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just goin' with the flow....

Updated: 2017-10-01T04:13:53.473-05:00


The Month of May...


I can't believe how terrible of a blogger I've been these past few months!  Life just seems to be getting more and more busy for us but that should be more reason why I need to keep up with with it.  I'm just going to do a quick little update on what's been going on for the months of May tonight and June tomorrow just so I feel a bit better about the fact that I've been a total slacker with keeping up with the old bloggity blog.  The month of May:Jackson graduated preschool and to celebrate he jumped off the little platform he had to stand on right after he received his diploma!  He was so excited that day to say the least.  He was so proud of himself and is super excited to start full day Kindergarten in August.  I don't know, I may be even more excited than he is at this point:).Jackson with his teacher Mrs. Pierce...Jake and Jackson headed out to the Fathers and Sons camp out that very evening which meant that Stella, Briggs and I got to chill at home for the evening (nothing out of the ordinary for us:).  Jackson was so excited and kept telling Stella and I that it was only going to be him and Daddy on the camp out and no one else!  Stella really wanted to go and ended up crying herself to sleep on the couch after they left.  She hates missing out and loves being  involved in everything that is going on.  I was planning on letting her stay up with me, paint our nails, watch a movie and eat yummy food together but since she had fallen asleep our night was cut short so I just put her to bed along with Briggs.  Right before the camp out...We've been really busy with trying to figure out what is going on with Mr. Briggs over here.  We are still have feeding difficulties and have made very little progress, on the feeding side.  He still has issues with his reflux, despite the fact that he's had surgeries that were supposed to take care of the problem, and his doctors are still trying to get to the bottom of what is really going on with him.  Because of these issues, Briggs is still receiving all of his feedings through his feeding tube and eats every 3 hours 5 times a day, each feeding lasting 1 hour and 15 minutes long.  He has made so much progress from where he started at but his feeding and gastric issues are still holding him back physically.  Briggs has weekly occupational, physical and speech therapy appointments and all therapists are working on trying to get him to where he needs to be but are still limited in what they can do due to what's going on with him internally.  Despite all of the discomfort he goes through on a daily basis this is one of the most happiest babies I have ever seen!  He melts my heart every time he smiles.Briggs during one of his "feedings".  3 times a day we work with him, let him play with food, give him tastes (if he lets us) and just really try to make feeding time a positive experience for him...Near the end of May, we caught the flu bug over here at our house and it was nasty!  Jake had to travel down to Panama for a week and that week is when it hit the kids.  First Stella had it, then 3 days later Jackson got it and then it hit the rest of us.  Poor Briggs had it for about 5 days and after 3 doctors visits, and almost needing to be admitted into the hospital, he got over it thankfully!  After 2 long weeks the flu finally left our house and I was so glad that everyone was healthy and well again.Jackson's turn with the flu bug...And Stella's just happy that she's over it![...]

Happy Fathers Day...


