Grandma and Grandpa came to visit!

We had some visitors in June for Gavin’s birthday! John’s parents came and stayed with us. We had tons of fun and it was nice for me to have a little break.
IMG_5479 We went to this neat little butterfly place where there were TONS of butterflies. The girls enjoyed watching the various species of butterflies fly around.
IMG_5473 IMG_5474 IMG_5476We also went to the zoo because we have passes.  The girls just basically wanted to ride the carousel. IMG_5489 IMG_5491

IMG_5546 IMG_5492After the zoo, we drove around downtown Denver because John was born there.  It was neat to find the house he lived in until he was about 2.  The kids were tired of driving around, though, so they were not impressed.

IMG_5509We wanted to go somewhere farther away, but the girls were tired of driving, so there happened to be a little carnival in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center.  It was disappointing though.  The workers were scary and the rides were expensive!  The kids rode one ride and then we left. IMG_5511

IMG_5516Kiley has been bugging me forever to make her a mermaid tail.  Well, I am not exactly a seamstress (ha!), so Grandma to the rescue!  She hated her life for a little while, but she whipped up these cute tails and the girls love them!

So who is next to visit us??


Gavin’s Pirate party

I wanted to do a simple, small party for Gavin.  John’s parents were visiting and we had the missionaries in our ward over for dinner and just had hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill! Simple and fun.  We had some activities for the girls, like tattoos, eye patches, and pirate hats, John made a treasure map and we buried some gold coins, and of course, a pinata since Kiley insisted.DSC_0003 DSC_0006 DSC_0004 DSC_0009 DSC_0012 DSC_0014 DSC_0015 DSC_0022 DSC_0023 DSC_0028

Earlier in the day, we went to the Denver Zoo and to the kid’s favorite park right next to the zoo.  We also drove around Downtown Denver so that John’s parents could take a trip down memory lane and we found the house where John lived when he was a baby.  We were all worn out, but I had to throw a little party.  There is no way that I could let my favorite boy’s first birthday go by without a party!

Mr. Gavin is one year old!

The day I have been dreading is here- my sweet Gavin is one year old today!  The first birthday is the hardest for me- going through this 2 other times I know that toddler-hood is not a walk in the park and I am especially dreading it since Gavin was such a dream baby.  I know a day will come when he won’t grab me around my neck and give me those big slobbery baby kisses.  I am so excited to see the boy that he will become, but I miss my baby boy! Here is a look back:01234567891011DSC_0001

At one year old, he is walking everywhere.  He has 6 teeth, with 2 more about to bust in.  He doesn’t talk to0 much, but he babbles a lot and his first word was “Hi!”  He loooooooooves his momma, more so than any baby I have had before him.  He only wants me and he will let you know that.  He is super friendly to other people, though, as long as I am with him.  He is the sweetest little boy and I really hope he stays that way!

This poor kid was put through the ringer his first year of life.  I am pretty sure Heavenly Father knew his sweet spirit was needed during this incredible transition in our family’s life.  Days before he was born, John started his job in Colorado, though he was working from home.  I knew a move was imminent,  so along with the normal post-birth hormones, I was a mess emotionally knowing I was going to have to put my first house on the market and figure out a cross-country move with 3 children under 6.  You guys, I was a wreck.  He saved me more than once with his sweet smiles and big hugs around my neck.

He is truly one in a million and I can’t wait to see the boy that he becomes!

DSC_0002 DSC_0010 IMG_5250 SS_MERRITT SQ_20141203_000009 IMG_5249 DSC_0064 DSC_0021 DSC_0062 IMG_5253 IMG_5252 IMG_5251 IMG_5248DSC_0017Kiley is done with Kindergarten!  What a year it has been for my little girl!  She has been through so many changes and has worked through them with a smile.  A month and a half before she started school, her brother was born.  Then she had to deal with me being crazy as we sold our house.  She went from hating going to school to crying hysterically when we sold our house in October and she had to leave her teacher and her friends.  Then she put up with the crazy-ness of virtual school for 4 months while we were in transition.  Finally, she settled into her new school in Colorado and has loved every minute of being with her friends and her fantastic teacher.  I am so happy she can finally put roots down and make some great friends.  She has excelled academically and is reading fantastically.  She is so sensitive and cried over something almost everyday, but she has the sweetest little heart. I am so excited to see what she has ahead of her!

