Friday, March 30, 2012

Precious Plus

Hazie, Jim, Julia, Piper and Chloe JaneA close up of Hazie without her cast Day 1

I arrived here in Utah on Saturday. Jim had already been here a week and worked so hard to keep the home fires burning here for Jen and Lowell and their family amid several stressful situations all piled inconveniently into one short week. To name a few, Lowell had a business trip that took him out of town for a few days, only to return in the wee hours of the morning on the day of Jennifer's hysterectomy. Hazel was beyond ready to have her cast removed after 6 "forever" weeks of being in a spika cast that ran from the tip of her little toes to between her shoulder blades to repair her broken femur. A second compression sore had been discovered under her cast on her back. The first one had required a cast modification the previous week so that just created a new pressure spot apparently. So that dominoed into much more tummy time in the cast which was very difficult for a four year old.

Their dog Molly got out and was delivered by the police with a sizable ticket for non-adherence to the leash law.

Piper~7th Grade
A very good thing that just added to the mix was on Saturday Piper turned 13. This is a big birthday and one that Jen certainly didn't want to gloss over. Mom managed to make these great cupcakes and take Piper shopping and out to dinner for her birthday.

Happy Teen Years, Pipey!

So those are the highlights...for starters, of what brought Grampa to Utah earlier than we had planned. Bless his heart, he did a remarkable job of putting out the fires that caused the stress and keeping the ones burning that added comfort.We all have our gifts and that is one of his for sure.

My plane was over an hour late leaving Oakland so it was great to finally arrive at Jen and Lowell's. A mom just has to see her kid, face to face, to know how she is really doing. She looked really good. She is such a pioneer type woman, I admire that in her so much. The pain meds seemed to help her cope with the discomfort and she was in very good spirits. All the suffering of the past few months seem to be gone! Joy to the world in this home!

Sunday we had a bit of a scare with Hazie. Her recently broken leg was swollen and red and hot. We had but one normal day with the cast off. The orthopedic surgeon mentioned to be watching for these symptoms. Lowell took her to an after hours clinic associated with Utah Valley. They basically said it may be a bone infection and washed their hands of her case. So we had to take her up to Primary Children's hospital. After looking at every possibility we decided it should be Jen and me taking her up after packing our bags to stay if they admitted her. We figured it would be the best for Hazie and for Jen too as she could just rest there. Kind of a joke in a hospital really, but it is hard for her to rest here with the four kids too. So up I went with Jen on drugs and Hazie with a fever.
Long story short, her leg was fine and her fever was originating from a UTI which ultimately turned out to be a staph infection. Holy Cow, this girl never does anything part way.
However, that took seven hours to diagnose and get the proper meds. In that time she managed to endear herself to the entire floor of hospital staff. For most of that time Hazie and Jen shared a gurney as we were in the ER. When the staff would come in she would ask them their names and then ask if she could be their doctor! A little pay back seemed like it was in order!She had a little mask and some rubber gloves and wanted to borrow their stethoscopes. She steals the heart of every human she comes in contact with, it is so amazing to watch.

They had to draw two viles of blood and they always have a hard time finding and keeping her tiny veins going. It took 30 minutes of them poking and prodding to get the blood and an IV started.

She kept saying "I'm not gonna cry!" They kept saying it was OK and she whimpered a little. They said repe
atedly, "You are so brave, Sweetheart," she kept saying, "No, I not!" This child makes a person see right into the portals of heaven. I never knew one could love another person so much. She has made me capable of loving everyone more.

After all of the poking ordeal she said, "OK l
et's have a party now and no more poking, Otay?" That is when the staff brought her a cute little pink bunny, stickers and it was time for dinner and some party treats.

Even though we had packed our bags to stay the usual overnight and then some...we got to go home. It was a great day after all. I couldn't really see how Jen could be comfortable in those bizarre chair to bed conversions while still being so sore...so it all turned out well.

The 27th was our son's 37th birthday. The night before we took Chris and his family out to dinner at the Spaghetti Factory. We had such a great time and I did not take a single picture. What was I thinking? I must get back into blogger mode. So some older ones of them...


Jennifer and Chris
Once upon another time...
Jen wasn't much in the mood for having any photos
taken so soon after her surgery either.


Chris and Missy and Owen in Chris' arms,
Connor, Zachary and Aynslee front row.
Our man on the go!

After dinner we went back to their house and had our Family Home Evening. It was so wonderful and then Connor played the piano for us and Aynslee her violin. They are amazing, really a.maz.ing. It is hard to realize they are only 12 and 9.

Zach and Owen wowed us also in their own special ways. Owen at 4 has taken to reading a verse of scripture along with the rest of the family every night; he makes up the verse. He did about five poignant verses..one he said was, "And it came to pass...no one will ever die." Sweet. Zach 7 and Grampa played a game or two of Pig in the Pen and Zach beat Grampa handily, much to Grampa's chagrin, I might add!

The rest of the week so far is kind a blur of relaxing, snuggles with little girls, listening to their secrets and concerns and keeping Jen company and doing some work. She was organized and did all the cooking in advance so all we do is pop something out of the freezer and make a salad. Brilliant and thoughtful.

Chloe did have her first soccer game
and is the team Goalie.

None of us could make it unfortunately, but our good friend, Kim, took Chloe and that was so sweet. Kim's daughter, Shelby, and Chloe are growing up best friends and are on the same team.

I've been discussing genealogy with Lowell, particularly Ancestry.com and watched Hugo with Jennifer. Yesterday I bought Hugo and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close on DVD. I was so happy and surprised to see EL&IC is already out. We love that movie. We just love collecting fabulous movies...well, I do, wink wink. We do enjoy watching them on our Friday night dates at home.

Jim has been visiting Hazie's classroom the last couple of days. She has loved bringing him for "Show and Tell" Hahaha.

Such a great preschool.
That is Hazie in her purple sparkly wheelchair.


The hope is she will be all ready to
get back on the bus next week.

Jim is making a table for Hazie with a cutout for her wheelchair. He says this may be exactly what he wants to do in his shop when it is done. It would be perfect to make modified furniture and equipment for kids with disabilities. It would take in all his skills in education and design and carpentry to produce something so wonderful for these little angels. Perfecto!

Last coat of glossy cream colored paint...now drying and curing in the sun for a day. And then her very own spot to explore her talents and have fun. Grampa, he is a legend in his own time! Lucky us!

Finished...She loves it!


Julia, Chloe, Piper & Hazie
And one last photo~a miracle

The girls all in one place holding still.
And that's a wrap for Utah...
until June 1st when we will be back!

2 comments:

Sister Susie said...

How busy you have been! I'm so thankful to read Hazie's is doing well now. I pray for her every day. Welcome home!
Love to you all, Susan

Caroline Craven said...

Wow! That was an Extremely Busy and Incredibly Hectic vacation! I hope you are resting up and not taking on a ton of stuff (tee-hee, I know both you and Jim are probably not sitting around resting, eating bonbons and watching Oprah). I love Owen's contributions to scripture study. I also can't believe how much that little Hazel goes through - and then to want a party when it's all said and done. That is so touching. Jim's desk for her is amazing. Maybe Kent needs a shop! I hope Jen continues to improve each day and is getting her strength back. You have an amazing family. I have to admit, I would never cook and freeze meals, especially if I knew my mom was coming. She is a very thoughtful daughter. I hope you have a little down time before the next demand!