Thursday, December 31, 2015

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concert

Before the break Mike and I went on a date to see the MoTab Christmas concert. I got the tickets from my boss so it was a last minute date night but that's ok with us. A free date works in our budget.

We've never been to a Christmas concert so being here was absolutely amazing. We had great seats! Like 6th row from stage. So instead of seeing the peoples faces on the jumbo screens we could see everyone up close. I was even able to hear to famous Mac Wilberg (Mr.Mac) count down his orchestra. It was wonderful. 
We felt the spirit there so much. I cried the entire time. Mike was kind enough to let me hide my teary face in his shoulder so the people around me wouldn't hear me sniffling. 
The choir was amazing. 
The opera singers made me cry harder.
The dancers were wonderful. 
My date was hot. 

Afterwards we grabbed some hot chocolate from a street vendor and walked temple square looking at the Christmas lights. 

Mike and I haven't made the proper time to enrich our relationship so it was nice to spend some one on one time with him. 

Haileys birthday

So before I caught my big break (get on words) our families schedules were pretty full.

Hailey turned 10! For her birthday we did  something  small since our budget was teeny tiny from California. She woke up to a decorated living room, we did a few homeschool worksheets, everyone played outside until mike came home, then we had cake/ice cream/presents/ and a movie night. 
She didn't tell me what she wished for. I'm guilty of being too busy to ask her. (Man I was really missing opporthnites being her mom) 
A few facts about Hailey:

She wants to be a chef/baker when she grows up. 

She wants 10 kids. 

To be married in a temple near an ocean. 

Plans to babysit to earn money for her mission & college. 

She likes to shop for statement wild pieces and isn't afraid to pair a cheetah print dress with cowgirl boots.( it actually looks really cute)

She loves to watch cooking shows like cupcake wars or anything on the food network. 

She's more patient that she likes to admit. 

She loves to read and collect books.

She enjoys being outdoors but she will say she's more of a warm weather person. (We all are)

She loves the ocean. 

The movie Lilo and Stitch since it talks about families.

 She's an animal lover of all creatures. 

She struggles at times having two seperate families but we try to help soften that blow but encouraging open communication. 

She's a very loyal friend. 

She loves her cousins. She loves being girlie with S and K. She loves playing or watching mason and A goof off. She loves how tiny and cuddly A.S. But she especially loves D. Since the day he was born she's taken a special lovin' to him. 

She's loves her family. Like really loves them. She talks about how she loves coming from a big family. 

She Laughs so loud that I can hear her downstairs. 

She copies my attitude to the tee so this puts me in check a lot. 

She will yell at anyone making fun of her siblings. She's very protective. 

She is the sibling that each kid goes to asking questions or wanting to talk to when they don't want to come to mike and I. 

Spelling is her weakness. Charity is her strength. 

She doesn't play with toys anymore but she does have a few stuffed animals she keeps with her. Sasha the dog. Stitch from disneyland. And big john, the bear I had as a kid. 

She's very sentimental 

I can go on and on about her. She's so amazing. I tell her often that God has a great plan for her. All she needs to do is trust him and she does.

I love her so very much. She has taught me so much about myself and the person I want to become that I'm grateful God put her as my teacher. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Broken Holiday

Our family tradition is to go sledding on Christmas Eve. This year being so busy it looked like we weren't going to make it happen before I had to go to work. But like always mike doesn't give up.
We found a nice size hill at our local high school. So we grabbed the sleds and were anxious for the snow to fly in our faces. 
Mike and our kids went down once and pressured me to go next so I grabbed the inflatable sled and went to the top of the hill. Not wanting to go down by myself I asked Lily if she wanted to hop on with me and go down with me. She wanted  to join me so I waited for her to get the the top where I was but my sled started to make it's way down the hill. I don't know why it did; it just started to go. Lily grabbed my hood of my coat to try to stop me but I just kept going. So for the first 4 seconds it was really fun. I felt so free with the cold wind hitting my face. THEN.... I hit a jump. I didn't see the snow jump but once my sled hit it I went up 5-6 feet up into the air. I knew something was wrong since I kept going up and wasn't going down as soon as I thought. 
Anyways when I hit the icy ground I felt pain. I rolled, tumbled, and landed on my face. Some says I hit my bottom only. Others say I hit my bottom, back, then face. I don't know what I hit. I just felt pain. 
Anyways after I stopped falling I screamed in pain. I mean SCREAMED! Mike tells me that he's never seen me in so much pain. He's seen me doing laundry around after a c-section or walking around with a broken toe so he's told me over and over again that I have a high pain tolerance. And I would agree. But at this moment I felt pain I never felt before so I cried and screamed. Mike came rushing over to me and tried to pull me up and I screamed even more. He tells me that he wasn't sure what was going on with me. His first thought was I got my wind knocked out of me but when he heard me scream he knew something was wrong. 
While I was laying on the ground the other family that was at the hill as well came over to check on me. The wife called an ambulance while the husband, who's also a doctor, started to assess me. His family member held my neck still in case of injury. He helped put me in a comfortable ( or somewhat comfortable) position. Gathered my info so when the EMT's came they can be filled in ASAP. 
While this all occurred Mike, being himself (tunnel vision and sometimes not thinking of my feelings) told me to be quiet. That my screaming was freaking our kids out causing them to cry/scream themselves. Granted I thought it was really rude but me being a mom I bit my lip and kept silent. 
When the EMT's arrived the doctor filled them in on my situation. The wife took our kids to our truck so they can buckle up. While mike talked with the EMT's to find out where I was going to be going our kids immediately said a prayer for me. 

