Friday, December 27, 2013

One Month Old!

Andrew is such a sweet baby.  He's so easy going, hardly ever cries, and is already sleeping 5-hour stretches at night.  He's definitely the center of attention at our house, and even Joshua and Rebekah frequently ask for turns to hold him.  He's so much fun and we're very blessed to have him in our family.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Picture share

Thought I would share a couple of pictures from the last couple of days.

**Note:  This was published and pictures attached from my phone.  I'm not impressed with the picture quality doing it that way.  :P  I think I'll stick to computer updates.**

The gray sweater was knitted by someone else as a gift for Andrew. The white baby cocoon I knit for him (love these cocoons!), and the blanket is one I knit when Rebekah was tiny. A sweet little baby covered in hand knits. Does it get any cuter?

Friday, November 29, 2013


Our new sweet addition, Andrew Glenn Watson.

Born November 27, 2013 at 6:02 p.m., weighing 6 pounds 14 oz and a mere 18 inches long.  With red hair!

For those who are bothered or bored with baby birthing stories, feel free to scroll down or move on.  For the rest of you, here are the details.

As of the 39-week prenatal appointment, Andrew was seemingly quite comfortably breech.  So Dr. McGregor (my obstetrician) and I came up with the game plan to schedule an external cephalic version - a procedure wherein Dr. McGregor massages and manipulates to manually flip baby around from the outside.  Once baby is head down, he would break my water (assuming I'm dilated at least 1 cm) to induce labor and we would get baby delivered before he had a chance to flip back around again.  We scheduled the version for the next morning, which was also the day before Thanksgiving.

Shane and I got to the hospital Wednesday morning at 5:30, meeting our friend and my doula, Rosa, as well as my mom.  The epidural was placed and then at 8:00, Dr. McGregor began a 2-1/2-hour attempt at flipping baby around.  Shane wasn't particularly keen on watching the version (can't say that I blame him, either), Rosa was extremely curious about it, so she accompanied and stayed with me in the operating room.  While I was numb to any pain associated with this fairly aggressive procedure, I was certainly aware of the pressure exerted by Dr. McGregor's hands and elbows, and could feel baby wriggling and mostly fighting the persuasion inside.  His heart rate was monitored all throughout this time, though, and he seemed to tolerate it all very well from that perspective.

After 2-1/2 hours, baby had still only moved 90 degrees and was now in a more transverse (sideways) position.  It was decided to take a break and try again in a while to see if baby will have relaxed and decided to be more cooperative later.  Meanwhile, I was taken back to the labor and delivery room where Shane, Mom, Rosa, and I hung out for an hour and a half, over which time my epidural wore off as expected.  Baby's heart rate was monitored and he continued to be clearly in good spirits.  Our hopes that he would eventually decide to just move the rest of the way around on his own, however, proved to be fruitless.

At noon, my epidural was renewed and Dr. McGregor came back in to the L&D room for session two of baby moving.  We agreed that after an hour if it wasn't successful, we would discuss the options, which included moving straight to a Cesarean section, or going home and coming back on Friday to try again.  After that hour, baby had hardly budged at all, and since I was still a few days away from my due date, it was decided that we would go home, enjoy our Thanksgiving Days, and then come back again on Friday to try again.  Dr. McGregor checked my cervix just to see if I had started to dilate at all and confirmed that it was still thick, closed, and firm.

At this point, Rosa decided to head home, and I proceeded to doze off while waiting for the current epidural meds to wear off.  Meanwhile, I proceeded to have contractions every 2-4 minutes, which wasn't altogether unexpected considering we had just beat the snot out of my uterus.  I mean, who wouldn't be irritable after that?  The contractions, however, seemed to slowly progress in intensity, which I chalked up to the fact that the epidural was wearing off, so naturally I would feel them more and more.  About the time the nurse was ready to take out my IV, epidural, and discuss discharge instructions with us, my contractions took a big step up in intensity and then my water broke.

The nurse checked my cervix but wasn't able to find it with enough confidence to make a call on dilation.  So she called Dr. McGregor, who came over and found that I had dilated to 1 cm.  Since that was obviously a change, and since my contractions were obviously genuine labor, and since my water had clearly broken, he did a quick double check with the ultrasound and confirmed that baby was still, in fact, transverse.  We were without options at this point, though.  We were heading back to the operating room for a C-section.  Chris, the anesthetist who, at this point, we were referring to as my "dealer," came back and gave me a third round of meds to numb me up.