I know I have been a little MIA lately.  Life just seems to be getting busier by the minute for us around here.  Anyways, I have LOTS to update on but for now I want to talk about the 3 most special men that are dear and near to our hearts!My Husband.  I know I'm biased but no words can ever express how great of a father and husband he is!  This has been such an amazing and trying year and a half for us and he has been our little family's rock through it all.  Whenever I have felt overwhelmed and inadequate he, along with the Savior, is the one who I confide in.  He is the absolute best man out there.  My sweet mother sent me a text the other day and it just touched my heart.  She said that Jake was a "prince of a guy" and I truly feel this statement best explains the kind of person he is.  How lucky I am to be able to be married and have children with such a man.  Jackson, Stella and Briggs just adore their daddy.  I admit, they most definitely prefer him over me (it probably doesn't help that I'm with them all day:).  For example, Jake gave me a break last weekend and allowed me to fly out to go visit my mom and sisters.  I got back home late Sunday night and when the kids awoke Monday morning, and realized that their daddy was off to work for the day, they immediately started crying for him.  Haha, after feeling bad for a couple of moments I realized that maybe that break wasn't long enough for any of us and I kind of wanted to cry too!  My kids are so blessed to have such a father and I am the luckiest girl in the world to have such a husband.Jake's Dad, Mark.  I know that Jake is the husband and father he is today because of this man.  Mark is such and amazing father, father-in-law and grandpa and I feel so lucky to be part of such an amazing family.  Mark is such a true example of what a father should be.  He relishes every moment he is able to spend with all of his children and grandchildren.  Mark always cherishes and takes full advantage of our family times together.  Like Jake, there are so many things that I admire about Mark but one thing that has always stood out to me is that he is such a simple, easy to please man.  For example, when it comes to his birthdays or any holidays he loves just about anything... minus ties:).  He really appreciates the little things in life and I just love that about him.  I often get caught up in life and easily forget to just sit back and enjoy each moment.  Mark does just that and I really have already, and continue to, learned a lot from him.  Jackson, Stella and Briggs love going to Grandpa and Grandma Hubbard's house!  The last time we were out there Grandpa built a swing for all of the grandkids to play on.  This is just one example of the sweet, tender-hearted man that Mark is and we are just so blessed to have him as our father, father-in-law and grandpa.My Dad, Mark.  Today has been a very tender day for me personally being this is the very first Father's Day without my Dad being here on this earth.  Ever since he passed away I have had many many ups and downs spiritually and emotionally.  Death is never easy but it is a part of life.  It's the separation that hurts the most but through all that I have gained a much greater understanding and testimony of the importance of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that families can be together forever.  Through this whole experience I have learned that life doesn't end after we die.  I've always been taught that but now I truly can testify of it.  My Dad is the most perfect example to me of Christ-like living.  Everyone he came in contact with he treated with such love, dignity and respect.  He looked at everyone as the Savior would and it is because of his love for others why so many people, family, friends, neighbors, clients, came to be by his side during those very last precious moments of his life here on this earth.[...]

The Epi Episode...


The reason why I haven't posted for so long is because we have had quite the eventful month around here!  Remember my last post?  And this...picture?  Well, the very next day we had a VERY frightening episode.  Around 5:15pm Jake called me from work and told me that he had just gotten done working out and that he had spots all over his face and that he was feeling very weak.  I immediately thought he was having an allergic reaction and had mentioned that he had Chinese food for lunch.  He was planning on staying late to get some studying for school in but as we talked he said he will see how he felt and if he got any worse then he would come home.  After I got off the phone with him I immediately felt worried and said a little prayer for him.  After about 30 minutes I got another phone call from him and he said he was feeling worse and was going to take the next train home which was leaving at 6:15.  In order to make the train he had to book it and so our conversation was really short.  The whole entire time I was worried.  I called him a couple of times while he was on the train and as he was getting closer to his stop he was progressively getting worse and his tongue and throat started to swell.  I was panicking! He then could hardly talk and mutter the word "no" to me as he was walking off the train.  I immediately threw the kids in the car (Briggs was the only one buckled in a car seat) and took off.  I didn't even have enough time to grab shoes for any of us!  I then called 911 as I was high tailing it to the train station and they were able to send 4 police officers over to search for him.  The 911 operator asked me if I knew which slot he parked in and I told her no.  She then asked for his cell number so the officers could locate him that way.  She kept talking me through and said that the paramedics were on their way as well.  The whole entire time I was muttering, "This is not happening.  This is not happening.  I'm not going to allow this to happen!"  I truly wasn't sure what was going to happen but I knew that Jake's life was in danger and I couldn't have gotten to the train station any faster!When I pulled up to his car there were 2 officers standing next to him as he sat in the front seat.  He looked awful!  He was so pale, spots everywhere, his face and neck were swollen, he could barely breathe and was starting to go into shock... I had never seen him like that before.  30 seconds later the paramedics showed up and immediately took him into their truck, gave him the Epi shot, hooked him up to IV's and put an oxygen mask on him.  One of the police officers came over and tried to calm me down.  He told me that Jake was going to be fine and that they were going to take him to the hospital and everything.  I then called my friend and I met her back at my house so she could watch my kids while I met Jake at the hospital.  We ended up spending 4 hours in the ER before he was discharged.  They loaded him up with lots of Benadryl and prednisone and his swelling went down a bit.  The ER doc told us that he had an acute anaphylaxis shock and that he would need to see a specialist.  After going to the allergist Jake found out he was just slightly allergic to shellfish.  The doctor said that he had a rare issue called exercise induced anaphylaxis shock.  He told Jake that the reaction that he had to the shellfish was so small and would not normally cause an issue but that it was the mixture of both the shellfish and working out.  He told Jake that he should have no problems eating any shellfish but that the next time he does to try it at home and to NEVER work out afterwards and to ALWAYS carry an EpiPen everywhere... just in case.  This whole experience really has affected our family!  I was so close to losing my husband and that car ride to the train station was the most terrifyi[...]