Florida trip!

Last week we went to Florida!IMG_5032I was so nervous about flying with the kids, but they did pretty good.  We flew Denver to Atlanta and then Atlanta to Jacksonville.  Gavin didn’t sleep on the plane, but he thoroughly enjoyed his nap at the airport!IMG_5035   My sister was getting married and I was the maid of honor and the girls were the flower girls.  Thursday I got my nails done (without the kids! Wooo!) and that night we went to this delicious Chicago style pizza place on the river.

FullSizeRender_1After dinner, I went to the lingerie shower for my sister, which was HILARIOUS.  No strippers involved, thank goodness!

Friday was the bridal luncheon and then the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  My girls donned their official wedding apparel:

FullSizeRenderRehearsal was interesting because I had no idea what Bryn would do.  She would either refuse to walk down the aisle or dance down the aisle.  She is totally a 3 year old!  She did great, except she kept walking up the steps to where I was standing and stage whispering: “Mommy I need to tell you a secret!” while Kiley sat in the front row and pretend cried and then looked up and said “These are happy tears!” Never a dull moment with these kids! The rehearsal dinner was at a local dinner that was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network.  I had chicken and waffles, which has always confused me, and it was good!  We stayed entirely too late and my kids were bouncing off the walls.  Poor Gavin’s schedule got so messed up during the trip!

Saturday was the big day!  I got to the church and had my hair and makeup done:

IMG_5054That took a lot of time and product to look that good!

The weather was bad- so humid and rainy.  My sister wanted to take a majority of the pictures before the ceremony (which was time saving so we could get to the reception) but we were dodging rain.  I grabbed some personal fans and I would fan her off in between pictures.  The glamorous job of the maid of honor!

IMG_5056IMG_5058IMG_5063My kids sure do clean up good, don’t they?  The ceremony was beautiful.  Unbeknownst to Jenny, as she was walking down the aisle, phones were going off that there was a tornado warning for the area!  Crazy!  My girls did their flower girl job just great, except for when Bryn dumped all her petals out first and then tried to pick them back up.  When she got down the aisle, she did come up to me to talk to me, so I kept her with me until my sister started walking down the aisle and then I made her get down and the wedding coordinator took the girls into a play room (John was with Gavin, who was asleep, so they missed the whole ceremony!)  FullSizeRenderThe reception was at the hotel we were staying at, so I got all the kids dinner and then sent John up with Gavin and I was just going to let the girls go as long as they wanted.  Kiley was next, so I took her up to the room.  Bryn wanted to keep dancing!  She was the hit of the dance floor!

The next day we got up and drive to Tallahassee to spend a couple of days with John’s parents.  It was fun to watch all the cousins playing together!FullSizeRender_1Of course, I had to get some girl time in.  I miss them so much!IMG_5095The next day we met some friends for lunch and Kiley and Natalie chatted away like little old ladies.  These kids are such great friends!IMG_5097IMG_5101        We drove back to Jacksonville and met my parents there to spend some time with them before we left the next day.  Wednesday we were homebound!FullSizeRenderThe kids did great again, especially Gavin.  That sweet boy slept the whole way from Atlanta to Denver.  It was a miracle!

With all the traveling and weird sleeping hours, someone was bound to get sick and that was Gavin. He spiked a 104 fever with meds, so I felt in my gut that I needed to take him in.  Unfortunately, this was after hours, so we headed to urgent care last night and were there for 2 hours while they performed various tests on him to see what was wrong.  The prognosis was probably a virus, but there was some swelling in his bronchial tubes (by the way, holding down a wiggly baby for a chest x-ray and RSV test is not fun!), so the doctor prescribed some antibiotics to keep any infection at bay.  His fever has gone down today but he is still warm and has projectile vomited on me after eating a couple of times.  The fun part?  Now I am feeling sick!

I hope we can get back in the routine of things this week.  Just in time for summer break!