The C-section went well, baby was finally delivered, cried like a champ, and then Shane went with him to the nursery while I got stitched up.

Andrew is now 2 days old and I'm still in the hospital working on recovery, anticipating being able to go home on Sunday.  My mom has been staying with me during the day while Shane and the kids have been working and hanging out at home.  They came over yesterday to meet Andrew and everyone, even Rebekah, was immediately smitten.  The hospital room I'm in is tiny so they had their little pow-wow in the hallway just outside my room.  Here's Shane teaching the kids about the delicateness of newborn babies.

I have to say, I am so immensely blessed with such an amazing family.  Aren't they good lookin'!?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ten days later

Now 10 days out from surgery, Elizabeth is looking much better! 

There is still a little swelling making things look more uneven than they really are according to the CT scan Dr. Riddle did at her follow-up appointment last Friday.  He said that once the swelling is completely gone in the next 2-3 weeks, he anticipates that everything should be perfectly symmetrical again and doesn't expect to need to do any revision surgeries.  So that's great news!  We will see his partner, Dr. Parsons in 3 weeks for the official all-clear to get back on the horse and prepare for the state horse show at the end of September.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer, for better or worse

I know I've been remiss in keeping this blog updated.  Summer time is pretty crazy around here and it's been difficult to find time to sit down and type things out.  Here's a brief summary of this summer's events.

JUNE: Ben went on the Burn Camp river trip for the second year.  He had just as much fun this year as he did last year.  It's a 4-day trip and is such a great opportunity for him.  Then Ben and Liz attended a 3-day youth retreat campout with our church group.  This was a really neat experience, too.  Unfortunately on the last day Ben developed a pretty severe case of heat exhaustion and ended up coming home early after he became quite ill.  The next week he was supposed to go with his scout group on a 5-day, 50-mile hike, but he was still not recovered from the heat exhaustion and so he elected to not risk making things worse by going on the hike.  He was sorry to have missed it, and he had been training for it for much of the summer, but in the end we think he made the right decision.  The kids and I went camping with the Wilcoxes that week instead (Ben spent most of the time taking it easy in the shade), but two of the kids and I developed flu symptoms and we ended up bailing out of that trip early, too.

Of course, in between we also had birthday celebrations for Olivia (now 9), Rebekah (now 2), and Thomas (now 11).  Elizabeth also had her first 4-H horse show of the year in June.

JULY:  The first week of July was relatively quiet.  We celebrated Ben's birthday (he's now 14!) and the birthday of our nation on the 4th with friends.  Then Dave and Cynthia came to town and we went to Salt Lake with them, our family, and Alicia's family to go to the Independence Through History Museum as part of Glenn Beck's Man in the Moon event that he held in Salt Lake City.  It was really neat.

Olivia left with Dave and Cynthia after that and they spent a week driving cross country to Pennsylvania for an autograph show, where she met several retired professional athletes of everything from golf to football.  Then they drove down to Oklahoma and spent a week down there.

Meanwhile, Ben went to boys' camp with our church group and then the next week Liz went to girls' camp.  Elizabeth also had her second 4-H horse show.

Two days after Liz got back from girls' camp, the entire family hopped in our van (we bought a 15-passenger van in March) and drove up to Sun River, Oregon for a Dudley Family reunion (Dave's maternal extended family).  We were there from Monday to Saturday and it was a fun vacation. We shared a house with Dave and Cynthia; Anne; Mike, Mary, and their baby Stephen; and Alicia and her two boys. The kids did lots of swimming, riding bikes, and playing at the park; Shane did some mountain biking with the cousins, and Shane took the kids hiking at Lava Lands.  I spent the week relaxing, knitting, spinning (I took my wheel), and watching the little kids.  It was wonderful.

AUGUST:  Again, we had a relatively quiet first week of August.  Then Liz had horse show #3 and had a great showing.  We sent the horse to stay a month with a local trainer and fellow 4-H family, and Liz also had some lessons along with it, and both of them learned a few things.  This helped make this third show quite a bit better than the previous ones.  In fact, it was enough to guarantee her a spot at the State 4-H horse show at the end of September!  This is the first year she has qualified for state so we're all really excited.

