My Family

"Life will knock you down. You can choose to stand up again."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bloody Nose No More

Jackson has a serious issue with bloody noses. It's an especially big problem when he wrestles. That bloody nose of his has caused him to have to forfeit two matches so far. Once it starts bleeding, it doesn't stop. It's awesome. Yesterday, Josh took him to an ENT who cauterized it. I told Josh that he HAD to send me pictures. That might not have been the best idea. The pictures were traumatizing. My bubba cried through the thing! When they got home last night, after wrestling practice, Jackson said, "Mom it definitely does not feel good." He has bloody scabs coming out of both noses. The ENT said it could take two weeks to heal! WHAT???!!! Gross. Don't worry, though, he'll be back to wrestling matches on Monday. We are a wrestling family!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Those Days

This, here, is a picture of Jackson (pulling Braxton's ear), Braxton (wearing matching pj's as Jackson), and Kaydon (sitting up so big on the couch with his NG tube). I'm pretty sure Colton is in the bassinet to Jackson's right. This was my life for a long time. I was a single mom of four amazing little monsters. I remember having Colton in my backpack, Kaydon and Braxton in the double stroller - pushing Kaydon's feeding tube pole along the side with my left hand while pushing the stroller with my right, and Jackson holding on to my pocket, walking beside me. This is how we went everywhere. Grocery shopping was a treat. Going anywhere was a treat. I look back on those days and wonder how on earth we made it through. I say "we" because I got up with Kaydon during the night, while my mom and dad took turns getting up with Colton. I say "we" because hospital staff, in-home physical therapists and occupational therapists and hospice nurses were always present. I say "we" because my brothers used to help me take everyone to doctor appointments. I say "we" because Nursery and Primary teachers were ever present. I say "we" because I had the greatest babysitter across the street, Katie, who was always a phone call away so that I could go for hour breaks. I say "we" because my Heavenly Father NEVER, ever left me alone. I struggled greatly with my attitude, with my motivation, with my drive, with staying above water. But, He never gave up on me. I say "we" because although I tried everything possible to fail, He would not let me. He was with me all along the way. I am so thankful for those days, and I am so thankful that we are past those days. I am so thankful for the people that Heavenly Father put on my path to help us along the way. I am so thankful that He has never given up on me. Ever.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Autism in Our Home - Joy

At times, it is difficult to detect joy in our kiddo. Sometimes it is hard to figure out what makes him happy and what keeps him in what appears to be a storm. However, there are things that clearly put Colton into a state of pure bliss. On Saturday, Papa and Grandma took Colton and his cousins, Eden and David Jr., swimming. Can you see his joy in these pictures? He could live in the water. He loves it. He feels so happy when he is swimming, even if he is swimming alone. He will find friends and swim. Just swim.
When Josh's grandma died, her specially made organ came to our home. It is beautiful. It lights up and plays songs all by itself. It can also be played. Colton becomes quite fixated on certain things. The organ is one of those things. He is literally obsessed with it. For this reason, we have been a sign on it that reads, "Do not touch." Colton literally asks every single day, multiple times a day if he can play the organ. The answer has been been "no" except for once. Below is a picture of that once. Dad made the time to sit with Colton at the organ. It lit up, it played beautiful music, it soothed him and brought him peace and our boy was in Heaven in is otherwise chaotic Autistic world. Watching him for those moments brought gratitude to my heart and tears to my eyes.
Colton is generally a very happy kid. He likes to watch movies, play with Legos, play with stuffed animals, play games, and play the xBox/Wii/Playstation. He likes music most of the time. Sometimes it seems to be too much for him. Other times, he asks for the sound to be turned up. Colton likes to run and play with other kids, but generally kids who are younger than him by 5-6 years. Sometimes, though, Colton is just plain done, or is in what we call "another world." He is hard to reset, or to get him to focus. He tends to be far more frustrated during those times. Colton is very, very sensitive to others and how they might feel about him, but he doesn't always seem to understand how they actually feel or communicate with him. He loves when kids are nice to him or ask to be his friend. When joy enters his soul, the heavens open up!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Jordan High Preference 2015

