Thursday, December 23, 2010

On the 3rd and 2nd Days Before Christmas...

On the 3rd, day before Christmas, John surprised the girls with some cool simple plastic sleds. So they went sledding down the hills in our backyard. The snow was slushy compared to the dense snow the day before.

During the evening while watching Christmas movies on TV, to our surprise the Christmas tree fell down onto the floor! Wow, what a cheap Walmart tree! For a couple days, I have noticed it leaning more to one side. It reminded me of the sad "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree. My oldest daughter put tons of tinsel on it while my youngest daughter and I were at the hospital. I guess the tree could not handle the weight of the tinsel,ornaments, lights, and so forth. Instead getting all upset or angry, I got a great laugh out of the situation. I laughed so hard my eyes were watering! LOL!!!

Craft alert! This year my girls and I made some homemade Christmas ornaments. We cut out tons of small snowflakes, applied some glue, and sprinkled silver glitter designs. I tied them with some thin gray sewing thread. They were easy and added a lot of character to my "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree!

Supplies: glitter, glue, paper, scissors, a small cup, pencil, and sewing tread.

Step 1. Draw a circle with a small cup.
Step 2. Fold circle in half.
Step 3. Fold it in half again.

Step 4. Fold it again for the 3rd and last time.
Step 5. Cut the corner (straight across, rounding it, or cutting two slits)
Step 6. On each sides cut out deigns (circles, squares, triangles, ovals, etc).

Next you glue your design and sprinkle the glitter on top. Allow it to dry for a couple hours before adding the sewing string.

On the 2nd day before Christmas, I did some last minute shopping with my brother Nate and sister Karen for my mother who is in a nursing home. We picked out some new clothes and slippers for my Mom and a sweater for my step Dad Dennis. My mother is no longer stable on her feet due to her Parkinson's disease. She can walk in walker but is a little shaky! She is now in a wheel chair and needs a lot of assistance with her daily activities. In addition to the clothes and slippers, I gave her a small bag of mixed chocolates, a homemade pink hair flower clip (bought the supplies from Hobby Lobby), a homemade bookmark, which I printed out from Shabby Princess, a quick homemade fleece blue winter scarf, and The Christmas Box a book by Richard Paul Evans. My brother, sister, and I delivered her presents to the nursing home to bring her some Christmas cheer.

We have been preparing our turkey by soaking it in a cooler with some amazing goodness (water, sugar, seasonings, citrus, and so forth) for our Christmas Eve dinner! It smells amazing every time I take a look at the process! John is so proud of his turkey brine mixture!

Just one more day before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On the 4th,5th,and 6th Days Before Christmas

December 19-21, 2010

On the sixth day before Christmas, we got dressed up in Christmas colors attire for church. We had a wonderful sabbath day (loved the ward choir and Christmas messages).

On the fifth day before Christmas, we took my youngest daughter to her follow up Dr. appointment for her kidney infection. The doctor was impressed how well she looked! I am happy to report she is doing much better and free from any kidney infection symptoms! Yay!

Next, I went to the DMV to get my driver's license renewed since it was expiring the next day while John went to get groceries. Yes, I am a last minute kind of girl!!! I work well under pressure apparently! There was a crazy wait at the DMV with long lines, paper work, etc! I had to bring many documents to prove that I am a legal American citizen. Our state is really cracking down on this issue. In fact, the lady who was looking over my documents asked another worker if my social security card was legitimate! Seriously? She is suspicious that I am a fake just because my social security card is like 14 years old? Hello... Really? Luckily, her co-worker said it was okay, geez! I have no idea what I would do if they thought I was a fraud!

Later that same day we went to Sandy to ride on the UTA Trax Train to downtown Salt Lake City to see Temple Square's Christmas Lights.

Here we are on the train ride to downtown Salt Lake City! The girls loved being on the train! It was so worth the cost of buying train tickets instead of trying to find a place to park near Temple Square! It was sooooo crowded that night!!!