So my crazy 3 year old stuck a Lego up her nose…

On the Wednesday of Spring Break we were going to take the kids to see Cinderella and go shopping since it is impossible for me to do that by myself and Esther was here for one more day.  Bryn had other plans!  While she was eating lunch, I saw a little Lego that came from her new Sleeping Beauty set on the floor.  In order to save Gavin from swallowing it, I put it on the table next to Bryn and went about my business.  A little bit later, Bryn starts crying and refuses to tell us why.  Leave it to big sister Kiley to tattle on her and thank goodness she did!  We tried for about an hour to get it out ourselves, but Bryn wouldn’t blow out of her nose, she would only suck in.  It was so frustrating to try to explain to a 3 year old how to do something when she doesn’t want to.  Finally, I made the decision to take her to the local ER/urgent care.  My only complaint about them was when I was checking her in, the doctor heard me telling the nurse why I brought her in and she said very condescendingly, “Well, did you try having her blow her nose?”  Ummm…no.  I just want to take my 3 year old to the ER and pay a huge amount of money for a silly Lego.  Come on!  I had obviously exhausted all of my options!IMG_4959 IMG_4960But other than that, they were great.  We were the only ones there so Bryn was the main attraction for the nurses and she kept telling them when they would ask why she stuck the Lego up her nose “I thought it would be funny!” We attempted a sort of CPR to try to dislodge it.  When they male nurse decided I wasn’t cutting it, he asked permission to try to do mouth to mouth, which was a little weird and he ended up with snot all over him and the Lego didn’t budge.  Then the doctor tried a very high tech method- unwinding a paper clip and sticking it in Bryn’s nose- I KNOW!  It was terrifying.  They came to the conclusion that we needed to go to the ENT and they were on the phone, making us an appointment for that day.  I went to check out and they said it would be $250 and I was appalled- they didn’t even solve my problem!  But then the doctor came around and said they weren’t going to charge me- phew!

So later that afternoon we went to the ENT and he put various tools and devices up Bryn’s nose and still couldn’t get it.  Good thing he knew when to say when because he could have easily pushed the Lego into her sinus cavities and then we would have had a HUGE problem.  He told me he would have to put her to sleep and to do that, she would have to go to the hospital the next morning at 6.

I was so scared and I couldn’t believe this was happening over a tiny Lego!

IMG_4962Thursday morning I woke Bryn up bright and early and the first thing she asked for was breakfast, which she couldn’t have.  We got to the surgery center and they got us right in and Bryn was in good spirits, bouncing around the room.  The nurses all loved having her because I think this place mainly does colonoscopies, so a Lego up the nose of a pre-schooler was a welcome change!

IMG_4965Then I had to leave her and let the anesthesiologist do his work.  I went to wait and less than 30 minutes later, the doctor came to get me and told me he is so glad he didn’t push her yesterday because it could have gone very badly.  Then I heard screaming and Bryn was mad as a hornet that they took the IV out.  They said that usually kids are very very angry when they come out of their sleep, so they expected this.  I got her some apple juice and she calmed down, but was still very very cranky.  She requested a pink donut, so I took her home to rest and went and got donuts for all of us- we deserved it! 

IMG_4966 IMG_4967The $250 Lego!

So thankful for doctors and nurses who know how to handle situations like this- I hope we never have to deal with something like this again!

Spring Break!

IMG_4924 Kiley had Spring Break the week after Easter.  Aunt Esther came to visit during that time, too! On Easter Sunday, we drove up to Estes Park, which was absolutely beautiful.  We drove by the Stanley hotel, where the move “The Shining” was filmed, my favorite horror movie before I had kids and now I can’t tolerate any sort of suspenseful, thrilling movie.IMG_4930

Bryn enjoyed the horse saddle seats in the ice cream parlorIMG_4932 IMG_4934Aunt Esther and the kids!

The next day we went into Boulder to see John’s office and walk around the very interesting Pearl Street mall.  We went to a pizza place for dinner and Bryn was just done.IMG_4942 On Tuesday, we went to the Denver Zoo.  I am so excited that it is an actual zoo as opposed to woods with native animals in it like the Tallahassee Zoo.IMG_4944They have peacocks just walking around and they were so beautiful! IMG_4946 The girls did so good walking around, but they needed lots of rest. IMG_4949 IMG_4950 IMG_4951 Carousel!IMG_4953 IMG_4955Bryn was so excited to ride the train ever since she saw it last time we went to the zoo, so we had to do it this time.

And that was about it for the fun times on Spring Break.  The next 2 days were spent caring fro Bryn at the ER and at an outpatient surgery center, which deserves it’s own post!