Saturday, November 20, 2010

Welcome Mason

Well, what seems to have been like....a 9 month hiatus, I'm finally posting! I couldn't in good conscience not post about our latest little friend. On October 21, 2010 we welcomed little Mason Allen Brown into the family! I was induced, as per typical Kari....and also as expected, labor was ridiculously fast.....AGAIN!! Thank heaven I was numb! My water broke on it's own at around 12:15 pm and then, just before he was born, I went from a 6cm dilation to a 10 in literally, 5 minutes! Talk about frightening! I'm so grateful for inductions! He was 8 lb. 4 oz. when he was born and 20 inches long! It's so fun to have another little guy in the house....and the brothers adore him!

So far, my recovery has honestly, pretty much stunk. I think I am literally falling apart! I'm not sure if it's that I'm in my 30's this time around, the fact that he's #4, or a combination of the two, but I've really struggled to feel "normal" again. Unfortunately, we suspect I had a "wet tap" from my epidural, which caused some incredible headaches! At the same time, I was running a fever and felt like I had the flu, as a side efffect from the Tdap shot they gave me when I was discharged from the hospital. If that wasn't enough, it took forever for my milk to come in on top of that, and since I don't breastfeed, that was incredibly painful and took longer than usual to dry up! I was hoping once that passed, I would be on the mend, just in time for Gavin to bring home a killer cold/cough from school which Michael and I both got. The good news, is that Mason made it unscathed! Two weeks later I am still coughing from it, and have since had to have a root canal done - I could feel my pulse in my teeth, it was that painful! And I've had ulcers from the chronic heartburn I had when I was carrying him. They've put me on ulcer meds and 3 different antibiotics to balance the bacteria in my system, because of the stomach pains I was having! Like I's a laundry list of awful things I've struggled with since I had him. That's true, he's worth it, but it sure has been a bummer to recover from!Our little guy is actually sleeping quite well! He goes down around 11 and usually gets up from 3:30 to 4:30, or so. The hardest part is dragging my bum out of bed at 7am when the others need to get rolling and the routine starts again! Any mother out there knows that the first few months are a struggle, and I really feel like I'm living that movie "Groundhog Day," but at least this time around, I know it'll get easier as we go. We still haven't gotten an official smile out of Mason and keep trying to get him to talk to us; he made a couple cooing noises the other day, but nothing since.

So, life is adjusting once again, and with it, Michael got a new job! He'll be starting the week after Thanksgiving, working for a company called He had a friend working their who kept asking him to come work with him, and finally, Michael felt it was the right time. He will primarily be working from home! We'll see how this'll be a big change for all of us! Hopefully it's for the better! The only downside is that it will require travel at least once a month, but maybe it'll be great and we'll all be ready for a break when that rolls around. That's it in a nutshell. I'll try to post next time, sooner than 9 months from now!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Back-Tracking A Little: Home Depot Date With Dad

I almost forgot to put this in here! Every month on the first Saturday, Home Depot hosts free clinics for kids to go to with their parents and build things. Michael tries to take the boys to these occasionally and happened to for February! The hard thing is, the kids are supposed to be 4 years old to participate, and Scott is only 2 1/2, yet he's old enough to get that he's being left out if Michael only takes the older boys. So, we packed Scott up too and I joined them. Scott and I got to watch and color together. Every once in awhile Scott got to sneak in an occasional hammer hit and had fun too! This time Jared built a bank that looks like a Fire Station and Gavin built a shelf to hold all his Hot Wheels cars. After that we took the kids over to Great Harvest and bought a cinnamon roll to share! Yum! It was a fun Saturday!

Valentine's Day 2010

We had a great Valentine's day this year! The last couple of years I've been totally spoiled like it's Mother's Day or something! It's great! Michael made us a big waffle breakfast and gave me some gorgeous hot pink roses! He also managed to make me a trail of hearts leading out to the kitchen....a nice reminiscent thing of when we were dating (only then, it was rose petals....*sigh*). The kids took time to make really nice Valentine cards and my gift for Michael was to give him an alarm boring am I? More often than not, we've learned to become more practical, than anything, with our gift giving! We bought a little treat for the boys and gave Jared some page protectors that he can use to put his books and illustrations in and Gavin a "tech deck" (huge waste of money if you ask me, but he loves them....little mini skateboards), and Scott got a Color Wonder fingerpaint set.

