Nearly Headless Al {Part 2}

September 24th, 2013 Annelise Posted in all about me, doctor, surgery 5 Comments »

So surgery came pretty quickly.  I felt like it was just enough time to get everything in order, but not enough time to really think about it and get too nervous.  But, like I think I mentioned before, we were really at peace with the decision.  I had no doubt or hesitations about this being the right thing.  In fact, over the almost 7 months all of this was taking place, I started doing my own research and asking questions.  The more I knew, the more it all made sense.  I never would have thought I had thyroid issues before, but it was like a big AH HA once I knew!  The last 2 1/2 years had been hard for me.  Really hard.  I blamed my emotional state and extreme exhaustion on having three kids.  I just figured I wasn't cut out for it, and no matter what, I'd never figure out how to make it work.  There were also other things — my incredibly irregular and unpredictable visits from Auntie Flow, getting sick way more than I have before, etc.  All of those things can be effected by your thyroid.  So it was almost a relief to think we were finally having explanations and answers, and moving forward in a positive direction.

My mom showed up Wednesday morning.  Erik had taken the day off.  I was ready.  Check-in, pre-op, all the stuff went smoothly and as planned.  I saw a LOT of people before the actual surgery.  Someone was almost always coming in or out for the hour before they took me back.  And every single one of them asked me, "So what are we doing for you today?"  By about the fifth time I had heard that, I asked, "You guys aren't asking me because YOU don't know, you just want to make sure I know, right????"  All the while, my main attending nurse was getting me all prepped.  I tried to get away with still wearing minimal unmentionables under the robe, but they wanted me in naught but my skivies.  The robe was pretty fancy, though.  Lots of holes for plugs and cords, and also lots of ties to keep everything where it should be.  They put some compressers on my legs to keep the circulation flowing.  I also got a lovely head cap, and some fancy yellow socks.  The best part was, at the foot of my bed was the sink and mirror.  So once everything was done, and all we had to do was wait for them to wheel me back, I had a nice view of my silly self.  I told Erik he'd better take a picture so he could show the boys.

And then it was show time.  After a few quiet minutes, it was a big shuffle of people and pushing and wheeling and lots of commotion, with a quick smooch and a hand squeeze from my dear husband.  Right as we were walking about the hall, the anesthesiologist came to pump something into my IV.  "This will start calming things down."  And as we walked down the hall he asked if I could feel it yet.  Yes!  I was feeling dizzy and foggy already.  If you've never been in surgery or under anesthesia, it's really a bizzare thing.  I've had two knee surgeries before this, so I kind of knew what was coming,  But it's still really weird.  The going out and waking up are seriously like you see in a movie, when they show you first person.  It's a lot of noises, people talking, long heavy blinks.  I remember them telling me they were going to move me from the bed to the table, and then that was it.  The next moment it was foggy and muffled noises again, but this time more quiet, and I could tell I was propped up.  People asking me questions, me kind of not knowing what to say or how to say it.  I remember at one point seeing Erik in the corner and lifiting my incredibly heavy hand up to wave to him.  I was afraid maybe he didn't notice, so I did it again.  I kind of heard Erik telling the nurse how long he'd been waiting and what time it was.  When I realized it was 6:00 pm (!!!!!) I told him he'd better go home to the boys, and I'd be in touch.  

Then I don't remember anything else until 8:00.  I was finally starting to feel more lucid, but still so so so tired and heavy.  Erik texted me a couple pics as he was putting the boys to bed.  Then I was out again until midnight.  I was finally able to feel awake enough to get out of bed with the nurse's help, use the bathroom, brush my teeth, and pull my hair back.  My nurse that evening and night was so awesome.  She really was the sweetest, and kept making sure I had enough crackers and snacks and drinks.  One of the things they monitor after thyroid surgery is calcium.  The parathyroid is what makes calcium and can often be disrupted from the surgery, so they want to make sure it stays stable.  Mine started dropping during the night, so they put me on some Tums and vit D with a yogurt.  We did this every four hours.  I was initially going to be going home that morning, but when the surgeon came by to visit, my calcium was even lower.  He wanted me to stay 4 more hours until they could test me again.

Finally, I was discharged at almost 2:00 the next afternoon.  I had orders to continue popping Tums and vit D, and go back the next morning to get my blood drawn for another calcium test.  The boys had been over at the neighbor's while Erik came to get me.  We came home, got me settled into bed, and then the boys came home.  Emmett and Owen were especially happy to see me, that I thought I might be able to handle them quietly watching Curious George next to me in bed.  And Erik thought that might be a good time for him to mow to the lawn.  Haha.  NOT!  That lasted maybe 7 minutes, before I was ready to kick those jumping monkeys off my bed and get some more rest.

