unable to do so myself.

Wednesday, a couple of ladies from church came over and watched the kids for me. I felt decent in the morning, but as the hours passed I started to go downhill. By naptime I was in pain, and my sweet helpers sent me to bed, refusing to leave until Jim got home from work. When he arrived home and found me in pain, he convinced me to go to the ER. We called in more help from church to watch the kids, and off we went.

At the ER they did more blood tests, a urine test, and a CT scan. They told me all my tests came back negative, I didn't have kidney stones, and my gall bladder looked fine. They sent me home, in pain, and told me I needed to see a GI dr.

My parents came on Thursday to stay and help with the kids. I wasn't able to get a GI appt until Friday. My GI dr ordered another blood test to check for an ulcer-related bacteria and suggested I keep taking the Nexium and wait to see what the ultrasound showed NEXT WEDNESDAY!

The days went by. I always felt my best in the morning. Then sometime in the afternoon I would have an "attack" which might get better after I ate dinner and might not. I didn't have another overnight attack until around 3 Mon morning.

Finally, Wednesday arrived and I had my ultrasound. It looked at my gall bladder, kidneys, and spleen. My primary care dr called me that afternoon to say that everything looked fine. I admit I was disappointed. I was hoping for gall stones. Then I would KNOW what was wrong, and we could get it taken care of quickly! But alas, I looked fine. He did say, however, that the ultrasound did not completely rule out my gall bladder. It could still be having problems even if there were no stones. He ordered a HIDA scan to check my gall bladder function and told me to keep taking the Nexium.

Surprisingly, although the tightness continued, I didn't have any painful attacks on Wednesday. It was my first painfree day since the whole thing started! My parents went back to Memphis that day, needing to take care of a few things back home, but prepared to come back if they needed to.

The next 2 days brought the return of wonderful church helpers to watch the kids. I had a mild attack late Thursday afternoon which lasted all evening, but with the help of some Advil PM, I slept okay that night. I had no pain on Friday, but was very, very tired all day.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. No pain. No tightness. I felt almost normal! And it was a good thing too because around 6 last night Zachary started throwing up. He threw up several times throughout the rest of the evening. It wasn't too bad as vomiting episodes go, but it was possibly the worst we've ever had with our kids. It definitely required 2 functioning parents! One to tend to Zachary and one to tend to the other three! We finally put him to bed at almost 9:30 and he never threw up again. So far, he hasn't today either. Yea!

So now it's Mother's Day, and I am very thankful to feel practically normal again today. I have done more around the house this weekend without any attacks. I'm thankful to be helpful again! I'm slowly branching out from unseasoned grilled chicken, unadorned baked potatoes, and plain turkey sandwiches, and very thankful for the return of a little flavor to my meals.

I'm thankful for all the wonderful people who stepped up to help take care of the kids while I couldn't, most importantly Jim and my parents, but also Pam, Margie, Melissa, Charlotte, Tim, Gwen, Jeanette, Carla, and Ozell. Thank you all SO MUCH for being such a blessing to me and my family!

And most of all I'm tankful for being able to hold my kids in my lap again! That is truly a Mother's Day treat!

As for the future of my as-yet-unidentified illness, who knows! Perhaps the Nexium has healed something within me or perhaps two weeks of an incredibly bland diet has soothed something within me. Tuesday's HIDA scan should at least tell me whether or not the problem lies in my gall bladder. Then we can either cross it off the list of possibilities or yank it out of me altogether. I have a follow-up appt with the GI dr that same day, so we'll see what the next step is.

Hopefully, there will be no more painful attacks, and we can get some real answers soon! Thank you for all your encouragement and prayers! I'll keep you posted!

PS--KayKay did a fantastic job keeping up with Reagan's potty training while she and Bud were here, maybe even a better job than I had been doing before I got sick! Reagan is well on her way now to being declared officially potty-trained! Thanks Mom! Happy Mother's Day! I love you!