Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Robotics Program

For the past few months, Emilia and Carson have been taking a robotics class after school once a week. Last night was their last class and parents were invited to see what their students have learned.

The class is divided into grades based on their skill level. They each use a program called Scratch to program lego robots to perform certain commands.

Emilia built a spin top and a robot hangman yesterday. The hangman was hooked to a crane lever that lifted and lowered it.

Carson built an alligator whose mouth opened and closed.

Scratch is a free simplified code that uses preset commands to allow children to program games, animations, and robots.

The commands are designed to look like puzzle pieces that can be connected together in logical sequential order to create a desired result.

South Jordan Candy Land

While the older kids are away, the young ones play.

Most every week I take the two younger kids visit the library to check out new books.

While there we saw three different Star Wars candy displays.

The city of South Jordan sponsors a candy window display among the offices and businesses on Towne Center Dr.

Part of the fun is doing the candy windows candy cane hunt.

Stella, Andrew and I visited all six candy window displays to count how many candy canes were on them.

Some were a breeze, some had upwards of 50-60 on them.

When you have that many it's too hard to really know how many are actually there.

There were several favorite displays. The unicorn was definitely one of them, but so was Snoopy. We have been watching the Charlie Brown movie a lot lately.

There were several others on display but the reflection of the window made them hard to photograph.

The temperature was in the low 30's so we didn't linger long for fear we were going to turn into ice sculptures on display ourselves.

Gingerbread Train Depot

This year we decorated one gingerbread house (train station) and two trains. Todd and Stella worked on one train, while Carson and I decorated the second. Emilia had the house all to herself.

As usual, only a small percentage of candy ends up being used in decorating our masterpieces. A lot of it gets eaten and some thrown away.

To make things easier we waited until we put Andrew to bed before starting. There was no way we were going to be able to do it with him around. He is adorably curious and wants to be part of the action - and rightly so.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Andrew has bronchiolitis

On Tuesday I experienced a first: I got to ride in the back of an ambulance.

Andrew has had a cold since last Thursday, which eventually progressed into his lungs. He is only 15 months old, and since we've had him he has fought three colds: one last fall, two this fall so far. Each time we have had to go to the pediatrician to receive prescription medication or breathing treatments for him to clear his lungs of whatever gunk he has.

His second Dr's appointment was on Nov. 18 and coincided with a well child check up. The pediatrician administered a breathing treatment in the office and checked back with us later that day to see how he was doing. He seemed to recover well from it and that was it.

Until last week, when he started getting sick again. This time it started with running nose but no fever. Over the following few days it stayed about the same until Tuesday. That morning I took him and Stella to the Curiosity Museum where he played normally. Then all of a sudden, as I had him in my arms he just threw up all over himself, me and the floor. (there was a lot of it) It was horrible! I couldn't pry Stella from what she was playing with, all of the other parents were just staring at me while I struggle with her and him at the same time. The stench in the room was nasty. I ran to the front desk, and asked for assistance. I am grateful for layers. I was able to remove my long sleeve blouse and just wear the t-shirt underneath. I cleaned Andrew up and left the building.

By that time it was noon so I strapped him into his car seat and drove the kids home. Andrew fell asleep in the car and I moved him into his bed where he slept for a good 90 minutes.

When he woke up though, he looked weak and still tired. What worried me most was his breathing. It was shallow and fast with a whistle sound every time he exhaled. He was taking over 60 breaths a minute.

I called the pediatrician to see if I could be seen and they scheduled me for a visit in 30 minutes with another provider. Andrew's doctor wasn't in the office that day.

We were seen almost immediately. After taking his history and vitals the physician decided to try doing a breathing treatment. His oxygen levels were in the mid-80's. Normal range is 95-100%.

Andrew absolutely hates wearing the face mask during treatment, yet he was so weak that he didn't fight me when I placed it in front of his face for 20 minutes each treatment.

The first breathing treatment seemed to help but only slightly. After a second treatment, Andrew was back to the same stats as when we began. The pediatrician was worried enough that he arranged for an ambulance to take us to Primary Children's hospital for care.

Two paramedics came up with a stretcher and a car seat. They strapped Andrew into it and covered him with a blanket. They hooked him up to an oxygen machine and continued with the albuterol treatments.

Stella, who came with me became a little worried at all of this and asked me if Andrew was going to be OK. After receiving my reassurance, she came along to the ambulance with  me.

She ended up riding on the front of the ambulance while I sat in the back with Andrew and the paramedic taking care of him.

Andrew seemed more alert and kept looking around. I am sure the oxygen he was receiving helped with that. Anytime the mask would slip off, his stats would drop again into the 80's.

Upon arriving at Primary Children's (PCH) we were wheeled directly into an ER room and swarmed by doctors, nurses and staff. They bombarded me with questions about Andrew's condition, history, and personal information.

