Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas break in Utah

The day after Christmas, we drove to Utah to stay for a week.

The kids got spoiled by the grandparents.

We went to see Star Wars, played in the snow, went sledding, saw friends and family, and just hung out.

The kids weren't quite sure what to think of the snow. Zach pretty much just stood there not knowing what to do and Emmy kept complaining she was cold.

We went to Temple Square on New Years Eve.

It was a lovely trip.

Christmas Day

On Christmas Day we pretty much just hung around and played with the new toys the kids got. We also went on a walk to pick some oranges to take back to Utah.

And we got out the fancy china and had tamales for our Christmas dinner that our friends from church brought over.

It was definitely a little weird to just stay home by ourselves for Christmas, but it was also nice to have a slow, quiet Christmas.

Christmas morning

The kids all ready for bed on Christmas Eve!

After Santa had come!

Zach found his candy cane full of M&Ms in his stocking first thing and was not interested in anything else for awhile.

Emmy loves board games!

Zach finally quit eating candy long enough to open a few presents.

Emmy was excited about her new pink sparkly shoes!

Emmy made me this cute calendar at school. Each month has a different design made out of her handprints.

The kids got wiggle cars! They proceeded to have races with them for a lot of the day. And every day since. :)

Emmy got this Shopkins grocery store. Zach loved it because it had doors, and elevator, and a slide. Ha!

Just lounging around after all the presents were opened.

It was a quiet Christmas, but it was nice. We were just grateful to be home from the hospital!

More festivities

Emmy wrote this in school, and it was adorable. It says, "I like my dad. I like him viwy much. I like him viwy viwy much."

Zach made this in nursery and it was so cute. I died laughing every time I saw it.

We went to the candy store on Christmas Eve to watch them make fresh candy canes.

I thought it was fun. Emmy watched for a few minutes and then got bored.

And we got a fresh sample!

Just enjoying the tree!

Christmas Eve was pretty low-key. We got Chinese food and watched a Mo-Tab Christmas show.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Disney Christmas

Christmastime at Disneyland was just beautiful. They had 3 special Christmas ride makeovers: Small World, Jungle Cruise, and Haunted Mansion. Small World incorporated Christmas decorations from around the world and played Jingle Bells during the ride. The outside was amazing and they did a really cool projection show on the facade.

The Jungle Cruise was turned into the Jingle Cruise and there were Christmas decorations all over the jungle and the jokes were Christmas themed. It was actually pretty funny.

The Haunted Mansion was still decked out in Nightmare Before Christmas stuff. The tree on Main Street was huge!

The Christmas parade was darling.

I'm not sure what the stepsisters have to do with Christmas, but they were hilarious in the parade.

They had real snow and sledding in Arendale. It was adorable! It was called Olaf's Snowfest and it looked just like the Arendale courtyard. You could play in the snow and go sledding.

And Cars Land was my favorite. Everything was decked out and they had tons of Christmas trees made of car stuff like cones and tires. And I love the music in Cars's just so awesome. And they had Christmas music playing everywhere.

We also saw the World of Color Christmas show. It was amazing. And we got picked to be the special family to start the show. So we got really good seats, and Emmy got a "magic wand" that she got to point at the water to start the show. The cast members who chose us were so awesome! We got treated like special guests for the show.

And Eeyore was my favorite part of the Christmas parade. Pooh and Tigger ride by on sleds and then comes Eeyore pulling his because it broke. And stopping every so often to sigh. I loved it.

It was so fun being able to go at Christmas time!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Emily goes to the hospital

On Tuesday, Dec. 15, about an hour after Emmy went to bed, she came downstairs and said she couldn't lay down because her ear hurt when she tried to lay down. I thought she was a) stalling going to bed, and b) being a wimp. So I took her back upstairs and tried to help her lay down. She started screaming when I laid her down. So I gave her some Ibuprofen and tried again. Same thing.

She was crying and said it hurt so bad and that she needed a doctor. So I took her to the instacare thinking maybe she had an ear infection and we'd go get her some antibiotics and come home.

We went to the instacare and she just kept getting worse. By this point, she had developed a pretty high fever and also would not move her neck. When we finally got in to see the instacare doctor, he said that she had all the symptoms for menengitis and that we better go to the ER.

