Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Congratulations accepted here!

So lately I have been named by a various assortment of my family (made up of an elect committee of Homework Haters and Piano Practicing Pouters) as the (drum roll please) ..... World's Worst Mother or many of it's other well known titles such as Meanest Mom (MM), Worst Mom Ever (WME) and other honorable titles!
I usually have a great acceptence speech after I win the coveted title! The speech usually includes a sincere "Thank you to the committee" in some form (which seems to anger the committee. Weird.). I really should thank my mother who was also a WWM a few years ago. I learned a lot from her! The speech also includes a "How lucky are you to have me for this role" which sounds a bit uppity to some but really they need to know that receiving this title really is an honor for them as well!
The HH and PPP proceed to tell my how unfortunate all their friends are that "their mothers aren't nearly so mean"! It does make you concerned for all the poor children out there who aren't as lucky as mine!
In conclusion I promise my committee that I will continue to perform to the best of my ability all the duties necessary to make sure I honor the title for as long as necessary and in the case that I am unable to fulfill my duties for some reason (such as a mental collapse) that the Honorable M.D.E. (Meanest Dad Ever) will step us and fulfill my duties!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Break Rollins Style!

Well, we are back!

We had a shaky start as we travelled to Winnemucca and checked into the hotel only to discover that Alex had a horrible fever, swollen glands and a sore throat. I was sure he had strep as it has been going around our neighborhood! What a mess. Lucky for me I had brought some Tylenol so we got him comfortable enough to sleep. Needless to say the first thing we did in California was take him to an Urgent Care! I was shocked to find that though he might have strep his throat woes were nothing compared to his horrible ear infection. Once again showing the medical world that I am indeed the Worlds Worst Mother! Sara and I had spent our time in the waiting room talking about how we need a Dr. in the family if for no other reason than to check for ear infections! Both of us have had the experience of 1) taking the screaming child in and having no infection and 2) taking the child in for a well-child checkup and being told that he/she has a double ear infection! So 10 minutes later I have another "I swear he never even mentioned his ear was hurting" moment! Sometimes I tell you I feel like I need to have my child fill out one of those medical questionnaires before I take him in to the doctor. Do you have a history of ear pain? Does this area hurt? How about this one? I also think I should swear him in before questioning him because he tells me his neck is killing him, which I reported to the doctor but when she asks him he says... Nope it doesn't hurt! It is all a plot to make me look like the WWM! He acutally didn't get better until Saturday night, Sunday morning. Until that point he couldn't walk and if he did he hunched over to the side and kept one hand up by his chest and the other on his head. He looked like a little special child! It was hilarious.
We had the best time with Brad,Sara, Alli and of course Adam, Emma and Ethan! Sara is a brilliant hostess and it is amazing to me that even in the middle of the chaos of remodeling the entire house it is still something you would see in the Pottery Barn catalog! Their house was great before and it will be absolutely amazing when they sell it!

Friday we spent a Very, Very, VERY full day in San Francisco and wore the boys right out! We did Fisherman's Wharf, (complete with clam chowder), the cable car, Chinatown, Ghirardelli Square, the Aquarium and even saw Lombard Street although by this time it was dark!

By far my favorite thing that we did was go to pier 45 and check out the WWII Submarine and the WWII Merchant Vessel. We spent 2 hours touring through those with the boys and talking about what their Great-grandfathers did in the Navy and seeing how they may have lived! It was so cool!

Saturday was Adam's baptism. It was beautiful! There is something to be said for living in a small ward! Adam was the only baptism on that day and all the talks and stories and slides shows were directed right to him. Adam inherited a bit of his fathers fashion sense and was a bit mortified by the white jumper that he was supposed to wear. His desire to be baptized won out and after seeing his own dad in an equally attractive (not to mentioned a bit hiked up on his backside) outfit the baptism program commenced. Alli gave a great talk on baptism and the importance of the gate he was opening that day. Sara had put together a wonderful slide show about Adam and then Brad baptized him. We sang songs as we waited for Brad and Adam to get dressed in their far more stylish outfits and join us again. I then gave a talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost with help from both Josh and Aaron. They told Adam what they have felt like when they fell the Holy Ghost. Then Brad confirmed him. What a glorious day for Brad, Sara, Adam and the rest of the family. We were so glad that we were there. That day alone made the entire trip worth it!

