Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Piano Recital

December 13, 2011

We had our very first piano recital.....it was so great!!! All of the girls that I teach came prepared and ready to perform.

They had all worked so hard to learn their songs for the past 5 weeks. Some were giving pieces that were VERY challenging for them. I was so amazed and happy with the way that they all took on their individual challenges.

Maddie and Mia did a fantastic job with the pieces that they prepared. We were so pleased and proud of them!




Saturday, October 15, 2011

September 28, 2011

We recently had Carrie's surgery. Everything went very well and Dr. Churney felt that they were able to accomplish the things that they were hoping to! Carrie has done very well and has been so brave. She got quite teary as they were getting ready to wheel her off to surgery, but thankfully had been given some medication that relaxed her and made it so that she didn't remember that part of the day! Wish Ryan and I had some!

The time while she was in surgery was surprisingly calm. Ryan and I were relaxed and had such a warm feeling of peace and comfort while she was away from us. We had my parents and aunt there with us and we knew that the other three girls were being loved and taken care by Ryan's parents. We didn't have to worry for a minute!

Looking back on that day I know that we have been truely blessed by the spirit of the Lord through the fasting and the prayers of so many who we have been blessed with in our lives. We didn't feel anxious or nervous (well, maybe at moments), we weren't worried in a frantic way.

When we were able to see her in the recovery room she was still VERY sleepy. Her new Tiana barbie doll was decked out with the exact same bandages as Carrie we all thought it was so awesome! Truth be told, once Carrie was interested in Tiana again, she was not quite as amused! Carrie had some wonderful nurses who frech braided her hair and I suspect have created a life long obsession with braids! She asks for them often!

The first night in the PICU was pretty quiet. And the first thing that I noticed was that Carrie wasn't snoring. I could not believe my ears. She could put old men to shame with her snoring! We knew that the surgery would possibly take care of that "little" problem. Money well spent!

Carrie suffered from severe nausea and had a really hard time keeping anything down. This proved to transfer home with us as well. The first three days that we were here I thought that I was going to have an emotional and mental breakdown every five minutes! We would get her through 12-16 hours with no vomiting and then it would happen again. So discouraging.

The nurses and doctors at St. Lukes were so wonderful and we couldn't have been better cared for. Carrie wasn't always happy to see the medicine givers and vitals takers, but would flop that arm over anyways to get her IV meds or have her vitals taken. Towards the end of her stay it was so hilarious to see her just lazily flop that little arm!

We brought her home on Ryan's birthday (a pretty great present if you ask me) and she was delighted to be here! Maddie, Mia and Callie were so happy to have us all home together!

Like I said before, the next few days were a little rough, but Thursday morning she turned that perverbial "corner" we had been hearing so much about and was on the road back to normal. She awoke demanding rice krispies and ready for some off of the couch play time. The days that followed were so much better and before we knew it our joyful, singing, LOUD, sweet angel girl was back to her normal self! The last of her bandage finally came off a few days ago and now little Miss Carrie is all better!

She has been a patient (for the most part) girl and has been so good about any restrictions that she was given. She has been cleared for normal 3 year old behavior. Jumping on and off of things, riding bikes and playing on the playground! We are so happy that we are through with this chapter. She will have an MRI next summer to check on the syrinx in her spinal column. We hope and pray that we find everything has dissipated and is all back to normal.

Thank you to everyone who fasted and prayed, brought meals and presents, and for all who have been thinking of us. We have felt everyone in our hearts and we know that the Lord has truely blessed our little Carrie and our family. I have always heard stories of people's blessings from fasting and prayer and I have a few of my own...but the experience that we have had with Carrie's surgery is amazing and feelings I have felt intense and I cannot deny the Lord's hand in taking care of our baby girl and our family.












Monday, September 26, 2011

Carrie's Surgery

We are going to be going to St. Luke's on September 28th for Carrie's brain surgery. She has been diagnosed with a Chiari Type I malformation of the brain and a spinal cyst (syrinx) of 11mm that is directly related to the malformation.

Her cerebella did not form properly...normally there are 2 tonsils that tuck up underneath the cerebella, hers did not and are lodged into her spinal column blocking the pooling and flow of spinal fluid. Because of the lack of space, fluid has been forced into a microspopic passage in the center of the spinal column and once there, the pulse of the brain is not strong enough for it to pass all the way through or pull it back out. So it has created a cyst which is literally splitting the nerves in her spinal column in half. The doctor is astonished that she has not been plagued with headaches from the lack of fluid flow and numb arms from the cyst.

So, they will go in and cut out the middle of her C1, shave off the back of the C2 and the opening at the bottom of the skull (by 1.5 - 2 cm). The will then take out the tonsils hopefully being able to get them to the appropriate, normal size. They will check function at this point making sure that fluid is passing and pooling freely. They will then cut a piece of skull from the back of her head and graft it in creating more space for the fluid. Then they pull the muscle and skin back over and stitch her up.

She will be in the PICU over night and then on the pediatric floor for 5 more nights. Then about another week of recovery at home. The doctor said that we will be really surprised how quickly she will bounce back.

We are very comfortable with the pediatric neurosurgeon that will be doing the surgery, he spent at least 1.5 hours with us explaining, teaching, and answering any questions that we had. He also said that this is NOT an uncommon situation and surgery. It is a surgery that they do ALL the time for the same reason as Carrie's as well as for tumors. Ben Taylor works with him often on the pediatric floor at St. Luke's and HIGHLY recommended him not only as a doctor but as a kind, caring man who is very invested in his patients.

