Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cool blog giveaway!

Check out my friend Beth's blog for an awesome giveaway that she is sponsoring. It is for a Preschool curriculum called Funshine Express. After just a short time on their website, I totally want to do it for my little guys. The great thing is that everything is included. Good Luck!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Limbo

Even though you can’t see it, the quote at the top of our blog reads “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”. I didn’t know how true this statement would be even just a few months ago.
I haven’t given many details about what is going on with David in the Army and our family. Some of you know what’s going on and some of you don’t.
David swore in with the US Army in July. He contracted with them to serve in the US Army Reserves and they contracted that they would train him as an LPN. He entered Basic Training on October 30.
He started out very well and was keeping up with the recruits 10 years younger with him. He excelled in the shooting part (sorry that’s as detailed as I get-he knows all of the different gun names and stuff) and knew a lot about the military jargon and such before he even went in.

About the second or third week of training, he noticed that his upper back was really hurting him. This was after he had to carry a 200-pound soldier for a run. He went to the doctor and was given Ibuprofen and stretches to do. The pain just got worse and started moving to his arm. While he was experiencing the pain, he was still able to do the pushups, situps, and running that was required, even though it was really painful.
A little while after his arm started to hurt, it also began to lose its strength. This was something that he couldn’t control, no matter how hard he tried, or how much he pushed through the pain, if there was no strength in his arm, he couldn’t do as many pushups.
He went back to the doctor and was told first it was a cold, then pneumonia, then carpal tunnel syndrome. Each one of these diagnoses took a week of waiting and just dealing with the pain and weakness in between visits.
Just before he came home at Christmas, he was sent to a Physical Therapist who adjusted his back, gave him Ibuprofen and stretches (sound familiar?). When he was home at Christmas, he was in constant, almost unbearable pain, though the people around us couldn’t tell ‘cuz he bore it so well. He had a hard time using his left arm to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds. The hardest thing for him was that he couldn’t rough house with his boys. He still carried them with his right arm.
We decided to take him to the doctor while he was home. We had to take him to an Army doctor, which is 45 minutes away. The first thing he said to David was “what do you expect me to do?” and acted like we were idiots for even thinking about coming there. He said that he could not order an MRI ‘cuz David is officially stationed in Missouri. He examined David and offered, you guessed it, more pain medication. The fact that he said he could not order an MRI confirmed our suspicions that that is what he needed.
(By the way, he was taking the strongest doses of pain medication that he could and it does absolutely nothing for the pain).
We thought maybe if we went to the ER, they would give him an MRI. After waiting for 5 hours, he was given a CAT scan which told us that he did not have cancer. Though we are very grateful that that is not the case, we suspected that it was something other than cancer that was causing the problem. The ER doctor told him that he needed to come back the next day for an MRI.

That’s where the problem was…since that would no longer be emergency care, it would not be covered under military insurance unless we got it approved. I spent a few hours the next day on the phone being passed from person to person to finally find out that only his base health care department could approve it…and they were all closed down for Christmas and wouldn’t be back until after David had to report back.
Needless to say, we were pretty frustrated with all this red tape.

So…David went back to training with no real answers. His right arm started to hurt and then lose strength and by the time he arrived on base, he was in the worst pain of his life due to the bus ride and turbulent plane ride. I thought for sure he could go to the hospital and tell them he couldn’t use either of his arms and that he was in excruciating pain and they would see that he needed immediate attention. WRONG
He just had to wait it out and go about his normal routine. When finally saw a doctor, they told him he could only see the last doctor that he saw, and made him wait another few days.
The Physical Therapist told him he definitely needs an MRI, but they had to put him in traction first…for a week and a half.
After that did nothing to help him, he said that he would refer him to the neurologist. The neurologist was supposed to call and set up the appointment.

David waited a week and didn’t hear from him. So he went back to his referring doctor who called. They said ‘you haven’t been answering your phone’…ummm he’s in Basic and his phone is confiscated. This is something that they should know and they should know that they have to call his Drill Sergeants to set up the appointment. But they didn’t. This was last Friday, and they set up his appointment for Thursday morning (1/29/2009).
So…after having this injury for 3 months and seeing it progress to the point that he can’t even hold his 8-pound rifle for more than a couple minutes, he is still just being passed around and hasn’t even had an MRI to diagnose the problem. From the research we have done and the doctors we have talked to, it sounds like nerve damage. But it’s impossible to know how bad or what treatment he will need without an MRI.
Needless to say, we are pretty tired of this whole situation.
Since he can no longer participate in training, David just sits all day. Doing nothing. He can read his scriptures and the military handbook and that’s all…all day long…and eat. Not to mention the way his sergeants treat him.
Even with being in pain for most of his training, he has completed all but 3 weeks of it. But, since he has not been able to participate, he will have to start over. I’m just hoping they will be able to fix him.
He will have missed his LPN training. Supposedly they are phasing it out, so he may have missed it for good-we are hoping not, though.
We have been talking about other options, now that there is a possibility that they may just discharge him. We have pretty much decided that if he is discharged, we will move to Provo and he will finish his education at BYU. Since we have our house being rented, it's just as easy to move there as somewhere out here and the benefits of being out there are greater. We both feel good about this decision.
The only thing is that we just don’t know. We don’t know what his injury is or what the extent of it is. We don’t know what it will take to rehabilitate. We don’t know if he will stay with the Army. And the hardest thing is we don’t know when we will see each other again.
But…we do know that God is watching over us and guiding us. We know that we both felt that joining the military was the right thing for our family at that time. We may not know yet why our plans have taken a detour, but we are trying really hard to have faith that it is for our own good. I guess if we knew the reasons for everything, there would be no reason to have faith.

