Jul 30, 2010

One of those days

We woke up Friday morning to rain in Mesa -- lots of it! The thermometer read 77 July! I stayed in my pajamas, working a little around the house, anticipating a lovely morning walk once the rain stopped.

Then, as he is prone to do, Gavin changed the plan. He wandered into my bedroom, where he was alone for less than a minute, and drank a bottle of Benadryl.

I had just gone to the bathroom. When I came back to finish folding laundry, Gavin met me in the hall. "I feel better, Mommy!" I hadn't been aware that he was feeling badly. I probed, and that's when he told me he drank some medicine. Sticky pink liquid was on his hands and his feet. I found a puddle on the carpet, an empty bottle next to it.

Two minutes later I was on the phone with Poison Control. Once we determined that Gavin had likely ingested three ounces of liquid, the nurse gave strict instructions to go to the nearest ER. However, since I spent six unnecessary hours in that very ER a few weeks ago, I was pretty stubborn. I wanted to know what the risks were, what symptoms to watch for, and exactly how serious this episode was. Once the nurse spelled out the risk of seizure, I bolted for the van. She called ahead to let the hospital know we were coming. Even though I was concerned my child was dying, I was horrified that I hadn't showered yet.

ER doctors and nurses observed Gavin for four hours. He drank activated charcoal in a cup of chocolate milk. He gave a urine specimen in a plastic cup (!), and, since I forgot clean diapers, spent a good portion of our visit with a bare bum. He used the potty several times and was rewarded with apple juice and a popsicle. He charmed every nurse, EMT, fireman, doctor, and medical aide that walked by. He watched TV and read books and colored and tossed a ball in our tiny exam room.

At the end of four hours, Gavin was pronounced "out of the woods" and we went home. Insert gigantic sigh of relief. This kid has nine lives, but I think he's already used five or six.

On the way home from the hospital (at 2:00), Gavin fell asleep immediately. (Like maybe in the parking lot.) I was starving, so I picked up a sandwich at my favorite place. While waiting at the window, I remembered I had left my camera battery plugged into a charger in the ER exam room. I called the hospital. My things were at the front desk. I drove Gavin to my mom's house and transferred him to bed. Of course he woke up. I left him at home and took Lexi to the ER.

Meanwhile, Gavin cried through lunch with Granny. He was so tired; this kid NEEDS a nap every day. Zach and Tyler were crying because the ER visit had messed up our last day in Mesa. They really wanted to go swimming, but I needed to shower and pack before picking up Garry at the airport. Eventually Granny intervened and graciously offered to take the big boys swimming while I stayed behind to get things done at home. All parties were satisfied.

I packed up our stuff and started to load the trunk of the van while the Littles climbed and played inside. It was a hot and sweaty job. We all took a water break and then went to Target, where I bought water for our trip and a pair of flip-flops for Gavin (he lost one at the mall the day before). At check-out I realized that the credit card I had used to pay for the ER visit was missing. I couldn't remember if I had gotten it back or not. I drove home quickly, anxious to look around for the missing card.

Sometime in the midst of this, Garry called to tell me he had missed his flight from Denver to Phoenix. His flight from Colorado Springs to Denver had arrived on time, but he had a couple of hours to kill before his next plane left. All of the seats at his departure gate were full, so he found a place to sit several gates down the concourse. He set an alarm on his phone to alert him to return to his own gate. It wasn't until the alarm rang that he realized he had set it to ring at his flight's departure time -- not boarding time. He had missed the flight, and there was nothing he could do about it. Luckily, there was a flight two hours later. Unluckily, his wife was not very happy about the delay.

So I got back to my mom's house...and the front door was locked. Somehow I had never gotten a copy of the house key (I blame myself). I knocked on the door, but I knew the boys and Granny were swimming, my dad was in Seattle, and my sister was on a date. I knew my mom would be home in half an hour or so, so I went to get gas in the van. When I returned, I was surprised to see my sister walking out the front door....apparently she had been home the whole time!

