Friday, October 2, 2015

The good and the bad of early June

Our June started off with a fun event- a 4th grade recorder concert at the elementary school for Chloe.  She has been practicing her recorder for the past few months quite faithfully and has been very excited for this concert.  Recorders are notoriously not the most amazing sounding instruments, but I love that they are great devices used to teach children music and instill an enjoyment for music.  Chloe made top honors for the recorder in her grade.  When she is determined she is a very hard worker and excels at things.  It was very fun to attend her concert.  And recorders actually sound pretty good when played in a large group with the accompaniment of a piano! :)

Mitchell's start to June, however, was not so fun.  He had been complaining of one of his teeth hurting for a few days and one night asked to see Uncle Nick- the dentist/orthodontist of the family.  Uncle Nick was out of town and I had unfortunately put off find a dentist since moving here.  This event forced me to quickly find a dentist and pray that the one we chose could fit us in on an emergency basis.  The night before finding a dentist, Mitch was up almost the entire night in the worst pain I've ever seen him in.  Pain killers did almost nothing and he was awake and crying practically the whole night.

By the next morning, he was an emotional and physical mess.  He couldn't really eat and couldn't stop holding his face by the tooth that was causing so much pain.   I felt very blessed to find a dentist that morning and also get an appointment scheduled later that same day, just a few hours later.

The appointment was nothing short of a disaster.  Mitch was in so much pain and with no sleep under his belt, he was completely hysterical.  Everything is ten times worse when you are sleep deprived and tired.  As soon as the doctor started talking to him he started to cry.  And he didn't stop for the next 1.5 hours.  The doctor did a quick X-ray to try and assess the problem.  The x-ray showed an abscessed tooth, most likely.  The only way to be entirely sure was to drill a hole in the tooth to reveal the nerve/root of it all.  That showed that for sure it was abscessed, meaning that there was an infection at the root of the tooth- a very painful infection.  The only good cure for it would be to pull the tooth.  The doctor said we could try antibiotics but there was a good chance we'd be back here soon to have the tooth extracted.  I told him to extract it and be done with it.  Luckily it was a baby tooth (molar).  Unfortunately, it was his 11/12 year molar, a tooth he wasn't set to lose for 4 or more years.  But after just being there with him in hysterics for 20 minutes, I was ready to end it all and be done (and so was Mitch!)

Part of the problem was he was so out of his mind tired and in so much pain that he said the numbing shots weren't working.  And by this time he had been in a significant amount of pain for nearly 36 hours or more.  The dentist must have given him 4 or 5 shots of medicine before we were through.  None of us could honestly say if he really could still feel pain or if he was just so hysterical that he thought he was in pain and actually wasn't.  Either way, it was a long, long appointment for me, Mitch, the dentist and his assistant.  (Jocie was there too and miraculously she slept the entire time, despite the screaming and crying).  Poor, poor Mitch.  My job was to hold him down (as he was kicking and thrashing and trying to pull things out of his mouth as the dentist tried to work).  It was not an easy job, as Mitch is a big boy.  I also tried to calm him down with words but that really did very little.  I was sweating and very anxious as nothing I did seemed to help him at all.  The dentist and his assistant tried calming him down but to no avail.  The dentist had to stop and restart so many times.  Mitch kept telling all of us that "he had never been in more pain in his entire life" and that "we just didn't understand how much it hurt."  I took him into the bathroom at one point to let him get a drink and to try and calm him down.  It was like it wasn't even my real Mitchell in this situation.  He has never had a hard time at the dentist EVER.  This was a big first for him to be so upset at the dentist.  I felt bad at how quickly I became frustrated and impatient with Mitch, as I knew he was in lots of pain.  But we all knew that the pain could be over quickly if he would just hold still. It was very frustrating to try and explain and make sense of something to someone who couldn't/wouldn't be reasoned with.  And in a public, professional place of business nonetheless.

