Thursday, March 29, 2012

our beautiful babies & emma's CBC

I might be slightly, just a tiny bit biased when it comes to our kids, but I think they are pretty darn cute.  I love watching them grow and be the cute, fun little people that they are.  Here are some random photos from this week:

BELOW:  We were at our neighbors garage sale, and Rhys had to wear this helmet.  She wanted it on, then off, then on, then off, then on...and she would act so cool while she wore it.  Like she thought she looked so pretty.  It might have had something to do with our neighbor telling her how beautiful she looked in it...hehe.  We're pretty sure she's going to want to wear it with her prom dress when she's a teen.  Yes.  She likes it THAT much.  hehe.

So, to the not as fun part, Emma had her blood work done on Tuesday.

I had to take all the kidlets with me.  They did really good.  Violet sat by Emma and tried to comfort her with hugs while she was getting her blood taken.  Emma didn't want to give them her arm, so we had to force it, which I hate doing.  They got it in one poke.  Emma was very, very upset (screaming at them, crying).

WBC: 2.0 (ref range is 4.5-11.0)
HGB 10 (12-16) - androgens help this blood line the most
HCT 28.10 (36-46)
Platelets 39 (130-400)
ANC 650

Her platelets are considered "critically low".  Her ANC is her immune system.  Easiest way to describe it is that it's her body's ability to fight infection.  Under 1500 (some places say under 2000) is abnormal.  Under 1000 means you have a higher chance of infection.  Under 500 is severely low.  Emma is 650.  So, her immune system is pretty wimpy right now.  It's usually pretty wimpy (800-900), but it's extra wimpy now.

The doctor said to be really careful of germs.  If she runs a fever of 101.5, we need to call & probably admit her.  It's hard to not feel really frustrated.  We so badly want her to have a normal life, but right now, we have to be so careful.  Also means the other kids have to be really careful.  Luckily we've had awesome neighbors who have done whatever they can to make sure our kids have a social life.

I asked the doctor about Emma's cellularity going up to 80% and why we aren't seeing an increase in Emma's blood counts.  Honestly I can't remember his answer.  He went to a place with his explanation that I was completely unfamiliar with medically (yes, that apparently still happens with FA!), and the kids were getting really impatient and continually interrupting, so I need to ask again.  Whatever it was, it had something to do with how FA kids don't make a certain something and even with the higher cellularity, they still don't make it, so that's why there isn't the increase. 

After Emma's poke, it was Ella's turn.  If you remember, or didn't know, the first time they tested Ella, the lab messed up and did the wrong test completely.  No blood was leftover, so they asked us to come back to retest her.  I'm not mad at anyone, I know mistakes happen, but the situation has been very frustrating.  I hate hate HATE having our babies poked, and to do it again because of an error was really frustrating. 

So, they took this sweet baby, who was cooing and smiling at everyone, and tried to find her tiny little vein:

Which made her do this...(in case I've confused you, these aren't photos from the doctor visit):

The doctor walked in just as the phlebotomist was finding a vein.  He offered to do it, so she let him.  The hematologists seem to be better with the hard pokes.  Anyway, so after my usual threat of physical harm if he didn't get the poke, he missed.  And then he dug...a lot.  We determined that his fear of me kicking him in the head might have lead to him missing the vein. (He's like 6' 3"...about a foot taller than me).  So, after a ridiculous amount of digging, and him threatening to send me out of the room (teasing...because he better be teasing....), he decided to stop and try again.  He knew he had one more try and then we were done.  I'm not interested in little baby being used as a pin cushion.

She screamed so hard and so sad.  I really, really can't stand it.  

He did end up getting it with the second poke and a lot of digging.  He got it, then it would stop flowing.  Then he'd have to dig and find it again.  It would flow, then stop.  Then he'd have to dig.  Then find it and it's flow then stop.  We tried holding her still, but she was fighting so hard, it made her tiny vein move and mess up the blood draw.  Finally they got 2 cc's of blood.  That's all they needed!  So, let's hope they get the right test done this time because I don't think I'll be agreeing to bring her in again.

For those concerned, the doctor did survive.  hehe.  He has a great sense of humor, so it was funny...minus the blood draw part.  He told me that Dr L is afraid to come and poke our babies because of me.  I laughed, and he told me he was serious.  Then I thought through the past four babies, and Dr L has never done blood work on them.  Oh, yeah.  The power of the ninja mom.

I love this photo.  Rhys is the sweetest big baby sister ever.

I'll write more on this later, but it's pretty for sure we'll be getting the new house.  We will probably be moving in in 1.5 weeks.  Yippee!  Of course, there's always the chance something freakishly bizarre will happen (like the world exploding) in which case, we probably wouldn't get the house.

Okay, I'm not really making sense, am I?  I'm about to fall asleep.  I think I should go.

I hope you are all doing well!  I'll post house photos soon.

Take care,

Monday, March 19, 2012

We are probably 90% packed.  Now we just wait and hope everything works out.  Either way, we'll need it packed so we can sell this house.  We have a little more painting to do to make all our walls a nice, boring off white color, and then we'll be good to go!  It'll be nice to be past this point and settled wherever we settle (hopefully in the new house we want!).

A couple funnies:

We were in the van driving somewhere and we had the following conversation:
VIOLET: (crying) "My brother and sister won't call me by my name." (sob)
DAD:  "What are they calling you?"
TS:  (in a quiet voice) "Chicken head."
(maybe I'm a dork - well, we know I am! - but that struck me as soooo funny, though, he's not allowed to call Violet that since it hurts her feelings.  He wasn't trying to be mean - just funny.)