We had a fun long weekend due to President's Day too and had a great time! We took the boys indoor golfing too over at Trafalga. Turns out it was glow in the dark day....they had a great time! I love all my Valentines!

100's Day

Every year the school makes a big deal of the 100th day of school. This year was Gavin's first experience with the 100's Day festivities and he had a blast! I got to go help out in his class. All of the kids brought 100 of something to mix together into a trail mix for the kids to take home and boy did he love that! Gavin can always go for marshmallows and pretzels! Here he and some of his friends are sporting their 100 Day Head Gear!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jared's "Girlfriend"

Although they've been off and on (hahaha) this is Jared's best friend at school! He has her over frequently and they get along great! All Jared's life he's gotten along really well with girls and this is one of them.....Brianna! Last time she was over they were hauling each other around the yard in the one little patch of remaining snow! Like all the grass in the background? It's a sign of a less than average snowfall for the winter!

Our Own Brand Of Mystery Men

Faster than a Speeding Bullet........

It's A Bird!

It's A Plane! It's the Undie Boys! Run for your lives!

Each has their own flare!

Another Gavin-ism

Gavin, Gavin, Gavin. You're so funny! Today Gavin did something so funny! We bought him some new shoes yesterday (which he needed badly) and he was so excited to wear them that he talked Michael into taking he and Jared on a walk to "try them out." It's Sunday and usually Michael stays in his church clothes all day. So when Michael told Gavin he'd take him for that walk, Gavin says "Dad, do you think you could change out of those clothes. I don't want it to look like you just went Home Teaching." Can you believe this kid? Hilarious - we're in trouble if he cares that bad what other people think when he's 5! Yikes! We love you Gavin!

Update: Their walk only lasted 5 minutes in the snow flurries when Gavin turned to Michael and said, "Dad, this was a bad idea!"

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Painting Can Be Fun!

I think I forgot to mention that for my birthday I was able to get painting supplies to re-do the boys' bathroom and I'm really in love with how it turned out! I still have some vinyl little "bugs" coming to put on the wall that go along with the curtain and when it's completely finished, it'll be SSOO cute!

I seem to have gotten on this kick lately. I decided to re-paint the family room and kitchen area too! I think I'm going blue. Now that I have one wall done already, it just looks....cleaner?? I can't quite put my finger on it. I'm still getting used to the color. It's funny how much one naturally rejects change.....of any kind! Michael is slowly adjusting! I'll post pictures soon and you can tell me what you think!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eight is Great!

Well, it's finally come......this last Sunday we had the meeting the kids and parents are supposed to go to for church, to talk about all the fun new adventures these kiddos turning 8 will be passing through. It's so hard to believe that my baby will be getting baptized in less than 2 months! I'm feeling old. For any friends reading this who aren't familiar with my beliefs, children in our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) are baptized when they are eight years old. We believe that at 8 years old you can be accountable for the choices you make and therefore able to commit to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Jared has been reading the scriptures with me lately and it's been great to spend some one-on-one time studying them. I heard someone at a recent Stake Conference we went to give that idea - to read the scriptures one - on - one with a child so you can discuss in greater detail the questions they may have regarding the material you're reading. I feel like he's definitely retaining more this way too. I was dreaming that we'd finish the Book of Mormon in time before his baptism, but that's an unreal's to being well on our way!

At the "Eight Is Great" meeting they also discussed briefly the Cub Scout program that Jared will be able to participate in. He's so excited about that, he can hardly stand it! Question after question after yet, another question! We're thinking it'd be fun to go to the Scouting office and get him his handbook and uniform to give to him for his birthday. It'll be fun! It's difficult to imagine life getting much busier, but I can see that it will be, shortly!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Scott's First "Play Date"

Well, I did it. I finally broke down and had some kids formally come over to play with Scott. It sounds so lame, but it actually takes effort to set aside time for it! It was totally worth it though - he had a great time! We had Natasha and Jeffrey Hurtado and Bradley Beck over. They all got along great. I wanted to get a picture of them all, but I didn't realized I'd forgotten to take one until after Bradley had left, so Eve let me get a quick shot of her kids with Scott. My baby is growing up! He had a great time and it was fun and we'll be doing it again!