8 Years and Counting...


Happy Anniversary to Us!!!!!

Celebrating by putting the kids down to bed, ordering some Chinese take-out and catching up on all of our DVR'd shows... my kind of night:).

Blessing Day...


We had the wonderful opportunity to bless precious little Briggs on Easter Sunday a couple of weeks ago.  Jake's parents and his youngest brother Aaron made the long trek out just to be here and share this special day with us.  The weekend went by way too fast but it was so much fun, as always, having them here.  We have been so blessed with such an amazing and supportive ward family and friends that we just really wanted and felt that it was only appropriate to have him blessed in our own ward, even if it meant waiting an entire year until we could start taking him to church.  Another reason why it was so special is that we were able to bless our sweet Jackson on Easter Sunday, as well, when he was 6 months old 5 whole years ago.  Both of my sweet little boys came into this world early and had to fight for their lives from the start.  They have had to overcome many many challenges from the very beginning but they have taught me that life is worth living and every moment is so precious.  Being given the opportunity to have both of my boys blessed on Easter Sunday reminds me of the importance of this very sacred day.  The Savior died and was resurrected so that we may all live and be able to return home to our Father in Heaven.  This year has been such an overwhelming and amazing year for our little family and I have truly felt the Lord's hand every step of the way.  We have so much to be thankful for and are so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people.  We love every single one of you so much!

Our attempt at a family picture (this was the ONLY one the kiddos weren't crying in... the torture we put them through just to get one picture:)...

Briggs with Grandpa, Grandma and Uncle Aaron!

Look Who's 1...


So I am totally back dating this post because I have to admit, I've been a HUGE slacker when it comes to blogging!  Anyways, Briggs turned 1 years old and I just can't believe what an incredible year this has been.  I have to be honest, on little Briggsy's birthday I was extremely emotional.  All of the emotions of what we had just been through in that year came flooding back to me and I pretty much spent the whole entire day in tears over all of the love, sacrifice and pain that we/I had experienced. About 3 weeks before Briggs was born (I was 24 weeks along) the perinatologist informed me that the blood flow to my baby was restricted and that they were going to have to deliver my baby early, it was just a matter of when.  They immediately sent me over to labor and delivery and gave me steroid shots to help with the development of Briggs's lungs.  My doctor at the time wasn't sure if I was even going to make it through to the weekend.  As he was telling me all of this I started to cry. He then grabbed my hand and began preparing me for what was to come, letting me know that our sweet little baby may not make it and, if he did, he would be at risk of all sorts of complications.  I really have a place in my heart for that one particular doctor, Dr. Taylor, especially since my maiden name is Taylor:).  I knew we had a special bond... we must be related somewhere down the line!  I immediately had to start giving myself Lovenox shots twice a day, Ensure drinks twice a day (to help get in as many calories as I could) and began going into the neonatologist every other day from that point on to make sure the blood flow wasn't getting any worse.  Our goal was for me to make it to 27 weeks. Since Briggs was an IUGR baby he was measuring especially small so 27 weeks was cutting it close.  If he would have come any sooner than that the likelihood of him making it was extremely slim. Jake and I were so nervous about everything but we knew that this situation was out of our hands.  I was so nervous with each appointment because I never knew what was going to happen.  On Wednesday, April 20th, I went into my appointment and that is when the doc told me the news I was hoping not to hear for a while.  He told me that the blood flow was extremely restricted and that the baby was experiencing reverse diastolic flow and that they were going to deliver my baby that day.  He told me that I needed to get over to labor and deliver immediately.  I immediately called Jake (who was at work downtown) and he was going to take the next train in. I then called my dear friend JaNae and she met me at the hospital to pick both Jackson and Stella up for me (I took them to most of my appointments with me).  Even though I had been preparing for this day for the past 3 weeks I still wasn't ready.  While waiting for JaNae to pick up the kids (it was only about 5 minutes after I had left the office) I got a call from labor and delivery wondering where I was at and that I needed to get down there.  I was shocked that they were calling me so soon since I had just left the office.As soon as the kids were picked up I went into labor and delivery and then 4 hours later our sweet baby Briggs was born weighing 1 lb 6 oz and 10.5 inches long...When they first brought him over to me I remember I could not believe how tiny he was and that the only babies I had seen that were that small were the ones whose mother's were drug addicts.  Is that bad?  Seriously that was my first reaction!  They immediately whisked him away to the NICU and after the plastic surgeon (yes, I was lucky enough to have a plastic surgeon help my OB doc out that day) finished sewing my c-section up I went into the recovery room.  The neonatologist then came and gave us an update and she said that she was shocked when she saw my placenta because [...]