The next morning, Erik had to go back to work.  My wonderful mom came back down to spend the day.  She took the boys to swimming lessons, did more laundry in a day than I usually do in a month, and all that other fancy stuff moms do for their surgery recovering daughters.  I tried a few times to get up, but I was still feeling so dizzy and lightheaded.  At noon, my surgeon called to make sure I'd gone to get my blood tested.  I hadn't.  So off I went, and back I came, pretty painlessly and quickly.  As the day went on, I was getting more dizzy, more lightheaded, and my fingers and arms started feeling numb.  Then my nose started tinkling.  At about 4, my surgeon called and said, "You need to get to the ER and get a calcium IV right now."  Ugh.  Ugh ugh ugh.  So I called Erik.  My mom loaded the boys up in the car, then drove me over to the hospital.  She took the boys back home and Erik met me there shortly.  They took some more blood, and got my IV going.  We asked why my calcium level was such a big deal in the first place.  My bones would go soggy?  Apparently it also has something really important to do with my heart and brain, too.  Who knew??  So how long will this take?  About 2 1/2 hours.  I turn to Erik, tell him to get home and help my mom with the boys and dinner, and I'd call when I was done.  Blah!!  The next morning I had to go back again for another blood test to continue monitoring my calcium level.  Still too low.  Another IV.  Sunday I went again when Erik and the boys were at church.  Finally I didn't need an IV!!  By now, my poor poor arms were so sore and bruised.  I have great veins, but there's only so much even great veins can handle.

A couple days later, I was starting to feel better.  Still a bit sore and tender on my neck, but pretty much back to pre-surgery at this point.  I had my post-op appointment.  What I hadn't really even thought about was that also at this appointment, they'd have my pathology report.  That was the first time I heard "papillary thyroid carcinoma."  That means I had cancer.  Have cancer???  I didn't know.  And the surgeon was hesitant give me any information about what was next since that wasn't his specialty.  He just takes the stuff out.  I'd have to wait 6 weeks to see Dr. Ahmad before we had anymore answers.  

The next six weeks were long.  And hard.  I was feeling fine from the surgery, but I felt myself getting more and more fatigued.  I was going in for regular blood tests to continue monitoring my calcium (which although it wasn't dangerously low, still wasn't in the normal range) but it wasn't from that.  I felt sluggish.  Heavy.  Like every move I had to make was an effort.  I was so so so so sooooo tired.  I was useless.  So all of that played really well with my depression and anxiety difficulties.  Ha!  Six weeks is also a long time to wonder and NOT KNOW!  I hate not knowing.  Again, I did research, talked to lots of people, etc, and had some ideas in mind.  I knew radio iodine was on the table.  I had lots of questions.  My appointment was on a Monday.  I was ready, and very much anticipating it.  The Thursday before, they called to confirm it.  And ask if I'd had a chance to get my lab work done.  Uh.  What lab work??  It made sense, but that didn't mean anybody actually told me about it.  Or that it needed to be done at least a week before the appointment,.  Ugh.  So I went in first thing the next morning, right in between dropping O off at school and my room mom meeting.  But I still had to reschedule my appointment until the next Friday.

So finally FINALLY it's Friday.  I am ready.  So ready.  And so nervous.  I called Erik on my way (I told him he had to be there with me, I couldn't do this alone) and he didn't answer.  I called him when I got there and he still didn't answer.  I called him one more time, and when he answered, I started crying, "Where are you?!  You have to be here with me!!"  And of course he was.  I was just a wee bit worked up.  We didn't have to wait long at all to see Dr. Ahmad.  He came in, took a look at my scar, and asked how the surgery went.  Then he asked how I was feeling.  "Tired!!!" And before I could go into my prepared speech of how awful and exhausted I felt, and yadda yadda poor poor me, please believe me, there's gotta be something we can do, etc etc, he nodded and said, "Yeah.  I'm going to change your medication dose."  Just like that!  Angels started singing.  Then we talked about the cancer.  I don't remember the details, or the exact words.  I just remember the sense of calm, peace, and relief.  We had done the right thing by taking the whole thyroid out.  We had found it early enough.  I was not going to need radio iodine therapy.  I was cancer free, and Dr. Ahdmad intends to keep me that way.  He asked if we had any questions.  Well yeah, I had had a million.  But once again, he had already answered them all before I could ask.  He shook our hands, and left.  I looked at Erik and smiled.  "Well that was easy!!"