Thankfully, the evening improved. I found my credit card. We ate pizza for dinner, the babies went to bed, and Zach and Tyler watched a movie. I packed up the rest of our stuff in the van. Garry and my dad arrived from the airport. (What a sweet reunion!) Then my sister and cousins came over for a fun evening of talking and laughing.

It wasn't the day I had planned, but at least it ended happily! A healthy little boy, a husband at my side, lots of love and laughter to go is good.

Jul 26, 2010

Permission to jump

My fun friend, Christa, gave us free passes to Bounce U, an indoor inflatable park. At the last minute, we made reservations for this morning. I'm pretty sure the kids thought they had died and gone to heaven. We spent two hours running and jumping and climbing and sliding. We all left sweaty and exhausted. I would say it was money well-spent...but since I didn't spend a dime, the morning was even better!

Boxing matches with the boys don't always end well....but today Zach and Tyler were all smiles.

Zach was the first kid in the group to ascend the spider web tower. Tyler wasn't far behind. The boys spent a lot of time climbing up and down this structure.

Gavin had the time of his life. He kept up with the big boys -- no problem.

Lexi was pretty little for this place, but had fun toddling around. She also loved playing with the balls and balloons on the ground, and made friends with a very sweet mentally-challenged boy who just adored her.

After the first hour, we switched rooms, and the boys spent nearly all of the second hour on this slide. I bet they climbed up and slid down a hundred times. With ten minutes to go, Lexi and I went down the slide, too. She was ecstatic, so we did it again...and again and again. It was so fun to slide down with all of my kids at once! We crashed in a heap at the bottom and laughed and laughed.

And good naps were had by all. :)

Zach and Ty's excellent adventure

Zach and Tyler are reluctant to return to Colorado, and I can understand why. They have enjoyed a most excellent summer!

Two days after we drove to Mesa, we met Garry's mom in Kingman, Arizona and sent Zach and Tyler home with her. They spent a week in Logandale, Nevada at Grandma's house and then a week in Provo, Utah in Grandpa's condo. Every day was an adventure! I think they really enjoyed a life without the constraints of siblings who nap and require so much extra work and supervision.

In Logandale, a rural town in southern Nevada, the boys love to play in Grandma's big backyard. The trampoline is always a novelty, as is air hockey in the back room. One night they drove to Mesquite for dinner and Toy Story 3.

During this visit, Zach and Tyler joined a huge throng of 15 second cousins -- the children of Garry's cousins who live in (or were visiting) Logandale. The boys were in heaven with so many children to play with. They were especially fond of Aunt Sandy's pool. They also visited a water park and the reservoir with all of the cousins. Tyler reported catching frogs. Pretty fun for some city kids!

Garry traveled to Utah to meet the boys, Grandma and Grandpa Bartle, and Great Grandma Terry during the last week of June. They all spent a week together. They did things like visiting BYU (the Creamery, Grandpa's office in the ASB, the CougarEat, and the Bean Museum), going to movies (Karate Kid and How to Train Your Dragon), enjoying a hot air balloon festival, and playing lots and lots of games in the condo.

Playing pool in the condo's basement rec room was once again a favorite activity. I love the way Zach sticks his tongue out while he plays. This is a concentration thing -- he also sticks his tongue out when he hits a baseball or throws a football. So fun!

I was thrilled to hear that Zach and Tyler talked Garry into hiking Y Mountain! The boys and I completed that hike last summer and the summer before, and I'd love for it to be a tradition every time we visit Provo!

One of the reasons behind Garry's trip to Utah was a reunion for members of his childhood ward in Provo. His dad was bishop of that ward in the '80s, and Garry has many fond memories of the people in that time of his life. It was fun for him to reconnect with them.

