Tuesday, September 30, 2008

THREE Goals and a Header!

Ryan had a pretty exciting day, too! Tonight was the second to last soccer game of the fall season. The last one is next week right on my birthday!

Ryan had his best game EVER! As the title says, Ryan scored three goals (the final score was 13-2, even though our boys' coach encouraged them to pull back, which they did) and he had an awesome header! Funny, as quick as my camera is, I haven't quite been able to capture the exact moment of the goals or the header. This was a fraction of a second after the header...the ball soaring through the air. (Ryan is the one partially hidden by the ref. His teammate is going toward the ball.) I'll work on my photography skills.

These are some of my favorite pictures from the game.

Baby Update

After spending several hours at the hospital on Sunday, we've tried to cut back the past couple of days. :) It's been really hard.

For those of you who don't have access to Frances' blog, here are the updates. The babies have both lost a little bit of weight, so Frances and Marc opted for feeding tubes. They could have supplemented with bottles, but were concerned that they would get used to that option. So, don't be alarmed at the tubes in their noses, it was a preference, not a necessity. Frances' room is three floors above the NICU. She feeds the babies every three hours. Mom and I have taken turns going in to help her while Marc takes care of things outside of the hospital. Mom spent a few hours Monday afternoon, and then Ryan and I went in for a visit on Monday night. (Sorry, those pictures are on Mom's camera.)

Today (Tuesday), Dad and I went in for part of the afternoon. Dad was finally able to take a turn holding both of the babies! (Alice is in the pink cap, Claire is in the multi-colored cap.)
And here I am with them...Here are a couple of pictures of Alice...And here are a couple of pictures of Claire...Alice has similar features to Frances' family. Claire's features are more like the Inmans. In fact, Claire looks a lot like Ryan did as a newborn. Ryan thinks that's cool. Although, he still thinks it is very unfair that he can't see them yet. Hopefully soon.

Frances is scheduled to be released on Thursday. The girls will likely stay about two more weeks, depending on their weight gain and temperature regulation. The hospital does have "parent rooms" available for parents of the babies in the NICU. Marc and Frances will likely make arrangements to stay there as long as the girls are still in the NICU. Again, hopefully not long.

They're doing great, they just need to be a little bit bigger and stronger before they can go home.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It’s A Girl! And Another Girl!

But you already knew that. But did you know that they came TODAY? I didn’t think so!

This morning when I was in the shower, I heard a blood-curdling scream. As I was getting ready to check it out, Ryan came running in saying that Marc had called, and the babies were being born TODAY! I called Marc right back, and he gave me the scoop. Frances started having contractions at about 7:30 last night that were 5 to 10 minutes apart. They called her doctor, and she told them to keep monitoring the contractions and to come to the hospital if they got more intense or closer together. They did. Marc and Frances went to the hospital at about 10:00 am, where they prepped Frances for a c-section. That’s when they called us. Dad is the bishop of a young adult ward, and mom and dad were both at their meetings. Ryan and I got ready as quickly as we ever have, and we went to the church to track them down. Obviously they were surprised to see us there. We told them what was happening. Mom came with us, but dad had to make arrangements to change some of his appointments.

