Austin’s Blue and Gold Banquet

Austin Blue and Gold cake blog

Tonight Austin had his annual Blue and Gold banquet for Cub Scouts. In celebration of the 100 Years of Scouting, each boy made a birthday cake and decorated it for dessert. Austin chose a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and did a fun yellow spider web design on his. It was delicious to eat! You are a great cook Austin and a great Cub Scout!


Playing Dollhouse

Erika has been really enjoying Pre-K lately. She loves her teacher, playing at recess, and walking to her class by herself. Despite all the fun though, she informed me that there are a couple things school doesn’t have-milk at naptime and  pasta how she likes it.  She inevitably finds a way to stay home from school at least once a week, and being the mom I am it doesn’t take much persuading. I figure with the “can only miss 15 days rule”, and only about that many weeks left in the school year she is good to go on the 4 days a week plan. I think one of the biggest things she misses is playing with Abby and Scott and getting to play with her own toys.

Abby and Erika playing blog

Her little dollhouse is one of her joys that she doesn't have at school. She love for me to bring it out in the front room so her and Abby can organize all the furniture, carefully place it in the house, and live the life of a dollhouse doll for a few hours.  I love this dollhouse. It was a special gift from Santa a few years ago, and it continues to impress me. I love all the little furniture that came with it, how open it is so that  all my girls can play with it from all sides, and the simple but classic dolls it came with. And that Santa, I tell ya, he thought of everything. There is a dog and cat with their eating dishes, a washer and dryer, an ironing board, toilet, refrigerator, shower, bathtub, nightstands in the bedroom, lamps, TV, rugs, mattresses-it’s all just so cute! I have to admit I love to sit and organize all the furniture in it too.  Maybe I could have a “sick day “ too sometime and stay home and play with Erika and Abby. It does  count if I clean and straighten up the dollhouse compared to my own house, right?   

        Sorting dollhouse stuff blog         Erika setting up 2  

        Erika setting up blog         Dollhouse friend blog1  

             Dollhouse front blog    Erika smiling blog


Love Everywhere

Cherrios heart blog

We have been on the lookout for hearts everywhere this month. Abby noticed that we had hearts on the “Daddy and baby” Cheerios boxes, and insisted we take a picture for her.  Both Abby and Scott love Cheerios for breakfast in the morning, and since our staycation Scott has been going into the pantry and grabbing the “baby” Cheerios and carrying them around. He shakes them furiously hoping to get some out, and then finally brings them to me to open. He know where I put his snacks, so he will rush back to the table bench where I will line them up in a little row for him to eat. It makes my heart happy to see his excitement over those little everyday traditions like eating his snacks on the bench or shaking his head up and down when I ask if he wants O’s.


Egg-actly How Much Do I Love You?

Brooke with egg 2 blog


When making hard boiled eggs today, we cut one open and found the yolk was in the shape of a heart. Perfect for our fun Month of Love celebration.


More Staycation Fun

Valentine's Itinerary blog

After our fun lunch at Starbuck’s  Cafe, the kids had “free time” to tour France. The older kids played a game where they took their digital camera and went around the house finding everyday objects that represented each letter of the alphabet. It was really cool to see all of the creative letters they found hidden in the swirls of the light, or panels of the doors, or circles and shapes of the many appliances hidden in the pantry. Brianna took the pictures on her camera, which at the moment is lost (she is very, very sad) so we will have the post them when we hopefully find it. Here is our special Valentine’s Dinner. We always have it on our heart tablecloth, and have a red theme, where all the food is red or pink. Lots of fun!

Red Dinner Menu

  • Spaghetti with red or white sauce
  • French Bread
  • Red Jello topped with whip cream and strawberries in our fancy cups
  • Deviled eggs (not red, but Mommy’s favorite)
  • Milk or water to drink

jello blog

I found it funny when I downloaded all my pictures how many I had of food, and so few of people! I think I was so busy with all the activities and keeping the kids happy that I didn’t stop to have them smile for a picture. Brianna got some cute pictures, so when we find her camera we will share some more. I guess it’s funny to me that I had so many of food because I really don’t fully love to cook. I LOVE the preparation part, the table setting, the planning, the matching food, and the cute Valentine’s themed food. I thought these jello cups were so cute, and I thought all the kids would love having whipped topping on the top, but almost everyone wanted to give away their whipped topping! It was so funny to me, I thought every kid loved whipped topping. Needless to say, Aaron and I ended up with a lot of whip topping on our jello.