As we stretched on past an hour (for what should have been a quick 10 minute extraction procedure), I could feel all of us becoming a little desperate.  Bless the doctor and his staff- they were so incredibly patient with Mitchell.  After giving him what felt like more than enough drugs and chalking up his insistence that he could STILL feel pain to an over exhausted body, the doctor decided to just grab hold of that tooth, not let go, and yank it out no matter what.  Mitch did not handle that well (at all) but finally that tooth came out, Mitch half sitting up, body thrashing around.  I have never been so happy to see a tooth outside of a mouth in my entire life.  The dentist stuffed him with gauze, I profusely thanked everyone in the office who had dealt with us (and used almost all of their lunch time up) and darted out of that office.  Mitchell was still crying and I was near tears myself.  I felt nearly as tired as he was.

By the time we got home it was finally time to take the gauze out (which was also upsetting Mitch).  I took him right up to bed and laid with him until he fell asleep. 

He was out cold in less than 2 minutes.  It has been a long time since this big boy of mine has fallen dead asleep at 1:00 in the afternoon in his bed.  He slept hard for a few hours.  When he awoke, my sweet Mitchell was back- happy and most importantly- pain free!  I was so relieved.

My parents had gotten into town the night before for the weekend.  They were so sweet to watch Livy and the twins while we were at the dentist trip from outer darkness- what a life saver!

After some food, Mitch was ready to play tetherball with Papa.

I was so happy to seem him back to normal. 

Both of my grandmother's came on this trip as well.  Great Grandma Dewsnup (or Grandma D as we call her) got to meet Jocelyn for the first time.  She held her and put her to sleep many times over the weekend.

Great Grandma Wright meeting Joce for the first time as well!

This was Papa Blakeslee's first time with J too. 

My parents got a hotel to help accommodate the extra guests they brought and Ben took the kids over to swim there one night.  They were in heaven!

I found this after the kids left to go swimming.  Chloe is queen of making rules and printing them out.  I love that the reward for winning is getting to play Dad! 

The next morning as we made plans for the day, Papa pushed all the girls on the swings.

We decided to go to Whitman Mission in Walla Walla, about an hour's drive.  Whitman Mission is a National Historic site where Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa established a mission there that became an important stop along the Orgegon trail from 1843-1847.  It was in Indian territory and the Native America Cayuse people were very weary and suspicious of these "white men."  The Whitman's were very kind people and were trying to help everyone, but when a measles outbreak killed half of the local Cayuse and most of the white people survived, the Native Americans blamed the Whitman's and killed them, along with 11 others.  An outdoor memorial to the Whitman's, and a visitor's center with information is now where the mission used to be.

Ready to go (in nearly 100 degree weather!)  Jocie and I sweated together in our front pack get up.

The kids loved walking around and seeing teepees and covered wagons.


The big kids by the grave honoring those who were slain.

There is a small hike to the top of a paved path that overlooks the beautiful Walla Walla area.

Livy and Papa getting a drink

On our way back home we stopped at Ice Harbor Dam to find out that it was closing in 10 minutes and they wouldn't let us inside. 

We looked around outside instead.

Ready for bed that night after a HOT day outside with 3 lovies!  

June was incredibly hot in Tri Cities this year- it was triple digits for at least half of the month and no cooler than mid to upper 90's the rest of the month.  When it hit triple digits at the very beginning of June, I remember thinking to myself "We aren't in Seattle anymore!"

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Visit from Cynde

The last Saturday in May we had a very special visitor- Grandma Cynde came up from Auburn to spend the day with us!

We started off the day with Mitch's baseball game at 9:00.  It was gearing up to be a HOT day as it was already 80 degrees before 10:00 a.m.

We sat out in the outfield with our big group and watched Mitch from there.  Ben stood watch on the right field fence.  He makes a good looking baseball spectator.  And he's the best baseball dad!  

Me and my five girls- Mitch's biggest fans!

Olivia and Chloe sharing sunflower seeds- we don't go to a baseball game without them!  (And Livy's awesome hair do was courtesy of Chloe).

This was Mitch's final game of the season and afterwards the team gathered around for the coach to hand out trophies (don't get me started on how much I dislike trophies given out for NO REASON) and for the coach to say a little something about each of the boys.  Livy was so excited about this and sat by Mitch the whole time.

The coach had great things to say about Mitch and his willingness to step up and pitch, even when he was nervous about it.  Mitch is a solid player and a good little athlete.

We ran home afterwards to wait for the main event of the day- Grandma Cynde's arrival!  Her knock on the door sent everyone into excited hysterics.