Back Up...


Oh my goodness!!!! Where did March go???? I can't believe I let a whole entire month go by without blogging. I feel like I have so much to catch up on. Anyways, March was a very super busy month for us- Jake studying and taking his finals, increasing Briggs's speech, occupational and physical therapy appointments to every week instead of every other week, trying to keep the peace between Jackson and Stella, dealing with 2 sick kids, doctor's appointments... I feel like the list could go on and on but such is the life of being a mom.The highlight of our month was being able to take a week long hiatus from our normal day to day stuff and take a trip to see Jake's family out in Pennsylvania. It seriously was the best trip and it was so nice to take a break from the usual daily grind. I was too busy taking a break that I didn't think to take as many pictures as I should have. My mother-in-law Lisa and sister-in-law Jill (along with Jill's little girl Lilia) watched Jackson, Stella and Briggs while Jake and I went to Philadelphia for 2 days. It was such a wonderful getaway and, I have to admit, it was the first getaway we had where I wasn't worried or even wondered how the kids were doing. I don't know if that meant that I was truly in need of a break or if it was the fact that I knew they were being well taken cared of- or both? It was so amazing. We went to the King of Prussia mall, Nordstrom's Rack, walked around pretty much all of Philly, ate sushi right next to Andre Iguodala from the 76ers (I had no clue who he was until Jake told me. I don't know, I think it would have been much cooler if it was Mitt Romney or someone in the political sphere... I'm kind of a geek in that way), slept in, checked out the Reading Terminal Market (which was very cool) and we were able to actually have a conversation without constantly getting interrupted by one of our screaming, squealing kids... so wonderful. I truly am so grateful for Lisa and Jill and for them watching the kids for us. I am so blessed to have such amazing in-laws whom I just love and look up to each one of them so much!While we were there Jake's Dad built a swing for all of the grandkids to play on. They all loved it but I have to say that Stella probably enjoyed it the most:). She'd swing all day and night if she could! Here are a few pics of the finished product:Jackson trying to help Uncle Nate push Charlie...Making sure it's stable...Sweet Lilia and Stella...Aunt Jill, Lilia, Stella, Jackson and G-Pa![...]

Still Here...


I promise we haven't gone anywhere! We took a little hiatus and went and visited G-Ma and G-Pa Hubbard in Pennsylvania. It was a blast! We have more pictures to come and more catching up to do...

Play Date...


A few weeks ago Briggs had a little play date with lil' miss Averi! Briggs and Averi were NICU buddies and are only 10 days apart. I actually was in the NICU visiting Briggs when the doctors and nurses wheeled Averi in right after she was born. Ever since, Averi's mom Jasmine and I became good friends and I am so glad we still keep in touch and get our sweet, once teeny-tiny, babies together for little play dates. It's amazing to think that our babies were in the NICU for months together and I miss all of the conversations that we would have there while rocking and holding our sweet little ones. If you looked at our babies now, you would never know they started off as only weighing 1 and 2 pounds. They both are so happy, healthy and very smiley babies and I can't believe that they are only a couple months away from turning 1 year old already!

From visiting our babies in the NICU...


To having play dates 8 months later...


Happy Valentine's Day...


I bet you never knew that the "cutest kid" on this card was actually Jake, did you? Yes, when Jake and I were dating, almost engaged, I went out to meet and visit his family out in Ohio and his Grandma Pat actually gave me this card that she had been saving all these years. I thought it was pretty awesome and still do! I mean who else can say they were a model on a Valentine's Day card as a child??? What is even more ironic is that February 14th is not only Valentine's Day but it is also Jake's birthday as well. When we first started dating I wondered how the whole birthday/Valentine's Day combo was going to work out but I have to say I absolutely LOVE it!!!! The first year that we celebrated his birthday/Valentine's Day together we were just newly engaged and I actually think we took our engagement pictures that day...When we were done with pictures we went back to my parent's house and had a party with my family. I had bought an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen and had them scan the picture from this card his grandma gave me onto the cake... it was awesome and I think it embarrassed him a little:). That night I was so excited to give him his birthday present... tickets to the Metallica (his favorite band of all time) concert. He was so excited and shocked when he opened my gift, and might I add it really was one of the most amazing concerts I've been to... next to Garth Brooks of course! I am so grateful that I was able to meet the "cutest kid in the class" years later and and be able to always share and celebrate this very special day with him! I am truly so lucky and blessed to be married to such an amazing man who, not only is my best friend, but the love of my life (sorry for the sappiness... but it's true). [...]



