Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

For Thanksgiving we held the annual Smith Family Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. It was amazing. The weather was perfect, 70s, sunny, slight breeze....heaven. My parents rented a big house and my four siblings and I, our families, and my parents all partied together day and night. The kids were in heaven playing with their cousins all day long. We went to Sea World (thanks Grandpa Dave!) on Wednesday and it was great--we loved the shows, Tyler and I went on a fun and very high water roller coaster ride, we fed and petted dolphins, saw Bert and Ernie and Elmo, etc. We went to a kids' science museum, had an awesome Thanksgiving dinner (despite the oven breaking Thursday morning) and had a plethora of lovely desserts, went downtown and saw the Alamo, the Riverwalk, and the kids got to chase some pigeons to boot. Luke asks and prays to go back to Texas daily. Enjoy a slideshow of some pictures from the trip, courtesy of Aunt Jessica.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lydia's Throat Saga

Miss Lydia has had a rough time eating and swallowing since September 21st. She was eating a sandwich at a friend's house and felt like a piece of it got stuck in her throat. She drank some water and it passed, she got up and started playing like normal. However, although she could drink with no problem she refused to eat anything else that day, and thus began our month-long drama surrounding food and meal times.

At first Tyler and I thought it was just her being dramatic or anxious about feeling that "stuck" feeling again, but when it persisted for weeks and she was refusing to eat most things (applesauce included) because her throat "felt bad, like something is stuck in it" or that food was going down the wrong tube, I took her to the doctor. She got diagnosed with constipation and maybe reflux, put on acid reflux medication, and called it good. When there was no improvement we took her to a gastroenterologist, who wanted to do an endoscopy to look in her throat and do some biopsies to check for an allergic-type reaction that he thought could be causing her symptoms.

Tuesday morning we went to Legacy Emmanuel Children's Hospital to check in for the procedure. I knew we were off to a great start when we got there at 6 am and all the outside doors were locked and guarded because there was a "Code Silver threat level 2" (which I know from work means someone had a weapon on the campus and was trying to get in the hospital.) They weren't supposed to let any non-staff in the hospital, but after deciding that I didn't look like a monster and that I'd be much safer with my small child inside the hospital, the door guard let us in. We were grateful to be inside, safe and warm.

We had some time to kill before the start time, so Lydia checked out the playroom in the day surgery unit.

Then we went back to our room, watched some PBS kids and braided her hair while we waited until it was time for her to get some oral Versed to make her sleepy so she'd be out of it when they put the IV in. This is her just a few minutes after getting the oral Versed.

This is her about 25 minutes after the Versed.

She tolerated the procedure well, although I admit I felt a little teary leaving her in the procedure room even though I put other people's kids to sleep all the time at work. I will have more empathy for those parents in the future.

The doctor came to talk to me and said aside from three small white spots at the top of the esophagus and three more small ones at the bottom, everything else looked normal but he still took biopsies to test for the allergic reaction condition.

Lydia came out of the sedation obviously groggy but she ate a red popsicle and was doing pretty well, until she quickly said "my tummy hurts!" and vomited red popsicle all over me and the floor. It was awesome. This is her post-puking.

And again after some Zofran, which perked her up. She also loved her teddy bear, which she got when we checked in and stayed with her every step of the way. She named her Carmel or Ellie, depending on when you asked her during the hospital stay. We hope she really likes that bear for a long time, because it ended up being the most expensive stuffed animal we own.

The pathology report came back and it wasn't the food allergy condition--those white spots were yeast. How she managed to get a yeast infection in her throat, I don't know. It's possible that when she got the food stuck in September she scratched or damaged her throat and the yeast (which is always in our bodies, just kept in check by normal body bacteria) was somehow able to take hold. Or it was just some freak illness, who knows. At least now we know why her throat has been bothering her, and hopefully after she finishes her medication and takes probiotics she'll be back to normal. I sure hope so; I'm sick of fighting about food!

We sure love this little lady and are glad to at least know why she's been having such a rough time lately. Of course, I'm sure that I'm not going to hear any complaints about her throat tomorrow when she's digging through her Halloween candy bucket!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stoddard health report #1

Tonight I was trying to slice the last chunk of onion into two little slices. Instead I almost sliced a chunk of my pinkie off.

I can feel my heartbeat in my pinkie right now. Weird.