When we got to the hospital, Frances had just been taken to her recovery room. The babies were born at about 11:30 am. They were both crying and looked great. The bigger one was 5 lbs, 2 oz, and the little one that we have been so worried about was 4 lbs 14 oz, almost a pound bigger than they thought from the ultrasound. (For the record, Ryan was 8 lbs, 8 oz – almost as much as both of the babies combined!) We stayed with Frances and Marc in the recovery room for about an hour, where dad joined us much faster than we anticipated.
The nurses took Frances and Marc up to the regular room, and the rest of us went the long way around through the lobby. As we were walking through, Frances’ Aunt Colleen and Uncle Pete, along with two of their daughters and two grandkids were explaining to the front desk who they were. We had already received the clearance to be back in the patient rooms, so we waved to the front desk girl that they were with us, and they went up to the room with us. Frances’ Uncle Paul Lusk was hit by a car a few days ago while walking with his wife, and was killed. He was only 45. Frances’ parents are already in Sugar City helping with the funeral arrangements. Pete and Colleen and their family were on their way up, so they stopped to check in on Frances and take pictures, per Grandma Janae’s orders. Our sincere sympathies to the Lusk family. We have traveled with Paul and Leah and their family, and enjoyed the time we spent getting to know him.We decided to give Frances a little rest, so Marc and the entourage went to the NICU. Since only two visitors could be in with Marc, we took turns going in. Rara and Papa Inman were the first to go in with Marc. Then I had my turn! Ryan was EXTREMELY upset to learn of the rule that the only children allowed in the NICU were siblings. He was so patient as we all took our turns. He is especially anxious for them to be released from the NICU so that he can meet them.At about 4:00, Frances was finally given the clear to go down to the NICU. Papa took Ryan home, and Rara and I stayed and went back down to the NICU. We took pictures of Marc and Frances with the babies. Finally the whole family was together in one room! They are both doing great. There are still some concerns about regulating their temperatures, but as soon as they are able to do that, and are both able to eat well, they will be moved to Frances’ room. We’ll keep you posted! (Names are being finalized. I'll post them when they're official.)

Special Family Day

Friday, September 26, we had the opportunity to go to the temple with my cousin and her family. They adopted a little boy who was born into a very tragic situation. He was taken away from his parents, and none of the extended relatives wanted him when they were given the opportunity to take him. My cousin, Misty, and her husband, Luke, have three kids, but they felt that little Gage was meant to be a part of their family. We dropped Ryan off at the Strands’ house and went to the Bountiful Temple. Marc and Frances were supposed to meet all of us there in the sealing waiting room at 5:30. When they weren’t there, we started to worry. At 6:00, they took all of us into the sealing room. It was such a wonderful experience to see that whole little family in white in the temple while Gage was sealed to them. Brother Mac Christensen (“Mr. Mac”) was the sealer, and was so touching and tender with everything he said. He told Misty and Luke how wonderful he thought it was that they were willing to take little Gage into their family, even knowing all of his challenges. He got a little choked up a few times, which made the rest of us a little bit weepy, too.

As we were leaving the temple, Marc and Frances came out of the main waiting room. They had misunderstood, and thought we were all going to be at the Salt Lake Temple! We were just relieved that nothing more serious had happened. We went back to Strands for dinner and visiting. Misty and Luke’s kids, Abby and Josh, LOVE Ryan. Isn’t it obvious from these pictures?It was a very touching and tender experience, and we were happy to be invited to be a part of it.

Ryan’s First Movie Premiere – "Forever Strong"

We have had one amazingly exciting weekend! I thought about catching up on posts in order of importance, but then I decided to do them chronologically. So…

Thursday, September 25, we were able to attend the premiere of “Forever Strong.” You may remember from previous posts that Ryan has been waiting on pins and needles for this day. Marc was able to get us four tickets to the premiere. Ryan thought it was SO cool that we actually got to walk down the red carpet into the theater!
Allow me to “name drop” for a moment. Coach Larry Gelwix and Gary Cole who played him, were in the lobby being interviewed as we entered, as were the director, producer, composer, etc. Marc grabbed whoever he could find to introduce us. He had previously given Ryan a mini rugby ball which was signed by several players and actors from the film. We had everyone we met sign it. Marc also gave Ryan a full-size rugby ball with “Forever Strong” on it. He toted both of them around all night. And, yes, he even slept with them.
We walked into the theater with Elder Russell M. Nelson and his family. There were only about a dozen people in the theater when we went in, and the Nelsons were about five rows behind us. After we all got settled, Ryan wanted to go up and talk with him. Elder Nelson was so cute with Ryan, asking him his name and a little bit about himself. Ryan was proud to tell him that we were there because his uncle had worked on the film.

