Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Joshua!!!

As I think back over this past year I feel a wide range of emotions, but mostly I feel grateful. I am so grateful for little Joshua!! He is a miracle and a blessing to our family. I am grateful for everyone who prayed for our little guy and helped our family in so many ways. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father that hears our prayers and answers them. I am grateful for children who love this little brother unconditionally and who have stepped up to help when he has needed more of mom's time. I am grateful to know that our family is sealed together forever. I am grateful for Neil, his love and support through this year has helped me through it all. I am grateful to watch each of our children grow and change through this year. We have been so blessed as a family this past year. We have seen miracles in little Joshua's life and we are so grateful for them.

Everyone here is so excited to celebrate Joshua's birthday with him. We keep singing "Happy Birthday" and he keeps smiling. I think he just likes to hear his name. We baked a heart cake. I'll post pictures of the celebration later.

Happy Birthday, Little Joshua!! We love you so much and are so grateful to have you in our family!!!!

Love, Mom and Dad, Rebecca, Bethany, Julia, Matthew, Emma, David, MaryAnne, and Dallin

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of Joshua's first year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dallin has Pneumonia


Well it seems like someone at our house usually gets sick the day after Christmas. It couldn't be all the excitement and junk food, or could it? (Actually the last few years it has been me and it was because I didn't want to put Christmas away). Well this year on Saturday afternoon Dallin said he was cold and tired and wanted a nap. I thought it was the before mentioned excitement and junk food. He slept all afternoon and evening. That is not what Dallin usually does. Sunday he didn't seem any better. He has been known to be sick on Sunday to get to miss nursery, but this didn't seem like he was faking it. He slept off and on all day Sunday, by now I was getting concerned. We called our home teacher and gave him a blessing. Monday morning he still seemed about the same. I called the doctor's office, but couldn't get him in until Thursday. We decided to take him to the urgent care. I checked his temperature before I went and he really didn't have a fever. When they asked what symptoms he had I told them he didn't have a fever. When the nurse checked his temperature it was 104.5. I felt rather foolish. They ordered blood work and chest xrays. I learned that three year olds don't like to have blood drawn or sit still for x rays. I guess this is a preview of what it will be like when Joshua has his next surgery. The doctor determined that he had a pretty severe case of Pneumonia. They considered admitting him to the hospital. He was pretty determined he wanted to come home. His blood count looked ok so they let me bring him home.

When I took him back yesterday he looked better. I am grateful for strong antibiotics to help him feel better. He is finally getting up off the couch some today. Hooray!!!

Joshua's first haircut and two teeth!!!















Before his hair cut....



Well December has been a busy month for Joshua. He got his first two teeth a couple of weeks ago. They came in together and he didn't even get fussy. I guess after heart surgery the pain of teeth isn't too bad.

The other night I decided he needed his first hair cut. He probably needed it sooner, but I wasn't sure if his older sisters would ever forgive me when I cut it. I hoped they really wouldn't notice, but they did. They loved his hair. They accused me of aging him a couple of months when I cut his hair. I guess he has to do something to look older. He is still wearing size 3-6 month clothes and size 2 diapers. I think his new hair cut looks very cute and grown up.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

One year ago...


This morning as I started roll dough for our Christmas Eve dinner I couldn't help thinking about our day one year ago. Last year I started roll dough and then headed to a routine doctors appointment. That is where the day I had planned out ended. Our day went very different from what I had planned.

Our doctor just didn’t like the way the baby’s heart sounded that day. She asked me to go to the hospital and have them monitor the baby for awhile. I thought I would go for a little while and they would say everything was fine, and then I would go home and finish our Christmas Eve dinner. That wasn’t how our day turned out. I ended up spending a couple of hours on the monitors at the hospital and having a long ultrasound done. The results of the ultrasound were inconclusive. My doctor decided we should go to Billings to see a specialist. Neil and I left the children at home and headed to Billings. We had another more detailed ultrasound. The ultrasound took a long time, and the tech would tell us about everything she saw, except the baby’s heart. Whenever they looked at the heart they got very quiet. Finally the doctor came in to talk to us. He told us our baby had four potentially fatal heart defects. He suggested we do Christmas with our children and then leave to go to Salt Lake City to have our baby. It was a very emotional and difficult day. It was very hard to go home and tell our children.