So, that’s why we are in limbo right now. We are excited to move on with the next phase of our lives, wherever that may be.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why I'm grateful that I have a camera phone...

The boys and I were taking a walk the other day. I looked over the top of the stroller and this is what I saw:

It's true what they of the best parts of having two is observing them interact without my prompting.

Brothers...and Friends!

It's so fun that Carter is sitting with out his baby carrier in the shopping carts. Mason really wanted Carter to sit with him. They were so cute I had to capture the moment...

These pictures are from last summer that I forgot about. We took the kids, along with Diana and Brandon and their kids to Lakeside because they had free passes from their summer reading program. I was so sad we forgot our I had to take a couple with my phone!

Friday, January 9, 2009

"I'm so glad when Daddy comes home!"

We came to really appreciate the words to this song this Christmas season.
Please bear with me as I slowly catch this blog up with what has been happening. Those of you who have facebook may have already seen these pictures, but here they are with the commentary!

David was able to come home for 2 weeks to spend Christmas with us. We feel very blessed that we did not have to spend the entire season apart.

As you can see, Mason was more than thrilled to see his daddy again after being separated for more than 7 weeks.

The night before David's homecoming, we got some patriotic helium balloons to bring with us to the airport. Here are the boys having fun with them and starting to get excited.

The wait at the airport seemed to take forever...Carter, of course, found plenty to keep himself occupied, though!

I was pretty excited myself at this point!

The waiting was almost over!!

And the happy reunion! We were all so happy to see David. He came home on a Friday and between Tuesday and Friday he had a cumulative of 4 hours of sleep. Apparently the drill sergeants thought that everyone needed to stay up all night and clean the barracks before they left. Then they made him go to the airport almost a day early.
But..David didn't show his exhaustion and the reunion was wonderful!

Mason did not let David out of his sight most of the time that he was home. He was so happy to have his Daddy back!
We definitely miss him now that he is gone and are very proud of the sacrifice that he is making for our family.
I have a lot more to write about this whole experience...that will be coming soon!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New update blog

As you know, our blog is private...but that doesn't mean that you can't be updated when we add a new post. My smart sister, Katie, gave me the idea of starting up a separate blog just to let you know when we have updated.
If you receive updates when one of your favorite blogs (and I know ours must be one of your favorites) is updated, just add this address to your list:

I will post on this new blog letting you know that there is new material on our private blog. That way, if you don't feel like logging in to see our blog, you can just go to the update blog. Hopefully this makes it easier to stay updated and doesn't make it more confusing. Thank you for being a reader of our blog! :)

Fun with the Ervie's

I've been planning to do this post for so long. I was trying to find a picture of Beth and I from our college days, but I guess all of those pictures are packed away, so I just decided to put it up. One of these days I really do want to post a bunch of college-days pictures and take a walk down memory lane. :)

Living in the dorms freshman year at BYU was the typical "I'm glad I did it but I would NEVER want to do it again" for me. Basically the only reason that I'm glad that I did it was the friendships that I developed that have so far, lasted forever!

One of these friendships that I developed was with Beth Campbell (now Ervie). We lived down the hall from each other and became fast friends. We were both pretty homesick and were able to understand each other's senses of humor. We spent a lot of time in one another's rooms and making trips to the vending machines for pink cookies.

We went on to be roommates at the Colony for the next three years and I would have to say that, unlike the dorms, I would want to relive those fun times again. Our Colony days are material for a whole different post.

Anyways, fast forward 10 years...and we are both here in Colorado...about an hour away from each other...but definitely close enough for a visit. We also have the common ground of being lonely military wives. So...she invited the boys and I down for a sleepover with her and her 3 little ones.

Both of our husbands were in training so it was fun to be able to keep each other company. Mason had a blast playing with Kayla and Zack and of course the two of us had a blast reliving old memories and just picking up where we left off!
Of course this sleepover was different from any other we had had...this one had kids and babies trying to stay up with us and at the end of the night, we actually both WANTED to go to bed.

The next morning, they took us to Little Mr. Biggs which I am so hoping comes up closer to where we live. It was an all you can eat pizza, pasta, and salad bar for 4.99...but the best part was the play area. There were all sorts of fun activities including a carousel. The kids would still be playing there, I'm sure, if we didn't drag them away.

Thanks, guys for a fun sleepover!

Enjoying the ice cream after lots of playing

Carter LOVED the carousel! Mason loved to ride it as long as he didn't have to be on the horse, so that worked out great!