Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Festivities

We celebrated Easter well this year.  Palmer, Brody and I dyed Easter eggs.  We took some to Grandma Nancy and some to Pappy and Grandma Betty.


The kids went on three egg hunts!  The first was on Saturday with our neighborhood at a nearby park.  Brody scraped his knee seconds before the hunt started.  So he was crying and too upset to participate, and the babies not know what to do, followed his example. Only Palmer filled his bucket, and then being the good brother he is, shared his loot with his siblings.

On Sunday we visited Grandma Nancy and she did an egg hunt for the kids.  This one was much calmer and the babies now knew what to do, so it went nicely.

Then we went on to London's house for a Nichols family dinner, some sidewalk art and another egg hunt.  By this time everyone was a pro at plucking up the eggs and they all made out with a plethora of candy.


The kids visited with the Easter Bunny at the mall Saturday evening, which they thought was great fun.  And the Easter Bunny returned the favor with a visit to our home and left some toys for the kids the next morning.  Palmer and Brody each received an Infinity character, the babies each received a little wagon, and everyone got a bouncy ball.

We attended church on Easter Sunday, as always.  Greg and I had talked with the boys a few days earlier about the meaning of Easter.  I don't think they quite grasped it.  But as we were leaving church on Sunday (with pictures of Jesus in each of their hands), I heard Palmer say to Brody, "Did you learn about resurrected too?"  I'm so glad we have the efforts of their Primary teachers to help us teach about Christ.  He lives!  I know he does with all my being.  I came across this quote this week during a time when I was feeling hurt, alone and broken.  It rang true to my heart and mind as I read it then and it still does now.

"If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort.  If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope.  If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened.  If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended."  - Jeffrey R. Holland

Monday, April 21, 2014

P is for Psoriasis (Even if It's Silent)

Our poor P man.  Lately he has had skin irritation after skin irritation.  Almost a year later, Palmer is still dealing with his Molluscum Catagiosum.  Most of the bumps aren't too uncomfortable, but they keep him from taking baths and more importantly (to a five year old) keep him from being able to go swimming.  He also recently had an irregular mole removed from the left side of his head.

A couple weeks ago he told me his knees were really itchy.  I pulled up his pant leg to find what I thought was hives.  I noticed that he also had welts on his elbows.  He's gotten hives before, so we knew the drill and we gave him allergy medication.  The next day, after a few doses of Benadryl, the "hives" were getting much worse and not looking much like hives anymore.  Greg took him to the instacare and Palmer was diagnoses with Psoriasis.  Big bummer since there is no cure and he'll have to deal with it his whole life.  He was prescribed a steroid cream and it has helped the affected area a lot.  I have noticed he is a little self conscious about the Psoriasis.  He asked to wear long sleeves and long pants to school even though it was very hot outside.  Since it's mostly cleared up, he has gone back to his short sleeves and shorts.  The disease will come and go through his life.  I'm sure there will be other times when he will be embarrassed about it.

Brody has begun to get huge cancer sores in his mouth just like Greg does.  His dentist informed me that when they get to a certain size, which Brody's and Greg's are some of the biggest the doctor has seen, they are actually classified as a type of ulcer.  Once again, there is no cure, and treatment hardly even works for their type of cancer sores.

I know it's part of life to go through illnesses and trials, but the mother in me just wishes I could take away all their pain.  I hurt when they hurt.  I've jokingly told Greg that both of these cases are his fault, since both ailments can be tracked back through his family genes.  Poor kids, they have to inherit all their parents' problems.  Hopefully there's enough good in us as well to balance them out.

Friday, April 18, 2014

General Conference with Small Children

General Conference with little children isn't always easy.  It will be nice to one day in the future be able to really focus and take in all the messages, until then we'll try our best.

This year we used this packet for the first day of conference.  Palmer really enjoyed it, but was done with it within the first half hour of the conference.  Brody wasn't interested all.  In the past, we used this packet and it seemed to last a bit longer and keep their interest better.

During the third session we had cups with assorted candy and gospel words on them.  Each time the kids heard a word, they got a corresponding candy.  The paid attention most of the time with this activity.  But the babies were a mess about the candy!  They wanted all of it, and of course didn't realize its intent.  So Greg and I spent most of that session trying to appease the babies and putting out fires as the twins would get into the boys' candy stashes.  I wish we had done it during their naps, it would have worked like a charm.  A friend told me that she uses this activity during the entirety of conference, and just changes the words out each session.  I think when the twins are a little older, that's what we will do.  Treats do seem to motivate the kids, honestly, they motivate me too!

Spring Break Outings

Our colds and eye infections did finally begin to pass and we were able to go on a couple outings as a family on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday we went to the zoo.  We all had a great time!  Honestly the kids and I were so sick of being stuck in the house, Walmart would have been a treat at that point!  Our favorite exhibit was the newly added area for the seals and sea lions.  The kids watched them from underneath the water for a longtime.  We had such a great time, that we decided to get a family year pass so we can go back often.

On Saturday we went to the newly opened Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.  It was SO busy!  And only half the animals were there.  Thankfully we were advised to get our tickets online and that saved about an hour in line.  The babies were really upset and overwhelmed by the time we left.  The boys seemed to enjoy it even amidst the crowds.  They gave us a return ticket for free to come back when all the animals are present, which is good, because I did not think it was worth the money for the first visit.

This week we are all feeling much better, almost over the nasty virus.  And the weather has been beautiful!  We had a playdate with our friends the Jennes, attended a cousin's birthday party, and have returned to the fitness center's classes/daycare, and it's all been great.  We try to have fun whether or not school is in session.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sick House

Just call us the sick house!  This week has been consumed with runny noses, coughing, fevers, vomiting, sores, eye infections, and lots and lots of tissues and medicine.  I was so looking forward to this week, it being Palmer and Brody's Spring Breaks.  We had great plans for a fun staycation.  On Monday, I got in one visit to McDonalds before the plague hit.  We suffered the rest of the week, quarantined except for a visit to the doctor for Palmer when he developed pink eye, and an emergency visit to the dentist for Brody when he cried every time he ate because his tooth hurt (which turned out to be a gigantic, about a half inch, canker sore!  Looks like he will be prone to dealing with numerous nasty canker sores just like his Dad).

The virus seemed to hit Archer the hardest.  Our normally happy, independent, adventurous little boy turned whiny, clingy and lethargic.  Myself, Greg, or a grandma was pretty much holding him for three days straight.  I have been sick also, so that added difficulty to taking care of all my sick children.  One night I was so worn out and burnt out that after Greg returned from work, I left the house and treated myself to a relaxing, quiet and pampering pedicure.  It was worth every penny!

We are mostly better now.  The cough is still lingering with me.  It always seems to take me the longest to get over illness.  I look forward to the upcoming warmer months and the usual corresponding better health.  Give me sunshine and clear noses and I am a happy girl!