We left on Saturday after Christmas. We were grateful that my parent’s live in the Salt Lake valley. We at least had a place to stay. After visiting with the specialists at University Hospital and Primary Children’s Medical Center we had a better view of what was coming for our baby. The doctors decided to induce labor so that there would be a team of cardiologists on hand when the baby was born. Labor was induced on December 31, 2008. Joshua Caldwell was born about 4:00 p.m. He weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces. He was immediately handed through the window to the ICU nursery. It was so hard to not even get to hold him!! We at least go to go see him briefly before he was walked across the bridge to Primary Children’s. It was so hard to let him go without even holding him once. He has such cute red hair, what a sweet baby he was. Our children had been planning for us to have the first baby of 2009 in Powell, but it didn’t turn out that way.

We finally got to go over to Primary Children’s about 9:00 that night. It felt so good to get to hold him. He was hooked up to IV’s and monitors so it was kind of hard to hold him. The doctors spent eight days watching him to see how he would do when his patent ductus closed. The patent ductus is an opening in the heart that usually closes within a few hours of birth. Joshua’s wasn’t closing. It had to be surgically closed and a shunt placed to carry the blood to his lungs. He had his first surgery on January 9th. I have never done anything as hard as handing him over to go to surgery!! I kissed his sweet forehead and told him goodbye. I wasn’t sure if I could handle it. It was a long and hard wait through surgery.

He never really stabilized after surgery. He had to have an emergency surgery on the 10th as the doctors said he was like an airplane flying at tree level and he couldn’t go any lower. It was a very difficult day. The surgery was successful and he looked so much better afterwards. His body had been over circulating. He was sending almost all his blood to his lungs and not out to his body. We witnessed a miracle in our family that night.

Joshua ended up spending 5 weeks in Primary Children’s hospital. He had to have two more surgeries, one to close his chest and one on his intestines. Neil and Rebecca stayed until January 13th then they had to go back to Powell for work. The children stayed until the 27th then they came back to Powell. Joshua finally got to come home on February 3rd.

We faced many difficult things with Joshua's hospital stay and surgeries. We feel so blessed by the Lord. It has been an amazing year as I look back on it. Even though Christmas Eve and many days after didn't go as I had planned I can see the Lord's hand in our lives. Today as I reflect on last year I feel so grateful to have this sweet little boy here at home. I am so grateful for how much each of our children love Joshua. He truly is adored!! We truly are grateful for all of your prayers for out family and all the help, support, and love we received from you! Thank you!!! We truly have grown through this experience. So tonight as I listened to the beautiful music our children performed for Christmas Eve and enjoyed having Martha over for dinner I am thinking of last year. This year my day went as I had planned it to go last year. I am grateful for the Lord's blessings in our lives.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Matthew's Eleven!!





I can't believe that Matthew is eleven years old. It seems that the time has really flown by. He has grown into such a fun young man. He really loves to learn and can tell you a lot of really cool information. He is a lot of fun to have around. He keeps us smiling with the things he comes up with. Matthew we really love you!!! We are grateful to have you in our home.

Matthew decided he wanted a baseball cake this year. It wasn't too hard to make and he was happy with how it turned out. He also wanted a birthday party with his friends. We made a pinata and invited the boys from our neighborhood and cub scouts. Unfortunately, December is a busy time of year and not many were able to make the party. He enjoyed making pizza and playing Wii with Ezra and Sam. Opening presents didn't take too long at all. I think Matthew made it through in record time. The funniest moment of the day was when he opened the gift from David. He had already figured out what David was giving him. After David put it in the gift bag I changed what was in the bag so David was surprised along with Matthew. It was fun to see the surprise on David's face when Matthew pulled out a Super Mario Brothers game for their DS. He said, "How did that get in there? That's not what I wrapped!" It was really funny!!

Happy birthday, Matthew!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A few Christmas Pictures

We just wanted to share a few photos of Joshua this Christmas season. He loves the tree!!! I think I redecorate the bottom of it everyday. This outfit is a size 0-3 months I didn't think it would still fit him, but it did. He looked so cute all dressed for Christmas. We are counting our blessings that our family is together to celebrate this Christmas season!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

David's Birthday!!



Well it must be David's birthday because I am decorating a football cake again. David has a football cake every year. I am glad he likes them because they are easy to decorate. I love football so it is fun to make David's cake each year. He wanted me to decorate it blue this year for BYU football, but I already had chocolate frosting so it is a traditional brown and white football. Happy 7th birthday David!!!

Yesterday David and Matthew took all the money they have saved and bought the long awaited nintendo ds. They have been saving for a long time!!! They didn't buy any games to go with it and the old games for Rebecca's gameboy weren't very exciting anymore. Luckily, David got a game for his birthday!! They will have fun playing together. They also ordered two more games. Now they are watching for the mail to come everyday and deliver their games.

