Thursday, July 13, 2017

I-pad time with a side of milk


 Sometimes you've gotta do what you gotta do to get through the day when mom can't drive you anywhere and you've already played outside all day! 

Besides, they were getting along great!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Good Ol' Life!

Today's post is kind of a random assortment of pictures. Most of the photos are from late May and early June. Nothing too out of the ordinary - just normal, good ol' life!


Tommy has learned quickly as the youngest of three brothers how to use swords!


Sam, his parents and I went to the broadcast of the rededication of the Idaho Falls temple. It was beautiful! We also went with them and our kids to the temple open house before it was rededicated, and that was such a wonderful experience! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of that, though!


Bath time for 3 boys! I am always amazed at how dirty the water is when I drain it, and the insane amount of water splashed out of the bath hasn't stopped surprising me either... I guess that means we must have fun and successful baths around here!


I almost didn't post this picture because I was self-conscious of my smooshed pregnant body, but I decided to post it anyway because it was such a sweet moment.  Tommy generally only likes to snuggle in short doses, so I was glad to capture this picture. I sure love that sweet boy!


It's hard to see Jonah behind Nathan in this picture, but all 4 of the kids ran outside while I was making breakfast one morning and played "wedding" for several hours. (Ignore the water spots on the window...) Much of that time was spent picking purple flowers from the alfalfa in the field to make into a bouquet. Later that night, Ellie executed a perfectly-planned carriage arrival and wedding reception complete with snacks for the whole family.


Lunch at the park with my kiddos the day before I broke my arm.


This was our best attempt at getting all four kids in the picture!


I wish I would have gotten a picture when the irises in our yard were in their prime in late May because they were stunning. But this picture will have to do for now! 


The peonies are absolutely beautiful too! I love watching the plants in the yard grow.


A friend of Sam's helped him build a swing set for the kids. In this picture it looks like Sam is just watching the other guy do the work, but I promise that wasn't the case! Haha!


Jonah loves the small swing Sam made for him. It's just his height so he can get on and off all by himself. He often runs outside by himself to swing. I love watching him and wish I could hear all of the thoughts that go through his little mind as he spins!


This year we decided not to go to the fireworks in Idaho Falls like we normally do on the Fourth of July. Instead we opted to put Tommy to bed and let the kids build a cozy fort in their new playhouse to wait for the fireworks around town to start. Several of our neighbors ended up doing awesome, aerial fireworks, including a neighbor right across the way from us. It ended up being so much better than making the trek down to Idaho Falls since we had a front row seat and didn't have to deal with the traffic. I think this may become a new tradition!

Summer in Idaho is my absolute favorite, and I am so grateful for this beautiful season of life too!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Our Next Adventure - "Terrible Triad" Edition


(This post ended up being quite long - oops!)

On Saturday, June 17, our family left Idaho around 6:00 am for a family reunion in Utah that day. We were excited to spend the day with Sam's family before turning around and heading home that afternoon after the reunion.

Around 9:45 we got to the church building where the reunion was to be held on the outside lawn. We said hello to the few family members that were already there, and then took the kids over to the inflatable slide that was there. The kids were having a great time with cousins, and one of Sam's aunts went to go unlock the church so we could use it for bathrooms - so, like any 30-week-pregnant lady, I followed her to go use bathroom. 

On the way to the church there was a barrier between the grass and the parking lot that was connected with chains, and somehow I didn't lift my foot up high enough (I know, I'm a dork!), and both feet caught on the chain, causing me to fall straight onto my elbows and knees on the asphalt. 


Dang chains! ^^

When I landed I immediately felt something move in my right elbow, and when I stood up the lower half of my arm felt heavy - I couldn't move it. When I looked down at my elbow I knew something was definitely wrong - it was completely deformed. Katie called Sam over, and he and I (along with Katie for directions) left for the urgent care. We were so grateful for family that stayed with the kids! 

On the drive to the urgent care my arm really started to hurt, and I began to feel nauseous. Probably from shock?? When we got to the urgent care they told us that since I was pregnant we needed to head to the Emergency Room so they could monitor the baby. They gave us directions to the hospital, and off we went.

That drive to the hospital seemed like an eternity! I kept my eyes closed and held on to my arm, since that was the most "comfortable" position I could find. If I let my arm dangle it was excruciating.

