Saturday, January 26, 2008

So, now that I am finally caught up on my blog, I should keep up, eh? So, I will give you all an update. We have been really good. We had a great time over the holidays, but it is nice to be back on a schedule, or at least somewhat of one. Dallas started his second semester here at ASU. He is already getting busier than last semester. He is now playing for the top choir there, and is having many other opportunities. He is still working a little at Mesa Community College and loving it. This is his last semester with Prof. Sellheim, so he is making the most of it. He is excited about his classes too. We started renting a piano so he could practice at home and it has been really nice. I am so amazed at his willingness to practice and do his homework. He has pretty good self-discipline and somehow still manages to have plenty of time for our family, going to the temple, reading, and, of course, computer games. He is working on some demanding repertoire for his next recital, which is planned for March. Anyone interested in coming should! It is going to be great. We would love to have any visitors!
I am also attending classes part time this semester at Mesa Community College. It is actually really nice to be back in school. I am taking a photography class that I am really excited about. It is all film, which is interesting. I developed my first roll of film on Wednesday and I am anxious to see how it turns out, as I couldn't really tell from the negatives. I am also in a U.S. history class that is fun. I just take night classes so Dallas is able to be home with the kids. He has to put the kids to bed 2 nights a week, but he is so willing to help out so I can go to school. He will usually even clean the house including the vacuuming and sweeping. I know, I am so lucky.
Sophie is growing up so much. She continues to dance nonstop, even though she isn't currently in a dance class. She has also started making her life into a musical. She will make up songs about what she is doing and the things she loves. It is all very adorable. She is usually very optimistic and has become rather silly. She loves to be silly like her Daddy and make funny faces. It is amazing to watch her grow up. She has her favorite colors, which are pink, red, yellow, and, blue. Penny's favorites, by default, are purple, green, orange, brown, and white. They will separate anything into those colors. It is amazing. I am still not sure what Gabe will get to play with. Right now he has his own little basket of toys and is not allowed to play with theirs. It will be interesting. Sophie also has a very sensitive nose. When we went to the zoo a while back, we were passing the petting zoo when Sophie started gagging. She said, "It smells like Baby Gabe!" Every time I change his diaper she has to run out of the room or she starts gagging and saying, "Mom, I don't love baby Gabe." She still loves to read and is interested in learning to do it by herself. One day I heard her spelling her name: "Sophijklmnop." She has a great memory and often sings songs I don't know and I assume she must have learned in nursery or when she was in preschool last year. She loves being like her Daddy and loves when he practices the piano.
Penelope has been full of surprises this year! She started speech therapy late last year and has been doing so well. She will now repeat almost anything I ask her to, and uses quite a few words spontaneously. Her favorite word is "purple." She can spot anything purple! She has even said a few phrases like, "Help, please" or "more, please". I am so excited. She also has started to potty train and is doing so well. Early last week she begged me to let her wear panties. I let her and she would mostly tell me every time she needed to go with only a few accidents here and there. But then, with Gabe's surgery and with Dallas and I starting school, I didn't feel like I was ready to take on the potty-training ordeal, so I stopped. Then this Tuesday her therapist said she believed kids have a window when they are ready and if I waited until I thought I had time, it would only get harder. When am I ever going to have more time, anyway? So we started it up again. She is not perfect, but she usually goes by herself or tells me. She has only one accident or so a day, and they have usually been in the bathroom, and therefore very easy to clean up. It has not been stressful for me at all, which is a big relief! She also loves dancing and dressing up with Sophie. I can't believe how girly these girls are!
Gabriel is so funny. Right now he is just cracking up at Sophie's funny faces. He is close to walking, but not in too much of a hurry. He is a speedy crawler and when I try to get him to walk he usually ends up laughing too hard to actually try seriously. As far as I can tell, he has fully recovered from his surgery. He has not seem phased by it at all. He is still our little screecher, though. Every meal is sure to be accompanied by his horrible, unearthly screech. It is always the worst when he is in his high chair. He is also really into emptying everything right now. He can open any drawer and empty it in a second flat, I swear. And he looks at you with this funny little determined expression. He also loves playing the piano. If he is awake when Dallas is playing the piano, he has to be right there playing with him. Dallas is surprisingly patient. I still can't believe my baby boy is one!
So, all in all, we are pretty wonderful here. We are busy and crazy, but I think that is okay for now. We miss everyone and hope all is well.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008






































Dallas and Sophie got to go iceskating with our friend Sahar for her birthday. Ice skating is like her new favorite thing!

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Here are some pictures I took that I kind of liked. I will hopefully be impressing all of you with my new found photography knowledge!

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Gosh, I love Dallas!