After dinner we played Book of Mormon bingo with pink heart shaped marshmallows for the place markers, the kids watched church movies for a little bit,and  we played a fun “Heart”  scripture game. I found this game on a LDS idea site-sugardoodle.net . It is a kind of scripture chase, but instead of finding the scripture reference directly, you shout out the page number, and then the teams rush to look at all the scriptures on that page for the word heart. The first team to find it would get a treat. It was a lot of fun, and Brooke and Emily were our fastest little lookers. At the end they had over 15 candies! Good job girls!

Here is the game as listed on the site. It is by Linda Harper

First I asked a trivia question: How many times does the word "heart" appear in all of our standard works. (1006 times) I had everyone make a guess and the one who came closest got a small bag of hearts. (By the way, the word "Love" appears 368 times).
Then I took several scriptures that had the word heart in them. I gave them the page numbers and told them to search that page for a scripture with the word heart. It was different chasing by page numbers. It really got them into the scriptures, reading to find "Heart." The first one that found it, read it and then I gave them a heart. Here are the scriptures I used, all from the New Testament:
Page 1227 - Matthew 22:37 - Love the Lord thy God with all thy Heart.
Page 1192 - Matthew 5:8 - Pure in heart
Page 1201 - Matt 9:4 - evil in your heart
Page 1208 - Matthew 12:34 - abundance of the heart
Page 1196 - Matthew 6:21 - there will your heart be also
Page 1277 - Luke 2:51 - all things in her heart
Page 1285 - Luke 6:45 - treasure of his heart.
Page 1307 - Luke 16:15 - God knoweth your heart.
Page 1352 - John 14:1 - Let not your heart be troubled
Page 1356 - John 16:22 - your heart shall rejoice
Page 1372 - Acts 4:32 - of one heart
Page 1427 - Romans 8:27 - searcheth the hearts
Page 1483 - Eph 3:17 - Christ dwelling in your heart
Page 1440 - 1 Cor 2:9 - Heart of man
Page 1545 - 1 Pet. 1:22 - a pure heart
I mixed these all up as we chased them.  It was a fun about 10-15 minute activity.

Lego Eiffel Tower blog

Our Eiffel tower carefully constructed by our in-house engineers Brooke and daddy. They worked for hours trying to get it just right.


Day 2 of our staycation was a bit more laid back than Valentine’s Day was. The kids had their breakfast choices of cereal and then played for a good part of the morning. Another great thing about staycations is that everything doesn’t have to be planned out, just getting to relax and play is part of the fun. We had a very “French” lunch of French toast, bacon, sausage, and juice, and then Aaron took all the older kids to see a movie. Abby, Scott, and I enjoyed my favorite part of staycations-naps whenever the moment calls for one, and then got dinner ready for our returning guests. We had Crepes for dinner, with all the yummy desert-like toppings that really shouldn’t count for dinner, but hey, it’s vacation right? Or Staycation rather. After dinner, we had to take our visiting guests to gymnastics and then off to another family’s  house for the rest of the week while their parents were gone. It was a hard good-bye, only made better with  the promise of a return on Saturday to play some more. Our trip back to the states that night ended with us each getting to sleep in our own cozy beds. Ahh..there’s no place like home! Good thing we got to visit the city of love with never having to leave it.

The Starbuck Cafe

Table sign blog

Upon settling in the hotel, everyone was famished from a nice day at church. Luckily, the Starbuck Cafe was open for business and had lunch ready to serve. We had brought back our little pink kitchen set, which had been in storage since Christmas, and it was like Christmas all over again. Erika has been begging me for the last two weeks to bring it back, and I knew that this would be a perfect time for it to make an appearance.

Starbuck cafe blog 

I had set up the dining room like a little French cafe, complete with a view of the Eiffel tower. I found this stick on Eiffel tower at Hobby Lobby (love that store) and then added poster board for the windows and taped together placemats for the curtains. (You have to improvise a bit at the wee hours of the morning when I was putting this together. It seemed to work because Austin asked me afterwards when I was taking them down where I got them. I pulled the tape off, held the two placemats in my hands, and the light bulb went off in his head. “oh, that’s so cool!)

