Thursday, February 27, 2014


It's amazing, but when I get up early, Silas and Brigham just sense it. I am super quiet too! They just have this little sensor that goes off when I get out of bed. So if I get up early, Brigham and Silas get up early too and that means that later they will be super tired! 
Coming home from dropping Brigham off at preschool, Silas fell asleep and actually (miraculously) fell back asleep when I put him down on the couch. This left me with something that rarely on one time with Adam. What precious time! we ate lunch together, read stories, and played with cars. I feel bed but I was tired too, so I layed down on the couch hoping he just wanted to cuddle, but he didn't for very long so I just watched him with sleepy eyes and listened to him talk up a storm. This was good for my soul! It made my heart happy.
I need to do better at trying to have one-on-one time with all my children. They are so well-behaved when they don't have a sibling to fight with. They love having you all to theirself! 
Doug had one-on-one talks with Brigham and Silas when he got home because of an issue we had earlier today. I am amazed with what these boys learn when they talk to their father. One-on-one time can be a blessing for both the parent and the child. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"Best. Day. Ever!"

Brigham came running out of the school to the van and yells as loud as he can, "Best! Day! Ever!" I open the door for him and he wasn't sure that I heard him so he yelled again, "Best. Day. Ever!" I asked him why it was the best day and he responded, "because we got to go outside!" (He also said yesterday was his best day too :)
I recently attended a relief society meeting and a speaker talked about the importance of play. The majority of play time should be creative and she emphasized how important it is to play outside. 
Outside is a child's world to explore and run and feel the sun and wind. Outside is where a child's imagination has no limitations. 
So, when we got home I let the boys play outside while I vaccumed the van. They loved it! It's been so cold that we have been just playing inside, but it almost got to 50 today so we HAD to go outside.

Yesterday was Brigham's first friend birthday party. He had ten friends come! It was fun, they decorated super hero capes, played hot potatoe,balloon popping game, red-light green light, four corners, and a toilet paper wrapping contest. The kids were soo good and it was a lot of fun! What nice friends Brigham has. I was also very thankful that Mr. Bitter came home earlier to help me and it went so smoothly because of him. (He's used to handling a group of 20; he knows what he's doing). I told him my plan and he helped me realize how quickly 5 year-olds need change because of their attention spans. Because of that, it was just a fun party!

Ok, so after the kids were in bed tonight. Doug and I played Horse on Brigham's new indoor basketball hoop. It was so fun! More like hilarious to watch me jump from five feet away to try to slam dunk it and miss horribly or have bad technique. Oh well, it was funny and he still loves me.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Celebrating Brigham (my miracle boy)

Today I am filled with peace, grattitude, and joy. I don't know why Brigham turning five seems to hit me harder than his other birthdays, maybe it's because when he was first born it was uncertain as to how long his life would be and five seems to be a BIG milestone.
Five years ago today I went into preterm labor by six weeks. The little boy who came into our lives changed our hearts forever. He showed up looking like a "blueberry muffin" with little bluish, purple spots all over his body. This baffled the doctors. 
While Brigham was in the Nicu they performed test after test on him to figure out what the problem was. One Doctor even told us he was 90% sure he had CMV and told us depending on how severe and to where the virus spreads he could have severe problems and disabilities or we may even have to decide whether to keep him on a ventilator or let him go home to Heavenly Father. This was a very spiritual experience for me for I felt the power of the Atonement, through the spirit, bind up my breaking heart. Thankfully the test for CMV came back negative.
 Taking Brigham home from the Nicu, we now thought that Brigham was fine and his little bumps would just go away. After a follow up visit with a pediatrician, I got a phone call from the office. They told me that his white blood cell count was high and they sent us to an oncologist. After a couple visits to the oncologist we discovered his white blood cells were climbing rapidly while his platelets and red blood cells were falling. We were then sent to Primary Children's. 
One hospital stay at Primary's was tests, tests and more tests. We went home from primary's gearing up to make plans to move to the Salt Lake area so that Brigham could go through a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy. They already put his name on the list to get a matched donor. They were 90% sure he had a certain type of leukemia, JMML (90% seems to be a popular percentage). 
I then received a phone call with his official diagnoses. Ready for it? Platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta, Translocated myelodysasia with eosinophilia. The cure for this would also be a bone-marrow transplant. However, after a team of specialists met together they determined that it would be worth it to try him on a brand new medication instead. A medication that was new for adults and had never been given to children, let alone a 3 month old. We would need to have another hospital stay at Primary's to try him on this medication where he could be under observation. 
Because of modern medicine and the power of the Priesthood Brigham miraculously showed improvement and was in remission by the time he was a year old. 
Today we celebrated Brigham and his five years of life. I love my sweet Brigham so much and I am so grateful to get to be his mom. This is why I am filled with grattitude, peace, and joy today.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Super Fun KIDS Winter Olympic Games

