Friday, August 15, 2008

Just for fun...

I am Marianne Dashwood!

I took this quiz, and I rarely take online quizzes, but I had to do this one because I love Jane Austen books so much. I don't know if I'm exactly like Marianne Dashwood...Athena lent me the movie (because it's my favorite!) anyway, I'll watch it again and see if it's right.

Just Scarlet

Here she is sitting on the sweet blanket a lady made for her for the Run for the Border fund raiser. I don't know her name, but she embroidered Scarlet's name and the date of the fund raiser on the blanket. It was so thoughtful of her.

Scarlet is always the big helper. I opened the freezer door for a second and there she was helping me unload it and then sneaked off with her treasures. :)
She is a very strong kiddo too. Scarlet has discovered that she can climb the playpen to get to her mass of toys inside. Danger child.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yum, yum, food!

Scarlet sure enjoyed her watermelon last night! She must have eaten 4 entire pieces! Usually when she eats she'll take a bite and spit it out then throw whatever it was on the floor. Her biggest problem has been chewing and swallowing which is pretty much eating altogether, but she is starting to get a lot better. Typically, if the food isn't a smooth consistency she will gag and make herself throw up and not only what she just put in her mouth but everything from a few hours ago as well.
So, eating has been a struggle her entire life and it is so relieving to me that she is progressing significantly. I was browsing through old hospital photos remembering how tiny she was and everything we experienced together and I have forgotten just how difficult getting her to eat at all had been for so long. She started off almost immediately with an NG tube (nasal-gastro) and we got her off of that after month or so and then shortly thereafter she got so sick again and the Dr's opted for her to be fed intravaneously through her hickman line. I fought and fought to get her off of that.
Some of the Dr's couldn't understand why I was so persistent but my nephew was on a Gastro fedding tube and has had difficulty eating his whole life as well and I didn't want Scarlet to go through that. So, when her respiratory rate was down enough to eat without aspirating, I had a bottle for her all the time. Sometimes I couldn't even get her to eat an ounce at a time and some days she only ate several ounces the entire day and supplemented IV. I feel a little emotional just writing about this because I am so proud of her with all that she has gone through. I'm glad I endured and got her off the tubes, I feel like she is better for it and has progressed well. She's no where near a normal kid yet but she is doing so much better.
Here is little Scarlet and the disposable hospital bottles that are all too familiar to us. I remember taking this shot, if you can see Scarlet is holding the end of the bottle. She is in her foam wedge that I still have because it was amazing! I plan on putting all my babies in them while they sleep.
I don't know if I've blogged about them before but they are cut in triangle form and at maybe a 45 degree angle. They have a little seat like deal that keeps them from slipping down and side bars with straps attached. Amazing. She slept so good in it and I never had to worry about her throwing up and choking, or SIDS. I also got to sleep next to her in the big hospital bed and she didn't need to stay in a crib which was really nice. I always tried to be awake whenever the nurses came in at night, especially during blood draws and this was nice because I was sure to wake up when they came.

Scarlet has a feeding therapy scheduled this month and I'm really looking forward to it. I think a lot of her problems come from being a little delayed due to the long periods of time she wasn't eating orally and time is a lot of what she needs but I'm sure they will help get her to be more comfortable chewing and swallowing.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Trip Down Memory Lane...

So, Charlie is on a Scout campout and took the camera with him so I have no new pictures to blog about. I've been reminiscing a lot lately, I like to remember the fun times of my past and decided to blog today about the most amazing trip I've ever been on. 5 years ago Charlie and I went with a couple of my good friends that I met in Germany as an au pair and traveled as much of Europe as we could in a 2 1/2 week period.

