Monday, November 29, 2010

The Day after Thanksgiving, Alexa style

I know this picture is too much. As I am typing, looking at it, I am crying and feeling sick to my stomach. That has been the way I have felt for the last few days. Since Friday around 1:00 pm, to be exact. And what kills me the most is the smile on her face. It is constant. Constant.

My thanksgiving post is this one. The one where I share how grateful I am that things are as good as they are. That my baby is as safe and well as she is. It could be worse.

Friday we were having a terrific time pulling out the Christmas village and other decorations from the garage. We had the neighbors over and the kids were loving every detail of all the buildings. Alexa really loved the Santa and Mrs. Claus that are about 2 inches tall. The week before I got a free Glade candle, so to be festive and make the house smell nice I lit it and put it on the kitchen table. And then I forgot it. I just totally forgot it.

About an hour later I went upstairs to take a shower, leaving Alexa downstairs with Ainsley and our neighbor Morgan. I was distracted for a moment by the computer. Thank heavens. All of a sudden I heard screaming. Like life or death screaming. The kind from a horror movie. I ran downstairs as fast as I could. Ainsley was standing there next to Morgan screaming. I looked accross the room and saw Alexa standing on the table in flames. Her hair and head were on fire. She had climbed onto the table and bent over the candle to smell it better when it caught her hair. I ran over to her and was thinking I would need to smother her with my shirt, but when I got there I found a towel right at her feet. I grabbed it and smothered the fire quickly. I took another towel, dampened it, placed it on her head and ran outside. My neighbor, Teri, is a nurse. I had seen her out just a few minutes before.
Her husband was standing there with their son.
"Is your wife home?" I said. "My baby is burned and I need her!"
He ran and got her. I asked if she thought I needed to go to the hospital. "Yes," she said. "Go." "I'll watch your kids."
So I took off right then. I called my mom first. "Mom, come over now." I hung up. I couldn't say any more. Then I called Ryan and the flood gates opened. He met me at the emergency room where we wated for 2 1/2 hours before we saw a doctor.
I am apparently one of those moms who needs constant reassurance. I was texting my good friend Ashlee and her husband, who is a pediatrician, asking for advice the whole time.
Finally we saw a doctor who sent us to the Maricopa Burn Center. We would have gone instantly, but we had to wait another 45 minutes for our paperwork.
We drove into Phoenix. I have read about this hospital so many times. I read NieNie's Dialogues. But I never thought I would actually be there myself. With my 2 year old. Absolutely freaking out.
They were fast and wonderful. They reassured us she would be ok. They told us she wouldn't scar. They gave us private phone numbers to call with any questions. But I still felt like crap.
Alexa kept telling everyone that she had the best sister in the world because she blew out the candle after the fire. Then she would say, "I'm so sorry mommy. I'm sorry she threw away your candle." "Oh baby. I didn't love that candle. You are so much more important to me." Over and over. "I'm sorry mommy!"
The bad news. Some of the burns around her face are 3rd degree. They looked white and had no liquid. Other parts were 2nd degree. But as more people came to look, we kept hearing over and over again. This is way worse than we first thought. Way worse. I had the presence of mind to bring in the TV from the car and as she sat there having layers of skin removed from her head, she sang to the Dora movie.
"This is bad news," said the nurse. "She should be able to feel this." She shouldn't be singing about the stick the stick the magic stick.
But finally, lucky for us, they sent her home with instructions on caring for her burn and a prescription for tylenol with codeine.
We came home and Ryan picked up the kids from my mom's on the way.
Ainsley got out of the car and ran to me crying. (very out of character.) "This is my fault. I shouldn't have let her on the table. I should have put out the fire. I just panicked! " During the course of the day I hadn't even considered her feelings. She witnessed the whole thing. And she was visibly shaken. I cradled her in my arms and comforted her. "I am lucky you were there, Ainsley. If you were gone, or hadn't screamed, or weren't paying attention it would have been a lot worse." And I said many things to calm her down, and I meant every one of them. I pray she will heal from this as well.
Next we called a friend to help with a priesthood blessing and went to bed.
But they forgot to tell us how swollen she would be when she woke up. See above picture. It freaked me out. I called immediately. The said to bring her in. I drove the 45 minutes out there, to be told it's totally normal. Whew.
The whole drive there and back came the thoughts. Why did I light that candle? Why did I leave it lit while I went upstairs? How could I be so careless? And those turned into more questions. Did the burns on her head happen when I put out the fire? By smothering her hair, was I pushing fire onto her skin? Is this ALL MY FAULT? I burst into tears at the burn center. DID I DO THIS? The Dr was very kind and told me there was no way smothering a fire could have caused that much damage on her face. It was already burned when I got to her. I needed that same love and understanding as Ainsley. I don't know if she was just trying to help me feel better, or if it was really my fault, but it worked. A little.
Yesterday, we went to church, but I wasn't comfortable letting her go to nursery. I was afraid she would get knocked in the head, or try to itch, or take off her bandage. So she stayed with me. As we walked in primary, I held back tears a number of times. The kids stared. They whispered. They pointed.
I know they were worried. I know they were curious. My kids would have done the same thing. But it's my baby they are staring at.
"Why are they staring at me? I'm just winkling." (Alexa's word for winking.) "They aren't used to seeing you look different, sweetie."
But the thoughts kept coming. Is this what she is going to deal with for the rest of her life? Is she going to be stared at and ridiculed forever? Answers only time will tell.
Today was her second apppointment. Dr Peck, the director of the burn clinic, came to check her out. Good news and bad news. He was definitely not as optimistic as the first Dr. about scarring. He said we had 2 choices. Do surgery now or let it heal for a year on its own and do surgery then. But it definitely will scar. Badly.
He suggested waiting. I took it and ran with it.
The good news? First he said I don't have to scrape off the yucky yellowy stuff when I am cleaning the wound. {insert breath of relief here because it is nasty} Also, I use the term "I" loosely. Ryan does most of the cleaning. Second, he cancelled our next appointment and we don't need to come back for 2 weeks. It must be healing well. I do get to text him pictures every 3 days. Oh how I love the technology these days.
And how is Alexa holding up? She is so happy. Dancing around the house, smiling and laughing. Talking up a storm about the accident to anyone who will listen. The swelling is going down. She can now open her eye and see.
I am feeling a bit better today. I can talk about it a little without crying. I'm sure tomorrow will be better.
Thanks for your prayers and love. We will keep updating this blog with Alexa's progress.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Brandon FINALLY rides a bike