Luckily we were admitted into the ER immediately without having to wait in the waiting room at all. 

Soon after we got there the nurse listened to the baby's heartbeat and I could feel her moving like she normally does, so it was very comforting to know that the fall didn't hurt her.



This is what my elbow looked like about 2 hours after I fell. It was quite swollen, so it is harder to see the dislocation than right after it happened.



X-ray before they pulled my elbow back into place.


Ice made my arm feel a little bit better while I waited to have it put back into place.

The ER doctor came in and after examining my arm decided that I had a posterior elbow dislocation. After waiting, ineffective pain meds, x-rays, waiting, resetting my arm, (I couldn't believe how painful that was!) applying a splint, waiting, more x-rays, and more waiting, the ER doctor came in again and told me that my elbow injury looked much more serious than they originally thought, and that I should meet with an orthopedic doctor the next week.

After 6 hours in the ER, we headed back to the reunion just in time to collect our kids (who had an awesome time at the reunion!) and begin the drive home to Idaho.



On Tuesday we met with a local orthopedic doctor. He told us that he needed more information before he decided what to do, so he sent us to get a CT scan, then we headed back into his office where he told me I had an injury called the "terrible triad" (dislocated elbow, fractured coronoid process, and fractured radial head) and that I needed surgery - which we scheduled for Friday. As we were leaving his office that day the x-ray tech said, "I was amazed when they told me all you did was trip. I thought for sure they were going to tell me you were in a motorcycle accident with how bad of a fracture you have." Apparently I am really good at tripping?? Haha!

We bided our time until Friday, with Sam staying home to help me and Sam's mom, Tami, helping us out with pretty much everything! Laundry, dishes, dinners, watching kids while we went to appointments, etc. She saved us during that first little while.


It is amazing the things I took for granted being able to do when I had two healthy arms! Everything is significantly more difficult with only my left (non-dominant) hand being usable!


Finding a comfortable sleeping position with my big pregnant belly and arm in a huge splint was next to impossible.


 It's hilarious how many pillows I used to try and position myself in the most comfortable way!


My arm felt better when it was elevated above my heart... Also note my plate balanced precariously on my splint. Haha!


After church selfie!

On Thursday we pre-registered at the hospital for surgery the next morning, I started fasting, and I was emotionally ready to start the difficult road to recovery after surgery and get as recovered as I possibly could before baby #5 came in about 9 weeks.

On Friday morning at 7:30 the orthopedic doctor called me. He told me that he had been pondering my case, and that he felt that instead of performing the surgery that day, I should go meet with an upper extremity specialist in Pocatello - he felt that was how I would have the best recovery and long term outcome.  I was grateful for him referring me to a specialist because obviously I want full use of my arm in the future, but I was also frustrated because I was so ready to start recovering as quick as I could in preparation for the baby.

So we called the upper extremity specialist and set an appointment for today - Tuesday - and waited through the weekend, hoping for the soonest possible surgery date.


Making pancakes for my family on Sunday night. (My cooking skills are quite limited right now! Haha!) Whenever I was around food I covered my arm with a towel because I didn't want a whole bunch of food ground into my bandage! Gross!


On Saturday we took a little family adventure, and it was absolutely beautiful.


It was just what our little family needed to distract ourselves from waiting.


Flowers in my hair courtesy of Nathan!

When we met with the specialist today he thoroughly explained my injury, looked through the CT scans with us, and told me that he needs to replace my radial head since about 40-50% of it was shattered, and the remaining 60-or-so percent is cracked. He then told us that since I am pregnant, he could give me two options with surgery. The first option is to schedule me for surgery tomorrow, despite the small risk to my baby of going under anesthesia. The second option is to put me in a controlled movement brace and strengthen my arm for 8-10 weeks while we wait for the baby to be born, and operate after the baby comes. He then told us that he has operated on pregnant women before because sometimes you can't wait - like in emergency situations - and even though the risks to the baby when going under general anesthesia are extremely small, what if something were to happen to the baby and we had to have the conversation on the other side of surgery of "Was that surgery truly necessary at that moment, or could it have waited?" He said that he had consulted with several other specialists about it, and he decided that he could confidently answer, "No - that the surgery could have waited." He says the main con of waiting to have surgery until after baby comes is that I will have more initial stiffness of my elbow after surgery than I would if I were to get surgery tomorrow, but the pros are that I have time for my ulnar collateral ligament (also damaged) to heal and increase elbow stability, I can start working on strengthening my elbow now for better recovery later, and that there is no risk to the baby with surgery. With either option, the long term outcome will be the same as far as elbow function is concerned. Then he said, "Patients always ask me what I would do in their situation, and if you were my wife and I had the knowledge I have now, I would have her wait to have surgery."