                   Starbuck cafe 2 blog     Eiffel Tower window blog

The menu for the afternoon:

  • Crackers and cheese appetizers
  • Heart shaped mini sandwiches
  • Red apples
  • Fruit snack
  • Choice of chips
  • Milk or water
  • Mini frosted cookies

Heart shaped sandwiches blog

One of the presents we got for the girls was some little writing pads they could take orders down on in their kitchen. The kids had fun taking each others orders, serving each other, and ringing the bell for service from their waiter or waitress. They even got up and danced around and sang silly songs for the live entertainment at the cafe.

Guest checks blog

Kids lunch blog

Hotel Starbuck

A fancy vacation wouldn’t be complete without a stay in a luxurious hotel, and our staycation came complete with a stay at the Hotel Starbuck.

Scott was still sick, so I stayed home with him from church, and we helped get our hotel all ready for our guests when they returned. Our hotel offered four different sized suites- a community bathroom, a cafe, daytime activities, room service, a DVD player, and an in room phone. Rooms come with  daily maid service, personal wash clothes and lotions, soft robes, and a sweet chocolate on the pillow to brighter your day.

     Hotel room blog      Chocolate on pillow blog         Special made beds blog    Room Service blog

          Bathroom sign blog      Bathroom sign free blog      bathroom sign in use blog

Austin suggested a nice addition to our bathroom-a FREE or IN USE  sign. When you have 9 kids to use one bathroom it was a very clever idea. Unfortunately, a lot of those 9 can’t read so the sign didn’t get used as much as it should have. Still cute and fun though.

One of the best parts about staying in a hotel is the room service and daily breakfasts served there. They enjoyed popcorn with their in room movie as well as got to pick a special breakfast on Monday morning.

Breakfast door sign blog cereal breakfast blog

We NEVER buy the small little boxes of cereal and so this was definitely part of the luxuriousness of this hotel. The kids were so excited. Emily Johnson was so cute. When I told her that she could have her own little box of  cereal, she went around telling everyone else about it too. “No, I mean we actually get our own box of those little cereals!” So much fun! And so easy for the hotel management who also likes to have a day to sleep in. We set the table  the night before and let them eat at their own leisure the next morning.

The little door hangers were easy to make. I typed them up and added a clipart Eiffel tower as a watermark behind it. Then I just printed them out, cut them apart, punched a whole with a large circle punch (1-1/2inch)  in the top, and then cut a slit. So easy, and so much fun. We hung them on their doors and then before they went to bed they hung them back out with their choices on them. We set the table, put their door hanger by their bowls, and viola-breakfast is served!

I was going to insert an attachment for the door hanger for anyone who wants to download it, but I can’t figure out how. If anyone  knows how, I would love to know!

Valentine’s Day Staycation in Paris

To keep with our Month of Love theme, it seemed natural that our staycation this year should take place in none other than the city of love-Paris, France. We were so excited to have some guests along for the trip this year, the Johnson’s got to stay at our house for the weekend while their parents were out of town, and it rang true to the old adage, “the more the merrier.” I love all their sleepy little faces. Proof that the real vacation had started the day before. There had already been plenty of treats,  games, outside play, scooter riding, wii playing, late night giggling, and movies to last for the whole weekend.

Valentine's Day breakfast blog

We kicked off with our trip with our traditional Valentine’s Day breakfast. Our special LOVE menu included:

  • Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • Double Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • Strawberries
  • Strawberry Banana Yogurt
  • Milk and Orange Juice to drink

I had fun again this year decorating the table with flowers for each of the kids, red confetti, treat bags for everyone, and gifts at each plate. Aaron added the crowning touch with a vase full of my favorite flowers, and Brianna made little Valentine’s cards for everyone place. Our treat bags had Valentine’s Pez dispensers, candy hearts, chocolates, red fruit roll ups, and a special favorite treat for each person.

  • Daddy-Snickers
  • Mommy-Toberone bar
  • Brianna-Twix
  • Ryan-Skittles
  • Austin-Snickers
  • Katie-Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Emily-Kit Kat
  • Brooke-M&M’s
  • Erika-Starburst
  • Abby-Starburst
  • Scott-Gerber Yogurt bites

Treat bags blog

Starting last year for Valentine’s Day we got the kids each a book for their present. Erika was so excited this year and was telling me for weeks that she couldn’t wait for the special day to come. With a little research I discovered that she was excited for the treat bags and her book. I informed her that maybe she wouldn’t get a book this year, “We have to, it’s a tradition!” So now, I guess it’s a tradition that the kids get a new book for Valentine’s day. Scott and the four younger girls each got books, and the older kids all got movie passes to the movie theater.

Flowers blog

Aaron gave me 20 beautiful red tulips and a handmade card. He almost always makes me a card and I love it!