We actually started off in California where we met up with Sandra and Herman. I was able to go to Disneyland for the first time which was really fun. Then we were off to Munich, Germany, where Herman is originally from. We stayed a couple days with his parents there, Anita and Karl-Heinz. Charles and Karl-Heinz had the funniest relationship. Charlie doesn't speak german and Karl-Heinz doesn't speak english but somehow they had a friendship going through their hand gestures and smiles. We are seriously thinking about naming one of our kids Karl-Heinz. :)

Our next stop from there was Amsterdam. We went on a bike tour there and saw how they made the wooden clogs, we were able to see an authentic windmill, and of course see all of inner city Amsterdam. Which leads me to my next picture...
Charlie and Herman posing for me in front of the "Red Light" district. I'd never heard of this before but became very familiar with it as our hostel was right next to it. We had to walk through the alley where all the action was to get to where we were staying. I'll be honest and tell you that I looked. I felt so sad for the women there, putting themselves up on display while men stand outside and bid the best price. Pathetic.
I don't have a very high opinion of Amsterdam, but the Netherlands apart from the city is breathtaking. Our next destination was France and it just so happened the day we were leaving Amsterdam there was a massive strike so we had to take a detour and headed off for Zurich, Switzerland which meant we sat in the train station for 5 hours trying to get a ticket out of Amsterdam.
We did a lot of train sleeping. I'll throw out a little free information on the transit system in Europe, if you are planning to backpack make sure you understand your train tickets. We paid a lot of money for 1st class tickets and ended up only being able to sit 1st class twice and one of those times we got booted because even though we had 1st class seats on that specific train (in Italy, of course) you had to pay extra for 1st class. Sneaky. We almost always sat 2nd class because that's all the trains had, so paying for 1st class is a big waste of money.
Sandra and I posing in Zurich. I loved it there. If I could become any other nationality, I think it would be Swiss. I don't really know a lot about politics there or anything, but it is so beautiful and so clean and it was refreshing to meet people who spoke German but were actually really nice!
We had a lot of fun staying in Hostels. Especially in Rome, the toilet kept clogging so you had to wipe and put the paper in a massive trash can and try and get it to flush and the showers flooded so you had to wade through tons of water not to mention the bathrooms and showers were gender shared.
There were some hostels that were actually pretty decent, but you can't expect a whole lot from them when you don't have to pay a lot to stay.

We jumped the ropes for a quick shot in the pillars at the Colosseum in Rome.
It was really hard to imagine people watching other people being slaughtered here. I felt this creepy feeling as I put it all into perspective. I kept picturing the Gladiator and crowds cheering and wondering how many people died for entertainment there. It was however, an amazing structure considering the time it was built.
What we didn't know that going to the Sistine chapel and museum you have to be dressed according to standard, meaning shorts go to the knee and no sleeveless shirts. Not any different than LDS standards. At the Vatican there were even stricter rules, men can't wear shorts at all. Here is Herman trying to find some pants to wear to be able to enter the Vatican.
Outside the Vatican I saw this cute little Italian girl feeding the birds. The old man, who was a stranger, kept giving her bird feed. It was really sweet and she was so cute.
This is the balcony in Venice where Charlie proposed to me on my birthday. Super romantic.
I thought this was pretty cool. A gas station on the water.

Rome was our least favorite city in Italy. Mostly, because there was a lot of sneaky business going on and it was kind of dirty. But we did get to the older parts of Rome where it was just so beautiful.
We went to lots of museums and saw countless statues; here's a funny one of Charlie. Yeah, we could have probably gotten kicked out for that.

We loved being in Florence , that was definitely our favorite . Here we are all together enjoying our one night stay there.
For Charlie's birthday we went to Austria since it was on the way back to Germany. Sandra and the others left us and we were on our own to navigate back. I speak German but for some reason talking to people in German is really hard for me, I get focused on my grammar not being correct and freak myself out. This is Charlie after we got lost several times because I wouldn't ask for directions. It wasn't funny then but we laugh about it now.
This fountain was made in the 1800's and it is still functioning today. I loved being in Vienna, there is something magical about that city, maybe it's the history of music there or the Wienerschnitzel, I don't know but I love it.
Our trip ended in Germany, but we had one more adventure before we headed back home,
Castle Neuschwanstein. I've been there several times on several occasions and still don't know exactly what city it's in. I just remember it was a long drive to get there. It's definitely a fairy tale castle.

