Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another day in the life . . .

So I took Porter in this morning for his "final" checkup . . . and even made a play date with my sister-in-law for later in the day. Apparently, I was a little more optimistic than realistic. I ended up leaving the doctor's office and heading straight for the hospital (with one brief stop at the hotel for his teddy bear) where Porter was admitted for IV fluids and antibiotics and another round of blood cultures. Thank goodness for grandma who saved me by sweeping Ethan and Lincoln away for the day and sweet volunteers at the hospital who played with the boys until she arrived.

Porter is fine now. His blood cultures came back very close to normal - meaning that his inflammation/infection is nearly cleared. He hated the IV. I did, too. Because he had diarrhea, we couldn't even wander the halls, so I spent nearly 11 hours juggling a cranky, sleep-deprived, sick-of-being-messed-with 11-month-old baby. In all actuality, he was a pretty good sport. He had one nap - about 90 minutes - so I took a much needed snooze, too.

I got home to rescue grandma and put the kids in bed just after 8:30. Even though it's a hotel room, it sure feels more like home than a hospital room. The kids are finally asleep, and I'm not far behind.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And the verdict is . . .

The hospital lab called the doctor today and reported that Porter officially has strep pneumonia. Sounds awful, huh? He's getting a little better . . . better enough to whimper all day, unhappy in my arms or on his own. All my boys are asleep now . . . Greg is coming home in two day for about 72 hours . . . and I can hardly wait. Don't get me wrong . . . I'm keeping it together, but sometimes only by a thread. HOWEVER . . . if we survived a long December with three very sick children, we can endure this, too. I learned, very quickly after Greg joined the Army, what has come to be sort of my personal motto: You never know what you can do on your own until you have no other choice but to do it.

So here's to motherhood . . .

. . . and thank goodness for family.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Feelin' hot, hot, hot!

I'm beginning to think this hotel wants us gone as much as we want to leave. My kids have been sick more often and more intensly here in the past four (yes, FOUR) months probably than in the past year combined. This time it's Porter's turn.

Saturday night he broke into a moderate fever after the big boys had gone to bed. Neither of us slept much that night and in the morning I called for backup so I could take him to the doctor because he was roasting. Kamie picked up my big boys and she and grandma took them to church while I hauled Porter to the clinic. Good thing Ethan and Link weren't with me. When the nurse took Porter's temp it was 105.9! Yikes! His breathing was congested and slightly labored, too, so we proceeded with tests for influenza, strep, etc. When those were negative, the doc sent me to the outpatient clinic for blood work and then on to the radiology lab for chest x-rays to rule out pneumonia or something else more serious.

Good news: All the tests came back negative except some elevations in the blood work.

Bad news: The lab called the doctor this morning at 2:00 a.m. to tell him that Porter's blood was growing bacteria. I got a call at 7:30 this morning asking for a follow-up appointment to monitor Porter.

Interesting observation: I watch too much HOUSE on t.v. I totally broke into tears this morning at the prospect of Porter's bacterial blood infection. Worst case scenarios raced through my head. Maybe that's just because I'm a hormonal mother living in a hotel room with three little boys and no other adults. Poor Greg. It's hard for him to get the reports from a distance.

More good news: Porter's checkup revealed that his lungs are sounding better, his fever is down to 102-ish, and he's less lethargic and more active today, although still quite clingy. We have one more appointment tomorrow morning, but things are looking up. After a shot of Rocephin for nausea and continued oral antibiotics, we are at home resting. Porter had a three hour nap this afternoon . . . a good sign of pending recovery.

On another note, I must report the sweet interpretation of death by my little Ethan. Elaine/Grandma was going to come visit my boys this evening after work so I could make a quick trip to Costco without a sick baby. She called later to cancel, on her way to Sandy to be with her ailing mother who has newly discovered blood clots all through her legs. I told Ethan we'd have to see Grandma another day because her own mommy was sick and might get to go live with Heavenly Father and Jesus soon. His response: "But she'll have to get there on a rocket, right mommy?" He really keeps my perspective in check. I told Elaine what he said, and she tearily told me to tell him yes . . . it would be a wonderful, fast rocket.

Children really are miracles in so many ways.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Daddy's boy

Since Greg left on Monday Lincoln, more than anybody else, has had a little bit of a hard time adjusting. Having Greg around over the past months has turned Link into more of a daddy's boy than ever. The truth is, Lincoln is finally big enough for he and Greg to be buddies. Every morning Lincoln gets up and we have the same conversation.

