Thursday, September 30, 2010

Round 4 for Tysen

Tysen was having symptoms of shunt failure for about 3 weeks before he finally had surgery. He would have an episode once every 2-3 days and then would be fine after a very long nap (sometimes 4-5 hours). He had scans right before the symptoms started and they showed that everything looked normal.

The worst part about this is his symptoms. He will be in a lot of pain and will be very sick and lethargic. But, they can't go in without something showing on the scans because they don't want to cut him open and nothing be wrong. So we have to wait until Tysen gets worse (like non stop pain) to go into ER and get more scans.

The scans showed water building up so they did the surgery.
His shunt was blocked once again. They put new hardware and BIGGER hardware so hopefully that will help prevent blockage.
He is at the age now that he is aware of what is going on and he was SCARED!
He is starting to realize that the doctor's office or the hospital is not a great place to be.
I hated seeing him go through this realization but it was bound to happen. He did really well though. After the surgery is the best because he is back to his old self and he doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. The pain is gone, the fear is kind of gone, and he is responsive (before surgery his symptoms cause him to be close to non responsive. He just stares blankly and will not respond most of the time).

We are so happy that it was not infection and we are so blessed that he is well and that the doctors know exactly how to fix the problem.
A HUGE thankyou to those who brought meals, took care of baby and dog, and those who were praying for his well being. We can never thank you enough for that wonderful support!

Love you Tysen! You are so STRONG!
He is very much back to his old self :-)

With some of his cousins...making a new fashion statement!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Just Call Me Aunt Edith"

I remember every summer with you. I remember my friends wanting to spend the summer with you. And, I remember you would say to them, "Just Call Me Aunt Edith"...and they would. I know that I had a better imagination because of you. I remember the stories we made up in your back yard while climbing the grapefruit tree. I remember getting stuck in that grapefruit tree and Uncle James having to fish us out. I remember fresh lemonade and some of the best meals I had ever eaten. I remember the love that I knew you had for each of us children and how much confidence you gave us. I remember being taught right from wrong on many occasions. I remember going into the Jacuzzi whether it was in our clothes or our swimming suits. Also, filling the Jacuzzi up with cold water when it was too hot outside to bear. I remember always looking for a sale. You always let us find our own sales in the stores and when we wanted to buy something on sale you would say "See, That is smart. You are Smart!" I remember wondering why you gave so much service. Why are we giving cookies to the neighbor? Why are we going to volunteer at the stroke center? Why do we need to put on a fashion show and invite the neighbors? Year after year I grew to realize exactly why you did these things. And, I've told you this before but I know that I grew into a better person by watching your example.

It was so hard to let you go. But, I was happy to see your pain stop and know that you are with your sister Mary and your Mother Ardis again. The ones you always talked about. The ones you missed for so long. Now we will miss you Aunt Edith and I already yearn to get back to see you again. You will be in my stories I tell my children....and when I am done telling them I will say "I can;t wait to see her again!"

You were and are such an influential person in all our lives. I remember you as the Crazy Aunt Edith (your normal self) who would sing the shampoo commercial to people when they called.."Halo, Halo." You were the really tall clown "sunny" I think. I remember this briefly because I was little; but, it was silly enough for me to remember. You were our families Easter Bunny, Santa Clause and "new school clothes fairy." How you did all of that for 14 children?.... I will never know.

All that I can say is that I love you Aunt Edith Thank you for the wonderful years and that I will miss you unitl we meet again.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Latest

Tysen is up to 22 blocks at a time with his "tower" building. He starts with a strong base by turning his tote over and starting there. Then he builds until it gets too tall...when it gets too tall he pulls his stool over and gets up on it to build the rest. What a process but what SUCCESS!
In other "Trouble" news, Tysen now likes to think of his brother's face as a piece of drawing paper. I understand how dangerous this is...but there are those times when I'm not looking that Tysen sneaks a pen and does damage. All the while Jayden was smiling as if he thought it looked good.

Not long after (maybe a couple days) Tysen had some mystery artwork on his cheek. Fine artwork, I must say but the question was "what did he use to get such exquisite strokes?" Certainly a mystery, since there was no sign of a mess, no sign of an open marker...but it looked as though it could be MASCARA! Oh No! But, upon entering my room I found that my mascara was in my makeup bag with the cap twisted on. He must have used it because when asked what it was he colored with he replied "makeup". At least this one was clean artwork.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2010 Family Vacation (Part 3)

Our last stop on our trip was San Francisco. When we first got there we decided to do the Golden Gate Bridge first. The rodes were so scary to drive on. There were so crowded and there were a lot of one way routes. A few times I genuinely thought we might die. It made it that much more adventurous when you think your life is on the line :-)
The Golden Gate Bridge was covered in Fog so it was hard to see how Big it was but as we drove on it we got a good sense. We pulled off to take pictures and we were thinking about taking the trail to walk across it, but opted not since we already had put our lives in jeopardy just driving the streets. We had enough life threatening experiences for one day.
While taking pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge I could see a couple of Asian ladies admiring Tysen and Jayden. One came up and grabbed Tysen and the other stood back and took pictures of the two together. We were laughing (even though it was strange) until the lady decided to take a family picture with my family (me excluded).
So, I have a new family picture to hang on the wall (too bad I was replaced).
A lot of Asian people came up to us wanting to take pictures of our kids like they were celebrities...very weird.
We also visited the Jelly Belly factory. The bummer was that we went on the weekend and they let their workers have the weekend off. So, we took the tour but they just had videos playing and we didn't get to see it up and running.
We got free Jelly Bellys though ;-)
We wanted to ride the trolley but it seemed nearly impossible with two kids and how PACKED they were. We had a very nice man tell us how the system worked. He told us to go down to the second to last Trolley stop because it doesn't have a sign so no one knows that the trolley stops there. Plus, since the trolley goes one way, we would beat everyone else on. He said he had 50 years of experience so we just followed him. He gave us free day passes and made sure that we made it on the Trolley. Then he just went on with his day. I love nice people!