So there ya have it!!!  The whole and complete and way too long story of Nearly Headless Al.  You've seen the Harry Potter movie, right?? When the kids first meet Nearly Headless Nick.  Hermione asks, "Nearly headless?  How can someone be nearly headless??"  Then he grabs the top of his head and pulls it almost all the way off.  That's me now.  With a big ol' scar across my neck to prove it.  Really, though, the worst thing I can say about this experience is that it's been a nuisance.  Annoying.  An inconvenience at worst.  But it's also been an incredibly awesome opportunity to witness the Lord's hand in my life.  This could have turned out soooooo differently.  But it didn't.  The pieces all came together so perfectly, that I can't even doubt for an instant that it was all the Lord's plan and we had been so so blessed.  The large cyst that started this all wasn't even the cancer, it was benign.  If we had only taken that side out, we never would have even known (at least not yet) that I had cancer.  I have also been so touched by the love and service shown to us by friends, family, neighbors, ward members, etc.  We've had dinners, treats, countless babysitters, prayers.  I've been so touched by all the people reaching out.   My mom has been so incredible, not just to get me through that first week with all the days she spent here, but for helping me out on a moment's notice any other time I've needed her.  My three little boys have been great little troopers, dealing with their tired old mom who yells way too much and does far too little for them.  Erik has been amazing, by my side this entire time, never questioning the disgusting piles of dishes in the sink or why he once again has no clean underwear, and always putting up with me when I once again have a break down.  I love my friends, I love my family, I love my Heavenly Father, and I love my life!!  And I bet you love that I am finally done writing. ūüėČ  

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Nearly Headless Al {Part 1}

September 22nd, 2013 Annelise Posted in all about me, doctor, surgery 3 Comments »

"Nearly headless?  How can someone be NEARLY headless??" -Hermione Granger

Back in January, at my yearly check-up, my doctor was feeling my thyroid.  "This is huge.  You have a really big lump here, did you know that?"  Um, no.  "Have you been sick or anything?"  Uh, not really.  Like a couple of nasty colds…?  "No, that wouldn't do it."  So my doctor sends me to get my blood drawn for lab work, and then down to the hospital for an ultrasound.

About a week later, my doctor calls with the results.  There is a 2 cm cyst on the left side of my thyroid, and several smaller cysts in varying size on both sides of my thyroid.  So now my doctor tells me to go back to the hospital for a biopsy. 

The biopsy would only take about 10 minutes, but it would involve a very large needle going into my neck.  That's all I knew.  I didn't sound horrible, though.  Needles don't bother me, as long as they don't stay in me (read: IV).  So I went in the next week.  I had to wait forever in a small dark room with a creepy horse on the wall.  Finally the ultrasound technician came in, told me we were still waiting for someone, and someone else.  Those two someone's finally came, plus another guy, and the person actually doing the biospy.  I was in a tiny room surrounded by 5 people I didn't know. Not my favorite moment, but I stayed cool.  The tech gave me my instructions, "Don't move or talk or breathe heavy, and do NOT swallow when the needle is in."  Ok…  The doctor started shuffling me around to get my neck tipped far enough back (pretty much my head was hanging off the top of the table) and he wasn't exactly the gentlest.  No big deal…Let's do this.  Then the needle goes in.  Ow.  Then the doctor bounces it up and down several times.  Oh ow.  Then he starts speaking pretty sternly to the tech because he doesn't like her angle.  While he's bouncing a big needle up and down in my throat and I am not allowed to swallow.  Which of course meant, the only thing my body wanted me to do at that moment was SWALLOW!  Finally, he pulls the needle out and I think, Oh thank heavens, I'm done.  Then the doctor says, "Ok, that was the first, only 4 more to go."  This is when I started fighting the tears from rolling down my almost upside face.  The rest of the experience was more of the same.  The doctor almost yelled at the tech several more times.  In between bouncing of the needle, there was lots of wiggling and digging because he couldn't get the right spot, and even an "Oh man, we ruptured that."  Like "we" had anything to do with that?!  When it was finally done, everyone just left.  The tech grabbed me an ice pack and recommened tylenol before she was on her way, too.  And then I was sitting there in a dark room, with that seriously creepy horse, and I had no idea what had just happened to me. 

I went back out to my car as fast as I could.  I kept it pretty much together until then.  But not anymore.  I had a good ol' cry (you know, the ugly kind where you do the hiccup breathing?) before I headed home.  I cannot really explain why it was such an awful experience for me, and I have no doubt I sound like such a wimp (duh, I am!).  For some reason, though, it was a very emotional and invasive procedure for me.  It still makes me uncomfortable thinking about it.  It is not something I ever want to do again.

About another week goes by when my doctor calls me back.  The results were "inconclusive."  At this point, she said I should see a thyroid specialist, and she recommended a great one.  Dr. Ahmad put me at ease at my first appointment.  He was so informative.  I had my list of questions, and he answered every one before I could even ask.  We ended the appointment with, "What do we do next?"  Well, we give my poor sore bruised neck time to heal, and then I come back in 6 weeks so he can do his own biopsies.  Yes.  Biopsy-SSSSS!  One for each side of the thyroid.

So I had six weeks to work myself up about my DOUBLE biopsy.  I did not not not not NOT want to go through that again!!  Especially once on each side!  By appointment day, I was a nervous wreck.  Add in that Erik couldn't be there to hold my hand and see what a truly traumatic experience it was, and I was doing my best to keep it together.  Well let me tell you, this Dr. isn't a specialist for nothing!!!  The room was still dark, but there was a huge screen I got to watch on.  His nurse did the ultrasound, and both she and he talked to me telling me what they were doing the whole time.  He still did 4 needles on each side, but bBoth of the biopsies were done in less time than the single one I had gotten at the hospital.  What a blessing!!  The nurse told me afterwards that it was highly unlikely the results would come back inconclusive.  Dr. Ahamd is one of the highest ranked doctors for cell samples at the lab they send to (or something like that) and only 1 in 100 come back inconclusive.  So now I wait.