Brandon has not wanted to ride a bike for so many years. He refused to even try. With a little bribery (a Harry Potter lego set), he has finally learned! We are so proud of him. He really overcame his biggest fear. Yay Brandon!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Deathly Hallows

Me and a couple of girls named Hermione got to attend an early showing of Harry Potter 7 yesterday afternoon. It was SO fun! We loved the movie. The girls left absolutely grinning from ear to ear. They received so many compliments on their attire and were in heaven the whole time.
I had mixed feelings about seeing this movie with a couple of nine year olds, but no worries. It was not inappropriate at all. Seriously, whomever came up with the nudey shots ideas left me feeling disappointed! :) There were none! It was definitely a little too intense for Brandon to go see, but I was glad I chose to bring Ainsley and Haley. They had a ball and WE LOVED THE MOVIE! Can't wait for the next one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

the day we got engaged

Today marks 13 years since Ryan and I have been married! Last night as we lay in bed we reminisced all of the dates we could remember that we went on before we were married. Any special times we had BEFORE we tied the knot. It was so fun to just talk about life so many years ago.

I can't believe how fast the time goes by. Happy Anniversary, Ryan!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


I don't really like Halloween on sunday. The kids think it's almost as good as Hannukah. (They are always wishing they could celebrate 7 days of fun instead of only 1.) Well, Halloween on Sunday is THREE LONG DAYS of {fun.} oops nice closed eyes, Ry!
First off, the kids always want to carve pumpkins tha Monday before Halloween. Ryan warned them the pumpkins would rot. Oh well, we did it anyway. And they did rot.

This was the first Halloween Alexa can remember. She LOVED sticking her hands in the goop.

So, nominate me AGAIN for the mother of the year award. With a huge party on Friday at my moms ward and a huge party on Saturday at our ward. Plus a kids club thing on Thursday for Alexa. Oh, and a school day full of parades and parties. Guess what? No photos. For the record, Ainsley was Hermione. And a GORGEOUS one. She really looked great. Brandon was a dementor and did the part well. Alexa traded between a cat and a pumpkin and was cute as a button. Just trust me.

Here, in Arizona, Sunday is Sunday. I remember in Utah we trick or treated on Saturday when Halloween fell on Sunday. Not here. We decided to be super mean and nix the trick-or-treating. (Keep in mind they trunk or treated TWICE.)

So we set up the fire pit and handed out candy. Brandon wanted to play on the computer the whole time, but we forced him to have fun with the family, dang it!

Alexa kept telling everyone she was the candy girl. She loved handing out the candy to all the kids. It was WAY more fun for her than collecting it.

It was a fun weekend, but ~whew!~ we need a break from our weekend!