Sunday, October 27, 2013

2 Months! and Some Other Stuff

So, I had totally intended to do a one month post for Malachi... I put it off until the weekend, thinking I'd have more time. Then, Mark was in the car accident. Needless to say, the one month post didn't happen. So, I figured I'd make a two month post work out... I'm only a week late on that one - I'm going to claim this as a success.

Here's what Kai is like now:
SUPER smiley! He's a generally happy guy. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to catch it on camera, but just trust me, he smiles a lot.
Still pretty tiny - he's 11th percentile for his weight! (11 lbs) But he is tall for that weight, and the doc says he's healthy, so we're all happy here.
He doesn't sleep well... Not as bad as Isaac was, but not nearly as good as Jon. He seems to be making some progress here, but not fast enough for an exhausted set of parents.
He has blue eyes! My genes finally won one!
He LOVES tummy time. If I put him down on his back to play, he tends to whine until I flip him over. He can roll from his tummy to his back though, and does every once in a while, but his preference is definitely to play on his tummy.
He LOVES his brothers. Sometimes, he fusses just so I'll put him on the floor to play with them.
His favorite game is "tongue game" - he sticks out his tongue in the hopes that whoever is playing will stick theirs out in response. Over and over again. He's been working on giggling while playing this game, and I'm pretty sure he'll master that trick next.

I decided I need to try to keep this in chronological order(ish), and there are a ton of pictures to post, since it's been forever. Here we go...

Kai sleeping - I think this nap may have lasted 15 minutes.

Jon loves to be in Kai's car seat. I spend a lot of time trying to keep him out of the car seat and the baby swing...

Maybe it's just because Jon loves his baby brother. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

Malachi doesn't like the bouncy seat as much as Jon does, but I put him in there when my arm needs a break anyway.

Or sometimes, I put him in there while I clean pudding off of his big brother.

Remember that whole flooding thing that happened here? Here's the pictures of the hail storm that caused our bathroom and laundry room to take on water: (*sigh* and my old van... I'm still in mourning)

Why isn't Isaac in any of these pictures? Because he's usually in school, doing fun things like writing and drawing:

I think all 3 of my boys have a photo like this, but Malachi is the only one who has really enjoyed being swaddled.

I know it's blurry, but this is Jon with stickers over his eyes, doing a crazy man dance.

And this is the look Malachi gave Jon while he was doing said dance.

Isaac LOVES playing with Malachi. He's an awesome big brother.


Jon and I built a fort. It didn't last long, but it was a nice place to rest for a bit. (And play Plants vs. Zombies on my phone.)

The first snow of the season. Jon decided it wasn't as much fun without Isaac out there. Hopefully, they'll get more time to play in the snow together while Isaac is on break.

Lately, anything zombie related has been big in our house. Isaac decided Headless Lego Guy was close enough to being a zombie to be cool.

The three boys playing together:

Mark takes the two big boys to Home Depot's kids workshops. This month, they each built a plane, learned about fire safety, and got a free Lego firetruck model. They were pretty happy guys!

Here's Kai's 2 month photo:

Our new van! (Jon calls it our "new our car") The paperwork says it's brown... Sometimes it looks grey like this. A friend of mine decided we should just call it "chameleon". (Isaac wanted me to start picking him up from school in the carpool lane, but he realized that he doesn't recognize the car yet, so I guess we'll have to wait a little longer for that step.)

We put Malachi in the Bumbo for the first time about a week ago. He loved being able to see what the big boys were up to.

Of course, he's still pretty little for it, so it didn't last long, but he enjoyed that 2 minutes before his abs got tired!

Jon has been playing with Play-dough almost every day lately. Last week, we made monsters.

This is our Play-dough kit - it includes everything from googly eyes to bread tabs to dyed pasta, along with cookie cutters, play mats, and tools. Jon can play with this for hours.

Isaac has really been excelling at writing in school. He was pretty excited to show off those skills at church last week too.

He always illustrates his stories. This one is about dragons. I just liked the picture.

This is my favorite of his drawings though:

Some things we've done lately that I didn't manage to get pictures of:
Malachi's baby blessing - my parents drove up from Utah. We got to spend a couple days enjoying their company. Mark invited the other Sable Ward transplants to join the circle (oh yeah, I didn't even mention that our ward boundaries changed and we're in a new ward and a new stake...). Sue and Marty were able to make it for Sacrament meeting (Sue's purse got stolen while we were there, but that's a story for another post!) Kai cried the whole time, but I didn't have to take either of the other two out, so I got to hear the whole blessing this time!
Isaac's first field trip - they went to the farm. He brought home insane amounts of produce: cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, a pumpkin, and Indian corn. He got to ride the school bus for the first time, and said he almost "screamed his head off with happiness." His friend, Gus was in his group, and they got to ride a tractor together, which was the highlight of his trip.
A Halloween party - we invited Isaac's entire kindergarten class. I think we ended up with 14 kids, plus some younger siblings and a few parents. We did some relay races, made Jack o'lantern pizzas, and just played in the backyard. I hope the kids had a good time, because Mark and I sure did!
Ward Chili Cook-off and Trunk or Treat - We're still meeting everybody in this ward - we only knew one family previously, and there's only about 6 transplanted households - so we try to make it to every ward event. This one was super fun. Isaac loves trying the different chilis (go figure, my picky eater is the one who thinks this is the best dinner). Jon just enjoyed exploring the new cultural hall (this one has a stage with curtains). Malachi loved seeing all the people in costume (seriously, he seemed to). For the trunk or treat, Jon demanded to use his Halloween costume from last year again, but changed the name from "The Green Death" to "Toothless". Isaac was Captain America - I went the lazy route and made his costume with Duck tape, a blue t shirt, and a Frisbee. Mark and I went as ourselves - we're pretty zombie-like these days anyway.

