Thursday, December 31, 2009

Home, Mom and New Years Eve

We're back home again. Mom is feeling really well and so we changed our plans and came home a few days early because we miss Scott and he has today, tomorrow and the weekend off from work and we wanted to be with him(and he really missed us too, of course). We were blessed to find flights for all three of us for the same price as our old tickets, so we didn't have to pay any fees for the change. The flight home went really well despite the 45 minute delay. There was a family of four, mom, dad and two little boys in front of us as we boarded the plane, and the woman, upon seeing pregnant me, alone with three little ones, smiles and says to me, "you're my favorite person." She made me happy.

Mom started driving again last week and is enjoying a little more freedom, though she's still taking it easy of course. We went to see her old Doctor, Dr. Traverso, almost two weeks ago and he thought she looked great and was healing wonderfully and his advice to her was to get back to work! Then we met with her new doctor who is an oncologist. He basically said to live her life and we'll go without chemo for now(maybe forever), she may try natural things, and they'll do a CAT scan in the end of March to see what everything looks like and how much the cancer has grown(if any). If it's grown a lot or is giving her a lot of pain(which she's experiencing none of right now and she's not taking pain meds), then they may try something else to help alleviate the symptoms. He says it is pancreatic cancer, but it's not the really aggressive kind that her father had. This one is called Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor and is supposed to be pretty slow moving. We're praying and hoping for the best!

I will have to post some pictures later of our trip to WA when Scott brings his lap top home, but for now we'll just do without.

Today Scott took Elisabeth and Charles sledding on their new sled from Santa. I stayed home with Annabelle; I fell down a couple stairs today and really hurt my bum and my arm so I laid low for most of the day trying to ease the pain(most of which came from the tailbone area). I don't think anything is broken because the pain isn't excruciating, but it's noticeable... I'll probably have some nice bruises tomorrow. I made sure to lay down for awhile afterward until I felt the baby move, and she did and all seems normal: lot's of movement, and no bleeding is always good. After the fall, Scott and I decided that I will no longer walk down the stairs with my arms full of things. After dinner we played hide-and-seek and hungry hippos, and then once Annabelle was in bed we played some more mature games like pick-up-sticks, old maid, go fish and chutes and ladders. The kids enjoyed staying up later playing with mom and dad and eating snacks. And now that all the children are in bed, Scott and I are getting ready to play boggle and checkers; I can't wait! Happy 2010!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

We Three Kings

I think I may have posted this before, but I love it, and it's Christmas so here it is again. We Three Kings, starring Hugh Jackman; he has an awesome voice!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Flying solo

I've been in WA with the kids now for about 5 days. Things are going pretty well, though we had a couple of rough nights when we first got here, trying to adjust to the new sleep arrangements etc. We all miss Scott and can't wait to see him again. We don't like being away from him.

Our flight here went extremely well. Scott dropped us off at the airport in the morning and we had skycap take all our bags and put them on the plane so that I wouldn't have to struggle dragging them around the airport and waiting in the baggage line with the kids and all our stuff. That worked really well. The security check was the hardest part (even though they let me zip right through the long line to the front) because we had to take everyone's shoes and jackets off and then put them back on again. And it really wasn't too bad. The people behind us were very understanding and sweet. But something I'll remember for our flight home will be to wear shoes I can slip on fairly easily, and to grab our things off the belt and move to a bench before putting everything back on again.

We only had to wait about 20 minutes before they started boarding the plane which was nice. Once we got on we pulled out some snacks so that the kids could be chewing and swallowing when the doors on the plane shut and for the elevation change. When we were up in the air, we pulled out our dvd player and started a movie, but after a little while, Elisabeth wanted to draw, so I had her move to the row right next to ours that was empty....we were lucky enough to fly when the plane was mostly empty....and the people who were on the flight, apparently thought it would be wise to stay away from the 6 month pregnant lady with the three little kids, so that was nice; we had lots of open seats around us. So, even though Annabelle was a lap child, she only sat on my lap during take off and landing. The flight went really well, the kids were entertained and we bought some snacks to eat that we don't usually buy but that they wish they could have, so they were pretty happy. And the flight is only 2 hours which was a good amount of time. About the last 15 minutes Annabelle started to get really antsy and wanted to get out and walk through the aisle, so I was thankful that our plane was getting ready to land. I hope we're just as blessed on the flight home. Oh, and on the decent, Elisabeth's ears were hurting a little, but it cleared up as soon as we landed; that seemed a little odd to me because she hasn't had any trouble with sinus lately.

