Saturday, December 13, 2008

Need Addresses

I'm working on Christmas cards and I've realized I don't have many of your addresses. If you are interested in getting a card, please email me your mailing address. My email is Hopefully I can get these done soon and FINALLY get Thanksgiving posted ;) Hope you are all having a great Christmas season.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Here ya go Stacie ;)

8 TV shows I watch
(With sports and kid shows on daily, I seldom watch "my" shows, but these are the ones I like :)
1. Dancing with the Stars
2. Grey's Anatomy (although they have a "new" couple this season that totally sickens me, so trying to not watch it anymore)
3. So You Think you Can Dance
4. American Idol
5. 10 years younger
6. Justin's trying to get me into the Mentalist
7. John and Kate plus 8
8. The Office

8 Things I remember about yesterday.
1. I prepared my talk for church
2. My house was clean
3. Both my kids took a nap.
4. I got a short nap too.
5. We went to the EA basketball game
6. Kids were spoiled with popcorn and soda
7. Kaybri had a seizure on the way home (short and came out of it good)
8. Justin and I watched a movie

8 Places I like to eat
1. Carrabbas
2. Panda Express
3. Chick-fil-A
4. La Casita/Casa Manana
5. Cracker Barrel
6. Cafe Rio
7. PF Changs/Pei Wei
8. my mom's home cooked meals

8 things I look forward to
1. Thanksgiving and all the yummy food and good company
2. Getting to visit family
3. Justin's days off
4. Christmas, my most favorite holiday and time of year
5. Waking up everyday and seeing my kids laugh and be happy
6. summer vacations
7. being totally moved in, decorations up, etc.
8. the temple being built in our area

8 things on my wish list
1. For Justin and I to live a long, healthy, happy life, and die at the same time
2. To travel the world
3. For Kaybri to get better
4. For my kids to grow up to have a testimony of the church, enjoy life, and be healthy
5. That our house in Utah would get rented, or sell would even be better
6. To be totally debt free and have lots in savings
7. For our food storage to be complete
8. That there was more shopping and fun things to go out and do in this small town--(which I love, know, we need some more spice!)

I TAG ANYONE who is bored and feels like doing this!

Friday, November 21, 2008

October Overload!

October was definitely the month for birthdays! My mom, dad, and Jarom and Mel's family came down one weekend and we decided to celebrate the birthdays for the month, which included Tristan, Paxton, me, and my dad. Let's face it though, the party was all about Pax! He turned 2 and he is the cutest, funnest little boy I know!
Some fun facts about him:

*Total obsession with being with his dad lately. He wants to go everywhere Justin goes, and often begs me to take him to go see dad at work.
*He loves trucks. He hates if he has to ride in a car if a truck is available. When he sees a truck he always says, "Daddy's truck" or "Cowy's (uncle cory) truck", followed by a very dramatic "Vroom vrooom!" This is also true for motorcycles, but followed with a "Tristan...vroom vroom"
*He has become a little bit of a bully, although I think he might be improving some as of late. He was constantly hitting or pushing someone for awhile though.
*Instead of walking or running, he gallops.
*He loves his sister and thinks everything she does is super cool.
*He learns new things everyday. The pronunciation of a lot of words still isn't that clear, but he is trying to put words into sentences.
* Some of my favorite words/sayings from him, "cool man!", "peace", "i love you", "hot dog" (from Mickey Mouse), "where's Kaybri" and "cuute" (haha, I think we tell Kaybri that too much)
*Although he is all boy and rough and tough, he is pretty tender-hearted and can get his feelings hurt much more than what we're used to with Kaybri. He gives great hugs that almost knock you over and kisses that usually HAVE to be on the lips. He is infatuated with babies, and has been for some time now, it's a good thing Joni had a baby! "I hold her" is another favorite line.

I don't know what was up with my camera that day, but almost all of the pictures I took turned out blurry. bummer!

