Monday, December 31, 2012

eleven years together

We've been married for eleven years!!  How did that happen?  It went by surprisingly fast.  

(Photos are courtesy of the 10 year old)

Several weeks ago, Tyler and I were on a movie kick.  We decided to watch all of the Twilight movies.  I know a lot of you love them and a lot of you hate them.  In order to remain friends with all of you, we will withhold our opinions on the movie and just focus on the fun that we had during watching them, which was mostly Tyler's narration that went along with the movies.

Here are a few of my favorite examples:

In the Twilight movie, Bella and Edward were having their first innocent snuggle.  In case you haven't seen it, she fell asleep next to him, and he sat awake, watching her like a stalker, since he can't sleep because he's a vampire (in case the italics confused you, you were supposed to say vampire really dramatically).

Like most people probably do about their own relationships, Tyler and I automatically thought of when we were first in a similar situation, when we first snoozed by each other.

I heard Tyler mutter, "I remember when we first fell asleep by each other."

At this point, you're supposed to think something like, "Awww, how sweet.  He's reminiscing."

Then he quietly continued, "And I drooled all over your arm."

*record scratch*

It's true.  We fell asleep, innocently cuddling.  He woke up first and was somewhat horrified when he realized he'd drooled all over my arm.  I guess he didn't think it would make a good first-snuggle-impression.  He hurried and cleaned it off while I was sleeping soundly.

Back to current times, the movie continued.  We were still watching the same scene.  Edward is continuing to stalk Bella while she's sleeping.

Tyler was clearly now thinking of when he first watch me sleep...you know, since he was no longer asleep in the memory...since he had drooled all over my arm and all.  As he was reminiscing about watching me while I slept, he said, "Then you started having what seemed like a seizure..."

*louder record scratch*

Could we be more romantic?

Yes, that is true too.  Tyler was busy feeling relieved that he had cleaned up the drool before I woke up and then was watching me sleep.  I'm guessing he was feeling some feelings of fondness and attraction as he watched me, like normal people do with their significant other, when I started convulsing, which most normal people don't do.

I woke up to Tyler saying, "Are you okay?!  Terri, are you alright?!"  It was obvious he was almost panicking.  I was like, "Oh, yeah, I'm totally fine. Sorry, I was dreaming that I was a super hero trapped in a big block of ice in someone's garage.  I was using my breath to melt the ice.  I was doing it really fast, in and out, and it was working really good."  As I demonstrated what I was doing in my dream, I realized how that might have come across as a seizure...

I'll leave the story of the first time we kissed for another anniversary.  Let's just say it involved a really, really, REALLY nervous man, dry lips, and possibly the worst kiss ever on a technical kissing scale (such as one they might use for the Olympics).  Even though it was a very funny kiss, it made for a really great memory, and one we had fun reenacting for a while afterwards.

Anyway, it was tons of fun watching those movies with Tyler.  I kind of think our love story would have been more entertaining to watch.  He had me laughing hysterically many a times. I'm grateful for all the memories we have, and that even after eleven years, I still feel just as in love (maybe even more) than I did before.  Not that everything has been smooth sailing.  We've had our differences and difficult times, but he's always felt like my other half...an extension of me and our focus has always been each other.  He's a wonderful father and husband, and I love that he loves me for exactly who I am right now, dream convulsions and all.  He's easy to love back, especially since he hasn't drooled on me again.

And here are some more photos from our photography session with our very short 10 year old.

Try to not be overcome by the passion!

Perhaps we should have gotten a chair for the photographer:

Maybe one day we'll get real pictures taken by someone as tall as we are.  Until then, these are our Eleven Year Anniversary photos.  :)  I think Emma did pretty good.  Even if we do look insane in most of them.

Friday, December 28, 2012

bone marrow biopsy

Emma had her bone marrow biopsy/aspiration today.  They test to see if it looks like leukemia is upcoming, as well as to see what her cellularity is.

Here are her blood counts from today.  It cut off the normal ranges on the side, but if you look over on the right, under "flag", you'll get an idea of what is normal and what isn't.  The "high" numbers are associated with low blood counts.  Like her MCV kind of tells us how stressed her bone marrow is.  The higher the number, the more stressed.  It should be under 90.  Her platelets are critically low.  boooo.  Usually they are in the 30's.  I'm hoping they're really a lot higher than this.  When they count them manually with their eyeballs, instead of with the machines, her platelets are often higher.  But they didn't do that this time.  Under 20 is when she might start needing transfusions for simple bleeds.