By now it's the beginning of July.  We had our amazing family vacation to California.  My appointment for the biopsy results was scheduled for first thing the morning after we came home.  In a nutshell, the left side, the one with the 2 cm cyst, was still inconclusive.  The right side was "suspicious."  And so, Doctor recommended surgery.  I was surprisingly calm.  Even when he told me he had already scheduled me an appointment with a surgeon upstairs and down the hall RIGHT THEN!  I barely had time to call my mom, who was babysitting, to tell her I would be longer than I expected and I'd talk to her asap.  I met with the ENT surgeon who also agreed surgery was the best option at this point.  And I was still calm.  Everything felt right.  He sent me to his scheduler.  She gave me options for surgery dates.  I called Erik, who until now, had heard nothing from me, told him "I'm going to have surgery, we'll talk more later, but what day works for you?!"  Ha!  And just like that I was scheduled for a total thyroidectomy on July 31.   

To be continued . . . . ūüėČ    

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Mothers’ Day

June 1st, 2012 Annelise Posted in all about me, love, Mom and Boys, proud mama 1 Comment »

May 11, 2012

Samuel is not a Mama's boy.  He has always been very independent, not very snuggly, and very much in love with his Daddy.  And as he's gotten older, I think I tend to take that for granted and think he doesn't need me as much.  So when his preschool class had a special day for their mothers, I felt it was really important to have Erik watch the other two so I could go and be there, just me and my Sam.  When I walked in, Sam ran over to me, "Mom! You're here!!" and that alone made it worth it.  Then each of the kids got a turn to read their special book made for their mothers.  Miss Julie asked them questions, and wrote down their answers word for word.  After the first 3 kids, the answers were sounding very similar.  So I was very impressed and touched by Samuel's thoughful and personal answers.  It really validated a lot of the "little things" that I often assume don't make that big of a difference.  Obviously, some things are sticking, and that felt really good to know.

So, no secret the last several months have been tough for me.  Emotionally stable person that I am, I've been using brownies, ice cream, and a lot of Dr Pepper to cope.  Clearly it shows.  But nevermind how nasty I am, look at the grin on this boy!  And he totally put his arm around me.  Also, note the "spinosaurus hair" that he insisted on doing himself.  My word, I sure do love my Samaram. 

After the little program, the kids all served their mothers some muffins.  Sam also asked if he could bring one home for Owen.  Cute. ūüôā  I didn't want our special afternoon to end, so I asked if he wanted to go get a treat.  Samuel chose a slushie from 7-11, and we sat in the car talking about how even though I was a mom to all three of my boys, he was the one who made me a mother.  Aw shucks. 

May 13, 2012  

My best Mothers' Day yet!!  Nevermind that most of us had been sick, were sick, or would soon be sick.  Still a really great day.  Erik didn't have any Sunday meetings, so I got to take my time getting ready for church.  Which was pretty easy since only Sam and I were going.  Sam wanted to stay home, too, but I wanted him to sing to me!!!  His first year in Primary, he was sick and didn't go on Mothers' Day.  His second year, (which also happened to be the day I got released as the Primary president, so I was already pretty emotional) Erik took Sam out to pee right before the kids got up to sing, and they came back just in time for all the kids to sit back down.  I had heard Samuel practicing the song at home this year, so I selfishly dragged him to church with me, and didn't let him stay home with the other sickies.  So all the kids marched up to the stand, Samuel wiggled his way right to the front, and he BELTED out that song.  Several people chuckled and whispered or turned around to smile at me.  I'm sure I had the stupidest grin on my face, as the tears were rolling.  Then the second verse started.  Samuel did not know that one as well as the first.  He got quiet, but if there was a word or phrase he knew, you heard it!!  Then the chorus started and he was singing/hollering over everybody else again.  Not gonna lie, it was one of the most darling things I have ever seen from my Sambo.  Melted this big mama heart.  Afterwards, Samuel asked me if I thought Dad could hear him at home.  Ha!

After church and naps, I didn't want to let the beautiful day slip away.  Nielsen's Grove is one of our favorite places to go for an easy adventure.  So we loaded up with some stale bread, a couple balls, and the stroller.  We all really enjoyed the time there.  Then we came home for the dinner.  Erik made some amazing cheeseburgers.  He also got a sweet card and had the boys sign it.  And I got a new water bottle.  Simple.  Thoughtful. My favorite.  Such a wonderful day.  I am so glad to be a mother, and I'm so blessed to have such amazing mothers in my life. 