Flowers from Aaron blog


Snow Day

February Snow Day black and white blog

Snow for our Valentine’s Day weekend was an unexpected surprise and joy for the kids. Snow in the south I would say is not common, but now I have a two year record going, so I may have to rethink my theory. The kids were excited for the 3-5inch prediction of snow, and were giving minute by minute plays as to how good the snow was sticking to the ground. I loved watching the big snowflakes fall…from the warmth of my home of course, but the kids and Aaron ventured out side for a little winter fun. They convinced me after much persuasion to come out into the carport to take a picture of them out in the snow.

Snow day family pic blog

My backdoor looks like this now, and this is why I am remembering that I love the south. I can deal with the mud, the dripping boots, the coats hanging on every chair to dry, the hats, gloves, and socks littering my floor- for a day. I am happy to report that sunny skies are in the forecast for tomorrow, and life in the south will be back as it should be-snow free.

My backdoor blog


Scott’s Seizure Part 2

Scott foot blog

Aaron sat in the chair next to Scott’s bed trying to comfort him and get to sleep. He laid Scott down and then put his head down in his hands and prayed. “I prayed him to sleep” he said. I put my head down so he couldn’t see me and wouldn’t be distracted to get up, and I prayed. While I was gone they were able to get an EEG done and Scott was able to sleep a bit more. When I returned around 1:30 though, Scott had a fever again. My heart dropped a bit and I dreaded the possible road that lay before us. I was afraid of this yo-yo cycle of fevers and seizures, but was happy to hear that he hadn’t had any while I was gone.

The plan was to let the morning dose of Dilantin wear off and see if Scott had another seizure. The doctor was actually happy that he got another fever while still in the hospital so they could better monitor him and see how he did. 3:00 was our magic time. If he was good by then we would possible get to take him home, or have him transferred out of the PICU and into a normal room. A normal room meant no monitors! We talked with the doctor’s about some of our concerns and their concerns. Here’s what we talked about:

  • Scott had complex febrile seizures, resulting from a high fever caused by infection.
  • He has an increased chance of having another seizure.
  • He may never have another seizure again (we are all hoping on this one)
  • His chance is increased for developing epilepsy.
  • They were wondering about his size (he is small?) We informed them that neither of us are big people and in our family he fits right in. He has a growth curve, it’s just small. The doctor turned to the other doctor’s and smiled kind of like, “I figured this”-I guess this was one of their possible theories, so no concerns about it.
  • Putting him on medication isn’t really a plan. Most medicines don’t help for febrile seizures anyways.
  • We need to be watching for him having more seizures-especially one not caused by a fever.
  • The blood tests from this morning all looked okay.

As we were waiting for 3:00 to roll around we put on a Disney movie, “The Earth” that has soothing music in it and I rocked Scott to sleep. He was able to rest for a little bit, and his temperature stabilized somewhat. At around 3:00 the nurse came in surprised and excited that they had gotten the results from the EEG and it looked good. She said that most times they have to wait until the next day or for a couple of days to get the results. We were happy that that may mean we were one step closer to getting to take our baby home. The EEG’s aren’t a perfect science, but at least for now there was no big abnormalities there. That was great news!

Scott monitors blog

We were anxious to let Scott sleep in his own bed and hopefully rest his little body some more. He was still very wobbly today and was having a hard time sitting up and standing. It seemed to take every bit of energy to try to do that, and then he would want to lay back down. His poor little body was just so weak and tired. Aaron said when someone has a seizure it feels like they have just run a marathon. So 7 seizures….7 marathons? I just can’t imagine how sore is little body was. The hard part is that I think he would have rather just laid still so his body didn’t hurt as much being moved around, but his little 14 month old brain still had the be-on-the-go mentality.

A little after 3:30 the nurse came in and said that the doctor had given permission for us to take him home. We were so excited. Scott could finally get the rest his little body needed. She worked on the paperwork and Aaron immediately unhooked Scott’s monitors. Scott was asleep at the time, and as soon as he unhooked him, he rolled on his tummy, curled up his legs under him and went back to sleep. His typical little sleep position he had been longing for all day was finally his. While we  waited for some nursing students to come in to take out his IV, we called the kids and let them know the good news. They were screaming and cheering-they were so excited to get to see him!