Stay tuned for more pictures and video of Lydia's hospital visit this week. I should have results tomorrow so I can give you all the full scoop.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Two things Luke loves...

Donuts for breakfast



Thanks Grandmas and Great-Grandmas for Luke's birthday cash!


Remember when Luke ate an orange marker?
Apparently Ian was watching in heaven and couldn't wait to try it out today.

Lydia finds it all a little disturbing.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rebuttal to Shelly's Post about Luke

I saw these pictures from my brother's wedding and I thought of Shelly's post about Luke being photogenic, and then I laughed.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

He's an Animal

I've come to a realization about this guy.

He has large front teeth that are sharp, and he likes to gnaw on arms, legs, and shoulders...

He can look quite fierce, he growls when he eats, and he likes to howl at night before going to sleep...

and he likes to carry objects around in his mouth while crawling on all fours...

I think he is part wolf.

Coming soon....

Pictures of our trip to Utah for the wedding of these two beautiful people:
(my brother Aaron and his wife Jessica)

Which took place in this temple:

And the good times had with all these people:

Now lets see how long it takes me to get the pictures and video downloaded from Tyler's phone.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Who's Who?

Each of our kids at 6 1/2 months.

Can you guess who is who?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

He's got ants in his pants...

and two teeth in, and two more visible and coming through any day. Why did he decide he needed to grow up all at once when he hit six months?

I sure love this little guy.

Our trip to Bend

So I'm finally getting around to posting about our family trip to Bend, Oregon, in mid-July for Tyler to do a century ride (100 miles in one day...or just under six hours, including climbing halfway up Mount Bachelor, for my amazingly athletic and awesome husband!) Sadly, I failed to take any pictures of him on his bike. You'll just have to trust me that he really did it!

I'll be honest, I probably wouldn't have posted about this trip had I not come across this montage of pictures from the day before the ride. This perfectly captures the many faces my children make while trying to get one picture where they're both looking at the camera and smiling. I do so love these two crazy kids of mine!

(Pardon the quality, they're from a phone camera.)

On our little walk in downtown Bend, we gave the kids $1 to spend on whatever they wanted. Not surprisingly, they spotted a candy store and were ready to throw their money down on the first sugary treat they laid their eyes on. Luke ultimately went with the sucker, and as you can see, he enjoyed it immensely.

Lydia went with the Sweedish Fish. I have raised her well.

This last picture was not taken in Bend. It was taken at our ward camp-out a week and a half ago in North Plains, Oregon. I just wanted to document that we did go camping this summer, even if it was just for one night.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Watch What You Say...

Lydia is at a funny stage. Everything is very concrete. For example, I told her we were going to Out of this World, a pizza and play place. She said "how do we get back in to this world?" She is also in a "I must push the limits and freak out at the drop of a hat" phase right now. The combo can be bad news, as illustrated below.

A few weeks ago I came home from book club and asked Ty how the night went. Turns out, not surprisingly, that Lydia and Luke had not wanted to go to sleep and came out of their room five zillion times after being put to bed. Lydia went to the bathroom three times, Luke spouted many untrue stories about trains and "lights flashing" and being run over by a train, etc. The rule has been that if they came out for anything other than an approved reason after being put to bed (going to the bathroom, throwing up, bleeding profusely...that about covers the acceptable reasons) the childproof lock went on the inside of their door so they couldn't get out. Luke thought it was hilarious to try to get the lock put on, because it always put Lydia in such a panic. "What if I have to go potty? I'll have to pee pee on the floor or in my bed! AHHHHH!" Scream scream, cry cry, on and on. Inevitably, each time the lock went on she would knock loudly on the door two minutes later stating she had to pee, and would go squeeze two drops out, go back in the room, and they would go to sleep.

That night was no different. Luke was laughing as the lock went on, Lydia was panicking and yelling about having to pee, despite having gone three times already. The knock came as usual a few minutes later, but Tyler said he wasn't letting them out. "I'm going to have to pee on the floor then, AHHHHH!" "Fine, whatever, go ahead, you're not coming out," he replied. Eventually the yelling ended and the hoodlums went to bed.

I went in to check on them before going to bed. The first thing I encountered when I opened the door was Luke, completely naked, lying on the floor. (This was pre-potty training, mind you.) It had been a warm day, but not THAT warm. I laughed as I called Tyler in to see the site. Then I looked at Lydia on her bed and SHE was buck naked too!!! We were trying to figure out what they had been doing in there while putting underwear on Lydia and a diaper on Luke. As Tyler was putting the diaper on Luke he felt a little wet spot on the floor right about where he had been laying. Feeling around some more he found another little wet spot close to that one. We cleaned it up, figuring since Luke was naked lying on the floor he must have peed in his sleep.