Last week Jackson and I had a very fun conversation over a subject that every woman loves talking about! While staring at my forehead this is how it went down...Jackson: Mommy, what are those? Me: What are you talking about? (I knew very well where this was heading... no pun intended)Jackson: Those!?! And then he did this...I just about died!!!! I couldn't stop laughing. The conversation continued...Me: Those are mommy's wrinkles. (which I have to say I use my eyebrows and forehead a lot when I'm talking, doing my make up or whatever... just trying to make myself feel better about the fact that I have wrinkles, that are now very pronounced obviously, okay!?!)Jackson: How do I get wrinkles? I want wrinkles too.Me: When you get old like mommy, don't worry, you'll get them someday.Jackson: Oh, that's in a long, long time!Me: I'd give you mine right now if I could!!!!Honestly, this was probably one of my favorite conversations, though it reminded me that I'm not getting any younger:). It brought back memories I had as a little girl wondering when I was going to be "old" like my mommy and daddy were. Some days I still can't believe that I am actually a mother... as a kid it just seemed so far away to me. I just wish I was able to bottle up those sweet moments I had as a little girl like this one... or this one...and then bottle up all of the precious moments I am experiencing as a mother and re-experience them all over again. Wouldn't that be wonderful? I think so.[...]

Lunch Date...


Instead of having to work downtown, Jake had to work out in our area Tuesday so we decided to meet up and have a little lunch date with the kids. We are really limited with the amount of time we can get out due to Briggs' feeding schedule so I have to be very strategic when it comes to planning our schedule because we usually have a doctors appointment or therapy appointment that I have to plan around. We tend to not go very many places because usually once we get out I only have about an hour before we have to get back home so it was so nice that we were able to get out, grab some lunch and enjoy the nice weather we have been experiencing!




9 Months...


9 Month Old StatsWeight: 15 lb 7 ozLength: 24 1/2 inchesHead Circ: 43.8 cmBriggs turned 9 months old about 2 weeks ago and I have been meaning to post about it all week! For some reason, the end of last week and this whole week so far has been really crazy and exhausting so by the time I get all of the kids down (which I've been able to get all of the kids to bed by 6:30 so I shouldn't have any excuse) I am done for the day and once I sit down I just have no motivation to do anything. Anyways, back to our little Briggs, he is getting so big and is not so little anymore. He really is just the best baby and has such an easy-going, laid back personality. Once Briggs got his g-tube button we were able to move him into his crib and he absolutely loves it! He is such an amazing sleeper and I just put him down to bed at 6:30 (all hooked up to his oxygen, apnea monitor and feeding tube) and he sleeps pretty much until 7:30 or 8am! He doesn't fuss or cry when I lay him down and he just falls asleep all by himself. Oh, and he is currently off of his oxygen during the day which is super exciting! Can I just tell you how much easier it is to go places now without having to lug that tank and apnea monitor around everywhere? It's such an amazing feeling and I feel more normal being able to carry my baby around with just a car seat and nothing else. Briggs is still having issues with eating... can you tell? Poor guy. He is still refusing to take a bottle and now won't allow us to put a spoon in his mouth, although, since he has been teething he will allow me to rub the tip of the bottle on his gums. I also bought a little baby gum massager/toothbrush that he is starting to take a liking to. It's going to be a long road and we have many speech therapy appointments now and in our future. Our whole goal is to always make sure he has a positive experience when it comes to feeding time because, since he had suffered and is still having issues with the pain of his reflux, he still continues to associate eating with discomfort and pain. We have Briggs scheduled for a special feeding clinic in a couple of weeks so hopefully we will be able to come up with a strict plan and goals so we can get him to where he needs to be.Physical therapy has been going well lately. Briggs is slowly but surely gaining more strength and is less tense in his shoulder/neck area. We are still trying to work with him on rolling over and lifting his head and neck while on his tummy. We are trying to strengthen his trunk so he can start bearing weight on his legs and just so he can move around more. He has really taken a liking to his Bumbo though and loves to just sit and watch Jackson and Stella. He is getting stronger day by day and it's so exciting when we see him do things that he has never been able to do before.Briggs will be starting occupational therapy up once a week as well. He still isn't grasping and is having a hard time holding on to things. I wanted to start it up sooner but we have to wait until he has his re-evaluation meeting later on this month.With everything he has going on, Briggs is such a sweetie-pie and an amazing sport having to deal with all of the doctors and therapy appointments! It just melts my heart every time I look at him and he gives me his sweet little grin. Ever since he was born I always knew that this little baby has such a love for life! We love our baby Briggs so much and are so proud of him. He is such a blessing to our little family and we feel so lucky that he is doing so well. [...]

