Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Brinley's Baptism

On November 1 Brinley was baptized by her dad. She was so excited to get baptized and didn't stop smiling all day. Brinley had won a photo shoot from a contest on facebook from a photographer that does her dance photos. Her dad and I thought it would be fitting to have her baptism pictures taken using that photo shoot. I had seen some ideas on pinterest that I wanted to try and execute during the pictures and this picture was one of them. You have them get a picture in their baptism dress while holding a picture of them in the blessing dress. Then when they get married they can hold the picture of them in the baptism dress and their blessing dress to create the 3 white dresses. When she was done with her baptism we all met in the cultural hall to eat. This included Steve and his side of the family, Valerie and her family, my family and Mike's family. I am so glad we were all able to come together for Brinley and that there wasn't any awkwardness at all felt that day. We shared the cost of having Subway cater her baptism lunch and then asked our family to bring either chips or soda. She also received some very special gifts that day. She received a baptism towel and ctr necklace from her Aunt Shelly and Uncle Matt and their family. She received a ctr ring from her primary presidency in her dad's ward. She got a Frozen blanket from her Grandma, her nana gave her a baptism book and bracelet, and Kjersty gave her a dress to wear to church. Mike and I and her other set of parents all went in together and bought her a nice set of scriptures with her name on them and a bag to carry them in, as well as her baptism dress and shoes. I am extremely thankful for the love and support that was shown to our family and to Brinley on this special day.

The things kids say

I currently work in OB/GYN and I love it most days. I was extremely shocked to find out how much my children actually listen and pick up on. Every day we ask the kids how their day was and what they did at school. One day Kenzley came home and informed us that she had made a skeleton at school, completed with hair, eyes, six arms, and a "pagina." I have always been a believer in teaching my kids the correct names for their body parts, but never really thought about them teaching others. Kenzley really admires the provider I work for and looks up to her in a lot of ways. When I told Kenzley that we couldn't talk about our privates at school or recreate them, she then asked, "Why? You and Dr. so and so fix broken paginas all day, there isn't anything wrong with it." I continued to teach her our privates are private for a reason and that we don't talk about them at school. Here is her girl skeleton that she recreated.

Halloween 2014

This year my kids were so excited for Halloween and I must admit I was too. We started our Halloween off by "Booing" our neighbors. This is a fun family tradition we do every year and it was so much fun having the girls catch on and participate with me. We did 3 families and left the famous peanut butter fingers. We didn't hang up the sign on our door because the girls really wanted someone to boo us. Mike didn't like this idea because it meant we would need to do it again, but the girls weren't upset by needing to do 2 more families.

The weekend of October 11 we went to Black Island Farms. This is another one of our favorite Halloween traditions. The girls love going and picking out their own pumpkin and playing on the slides. This year we even attempted the corn maze and let the girls lead us through out the corn maze. On our ride to get the pumpkins the girls were wanting to sit on the back of the trailer on our way back. I think they learned their lesson about riding at the back of the trailer. On our way back the ride was very bumpy both the older too girls were holding on for dear life and barely hanging on by the time we got back and I was doing some amazing yoga moves to keep the pumpkins, Skyeley, and myself from falling off. Needless to say we won't be riding on the back again but the girls learned their lesson. It was also Brinley's weekend to bring home the class pet Moko and so we had the opportunity to take Moko with us on our adventures.

The following weekend we celebrated Mike's youngest sisters 15th birthday. We went out to eat at Ruby River and then had dessert at our house and turkey dinner the next day after our primary program.

The weekend of October 24th we decided to finally carve our pumpkins that we had picked out. I let the girls choose which pattern they wanted and we ended up with a Jack Skellington for Kenzley and an Elsa for Skyeley. Even though Mike is a grinch when it comes to any holidays, he got in on the action and helped us. After we were done carving pumpkins we painted Halloween toes so we could be festive.

The following week things got really busy for us but we enjoyed every minute of it. On Wednesday October 29 we went to Morgan to a Halloween party and we were able to take a 3 girls with us. This wasn't our year to have Brinley, but she was able to join us for most of our activities this year. On Thursday October 30 we had parent teacher conferences and learned that Brinley is struggling but improving and Kenzley is doing well and is a grade ahead of where she should be. We were proud parents and so happy with the girls and their behavior at school. That night we had another Halloween party to go to at our church. 