So while in the ambulance I still didn't make a sound. At this point I was too scared to make a sound so I kept quiet. This made it hard to answer questions but I was conscience and they knew stuff already so they just let me be.

Meanwhile mike dropped off our kids at his brothers and made it to the hospital right as I was being admitted. 

Now things are hazy for me since I was really drugged up. I mean really, Really drugged up. I was crazy talking. I had a X-ray and MRI from a cursing tech within minutes of each other. 
I broke my lower back. Vertebre L2 and L3. One vertebre was broken in several places and the other was compressed to much ( squashed like a sponge) that the top chipped off. 

So the doctor told mike I wouldn't need surgery. Only pain meds and a brace. And since the brace people were coming to fit me in a brace if I could get up and walk and stay awake long enough to answer questions I could go home. But since I was so drugged up I couldn't stay awake. So this lead me to being admitted to the hospital for the night. 
I was sent up the the wrong room but then to my correct room. (The er doc seen fluid around my right lung so he wanted me to be on a floor with less patient ratio to staff. )
So mike set up his chair bed and went to sleep. Poor guy went to work at 3:30am to only be awake til 1am. 
Around 4am Christmas morning I finally came too and asked mike to fill me in on everything that happened. He told me everything that I wrote plus how I insisted our bishop come give me a blessing. Mike was hesitate since it was Christmas Eve but he called anyways since it's what I wanted. The bishop came within 15 minutes and assisted mike with giving me a blessing.( He actually visited me a couple of times while I was in the hospital) 
Anyways the plan for Christmas was to open gifts in my room then be discharged when the doc came. 
So this happened. 
Mike left around 7:30am to pick up our kids along with all of gifts and breakfast from mcdonalds. Hey if I can't make breakfast at least we can eat together. 
After eating we opened gifts. This year our family pulled names. So each kiddo got 1 gift from mike and I, their stocking, and 1 gift from the person who got their name. 
Hailey got my name. She brought me a birthstone family locket and this family photo. I love the electrical tape. It makes the photo more precious to me. 
Mike pulled Lily's name and gave her a figure set from Big Hero 6. Our parent gift was a remote control car. She loved it all! 
Mason had Ducati's name. He gave her an elephant plush and two princess books. She loves her Dumbo!

Mike and I gave her this shopping cart. This thing was hard to find. Most stores sold out so I ordered it on line. But then I got an email from amazon that it wasn't going to be delivered in time for Christmas. So the day before, before sledding, I found her shopping cart on a yard sale site so mike picked it up after his shift. She loved it so much that it was worth the extra work in finding it. 

Hailey received an art set from mike and I. She wanted her own art kit (paints,crayons,pencils,brushes,etc) and some grown up coloring books so that's what we got her. 
Ducati pulled her name and ordered Hailey an "angel" toy from the Lilo and stitch series. She loved it!
Mason was easy to gift. All he wanted was lego ninjago sets. So mike and I got him one. And Lily who got his name also got him one. He was happy to have these sets. 
I pulled mikes name. I ordered him a Star Wars hoodie but yet again it was going to come in late so I got him a new pocket knife. 

Ducati.... She's such a sweet girl. She wanted to give everyone a gift so she went around the house and gathered things that were her's and regifted them. 
I got a pop tart. 
Mason got some crayons and pencils. Lily got one of Cati's old headbands. Hailey got her angel. Mike got a back scratcher. She's so sweet. 

Everyone's stockings were filled with stuff I got for free. Cokes, candy, hair ties, Chapstick, mints, socks, coloring books, stickers,etc. so each person got their own stash of treasures. 

Anyways as we waited for the doctor our girls sat in a corner and colored in their coloring books. 
Then the spine specialist came in and delivered some bad news. The brace I was fitted in was wrong and I should have never gotten out of bed. This all could cause permit damage. The medication I was given gave me an allergic reaction but the dumb nurse didn't believe me and I was never suppose to be on morphine pump. So I needed to be fitted with a new full upper body brace, got off the pump, find a pain medication that won't cause me to itch and not get up. 
Plus more bad news is that it's Christmas Day I won't be able to get my brace until the next day. So now mike and I needed to make new plans. 
What to do with our kids? 
Mason and Hailey went to their dad's earlier than planned. 
Lily and Cati went back to their uncle and aunts house. 
So once I was kid less again things started to unfold at the hospital. 
I got new medication. I was bed bound til the brace came which drove me crazy. The staff had no idea about repositioning me so I had to tell them every 2 hours to move me to prevent bed sores and to help my sanity. I instructed them where to put pillows, how to adjust me, and to move my foley. If they didn't do it I had mike do it. 