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Party of Five

August 17th, 2011 Annelise Posted in all about me, catching up, Dad and Emmett, Emmett M, family, hospital, update 2 Comments »

August 9 – August 11, 2011

38 weeks 5 days.

So Erik wrote a great account of the birth day.  If you haven't read it yet, CLICK HERE.  He did a great job with all the details.  When Erik gave me a blessing the night before, he mentioned that I would be able to get through the trials of the day.  I figured it meant the trial of birth, not the trial of sitting around waiting to give birth!  It was a long day, and so different from each of the other two experiences, but I like that each boy gets his own special story.  It was really strange to be prepared for it and not be going to the hospital in the middle of the night.  My body is pretty speedy at this labor stuff (once I'm getting my pitocin) so again, they took me off it.  With the other two births, things stopped moving along, though, so they put me back on.  This time, I didn't need it once I went off.  So the last little bit was all me.  Also, this time around, they put Emmett on me right away, and Erik got to cut the cord.  Niether of those things has happened before, so that was really neat, too.  We had some really nice quiet time in the delivery room afterwards, just the three of us, before we all took Emmett to the nursery to get cleaned up, and then got myself dropped off in our new room. 

Snuggles, before and after a little clean up.

Getting a bit cleaned up, and weighed.  He was so so tiny to me.  I thought he was like 6 pounds.  I couldn't believe when he weighed in over 8!

I did it!  And look what I got for it! ūüôā

In the nursery.

Sweet moment.  Love this new baby.  Love this man.

I really enjoyed the hospital stay.  In fact, I was really looking forward to that special time.  With Samuel, we booked it out of there pretty quick.  No reason for us to stick around.  With Owen, we took our time, recovered and relaxed a bit, then headed home after our 48 hours were up.  I wanted to do the same thing this time around.  Erik was so great complying with all my requests and sleeping on that horrible pull out chair for two nights.  My mom was spectacular to care for the two olders.  The boys visited me both days in the hospital.  I can't tell you how amazing the moment was when the door opened and Erik walked in holding a big bunch of balloons (that my mom and the boys had gotten the night before), and each boy came bouncing in with a present for the baby (also something my mom did with the boys) just grinning and staring at Emmett and me with big wide eyes and huge grins.  Each boy got a chance to hold the baby, and we visited for a bit before Emmett had to head to the nursery and Erik took Sam and O home for lunch and a nap.

O wasn't quite sure what to think at first, but once he saw Sam totally comfortable and at ease, he was ready for his turn.

Very interested in the diaper change.

Quiet time with Mom.

Erik went home and brought the boys and Mormor by to visit me in the hospital again the next morning.  Then we spent the afternoon checking out, and getting a nap in ourselves before leaving the hospital.  The evening was pretty low key at home.  And dare I say, normal.  Emmett is really such a good little baby.  And a sleepy baby!!!  He is sweet and snuggly and oh so kissable.  Both of the boys are smitten by him.  And so are we.  Happy little party of five! 

Several times I would need to pass off Emmett, asking Erik to either hold him or put him in the baby bin.  Erik always chose to hold him.

First photo of the FIVE of us.  Pretty sure I love how crazy and not perfect this picture is.  That's just who we are.  And I love it.

Getting dressed!

Just waiting for the nurse to discharge us.

Going home!!  Hope you're ready for this, Emmett M!

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Family of Four

August 8th, 2011 Annelise Posted in all about me, Lambert, preggo 1 Comment »

This is our last night as a family of four.  Big changes headed our way.  I hear people have three kids.  And even survive.  I'm still really scared.  Like really really.  I've been putting off blogging because I am so behind and I have like a bajillion things I want to document before Lambert comes . . . which is tomorrow.  So I guess now is the time to get crack a lackin.

Let's talk about this pregnancy.  It was so so different from my other two.  Besides it being the sickest one by far (oh, you remember all those early posts of barfing and wanting to die for 2 months, right??), I've also had the most pregnancy symptoms.  But I've talked about most of the already, too (the reflux, my sciatic, etc).  What's probably surprised me the most is how fast it went by.  Really, I can't believe it's already here.  I am going to have a baby tomorrow.  My mom commented just a little while ago that Erik and I sure are taking it pretty easy with this baby coming tomorrow.  I responded that it's because neither one of us really thinks it's going to happen.  Having two kids has kept me awfully distracted. We've also stayed super busy and had lots going on to keep time moving along quickly.  I dreaded being pregnant through the summer, but in all honesty, it hasn't been that bad.  The AC, the shaded backyard, the pool, and lots of fans at night have been my friend and kept it mostly bearable.  Oh, I've been uncomfortable.  And I've let everyone know it.  But it's pretty standard uncomfortable that comes with the territory, I think. 