Jocie has been waiting her whole life to meet Cynde and it did not disappoint.  Anyone who knows Cynde loves her.

Cynde, in typical fashion, showed up with gifts for everyone.  She brought the cutest little summer outfit for Jocie with a matching headband.  For the big kids she brought the card game "Spot It- Camping edition."  Our family fell in love with the game Spot It a few years ago and have enjoyed collecting different versions of the game.  Cynde always seems to keep up on what the kids like and are currently in to.

She also brought the best doughnuts in Auburn- Legendary Doughnuts!  The kids were beyond excited!

Olivia was down for a nap when Cynde first arrived.  When she woke up, she was a bit hesitant around her.  After playing at our house for a bit, we headed off to Cynde's hotel for her to check in and for us to swim.

As Cynde was checking in, the rest of us lounged on the couches in the lobby.  Olivia suddenly ran off and we found her with Cynde at the front desk.  She immediately took to calling her "Nahnah" (her word for Grandma) and was glued to Cynde for the rest of the day.  Olivia knows a good grandma when she sees one.

Swimming in the hotel pool was so much fun.  Olivia liked swimming with Ben and Chloe, but constantly wanted in, then out, then in, then out.  She was quite the handful to keep track of.

When she wasn't in the pool she wanted to be running around outside of it.  Cynde was so sweet to follow her around and try and keep her entertained. 

Jocie slept peacefully in her seat the whole time. 

After a terrifying experience last summer in a pool, Mitch has been deathly afraid of the deep end.  Ben held a mini swim lesson with Mitch in the deep end.  Mitch was absolutely hysterical at first and took lots and lots of convincing to get him to calm down.  Ben was finally able to work with him for a bit in hopes that by the time we do swimming lessons this summer that he will be able to do them, calmly.

Swimming was a success!

Our next stop was Leslie Groves Park in Richland.  They have a great grassy area, BBQ area, playground and a great little swimming area.  The kids enjoyed Cynde's rice cakes while we waited for dinner.  Ben ran and got pizza and breadsticks later that we ate on the grass.

The kids were ready for round two of swimming in the river.  They have a roped off area that is shallow enough to stay safe and deep enough to swim in.

We enjoyed many hours here playing and having fun.  We stayed until bedtime.  We said goodbye to Cynde before we left to go home.  She was one of the reasons we were most sad to leave Auburn, but we are so glad we can keep in touch with her and hopefully see her often.  We love you Cynde!  Thanks for coming to visit us.

Jocie went home and slept her first 10 hour night after this!  Since that night, she has consistently slept at least 6-7 hour stretches and quickly transitioned to 8-10 hours straight.  We love this girl!

Monday, July 27, 2015


May started off a little hairy for Mitch.  He has had chronic nosebleeds for years.  We saw an ENT in Seattle last fall who recommended we get the problem blood vessel cauterized.  That definitely reduced the amount of nosebleeds for awhile, but the frequency of them have picked back up again in the last few months and have switched from one nostril to both of them.  Our new family doctor here (an old friend of Ben's from growing up) suggested we cauterize it again.  He did it in his office.  Unlike the ENT, he did not numb it at all.  It was very, very uncomfortable for Mitch but he handled it like a champ.  If this doesn't work, we will be seeing an ENT again.

Ben and his parents went camping with our 4 big kids early in May to help with our stake's yearly cleanup of a church owned campsite.  Papa is trying to dry off Leah's sneaker over the fire after she got it wet.

I noticed Mitch's leg one morning.  It's been warm enough for shorts since April here and he looks as if he's been severely beaten or in a dog fight. 

Jocie had her first real bath in a tub at 3 weeks of age.  She hated every second of it.

Poor, poor baby.

After she was dry and warm, she fell right to sleep.  It's hard to be little.

Mitchell and Chloe love playing tetherball at their school's playground at recess.  One day this Spring, Mitch came home and asked Ben if we could get a tetherball.  After looking around online and in stores at the prices of tether balls, Ben decided to make one.  On one of his Friday's off he started and finished the product, all for an extremely reasonable price.

The kids were so excited with the finished product and have spent many hours playing with it.

Their favorite is to play against Ben!  None of the kids have beat him yet.

