Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ok, so I think I've been having a moment the last week! The weather has gotten CRAPPY!!!!!! The weather last week was in the 70's and this week we have had snow storms everyday and it has been in the 20's. I do not like it, in fact I hate it. I have some vindication when I hear my dear husband, in laws, and everyone else (these are all the people who told me that "it really isn't that bad living here") complaining, and seriously contemplating moving to warmer climates. In fact my Father in-law just bought a house in Phoenix!

----------------NOW WITH THAT SAID---------------------
I will never move! Seriously, I cannot believe that I am saying this, but it is true. I feel so grateful to live here because of the care that Evan is recieving. His doctors and specialists are amazing! They already know him so well, they have already developed a love for him and our family. They fight for the things that he needs! We are lucky to live this close to a Children's Hospital and to see the people that we do. In this, we are a really lucky family!
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Utah: Day 6
This was my first day on my own. Evan and I drove down to Provo to visit with some of the people that I love that still live there. I walked around BYU campus for a little bit, reveling in memories. One of my favorite memories is in the Wilkinson Center. Every Friday afternoon I would meet up with Justin and all of the guys to eat lunch. It was so much fun being with everyone (they are crazy) and I feel so lucky that we still have such a good relationship with many of them.

From the Wilk I drove to Heidi's house. Heidi was my room roommate from Freshman year until I got married and she went on a mission. She is such an incredible person, and I have always admired her so much! I haven't seen her since her wedding, so it was awesome to be able to just sit with her and talk. Her little girl Lily is absolutely adorable and her and Evan had a great time with the bubbles. :-)

When Jen got home from work we drove over to her place to hang out. Jen was our roommate starting from our sophmore year until I got married (and Heidi went on a mission). I have been really lucky to see Jen on and off over the years. I couldn't believe how big Benjamin has gotten since I last saw him. I had such a good time just being with my girls again. In fact everything seemed just like it used to be (except we are older, have kids, and guys attached to us). Thank you Jen and Heidi for taking the time to see me. I know it was short, but I LOVED it!!!! I LOVE YOU GIRLS!!!!!!!! (Thank you Ricky for the pizza, and it was really great to see you too :-)

Benjamin and Lily

MY GIRLS!!!

From Jens house I drove to the Baxters house to meet up with my family. The Baxters are the family that we did most things with when i was growing up in Rosemary. In fact, I did everything with Sheldon. In fact we got engaged when we were 8 years old and I don't think I ever broke that engagment off with him before I married Justin. (sorry Sheldon ;-) Eventhough i have kept in touch with Sheldon I hadn't seen the rest of his siblings in forever. It was a wonderful evening. Thank you Georgina for hosting!

My dad snapped this picture when I wasn't looking (as you can tell from my ugly chin), but I thought Evan looked really cute, so I had to share.

The Baxter clan (minus a couple Baxter siblings, and my dad who is taking the picture)

Oh how things change.
I still remember hiding in the stairwell at the Rosemary chapel every week, thinking our parents would never find us. (no we didn't ever change it up)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Crash and Burn!


I find it very fascinating that I can easily pull together a last minute lesson for sharing time in primary, or ask me to lead the kids in song for 20 minutes and I can keep them happy and relatively contained, but give me a sheet of written announcements to direct opening and closing excersises ... and I crash and burn!!!! This happens every time I am given this job. How is it that I can totally "wing it" on the big tasks, and fail so horribly on the easy jobs? Something for me to think about.
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Utah: Day 5 (Tuesday)
This was our day to play the tourist! It is funny because I lived in Utah for four years and never got the opportunity to tour the conference center. Sure I had been many times inside, but never gotten the detailed tour. It was wonderful!!!! I loved every minute of it! (so much art work, so much architecture, so little time!)

Alex and Evan decided to switch shades before the tour.

We decided that dad looks kind of like Elder Quentin L. Cook, one of the twelve apostles. What do you think?

This painting was once owned by Napoleon's brother. I have been blessed to see the tabernacle this closely before, but never at a time that I could take pictures. Isn't it magnificent?

Our family on the roof of the conference center. It was so lovely up there!

This house was built in the 1800's and cost over a million dollars to build back then ... can you imagine? Everything is imported.

Eating in Brigham Youngs house, oh the bread rolls ... my mouth is watering just thinking about them.

My sister shot this picture of me, and I really like it. I snapped this picture of my siblings (Alex and Sarah) and LOVE it! This is there personality to a tee!

What do you think of these hotties? Some nice man got this picture of Sarah and me.

I didn't know Sarah was taking this picture, I guess Evan and I were soooo tired!

Later that night some of us went out to dinner with my great Aunt Nola. She and my Uncle Merlin helped me so much when I first moved to Utah. It was my first time on my own and they were so loving and took care of me when I needed it. They have always held a special place in my heart, but I haven't gotten to see Aunt Nola very much lately. It was wonderful to just be with her again. Isn't she beautiful?? I really hope I look like her when I am her age.

