Sunday, July 28, 2013

Larson Ranch Week(end)

Our week at the Ranch was cut short this year, due to Nathan having zero time off from his Residency and all of us trying to prepare for the overseas move.  But we still did manage to get up there for a whole day and a half. Drove up Friday, enjoyed our Saturday, and back to Vegas Sunday afternoon.  It was short but sweet.  And this actually took place before our weekend trip to California to drop off the car.  Here are the few pictures I have from the Ranch this year.  It was hard to leave because we didn't really know if we would be back anytime over the next 3 years.  We missed having Andrea and Paul there.  They were a little busy having just barely welcomed Ella & Olivia into the world!!
Not a true Ranch Trip without some horse bonding time
...and some Badminton, of course
Isla's first Ranch feels like every other year we have a 3 month old at the Ranch.  Oh wait, that's cause we do.

No fear!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sawyer's Surgery and Other Stuff

I can't remember if I ever posted about Sawyer's swollen lymph nodes, so I'll do a quick recap.  Sometime this past January I noticed that he had a couple of lumps on the side of his neck.  They were about the size of blueberries.  He didn't complain of any pain, and had no other symptoms, but I took him in right away to have them checked out.  We tried one round of antibiotics, with no luck.  They also did a blood draw, and the results of that were completely normal.  So the doc decided it would be best to do a CT scan with contrast.  One traumatizing IV later and the results were inconclusive because he didn't have enough subcutaneous tissue in his neck (skinny boy!).  So we went for the next step, an MRI.  For this we were referred off base because they needed to do IV sedation, which wasn't offered at the base hospital.  At the MRI appointment we had to reschedule because of issues with the insurance company coding the procedure wrong--super frustrating, especially making the poor kid fast until like 1045 in the morning!  So 3 weeks after that and we finally had the MRI done.  The MRI confirmed that it was, indeed, enlarged lymph nodes.  The doc prescribed another round of a stronger antibiotic for 2 change.  So he referred Sawyer to the ENT on base.  Honestly, this whole time we weren't really too worried.  At first I was, but after the blood work came back clean I felt much better about it.  He was otherwise super healthy so I couldn't imagine it was anything too serious.  The doctor felt the same way.  But we also felt that we had to see it through.  The ENT agreed with our pediatrician's assessment, but also recommended that we see it through.  She said there were 3 things that concerned her a little bit--they had been there for at least 5-6 months, 2 rounds of antibiotics hadn't helped, and they were fairly large.  The only way to know for sure that it wasn't lymphoma was to biopsy the lymph nodes.  Before we knew it, Sawyer was scheduled for a surgery on June 17th to excise the lymph nodes.  It was promised to be a very simple procedure with minimal recovery.  Sawyer was glad that they would be able to put him to sleep with gas BEFORE they put the IV in this time.  So were we :).  My parents were still in town that Monday morning (from Isla's blessing) so they stayed with Violet while Nate & I (and Isla) took Sawyer in.  I was glad we could both be there for him.  The procedure took a bit longer than the doctor had planned.  She said the lymph nodes were buried a little deeper than they thought.  But even so, it went well and they were able to remove several lymph nodes.  She also assured us that they looked very normal to her and she wasn't worried, but that we would have official results in a couple of weeks.  Waking up from anesthesia was probably the worst part.  Poor kid felt miserable.  He had a slight cold so he was hacking up and choking on all kinds of gunk.  And he was so mad about the IV in his hand.  He cried about that thing until they finally took it out an hour later.  I felt so bad for him.  Once we got home he did much better.  He had some occasional ear pain for the next couple of days, which the doc said was likely a result of the lymph system having been jostled a bit.  And Sawyer absolutely hated taking the bandaids and tape off of his neck, especially where it was on the little hairs at his hairline.  I think I traumatized him with the first bandage so it took me almost 2 weeks to get the steri strips off of him!  But he is healing well and we have since received confirmation that the lumps were benign :).  While we weren't too worried, we were relieved nonetheless and glad that it was all over.  And clearing Sawyer was the final step for clearing our family (medically) for the move to Germany.  So we were finally able to get our orders and submit our application for the move.  The process was definitely delayed a couple of months while we sorted things out with Sawyer, but I'm glad we followed through and the results were positive.  He was such a brave boy through the whole experience!

In the Pre-Op waiting room

Marking the spot
Anesthesia came in and let him pick out a flavor of chapstick to rub on the inside of his mask.  He thought that was pretty fun.
Waiting for Sawyer to wake up
Mom at home, snuggling with Isla as we were getting ready to go to the hospital
Sawyer was all ready to snuggle too as soon as we got back!
She put a 'rubber band drain' in his neck for the first 24 hrs.  It looked pretty funky.

So that's it on Sawyer's surgery.  The rest of the pictures are just random happenings during the rest of June.

Finally got the steri strips off!!
Got the results--no lymphoma!

The ONE time that I have actually pumped since having Isla...took advantage of having a 4 yr old around to help me during dinnertime.  I should really do it more often
I asked her to take her shirt off for dinner...this is what we ended up with, haha

Gotta love summertime in Vegas!  This was an abnormally hot weekend, coming out of church.

The kids left one of my candles outside overnight...this is all that was left in the morning
We've actually gone to the movies twice with little Isla, and we usually never go!  She wears the noise-canceling headphones and we get a nice little date like a charm!
Running errands on base on an exceptionally hot day...took a nice break from the heat in the commissary.  The kids were excited about this cart, and I was excited that Isla's car seat even fit in it, barely!  Look at all those red cheeks!

Isla's Blessing Day

Isla was blessed on June 16th, 2013.  Also Father's Day.  Her blessing could not have fallen on a better, more appropriate day.  As I watched Nathan, Ned, my dad, and Grandpa Larson encircle Isla as Nathan gave her that beautiful blessing, I felt extremely lucky to have so many wonderful father figures in my life.  Isla was such a doll throughout the whole experience.  I love this little girl so much and am thrilled that she has joined our family!

It was so cool that my brother, David, could be there too!  He is usually not able to come along with my parents when they visit us, so we see a lot less of him.  I really love him so much and was happy to have him around for a few days!

Isla's Blessing Weekend

My parents decided to drive through Las Vegas on their way (technically out of their way) to the new house in Gilbert.  So we thought that would be a perfect opportunity for the baby blessing.  Sydney was with them for the drive as well, and she's never been there for either of my kids' blessings, so I was pretty excited!  We were also surprised by Grandma & Grandpa Larson who drove up from Mesa to be there.

My family arrived on Saturday morning and we pretty much spent the rest of the day relaxing and hanging out in the backyard.  My brother David loves playing in the kiddie pools so Violet and Sawyer joined him.  They LOVE their Uncle David.

Violet was so excited when Aunt Sydney offered to paint her fingernails!  Sydney is such a fabulous Aunt.  She is so good at playing with the kids and they definitely love her.

Looks like such a big girl here...

Playing Peek-A-Boo with Opi

On Sunday after church we all got together for Cafe Rio style dinner.  Yummy!