I got a call last week from my cousin-in-law, Traci. She was inspired by Brigham's toilet paper snowboard track. "We need to have our own Olympics for our kids!" So that is exactly what we did!
We started out with a hockey shoot-out. I found a couple strips of lanoleum in our storage room and used it as our ice, a box for the goal, plastic toy golf clubs for the hockey sticks, and peanut butter lids for the pucks. The kids took turns being the goalie and the shooter. 
Ski jumping was the next event. Jumping into a pile of cusions! Figure skated to music....Brigham's figure skating turned speed skating. He's all about racing! Snowball toss was done with crinkled paper into balls and tossed them into bowls. 
I think the kids loved the bobsled event. (Sorry, I was pushing the sleds so I don't have pics to show in this post) I took the same linoleum and put it over cushions on the short stairs and put the kids in boxes "sleds" 1, 2, 3 and push and down they go!!! 

When I got home my sweet hubby did the dishes and was in the process of making us dinner! This was such a sweet relief for me. I am a lucky woman!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Happy and the Hideous

A typical, nonchalant day is filled with wonderful, beautiful, happy moments that make you smile. Each day also has some little moments that may seem ugly or hideous. It's so important to hang on to those moments that make you smile and say, "life is soo good!" The little bad moments are acknowledged and hopefully learned from and then let go.
Which is why I will share my hideous 3 of today and end with my top happy 10. 
Hideous #3: Getting shoes and coats on 4 boys and out the door, into the van, and strapped into their car seats. It takes several prompts and pleadings, and I have to start 45 min before we go or we will be late.
Hideous #2: Having to rescue Adam from being pushed, tackled, and picked on.
Hideous #1: Taking Silas away from the tv to put him to bed. He was one unhappy boy and I was so ready to have him in bed. Impatient mamma + screaming child = my hideous # 1 for the day. (I can take that! Especially when you take into consideration the following wonderful moments!)
Here's the Happy in no particular order...they all made me smile and some laugh.
Happy #10: Having the opportunity to help someone by babysitting her son.
Happy #9: Doug offered and took Brigham home from school today.
Happy#8: Watching Brigham walk into the school with his little friend.
Happy #7: Brigham helped me unload the dishwasher without being asked.
Happy #6: Brigham took out a highlighter and started marking little lines from the Friend magazine. (He saw me do this tothe  Ensign) then he looked up and explained to me, "I am doing this to the parts of the story that I like"
Happy#5: Silas does his "evil laugh". It is a low, growly "ha ha ha" coming out from this tiny, toe-head cutie. I try not to laugh at it because it usually means he is trying to bother someone, but I can't help's way too funny!
Happy #4: Adam usually wakes up happy and that's how it was today. I hear him taking in his crib. I open the door and say, "Hi, baby!" He gets this big grin on his face and sucks on his blanket and then he plays hard to get and turns away from me so I pick him up and give him kisses. 
Happy #3 Adam jumping on Silas's bed and babbling whole sentences that you wish with all your heart you could understand, but it's too cute.
Happy #2: I got a letter in the mail from my little brother who is on his mission I Florida.
Happy #1: Doug is at class right now, but I am anxiously waiting for him to come home. When he does....happy, happy, happy!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This is what happens when,,,,

This is what happens when we have olives with dinner...

This is what happens when Doug lays down on the floor...

This is what happens when I tell Silas to get out of the clothes....another one joins him!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sounds of Today

I woke up to Doug saying, "Sharlene!" Followed by groans of pain. He has had a tight neck, and he really tightened up and was having spasms in his upper back. The blender whirred and grinded as I made him a smoothie to get potassium and calcium in him, along with ibuprophen and Tylenol. Pain-a-trate and a heating pad seemed to make it bearable. 
I left the boys and Doug to the sounds of "rockadoodle" and went outside to have the wind rushing by my ears for three miles of running.
Sounds of happy laughter and my boys playing together are sounds that make me smile. I hear them announce, "...And the winner is....Brigham!" Followed by a smaller voice saying, "and da winner is me....Silas!"
"Uh, uh, uh!" Is the sound Adam makes when he wants something I have, like granola. 
There are also sounds throughout the day that make me want to plug my ears. Like the screaming and the "waaah's", but the cute little sad faces make it almost entertaining. 
The night ended with some very sweet sounds. Silas's prayer, "fankee (thank Thee) for ows (our) home and....dinner and...cookies". Adam's sweet laughter while I was singing to him. He kept putting his hands in my mouth so I would quickly turn my head away and turn back to look at him and he would erupt with giggles. Good night!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Funny and Sweet Valentine Surprises