After the after baptism celebration we loaded up everyone this time and went across the Golden Gate bridge (cool) to Muir Woods (awesome). They aren't as big as the giant redwoods (or so I am told) but they fit the bill as far as I was concerned! It was incredible! The world in all it's variety is such a beautiful place. After our hike we took the 1 up the coast a ways to Stinson Beach! The scenery there was breathtaking! I love to see the waves crash up on the rocks and see the ocean stretch out forever. The sun was going down and it was so wonderful. We got out and ran in the FREEZING cold water for a few minutes which was great for some good laughs and many squeals!

Sunday we had a great Easter and thank goodness the Easter Bunny found my boys all the way in Suunyvale! Who knew bunnies were so smart? We went to church and my boys experienced the joy of going to Sara's primary!

We loved the chance to just sit and chat with the family! We love our Rencher cousins and the aunts and uncle that they live with!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm Off!

The family Rollins will be taking off to sunny CA to visit Brother Brad and Sister Sara and Adam, Emma and Ethan, and Sister Alli for a few days! Adam is being baptized this weekend and it is sure to be a great time! We plan on taking in a few sites in San Francisco while we are there. The boys have never been and it has been years for Dave and I as well. Should be great if we survive the drive!

For all of you Jane Austen fans out there check out this website! Kind of fun!

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What a week!

This was one of those weeks when you are so very amazed that you survived!

1. Dad is home! We had a rough week at the hospital. On Tuesday Dad's oxygen levels were not improving and he was becoming more and more despondent and depressed. We were very worried about him! On Wednesday morning they did some more tests and we got the horrible news that he has multiple blood clots in his legs and multiple blood clots in his lungs. We were appalled and terrified. No wonder he can't get enough oxygen. There is nothing more that they could do to break up the clots other than keep giving him the medicine that he was already taking. We decided that we (meaning Mom) could give him the medicines he needed at home so we finally brought him home on Thursday afternoon. He is so much happier and so are we. Hospitals are not fun places. He has been able to see his kids, some grandkids and the dogs (Hope and Walter). He has seen neighbors and friends and been able to visit with some of his brothers. We don't know what the future holds but at least he is home and happy!

2. 13 years! Dave and I have been married 13 years on the 16th! Where has the time gone? I had no idea at the time what a great husband and father Dave would become! I couldn't do this life without him!
  1. He always helps out (in fact this week he did it all with no help from me!) with laundry, cooking, shopping, and cleaning.
  2. He wrestles with the boys so I don't have to!
  3. He makes me laugh sometimes even against my will.
  4. He would do anything to make me happy.
  5. He is a great provider and a hard worker.
  6. He is still a good kisser. Much to the distress of the boys.
  7. He enjoys serving others. He tries hard to choose the right. (He did choose me after all)
  8. He has a great smile and it always makes me happy when I can get him to smile!
  9. He is always willing to say he is sorry. He is also very quick to forgive.
  10. He is my best friend. The person I want to talk to first. The person who I want to remember the joke for. The person who will have empathy even when he doesn't understand what I am talking about. The person who would never laugh at me unless he was supposed to be laughing. The person who would sacrifice almost everything for me. I am so lucky!

3. Sports for kids! I know there are many arguments pro and con for putting kids in sports but I must admit that I am a fan. They learn about winning and losing and being a good sport regardless. They learn about practicing, working hard, listening to a coach and ignoring the crowd. They learn about having good days and bad days, about playing for the good of the team and if that is not enough they come home tired and ready to sleep! So here we are ending basket ball and starting baseball and soccer. What fun!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Variety is the Spice....

Random memories for this week!

1) Painting class! I work for an artist, Sandra B. Rast, doing her accounting, invoicing, organizing, helping at her frame shop, and so forth and for Christmas we gave one of our buyers a free art class. Well, Sandra, being the nicest person ever, wanted me to come (am I sure it is because I am so very entertaining). So Wednesday I went to my first art class and I painted an original still life! It was the most amazing experience and I must say I loved it! I am so grateful that Sandy would let me have this experience. Take a look! They kind of even look like flowers! For more real art work check out www.sandra-rast-art.com.