Happy Birthday To....Me!

Another year passes by.....and now I'm the ripe old age of 32! Hard to believe! I don't know about any of you, but I remember a day when I didn't think life existed past 18! Little did I know that's when life began!

Michael asked me what I wanted this year for my birthday and the first thing I could come up with was to have him take the day off from work....and he did! This year my birthday fell on a Friday which made for a fun LLOONNG weekend! And it was great! Friday the kids still had school, so in the morning, we left Scott with my mom so I could go get a pedicure (and Michael enjoyed reading a good book). Then we went to get Gavin from the bus and pick up Scott and packed lunch on the run from mom's house. We went over to the school and checked Jared out early to take the family to go see the movie "The Tooth Fairy." It was really cute and the kids loved it! When we got out of the movie, we thought it might be fun to go swimming too, so we ran home and put our swimsuits on, but when we got to our rec center we discovered that it was closed for swim meets all day.....of course! Scott came unglued that he couldn't "splash, splash." So we went over to a neighboring rec. center that doesn't have an indoor pool. They put a huge tent bubble over their and it was COLD! Poor Scottie's lips turned purple and his teeth were chattering but he kept saying he didn't want to go home! We tried to get him jumping around so he could stay warm and it worked.....a little. After a swim we picked up Olive Garden To Go and took it home for a great birthday dinner that I didn't have to cook! The boys all made me a cake and we had cake and ice cream and it was the end of a fun, long day! To boot - Michael let me pick out a chick flick to watch (27 dresses), which we didn't make it through because we were absolutely exhausted!

It was a great day! Thanks honey for spoiling me! Here's to another year!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Consultation #2

Well, this week we were able to see our friend and neighbor who also happens to be an Orthodontist. According to him, Michael's upper set of teeth are narrower than his lower set of teeth which is the opposite of what it should be. He says that doing braces alone for Michael's situation would be pretty much pointless, but also warns that there's a chance that even undergoing all these treatments may not cure the pain. So what I got from it is that it looks like maybe the Oral Surgeon will have to break upper and lower jaw parts to spread the top part of Michael's mouth to fit over the lower, in conjunction with braces. It's all so overwhelming. The one thing we do know for sure is that because Michael still has his Wisdom Teeth, that they need to come out first. Apparently where your Wisdom Teeth come in, is typically where Oral Surgeons need to bolt stuff in and after your WT are pulled it takes a year for the bone to heal enough to perform the procedure. I think I recall too that we'll have to wait for 6 months after his WT extraction, before Michael could get braces on. Then the braces have to be on for like 9 months to a year before we can have the jaw surgery performed, followed by another year or so of orthodontics. This will be quite the process! Poor Michael! I can't say it enough! I told him if it were me, that just the thought of all that I would have to go through would put me in a panic attack and I'd probably puke. I want to puke for him.....

Obviously this is a huge ordeal so we will be consulting one more Oral Surgeon and one more Orthodontist to gather as much information as we can before we move ahead. But it's definitely looking like it's time to pull some Wisdom Teeth!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pity Party

I'm so on the fence about this, but I have to write down how I'm feeling. I'm really angry. And, I guess depressed. Why aren't I pregnant? I've never had to see this side of the coin before - never had a hard time. I always thought that was my blessing to compensate for all the crap we had to endure through Michael's medical conditions, but now this is a struggle too! I know, I know - there's always two ways to look at it; I'm grateful for the three I have. Some of you may ask "What does she have to complain about? Is she nuts?" Well, maybe I am. I didn't feel like my family was complete, but maybe I don't know what I'm talking about anymore. I hate seeing friends get pregnant, knowing full well if it'd worked for us when we first started trying I'd be delivering a baby right about now. I hate that I'm jealous. I hate that I'm depressed. I hate that it worked and I lost that baby. It's so not fair to get excited about something and have it taken away. I know life's not fair. I know I still have it good. I'm just angry. Nothing personal. Just angry. When will this pass? Will it pass?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dancin' With The, Melissa