A few more things I want to remember about this time around . . . this little Lamb sits up pretty dang high.  It's been almost impossible to get in any sort of comfortable position while sitting.  His little bum had been perched up high right under my left ribs, with his feet sticking out across me and his toes wedging under my right ribs.  His head is just barely below my belly button.  I feel him so far over on both sides, it's crazy.  He still does this crazy painful thing to my bladder that I can't even explain.  It's the worst the first time I wake up each night to pee.  I literally can't even stand up straight as I walk to the bathroom.  For the first out of at least 4 times.  My record is 7.  Between going to bed at 11 and the boys waking me up at 6:30, I woke up SEVEN times one night to pee.  And quiet little Lambert sure has perked up these last few weeks.  I don't know that he compares to his wild older brothers, but he's definintely livened up from when he first got his name from the Sheepish Lion.  I have also had major contractions, and just about anything will give them to me.  I cannot stand up from the sofa, the floor, the table, anything, without a contraction.  I definitely didn't feel that with the other two.  I feel like there's so much more, but I can't think of it right now.  So anywho . . .

I don't like change, but we've got a lot coming our way!!  It's such a bittersweet thing.  I am terrified.  Have I said that before?  I feel like Sam is prepared as he can be.  He's going to be amazing.  Owen, well, he has no idea what's in store.  And I'm anticipating a rocky couple of weeks with him.  But I'm really excited to meet this little babe who's been hanging out with me for the last 9 months.  I'm ready to get him in my arms and take on this next step.  Which is good.  Since it's coming tomorrow!

Samuel, 5 days old.

Owen, 1 week old. 

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30 Weeks: Lots on My Mind

June 7th, 2011 Annelise Posted in all about me, Lambert, Mom and Boys, preggo 6 Comments »

30 weeks.  Kind of a significant marker in the pregnancy.  Pretty much, it's gone fast.  Here's what's going on with me right now.  Braxton Hicks like cuh-raaaaaazy!  They come often and I get some pretty strong ones that make me pause.  Nothing painful yet, but certainly uncomfortable.  I have good and bad sciatic days.  One day I can barely walk, stand up, or sit down without wanting to cry, and others it barely even bothers me.  Any signs of reflux are just about gone.  I started on Prevacid several weeks ago and it's been a lifesaver!!  I've been feeling pretty much good and chipper recently.

But this last week I may have hit the downward slope.  I've been mega uncomfortable and so so moody.  I am tired and cranky.  I feel gigantic.  This big belly just seems to be getting more and more in the way, and it bugs me.  I cannot find a position to relax in ever.  My back is killing me.  Lambert sits up pretty high (as did the other two) so it's almost impossible for me to sit without feeling like I'm crushing something.  I swear this kid gets his hands on my bladder, squeezes and twists.  I have never in my life felt the kind of pressure he puts on it!  I still have nasty red splotches on my face that have been there since about 6 weeks.  They move around my lovely little face, and have found a greatly attractive spot under my nose and across the top of my mouth.  Seriously, I'm so ugly.  The weather has been pretty pleasant, but we've had a couple hot days that made me so extra fat and swollen.  And the two little boys I chase after all day wear me out in every way possible.   

Those two little boys have also helped this whole thing go by pretty dang fast, though.  It's crazy how different each pregnancy can be.  Not just the physical part, but having 2 kids while pregnant has been so completely different than having just one.  It's enough to keep me busy and not focusing on the pregnancy so much.  It often seems like I won't feel Lambert all day long until that evening when I'm sitting down on the sofa and taking the time to notice.  But he's definitely starting to take up lots of space and let me know he's there.  Still pretty quiet compared to the other two, and while both Owen and Sam totally loved my left side, Lambert is always on my right.  When I'm sitting, I can now watch my stomach bounce all over the place.  It's pretty fun.  And pretty amazing.  Third time around, and that part still doesn't get old; the miracle of a real live little person inside of me.  So weird. 

Sam continues to talk about and ask about Lambert.  Owen has even picked up on the whole thing a bit, too; as best he can, anyway.  He was sitting next to me one evening on the sofa drinking his milk, when he randomly just patted my tummy and said "Baby in 'ere."  It was the first time he'd ever made any sort of acknowledgement about it, and it came out of nowhere, all on his own.  I thought it was pretty sweet.  O also gets that his old room is now the baby's room.  Every time we go up for nap or bed, he points and tells me, "No Owen's room, dat's Baby room."  One time he did run in there, and ask me, "Where da baby?!" so I reminded him Baby was still in my tummy and he just giggled.

