Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ethan's Preschool Christmas Show

Ethan was so adorable! He knew his song really well and was close to a microphone so his voice stood out from the other children. There is a part of the song that says "Jesus is coming, open your heart," and if you listen carefully to the video around 40 seconds in, you can hear him say "Jesus is coming, open your silly heart." He's such a little jokester! (Lyrics below... or at least what we think they were singing.)

Jesus Is Coming

Time to get ready
I'll do my part
Jesus is coming
Open your heart

Sing Hosanna
Jesus is coming
Time to get ready
Open your heart

Someone is coming
Wait and see
I'll do my part
Jesus is coming
Open your [silly] heart

Sing Hosanna
Jesus is coming
Time to get ready
Open your heart

Josh's Birthday and Stocking Stuffers

We had an enjoyable birthday dinner at Josh's parents house to celebrate his special day. It's hard to believe I've known Josh for almost 12 years now. Time has flown by so fast. After Josh's birthday dinner, we opened our stocking stuffers with his family. As you can see from the collage, it's all about the kids at Christmas. Josh teased that they were breaking into their stocking stuffers before he had even finished reading his birthday card. Sorry, honey! It was a really fun night for all.

Christmas Photo Shoot at the Redlands Temple

As always, you can double click the image to see the smaller pictures in more detail.


Our boys love their cousins.

At Grandma & Grandpa Long's House

Best Friends

These two little guys are so cute! I love catching these moments when they are truly enjoying playing together.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sharing the iPod

Jacob recently discovered my iPod, and since he and Ethan love music, they insist on listening to mommy's playlist any time they find the iPod laying around. Cute boys!

Cute Jacob

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Boating on Bountiful

Today was my first time out on my dad's recently purchased boat. He named it Bountiful, after the hometown of his childhood. It really is a beautiful boat and it's so relaxing to go out into the ocean. Included in the collage are photos of my gorgeous mother, my beautiful sister Alyse, my cute little seafaring Ethan, my dad the captain, the backside of Spencer (lol, sorry Spencer!), silly sea lions squished onto a buoy, a sailboat, the Queen Mary, and a lighthouse that marks the edge of the harbor. It was such an amazing day! Thanks to my parents for the invitation, to Spencer and Alyse for driving us, and to my eternal sweetheart, Josh, for taking such good care of Jacob at home. Love you guys!


Thanks to my wonderful in-laws for babysitting Jacob, Josh and I were able to take Ethan to our church's trunk or treat party this year. He dressed in his favorite Mater the Tow Truck costume and got tons of sugary goodness. A lot of my pictures are of Jacob and Ethan admiring their spoils after we got home. It was so funny to watch them sorting through all the candy. Jacob didn't even realize what it was at first, he was just having fun squishing and crunching all the wrappers. Ethan, however, was shoveling it in his little mouth as fast as he could. Our jack-o-lantern may need an explanation for most people. It's a character from the internet cartoon Homestar Runner named Strong Mad... did I get that right, honey? Josh did a great job and received the award for the most intricately carved pumpkin at the trunk or treat. We had a great time together. My sisters Alyse and Mackenzy were even able to come out to join us for the evening. We are seriously blessed with amazing family members. I have no idea where I'd be without such loving people in my life.

Ethan's Big Day

It has taken me quite some time to get this posted because of everything that has happened recently with Jacob. We had a really fun celebration for Ethan's birthday shortly before Jacob was admitted to the hospital. Ethan had so much fun being with his beloved extended family. This year I asked him if he wanted to have a family party or a friends party. He chose a family party. We did, however, invite his favorite neighbor friend to join in the fun as well. The two of them kept the guests quite entertained as they ran excitedly around the house and played wild games with the balloons. I had no need to lead our guests in any games since everyone seemed content with watching Ethan and his buddy play. They were so delighted with everything! Such sweet kids. I feel so blessed to be Ethan and Jacob's mommy. Ethan is growing up into such a loving and happy little guy. He is a wonderful big brother and such a delight to have in our family. His energy keeps daily life interesting for all of us and we love him so much! Happy Birthday to our first born!

Before and After Shots

Just wanted to share the amazing transformation in our little Jacob from the beginning of his hospital stay to when he first arrived home.


After: so plump and happy, with color in his cheeks!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Sorry to have taken a while to include this update; we have been enjoying being home together again. Jacob was discharged from the hospital last week, making his stay a total of four weeks. We have been busy with follow up appointments, which will become normal for our family now since Jacob's condition is chronic. In a few weeks we have an appointment with a specialist at Children's Hospital in L.A. It will be nice to talk to a doctor who actually has experience working with CGD patients.

