Monday, December 31

Our Little Fighter

Our sweet little Penelope had been sick for a couple of days and I noticed she wasn't making any improvements.  I called my mom 24/7 trying to see what we should do (she works for a pediatrician). My mom could hear how bad Penelope sounded through the phone and suggested we take her to the ER.  Tyson and I loaded up our little bundle of joy and made our first trip to the ER.  They had us put her in the smallest hospital gown I had ever seen.  It broke my heart.  The doctor diagnosed her with bronchiolitis.  They gave her a good suction to remove some of her mucous and sent us home with an Albuterol inhaler.  

Christmas Eve came and she was not feeling any better, so we decided to take her to the Instacare.  The doctor gave us an Albuterol treatment, through a nebulizer to take home.  We stayed home that night from all of the Christmas Eve festivities, in hopes that Penelope would start getting better.  That night she wasn't sounding any better.  It was killing me to hear her struggling to breathe and eat.  She looked so miserable.  I called my mom and she was able to get ahold of Dr. Dave, who she works for.  We also talked with our Pediatrician in Fresno and a family friends Pediatrician.  We didn't know if we should take her into the ER again or just wait it out.  It was helpful knowing we had so many doctors who were concerned and cared for our daughter.  They all advised us to stay out of the ER if we could because of all of the sick children.  They told us to watch for a fever and try and get some rest.  I was so grateful they were willing to talk with us on Christmas Eve in the middle of the night.

Christmas day came and she was still struggling.  We had plans to leave to Utah that day but didn't know what we should do.  We decided to pray if it was a good decision to still travel to Utah.  We both felt it was the right thing to do.  The trip to Utah was tough with a sick baby.  I was so worried about her, but knew the sooner we could get to Utah the better.

As soon as we pulled into Heber my mom ran us over to her office to check her SAT's.  She immediately said she needed to be on oxygen.  I was starting to get more worried.  That night she hardly slept and whimpered all night.  We all were heart broken.

The next morning Dr. Dave took a look at her and ordered a Rx for her to get her nose suctioned at the hospital.  He wanted to see how she did throughout the day to see if she needed to be admitted to the hospital or not.  They took a chest X-ray at the hospital and thought she had pneumonia and an ear infection.

Later that day we decided to take her to the hospital to get suctioned because we could hear how congested she was.  Once the RT took a look at her chest, he told us she was really struggling to breathe and it would be a good idea to admit her.  He spoke with Dr. Dave and after talking with us he thought it would be best to take her to Primary Children's Hospital.  He ordered an ambulance and called ahead to get us in.  Tyson and I couldn't believe what was happening to our little girl.  We both were having a really hard time, that is when my brother-in-law Jordan and my sister showed up to the hospital.  Tyson, Jordan and Dr. Dave were able to give Penelope a sweet blessing before she got in the ambulance.  It was such a tender moment.  I have never been more grateful for the priesthood than I was at that moment.

Penelope did great on the ride down the canyon.  I was so happy that I was able to be by her side.  As much as I hated that she was going to the hospital, I knew that Primary Children's Hospital was the best hospital and that she would be in great hands.  The paramedics were so kind.  I wanted to reach out and give each one of them a hug.

We arrived to the hospital and they immediately checked her SAT's.  They gave her an IV and did some blood work.  She came out positive for RSV and after looking at her chest X-ray her pneumonia turned out to be a collapsed lung.  They informed us that she was going to need to be put on a high flow oxygen and admitted into the PICU.  We had no idea she was that bad.  They put her on 6 liters of oxygen and watched her very closely.

Walking through the PICU for the first time was so hard for me, seeing all of those babies struggling for their lives about did me in.  Once we got into the room a swarm of doctors evaluated Penelope.  They were all so kind and made us feel safe.

We luckily only had to spend one night in the PICU because they were able to turn down the high flow oxygen to 5 litters.  She also started to eat again.  We were worried a couple of times that she was going to have to have a feeding tube.  

We were so excited to go to the third floor.

We definitely missed our nurse Chad.  He was amazingly sweet to Penelope.  It did my heart good.

After being in the regular room for a while, she was able to have her IV removed and get a bath.

Each day they have been working on suctioning her less and turning down the high flow of oxygen.  We had many family and friends fast for a quick recovery on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday we were able to see that smile of hers, it had been awhile.  We knew she must have started to feel better.