The next morning I asked the kids about being naked and the wet spots. "Well, we were hot and sweaty Mommy, so we took off our clothes." Can't fault them for being practical I guess. "And, I told Daddy I was going to have to pee on the floor and he said it was fine, he said go ahead, so I did." Apparently Luke thought it looked like so much fun he joined her in peeing on the floor. Of course, this was three weeks after I had the carpets cleaned.

Tyler and I are now very careful what we say to Lydia, even in the midst of her tantrums.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

First "Real" Haircuts

A girl from church that I visit teach does hair, and since Lydia and Luke both needed hair cuts, and Luke's turned out soooooo well last time when I did it, I decided to have her cut their hair. Lydia enjoyed getting her hair shampooed and cut, but she didn't appreciate having it dried with the diffuser. She even got a little updo done after it was dried since she like to be "fancy."

It's kind of hard to tell in the pictures but Luke's little curls are gelled and spiked on top. He keeps reaching up to feel them, and he informed me "Mom, I can't sleep with my hair pointy like this!" I know I'm biased but I think they look pretty stinkin' cute with their new hairdos!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Update on Ian

This little guy is trying to cut some teeth. His favorite teething toy? His feet.

His favorite time to eat his feet is when he is getting his diaper changed. Diaper off--foot (or feet) in mouth.

We caught this little bit of video tonight. He's been scooting himself backwards for a little while now, and can sit up for brief periods of time unassisted before he face plants or gets his belly on the floor and can't get himself sitting upright again. I was hoping he'd break the mold from his siblings and be content to just sit up and look around for several more months.

Looks like I may not get my wish.

Update on Luke

Look who's wearing big-boy underwear all the time now!!!
Once he decided he was ready (and a few Skittles and Starburst helped too) Luke was pretty much potty trained in a few days, including wearing underwear at night. He's had just a few accidents, one of which was in the parking lot at Home Depot. I turned around to find him standing by the van, legs spread, not moving. "Mommy, I pee peed in my pants! I made a terrible mess! We have to clean it up!" I was really happy he let the floodgates loose in the parking lot and not in the van.

I am certainly enjoying not having to change his diapers, especially since his intestines apparently cannot hold fecal matter for any length of time, necessitating multiple BMs a day. Yuck.

He has since mastered the art of peeing standing up, and had his first experience peeing in the roadside bushes on our way to Bend last weekend for Tyler to ride his 100 bike ride on Saturday. (Way to go Ty!) We found him outside in the back yard of the house we were renting with pants down peeing off the steps. I'm sure it won't be the last time we find him urinating outside when a functioning bathroom is five feet away.

Update on Lydia

Each of the children has passed a personal major milestone in the last little while. Lydia's has to do with her first round of swimming lessons, which started last week. This little lady has been less than friendly with water (especially if it touches anything above her neck) for the majority of her life. After two days of swimming lessons, check out what she can do!

The gentleman teaching her class came highly recommended from people in our ward and I have to say it's been worth every penny. He teaches second grade during the school year and is so positive and energetic with the kids, and inspires confidence in them. Now I just have to figure out how we can get to the pool more often with the three kiddos so she doesn't lose her newly found confidence in the water!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Most of you probably don't remember this, but last Memorial Day we stumbled upon the Horse Tail Falls hiking trail. It's close to Multnomah Falls for those Oregonians reading this. We decided to hit the trail again this year.
The kids enjoyed the hike and swinging on the trail signs.

Ian had the easiest hike of all, strapped to Daddy's chest. Don't let the facial expression fool you; he fell asleep about five minutes in and slept the entire time. (Four month stats for the boy: 15.7 lbs (66%) and 26.something inches long (92%), on par with the rest of the kids. We grow them long and lean.)

The best thing about hiking with kids is you get lots of rest stops along the way for photo ops or just to look at cool rocks and ferns along the path.

Luke was running down the trail on the return trip and bit the dust...literally.

The kids' favorite part of the trip? Walking along the railroad tracks that back to the parking area and throwing rocks into the pond on the other side.

We're going to make it an annual trip, so come hike with us on Memorial Day 2012!