While on Temple Square, we went to eat dinner at The Lion House Pantry, which was Brigham Young's home once upon a time ago. Thanks to my father and mother in-law, I used my birthday money to buy some good family style home cooking! Some of us got fish, chicken or pork chops. There were several side dishes to choose from. The best part was dessert, which I forgot to take a photo, duh! We each ordered a yummy dessert which we shared with everyone such as coconut cream pie, lemon cake, banana cream pie, and peppermint cheesecake.

We loved looking at the different colorful wood carvings of the Nativity scene.

We enjoyed the beautiful mini Nativity scene on the temple grounds and listening to the Christmas carols that were sung in the Visitor's Center.

Little sister was very tired (fell asleep on the train ride back to the car) after our fun night seeing the Christmas lights! We will cherish this fun family home evening activity memory for a very long time!

On the fourth day before Christmas, we woke up around three o'clock in the morning cold and light-less. There was a black out in our city. We had no electricity for a couple hours. Luckily, around seven o'clock in the morning it turned back on.

Today is my 34th birthday! Yep, I am a year older today! I was surprised to find out we received 7.5 inches of snow on the ground this morning! It looked like a winter wonderland and confirmed my wish that we will have a beautiful white Christmas this year! My family surprised me with some random birthday gifts for me early this morning. I guess John took my girls to the store a couple weeks ago and they each picked out a couple gifts for me! So sweet and so unexpected!!!

WARNING this is me after I woke up! Please excuse the mess and bad bed hair/non make up look... UGH! So they got me the following presents for my birthday: bobby pins, a bracelet, a necklace, a photo album for my recipes, a crimper curing iron (my oldest daughter will borrow from me a lot), lip gloss, gum, a pillow, Christmas ornaments, and pajamas. My oldest daughter hand stitched my awesome birthday card at school. I felt so spoiled!!! I love my family for making my day special! XOXOXOX

Later during the day, the girls and I played in the snow! We made a snowman and snow angels!

We are counting down the days until Christmas and when little sister is done with her antibiotic medicine!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What a Stubborn Kidney Challenge!

December 11-13, 2010

After the daddy daughter date on Saturday night, we picked up little sister from the babysitter's house. We were surprised that she didn't seem like herself. She was complaining of lower left back pain, abdomen pain, and had a high fever of 103 degrees. She had no other symptoms like runny nose, ear ache, cough, or sore throat. We gave her some pain medicine and put her to bed. She woke up at 4:00 AM crying in more pain and the fever continued very high around 103 degrees. We gave her another round of Children's Motrin. She slept with us for a couple hours and we went to the Instacare Clinic around 8:30 in the morning when it opened up.

Since it was Sunday, we had a few options to take our girl to see a doctor. Her pediatrician's clinic was not open on Sundays so we had to find some IHC instant care clinic in Orem. My first thoughts were maybe she had a bad urinary tract infection or possible kidney infection. I didn't want to mess around walking in to an ER at that time if they were just going to check her, give her a prescription of antibiotics, and send her home. So we waited patiently for an hour and a half until we saw a nurse practitioner. The nurse practitioner checked her vitals, ran a urine test, and took some blood. After her blood was drawn,she threw up on the carpet in the exam room, poor girl got sick from seeing her blood being drawn from her arm. Later, the nurse practitioner was very concerned with the results which were the following: blood in urine, high temperature, back pain, and 17000 white blood cell count. She did find it odd that there was no signs of bacteria in the urine. At that point, she felt uneasy with our case, so she referred a doctor within the clinic to check our little girl out.

As you can see in this picture, she was a miserable child!