Garry's cousin, Angela, was visiting Provo at the same time and graciously agreed to bring Zach and Tyler back to Mesa. They were already transporting four children and a dog...I can hardly imagine wanting to add two kids and a ridiculous amount of luggage to their load, but they did! Garry took this picture just as the kids were pulling out in Provo. They arrived in Mesa at 1:00 a.m.

The boys' summer adventure has continued in Mesa. They aren't anxious for it to end! This has been one rockin' summer for those kids! Many thanks to our dear family who has sponsored so many terrific memories.

Jul 25, 2010


We have really been missing our Daddy lately, but thanks to modern technology, Garry is only a phone call or a computer screen away. Today we used Skype for an online video chat before church. The kids and I were so excited to see the face that goes with Daddy's voice. Lexi waved and kicked her legs while the boys crowded around the computer.

Here the boys are making their best fishy faces for the camera. They were telling Garry about swimming lessons and he referred to them as fish. The silly factor increased exponentially from there, which escalated to fighting, which prompted a sudden end to the call. Garry definitely saw a slice of real life today!

Happily, we will be together (in person) again this weekend. Garry is flying down to take us home. Despite my post from a couple of weeks ago that detailed our plans to live with my parents, we have decided to live as a Bartle family unit in Colorado until the house sells. We have no idea what the future holds. My current feeling is that it will take a long time to move forward, but that's OK. We will be together, and that's what counts.

Jul 23, 2010

Love you back

Garry sent me this sweet photo today.

Thanks, sweetheart. The lovely gesture boosted my spirits.

Can't wait until we're together again.

Jul 21, 2010

Fourteen Months

Miss Lexi turned 14 months old last week. It has been a busy month of growth for her at Granny's house.

She quit nursing.

She had a wicked diaper rash and eczema break-out.

She started a dairy-free diet (and her skin healed).

She started sleeping through the night.

She spent nearly the entire month without her Daddy.

She began the transition to one nap a day...and started waking up at the crack of dawn.

She learned to nod "yes" and shake her head "no."

She learned to kiss.

She became even more attached to her lovey, Betsy the dog.

She went swimming for the first time (and many times after that).

She started raiding the pantry, particularly for cereal and fruit snacks.

She learned to literally say "cheese!" for the camera.

We love our little Lexi girl!

Jul 20, 2010

Three little fishies

I enrolled the boys -- all three! -- in swimming lessons that started last week. They have been awesome, and since Garry was in town yesterday, I asked him to document our watery adventures.

Lessons are at 11:10 a.m. The temperature is always at least 100 degrees when we arrive at the outdoor pool (which is part of the campus where I attended junior high school). We leave our towels on the bleachers and wear our flip flops to the side of the pool. Zach waits in this shady spot for his class and just takes a few quick steps across the blistering pool deck to the water.

On the first day of lessons, I encouraged Zach and Tyler to really learn the swimming strokes. I knew they could both navigate the water pretty safely, but I wanted to make sure they could
swim. Tyler, especially, is proficient in the doggie-paddle but not much else. I told them they could participate in swim team next year if they really learned to swim. I have been thrilled with their progress!

Gavin and I are taking a "swim toddlers" class. (Many thanks to my mom, who watches Lexi every day so we can participate!) Gavin loves playing in the water every day and is developing good skills for his age. He is completely fearless in the water. He loves jumping into deep water, diving for rings, and submerging himself (he calls it "going under the sea").

Yesterday we were the only ones to show up for class, so Gavin got a private lesson. Working at his level (rather than that of the babies that make up the rest of our class) was pretty fun! We spent time in the 12-feet-deep section of the pool, where Gavin jumped in several times, swam through a hula hoop, and in general made me nervous. In the shallow water we practiced his kicks and arm movements, his "camomball" jumps, and diving for rings.

When lessons end, there is a token drying-off exercise and then we trudge off to the hot van. Gavin always says, "everyfing is hot in here" as I buckle his car seat straps. We are grateful for the coolness of our swimsuits, which offsets the blazing heat during our drive home.