We are of course nervous about all of it, but have also put it in the Lord's hands....we would have not found out about it in as gentle of a way had it not been for the random eye problem and we are so thankful that we have been so blessed with wonderful, mindful doctors who have been so attentive and thorough. We are so thankful for insurance, too!

Thanks to all of our family, friends and ward members who have been praying and fasting and thinking good thoughts for us! We really love and appreciate all of you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Help

My mom and I saw this movie tonight. May I just say what an excellent movie it is! I loved every moment. Laughed my head off, could have cried...a lot...but you all know my not being a crier problem. Anyway....what a great movie! And I especially loved the following line....which I do believe ALL children (and adults, too) need to be told a million times a day.

"You is kind, you is smart, you is important."

Don't be surprised if you find this posted all around my house! Of course it sounds better woth a thick southern drawl, but, it'll have to do!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Special

We have been wading through some medical issues with Carrie and her eyes and have found out that she has some other problems that will require surgery. We are feeling so thankful and blessed to have her gorgeous face to look at each day!

Last night Mia was feeling a bit upset by all of the attention and "special" treatment that Carrie has been getting and was crying in her bed (with a very annoying voice and repeating it....this is a standard Mia practice) "I am not special, I am not special, I am not special....and on and on and on and on. Oh, you probably get the point now. Anywho, the girls and I had a discussion on the special qualities that they each have.

We decided that Maddie is special with her abilities as an artist.
Mia is special in the way that she is always so concerned about people and her family members. Carrie is special because she can float on her back in the pool! (Maddie thought of that one!) Callie wasn't directly involved in the converation as she was asleep in her room...but she is none the less special because of the way that she loves and looks up to her sisters. And all of the slobbery kisses that she has become famous for in our house!





Saturday, August 6, 2011

Baptism Day!

Maddie was baptised today. What a very special day for her. We were so very blessed to have so many family members and friends in attendance. Maddie was her usual very shy little self, but was very thankful for everyone's support! I can't believe how fast this little girl is growing up!

After she was baptised I asked her if she felt different. She paused for a moment and said, "Not really, just wet."

Congratulations sweet Maddie!



The above and below pictures are of Ryan and Maddie with his childhood, adolescent and still best friend Ben and his son (now one of Maddie's best friends) Luke. The kids are about two weeks apart. The second picture is a re-make of a picture we have of the four of them when the kids were about 6 months old!









Friday, August 5, 2011

Zoo day with the Cutler Family

We had such a fun day with Camron, Mindy, Cade and Kiley....Laura, Jack, Hallie, Lilly and Henry....Gramma CC and Papa Riley....and Mr. Brennen (Carston and Leah waited in the park to hold tables for us....aaahhh, so kind!)

The kids were so funny oooohhhhing and aaaahhhhhing at all of the animals. Running from one exhibit to the next. Shouting to us (in our faces) with excitment. It was fun to see them be so excited about EVERYTHING.

















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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, my darling 8 year old!



Maddie is now 8. WHAT? My cute little rolly polly baby girl is now a skinny, smart, half fish, amazing artist, music loving, book reading, imaginative BIG girl! I cannot believe how fast the last 8 years have gone by. She is truely a joy to us and we are so thankful that she is a part of our family!

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's Been So Long!

Well, we have been busy, busy, busy! We have been moving, celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary, getting done with school (that means that I now have a 3rd grader and a kindergartener!), setting up a totally awesome swing set and a million other things as well!

The girls had a great school year and will REALLY miss their teachers. They were wonderful! Thanks Miss Janice and Mr. Purdy! Mia is totally pumped for kindergarten and I can hardly wait for her to go make great use of her stellar social skills and learn to read!

Maddie is getting ready to be baptized in August. That is a very frequent topic at our house. She is growing up right before our eyes. I ask her everyday to stop, but she says that she can't. Who knew?

We are really looking forward to summer break and spending a lot of time outside playing and going to the pool. You see we have 2 grammas with pools! HOORAY!

We are also excited to have our Grandpa and Grandma Cutler home from their mission in Germany. We have been enjoying spending time with them and playing in the pool!

I am still working on getting some pictures all loaded up and ready to go on the blog....maybe next time! Until then.......

It's Been So Long!

Well, we have been busy, busy, busy! We have been moving, celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary, getting done with school (that means that I now have a 3rd grader and a kindergartener!), setting up a totally awesome swing set and a million other things as well!

The girls had a great school year and will REALLY miss their teachers. They were wonderful! Thanks Miss Janice and Mr. Purdy! Mia is totally pumped for kindergarten and I can hardly wait for her to go make great use of her stellar social skills and learn to read!

Maddie is getting ready to be baptized in August. That is a very frequent topic at our house. She is growing up right before our eyes. I ask her everyday to stop, but she says that she can't. Who knew?

We are really looking forward to summer break and spending a lot of time outside playing and going to the pool. You see we have 2 grammas with pools! HOORAY!

We are also excited to have our Grandpa and Grandma Cutler return at the end of the month from their mission in Germany. They have not yet met Callie in person. It will be interesting to see how she reacts when they an no longer "inside" of the computer!

I am still working on getting some pictures all loaded up and ready to go on the blog....maybe next time! Until then.......

Friday, April 15, 2011

Doesn't this just about sum it up?

"Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face.......you kind of want to be fully committed."


I absolutely adore that quote. Yes it is from a movie...any guesses? And, NO, I am not making an announcement.

I have just been thinking lately how much time and effort goes into being the mother of 4 children. It is truely a constant. A 24 hour a day job (and maybe even then some!) I do love my little darlings, they are truely joy in our home.

I am happy to have tatooed my face so beautifully 4 times. I LOVE MY BABIES!