Mother's Day started with breakfast in bed from the kids.  I don't normally eat breakfast on Sunday mornings with church at 9:00- there just isn't time with a newborn and 5 other kids (and myself) to get ready.

After church I got a picture with my 6 beautiful kids.  I get to be a mom because of them.  All day, the song "The Family is of God" ran through my head, especially the verse on mothers: "A mother's purpose is to care, prepare, to nurture and to strengthen all her children.  She teaches children to obey, to pray, to love and serve in the family." 

Chloe took her Sunday rest with Jocie that day- so sweet!

Mitch brought home this sweet card from school for me for Mother's Day.

I love that I am "as pretty as this heart and roses." :)

There are lots of hard moments and days as a mom and it can seem overwhelming at times, but the sweet, wonderful moments totally override the hard stuff.

Like this- I love seeing my kids wanting to be with another sibling and taking care of each other.  Jocie even held Livy's hand.

And some days I couldn't do my job without my big helpers!  This day Jocie needed some extra attention while I was making dinner.  Lexi was more than happy to walk her around until I could take a break.

Sleeping babies are my kryptonite! 

May was a full month of baseball for Mitch.  I wasn't able to attend very many of his games this year, but the few that I made it to were so fun.  I love watching this kid play.

He played kid pitch baseball this year.  His coach asked if he would like to pitch and at first he said no.  After a game or two, he worked up the courage and did it.  And he was great!

He would get a little nervous during the games and not throw quite as hard as he would when practicing with his coach or with Ben at home, but we were just glad he did something that stretched him a bit.  He's a great player and we love watching him learn new things.

Olivia went through a 2 or 3 month stage where she was obsessed with giving "bones" (fists, knuckles, etc) to everyone.  Everyone included Jocie.  I caught a picture one day of Olivia giving her bones while she slept.

If only I could sit and hold a sleeping baby all day- my life would be perfect.

We spent a Friday morning at the Toyota dealership getting both our van and truck serviced.  The free "all you can eat/drink cookies and juice" were too temping for these girls and Ben took them back about 3 times to partake.  The treats and the kid play room held their attention during the 2 hour wait for our vehicles.  

Jocie wearing tights for the first time on a Sunday.  They were big enough to be an entire outfit!  Newborn tube top, anyone?

May 16th was one whole month with this sweetie.

We can't get enough of her.  Seriously.

We have had the best weather this spring and the twins and Olivia have spent hours and hours outside playing together.  The twins taught Livy how to swing on a big swing without me even knowing it. 

Baseball pictures for our favorite All Star!

One 1 year old for every twin- we love playing with cousins (and are very grateful for family that will watch kids during doctor appointments and other meetings).

We registered for Kindergarten in April and had Kindergarten Roundup in May.  The girls got to tour the classrooms, see the playground and computer lab and sit on a bus.  They were sent home with some fancy packets full of projects, succors, crayons and markers.  TWO kindergarteners next year- wow!

The entire first grade put on a musical for the school and later their parents.  Mitch was chosen to play the Letter R.  He had a few speaking parts that he took very seriously and memorized weeks in advance.  He also loved to sing the songs for us at home.  

"A-Z Does it" was an adorable play and it's always so fun to see our kids excited about something that they've worked hard at.

The baby zits hit baby J pretty hard by the middle/end of May.  This picture doesn't quite do justice how bad it looked on some days.  She looked like she had a contagious disease.  Luckily, her mama still thought she was adorable.

These sweet girls of mine are so much fun.  They are my happiest helpers and have had so much bonding time since our move.  I have loved having them at home with me (although sad that they left such a great pre-kinder program back in Auburn) and will miss them so much when they go to school in the Fall.

Cousin William got baptized over Memorial Day weekend.  We were so glad we could be there with him on his special day.  Mitch is the next Andros grandchild to be baptized and we can't wait!

The 3 Andros brothers

All of the family at William's baptism. 

Lexi lost her first tooth that same weekend- our youngest child to lose a tooth!  She was like her older siblings in that getting that tooth out was not without some good tugging and quite a few tears.

Ben had to pull so hard to get it out that the tooth flew into the air and was never seen again.  We searched high and low for that tooth but it was no where to be found.  Luckily, the tooth fairy was kind and still brought Lexi a dollar AND 2 suckers for her misfortune and bravery.