Link: "Mom, where's daddy?"
Me: "He working in Wyoming, remember?"Link (assertively): "I want to go with him!"
Me: "I know, buddy. We'll see him soon."
Link (groaning in disappointment, lip stuck way out): "Oooohh..."

While I was finishing up my exercise this morning, he and Ethan were watching cartoons in my bed. He started to chatter excitedly, so I tuned in to what he was saying. "Look...daddy! Look! It's an ephant [elephant]! . . . Oh, daddy! I see a tiger! . . . Daddy, daddy, look!" When he finally looked over to where Greg usually sleeps and saw only Ethan, his demeanor changed and his voice got small. "Oh . . . Ethan . . . look."

We're so grateful that Greg's job has finally started that I have hardly even thought about missing him. Of course we would rather be together than apart, but this job and has been a long time coming, and we're just thrilled that he's finally in Wyoming, forging ahead. Now, if we could just get over our insurance hurdles and move up to Wyoming with him, I might go so far as to say life would be perfect . . . if only for a moment.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A giant step for Kemp-kind

WAHOO! Greg is, at this very moment, on his way to Pinedale to begin working. He called me Thursday afternoon to tell me he had gotten word, and I think I deafened him by squealing over the phone. He's not sure quite what to expect at this point but happy to be on his way and ready to work himself into the ground.

The boys and I will stay in our Provo hotel until the insurance issues are resolved. Maybe we'll move in a couple weeks...maybe we'll be here for Christmas of 2009. Who knows. Although there are still a lot of issues to work through before we can move up to Wyoming and on with our lives, Greg's new job starting is a HUGE first step.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


If I knew how to put panting into words, that's what you would be reading. Greg and I have just completed the first week of our new fitness program: P90X ( Ever since the fire, we have been feeling like we needed to get back in shape, eat better, just generally take better care of ourselves. I came home one day and Greg said, "Guess what I bought for us." Now, to be honest, I like doing exercise videos at home. I definitely prefer it to going to the gym. Videos and my elliptical have kept me in shape for a long time, including through and after three pregnancies. BUT, after seeing the P90X infomercial several times, the truth is that I was too petrified to buy it because it looked REALLY burly. Well, it is. I'll tell you that it is not for the faint of heart. Greg and I have done 10 workouts in the past 6 days, doubling one day because we started on Tuesday insteady of Monday. BIG mistake. We've lunged and squatted to the firely place below and back; we've done pullups, karate, an HOUR AND A HALF of yoga (which I never liked in the first place and which totally kicked our trash), weights, pushups, every sort of jumping move you could ever imagine and then some, and more pullups. It seems silly to say, but even after just six days (although we're still nowhere near where we hope to be in "90 days") both of us feel like we can already see and feel a difference.

Right now, we're walking around like zombies from a low budget horror film. We wince when we sit, stand, walk...breath. In fact, after the boys were in bed last night, we were laying on the hide-a-bed in the main room of our hotel (because it was too much work to get into our room) and giggling because we could hardly move. We are sore but feeling accomplished. The way I see it is that if all the muscles that have been sore this past week end up being toned and fit, we're going to be masters of muscles by the end of our program (which is right in time for my 10-year high school reunion). Here's to hoping...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A classic exchange

My favorite conversation from our hotel days thus far happens frequently when Ethan goes into the bathroom and locks the door. It goes something like this:

Lincoln: "Ethan - you in dere?"
Ethan: "Go away, Link. I need some privacy."
Lincoln: "Oh, you need PIvacy... You poopin', Ethan?"
Ethan: "Yes, Lincoln. Please go away. I need some privacy."
Lincoln: "Oh. Pivacy to poop, Ethan?"
Ethan (perturbed): "Go away, Lincoln!" (Nobody poops well under pressure.)
Lincoln (finally wandering away): "Moooom! Ethan need some pivacy 'cause he's poopin'."

It sounds to me like Lincoln is ready to potty train, don't you think? He knows exactly what's going on, and I'm committed to teach soon as we don't live in a hotel anymore. I'm only just a little nervous that Lincoln's "monster" will come out. He doesn't like to be messed with...and certainly doesn't like to be told what to do.

Why is it that we find so much humor in the bathroom habits of our children? Although I know this exchange tops Ethan's obnoxious little brother scale, I can't help but giggle each time it happens. I love motherhood...mostly.