David, we are so grateful for all the David moments in our house. You have a smile that lights up the whole house. You make us smile with the interesting things you say. You are a blessing in our family!! We love you!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Things We are grateful for

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving day yesterday. We enjoyed good food and being home together as a family. We had Martha over for dinner and enjoyed good company with her. If anyone went away from the table hungry it was their own fault. The children and I enjoyed cooking together on Wednesday. We made 9 pies. Neil cooked the turkey for us. Matthew peeled all the potatoes. We made so much that we couldn't fit it all in the fridge. We had to use the garage to store some of the good food. We all enjoyed eating together.

10 things we are grateful for: (this list is just a few of the many things we are grateful for, I don't think we can make a list the includes everything)
1. Being married to my best friend. I really love you!! and I'm grateful for you everyday!
2. Children, they make me smile every day!!
3. Listening to our three teenage daughters laugh together while playing a game yesterday. They must have really been having a good time. I am grateful they are friends.
4. Our boys, they keep our house hopping. Matthew, David and Dallin make us smile with all their energy and enthusiasm for life. They are always asking questions and keep us figuring things out. Little Joshua brings a smile to all of our faces. We all love to hold him. He is such a sweet little guy!!
5. Little girls, I love watching MaryAnne and Emma play Barbies or princess together. They are so sweet, most of the time.
6. Good parents, Neil and I were both born of goodly parents. Thank you for all your hard work, love and devotion. We love you!!
7. Jesus Christ, We are so grateful for the atonement, the Lord as blessed us with so much!
8. The gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't know where we would be without the gospel to help us guide our family through this world.
9.Temples, I am so grateful for temples and being able to attend the temple. I am so grateful that my children have a love of the temple.
10.Brothers and sisters, we are all grateful for you!!
11. Good friends, We have many good friends. Thanks for being a part of our lives.
12. I know I said ten, but why stop? Doctors and cardiologists, we wouldn't have out little Joshua with us without their help. We are grateful for good doctors and nurses who helped take care of our little guy.
13. Our home, it isn't always as clean as I would want. It isn't perfect, but it is big enough for us and it does keep us warm. Home is my favorite place to be. There's no place like home!!
14. Good health. We are usually a pretty healthy family. We are grateful that Joshua has stayed pretty healthy.

Well there you have it. Ten plus a few things that we are grateful for. We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you know we are grateful for you!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kinda Mobile ??

Joshua has been close to crawling for a while now but is not there yet. He has his own way of scooting around.

We are currently vehicleless as our Honda is in the shop and the van is parked at the airport in Cody. Rebecca left it there to fly to Salt Lake. We had an interesting week with the Honda. Three flat tires in three days. I guess it is time to get new tires. Neil got one flat tire, Rebecca got another . When I went to get her (the spare was already on) the battery in the van was drained. She was stranded in town until I could get jumped. Later (the same day) I got a flat (a different tire) while I was visiting teaching. I guess we still have our bikes. Maybe our bikes are more reliable right now, but the wind gets cold. We will look funny going to church if we are all on our bikes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dallin turns 3!!

Dallin's Mighty Breath

Dallin was very excited for his birthday since he has watched Emma and MaryAnne have theirs recently. He has been singing and saying "Happy Birthday to me!" all day. When he got up in the morning he said, "Shouldn't there be presents somewhere?" He was extremely enthusiastic about opening presents. He wanted a tiger cake (he loves tigers) and wore his tiger shirt to match.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A few Dallin moments

Dallin has been full of memorable quotes and actions lately.  I thought I would share a few highlights.

Saturday morning the washer was running (I love my new washer that has a timer so I can start it the night before).  Dallin asked Neil what the noise was. Neil told him the water was running.  He said, "Water can't run dad, it doesn't have feet or shoes or legs."  It was really cute to hear how it worked in his mind.

Dallin always sleeps with about six stuffed animals or toys.  He usually brings at least one with him when he climbs into bed with us.  One night I was trying to get my fair share of the space.  Dallin hollered, "Ouch, ouch you're squishing monkey."  It made me smile even in the middle of the night.  His animals are so alive to him.  He always wants them covered in his bed so they won't be cold. I can get him to take a nap by telling him that monkey is tired and wants to rest.

Last Thursday was a Dallin day.  He decided he wanted a treat and climbed up on the kitchen counter to get his Halloween candy.  He has been potty trained for a couple of months now.  He does really well about not having accidents, but he proceeded to have an accident right on the kitchen counter.  I have potty trained 7 other children and I don't think anyone else has ever done that.