A few minutes later, Sheri Dew came in and sat a few rows behind the Nelsons. By this time, the theater was really filling up. She had a crowd of people around her, as did the Nelsons by this point.

The movie was great, but you all already know how much we love it. Interestingly, we’ve noticed that it has received great reviews in Utah, but marginal reviews in the rest of the country. We decided that Utah must appreciate good “moral of the story” films more. It would be a great film for older kids and teenagers to see. We didn’t realize until we were sitting in the theater that it was PG-13. Oh well. Ryan has already seen it enough that he can almost recite it word for word. And we’ve talked about a lot of the elements that made it PG-13.

As we were leaving the theater, we were near Carole Mikita. I have to tell you the significance of that. When we first moved back to Utah, Ryan was 3 months old. Whenever Carole came on the news, Ryan would go, “OOOOOO!” and sit mesmerized in front of the TV watching her. That continued for YEARS! No kidding…whatever he was doing, when she came on, the world stopped for him to watch her. Now it has become kind of a joke. (“Oh, look Ry! Carole’s on!”) Well, as we passed her, that little star-struck baby returned. He poked me and pointed. I asked if he wanted to go over and talk with her. He just nodded. We walked over to her, and I introduced him. I told her that he had been a fan since he was a baby, telling her how he was mesmerized whenever she came on. She thought that was great. She told him that he was welcome to come to the studio any time to watch her in a newscast. I thought he was going to faint!

As we were leaving, they had a big, long table set up with Larry Gelwix, Gary Cole, and others that had worked on the film signing posters. Ryan wanted one, but there was a line, and we were already past his bedtime. Thanks to his wonderful uncle, Ryan got signed posters without having to wait in the line.It was such a fun evening! We were glad that Marc was able to get us in to such an amazing event!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Token September Post

I just realized that I have gone almost a month with no post! My apologies! Life has been pretty busy with Ryan returning to school and me returning to classes after taking the summer off. Here are a couple of updates:

Ryan is still enjoying soccer. He usually makes at least one goal per game. He is definitely getting considerably more assertive and confident in his abilities.

Last Thursday, Ryan was awarded his Wolf rank in Cub Scouts. It was fun to have Rara and Papa at Pack Meeting to witness his mommy giving him his award, and then Ryan presenting his mommy with the Mother’s Pin. He does accept hugs from me as he receives his awards. It is a lot of fun being his leader.
We’ve also had some sadness in our lives. Our next-door-neighbor, Del Bigler (Ryan and I have both known him for most of our lives), passed away a couple of weeks ago. Ryan enjoyed visiting with him and had come to know him quite well during our time here. We will really miss having him as our neighbor and friend.

We are anticipating a couple of exciting events in the near future. This Thursday, we have the opportunity to attend the premiere of “Forever Strong.” Most of you know that we “pre-screened” it a few months ago. We have seen the trailers in the theaters and the billboards advertising its September 26 general release, so we are really excited to see it on the big screen.

Frances is now at 34 weeks with the babies. They are anticipating an October 14 delivery, unless the babies decide to come sooner than that. I happen to think that October 7 would be a GREAT day for them to come into the world. New nieces for my birthday, wouldn’t that be a fun present? I’ll definitely keep everyone posted! Many of you know that October 7 was also my grandpa’s and my uncle’s birthday. We just need to keep the date going through the next generation, don’t you think?

Speaking of the babies, one is still not named. Marc and Frances have been jokingly referring to the babies as either Barbara and Jenna or Mary Kate and Ashley (none of those are the names that have been chosen, just to be clear). Many of you know that Ryan and I have read most of the Harry Potter books together. We were talking about the babies last night (incidentally after reading a book about the presidents that mentioned Barbara and Jenna), when Ryan said, “Marc and Frances need to start calling the baby ‘she who has not been named.’” If you have any ideas, I'd be happy to pass them along to Marc and Frances. :) We’ll continue to provide updates on the arrival and the names.