Welcome, welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read about our crazy, fun life. Look around to learn about us, our adoption story, or to find out how to contact us. Feel free to make comments (LOVE comments). We do have the comment moderator on, so if you want it private, just say so. Also, we have pass along cards. If you'd like some, just let us know! Thanks again and happy reading!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ayden's 3rd birthday

Ayden's birthday was a bit different this year. We had the privilege of being in Texas, visiting the Payne side of the family. One of Jared's brother's took out his endowments on Ayden's birthday... and then the next day (Friday) Jared's sister got married! So it was a fun, busy trip. Because of these two awesome events, we waited to celebrate Ayden's birthday on Sat. One of our amazing sisters-in-law made a blue mickey mouse cake, as requested by Ayden. He had fun playing with the black frosting
Can you believe this was her first time decorating a cake? She did amazing!
I just sat and admired Ayden as everyone was singing to him. He just beamed. I'm hoping and thinking he could just feel the love everyone there has for him. He's one special, lucky boy.
Ayden had to get all up in the bag to get his present out
I think this present from Grandma Shell was the favorite this year... Captain America and Spiderman action dolls
The same sister-in-law that did the cake... she also surprised us by making Ayden a pinata!! I wish I could have gotten the camera out and ready in time. He face and reaction was priceless. He LOVED the pinata. Ayden gave Mickey a hug and had to show him spider man! lol He got a bit nervous once Mickey started breaking... but he handled it like a champ. I think Ayden had a fun little party. I really appreciate what everyone did to make it special... especially you, Itzel!!! 
I ssssooo struggle with this part... talking about my kids and their personalities. I don't know the right words to express how special both of them are. So bear with me :oP Ayden is a strong spirit in his own way. He fights his own challenges (he has a sensory disorder and as well as whatever is going on with his growth... that type thing) but he just keeps smiling, trying to discover life, and most people aren't even aware of emotional/mental struggles. Despite having to take back seat a lot, because of Bree's medical issues, he's a happy kid. He doesn't mind her getting the attention. He has an unconditional love for his family. Ayden is very, very family oriented. Currently his favorite song is "Here we are together" but we modify it to say "dad, mom, ayden, and breeann". On our way to TX, I bet Jared listed everyone that would be there handful of times, before Jared had to tell Ayden he wouldn't do it anymore... and we're talking there was 30+ people there. Ayden just loves hearing about his family members. Ayden is definitely all boy. He loves Mickey, dirt, trucks, etc ... what is funny though, is he actually doesn't like getting dirty. I don't know that I could pin a favorite food for Ayden, but he does love McDonald's ... and "slurpee parties"... but it's more the idea then then the actual food. Without a doubt, his favorite color is blue. Overall, Ayden is a pretty passionate boy. When he's not around, like at school or something, everything just feels so empty. We just love him more then words can say. We are so extremely grateful for the sacrifice his bios. made, which allowed us to be his parents. Can't even express our feelings there either. Anyway~ I am just so lucky to have such a special little boy calling me mom! Love you baby boy!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Nebraska... again

So I think I just need to write this, get it out there, and be done with it. I don't know why I'm dreading writing it, but yeah... So bear with me if this post is rambly, doesn't make sense, and yeah... Please, please, please feel free to ask questions. We are an open book about most things :o) I'm going to write everything that happened for journal sake and to hopefully help things make more sense. I'll put pictures in between to hopefully help this post be more exciting.
So, we just spent 5 weeks in Nebraska. We went to do some intensive feeding therapy with Breeann. This was our last ditch effort to avoid transplant. So when we got there, Breeann was admitted to the hospital for what ended up being two weeks. They took her off all the medications she was on at home and increased her tube feeds until they hit a trouble spot. Which the trouble spot was the same one we were getting at home too. So after trying a couple of new medications, and the meds not workings, they decided to scope her. The scope showed a tiny bit of dilation and some colitis. So they started her on antibiotics and a steroid... discharged her a couple of days after.
For about a week, she did some testing for feeding therapy as outpatient and we were told to not push her tube feeds, just see what she would eat orally. And her oral took off!!! She loves eating. It definitely helped that steroids increase your appetite too :oP When we meet with the dr. a week after discharge, he told us that he wants to do a venogram on her. A venogram is where they inject dye into the veins and do like MRI images while watching what the dye does. This was done the next day and they sedated Bree for it. When the radiologist came to talk to us, he told us about what we expected. So there's 2 main arteries on each side of the body where they can put Bree's IV. On her left side, where the two arteries meet, there's like a birth defect and that side has never really been good. We can't use either artery. On her right side, one artery is good, the other is bad. So that means we only have 1 of 4 sites to use on her.
Because of no access sites left and we were unable to increase her feeds, Bree's NE teams recommend transplant and sent us home to UT. And I should mention, they wanted to transplant intestine, pancreas, and liver. I guess there is scar tissue starting to form on her liver and they are thinking better safe then sorry. Anyway~ so Jared and I spent two or three weeks fasting, praying, and having extremely hard discussions with each other and our families. In the end, our decision was to NOT transplant. The transplant would not buy us more time with Breeann in this life and it would decrease her quality of life. Hardest decision EVER!!!! No one should ever have to sit there and debate their child's life/death like that. Thankfully, and gratefully, we were lead by the Spirit, made our choice, and told our family and Bree's whole medical team. They were all very supportive.
When we talked to her GI dr. here at Primary Childrens, he made us feel so incredibly much better!! I swear that man is heaven sent and a miracle worker. He told us that he felt like we made the right choice. He said he's never lost a patient because of no IV access site. He said he was really encourage by Bree's oral eating, thinks she'll thrive that way, and is interested to see how it all works out. He's told us numerous times that he's a new boat with us. He's never had a patient that has as much duodenum as she does... duodenum is the first part of small intestine. He also told us too that he wants us to slowly introduce her allergy foods (milk, egg, and peanut). Which I can tell you, she is outgrowing her milk allergy. We see the allergist tomorrow and it'll be an interesting appointment I think.