Thanks a bunch to my brother Luis for picking us up at the airport and taking us safely to Granny and Grandpa's...even though he forgot the carseats. I checked one on the plane for Annabelle, so at least she was safely strapped for the 30 minute drive home. And Luis is a good, safe driver.

I'm continuously grateful to the Lord for watching over us and blessing us.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Congratulations Scott!

We just received word that Scott passed his Civil Principles & Practice of Engineering exam! He studied long and hard for the exam, and took the 8 hour test about 2 months ago...they said we'd receive the results in 8-10 weeks. So this just means that he's completed an important step in his professional career.

Note to Scott: Good job honey! We'll celebrate when we're together again! We sure miss you and can't wait to see you! Love you tons!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Los tres amigos

posing together
praying together
playing together

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Annabelle's many faces

Mean face:

happy face:

Brrr it's cold:

I love that she'll do these on command.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I spy....

I spy with my little eye:

A toy teapot, cup, drum, strawberry, truck and penguin. All of which should not be in our Christmas tree, but I think it's too funny so I don't stop the kids from 'decorating' and 'redecorating' it themselves. I don't know where they come up with these ideas; I guess they were born with some creative talents.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Short testimony from Elisabeth

"I no the chrch is tro and I can obea the cumamist. When Im 8 Ili get baptisid. I luv Mom Char Elisabeth Dad Annabelle."
Translation: I know the church is true and I can obey the commandments. When I'm 8 I'll get baptized. I love Mom, Char, Elisabeth, Dad, Annabelle

I think, for a 5 year old, she did a pretty good job of sounding all these words out on her own. She wrote this one night when she was supposed to be in bed sleeping, and then brought it out for me to read. Things like this melt my heart.

I see the Star


My uncle Fred (my mom's brother) put out a Christmas cd over a month ago and it's wonderful! He wrote a few of the songs and then there are the well-known Christmas songs on there as well. He has a beautiful and peaceful voice, and the songs are uplifting and will bring in the true spirit of Christmas into your home. We listen to it a lot in our house and we all love it. You can get it through his website www.fredgrazzini.com (copy and paste it in because I couldn't get the link button on here to work) or you can buy it on amazon and through a couple other retailers. If you want to listen to samples of the songs, you can do that on his website. Go check it out!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Taking matters in their own hands

Many times in the mornings, the kids wake up first and they're hungry. But I've told them that I get to stay in bed until 7am every morning if I choose. And so, they take matters in their own hands. They push chairs over to the counter and Charles will get the bowls down for cereal and the cups for juice while Elisabeth will get the cereal and the straws. They'll get everything out and sometimes pour their own cereal if they're really hungry, or once everything is ready, they'll grab a banana or another piece of fruit and eat that while they wait for me to come out and pour their cereal and milk. They're getting so big and independent!

Update on mom

December second was the day mom went in to have her whipple procedure done where they were to take out the tumor at the head of the pancreas as well as some other organs. When Dr. Traverso opened her up, he discovered some flecks of cancer on her liver so they decided not to do the whipple anymore, but rather a double bypass around the pancreatic tumor and they took out the gall bladder that had stones in it.

The next day he talked with her and told her she does not have pancreatic cancer, which is a very aggressive cancer, but another slower moving cancer. They called it the, neuroendocrine tumor metastatic to liver islet cell tumor. Currently, mom is still in the hospital recovering from the surgery but she is doing very well and not feeling any pain(because she has an epidural. Bless whoever's heart it was who came up with epidurals!). The doctor says she should be able to go home Wednesday as long as she can meet what requirements they have in place(ie. walking up stairs, getting along with just some pain meds and not the epidural etc.).

