Friday, August 31, 2012


 What happened? All of the sudden we turned around and Sam was a KID!

A dirty, stinky, hilarious kid.

He is talking so much more now and has a lot to say about animals, super heroes and all of his friends. Sam starts pre-school in 2 weeks and is very excited to meet his teacher and peers.

He loves to pretend. One day he'll be a dog, another day he'll be The Hulk. One morning he was pretending to be giraffe and a more quiet day has never been had :)

Sammy is so particular about everything. If you ask him what he wants for dinner, it will be different every night. "Popcorn Shrimp. Green Pasta. Soup. Cheeseburger with no pickles, please!"

Last week I took him to Toys R Us where he was promised a toy for filling out his chore chart. He had his heart set on a deer stuffed animal that he had seen at the children's museum. Toys R Us didn't have one so I told him he could pick out anything else.

"No Mommy, I want a deer."

We tried 3 other stores to no avail. We were forced to order one online and he had to patiently wait 7 days for his deer to come. He asked about it every morning and when the package finally arrived he was thrilled. Sam named his new toy "Forest." What kind of kid is given an entire toy store to chose from and chooses to wait a week for a stuffed animal? This kid.

Sammy is one of a kind! He is so sweet, loves to cuddle, is very clean and organized and really does love to be out and about learning new things. We are so proud of him. I can't wait for him to start school and come home with new knowledge. I think he'll be an ideal student.
I managed to get my camera out today and take the above pics of Sam. I have been meaning to do this for a while, but life is busy and cameras are heavy after multiple photo sessions each week. So glad I captured these though!

Oh, and Doris is always very interested in my camera. I don't know if it's the "click" or the reflection but she would not leave me alone today while I snapped away at Sam. She's a photo bomber!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Evergreen State Fair

The Fairgrounds were the perfect place for us to get away from the stress of life and have a little fun. 

Carnival rides, scones and a room full of baby farm animals was just what I needed :)

Sam has ZERO fear when it comes to rides. ZERO. I would actually go as far as to say that he gets bored on them.
 But he managed to have fun anyway. Here we are being Iron Man :)

When the darkness arrives at the Fair it becomes so magical. It was a lot of fun to see Sammy become as mesmerized with the lights and color as I am every year.

 We sure do love our little thrill seeker :) Cheesy grin and all.

48 hours at Harborview

On Saturday night around 6pm my little brother Cory crashed while he was longboarding and hit the back of his head on the street. His two friends immediately noticed blood coming from his ears and they  contacted 911. While they waited for the ambulance they struggled to keep Cory from standing up and tried to keep him calm.

Responders arrived in no time and sedated and intubated Cory as soon as he was in the back of the aid car.

He arrived at Harborview Medical approximately 30 minutes after his accident. 
Family was contacted and we all raced to the hospital where Cory was in triage being kept asleep while tests were being done. The first CT scan showed 2 skull fractures behind his ears and 2 brain bleeds, one worse than the other but only 3mm in size. 
Cory was not responding well to the sedative and kept waking up confused, combative and in pain. It took my parents and other nurses to hold him down. This was extremely hard for my Dad especially, to see him struggle.

Another cocktail was created and he was finally heavily sedated and medicated. 

(The following pictures are graphic and I advise anyone with a weak stomach to beware.) 

When Matthew and I finally arrived at the Emergency Room, we were only slightly prepared for what we saw. Cory looked horrible and there were times I wasn't sure he was going to come out of this the same. We spoke to him and I promised him I would do everything I could to keep the Doctors from cutting his hair. 
We sat in the family room and waited for his 2nd CT scan to see if the bleeding was getting worse. Discussions or emergency brain surgery were had. 

Luckily, at midnight his CT scan showed only minimal growth in the bleed (5mm) and they believed that he should be fine without surgically stopping the hemorrhaging. 

The scariest thing for me was that the Doctor had a hard time telling us what was to be expected the next few days. She told us that head injuries are so unpredictable and that it was hard to know what he would be like when he woke up. 

I prepared myself for the worse. 

The next morning Cory was awake in the ICU when my parents arrived and was even speaking a few words to them. He didn't remember anything from the accident and we had to repeat a lot of things to him. He remembered who all of us were, but had a hard time remembering anything short term. 
When I arrived that morning Cory was resting, extubated and cleaned. It was amazing to see him improving so quickly and even more reassuring to hear him talk to us. 

