Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our Summer

Arizona summers can be brutal.  Today is 112 degrees.... that's hot!  In order to survive the summer here in AZ you basically live indoors or in the pool. Here is what we've been up to this summer.

Derek took his boards the end of June.  After boards were done we went out to dinner with our good dental buddies.  I don't know what we'd do without them! Derek is in a study group with 3 other guys, and luckily us wives are great friends as well.  The 4 of us couples are good buddies.  Us wives get together Monday nights and watch The Bachelorette.  The hubbies all get together when they aren't studying and do whatever it is that guys do... usually play nintendo.  Once we found out that all 4 of the boys had passed, we once again celebrated by grilling at our house and playing games.  
Celebrating with dental friends

Monday mornings every week our ward does a playgroup.  During the summer we pool hop to different apartment pools or people's pools in our ward.  It's so much fun!  Levi is a little hesitant about the water and usually spends his time hanging out on the steps with the 1 year olds, and he throws random toys in the water and I fetch them for him.  Play group is the best for the kids to get out of the house and play with friends, and for us moms to get some social interaction in.

Tuesdays we would go to the Summer Movie club.  Which all that means is we would go to the movie and watch whatever kid show was playing that week.  When we first started going Levi was afraid of the theater.  It was dark and loud.... but by the end he was begging all week to go to the movies.  He LOVES going to the movies now.... and it was amazing getting out of the heat and sitting in a cold theater.

Wednesday we would go to Music Time.  The relief society leader in our ward is a music instructor at the middle school.  She decided to do a music time for all the toddlers in the ward.  She did an amazing job, and Levi practically lived for this day of the week.  He's so sad it's over, but continues to sing all of the cute little songs and does the actions with it.  She had awesome puppets and musical instruments, and even I looked forward to music time because it was so much fun!

We didn't have anything planned the rest of the week so basically we would play it by ear.  We are having such a fun summer, and this is the last summer Derek will ever have off again.  So we've loved spending time with him.  He has stayed busy all summer working on projects.  He's refinished a china hutch, built a cute bench and book shelves in the play room, repainted the entertainment center and built cupboard doors for them, built tons of decorations, and he even taught me how to build an entryway table.  I LOVE being married to a handyman.  It's pretty hott watching him build, and he has saved us soooo much money because he can fix and build almost anything.  He does such a great job, I really don't trust other people working on our things because Derek always does a perfect job.  
Front entryway table Derek helped me make

Some other things we've done this summer are gone to Chuck E Cheese (Levi asks to go every day, so we've been 3 times now), music time at the mall, Levi got invited to his first birthday party last weekend, play dates, chalk paint with friends, homemade puffy paint, library, went to an 80's themed birthday party, and I surprised Derek and took him on a fun date. We went and ate some yummy Thai food, then went to Casey's and played mini golf and did the batting cages.  I'm embarrassed to admit how long it's been since we've gotten a babysitter and went on a legit date.  It was so much and it made me feel pretty giddy haha.

Levi is TERRIFIED of Chuck E Cheese (yet he asks to go everyday)
Chuck E Cheese
Chalk paint with friends
Library impromptu puppet show

We are so blessed! We've had an awesome summer!  We've been safe, happy, healthy, and have spent time with amazing friends!  I'd say life here in Arizona is treating us pretty dang well!

Levi on his first date to the movies
Dawson kiddos (same last name, no relation to Hazel)

Puffy paint creations by Levi

Krew rolled over for the first time and it happened at the 80's party

80's themed birthday party

Date night!!! So much fun! I love my handsome hubby!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sickness For Our Holidays