Scott IV blog

Taking out his IV was probably the most relieving part of the day. He hated that thing so much! He was having to get used to using one hand for everything, and though he was getting the hang of it, he hated that thing! He was very sleepy when they pulled it out, and didn’t really wake up much. After they took it out, Aaron picked him up and got to hold him, really hold him for the first time in two days. He held him close and just hugged him. It was a happy moment for us. When Scott woke up he tried to do something one handed, when he looked down and noticed that he wasn’t hooked up to something anymore. He kind of touched his bandage, and wiggled his hand around a bit until he finally figured out he was free! Freedom. Freedom from sickness and hopefully freedom from seizures. There was a whiteboard in his room that had his goals for the day written on it. No fever. No infection. No seizures. All good goals we know will be part of our life for the foreseeable future.

Aaron and Scott black and white blog

We dressed him in own little jammies, and talked with the nurse about our discharge plan.

  • Strong antibiotics for the next 7 days.
  • Continue Tylenol and Ibuprofen for the next few days as well to control fever.
  • Monitor fever frequently.
  • Follow up appointment in one week.
  • Explanation of emergency seizure medication Diastat. How to use it and when to use it.
  • If he has another seizure longer than 5 minutes use medicine and call 911.
  • Fill out forms to have medical records transferred.

We left the hospital well informed with what to do and hopeful that the days ahead would be good.

Brianna had a special New Beginnings program at church that night, and so Aaron decided to take her to that. With all the emergency lifestyle we had had the last couple of days I wanted my children to be able to cling onto something familiar for them. She was very excited about it and it was a good chance for her to have dad there and know that he was there for her too. A friend kept the other kids for us, so it was just Scott and I at home. 

Though we were very glad to be home, I got a very quick first hand introduction to what the next few days would bring. Scott immediately got down on the floor and wanted to walk around. He would stand up and lean over like a drunkin’ sailor. I would catch him and try to hold him on my lap until he would struggle away and try it again. The screaming, crying, and utter frustration was more than his little weak body could handle. At 7:30 we both crashed on our bed and went to sleep. I was so tired, but would fall asleep and then wake up in a panic and touch Scott to make sure he was still breathing. It scared me because he was in such deep sleep at one point I moved him and he didn’t stir. I moved him harder and he finally moved. The constant panic, monitoring, hovering, and fear was beginning.

Scott’s Seizure Part 1

The little instances that fill up our whole days, are the same little moments that can change our lives forever. I have replayed all those instances of the past few days over and over in my mind, and have sat down to write this post several times. Emotions get too thick and I walk away from the computer, leaving an empty screen, ironically similar  to the same empty feeling I have in the pit of my stomach. I used to think that when the trials of life would come, that I would be ready. I would be strong. I would somehow be able to hold it all together. I have realized that that isn’t always what is expected-all our Heavenly Father wants is us to be able to turn to Him for help.

I have tried to separate, “just the facts” and write something that will be informative, something to keep everyone up to date, and somehow take out the myriad of emotions we are feeling right now. In life that’s just not how it works though. Our lives are a bit emotional charged right now, and the two just can’t be separated.  Life is hard. Events in life are hard. And sometimes as hard as we try we don’t always stand tall and handle adversity with grace. I have been blessed to feel that that is okay too. This is a detailed account of what happened. If it’s just too much to stomach, the nice short version is-Scott had a seizure that lasted 25 minutes, he continued to have 6 more they had a hard time stopping, he had a fever of 105 that started them, he stayed at the PICU, he’s home and doing better for now. For us though, we need the details,  we need to have it written down if it ever happens again, we need to be able to look back and see the blessings that we do have from all of this, and we have 8 people in our home that need to heal. Writing this and reading this helps us do that.

I wish I could write not so one sided, not so negative, not so pained-but I can’t. This has been one of the hardest things we have ever had to go through, and I am just trying to understand. Have people gone through harder things –yes! Is this the worst thing that could have happened-no! Am I somehow being ungrateful for dwelling on the hard things right now-no! But for us right now, this is a big deal and a hard thing to work through. Emotions and hurts are real. Our Heavenly Father knows that and allows us time to heal no matter how long that takes.

Through all of this I have been able to see that my brother and sister in law are my heroes. Their daughter Lauren in my hero. www.lauren2-lauren.blogspot.com My heart hurts that even though we have only had to go through this once so far-they have to live it everyday. My sister-in-law said that you find strength beyond your own to get through. Right now, that’s about all I can rely on.