We woke up Sunday morning to the doctors and nurses saying how amazing she sounded and how great her scores were.  She had made drastic improvements.  It was such a special day for us at Primary's.  We were able to attend a branch that was here in the hospital.  It was the most spiritual sacrament meeting I have ever been to.  The spirit was so strong in that room.  It was so hard to look around and see sick children and wonder what each parents child was in the hospital for.  I had an overwhelming feeling that this is what the atonement is for.  I knew that our Savior loved each of his children insurmountably.  The music touched my heart deeply and strengthened my testimony even more.

Many prayers went out in behalf of Penelope and we felt them being answered.  Each day Penelope has continued to make improvements.   

We have adored each doctor and nurse.  Penelope's nurse Tammy was great.  She called Penelope her little butter ball.

Many of our family and friends came to visit.  I was so happy they got to meet Penelope.  It wasn't in the circumstances I had hoped for, but that was alright with me. 

We were originally supposed to bless Penelope last Sunday, so Tyson's parents were actually in Salt Lake.  It ended up being a huge blessing.  We have appreciated their visits so much.  They have allowed us to go eat and get a break from the hospital.

My mom has also been so good to us.  She has packed us snacks and brought us a clean pair of clothes almost every day.

I woke up this morning and noticed they had changed Penelope from the high flow oxygen to the regular flow in the middle of the night.  I was so happy.  They told us that she might even be able to go home tonight, depending on how many times she has to be suctioned.  

We have definitely had many tender mercies as we have been here at the hospital.  My heart has become more tender and has such a deeper appreciation for doctors and nurses who give of their time to help so many.  I look around and realize our stay here has been so minimal compared to others.  My heart goes out to those families.  Primary Children's is such a special place.  The spirit is so strong and you just know the Savior is in your midst.

Our trip to Utah was different than we had planned.  I am learning more and more every day, that that is just how life goes and it is up to us to smile anyways.  We must find joy even when things don't turn out as we planned.  The lord sees the whole picture and blesses us along the way.  

People even strangers have been so kind to check on our baby.  We truly appreciate every prayer that has been offered.  It makes me want to be a better person and be there for others when they are going through the hard times.

I am grateful for my sweet baby girl and the lessons she continues to teach me!

Sunday, December 23

Sick Baby

My poor sweet baby is sick.

It seriously breaks my heart.

I hate feeling helpless and not being able to take the hurt from her.

Hearing her struggle to breathe and nurse is so sad.

Her poor nose is stuffy and she has the saddest little cough.

As much as she hates her nose being suctioned, she still finds a way to smile afterwards.

She wants to be held more and rocked to sleep, but I'm not complaining.

I will do anything to help her feel better.

I wish so badly I could be sick and not her.

Our bed is covered in spit up and snotty burp rags.

 We laugh how we could care less.

I know that she will be sick other times in her life, but as a

 parent you wish you could protect them from everything.

I can't wait for this cold season to pass.

In the mean time I will cherish snuggling my baby in her warm jammies and soft blankets.

Thursday, December 20


I have had all but six weeks at this new role of mine, called motherhood.  I thought I was doing pretty good in my new shoes for the first few weeks.  I figured since I had tackled the nursing thing, I was set.  I then quickly realized that this is not so.  The past few days have really made me think.  I started to feel overwhelmed.  I began comparing myself to others.  I would look at other pictures of girls who had just had thier babies and wondered why I didn't look like them.  I couldn't understand how some were able to go back to church so quickly or how some juggled five kids, when I could barely handle my one.

I had so many misperceptions of how I was going to be, when I became a mother.  I admit I found myself judging mothers at times and told myself I would never let my house go or let my child out of the house without their hair done.  I planned on having a home cooked meal for my husband to come home to every night and all of the laundry neatly folded every day.

I have been put into my place all to quickly.  I am learning motherhood is a full time job.  I now can understand why my mom is the way she is.  Why she always said you lose a part of your brain with every child.  

I found this out a couple days ago when Tyson asked if I could bring him a jacket to the golf course.  That task may sound easy, but for me that meant getting the baby dressed and in her car seat.  It meant that I had to put normal clothes on actually do something with my hair.  I finally had us all situated in the car and happily on our way, when suddenly I realized I had forgotten the jacket.  The whole reason we gotten into the car, in the first place.  I wanted to break down in tears because I knew Penelope was going to be getting hungry.  I only have a little window to get things done with a nursing baby.  I then ran my tongue across my teeth and realized I hadn't even brushed them for the day and it was after one.