So I drove over to the ER at the children's hospital (and got lost on the way because I didn't know where it was). By this time it was like 10:30 p.m. and the ER was pretty crowded. As soon as I said menengitis, they got her in pretty quick. She was still writhing in pain, but kept saying she wanted to get out of there.

They did a bunch of tests, including a CT scan and some blood tests. She finally calmed down after they gave her some morphine at about 2 a.m. After all the tests, they determined that she did not have meningitis, but that she had a retro-pharyngeal abscess, which is a pocket of infection in your neck just behind your throat.

The treatment for that is to either put you on really strong antibiotics via an IV for a couple days or do surgery to drain the infection. They recommended doing the antibiotics first to see if that worked so she could avoid surgery. So she was admitted to the hospital at about 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.

For three days she did not get better. She kept getting worse. She would not move her head and her neck got really swollen. I really was not impressed with the ENT doctor who was assigned to her or the hospital.

She tried one time to get up and walk down to the playroom to do some crafts, but after about 5 minutes she started crying saying she wanted to go back to her bed, that it hurt too much. They even tried to give her an American Girl doll and she didn't even want it, she was in so much pain. (I wish I would have taken it anyway and said she'd want it later....the regret!)

On Thursday night, they moved Emily into another room. A shared room. She had been in a private room before in a special care unit, so at least the nurses were pretty nice because they only had 2 patients. The shared room was awful. I totally lost it that night. The nurses were not very nice and they had more patients to worry about. Plus, they kept coming in all night long for the other kid. Whoever thought shared hospital rooms were a good idea is crazy!

She pretty much didn't move or eat for 3 days She even had to use a bedpan, she wouldn't even get out of bed to go to the bathroom. It was so sad. On Friday, they finally decided that the antibiotics were not working so they were going to do the surgery to drain the infection. But then they said they didn't have room for her in the OR that day, so she was just going to have to sit there and suffer another day or two til they could get her on the schedule. I was so mad!

Luckily, that night, an ENT doctor who is in our ward was on weekend duty and found out that Emily was on his case, and called us and told us he would get her in for the surgery first thing in the morning. He also explained what was going on since the other ENT doctor who had been seeing her was not very good at communicating anything with us. That was such a blessing to have a familar face!

So Saturday morning, the guy from our ward did her surgery and they drained 5 mLs of puss out of her neck. They went in through her mouth, and she had to be put under. She was so scared.

The pre/post-OR staff were awesome. They explained things really well and gave continuous updates on how things were going in the OR.

The surgery went well, and Emily did great. Just a few hours after the surgery I could see improvement. She started asking to eat and moving her head. And then she started to be an ornery beast. She would yell at the other kid in her room to be quiet and go away. He was being really loud and moaning all the time. It was driving me nuts. (Again, stupid shared rooms. You're already under a ton of stress and trying to deal with your own kid. The last thing you want is to deal with someone else's sick kid too, and worry about your kid bugging the other kid. Uggghhh!!!!! It made me sooooo mad!!!!!) Also, they moved her into 4 different rooms the 6 nights we were there. It was totally ridiculous. I slept at the hospital with her 5 nights, and Matt did 1 night. It was exhausting!

Anyway, she improved pretty quickly after the surgery. She was eating by Saturday afternoon, and Sunday she was just getting bored and annoyed that she was still there. We even smuggled her in some ice cream one day and took her for a ride in this wagon around the hospital. (Which was tricky to do with an IV pole, but I managed.)

She was able to go home on the Monday before Christmas, and we couldn't get out of there fast enough. She was feeling well enough on Sunday to do some crafts and made this stained glass butterfly, some Christmas ornaments, and did some paintings. We also watched lots of movies and played Candyland a ton.
It seriously was so awful. I hope that never happens again. But our ward was amazing through this whole thing. They really stepped in and were lifesavers. Without me even asking, people lined up to watch Zach, brought food to the hospital and to the house, brought little gifts for Emily and came to give her a blessing, sent cards and treats, and so much! I am so grateful for the help we received during that week. We never would have survived without the help of our ward members! I don't know how people with no family and no church survive things like this. Seriously, they were lifesavers.

She was completely fine by Christmas, thank goodness, and we are so glad she is fully recovered. I love my little Emmy and it was so sad to see her so sick.