So, I'm also feeling pretty anxious about this THIRD baby deal.  It's just so very strange.  I know I panicked before Owen, too, and wondered what it would be like.  Then it just happens, and that's your new life, and you never look back.  But I'm still pretty much terrified.  Owen has a very different personality from Samuel, who is so independent and carefree, and has always preferred Daddy to me, anyway.  O, on the other hand, is much more needy and demanding.  He loves his Mommy, to say the least, and has a melt down if I dare step out of sight.  I see a lot of changes and adjusting ahead!!  I also know how much I struggle just to stay on top of the basics here at home, and by basic I'm not even including a clean kitchen and having the laundry done.  Plus the boys are on a rotten sleep schedule.  They are both up by 6:45 at the latest.  It kills me.  It makes for crazy long and tiring days.  I swear they need more sleep, but no one else seems to believe me.  If Sam is up that early, I want him in bed at 7.  But that never happens.  Owen at least still naps, so if he's sleeping from 12:30 or 1 until 4, I'm not going to put him to bed at 7 when Sam should be ready.  And I don't think Sam should get to stay up as late as Owen if he isn't napping.  It's just a big mess right now, and it's really taking a toll on me, so I can't even imagine what it's going to be like when we add in being up every 2 hours at night with the baby.  And I don't seem to make easy babies.  I have pretty high maintenance kids.  So that worries me, too. 

But all at the same time, I am very excited to meet this little Lamb and sometimes all I want is to look at his little face and hold him in my arms.  I am looking forward to seeing what he brings to our family.  So far, Samuel and Owen have each brought a very different light into our home.  I am confident Lambert will have his own special place here with all of us. 


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20 Weeks Huge

March 31st, 2011 Annelise Posted in all about me, doctor, Lambert, preggo, Sam says 9 Comments »

Halfway there.¬† Kind of crazy.¬† I am still deciding if it went fast or not.¬† 20 more weeks is still a while to go.¬† August is a long way away.¬† But¬†right now I think that’s a good thing.¬† I’m still shaking in my boots thinking about three . . . three BOYS!¬† I’m also so unbelieveably excited to add another blonde hair blue eyed hooligan to the mix.¬† It’s going to be so fun.

So the first 20 weeks have been rough.¬† I haven’t hid that.¬† Although I’m not throwing up every day¬†(my record is 9 days without!!¬†¬†But usually its more like every 3 days or so, and that doesn’t count my regular morning vomit every time I brush my teeth) I’m still pretty nauseous on a regular basis.¬† Food is still mostly gross to me, and smells of any sort knock me over.¬† I haven’t gained any weight yet, in fact¬†right now I’m less than when I first got pregnant.¬† I have no doubt that’s going to change fast.¬† My sciatic is already starting to bug me.¬† Forget indigestion, I went right to reflux.¬† Ugh.¬† And I’m already having braxton hicks contractions.¬† Isn’t there supposed to be a middle part where I get to enjoy this a bit?¬† But that sounds a lot more negative than I really feel.¬† I’m just getting old and fat, and my body sure ain’t what it used to be.¬† I’m finally feeling what I know is the baby, and I love it.¬† That seemed to take forever.¬† I still don’t feel him a lot, and part of that as we discovered in the ultrasound is because my placenta is on top of/in front of the baby.¬† I’m sure he’ll get moving soon, though.¬†

Samuel is excited about the baby.¬† He likes to talk about it and ask questions.¬† I love that!¬† It’s so fun to see him so aware and really internalize it.¬† Sam reminds me almost daily that I’m getting fatter.¬† Every time I eat he asks if I’m feeding the baby, too.¬† He also told us tonight at dinner that the baby can see my heart and into my lungs and he sees all the food I swallow.¬† Before the ultrasound, Samuel was confident he was getting another brother.¬† I asked what would happen if he got a sister.¬† He said, “It’s a brother, I know it!”¬† When I came home from the ultrasound, Samuel was giddy to see the pictures.¬† He laughed and giggled the whole time I pointed things out to him.¬† Then we named the baby Lambert.¬†

So, as far as the ultrasound went, everything looked perfect.¬†¬†I was so so so anxious about it.¬† I don’t remember anticipating the ultrasounds nearly as much with either of the other boys.¬† (Of course I was still excited with them, I just don’t remember it being as intense.)¬† Baby was being pretty shy and had his legs crossed most of the time.¬† Thankfully, while she took measurements and such, the technician kept checking back to see if he had exposed himself yet.¬† After I was really starting to wonder if we would get a peak, we finally got it.¬† Oh!¬† We’ve seen that before!!¬†¬†Lambert also kept his face hidden most of the time.¬† We would see bits, but never the whole thing.¬† We poked and prodded and jiggled, but he kept his face nuzzled up to my placenta or tucked into my pelvis.¬† But he seemed pretty ok in there with his ankles crossed and both arms up, hands tucked¬†behind his head.¬†¬†Lambert must be getting nice and comfortable for the next 20 weeks.