The kids were outside playing on the swing set.  TS and Emma were swinging on the two-seater swing and Violet ran in the house, very concerned.  This was our conversation:

VIOLET:  "Mom!  They are swinging so high!  I'm worried they are going to swing into space!"
ME:  "Really?  All the way into space?"
VIOLET: "Yes!  You should have them stop!  I don't want them to swing into space!" (as she covers her face so she doesn't have to watch.

That was mostly just super adorable how concerned she was.  Later when I told Emma & TS about it, TS said, "Why didn't you tell me?!" as he covered his face, thinking of what would have happened if he had swung into space.  haha!  weirdos.


I don't go places with all five kids very often.  The worry of germs makes us be pretty careful.  But sometimes I don't have a lot of choice and bring them all (and pray the germs leave us be).  We were all getting ready for a doctor appt.  I was doing really good.  They were all dressed, shoes on, hair done, and we were getting ready to head out the door.  We were a tiny bit behind, but compared to normal, we were doing AWESOME. 

Then I turned and saw Violet laying on the kitchen floor with her mostly eaten bowl of oatmeal spilled.  It was one of those moments where you realized it should have been obvious this was going to happen.  Things were going a little too right.  She apologized and obviously felt silly for falling.  Then she was proud that she had made me laugh hysterically.  It was especially funny when a few minutes later she assured me she had cleaned all the oatmeal out of her hair.  haha!  I'm sensing this is only making me laugh, but still.  It still makes me laugh hysterically if I think about it.  It sometimes feels like NO MATTER WHAT, something happens to make us late.  Next time I know to leave a little bit of time to clean oatmeal out of Violet's hair. 

Since we have two Tyler's in the house, I'll sometimes call Tyler "Tyler husband!" when I'm wanting to make sure he knows I'm calling him and not TS.  I'll call TS, "Tyler son" if I need him. 

Violet will sometimes holler "Tyler husband!" when she wants TS' attention...hehe.


Emma being hearing impaired leaves us with some funny misunderstandings or she'll get her phrasing wrong.  For example, she had a runny nose, and she told me, "My nose is runny!  I'm going to go blow it up."  (instead of "go blow my nose")


I do have many more, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Here are some photos of the kids on the trampoline. Our little neighbor friend was over playing outside.  She's famous with the kids.  They think she's the funnest, sweetest little girl ever.  And, she pretty much is.  (Yes, we used hand sanitizer to kill any potential germs since we're germaphobes with Emma's wimpy immune system!  That's also why we only play outside with other kids, especially during flu season.)  I love my camera.  For years I've wanted to be able to take good action shots, and now I can!


They reminded me of little fairies, so I made them little fairies...

And, lastly, this is what happens when Emma watches the baby for a few minutes.  She ends up with lots of bracelets:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I'm going to see how fast I can write this entry because I really don't have time!  We're packing to move and are spending literally every single second busy.  Okay, so I exaggerated.  Not every single second.  Ella wants some snuggle time, so I thought we'd snuggle while I updated the blog.  Her feet are helping me type as she lays on my lap chillaxin.

As I mentioned, we are moving!!  Once I know for sure about the new house, I'll post about it, until then, we're focusing on getting our house ready to sell (or rent out, if we don't sell it).  Even if we don't get the new house, we'll be selling.  I'll write more when I have more time. 

In the meantime, here are some pics of the kids:

Rhys helping us pack:

Ella practicing her orphan posing so she can manipulate people.  Or maybe she's just looking cute.  I'm not sure.


Swinging outside with the boy...

Finding rolly pollies:

Rhys is obviously thrilled at being outside:

No, really, though, she did have fun:

I don't know how to feel about this expression (below). I'm sensing some type of super power...

and back to the scrunched up face:

I must run and tend to baby.   If I don't update for a while, it's because we're busy packing!  We're really hoping the new house goes through because it's almost 1000 sq ft bigger and we would love more room.

Hope you all are doing well!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

a little swinging girl

This winter has been more like the perfect summer (makes me worried for summer!). The kids were outside playing and Rhys looked so sweet swinging. She would not look at me over the swing, so some of the photos were kind of funny, looking like she was hiding in her swing. I thought she looked too sweet. I have some more of the other kids that I'm planning on posting when I have more time.

Love her little swinging legs!

Rhys is entering a new stage.  She can understand everything we say really well (has been able to for a looooong time now) and will tell us yes or no to whatever we ask, but she doesn't speak very much yet.  She is trying, though.  She thinks she can talk.  She will talk like she's talking, but it hasn't turned into understandable English yet...for the most part.  She does say some words.  Some of the other kids were like this, and then ended all ended up advanced little speakers when they did start, so we're not worried.  She is at such a cute age.  I can hardly stand it sometimes!  I love her tender little self.  I'm excited for when those words leave her mouth the way she thinks they are.

Rhys is starting to enter into the little girl stage and out of the baby stage (though she is still very much a squishy baby girl!).  She and Violet are starting to play together a little bit more.  It's very cute.  Here they eating their popcorn treat, watching a movie together.  I apparently didn't take the photo like I thought I did, but Emma & TS are sitting next to each other eating some popcorn too.

And, here's Ella.  She is five months old and regularly kills us with her cuteness.  The Lord knew what he was doing when he made babies so adorable!  Speaking of which, this baby just woke up.  I'll post more photos later.