That Friday was Halloween and we had so much to do all day. Our day started by attending the girls' Halloween parade at the school and then both my mom and I volunteered to help in each girls' class for their Halloween party. I helped in Brinley's class and my mom helped in Kenzley's class. I did Halloween bingo again and a Halloween bean bag toss. Each child was able to choose a prize from my Halloween treasure chest if they got Bingo, and each child got some candy for playing the bean bag toss. My mom did an eyeball relay and spider ring toss in Kenzley's class and each student got to choose a prize from her Halloween treasure chest as well. After the parties were over the kids were let out of school early. Kenzley, Skyeley, and I headed to Morgan for the business trick or treat which is another family tradition we have done since the girls were little. They always get so much candy from the businesses in Morgan and most of the time we can even eat dinner along the way. This year I wanted to do another scary dinner that I had seen on pinterest. I made Frankenstein plates to eat off of, we used our same spooky glasses from last year and had some color changing candle lights on the table. We had black spaghetti noodles and sauce this year. Kenzley was skeptical that it would taste weird because it was a different color, but much to her surprise it tasted just the same and she even had seconds.

When we were done with dinner we headed out to trick or treat and we ended our fun at 9. The girls had so much candy and were so excited to start eating their treats. We had a great Halloween this year filled with so many fun festivities and family traditions. It was our weekend to have Brinley so we headed home and went to pick her up.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Brinley's 8th Monster High Party

I don't like to do the same theme party more than once, but after Kenzley had her Monster High party Brinley really wanted the same party. I was hoping I could make different but still fun so she wouldn't be disappointed. We made an agreement that if she could get her back handspring down unassisted that I would let her do a Monster High party. She held up her end of the deal and so it was time for me to hold up my end. I decided since we did a ghoul school theme for Kenzley that we could do a fearleading theme for Brinley. I was still able to use the same decorations and photo booth, but the rest of the party was different. I started by having to make my own Monster High logo for the fearleading uniforms. I got on my computer and designed a logo, bought some white shirts and heat transfer paper, and then ironed them on to the shirts. These turned out so awesome and the girls absolutely loved their shirts.

When the girls arrived they changed into their fearleading uniform and picked out their pom poms. Then it was time to be transformed into a fearleader. The girls entered the Monster High spa and got their hair either curled or straightened and colored, and make up done.

Once we they were done being transformed, it was time for Brinley to teach the girls the Monster High cheer she had come up with. The cheer went like this: "M-O-N-S-T-E-R monsters, monsters yes we are. M-O-N-S-T-E-R we are Monster High, YEAH!" She came up with the moves and her fellow fearleaders followed her well.

Once they were done we went and took fearleading photos for the fearbook.

After we were done with pictures it was time for cake and ice cream and of course presents. Brinley loved everything she got and was so thankful to everyone who took the time to come.

When it was time for the girls to leave we sent them with a party favor purse, complete with a Monster High notebook, Monster High pen, and Monster High lip gloss. Each girl was also able to keep their shirt and take come their plastic cup from the party. I am so glad this party turned out the way it did. It was just enough different it didn't feel like we did the same party, but enough the same I was able to reuse some of the same things.

Happy 8th birthday Brinley!

Brinley's 8th birthday

On September this not so little girl turned 8. It was our year to have her for her birthday and she wanted to go out to eat for her birthday to ABC Mandarin. Mike and I had to work all day that day, but she was able to spend her special day with her nana. When Mike went on lunch that day, he came home and put together her present. She had decided the only present she wanted was an electric scooter. After Mike and I got off work we just met at the restaurant, so she hadn't been home all day to see her present which was great since it had to charge. We invited Mike's parents to dinner with us and we all had an enjoyable time together. When dinner was done it was time to head home, but Mike's parents needed to go to the store before they came over. Much to our surprise when they showed up at our house they brought some cupcakes and ice cream. Meanwhile, we had arrived at home and I didn't want Brinley to walk in the house until I had my camera out and ready. Her reaction to her present was priceless and I was so glad I caught it on camera.

