Thursday, March 27, 2014

We had it coming….

I realize I've never written about probably the scariest thing to happen in my life….mostly because I was in shock for a while, then in crazy, "I've gotta do SOMETHING" mode for a while, and then there were just so many changes, I decided to wait until things stabilized a bit.  But I have always know that I wanted to write about it because I experienced so many feelings that I never had before. I've had crazy post partum depression since Vivian, I've been sad at the loss of grandparents, I've been worried with ailments that my own children have, but NEVER have I felt the anxiety and scared feeling of the unknown, but also felt the comfort and connection of Christ as I have since the day my mom called me and told me the news.  

In early October I was sitting at home with the kids when mom called and we talked for just a minute before she said, "I have some really awful news" and then she didn't say anything, and I said, "what is it mom?".  And when she was crying, she said, "Tamee has breast cancer"(PS, I'm crying while typing this now).  I couldn't speak at all.  After about a minute,  mom told me all of the details and I asked when I should call.  She told me to wait.  

I hung up, cried out loud for about 4 hours.  The kids came home and asked what was wrong, and I told them but didn't explain.

Tamee called me that next day and was chipper, up beat, determined already.  I again, could hardly speak. I knew she was just trying to keep everyone from worrying so much, and she has kept a positive attitude the whole time, but I was still in shock and didn't understand enough.  

We prayed a few times a day for Tamee for months and months.  We still do.  The kids asked very legitimate questions to understand more.  The most common question: Is she better now?…every few weeks.  

Each round of chemo was so scary. Her reactions were different every time.  I was mostly scared for my turn to go out.  I was nervous for how I would react seeing her bald. I was nervous if her kids would be sad. I was nervous for her having an emergency on my clock and I might not handle it correctly. I was worried for her….for her stupid cancer!

My flight day arrived.   I sat in the airport, nervous. (I freaking HATE flying, but nervous for everything else on top of that.   I got the Colorado ok, but during my layover I  researched bald women pictures to get ready to take some family pictures that Tamee asked me to do…and I lost it.  These women were beautiful in these pictures, but reading some of their stories and realizing Tamee is going through this and she's in the same stage of life that I am. I couldn't.  I know I couldn't.   I wanted to do so much more for her and I was just ready to be there!

When I got there, Keith and a couple of kids picked me up.  And then I got to see Tamee.  Strangley, I didn't even take a double take.  Hair IS a big deal, but when you've seen someone's face so much your entire life, it doesn't phase you much to see them w/o it. Worry #1, GONE!  The kids were all crazy and happy, just like being with my own.  Worry #2, GONE!

The day after the chemo Tamee took me out to an awesome Salmon lunch and we got to talk and hang out and just be together for a bit….then she went in to get her peanut butter shot (it's not really peanut butter, just has that consistency when they put it in her arm, it's really probiotics and stuff).  And then that night is when it goes downhill.  And it did.  She got very sick. I would see her for about 15 minutes twice a day.  But I was there to watch the kids and keep them happy.  And luckily I got martin luther king day and 3 snow days, so I never had to get them ready for school or do homework  haha.   But it was COLD, which as everyone knows, is great for circulating sickness in a house and her 2 littles had a stomach bug for a couple of days before I came…..I got it.  Luckily it was just for a day and a half, and it was just like having morning sickness with a little diraheaa (tmi?)…so I was fully functioning.  But then the 2nd to last day, things took a turn for the worse for Tam.  I got a phone call from her and it was a muddled, "Can you come up here?".  I ran up.   I won't go into detail here, but it was the saddest state I've ever seen a loved one in.   She asked me, "Can you call Tina? I need to go to the center for fluids". She was throwing up and had been for hours.  I hurried and found her phone and called Tina who came an hour later (which was when Tamee's appointment was).  When Tina got there Tamee had gotten even worse.  She had lost her strength and was dizzy.  We carried her to the car and she just laid her head down and asked Tina to take her to the ER.

Scared and crying, I quickly pulled it together before the kids came up from the basement and we continued to color and play monopoly.  I let Keith know, but didn't hear back from him for a few hours.  He then let me know that her potassium was low, her blood counts were low, she was in deed dehydrated and she was still sick at the hospital.

The next day I got my stuff together, tried to make things as fun as possible for the kids (on snow day #3) and then we watched TV and colored until my ride and the babysitter came.  I didn't get to say bye to her.

I knew I'd be crying the whole way home, but between the great talk I ahd with her friend Tina on my way to the airport and the adorable pictures of the kids that Jase sent me that day, I knew everything would be ok.  

And of course, they were.

She's had 2 treatments since then…both a little rough, but they're DONE!~  and they did their job!  and she's feeling good and getting ready for her surgery!!! I'm SO incredibly glad the chemo is over and hopefully FOREVER!