We got to Fisherman's Wharf and there was this bum on the side walk holding a fake bush in front of himself and when someone would walk by he would move it and scare them. HAHAHAHA it was HILARIOUS! He had a bucket out for tips...I have never seen an act like that from a bum. We sat and watched him scare people for a while.
At Fisherman's Wharf we bought some fresh crab from a stand and ate it right was very awesome!
Then we walked over to Pier 39 and Tysen decided that he really wanted to try the bungee jumper ride. We waited in line for a good hour and it was finally his turn. But, when he couldn't have Daddy come with him, he did not want anything to do with it. So, we got our money back and decided to get back to the trolley to ride back to our hotel.
While we waited for the Trolley there was a man playing the guitar and singing songs with a bucket out for tips. Tysen was in love with this. He loves music and guitars, especially when he gets to watch someone play one. He went to his bucket and gave him a tip and the guy started playing "Twinkle, Twinkle", "Old McDonald" and "ABC's". Tysen FREAKED! He was dancing and singing. Everyone in line, waiting for the trolley, were taking pictures and video of Tysen because he was so funny!
No matter what we are doing or where we are, Tysen seems to get an incredible amount of attention. Such a HAM!
This trip was really one of my favorites. It was like we took three after the next. It seemed to make it last longer. I think Big Sur will be our camp spot! I couldn't imagine going anywhere else! The best part was having my family with me and making new memories!

2010 Family Vacation (Part 2)

Monterey is were we lived it up! It was the part of our vacation that we experienced the luxury. It was so nice to get down and dirty when we were camping ....but, it was sooooo nice to come to Monterey and get cleaned up!
We went to the aquarium. It was a huge aquarium with lots of neat fish. Tysen loved the touch pools. He was scared at first but after one of the workers started talking to him and helping him he was all about touching the sea creatures. He thrives off of being social. He will do anything if someone does it with him :-)
Bubba Gump Shrimp company was just outside our hotel. They had the bus stop and Forrest Gump's shoes for people to take pictures in front of. Dan was so funny trying to pose like Forrest. He makes me laugh all the time (funny guy).
I had to see at least one lighthouse before we went home. We went to see one of the oldest working lighthouses. I loved it.

When I say that we lived it up, I am talking about our suite that we had. The hotel was fabulous! 1 bedroom, two bathrooms, balcony, windows facing the Bay, two fireplaces. I fell in LOVE right away. My favorite was opening the windows in our room at night and seeing the squid boats on the bay with their lights on and hearing the seals bark.
Then in the afternoon when we would lay down together to rest it was so nice to have the windows open and listening to the sounds of the Bay and the Birds! It was so relaxing that every time we had the windows open and laid down with Jayden, he fell right asleep.
Tysen enjoyed the binoculars that were there for us to use in the room.

Monday, September 20, 2010

2010 Family Vacation (Part 1)

For our 2010 Family Vacation we decided to drive up the coast. Our first stop was Big Sur. We camped for 3 nights. It was our fist time camping as a family and I have to say that it might have been my favorite vacation with the kids yet. Big Sur is the most beautiful camping area. One minute your enjoying the redwoods and loving the smell of pine and campfire..the next minute you are sitting on a beach that sits right outside of the redwood tree. It is the best of both worlds.

We decided to drive the scenic route to get to Big Sur. We made a few pit stops to enjoy the coast. It was so exciting to have the coast right next to us as we drove. I couldn't get enough. We stopped at seal beach and saw at least 50 seals (if not more) laying out on the beach. Some coming in from the tide and some going out. It is weird how they just took over that beach.

While in big sur we hiked up to see Pfieffer Falls. It is a small little waterfall (compared to Hawaii) but the scenery that we were able to enjoy while we hiked ....we were drinking it up!!
Our camp ground was perfect. Very spacious and it felt like we were deep in the Forrest (not to mention the hot showers that were 2 seconds away).
Tysen had fun collecting sticks and talking walks with us. Jayden just LOVED being outside. He was no problem as long as we were hanging outside. The boys were so good...and everything was so peaceful!
And...the BEACH....OH the Beach!
The pictures speak for themselves. There was hardly anyone there. I felt like we were the only ones.
Tysen absolutely loves the beach. He loves the water and he loves running after it and running away. He did not want to leave. Jayden just chilled in his nifty little backpack the whole time. Seriously, can you really have enough beach/husband and son pictures. My Family looks even cuter (if that is possible) on the beach.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ashley ..."Sister Whitman"

My Beautiful sister is going to be turning in her papers to receive her mission call. We took some fun shots of her and thought that we might get a mission plaque picture in the process. She is gorgeous isn't she. The boys will be lined up waiting for her when she gets home :-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010


This is the sweetest boy! He was a little serious in the beginning but after a while of play he warmed up and we got some great smiles from him. His Mommy is one of my old friends from my days working at "Richies Diner". It was so great to catch up and see her little one all grown up into a toddler.