Thanks again to everyone for being so supportive of our family. We feel blessed to have such wonderful family and friends.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Seeing the Light

Jacob got his PICC line in on Monday after a very emotional day of not allowing him to eat. There are only two nurses at Kaiser Fontana certified in PICC insertion, so we had to wait all day before the team of doctors and nurses could assemble for the procedure. In the mean time, Jacob couldn't eat because he had to go 6 hours without food or drink prior to sedation, and we were told they would try to do the procedure yesterday morning, not evening. Poor Jacob had to go without food or drink for nearly 24 hours.

Last Sunday, a blood test for IBDs (inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) came back negative. However, the test for CGD came back positive.

Now that Jacob has been properly diagnosed, he is receiving the best care the doctors can provide. He received a blood transfusion Wednesday night after finding out that his hemoglobin was at a shockingly low 7.4. Thursday morning, Jacob was a new baby! He was so happy and playful. The transfusion was a success, bringing his hemoglobin level up to 11. Thursday night he began receiving his TPN (a nutritional supplement) through his PICC line. A healthy person's nutritional level is supposed to be between a 20-40; Jacob was at an 8. Yesterday I noticed a definite increase in appetite and I hope that he quickly regains a healthy nutritional level. Jacob has been on a mild dose of steriods for the past three days to help calm down the colitis. We should know by next week or so if the treatment is enough to cure the colitis. Once his diarrhea is gone and he is steadily gaining weight back, we will be discharged from the hospital. Jacob is also taking an iron supplement to maintain a healthy hemoglobin level; and a sulpha drug, and an antifungal drug twice a day to help prevent any future infections that could land us back in the hospital. (As a reminder, Jacob doesn't have the specific disease ulcerative colitis, but colitis is a term that accurately describes his gastrointestinal problems.) CGD is a hereditary white blood cell defect which means Jacob is more prone to infections.

Josh and I have both sent in blood to be tested to see who is the carrier of CGD. The doctors also want to test Ethan for CGD because it is more common in boys.

According to one report, CGD affects only 1 in 200,000 people in the United States with only 20 cases diagnosed each year. Another source says that as few as 1 in 1,000,000 people has CGD.

Here's some reading material on CGD:

Thank you for your earnest prayers in our behalf. Although Jacob's diagnosis was a devastating shock to us all, we have been strengthened and uplifted by everyone's prayers, love, and support. Jacob is looking better everyday. Now we're just hoping for the very best results with the steroid treatment so we can get our little angel home.

Here is a meal calendar for anyone who is interested:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Update on Jacob

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive during this difficult time for our family. I'm so grateful for the many many words of encouragement and support, and to know of all the prayers being offered in Jacob's behalf. He is now on his 12th day in the hospital with no end in sight. He seems to be running into one complication after another and just when I think we've hit the bottom, I find out it can get worse. Right now they're suspecting he may have picked up the flu at the hospital (most likely, swine flu) because of his spiking fevers the past three days, and last night be began vomiting. They did a swab last night and will know the results in a few days. Once he recovers from this virus and the pneumonia (which was confirmed positive in a chest x-ray yesterday), they will decide what treatment will be best to treat the Crohn's flare up. On a positive note, last they checked, his red blood cell count was up from 8.4 to 8.6. Normal range is between 10-14. It's good to see it coming up because if it dips into the 7's, he would need a blood transfusion. We are anxiously awaiting the PICC line because his weight continues to decline. WIth a PICC line in place, he can be nourished through it. Despite the heavy weight of this trial, we truly feel of your love and feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family to buoy us up along the way.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Our Little Patient

Hang in there, little guy!

Grandpa Taylor & Jacob

Big brother, Ethan, comes to visit.

Finally on his 5th day, he is allowed in the play room.

Last Tuesday our little Jacob was admitted to the hospital. He has been quite sick for some time and has not been able to recover on his own. He stopped gaining weight back in April because his body was focusing all of its energy on fighting the ulcers and inflammation lining his large intestine. A colonoscopy revealed that he most likely has ulcerative colitis, a disease that generally affects older teenagers and adults. Jacob has been the most patient little patient. He has endured more than any small child should ever have to go through. He had an IV in his right hand for the first 5 days of his stay, and then they transfered it to his foot yesterday. He is happy to use both hands, but has a hard time walking around with a big board on his foot. I can't handle getting into specifics of other tests and procedures they have done to him because it makes me feel too depressed. Thank you to everyone who is praying for our little Jacob and our family. This has been the most trying experience of our lives and we wouldn't be able to endure it without the support of our family and friends. Jacob is still in the hospital as of today. He has a CT scan scheduled for tomorrow. I hope he is well enough to return home this week. Please keep him in your prayers.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Syvanah's 3rd Birthday Party

My mom, Ethan, Jacob, and I drove out to Mesa to celebrate my niece's 3rd birthday. She had a Hawaiian themed birthday party which turned out really fun.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jacob's Walking!