We then sang, ate cupcakes and ice cream and let her play before it was time for her dad to come get her. I am so glad we got to share her special day with and can't believe how fast time goes when you have kids. Happy 8th birthday Brinley! I hope it was one of the best birthdays yet.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Brinley's second grade field trip

This year Brinley got to go to Black Island Farms for her field trip. I was so glad I was able to go, but sad the Mike couldn't go with us. After he got sick and missed time from work, he couldn't take more time off to go. I had quite a large group of girls by myself. There was 5 all together counting Brinley.

When we first got there we got on the tractor to go get our pumpkins. Luckily no one in my group got big pumpkins that they had to carry around. Brinley was so excited to have her best friend Sage in our group.

When we got done getting our pumpkins the kids were able to go back to the courtyard and play for a little bit before eating lunch.

When they were done playing it was lunch time. Everyone had a lunch but Sage, hers got lost somewhere between the school and Black Island Farms. Since I was taking Brinley with me after the field trip, I had Brinley give Sage her lunch and I took Brinley to eat at Wendy's after before we went and got Kenzley from school.

Mike's hospital stay

We have had quite the couple of months and we owe a lot of it to this guy. Mike decided to quit smoking cigarettes at the beginning of August and since that time had slowly been declining in health. Mike was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis when he was 20 years old. He has been on some consistant medication since that time, with no major problems, until this year. In January Mike decided to try and quit smoking at that time and ended up in the ER and so he picked up the habit again. When he quit in August he was determined to let go of the habit, but his body had other plans. Mike started having bleeding issues since he had quit and it got progressively worse. His doctor tried to stop his bleeding with high doses of prednisone and his body wasn't responding. His doctor worked him up for several different illness that could be causing the bleeding, but they all came back negative. Mike ended up getting a call from his doctor on Monday September 8 informing him that he would need to do a colonoscopy on Thursday September 11 to find out why Mike was bleeding. I quickly requested the time off work so that I could be there with him. When we got to the hospital Mike was checked in and taken back. They got his IV started and pretty soon they were wheeling him away. I just sat in the room and waited, I figured that since I was just waiting I would ask for a doctor's note and take it up to my manager. It wasn't much longer after I returned Mike's doctor came out screaming orders. He wanted to the nurse to start the "500 step admission process" and then he walked around the corner and said, "I'm admitting a 30 year old male Michael K Hodson for severe ulcerative colitis." I have a friend who works in the GI lab and she did give me a heads up the night before that this could be the case, but I didn't really think much of it until I heard the doctor. I completely lost all the composure I had. They hadn't wheeled Mike back to the room so I quickly ran out and asked the nurse if I could go tell my manager so she could start finding coverage for me for the next day. The nurse could see how upset I was and offered to comfort me, but I was so upset I just wanted to walk away. I went and told my manager and shortly after I got back down stairs, Mike returned to his room. He clearly had no idea what was going on. He asked me what was wrong and all I could say was that he was going to have to stay at the hospital. He told me not to worry that we would just be there until he passed some gas and then we could go. I explained to him that wasn't the case and his doctor came in and let him know then news. His doctor said Mike was hemorrhaging on his left side, which later to find out, he just uses that word for any type of bleeding. Mike asked me to call his work and let them know, which I did. I also had texted his mom and asked her to please come to the hospital. I called my mom and let her know what was going on and she was so quick to step up and help out with my girls. Mike was taken to his hospital room where he would be staying for the next 4 days. He was put on GI rest so he couldn't have anything to eat or drink and they also were doing aggressive medication through his IV. The poor guy was so hungry because of the prep for the colonscopy he hadn't had anything to eat since Tuesday night. We found out that Mike was going to have to be on a new medication called Humira, It is an injection that he gets every other week and it costs about $2500 for each injection. He had to have some blood tests done before they could start this medication and we had to wait for the insurance to give the ok that they would pay for the medication. The ok from the insurance came late friday and he was given his first injection on Saturday. We did ask his doctor about the effects of smoking with ulcerative colitis. His doctor said of course he couldn't encourage Mike to smoke, but that he has seen smoking help patients with ulcerative colitis because it decreases their oxygen and blood flow causing them not to have flare ups. He did have Mike on nicotine patches in the hospital to see if it would help anything. I was coming home every night to take care of the girls. I really didn't want them to feel any of the affects from their dad being gone. We would facetime Mike every night before bed and the girls were able to see that their dad was going to be ok. Mike finally got to come home on Sunday September 14. We were so glad to have him home, but he still wasn't himself. It has taken a few weeks for Mike to get back his energy, which is understandable. We are so glad that he is still here with us and seems to be improving a little more each day.