Here are the pics


So here are the pictures of my poor baby joining the borg ... resistance is futile, even if it is sad.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Evan's sleep study

Well, I haven't posted because I have been waiting on pictures from Justin's phone. Unfortunately I keep forgetting to ask him to download them, and I am tired of waiting to post. I will post the pictures later.

Wednesday Evan had a sleep study at the hospital. I am a pretty healthy person and I had never spent the night in the hospital before. It was a rough night for me. Let me start by saying that Evan usually goes to bed at 8:00pm and wakes up around 8:00am. They started hooking him up to the wires at 8:30pm and weren't finished until 9:30pm. At first Evan thought that all of the wires being stuck to him were pretty darn cool. He was laughing and talking and giggling. Unfortunately you take an over tired 21month old, have him sit still for an hour, and tell him not to play with the hundreds of wires around him and he becomes the green monster.

When the guy finished putting the wires on him and Evan was aloud to go to sleep he fell asleep almost instantly! Neither one of us had a great night of sleep, but I hardly slept at all! The sleep technician had to come in periodically to adjust a wire on Evan, or add another, etc. Everytime he came in my "mommy alarms" were going off, and I was wide awake making sure my baby was alright.

The worst part of the night was when he came in and tried to put the CPAP machine on him. The technician warned me before hand that babies often won't wear them, but he still had to try. He started to put the machine on Evan's nose and Evan started screaming bloody murder, and proceeded to rip it off. The technician put it on again so Evan couldn't take it off, and Evan screamed hysterically for the next 45 minutes or so. The problem was that Evan would start to calm down and suck his thumb, but when he sucks his thumb he hooks a finger on his nose. Obviously there was no place to hook the finger with the CPAP hooked up. It was so sad, but when they took the machine off he went right back to sleep.

Not too long after that they kicked us out at 6:00am!!!! Yuck!!!!! Needless to say, the two of us were really tired the next day! Poor Evan even fell asleep sitting up later that afternoon!
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Utah Day4:
We woke up and went to the University of Utah with Alex! The whole family got to do a tour of campus. Evan did such a good job and was really calm and good the whole day ... and it was a LONG day! The best part about this day ... it was warm!!!


At one point Evan fell asleep holding onto his cookie and balloon.


Alex and Sarah chilaxing on the tour.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Welcome to Holland

Since December many people have told me that I am a strong person,
or they will say that I am a special person. I know that Evan's
diagnosis has made our life a busier one, but it is a good life! A
couple people have sent us this story in an email, and it really does
describe what it feels like to go through what we have and will experience.
Enjoy!
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Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a
disability, to try to help people who haven't shared that unique
experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like
this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous
vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your
wonderful plans..the Coliseum, the Michelangelo, gondolas. You may
learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After several months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.
You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane
lands. The stewardess comes in and says," Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?" you say. "What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy!
I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to
Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in
Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they
haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of
pestilence, famine, and disease. It's just a different pace.

So you go out and buy new guidebooks and you must learn a whole new
language and you will meet a whole new group of people you would have
never met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy,
less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and
you catch your breath, you look around. You begin to notice that
Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, and Holland even has
Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're
all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the
rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to
go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that experience will
never, ever, ever go away. The loss of that dream is a very
significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to
Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very
lovely things about Holland.


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UTAH: DAY 3

Today was a wonderfully lazy day. It was the sunday session of General conference and we all just lazed about the sanchez's basement and watched the leaders of our church give their wisdom.

Evan and I took a walk with my sister Sarah and my Mom between sessions. After the last session everyone headed to the park and had a grand ol' time. My favorite part about this vacation was watching my family with my son. They love Evan so much and it was wonderful to see them shower him with love. He really had a great time with them too.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this picture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Evan playing football
My sisters


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fun in Lethbridge

First I want to congratulate my sister, Alycia, on running her first 1/2 marathon!!!!!!!! See I told you it was fun!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday we spent the day down in Lethbridge with my cousin Kari and Barrett. It was a really nice day trip, especially since the weather is starting to turn. It is truly amazing to me how quickly it becomes winter here and how quickly it is spring. One day it is below freezing and the next day it is in the 50's. (I know that still sounds cold, but believe me ... it makes a HUGE difference!)

I have started to prepare my garden, and I couldn't be more excited about growing my own food. I have always been interested in the living things of the earth (animals, plants) and I am hoping that I will have some success this year in my first actual garden! It has just been lovely being able to venture outside again, and Evan and Snoopy are loving it too! :-)

p.s. I was just braggin over the weekend to someone about my retro straightening iron. I know it is one of the first ones that came out, but it still works great, so why buy another one right? Well it broke two days ago. :-( This really isn't that important, except that I found a straightener today that is hot pink with zebra stripes. I knew it had to be fate that the weekend I need a knew straightner I find one that looks like this!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't know that it was possible for a straighter to be sexy, but this one is!