Due to my youngest daughter's medical history of kidney infections at birth/infant, having an abnormal kidney, and one functioning kidney working (the right one), the doctor ordered us to get a CAT scan done at the American Fork Hospital. The location (left side pain) my daughter was feeling didn't make much sense to us or the doctor because that kidney was supposed to be the non functioning dead one. The doctor was afraid there maybe some abscess, tumor, or a serious problem with her kidney, which may need to be surgically removed. While we were waiting to get a CAT scan, my oldest daughter couldn't handle anymore of the stress and emotional trauma. So we asked John's brother Matt and his wife Chiaki to meet us at the hospital to pick her up and take her home with them. At that time, John and Matt gave my daughter a priesthood blessing. They didn't have oil on them but where able to still give her a blessing of comfort.

After waiting for 30 minutes, a radiology tech called us back for the CAT scan. Before we came, the doctor from the Instacare clinic called to make sure the hospital had a radiologist doctor staffed due to it being Sunday because he wanted to make sure the radiologist specialist was the person interpreting the test results accurately. What we understood was that day the hospital had to call a specialist in for our medical case. So my little girl got poked a second time to put in her first iv, which contained medication to help take CT scan pictures.

Check out how tall that radiology tech man is! Wow, what a giant!!!

Next, we sat down on some couches in a radiology waiting room for a few minutes until it was our turn for x-ray.

She wanted to show us her band-aids from all the needle poking and little did she know at this point, she had to get an iv later that evening!

Here she is at x-ray getting a closer look at her bladder and kidneys.

So the results of their findings on CAT scan and x-ray photos were the following: the radiologist discovered that the small (3 cm) non-functioning kidney was working compared to her normal kidney that is 9 cm long. Wow, that was a huge surprise to us because when she was an infant they told me her kidney was dying and there was nothing they could do about it. So in the CAT scan photos, he could see the tiny kidney filtrating fluids through it even though it is abnormally small. Sweet! Then, he saw some heavy build up near that tiny kidney, which would be a kidney infection causing the pain, fever, etc.

We waited for an hour and a half after the CT scan and x ray results for a call back from the doctor. I was getting really anxious at this point wondering if we have been forgotten. While we waited, John went to McDonalds to get Savannah a happy meal. She was going on 8 hours without food. She ate some breakfast before we left the house earlier in the morning and was starving by 5:00 PM! We were getting impatient to find out what the doctor wanted us to do next. So John made a call to the Instacare Clinic to figure out what was going on. Apparently, the Instacare Clinic did not enter in their correct phone number (left out one number) to the ER pediatrician's pager. The poor confused pediatrician was calling all over Utah County trying to figure out who called him. So when the clinic called the ER to track down the Ped's doctor he found us immediately at the next department next to the ER waiting room. Based on the labs, photos, etc he strongly recommended that she should be admitted over night. So our next stop was to the ER.

Here is my scared little girl getting ready for another iv. After that, she threw up again. Luckily we caught it in a basin. I seriously think it makes her sick to get her blood drawn.

After her ER exam and iv insertion, she was sent up to the Ped's floor in the hospital. It is a locked down part of the hospital that won't allow people in unless they have a code. The nurse gave my daughter a homemade cupcake fleece blanket that she got to use while there and take home. I helped the nurse get her into an iv hospital gown and pajama pants. She drank some sprite and watched some TV. Finally around 8:00 PM, I sat down to eat my dinner from Beto's chicken salad, which my sister in law Chiaki and brother in law Matt brought to me for dinner. John and I had very little food that day just breakfast! During the evening and at night I helped her to the bathroom with her iv pole named "Fred". What a long day and we were all exhausted!

Meet Mister "Fred" the annoying iv pole!

I love this look on her face while lugging around "Fred". She looks seriously annoyed, LOL!

My sweet little girl finally fell asleep around 9:30 PM while watching TV. I got a few hours of sleep. It was rough sleeping at the noisy hospital and nurses waking me and her up to check her iv, vitals, etc.

This is a close up of how darling her cupcake blanket is!!!