So after talking it over, we decided to go ahead and wait to have surgery until after the baby is born. 

This is my new brace.


Sam and I were joking that I now have a bionic arm! This brace keeps my elbow stable so that it doesn't dislocate again, but also allows my elbow to move in a controlled way. I can bend my arm as far as I am able, but the brace doesn't let me straighten my arm more than 150 degrees to keep it from dislocating since a fully extended arm is the most unstable. The doctor said I can lift anything lighter than half a gallon of milk with that arm and to let pain be my gauge of how much is too much.

Right now it is still extremely painful to move my arm - especially turning my hand over to make my palm face up - and I can't believe how weak my arm is, either.

Luckily I have the world's most patient, loving husband.


It is very humbling to go from a fully functional, healthy mom of four kids to someone who can't even dress without help... Or cut her own nails.

Our kids have stepped up so much to help and do many things on their own. Ellie and Nathan are doing great helping with more chores around the house and Ellie especially is helpful with Tommy - getting him dressed and changing non-poopy diapers. Jonah has learned to put his own underwear and shorts on, even though it is still a struggle for him. I am so grateful that the kids are doing their best to help in the ways they know how.

I have also learned to do most things I need to with one hand, (changing poopy diapers is quite the feat! haha) and with this new brace I look forward to slowly working my way up to doing nearly everything I used to be able to do as a mom. I hope that with this new brace I will be able to give my kids a summer full of fun memories instead of memories of a mom who couldn't do anything since she was in a full-on arm cast.

I know these next few months are going to be challenging for the whole family with waiting for surgery then recovering from childbirth and surgery, but I feel at peace with the decision we have made knowing our baby will be safe.

Here's to our next adventure!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

School is Out!

It's officially summer time here in Rexburg, and we are all SO HAPPY! I have never appreciated being warm more than I have since moving to Rexburg and living through such long, cold winters.

Ellie and Nathan finished school the last week of May. They learned so much this year - I am so proud of them! 

I also can't believe how much they both grew! 

First Day of Preschool 2017:


(I had forgotten how ridiculously blurry these first day of school pictures are. Wow!)

Last Day of Preschool 2017:


Nathan got himself all dressed, even down to his socks. I couldn't argue with the church socks and shoes on the wrong feet since he was so proud!

This year Nathan has learned to write his name, (all capital letters for now) reviewed letter names and sounds, and learned basic math using his fingers. He LOVES to cut paper, and we have had to institute a "don't cut any paper without asking first" rule because we have had a couple of close calls with Sam's important work papers, etc.

 This happy guy has made new friends and grown quite a bit socially this year. When he started school he was a little shy, and he still can be at times, but he has learned how to talk to children and adults more effectively. It sure has been fun to watch him grow!  

 First Day of Kindergarten 2017:


Last Day of Kindergarten 2017:


Ellie grew a ton in height this year! The pants she had to roll up in the first picture barely fit her now.

Her last day of school was Field Day, and she was beyond excited. They had races, face painting, and track and field events topped off with her mom and brothers getting to join her for a picnic lunch. She was quite proud that she got third place in the discus throw. Oh man, I wish I had been there to see all of the adorable little kindergarteners throwing the discus! I bet that was quite the sight!

It will be impossible to list all of the things Ellie has learned this year since she has learned so much, but I will try to catch the highlights. She has learned to write her full name this year - (Ellie Rose Brubaker) she only knew how to write "Ellie" when she started kindergarten. She has learned to read, write and sound out words and sentences to spell. She has learned addition and subtraction, reviewed shapes, created lots of art, and her favorite - watched her class caterpillars turn to butterflies.