Tyler was off today for Christmas vacation.  Since he rarely gets to go to her medical appointments, and since she loves it when he can be there, he took her to her biopsy today.  I stayed home with the kids instead (hard to get a babysitter during flu season that we'll trust isn't sick).  Emma did great.  She has matured a lot more with her anxiety and was only a little bit scared, which is SUPER AWESOME.  I think it helped that they got her in one poke.  It sounds like she did really good overall.  Tyler did too.  :)

This is the first biopsy I've ever not been there for in the last ten years.  It was really weird.  I didn't know I was going to feel so emotional about it all.  It was harder not being with her than being with her.  But I'm glad she was able to go with Tyler and spend that time with him.

Even if I did almost die from anxiety - haha.

Those mother feelings can be so intense!  Why did no one warn me of this before having children?  If you have no children, I'm warning you now.  The emotions you feel towards your children are so strong and deep and unlike anything you've ever felt before.  When you feel like they're in danger or scared, it's so hard to not be there to keep them safe.

So, instead, I folded a lot of laundry.

It'll be a few days before we get more results & I'll post those as we get them.


In case you are unaware of her medical issues, I made this video that explains it:




Now on to some pictures.  There are LOTS of pictures I need to catch up on.  I'll try to split it up between different blog entries.


She was walking around and fell over on the slippery floor (only slippery since she had on her pjs).  She couldn't stand back up, so she stood like this for a while:


Clearly she fits into her pjs really well:


The next morning, she was walking around carrying this little stuff animal.  She looked so cute.



Hanging out in Rhys' room:




We went outside to play for a little while.  Violet had drawn on her face...or someone had.  TS had a mustache.  Not sure who did it.

I love how she poses with her hand on her hip when she sees me taking her pic.  hehe...

Violet has let me know how badly she wants to be a mom when she grows up.  She loves to mother Ella.  Instead of playing, she followed Ella around the whole time.


This is Rhys trying to escape getting her picture taken:

Here she is suddenly posing for it.  I don't know about you, but that's how I pose for pictures too.




the boy:


the Emma:





It almost looks like a random leg...

Miss Rhys snoozing

I'll write more later!  Hope you're all doing well.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

three

Within 36 hours of each other, three very special people with FA have died (two children, one adult).  I don't really understand why, but when one passes away, almost always another one or two follow very soon after.  It's been a sad day for the FAmily - always makes the reality too real.  Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends left behind.

I had been planning a different blog entry today.  I was going to share how racists and sexists my children are (hehe), but I need to be in a different frame of mind for that.  So, instead, here are some photos...

Emma is still sick with a runny nose and slight cough.  She is more tired than usual.  She is bleeding easier than usual as well.  I'm really hoping that the illness hasn't knocked down her platelets like it has in the past.  She'll be going in at the end of the month for blood work/biopsy.  We'll take her in sooner if there's anything that happens that gives us big cause for concern.

Yesterday I was in the office trying to figure out how to get the white balance super correct in the camera.  Emma walked in and sat down in the chair.  The light fell across her in a somewhat mesmerizing way to me.  It just felt like a really "real" moment with her.  She wasn't feeling well, was rather tired...anyway, here she is.  Usually she's not acting like this - usually she looks plenty awake and active, but here she was a lot more tired.




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

more sickos

A couple things to keep in mind as you look through this:
(1)  Their clothes.
(2)  Shoes.
(3)  Facial expressions.

Here's Rhys ready to take a ride in the little kid jeep:

Violet being the great driver that she is, ran out of room.  She also crashed into the fence a couple times, almost into the tree, and maybe into a couple other things while I wasn't looking.  Luckily the car is wimpy enough that it can't break anything (so, when I post a photo of something she broke with it, tomorrow, we'll know that I was wrong).

I have several pics that look a lot like these two, but I'll just post a couple.  They kept changing their expressions to really weird ones when I'd say "smile".  It started out fairly normal looking...

And ended up like this:
(Yes, Violet is wearing lipstick and mascara.  She LOVES to wear makeup, and if we aren't going anywhere, I usually don't care.  She's going to be a little makeup artist one day...or not.)


Rhys hanging out with her bro.  Check out his shoes.


Rhys is pouting.


Um...Violet is posing.  Sometimes she poses great, and then other times she poses not so great.  :)  hehe.  I really like the sweatpants with the socks with the little church shoes.

 Tyler was chasing them.


About an hour later, Violet had a fever and was feeling pretty icky.  So I snuggled her up on the couch.

 Rhys wanted a blanket too, and she fell asleep.

(I didn't edit these photos other than warming them up a touch & sharpening them which I'll explain below):


I should have fixed the curtains so that they look nice (I had quickly moved them to provide quick light into the room for pics).  But I still liked this of Emma and TS playing while the girls rested.

Later on, Violet ended up throwing up and she's not eating a lot.  We bought her some juice in hopes of getting her to drink a lot since little kids can get dehydrated so easily.  Hopefully she'll be feeling okay tomorrow.  I think Rhys might be getting sick too, but she wasn't running a fever.

Now to the sharpening...

