Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hirschsprung's Round II - same problem, different kid

So poop.  Everybody does it right?  Right?  WRONG - not our kids!! Well, two of them can't anyway.  Alexis was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's and had a colostomy surgery, then a pull-through done before she turned one year old (remember this?)  Not a fun time.  I think we've blocked out all the negative things about that time, kind of like going through labor, thinking we won't have to go through it again.

Well, fast forward 5 years, and now we have Landon.  Everything seemed fine at first (it's been a fear with each one of the kids when they can't "go" or have a problem going that they have Hirschsprung's too) he went, we changed diapers, everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  Until October.  That's when he stopped going.  We thought maybe it was because we had started solids, and gave it some time, and Miralax, and glycerin suppositories.  A couple months of this, and after a referral to Children's Primary up in Salt Lake, and two biopsies, we have the conclusion that Landon can't poop because his intestines are missing the nerves at the end that help him "go".  Our next steps are:

  • Getting a contrast enema and X-rays taken in the next couple of days to determine how big of a segment is affected, how much/if any swelling of the surrounding intestines there is, and how much urgency there is.
  • Also on this visit, we get to learn how to do rectal washes!  Yayness!
  • Then once we have this information we will schedule his surgery.  We're aiming for just after New Years, since Kevin has to go back to school on the 9th, and Landon will need a few days (at least) in the hospital to recover.  We aren't sure if he will need a colostomy as well, or if they will be able to just do a straight pull-through procedure (remove the affected area, and then reconnect the intestines back together).  The second is the less recovery-intensive, so we are hoping and praying for that outcome.
Those eyelashes

I have mixed feelings about it all.  On the one hand, I am so glad that we found it early; some kids struggle with this their whole lives and aren't diagnosed until they're much older, which can lead to more problems later on.  He is little enough that he won't really remember it, and he can train his bowels while he is in a diaper still for quite a while.  He also isn't super mobile, so that will help him recover quickly and easier than if he was running or crawling around.  ON THE OTHER HAND, I hate that he will have to have any kind of surgery.  Even though the risks are low, they are always still there.  It also is super stinky (haha) that we are so far away from our families - we will definitely be needing some help!  Thank God for good friends who have offered to come to the rescue!

We are very blessed to be able to have insurance while Kevin is going to school to be able to take care of this.  We are also fortunate to have a wonderful children's hospital that is so close.  Please keep Landon in your prayers.  We will keep you all updated as we get through this together!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween P2

I'm a space case - I forgot to post pictures of the kids in their costumes!  
Landon sat this one out - he was in bed by 6:30 (squee!)  The littles loved everything about Halloween - and we loved seeing them so excited to dress up and be silly!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Halloween Fun

It seems like October just flew by.  I've been very busy with working - ask and you shall receive!  As a family, we prayed and fasted for me to find better work, and the jobs are pouring in!  It has been a huge blessing for our family, and for me to not have to put in so many hours at the job I really didn't like.  Kevin is still having a good time with school and getting all A's (go honey!) and we are really looking forward to having Andrew and DeAnna come up from Texas for Thanksgiving this month!  Something else that happened in the last few weeks is Austin turned 3!  Our funny little monkey man keeps our days busy, that's for sure!  We ate crepes for breakfast - how is that I have never made them? They are delicious and so stinkin' easy!  I'm officially done with pancakes (for a while anyway).  He got to open presents sent from Grammy and Grandpa Ludlow from Oregon - a new firetruck! church clothes! and Legos! Then we went to the pumpkin patch and got our pumpkins, played on the tractors, took a hay ride, and found our way through the corn maze.  Then it was time to come home for pizza, cake and ice cream with Kati and Seth.  They got him a Captain America action figure (to go with his Iron Man and Hulk), as well some smaller action figures.  It was a really great day and we were happy to all be together!
Birthday Cheese

We found the perfect pumpkins!

My absolute favorite, because Austin is diggin' for gold 

Landon's face cracks me up in this one

 And for fun - look at this handsome little dude!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Job Hunting

I type.  I've been an Independent Contractor for the past 3 years, and it's a pretty sweet gig if can find a place to work with consistent pay and hours.  So far, I've worked for a great place (and a fantastic) lady named Brenda in Medford with ABC Typing - love it, love her - but the work is not consistent.  I also work for another place that shall remain nameless that I loathe.  However, the nameless place pays the bills.  So I've been on the hunt for the past month for a place that will have both.  Or at least that can pay the bills that I won't hate as much.  I've decided to use Lilo and Stitch gifs to explain my feelings - they're kind of like bullet points, but they move - winning! Think I could submit a resume and cover letter with gifs?

How I feel when I'm revamping my cover letter and resume to meet their website requirements
What is another way to say "experienced"?

When I get a rejection email
"Dear Mrs. Ludlow, unfortunately....."

When I read the pay details of a company I really like
Money tastes delicious

Describing how qualified I am to a company
I'm soopa doopa!