The first Saturday of August was Lagoon Day with ECI so Shane and the kids went up for that and had a good time.  The next weekend Liz went to burn camp for her last time.  She had a wonderful time as usual, but it was bittersweet for her, knowing that she wouldn't be going back next year.  She went 6 years and made friends that she saw each of those years, and developed wonderful connections with so many of the staff members.  She will definitely miss it. Of course, now she's old enough for the river trip, so that definitely helps to have that to look forward to, and she is determined that when she is 18 she will become a counselor-in-training for Camp Nah Nah Mah, and then go on to become a regular burn camp counselor.  I believe she'll do it, too, and I think she will be fabulous at it!

Two days after she got home from burn camp was the fourth and final county 4-H horse show for the year.  This was this past Thursday, the 15th.  Shane had to spend that night in Cedar City so wasn't able to make it to the show.  The other kids elected to stay at home, too, so just Liz and I headed down to Manti with Liz's friend, Tessa, and their two horses.  While waiting for the test portion of the show to begin, Liz was at the trailer trying to groom Dobbin and I was across the parking lot and arena in the bleachers.  I could see the van and trailer from where I was, but the horse was tied to the far side of the trailer so I couldn't see her or Liz there with her.  At about 4:30, another 4-H kid started running across the arena toward the registration table yelling for one of the leaders saying that there was an emergency in the parking lot.  I looked and saw somebody helping Elizabeth sit down gently against a tree by our van.  So of course I ran over there and found out that she had gotten frustrated with the horse, decided in a momentary lapse of good judgment to kick the horse squarely in the rear end, and was rewarded with a kick back directly onto her right cheek.  It was immediately swollen and of course we were worried about serious injury, so we decided to take her to the local clinic to have it looked at.

The problem was that I only had the van with the trailer attached and two horses and an extra person with us, so I couldn't just hop in the van and drive away.  Another lady, whom we didn't know, offered to drive us to the clinic.  So we went to the clinic in Manti and they made sure her vital signs were stable and sent us up to the hospital in Mount Pleasant for x-rays.  Since the doctor at the Manti clinic didn't really treat her, he also didn't send an order for the x-rays, so upon arriving to the hospital they said they couldn't do the imaging without a doctor's order.  So I called Dr. Brooks Thompson (our friend who also works in the clinic there at the hospital) and told him what happened.  Ironically, he had just arrived a few minutes before that to the arena in Manti so his daughter and Liz's best friend, Galilee, could ride in the show (we didn't know they were going to be there; they had previously said that Galilee was going to have to drop 4-H).  I sent pictures of Liz's face to him by phone (love my smart phone!) and he ordered a CT scan.

The CT scan showed that she had a crushed cheekbone and multiple fractures around her eye and extending down to the upper jaw.  The jaw itself was not broken and there did not appear to be any injury to the eye itself, and she was also neurologically intact.  So he told us to go home and in the morning he would find an ENT doctor to refer us to for treatment.  Tessa's dad was able to get the van/trailer and horses home, and Jo (our friendly driver) took us home from the Mount Pleasant hospital.  Liz slept pretty well that night after taking some ibuprofen and using a lot of ice on the area.  The next morning Shane left Cedar and came home.

Here's a picture I took in the hospital while we were waiting for the CT results.

The next morning was full of phone calls and waiting and figuring out where we were going and when.  Brooks came over to take a look at her, and brought Galilee so the girls got to visit.  The ENT he recommended happens to work in the same clinic as the doctor who took out the kids' tonsils in April.  Wait... didn't I blog about that?  I guess not.  Okay... Elizabeth, Olivia, and Joshua all had their tonsils removed on the same day in April, on tax day in fact.  Everything went well and everyone made a full and speedy recovery.

Back to yesterday and Liz's broken face... The clinic called and said that Dr. Riddle would see her yesterday afternoon and possibly even perform reconstructive surgery at that time as well.  So the two of us packed an overnight bag just in case and headed up to Provo.  We saw Dr. Riddle, who looked at the CT images and announced that it's a pretty nasty break and was going to require about 3 hours' worth of surgery to fix, but it was fixable, and proceeded to make sure we understood that if the impact had been an inch or less in any direction that we would be dealing with significantly more catastrophic problems.  Essentially, Liz is a very, very lucky... blessed... young lady.

Here's Elizabeth the morning after the injury before we left for Provo.  After the swelling had come down, you could see how the side of her face was caved in.