After getting an idea of what was happening they decided to do ANOTHER breathing treatment. We were up to 5 by that point. This one 45 minutes long. By this point, Andrew had more energy and was tired of them. It was really a struggle to immobilize him so he would take them. Finally, a PA came over and helped me with it until Andrew fell asleep in my arms for the majority of the treatment. 

They also administered some steroids so his lungs would be less inflamed. They didn't know what was causing the problem so they also proceeded to do a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia.

In the meantime, all of the albuterol made Andrew sick and he vomited again all over himself, me and his bed. I called the nurse's station for assistance and they came in a few minutes later to help wipe everything down. 

When I left the pediatrician's office by ambulance, I had to leave my car behind. So Todd and his mom had to figure out how to retrieve the car, pick up the kids from school and get to the hospital. It was a lot of juggling around but he finally arrived close to 6pm.

By that point Andrew was DONE. He was tired of all of the cables attached to him and kept pulling them off.  He was no longer interested in the toys the nurse had brought in. He was hungry but not allowed to eat. He just wanted to get down from the bed and walk around.  Stella was done too. She didn't want to watch any more movies or color, she just wanted to go home.  
The nurse alerted us that his condition was slightly better but not satisfactorily improved and that she was going to recommend the doctor he stay the night. We kept waiting for a final decision so one of us could go home. 

An hour later the physician said Andrew would be admitted into the rapid treatment unit for overnight observation.  So I left Andrew with Todd for the evening and drove home with Stella so I could do the nightly routine and help them get ready in the morning. 

The night was no fun for the two boys at the hospital. There was a nurse in every 60 minutes checking Andrew's vitals. He was finally able to drink and every wet diaper had to be weighed.

I drove back to the hospital at 9:30 am and waited with them for the pediatrician to discharge us. It was only then that we were given an official diagnosis. Andrew has bronchiolitis and an ear infection.

Definition: Bronchiolitis is a common illness of the respiratory tract. It's caused by an infection that affects the tiny airways, called the bronchioles, that lead to the lungs. As these airways become inflamed, they swell and fill with mucus, which can make breathing difficult.

Bronchiolitis is usually caused by a viral infection, so antibiotics and other regular treatments are ineffective.

After being discharged it took another 24 hours to see some additional improvements with Andrew's breathing.  Today, he is finally breathing a lot better.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Carson is 7!


I'm just as shocked as Carson at the fact he has turned seven years old. How has this happened?
I thought making faces was a passing thing but it has stuck! Many things have changed however. Here is  his new list of favorites for this year:

1. What is your favorite color: Gold
2. What is your favorite toy? Pokemon Cards
3. What is your favorite fruit? Watermelon
4. What is your favorite TV show? Pokemon Indigo League
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Nachos
6. What is your favorite outfit? Red owl shirt and red running shorts
7. What is your favorite game? Pokemon trading card game online
8. What is your favorite snack? Fruit snacks
9. What is your favorite animal? Cheetah
10. What is your favorite song? Crazy Frog
11. What is your favorite book? Magic Tree House series
12. What is your favorite subject at school? Recess
13. What is your favorite sport? Karate
14. What is your favorite thing to have for breakfast? Instant breakfast
15. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Animal tag game
16. What is your favorite drink? Apple Juice
17. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
18. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Owlwoods
19. What is your favorite thing to have for dinner? Ravioli
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A dad

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Carson's family party

On Sunday, Carson's actual birthday we celebrated his birthday as a family. I am always worried that because his birthday is in December he won't receive the same number of gifts his siblings get on theirs.

Well, this year he really scored some fun games. It's been a week since his birthday and he has not even gotten around to opening all of his presents. School really does limit his playtime.

For his party, he requested an ice-cream cake. Todd and I made him a brownie mint chocolate chip cake. It turned out pretty good.

We are so blessed to have a Carson in our family. We love you bud!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Carson's friends birthday party

If you would have asked me what kind of birthday party Carson was going to have this year, a swimming party would not have been on my list.  Fortunately this summer he spent a lot of time swimming and overcame his fear of water.

Ever since then, he loves diving under the water to see how long he can hold his breath.  So, when I suggested a swimming party, he jumped at the idea.

We reserved a party room at the South Jordan Rec Center and invited a few friends from school and family friends to the party. There was a total of 6 friends plus siblings swimming. Todd's two sisters also came to help keep an eye on the kids while they were playing in the water.

The party itself was fun for the kids. We usually don't go swimming in the winter, so it was something the kids were looking forward to.

We let the kids swim for about 40 minutes while we waited for our room to become available so we could set up. The decorations were simple and I didn't have to plan any games. I loved that part of it.

We had a chocolate and vanilla cupcake minion cake and served several other snacks to go with it. The timing was perfect. We got the kids out of the water just as the lifeguards whistled for everyone to get out of the pool for one of their rotations.

Playing in the water made the kids hungry so they were all ready to get out and eat some treats. Everyone was cold and wet so it took a few minutes for the party to get underway.  After Carson opened his presents they all got back in the water until it was time for them to go home.