Well this weekend we were able to go to see my niece, Melissa dance with her dance company. She got to be a "Kangaroo" in the performance of "Carnival of The Animals." For any who don't know, our niece has Down's Syndrome, and because of that I wasn't sure how this performance would go, but she did great! In fact she kept up so well that at first we had a hard time finding her in the group! We're proud of her - she's growing up so fast! It's so hard to believe that she's 13! Time flies!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Well, most of you know by now that years ago Michael suffered from a medical condition called Acromegaly (among another), which is a brain tumor that grows on your Pituitary Gland. Basically this is the disease giants have (like Andre The Giant, the wrestler), also known as Gigantism. Your pituitary controls all the growth in your body and one of his symptoms was that his body would keep growing! His shoes were like a 11 when we got married and ended up being a 14 and his ring size was originally a 10 and I think ended up being a 16! It was crazy! Regrettably though, with all that growth, he also had his jaw bone grow. When we got married 11 years ago, he had a regular overbite like most of us, which slowly turned into an extreme underbite which causes him tremendous pain. He's suffered from TMJ (google it) and headaches as a result for years, ever since. One thing you don't realize is that when you've gone through, medically, as much as we have that there are so many factors and it's overwhelming and you get to a point where truthfully, you're sick of dealing with one more thing. Then you put stuff off, which is exactly what has happened in the case of Michael's jaw. Honestly we still need to get him to a Cardiologist as well, as the tumor he had also had a tendency to enlarge the heart and harden the arteries. So, we are attempting to deal with the jaw aspect now. Michael has had a habit of popping IB Profin like candy and it needs to stop or its going to damage his stomach. We can't keep putting a "band-aid" over it and need to deal with it. Unfortunately though, this means thousands of dollars, lots of time and suffering on his part. So our first step was to consult with an Oral Surgeon who was recommended to us by one of the friends Michael grew up with in Long Beach. This guy seemed to know his stuff, and is the first of many consults to come, I'm sure. He seems to believe that Michael will need to have surgery to break his jaw and depending if it's the top or the bottom that they'll break, he'll need to have metal plates and screws put in his face to hold him back together. You know it's not a good sign when the doctor tells you himself that the first week and a half will be, and I quote "Hell." Our next step will be to consult with an Orthodontist too. Basically we'll have to work in tandem with both doctors to get everything ready for the break and re-set. Like I said, this is going to be painful in many respects. Poor Michael! It makes me sick just thinking about it, but what are the alternatives? He could just get appliances that alleviate some of the jaw pain, but don't fix the bite. He could just get braces which align the teeth to function better with the messed up bite, but that's no guarantee of pain relief either. What to do???


Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Fresh Start

Happy New Year, all! So far 2010 has been kinda crappy. It rolled in with a bang when we went over to my parents' house to celebrate on New Year's Eve and on the way home, Jared unloaded vomit all over the back of the van! Yippee! I should have known better than to think we'd actually make it through a break without anyone tossing! Fortunately it only lasted for a full day and then he spent the next day recovering. But, it was enough to make sure that we missed out on a few fun activities we'd been planning on. We were supposed to meet Michael's brother and his family to do some sledding, but circumstances being what they were..........not this time.

I really got behind in my blogging last year and was so overwhelmed by the prospect of catching up that I just let it go entirely, but I've repented and we'll give it another whirl this year! Christmas for us was great. The boys had great year. For some reason it seemed to creep up on me this year. I feel like I didn't get a chance to do all I wanted to, in preparation for the big day! It's kinda sad when we have these epiphanies that we're pretty lame for being so distracted by unnecessary things that we didn't really focus on the real reason for the holiday perhaps as much as we could have. I'm vowing now that December 2010 will be better.