Holy Hair...


When I went in to get Stella up from bed this morning I was greeted with this sweet little face...


But then she turned around and I saw this...

I don't know what else to call it other than a total rats nest!

Luckily I was able to comb it out right away and tame her mane down.



I'm way too busy doing this...


When I really should be attending to this...

That's what tomorrow's for right?

Sometimes it feels good not to worry about the little stuff and, in my case, catch up on all of the shows that I've been missing out on!



I am ready for this week to start! I feel more motivated to get to the gym and do more things around the house. This is Jackson's last full week before he goes back to preschool next Friday and I am really bummed. Even though I get up early to work out life is so much easier when I don't have to get us all out of the door by 9 AM! If it was up to me we would never leave the house... I'm very much a homebody!Today was a great day though. Jake and Jackson went to church while Stella and I took care of Briggs. She is so funny because every Sunday she is either sad that she can't go to church or really happy that she is the the oldest one in reign for those 3 hours. Today she was happy and was so excited and willing to help me with whatever I was doing. She entertained Briggs, helped me change his diaper and just pretty much enjoyed not having anyone boss her around for the time being. She sure misses going to church and being with her dad and brother but I think she also enjoys the quiet peaceful time with just mommy and Briggs. Jackson had a great day at church and, supposedly, was super good for his teachers today. He came home just as happy as ever and was such an amazing kid the rest of the day. He even paid me one of the highest compliments that I have ever received when he told me that my brownies that I made for dessert were "perfection". Jake and I both laughed and asked him where he learned that word from and you want to know what his response was? Spongebob!!!! I'll take it either way... it made me smile! Briggs is continuing to grow and do well despite his feeding difficulties. It seems that he has severe oral aversion and I can barely get a bottle in his mouth, if at all. We have been working with a speech therapist since he has been home from the NICU but I almost feel like he has gotten worse. Anyways, I am so desperate and I heard about this little support group on Facebook (I'm sort of anti FB but this just shows how desperate I am) for mom's who have/had preemies and I am hoping that I might be able to receive some help and advice. Luckily Briggs has his 9 month old appointment this week and I am going to talk to the doc and try to figure out what we can do to make sure he is receiving the proper care and therapies. I feel bad even talking about this because we are just so lucky he is doing as well as he is and that he is as happy as he is. We'll see how everything goes but we are counting down the months when we will be able to start taking Briggs to church and go together as a family again! Jake's just getting ready for his busy week of work and school. I don't know if it is because we had been in the ringer for the past 9 months or so but this quarter seems to be a breeze even though his classes are pretty tough. I don't know what I would do without him and everything he does for me and the kids! He does so much for me and really is the most amazing husband. Yesterday, while I was grocery shopping, he even tried to help me out by unloading the dishwasher and when I went to make our dinner for tonight this is what I came across...YIKES!!!!Even though I almost lost a toe from a frying pan I sure appreciated the sweet thought and effort of my husband. Not only that this also made me feel very special to know that our household, without me, would be pure chaos![...]

Our Saturday Happenings...