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I hope this picture isn't too gross for anyone out there. Yes, my shirt is covered in throw up. On Tuesday January 15, we took Gabe into the ER because his hernia was out again and we couldn't get it back in. I first suspected that Gabe had a hernia back in November. We had Dallas' dad look at it and he said it might be one, but we could just keep an eye on it and have his pediatrician look at it at his well baby check up around his birthday. Well, while we were at Josh and Mindy's house in Rexburg, he got really fussy and we couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. I thought he may have been tired, so I started getting him ready for bed. When I changed his diaper he had a hard lump on the right side of his groin. I freaked out because he screamed when I touched it. We took him to the ER there and the ER doctor confirmed it was a hernia, but couldn't reduce it. They called the surgeon and luckily he got it back in and told us to get back to Arizona and have it taken care of ASAP. Well, we had to first get in with our pediatrician to get a referral and that took over a week. We finally got a consultation scheduled for Wednesday, the 16 of January but we had to take him into the ER the day before. I had to take all the kids to the ER because Dallas was still at school, but luckily he met us there soon after we got there. The nurse was asking questions and right when she asked if he had been vomiting, he threw up all over me. Obviously he was throwing up! It was so gross! He did it again a second time that night. We were there forever! I hate ER's! They went ahead and said I could skip the consultation the next day and just plan on surgery for the following Monday. I wish they would have just done it right then and there.

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On Thursday Gabe's hernia kept coming out and was difficult to get back in, so I paged the Dr. on call and he said to bring him in. By the time we got there, it was out again. A P.A. was able to get it back in, but by the time the surgeon came by to see him it was out again, so they decided to keep us overnight and do surgery in the morning. He ended up having a hernia on his left side too that luckily was not giving us any problems. So around 1 pm on Friday, Gabe had bilateral hernia surgery done by a pediatric surgeon, Dr. Janick, who incidently was the same Dr. who pushed it in on Tuesday at the ER. The surgery only lasted an hour and then they kept him about 4 hours, which ended up being more like 6, and he came home. These pictures are right before surgery and shortly after. Because Banner Desert Hospital was short on rooms, we stayed in the ER all night. We were moved to a room shortly before his surgery, but they needed it while he was gone, so we stayed the rest of the time in the recovery unit. Thursday night was pretty miserable because for most of the night we didn't have a bed for Gabe so he thought he could just play all night. Finally they brought in this monstrous crib and as soon as he was sleeping soundly they decided to put an IV in his hand or foot, but after trying all hands and all feet, they decided they would wait for the anesthesiologist the next day to give him gas. Poor kid! But, at about 4 am they had orders to try again because they didn't want him to get dehydrated and he wasn't to have anything to eat or drink. They tried another time on his foot, but decided to just put it in his head. It was pretty sad for me to watch them stick him over and over, but I know they were trying their best. The bad thing about giving a 1 yr old an IV is that they do not want to leave it alone. Oh, well, he survived and is doing amazingly now. I only gave him Tylenol on Saturday. Since then he has been happy and energetic like always. The incisions are so tiny. Technology is amazing these days! We are hoping these will be the end of the ER days for Baby Gabe!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

















I hate to admit it, but it is nice to come back here to nice weather. I now really understand why people live here.

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We all love having a piano here at our house.

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I am taking 2 night classes at Mesa Community College this semester: Photography and US History. So far it has been fun. I am really excited to take better pictures from now on.

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Lots of dancing and reading now that we are home. Sophie has especially loved having a piano. I am sure she thinks all of Dallas' practicing is just for her dancing pleasure!

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Okay, so here are the pictures from our trip up to Utah and Rexburg. Just as a side note, we also stopped to see Amanda Klimek and the Morgan's, but I forgot my camera in the car. We had fun seeing them, though! These pictures are really not in much order. I have got to update this blog more often! We do too many cool things!
















Gabe and Olivia were so cute together. If it looks like Olivia is taller than Gabe, it is probably because she is. Poor kid will probably be short. Oh, well, they are so cute!

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We were able to go up to Rexburg to see the Rowley's. It was fun to be back. We were able to make it to the temple open house, which was fun. We even got to visit the Madison Memorial hospital ER for Gabe's hernia. Josh and Dallas had a lot of fun playing computer games and the Wii. Josh took a funny video that I will have to see if we can get a copy of to put on our blog. Dallas was also excited to go to the Backyard for a gourmet hotdog, if there is such a thing.

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Of course the girls played a lot of dress up. Emily and Aubrey were so nice to share! They sure are such beautiful girls!

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Sophie and Penny had a blast at the Rowley's house in Rexburg. We really miss living close to them.

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Our kids were really pretty good our whole trip. It is definitely exciting going anywhere with them, though. Sophie tried out ice skating for the first time and was really pretty good.

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