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UTAH: DAY 2
Saturday April 4th

Today my parents had gotten tickets to go to the second session of the general conference of our church. Having gone to BYU for 4 years I have had the opportunity to go to conference many times. What I didn't realize until today is that my parents haven't been to conference since I was 6 years old and they had NEVER been inside the conference center. I had the best time watching them experience everything for the first time! I have always enjoyed my opportunities to attend conference, but it made me even more greatful that I have had the opportunity to attend as often as I have.

Whenever you watch spring conference on the TV the flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, people are smiling! It always looks very different from the gloomy, freak blizzard that we experienced today. It was weird, but we were fortunate that we were at the front of the line and we could feel the heat from in the building when they had the doors open.

Conference was a wonderfully spiritual and uplifting experience as always! I loving hearing the prophet and apostles speak. Two of the talks were especially touching to me. They spoke of the experiences of losing their children. I was a basket case!

After conference the boys stood in the stand by line to get into the Priesthood session and the girls met up with Trevors mom and sister. (Trevor is Alycia's significant other) We went shopping and met back up with the guys to go to dinner at a place called Buca di Beppo. It was a really neat place and we sat in the Pope room! The pope even watched us while we ate. My brother Alex decided to lie to our poor waitor and told him that it was my birthday. Apparently everyone at the table knew that it was my birthday except for me! Since it was my birthday I made everyone sing to me, and in return I shared my cake. I love birthdays ... thanks Alex!!!

All in all, it was a good second day. I know I will be saying this a lot, but it was just wonderful to spend time with my family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I decided to play the tourist and take a picture after the session was over.

Our whole family (minus a couple brothers) in front of the conference center. (Please forgive my outer wear! I know that my coat looks terrible with my outfit, but when you travel you can only bring so many coats ... shoes are more important to me.)

My sisters and I posing in front of the fountain that Justin proposed to me in front of. (Oh the memories!)

At dinner with the Pope! (do you see him in the middle?)


Me and my Birthday cake ... yumm!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Alright ... I am back now

Utah was a very productive and enjoyable trip for Evan and I. I got back to Calgary late on Easter. We had a family day Monday and the next two for whatever reason haven't slowed down at all! I think that I will write my thoughts for the day and then cover my Utah trip one day at a time. That way y'all can see pictures and everything.

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UTAH DAY ONE
Our flight left for Salt Lake at 1:30pm on Friday. I am terrified of flying and when I was consistently sitting on strangers laps and making them bleed, while crying hysterically into their shoulders I decided that maybe it was time to medicate myself when I am on an airplane. Thankfully I still had some xanax with me because this was a little plane! I have gotten so used to flying 6-8 hours at a time that I didn't remember that the planes get smaller the shorter the flight is.

We arrived safely to Salt Lake City and picked up my sister, Alycia, from her apartment. It was so nice to see her again and have some solo time to talk and catch up! The three of drove to our first stop of the day. When Evan was first diagnosed we were introduced to a 2nd cousin of Justins that has children with SMA. We have spoken many times on the phone and were very excited to meet their little family. The Evans family were wonderful!!! Alycia, Evan and I all had such a blast just hanging out and talking with them! Their sweet SMA baby (well not really a baby, but the baby of their family) let Evan try her motorized wheel chair. This is the one that Evan will get initially as well, so it was fun to see him in it. To say he LOVED it would be an understatement! He screamed bloody murder when we took him out of it, because he wanted to continue motoring around. I wish I had video from later when he got really good at navigating, but the camera ran out of juice. The video I have is the very first time he tried it. We just had soooo much fun with this family ... thank you guys!

Sometime while we were visiting the rest of our family arrived to the valley from San Diego. My parents went to my dads mission reunion and left my other two siblings at our friends house where we were staying. When Alycia and I were done visiting the Evans family we said our goodbyes and drove 5 minutes down the rode to where we were staying.

The Sanchez family used to live in San Diego and are really good friends of my family. They just recently moved to Utah and ironically live just down the rode from the Evans'. Since all the parents were at mission reunions the siblings just stayed up and talked forever ... it was awesome! Then my parents got home and we drove Alycia back to her apartment. It was a late night, but a very good night. I hadn't seen my family (other than my mom) for almost a year. It was wonderful to be that close to them again!
Evan and Madeline really made a connection, and I wonder if their little spirits knew that they could relate to one another on a level that nobody else could understand.


video

Friday, April 3, 2009

OFF TO UTAH!!!!!

Lessons learned today

1) I thought I knew what mud was before today ... but I really didn't.
2) Mud can actually build up to a point that it prevents the wheels on my stroller to roll anymore.
3) When your foot is sunk to just above your ankle in mud it is really hard to move, let alone the stroller or your dog.
4) My white dog can actually turn black.
5) In order to wash off a mud caked stroller you sometimes have to be really creative, because the pipes are frozen and the hose doesn't work.
6) Going to explore that unpaved road to see where it lead was probably the worst idea I have had in 6 years!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Jasmine!!!! We can't believe you are 4!!!!!!!!!!