Tuesday, February 10, 2015

June 2014

Our big girl on her first day of Bright Beginnings preschool!  We had tried to get her into a session earlier but they were all full for fall and winter, so we were very glad to hear that Cora could do a short summer session with them to get a little bit of preschool in before starting all day kindergarten.  I wasn't too worried about her struggling academically in kindergarten but knew she could use the social practice as well as just getting used to having a school routine.  She was super excited and felt like a very big girl.  She wore the dress I had made for her a few months back and her new owl backpack.  She was enrolled in a three week session, but wound up being sick for the entire middle week so only got two in.  It was only morning for about 3.5 hours but still it did help prepare her for school.
Here she is in her cute classroom with her sweet teacher. 
One day I was able to put an end to a massive tantrum/breakdown by playing with oobleck.  First we drew on paper towels with markers and put them in water to watch the colors run, then we made some non-Newtonian cornstarch water and played for hours.  It makes a bit of a mess but cleans up easily with water.  The kids kept saying "Ew" and asking to be done and go wash hands, but when I would say "ok lets go wash up" they stayed right where they were.  They just couldn't tear themselves away.
Big enough for the Bumbo now!  And loving it!
Ryan at Laie Falls.  Elise and her family came for a visit and they were able to go on this hike together.  
Elise, Madelyn and Ryan up by Laie Falls.
Ryan's ward (he was serving in the bishopric of a student ward) started earlier than ours so he usually was done around the same time as us and would often ride the bike over to our chapel and give one of the kids a ride home.  Cora was really too big to fit in the bike seat but we stuffed her in!  (Her weight was fine just those legs were too long!)
Love all these happy faces!  We celebrated all the summer birthdays while we were together, before we left for Virginia.

Cora's bunny inherited Betty's newborn size hand-me-downs.
The kids helped me out when I felt sick by burping and entertaining Betty.

Betty started rolling over onto her tummy every time you put her down on her back, and then getting stuck.  So Elijah lined up her books to amuse her.
Betty sleeping at the water park again, while I rested in my usual spot and watched Ryan with the other two.  She started sucking on her fingers for a while to self-sooth but that never really developed into a habit either, just a stage.  
Sucking on the fingers again.
And sometimes she sucked on the fingers and pulled her ear when she was going to sleep.  For a while we thought her right ear was sticking out a little more because of this.

This next picture was from the very worst night of Cora's life.  She had been sick, tired and lethargic and developed an extremely high fever.  Similar to what she had done on Christmas day.  I tried to push fluids but that is always a challenge with Cora.  She doesn't like the taste of any medicine and refuses to take Tylenol.  Even if we get it in her mouth she will hold it in there and refuse to swallow or gag it up.  But I really started worrying when she said her stomach hurt, especially when I bounced my fingers a bit right on her navel.  Grandpa took a look and was hesitant to send us down to the hospital, knowing what a trauma that would be to everyone, especially Cora, but together we finally decided we had better try to rule out appendicitis and Ryan, Betty, Cora and I headed down to the Castle Medical Center ER.  

Luckily Elise and Jedd were still visiting and Elijah was already with them, playing.  They were so nice to keep him with them all night while we were gone and he didn't even miss us, he had so much fun.  We really appreciated not having to worry about him at all while we took care of Cora and Betty.

Meanwhile, Cora absolutely hates needles and will scream and kick and cry to avoid them, She didn't want to talk to strangers, even the very nice nurses that they gave us.  She didn't even want the O2 sensor put on her finger.  She wound up getting all kinds of IV fluids, blood tests, sensors, and things connected to her and was so very miserable.  They tried to do an ultrasound on her stomach at first to take a look at her appendix but she was so scared, she screamed and thrashed around and they couldn't get any kind of look at it, no matter what Ryan or I tried to do to calm her.  So then they determined that they would have to do a CT scan to see it.  This involved Cora needing more IV medications and having to drink a massive jug of contrast fluid so that they would be able to see what they needed to in the CT scan.  They decided to mix it with apple juice which did not succeed in covering up the taste but did make it so that she had to drink twice the original amount.   It was seriously the hardest thing to get her to drink that juice, and quickly.  She doesn't even drink enough on a regular day when she's feeling normal, much less when she's scared and tired and traumatized in the hospital, having to drink gross tasting cup after cup after cup.  We tried distracting her with Netflix on our phones but it was a monumental effort of patience and positivity that got us through.  I felt like Harry Potter, forcing Dumbledore to drink Voldemort's poison in the cave.  Finally the nurses said she had gotten enough down, and said we could stop.  Then we got to go to the CT scanner.

Cora took one look at that huge scary machine and started screaming and crying, clinging to Ryan's neck, and refusing to have anything to do with it.  (I was holding Betty so Ryan was the main one trying to help Cora.) She was crying and begging us to take her away and it was incredibly sad and heartbreaking.  She would not lay down to get prepped for the scan and there was no chance that she would stay still for it so the doctor said we would have to sedate her for it.  Even getting that done took a team of adults to hold her down and the look in her eyes was so betrayed and heartbreaking.  It was really scary to see her eyes roll back her body become listless. The picture below is after the scan when she was starting to wake again but still mostly sedated.  Luckily the news from the scan was good, her appendix looked normal and their best guess was that she had some sort of kidney infection,  They gave her some more IV antibiotics and then let us go home around 1 or 2 am.  
Then next few days she was still recovering and we still had to do battle to get her to take antibiotics or any medicine, but at least we knew it was not her appendix and she did much better at home with us.  Our big school-going girl had suddenly transformed back into our little baby girl and it was so sad, but at the same time we felt so blessed for the good health that we do generally enjoy.

Anyways, a few days later and we were back to normal life.  Cora was very happy to go back to her preschool the next week and get ready to go on our trip in July.

Not sure which of my crazy kids was responsible for this gruesome scene of dismembered dolls that I stumbled upon.
Elijah practicing his letters and drawing Grandma.  He even captured her twinkling eyes!
This little one was not being very helpful while I tried to pack for our Virginia trip.  She decided it was time to practice rolling instead.  
Funny Elijah-isms lately:
Yesterday we were making faces and having him guess the emotion (sad, surprised, etc). I made a sad/angry face and he said "that's a 'shouldn't' face." I said "a what?" He said, "a 'shouldn't' face. like, you shouldn't do that."
Overheard yesterday when he and Betty were in the living room together. "See that? That's a booger... Can you say 'booger'? "
Sitting on my lap the other day when it had been a while since I had shaved - "Mommy, your legs are cactus-y."

Oh and this was my favorite: pointing to Betty's forehead "What's that?" "Her birthmark" "No, it's her Jesus kiss. It's where Jesus kissed her."

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