On Tuesday February 9, Scott had a seizure. It was the first of seven he experienced in the two hours that followed, and something I thought I would never have to have one of my children experience. Fear, worry, love, ignorance, humility, faith..all emotions that were running rampant through Aaron and mine’s mind. In an instant, you realize how mortality is not in your hands at all. As much as I wanted the doctors to do what they could, I knew that my prayers that were flooding Heaven at that moment were all that really mattered.

It started as  an ordinary day-playing, laughing, hugging, loving, running around, discovering new toys, giggling… Scott had been having a typical 14 month old style day. He had breakfast, played in the morning with Abby, took a short morning nap, got up and played with Abby and I on the floor, read books together, let me take some pictures of him, had a good lunch, took a nap, and then we went to pick up the kids from school.
When we came back he was acting a little bit grumpy, he just wanted me to hold him. He seemed a little uncomfortable on my lap. I tried to feed him a little more baby food and he ate a little bit, but then back on my lap he seemed kind of restless. He kept taking his binkie out of his mouth and was acting like he might throw up. I thought maybe he just had a tummy ache. I felt his head and he felt a little bit warm. It was nothing I would have even thought twice about going to get the thermometer to check or give any Tylenol for.
I was at the computer holding him and Brianna asked if she could hold him for awhile. She went to the couch with him and laid down to hold him and let him rest. About twenty minutes passed and Brianna said he felt kind of hot so she kept the blanket off of him (she later told us this). Aaron had called and was on his way home. Then Brianna started to scream, “Mom, Scott is having a seizure! Scott’s having a seizure”

I ran to the family room just a few steps away and grabbed Scott from the couch. I yelled for Brianna to call daddy right away. I had brought him in the kitchen, for what reason I don’t know now, maybe to be closer to where Brianna was calling? To see him in better light? I looked at the kitchen clock to see what time it was. I knew I needed to know how long the seizure had lasted. 4:53pm. Brianna  got Aaron on the phone and repeatedly said, “Scott’s having a seizure.” Luckily Aaron had just pulled in the driveway. A direct blessing from our Father in Heaven I know.

He ran into the door as I was walking back into the front room. We put him on the floor and Aaron told me to call 911. When we laid him down he was burning up. The kids were funneling into house, crying, and being as scared as we were.  Aaron calmly told them to go to their room and say a prayer. Aaron didn’t hesitate a moment-he went to get his consecrated oil and gave Scott a blessing. The strength and character of a person is sometimes manifest clearest in the face of adversity. Seeing Aaron then showed me this good man’s heart. Rely on the Lord.

I looked at the clock-5minutes passed, 6minutes, 7 minutes…what was taking the ambulance so long? Scott was still seizing. As the minutes ticked by my worries intensified. Longer than 5 minutes didn’t seem good. Poor Scott was breathing hard, and I was worried he may stop breathing. His little cheeks seemed swollen a bit. I’m not sure if it was from all his muscles being tense or what. Is he hurting right now? My heart hoped he wasn’t. Finally I could hear the sirens in the background. Austin went out the front door to meet them, and in came a stretcher. They asked how old he was, and if he was still seizing. As they loaded him up and started wheeling him out the door, Aaron asked if I would be going with him in the ambulance. We decided I would go and Aaron would call for someone to watch the kids and follow behind. Scott looked so little on that big stretcher. Too little to have to go through this.

The next 20 minutes became a blur. Little pieces engraved in my mind.

  • Sitting in the front of the ambulance, watching  the paramedics close the door and seeing Aaron watch it close. Oh my brave husband. How he could let them drive away with his son-I don’t know. Strength beyond our own.
  • Looking in the rearview mirror and seeing our neighbor come out of her house.
  • Seeing them put an IV in his little arm.
  • Watching them cut off his shirt and putting a monitor on him.
  • Driving under the interstate underpass and hearing the sirens echo.
  • Wondering why in the world people weren’t pulling over when the ambulance was coming through.
  • Wondering why I wasn’t just one of those people in my car pulling over. Why was Scott the one in the ambulance?
  • The ambulance worker asking question after question about Scott. No, no, no, no..yes everything was normal…
  • Wondering why in the world the driver seemed to be taking the longest way possible to the hospital.
  • Hearing that Scott was stable and still breathing
  • Pulling into the hospital. 5:25pm
  • Watching one of the EMT pick up my little boy and carry him wrapped in a blanket into the hospital. At that moment-he was my hero. I hoped he was carrying him to safety.