One day when I was talking with Tamee she made the comment, "I knew something would happen in our family.   We've had way too many healthy family members for too long.".  And it's true.  We haven't had any major ailments or disorders, or trauma (other than a few miscarriages, which were very sad).  And to have 16 adults and 25 kids  that's pretty amazing.  Which made all of this that much more faith promoting and family bonding.  I'm glad it's all going as planned and pray it continues to.

Love you Tam.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bib's is TWO!

Vivian just happened to turn 2 on the busiest weekend in Gilbert this year…the weekend of the Temple dedication and Cultural Celebration.  But luckily, that meant that grandma and grandpa would be down here!  So we threw in a waffle party Sunday night after everything was over.
Vivvy's favorite was when Grandpa Hatch put her up on the kitchen counter after the dedication and she just had to point at what she wanted and he would get it for her.  Good Grandpa!
 Then the waffle making began.  Our neighbors let us use their awesome waffle irons that made waffle animals.  And Jase made his sourdough pancakes, I made brownie pancakes and cinnamon roll pancakes, and everyone brought awesome toppings for them.
 Viv had some support from the aunts….
 and the cousins…
 and more aunts and uncles and neighbors!

 Time for the cake! (as if waffles covered in biscoff and ice cream were not enough!…and don't mind my creeper face!)
 She's still not SUPER into the birthday thing, but she liked it alright.


 Some nice one on one time with Uncle Justy.  Pearce and Uncle Justy had a special bond, I think Justin is working on that with Vivvy here….
 Time for presents!   She got so excited when she saw what was in each present.  She loves her new baby doll, singing machine and tricycle.

Happy Birthday to my favorite baby Bibs!!!!

Where did he come from?!

I had a night out with a friend Friday night and when I got home, Bosotn and Jason were the only 2 awake, watching Chitty chitty bang bang.  Everyone else was in their spot on the couch with a blanket except Pearce…he was shirtless and blanket less on the ottoman.  I went in and dyed my hair, and then came in to edit pictures and the movie was over, so Boston came and told me good night and gave me a hug.  About 15 minutes later I went in to give Pearce a blanket and this is what I found….
Boston takes such good care of Pearce, and I'm noticing Pearce does the same for him.  They're awesome brothers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Break 2014

So our first day there, I didn't get many pictures because I was too busy trying to count heads and keep everyone alive.  But we got a nice breakfast with J at Panera before he had to take off for a couple of days…and yes, we're the family with 5 kids!  Sheesh Californians!  it's not that weird!  This time I even had 2 ladies pass me and after they passed me with the kids i heard one of them say, "how many are there?"  I turned around and said, "5, there's five!".  Most people are nice about it and think it's awesome.   A lot just give the usual, "got your hands full".  DUH!  Not only are we the freaks in Cali, but we noticed there are NO minivans in Cali.  Maybe one to every 200 cars!  It was crazy.  Anyway, back to the first day. 
 We found these awesome bushes that were cut so that it was easy to run around and hide and sneak around.  The kids played hide and go seek there for about an hour one day and an hour another day.  It was a lot of fun to watch them and help them cheat.  Yup, Im' that mom.

After this adventure, we went swimming for a couple of hours, then I took the 2 babies upstairs for naps for a couple of hours (don't' worry, our room looks out to the pool).  Then I made everyone get changed and not touch, not talk, not walk out of line.  Just kidding…but I did make them change so we looked a little less white trash than we really are.
 The day ended with a  nice long walk to a nearby mall where J met us and picked us up and took us to dinner at the Melting pot for some cheese and chocolate.   Awesome day!

Spring Break 2014

On our first couple of days in Cali, it was just me and the 5 kids…so we made everything last a while that was in a safe contained area.  Close to our hotel were some awesome art sculptures and landscaping that the kids loved!  This one was just a really HUGE hallow metal sculpture that echoed So loudly….


On day 3 we finally got to play at the beach…our favorite! We found a nice beach…kinda crowded, but we like people watching…and people really liked watching this one…..

 She just woke up right before I took these, that's why we have no smiles…

 But finally, right when she had enough people watching, she let out a big, "CHEEEEEESE"….
 The boys and Kam loved playing in the tide pools and catching crabs and sea snails.

 Vivian was pretty much afraid to stand alone on a rock, afraid of the water, afraid of the crabs…

 My favorite part of the beach was when this guy brought this little shell to me and said, "Mom, I can hear the ocean in this, listen to it!"

 Finally Vivian found a happy spot….on a blanket with some kettle corn.

 This awesome guy wanted to get buried again….

 And you know what's going to happen if you lay and relax in the sand and you're a dad of 5 young kids…..YOU GET BOOBS!!!!!

 And even though I HATE my hair right now, and am at a horrible weight…I LOVE these pictures!!!! and I LOVE this baby even more!!!