Poor Lydi was traumatized that we were hitting Elmo, especially after he was decapitated. She kept saying, "Oh no, Elmo's broken."

If you remember from last year, Paxton burned his finger on his birthday candle. He is a year older now and much wiser I guess, because he didn't want to get too close to the candle this year. He did blow it out, but it took some coaxing (and some help from the wind).

The next day we all went to county fair. The kids loved the animals. Again my camera was retarded and all the pictures I took inside the exhibit buildings didn't turn out. Kaybri entered some art work into the fair with her class from preschool; we never found it, but it was sent home with her later and we saw that she won 2 red ribbons and earned $4! Good job Kaybri. Her teacher tells us that she loves to paint, probably because she never gets to at home. I guess I need to do more of that, I just hate what a mess it makes.

Who needs a double stroller, when you have a nice sister that lets you sit on top of her!? We also let the kids go on a ride before we headed home. We were going to put all the kids on this little train, but we ran into this sign......

The guy that was running the ride came over and said that Lydi and Pax needed an adult with them. We said they were 2 and then I took Pax over to the sign to measure him. He was just at the 36" mark. I didn't notice at first, but he was tippy-toeing on one foot because I had pushed his back up against the sign. My mom, Joni, Mel and everyone started giggling about it and pointing at him. For some reason this didn't settle well with the carny and he said that Pax couldn't go still. He let Kaybri and Lydi (who looks the same height, especially with Pax's fro) go and even a little girl that was WAY shorter than Paxton. The guy was kinda rude and Paxton was sad and didn't understand why he didn't get to go on the ride too, so we took him on a cooler ride- a race car! He loved it, even through the rain!

Another cool thing happened in October, Joni had her baby!! yay! We were so excited to meet little Trista. She is such a doll.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Mel, Steph, and I threw a baby shower for my sister, Joni. Here she is at 7 1/2 months along.

Joni and the momsJoni and the sisters

Vince's sister passed away, so everyone headed to Mesa to meet up to go to the funeral. Look at all those grandkids! I think that's everyone except April.
I didn't take too many pictures, I guess that's enough for September.


This is really embarrassing that I'm so far behind I never finished posting about things that happened in August, but oh well, I couldn't just pick up from where we are now and act like all this stuff didn't happen.

Kaybri started preschool again. She has the same teacher from last year and from the smile she has every time she gets on the bus, we assume she likes school...or at least the bus.

We also had a Hatch cousin reunion. Almost everyone made it. We rented a cabin in Show Low and it was a blast! Most of the kids stayed home, except babies and Kaybri(she had a doctor appointment the next day in Phx). I can't wait to do it again.

Then we went to Animas to pick up our little Pax. He has had lots of Papa and Grammie time this year; they have taken him several times for a week or so at a time. Hopefully when Kaybri's seizures get more stable she can take a turn too.

One of Paxton's last night in a crib, he is now in a big boy bed. I guess Kaybri couldn't sleep and needed to twirl someones hair :)

Time to Update!

Sorry to leave everyone hanging after kinda a depressing post. We are all totally good, just super busy. We recently just moved...again. After a few scary encounters with the renters in front of our house and some major plumbing problems because of them, we pretty much had no choice but to move. We/I hadn't anticipated staying in that apartment as long as we did, so there wasn't any complaining! Cory and Dawn let us stay with them for a couple of weeks until we found a place to rent. They have helped us out sooo much; we owe them big. The beginning of November we were able to get into our new house, and we are loving it! We went from pretty much a one bedroom to a 5 bedroom. We didn't want that big of a place, but it totally fell into place. In the meantime we have been trying to get Justin's dad's house fixed, cleaned and rented while he helps us get our house in Utah rented. Thanks to a lot of family help we are getting settled.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A New Trial

The last month or so we have discovered a new trial in our life that has brought on a whirlwind of emotions. I'm sure this has a lot to do with my MIA in the blogger world, and although it might have been good therapy to write about, I needed some time to grieve and accept it before I let the whole world know.