Waxed my brows...Grocery shopped...Took a nap (only 1 out of the 5 of us accomplished this one. Can you guess who the lucky one was???)...Attempted to eat (or just barely taste) solids...Played in the snow...Watched movies (after a little meltdown) while keeping warm inside...Got a much needed meat fix for dinner (sometimes I just need a break from eating vegetables all of the time, and it was SO worth it!)...Now that the kids are in bed Jake's busy with homework (only 4 more quarters to go, hopefully. I secretly think my husband, if he could, would be an MBA student for life!)...And I am blogging because after 9 whole long months the day has finally come where I am caught up on all of this (x this picture by 10 and that's how much laundry I was constantly backed up on)...And it feels good.Whoever says that weekends are a break must not have children (or children who have meltdowns), or laundry, or has Pea Pod come to deliver their groceries... I could go on and on!We really do enjoy our Saturdays around here but once Sunday evening rolls around boy am I ready to whip our house back into shape and get us all back on schedule and into our weekly routine.Anyways, hope you and your family had a wonderful day today full of lots of work, running around, a few meltdowns here and there, enjoyed some yummy food together and took a moment to actually breathe and relax too. [...]

Blue's Clues...


Back in December Jackson's preschool had a Blue's Clues day and he came home with these cute ears! He wore these for days until one day when he got car sick while driving and threw up all over them. Jackson was so upset that we had to throw them away and so was I surprisingly!!!! He looked so cute in them.
I did tell him that I would make him some new ones but has that happened yet???? Nope. I'll just add to to the hundred other things I've been meaning to do.

Now I am not one of those amazing moms who saves everything their child makes, in fact, I am the total opposite. Sometimes I feel bad even admitting it but I hate to save things, especially when they come home with a "special" art project everyday. So I just pick one of their favorite art projects that they did for the week and hang it up on the fridge. I do have to be very careful that both Jackson and Stella don't ever catch me throwing their things away though. They both get so mad so I usually do it at night when they are both in bed. I even have to make sure that I strategically place their projects in the trash because if they ever catch a glimpse of any of their things in the there they get so upset and then start digging through the garbage to see if anything else is in there. I sure hope this isn't an early sign that I have some future hoarders on my hands!



Last week Briggs finally was fitted for his g-tube button. He still is having issues taking his formula through the bottle so right now this is his main source of nourishment. Before every feeding we work with him to try to take a bottle and after about 20 minutes we then put his feeding through the pump. Even though this isn't the ideal and normal way to feed a baby I am sure grateful that Briggs was finally able to get the g-tube and nissen surgery.

His current feeding schedule is that he eats (or should I say is fed?) every 3 hours (his feedings last an hour long) and then he is on a continuous feeding at night... so basically he is getting fed all of the time. He now can finally have tummy time and actually sleep in his crib instead of always having to be propped up in the bouncer 24/7. It's been great not only for him but Jackson loves being able to finally share his room with his younger brother and I love the fact that Briggs is able to sleep in a crib like a normal baby! Little by little, life for our family is starting to feel normal again and I love it.



and their facial expressions say it all...


I just have to add this in real quick, every time I see this picture it makes me smile and think about how lucky I am for my own little family. I am truly blessed to have such an AMAZING husband and 3 beautiful kids. I cherish every moment we spend together!

Okay, now I'm going to stop with all of the sentimental talk and get back to our family happenings:). Saturday we took the kids sledding at park near by us and they absolutely LOVED it! I wish we could have stayed out longer but it was FREEZING cold. After about 20 minutes (since I am the big wimp of the family and that was as long as me and my purple Raynaud's fingers could handle) we went and grabbed an early dinner with the kids at our "family date" spot, Culver's. It was such a blast getting out and being able to do something fun together as a family. Briggs really enjoyed it- all bundled up napping in his car seat the entire time. Now that we have weaned him off his oxygen during the day I feel like we have more freedom to get out and do things, other than just going to doctors appointments, and it feels amazing!

Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)...


Click here:
for the recipe!