2) Joseph is a climber. Not only fearless but quick. I went downstairs to change the laundry. Mind you not fold the batch just put 1 in the dryer and 1 in the washer. By the time I came upstairs he had climbed up on the counter and emptied about 6 cups of flour all over the kitchen. Notice how fuzzy the camera is? Guess what was on the counter under the flour! His favorite climbing spot is either on top of the microwave or on top of the piano. Punk child.

3) I bought a bra. In and of itself unremarkable and even a bit awkward to mention here. However, the whole family went to dinner on Saturday night and on the way home I had Dave drive through the Gatewall Mall so I could go to Bath and Body (soap on sale. love Kitchen Lemon) and Victoria's Secret. Well the boys heard me mention the word bra and the 3 older ones burst into giggles. So, I go in shoppin and leave Dave in the car with the boys. I finish in record time but when I get back in the car Dave says "Thanks a lot!" I then proceed to hear the story of how as soon as I leave that they start asking Dave what a bra is really all about. What is it for? After attempting to explain support and such they start asking why we don't wear them on our bottoms! I thought I was very lucky to miss out on such a informative conversation!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Dad Update

Dad has had his first 6 weeks of chemo and his first two week break. It hasn't been much of a break. He has been so shaky, weak, a little out of it as his mind is not as sharp as normal. He has been very nauseated and can't even drink water anymore without getting sick. Wednesday he was supposed to start his 2nd 6 weeks of chemo. Mom decided to take the day off and go with him. When they got to the Dr.'s they took his vitals and discovered that his oxygen was extremely low. They immediately put him on oxygen. They also discovered that his white blood count was high which indicated that he had an infection of some sort so they prescribed an antibiotic and sent him to have some x-rays of his lungs.

After they arranged with the home medical company to have a portable oxygen unit for him he was able to go home which was great news. He had been a little out of it and very nauseated for the 2 weeks between chemo.

Wednesday night he slept for the first time in days and woke up Thursday feeling encouraged. The home nurse came to check on him and discovered that his oxygen levels were getting worse instead of better. The Dr. was notified and he told him that he needed to go to LDS hospital. They were concerned because after looking at his lungs they didn't think that they looked bad enough for how low his oxygen levels are.

So Mom broke the news to Dad that he had to go back to the hospital and after a blessing for Dad and Mom from Andrew and Mitch they headed into LDS Hospital. They did tests last night and today including an EKG, CAT Scans, Barium swallow, Ultrasounds, MRI's and more x-rays. They were encouraged to see that his white blood cell count was already significantly lower which means the antibiotics were doing their job. They did notice some elevated liver enzymes and are going to take a closer look at his liver tomorrow when they do another CAT scan.

They found a blood clot but the Dr.'s seemed to think it was just the old one from after the surgery and not a new one. The nurse told Mom that they were really concerned about Dad's heart today as it was at 180 when they would ideally would like it below 100. They had a cardiac specialist looking after him today.

Mom finally called a little while ago with the days concluding notes. The blood clot they found is the same one as the one in November but it is huge again which is what is causing his 1) elevated heart rate, 2) breathing difficulties and 3) pnemonia. I had no idea that the clot never went all the way away the first time but apparently it just got really small but after he got home and off the really powerful blood thinner (Heparin) and onto the normal blood thinner (Cumadin) it started building back up! So it is back and risking his life again. They talked about going in to remove it but it would require opening up his chest (similar to open heart surgery) and he couldn't do that and going in through a vein is too risky. So they are rapidly getting him back on the Heparin and hoping that will once again help dissolve the clot.

Mom and I talked today a lot while I was at the hospital and we decided that Dad is really sick. Brilliant, I know. We have never been through this cancer, chemo, blood clot, thing before and we seem to be constantly reminded that it is a horrible thing that leaves the person feeling miserable and weak and tired and just plain sick. It isn't like a cold where you feel better by getting up and going on with life. It is as different for each person as the person is.
It is again another reminder of how grateful I am that I have siblings (both by birth and by marriage). I mentioned to Mom today that I am so glad that I am not an only child because when life happens I have people who I can turn too. Who love Mom and Dad as I do. Who understand how I feel. When the crisis's come they are who I want to talk to, to lean on and I love them for all their strengths.