Later that same day I laid Dallin down for a nap. I went to put Joshua down and then I checked on Dallin.  He was gone!!  The children and I couldn't find him anywhere inside or out.  We looked for about 20 minutes, then I called Neil at his office.  He decided to come home and help us look.  After looking for a few minutes Neil found him.  He was asleep under MaryAnne's bed.  The only other time he disappeared like that we found him eating candy in the closet.  I think he was causing gray hairs on mom last week.

He is adorable and keeps all smiling with the things he comes up with!  We really enjoy him.  I think two is such a fun age. They are learning so much and changing so fast.  Two year olds sure keep us entertained at our house.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Joshua's first cold

Well the house is quiet for a moment so it seems like a good time to update. Everyone is busy or sleeping.  I think I should be exercising with Julia and Bethany or sleeping with MaryAnne, Dallin, and Joshua. Rebecca tells me blogs are only good if you update them.  I want to do a good job so I'll update. :)


Joshua woke up from a nap Saturday afternoon and you could just tell he didn't feel very good.  He was running a fever and coughing. Neil stayed home with Joshua while I took the others to Martha's for pizza and trunk or treating. We had a really cute and warm lion costume for Joshua, but I guess I'll have to put on him later and take a picture.  I stayed home on Sunday.  He looked ok Sunday morning.  Sunday afternoon he took a turn for the worse.  He refused to eat anything from 4:00 Sunday afternoon until 8:00 Monday morning.  This was the first time he has been sick so we really worried.  Monday morning I took him to the Urgent Care.  I was worried that he might have RSV because he was so lethargic.  His oxygen level was low, but they think it isn't RSV.  He does have an ear infection in both ears.  He also has a sore throat and cough.  His cry is so weak right now that I'm afraid I won't hear him above all the everyday noise at our house.  He is on a strong antibiotic.  I have learned that when Joshua doesn't feel well he doesn't just sleep it off.  He was up most of the night Sunday night.  A baby that won't eat or take a pacifier makes for a tired mom.  Thankfully, he seems to be doing better today.  I am grateful for Priesthood blessings and prayer.


Ok, I started this post when the house was quiet.  I didn't get done, but the house is quiet again.  We had a birthday dinner and party in between.  Neil and the older girls are gone to the church so I'll hurry and finish while the children watch a movie.

We officially started work on turning our garage into a new family room.  It will be nice to have the space.  Right now the t.v. and couches are in our bedroom.  Not the ideal setup, only temporary.  I am excited to work on this project with Neil.  Hopefully, this winter won't be too cold without a garage.  I don't like to scrape windows!!


All David wants for Christmas is his two front teeth.  He lost one on Sunday and the other today.  What a cute toothless grin!

Happy 5th Birthday MaryAnne


I can't believe that it was 5 years ago that we made a mad dash to the hospital for MaryAnne's birth.

She loves princesses so it was no surprise that she wanted a castle cake.  She loved all the princess gifts.  Happy birthday to our little princess!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October Happenings


October has been a busy and fun time for our family. Matthew played flag football. They didn't win any games, but they played hard and had fun. It was fun to watch.


School is going in full swing. Online schooling has its ups and downs. It keeps us busy, that's for sure. Overall, we are enjoying online schooling. As you can see everyone stays busy.





Last night we carved our pumpkins. It was a rare night when no one had to go anywhere in the evening so it was a perfect night to carve away. We bought four large pumpkins and teamed the children up. They enjoyed carving together.

We are trying to stay healthy and avoid all the flu going around here. Emma doesn't feel very well today so I am crossing my fingers that it isn't too bad and not everyone gets it.

Joshua is getting really close to crawling. He is definitely fine tuning the ability to stretch out and grab what he wants. We have no worries about his eyesight. He can find any little crumb or scrap on the floor and get it to his mouth fast!!

Yesterday MaryAnne said the cutest thing. She has been working on the song Santa Claus is coming to Town for clogging. At lunch she was sitting there and all the sudden she said, "Santa Claus is coming to town, but we don't live in town." We all got a chuckle out of her logic. We told her that Santa would come anywhere people live and she was happy with that. We are so grateful for the cute moments our children provide.

Rebecca had senior pictures taken yesterday. They turned out really good. She said it was fun to have her pictures taken professionally. We don't do that very often. Sorry, can't post any because they are copyrighted.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mom and Joshua


Doesn't Joshua look good? This picture was taken about 2 months after his heart surgery in June. It is a before picture..before I cut my hair.

Learning to blog

Neil and I are trying to figure out how to make a blog. We want to start this blog to share what our family is busy doing. Life stays busy at our house and maybe this will help us keep a journal and share with all of you. Welcome to the Waite's window of our lives.