My head started spinning with all the things that I still needed to get done for the holidays as well as my visiting teaching, baking cookies for our neighbors, my calling, taking a salad to a family member, Christmas parties, eyelash fills, grocery shopping, wash and so much more all while finding time to feed and change my baby in between.  I'm not going to lie I felt like a complete failure and thought how am I ever going to live up to this new role of mine.

I wanted to throw in the towel.  But then I came across this video while I was quickly preparing my visiting message.  It put everything into perspective perfectly.  I knew that I have been doing my best and that was good enough.  I felt the love of my Savior and his arms around me telling me I was doing a good job and to not give up.  After talking with my mom and watching the video I have made a new goal to not compare myself to others, this is easier said than done, but I am going to try.  I am learning that every one is doing their best and there is no reason to judge others.  

I am beyond grateful for this time of year and for the lessons it teaches me.  The focus should be on our Savior and for the perfect life and example he set for us.  This year is extra special with my own little one.  Like in the video, I love starring into her eyes and wondering what life is going to have in store for her.  I couldn't have asked for a greater gift than Penelope.  I am grateful for the lessons she is teaching me, even at such a young age.

Wednesday, December 19

2012 Highlights

What a year it has been.  It has all been a bit hazy, but I guess that is what pregnancy will do to you.  It has been one of the hardest but best years of my life.  This year has been a year of growth for me.  I have learned a lot of lessons, lessons of compassion, prayer, hope, kindness, and motherly love.

We started off the year by building our very first house.  It was such a fun process.  Picking out all of the colors was my favorite.

We celebrated Gigi's first birthday.

She even got her very own birthday cake.

We spent Valentine's Day with Grandma and Grandpa Cleveland.  It was such a special day, one that I will never forget.  

We said goodbye to our first house.  I cried a lot.  So many memories, even though we only lived there for a year.

We moved back into Tyson's parents house, while our house was being finished.  Thank goodness for their generosity.

Poor GiGi experienced her hair being shaved, for the first time.  We let her get a little matted.  I about died when I went to pick her up from the groomers.

My hair also got a face lift.  Cara put extensions in my hair, while I tried to grow out my pixie cute.

We went to Pismo Beach with our good friends Shaun and Brooke.

While living with Tyson's parents we found out we were pregnant again.  It came unexpectedly.  We were beyond thrilled.  I spent my time at Tyson's parents house sick in bed.  

We got the keys to our new house.  It has been so much fun to decorate.  Tyson worked hard on finishing the garage.

GiGi had to mark her territory at the house.

My mom and sister came to help us move in.  Kiersten brought her dog Cider.  Those two together were a handful.

Tyson and I ventured to one of my brother Tate's fishing tournaments.  It had been awhile since I had seen him.  The best part was telling him I was pregnant.

Tyson and I celebrated our second anniversary.  He spoiled me with a Tiffany & Co. necklace and a meal to Flemings.

We spent many weekends at the Farmer's Market in Old Town Clovis.

We went boating with Tyson's entire family for Memorial Day.  It was a blast.

We made a quick trip to Utah to see the fam.  I got to watch my niece Madison play in her softball game.  My friends got to see me prego for the first time.

We survived the hottest summer EVER!

We spent a lot of time in the pool.

We went camping with friends and family.

We finally got GiGi to get into the pool.

We spent the 4th of July swimming and enjoying fireworks.

We got to go through the temple with our friend Sergio and his beautiful wife.  It was such a neat experience to watch their family be sealed together for time and all eternity.

I was in a Birthday Suite Maternity photo shoot.  I had a such a great time being around other prego girls.

We went to Newport Beach where I experienced my first true acid reflux outburst, as well as the swelling of the feet.

We got to stop by San Clemente to visit Kiersten and Jordan.

I learned how to do eyelash extensions.

GiGi made a boyfriend.

My feet continued to swell as the heat continued to rise.

I got to visit Utah again and meet my new nephew.  My family also threw me my first baby shower.

My friend Jessie took some maternity photos for me.  

I got to be at Joshua's football game and senior night.

We went to our first pumpkin patch and decorated for Fall.

We attended the Fresno State Fair for the first time together.

I said goodbye to working.  I couldn't wait to be a stay at home momma, something I always wanted to be.

We celebrated Halloween by dressing up GiGi.  I was not in the mood this year.

We got to watch GiGi have her puppies.  It was so hard to have her away from us, however we got an early Christmas present, she is back home with us now.

The best and most wonderful highlight of 2012 was giving birth to our beautiful baby girl Penelope Betty.  

We are loving every second of our new role as parents. 

We can't wait to see what the next year brings!!!!