I had the chance to volunteer in her class twice a month, and it was fun to observe her with her friends and teachers, as well as get to know all of the kids she tells me about. 

She has always been a social butterfly, and I think she has learned a little bit this year about when it is appropriate to talk and when it is not, though I think that will be a lifelong lesson for my talkative little girl. 

I am so proud of Ellie for learning this school year that she can do hard things, even when she doesn't want to. That is a lesson Sam and I are working really hard to teach our kids, so I am grateful for every teaching opportunity that comes along.

And now, I can't wait to enjoy summer with the four kiddos I have before number 5 arrives in August!





Friday, May 12, 2017

Three of the Four Amigos

No matter how hard I tried I couldn't get Tommy to stand by the older three kiddos for a picture in his sunglasses, but the four of them played together with their sunglasses on for over an hour!


Now that Tommy is a little older he likes to be included in whatever the big kids are doing. It is so fun to watch these four amigos play together, and I can't wait to add a fifth in August!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Book Rippers/Lovers

My kids love books - especially the boys right now. But we are still in the phase where books get a little too "loved" by certain children of mine...

Both of these books had been ripped to the point of not being able to use them, and I had taped them back up again after quite awhile of them sitting in my pile of projects.

The boys were sure happy to have them back!



I hope to raise my kids to love books of all kinds. For now I think we are off to a good start! (Though apparently I need to teach them better book etiquette!)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Funny Kid Quotes

I haven't been as good at recording the funny things my kids have said as I would like to be, but here are some funny quotes since the last kid quotes post! Some of these Sam recorded, and others I recorded:

While sitting in Sacrament meeting one Sunday Jonah turned around, looked at the elderly man sitting behind us, and said, "That President Monson, Mommy!"

Whenever Jonah gets an idea he says, "My brain got an idea!"

Jonah, not wanting to walk upstairs after Heidi and I exercised, said, "it's too hard for me to walk."


Ellie was looking out the window at a dog and said, "I don't like that dog because one time it barfed at me."

Ellie calls her heel her "high heel."

Ellie told me a gentleman put her book away at kindergarten. I asked her who and she said it was a kid named Gabe. She then said, "I said it quietly..." I asked her what she said, and she said in a very adoringly hushed voice, "Wow. What a gentleman."

Ellie asked me, pointing to her ribs, if those were her "wrinkly bones."


Nathan calls an umbrella a "kumbrella."

Nathan in his prayer tonight said, "Please bless that if any big rocks are going to hit the earth that you will move our planet to a different out of the way. And that everyone else will like our planet too."

While in the car Nathan was talking about how when he grows up he's going to work at "the same place as Sam." Then he said, "and I will have more kids than this (pointing to the kids in our family). I will pray for 66 kids." 


I love these funny glimpses into my kids' cute minds!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ellie's First Tooth

Ellie lost her first tooth last week! It had been extremely loose for a few weeks, and every day she would have me wiggle it, but she wasn't in a hurry to get it out. On Friday morning she had me wiggle it again, and I heard it crack. At that point I told her it was so loose it might fall out when she ate and she would accidentally swallow it, so she had me pull it. She kept saying, "It didn't even hurt! It just stung a little!"



She is so proud of the little gap in her mouth, and she keeps showing it to everyone who will listen. 

It's funny how as a mom every little milestone makes me happy, but at the same time makes me feel nostalgic and a little sad that my kids are growing up. This is one of those milestones. I can't believe that my very first kid is losing one of the first teeth she ever got as my teeny baby girl. There is no way she will be 6 in a few short weeks! 

I love this girl and I am so proud of the big girl she is becoming. I am so grateful to be able to watch her grow up.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Everyday Moments

These everyday moments are what make me love being a mom so much!


We came home one evening and I told the kids to run in and get ready for baths. Here is their interpretation. They thought they were so funny!


Ellie loves to put outfits together. This is one of her original creations. (How did she get so tall?! When we bought those shorts last summer they were down to her knees!)


Ellie came home from school and konked out on the couch with her apple. She always comes home so hungry!


"Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" gone wrong during Family Home Evening... She hit her nose on her knee. Apparently it can be a very violent song!


The boys love to listen when Ellie reads her books for school.


And last but not least, dance parties to the music from "Sing!"

 
Images by Freepik