Sweet Krew on Easter
So ever since Krew has been born, we haven't been able to celebrate a single holiday.  It's been kind of depressing.  When Krew was 11 days old, it was Easter.  What happened on Easter you ask?  Well Derek spent the entire night before puking his guts out.  At 6 am, I finally called his friend to take him to the ER because it was so bad.  Derek kept almost passing out, and I was recovering from having a baby.... so if Derek passed out, I wouldn't be able to lift him off the ground without doing some serious damage to my own body.  So his friend Tyler came and picked him up and took him to the ER.  Our plans of driving an hour to see Derek's sister and brother and having a big dinner and Easter egg hunt were over! We called his brother Raylon to let him know he was in the hospital and we weren't going to be able to make it.  Raylon called me and told me that he would come pick up Levi and take him to Maricopa for the Easter egg hunt and to play with cousins.  What a relief.  I was so upset and distracted I completely forgot to set out Levi's Easter basket and to have our own little mini Easter egg hunt.  When Raylon and Emili were on their way to our house, Derek called and told me that they had to do an MRI on him.  I had no clue what I thought the Dr. needed to look at, and I started googling what could possibly be wrong with Derek.  Bad idea!  Never do that.....  When Raylon and Emili got here, Derek called and told me that he was going to have to stay the night in the hospital.  He had what was called Ileus, which means that part of his intestines were paralyzed, and weren't able to do peristalsis to move the food through his intestines.  I started bawling because I felt so bad that he was sick and in the hospital, and that I wasn't with him.  I had a 1 week old that needed me in order to eat every couple of hours, and I wasn't about to take my kids to the hospital to expose them to all of the awesome germs going around there.  If I was in the hospital the only person I would want would be Derek, and I felt awful that I wasn't there with him.  Raylon and Emili stayed with me that day instead of taking Levi to Maricopa.  They knew I needed help and I'm so grateful they were there to give it to me.
Poor sick Derek
     I called Derek's friend Jared and he and Raylon went and gave Derek a blessing.  Poor Derek couldn't sit up, or hardly open his eyes.  The nausea was so extreme that he couldn't talk, open his eyes or move.  All he could bear to do is just lay in the fetal position.  Derek threw up so hard and for so long, he popped every single blood vessel around both of his eyes.  He had 2 black eyes that were so swollen.  Raylon and Emili were so nice enough to watch Levi and Krew for a couple of hours so I could go spend time with Derek.  I was so grateful for it!  I went and sat by Derek's bed and held his hand.  I tried to distract him by telling jokes, but he couldn't laugh or he felt like he'd throw up.  And he eventually had to close his eyes and stop talking because of the nausea.  So for an hour he laid there with the most pained look on his face while I held his hand and I cried.  Seeing the person you love the most in the hospital and so sick is one of the saddest things in the world.  I had an 11 day old baby at home, I was hormonal, I was overwhelmed, and I wanted my husband healthy and home.  Derek was overwhelmed because he had a huge test in 2 days, and he had lab the next day that he was worried about missing.
Swollen black eyes from puking so hard and popping all the blood vessels around his eyes
         I went home from the hospital and I cried and cried and cried.  Derek's sister Raylene was so sweet and she came up around 9 pm to stay the night with me so I wasn't alone.  She brought 2 of her kids, food, and Easter eggs.  They did a little Easter egg hunt for Levi, and dyed eggs with him.  I cried, I was so grateful they gave Levi the Easter I couldn't.  That night I was shaking and a total mess, so Raylene held Krew and calmed him down when I couldn't.  Raylon, Emili, and Raylene kneeled down with me for family prayer that night.  I held Levi in my arms and I was completely overwhelmed with the fact that these three had been there to help me with my kids and comfort me when I was a mess.  And to visit Derek in the hospital when I wasn't able to because I was home with the kids.
Raylene bringing Levi the Easter egg hunt he didn't get

Levi getting to dye Easter eggs with cousins
       The next morning, Raylene went to see Derek in the hospital and came home and told me he was sitting up and talking more.  We were able to pick him up around noon and bring him home.  Derek was on a liquid diet and took a couple weeks to really recover and gain his strength back.
      Easter was hard. I would look at Facebook and just cry.  Everyone was posting pictures together with family in their cute outfits.  This year I really experienced that it's not about the cute little outfits and candy, but it truly is about Christ suffering and dying for us, so that we can repent and have eternal life.  I thought of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, and that he had felt what Derek was experiencing.  This Easter completely humbled me, and I was completely overwhelmed by the fact that Raylene came to spend the night with me so I wasn't alone.  And that Raylon and Emili spent the whole day watching my kids, and helping Derek and I with all that we needed help with.  I got to experience an Easter where I felt the Savior's love more than I ever had.  So although it was awful and I never want to go through it again, it did teach me the value of eternal families.  It helped me to appreciate my little family so much more, and it taught me about the importance of service and being able to accept help when others offer to serve me.  I was shown more love and compassion than I had seen before.  I had friends calling and checking on me throughout the week.  Friends picking up Levi to get him out of the house and help Derek to rest and recover.  Friends bringing me and Levi dinner and broth for Derek.  I have literally never experienced so much love and seen so many Christlike examples.  I will forever be grateful for those who reached out and helped us.

