Wednesday, May 27, 2015

flagstaff, sunset crater, and wupatki

We made out annual trek to the snow again on Martin Luther King weekend.  
My uncle always graciously lets us stay in his cabin so we are able to stay a few days.
Flagstaff didn't have tons of new snow for us, but we managed to find a spot with a hill and good snow for sledding.
Some family friends met us up there to join in the fun.
The kids got to make their very first snowman from scratch (usually we steal other ones we have found and take pictures with them).  The snow was good for building and they kids had fun collecting pinecones and sticks to decorate him.  Gus named him Hot Chocolate which he thought was hilarious since if the snowman tried to drink real hot chocolate he would melt.
I did have trouble explaining to Gus that he won't be there the next time we come back to Flagstaff.
I said we could rebuild him, but he was not a fan of that idea.
Everyone loved it, but quickly got cold and tired.  The warm car ride was pretty enjoyable as well.
On Martin Luther King Day, all the National Parks are free so we decide to hit up Sunset Crater and Wupatki.
It all looked beautiful covered in snow.
The kids enjoyed the science lesson about volcanoes and lava.
The ruins at Wupatki were the coolest part.
The kids all thought it was amazing.
One of there favorite parts was this natural blowhole: 
We loved getting to share our adventure with good friends.  
The kids all got along so well and we couldn't have asked for a better trip.

Monday, May 25, 2015

first ambulance ride

On New Year's Day, we had a rather scary parenting experience.
Gus started having a raspy voice in the afternoon that day, but I didn't think too much of it.  I just thought he was getting a cold.
He was still in good spirits and was happily playing "Clone Wars" with Aunt Erin, Uncle Gene and Nora.
These are their costumes designed by Gus...
We started to notice that Gus was making a gasping sound.
We thought maybe all the running in the game was the cause so we made him lay down for awhile.  
We had been texting our family doctors (aka: Nano and Aunt Angie), but hadn't been too alarmed yet.  We talked about taking him in to the ER or Urgent Care, but decided to wait.  I wish we hadn't.
We were keeping a close eye on him, but let him go to bed.  Zach laid with him (thank goodness) to keep an eye on him.  About a half hour later he woke up completely gasping for air.  Zach started to put him in the car to take him to the hospital but Gus was flailing his body and I knew we needed to call 911.  We took him back inside while Zach called.  I was holding Gus for the scariest minutes of my life so far.  He started turning blue and his eyes were rolling to the back of his head.  I was frantically trying to get him to breath while Zach was giving me advice from the 911 operator.  Thank goodness the firemen arrived in about 3 minutes.  They gave him epinephrine to get him breathing, but he was unconsious.  He and I road in the ambulance to Phoenix Children's Hospital.  He doesn't remember any of it, but later on he thought it was cool that he got to ride in an ambulance.  Once we were in the ER they diagnosed it as croup.  It was a very bad case for a kid as old as Gus.  Usually they only see it that bad in infants.  His gasping is something they call "Strider" (which sounds cooler than it is).  After three breathing treatments in the ER, he was still having the strider so they admitted him to the hospital.   Once we got to his room he was wide awake for most of the night thanks to the drugs.  He got to watch lots of movies.  I mean LOTS of movies.  It was a grand total of twelve before we left.  
The next day, he was doing so much better and having lots of fun at the hospital.  He got French toast and sausage for breakfast and people brought him lots of presents.  
The nurses also gave him lots of fun toys from the hospital.  He was in good spirits again pretty fast...
He thought his glowing thumb was pretty cool.  
The doctors decided to keep him the next night because croup often gets much worse in the night.  They were right, but he didn't have a very bad night.  The next morning we were ready to check out with a happy little boy whose memories were only of the fun parts.  If you talk to him about it, the hospital would sound like a blast.  
He later asked if he could go back.  I said, "I hope not."

Friday, May 22, 2015

happy 2015

This New Year's Eve we hung out at home with just our family.
We played games and waited for 10:00 to watch the ball drop in NYC.
Then we went outside to play with our sparklers.
Back inside we popped some poppers...
... and drank our sparkling cider and champaign...
We prayed for a Happy 2015.
The very next day God gave us a challenge that would require more prayers.
More to come on that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

a shower for my sister

My sister, Erin, is pregnant with her first baby so we managed to squeeze in a shower while she was here for Christmas.  I will be honest, I am not usually a fan of showers (expect the kind where I get wet), but it is different when it is your sister and you get a great excuse to hang out with all your aunts, cousins, and other favorite ladies that you don't get to see often enough.
The food is usually pretty good, too.
Nora stole lots of the attention...
And, of course, we left it to the Smeck ladies to plan some silly games to play...
We left it up to Dot to provide the entertainment...
She got Nora up on the fireplace to perform with her, but she was the ring leader and Nora just copied what she could.
Dot is quite the ham, but apparently doesn't actually like to share the stage...
The pictures end here because shortly after this she pushed Nora head first onto the floor.
A sad ending to a lovely party, but both girls have recovered.
Erin's baby will have to be tough to hang out with this crowd.