Anyways when the brace people came the next day I was excited to be discharged from the hospital. But then again the staff goofed up. I wasn't given any physical therapy or occupational therapy so I had no idea how to use a walker, how to walk up stairs, how to get dress,.... Really how to function. So my awesome spine doctor gave the staff a piece of his mind and within 20 minutes people who had the day off where in my room. Equipment I didn't have was now stacking up in my room. It's great to have someone with a degree speak up because no one was listening to mike and I. 

While I was signing paperwork mike picked up Lily and Ducati from his sisters house. They came to pick me up and it was very nice to be home finally. 

Mikes mom made dinner for us while he ran to fill my prescriptions. That first night was awful. The couch was too low for me. I can't do stairs so going to my bed was out of the question. But masons bed worked just fine. So for now I'm in mason queen size bed which is in our living room since being in his room is really lonely. 
The spine doc says I need to visit him in 2-3 weeks to see how I'm healing. My overall recovery time table is 2-3 months. 
So I'm on extended leave from work which is nice that when I do heal I'll have a job still. Mike is on fmla. My family has been helping these past few days which has been a blessing. 

Everyone keeps telling me that God has a plan for everyone and everything. That there's a reason why this happened. Yeah! I'm waiting for that to be revealed to me. 
Oh well... I'm thankful that Lily wasn't with me. I'm thankful my angels pushed me down that hill. I'm thankful that there was a doctor at the sledding hill. I'm thankful that the spine doc came in and corrected everything before it was too late. I'm thankful that I was able to be silent so my kids could calmed down.   I'm thankful I wasn't paralyzed. I'm thankful I don't need surgery. All is good so far. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Los Angeles

So after my shift on Saturday night we started our drive to California.

Our 10 hour drive!

Anyways when we got there we went to Getty villa  first (see post) then to our hotel. Which turned out to be not what the website said so I cancelled my reservations and found another hotel within minutes. Thank you

Anyways this place was big, spacious and in the heart of L.A. 
Funny thing was Michael Jackson stared at you all the time.
But our kids liked it since there was cable, unlimited juice and Lily could lift the ironing board. Which she did A LOT !

Anyways after visiting a few places and constantly paying for parking we decided we are not LA people. (Target charges you parking. Boo!)
Why would they paint their fire hydrants silver? We were and still are baffled.
At least we got to see the Los Angeles temple. We could get closer without paying again for a meter.

We dislike LA!

But we did find a beach. That was nice until we had to pay for $6 parking. Grrr! 
Calm down....Venice beach was wonderful 
Mike inhaling the ocean scent.
Our girls the sand climbers
Our kids just played and played
They are saying merry Christmas.
Mike on the other hand started feeding the birds our P3's.
At one point he had about 20 birds circling around him catching food as he threw it in the air.
After lunch mike and Cati built a sand castle
While Lily and I made a sand Christmas tree with seashell ornaments and see weed tree skirt. 
Then we climbed ocean rocks
Respect the shark!

Next we collected some seashells and sand dollars since the tide was coming in. Perfect time :) 

We got enough seashells for us girls to have a craft night. And a few sand dollars to make into ornaments for our Christmas tree. Yes! :) craft time :)
So Lost Angela as Lily called it turned out to be ok. I guess we're more beach people than..... Anything else people.

Getty Villa

Since we left utah early since we were so excited for disneyland I planned a few activities for us to do in L.A. 
This one was going to the gardens/art museum at Getty Villa. At least that's what I think it's called. I totally pinterested  it :) 

The gardens were so pretty. A little too pretty since our two little's wanted to pull all the flowers out for themselves. 
(Only 1 rose was hurt in the making of this blog post)
The rest of this museum was a MUSEUM... so our kids of courses touched thousand year old art pieces that made security to follow us the entire 2 hours we were there. 
Thankfully we found the family room aka the kid room where the kids can play with fake pottery and no one cared if they dropped it. 
Found this Meg vase. Just perfect!
Mikes creation. Flour! Hahaha! 
Lily's pottery creation. "Be happy" 
Mason making a hydra that's so fitting for this trophy. 
Anyways in the kids room I found a vase scavenger hunt. So each room had 1-2 vases the kids had to look for then mark off. 
This was a great idea since now our kids only touched 1-2 things in each room instead of everything. 
Lily being fascinated by a waterlily. 
She was very close to being named this. 
Anyways back to art.
 Besides having really old pottery and naked statues there was tons of roman/Greek mythology stuff. So completely up Masons alley. 
Plus weird heads hanging everywhere. 
Hey at least they were by pretty flowers.
Funny thing was after all the trouble our kids got into (no one grounded just told over and over again to not touch things) they each said this was their favorite place.