The Ure's amazing Easter dinner they brought over when Derek was in the hospital
         The 4th of July is another story.  We drove an hour and a half to Prescott to go to the carnival, get out of the 100 degree weather, and to watch the fireworks.  Well... once again bowel movements and puking had other plans for us!  Levi ended up getting a horrible stomach ache.  He was constipated for hours crying, and he puked all over everything!  So we packed up our stuff and hiked back to our car.  Krew cried the rest of the way home, and I was covered in puke.... bleh.  I felt awful because our friends Jared and McKenna Ure were with us.  They didn't get to experience the fun 4th of July festivities because of us.  We dropped off Jared and McKenna around 9:20, and sadly the fireworks near our home started at 9, so we missed it.  On our way home we saw some cars parked at the Elementary school by our house so we pulled in and parked.  We got to see the last 10 minutes of the fireworks from a distance in our van.  So while I held Krew in my arms and I looked over at Derek holding Levi in his arms I was overwhelmed with the love I have for my family.  It was a sweet little moment we got to have at the end of a really crappy day.  Levi was done throwing up at this point, and was being so sweet.  Krew was finally content because he was out of the car seat, and Derek reached over and held my hand.  This is what's important to me.  I got to understand the meaning of the 4th of July again.  I got to realize that life doesn't always go according to plans.  But I'm so lucky I have my freedom and I get to live with my family.  I get to go to the church I believe in, I am safe and protected, and I'm lucky enough I'm here to even celebrate the 4th of July. I thought of the men who died for me so that I can live a wonderful life here in America with freedom and choice.  I went through all the millions of things I am grateful for, and it helped me to forget about all the many things I'd missed out on that day.

Outfit number 1 (this shirt is now in the garbage due to the amount of puke on it)
     Well to finish the day, Levi cried when we got home because he still couldn't poop.  We sat him on the toilet to see if that position would help, and he FINALLY pooped!  That poor kid went and laid on the floor completely exhausted and said, "I did it, I did it, I did it.  I pooped." Haha it was so sad but funny.  Our day was completed with the poop that completely destroyed the day haha.
Levi hunched over trying to poop, while crying, followed by some puking shortly after this picture was taken.  Krew crying and wanting nursed 85% of the day. All I could do was laugh and feel completely pathetic and overwhelmed.
       So folks, life isn't smooth sailing.  Life is hard.  There's sickness, pain, loneliness, anxiety, stress, worries, and so many other difficult things we experience.  But through those hard times, we can still see good.  I will say that I have been much more grateful for healthy bodies lately, and I am so grateful to know that people step in and help out of complete love.  People offer help in ways I've never even thought to offer help to others before.  I will also say that we are never completely alone.  The Savior has experienced all the pains and sorrows of the world, so that we could gain eternal life.  If you ever feel completely alone, just know that you aren't.  If you feel that no one knows what you're going through, or that no one would ever understand how you feel, remember to look to Christ.  We are never alone, we can always look to the Savior to help get us through the hard times.  Remember to pray and pray and pray, and we can get through anything.
4th of July outfit number 3

Happy 4th of July from Krew
So although our holidays have been really crummy..... I guess you could say I have a thing or two that I'm grateful for ;)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Birth Story