Bree is doing remarkably well! In fact ... in the last week, we have gotten her to gain 0.4 kg (which is like just over a pound). Breeann can down a whole 8.5 oz can of vienna sausages (thank you Brian and Tawnya for introducing them!!!). She is happy, developing, and sassy as ever!

We cannot thank enough our family and friends who went through that horrible 2-3 weeks with us. They have always been our angels on earth and been there through it all with us. We are so incredibly blessed and grateful for each and every single one of you. Even if we aren't the greatest at expressing it, we do notice and appreciate it more then you can know.
So that's what we've been going through the last half of the summer. Luckily it's over and we're really doing great. Life is good!!! Love to all!!!

Fun times!!

So we have had a fun, but busy weekend!! We started out by going to a school carnival thing with my sister, nephew, and niece. My sister is an amazing kindergarten teacher... it was fun to see all the people... and especially kids... that know and admire her. Bree did something that she's never done before. And I swear to you I don't do this... I think Bree picked it up from her aunts Shan, Anna, Mel, and Heather!! lol
I think it's hilarious and cute. We'll see if she wants to keep doing things like that.

Anyway~ the next day we went to the aquarium... just the 4 of us.
It was so incredibly nice and fun to be just doing something just us, relaxing, and having a good time... even if my kids were tired and cranky :oP

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Breeann's 2nd birthday

So... this is almost a week late, but you know :P Anyway~ Especially with fairly recently getting back from Nebraska, and with Bree still not quite being old enough to care... we did a small birthday party after dinner. We had my brother, his family, my sister, and a couple of family friends over for cake and ice cream... opened a few presents.
It was the perfect little party, I thought.

What to say about my dear precious Bree. She is Heavenly Father's way of pushing me to become patient :P Breeann loves life! She takes her time doing things and soaks it in. She LOVES playing, singing, and listening to stories. Despite all that life has thrown at her, she has embraced it with love. And she doesn't let anything stop her.

Breeann is, however, cautious! She hates trying new foods and learning new physical milestones (ie how to pull herself up on the couch). Once she gets over that initial shock, she's good and loves it, but it takes some bribing to get her to that point.

She hasn't quite picked out favorite characters, toys, etc yet... but Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, and little critter's sister are definitely up there. Although, I would have to say her absolutely favorite person in the world is her dad. She just lights up whenever she's with him and she's always asking for him. Breeann's a daddy's girl through and through.

I think that about sums up our little angel. WE LOVE YOU, BREE!!!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Random Pictures

As mentioned, we went and spent some time in Nebraska! These next two or three post will all be from when we were there. And Mel, I've never used a picture collage app so you'll have to teach me if you want me to try using it :o) Anyway~ NE has a really awesome children's museum. We went a couple of times, but I didn't do pictures the other time. :oP

Our little shopper!
These next few pictures are a little show they had called dancing with a princess
 They had an amazing area ... whole bunch of balls and fun litlle contraptions you can put them in
Now he's a mechanic!! Jack of all trades
They had a carousel
And they had an awesome slide area... wish i would have gotten better pic of the whole area

Thursday, September 4, 2014

My birthday

This year we spent my birthday in Nebraska. Jared's bro, Brian, and his family were able to be there to join us!! It was a blast. I won't lie started out shaky... but ended up being a blast. So ... in the morning, Breeann needed a test at the hospital that ended up taking all day. More on that later... Anyway~ When we got back from the hospital, we walked into the apartment we stayed at and saw this...
It totally made my day!! Especially since the hospital hadn't been so great. We started out by opening presents:
After presents we had lunch, put the kids down for a nap, and then Jared and I got a couple of hours to just us. We got a smoothie and just talked... it was perfect!! We went to dinner at a yummy Chinese place and then went back to the apartment for cake and ice cream
Bree had her very first ice cream!!! Brian and Tawnya were so sweet and bought her chocolate coconut milk ice cream
It was a hit!! And definitely something we'll keep around here now for her.

Thanks so incredibly much again for everything Brian, Tawnya, and girls!!! And also thank you to Jared for also making my birthday special. I've definitely been so blessed to have incredibly family and friends!!! I love you all!!!