Since we couldn't travel anywhere this year for really any of the holidays we spent Christmas this year with just our own little fam. And, yes, we were able to bring Briggs home from the hospital the Thursday before Christmas. To be honest, I was actually happy to just be home and have a stress free holiday... especially after being at the hospital for 4 days! Briggs' hospital suite!This year we had no choice but to keep things simple when it came to all of the Christmas hoopla. I so wanted to bake cookies and goodies for all of our friends and neighbors, read more Christmas stories to the kids, go look at all of the Christmas lights and just do all of the fun traditional stuff you do during Christmas time. I feel guilty we weren't able to do all of those things but I just have to remember that with everything that we have had going on in our lives this past year that I would just have to make up for it all next year. I think Heavenly Father knew what I was feeling because we had a very special secret Santa this year that the kids looked forward to every evening. We also had so many of our wonderful friends stop by and bring us fun little treats and gifts. Every time someone would stop by I just wanted to cry because it really meant so much to me and our family. We have truly been blessed with such a wonderful ward and friends!We started our Christmas Eve morning off with some doughnuts and chocolate milk. I think Jackson ended up eating 3/4 of the dozen! He loves doughnuts... especially the chocolate ones. Since we couldn't take Briggs anywhere we decided to do Christmas Eve dinner at home. We just had an array of appetizers (thank you Trader Joe's) along with the infamous shrimp platter from Red Lobster (in memory of my Dad... all of my siblings and I share memories of going with my Dad to pick up the shrimp platter to bring home as part of our Christmas Eve tradition growing up). I have to say that it was so nice just to pop things in the oven because there literally was like no clean up! I didn't have a single dish to wash... totally awesome and I think every holiday should be this way:). All of the appetizers were super good and it just made for a yummy, simple, easy, stress-free evening. After dinner we made a gingerbread house and the kids absolutely loved it. At first they were more interested in eating the candies but once we got going they got more excited about decorating it. We then read about our Savior's birth in Luke 2 and talked about the importance of Jesus Christ and the impact He has on all of our lives. The finished product...Briggs being the sweet baby that he is...Since I hardly put pics of myself since I am always the one taking them!Before we put the kids to bed I realized that we still needed to leave Santa his cookies! Luckily I was thinking while I was at the store and bought some of those Nestle premade/precut cookies... since we were keeping it simple and all:). Stella was already in bed so Jackson was able to stay up a little while longer while the cookies baked. Jackson "making" the cookies... I think this one might become our new tradition!Christmas morning...Santa's GiftsJackson, Stella and Briggs were so excited that Santa came and brought them presents! It was so much fun seeing their faces and reactions when they saw that Santa had been to our house. Since we were recording them I forgot to take pictures of them.Stella using the new table and chairs from Grandpa and Gr[...]

8 months...


And what better place to celebrate turning 8 months old than being in the hospital? You know you jealous of my pullout bed with the most uncomfortable rough blankets and my flat-as-a-pancake plastic pillows! Just kidding. We really are grateful and feel so blessed to be able to receive such wonderful care. I just had to throw my sarcastic (but very true) 2 cents in! Briggs' surgery went well yesterday and now he is just in the recovery mode. Since he had so many risk factors (with being a preemie and with his lung disease) the surgeon felt more comfortable having the surgery done at University of Chicago's Children's Hospital downtown.

Since we've been here I've been pushing for an exact day of when Briggs will be able to come home. If everything continues to go well then Thursday's going to be the day. I'm not a huge fan of hospitals, though I have and will always have a special love of the NICU.

Anywho, Briggs is just chuggin along despite a few hiccups, such as this one, here and there. Even though he has all of this extra stuff going on, he really is our easiest baby! Jackson was just hard by default since he was our first baby and introduced us into the real world of parenting. I see a lot of similarities between Jackson and Briggs though. Jackson loves Briggs so much and really is such a big help with his younger brother. When Stella was a baby she seemed more high maintenance and always wanted to be entertained, not to mention I was her only source of food since she refused to take a bottle! Now she is such a great little helper to me and is such a loving and kind sister to both of her brothers. And Briggs, I couldn't imagine our lives without this sweet little guy! It's amazing how every one of us is the perfect piece that helps complete our family puzzle.

Now to Briggs' current stats:
Weight: 13 lbs 11oz
Length: 25 inches

And here's his 8 month portrait courtesy of my iPhone...

The Big Day...


Right now as I'm hanging out in the waiting room my sweet little baby Briggs is in surgery. They are doing a fundoplication surgery(which is basically putting a wrap around his stomach to help with his severe reflux) and a g-tube insertion. Briggs reflux has been so bad for so long and we are really hoping this surgery helps. It's gotten so bad to where he chokes, can't breathe and I've had a couple of instances where I almost needed to give him CPR. He also is getting way to big to still have an ng tube and since he doesn't take any of his feedings by mouth any way he needs to have a g-tube placed in his stomach. I'm so excited because I don't have to worry about him pulling his feeding tube out of his nose anymore and I'm sure he is even more excited to not have to have a tube irritating his throat all of the time.

Thankfully both procedures are minor but he is still going to have to stay and recover in the hospital for the next 3-4 days. I'm just hoping everything goes well and we'll be able to bring him home before the Christmas weekend. He's our little champ and we are just so lucky that he's doing so well!