4 am and ready to have a baby!
   Well now that it's been 3 weeks since I had Krew, I think I am finally ready to tell my birth story.   I apologize in advance if it is too detailed, but hey, it's a birth story, so just expect to hear a bunch of really fun stuff!!  
    The month of March was absolutely insane around here!  The first week of March my brother and his family came.  We did TONS of stuff.  We went and hiked hole in the rock, toured Cerreta's Chocolate Factory, toured the Cardinal's Stadium, went to the Botanical Gardens, and went to the zoo.  Mind you, I was 9 months pregnant with elephant feet at this point.  I was exhausted!  That week when I went to the Dr. I was at a 2.  I also got put on a Z-pak because I had an awful sinus infection.  I felt pretty poopy. I was having tons of Braxton Hicks contractions and could've sworn I was going to go into labor the following week. 
   The following week I took it easy since I had totally exhausted myself the week before.  The 3rd week of March my sister came to town.  We took it pretty easy and she LOVED spending time with Levi every second she could get.  We went and got pedicures, it was my first time getting one, went to my baby shower my friends gave me, went to the Children's Museum, shopped, got donuts, walked around WestGate, and celebrated Levi's birthday by going to the train park.  I was only at a 2.5 this week and I was pretty upset because I was absolutely miserable.  The baby was on a nerve, pains shot through my legs every time I rolled over in bed, my feet had swollen up 5X their normal size and it was incredibly painful.  I was so done and beside myself.  My Dr was allowing me to be induced a week early because my parents were going to be in town.  When we called the hospital they had no openings until April 1, which was 2 days after my due date (I was due March 30).... I was sad because in order for my mom to be there she would have to buy a plane ticket and miss teaching school. 
    My parents came on Sunday and we had cake and ice cream for Levi with our friends.  We went and toured Derek's school, and we went to dinner with them on Monday night.  The Dr. office called me on Monday and told me that an opening had come up on Wednesday (only 2 days away) on March 25 at 4 am.  I called Derek to see if that worked with his school schedule, then I called them back and gladly told them I would take that induction date!
   The day before I was induced I was sooooo nauseous!  I was having tons of contractions and all I wanted to do was lay down and sleep for hours.  That night I would get a huge wave of nausea, then would have a strong contraction.  At 1 in the morning I finally started timing them.  The contractions were lasting 30-45 seconds and were happening every 3-5 minutes.  I timed them for an hour and the contractions stayed consistent. I was in labor... but I was going in to the hospital in two hours later so I tried my best to get 1 hour of sleep before I needed to get up and ready.
      My alarm went off at 3:15 am and I hadn't slept at all.  I was feeling so nauseous. I wasn't sure if I was nauseous from the pain, if I was making myself sick from anxiety, or if I had the flu.  At 4 am when we were supposed to be leaving out the door, I was over the toilet puking.
     When we got to the hospital, the nurse was in no hurry to get things started.  After waiting in the room for over 30 minutes, Derek finally decided to go out and tell her I needed a drink so she would come in and get things going.  Luckily Derek's tactic worked, she came in and was asking me questions, and got me hooked up to the IV and heart monitor.  We discovered that the baby's heart rate was pretty fast.  The nurse thought that since I'd thrown up I probably had a virus which was putting some stress on the baby and causing his heart rate to raise.  I was freaking out because I was finally healthy and I didn't want to get my poor little newborn sick from me.  
   My blood work came back a while later showing that my White Blood Cell count was normal, meaning I didn't have a virus.  It turns out I was extremely dehydrated from throwing up before, and that's what was causing the baby's heart rate to be so high.  They pumped me with IV fluids and finally after 3 hours the baby's heart rate was normal.  The Dr. came in at 7:30, broke my water, I gave him a high five, and he was on his way.  Then they started me on pitocin, even though my contractions were already regular.  It was just going to help things move along faster.  And an hour after they broke my water, the Anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural. He brought a student in with him and had the student find where the epidural space would be.  He searched my spine and said, I think it's here, the Dr came over and said, I think you're right.... Well gosh guys, thanks for being so certain!  The epidural went smoothly, although I did feel more pain with this one then I did when I had Levi.  
    A while later a nurse and a student came in to put in my catheter.  The student was going really slowly when all of a sudden I got extremely dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out.  I told them I was dizzy and the nurse told me I was probably just nervous and needed to just take deep breaths.  I tried taking deep breaths then suddenly felt cold and lost sensation in my hands, and things started to go black.  I looked at Derek and he mouthed if I was ok, I shook my head no and said, "I'm going to pass out right now!"  The nurse frantically told the student to hurry up and she took my blood pressure.  My blood pressure was 80/59!  That is extremely low for those of you who don't know, you're blood pressure is supposed to be 120/80.  The nurse hurried and pumped me full of IV fluids and eventually my face turned back from grey to pink and I had feelings in my fingers again.  
     From that point on things were pretty boring.  I just tried to sleep the rest of the day and they kept coming in and rolling me from one side to the other.  At one point my nurse was in the middle of another delivery and I was left on my right side too long.  I couldn't move my toes on my right foot, and I started feeling contractions on my left side.  I called the desk and my nurse came and turned me to my left side.  I was at a 9, but the baby's head was the wrong way.  The nurse put my leg up on a ball to open my pelvis up so the baby could get down into the correct position.  At this point I was miserable, I was feeling contractions on my low stomach, the left side of my body, and there were sharp pains shooting into my low back.  I called the nurse and she told me that the baby was on a nerve so she had to flip me back to my right side.  I was at a 9.5, she told me to just give a push and see if we could get the baby's head into the correct position.
    Well I pushed through one contraction, and not only was I then at a 10 with the baby in position, but I was already crowning.  The nurse called the Dr. and he got there within 3 minutes.  He asked if he had time or if he needed to set up immediately.  She told him that I was already crowning just with one push so he quickly got all ready and set up.  I pushed through probably 5 more contractions and then I had my sweet little Krew in my arms.  