He sent us straight over to the surgical clinic and surgery got underway about 5:30.  Two and a half hours, three plates, and two incisions later (one on the inside of the right lower eyelid and extending about an inch beyond the corner of the eye, and the other on the inside of her mouth between the gums and cheek), she was done and the doctor was very pleased with how well it had all come together considering the nastiness of the situation.  He said the fracture to the cheekbone had telescoped in and collapsed slightly on itself, which made it more difficult to piece back together, but he said it repaired nicely.  Shane drove up to join me in the waiting room during the surgery.

Once she came out of the anesthesia they said she was stable enough to go home that night instead of having to stay overnight.  We didn't get home until midnight, so it was a late one, but still was nicer to be home instead of at the surgical center all night.

This morning she is still feeling very sleepy, but is not in pain thanks to a regular dose of pain medication.  Her face is pretty puffy from the surgery, but is at least round again.

Dr. Riddle said that by 4 weeks from now she will be completely healed, and since the state horse show is 6 weeks ago, there's no reason she shouldn't be able to go ahead and compete in it.  Liz was very, very happy to get that news as she is still anxious to be able to compete even after all of this.  We're all just very thankful that it's not any worse than it is.

Oh... and one more piece of news that I haven't gotten around to sharing here yet.  We're having another baby!  After the terrible miscarriage last fall, I was very nervous for the first several weeks, but I'm now 24 weeks and everything looks absolutely perfect so we're all thrilled.  Best of all... it's another boy!  Our pattern is intact!  Silly thing maybe, but we think it's pretty cool.  Baby is expected in early December.  Unfortunately, I'm already having issues with an irritable uterus, which is what gave me trouble with both Joshua and Rebekah and resulted in some bed rest toward the end of Rebekah's pregnancy.  So I'm taking it very easy this time around to avoid any major problems.  So far, things have been going very well overall though.

So that pretty much catches up our summer.  Now the title, "For better or worse," makes a little more sense, eh?  The summer madness is now starting to wind down, though, and soon we will be starting the organized chaos that is the school year.  But there will be more on that later.  Probably in a few months, knowing me.  :\

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


One of our hens, the Black Australorp, went broody a few weeks ago and has been sitting on 10 eggs.  This past weekend marked 3 weeks since she started sitting and, sure enough, 4 baby chicks were hatched - 3 on Sunday (Mother's Day) and 1 yesterday. The hen is a good mama, taking care of and protecting the little ones.  When we go into the coop, she puffs up her feathers and the babies run to her and she gathers them under her.  It's so cute!

I candled the remaining eggs.  Two of them appeared to be unfertilized.  The other four obviously have some kind of development going on, but don't seem to be as far along as they ought to be for as long as they've been there, so I'm not sure if they're even viable anymore.  She's been neglecting them more and more today, also, so I think she may be done brooding.  I'm going to give it a couple of more days to decide if she's officially abandoned them or not.

I also caved and bought some other baby chicks this year - four Easter Eggers.  Here's a picture of them a couple of weeks ago.  They're all totally feathered out now and not so much babies anymore.

Our next addition isn't exactly babies, but it's still new.  Ben has started the adventure of raising bees.  We brought them home and installed them into the hive about 3 weeks ago.

They're pretty docile and we can stand right next to the hive even with it open and they will fly all around, but won't bother us unless we make sudden movements or something.  So far Shane is the only one to get stung, and it seemed like a rogue, because all the rest of them were acting quite calm at the time.

We left them alone for the first week, and by the time we opened the hive the first time, they had already build quite a bit of honeycomb and filled quite a bit of it with honey already.  Exciting!  It is not expected that we will get any honey for harvesting until late this year, but so far they're off to a good start building up their stores for the winter.

I love the farm in springtime!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Toy

I just got my first real smartphone. Shane's had an iPhone for work for a while and has liked it so much he figured I should have a smartphone too. Naturally I didn't protest. I got the Android-based Spectrum 2 by LG and I'm in love. In fact, I'm posting this via the Blogger app.  I can even take pictures with the phone and post them directly to the blog, like this one of Rebekah, who's always game to have her picture taken. Maybe... just maybe this will lead to more frequent posts here as I won't have to try to find time to sit at the computer to write them every time. At least we can hope so.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


While in Idaho for Shane's Grandad Watson's funeral last weekend, we stopped and took pictures at the Snake River Gorge Bridge.


Here also is a picture of the girls a week ago.  Aren't they pretty?  And getting so big!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Some updates...

There have been a few notable happenings lately, so I figured I'd share.