Grandparents Day 2014

 This year for Grandparent's day we didn't see either set of grandparents. It is quite unusual because we usually see at least 1 of the 4 each day. The girls look forward to Grandparent's day every year because it gives us another reason to celebrate. We gave them both a copy of the printable below in a nice frame this year, and the girls are so excited to see them displayed when they visit them. My girls are truly very luck to have both sets of grandparents who love and care for them. I am so appreciative of each one of them and all they do for our family to help us anytime we are in need and even when we are not in need. I honestly don't know where I would be without them.

Swiss days 2014

Every year the friday before labor day, my mother in law and I go up to Midway for Swiss Days. We love looking at all the booths and even make a few fun purchases for the up coming holidays. This year my older two girls were in school and so Skyeley got to the spend the whole day with her grandma and her mom. She loved all the attention, but for some reason didn't travel well at all in the car. She screamed most of the way up and back. When we got done at Swiss Days my mother in law had an appointment in provo and so we decided to stop and eat at Waffle Love for lunch. It did not disappoint. We both got the peaches and cream waffle and Skyeley got a plain waffle with caramel on top. I look forward to this tradition every year and can't wait until my girls are old enough to join in on the fun.

Swimming lessons 2014

This year when we went to the Weber State Easter egg dive, both girls got the easter egg for free swimming lessons at Weber State. We decided we would wait until after summer was over to start taking lessons. They started on September 6 and went for 6 weeks. The absolutely loved it and want to do it again. I'm so proud of both of them and how much they learned in that 6 weeks. Both of the girls are able to move up to the next level and are quickly out growing their fear of water. Each saturday their lessons started with whale's tales, and they would learn new safety techniques for being in and around water. Then they were able to get in the water and learn new techniques to become better swimmers.

Kenzley's camping trip and cousins

Kenzley was able to go camping with Brinley and her family over labor day weekend and had an absolute blast. We had family pictures with Mike's side of the family and so the girls stayed and did family pictures and then my mom drove Brinley and Kenzley to Wyoming so they could camp the rest of the weekend. They had so much fun together and I'm glad that Brinley's other family doesn't mind taking Kenzley along.

The girls were also able to see their cousin Athena, who lives in Nevada that same weekend we did family pictures. They absolutely love and adore her and didn't want her to go home. It is so cute to see them interact with an infant. They are all going to make great mommys some day. 

Kenzley's First Grade Field Trip

This year Kenzley's class went to Hogle Zoo for their first field trip and Mike and I were both able to go. I thought it would be fun to take Skyeley along with us and luckily this year we had Kenzley and one of her friends in our group so it was really easy.

We started by seeing the giraffes and then stopped to get the classic head in the lion water fountain picture.

After we got done with that we went and saw some of the monkeys and then headed over to the elephants. We were able to see the baby elephant out playing while we were there.

We were able to see the rhinos right up close next to the glass and then we went to see if all 3 girls weighed as much as an elephant.

After we were done there we went and saw the eagles and played in the nest.

We stopped and ate lunch after we were done watching the sea lions, they were getting their tank cleaned while we were there by some scuba divers. After we were done with lunch we went and watched the polar bear swim. He swam right up to the glass and Skyeley didn't like it. She did enjoy watching him swim as long as he stayed away from the glass. When we were done seeing the bears we headed to the snake exhibit to see all the creepy, crawly, animals they had. Then we went to see the lions, tigers, and gorillas. Once we had seen all the animals, Mike decided to do the same thing he did last year and buy our group of kids tickets for the carousel.

After we dropped our one child from our group off to the bus, we headed out to lunch with Kenzley and Skyeley to Buca di Beppo. It was so yummy and the girls loved spending the day with us. I'm so glad that Mike and I both work for companies who allow to go and enjoy these exciting times with our kids.

The girls were able to draw a picture of Ramona the ravioli and have it displayed at the podium at Buca di Beppo. They both were so proud of their artwork, that we of course had to take a picture.