When we got into the trauma room of the ER they laid Scott down and he wasn’t awake. They started hooking him up to monitors and cutting the rest of his clothes off. He wasn’t moving, his eyes were closed..but he was breathing.The nurse asked the ENT how long he had been seizing and he said 20-25minutes. I hadn’t been able to tell from the front of the ambulance when he stopped having the first seizure, so this was the first time I was aware how long it had been. After a few minutes he started having another seizure, and had two more before Aaron got there at 6:10. Scott was having a seizure when Aaron walked in-Aaron rubbed his arm and whispered in his ear, and Scott calmed down a bit. Daddy’s here sweetheart. They had given him already two doses of Ativan, a medicine to stop the seizures, but he continued to have them so they gave him one more dose. 6:20pm-another seizure. 6:30-another seizure. They were coming every ten minutes lasting 2-3 minutes now. He seemed to have one every time they would move him around at all. We started to notice his monitor and when he would get close to having another seizure his heart rate would jump up..205,210,225 XXXXX. A big X would flash across the screen. His heart was too fast to track.The doctor decided to give him a loading dose of Dilantin. It was another medicine to try and stop the seizures.

Aaron looked at his watch 6:40-no seizure. Our hopes increased as he made it past the ten minute mark. 13minutes. 14 minutes-seizure. This time lasting 5 minutes-but luckily the last one. We went to do a CT scan of his brain, and then back to the ER to just wait. They had taken Scott’s temperature twice since we had arrived-both times it was around 103 degrees. They had informed us he had an ear infection in both ears, probably causing the sharp spike in temperature. They had diagnosed him with complex febrile seizures. Complex because normally when a child has a seizure caused by a quick rise in temperature they will seize for a shorter amount of time, stop on their own, and come to within a few minutes. Scott had multiple seizures, longer than 15 minutes,  they couldn’t get them to stop, and as of now was sitting there looking unconscious. I wondered what that all meant.

What was going to happen? Was he ever going to wake up? Would his little heart be able to stand how fast it was beating? Would his heart stop beating? Would he have more seizures? Would they have to put a breathing tube in? (A possibility the doctor told us) Was he going to die? All thoughts we were plagued with. Some irrational, some because of lack of knowledge, some out of fear, but all very real to us nonetheless.

The person next to us came in from a car accident. There was hustle and bustle behind the drawn curtain. Moments later, there was nothing. He was dead. I wanted to throw up. What was I doing here? Maybe this was some sort of bad dream. Aaron hugged me tight.

I massaged Scott little legs which had hard little knots in them from being tight and flexed during his seizures, while Aaron would talk to him and would rub his head. They discussed whether or not they would need to transfer him to Atlanta as there is no pediatric neurologist here. In the end, they decided to keep him here and admit him to the Pediatric ICU. Aaron called home to let the kids know that Scott was doing okay. Brianna was busy helping the girls make Valentine cards to take to school the next day, trying to fill in where she could. How blessed we are for such loving kids who take care of each other. I wonder how they are hurting right now.

The CT scan results came back and looked clear, and all the blood tests came back negative. We were relieved that there wasn’t anything on his brain such as a tumor or internal bleeding of some sort. Aaron left the hospital around 9:30am as they were getting him ready to take upstairs. I decided to stay with Scott that night, and Aaron would go home to be with the kids and come back in the morning, assuming nothing happened over night. It was hard for him to say his good-byes to Scott. A very difficult and tender moment to watch.

A little after Aaron had left, Scott started to open his eyes. I think if I could have picked a few moments of pure joy in my life, that would have been one of them. The nurse had taken his temperature again before we were to go upstairs and it was up to 105.3 degrees. She wanted it to be lower before they moved him upstairs, so she had me pick him up to try to wake him up a bit more so she could try to give him some ibuprofen. She brought it in and he gulped it right down. She was as happy as I was to see him responding. She brought in some Pedialyte in a bottle to see if he would take it. He hadn’t had anything to drink since naptime and had vomited in the ambulance so I could imagine how hungry he was. He finished a whole bottle and started crying for more. Oh that cry-I’ve never been so happy to hear that cry! She filled it up again and he proceeded to finish that one too. Meanwhile we had wet blankets on top of him and I was sponging his legs, arms, and neck to try to get his fever down. It must have been an hour or so and his fever went down to 103.2. Progress. We continued to bath him, and he continued to drink his bottle and slowly start to wake up a little more. Around midnight his temperature was down to 102.5-enough to transfer him up to the PICU. I never thought I would say that we were happy to have a 102.5 temperature. All perspective I guess.

