Sunday, August 23, 2009

{1st Day of School}

Summer was fun, but Rhett and Ethan were excited and ready for school to start a few weeks ago. Ethan has been looking forward to Kindergarten for a long time and finally the day came! I woke up at 4am worrying about letting him go all day, 5 days a week, along with all the other fun things moms worry about.

The boys were up before 7am, dressed at ready to go with still 2 hours left. Finally it was time to go, so we walked to school together. In the hallway Ethan saw two of his good friends, Cody and Mason. They all ran together and hugged each other in excitement!! It was the cutest thing I've ever seen, I wish I would have had my camera out to capture that moment.

First Kade and I went to Rhett's class. He has a really fun teacher, I am so excited about this year for him. He was excited to be at the same table as his friend MaClay, and also see other friends in his class too. Ethan was too impatient to wait, so when Kade and I got Rhett settled in his class Ethan went without me to his room.

Kade and I said goodbye to Rhett and went to Ethan's class where he was already settled in his chair, coloring away. His cute teacher has already done so many adorable things, including sending Ethan some fun mail before school even started!

After a few minutes it was time to go, and Kade and I walked home together. I was anxiously looking at the clock all day, so excited to pick up the boys and hear how their first day was. They came home excited about their teachers and new friends, so it looks like we are off to a great start! As for Kade and I, we are enjoying our time together and he gets to slip into the role of only child which he loves. He has had some fun playdates and friends over, but also loves to play with Mom and read books so we have a great time together. He still has 3 years left until Kindergarten so it will be fun to have that time together :o)


Our last vacation of the summer was a trip to St. George where we stayed for 4 days for an Andersen Family Reunion. This was my Mom's side of the family, and we were reunited with cousins we hadn't seen in a long time - some in over 20 years. It was a little awkward at first, since we didn't know each other very well but all in all we had a great time and it was great to get to know that side of our family better. We drove there from Snowflake, and we stopped along the way for a picnik and let the boys run and get their wiggles out.

When we arrived in St.George we went to the temple. It is beautiful! We looked around for an hour or so and were excited when Sam and Melissa met us there too.

At the hotel Andersens started arriving so we put on our lovely matching shirts that Ashley designed. My boys really did like them, they wanted to wear them everyday (and still do...but they are lost, I wonder where they are?!?) hee hee.

Melissa & Sam, the Ashton's

Left picture from the top: Don, Diane, Linda, Jamie bottom: Grandpa and Grandma

Right picture from the left: Jamie, Linda, Diane, Don

Our family with Grandpa and Grandma

I'm not sure if this was Sam's idea or Cody's, but one of them showed the boys how much fun it is to slide off of the treadmills. I couldn't watch, I kept thinking they were going to get their fingers stuck or pulled off in some freak accident....

What is a family reunion without a trip to Chuck-a-rama? We also had fun celebrating Ashley's birthday. Melissa and Sam spent one night sleeping in our room....a night they'll never forget. Since Kade's in his own room upstairs we weren't aware until we shared a room with him that he makes a humming noise throughout the night. Hmmmmm...... It does drive you nuts and they spend the other nights in a different room ;o)

The pool was fun, we went swimming a few times a day. We ran over and visited Cody's cousin Brook and her cute family. Their girls are adorable!!

One day Sam put together a hike to a place called "The Narrows". I stayed back with Kade and hit the outlet malls and Cafe Rio. Rhett, Ethan, and Cody had a great time even if some parts were challenging and scary for the boys. They had to hike up a waterfall on a rope ladder for part of it. They said the views were amazing, hopefully next time I can go too.

All in all we had a great time, and I love all the time I get to spend with my family. We loved St. George and would love to go back and visit again soon!

ps. sorry about the *huge* pictures. I am trying to find a happy medium between too small and too big and haven't got there yet....

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Every July we drive North to Snowflake to celebrate Pioneer Day and go to The Flake Reunion. Rodeos, BBQ's, Parades, Fireworks, Horses, Miniature Ponies, Cousins, Kittens, Puppies, Chicks, 4-Wheeler Rides....the list goes on and on and no wonder this is my boy's favorite vacation spot!

We were lucky to stay with my uncle Jon's house and we had a great time as usual! They live next to my Grandparent's Ranch and have quite the selection when it comes to animals! My boys loved every minute, especially the fun nights of sleeping in the trailer with cousins and no parents. I was worried that they might be afraid when they heard the coyotes howling nearby but they must have been asleep by that point!

Daisy the miniature pony was the main attraction for Kade and Rhett, they loved feeding her hay.

Ethan *loved* the kittens and was holding them non-stop. There was even a snake being passed around that slithered into Jon's hubcap and wouldn't come out until he took it off.

We went to the City Park and had fun at the bounce house obstacle course and rock wall.