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's Been A While...

Why the long silence? We've been trying to recover, physically and mentally, from this:

Luckily, only Mark was in the car. Unluckily, Mark was in the car! He was on his way to get the emissions checked for registration, and then we were going to the car wash for Jon. Not only did Mark get nailed by a big truck, but he got knocked into a concrete barrier. (And cracked the concrete barrier - he's just that good.)

After he was cut out of the car by the EMT's, laid flat on his back for about 7 hours, had TONS of x-rays/CAT scans/MRIs, some staples, and was cleaned up a whole bunch, Mark looked like this (the picture is WAY better than he actually looked - the kids cried and asked to go home as soon as they saw him):

He had lost his cell phone in the accident, so Mark's nurse called to let me know he was in the hospital. She didn't want to worry us, so we didn't know how bad he was until we got there about 9 hours after he got hit. Glass that had fallen from his hip was still all over the sheets, and there was plenty embedded in his arm and face, and... well, etc.

Since we had only had one car and were down to none, I had to ask for help just to get to the hospital. We had so many people jump to the rescue, it was a little overwhelming (in a good way)! Within 30 minutes of realizing I should be at the hospital, the Johnsons had dropped off a car that I could borrow until the insurance could arrange a rental, Azur and her kids had brought over pizza for my kids while I ran to buy new car seats just to get the boys to the hospital, Steve and Brian were on their way to the hospital to give Mark a blessing, and the Elders had gone to let Nancy know what was going on. (Azur also came to rescue my kids after we got to the hospital and they were terrified of Mark.) I was so grateful for the help!

Mark had to stay in the hospital overnight (they would've released him in the middle of the night, but I couldn't leave the kids until morning to go pick him up). I know I had all kinds of unseen help because Isaac and Jonathan went to bed relatively easily, Malachi smiled his first smile right when I needed it, and I managed to stay pretty positive on almost no sleep.

What happened in the following days was nothing short of miraculous. It's hard to describe because most people didn't see Mark at his worst and the pictures really don't do it justice. The accident was bad. Really bad. One of the first things Mark did was pray that he'd survive to continue to be a father for his boys. Obviously, that one was answered. And then the miracles kept coming. The fact that Mark came away with no broken bones amazed even the hospital staff. He had swallowed enough of his own blood that they were considering a transfusion, but he ended up not needing it. And when big chunks of glass fell on the back of his throat from his nasal passage, he consistently managed to regurgitate them, while on his back. The majority of his injuries were to his head, but nothing that would cause long-term damage. When we met with the ENT specialist two days later, he was a little disappointed that Mark didn't need surgery.

Mark only missed one week of work. During that week his mom was able to come help us for several days, in part because the flood in Estes Park had disrupted most of her work anyway. The roads had been "rebuilt" enough to drive on only the day before we needed her help. Still more good friends from our ward brought us dinners and helped us clean our house that week. We had a one-month-old baby, a boy who just started school for the first time, and still hadn't finished cleaning up from some minor flooding in the house. I don't know how we would have made it through that week after the accident without so many wonderful people helping us.

We decided to take pictures of the visible healing over the first week. The ENT doc had told us that healing would "take time" but didn't seem to want to give an estimate. (He did give us an estimate of 3-6 months for feeling to return in the part of his face where nerve damage occurred, but even that has already started tingling.)

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

Day Four:

Day Five:

Day Six:

Tomorrow will be three weeks since the accident. Jonathan still thinks it's neat that Daddy's face isn't bloody anymore. The only visible trace of the injuries now is some slight swelling in Mark's nose and a little shadow where the black eye is still healing. He still has trouble sleeping in bed at night, and most nights he ends up propped up on the couch to sleep. There's a rib that still hurts if he sneezes or coughs. Overall though, he's doing incredibly well.

The van, on the other hand, is not. Again, pictures don't do it justice. I was prepared for it to be bad, but it took my breath away when I saw it. At least we can vouch for the safety features on the Sienna.

Amazingly, the license plates were undamaged, so we saved them.

You can't tell from the picture, but the passenger seat is no longer attached to the van. It's held in place by what was the door. If I'd been in the car, there is no way I would have survived. (We're pretty sure the passenger seat is what hit Mark in the face.)

The insurance company was a little slower than we expected in getting things through to the total loss department. Turns out that someone had marked the van down as "driveable" - I laughed.

Another miracle: we found Mark's glasses and phone in all that wreckage. The glasses didn't really survive - one lens was missing and the other was really badly scratched up. We're glad he was wearing them, since they probably protected his eyes from all the glass (he was still pulling glass out of his lip a couple days after the accident). The phone, which we had only had for two weeks, was almost unscathed. If you look very carefully at the right angle, you can see a tiny ding on the screen.

Once again, we have awesome friends who helped us out. Mike was able to pick up another Sienna at auction this week, so we're back in business. I have to admit, I'm still mourning my van, but this new one is great - it's newer and not white (which was the only color I didn't want when we bought the last one). Jonathan is a little bummed that it's not dirty enough to take to the car wash yet, but I'm sure we'll get there soon.