   Krew Miles Dawson was born March 25, 2015 at 3:32 p.m.  He was a whopping 9 lb 8 oz and 22 inches long.  I immediately fell in love with my handsome little guy.  I cried when they laid him on my chest and we wiped him clean with towels.  I loved his dark brown hair and features and noticed everything about this boy was long long long.  He had the same cry as Levi but slightly different, and I saw that he had the same receding chin and pouty upper lip that Levi had.  I love his squishy cheeks and could seriously kiss them all day long.
My HUGE baby. Also, you're welcome for the censoring! :)
    When we weighed him and found out how much he weighed my nurse told me she knew he was well over 9 lb but didn't want to scare me.  She said that my next baby will probably be a 10 pounder. Gee that's awesome!!  After I found out how huge he was it all made sense.  No wonder why I was so huge and miserable and having so much nerve pain.  This boy had put quite the strain on my pregnant body!
  Every new nurse I had asked if I had gestational diabetes because Krew was SOOO huge.  They had to give him shots every time before he ate to monitor his sugars since he was so big.  And Krew wanted to just sleep all the time and I couldn't get the boy to eat longer than 5-10 minutes.  Because Krew wouldn't eat he didn't poop or pee within the first 24 hours so we didn't get released and had to stay 2 nights.  I was kind of ok with it though because I was so exhausted, I knew I wasn't ready to go home and help a lot with Levi.
    My recovery is going a lot better than it did with Levi.  My Dr. did a really good job at helping me not tear.  I only had a tiny little tear so only ended up with 1 stitch.  That is WAY better than what happened with Levi.  The hardest part with this recovery was because Krew was so big he bruised my tailbone coming out.  I had to sit on 2 pillows in the hospital bed, and when I came home I had to sit on a pillow at the kitchen table.  Also.... the first poop is a scary thing you guys.  The pain is real!  Haha once I got past that it has all been uphill from there.
    Krew is the sweetest thing ever!! I call him my gentle giant.  When he looks at me with those sweet soft eyes it melts my heart every single time.  He is calm and can sleep through Levi's crazy screaming hyper crazy moments.  He isn't as mellow as Levi was as a baby, but he is still pretty mellow and calm.  When the boy wakes up though, he is ready to eat and he will let the world hear it until he gets fed!!  That boy can sure make noise my word!!
Levi hugging Krew for the first time
   The hardest part has been with Levi.  He is so cute and so good with Krew it is the best thing ever.  The problem is Levi misses the attention.  He has started acting out and being naughty to get attention.  He also has anger which he never really had.  Levi never used to hit or kick, and now he's hitting me or Derek everyday since we've had the baby.  It's been so hard to know how to handle it.  Right now i've just been telling him that it's ok to be angry or sad, but he needs to talk to mommy about it instead of hit.  It has been getting better, and I think it's because of me and my reactions that he got worse for a while.  I tried to change my approach and my reaction and he turns around and makes better choices.  I just honestly was not prepared for Levi to change so much.  I hope Levi can be his happy go lucky self again, and I hope I can help him get there.
Levi not quite sure what to think of mommy in the hospital

Krew looking dapper and all ready to go home
Ready to be home as a family

Levi was so proud he picked out that balloon for Krew all by himself... and then he let go of it after this picture and the balloon popped :( haha

Safe and sound at home
My sweet handsome boys!! They make me so happy!

Sleeping peacefully at home

Snug as a bug in a rug

First family picture.  I am truly the luckiest!! These boys have my whole heart!