On August 25th Kaybri was diagnosed with Autism. It was our second appointment with the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician and after a lot of paper work, tests, and observing they said she had high-functioning autism. At the end of the 1st appointment she said she didn't think she was autistic, but then we came into the 2nd appointment and she started it by saying "If I was queen, and a child needed certain programs to progress, I would just give them to the child. But in the state of Arizona, you have to be diagnosed with something. Kaybri will get some help because she has seizures, but if she had autism she would get every program, so it really would be good if that was the case." You could tell during the observation and the questioning that the doctor already had her mind made up, and after scoring the CARS test, she tested at 31 (in order to be considered autistic you have to have above a 30). I immediately started crying and was mad because she could've easily said she was borderline and not diagnosed her as autistic, but then I realized she really was trying to help and this was the only way Kaybri was going to get the help she needed. She said with Kaybri being high-functioning (or mild autism) that she probably would respond well to all the therapies.

We had scheduled the appointments several months in advance, and throughout the whole summer I would think about the up and coming appointments and just would get a sick feeling. I knew she had some autistic characteristics, but we (and doctors) thought since she didn't have many characteristics and not the "defining" autistic traits that it was probably related to her meds or damage from all the seizures. The more I thought it about it though, the more I knew they were going to diagnose her with autism, but still hearing the words just broke my heart. The whole way home from Phoenix just thinking the word "autism" made me cry. I didn't know how or really want to tell people because I knew I would cry and I hate, hate, hate crying in front of people.

I think the hardest part is seeing how Kaybri used to be and how she is now. How in the world did this happen to her? Within her first year she had met all the major milestones really early. She was a happy, friendly girl that said lots of words; there were no autistic traits. Then she started having seizures and after really bad seizures it would take awhile to regain some skills. About a year ago we started early intervention because of this. And when things really went south was when she had the 3 really bad seizures at the beginning of this year. We could feel our little, happy girl slipping away from us and into "a world of her own" as most would say.

I know this trial will test my faith like no other. Like I said before, many many emotions...
-of course I was sad. Sad that she may not be able to do and become all the things parents hope for their children. Sad that other kids may make fun of her or not want to play with her because she doesn't know how to interact with them.
-a little mad. I know that's awful, and I can say I'm not anymore, but at first I just couldn't understand how a seizures wasn't enough, why autism too?
-I'm overwhelmed. They gave me a huge file of information and I just do not understand how to go about getting into all the programs. From what I've read, insurance doesn't cover therapies (how is that possible?) and getting into state programs is pretty tricky because of the lack of funding, which results in a waiting list when they know that the sooner you get help the better...frustrating! There's also all kinds of other things like diet and other natural stuff that people keep telling us about and I have no idea which one to try first or what will benefit Kaybri the most.
-I'm scared to ever have another kid. I really want more, but I think I would end up in a crazy person house if I had another child with special needs. I know lots of women do it, so I feel really selfish because I know these babies need good homes; I just don't know how I could handle it.
-I'm so grateful. Grateful for my sweet husband and his faith, for my little helper Pax for being such a good, big, little brother to Kaybri, for our family and what wonderful supporters they are, for priesthood blessings and the promises and hope they give me, grateful for the good conference talks on trials, and most of all grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows my strengths and weaknesses and for trusting me with such a special little girl. It is my privilege to raise and try to teach her; so far she has taught me far more than what I have taught her.