I know this all happened 5 years ago but it was fun remembering those weeks traveling together. I'm really missing Charlie right now and I thought this would help me not miss him as much but I miss him even more now and can't wait for him to come home already.
I'll post again soon on much more recent events.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A William's family Reunion

A William's family reunion, sort of, we're missing a few families. I have 8 siblings of which I'm #5. Here we are together in front of the Sommer's home.

I was able to take a couple days and drive to Idaho with my parents, brother Davi and fiancee` Carly the weekend before last. It is about a 7 1/2 hour drive from my home to my sister Jodi's in Salmon, ID. I'm really bad at staying awake for long periods of driving and was a little nervous about taking on job but I took one of those little shots of 5 hour energy and drank a mountain dew for breakfast. By the time we got to the IHOP in Missoula, MT I was shaky and felt like I was going to die. Ok, so feeling like I'm going to die really isn't a completely strange feeling for me, but I definitely felt really weird. So, if you were thinking of taking one of those little drink shots, they taste nasty, make your tummy burn, but they really do work.
My parent's have a picture of some of us kids when we were younger doing a head pyramid so we decided it would be fun to do a remake. Top to bottom is Josh, Jodi, me, Davi, Anni, and Micah. Oldest to youngest or youngest to oldest depending on how you see it.

Some of us stayed at the hotel nearby because Jodi's house was fully occupied. It was a little on the pricey side especially considering you are in one of the smallest towns in the country, but it had a pool and that made it worth it. The big splash is Micah and Davi is mid-air. We had so much fun jumping in and playing with the nieces and nephews.
I was so excited to get to shoot a gun again. Here I am shooting Micah's rifle. I shot it for awhile but it kept having jams and I really didn't want to take the chance of blowing my face up so I stuck to the pistol. That was a lot more fun anyway, turns out I'm actually a pretty decent shot if I get 10x's to try.

Here is Jodi with her son Rylie. He is shooting a BB gun. It took him awhile to want to shoot it but I think he had fun once he did. Josh and Kenny are in the background. Josh was helping him shoot the pistol and he held the gun a little too close to his face and ended up getting a deep little Harry Potter cut on his face. When the pistol reloads the top opens, he was pretty lucky it didn't get his eye.
One of the things I miss most about being with family is sitting around eating together.
My brother Micah was able to go on a dig in Nevada for some stones. He found a lot of beautiful ones.
There were crickets and grasshoppers everywhere there and I have a pretty big fear of them. Yeah, yeah, they don't bite or sting. But they are ugly and they jump in random, unpredictable ways that totally freaks me out. Erik, Charlie's brother threw one at me in Hawaii and I naturally said some swear words and was hoping no one would throw one at me there in front of the kids. I just can't help myself when it comes to those jumpy critters. They came close a couple times but fortunately no one actually did it. Jodi's kids love to catch them and play with them. They are such outdoorsy kids.
I love this picture. Liberty looks so happy. It was so much fun seeing all the kids. I haven't seen Liberty before this trip and was able to meet my brother's newborn daughter Kami for the first time too. I love being with my family. I have so much fun with them.
I don't have any pictures of it, but we floated down the Salmon river the first day we got there.
There were some rough patches and I actually fell off once, I used to go river rafting with the church YW's but that was years ago. It was so awesome going again. I needed this trip. I get so busy taking care of Scarlet, the home, etc. that I'd forgotten that life is fun. I definitely need to get out more. Scarlet is almost a year post-transplant and I am so looking forward to what they have to tell us and maybe a little more on what we can expect.
By the way, lots of my family members ended up getting a flu bug while I was there and I fortunately was one of the ones who didn't catch it.
Scarlet did pretty good while I was gone. She was a little mad at me but she got over it pretty quickly. 3 days must have seemed like an eternity to her.