He was put on pain medication and some anti-nausea drugs to keep him comfortable. He complained about his ears hurting and was having a hard time hearing anything
Tests were done on his ears and they were cleaned out with drops to get rid of the drainage from the fractures. The Doctors explained that there may be some blood in his ears for weeks. They also told us that there is a possibility, that because of the severity of his injuries and the location, there may be some permanent hearing loss. The bones in his ears may have shifted or become damaged during the injury.

Only time (and a few follow up tests) will tell what he will have to learn to live with.

During the day we did everything we could to keep Cory comfortable. We read him messages that people left for him on Facebook and made sure that he took his medications on time.

 Here you can see some of the bruising from the skull fractures.
Monday morning I got a text that Cory was standing! This was big news. He also was begging to get out of the hospital and so they agreed to give him some tests to see if he could pass them. 
 There were some physical, mental and occupational tests. He had no problem walking down the halls, frying an egg and reading. He had a few issues with details and memory, but the nurse felt comfortable sending him home.

Cory was so excited to leave, but of course it took 2 more hours to get all of the paperwork ready.

I pressured him into taking a nap to pass the time. He rested a little but kept waking up hoping it was time to leave the hospital.

 He was so frustrated and tired at one point, he started to pull out his IV. I about screamed at the nurse to release him. I think we were all a little on edge, but they finally finished all of the paperwork and explained to us the home care.
 Sam came with me to see Uncle Cory and brought him some band-aids for his owies. Sweet boy! Sammy really enjoyed the nurses and they were more than happy to give him the attention. Yep, he's flexing his muscles for the ICU staff.
 On our way out of Harborview!
 We all got a little emotional when Cory rolled into the sunshine for the first time in 3 days. We were all very happy to get him home.
Cory had a rough first night after the hospital messed up on his pain medications. He went a horrible 12 hours on Tylenol only! Poor guy. But, he has started to get more rest, keep a little food down and is on pain meds for the headache.

Recovery will be tough as Cory will have to get used to the hearing loss, head pain and memory loss. Things will get better, but he will have to be very careful and take extra precautions to keep from having another head injury as that could be very dangerous.

A HUGE thank you to everyone that supported us during this very scary time. I was amazed at the outpouring of love for our family.

Sam and Casey (the friends he was boarding with) are our heroes! They did everything right and it is because of them that Cory is alive today. Thanks, boys! Seriously.

Harborview Hospital was amazing and their team was helpful, understanding and knowledgeable.

And remember kids, always wear your helmets!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Adventures

The weather has been AMAZING and we are not wasting any moment of it. So far, we have had some really fun times!

Allison Krauss and Union Station at Chateau St. Michelle. 
Although we were a little let down at the amount of music played, we had a good time at the concert. 

 Mariners Game
Do you think he's excited?
Sammy's first picture taking experience.
 We got to meet the Moose and we were are nervous as we look.
 Edmonds Beach and Lynnwood Rec Center with the Frandsens
After spending a wonderful morning at the beach, we cooled off at the Lynnwood pool with Jane, Ashley and baby Nolan. What a blast!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Tonight was a beautiful night to drop our crab pot into the ocean. Matt has been wanting to crab since the season opened and tonight was our first opportunity. 

We took a small crab trap with us and attached it to Sam's new fishing pole. We caught 2 huge king crabs with it, but they were both able to untangle themselves before we could reel them in all the way. 

After we dropped Matt's big pot in and tied it to the dock, we waited for our catch while we played at the park.

 When sunset arrived we walked down to the water and pulled up the traps.

 The sky was amazing!

 Two Dungeness Crabs!!!

Only one was big enough, so we threw the other back into the water.

 Matty's first catch of the season!

 Just after Matt pulled the shell off and started to pull apart the body....
 ...the crabs pincer found his thumb and latched on. HARD.
A guy on the dock had to help pry him off. Keep in mind that this crab had been ripped in half only seconds before and was still able to pinch! Crazy!!
 After the "fight" Matt had no problem finishing him off.

 I had a hard time watching the kill and was a little bothered by how long the poor thing survived after being pulled apart. Yikes. I hope I can get used to this....
Matt cleaned "his kill" and cooked him up at home claiming he was "Delicious!!"
More crabbing adventure to come!