Saturday, July 30, 2011

Goodbye

Today we said goodbye to our sweet Stella. It was the hardest thing we have done, but she was terribly sick and we are relieved that she is finally at peace.


Rod and Stella



Stella with three of her babies

(Izzie, Drew and Paige)



the kids visited Stella while she was in the hospital and brought get well cards


Will hugging Stella goodbye.


Mommy kissing her girl goodbye


Stella, we love you and miss you!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Tough Break

I want to thank everyone for the kind comments left on my last post about Stella. Unfortunately, she is not doing much better and we are making some tough decisions about her care. Yesterday I had to pick her up from one veterinary hospital and take her to another for further testing. She was so excited to get in the car with Will and me and then so sad when we left her at the second place. She thought she was coming home :( Broke my heart to leave her there.

So after another day of caring for and worrying over my dog, I was wrapping up the day and ready to get the kids in bed. We had eaten dinner and Rod was at a Cub Scout outing with Will. The little people were running around while I started getting pajamas and things together to start the bedtime routine. Suddenly I heard screaming and Izzie came running to me with blood coming out of her mouth. She had fallen on the wood floor in the entry way. I scooped her up and began checking her over. She had bitten her tongue when she fell and it was bleeding badly. The bad news about mouths- they bleed a lot. The good news about mouths- they heal quickly. I wasn't too concerned, just trying to comfort her and get the bleeding to stop. She told me that she also hurt her arm, so I gave her a quick kiss on the shoulder and continued tending to her mouth. I gave her ice to suck on and her sippy cup. I got some ibuprofen to ease the pain and any swelling. When I handed her the dosage cup, she couldn't hold it in her left hand. She screamed when I tried to put it in her hand. I hadn't been very worried about her bitten tongue, but now I was worried.

I felt along her arm and had her move her fingers. She was able to move everything, so I focused more on comforting her. She was inconsolable. Not just for a minute or two, but for nearly an hour! She would scream if I touched her arm at all, no matter how gentle I tried to be. Now, Izzie can be a drama queen sometimes, but she is tough. Tough as nails. She does not cry in pain for more than a minute or two, even after a pretty big injury. I knew that something was definitely wrong. I called Rod and he came home. Izzie and I headed over to the emergency room.

She was hilarious at the ER. She was chattering the whole time (of course, she's Izzie.) She was in a pretty good mood as long as no one went near her arm. She was happy enough that a couple of times, I started thinking I had made a mistake bringing her in. Then she would move her arm or someone would go near it and she would freak out. Yeah, she needed to get checked out. She loved that she sat on a bed in the examining room. It was a real bed with a pillow, not just a table like at the pediatrician. Who knew that was so exciting?

The doctor examined her then had some x-rays taken. Sure enough it was broken. She had broken both bones. Poor sweetie! No wonder she was so defensive of her arm. I was told that they no longer put casts on at the ER. They would brace it in a splint, then I would need to take her to an orthopedic doctor to have it cast.



They wrapped it in gauze



Then wrapped a bandage around the gauze and a splint.


This morning we got her into the ortho. He showed us her x-rays and assured me that we would be amazed at how quickly she was going to heal (these kids are amazing!). He said she would only need to wear a cast for three weeks (as long as all goes as planned.) Then came the exciting part- she got to pick out the color of her cast!




No shock here-- She went with purple!!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

One Sick Puppy

Okay, she may not be a puppy anymore, but our dog Stella is sick. Really sick. We still aren't positive what is wrong, but she is in the doggy hospital right now receiving iv antibiotics. Rod and I are worried sick.

For as long as I have known Rod, I've known that he is a 'dog person.' He made it clear that he wanted us to have a dog of our own as soon as possible. When we first married, we lived in an apartment for two years. Since he wanted a medium sized dog or larger, we knew we had to wait until we bought a house with a yard to get our dog. We bought a house with a nice little back yard in July of 2002 and Rod immediately started talking about dogs. Truthfully, at this point I wasn't too excited about the idea. I put him off for a while, but knew that this was something he really wanted and I couldn't deny him. In December of that year, I went to a local pound with my girlfriend Jennifer looking for a dog to give Rod for Christmas. There were a lot of dogs there to be adopted, but I immediately was drawn to a little boxer/lab mix puppy (since she was abandoned they didn't know her exact age, but estimated her to be about 3 mos.) The pound had given all of the dogs "Christmas-y" names in hopes of getting them adopted as Christmas gifts. She was named "Merry." I was sucked in and signed the papers that day. She had to get all of her shots and get spayed before I could take her home, so I still had to wait a week to actually get her. That year we had already made plans to celebrate Christmas with Rod's family on Christmas Eve at his sister Laura's house. I called Laura and asked a big favor. Between picking up our dog and Christmas Eve, it was 4 days. I asked if she would keep the dog at her house until I gave her to Rod. She agreed and Christmas Eve when we arrived at her house, Rod went on a scavenger hunt I had arranged for him. It ended in Laura's backyard where Stella was hidden under their swing set.