If you have Lightroom or PS, you can sharpen your images.  I'll show you a before and after, just to show you the difference.  You'll probably need to click on it to see it full size to see the difference:


If you're not sure what you're looking for, the sharpened image is crisper looking.  The not sharpened image is slightly blurry on the edges.  If you do a quick search online for "sharpening images in Lightroom 3" or whatever program, you'll easily find info.  Just thought I'd mention this so that if you weren't aware, now you are.

I have another topic I wanted to post about, but I'll do that tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

it has returned

My camera is back!  Turns out it was back focusing and the lens was focusing incorrectly.  It was still under warranty so they fixed it for free.

Somehow we got sick.  Emma had me pretty worried for about a day, but she is doing much better and returning back to normal.  Poor Ella is feeling awful now.  TS has had it as well and has a bad cough at night.  But we're still waiting for the rest of us to get it (I think I might have gotten it...I'm not sure).

Here's some pics from yesterday:

I was at an odd angle and had my aperture at 1.8, so that's why his whole face isn't in focus.  :)  I was seeing if it did better at taking a pic this way than it did last time.  And it seems to!  You can tell he was very excited about having his picture taken.  hehe.  I put the focus on his right eyeball.

I don't know if it's obvious, but the pictures are a lot more in focus.  Turns out a LOT of new cameras need to be calibrated.  So, if you're having any struggles trying to get your pictures as crisp as you want, one of the things to check is that it's calibrated properly (lens and camera). 


Ella is a little walker now.  She's the cutest little wobbly walker ever.  I thought she looked cute here.


And, I love how younger siblings always seem to look at the sibling just older than them and want to follow in their footsteps.  It was cute watching Ella watch Rhys.  But, little Ella couldn't step over the step and go out.  haha.  Made it nice for me since she willingly stood there!


Peeking outside:


Miss Rhys' hair is growing in quite nicely!  It's almost normal now.  It's changing her look a bit.  Instead of a looking like a mix between a cute little two year old and a balding man...she now mostly looks solely like a little two year old.

She was pretty obsessed with picking up acorns:

Totally a bad shot, but he looked insane, so I had to post it.


Violet having fun on her bike.


Ella walking down the sidewalk for the first time.  hehe.


Violet being "helpful"...which usually ends up very opposite of helpful because Ella generally starts screaming and wants down.

She loved walking down the sidewalk.  It was adorable.


One thing that I never get tired of seeing is the love between siblings.  It's just so sweet.



I love how wobbly she is still.  Stopping and turning are still quite the challenge.  So cute!


 Then she decided it was time to sit down.  Good thing she didn't pick an inconvenient spot at all.


Can you tell our weather is nice and warm?  It's been perfect, actually!  Wish our summers were like this.  It's been in the 70's and low 80's.  Sometimes it's a touch too warm.  I do look forward to wearing winter clothes one day and not getting hot.

You know how I mentioned Ella was sick?  (I did mention that, right?  I've already forgotten what I wrote up top and don't feel like looking....)  She has watery eyes, runny nose, a cough, and is sleeping AWFUL.  Poor baby.  Being outside was the one thing that made her happy.




And, here she is last night, when she was supposed to be sleeping but apparently was having a tummy ache.  She was mesmerized by this little light thingy.  Until it stopped working ten minutes into it.

It's so nice to have a camera again!  I used my camera phone and point & shoot while this one was gone, and oh my goodness!  How did I ever survive with it?  It's so slow comparatively and you can't control much of it at all, even in manual mode.  Drove me batty.

When we started putting our Christmas tree up, and I didn't have my camera, then I turned into a whiny three year old.  Tyler looked at me like I was losing my mind.  He told the kids "It's alright, kids.  Mommy's just having a breakdown because she doesn't have her camera."  haha!  Now I feel happy knowing I can stalk my children again and document everything they do in their lives...hehe.

So...my current photography adventures is learning how to set the white balance better.  I haven't quite figured that out properly.  I bought FLAWLESS (it was on a pretty big sale) after hearing so many rave reviews and seeing a lot of before/after shots & being amazed at the difference.  While I'm becoming a fan of getting it right straight out of the camera, I think some proper editing can help portray the emotion that you feel when in the moment, that you can't always transfer to someone else who wasn't there, but that you can more easily do with a bit of editing.  I haven't had the chance to read/watch much of it yet, but it's already been quite informative.  Just mentioning if anyone out there is looking for something helpful for them. 

Several of you have contacted me, wanting help with your DSLR to get similar types of pictures.  I've emailed many back, but in case I missed anyone, or in case you're a chicken and haven't asked me, my first suggestions are to go straight to manual mode (just DO IT!  Nothing but manual mode) and don't use your flash.  Figure out how to use your shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to get proper lighting (look into your light meter and white balance as well) and you'll be on your way.

I should go tend to the kidlets now.  Hope you're all doing well!