The parade is always fun, the kids collected lots of candy and I was happy to get my favorite treat, cotton candy :o)

Ethan and Keaton loved running into the street and getting hosed down by the firetruck as the parade came to a close.

We love Snowflake and can't wait to go back again soon!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


We've had some crazy, emotional days but we are back on our feet and things are for the most part back to normal. I know a lot of you know bit and pieces of what here is the whole story.

Kade's seizures started out of the blue, no fever or anything. Tuesday around noon I was running around with the kids running errands. Kade feel asleep in his carseat, and when I went to get him out at the post office he was in a really deep sleep (strange for him) and didn't wake up when I carried him inside to mail a letter. I remember thinking that was strange, and when I saw the line was long at the post office I just turned around with the kids and put them back in the car. When we got home 10 minutes later he was awake and acting normal. Although I thought his behavior had been unusual for him, I just chalked it up to him being really tired because it was almost naptime.

The next morning he woke up at his usual time, 6am. Cody got him a bowl of cereal, and he was eating it in his highchair. Cody was in a different room, and heard Kade making a weird noise. He went in the kitchen and saw Kade chewing with his mouth even though there wasn't anything in here, and making a weird noise. He called for me and I came running. We kept saying his name, but even though his eyes were open, Kade wouldn't look at us, his eyes were locked. I pulled him out of his chair and he went into another deep sleep. Cody ran upstairs and got Rhett and Ethan up, and we drove to the ER. By the time we arrived there he was awake and acting normal.

We were put in a room quickly, and after they did his blood pressure and checked his temperature Kade started throwing a fit. He screamed for at least 2 hours, probably 3. They said that was normal behavior after a seizure for a child. They had to draw blood twice, and tried to put in an IV but he pulled it out. My parents came to get Rhett and Ethan, and my Dad and Cody gave Kade a blessing. I wish I could say he stopped screaming after that, but no! Cody drove home to get Kade's blanket, and 5 minutes after I gave it to Kade he threw up on it (and me). After asking if they had washers or dryers (no) we decided to wash it in the sink with hand soap and then Cody took it out and layed it on the hood of his car to air dry. It do what you have to do when you are desperate!

They wanted to do a CAT scan, and were going to sedate Kade since he was freaking out so much. 15 minutes before the test, he fell asleep, and stayed asleep for the scan. What a blessing. A few hours after the test (which came back normal) they told us we would be transferred to a children's hospital in Mesa. They were going to take up by ambulance but we signed some forms so we could drive him ourselves because at that point we didn't think he would be having more.

We got to Cardon Children's Hospital around 4pm. Cody left to get back home around 9pm since he had a coffee club the next morning he couldn't miss. That night at 10:30 Kade was just about to fall asleep and he had another one. Afterwards he went to sleep, and woke up Thursday at 6 am. About 10 minutes later he had another seizure, his worst one, a grand mal. They did an EEG that morning, and let me tell you it was not easy holding him down screaming as the technician put the electrodes on his scalp. After they were on he did great laying and watching a cartoon. They wanted him to go to sleep, so I said a prayer and another little miracle happened, he fell asleep just when they needed him to. As awful as the hospital stay was, I did feel the Spirit so strongly, and knew the Savior was helping Kade as he had to go through his seizures and lots of tests and pokes. At 3pm he had his MRI, and the anesthesiologist sedated him for that. At 4pm when he was in recovery after the MRI he had his 5th seizure.

About an hour later we were back in his room and the neurologist finally came in. He had reviewed his tests. The MRI was clear, there were no infections, tumors, or any signs of anything that would cause a seizure. The EEG, which records the electrical signals of the brain showed some abnormalities. There were two areas of his brain where there were neurons firing abnormally. He was diagnosed with Idiopathic Epilepsy, which is a broad diagnoses given to those who have two or more seizures for unknown reasons.

The neurologist started him on Keppra, a medication that should keep his seizures under control. He may still have them occasionally, especially when he gets a fever. The hopeful part of this is that there is an 80% chance that he can outgrow this. Best case scenario would be that in 2 years he can get of the medication.

He hasn't had another seizure since he started Keppra. The side effects are more dramatic the first week, and we have noticed he seemed dizzy and was more clumsy, running into things. Today has been a great day, he seems like my normal Kade. We are praying that Keppra can work for him, it's one of the few that doesn't have liver damage as a side effect. Keppra can cause behavioral problems, loss of coordination, dizziness, clumsiness. It makes me nervous, but I feel like he will be protected and pretty soon other than two doses of medicine each day our life can be back to normal.

We have had so much many thoughtful calls, texts, e-mails, dinners, flowers, presents for Kade....we feel so lucky to have so many people who have made this process so much easier. Love you all!!!