Rod was so happy with his gift! That night, he decided to name her Stella. She is a perfect Stella. Lady-like, but feisty! Rod was immediately in love, but that was no surprise. The bigger surprise was how quickly I fell for this little bundle of fur and love. She was absolutely adorable and sooo sweet. How could I have ever thought I didn't want a dog?

As we brought home the kids, she showed what a sweet, sweet girl she is. She is loving and protective of all of the kids. When Will was a baby, if she and I were in a different room than him and he started crying, she beat me there nearly every time. She puts up with the kids pulling her tail and ears, sitting on her, loving her a bit too roughly and never snaps at them. She is a great dog.

As I sit typing this, she is off at the hospital being treated. We hope and pray that the vets can figure out what is wrong with her and fix it. We want our sweet girl back soon. The horrible part of a veterinary hospital is that we can't stay with her. I'm sure that sounds crazy to people without pets-- heck it would have sounded crazy to me nine years ago! I just hate the idea of her being alone and possibly scared or in pain. The quads don't really understand what is going on or where she is. They have missed her and asked where she is, we just told them, "She is at the doctor." Will, however, has a better understanding. As soon as he heard that she had to go to the hospital, he wanted to make her 'Get Well' cards. He got his crayons and some paper and made a few. At bedtime tonight, he cried that she wouldn't be able to sleep with him (she sleeps in his room with him every night.) I hope that we get to celebrate her coming home soon. For us and the kids.

On top of the worry is guilt. I feel so bad that Stella has been put on the back-burner. I have five human children to take care of everyday and sometimes caring for one more living creature is too much. She gets a bit neglected. I also wonder if there were signs I would have seen sooner if I had paid more attention. I know that she is "only a dog," but she is our first baby. The first animal Rod and I ever loved and cared for together. She has been with us through infertility, pregnancies, babies and kids. We love her very much. If you could please pray that she will be okay, I would appreciate it.


Will and Stella

October, 2007



Stella with a binky stolen from Rod's niece Ana.

December, 2002

(don't even try to tell me you've seen a cuter picture of a cuter dog. You haven't)


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Animals Meet Some Animals (and a Splash-Pad)!!

The crew had a play date with a couple triplet families at an area park. This park is really nice and has big splash-pad (which was perfect for the crazy-hot weather we have been having!), but even better was the nature center. Another triplet mom in our multiples group works there, so she brought out some animals for the kids to see- and even touch!



Julie brought out some tree frogs


Will held one

Drew held a toad


She even brought out a corn snake

(which made me very nervous, but the kids liked him)


Drew even pet him!

A bit after this picture was taken, the snake pooped on the floor. I think that was the boys' favorite part of the entire day. They still talk about snake poop.

She showed everyone an owl


The boys even touched a scorpion.

(Once again, the girls were not interested in getting too close)





After this, we went on to the splash-pad. I didn't take too many pictures there because counting to five over and over and over ended up taking most of my time. We had never been to this park before, so I didn't realize how wet I would get just watching them and didn't wear my swimsuit. This made for an icky ride home in wet clothes, but lesson learned. I'm sure we'll go to this park again and next time Mommy will be prepared.


Will


Drew (in the Elmo trunks) and Julia (in the orange suit)

I finally got a group shot when we took a break for lunch

(Julia, Paige, Drew, Will and Izzie)




It was a wonderful day and the kids had a great time meeting animals, especially Drew. Since then, he has given several presentations. He'll have us all sit on the floor, then he brings around his stuffed animals. He tells us what they are, then lets us touch them reminding us to "be gentle." I love my little animal lovers!



Friday, July 8, 2011

Go Daddy, Go!