I have been researching my brains out, and I just feel like somehow/someday she will be better and I am going to do my best to make it happen. I've learned the the autism topic is pretty controversial, but we'll save that post for another day. It feels good to get some of this off my chest; I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining. I really do love my life and know things could be a lot worse than a little autism and some seizures.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Makeup Madness

Kaybri loves to sit by me and watch me put on my makeup. She will usually ask me to do her "eyes" and I will pretend like I'm putting makeup on her, or I will give her a blush or eyeshadow brush (with nothing on it) and she can do her own. I used to be able to leave my makeup bag out on top of the vanity or at least put it underneath the bench and the kids would leave it alone. However, Kaybri has developed a little obsession with putting the makeup on and too many times I've discovered her playing in it. She often will have eyeshadow across her cheeks and eyes and mascara not only on her eyelashes, but above and below as well. I only use waterproof mascara, and that does not come off so well, so there were a few days where she walked around with black eyes. Yes, I have learned my lesson and my makeup goes up high on a shelf now....along with everything else they aren't supposed to touch (I probably could use a few more shelves). Also, anytime Kaybri gets a pen she will often start trying to put it on her eye like eyeliner, and I've noticed when she's come home from preschool she has had a little bit of the watercolor paints on her eyes...she must have thought that was makeup too. We never paint at our house (I guess I need to) so I'm sure when she saw the paint brush she thought it was for makeup, I wonder what her teacher thought.
I did say I learned my lesson, but my kids are pretty sneaky. They will come up behind me and snitch it out of my bag when I'm putting my makeup on. They must know it irritates me and makes me mad, because they try to do it all the time. Paxton has even learned how to use mascara! And no, I never pretended to put it on him. He just wanted to be like mom and sister.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Want to know what we've been UP to?

Actually nothing very serious, but it sure seems like the last few weeks (or months) have flown by. It is just go, go, go all the time. A few weeks ago we celebrated the 24th. Both Lamar and Britni's family came down to visit, and we had a blast hanging out with lots of family. We went to the mountains, parade, bbq, and we even stayed for the fireworks....despite the never-ending rain.Paxton and Uncle Tristan are BUDS!

Cute cousin Lizzie with Kaybri and Justin

Pax, LeiLani and Tiley

Fun times on the tramp

Britni and Myli...they are so pretty

Some of the Echols cousins

The next week Kaybri had a seizure while visiting the cousins. It was only a little over a month since her last one, but apparently she had a good reason for it. She seemed a little warm when we first got to Cory and Dawn's, but I thought it was just because it's so dang hot outside. But no, she had spiked a fever, which sent her into a seizure. Luckily it wasn't too bad though and only lasted a few minutes. She ran a fever for 5 days and that was her only seizure, what a blessing! We're still not sure what she had, it never got passed on to the rest of us. Another blessing.

And then the last weekend we went out of town to Mesa for neurology appointments. Kaybri had a "one bang" MRI taken of her brain. This is a MRI that is supposed to only take 5-10 minutes, so they don't have to sedate them. They only needed a picture or 2 to make sure the bleed they found last time was clearing up, and since she's had a lot of CT scans lately, this would be a great alternative so she didn't have to be exposed to more radiation. However, it was an absolute nightmare trying to get it done. Poor Kaybri was traumatized. First they taped ear plugs over her ears, then made her a burrito in a blanket, then strapped her down on this narrow table that went up/down and in/out of a big doughnut looking thing, taped her head down between 2 board things, and then they had Justin lay down on top of her and hold her head straight. She screamed and screamed and screamed....for a good 30 minutes. And then she started coughing and they thought she was maybe choking, so we had to take her out, make sure she was ok, and then start all over again. They couldn't do the MRI until she calmed down and was still. She is pretty strong for such a skinny girl. She was wiggling down and got her legs and part of her arms out and she was kicking Justin, clawing his neck, and spitting at him. I guess after awhile she decided she was going to lose the fight and said "night night" and then there wasn't another peep or movement out of her. We met with her neurologist after the MRI and she said her brain looks good and is filling in the spaces of where the cyst was. Good news! We also talked a lot about medications, and I know it may sound crazy to switch meds now that she is semi-stable, but I think we're going to. Kaybri is doing better now, but there were a few months where she hardly ate at all and also was losing a lot of skills-mostly speech. Kaybri lost close to 3 lbs since her appt. in May and grew about a centimeter (now 28 lbs and 38 3/4 inches). We are going to very gradually add on a new med, and slowly ween her off of some of the other meds over the next few months, hopefully going down to just 1 med, instead of 3. The new medication, Lamictal, is supposed to be much safer, especially if you have to be on something for awhile. Some of the meds that Kaybri has been on can create other problems with kidneys, liver, etc. The main side effect of this new drug is that it can create a pretty nasty rash on some people, that's why we have to add it on so slowly. Anyway, wish us luck, hopefully we're doing the right thing and that it doesn't mess with her seizures.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Notice Anything DIFFERENT???