Ethan's First Day of Preschool

Our handsome big boy! You can see a picture of me on the collage in the background. That's funny, I just noticed that! :)

Ethan just started preschool today and loves it! It's so nice to have an activity for him to look forward to twice a week. He's such a ball of energy and thrives when he has somewhere to expend it. I didn't get emotional dropping him off and he didn't seem to care when I left. I guess we were both very ready for him to start school. It sounds like he got along with his classmates today and had fun participating in the different activities his teachers shared. He said his teacher told him all about ladybugs and he seemed really excited about it.

Jacob and I dropping Ethan off in his classroom

The rainbow classroom. Ethan has four girls and eight boys in his class!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Great Times With The Longs

We recently had our annual Long gathering at Tom and Jeannette's and thoroughly enjoyed catching up with everyone. Our kids had a blast connecting with their (2nd?) cousins and Ethan insisted that we have to go back to Tom and Jeannette's house again really soon. We feel blessed to be a part of such a great family!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Family Vacation

St. George, UT and Cove Fort
The first stop on our summer vacation was in St. George. We wanted to visit the St. George Temple, but first came across the St. George Tabernacle. We did a tour there and learned some interesting history about the city. Next we visited the temple grounds, where a newly married couple was being photographed. I always love to see that! Brings back memories of our own wedding day. After we finished looking around the temple and going through the visitor's center, we had lunch at Nielsen's Frozen Custard. Yum! For anyone who loves ice cream, you can't pass through St. George or Bountiful, UT without stopping in for this delicious treat! Next on our trek north on the I-15, we stopped into Cove Fort and did a tour there. I've passed it so many times throughout my life, but can't remember ever stopping in to learn more about it. We found it very interesting. That night we stayed at Grandma Turner's house in Orem, UT.

Idaho Falls Temple
We drove from Orem to Island Park, ID the next day, with plenty of stops along the way. Our favorite stop was at the Idaho Falls Temple. It's so beautiful! The kids enjoyed stretching their little legs on the temple grounds (we didn't see any newlyweds this time).

Island Park, ID
Our first full day at the cabin also happened to be my mom's birthday. She got some special birthday hugs from all four of her grandchildren. The older ones were super excited about Grandma's birthday cake.

Yellowstone National Park, Day 1
On our first day inside the park, our final goal was to see Old Faithful. Along the way we made a couple of other stops and saw some amazingly beautiful geysers. As you can see, little J had to sneak in a nap on the go. Ethan quickly bonded with Jacob Stoddard, and those two hung out a good part of the reunion. We also had our first wildlife sighting of a couple of elk. One of them was collared.

Mack's Inn, Mt. Sawtelle, and Roasting Marshmallows
The next day one of Josh's former missionary companions, Mike, came up to hang out with us. First we went to Mack's Inn to see Johnny Sack's cabin and Big Spring. Next we drove to Sawtelle Peak. The drive was a bit scary because the road up the mountain was narrow and unpaved. I'm glad we went up, though. From the summit, we could see out over three states (Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) and a good park of Yellowstone Park. I think everyone enjoyed the campfire that night, making s'mores and other creative roasted marshmallow snacks.

Geyser Basin
Wednesday we returned to the park to view Geyser Basin. It was breathtaking! We ended up hiking around on some dirt trails, pushing the double stroller over some pretty rough terrain. On the way home that day, we got stuck in about an hour of traffic. We kept our fingers crossed that it was an animal sighting and not a car accident. By the time we got up to the front, we were not disappointed. A bison was sunbathing in the middle of the road, and his family was off to the side, causing quite a traffic jam. It was amazing to be that close to such a huge animal in the wild!

West Yellowstone
The next day we hung out in West Yellowstone without actually entering the park. We saw a couple of movies at the IMAX theater (Yellowstone and Bears) and Josh took Ethan to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center where he could see wolves and bears up close.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Our final day in the park was my personal favorite. We saw several bison throughout the day, an eagle's nest with the baby looking out and the mother perched nearby, and the views of the river, waterfalls, and canyon were beyond description. We also got caught in a brief, but heavy cloud burst. You can see the looming clouds in the scenic pictures.

Journey Home
We had to make lots of stops on the way home. Ethan was doing fine thanks to the DVD player that we borrowed, but Jacob decided he was done with his car seat. Poor little guy. By the time we got in to Vegas to look for our hotel for the night, he was crying so hard that he threw up. That was the first time he'd ever done that. :o( These are some pictures from three of our stops: one for a Twinkie break, one to take a look at the Rexberg, ID Temple, and one was a lunch break when Jacob learned how to pucker up for a kiss!