This summer Rod has been playing on a men's softball league with a team from work one (now two) nights each week. Most of his games have been late, so the kids haven't been able to watch him play. We finally got the chance last night. Rod had some early games and my nieces Taylor and Ana were able to come along and offer a couple extra sets of hands, so the crew got to watch Daddy play. The kids were so excited to see Daddy out on the field! For these kids, Derek Jeter has nothing on Daddy!


Daddy playing shortstop in the field



Julia sitting with her cousin Taylor


Paige was really interested in the game



Drew wanted to be out there with the guys



Seriously cute cheering section!

Drew, Taylor, Ana, Julia and Izzie



Will insisted on sitting right next to the dugout.

He just wants to be one of the guys.



The kids were so excited when Daddy came out to join us between games!




I know that it's good for Rod to get out a couple of nights a week and have fun, hang out with his friends and get some good exercise. He really appreciated me bringing the kids. Who wouldn't want those cheerleaders?!? I also love watching how excited the kids are to see their father play baseball! We'll definitely try to make it to a few more games before the season ends.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Independence Day Parades

With Paige still not 100% and Daddy having a lot of work to do putting together our new swing set, we had a pretty quiet holiday weekend. The only real celebrating we did was attending a couple of parades. We went to our town's and my hometown's. The kids have learned to love parades and they are so stinking cute! They wave and yell to everyone and get so excited to gather candy.


The quads

(yes all of my group shots are this good)



Drew taking a break with Grandma



getting ready for parade #2 with their cousins



then it started raining.

(I love little Ellie holding the umbrella with her Mommy)



Alex, Will and Kate taking cover before the parade starts


The rain slowed down and it barely drizzled during most of the parade. By the end though, it was pouring! We were all completely soaked for the ride home.



Julia loved the parade, even if it was too loud!



I hope that everyone had a happy Independence Day!!!!!





Friday, July 1, 2011

The Good, The Sad and The Bad

Once again, I can't believe how much time has passed since I posted anything. Our summer has been good, but I guess with so much going on, I haven't really been writing as regularly. I'll catch up with a recap of the last couple of weeks around here.



The Good:


--Will took swim lessons for the last two weeks. He took them at the same high school from which Rod and I both graduated. He did a great job!

He thought it was neat to be in our old high school!




practicing his kicking

He was even brave enough to go off the diving board!

taking the plunge!


-- Will and Rod have gone fishing several times with the guys in the family. They have even eaten their catch for dinner a few nights!


here is my nephew Evan showing his catch




-- We have been watching Will's best friend Zach one day each week. It is going well. The boys love spending time together and the quads think it is cool to have another 'big boy.' I've been looking for fun activities to keep them busy.




here they are decorating cookies



their main goal was to use every color icing and every kind of sprinkle I had!




seriously, only a five yr old boy would decorate cookies like this!




then I found wood build and paint your own race car kits



(somehow I did not get an after shot of the cars, but the boys loved them!)


-- We ordered a new swing set for the backyard and it should be getting assembled this weekend. I hope to show pictures soon!



The Sad:



My good friend Stacy moved away :( I'm so sad to see her go. Stacy was one of the first quad moms I met. Hers were even GGBG like mine. She is smart and funny and one of the nicest people I've ever met. While this move is great for her family, I hate to see her go. I have tried to spend as much time as possible with her the last couple of weeks. On their way out of town, we met them for lunch at a Burger King with a play land so the kids could play together a bit and we could say goodbye.


My friend Jennie (a triplet mom) moved a few weeks ago, so that's it! No more of my multiples mamas can move!!


The Bad:

My little Paige had a small scratch on her knee. Not a big deal, it looked like maybe she had scratched a bug bite. It had begun to go away, then yesterday I took her pajama pants off to get her dressed and found it looking like this



red, angry sore

It was warm to the touch and clearly painful to Paige, so I called the doctor to get it checked out. Later that day, I found a rash creeping up her belly. By the time we got to her appointment that afternoon, she was running a fever. Well, it turns out that her knee was infected with strep. The strep had caused Scarlet Fever. My poor little girl is feeling pretty lousy! She is on medicine and seems to be improving. In the mean time, I am watching everyone else like a hawk watching for any sign that someone else may have caught it. Hopefully we caught this early enough that she will bounce right back. I need my crew back to healthy!







Well, there you go. That is a pretty quick glance at the last couple of weeks for our family. I hope that everyone enjoys their holiday weekend!