Yep, we CUT Kaybri's hair off! I've been thinking about it for awhile, but I always seem to get talked out of it. Then I asked Justin a couple days ago if he would be mad/sad, and at first he said yes, but after I told him my reasons he agreed. Kaybri has a lot of fine, whispy hair around the frame of her face and I though it would help even things out a bit. I also thought it might help her hair thicken up (or at least look that way). Her hair seemed to be getting more curl to it and so by the end of the day her long hair was looking a little scraggly. Anyway, I asked Aunt JoJo to come over and chop it off yesterday. She cut about 4-5 inches off! It barely touches her shoulders now, and it looks sooo cute! When Kaybri saw her hair falling on the floor she kept reaching up to run her hand through her hair. Her daddy was also a little bit surprised when he first saw her after work. He didn't know I was serious I guess or that it would be done so soon, but he loves it!

And of course I documented nearly every snip. So here's the play-by-play!!


The Cut:

Thanks Joni, you did great!I know it's hard, but try not to stare at her unbrushed teeth! I think she likes her new hairdo though, what do you think?

Yay Clay!!

My cute cousin, Clayton, is going on a mission to the Philippians. Last weekend he went through the temple in Mesa and there was lots of family there to support him. He is a great young man and we are so proud of him. Below is a picture of his family.

We stayed with Lamar's family (Justin's brother)...which I have no pictures of?? I never remember to get out my camera unless I see someone else taking pictures. But we did have a fun time hanging out and playing games with them, and it worked out perfectly because they live super close to my Uncle Dale's house. All of my cousins and family got together one night at my uncles to have a BBQ and swim. Kaybri loves, loves animals, and they have a parrot and a little pomeranian sp? dog, so she was in heaven. She chased poor Emmy around everywhere. We also got to see my new adorable nephew, Jackson. This is Jarom and Mel's new addition, born June 30th. He is so precious and fun to hold and look at. My kids also love babies. However, they tend to smother, squeeze, and kiss a little too hard. This is especially true for Pax. He cries because he wants to see/touch babies, but he just doesn't know his own strength! He thinks and says "soft", but in no way is it even close.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Little Firecrackers

Pax is back! My mom and dad came to celebrate the 4th with us and brought him back. He was so excited to see Kaybri and daddy, but took a little while to want to go to me. He kept wanting Grammie! What is up with that?!

Anyway, the boys went golfing early in the morning, and since we knew we would be spending the most of the day out in the sun, we decided to skip the parades this year. We had an excellent bbq that Stacie and Dave made, with lots of good company. It was a mini Animas reunion, so fun to catch up with old friends. I wish I would've taken some pictures!

Later that afternoon we let the kids play in their little pool over at Aunt JoJo's. Yes, my kids have swim suits, but they got left at our house. Paxton had a good time waving the hose around, and Kaybri had a good drink lapping up the water like a dog.

A little after 8 we headed out to go see the fireworks. On our way there, we saw a couple fireworks go off. We thought we were going to be early, but nope they had already started. I turned around to show Kaybri and Paxton the fireworks and noticed they had totally crashed out. So we ended up stopping on the side of the road and watching the fireworks from there. Overall, it was a fun but exhausting day!