We got him checked in and settled in his little room. He had to be hooked to more monitors here than he had been downstairs, and he was not happy about it! He had his IV in, 4 external monitors on his chest and tummy, and a pulse ox gauge on his finger that they later moved to his foot. He was waking up enough to want to roll around and try to sit up and move around. He was constantly getting tangled in his cords and would scream until we could untangle him. He would try to sit up and would just topple over-some of the side effects from the medication and some from the seizure itself. He was getting very frustrated by not being able to move around. He was so tired and just wanted to lay on his tummy with his blanket tucked up by him and fall asleep. Because of his high temp-no blanket was allowed, and because of all the cords, laying on his tummy was almost impossible. The nurse had tried to bandage up his IV arm to keep him from pulling it out. She had bandaged it up, and taped a sock on it as well, but it wasn’t working. Around 2, his IV stopped pumping, so both nurses came in to try and see if there was a kink in it somewhere. They had to hold him down so they could undo the bandage and look at the tiny little catheter in his hand. While holding him down, he fell right asleep. The poor kid was exhausted. They were able to fix the IV, bandage it back up by adding a little splint and more gauze around the outside and taped the heck out of it.

Scott was able to sleep from about 2-5am. At 5, the nurse came to do more vitals-she was nice to do underarm temps and get vitals from the machines and let him sleep for the most part, but she needed a more accurate temperature now to make sure it was down. We were relieved that it was. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t go back to sleep after that. From 5-8am I wrestled to keep him from trying to climb out of the crib, fall down in the crib and hit his head, and get him constantly untangled from the cords attached to him. At around 8 he was almost asleep. They were trying to get him asleep so they could do an EEG on him. They would place little sensors on his head to measure brain activity. They had two left to put on his head and he woke up and started pulling them off. I had to leave the room while they did it, and when they came to get me they were frustrated and Scott was mad. I went into the room to pick him up and he kept pointing at the EEG lady. He wanted her out of that room! I got him calmed down a little, tried to turn on some Dora the Explorer to distract him, and feed him a little bit of pancakes and orange juice until Aaron got there.

When Aaron walked into the PICU I don’t think I was ever so relieved to see my husband-ever. I was so tired, and needed his support. He came equipped with a fully packed diaper back, Scott’s blanket, his animal he sleeps with, some toys, mandarin oranges to eat (Scott’s favorite), a bottle of milk, and a optimistic attitude that I needed to see. He couldn’t have come more prepared. He offered to stay with Scott so I could go home and shower, get something to eat, and rest if I needed to. I was hopeful that Aaron would be able to work his magic with Scott and they would be able to get the EEG done while I was gone. Sometimes a father’s touch is all it takes.


Hide The Kiss


Big Hershey Kiss blog

Today was the most exciting “Month of Love” activity so far. I bought a huge Hershey’s kiss and on Sunday morning I hid it somewhere in the kitchen/playroom/dining room/family room area. The first person to find it would then get a chance to hide it next. The kids were so excited to find it and try to find the best hiding spot. The only rules was that part of it had to be showing. Here are some of the great hiding spots we had.

Mommy’s spot: Up on the light in the breakfast eating area. Austin was the one who first spotted it.

Monae hide the kiss blog

Austin’s spot: On top of the fan in the playroom.  Aaron was the one to find it first.

Austin hide the kiss blog

Aaron’s spot: He unscrewed a light bulb of the lamp next to the couch and replaced it with the kiss.  Brooke was the one to find it next.

Aaron hide the kiss blog 

Brooke’s spot: In the candle above the fireplace. Erika found this one.

Brooke hide the kiss blog

Erika’s spot: Inside the back of the side table. Brianna found it.

Erika hide the kiss blog

Brianna’s spot: On the floor between the washer and dryer. Her clue was that it was where Scott could reach it, but he couldn’t. Abby got to hide it next.

Brianna hide the kiss blog

Abby’s spot: Under the kitchen table bench.

Abby hide the kiss blog 

After all the hide and seeking, Brianna wanted to get to just hold it. The kids couldn’t believe there was actually a chocolate kiss that big.Big Kiss in Brianna's hand blog

And what’s better than holding a kiss? Eating one of course. Master carver daddy whipped out the cutting board and sharpest knife we had to divide the delicious chocolate kiss 8 ways.

Kiss carver blog

And the verdict-Hmm, Hmmm, delicious!

Erika eating kiss blog