Disneyland's Birthday

Here are some cute pictures of Ethan, Dan, and Judy from earlier this month. Ethan really did have a great time. I'm not sure why he looks mad/comatose in his pictures! lol He looks really ticked at Tinkerbell. lol

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stayin' Cool

Today when Ethan asked for a popsicle, I told him yes, but that he'd have to eat it out on the front porch because it would be messy. He happily agreed to my terms and took his popsicle out to the porch swing. A few minutes later I grabbed my camera thinking I'd get a cute picture of a sticky Ethan. I was surprised to see he had already finished off his treat, with just one little drip on his shirt, and was relaxing in the swing. I was excited to have him sitting still long enough to take a couple cute pictures of my little man.

Redlands Library Days

Our city library has a children's summer reading program. If a child reads four books per week, then they get a coupon for a free ice cream. I signed up both Ethan and Jacob. So every week we go to the library, check out four books, sit outside the library on the grass, and I read stories to them. I'm not sure how much they are listening, as you can tell from the pictures, but they enjoy this outing. We then go return our books and pick up our ice cream coupon and go out for ice cream. It's nice to have something fun like this to do during the hot summer days!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

4th of July Fireworks

Here's a video clip of the aforementioned Independence Day fireworks at the University of Redlands. Ethan absolutely loved the show and asks to see this clip over and over again.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Independence Day

This was the first year we took Ethan to a fireworks show. In years past we always decided that he was too young and would be scared from the loud explosions. He ended up loving the fireworks show and has asked me everyday since the 4th if we can see the fireworks again. My dad, sister, and bro-in-law came with us, while Josh graciously stayed home with Jacob. It was a great celebration at the University of Redlands. I haven't been to a firework show for years and this show exceeded my expectations.
Ethan drank so much of my dad's and Spencer's drinks that I had to take him potty twice within one hour. He was so thirsty! Not to mention he loves sugary cola drinks.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Ethan in Primary

Primary Teacher: "Jesus can help us to feel better."

Ethan: "Jesus doesn't make me feel better, mommy does! She puts medicine on my owie and then puts a bandage on it."

Friday, July 03, 2009

Best Buds

We wanted to capture Ethan and Jacob playing together, but Josh and I just noticed that it looks like Ethan is measuring Jacob's head in one picture and ready to drill through his head in the next! Jacob is playing the willing participant. We got a good chuckle out of those two shots.

Jacob Practicing Walking

Ethan's DCA Trip with Grandma & Grandpa Long

Ethan wanted to meet Mickey Mouse, but was hiding behind his hat and glasses.

Mickey Mouse decided to take matters into his own giant hands. Ethan is normally very particular about how he wears his hat by wearing it really low on his face. He won't let anyone adjust it; however, when Mickey adjusted it, he didn't protest even the tiniest bit.

Ethan loves Mickey Mouse!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

We had a fun day at Josh's parents' house to celebrate and honor our fathers and husbands. Judy made steaks and I made garlic mashed potatoes. A manly man meal for the men in our lives. I'm so grateful for my husband, for my father, and for my father-in-law. I feel blessed to have these wonderful and honorable men in my life.

It's me, Josh, making a rare appearance posting something on our family blog! Normally I'm busy working on my LOST blog, my computer security blog, or one of my podcasts (or, you know, working at my real job), but I thought this Father's Day gift from Ethan was really cute and had to post it myself!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Teeth and Stairs

So I guess now that Jacob is one year old, he decided to get his first tooth. I took him in for his immunizations on Monday and the doctor said his gums looked tender and when I mentioned that he frequently tugs on his ears, she said he is definitely teething. The very next day I could see his first little tooth cutting through on the bottom!

That same day I was vacuuming the house and left the boys downstairs while I vacuumed upstairs. When I came down to put the vacuum away, Jacob was on the third stair and started to sit down. Luckily Josh caught him before he had a tumble down the stairs. Stair gate time! I need to get in the habit of putting it up. Today I was watching both boys downstairs and didn't have the gate up because I figured Jacob just likes to stay near me and wouldn't attempt the stairs. Plus, the downstairs isn't very big so I figured I could keep my eye on him wherever he is. Well, Ethan had me distracted with something for maybe 30 seconds or so, and when I looked up to find Jacob, he was half way up the stairs! I have never jumped up so fast to dash to the rescue. He started sitting down right before I got to him and fell back one step before I caught him. You better believe the gate went up immediately. I completely underestimated my little munchkin. If I had even taken one second longer to get to him, he would've had a nasty fall. My heart was racing and my hands shaking after rescuing him just thinking of what could've happened to him. Now I know the gate needs to go up every time he's downstairs. Whew!