They are going to try and stop the growth of the tumor but Dr. Traverso is not going to start anything right now but will refer her to an oncology team. Mom would like to try some natural treatments which the doctor is not opposed to as long as they do not thin the blood or make it clot easier...it has to keep her blood clotting factors the same or he doesn't want her doing them.
They will combine the natural with his recommendations. And other than that, they're kind of in a 'wait and see' period where they will have regular checkups to monitor what's going on inside. But things are feeling a little better, I think. The discovery of the cancer on the liver though, means she's now in stage 4 which is not good, but the doctor says it's slow moving so let's pray that's the case and that we can get it to stop progressing. Mom is very optimistic and has a lot of faith. And there are (and have been) many, many people who are praying for mom and Dr. Traverso....in fact, the day before she went into surgery, mom told Dr. Traverso(who is not LDS) that many people were praying for him and that his name was in two temples at the time and that she knew he'd have a really good/lucky day, come surgery day. She's a courageous, clever and sweet woman! Just a few more days until me and the kids are with her and the family!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas activities

Here are a few pictures from our Grazzini family Christmas party. We always do a white elephant gift exchange which is a lot of fun. Annabelle got some headbands and her and her cousin(I think they'd be second cousins?) Nya had fun trying to fit as many as they could on their heads.
One night Santa and Mrs. Claus came to our city center. The kids all wanted to go see him, so we went over and the kids got to sit on his lap; well not Annabelle. She didn't want to get anywhere near him. They also had crafts to make and cookies to decorate and scones to eat. Elisabeth wanted to wait in the long Santa line from the beginning, so that's what she and I did. Scott on the other hand thought we should do the crafts and just skip Santa because the line was so long. So he took Annabelle and Charles to do the crafts and then once they were done they got in line to do Santa, which it turns out we should have done too because Elisabeth and I waited over an hour in line and Scott only had to wait ten minutes because they went later in the evening. Oh well. But that's why I only have pictures of Elisabeth with Santa.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Go BYU!


Scott and Ben went to the BYU vs U of U game last weekend down in Provo, and me and the kids went to Gina's parents house to watch the game, eat and play. Most of her family are Utah fans and some are, um... outgoing and passionate about their team(lol!). It was fun and I love being with her and her family so we all had a great time. Thanks Gina for letting us come along! Here's a picture of Annabelle sporting her BYU "victory party in my crib" t-shirt.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Elisabeth's haircut


While Becca was here visiting, Elisabeth asked her if she would cut her hair. Elisabeth wanted it to her chin, but I asked Bec to have it be a length where I could still put it in a pony tail. So she has shoulder length hair now. We either straighten it or add curls to it after she takes a bath, though the kids only bathe two to three times a week so it's really not too much work. Thanks Becca!
And since Elisabeth was having her picture taken, Charlie wanted in, too. And since Charlie got to do a funny face, Elisabeth wanted to do a funny face, too.
Welcome to our lives: constant fun, silliness and entertainment!

Our FHE turkeys


We read the turkey with a terrible temper story on the Monday before Thanksgiving and while I read it, the kids would glue on feathers that corresponded with the story. Once we finished the story, we each wrote one thing on each of our feathers that we are thankful for, so we each had to come up with 5 things. Charles was thankful for Mom, Dad, his cars, his books and his digger(excavator). Elisabeth was thankful for her family, her bed, clothes, food, princesses and ballet(she doubled up two on one feather). I'm thankful for Jesus, our family, friends, scriptures, temples, that Scott has a job and much, much more. Scott wasn't there for our FHE because that's when he was working really long hours, but I think he'd be thankful for all the things we mentioned(he may not have said princesses, though our girls are princesses so if you think of it that way, then he'd be thankful for princesses too).

And here are a few random pictures that the kids took one Sunday when they got a hold of our camera.
And one more random picture of me and Scott over the Thanksgiving holiday

Backing up

Thanks Maren for letting me borrow your lap top so we could get some pictures on here! You're a life saver.

Alright, so now that I have some pictures, I'm going to have to back up a little and probably do several posts.

Here are a couple of pictures that probably should have been on the last post. Here are Becca and Grant, and here are a couple of pictures of some of our new gadgets that we got on black Friday. And we've used both the crock pot, the phones and the toaster oven and we love them. We use the toaster oven a lot and I'm really liking it! I love that you can cook up to 4 pieces of bread at a time, and that you can warm up pizza or garlic bread lots more.