Modifying my resume for the umpteenth time

At the end of another long day
Oh bed - I love you

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kevin - and his lack of space for sleep

Poor Kevin - he never gets to sleep with any personal space!  There is always, always, at least one kid in bed with us every night.  Sometimes it's all four!  He handles it like a champ though.  And after he's been kicked, and poked, and pushed to the edge of the bed by little hands and feet (who'da thunk that a 3 year old could push a grown man almost off a bed?), he wakes up at 6:00, gets ready, and gives me a smile and a kiss and is off to tackle the day.  He's pretty awesome.  I think I'll keep him.

Monday, October 14, 2013

How time flies when you're having fun!

I feel a sense of deja vu as I write this, because for my first sentence I wanted to write "I can't believe it's been a year!"  Well, priorities I suppose - I definitely let this be on the bottom of my list.  But I'm back (at least once for the next year) and excited to chronicle what we're up to.  Let's see, in the last year and a few months in our lives, we have......

After the numbing shots - the tiny dot in the center was the spot!


Had surgery to remove a spot of Melanoma on Kevin's back - very scary.   When Kevin told me, it was definitely one of those moments that you remember every detail.  We were living at mom & dad's then, and Kevin had just gotten home from work.  I walked out to open the gate for him, and he met me halfway and said, "The doctor says it's melanoma."  I remember not breathing for a second.   Thank God it was a very small, shallow spot on his back, but they took a 
All stitched up!
really decent chunk out just to be cautious and be sure that they got everything.  Kevin has now had two separate locations with skin cancer, and he has to be very cautious about sun exposure, and getting bi-annual checkups at a dermatologist.  We're very glad that it was caught early and taken care of.

    Yes, that is us standing at the men's urinals - we are a classy and sophisticated bunch of ladies.
  • I was able to attend Time Out For Women up in Portland, Oregon with some ladies that I hadn't really known well before, but ended up having a total blast with them.  Such a fun girls' weekend - it was also right around the time I found out I was pregnant with #4!  We were so excited, since I had switched doctor's and gotten additional testing since between Austin and this one I had 3 miscarriages. Turns out I had some imbalances in my hormones, and low iron, and vitamin depletions, so thankfully once those were sorted out I was able to get pregnant and stay pregnant!

  • Last Hoorah In Oregon
Great-Grandma Glenna

  • We got to take a super fun trip to Portland to visit Kevin's sister Tracy, and her partner, Nicole.   They moved their recently, and we wanted to make sure we saw them before we moved!  We also went to the Oregon Coast, the Aquarium, the Zoo, and the Portland Temple Visitor's Center on this trip.  The kids were champs!  We tried something new - we didn't pack any extra toys, crayons, or fun stuff for them on this trip.  We let them have one stuffed animal, and a couple books and that was it.  IT WAS THE BEST TRIP EVER.  There was no fighting, no, "Mom, she won't give me the pink crayon!"  "Dad, I'm bored."  In fact, we didn't hear "I'm bored" once the entire trip.  They made their own fun.  They looked out the windows and noticed birds, cars, trucks, cows, horses and how green the grass was.  And when they were done with that, they fell asleep.  This was a decently long drive too - 5 hours to the coast, and then another 5 (another day) to Tracy and Nicole's.  Also, at the coast, I wasn't constantly reminding them to get their bucket, or shovel, or truck because there were none!  They found sticks and wrote in the sand, jumped off of rocks, and looked for shells.  The whole experience was an eye opener for us - our kids have too much stuff!  Look how happy they can be with a stick!  We will never overpack for a trip again.

This Happened - not only did it happen, I allowed, encouraged, and photographed it.  Mud is healthy for a kid! Hahaha

This little dude was born!!  

Landon Porter, 9 pounds 1 ounce, 21 1/2 inches long.  He's pretty much the best baby ever - and we are so, so grateful he is, because six weeks after he was born......


I know, for a lot of people this would be no big deal.  People move all the time.  But for us, this was a pretty big deal.  Almost all (with the exception of 3) of our family lives in Southern Oregon.  It's where we grew up.  It's where a lot of our friends are.  It was where Kevin's job was.  IT'S WHERE THE GRANDPARENTS ARE!  But we knew that this was the right thing for us to do.  Kevin is back in school full time, going to LDSBC to get his Accounting transfer to BYU.  He is doing so well, and enjoys his classes (which comes as a surprise to him, since he thought he would have to trudge through the days).  I am working full time here from home with a couple different transcriptions companies, not supremely loving it, but doin' what needs doin'.  We moved to a town called Sandy, in Utah - it's about 20 minutes south of Salt Lake City.  We love it.  I'm very surprised by how much I love it.  We miss our family very much - the kids ask almost every day when we're going home - but we are making new friends, and seeing new, fun things.  We love the neighborhood we're in, which is actually right next to the elementary school, so it's very suburban (shocker to this country girl) and very family friendly, with lots of other kids for our kiddos to play with.

So I think that gets us up to speed.  There's a lot more - sadly deaths, and divorces happened in our family this last year too.  But there's a lot of good - engagements, births, friendships, learning, and growing.  I suppose it's all part of living.  But all of those things would have required me to blog about them in the moment - otherwise, this would take all day (which I definitely don't have time to do) and be a veeery long post (ain't nobody got time for that!)