Swimming lessons have been a great way to beat the heat -- and the exercise is very beneficial for our sleep, too!

You do the math

Lexi+cell phone+water=


Jul 18, 2010

I'm so glad when Daddy comes home...

We are enjoying a long weekend as a family of six. After being apart for a month, I'm really glad to share a roof with my sweetheart! The kids are thrilled, too, of course.

Our Saturday activities included playtime with Daddy, a nap for me, extended family visiting, a temple trip, and an evening of swimming. Good times -- and no pictures! I guess we were having too much fun.

Garry will return to Colorado Springs early Tuesday morning. We'll enjoy him as long as we can!

Jul 17, 2010

Sleeping angels

"There was never a child so lovely
but his mother was glad to get him to sleep."

{Ralph Waldo Emerson}

Jul 15, 2010


Tyler FINALLY lost his first front tooth.

It has been hanging precariously
(and grossing out his Aunt Holly)
for weeks.

We tried


to no avail.

It was a little traumatic.

Tonight I suggested that Tyler use an ice cube
to numb the gum around the tooth
and pull it out.

It worked.
(I love being the hero.)

We hope the Tooth Fairy can find Ty's pillow in Arizona.
Tyler hopes "his wings don't break in the middle of the heat."

That would be tragic indeed.

Jul 14, 2010

Phone conversation

Last weekend we celebrated my sister's birthday at her house. While playing with his cousin's toys, Gavin fell in love with Angie's old cell phone. He started jabbering away on the phone, calling who-knows-who and talking their ears off. Angie let him take it when we went home.

Since then, Gavin has been obsessed with making phone calls. He carried on quite a lengthy conversation with Garry the other day, but mostly he just talks to himself. Sometimes the phone calls are with/for Russell the bear. The calls often involve one or more grandparents whether they are present or not. And today, while we were sitting in the car, waiting for Stein Mart to open, Gavin didn't even have a phone. He just called me up.

Gavin: Mom, I'm calling you.

Heidi: OK....hello?

Gavin: How are you today?

Heidi: Fine. How are you?

Gavin: Good.

Heidi: What are you doing?

Gavin: Going to da door.

Heidi: Going to the door?

Gavin: No, da door.

Heidi: Da door?

Gavin: No, the store!

Heidi: Oh! The store! What will you buy at the store?

Gavin: New Lunchables. And cheese.

Heidi: Ah...excellent choice.

Gavin: OK, well, have fun, Grandma.

Heidi: Um, OK.

Gavin: Love you. Bye!

Gavin was disappointed to discover that Stein Mart is a clothing store. I bought a new purse but he had his little heart set on cheese. I promised him a trip to Costco tomorrow...


Last month, Zachary saw a pediatrician for an infected lymph node. The doctor was convinced that Zach had severe allergies. We visited an allergy clinic that very day, but after the standard skin-prick test, it appeared that Zach wasn't allergic to anything at all. I was confused but very relieved.

As a precaution, I decided to make allergy-testing appointments for all the kids. (I have long suspected milk allergies in Gavin and Lexi but haven't done anything about it.) Garry, who suffers from seasonal allergies, made an appointment, too. Because we are in Arizona, we missed the kids' appointments, but Garry went to the clinic for his tests on Tuesday. Here are the results:

Ouch!! Garry showed a "very strong positive reaction" for 25 of the 42 allergens, and had 7 "strong positive" results as well. He was the show-and-tell patient of the office that morning; everyone had to come take a peek at his inflamed, itching skin.

So now we know that Garry is severely allergic to grasses, weeds, and trees; dust mites, mice, cockroaches, cattle, dogs, and cats; plus carrots and cantaloupe. These allergies aren't life-threatening, but they sure can make him miserable. He is working with the doctors to better manage his symptoms.

On another note, I am really looking forward to seeing Garry soon. If his work schedule allows, he will visit us in Arizona this weekend!

pass it on!

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