Jackson was invited to Jordan High School's Preference dance. It was Saturday night. In eighth grade, he had a "girlfriend," named Kyanna. When we moved to West Point, they decided it was best to be friends since we were moving over an hour away. They remain great friends! It was fun that she asked him to the dance and that he was able to go. He had a great time! They attended her best friend's cheer competition for the day activity, then he came back to Papa and Grandma's where we were hanging out for the day. Josh helped him get ready for the big night, then he took him to the house where they were all meeting. They went to Archibalds for dinner, then to the dance. Afterwards, they went for ice cream. We picked him up at about 10 pm and headed home. He had the best time! I'm so glad that he has chosen great friends, and has kept friends from every place we have lived!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Match One

Yesterday, Jackson wrestled his first wrestling match. It was an away match, at Farmington Junior High. There were two mats going at the same time, one was varsity which was the mat Josh was coaching and the other was the JV mat where Josh's assistant coach was coaching. Jackson's match was one of the last matches. He was set to wrestle on the JV mat. He looked at me and said, "Get Dad." I ran over to the other mat and told Josh that Jackson needed him. Right then, they switched Jack's match to Josh's mat. There is something about watching your husband coach his son that is very emotional for me. Jackson was ready. He has never wrestled before, but he works VERY hard in practice and he is dedicated to wrestling. He gave it his all and he pinned the kid in less than a minute. I might have cried. After shaking his opponent's coach's hand, he hugged his dad (he fell into his arms). I am SO proud of the young man he is. Below are pictures of my new wrestling boys. There are over 60 of them! This is a testament to the coach Joshua is. This school has never had more than 20 wrestlers. Ever. The pictures below that is Jackson and his mentor, Sam. Sam is an incredible young man. Incredible. He is a phenomenal wrestler. He could very well go undefeated. But he has focused on Jackson. Jackson looks up to him very much.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Autism in Our Home - Sensory Issues

Many people with Autism have sensory issues. Some may have a hard time with noise, others with sights, some with touch or the feel of objects, and even others with food textures. Colton is no different. Colton has issue with several things that pertain to his senses. *The first is sound. Colton does NOT like the sound of fireworks. This has actually intensified for him as he has gotten older. Even when we prepare him that they are coming and that they are going to be loud, he covers his ears, cries, and sometimes yells. This year, we will bring ear phones for him and he will sit close to me. There are other sounds that bother him. Sometimes basic sounds that don't usually bother him will set him off, such as his brothers singing or the sound of the windows being down in the car. I'm not sure what sets him off with sounds that 90% don't bother him and so it is hard for us to prepare him, or ourselves for these sounds. He doesn't normally react the way he does with fireworks, but he will repeatedly ask that the sound be stopped. Sometimes, just handing him a phone to play a game on will put him in enough of a "safe zone" to allow pretty much anything to go on around him. *We have not noticed any food textures that bother Colton, thankfully. He seems to do just fine with all food textures. *Feel. Colton does NOT wear jeans, or levi shorts. He is most comfortable in sweats and track pants/shorts. We have also tried cargo-type pants and shorts. He will wear them periodically, with our prompting, but he prefers the other materials. Colton also insists on hiking his pants and shorts up so far that the waistband is at his breastbone. Josh has patiently worked to correct this, since it could very well be causing harm to private parts. Colton is getting better at fixing this habit on his own, but frequently needs prompting to pull them down to his waist. He has repeatedly told us that he feels more comfortable with them up to his breastbone and, at time, will become very emotional when prompted to pull them down. *This doesn't have anything to do with sensory issues, but if we don't prompt Colton to shower and change his clothes, he simply won't do it. It isn't because he doesn't want to, but rather because he just NEVER thinks about it. Frequently, we have found that he goes to bed in pajamas, then goes to school in the same pajamas, and sleeps in them again the next night if we don't prompt him to change. *Feel again. Colton has always found his right ear to be a source of comfort. When tired, overwhelmed (and trying to deescalate by himself), or emotional, he will rub his right ear between his pointer and middle finger. When he is doing this, he is most definitely in a different zone and it is a time that I try my best to leave him alone and continue to try to find his "happy place." This is, what appears to me to be, his best effort at finding his base line all by himself. Often times it's a signal that he is tired and doesn't have much fight in him, so he is usually peaceful at this point. **Human Touch. Colton is overly affectionate with people, again a boundary issue. He will hug anyone, even strangers. We are working hard to remind him to ask if he can hug people before he does. Some people, like his Aunt Tiffany and Aunt Carrie, have given him MVP permission, where he knows he can hug them at any time. We still try to remind him to ask them so that he doesn't get out of the habit. He loves to hold hands with me, to be close to Josh all the time, to hug anyone and everyone, and to kiss me goodnight every night. This is a great quality, but a boundary/safety issue with an Autistic kiddo. We have to continue to be diligent in ensuring that he, and everyone, is safe.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pretty Special Day