We received a letter from Aunt Elizabeth to our sweet pumpkin late Sunday night, which she wrote the following via private message on Facebook:

dear Savannah,

we want you to know how much we LOVE you! you are the SWEETEST little girl we know and we cry tears when we hear you are hurting. we wanted to jump in our van and come up and hug you and give you lots of kisses! when you feel sad or lonely or scared will you remember something for me? remember all of the people who love you so much and are praying for you. THAT'S A LOT OF PEOPLE! there's grandmas and grandpas, aunties and uncles, cousins, friends, neighbors, teachers....and we are all asking Heavenly Father to bless our sweet Sanna to find her smile again and to feel better soon. don't forget okay? when i was sick in the hospital i tried to remember all of the prayers for me, and it did help me feel better. you are very precious and special. and you have the bestest big sister and mom and dad who miss all of your silly antics at home. and guess what else? Santa Claus has 3 lists. one for all the naughty kids, one for the nice kids and one just for Savannah because you are nicer than nice. that's pretty special! we all prayed for you tonight. we all love you and miss you. when you feel better will you give all of your family a hug from us? that's a big job, but i know you can do it. love you always, auntie elizabeth and lauren, brandon, mandy and uncle ben

John read that letter to her on Monday morning and she cried a couple tears and then said, "Aunt Elizabeth makes the best cinnamon and sugar toast!" That comment cracked us up because she is so random and funny sometimes!

The next morning, she woke up around 6:00 AM. She watched some cartoons and ate some yummy Mickey Mouse pancakes for breakfast!

She had an appointment with ultrasound around 10:30 AM. She was not thrilled to get into the wheel chair due to being nervous about the ultrasound procedure.

To her surprise, she realized the ultrasound was a piece of cake. She was too funny asking the tech questions about her tiny kidney (teasing the tech who couldn't find it right away) and then my daughter said, "Can you see my poop, too?" The ultrasound tech laughed and said, "Yes I can see your poop and you need to go soon!" LOL!

This is her wonderful nurse Jodie who we found out is my sister in-law Diana's brother's wife! Small world, eh? She had a lot of fun being our nurse! In fact this is what she said to Joe Free's blog post on the Jamison Family Blog,

"She was the best patient ever. I love being a nurse But love more taking care of sweet girls. It was great To visit with Jon and jen and gma and gpa Free who came to visit. It made my work day Seem a bit like a family visit! Too fun. Best Wishes to savannah and family as she continues to heal." ~ Jodie Jamison

Later during the day, she got some fun visitors who came to see her. They brought smiles and giggles on her face! Granny Free brought her an absolutely beautiful warm homemade afghan blanket and a couple cutie oranges, which are her favorite fruit! My daughter was so excited to own a Grandma made blanket! She has been cuddling it and sleeping with it for the last couple days!

Here is Grandpa Free cheering her up! They also brought some sugar cookies from their home teachers all the way from Paragonah, Utah!

Another couple exciting visitors came to see her. Her second grade teacher Mrs. Litchford and her husband "Big Dave". She was soooo happy to see them. Her second grade class signed a box that contained a Christmas tree lava lamp. It was so cute!

She was finally discharged from the hospital on Monday around 2:00 PM. Before she left in the wheel chair, her nurse gave her an early Christmas present. A beautiful Christmas porclein doll. She is so happy to be home with her new blankets, doll, and Christmas tree lava lamp! Later that evening, Aunt Marilee, Uncle Rich, Holly, and Avery came to visit our little girlie! They got her a coloring book, crayons, homemade sugar cookies, a card, a pink stuffed bear animal along with other pink things like lotion, lip gloss, and perfume. Whew, so happy that she is doing much better. She is continuing some antibiotics at home for ten days and will follow up with the doctor in a week.

We would like to thank our family, friends, loved ones, for your support, well wishes, and concern for our little angel! We are so blessed that it got resolved so quickly! She is back to her normal happy self again and cannot wait to go back to school.