As I said a couple of posts ago, Shane has been traveling back and forth between here and Oklahoma pretty much every week since early December except for over Christmas.  This past week, I got to join him and we managed to take a couple of the days off so we could spend some time together.  Just the two of us.  No kids.  They went out and spent the week with Alicia.

The vacation, which we planned for in mid-December, started out with a little bit of stressful frustration.  After the kids had already left Sunday morning, it was brought to our attention that I did not, in fact, have a plane ticket.  The travel agent that Shane called back in December, the same one who books all the travel for ECI, had somehow managed to not book my flight.  Here we were, two hours before we were supposed to take the two-hour trip to the airport and it looked like I was going to be staying home after all, forced to figure out how to drive out to Granite to get the kids home without two drivers (the Suburban went to Granite with the kids).  In the end, we managed to get me a last minute ticket on Priceline, but I would have to fly out on Monday instead of Sunday with Shane.  Okay, not the ideal situation, but not the end of the world either.  So Shane left and I stayed the night at home myself and drove up to the Salt Lake airport myself on Monday.  I arrived in Oklahoma City at 11:30 p.m. on Monday.

Shane had meetings on Tuesday, so I went down to Dallas with Shane's sister, Anne.  His sister, Mary, and her husband, Michael, live there and it's about a 3-hour drive.  The three of us girls spent the day together visiting and doing some sight seeing.  The next day I spent the morning shopping with Cynthia.  Then Shane and I left Oklahoma City and drove up to Missouri to see the church history sites in Independence, Far West, and Adam-Ondi-Ahman. We got to Independence around 9:00 and stayed the night in a very cute bed and breakfast which, we didn't realize until the next morning, just happened to be across the street from the temple site there, which will be the center temple in the city of Zion.  We thought that was a pretty neat coincidence.  We visited the temple site, then drove up to Far West and then Adam-Ondi-Ahman.  Then we booked it back to Oklahoma City but still didn't get there until about 9:30. 

The next day he had paperwork to take care of in the morning for work so Cynthia and I went to the local yarn store and the mall.  Then she went to work and Shane and I hung out the rest of the day.  Anne swam in a swim meet with her college team that evening so we went and watched that and then we went out to the very nice restaurant where Anne works for dinner.  Shane planned to stay through the weekend with his next flight home being next Wednesday, so Saturday morning we hung out and then he took me to the airport and I flew home, arriving back in Mount Pleasant at 1:00 a.m. Saturday night.

Today (Sunday), I met Alicia in Santaquin to pick up the kids and the Suburban, and now we're all home again... well, except Shane, who will be home on Wednesday.  It was a wonderful vacation, for all of us.  The kids had a good time at Granite with Parker and Brigham, even though most of them came home with head colds.  It's good to be home now, and tomorrow we will be back to the regularly scheduled business of life.

Saturday morning just a little while before Shane took me to the airport, we got the word from Alicia that their Grandad Watson passed away Thursday night.  We knew he had been ill and had been living in an assisted living facility as he needed support beyond what Grandma Leona was able to give him.  So it wasn't altogether a shock to hear of his passing.  The funeral will be sometime toward the end of this week in Twin Falls, Idaho, so we will plan to all drive up there for that.

The week before our vacation, I took Joshua in for repeat hearing testing and this time around he tested normally enough in the left ear that the audiologist said she wouldn't even bother with a hearing aid in it.  We will go back next month to repeat the testing to make sure we get the same results and that this testing wasn't a fluke or anything.  It's difficult to know whether this means his hearing is not actually as bad as previously thought or whether it is actually improving, but either way it's good news.  We'll see what next month's testing shows.  His speech vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds these days, though he still has a tendency to drop the initial consonant sounds of most words.  We're working with him on that, though, and I'm confident that it will improve over time.

Budding Maestro

Joshua had his first unofficial piano lesson today.  I have felt for a while that it would be fun to label the piano keys and use a book that labels the notes with letters and have him learn the songs that way.  Since he already knows all of his letters and likes to play at the piano, it seemed like the natural thing to do.  So today we actually did it.

He started out playing the notes and saying their letters.  Then we broke out the book.

I pointed to each note and he found it on the keyboard and played it.  We went through the whole song (two lines of notes) this way.  Then we cheered and gave high fives and he was very proud of himself.

I figure as long as he's enjoying it, we'll keep playing with it.  No pressure, just fun.  Who knows... maybe he'll end up the next great concert pianist or composer.  You never really know with this kid.