On Saturday February 14, Papa and Grandma for sealed for time and all eternity at the Mount Timpanogas Temple. It was an amazing February day. It was sunny and warm. Our little family waited outside of the temple for the sealing to be completed, and to meet them and take pictures. While we were outside, the kids asked several questions and we all marveled at the beauty of the temple. It is a gorgeous temple. When Papa and Grandma came out, we took pictures, clapped, hugged and then left for a family luncheon at their house. Aunt Tiffany made an amazing dinner - her special chicken enchiladas. So delicious! It was a pretty special day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Growing Up - Or Not

Jackson was asked to Jordan High School's Preference Dance, this Saturday. This past weekend, after our Valentines Dinner, we went to Kohls and Josh and Jackson picked out an outfit. I don't shop. I hate shopping. Josh shops. I stay home. However, this time we ALL went. Good times. Rather than staying home, I stood nearby and cried. I'm a big baby. What can I say?! This boy is such a great kid. He is going to look so handsome. I ordered the corsage for the dance and I'll pick it up Saturday morning. We will be hanging out with Papa and Grandma on Saturday so that we are in Sandy for the pick up and drop offs.
Then, yesterday while Braxton and I were at the kitchen table doing homework, I look out the sliding glass door to see this --- ninjas. I love that our 15 year old can still be a little kid at heart!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Central Davis Wrestling - Jackson's First Meet

This boy of mine had his first dual on Tuesday night. He was wrestling for the JV spot. He lost. He worked hard though and I was so proud of him. Josh isn't sure how much longer this kiddo can play sports. He seems to get injured constantly. And, I do mean constantly. He really seems to be taking to wrestling, though. In fact, I think he has fallen in love with it. Me too, bud, me too. By the way, do you love the uniforms?!?! Joshua designed them. He was able to get rash guards and fight shorts approved by the district so that these boys don't have to wear singlets. Junior high boys are silly. Josh has 60 kids who have come out for wrestling this year, which is a record! He is such a great coach! I asked Jackson if it was hard having your dad as the coach. He said it wasn't. "If they are going to act like idiots, he's gonna yell. That's their problem, not mine!" I love that boy of mine!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Baby Factory, No Baby

Meet my sister, Carrie. She is married to my brother, Brandon. They live in Farmington with their dog, Durbin, who is the size of a human male. They are going through a fourth lost pregnancy. They have had three miscarriages and one ectopic pregnancy, all in the first trimester. Carrie has had one operation, which we hoped would be the end of their difficulties. It wasn't. Obviously.
Then, there is me. I couldn't stop having children! If you haven't heard, I was on birth control with all four pregnancies. I didn't even have a menstrual cycle between the three youngest. I just kept having babies. Now, it wasn't easy. The pregnancies got shorter and shorter, with my youngest being in the NICU for a few weeks due to prematurity. I was in a terrible marriage. I was not emotionally stable. I was not physically well. Kaydon was on all kinds of medical equipment, with home health care around the clock. I was the only one working in the home to support us. It was less than ideal, to say the least. Yet, I couldn't stop having babies. I never once had a miscarriage, or a lost preganncy.
I have thought about this a lot the last few days. I feel a lot of guilt. I feel guilty that it was so easy for me to have babies, and yet my brother and his wife can't catch a break when it comes to having a family. They are financially stable, they have a good home, great jobs, physical well-being, etc. I don't know why Heavenly Father works the way He does, but I know that He knows what He is doing. My life, obviously, is much better now. My children are growing and doing well. We have been blessed infinitely. We have a good, stable home, with a loving father at the head. But, so does my brother.
I pray that by brother and sister will be blessed with a family, with a home full of children and noise and messes and joy. I pray that they will be comforted through this difficult process. And, I pray that I will no longer feel guilt. I pray that I will forgive myself, for whatever I did wrong, and be able to comfort them through this very, very hard time.