A few days ago, Doug took the laptop and sat on the couch to do his homework (so I assumed). I ran outside to finally pick up the beach toys that were blown around our yard that the boys used to play in the snow with. A little shovel was blown right in front of the window that Doug was sitting by. I picked up the shovel and decided to knock on the window right behing him and say, "hi". He turned around with some wide eyes in surprise and then gave a really sweet smile. I thought, "oh what a cute smile!" But there was something a little funny about it because I wasn't expecting him to really smile like that. 
Valentine's Day as we head out on our date, Doug reveals his gifts to me. One very special gift was that he printed out our wedding pictures and put them in an album we got for our wedding (you'd think that we would have gotten around to it after nearly six years). I was so happy and so surprised! Then he asked me, "so, you didn't see what I was doing?" He then explained that he took the laptop to sit on the couch so that he could hide his surprise of getting the wedding pictures ready. So, then when all of a sudden I pop right up behind him, he thought he was caught in the act! Then he just smiled to pretend like nothing was suspicious. Ha ha ha! I laughed so hard when he told me...I knew there was something funny about that smile!
My surprise for him was heart-attacking his car. I put hearts on different parts of the inside of his car like on the heater the heart said, "you are hot!" On the cruise button,"let's cruise baby!" And other cute and cheesy stuff. I left him a chocolate strawberry and cologne. He was happy. Oh! I also put a song on so it would turn on when he started driving. I was a little nervous about it though because Doug had just gotten an email from the principal saying, "make sure you lock your doors because suspicious behavior has been seen in our parking lot". Well, I hope tho one saw me getting into Doug's car and thinking that was suspicious!
We enjoyed a nice date. We were going to go to Texas Roadhouse, but the wait was 1 1/2 hours! So we went to Red Robbin then the Saratov Approach. It was nice. Happy Valentine's Day! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Black-eyed Brigham

Brigham was so excited when Daddy came home with the prizes he had earned from doing the fundraiser. He got a remote control helicopter, a nano bug, and a spiky ball that lights up. 

We had a short family home evening and then went to support Doug at his basketball game. During the half-time, Brigham's head collided with his friend's head while they were running around. Brigham happened to hit at the perfect wrong spot above his eye to get a popped blood vessel and a very swollen eye. Youch! I ran outside to get a snowball and put it in a bag to ice it. I didn't watch the second half of Doug's game because I was preoccupied with my little Brigham. But Doug's team won easily
Our FHE treat was kiwi loco. The boys really enjoy picking their flavor and toppings. It's fun! 
It was sure sweet to cuddle with Brigham tonight. He will have a nice shiner for show and tell tomorrow!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Little Miracles and Russia Olympics

Brigham is fever free, lungs are clear, and hasn't been coughing!  I am so grateful that he is better.  I love little miracles.  They happen every day of our lives.  Sometimes we don't see them because they are disguised as trials.  But, there are indeed little miracles (and Big miracles) happening every day.  Some people call them tender mercies. 

These cold fevers have been replaced with other is olympic fever!  We have only watched a few events, but Brigham has already started earning his own medals.  He built is own slope-style snowboarding track out of printer paper and toilet paper then showed me how he "boarded" down it by jumping from paper to paper while making sound effects with his mouth. 

Doug doesn't have the Olympic fever, but I would say he has contracted Russian fever.  He speaks Russian, you see, so the sounds of the Russian dialect he has heard from the opening ceremonies and hearing a missionary's testimony who just returned from Moscow has awakened him to want to talk and sing in Russian more.  He even made us Blini for breakfast on Saturday which is a Russian version of crepes.  It's cute. I love my Russian Man!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

It is a Privilege to be a Mom

My little Brigham was born premature and due to that his lungs have not been as strong. This cold has been hard on his lungs. He is super wheezy and has been coughing like crazy. He received a priesthood blessing which brought a sweet spirit into my heart. I was able to feel what a strong and noble spirit Brigham has. He is a special son of Heavenly Father. This morning Silas got up and said, "I want a bessing". He ran to the chair that Brigham sat in the day before and waited patiently. I had the strong feeling that it is such a privelege to be the mother of these special boys. They are sons of God. I get to love them and teach them every day. I take that back...they teach me every day!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Happy Snow Day! (I mean wind chill day)

We have been little hermits this week, the little boys and I. Brigham and Silas have been sick so we have stayed inside to keep our germs to ourself. Well, school was cancelled today and daddy got to be home.(well, sort of. He did a lot of errands). So we went out today! We went to Lowes to look at water heaters so we raced down the wide aisles in the racecar cart! We went to Costa Vida and Kiwi Loco! Adam has been playing dress up all day with daddy's stuff. He loves to put on daddy's things and he just says, "da da, da da" when he wears it. We cut off some carpet in Brigham's room a couple days ago and he hasn't wanted to sleep in that room since. Today we convinced him, but while I was reading Silas a story, Brigham got about six blankets to lay down over the cement to make him feel better. He was really worried about the poky carpet strips on the edge of the room that were exposed. He thought his little brothers were going to tear up their feet. I said, "Brigham, you don't need to worry." He said, "yes I do! I'm the big brother!"