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March 9th, 2011 Annelise Posted in all about me, crafty, quilt 4 Comments »

I was so happy to finally COMPLETE something.¬† This has been in the works for a while.¬† I totally go in stints.¬† I cut, pieced, and did all the sashing.¬† Then it sat around forever without the border.¬† By then I had missed the baby shower deadline.¬† When I finally got to the border, I messed it up and got frustrated.¬† Imagine!¬† So I missed the birth/Christmas gift deadline.¬† Next stop, baby blessing deadline!¬† I busted out the border, which took a whole 10 minutes.¬† I’m such a loser for putting it off for so long.¬† Then I talked my good friend Elizabeth into quilting it for me.¬† She is uber talented.¬† She helped me decide on what to do for the back since the lady at the quilt store was nice enough to explain to me that I really didn’t want to buy a whole other length of fabric for just 6 inches, especially if I had scraps.¬† (I think now I might even like the back more than the front.¬† It’s so cute.)¬† I was so so happy with the quilting that Elizabeth did.¬† I think it worked out so perfectly to go with the fun and whimsy of the quilt.¬† So after busting out some serious hand stitching, I finished the binding in one day and FINALLY got to pass the quilt off to a much deserving friend and her darling little addition.¬†

The feeling of a successful completion motivated me to finish another quilt I’ve had sitting around forever.¬† All I had to do was stitch up 3 more sides of binding.¬†¬†Ridiculous that it sat around for so long like that.¬† This one I’m keeping for myself.¬† I did ALL of it, 100%.¬† First quilt to ever do the cutting, stitching, quilting, machine and hand binding all by myself.¬† I’m kind of proud of it.¬† I’m going to make Erik hang it this weekend.

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Crafty What?!

December 20th, 2010 Annelise Posted in all about me, crafty, friends 6 Comments »

So for Christmas this year, I thought I’d try my hand at that thing called craftiness.¬† One of the projects I have known for a while I wanted to do was make a superhero cape for Samuel’s best little buddy, Mr. J.¬† And once I planned that out, I didn’t think it was fair for¬†Miss E, J’s little sis and Owen’s girlfriend, to not have one, too.¬† A couple years ago I sewed a cape for Samuel.¬† He plays with it often.¬† Since then, I’ve worked on a few quilting projects, but no other sewing.¬† I am by no means even good at this, and there¬†are so so many mistakes.¬† But I was still pretty pleased with how they turned out.¬† We finally delivered them today.¬† And by we, I mean I drove in the car and made Sam walk through the snow storm¬†with strict instructions to tell our friends, “Merry Christmas, and thanks for being such SUPER friends!”¬† ¬†Anyway, this post is mostly for mi Madre so she can see the prodigy I am becoming. ūüėõ


I have a couple more little crafty things I put together this year, but I’ll post those later so as not to spoil any surprises.

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Peace and Comfort

October 15th, 2010 Annelise Posted in all about me 8 Comments »

No pictures of my cute kids.¬† No funny stories to share.¬† This post is all me.¬† The Big A-Lise putting it all out there.¬† I just feel like it needs to be done.¬† So bear with me.¬† Or don’t.¬† That’s ok, too.

It‚Äôs been a rough week.¬† Rough month.¬† Rough year?¬† I‚Äôm a big baby.¬† I struggle and I‚Äôm still trying to learn how to deal.¬† I‚Äôve been seeing my doctor for the past few years dealing with anxiety and depression, and I still feel like I’ve got a lot to learn.¬† Blah blah blah.¬†¬†

So after a particularly difficult week, I asked Erik to put Owen to bed for me tonight.¬† As they were going upstairs, I got a really upsetting phone call.¬† It was the detonator.¬†¬†As I sat on the sofa nursing Sam’s little bee sting, I willed myself to keep it together until Erik came back down and offered a silent prayer for peace and comfort.¬†¬†When Erik came back, I stepped out of the room and¬†lost it.¬† I got a hold of myself, but still couldn’t control the shaking, the quick¬†breathing,¬†or the urge to vomit.¬† Erik took Sam into his room for a little¬†computer time,¬†so I could continue getting¬†back to a good place.¬† When Sam¬†was halfway up the stairs for bed and said “Wait, I need to give¬†Mom a hug and kiss” I started feeling better.¬† But I continued to ask my¬†Father in Heaven for the peace and comfort in my mind and heart that I needed so badly.¬† Erik came back down again,¬†put his arm around me, and didn’t even murmur¬†when I put on Project Runway for us to watch.¬† Then¬†Owen started talking.¬† He’d been silent for 30 minutes.¬† Very unusual for him, especially after only one 45 minute nap in the car today.¬† We listened to him talk for several minutes before I figured I’d better check for poops or barfies.¬† I went in to little Owen’s room.¬† He was sitting in his bed jabbering to his blankets.¬† He didn’t see me come in, so I leaned over his bed, he reached up and touch my face, and said “Hi Ma!”¬† I scooped up my Bubs.¬† He put his sweet arms around my neck, his head on my shoulder, and¬†didn’t budge while we rocked in his chair.¬† About 15 minutes later¬†O was still on¬†my shoulder with his arms around me.¬† Snoring.¬† And I felt peace and comfort.

I love my husband who I swear still doesn’t have a¬†clue, but loves me regardless.¬† I love my sweet baby boys who so quickly forget how imperfect I am.¬† And I love my Heavenly Father who knows me and hears me.¬†

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.¬† Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”¬† John 14:27

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